Monday, May 30, 2011

The Bins - Every Minute of the Day

download here:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Music video I made for the song "Don't Go!" off my upcoming EP.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Screenwriting/Film Industry and Education Banter

This is a response I made to a "Hollywood North" podcast that I thought I'd share.

I often stress the importance of taking classes that the student has no or little previous knowledge of. College is the perfect opportunity to make new discoveries, and should be taken advantage of. It makes me cringe when I hear a student has declared their major before they have even begun their first year. College is not necessarily meant for developing a skill, but discovering an interest that can lead to a passion. Furthermore, I believe college should not be geared towards making the student "job-ready", instead college should help a student gain knowledge regardless of the subject and allow them to gain life skills and experience.

Everyone wants to be appreciated and flattered; artists love to deny it, but they have major egos. After all, art is simply a false sense of contributing to human history that will inevitably one day be forgotten. However we cling to the belief that our impact can continue to be felt by future generations. Writers love being behind the scenes and are indeed in search of meaning to their life, but most screenwriters are not obsessed with the fame and the wealth. They are striving for a higher purpose, whether it exists or not.

It's unfortunate studios/producers etc. want to play it safe and not take risks when it's possible the film could be new and perhaps revolutionary. This is something I've really learned recently, and find it often discouraging (contributing to my cynicism towards the movie industry). It's too often films already have an established market whether it's a remake, adaptation, or fits the criteria of something that works again and again (i.e. "torture porn"). I've learned that by evaluating if the film has an established market or not will give you a good idea whether the film will be good or not- this saves time when picking a movie to go see at the theater!

The only job as an entertainer is to be entertaining- to not be boring, to allow people to escape. I think there can be a third reason: to educate someone. Of course you cannot solely be educational, but a successful movie can leave people with a bad feeling in their gut... but they've learned something. However, to be even more effective you can leave the audience with hope and the inspiration to do something good- did I just contradict myself? PS, I watch a lot of documentaries and social/political narratives.

An excellent movie will remove me from analyzing it and allow me to simply enjoy it. My high school lit/film teacher told me to never walk out of a theater, because you can always learn from its the film's mistakes; I've always kept true to this rule. I suppose that if you're not a filmmaker, you might as well walk out since you're probably wasting your time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Must See Movies (You May Not Know)

Need a good movie recommendation? Here's a list of some of my personal favorites in no particular order.

The Apartment, 1960, dir: Billy Wilder, drama
Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette), 1948, dir: Vittorio de Sica, drama
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, 2007, dir: Seth Gordon, documentary
Sin Nombre, 2009, dir: Cary Fukunaga, thriller
Gates of Heaven, 1978, dir: Errol Morris, documentary
Encounters at the End of the World, 2007, dir: Werner Herzog, documentary
Sugar, 2008, dir: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, drama
Requiem for a Heavyweight, 1962, dir: Ralph Nelson, drama
Before Sunrise, 1995, dir: Richard Linklater, drama
Food Inc., 2008, dir: Robert Kenner, documentary
Death to Smoochy, 2002, dir: Danny Devito, comedy
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, 2003, dir: Judy Irving, documentary
Black Christmas, 1974, dir: Bob Clark, horror
Infamy, 2005, dir: Doug Pray, documentary
SLC Punk, 1999, dir: James Merendino, comedy
L'Auberge Espagnole, 2002, dir: Cedric Klapisch, comedy
Blow Up, 1966, dir: Michaelangelo Antonioni, mystery
Blackboard Jungle, 1955, dir: Richard Brooks, drama
Hot Fuzz, 2007, dir: Edgar Wright, action
Better Luck Tomorrow, 2003, dir: Justin Lin, drama
First Ascent, 2006, dir: Peter Mortimer, documentary
Rize, 2005, dir: David LaChapelle, documentary
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, 2002, dir: Chan-wook Park, thriller (don't watch the dubbed version- it's horrible!)
The Cove, 2009, dir: Louis Psihoyos, documentary
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, 2005, dir: Zach Niles, Banker White, documentary