Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nick & Susan

Here's our three minute film:

Nick & Susan

Feel free to leave comments and give a rating.
Again thanks to everyone who helped out!

Monday, October 15, 2007


Thanks everyone!

Although our efforts were in vain, working with you all was exciting and a privelage that no award from any big name company could ever award.About a week or two ago my roommate sent me an e-mail regarding an Apple sponsored contest called the 24 hour insomnia film festival. The idea was intriguing enough...24 hours to write-shoot-edit-post a 3 minute film using 3 of 10 prompts that are given to you at 9a.m. eastern time. The winning teams would be picked by the public for one prize package and by a panel of judges containing renowned directors and other such "pros". The prizes themselves were 5 apple mac book pros with a myriad of apps for editing and such.

Well Adam and I got a team together and started off. The team consisted of 5 people -

Gunnar Jebsen
David Aragoni
Jordon Hoeft

Since Gunnar is a graduate he couldn't technically be in the festival so we just credited him as our sound guy in the credits and had Adam's GF Erin (whom was basically already a team member with all the work she had put in) register herself in lieu of Gunnar.

We've spent the past week planning and getting everything together from elaborating on an idea of Adam's to pooling equipment and people. At the film building here at Columbia there was a flyer offering the rental of a Panasonic HVX...very nice camera to say the least. Our five man team was all thumbs up for renting the Camera despite the $200 a day fee. I called the liaison's name which was printed on the flyer and told him of our interest.

Now we couldn't do much until the festival started even in regards to writing but we decided to go ahead and write up a loose idea of an idea that Adam had wanted to film for and decided we could just amend it when we got the prompts so that it could cater to the requirements.

Friday came around and it was time to get the HVX. I called the liaison Jamieson again and told him we were ready to pick it up...then he mentioned he didn't feel like lending it to us since he realized we were rather inexperienced...his advice was to hire him to come along with us and watch the camera for an extra 50 to which I said...NO! thus began the problems. Although we didn't have an HVX we had an old mini DV cam that Adam owned and we decided that for our purposes it was all we needed anyway.

Saturday came and we all woke at the crack of dawn. Breakfast was served - cinnamon swirls - and the prompts were received. the prompts were as follows:

Location: Park Bench

Prop: Bird Cage

Character Name: Robin Darjeeling

Background Sound: Radio Static *

Costume: Tuxedo

Camera Angle: Dutch Angle *

Narrative Device: Dream Sequence

Editing Technique: Match Cut *

Dialogue: “Don’t tempt me.”

Makeup: Old Person

* We chose these

The dutch angle was easy since at the end of our film there is a part where the girl stands the guy up and also because it is one of my favorite filmic techniques.

The match cut was simple enough since it's such a standard editing technique.

and the radio static was all too perfect since what we had written even before we got the prompts was for there to be a split screen of two radios in the first and last shots.

Filming started at 10a.m. and ended near 7p.m. -

we rode the el to Gunnar's house where I edited the video and Gunnar mixed the sound and did some Foley sound.

from 8p.m. to 5 A.M the next morning we confined ourselves to Gunnar's studio except for two leg stretching breaks one of which consisted of a trip to El Taco Loco. there were a few scary points throughout the night that made for locked muscles and shouts of profanity. Earlt on in the video editing I lost all of my work when the power on Adam's Mac Book went out...someone had kicked the power cable out and I had forgotten to save. I was only about halfway through though and I was quick about getting everything back to where it was. Gunnar's sound mixing had also provided some mini heart attacks since after we loaded all the video onto Adam's external hard drive we realized Gunnar's computer had no firewire port so transferring the audio to him was mired by this. Thanks to Gunnar's 2 gig lexar thumb drive that problem was a non-problem. Then when he began mixing another problem occurred when all the drivers on his audio mixing program uninstalled themselves. Restart -reinstall - fixed -OKAY! once 5 a.m. rolled around it was time to upload!

.error - file too large
.reloading........ :I
.recompress resubmit
.recompress resubmit
.recompress resubmit
8a.m..................... shit.

Apparently Apple hate us. The file was supposed to be 15 mb and we had compressed our film down to about 2 mb...looked like shit but even so despite our accommodation the site kept telling us that the file was too large. We felt so good about our film and to have worked for so long to have it never shown just outright stinks. Many screams and clenched fists waved at the air as if Apple was some deity this morning here in sleepy Chicago. I was the loudest and most vicious of them.

Thank goodness we didn't end up renting that $200 HVX...that woulda sucked.

On the bright side we have this real cool little film. :-)

I'll post it up here in the next day or two...for now I'm going to bed. Maybe I'll get back on a regular sleep schedule tomorrow...

Till then here's some pics to hold ya over:

Erin's amazing set design work

We had an issue figuring out how we could match the dialogue we recorded earlier of Jordon (Nick) talking to Kim (Susan)
Gunnar came up with an instant solution - the sound genius that he is

Just inert earbuds here

Viola! The new Iphone. we made an audio file of Jordon's dialogue loaded it to an Ipod and just played it to her. Quite the technical feat.

Gunnar was pretty impressed with himself.. as was I


...we're not stressed... :/



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited

Spooky...absolutely spooky!

I won some tickets in a raffle to see Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited advance screening this previous weekend and tonight me and my collegiate friends went to go see it. I won't give away any plot since I'm sure you're all going to see it...you should. It was funny and it struck a very personal chord within me. For those of you who don't know the premise of the film it follows the story of the three Whitman brothers who set out to reunite on a spiritual journey through India via the Darjeeling LMT, a train line. The movie was artfully shot and although Wes did a spectacular job of orchestrating the mise en sc
รจne it's really hard to go wrong shooting in the beautiful countryside of India. The Whitman brothers played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman are met as they resurrect their relationship after a 1 year hiatus since the death of their father and this sets the scene for sibling feuds, absolutely hilarious bloopers, and moments of monumental camaraderie.

One theme that follows through to the end of the movie is the importance of family. Despite time and space family is always family. Sometimes life leads family apart but to keep those ties is an inherent goal and to some is worth traveling across India and risking your life for.

The spooky part comes where I could absolutely relate with the brothers, minus the whole traveling across India thing. My father is quite alive, thankfully, but my father's father died in April of 2007 after fighting cancer. Since his funeral there hasn't been a large scale family reunion. I don't want to say our family has grown apart but I feel that since our loss there hasn't been a moment for us to all sit around a table and have our own spiritual adventure. I love all my family tremendously and I used to look forward to having large get togethers and Grandma and Grandpa's house. Grandpa was always the center and seemed to hold us together. I lie in saying that I haven't seen family since his death because I have but those reunions filled with endless platters of food, hearty laughs, and games of backyard baseball where all the balls would innevitably end up in the neighbors yard are so long passed. I feel I have lost touch with some family and would absolutely love to just catch up. Mrs. Whitman put it best...I forget word by word what she said but something along the lines of maybe we should try not talking and just show how we feel. I feel my family needs to stop using words and just be. Just share being. Sitting together eating together and best of all laughing together. Grandpa would want that. thoughts lead to words and words are the worst means of communication.

I'm done. I feel really good being so moved by a film. It has been a long time since that has happened to me.

Aside from the D.L. I've had an altogether spectacular time here in the windy city. I went to a tea party where I won the advance screening tickets, movie poster, and other assorted D.L. merchandise and then I had two cookouts. I LOVE COOKOUTS! I promised you some pictures ma so here they are...wish you could be here to share in the festivities!

Me with my buddy Roman Coppola son of Francis Ford Coppola and producer/co-writer for D.L.
This was from the previous previous weekend at the screening of part one of D.L.
Hotel Chevalier
After the clip there was a Q&A, very interesting to say the least.

we were there starting the line at 4

stoop sitting till 6

Adam and Erin

watching the sitarist

The Sitarist

First one in the door and the holder of the winning raffle ticket shown here

me burning myself

Sipping on Darjeeling

Joe Griffin + fire - fear = good

We are go for cook

Adam surveying the damage

Shopping for consumables


Monday, October 01, 2007


http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/eae26bb96d - Watch this