Posts Tagged ‘short film’

PAST MEMORIES… and other Korean-isms.

May 24, 2013

We finally screened Formaldeyhyde, a film about a suicidal young man rediscovering the joy of life through the eyes of dead people in his father-in-law’s morgue.

We shot it in Busan, South Korea with the help of Dongseo University.


Past Memory. Park here. It will be different when you return. In a way it’s tautology. In a way it’s true. As humans, we really need to watch our version control… we forget a lot.

The film making and the trip were both amazing experiences. At the time, they were too, but I forgot how difficult they were. The past has a way of reinventing itself in softer light and prettier ways.

Alex Valencia, who documented the making of, reminded me of how it really was. Sure, there were moments of amazing. But when you’re going 35 setups a day with a tiny crew in tricky conditions, the wheels come off everybody now and then… specially if you only slept three hours the night before.

I laughed, at myself and the co-workers I know and love. I cried with embarrassment for my bad skin, the 16lbs I lost recently (captured on camera for all time), the sweat, and mostly, the lack of cool. And I swore to be cooler in the future.


The entry way: Already the restaurant name has changed to “past memories”. Plural. Inside, however, the kimchi is always amazing.

What’s best about it all in the end? I like the film we made. It’s strange but it’s beautiful.

No idea what it says, or what what I said translated as in the end.

No idea what it says, or what what I said translated as in the end.


July 9, 2011

This is where I’ve been… yep, off making movies again. This time shot on location at the awesome Viviane’s Salon, Blades is a dark comedy about a hairdresser who discovers that her best friend is having an affair with her husband, and decides to give her a haircut she’ll dun dun dun NEVER FORGET. Okay, it’s a little more subtle than that really.

Anyhow, I wrote and directed this film as part of Chapman’s summer project run by the awesome prof David Kost, and it was a blast. Busy working on a rough assembly of it as we speak.

Ezra, amazing AC, and an even better AD, a director at the school, earned himself the nickname Ezra "ACD" Lunel over the course of our two-day shoot. And lookeee... my name's on the board. For take six of a very tricky shot involving mirrors, and a handheld 360 turn with a shoulder rig while both the DP and the actress were moving. But ya... we nailed it on this one.

I had amazing actresses Elyse Russel as Viviane, and Camilla Froude as Milly. Had two ADs – Donte Murry (Monday 4th) and Ezra Lunel (Tuesday 5th). Alex Griffin was my awesome DP, with John Nodorft and James Jeffrey gaffing (Mon, Tues). Jessica Goldberg took care of script supervision and continuity, with her boyfriend Steve took care of crafty and gripped and played UPM. Travis Brown (a  hire in via did an amazing job on Sound. Dan McDonald showed up to help pack up on Tuesday. And Viviane Buchanan (the owner) gets most of the credit for production design, hair, and advising the Elyse on how to look authentic when holding the scissors and cutting hair. I’d also like to thank Paul’s Products for a discount on the wig and Valentino’s for the extra stuff they sent us for Monday lunch. It will not be forgotten when I’m famous, or even on the way up.

A movie is never, ever just yours. And by the time Aaron Sanchez (who also helped polish my 789) has helped me edit it? It’ll be a lot of people’s film. And I love that about this business.

A few negative notes…

I learned this the hard way. Never hire someone without an interview, ideally face to face. Those involved in the production know the details of why I say that. I have removed them to spare Chapman University harassment from a certain individual. I will also be deleting (disabling, actually, as I need them for legal reasons) his abusive and defamatory comments from this blog post’s comments. This is now a matter for the police.

A bunch of our equipment was stolen while we closed the door for sound to do a take. Dear whoever you are: Since it’s not the kind of equipment you’d use for anything except film, and is barcoded and digitally identifiable as belonging to Dodge, that was really dumb of you. If it’s in your possession, drop if off anywhere. The police will return it to us. If you are offered Flags, C-Stands, and a Kino box with bulbs but no Kino, think twice before buying it on Ebay. It’s stolen. Oh, and these two call came through from someone (on a hidden number) faking a really bad accent and pretending to be the thief. Voice recognition will show who you really are. Until then…

Some final films of the fall semester at Dodge College, Chapman

December 18, 2010

The pros and cons of movie making… what I learned from the last month of filming all our final projects.

How many filmmakers does it take to change a light bulb? Depends on the gaffer, I guess.

Well let’s start with the cons: You can never control the results as much as you’d like to. The hours are long, and always longer than you expect. You don’t get to sleep. Creative egos are bound to lead to clashes. And technical stuff will always trip you up at the very last minute. So, nothing I’m not used to from working as a journalist!

The pros make all the cons worth it: The end result of what you made with other people is better than anything you could do alone. It doesn’t matter how long filming or editing or writing takes, because you love every minute of it. Sleep is overrated, unless you have nothing better to do. Creative egos challenge you to do your best. Technology allows amazing new things to be done every day, reviving that sense of wonder you had as a kid.

I took a whole bunch of photos of signs, but I’m sure you’d rather watch movies than look at photos. So I’ll post links to those I was involved with. And a few I just happen to think are really good, too.

Mine – Steal My Heart
I wrote, directed, edited and produced this – on a $30 budget. But I could not have done that without the help of my amazing cinematographers, actors, and everyone else who helped me out – all credited. Not bad for a 4.5 hour total shoot time. The editing took a little longer!

John Nodorft – Rifle Ave.
We talked about it a lot, and I co-wrote the screenplay with him. He did what every writer dreams of having done – he made it happen even better than I could have imagined. He is now my hero forever.

Ezra Lunel – Lucky Guys
Very much a work in progress. But I love what he’s doing with this so far. He and I workshopped his initial idea in a over coffee. Then he let me go mad writing, gave me frequent and fast feedback, and made me star in the movie at the end. It was great working with him – the actors will back me up here. And the movie was shot by John Nodorft – so it looks fantastic. Designed to be watched full screen.

John McKay – Punchline
Suspect you’ll only be able to watch this if you are his friend on Facebook. I helped write the screenplay, and learned a lot about how collaboration works in the process. Sometimes you got to just let go, and let the director make the final decisions. The results may surprise you.

That’s what I can find. I guess I’ll add others as they show up.

I had nothing to do with these, but I like them

Kennedy Phillips – Autopilot

Daniel McDonald – Sorry I Forgot Our Anniversary

Mike Fitzgerald – Niko and Claudia

Nikolas Passaris

Also liked but can’t embed vimeo on stupid wordpress.

Sarah Wilson Thacker – Freeze Dance

Windsor Yuan – The Day After

Charles J. Gibson – First day

Bruce Meyers – Cousins