Archive Page 2

09
Nov
10

Real men of phoenix

This is a tribute to the real men of genius advertisements done by Bud Light.

Thanks to Ryan for singing on this track, I did the narration

Enjoy

03
Nov
10

Paranormal Activity 2

Paranormal Activity 3

This week I saw paranormal activity 2 the follow up to the wildly successful Indy film paranormal activity 1.  In the tradition of such films as Blair witch REC and the first Paranormal Activity a fair amount of the film take place from a first person handheld camera view. The film also boasts an impressively sparse budget much like the first.

The first thing I noticed when watching PA2 was the great consideration the director took to prevent the audience from become sea sick, as this has become the norm for such hand held films. The director used stationary security cameras to break up the shaky hand held shots and added an air of professionalism to the film. Along with the addition of the steady cams, more characters were present in this film and this added a welcome depth to the film. With this said I feel as though most of the scares in this film were stolen or recycled form the first, and innovation in horror fell by the way side, almost as if the viewer was just watching a continuation of the first. That’s not to say the film was not scary, because lord knows it scarred the shit out of my and all my friends. I would give this film a 4/5 for achieving to scare me so completely, but don’t expect a cinematic masterpiece or anything that is going to make you reexamine your life.

01
Nov
10

Roll About Doc

We just finished our Documentary project, and it turned out a lot better than expected. I am not the best at documentaries, I will be the first to admit that as they are out of my range of expertise and I tend to prefer Narrative film. I highly prefer using scripts and talent as opposed to creating a story arc out of the shots you acquire during filming. We really did not have a solid subject matter until Sunday so the project felt a little rushed.  Despite all this I actually had a great time making this film and my group was wonderful, both Matt and David knew what they were doing and helped me with the project. The biggest challenges we faced were the lack of good B Roll, as well as a hard time finding interesting subject matter. We were Really lucky to find Roll About and the people there as there were all very interesting, and vastly improved the overall quality of our film. We used all natural lighting and I think it worked out well very well. For the audio we used a shotgun microphone and a lapel microphone for any of the formal interviews. In the future I think the secret to a god doc is good planing and a huge film ratio.  It seems like you can never have enough film for a doc.

13
Oct
10

Light up the Fire

 

I just finished my abstract short film based on a poem by Rumi, entitle light up the fire. I’m very very pleased with the result and was also shocked with how well all my experimental shots came out. I Did a few overlays with some fire that I had shot, as well as a shot I took out the sun roof of a car and then sped up to 500x speed. For my full body shots and the shots with the candle, I had to build a set in the down stairs living room of my house, I used a back base paint with a shiny black polymer over it. I used two kino flow lights  to light the set. I used a mix between rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer to light my actors hand on fire(which looked bad ass). other then that my other cuts were pretty straight foreword, except for the perforated slug I used to do my waking up theme. I loved my project over all and I have to give HUGE daps to Ali, and Dave who lit him self on fire for me. Thanks for watching.

Stay dangerous,

Neff

 

 

06
Oct
10

She wore Blue velvet

Blue velvet is the twisted brainchild of David Lynch (Twin peaks, Dune) and is considered by many to be his masterpiece. The film Stars Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Hopper in arguably his best on screen performance.  Blue velvet is set in a small quiet town where crime and evil are far form peoples minds, However after finding a severed human ear in a field, one young man named Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) digs beneath the surface and what he finds is the perverted world of blue velvet. Jeffery’s search soon leads him into harms way and into the hands of drug-addicted sadomasochist (Dennis Hopper). Jeffery must unravel the mystery he has been thrust into before it consumes him.

If you watch blue velvet and don’t feel uncomfortable then you need to see a professional. David Lynch does a masterful job of making the viewer’s skin crawl. The Dutch angle shots, the masochistic characters, and the out of place retro soundtrack just about every thing in this film is intentionally awkward. Lynch wants the viewer to feel uneasy and accomplishes this goal with flying colors. The film acts like a satire of small town sitcoms, and after watching blue velvet you will never be able to look at shows like the Brady Bunch again. Blue velvet is deeply disturbing, as a film critic I usually don’t steer away form perverse subject matter, but blue velvet flirts with that line. With that said the film is a masterpiece, both of direction and acting. Hoppers performance will haunt and mesmerize any one brave enough to keep their eyes open. I give the move a 4.5/5 but won’t be watching this one with my mother any time soon.

04
Oct
10

We own the night

We own the night

This week I watched the 2007 James Gray film We Own The Night, staring Joaquin Phoenix, Eva Mendez and Mark Walberg. The name of the film comes from the 1980 NYC police force slogan during the city’s extensive drug war. The Film follows a NYC club manager named Bobby Green (Phoenix). Green is thrust into the seedy underbelly of the city as a result of his job, and begins to thrive within this drug culture. All seems to be going well for Green until it is reviled that this brother and father are both New York City cops. Green is asked by his family to go under cover at his nightclub and help bring a notorious dealer to justice. Green turns them down and soon after his brother is shot by the same dealer. Green feels responsible for his brothers shooting and decides to go undercover and attempt to bring the drug deals to justice. What follows is a dark and fast paced story of New York City Redemption.

The first thing that drew my attention while watching we own the night, was how super stylized it is. There are so many shots throughout the films that will wow you. The sad thing is that these same shots that are so stylized and gorgeous do little to advance the story and almost seem to stand out against the overall tempo of the film. It’s one thing to have beautiful shots, it is quite another to advance the plot or the characters with visual storytelling and we own the night falls just short of this feat. On the other hand what I loved about this movie is that much like in a Scorsese film the city itself becomes a character. Also Gray dose an amazing job of putting you back in the 80’s, from the soundtrack to the costumes and even the hair dos everthing picture perfect.  The acting in this film is tremendous and the characters are rich and entertaining. The story however left little to be desired and I think with a little tweaking this movie could have been a giant. With all thing considered I give this movie a 3 ½ out of 5 and recommend it for a night where a good movie is desired but deep thinking is not on the menu .

27
Sep
10

Blotter Patch kid

Just finished my first full stop motion short film and the opening project in my production class and while it was fun, I must admit I’m glad to be finished. To say that stop motion is tedious is an understatement.  The biggest challenges I faced came in the form of continuity errors. I found it was hard to keep track of all the objects on my set while moving my camera, my figurine, and my various other props. Also, I found it very hard to plan shots with stop motion, as a shot is not one running piece of film, but rather hundreds of pictures strung together.  On a side note, the Blotter patch kid I used was actually the 3rd model I constructed, as I did not take into account how ridged he would have to be to hold shape while I took pictures and moved the camera.

With all these flaws sighted I will humbly admit that stop motion is not my bag and that the final product is far from perfect, but it was nice getting my hands on a camera again, and reestablishing myself with final cut. I can’t wait to get back into reel film, and can only hope that our upcoming projects allow a little more creative leeway.

Stay Dangerous,

Neff