Monday, December 31, 2012

A Gift To Kick Off The New Year

A good portion of my free time this year was dedicated towards reading and continuing my studies in film. One of the best things to come out of this year was a process I've started doing called 'Tone Cutting' which is taking a film, stripping the sound out of it and manually inserting a one frame tone blip at each cut and cross fade. The purpose is to keep your attention solely on the editing, composition, pacing, camera movement and blocking of a film. It's a lot of work and a true discipline to sit through an entire film just watching the technical aspects of it, but it really has been rewarding beyond measure. I've been hesitant to share it with others for legal reasons but it seems as though I can share the links privately with people and still be in the clear. At this current time, I've got 18 films completed, with the help of William Cabral and a 19th on the way. I'm sharing this because it's been so educational for me, and if you're serious about your craft I'm all for having more eyes look at and analyze some of these classic films. The only thing I ask is that you start a dialogue in the chat box about things you've learned or particular scene favorites. And if you decide to share the private album link with anyone, please encourage them to discuss the films as well. I also encourage you to watch a few films on the list you haven't seen first. I got more out of watching these films in a Tone Cut before actually watching them for the narrative. My favorites so far have been The Conversation, The Cranes Are Flying, I Am Cuba and The Conversation. I've got a list of a good thirty films that I'm aiming to cover over the next year but will only continue to do these until I feel I've learned enough from them. There's no guarantee if they'll stay up, especially more publicly offered so I encourage you to watch them sooner rather than later. Happy new year, film geeks. Keep learning and growing!

password: tonecut

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Your Milkman Is Now Live!

So if you're a follower of this blog, you'd know that I started this in part to document the progress of my thesis, and in particular, a short film I made called 'Your Milkman'.

Well, now after nearly two years of writing, pre-production, production, post, and now its festival run, we've finally decided to put it online publicly for the world to see! It's been a fantastic learning experience for me by allowing me to apply my mistakes towards future projects. I'm truly grateful for the experience!

If you've got 12 minutes to spare, check it out!

Ten Weeks In The Cuckoo Clock

A little over three weeks ago, I sat down to start penning Ten Weeks In The Cuckoo Clock, a feature screenplay that's been rattling around in my head for the better part of a year. Now the first rough draft is done.

Now I've outlined several screenplays in my time, and began writing a half dozen but this is the first I've actually sat down and written from start to finish. 100 pages of gold. Well, not exactly. I realize that this is only the first of many steps that must be made to see a film like this come to fruition but it's a big accomplishment I'm proud of nonetheless.

A curious thing happened to me while writing this; during the low points of the script, where our protagonist's character is challenged and rattled, I felt a similar funk as well. It put me down for several days and the only prescription was to write through it. I guess I can see how writers are alcoholics and depressed most of the time, having to constantly experience these up-and-down manic circumstances you put your characters through.

My next goal is to figure out how to shape this amorphous, spineless ooze I spat out on the page, and turn it into a rigid, tightly-woven story that conveys the same messages and themes, but isn't so fat and sluggish on its feet. I think over the next week, I'm going to go through the script on my own and really see where my characters are, and where I think they need to be. Set the terms and conditions of the story and see how I can make that happen in the most concise way possible.

My biggest challenge will be the "Kill your darlings" portion of all this. There's just too many scenes I love and I feel like at this point it's going to be an uphill battle of problem solving and messy negotiation that goes along with this process. And I know I'm at least six months out or more from having a tightened draft. I just hope I believe in this vision strongly enough to see it through to a presentable, pitchable version that I'm happy with and still believe in.