Billimarie

26 05 2010

I think it was two years ago when I met Billimarie. Initially, I met her through a mutual friend, Ashten ‘Whoopi” Winger, via the internet, which, oddly enough, is how I meet a majority of my friends. We were supposed to meet one another on several occasions but they all fell through. It wasn’t until CampusMovieFest came to Cal State Northridge in 2008 that we met each other and ended up making a short in one week!

I directed and she edited.  It was my first time ever shooting a movie and not editing the footage. In fact, it was my first time solely directing and having no direct hand in shooting or editing (Christian Valle directed and operated camera). It was a great experience and Billimarie was very nice and compromising. She never gave off an ego and never talked down to me.

She had trophies aplenty; most of them were achievements in filmmaking from festivals and such. Never once did she point them out to me, even when I asked she answered in a passing manner but with no tone of arrogance or conceit. Though her films and videos might not reflect it, she is very down-to-earth. I expect this was because of her parents’ guidance. They too were easy-going and friendly. She was the perfect role model for me and still is. She had all the qualities I wanted to have. She was gracious, humble, relaxed and most of all talented! In yet, I never felt jealous. I could only feel inspired.

A year ago she told me she was planning on making a then untitled film about people with box heads. At first, I thought of Jack in the Box (but then I realized that he had an orb for a head … I digress) but she was picturing something a little different. When I read the script for the first time, I admit, I didn’t get it. It took her several discussions and a few more drafts  until I was blown away. I had pictured a world beyond the page, not just the story that was presented. I really felt Billimarie created a nice and familiar yet unfamiliar world with a grand Matrix-like back story (at least for me). But what really got me was the theme of love; a theme that I think is championed when coupled with artificial intelligence and robots. I enjoy the thought that love can conquer all, whether it be hate, violence, war, tyranny or even a droid ;-). There are also some underlining motifs about government control and regulation, which was also thrilling for me.

The production of the film was really fun. I don’t necessarily think there were bad days on the set, maybe a hot day or a cold day but never a bad one. Everyone had a lot of energy and was especially friendly with each other. Billimarie put together a fine cast and crew, notably Sean Hill who was just as gracious and amiable as she. I remember the night shoot being particularly fun, especially with the visits from the cops and such. Just like most directors, Billimarie was frantic and scatter-brained but she never lost her cool, never raised her voice, always keeping into perspective that she was doing this because she loved it. She respected us and we respected her. More than that, she liked us as people and we liked her back for being her!

Production ended and we all parted ways and Billimarie went into a fortress of solitude and edited away! A little less than a year later and now she’s released her baby to the world. This past Sunday she had a small screening for the cast and crew (as well as a graduation/birthday part celebration) and I had forgotten how much I missed and admired her.

So this is to you Billimarie! For being such a great filmmaker and a great friend! Congratulations to your release of “Corrugated Hearts!”

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sun-dial in the shade?”

– Benjamin Franklin

Peace & Much ❤

*Please be sure to repost/retweet the film if you enjoy it.*

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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 ❤





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 ❤





FilmRiot Editing Competition

1 11 2009

Film Riot Competition_PictureSo this is my first official blog on Antoine’s Stockpile, the brother blog to Antoine’s Junkpile. I still haven’t figured out how I’ll differentiate between the two blogs. I think this blog will be more focused on what I’m doing as weekly update, maybe some articles about world events and movie stuffs. My older blog will be used as a … well …  junkpile. I’ll dump mostly videos and artwork there. The real place to get your update on Antoine’s going-ons will be here. If you’ll look to the left I’ll always have a picture of where ever I am currently since most of the time I’ll be posting from my laptop. I thought that would be a fun thing to do.

But I digress (already).

Just a few hours ago I saw that one of my favorite podcasts, FilmRiot, had a small editing competition going on. Me, myself and I want to be a feature film editor some day in the movie industry so I got right on top of it. I’ll admit, at first I thought it was going to be super easy and I’d be done in an hour but it’s been almost four hours.

This was my second or third time editing a project that I was not directly involved with. It’s a lot different editing when you were not on set. You really can come into it with new eyes, which is good. Though, I still would prefer editing the things I shoot: a la Robert Rodriguez (I’ll definitely be explaining that in a later blog).

So, the competition was to edit an unedited skit from the podcast. Essentially it was very simple: shot-reverse and one other setup. Sounds easy enough if you generally know what editing is but the actors in the skits made it more difficult with inconsistent gestures and vocal inflections (gotta love them actors). Whenever I got into an editing groove I would always hit a road bump with them. I think they shot the skit very quickly and probably rehearsed it before hand only once or twice so the actors would only get through about a line or two before looking off screen for a line. On top of that, the file Ricky downloaded and sent to me goes out of sync near the end so I had to re-sync some of the audio as well, which was also a drag. But that’s all okay. It’s the editor’s challenge. We are supposed to love that puzzle (or so I’ve been told).  In the end though, after I get pass all those road bumps and I get something that’s actually viewable it is very rewarding.

So now I’ve exported the first rough cut and sent it to Ricky for color correction. The runtime on it right now 00:01:14;07 (one minute, fourteen seconds, seven frames). I saw some of the other submissions and I feel pretty confident with what I’ve got so far, though it still needs to be tweaked and perfected. This certainly is the first time I’ve edited anything remotely comedic though. Comedy based a lot on timing and rhythmn, which I feel I have none of. But I’ve watched the skits on the podcast before and I sort of know the style they go with and it fits perfectly with the way they shoot. In fact, it was sort of difficult to not emulate some of the beats they edit with on the show but I tried to re-edit some of the dialogue with a few different beats to give off my own flare. I’ll definitely post the edited version I am doing now once it is all said and done. I’ll also write another blog about how I went about editing the piece, and maybe (if I’m not lazy) what editing means to me.

I’ll keep you posted. Remember this is the new blog! Enjoy the picture below.

Shower TwitPic

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

The meaning of life is to find meaning.” – Unknown

Peace & Much ❤