Archive for January, 2008

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Showcase: Airsick

January 25, 2008

Sorry for the lack of an update Monday, but I was traveling from LA to Seattle that day and couldn’t find an open wireless connection in the airport (strange, huh?)  It was a busy day, so my apologies.  However, I’m in Seattle, with a connection, and soon to be in Vancouver (hopefully also with a connection in the apartment) and able to update on time.  So I’m moving, got a small video slideshow project of the move in progress and my other projects on hold, but I’ve been wandering around the city a little bit, exploring and discovering the joy of a tangible but relaxed lifestyle.  I’d like to post about that on my personal blog at some point, but I’ll get to that eventually.  There’s no rush :).

Now, for the showcase of the week, I discovered this short video through a photography blog I subscribe to, and I was interested in the photography aspect of it, as well as the filmmaking side of putting together a bunch of images to create a video0like short film.  It was interesting to watch and of course, since it’s a controversial subject, inspiring to a degree.  I don’t have much to say about this video other than it’s worth watching, and it’s interesting and intriguing to watch how they even emulated some common video effects (rack focus, animated titles, time-lapse) using 20,000 individual photographs.  I remember watching a music video a long time ago done similarly to this, only this was more pointed in its subject, and that was more artsy in its execution.  Both are good, but this I think serves a more important purpose.  So enjoy the video, get inspired, and do something to help in your community.  Knowledge is power, and the internet is the end-all solution to not knowing.  So go browse and learn.  Enjoy, and best of luck.  Happy filmmaking!

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The Big Move

January 18, 2008

Well, it’s officially begun.  AnimiVirtus Productions is moving to Vancouver, BC in Canada!  This is not only awesome because it involves moving physical equipment (oh so fun) but because it’s the beginning of both a new school career, a possible professional career, and a personal life.  I’m moving mainly for the school and the change of environment.  The things I plan to take full advantage of are the people, the city, the fact that there will be lots more people and places than small-town Vermont, the opportunities that provides both for socializing (running two blogs isn’t just a hobby, it’s a use of otherwise-unoccupied time) and for filmmaking ventures.  And that’s where this blog comes in.

The new location will mean taking some time to get the video PC set up again, however I’ve finally added a Firewire PCI card to it, enabling the capturing of video, which streamlines the video production process hugely for me.  However, once I get the few kinks worked out (Premiere for some reason doesn’t like the card, and doesn’t detect the camera with it), the system will be “fully operational” (quick guess, what movie’s that from?).

Mostly, though, I’m looking forward to the resources and opportunities for new inspiration in both life, work and schooling, and I can’t wait to share more and more with you guys in the coming weeks as the move progresses and I’m finally moved into the place.  Right now, I’m sitting in the airport, waiting for my family to come back and wondering how it is that my little DSL line at home is faster than a big ol’ ariport’s public Wi-Fi connection.  Though that’s probably the reason – it’s a public Wi-Fi line.  In any case, there’s the announcement, and the post for the day, and I’ll be sure to update more as the move progresses.  Keep being creative and happy filmmaking.

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Showcase: Thinning The Herd

January 15, 2008

Alright, I know this is by a fairly known actress and I know she may have had a budget to do it, but that doesn’t cancel out the fact that the same film could definitely be made with no money.  Just take a look at the film, there’s very little light, hardly any makeup, the film’s strong points are its intangible ones: the acting and the writing.  (The sound effects and the ending only raise the bar).  With some dedicated writing time, a few redrafts, and a day of shooting with some actor friends and you’ve got yourself set on the way to a film like this.

I recently saw Angel-A, which stars Rie Rasmussen, and I was surprised to discover it was her at the end of the film, since she looks nothing in that film like she does in Thinning The Herd.  That’s partly the costume and makeup, but the acting is definitely there in both parts, separating her characters immensely.  The main point I want to make in this post is that good acting, with or without dialog, is one of the key assets in any film.  As long as the writing’s good, the acting can pull it through with no budget at all.  If someone’s performance shines, it’ll shine out no matter the visual constraints.  (Obviously, you’ve got to do your best to help it shine, throw some oil on the flame and the like, make sure it can be seen to start with).

Essentially, the point is this: write a solid script with a basic storyline, a some characters that aren’t too simple (give them habits, dialects, things they like the most and play off those in the dialog or actions with the other characters), and then find someone who can portray that character in the way you like, with their own spin on it as well.  Always let the actors take the character to their own level, in addition to fulfilling your needs.  They need to be challenged, not typecast and factory-assembled into their characters.  That’s destructive to the very nature of acting.

Back to the point, after you’ve written your solid script, and found someone to act, find money if you can, and some kind of light, and something to bounce that light off of (you’ll rarely want the harsh light coming right from the work light you found).  Tin foil works great.  After that, let the light and the performance shine as your camera rolls and captures the whole thing from the angles you’ve pre-planned due to your careful thoughts on the project (do not leave that part out!)

Rie Rasmussen might have a name in the business; she might be known for doing a good job in her projects; she might even be known for being a sexy bitch; but you can make yourself known by making something with a solid base and the only frills being the talent that brings the idea to the screen.  Best of luck, check out the film and send in any of your work you want an article written about!

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Films Page Complete!

January 11, 2008

I know I’ve been bad about updating this blog. But, I’ve added a reminder action to iCal that reminds me every Monday and Friday about updating the blog, so I’ll never forget or have an excuse to be distracted again. It’s really a mental kind of thing, once I know I have to do something, it’s still in my mind as something that needs to be done until it finally is. So that’s the function, and hopefully it’ll work. It’s already working for today, since I turned on my machine and got the reminder message right away. So that’s the news on the blog’s back-end.

The news on the front-end, however, is I think more exciting. Most of you know I put up the film page a few weeks ago, with a pretty nicely laid out section for LATENT(CY), the most recent film I’ve completed. Well, after trying once and having the results deleted somehow, I sat down yesterday and finished off the page. It now has, in addition to that one caption, a full list of the films I’ve done in the last two or three years, complete with links to watch and/or download them all. There is a closing paragraph that is important to me, about the use of the internet and free distribution to get a voice, a message, out into the world, and it’s what I’m hoping to do with my films from now on. Personal projects I want to be download-able and viewable form anywhere in the world at any time, so I’m offering them all free for download via torrent file sharing technology, as well as YouTube videos. Of course, the more serious projects will also be available for purchase, but that’s really a good Samaritan kind of effort on your part, since they’re freely available in multiple forms on the internet.

On the closing note, I’d like all of you to go to the TED site and check out their talks. They are riveting, I can’t stress that enough, talking about everything from building sustainable housing worldwide to creating a massive digital super-library with customizable teaching and learning resources, completely free of charge, for anyine and everyone in the world to use. Open source is the future, and digital gives way to freedom in a materialistic world, and the two combined have astronomical potential in helping to better the future and the lives of people and the earth. So watch, and help out. Make a difference.

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DIY Reflector – Wear a White T-Shirt

January 8, 2008

This was quite a useful little tidbit of information that I’m sure applies to videography just as much as it does to photography.  The idea is to wear a white t-shirt and position yourself at an angle from your light source and subject, so that the light bounces off your shirt and onto the subject, giving it a softly lit look on the opposite side of the light source.  This isn’t going to be super powerful, but sometimes all you need is that extra glow.  I did the same with a little piece of tinfoil I taped to a window opposite a work light in my last shoot about a week ago.  Have any experience with DIY reflectors or any other ides for on-the-fly methods of lighting?  Yap on about them in the comments.

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Showcase: Infest Wisely

January 8, 2008

This is a decent trailer for a pretty cool sounding sci-fi miniseries.  The trailer’s what interest me the most, however, since it’s the only video piece of the film I’ve watched so far, but also, check out the bike mount shot following the riders through the trees!  That’s sweet!  And there’s no evidence as to how they did it.  Great shot.

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Happy New Year's

January 1, 2008

Happy New Year’s from AnimiVirtus Productions!  Here’s wishing you a great new year, the best of luck, life, health and goodwill to others both involved in your life and not throughout the new year.  Have a great one!

~ AnimiVirtus Productions Team