When you try to do everything yourself.
#ORFilm #Filmmaking A friend of mine @randolphsellars directed this book trailer. Can’t wait to see the final cut in a few weeks.
Magisto user Veronica Rose has been posting Movies to her “The Making of Polly | Behind the Scenes” album for a few months now. This week, we checked in to get the inside scoop on this project.
This is a beautiful project and a super-fun app. I hope you’ll take a look.
Sci-fi movie poster collection 4 / the Fountain
A friend, talented artist, director and writer. Check out his stuff!
It’s amazing how long films can last on the festival circuit but I’m excited that Record, a short film I co-produced for writer / director David Lyons, is still alive and well in 2014.
We shot the movie in late 2011 out on the Oregon Coast in a little town called Barview. The short made its Oregon premier at the Portland International Film Festival this last Thursday and has one more screening this coming Tuesday the 18th at 6pm as part of a slate of shorts. https://nwfc.spotlightboxoffice.com/purchase/step4?ticketID=3972
While the location adds tons of production value, story is and always will be king. David and his friends penned one of the most beautiful short scripts I’ve ever read. When my best friend and producer on the project Dave Szamet sent me the script, I was in tears just reading it. I’ve probably seen the short at least a dozen times now and it never gets old and I still tear up.
A good story can sell your film without a the glitz and glam or Hollywood talent, but make sure the story is as good as it can be before filming. Writing the script and rewrites are the cheapest part of filmmaking. Utilize it. Record went through seven or eight drafts before David Lyons felt it was strong enough.
Filming 2 hours from Portland has its drawbacks, as we had to make almost daily trips back to town for supplies, but the scenery couldn’t have been better. The house was perfect. We shot digitally on an Arri Alexa kitted out by Panavision. DP Polly Morgan is part of their young filmmakers program and we were able to get the entire package donated to the production, which probably saved us between $6k-$10k.
After we had locked out location, I began establishing some connections in the community, as we were going to need authentic set dressing and a boat. I was able to connect our very talented production designer, Anne Costa, with the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum’s director Gary Albright. They couldn’t have been more helpful, donating some amazing set dressings and connecting us with local fishing guide, that helped us with our boat needs. As it turned out, Gary and his wife, lived three houses down from our picture house in Barview, and had us over for wine and cheese a couple nights during production. They really welcomed us into the community, which in and of itself is a huge lift for indie filmmakers.
I’m hoping to host a private screening down the coast this spring for all of those that helped the production and for others who just would like to join.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
"Motion time-lapse rig. For creating perfect sunset time-lapses:
stick a GoPro on an egg timer.
Who needs level horizons?”
Submitted by Angel Sharp
Pretty much the cheapest, best solution for this. I may copy.
David O. Russell’s American Hustle, a comedic tale of seduction, lies and hair styles, is one of my favorite movies of 2013. Every moment is defined. Every character is owned. Every shot is well planned.
The plot is fairly simple. Con man gets caught by feds. Feds leverage con man to get more con men. But, this movie isn’t about the plot. This movie is about the characters and how they each uniquely deal with their own stress and Russell guides his stellar cast with an excellent hand.
Bale, Cooper, Adams, Renner & Lawrence all live solidly in their outlandish characters, buying in completely. Russell gives each character time to develop their own arch within the greater whole, which makes the whole all the more entertaining.
This was the movie that Scorcese should have made with The Wolf of Wall Street but fell short. He placed too much emphasis on one character in a plot that uses money, power and drugs like Michael Bay uses giant robots, saturated color and explosions. In a comedy, which WoWS certainly is an absurdist one, one character is hard to rely on for three hours. Russell gives us five well developed characters in a span of just over two hours.
There is great cinematography in American Hustle too, which contributed greatly to the overall style of the film. The art direction, wardrobe and hair styles all played a big part of who each character was and the locations they lived in. Entire scenes were dedicated to Bale and Cooper’s ridiculous hair styles.
American Hustle is a cut above most comedies this year and 4.5 out of 5 for me. The shoe fits for Critic’s Choice Awards Best Acting Ensemble (Potential 2 in a row), and Bale will likely be a dark horse for Best Actor Oscar behind Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave. Likely a few supporting nods coming in this one too.
:30 spot that I produced with Lyon Films for the Alienware X51 has now reached close to 1.1 million views.
Couple Production Notes
The interior of the APC was built on a soundstage at Zarr Studios in Portland, where I have my production office with Devon Lyon. The interior of the apartment was also in studio in the front office, which doubled pretty well. All of the traveling and gun battle shots were on location at an abandoned paper mill in Oregon City, about 20 minutes south of Portland.
The spot was completed in two consecutive production days with roughly a week-long build on the APC interior.
The ad agency we worked with on this project, Quango, completed all of the post production work in house.
A :60 spot was also finished to incorporate more of of the footage from the paper mill, as there were a ton of kick ass locations and shots. Here is a link to that clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9E_PktK2V4&feature=share&list=UUQmE9qgzRd2eGqJ1Z2ACl5A
Scorcese and DiCaprio take a solid swing at the fast money times of lower Manhattan in the 80s with The Wolf of Wall Street. I felt the movie was entertaining and it’s definitely worth seeing but falls short, or goes long of Scorcese’s best work and current Oscar contenders, as the movie runs loose at a minute under three hours. The weight of the film is placed on Leo’s shoulders playing financial kingpin Jordan Belfort and while he delivers a solid performance, it leaves the film unbalanced.
The story of a stockbroker turned penny stock multimillionaire has been told and told well in the film Boiler Room (2000) and the fallen/drug addled hero/financial dictator theme has also been done well in films like There Will Be Blood (2007) and Blow (2001). As such, the film didn’t grab me right away and I found myself drifting at times, in part because Scorcese didn’t hit the pacing he needed to for this film to work in the genre he wants it to be in.
The Wolf of Wall Street is an absurdist drama, trying to fit into the same vein as a Wes Anderson or early Coen Bros. flick. Even David O. Russell is getting more into the act with American Hustle (more on this film in another post). Where these films excel is in their balance of the leads and developing strong supporting characters. Scorcese had some strong characters to build on and does with Jonah Hill's depiction of Donnie Azoff, but falls short on eveyone else. Hill was my favorite part of this film and maybe the best work his career. He's my front runner for Best Supporting Actor. However, outside of Jordan and Donnie, there aren't any more memorable characters even though Scorcese had the outlines to work with Matthew McConaughey and Jon Bernthal, but their characters on screen lives were short lived. He just spent way too much time on Leo, building him into Daniel Plainview of There WIll Be Blood, and not enough on everyone else.
Scorcese delivered some strong visuals and fun cameos (Spike Jones, Rob Reiner, Jon Favreau, Shea Wigham) but these were tucked into and somewhat forgotten in the three hour running time. The soundtrack was fun and interesting but in trying to be period correct, it wasn’t, as a few of the songs came out after the time they were depicted, which was weird.
Because it Scorcese we set the bar high and because it’s Scorcese we forgive a few things. Overall, it had some fun, really entertaining moments and for those moments, we forgive the rest but I’m only going to give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Quality cinema but at the bottom of my contenders list.
I was one of two producers on this project, under the production company banner of Lyon Films. Quango was the agency. Shot and edited in Oregon.I’ll have a BTS blog post coming soon, but for now, enjoy the epic final product.