Sunday, October 22, 2006

Film School or not?

Following is a link to a great blog (or two) about the pros and cons of attending film school. Keep in mind I am very jealous of anyone attending film school right now (or in the past) though I've never actually attended myself. I find myself in both camps seeing both sides clearly. But if I was younger and had the money, I would definitely do it. Enjoy.

Ten reasons you shouldn’t go to film school

Ten reasons you should go to film school

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Middle of Nowhere Film Festival

Had a great time at the Middle of Nowhere Film Fest tonight. Julie and I went with Jeremy and Jason (I feel lonely with a name starting with “M”) and we had a great time. We saw 23 films by 23 local filmmakers with a max length of 3 minutes each. It was a great opportunity for local amateur filmmakers to get their films shown on the big screen and judging by the reaction of a lot of the younger members of the audience, this was in fact the case. One of the prizes in the prize pack for the top three films was an entry fee waiver into the 2007 Omaha Film Festival and the top three films were certainly enjoyable. We were happy to offer this prize for their festival.

Props to Rhett, Jeremy, Elizabeth and Dorothy for a nice festival.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Middle of Nowhere Film Festival

Your friends from the Omaha Film Festival are heading down to the Middle of Nowhere film festival in Lincoln, NE on Saturday night (hopefully after a Nebraska vs. Texas victory). Feel free to come on out, say hello, and support local filmmakers. And it’s a chance to view and root for (or boo at) Jeremy’s directorial debut. I’ve seen an advanced screening. You’re all in for a real treat.

Hope to see you there.

Middle of Nowhere Film Festival

Apartment 101 Films

Had a great meeting with independent (and award winning) documentary filmmaker Jim Fields from apartment 101 films last night. There are a lot of great projects in the works in this town. Very exciting time to be a filmmaker in Omaha.

Check him out at apartment 101 films and feel free to buy some DVDs while you’re there.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Editing and such

Editing is chunk, chunking along for “Hero Alley” and “Still Life”. This is good news. Movie posters and DVD covers for “Wisdom”, “Hero Alley” and “Random” are in the works. This is also good news. A few potential editors have been found so that “Wisdom” and “Random” can be enjoying the process of editing as well. More good news and more to come as details get finalized.

I spent some time looking at a lot of the footage for “Hero Alley” and “Random” with Erich this weekend and I’m reinvigorated to get these projects finished. When asked which of the four short films I’ve shot this summer is my favorite, I had to give the cliché “I love them all” answer. Sadly I could come up no better response, but in this case I have elements of each film that I truly love. Granted, there are elements in each that aren’t “perfect” and those of you that know me knows how much that grates against my soul, but alas, each story and film holds a special place in my heart and I’m truly looking forward to final edits for all four. If nothing else, the opportunity to work with the different casts and crews for each film was totally worth the experience. I’ve worked with some incredibly gifted people on both sides of the camera and will gladly work with each and every one of them in the future. Well, maybe except for one. (Ha, I just put that in there to make everyone nervous, thinking they might be that one. Sorry, I truly love you all).

More to come in upcoming days and weeks. One thing I will need is a lot of music for soundtracks. If anyone knows of any decent bands that would like to have their song in a short film, please get in touch with me. I’d love to check them out.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

More films to come from KPP

So I had an interesting meeting today with another local filmmaker. More details to come in the future as specifics get themselves ironed out and things become more official, but I will say that good filmmaking is alive and well in the midwest and there are exciting things coming.

Thanks Erich, you’re the man. We will make it happen.

King O’ The Moon at OCP

Thursday night found me at the Omaha Community Playhouse to catch their latest play King O’ The Moon for their pre-opening night. I was invited by Judy Radcliff (who I work with) and she was one of the principals in the play. I was thrilled when I got to the theatre and picked up my program and saw that Geoffrey Steinblock was also a part of the cast. You’ll remember from previous blogs that Geoffrey was in two of my short films this summer, “Hero Alley” and “Wisdom”.

Without trying to sound too “theatre-esque,” I do have to say that it was a truly wonderful experience. The performances by the entire cast were incredible, the story was enjoyably perfect and the stage decoration was amazing. Great great theatrical experience. If anyone has a chance to get out and see this play, I PROMISE you will laugh hysterically and you will most likely shed at least one tear. Highly recommended.

Judy and Geoffrey, you’re both wonderful actors.

The biggest disappointment in the evening was in myself. It occurred to me that I live less than a half mile away from OCP and I’ve never actually attended a play there. I hang my head in shame. I vow to start going more.

Omaha Community Playhouse

“Hero Alley” editing begins

I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that “Hero Alley’s” edit is now officially underway. The obvious bad news is that this didn’t start three months ago. Oh well, no use crying over spilled DV tapes.

So I had a great meeting with editor Chris Ahrens Wednesday night and he’s excited to get to work on the edit. Not as excited as I am but progress is progress. The next couple of months should be fun. More to come.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

“[pre]” is wrapped

Principal photography for the short film “[pre]” is wrapped. That’s what I’m talking about, in and out in one day, two actors, one take. Piece of cake. We actually spent more time at The Upstream for the wrap party than we did on set. I should shoot more films like this.

I arrived at the rehearsal location at around 3:30 and watched Erich and Adam go through the script several times until their lines and timing was down, then we went over to the set to block out the shots. Chris had a unique way of shooting the film and I think it will end up being effective. It certainly made for an easy shoot. He rolled for two complete takes and went back and picked up bits of the script for takes three and four, then got several close-ups that should make it easier to assemble the film. It should make a nice short film.

Thanks to 510Cinema for having me on set and thanks to Erich for putting us together. Good luck with your edit.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

“[pre]” with 510 Cinema

I got a call from Erich Hover, then Christopher Norton from 510 Cinema regarding their upcoming short film entitled “[pre]” so I will be helping them during principal photography this coming Sunday. I have a copy of the script and it should make an interesting short film. It is very dialog heavy so it will be up to the actors to make it an interesting film, which I’m sure will happen.

The cast includes the very talented Erich Hover (formerly of our “Hero Alley”) and Adam Froemming (of 510 Cinema) so I’m sure it will be well performed.

Wish us luck.

Crab Leg feast

Had a great dinner with Luis (writer), Jason (DP), Larry (gaffer), Julie (PA) and Kitty (LGF) from “Still Life”.

Luis and I have aggressively ingested many pounds of crab legs over the previous several months in preproduction so we thought it only fitting to have a small gathering to re-address more crab legs. We had a great time and many sea creatures were harmed throughout the evening.

There are so many films and film ideas out on the horizon, I could easily quit the full time job and work on only those, but since filmmaking isn’t really paying anything at this point, I will continue on as I am. But there are a lot of excited ideas floating around and many opportunities as well so more to come.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

“Still Life” Principal Photography - Day 3 (Sunday)

That’s a wrap. “Still Life” is wrapped. My summer of shooting four movies with first time writers is wrapped. My well-being is wrapped. More summaries of the summer films to come in upcoming days so that this blog can be “Still Life”-centric.

Call time for crew was 11:00am and this envelope was pushed pretty hard by some. I was on time and thanks to the others that were there and ready as well. As for all of the late-comers…well, I have nothing to say. No one was getting paid for any of this, so I guess I’m glad people showed up at all.

Today went great, even though we went three hours long. We had about 8 pages to shoot, and we were pretty well planned out, though maybe not as tight as I would have liked (I blame myself). On my next film, I will most certainly spend more time in preproduction on storyboarding, shot lists, etc. (though I do believe I’ve said that on every film). That being said, Luis and I spent a lot of time with the actors before principal photography, and we made such great choices getting the right actors, that performance-wise everyone was great on their first take. I spent less time that usual directing the actors on set since each of them have lived with their characters for so long and we’d given so much direction over the last several weeks. By the time the camera was ready to roll, the performances were right on.

And now we find ourselves at the thank you portion of the blog.

Huge huge thanks to Amy and her family for giving us their beautiful home for five hours (ahem, okay, so it was actually more like eight…sorry). Your patience and your trust were way over the top and we really couldn’t have completed this film without you. And you have the two coolest dogs on the planet.

Thanks again to the crew. Jason did a great job behind camera and I’m thrilled with all of the footage that we got. Larry did a wonderful job giving us the right look on each set. I always appreciate Matt and his general film knowledge and his willingness to jump in on any task. It doesn’t hurt that he’s nine feet tall and can boom up to the ceiling holding his arms and the boom pole for extended amounts of time. Rick did a great job running here and there, stacking this and unstacking that, moving this and that here and there, and back again. Having someone like that on set is always a huge benefit. Julie joined in with her standard five things per day that actually saved the production. Your help is always very much appreciated and you always raise the level of professionalism.

Tremendous cast. Looking at our still photographs from the shoot, I hear certain lines ringing in my ears. “Chad…Seagers. Get the name right?” “You need some green.” “Heck, the cinnamon roll idea is ingenious.” “My face is getting numb.” “Good morning Chad Seagers.” Cracks me up. I’m sure I’ll be hearing these lines for weeks. Thank you Ivan, Jim, Marilyn and Cristy. You’ll always have a place in my films.

I’d also like to thank North Sea Films, NIFP and AVI for their generous contributions to this film. We were able to shoot a very professional looking film on nickels and dimes. Thank you thank you.

Well, we did it Luis. Your first film is in the can. And you got to direct a scene. How do you feel? Time for some fresh steamed crab legs.
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