Tag Archives: movie

the auto-chronicled narrative conceit

26 Oct , 2009,
Chip Street
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one comments

The following is excerpted from my Paranormal Activity review… it’s a portion of the post that I find myself referring to and wanted the passage in its own post for reference.

video camera guyTHE LIMITATIONS OF AUTO-CHRONICLING

The “auto-chronicled narrative conceit” has its innate issues. It creates a single camera situation shooting in real time (Blair Witch circumvented this by having two cameras available, but didn’t really leverage it), with one character nearly always off screen, that does away with (or severely hampers) all the established film vocabulary tools… the wides, the two-shots, the over-the-shoulders, the singles, the cutaways, the inserts. All the film tricks that directors and editors use to subconsciously establish relationships between characters, to control tension and mood in dialogue exchanges, to communicate unspoken subtext, to control and structure our experience of the story into a narrative that works, are suddenly wildly restricted if not impossible to leverage.

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Paranormal Activity: the review

27 Sep , 2009,
Chip Street
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12 comments

paranormal-activity-movie-poster1Paranormal Activity horror film review

“Once every five years, a guy makes a movie for a nickel that can cross over to a broad audience,” says “Paranormal Activity” producer Jason Blum, who, as a senior executive at Miramax Films, had a producing credit on “The Reader” and acquired the supernatural thriller “The Others.” “And there are about 3,000 of these movies made every year, so this film is about one in 15,000.”

THE BUZZ

You’ve heard the buzz. Paranormal Activity, “the little indie horror film that could” about a couple who videotapes a demon haunting them in their home, made in a week for $11,000 by a guy with no filmmaking experience (Oren Peli, a video game programmer) gets seen at a horror fest (Screamfest), scares Spielberg so bad he won’t keep the DVD in his house (marketing hype, anyone?), and gets picked up by DreamWorks for the full court press. (LATimes story here)

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Shriekfest Film Festival announces 2009 Schedule

26 Sep , 2009,
Chip Street
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No Comments

shriekfest-postersShriekfest Film Festival announces 2009 Schedule:

40 FILMS *  4 NIGHTS * 3 THEATRES!

OCTOBER 1-4, 2009
(Los Angeles, CA) SHRIEKFEST INTERNATIONAL HORROR FILM FESTIVAL is thrilled to announce the full, expanded schedule for the ninth annual horror film festival, returning to Raleigh Studios Chaplin/Pickford/Fairbanks theatres, October 1-4, 2009.

Festival goers will once again enjoy the finest in independent cinema from around the globe, selected from hundreds of submissions that came in everywhere from London to New York; from Utah to Spain. From our opening night screening of the never before seen MANEATER starring Dean Cain, to the shorts from Spain, United Kingdom, Canada,  and finally to the World Premiere of Darin Scott’s “Dark House”.  The 9th Annual Shriekfest International Horror Film Festival has worked hard to present a festival as diverse as the fans of the Los Angeles city itself.

Shriekfest Screenplay Competition finalists include "Faeries" by Chip Street and Sean Meehan.

Shriekfest Screenplay Competition Finalists include "Faeries" by Chip Street and Sean Meehan

American independent films are also well represented this year, on Friday, October 2nd – HOW TO BE A SERIAL KILLER, as well as SHELLTER and DAWNING, both of which are screening on Saturday, October 3rd.  We can’t leave out SURVIVING EVIL starring Billy Zane, Evilution, and Evil Angel starring Ving Rhames.

Not to leave out our fabulous selection of short films. Movies like HOWLING BRAT, MAROONED?, 2095, DEATH IN CHARGE, THE HORRIBLY SLOW MURDERER…,DARK ROOM THEATER, REKINDLED, AND FANTASY and the stunning RIFT challenge the viewers with provocative, well crafted original stories.

We have an amazing documentary, NIGHTMARES IN RED, WHITE, AND BLUE that examines the idea that horror films reflect the times and places in which they are made…narrated by horror icon Lance Henriksen and features exclusive interviews with legendary auteurs like John Carpenter, George A. Romero, Joe Dante, Larry Cohen, and Roger Corman, as well as film historian John Kenneth Muir and Fangoria editor Tony Timpone.

Once again SHRIEKFEST Film Festival exceeds at challenging the idea of what a horror film festival should screen, with eclectic selections (NO-DO: THE BECKONING), to science fiction (ENIGMA), comedy (COLD CALLS), Gothic Fairytale (SPIKE),  and even the bizarre (LO).

Entrance to SHRIEKFEST Film Festival 2009 is $8.00 per block, an All-Fest Pass, good for all four days of the festival, is now available on our  website, for just $90.00, this pass includes the opening night party.

All films are un-rated, and unless specifically noted no one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian’s accompaniment or permission. For more information on THE 2009 SHRIEKFEST FILM FESTIVAL, as well as news about other related events, including the Opening Night Party and the monthly networking events, please visit our website: www.shriekfest.com

Grave Dawn: WWII indie movie

Sep , 2009,
Chip Street
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2 comments

gravedawn

Charlie Hofheimer (Father’s Day, Black Hawk Down, The Village, Blur) co-producing WWII indie film based on a true story.

A few years ago I worked on a film project titled “BLUR“. It was a challenging experience, but through it I met a lot of people, many of whom I still work with when I can, and some of whom continue to work in the field in LA or elsewhere.

Among those are Charlie Hofhemier, R. Alan Shoef and D.J. Turner. Along with their colleague Shannon Lucio they’ve continued their creative collaboration, and are hard at work on a WWII project titled “Grave Dawn” under the banner of the start-up independent production company Filament Features, in association with Kindest Cut, LLC.

They’ve started with a 25 minute short, shot on the RED at 4K (making a high quality film-out possible). They’re seeking finishing funds for the short, and hope to use that to raise capital for the feature-length version. Smart business people that they are, they’ve shot it in such a way that all the footage used in the short can be integrated into the feature, so they only need to shoot another 65 minutes or so to complete the full length version. And, they’ve left room for as-yet-unshot significant roles that will interest a “name” performer to add to the distribution value.

I had a chance to catch up with Alan and find out more about the project.

CS – So tell me, what brought you guys together on this film?

RAS – We all met up during production on BLUR. We got along well and decided to work together on projects that mattered to us and demonstrated our skill at producing projects on time and within budget.

CS - And this is a project that matters. What’s the story behind it?

RAS - It’s based on the true story of a German Soldier in WWII, who is over-heard by his commanders making defeatist remarks about the German war effort in 1945. The soldier, named Erwin Bucholtz, is then re-located to the Eastern Front of Austria so that he may die at the hands of the Russians. Only when he arrives at his new camp does he realize his incredible luck, for he just missed the German offensive in Vienna. Erwin is instead put on guard duty of a group of starving and injured Russian POW’s. It’s at this moment he has a revelation in this story about karma and humanity in the middle of horror.

CS - The trailer looks fantastic. High production values, great performances, good sound… Where’d you shoot? What was the production like?

RAS - Grave Dawn was shot in Petaluma, California in the beginning of April 2009. This was because the equipment we wanted to use was based there, plus it turned out that the location stood in well for Austria in the Spring. Production lasted 5 days starting on a Wednesday on through Sunday. We shot the project on 2 RED One cameras. And used Jack Morocco Pyrotechnics for our explosions.

CS - And not just explosions, but you’ve got tanks, and artillery, and piles of guns. That’s serious shit.

RAS - Some of the equipment we used on this project was a German 88 — one of less than half a dozen in North America — a Russian T-38 battle tank, all kinds of other German artillery pieces, authentic 1930’s truck, Willie’s Jeep, too many rifles and machine guns to really keep track of… besides the MG-42. That thing shot something like 1500 rounds per minute! I’m proud to say that we were fully insured – thanks to the hard work of Charlie. It ended up being just over a 5th of our total budget – which wasn’t much to start with!! However it was well worth it. Most of our valuable resources wouldn’t even work with us with out it.

CS - It’s all in German, with English subtitles. Why is that?

RAS - We shot the project in German and Russian as we thought our markets would be larger in Europe.

CS - I hope that works out… and it shouldn’t exclude domestic distribution. The recent success of Inglourious Basterds shows that movie goers have an appetite for both WWII flicks and extensive subtitles [as further discussed at JohnAugust.com]. So it’s in the can, you’re well into post. What’s the status? What’s next?

RAS - At this point we’re finishing up Post Production, having just finished our first official trailer. It runs at 2 minutes and looks killer – IMO. Couldn’t be happier with it. We’re going to post it to our official site in the next couple of weeks. (www.filamentfeatures.com). We’re currently looking for After Effects artists for a few elements that we want to add in. Looking to finish the full short project by November 2009. Our goal is to use it to attract distributers and other financing elements to a feature length version.

CS - Well, I’m impressed. I’ve worked with you guys, and you’re a bunch of tireless, dedicated sons of bitches with that hard-to-find balance of commitment to creative integrity and business acumen… I know you’ll finish what you start. I’d work with you again in a heartbeat, and if anybody out there has the resources to help see this sucker to completion, they should want to jump in with both feet. Good luck! Pass my regards on to DJ and Charlie.

RAS - Much Thanks!!

Disney made one movie and then just traced, and traced, and traced…

15 Sep , 2009,
Chip Street
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one comments

Unreal. This is really amazing… I know that much of the early Disney work was in fact rotoscoped (they shot real actors then animated over them to get the movements right) so maybe it’s true? They had a library of stock footage that they could pull out for any given scene?

I’m just a little disillusioned…