Monday, October 31, 2005

Dailies: Fight Scene kicked my ass and I loved it!

I'm ashamed to say I've never been to any of the previous Dailies events over at Push Push. I could give you some lame ass excuses, but I'll spare you and jump right to some uncontrolled brown nosing and ass kissing. Now, as much as I'd love to kiss all the ass that was represented I just don't have enough chapstick. So I'll give you some quickhits. Still - Not a fan of zombie flicks, this B&W silent short is the kind of sh*t that always makes me reevaluate my long standing bias. Slick and stylish, I wish these cats had directed the Resident Evil flicks. Idiot Boxer - Don't know if this one could be considered a fight scene in the "traditional" sense. I mean, it's about one dude challenging another dude to see who's the fastest remote. But, who cares. 1) We get a hilarious training montage. Sing it with me folks: MONTAGE, MONTAGE! 2) The three round bout itself was fun as hell. And 3) Berzerker rage + fists of fury = Our Hero getting the hot chick. And we know a movie isn't a movie if the hero doesn't get the hot chick. "I can't read my notes so I don't remember the correct name of this one." There was this one about two cops--at least I think they were cops--a white drug dealer named Mario and a short Asian man that reinforces the stereotypes that all Asian people know martial arts and white drug dealers with Black names are always pathetic. And you know what? I'm a man who likes his stereotypes. Seriously though, don't let the fact that I can't remember the name of this one fool you. From beginning to end, this one was the complete package. Witty dialogue, top notch acting, great fights and superior editing. Dave vs Jeremiah - Two grown ass dudes not just play fighting, but play play fighting. An entire battle using only imaginary machine guns, light sabers and giant mechs. If you're like me and you still have a box full of legos under your bed and even at 32 you still cry every time Optimus Prime dies, this short is for you. Golden Egg - Kids + Martial Arts + Easter = Holy Sh*t Batman! This one already had me when the little girl and the little boy start making with the fisticuffs. (These kids did more ass kicking in 30 seconds than the last Star Wars flick did in two hours. Yeah, I'm still bitter. F U.) But then you add in a Kung Fu fighting Easter Bunny and a mom who's able to whoop your ass using only her mind and the result is genius. GENIUS I say!!! So rewind selector and play that sh*t again. Space is limited, so unfortunately I can't give a shout out to all the shorts that played, but I will say I not only enjoyed them all, but I thought they were all extremely well made. There's two more 8 PM showings of Dailies: Fight Scene tonight 11/1 and tomorrow 11/2. So if you can make it out, do so. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. For more info check out the Push Push Theater Website: www.pushpushtheater.com

My Eyes, My Eyes!!!!!

Even before I was asked to review films for cinemATL, I've sat through my fair share of independent films. Drama. Action. Comedy. If the story sounded vaguely promising--which isn't often--I'd usually give the movie a chance. Now if you think I'm going to pontificate about contrived plots and one dimensional characters, I'm not. Bad storytelling has been around for centuries. It's nothing new. So nobody should be suprised that thanks to DV, not only has the number of films and filmmakers risen, but the number of crapticular stories has also risen. So, it's not that I'm subjected to even more cliched and recycled crap than before that's distressing me. What's nawing at me is the flat and lifeless look that 95% of all these sub-par flicks have. I know that some of you guys out there can't afford new lens kits. I know for others it's all about location, location, location. You're already working on a $5 budget so you can't have custom built sets with movable walls. Special rigs? Unless you got McGyver crewing on your film, you do what you can. However, just cause you don't have the latest toys, doesn't mean you should give up the good fight. The number one rule of independent filmmaking is you work with what you got. And what you got are actors. And while walls and desks and beds can't be moved, actors can. Of what you're shooting, they're the most mobile and the most versatile set decoration. If you feed them and take good care of them, they'll mostly do what you say. Say move to the left and they'll move to the left. So please, play with staging. Use your actors as framing devices. Try giving your scenes depth by moving your people around. Move them in and out of frame, have them switch places. Just, please, do what you have to to focus the viewer's attention on what's most important in the scene. When it comes to controlling what will appear on screen, really think about what elements the audience must see and what's just extraneous noise. Yes, knowing your characters are in a club is important. Knowing that they're in a bedroom is important. But once you've established that, please cut away the fat. Nothing is more distracting than when some poor actor is doing their best mouthing pages and pages of trite, banal dialogue and they're being upstaged by the stuffed giant pink bunny sitting in the background. In that all important dinner scene, in which Jo Jo is going to leave Mary for Johnny. All those talking heads in background really undermine the scenes power. When actors are drowning in a vast sea of emptiness for no other reason than it never occured to the cameraman, DP or Director to push in for a close up, that's a dramatic buzzkiller. There your actors sit, filling up only 20% of the screen, while the other 80% is being wasted. You know what this means? This means that everything and everyone else in the scene has to work 5 times as hard to make the frame appear full. From the scenes beginning, to the scenes end, your actors have to work 5 times as hard to keep whatever dramatic drive there is to the scene from becoming limp. Otherwise, leaving an audience to their own devices, their eyes will begin to wander and drift. And since you gave them the option of focusing on the actor or a sea of vast nothingness, eventually, the vast nothingness will always win. So please, please, please. It's already difficult enough sitting through some of these films. If you can't make your film's story interesting, at least give me something cool to look at.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Last Goodbye DVD Release Party Tonight! Thursday.

Help celebrate the release of Popfilms DVD on Warner Brothers Home Video this Thursday at Push Push Theatre. Doors open at 9:30. Performances from JETTY, VARIAC and THE GATE OF BERLIN. Beer and wine will be flowing a plenty. POPfilms in association with LAB 601 present LAST GOODBYE DVD Release Party Push Push Theater Thursday, October 27th Doors open at 9:30 $5 Cover lastgoodbyemovie.com pushpushtheatre.com

The Common Denominators screening Oct. 29th - Free

New Visions Film Group will screen their feature film, The Common Denominators, on Saturday October 29th at 2pm. It will be in the lower level auditorium of the Atlanta Fulton Central public library. Free and open to the public. Find out more about the New Visions Film Group and their film at their website: www.nvfg.com

Screening of 'Proud Mary' and Networking event

Cool People Entertainment is excited to announce that their feature film “Proud, Mary” will have its theatrical release on Friday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. Cinefe' theater in Lithonia has agreed to show our film this one night only. Tickets will be at a special event price of $5 and the DVD will be on sale after the showing. In addition to the theatrical premiere, a Networking Event for industry professionals will take place afterwards at the Central Park Club and Bistro (5231 Memorial Drive). There will be food, prizes and fun, along with a valuable opportunity to network and mingle with Atlanta’s most accomplished professionals. Cinefe is located at 2244 Panola Road, Lithonia, GA, 30058. November 4 at 7:00 p.m. Information including the trailer for “Proud, Mary” is available at the film’s website: www.sandramiller.net/proudmary.html For more information: proudmarydvd@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Motorhome Massacre to screen Thursday

Film Screening Tickets are only $6 online and $9 at the door if available. Pre-party starting at 6:30pm at the Righteous Room (next door). PLEASE NOTE: This film contains SEX, NUDITY, VIOLENCE and STRONG LANGUAGE. EVENT INFO October 27th, 2005 7:30pm 1049 Ponce DeLeon Ave, Atlanta, GA 30306 Directions

Welcome to the cinemATL blog

Welcome to "cinemATL: the blog." After failed attempts with "cinemATL: the ride" and "cinemATL: the cereal," we decided to just go with a weblog instead. How does this differ from the rest of the magazine? Well, the blog is a free-form, non-edited diary of sorts. Here, we will be able to continually update you with the latest news and observations about the flim & video scene in Atlanta and the Southeast, even between issues of our magazine. We'll be a little more loose here than with our magazine features -- think of it as our low-carb, in-between meal snack version of cinemATL. So, check us out on a regular basis and get all the latest. OK. Now, time to start work on "cinemATL: the motion picture."