Saturday, October 30, 2010

Let the Rain Pour Down

When it rains, it pours. Literally. This past week, Los Angeles has been flooded with an unnatural and rare occurrence. Rain! A few days a year we’re graced with this downpour which spawns a completely unexpected chain of events. Traffic halts, Hollywood moves indoors, and I’m given the gift of time.

The past few weeks, I’ve dived into my creative work and poured over another version of the script (alright, fine. Enough with the “rain” puns). Beyond that, we’ve set down a few casting dates in November and are gearing up for another auditioning adventure! Our Casting Director (Dylan Jury) has already released the breakdown and Allison has settled all paperwork with the Screen Actors Guild. Now we wait... Hope... Pray that an amazingly talented cast is formed.

Now for the really exciting news… we’ve found a Director of Photography! In this industry, the team is a key component on what type of product you’re creating. A lackluster crew will ultimately lead to a lackluster film (it’s not exactly rocket science). Or, like A Note to Etienne, you surround yourself with people who care as much about the film as you do. Then something really amazing is created.

Since we’re shooting on the RED camera (i.e. ‘Mecca’ in the Digital Photography world), I wanted to find a cinematographer who wasn’t only well-verse in the technology, but passionate about the story and shared the same vision I did.

And boy did I ever! Welcome Aaron Moorhead to the team! Below is his reel to see some of his fantastic work.

Cinematography Reel 2010 - Aaron Moorhead from Aaron Moorhead on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Illustrious Image Board

Ah, the beginning phase of film production. The magic. The wonder. The possibilities. It’s the moment during the movie-making process where the film’s merely an idea and even the stars are reachable.

That’s where I’m at right now… the illustrious image board phase. Sure, each filmmaker begins the process differently. I mean, Tim Burton probably does a few lines of coke then heads to Barbados. Me? I create image boards (well, not so much "create", but scour the Internet for an inkling of inspiration). I compile an array of images that have some sort of color connection, design, and (above all else) feeling that inspires whomever is observing.

During the pre-production process, I aspire to connect with my collaborators and hopefully interject some sort of visual and emotional response from a simple image.

Please reference Exhibit A (Image Board #1). The images below are the first batch I’ve pieced together and, to me, evoke a few of the many feelings I’m hoping to have in this short film. Note the dark colors, ornate texture, and eerie shades of grays, blues, and yellows. Gorgeous, I know. :)

Don’t worry, I’m not about to spell my thought process out to you. I mean, my intention isn’t to explain the feeling, but instead let these images speak for themselves. To allow the magic, wonder, and possibilities not be just an "idea", but something much more tangible. The stars perhaps?

I certainly hope it comes across that way. Otherwise, Mr. Burton may need to make room for me on his charter to Barbados.

Image Board #1

Monday, October 4, 2010

So you're making a SHORT film?

Short. A word often used to describe my somewhat less-than-tall stature. To be honest, and a bit dramatic, I hated this word for the last twenty-faux years. Ugh, short. I’ve probably caused myself some kind of permanent neck strain from my constant craning… just for that additional 2 centimeters. Short. I hated that word.

With such animosity towards that word, why would I want to make a (dare I say it?) short film? Maybe it’s a form of therapeutic retribution? Or maybe it’s because features are just too damn expensive?

Seriously, though, a common question often asked to filmmakers… why are you making a short film? Although this question can elicit different possible answers, mine is simple: To get my work noticed. Non-feature films (*cough* short) are often used as calling cards for filmmakers that can potentially lead to agents, managers, or possible creative deals. Steven Spielberg made Amblin. Darren Aronofsky made Protozoa. And the list can go on and on.

With that in mind, I’m able to take this opportunity to treat these short films as professionally as possible. It’s essentially a microcosm of a full-fledged film -- a learning experience that allows me to stretch my creative muscles and treat every step with same amount of diligence and care as I would a feature film. With this level of professionalism, the entire creative team can collaborate on a project and be proud of what we worked so closely on.

Short. Sure, a certain amount of disdain is associated with the word, but it’s shaped me to who I am today and I think I’m a better person because of it. Short. If you repeat it enough, maybe it’s not that bad. Maybe, for the last twenty-faux years it’s been entirely in my overly analytical head. Or maybe, like a short film, it’s not a hindrance, but something to be proud of.

Yeah, I think I’ll go with the latter.