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New teaser for The Deadline

Tony Zhou on stealing from other (older) filmmakers

Tony Zhou on stealing from other (older) filmmakers, via Kottke:

My advice to people has always been: copy old shit. For instance, the style of Every Frame a Painting is NOT original at all. I am blatantly ripping off two sources: the editing style of F for Fake, and the critical work of David Bordwell/Kristin Thompson, who wrote the introductory text on filmmaking called Film Art. I’ve run into quite a few video essays that are trying to be “like Every Frame a Painting” and I always tell people, please don’t do that because I’m ripping of someone else. You should go to the source. When any art form or medium becomes primarily about people imitating the dominant form, we get stifling art.

If you look at all of the great filmmakers, they’re all ripping someone off but it was someone 50 years ago. It rejuvenated the field to be reminded of the history of our medium. And I sincerely wish more video essayists would rip off the other great film essayists: Chris Marker, Godard, Agnès Varda, Thom Andersen. Or even rip off non-video essayists. I would kill to see someone make video essays the way Pauline Kael wrote criticism. That would be my jam!

Agreed.

New logo for Objay Dart Films

My friend and co-worker Cynthia Myung designed a logo for my production company, Objay Dart Films. Pretty cool:

 

objaydart_logo_black-_makingbackgroundbigger-_600

Burglars

There’s something in the kitchen, you wake up in the middle of the night, you hear something stirring, in your kitchen you see five burglars, uninvited guests, how they got in you don’t know, through the window, through the door, through the basement you don’t know. One of them comes swinging wildly at you, so you better deal with that one first.

— Herzog on writing, from his Masterclass

An Email Chain Between 4 People Depicted in Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”

from: David Tompkins
to: Paul Dimaggio, JOHN, eweber
date: Sun, Oct 25, 2015 at 9:04 AM
subject: Piano Man

 

Dear Friends,

I found your email addresses on your web sites. We have not spoken in a long time but I heard a song on the radio last night and I believe you fill find it interesting. The song is “Piano Man”.

Do you remember the gentleman who played the piano and sang at the Executive Room in Los Angeles in the 70s? Well it turns out that the lounge singer Billy Martin (he now goes by the name of “Billy Joel”) wrote a song about us.

I read the lyrics and Read More

Playing around with my new Blackmagic cinema camera

I shot some test footage with my new camera, a Blackmagic cinema camera. Just playing around with stuff to see how it works and learn DaVinci Resolve. Despite my shaky handheld and focus issues (my issues, not the lens), I think it makes some really beautiful images.

How to Make a Short Film with SAG Actors (and not kill yourself)

This post is based on my personal experience dealing with SAG-AFTRA’s Chicago local. Most of the information I got from attending a seminar for producers, run by Kathy Byrne, Director of TV/Theatrical here in Chicago, and from actually going through the process while making The Deadline.

This is meant to be a primer for working with SAG under the Short Film Agreement to address the most common questions that come up and demystify the process.

It’s not a complete explanation of every detail of the contract1 Read the contract before you sign it!

Disclaimer: Some of this information may have changed since last year and while I tried my best to get everything right, I may have misunderstood some things. This is not legal advice and is meant to give you an overview and a basic understanding of how things work. Consult your SAG-AFTRA local for questions and guidance.

Read More


  1. For example, I’m not going to talk about how you’re not allowed to require an actor to be completely nude at an audition and that you must permit them to wear pasties or a G-string. 

New short

I made this in my spare time between projects. I’m in post-production for two more involved shorts and it’s tough being in the doldrums for months without shooting anything, so this was a fun little project.

Kiarostami interview

He passed away earlier this week.

Here’s an interview with some of this thoughts on filmmaking. I admire him and his work a great deal, but don’t agree with everything he says:

The cardinal sin is dullness

There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.

Frank Capra

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