Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Forward - "Rango"

So many CG flicks just seems to blur together into one long piece about about a talking animal/object on some quest for something or other. Gore Verbinsky's Rango didn't look any different. I should say that it didn't look any different until I saw this short "making of" featurette. After seeing this, I am genuinely interested in seeing Rango if for no other reason than to spite the Shrek style of animated filmmaking where the actors never even meet each other during production.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Brief Thoughts on Regret

This whole "I've got no regrets" line is such crap. When did it become such a bad thing to have regrets? There are many moments in my life that I regret. Yes, I learned valuable things from those moments/actions I know regret, but I wish that valuable life lesson could have come at a lower emotional cost. I do not think it is healthy to spend anything more than a few brief moments here and there ruminating on things you regret, but I also don't think people need to beat themselves of trying to convince the world that if they could do it again, they'd do everything exactly the same. In fact, if you were given the chance to do everything over again, and did everything as you did it before, I would say that you didn't actually learn anything from those moments that you claim not to regret because of the invaluable life lesson you gleaned. It's okay to regret, as long as you understand that regret is only past tense.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nerd Porn

I saw this picture on /Film. My first thought: "That's hot!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Adventures w/ Another White Male

The trailer for the film Mars Needs Moms was just released (which I linked below). I was immediately struck by the fact that this is another story from Robert Zemeckis, done with MoCap (motion capture), about the adventures of a white male. Robert Zemeckis, and his team at ImageMovers Digital also created The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol. While Zemeckis is not the director of Mars Needs Moms, he is the producer, and I'm sure he had some creative input. My question for Mr. Zemeckis is: Aren't you tired of making stories about white males? Speaking of which, aren't all animation directors tired of it? Generally, if it's not about a talking animal, it's a about a white male, usually a child. I can think of Monsters vs Aliens, which featured a young white woman. I suppose Up had a non-descript Asian boy, but he played kind of a dope in the movie. I suppose I haven't completely finished formulating my opinion, but when diversity in a genre means having a white guy voice a panda, there's a problem.

Mars Needs Moms

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Shot of the Day - 08/24/10

Taken at a lighthouse in Marquette, Michigan. At first my focus was the light, but then the stairs had this great sheen from the rain. It's got a spooky factor, but at the same time some warmth. Really happy with how this came out.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kevin Smith Says...

I'm a follower of Kevin Smith on twitter, and he's had some absolutely wonderful tweets today about the challenges of filmmaking. They were very motivating for me, so I thought I'd share a couple.

"I was desperate to see films in which I could recognize MYSELF (aside from the Jabba scenes in RETURN OF THE JEDI). None existed. Lament or fill a perceived hole? Commentate or create? Easy choice: it's always more fun & fulfilling to play God than Man."

"Fuck "Why?!?" Go for "Why not?" Life's SO much easier in the WhyNot World. And don't gimme "You got money!" That money CAME FROM "Why not?""

"Via @andyblyth "what if some one isn't as lucky & fails?" You're talking to the guy who made MALLRATS, JERSEY GIRL & COP OUT. #JustDoItAgain"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Shot of the Day - 08/02/10

If you hunt the white whale, make sure you're in the right dimension.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shot of the Day - 08/01/10

Art appreciation in the Galactic Empire.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Is It Okay To Root For North Korea?

Days into Footy Fest 2010 a.k.a. The World Cup, the highest ranked team in the world Brazil took on North Korea, the lowest ranked team in the world. It was expected by most of the sport pundits that the football dynasty known for fancy footwork, big stars, and bigger goals would roll over the team that nobody seems to know much about. This was not to be. Eventually, yes, North Korea lost to Brazil 2-1, but they put up a big fight. For the entire first half, and much of the second, the North Korean defense, in my eyes, shut Brazil’s finishing down.

Even more unexpected than North Korea’s ability to hold their own, was my support of the team. Before the match, although I’m not specifically a Brazil supporter, I wanted Brazil to take North Korea apart. I wanted the number 1 ranked team to show the 105th ranked team how to play ball. Part of it could have been that most of the games I’ve watched so far in this World Cup have lacked a certain flair and technical proficiency that I’ve come to expect at this level of play. However, I mostly wanted Brazil to take North Korea down simply because North Korea was North Korea. I have friends who are from South Korea, some of whom actually served in the South Korean military (which is required of all male South Korean citizens). By pulling for North Korea’s soccer team, I felt like I was betraying my friendship to those people who have had their lives negatively affected by the actions of North Korea. Besides all that, I also felt like I might be betraying humanity and human rights by rooting for a country with a rap sheet as long, and as foul as North Korea’s. The more I thought about it, the more lost in my own thoughts I became. I was conflicted.

To sort out my conflict, I consulted my spirit guide, who sounded exactly like my father oddly enough. After my communion, I felt clear headed and confident that it was, in fact, okay to root for North Korea. First, as my spirit guide reminded me, international sport is supposed to be above politics. I agreed that this should be above politics, but, nevertheless, I was thinking about the politics. After more discussion I realized, with one specific qualifier, that it was okay for me to want North Korea to have a win. The qualifier was that I wanted to see the North Korean people get a win. I wouldn’t lose any sleep if Kim Jong-il never felt like he got a win, ever again, but I can’t say the same about the people of North Korea.

It’s impossible for me to know exactly why or for whom the North Korean players were playing. The players could have been playing for the families, for their people, for themselves, or just for a chance to compete on a world stage. Whatever their reasons for playing, people were certainly watching. What if the people in North Korea had seen the game? They would have seen one of their teammates fouled by a member of the Brazillian team, who would then promptly make sure he was okay, help him up, and apologized with a handshake and a pat on the back. People like me, who at first wanted North Korea to lose, saw the North Korean team play nothing but good football. Just like the Brazillians, any fouls committed by a North Korean player were immediately apologized for by the guilty party. I saw a team of players, that represent a country I know very little about, being both respected and respectful. The sport really was above the politics. It was about 22 players, at the top of their game, competing with each other as equals. It was a stark reminder that the world is not made up of political leaders, rather, it’s made up of people. Many of those people, I believe, just want to make through the day, and, if they’re lucky, have a good time doing it. There are millions of wonderful people on this planet of ours that are represented politically by some not-so-wonderful people.

From 2000-2008, many Americans wished that their image to the rest of the world was not George W. Bush. There are many people now that wish the image wasn’t of Barack Obama.. The point is that people are not their political leaders, and I should not be rooting against a group of people simply because I don’t agree with their leader.

There is much I do not know about Kim Jong-il, North Korea, or the North Korean people. It just seems to me that a sports team could be a symbol of hope, and for me to wish that they lose simply to send a message to their leader seems petty, and inconsiderate of the complex reality. People everywhere want to feel accepted, especially if they are looked down upon the world over because of a circumstance they were either born into, or had no control over. I think being cordial and understanding on a world stage like the World Cup could be a reminder that hope lives on outside just the dreams of a person imprisoned my circumstance.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shot of the Day - 06/13/10

What's that kid up to now?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Shot of the Day - 06/09/10

More shots from the set of "Finding Serenity." Matt killin' it on the mic, as per usual.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Shot of the Day - 06/07/10

On the set with Jen and Matt.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Shot of the Day - 05/31/10

You can't sleep in this Super 8.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shot of the Day - 05/15/10

Me. Me too.

A Funny Moment - A Serious Scene

I experienced an unintended moment of levity, in what was supposed to be a heavy scene, while watching Park Chan-wook's "Thirst."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summer Top 10 Box Office

Here are my predictions for the 2010 Summer's highest overall domestic box office gross. Go here for a good list of all the big movies coming out this summer. Then, if you want to compete, go here for scoring rules.

Top 10
1. Iron Man 2
2. Toy Story 3
3. Twilight: Eclipse
4. Shrek: The Final Chapter
5. Prince of Persia
6. The Last Airbender
7. Sex and the City 2
8. The A-Team
9. Sorcerer's Apprentice
10. Grown Ups

1. Iron Man 2 -
This is slightly unfair, considering I have the opening weekend box office numbers, and they're already huge, but I could have told you that last week. The thing about Iron Man 2 that will keep it in the number 1 spot is that it has the biggest appeal to the biggest movie going audience in America. Whether or not the movie itself is any good, the trailer has comedy, good looking guys, good looking girls, and cool looking explosions. It's also the sequel to not just a massive box office success, but also a massive success on DVD.

2. Toy Story 3 -
This has a lot going for it. First, the Disney/Pixar name alone will bring in big bank. It's been over a decade since the last film in the franchise, so any worries about IP fatigue can be thrown out the window. It will also bring in a lot of people because Toy Story 2, by many accounts, is an even better film than the critically acclaimed Toy Story. The critical success of Toy Story 2 will create confidence in the movie going population that Pixar can put out great sequels. This situation is why movies like Spiderman 3 did so insanely well. This movie also has a high chance for repeat viewings.

3. Twilight: Eclipse -
The first Twilight was a big hit. Twilight: New Moon was a massive hit. If trends continue in this manner, then Twilight: Eclipse should be a massively big hit (at least). This is a tried and true franchise with a ravenous fan base, which, love to see movies multiple times in theaters.

4. Shrek: The Final Chapter -
Shrek movies always do well. I really don't like Shrek.

5. Prince of Persia -
Quint essential summer action/adventure picture. "Comedic" love story, big action, and beautiful stars. The reason why this is not higher is because it doesn't have a $20 Million movie star (yes, Jake is popular, but not that popular), and it's also based on a video game, which historically hasn't done anyone any favors.

6. The Last Airbender -
Based on a very popular cartoon franchise. This will bring in big audiences for it's franchise appeal, and because of the 300-esque look of the action. Sadly, I think the Shyamalan's name will actually hurt this movie (even though it shouldn't), and the young age of the actors in the movie may scare away some older and kidless movie goers.

7. Sex and the City 2 -
The first film was a success. This will be bigger. That is all.

8. The A-Team -
A mix of wacky and dashing characters, and slick action scenes put this movie in the top 10 for sure. That's it.

9. Sorcerer's Apprentice -
This film will have the Disney marketing team.

10. Grown Ups -
Everyone that helped Paul Blart: Mall Cop, will be back to help Grown Ups. I don't know why, but they'll be back.

Dark Horse Picks

Inception -
Christopher Nolan and Leo Decaprio are big draws. The R-rating won't help box office though.

Knight and Day -
Tom Cruise. Whatever.

Karate Kid -

Shot of the Day - 05/11/10

More light box.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shot of the Day - 05/09/10

If it could read, I bet it would feel silly.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shot of the Day - 05/05/10

Orange you glad I didn't say banana?

Shot of the Day - DIY

I built this light box today. It's not in this picture, but I also made an infinity wall that can be taken in and out. It still needs some work, but it's been a good first try.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shot of the Day - 05/04/10

The skies below south beach.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Shot of the Day - 04/17/10

Another killer day filming with friends.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Shot of the Day - 04/16/10

Shot I took while filming a short video piece.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shot of the Day - 04/15/10

Grabbed this while shooting some footage of the river.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shot of the Day - 04/13/10

Orange chair in a creepy basement.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Shot of the Day - 04/12/10

I really like this shot because even though you can't see his eyes, you can still feel their gaze.

Again, this is from the set of a short film by my friend Matt.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shot of the Day - 04/11/10

"We have ways of making you talk."

Got this on the set of my friend Matt's shoot.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Shot of the Day - 04/09/10 (and post #200!)

For my 200th post, it seemed like I should do something mildly commemorative. What better way, I thought, than to pick shots of the two people that brought me into this crazy world. So, for this, my 200th post, I present my father and mother. I love them more than they could ever know, and I'm happy for every day they put up with me, and I love that much more for it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tune Watch - 8bit "Dark Side"

If there's one this world has enough of, it's recreation/tribute albums to Pink Floyd's landmark album "The Dark Side of The Moon." So imagine my skepticism when I was shown a link to an 8bit recreation of "Dark Side." The bad taste of The Flaming Lips version of "Dark Side" was still fresh in my mouth. After listening, in its entirety, I can report that this 8bit recreation of "Dark Side," titled "MOON8," is amazing. Every moment is just so clever. You sit there in anticipation of all your favorite moments you know and love from the original, and "MOON8" delivers every time. I would highly recommend downloading it from the creator, Rain Warrior, on his/her site (which I'll link at the bottom). I'm also including the YouTube links if you want to taste before you bite. Wonderful.

Part 1 "Speak To Me/Breath/On The Run":

YouTube Playlist of the entire 8bit album:

Indie Film Watch - "Pixels"

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: thanks to the internet, we are entering the golden age of short form narrative. Absolutely amazing piece of CG vs The Real World. I don't know about you all, but I welcome an 8-bit invasion any day.

Shot of the Day - 04/08/10

Slow shutter + Spin.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shot of the Day - 04/07/10

The tunnel.

Pretty happy with how this came out, and how little post was needed. I didn't do much other than some serious desaturation. I thought about putting up what this is actually a picture of, but I kind of like the mystery. "Aint I a stinker?"

Monday, April 5, 2010

Shot of the Day - 04/05/10


Shot of the Day: Coming (back) Soon

I realize it has been almost a week since my last "Shot of the Day." Maybe I should rename it "Shot of the Days that I have shots to put up, and don't have massive amounts of work to do for class." Anyways, I apologize to anyone that has been dying for the next shot, but school has come down hard, as it is now the twilight of the semester. Finals are just around the corner, so "Shot of the Day" may become intermittent until the beginning of May. It should return tomorrow, however, so no worries eh?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shot of the Day - 03/30/10

I first got them in the twilight of 2006, and ever since, they have proven to be one of the best pairs of headphones I've ever had the pleasure of owning. They've been through girlfriends, jobs, new apartments, and new schools. No matter what the conditions, they continuously provided a solid stream of high dynamics without asking for anything in return. In honor of the time we spent together, I had them play one last song for me. As the final notes of "Televators," by The Mars Volta, came through the headphones, it seemed as if each note was just a bit cleaner, and a bit crisper than it had ever been before. They were a wonderful pair of headphones, and even better for putting up with my abuse. So, it is to you, AKG K-66, that I say goodbye; you have, quite literally, played the soundtrack of my life. Thank you.