Head Throb!

25 01 2010

My head is throbbing right now! I’ve got a flight to Salt Lake City, Utah at 7:15 AM and I’m leaving my house at 4:30 AM (it’s currently 2:26 AM as I write this). I haven’t slept since 12 PM because I was working all day and I’m starting to feel it. Worst of all, the project I was working on isn’t even exporting correctly (Final Cut Pro decided to be mean, I’m going to use After Effects now). The project in question was the storyboard animatics for Mrs. Red, which may or may not start shooting the week I come back from Sundance. OMG Sundance!

I don’t think it’s really hit that I’m going quite yet. It won’t hit until I’m actually settling into our hotel room. The hotel/condo we are staying at has WiFi but I am unsure if it’s free so I don’t know if I’ll be able to post very frequently (as if I post frequently as it is). However, I will be doing daily videoblogs and I’ll find a way to upload those to YouTube and I also will be tweeting like a madman so those will be the best places to follow me and my daily events while I’m over there! Within my videoblogs I hope to review the films I see as well so look out for those. Below I will put the list of the films I’m most anticipating. I don’t have the time to state why they are my most anticipated but I’ll post their blurbs below each name:

#1 Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

“The hillbillies from the store captured Alison!”

Tucker and Dale, two hillbillies heading to their “fixer-upper” cabin for some relaxin’, discover they ain’t alone in them woods. They encounter an SUV full of vacationing college kids, and Dale unintentionally creeps them out. But later, as he and Tucker are fishing, Dale rescues one of them—the pretty blond Alison—after she falls into the lake. Assuming she’s been captured, the indomitably preppy college kids rally to find her.

A comically macabre battle between Izods and overalls, Eli Craig’s ingenious send-up of the horror genre recounts a simple misunderstanding gone grotesquely wrong. Our hillbilly psycho killers are actually sweet as pie; it’s the judgmental college kids who have “issues.”

Craig lovingly embraces clichés, dispensing humor and gore in equal parts as we watch the educated class blunder to its demise. Nature, beer, and a rising body count—what better way to spend Memorial Day?

#2 Shorts Program V

From an unplanned pregnancy and a lesbian couple’s foray into parenthood, to a man’s intimate moment in a bathtub gone awry, these shorts take you on that wondrous journey between childhood and adultdom. With stops at the sweet innocence of a tyke hunting wabbits and someone facing mature decisions between family and self-determinism, to discovering inappropriate young love, this program is an unpredictably exhilarating , disturbing, and touching ride. Buckle up.

#3 Boy

It’s 1984, and Michael Jackson is king—even in Waihau Bay, New Zealand. Here we meet Boy, an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with his gran, a goat, and his younger brother, Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers). Shortly after Gran leaves for a week, Boy’s father, Alamein, appears out of the blue. Having imagined a heroic version of his father during his absence, Boy comes face to face with the real version—an incompetent hoodlum who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years before. This is where the goat enters.

Inspired by his Oscar-nominated short, Two Cars, One Night, Taika Waititi offers a charming, funny, and earnest coming-of-age story where everybody has some coming of age to do—particularly Alamein (affably played by Waititi himself). Never short on humor, Waititi’s story is ultimately about three boys (one grown) reconciling fantasy with reality.

#4 The Killer Inside Me

Based on the novel by legendary pulp writer Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me tells the story of handsome, charming, unassuming small-town deputy sheriff Lou Ford, who has a bunch of problems. Women problems. Law-enforcement problems. And an ever-growing pile of murder victims in his west Texas jurisdiction. All the while Lou manages to remain his stoic self. However, as evidence is discovered over the course of the investigation, suspicion begins to fall on Lou. But in this savage and bleak universe, nothing is ever what it seems.

In this film, Michael Winterbottom continues to show his immense prowess as a director. Pushing noir to its darkest extreme, he has fashioned a star vehicle for Casey Affleck, who delivers a powerful performance that resonates with a quiet ferocity that evokes shades of Robert Mitchum. This violent, stylish psychosexual thriller is imbued with all the amoral energy of its genre and is sure to shock some and dazzle all.

#5 Obselidia

Based on the novel by legendary pulp writer Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me tells the story of handsome, charming, unassuming small-town deputy sheriff Lou Ford, who has a bunch of problems. Women problems. Law-enforcement problems. And an ever-growing pile of murder victims in his west Texas jurisdiction. All the while Lou manages to remain his stoic self. However, as evidence is discovered over the course of the investigation, suspicion begins to fall on Lou. But in this savage and bleak universe, nothing is ever what it seems.

In this film, Michael Winterbottom continues to show his immense prowess as a director. Pushing noir to its darkest extreme, he has fashioned a star vehicle for Casey Affleck, who delivers a powerful performance that resonates with a quiet ferocity that evokes shades of Robert Mitchum. This violent, stylish psychosexual thriller is imbued with all the amoral energy of its genre and is sure to shock some and dazzle all.

#6 Night Catches Us

In the summer of ’76, as President Jimmy Carter pledges to give government back to the people, tensions run high in a working-class Philadelphia neighborhood where the Black Panthers once flourished. When Marcus returns—having bolted years earlier—his homecoming isn’t exactly met with fanfare. His former movement brothers blame him for an unspeakable betrayal. Only his best friend’s widow, Patricia, appreciates Marcus’s predicament, which both unites and paralyzes them. As Patricia’s daughter compels the two comrades to confront their past, history repeats itself in dangerous ways.

Night Catches Us masterfully reckons with the complexity of its characters’ revolutionary ideologies and internal desires. Bell-bottoms, Afros, potlucks, and Caddies set the scene as the film potently interweaves political media with an evocative soul-inspired score, summoning a vivid sense of place and time. The golden light that bathes characters’ faces seems to express the promise—and elusiveness—of the necessary change Marcus and Patricia struggle for so dearly—each by separate means.

#7 Shorts Program I

This is the one about love: love, greed, misery, and tearing the whole thing down. Yes, in it you will find a salacious proposition, some massive corruption, and a whole bunch of betrayal. Plus the xenophobia, the robots, and maybe also the end of civilization (or at least the part that’s in Los Angeles). But through all of it, remember one thing: this is the one about love.

#8 Animation Spotlight

Ladies and gentlemen, step right up! Step right up, folks, and be the first to catch a glimpse of the finest animated oddities under the big top tonight! Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! That’s right, a thousand thrills await! You’ll see horrifying visions plucked from the future and mined from the past! We’ve got the exclusive reincarnation of Bruce Lee! Visit exotic locales on runaway trains! Tremble to lonely love songs! Look upon terrifying beasts and experience torrential downpours never before seen! All things Beautiful, Bizarre, and Barbaric can be found within. Void where prohibited, satisfaction guaranteed!

#9 The Dry Land

James (Ryan O’Nan) returns from Iraq to face a new battle—reintegrating into his small-town life in Texas. His wife (America Ferrera), his mother (Melissa Leo), and his friend (Jason Ritter) provide support, but they can’t fully understand the pain and suffering he feels since his tour of duty ended. Lonely, James reconnects with an army buddy (Wilmer Valderrama), who provides him with compassion and camaraderie during his battle to process his experiences in Iraq. But their reunion also exposes the different ways that war affects people—at least on the surface.

This moving, taut story of redemption and reconstruction extends beyond a post-traumatic-stress-disorder narrative. O’Nan is heartbreaking as he explores the depths of his internal struggle; Ferrera fearlessly tackles her role of a young wife in turmoil. The Dry Land is about one man’s fight within his own terrain—his country, home, and mind—and his journey to rebuild what he’s lost.

#10 Bilal’s Stand

Bilal is an upright black Muslim teen who works at his family’s taxi stand in Detroit. “The Stand,” as they affectionately call it, has been the family’s social and financial hub for the past 60 years, and Bilal is in line to carry the torch. But Bilal, who burns the midnight oil to keep up both the family business and his grades, develops a secret life designed to enable him to attend a top university. When his two lives collide, Bilal is forced to decide between keeping The Stand alive—and living the only life he has ever known—or taking a shot at social mobility.

Based on a true story, Bilal’s Stand radiates warmth, humor, and originality. Sultan Sharrief’s debut feature is a freshly crafted film filled with heart and authenticity that transports audiences to a world rarely seen on-screen and heralds the arrival of its filmmaker as a new voice in American independent cinema.

There you go! I’m outtie! I’ve gotta be on the plane in a few hours! Oh and watch this video before you close out of the blog.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Never let a fool kiss you or a kiss fool you.” – Mardy Grothe

Peace & Much ❤

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10 Most Anticipated Movies

11 01 2010

2009 was another good year for movies though I thought 2008 was much better. 2009 didn’t have any Dark Knights or Iron Men, there were no Slumdogs or Benjamin Buttons, nor were there any Let the Right Ones In or Wacknesses. 2010 doesn’t look like it’ll hold a candle to 2008 either but I could be wrong. I tried building a list of ten movies I was anticipating over the next year and it was hard to even get five in.  But here is my list and I hope I’m proven wrong this year in movies:

#10 Alice in Wonderland

This really shouldn’t be on my list. The only thing I can really say I’m anticipating about this movie is the visual stimulation the 3D experience may offer. I like Tim Burton and most of the movies I’ve seen of his but something about the trailers for this movie rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, the movie is called Alice in Wonderland and yet we are presented to Johnny Depp, the Mad Hatter and Helen Bonham Carter, the Queen of Hearts. Granted, Alice is probably the least interesting character in the story of Wonderland and we are supposed to be going on this adventure with her but in the original story Alice was learning a lesson and I don’t see much in the way of plot and story in this one. I’ll probably see it as a matinee.

#9 The Green Hornet

I’m excited to see Seth Rogen take on an action movie. I really like him and what he’s done with his career (except for Observe & Report). I’m also really interested in seeing Jay Chou playing Kato, the role that first brought Bruce Lee into the spotlight of Hollywood before he started on his martial arts movie escapades.  Other than that I’m not too familiar with the series but I am certainly familiar with its theme song (thank you Quentin Tarantino). Again, I’d probably only see this as a matinee.

#8 Mystery Team

I already saw this movie about a year ago at a screening held by the filmmakers themselves but I’m excited to see it again and support their endeavors. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mystery Team it is the first feature film from Derrick Comedy, the popular Internet comedy series. What really amazes me about this film is the production value they got out of such a small budget. Anything independent like that really excites and inspires me to go out and make my own film. Derrick Comedy started with short videos on YouTube that gained popularity over time. They have a really strong cult following. Most of all, the movie was hilarious but I will admit the humor is different from the stuff you all may see in today’s comedies and that could put off most audience but I will definitely see this at full price in full support of Derrick Comedy.

Mystery Team (starring D.C. Pierson, Donald Glover, Dominic Dierkes)

#7 Tron: Legacy

Let me say this first. I did not like the first Tron. Understand that I saw it last year, about twenty years after its release, with a bunch of hype from the geek community. There was a level of Tron in Kingdom Hearts II and that was really fun and I enjoyed the soundtrack and it was one of those movies that all my friends say I “must-see” so I decided to finally sit down and watch it. First off, the most important thing to me in any movie is story and the story in this movie bored me. I mean it bored me so much I fell asleep. Plus, the special effects, which were supposed to be really revolutionary didn’t hold up and were very dated. Tron just isn’t for me. However, this new advent in 3D technology has snagged me up enough to want to watch this movie based solely on its visual merits. I’ll be watching this at full price (since there is no other way to watch 3D).

#6 The Last Airbender

I like M. Night Shyamalan. The reason for that is because the only movie of his I’ve seen is The Sixth Scene and that was a pile of brilliance. I’ve never had the opportunity to see Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water and The Happening, though everyone I’ve spoken to has told me that the rest of his films are no where near as good as The Sixth Sense and that he got stuck in a storytelling rut of the “big twist.” For me, in my little Antoine world I am not aware of this. Therefore, I am still a M. Night Shyamalan fan. However, when I first heard the casting choices for this movie I was really upset. I do not believe there is enough diversity in the film industry and here (just as with Dragonball Evolution) was a perfect opportunity to see some new faces in American cinema and yet we get a Caucasian lead as our last airbender. I’ve since gotten over this element of the movie and was thoroughly excited by the teaser trailer (comprised of only two shots). It looks like it’ll be completely epic and entertaining. I’ll pay full price.

#5 Babies

Have you seen the trailer? If you have then you know why this is on my list. The title says it all. The movie is about babies. It’s a documentary about four babies across the world: San Francisco. USA; Tokyo, Japan; Bayanchandmani, Mongolia; and Opuwo, Namibia. This is the point in my life I look forward to the most. I would love to fast forward my young adult years, straight to being settled into a career, marrying a wife and starting a family. I also think it will be interesting to see how babies are raised in each part of the world from the high tech Tokyo to the desert of Opuwo. I will see this at full price, probably with my mom.

Babies (Directed by Thomas Balmes)

#4 Kick-Ass

We’ve all had that dream of being a superhero but I’m sure we could all fly, had super strength or used telekinesis. But what if we didn’t need any of that? What if we could be the heroes without any superpowers at all? That’s the question Kick-Ass presents with their “real world” superhero movie. It looks like it’ll be a lot of fun to watch. I hear the graphic novel it’s based on is really dark, though the trailer makes it look very light-hearted (as light-hearted as rated “R” gets).  It’ll be fun to see how they pull of the “real world” aspect of this movie. I expect this to be a sleeper-hit that’ll garner a small cult following after its release. I’m going to see it Midnight!

#3 Iron Man 2

There were two superhero movies in 2008 that could be deemed “the best.” That of course is The Dark Knight and the first Iron Man. A lot of people ask one another what they think is the better of the two but I think trying to juxtapose those two movies is just silly. They tell two very different stories in two very different tones. However, they both did it brilliantly. Iron Man was easily the most entertaining movie I saw in 2008 and possibly the most entertaining superhero movie I’ve ever seen. Robert Downey Jr. was the perfect casting choice for Tony Stark; he oozes charisma. The trailer for Iron Man 2 was down right amazing. The chemistry between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts is impeccable, the action looks thrilling and the end of that trailer … nuff said. It is a bit disappointing that Terrance Howard won’t be back to put on the War Machine suit but I don’t even think the casting change to Don Cheadle will salt my experience with this movie. I’m seeing this midnight for sure!

#2 Toy Story 3

Last year I went to the Toy Story double-feature and I had forgotten how great those movies were. To me, Pixar can do no wrong (even with Cars). The trailer for Toy Story 3 got me teary eyed and I accidently watched a scene from the movie and that too got butterflies in my stomach (the good ones). I’ve been doing a new thing with movies and that’s watching the trailer only once and never seeing anything of it ever again. I’ve done this with Half Blood Prince and Avatar and both were better movie going experiences  and I don’t want to ruin the ending to Pixar’s first trilogy. Can anyone say midnight screening?

Toy Story 3 (starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen)

#1 Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1

I don’t know what it is about this book and movie series that makes me so happy. The books are good but they aren’t literary masterpieces and the movies can even be boring at times but still, there is a, dare I say it, magic about Harry Potter that utterly and unquestionably holds me. I don’t know if it’s the actual magic itself, the characters or the story that makes me want to dress up and cast “wingardium leviosa” on every feather I see but it does and that’s all that matters. I’m sad to see the series coming to an end. I literally grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione and it’ll be depressing to see them go. The end of these movies will sort of be the thing to solidify the death of my childhood. The last two movies in the series have been my favorites though some fans have heavy opposition to Order of the Phoenix and David Yates in general but he makes the kind of movie I like to see and I think he’ll do a brilliant job with the last two installments at the end of this year! There is no question that I’m seeing this at midnight with my robe and wand ready! Death Eaters beware!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

– William Shakespeare

Peace & Much ❤





Quickie #3

10 01 2010

These quickies are becoming a regular thing now huh? It’s a showcase how lazy I am with my blogs! ARGH! Sorry about that, I really would like to update you all more often but I’ve just been busy (really I have!). So here is what’s going on in the stockpile!:

I just picked up a project for a musician named Josh Robin. I’m doing a music video for his only single: Awake. The song is okay, I guess. Nothing I would listen to but I’m sure it will appeal to someone. The footage I got though is pretty legit and I’m excited to edited the stuff Spencer Smith (director of photography) shot. This is the second time I’ve edited a music video without being involved with the production. What’s the first one you may ask? Well let’s just say I don’t talk about that. But if you do some digging (not much), you’ll find it online.

In other news! I’m going to Sundance film festival for those of you who did not know. I leave Los Angeles on January 25th and we are staying there until the night of the 30th. The best part of the whole thing though is that I’m going for free! Plane ticket and hotel room paid for! The event is being sponsored by my film program Inner-City Filmmakers and a little place called the Creative Arts Agency (you may have heard of it). All of the students that applied had to write an essay and submit a video explaining why they deserve to go.

In movie news! Mrs. Red is well into pre-production. I’ve completed 80% of the storyboards, the script is broken down, some locations are locked, crew is hired and I’m casting next Wednesday and Thursday! That’s right, I’m working with real actors again. The last time I tried that out it was during The Devil’s Company and my followers/readers/subscribers know that little hiccup. I don’t blame the delayed release of the movie on the actors. They were all great but I wasn’t ready to carry that mantel as a director on such an ambitious short. But I’m glad I got in there and got dirty! Now I’m ready to take on something much smaller with a little more education under my belt. I’ve been reading a lot of filmmaking books, four in particular: How Not To Make A Short Film by Roberta Munroe, Rebel Without A Crew by Robert Rodriguez, The DV Rebel’s Guide by Stu Maschwitz and recently Directing Actors by Judith Weston. All of these books I highly recommend to any newbie filmmaker. As of now Mrs. Red is due to start shooting the very beginning of February and released in March, more than likely. I plan on entering this and Ricky vs. SilentBat into this year’s AoF Film Festival.

Eek! This quickie is becoming a longie. LOL. That’s what she said. Anyways …

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” – Sir Winston Churchill

Peace & Much ❤

Oh and today is my birthday. I’m no longer a teenager! The big 2-0!





Quickie #2

20 12 2009

So I lied in my last post, sue me! I said I was going to post “tomorrow” and yet I’m posting two weeks later! I’m sorry, I’ve been sort of busy. I thought after Reunion Rumble was finished I would have a bit more time but then I got a trial for something called GameFly and well … Modern Warfare 2 was calling my name and I had to cave into it’s utter awesome.

Anyway, for the next several days I’ll be shooting a new film for Monkey Fist of RA! We are doing a holiday short film called The Naughty List. The director is Christian Valle, my director of photography for The Devil’s Company. He’s actually right outside my house waiting for me but I’ll try to blog throughout this weekend. Videoblogs too!

No quote of the day, sorry.

RIP Brittany Murphy!

Peace & Much ❤





Quickie

4 12 2009

They’ll be a post tomorrow! I finally got everything done that needed to get done (even if it was a few days later). I’ll explain all that and more tomorrow night! But essentially I’ve been backed up by Monkey Fist of RA things. Enjoy this leaked Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows leaked trailer before it gets taken down! It looks so awesome! Can’t wait! So great that it’ll be two parts! Argh I digress. Good night.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”

– Alfred Hitchcock

Peace & Much ❤






Happy Thanksgiving!

26 11 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope you all are taking a break from school or work and spending time with the family! Really reflect on what you’re grateful for this holiday season! I’ll have an official update this weekend. Currently I am rotoscoping Devin White’s Reunion Rumble, which is draining a lot of life away. Come Sunday I’ll write up what I did this Thanksgiving and what’s going to be happening in the future! 😀

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“I really love this!!.. I have seen this video like 10 times.. haha.. I watch it when I’m feeling down!!.. lol”

ShayRenee2009 in response to my “And He Gets The Girl” video.

Peace & Much ❤





Uber Fantastic Weekend

14 11 2009

Uber Fantastic Weekend_PictureLast weekend was uber fantastic! First, it was the official start on production for Devin White’s Reunion Rumble. Second, I went to a high school play where I spoke to some of the actors after the show. Third, I went to a place called Howie’s with Ricky and his brother and friend. It was seriously the most fun I’ve had anywhere in the longest time.

Saturday morning I woke up rather earlier. I had to get together my equipment for the weekend shoot for Reunion Rumble and I had to insert an establishing shot I hadn’t done before (a blog about that later).  I was in constant contact with Devin the whole time about what I was packing, what I was eating and when I took a shower. We were both excited, though we were both running behind schedule. I eventually got all my things packed (forgot my firewire capture cable) and drove away to pick up Ricky. We met up with Devin and his friend Jane and got right into filming. It was a lot of fun. We laughed a lot, which is always good. Then we did some other short scenes, all of them were dialogue based so they were fairly simple. Devin, Ricky and I work really well together and I think we all balance each other out pretty well with the knowledge we bring.

Later in the day when Jane had to get ready for a show, Devin and I practiced one of the fight scenes within the movie. It was really tough coming up with choreography that would show my lightsaber skills and his martial arts. There was a really funny incident that happened when we were planning out the fight in an elevator. When the elevator door opens Devin kicks me out but little did we know there was a crowd of people on the other side of the door and I was so into it that I flung myself back, embarrassing myself in front of a group of girls. We all immediately rushed back into the elevator where we heard giggles from the other side of the door (too bad Ricky wasn’t shooting that take!)

After we filmed our practice we headed to go to a play at Devin’s old high school. They put on a performance of Twelve Angry Men, which was renamed Twelve Angry Jurors since there were female actors involved. I always enjoyed Twelve Angry Men, it’s a really well written play and it was well performed by the high school kids, though there were some standout performances. After the show was over Ricky and I waited for the actors to come from backstage so we could speak to a few of them. It was fun handing out business cards and telling a few of the actors we wanted to “work” with them in the future. Ricky got a kick out of it too. So far, only one actor has contacted us but that’s all I was really expecting. It was a lot of fun and made us feel really official and legit.

Sunday came and we were supposed to be set for more shooting but everyone couldn’t make it so Ricky, his brother and me sat around bored until his friend Brandon came along and pumped us up to go to this placed called Howie’s. Howie’s is essentially a geek haven, lined with XBOX 360s and PCs packed with the latest and greatest gaming hardware. First thing we played when we got there was Left 4 Dead (no surprise for those who no me and my gaming habits). It was difficult playing, I’ll admit. Ricky and Brandon were very new to the game and we spent a lot of the time babysitting. After about an hour we hopped onto some Call of Duty 4, which was a lot of fun until a pair of other gamers hopped in our game and whooped our asses. We could only take two games of ass whooping before we gave up and played some Gears of War 2, Borderlands and Left 4 Dead again. I actually just noticed a pattern of first person shooters (aside from Gears). The gaming industry is so saturated with them.

We didn’t leave out of Howie’s until pass midnight. When we got back to Ricky’s we watched The Matrix but I feel asleep just before the huge bullet-time rooftop scene.

Good weekend. I hope for another great one coming up 😀

Picture 3

Reunion Rumble (directed by Devin White)

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace & Much ❤