Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Respect Films

I've been spending this entire vacation working on my new film, The Perfect Dose. 2005 was a major turnaround for me in terms of actually making films. Up through 2004, I'd always been interested in film, and had made some things, but I'd never made a film I would consider mine. I always worked with a whole bunch of people, and that meant that I didn't get to put as much into the movies as I might like. And after doing Tabula Rasa in January 2004, we didn't do another project for an entire year.

However, at the start of 2005, Jordan and I shot Ricky Frost, a film that was a big jump for us. For one, it was the first time I was able to operate the camera for pretty much a whole movie. This was right around the time I saw Fallen Angels for the first time, and in the film, I basically tried to capture the energy that WKW and Christopher Doyle had in that film. After a hiatus, I edited the movie in the summer, and it came together pretty well, you could definitely see the start of the current style I've been using, all handheld camera, lot of deep focus and multi-plane photography. I was really happy with the way that movie came out, and at 35 minutes, it was by far the longest thing I'd done so far.

During the summer, Jordan and I ran a filmmaking workshop for LMC-TV, and we made a really strong film called Extracurricular Activities, which was a really enjoyable action film made with a bunch of kids. That was a half hour, so in August, I edited 65 minutes of footage. It was a bizarre month.

Then at school, I took film production and dropped four short films, two of which I'm really proud of. These films pushed the handheld style even further, I love the way that my final project, Key 23, looked. That was part of my "Black, White and Gray" trilogy. Only one of these is online, Do Unto Others, but the others should be online pretty soon. So, I did about fifteen minutes of total footage, bringing the grand total for 2005 to 80 minutes of finished film.

I'm really proud of the stuff I did last year. There was a lot of variety in subject matter and narrative style, and it's cool to now be able to program an entire night of entertainment for people.

So, this year is starting off with a lot more film. A Perfect Dose is a big jump because it features semi-professional actors, people hoping to make it big. This is good for a number of reasons, one because it increases the quality of acting in the film, but also because it means that they actually want to be in the movie, there's no need to bother them to get them to show up. And, they actually know their lines, so we were able to run the lines and do five minute long takes of certain scenes. We broke it up in the editing, but still, it was cool to be able to do that.

The editing has been taking a long time. I figured we shoot in two days, then edit for a couple more and be done, but every weekday, I'm doing eight hours or so in the LMC editing room, going through the footage. I've gotten into doing color correction on each shot, which means that it takes a lot of refinement before we finish. I'm happy to do it, but it's taken more time than I thought. However, it also makes me really happy to do, the time goes so fast when I edit, I think it'd be a great job. The time would just fly by.

That film will be done next week. This semester, I probably won't do as many films, however, hopefully I'll do something. And then this summer, I'll probably do a couple of projects. And in the fall, I'll be doing my senior thesis. The other thing I'd really like to do is make a music video. So, there'll be plenty of film made this year.

Anyway, to recognize the increased level of production, Jordan and I gave ourselves a name, Respect Films, and made a website: www.respectfilms.com So, that's where you can get new stuff from me, and we'll be updating it with more of our past films. Check it out, and report back with any comments you've got on the movies.

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