This video was shot the year after Disneyland opened by Jeff Altman’s grandfather on his Bell and Howell Filmo 16mm Kodachrome cameral. It has been transfered to HD and color corrected using a da Vinci 2k Plus and slowed to 18fps to match the original film speed. So cool. Don’t you wish you could be momentarily transported to that time and place where all must have seemed right with the world?
“Stop-motion film, written, animated, & directed by Dan Blank. Winner of Los Angeles Film Festival (Best Short, 2002), 2002 Student Academy Award (Bronze) & 2003 Student Emmy Award (Gold).
In August of 1945, in a closing chapter of the second World War, a blinding flash lit the sky over Hiroshima. The places that were shielded from that searing light became permanent shadows on the city’s walls and streets, while the city itself was decimated. “Shadowplay” is the story of Akio, a shadow of a young boy, who wanders the city searching for his family, while trying to make sense of the unfathomable atrocity.”
Produced by Dan Blank & Cynthia Allen
Cast: Jennifer Kato, Takeo Matsushita, Jun Kim, Ako.
Music: Ryan Shore
You can learn more about the creator and the project here.
Well, the news is already rolling out of this year’s Comi-Con event and the first news up is the sequel to Disney’s 1982 film, Tron. The movie has been stirring internet rumblings for a while now and is titled Tron Legacy. You can see the early preview above.
Here is what is available so far at Wikipedia:
“Tron Legacy is a forthcoming 2010 science fiction film. It is a sequel to the 1982 film Tron. Joseph Kosinski is directing the film, while the previous film director, Steven Lisberger, returns as a producer. Jeff Bridges will reprise his role as Kevin Flynn, while Garrett Hedlund will portray Flynn’s now-adult son, Sean. The other cast members include Bruce Boxleitner, Olivia Wilde, Beau Garrett and John Hurt. According to the teaser trailer shown at the 2008 and 2009 Comic Con, the film will be presented in Disney Digital 3-D and IMAX 3D.”
It looks like an interesting blend of live action and 3D. There is a strong cast on this one too so it will be equally interesting to see if it proves to actually be a really good movie.
Star Wars Uncut is a project that cuts the entire original Star Wars movie into 15 second clips that you can click on and claim. After claiming your cut, you shoot the scene yourself and upload it to the site. At the end of obtaining all of the 15 second clips, they will be put back together to recreate the entire film. The results are probably going to be really fun to watch.
Neil Blomkamp and Peter Jackson have teamed up for the upcoming film District 9. Wow, does it look amazing. I cannot wait to see this. I didn’t even know about it until today.
I know it was a long long while back that I wrote about Psst but all of the short films on their roster are now loaded for your viewing pleasure. There is some really amazing stuff to pick through.
Here is a little refresher about Psst:
PSST!3 is a collaborative film project of 17 films made by 51 teams of Designers, Directors, Animators and Composers.
The mission of PSST is to produce original short films through the collaboration of Designers, Directors, and Animators. Each film is comprised of three sections produced by three different teams: the beginning, middle & end. This process is the whole idea behind PSST! – a technique derived from the Dadaist game of Exquisite Corpse and the children’s game Telephone and applied to the arts of motion graphics, animation and film-making.
PSST! is curated and organized by Bran Dougherty-Johnson of Grow Design Work.
This video is apparently all real footage of real people and events which makes it all the more bizarre. This film technique is fascinating. Everything looks like stop motion animation. To learn a little more about the project you can visit the Vimeo page here.
The Disposable Film Fest has uploaded the entire library of their 2009 Shorts Program to Vimeo. 26 videos total that you can personally vote for in the running for the Audience Choice Award by LIKEing your favorite. Each voter will be entered to win a PLEO and the winning filmmaker will receive a Nokia N95. It’s a really cool little idea and exciting to see the net being used for something like this. What a brilliant way to put the filmakers in front of a global audience.
Uncovered via Yewknee which has become a daily check for me lately as a really great personal overview of interesting and happening culture written from a really likeable perspective.
It’s rare that I actually want to see a movie twice, but I sat through a second viewing of the Watchmen today and I was glad I did. The movie was honestly something I did not expect. I read part of the graphic novel as a kid, but more skimmed the surface of the material as opposed to actually really reading into what the story was really all about. In a way I am glad I didn’t reread the source material before watching the movie. I think it allowed me to take the movie in more as a work of film in and of itself and judge it more on those terms.
Watchmen is a much more densley layered movie than I expected and actually left me wondering and thinking more than the normal feeling of completion felt when taking in a relatively mindless blockbuster comic book action movie. There is spectacular visual effects in the Watchmen, so many in fact that you almost begin to disregard them entirely, and then you are either lost or completely absorbed by the story. I could definitely see how some people would determine that the movie feels disjointed in parts, but I think if the film had been forced into an easily digestible mold it would have been yet just more Hollywood bullshit. And I don’t think the Watchmen fits that mold. Besides there are plenty of those movies coming out this summer. I am glad the Watchmen came out when it did so it wouldn’t be lost in that drivel.
Many are saying the film lacks a solid narrative voice, but I think that narrative has to be filled by viewer interpretation. Translation: Watchmen just isn’t for everybody and some people simply will not like it. If the film had been overly linear, I think it might have threatened some of the raw genius of the movie and the story. I am sure though that some will end up really hating this film, but I think when something or someone reaches for the level of art they often end up being hated by at least a few, if not many.
Its hard really to even write a succinct review of the movie.Violence abounds and the violence in the Watchmen is incredibly intense and absolutely unapologetic. I wondered though, especially after the second viewing, if the violence wasn’t there to make a point that the world we currently live in is incredibly violent and most of us just like to pretend that isn’t so, when honestly, that’s an absolute fact. The greatest thing about the Watchmen though is where it picks at some very deep questions about humanity and society. Its really a fairly sincere attempt to try to realize what it would be like if there were superheroes and how they would see and judge this world. If there was a person out there who was in effect a God and could do anything, how would he or she view humanity and this world? Would they deem us worth saving or are we already a lost cause? Why bother with saving us when we do almost nothing to save ourselves? If you could see and truly understand that time is relative and therefore all time (past, present and future) were happening simultaneously, would it even matter to you if humankind destroyed itself? In the context of the entire universe, what difference would it make? If you refused to compromise your ideology and believed in absolute justice, could you even survive in this society?
Yes, if you look into it, the Watchmen does ask some of those questions and go that deep. I really do think it is a brilliant movie that reaches much further than it can probably grasp, but I also think that’s a great thing. Its a quantum leap for director Zach Snyder, and I hope he can continue into deeper material after this.
My only bone to pick was with some of the performances. There is some wooden acting in the movie and the most responsible culprit is the female lead, Malin Akerman. You can feel the energy and sincerity sucked out of several of her scenes just as soon as she opens her mouth and begins reciting her lines. Not to say that she is an absolutely terrible actress, but it would have been nice to see someone cast that was able to bring needed depth and conflict to her character. Especially in her scenes with the wonderful Billy Crudup (who plays the God-as-man true and only superheroe in the movie, Dr. Manhatten). Crudup’s character has some pretty profound things to say about the human condition, and it is hard to truely appreciate some of it when it is propped by Akerman’s sexy but empty backdrop.
Regardless, I still think the Watchmen is definitely worth a viewing. Yes it is long, weighing in just shy of 3 hours, but if you can hang in there and stick with it, there is a great movie there to appreciate. I think it will find a relevant place in film history and has definitely brought something new to the genre. Just don’t go to it expecting the normal mindless rollercoaster ride. And please, do not take your kids. This is a comic book movie made for adults and asks some serious questions that I think more people in this day and age should be thinking about.
The Paris-based production company Mr. Hyde has just launched an interesting new foray into the take on the short film festival. The project is titled, The Hyde Tube, and invites directors from all walks of the globe to submit work for inclusion into a juried online short film festival. Yeah yeah, woopteedo right? Well here is where it gets interesting:
“Clients will contact The Hyde Tube in order to pass on a project to a specific director, who is then free to decide whether or not to accept it. If accepted, the director will write a treatment or make an animated test within 3 to 5 days. For this work you will receive approximately 500€.
If the client is happy with the treatment and decides that the director will make the film, The Hyde Tube will connect the director with the client, and Mr Hyde or one of its affiliate studios will oversee the production until the film delivery.
The director’s fee will be 10 percent of the budget, the first half payable on the first day of production and the rest upon delivery of the finished film.”
I’ll be watching curiously to see how this works because if it does, I can bet you will be seeing more of this.
I saw a poster for the film Gomorrah today and also found out that it has the backing of Martin Scorcese. It looks like a pretty amazing film and after watching this trailer I am even more anxious to see it. I am a big fan of mafia movies and this looks like it is going to be a tough one to beat. No pun intended. It appears to be in a similar vein to City of God (Cidade de Deus) and Slumdog Millionaire. In other words, a real story about the reality of crime and poverty in the modern era. I have been really pleased to see movies like this garnering more mainstream support. I think now is a potent time to bring attention to films like this that shed some light on what is going on in other corners of the world and hopefully put a dent in the protective American bubble. I know a movie isn’t necessarily a strong enough catalyst to shift public perception and force a crackdown within the ‘real world’ but it can do wonders to raise awareness and maybe get at least a few people to act on an issue. Unfortunately the reality is often that crime can become culturally embedded and its impossible to avoid when there is so much widespread poverty.
I know, I am a hopeless idealist.
I received an email about this the other day and it sounded like it could be a really great competition especially considering some of the judges involved.
TheCrane.tv, Discovery Campus and Reelisor.com are hosting a film competition for creative talents from all over the world in the categories: Culture, Art&Design, Lifestyle, Fashion, Ideas, Travel and “Green”. We reward creativity and encourage you to offer fresh, insider perspectives into your topic of choice. We would like to feel inspired and enriched by your contribution.
Launch: 18th November 2008 at the International Film School Festival, Munich
Deadline: 28th February 2009
Films: There are no boundaries to your creativity. The short videos can be non-fiction, fiction, animated or could be in a journalistic or documentary style
Ora Ïto (Product Designer, ORA-ÏTO)
Karl Lagerfeld (Fashion Designer, Chanel)
Flavio Albanese (Editor in Chief, DOMUS Magazine)
Fernando Sulichin (Film Producer, Central Films)
Kirill Razlogov (Director of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research)
Laurent Claquin (Senior VP CSR and Executive Committee member, PPR Group)
Specifications: Between 1 and 5 minutes long, preferably in English (or subtitled) and all standard file formats
Submissions: Electronically via the upload portal on www.thecrane.tv
Here you can also register your email address to receive the latest news on the competition.
The winning films will be selected by our accomplished jury and announced at the international launch of TheCrane.tv in March 2009. The rewards for Laureates include cash, equipment and TV broadcast. All entries will be available for viewing on www.thecrane.tv when the competition is over.
Don and Ryan Clark, the co-founders of Asterik Studio and the masterminds behind Invisible Creature also perform – for those of you non metal heads – in a hugely successful and innovative band named Demon Hunter. The band recruited young photographer and videographer Cale Glendening to join them on the road and produce what looks to be a breathtaking 3-dvd documentary about Demon Hunter, called 45 Days. You can view the trailer here.
I wrote about this last week but the Toofy Film Festival is fast approaching this weekend and you can see a preview of some of the films above. The nice guys behind Toofy decided to offer an added incentive for those of you who want to attend the show by offering a discounted pass through Changethethought along with a free t-shirt. It’s a pretty good deal for an entire weekend of independent film. You can read more about it below. I also did the advertising, including writing the copy for and designing the posters this year. You can see those above along with a preview of some of the movies at the show. It should be a beautiful weekend this weekend in Boulder, so it should be a great place to be.
The Toofy Film Festival has teamed up with changethethought to provide you with a Toofy Film Festival pass for only $20 (a $30 value) AND A FREE TOOFY T-SHIRT. A portion of the proceeds goes back to support changethethought. This pass will get you into all 6 Independent Film Showings plus the Toofy After-Party Fashion Show taking place on Saturday night. Visit <http://toofy.com/changethethought/ for more information. This offer is ONLY available through this webpage and can be extended to your friends and family so be sure to forward this email to them.
HOW TO PICK UP YOUR FREE SHIRT:
Give your full name to the person behind the counter in the Boulder Theater box office to pick up your pass. Once you have your pass, enter the Boulder Theater and go to the Toofy merchandise booth. Present your printed PayPal receipt at the merchandise booth and pick up your free shirt. One free shirt for each pass sold. While supplies last.
Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14.
Toofy loves movies and he wants to share the finest independent flicks from around the world with you. The Toofy Film Festival is taking over the Boulder Theater on Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14. After the film programs, stick around for the Toofy After-Party Fashion Show. To learn more about Toofy, please visit <www.toofy.com