Monday, February 28, 2011

Can you win an Oscar?

Oscar night was sort of a letdown for me. The hosts being probably the weakest since, well, The Oscars. Showing how Bob Hope hosted the early shows only emphasized the huge talent gap.

However, the highlight of the evening for me was Luke Matheny, the Brooklyn based filmmaker, writer and actor whose “God of Love” won the 2011 Academy Award in the Best-Live Action Short category.

The short film was Matheny’s thesis at NYU’s graduate film program. It had previously won the gold medal at the 2010 Student Academy Awards, a special jury recognition at Aspen ShortsFest and first prize and the King Award for Screenwriting at the NYU First Run Film Festival.

He is of course not new to the festival circuit. His previous short film "Earano" -- a hilarious take on Cyrano de Bergerac's love exploits, won the King Award for Screenwriting at the NYU First Run Festival, an honorable mention at the Angelus Student Film Festival, and Best Student Short at the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City, Nevada.

So, can you win an Oscar? Yes, you can. You just need to walk the walk...

Here is "Earano" in two parts:

Makeup Artist

If anyone is looking for a makeup artist let me know. This past weekend I shot a GDK and we needed a cut and bruise on our actors head. The makeup turned out really good so anyone who is looking for cuts, scrapes, bruises, gaping wounds, torn flesh or just some blood work get in contact with me and i'll help you get in touch with the girl we used!

Toy Story 3

While watching the oscars last night, I was amazed to find out that Toy Story 3 was nominated for best picture. I loved the movie. We all grew up with Toy Story and the 3rd one was a great way to end it. What surprised me was that an animated movie got recognition as being one of the best movies of the year. I wondered if it was the first animated movie ever nominated for best picture. I think it is really awesome though that an animated movie got that high of praise and I'm glad it did because in my opinion it deserved every bit of that praise.

Peach Castle

So, driving back from the doctor (in Syracuse) I took a different route than the usual one and I saw this place which seems perfect for the Peach is a Whore project. So I dropped a pin on the location. Just click on the title of the post and when in Google Maps click on the pin and choose "street view" where you can actually see the place.

It looks great and it happens to be a student housing, I think for SUNY Cortland. It is about 20-30 min from IC. Further down the same road there are other "gothic" examples. I think one of them goes back to 1880 or so. Once in Google Maps at street level you can actually "drive" using your arrow keys until you find those other locations just North of the one I am linking to. How's that for virtual location scouting?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

casting call info

So our casting Call will be this coming week on Tuesday from 8-10pm in Studio C. we have a flier but for some reason I can't post it on the blog. We have our contact information, characters needed (with character descriptions), and some interesting pictures to catch the naked eye. I'll bring in one on Monday to show the class. We will be posting them up in Dilingham, the Park school, and residential halls. If you have any other good ideas for us, please get back to us.


Meat Freezer

So for our GDK, theres a scene involving a meat freezer looking room. Were hoping to find one very soon, because it would be amazing if we can shoot our scene in a meat freezer. So if anyone knows of meat freezers near campus, that would be so helpful. Also if anyone knows any nice looking office buildings in the area, with glass windows surrounded the office room.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Green Screen Background image for Golden Doorknob

I built this background today for our GDK from about 5 different pictures by clipping out buildings, expanding skies, adding the river and foreground buildings. This is going to be the background for our green screen shot when the CEO is looking out his office window. I added clouds and also a few layers and blurs to make the image look like its through glass. I'm going to work on animating the smoke some more and adding a flock of birds.

2 and a Half Men dropped..for now at least

The article is linked in the title,
but Charlie Sheens ongoing antics have finally gotten his show dropped. CBS has put a foot down and 2 and a Half Men is now on hold. Took them long enough. Too bad the show's hilarious.

Wanna see something COOL?!

Hey everyone!
Since I've been battling a cold all week, I decided not to do my weekly vlog. Instead, I'll take a moment to advertise a play I'm in! Yayyy for advertising yourself!

So I'm in this play called Veronika Decides To Die. Its a really deep show about a woman who attempts to commit suicide, only to fail and land herself in a mental institution. From there, she must figure out her life and decide whether or not she wants to live or die.

The play is presented through some abstract movement, but it will leave you really treasuring your own life. It's a pretty cool show.

Anyway, it'll be running tonight (Friday, February 25) at 8 and tomorrow (Saturday, February 26) at 4. It will be held in the Clark Lounge in Campus Center. Admission is $5. Spread the word!!! :)

I hope to see some of you there :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Best Steadicam Operation I have ever seen.

I'm just going to leave this here.

Story-boarding: Is It Art?

Since we've been talking about storyboard drawing and all the different ways one could it (simple stick figures, second-life, et cetera) I thought I would introduce everyone to a pretty cool sample of storyboards. Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's first career was as a painter, so when he began making films we would paint his own storyboards. Some of them have actually become well-received especially the storyboard for his film Throne of Blood because of its similarity to the actual film. I know that it would be really time consuming to storyboard this way for this class, but here is an example anyway.

banksy steps up

the 2011 academy awards will be broadcasted this sunday feb 27th. the nominees for best documentary include Inside Job by Charles Ferguson and Waste Land by Lucy Walker. BUT the documentary that had me interested from the start is Exit Through the Gift Shop by Banksy. we all know him as the the british guerilla graffiti artist with an international reputation. his film was an unbelievable story that followed many guerilla graffiti artists of our day. the main portion of the story has to deal with the man who followed these artists around with his video camera. he scaled walls, climbed up onto roofs, did anything and everything possible to get the shots he needed. he traveled from place to place, artist to artist. and eventually he became an artist himself. by the end of the film we see him putting up his own tags at night and even opening a show for others to view his work. banksy has multiple interviews within the film and in every one he is disguised and his voice is altered. Banksy's representatives stated that if he is to win the award he will still appear disguised to receive it. he even left his mark with new artwork in LA and beverly hills. i think that you should all check out the documentary. it is really exciting and fun. i really enjoyed it.

his three new works are on his website in the link under 'outside' 
they are the dog pissing on the wall, the child soldier with crayon machine gun and drunk mickey and minnie mouse on the billboard. enjoyyy.

Apollo 18

So I was doing some cruising on apple trailers and stumbled across Apollo 18. This movie is basically paranormal activity on the moon. In a way it makes me mad because its literally the same exact thing. It's two astronauts on a secret mission to the moon and they're documenting their mission through a video camera and then theres aliens and such and they die.

2 People + Scary Noises + Video Camera +Demons = Paranormal Activity
2 People + Scary Noises + Video Camera + Aliens = Apollo 18

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Foley Artist

Hey guys, the title is a link to this video that I just watched about foley artists. It's basically a video of this foley artist who apprenticed on Empire Strikes Back demonstrating some foley techniques, showing the camera around his workroom, and talking about how they put together the individual sounds for a scene in a movie. I thought it was pretty cool, and if you're interested in working on sound as a career, it looks like it'd be a pretty sweet job.

SoundWorks Collection: Gary Hecker - Veteran Foley Artist from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

Creepy Building

So we are looking for a place to shoot the inside of Bowser's castle. We have an old church near the commons for the outside but we do not want to use this for the inside. Does anyone know of a building that has a creepy inside that we could use.
Thank you
Matt Walker

dropping by

hey so i think were doing really well with our goldendoorknob project and casting tmrw and monday for a couple main characters and a couple non-speaking ones (sorry youre still important). other than that im thinking were gonna start shooting soon we got some good spots to shoot but we gotta start doing some paper work to shoot in the commons.

New Upcoming Movie!

Also, i saw this trailer for a new movie coming out this year called "Source Code" it looks really good! I linked it in the title.


So since we were all fasinated with animation today, i thought i would post this video of an animated news story. i read perez hilton like it's my job and he puts these up sometimes. they're funny depictions of celebrity shenanigans. i actually don't find them all that funny, but some people might. they're from some taiwanese company called next media animation tv. i'm putting up one about miley cyrus, because her recent scandal was just hilarious. so here it is. if you want to see more you can search "animated" on perez or they give a facebook link at the end of the video.


So our team/group/clan (me, Travis, Alex, and Marlee) are having our casting Thursday and Monday from 7-10 in Park 277. You should all come and chill. Any extra cast auditions would be great. I'll bring cookies. Maybe? I don't know. Hmmmmmm. Marlee will bring cookies. Yeah, that's right. I volunteered her. Trololol.

(No cookies, actually. But come anyway! It'll be fun.)

(No but seriously, come. We need the extra support.)

(By we, I mean I.)


(Here's a puppy!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pretty cool video

I found this pretty cool video on youtube, apparently this guy is an NYU student. Maybe the Mario GDK can do something like this. pretty ballin' right?

friday night lights

So I recently started watching Friday Night Lights, starting from season 1. And I'm really enjoying it. I love the way that its shot, it's very realistic. They use a lot of close up shots which convey the emotions well. I'm a little more than halfway through the first season and I've been noticing that a lot of the time when two characters are talking they'll go from closeup shots to a very very wide shot that makes it look as though someone is watching them. I wasn't quite sure why they did it. For example, there was one shot where two people are walking into a store and they use a variety of medium/closeup shots then they cut to a really wide shot that's not only far away, but very high up. Just something I noticed!

We also NEED a location for our doorknob film. Just a plain room with 2 doors. Maybe we'll look into the realtors websites, that's a good idea.

Location Scouting

For those of you scouting for locations, it occurred to me that one of the best resources would be a local realtor. True, you do not want to rent a location, however they know all the available spaces for rent or for sale and they can give you the contact information to get a permit. They also know each other well and some specialize in residential, or business or industrial etc. So take some time to explore that option. I suggest you do a face to face as opposed to simply give them a call.

You can also search the rental listings yourself. Here is one of many resources: LINK

Another resource would be constructors, since they usually have houses or locales in different states of completion. My landlord, Bruno Schickel is such case. Check his website. He is a really great and helpful guy. You can tell him that you are my student. I know he has various houses in construction and other types of places as well. Here is his SITE
He has built or renovated homes, offices, clinics, restaurants, you name it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

casting call 2

I agree that during class would be too hard and really limit people to coming audition. But is there any other time we could get everyone together??

Casting Call

I guess no one else has started talking about the class-wide casting call (sorry if you already have and I didn't notice you), but it might as well get started. For the T/TH 8:00 class, if we are going to do it in the evening, it should NOT be on Thursday since a bunch of us have Newswatch 16 from 5:30 till whenever (normally 9:00, but there could always be live @ 10:00). If its going to a mid-day casting call, I personally could not do it T/TH or on the weekends, but any other day is good. I'm also down for doing the casting call during class, but it is early and some potential actors may have classes.

Bad Lieutenant and Other Things

I couldn't help but chuckle to myself when I saw that the first name that Cathy Michael, our library connection, typed in was Werner Herzog, when the night before I had been shown Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. A very strange cop drama directed by Werner in which Nicholas Cage, a very "bad Lieutenant" in the New Orleans police force who is trying to solve a murder case while juggling an addiction to almost all narcotics. He is also a pimp to Eva Mendes, a high class prostitute, and a friend to Xzibit, a drug lord and gang kingpin. A very interesting tale.

On a more productive note, Arturo mentioned how I was shipping up fake weapons from home. These would be airsoft guns which make great props for anyone who has a story that calls for guns. Basically for any weapon pistol or rifle ever created there is an airsoft gun that is almost identical, especially in video which doesn't communicate how heavy the weapon is or how it feels. Airsoft guns can be picked up at a Dick's sporting goods store, Walmart of the internet if you are looking for a more specific model. Just google cheap airsoft guns and you could find plenty of good deals that could fit a pistol or rifle that your script may call for.

Big Bang Theory

So my recent love of tv has been spent watching Big Bang Theory. I've watched it before and I've loved it but I never watched it with my full attention. This past week I started from the beginning episode 1 season 1 so that I would fully understand who the characters were. Big Bang theory is absolutely hilarious and the writing is awesome. I never thought humor and scientific theories could be combined to make a great show. The awkwardness of the characters is the main humor of the show and it works perfectly.


So yeah about that: Ha.

Also upon typing in the URL to the blog in the address bar I had to remind myself: "Oh yeah! It's not a Tumblr! Will, you're silly. The Fiction Field blog isn't on Tumblr. Ha ha ha. Ha ha haaaaAAAOHH GOD I'M ADDICTED, SOMEONE HELP ME-HEE-HEEEEEEEEEEEE"

But I digress. Let's move on.

I've been watching 3rd Rock From The Sun a lot recently. Let's go beyond the fact that the show was made in the nineties when TV was better and blah blah freakin' blah. It's well written in general. The idea of aliens landing on Earth and taking the bodies of humans seems so blasé and cliché and everything else with an "é" at the end; and yet the final product is charming, with every episode forcing you to laugh whether you like it or not. One scene with John Lithgow and Wayne Knight tap dancing with Jane Curtin almost killed me. This was due to me eating Nutella at the time. We all know the consistency of Nutella. (But it's so damn good. I mean seriously, if you go shopping again this semester, get Nutella. It's hazelnutty chocolatey goodness formed into a spread that you can eat anything with. ANYTHING. GO GET IT. NOW.)

Also I'm still plowing through Doctor Who. I'm on David Tennant's tenure as the Doctor right now. My mind blows every time he appears on screen. As much as I loved Chris Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, David blows him out of the water. This stresses the importance of good casting; if your actor doesn't fit the part, the character is going to suck. Big time. Can you imagine Gilbert Gottfried as the Doctor? I can, and it's not a pretty picture.

Anyhow, I'm going to pretend to watch this color correction presentation. Peace out.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Maysles and Ali

I forgot to mention that Albert Maysles, yes the same Albert Maysles that was here at IC a short time ago, did a 30 for 30 about Muhammad Ali. It airs tonight at 10 on ESPN. It is called Muhammad and Larry. I am psyched to watch it.

Without Bias

I'm a big fan of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary series. I just recently watched another one called "Without Bias." It is the story of Len Bias, a University of Maryland basketball player who was drafted second overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Draft, but died of a cocaine overdose only two days after. The story is told in a such a way that I really felt connected with what happened. There are interviews from teammates who were there the night of the incident, audio of the 911 call and other features that make you seem like you are reliving the story. Basically they do a great job storytelling in the documentary and I would recommend the 30 for 30 series for any sports or documentary fan because they are extremely well done.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

JBiebs gets shot

For those of you who haven't heard, Justin Bieber got shot on CSI this week. To me, it looks kind of fake for CSI, but maybe that's just because they're shooting a teen sensation. Either way it's hilarious. Enjoy.


I am a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick films, the photography in his movies is absolutely amazing. I know he got his start in still photography and it influenced many of his film projects. In my opinion it's a good idea for people interested in filmmaking to study photography (even just casually) the practice can help you set up effective storytelling shots. One good example of Kubrick photography is his 1957 film Paths of Glory.

Golden doorknob character development

Our golden doorknob project will consist of five scenes and five characters. We have definitely built on our characters more than when we first pitched our idea in class last monday. Our story revolves around a family of three: two young parents in their late twenties, early thirties and their toddler son. The mother is a stay at home mom whose main priority is taking care of her son. On the other hand, the father works in an office and does not understand the work that goes into taking care of his son while he is at work. He is somewhat critical of his wife and grows more critical when he sees his son getting into more and more mischief. He feels as if his wife is not paying attention to the son enough and that is the reason he is getting in to trouble. The husband's view changes when his son gets into trouble while he is home. This is when he decides to change the doorknobs.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Scenes for Golden Doorknob

So for our movie, its hard to tell how many scenes we actually have. When I look at the script, it seems that 7 or 8 seems logic. However, some scenes tend to carryover into different locations. If anyone can help me with this problem, I would be happy to send you our script. (Molly and Gabe are in my group) Next, we will be holding tryouts for our cast. As of now we still need a creepy criminal (male) and his 2 of his friends that are sly and older looking. If you known of anyone, once again please get back to me.


Steve Kinslow

Facebook gone forever?!

According to the World Weekly News (and Mark Zuckerberg) facebook will come to an end the fifteenth of March. thousands, maybe even millions of people around the world complained because they actually believed, and i quote "Facebook has gotten out of control, and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness.” - zuckerberg. The website also posted a petition that can be signed to "save facebook". 26,531 people signed it so far. hilarious. especially because Zuckerberg actually had to prove the weekly news was a hoax by telling CNN that he"didn't get the memo" about facebook being shut down. The report was started by a site known for its reports of impending attacks of alien spaceships and false reports of a Michelle Obama pregnancy. yet people still love to believe it. People will really just believe anything nowadays.

Super Mario FX

I think this is a cool example that relates to one of the proposed Golden Doorknob ideas.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lighting Stills

Hey guys,
So, I realize I haven't posted for a while, but I was hoping for some help. I'm in Steve and Gabo's group for The Golden Doorknob, and, as you read in an earlier post, we're looking for help lighting our scenes in a gloomy blue light. Here are a few examples of the kind of look we're going for, so if you have any suggestions of how we could make this happen, that would be amazing. Thanks!


*photos are stills from "Sid & Nancy" and the "Blue Orchid" music video by The White Stripes.

Mr. Sunshine and Brothers

Good news and bad news.

Bad news (because well let's just get it over with)
"Brothers" featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, and Natalie Portman, was probably the worst war movie I've ever seen.
First off, the trailer is extremely deceiving. Secondly, the 8 year olds performance was 10x better than Maguires. The little girl flips out at the table because her dad is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, and I was more moved by her 10 second outburst than I was by Tobey Maguire screaming and tearing apart the entire kitchen. Do not waste your time with this film. In addition to the awful acting, the plot was terrible. There was no clear ending and everything the trailer built up the movie to be was a let down. Definitely not worth it.

Andddddd the good news. "Mr. Sunshine" is a new series on tv, featuring Matthew Perry as an executive working for a sports arena. It's actually pretty funny if anyone's looking for a decent new comedy. There's only been one episode so far, but I'd give it a chance. Plus, who can say no to Matthew Perry?


LeTRON James

This post is not about Lebron James.

This post is really about the Tron movies, the original Tron movie, and Tron: Legacy. The original one was a movie that not only blew people away, it became a cult movement. Nerds all over the world fell in love with the idea of Tron, and the insane world the directors created. It was just something not seen in movies during that era. The light suits, the light bikes, the fact that human actors were in a game like world, was just a technological advancement.

Then comes Tron: Legacy, the sequel made years after the original, and a movie that still amazed people. The difference between the first movie and second movie is huge, and the way they light the movie is completely different. While the first one tried to have the bright lights in the dark atmosphere, the new movie does a wonderful job of showing the contrasts in lights. Obviously technology has gotten so much better, and you are able to do more with your movie, but the general look and feel of the second movie just feels better.

Everyone should definitely watch both movies, i recommend you watch the first movie first.

Then you can see the real difference.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So, I watched The Fighter

Just watched The Fighter and it was fantastic. Christian Bale was amazing as usual and Mark Wahlberg did a great job too. The movie had a lot more depth to it than a typical boxing movie. It was mostly about family and his brothers crack addiction. It had a great story and it was well done overall so I definitely recommend watching it.

Video Filter

Arturo had a good idea for our GD where we play with the color corrector and video style of the movie to make the surroundings of our main character look dark and gritty while allow her to be bright and cheerful, emphasizing the point that she doesn't belong at this food company. On idea I had was using that effect--most often used in photography--where everything is de-saturated in color while a select one or two colors is bright and rich. That way, we could have our main character stand out by dressing her in a specific color not used in the background and then making all the other color de-saturated except that one, giving the video an interesting clash. My only problem is that I don't know what the effect is called, though I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about. Does anyone know what that effect is called or whether or not it is in Final Cut Pro?

Robin Hood

I watched season one of the BBC series Robin Hood, and while the story line is ok, the rest is terrible. There are blatant jump cuts everywhere. The ending involves a celebratory jump, where it freezes in mid air. Also the jokes are terrible. Instead a cat got your tongue, they say sheriff got your tongue. Not only that, but then they explain how its ironic it is. I thought the British said that Americans did not know what satire was. This is the only BBC show that I have watched. Has anyone noticed any similarities in other BBC shows


ideas for lighting anyone?


ok so arsenal barca today. and luke snyders a liar. I got some pics for scenes around the commons and were still looking for a mom late teens/early 20s. having some trouble trying to figure out how to light certain spots like maybe a parking garage, and anyone have experience shooting with a camera filter to make the scene blueish? other than no white balancing?

its all about the u
and thats all i got

The Fighter

So I have some really exciting news..... I GOT THE FLU!!!!!!!! Today I'm going to lay around in my bed as my fever soars into the triple digits and I sweat all over the place. While doing this I think I'm going to watch The Fighter. The Fighter for those of you who don't know is a new boxing movie featuring Marky Mark and Christian Bale. I really enjoy Christian Bale and one of my favorite movies is American Psycho (watch it if you haven't seen it). For his role in The Fighter, Bale lost a metric ton of weight and looks like a skeleton. He dropped 70 pounds for his 2004 role in The Machinist so it was nothing new to him to drop weight for a character. He also joked about doing a lot of coke to shed weight for these movies. He's a crazy guy. I'll let you guys know how the movie is.

Space Jam

So I was listening to the Space Jam soundtrack yesterday and began to wonder how they shot the movie. The cartoons play such a big role in the film, it must have been difficult for the actors to play their parts with no one there. I also began to think, how exactly would you be able to get the looney toons to look active and natural within a scene. The concept intrigued me, I'm not sure how you would go about doing that. The movie came out in '96 so they couldn't have used anything very high tech.

Truly, Madly, Deeply

So, Marlee told me I should post this and since it doesn't take too much to convince me to do something here it is...

(It's a project I did for production and direction class last semester)

Shows I've Been Watching While Coughing My Guts Out

Well, hi there. I wasn't in class on Tuesday (or in any classes on Monday, either) because I have the flu. The past few days have consisted of going through an entire box of Kleenex, learning to love Ibuprofen, and waking up my roommate with my extremely loud coughs in the middle of the night. To keep my mind off of the fact that I can't breathe through my nose or talk above a whisper anymore, I've been catching up on some shows that I've been slacking on. I'm now all caught up with Bones (if anyone watches Bones and has thoughts on Hannah & Booth, comment with them on this post, I wanna know) and with the BBC show Merlin. I'd be really surprised if anyone else (other than Alyssa Walker) knows about this show, since it doesn't have a large cult following like Dr. Who or anything like that. Merlin is basically a completely non-canon retelling of how Arthur came to be King Arthur and Merlin came to be, well, Merlin. Merlin works as a servant for Prince Arthur (they're both about 20, I think- see, I told you it wasn't canon) and they go on many adventures, etc. Prince Arthur, however, doesn't know that Merlin has magic, since Arthur's father King Uther has banned magic from Camelot. What I think is interesting is that the creators of Merlin took a lot of inspiration from Smallville. As a result, Merlin does a lot of the same things Clark Kent does in the first few seasons of Smallville- saving his friends when they're not looking, learning more about his powers, and befriending other magic people only to have them die or leave, leaving Merlin alone again with his secret. Just thought it was interesting. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find another box of Kleenex.

Hey Ladies,

I thought I'd post something (since I haven't been posting much) about my new found love for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. For those of you who don't now the story: It's about a young man named Scott Pilgrim who must fight the 7 evil ex's of Ramona Flowers, if he wishes to date her. Along with trying to defeat them, he has to deal with his own life problems of growing up and coming to terms with his own past relationships.
It's originally a comic book which was adapted into a feature film starring Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim.

The comic/movie feature large video game references and musical features to it. Artists like Radiohead, Broken Social Scene, and Beck contributed to the music of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. There are also an ungodly amount of special effects to the movie

All in all, I think it's a great and interesting movie/comic book. It gives me something to read between classes and homework now that I've caught up on everything else I watch. Enjoy~

Special FX: Also, call me Ishmael, plus Here she is, Miss Amerrrricaaaa

For some reason Google signed me in with an old account, so when I looked at my list of blogs it showed me two that I had created in high school. They each have one post. They're both awful. I'm gobsmacked, really.

Several people have been informed that I have rediscovered my love for Doctor Who. After watching a few episodes with David Tennant years ago and then forgetting to watch anymore, I decided to hop on Netflix and start from the beginning of the reboot. What amazes me most -- besides the characters, acting, story, soundtrack, visuals, and just about everything -- are the low-budget special effects. In one episode, the Dalek levitating seemed cheaply made, but it looked legit enough to make me go "Oh! So that Dalek can levitate and HOLY WHAT THE IT'S GONNA KILL EVERYONE AHHHH" instead of "Oh! So they didn't have enough money in the BBC budget! Way to go, you crumpet eating shmucks." It made me realize that if the production team behind one of the world's most loved shows can do awesome on a low budget, then so can we. Must investigate further.

Also, we're talking about microphone patterns in class right now; and the drawings on the board look like two parts of the male human body that I can't mention without sounding unprofessional/failing the class/sounding like a five year old. But it's rather hilarious nonetheless.

Now, a picture of a puppy:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Belated Valentine's Day rant

Hello again,
So this week I recorded, yes, you guessed it, another music vlog! I know last time I said I would choose songs I could write about here, but alas, that didn't happen. This time, my inspiration was neither; instead, I found it in Valentine's Day.

I feel like the song I chose (which I'm not going to tell you about because then you'll feel more compelled to go see for yourself... maybe? I'll give it a shot...) is more than just a love song. It's easy for people to get swept up in the idea of buying stuff for someone else on Valentines Day, but I think the idea behind this song really provides us with the true meaning of the holiday. It's a day to celebrate ALL the people you love. If you're in a romantic relationship, then it's your chance to keep in mind why you're with someone in the first place. I know you should appreciated the people you love every single day, and a lot of people actually do show their appreciation on a daily basis. But that doesn't mean people really reflect on the reasons why they care about the people they keep around. Valentines Day isn't just an "I Love You" celebration: it's an "I love you BECAUSE..." celebration.

Anyway, that's my cheesy view on the holiday. Anyone else have thoughts?
And while you're at it, SERIOUSLY, click RIGHT HERE and just go watch the video. Chances are you'll recognize the song :)
Best wishes,

Social Network Tilt Shift Sequence

So I watched the Social Network for the first time this weekend and I was really interested in this scene (the link to the clip is the title of the post). What struck me was the use of tilt-shift videography. It's a technique used to make the objects in the picture look miniature and not real. I didn't know that this could be used in video, I thought it was just photography. It gives the scene a really cool effect, almost as though what's going on in the scene isn't real.
Here are some more examples of tilt-shift photography. I think it's pretty cool.

To the right is a scene where the police officers find the dead bodies in the bedroom. The mother and father are lying in bed and appear to be sleeping. but after checking their pulse the officers realize they are dead.

This scene (to the left) is the first establishing shot where the mother is seen washing dishes and the father enters from off screen. He is coming home from work.

Sooo I would upload more pictures but the blogger website is being dumb right now. Stay tuned for more.

Screenwriting and the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet

Also, I forgot to mention this in my other post. If anyone is interested in screenwriting, read "Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder. He breaks down the Syd Field 3 act structure into a more concrete structure. He uses what he calls "beats" to pinpoint major aspects of the film. Kind of in the same way Syd Field uses plot points to move the story.

And if anyone needs help screenwriting or someone to look over their script I'd be happy to. I have a lot of screenwriting experience.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

If anyone hasn't seen "A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints," I highly recommend it. Here's the story line that's written on IMDB:
Dito, a writer in L.A., goes home to Astoria, Queens, after a 15-year absence when his mother calls to say his father's ill. In a series of flashbacks we see the young Dito, his parents, his four closest friends, and his girl Laurie, as each tries to navigate family, race, loyalty, sex, coming of age, violence, and wanting out.

The film features Shia LaBouf, Robert Downey Jr, Channing Tatum. I know Channing Tatum isn't the worlds best actor, but this is the one film I actually don't mind him in If you can get past the fact that he's cast in this movie I definitely recommend it.

WARNING: The movie is crazy depressing. Don't watch it if you're upset in any way.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

X-Men: First Class some of you may or may not know, a new X-Men movie is on its way. The movie is going to tell the back story of Professor X and Magneto, the discovery of their powers and the events that surround and are caused by this awakening. 20th century fox recently released the official trailer for the movie. Personally I feel as though the trailer is extremely well done, and it gives a unique preview to what the movie has in store. The link to the trailer is in the title in case you haven't yet seen it.

L.A. Noire

So, I'm kind of just "geeking" out right now but I just wanted to show all of you guys this technical trailer for a new video game called L.A. Noire. This game is the first to implement a new software that allows for very accurate facial recognition by scanning actor's performance with 30-something HD cameras. It's just adding something new to a video game's bag of tricks as a storytelling artform.

L.A. Noire Youtube Link

(If you skip to about 1:35 there is a cool side-by-side comparison)

Storyboarding and storytelling

Time to really dig in and read the section on storyboarding on our class ebook:
Directing the Story; Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques, by Francis Glebas.

Check out Chapter 4 page 90 for some useful tips. Remember no one expects a masterpiece of art, but rather a clear simple depiction of your key shots. If you cannot visualize them you can't shoot them!
It is from the storyboard/script combination that you will have a successful and useful breakdown so you can have a smooth shoot, so make an effort to put your visual ideas on paper.
As I believe I mentioned, you can also "colllage" your storyboard using clip-art, cutouts from magazines, comic books etc. I like to use grpahic novels sometimes because they have such great angles and scene depictions that really give you a sense of athmosphere, character and place.
This is from DMZ by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli

Thursday, February 10, 2011

'Memento' returning to theaters for one night

Christopher Nolan's, Memento is showing one more screening in theaters one week from today February 17th in eleven cinemas in the U.S. and Canada. The film will be in new digital print followed by a never before seen Q and A with Christopher Nolan moderated by Guillermo del Toro. Also, a tenth anniversary edition of the film will be released on the 22nd. It will also carry a new featurette where Nolan discusses the legacy that his film has left. If any of you happen to be in New York City next thursday don't miss the screening at the City Cinemas Village. I randomly stumbled upon this on the internet and thought it was pretty cool that they are showing it in theaters again. But yeah. Hit it up if you get the chance!


One of my favorite shows on television right now is definitely Community, which airs on NBC on Thursday nights, at 8pm. Having gone to community college for two years before transferring to IC, I can definitely say you meet some characters, but nothing compares to the professors and students who attend Greendale Community College. When lawyer Jeff Winger, played by the amazing Joel McHale, finds out his law degree is invalid he has no choice but to go back to school. During his first day at Greendale Jeff poses as a tutor and starts a study group with members from his Spanish class. From this point forward hilarity ensues as Jeff, Abed, Britta, Annie, Shirley and Pierce work toward their degrees while growing closer along the way. Although this show follows a storyline and most of the episodes build on from the last, many of the filler episodes borrow themes from iconic films. For example, the Halloween episode this season was filled with zombies, while the most recent episode revolved around an intense game of Dungeons and Dragons featuring music very similar to Lord of the Rings. I find this show intriguing because it demonstrates how film and television are not completely different. The storylines that made great films such as Goodfellas so unique, can be re-interpreted and used on TV. It just takes creativity and clever scriptwriting.

One More Thing

I don't know if anyone has ever heard of Andrei Tarkovsky. He's a Russian filmmaker who makes some very interesting movies. There an acquired taste (definitely not a date movie, unless that's what you're into), but some shots are so cool. I strongly recommend trying to brave through a couple of his films and study the photography.

If you ever feel like your shoot isn't going according to plan.

I think I'm one of the few people find the back story to how a film was made just as interesting as the film itself. A couple of days ago I was reading a little bit about the filming of the Palm D'Or winning Apocalypse Now. A few days into the principal photography, Francis Ford Coppola (the film's director) had to replace Harvey Keitel for Martin Sheen as the movie's protagonist. Sheen, who was struggling with alcohol abuse suffered a heart attack in the middle of the jungle by himself and had to crawl to a road in order to get help. A massive typhoon wiped out some of the sets which shut down production while they were moved and rebuilt. By that point, the project was six weeks behind and two million dollars over budget. Marlon Brando arrived in the Philippines for his role so out of shape that Coppola was forced to rewrite the ending, have Brando only wear black, photograph only his face, and have a taller actor play him for wider shots. Many of the extras playing Viet Cong soldiers were members of the Philippine police and military and kept leaving during shooting to fight drug lords. Several very expensive films were eventually cut from the final edit wasting even more of the budget. At first critics thought the film would be a disaster, but it ended up sealing a director's legacy (one who had already made the Godfather Parts I and II, the Conversation, American Graffiti, and had written Patton). So ever you're having issues shooting a project, just remember, one of the greatest directors of all time had so many issues with one film that it's amazing the movie was even finished.

Trick Shots

There is a video of UConn quarterback Johnny McEntee making ridiculous throws with the football.

I wonder how long this took to film, because I have a feeling that I would not have the patience for it. Also, how many times did that one kid get hit in the face?

Mr. Sunshine

A new show just premiered on ABC last night called Mr. Sunshine. It deals with the behind-the-scenes workings of a sports/events arena and stars Matthew Perry and Allison Janney. I just watched it and I thought it was really funny. I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you're into dry humor. Here's the link to it on Hulu if anyone's interested.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Location and lighting.

These are some examples of the type of room we kinda like for our movie. Also we decided that we wanted to use only one source of lighting (maybe use a gobo to simulate a Window) in each of the scenes to make it more creepier.


Well for my blog post this week i really wanted to talk about Batman: The Dark Knight and how it relates to our doorknob project. First of the Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan, is by far the best batman ever. It portrayed this rich crime fighter, in the most realistic way, and really symbolizes the true Bat. The scenery and the look and feel of the movie is what i in-vision out doorknob to resemble. I really like the way the city of Chicago looks in this film, and if we could copy this dark, yet epic setting, i really feel our movie could be perfect.

Also dont forget about the new Batman, The Dark Knight Rises, coming out in 2012. Just signed actors Tom Hardy from Inception, Anne Hathaway from Princess, and Joseph Gordon Levitt from 500 days of Summer.

Reformed Doorknob Idea

So we just met to talk about our doorknob and we have reformed our idea a bit. We made ours much more of a thriller now. So we have Leesa who is going to her first day on the job at a large corporation. Along the way she hears a man names Stanley Kirkland has gone missing. She meets with the CEO who explains he needs trust in his employees. She's shown to her office where a lady is franticly cleaning out the office and placing things in a cardboard box. As she makes her way out of the office we see the name tag on the top of the box, it reads Stanley Kirkland. Leesa finds a flash drive in the empty desk and tries to catch the women and give it to her before she's gone but fails. She's tempted to see what's on the flashdrive and holds out until she finally gives in. When she inserts the flash drive it sends a signal to the CEO who watches her every move as she riffles through the files on the drive that pin the company to horrible crimes. Lunch time comes around Leesa puts the drive in her purse and heads for her car. Before she gets in she's cloraformed. She wakes up in a white room yada yada she trapped in there The CEO comes in and tells her what situation shes in. She stays in there for a while until she gives up on life, the only hard object in the room is a doorknob so she bashed her head against it until she dies. Then the whole movie rewinds and starts from beginning a new employee walks in to the front desk to start her new day on the job, she will suffer the same fate as Leesa if she makes the wrong move.

TV Tropes

Don't forget this exists. It actually really helps with writing if you know how to make the different elements they mention work.

An interesting music video

I recently stumbled upon this music video. There are some really interesting sound effects going on here, not too mention interesting topics and lyrics. But Arturo I wanted to hear your take on this and maybe some inside info on how something like this would be put together as I would assume it would require green screens and you mentioned how you could help with that.

DISTANT RELATIVES "Patience" from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So I've been trying to kill two birds with one stone (or two projects with one, er, computer?) by writing this blog and in some way linking it to my vlog channel on YouTube. Right now, the case has been that I choose a random song, or someone suggests a song, I record it about a million times, hate it, post it anyway, then write this thing. So this week, I decided to choose a song that I could also write about, because I think its important to be inspired by EVERYTHING you do, not just one thing. That's lame. Fo realz.

Anyway, here's my newest vlog. (Right there. Click it. Do ittttt.) It was a special request from a family friend. This woman is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. She's the single mom of two boys, and despite all the crazy stuff that happens to her, she's still one of the sweetest people I've ever met. I mean, I'm grouchy just having to wake up for class (haha), but on a bigger scale, that's nothing! Anyway, she's pretty inspiring, so this one goes out to her. Enjoy, and I'll see you kids bright and early Thursday morning :)

Lighting examples

In looking for examples of how we would like to light our project, we came to "The Prestige" and really liked how it was lit.

Kyle, Nick, Julia

Stand By Me

So even though it's not a recent title, I thought I'd throw this one out there: if you haven't seen Stand By Me, watch it. It's about four boys who go looking for a dead body just for the adventure of it. My brother got it for Christmas one year and my parents were super-psyched to watch it as a family, even though my brother and I were like "yeah, yeah, okay, this looks kinda meh." For the first fifteen minutes, I was convinced it was a horror movie and something was going to jump out and eat the kids only because I knew it was based on a Stephen King novella.
Oh my God my family was DYING during the whole thing. We couldn't stop quoting it for weeks, and it's a major family favorite now. It has Kiefer Sutherland in it for a bit. Oh, and if you watch it, look up what the character Verne looks like today. It's insane.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Production roles and their stereotypes

Hi Everyone, Joe Killeen here. Here is a video from youtube. It is part of a series of videos (the link is below) offering comedic commenting on Director/DP/Producer/SFX work relationships, challenging the criteria one must meet in order to be considered successful in their given production role. Very funny, and (I warn in advance) plenty of swearing, but it is something to keep in mind when we ourselves fill these various roles.

Need Names?

So I figure as we're writing scripts, it's going to be hard to come up with some good names. If you're stuck for ideas on what to name that spunky alt chick character who kills serial killers and likes Captain Crunch, check this site out:
You can pick gender, countries of ancestry (such as English, African, Turkish, etc.,) and even time period. There's also options for different categories of beings and behaviors. There's an option to make hippie names. This generator doesn't screw around; you're going to get some pretty kick-butt results.

Next time you're stuck, I suggest you guys give this a whirl.

PS: Forget elevator pitches; I'm doing escalator pitches.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Celtx upgrade

hey hey guys so I just found out today that Celtx has an upgrade available for $15 on their website. It really is worth while. There are all these pictures for different sketches and everything CHECK IT OUT! :)


So the rough draft of our project is pretty much completed. We (Gabe, Molly, and I) are still trying to think of an indirect way to inculde the murder without using the doorknob, or even maybe having a play on words to meet the requirements. Unlike other projects, our storyline is serious and probably won't have any comedy scenes. Its just the beginning of our pre-production and I'm sure many changes will be made throughout our planning. I'll make sure to let you guys know more when we do, or if I have any questions, you'll be the ones first to know.


Truth In 24

Hey guys, I just wanted to point you towards one of my favorite documentaries: Truth In 24. It follows the story of the Audi racing team in 2008 as they prepare to tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It's also narrated by Jason Statham so you can't really go wrong. It's available for free download on iTunes and on their website (click me).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Black Death

So I found a movie that looks kind of cool and the trailer is in the link. I think the thing i find most interesting about this film is its choice of setting. It takes place in 1348 during the time of the plague so in a way its post apocalyptic but not the kind we are used to like in I Am Legend, or games like Fallout. Post apocalyptic movies are cool because they show how people choose to start their lives over and what they do to stay alive, pretty much starting at square 1 of humanity again.

Golden Doorknob

Just wanted to drop by and share our idea (molly and steve MW 8am) for the golden doorknob. One of our ideas is a young couple maybe in grad school or working in a bad neighborhood. Basically their house gets broken into and they go to a locksmith to replace their door/lock (with a golden doorknob). Then the locksmith sells a copy of the key to some bad guys that then go and rob the house...basically.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

I watched a documentary the other day titled Easy Riders, Ragings Bulls. It was really good and went into how the film industry in the 60's saved Hollywood. It looked into how Francis Ford Coppola got his start, other filmmakers in the 60's who were making B rate movies, and how the drugs and rock era saved the art of filmmaking. At one point in the movie one of the directors was talking about how they went to a ceremony where Alfred Hitchcock was being honored. In the bathroom there were 2 stalls and in each stall there were 8 pairs of legs. The people in the stalls were sniffing cocaine so load that it sounded like pigs feeding at a trough. So, if your into cocaine or movies check this doc out its worth a watch.

Reliving Childhood

So i was hanging out with a few friends this afternoon, and we decided to watch some old nick shows. The first show we watched was Rugrats. Re-watching them i realized that each episodes theme revolves around some aspect of society, such as the criminal justice system, the hidden identity of celebrities/icons, and even potent historical facts. Rugrats was not the only show that we ended up watching though. Afterwords we also watched a few episodes of Rocco's Modern Life. Until now, I never realized what actually slid into the show that young children would never understand, such as Cougar-ism, cheating on one's spouse, and so on. I suggest going back and watching some of the old cartoons that we watched as kids to see what they are actually saying. A few shows are on netfix instant watch. The title links to the cite.

Another Good One

Another awesome movie everyone should see if they haven't already is The Bicycle Thief. The climax of the film is really interesting to analyze.

Blue Valentine Trailer

Blue Valentine Trailer

Blue Valentine

Last night I went out with my boy to Cinemopolis and we saw a really beautiful indie film called Blue Valentine. It's a dark love story and at some points is immensely overwhelming. I love the way it was filmed and they portrayed the emotions of the characters to the audience very well. I felt as if I was in their shoes and I could feel how each of them felt. You can also have many different perspectives on this movie, which I like as well. My boyfriend for example saw it from the male point of view and criticized his female partner. But I saw it from the female point of view and felt more of a connection with what she was feeling and why. It really is an intense story of love and love lost.  Another thing that I really enjoyed was the fact that it was edited out-of-sequence and that really adds to it. So if any of you are looking for a good flick I highly suggest checking it out! (:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Road to the Winter Classic

I recently watched the HBO 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic. There were some things that stood out to me. The largest difference was the mood in the two different locker rooms. The Capitals were on a five game losing streak and there attitude was terrible, they always had there heads down and seemed depressed. Pittsburgh was on an 11 game winning streak and they were goofing around. I know that there may be a difference in tone, but I was surprised that the difference was this large because both teams are professionals so they know that teams get hot and cold throughout the season. I was wondering if HBO just exaggerated the difference through editing. What do you think?

Jenna, Kelly and Leah's Golden Doorknob Idea

Hi! My name is Jenna and I am in a group with Kelly and Leah.

Our idea:

We open with cutaways of different people at different locations watching the biggest news story in history. President Obama’s daughter has died due to severely hitting her head on the doorknob in her room. He has declared that all doorknobs be replaced with child friendly door hinges. These doorknobs are soft, squishy and will not hurt someone if they bump into it. The International Locksmith Association will go door by door across the U.S. changing the locks until the project is complete. We then focus on a group of college kids waiting for the locksmith association who will be arriving soon. The group waits together as the locks in their homes are changed. Once the locksmiths are finished with the job they yell up that they are leaving. The kids try and get out of their rooms but the doorknobs are too soft to open and they discover they are trapped. At this point a news story comes on saying that everyone in the country is stuck because the new doorknobs won’t turn. The end.

Golden Doorknob

I'm working with Corinne and Matt on the Golden Doorknob project. Our idea as of right now is a live-action video game. I guess the general plot is that Waluigi locks Peach in a room and takes the doorknob away, so mario can't get to her. Mario has to chase Waluigi down in order to save Peach, but he has to go through different games (i.e. Pac-Man, Wii Tennis, and Tron) in order to do so. It's a little bit more complicated than that and there's going to be a real world and a game world, so we need to distinguish between the two. Anyway, we were talking about it and we think the biggest obstacle we are going to face is in post. If you guys have any suggestions of effects or filters to give it more of a video game look (sort of like Scott Pilgrim), we would love your input. Thanks!

The Dark Knight Rises + Joseph Gordon Levitt

Okay, so while doing my usual movie stalking I found out that Joseph Gordon Levitt has signed on for "The Dark Knight Rises." Honestly, who else squealed when they read that? I mean, I'm used to Christopher Nolan reusing his lead actors a lot, but this just got me really excited. Joseph Gordon Levitt went from Indie modern day film noir of "Brick" to romantic comedy "(500) Days of Summer" to "Inception" and now "The Dark Knight Rises." He's becoming a big name actor, and personally, I'm pumped.

The Sandlot

So I watched The Sandlot the other night. It is one of my favorite movies of all time. I had a different experience watching it this time though. For the first time ever, I watched it from a video perspective. There were so many little things I had never noticed before. At some points there are obvious voiceovers. At other points, "natural sound" is thrown in but it doesn't sound natural. Also, the fourth of july scene is pretty ridiculous with the fireworks. In short, I still love the movie but I now realize some of its flaws which I never saw before. In a way, it makes the movie even more endearing.

Golden Doorknob

I'm in Luke and Sean's group, and though I like the Pandora's Box thing better than this one, I figured I'd put up another idea our group had to fulfill my blog requirement. This other ideas was a generic crime-show like thing (CSI, NCIS, Bones, Law & Order, etc.) where we see a piece of a crime in the beginning (a murder or something) and then a team of investigators works to find who the culprit was only to find it was a doorknob.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Trailer For Every Oscar-Winning Movie Ever

So chances are you guys may have seen this. I discovered it a really long time ago. But I think its pretty funny how true this video is. There's at least one element of this video that's in Oscar winning movies/movies in general. What do you guys think this says about movies today?


An idea our group had during class for the doorknob project was if there was a doorknob, that was hailed as the greatest doorknob of all time. The first and original doorknob, created by leonardo, or some highly renown mind. This doorknob was said to have all the secret in the world, and contain powers both for good and evil. It was going to be like a greek myth kind of story, and hopefully this idea can be created into an amazing film. Hopefully no one steals this idea, and for those who dare steal this idea, you may face the wrath of the KNOB.

Peace and one love... and bee.tee.dubs. this is the TRAILER FOR RUBBER!!!


This trailer was recommended to me by my good friend Sean Yoo. It stars a tire as a main character will psychic abilities. Hes on the run, I mean roll. Its completely ridiculous but well done so watch it. Possible Golden Doorknob mass murdering doorknob? I don't know......