Last year, Oscar Sharp and I made the short-film Sunspring in just two days for the Sci-Fi-London 48 Hour Film Contest. It was (so far as we know) the first film created from a computer-generated screenplay [1,2,3,4]. This year, Oscar and I followed up on Sunspring with a new short film created for the same contest: It's No Game, starring David Hasselhoff. See the accompanying article in Ars Technica for more details. (Rather than generating the screenplay in its entirety, this time we used our neural nets as augmentative writing tools to generate short snippets of dialogue in various styles. )
Front page of Animation World Network! Check out my recent article on four recent animated features.
Not All Animators Yearn to Direct Big Studio Films: Small budget auteur-driven animated feature films offer inspiring and compelling stories rarely found at the local multiplex.
I have finished my first project using the multi-plane animation stand I built this Fall. The trailer for the short film Ginevra is now online. Based on Percy Shelley's poem "The Dirge", Ginevra depicts the aftermath of the murder of a young woman. As her distraught mother looks on, she learns that life after death involves a transition she never could have imagined. [more inside]
A film criticism and review site I recently launched with a number of my film nerd buddies. [more inside]
The Optical is a podcast revisiting the history of VFX films and technology, often through the lens of Cinefex magazine. In late 2013, I started a blog to go with an idea that I had for a podcast, to (re)read all of the print issues of Cinefex magazine in my collection, and revisit older VFX movies from the heyday of practical effects. The podcast started in January 2014, and so far, we've released 24 episodes. During that time, I've had the pleasure of interviewing great minds like Douglas Trumbull, Harrison Ellenshaw and John Van Vliet, and Howie Weed. I'm kinda proud that we've made it this far.
I made a short video about a woman in Vermont who does copper plate etching. [more inside]
The studio heads of Classic Hollywood ranks by how awful they where as people.
A friend came up with the idea and I spent a day and a half pulling it off. I think it's both funny and terrifying. Enjoy this little video project.
"You better watch out. Better not cry, sucker. Because this month we’re taking a look at seven examples of cinematic revenge — the bloodier, the better." A series of revenge movie reviews to help you celebrate the Holidays. [more inside]
Into The Fire (youtube - vimeo) is a short stop motion film about death and what comes after, made this weekend as part of the 2015 Colchester Film Festival 60 Hour Film Challenge.
What do an autoline fisherman in Iceland, a robot maker in Korea, a costume designer in Brazil, an intern in Egypt and an aspiring professional gamer in the US by way of Canada have in common? They are the five players, from a monthly user-base of 70 million, featured in Live/Play - a 38 minute documentary film I directed and edited about League of Legends players around the globe. In the interest of full disclosure, yes, this film was funded by Riot Games but I got the thumbs up to post it here.
After Last Season exists in the subconscious of the internet mostly as “that trailer with the cardboard MRI machine.” Even among the most diehard fans of weird cinema, it is something that may have made a momentary blip on their radar if they have even heard of it at all. [more inside]
For the last few months (and probably for many months more) I've been using vine to make short videos of various entrancing bits from old Doctor Who episodes - including memorable quotes, incredible music, dramatic entrances, utterly terrifying monsters, mystifying machinery, general weirdness, repeated exhortations to obey, charming old computer graphics, horrifying mutations, fist fights, and the just plain odd. And about 200 more. [more inside]
My pal Ian and I discuss a different action movie every week. We talk about action movie tropes, montages, action scenes, and generally look at the structure and conventions of American action films. [more inside]
An interactive map pinpointing the locations of everywhere in NYC that a movie was filmed, 2011 - 2013.
I'm working my way through every single film made about Irish-American mobsters, gangsters, bootleggers, run-runners, and general thugs, offering commentary on the films, and comparing them with the actually history of Irish-American gangsterism.
For the past few months I've been blogging my year in romantic comedy. [more inside]
@eventuallybot is a Twitter bot that generates short films in GIF format, sourced from shreds of random YouTube clips. The films all tell stories, but sometimes the stories don't make a lot of sense. [more inside]
I recently moved to Seattle, and so I decided to use the move as an excuse to redesign my personal photography website. I would love to hear comment, critique and constructive criticism about my photography or the website. I am hoping to use it to both get my photography projects out there and pick up freelance work in my new home city. I have done quite a bit of freelance work back home, but this is very much a new market for me. Thanks!
I produced a new movie called THE GUEST. It comes out this week in theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, and San Antonio. The film is currently at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and played at Sundance, SXSW, and the Toronto International Film Festival. It's by the same writing/directing/producing team as YOU'RE NEXT. You can see the trailer and theater listings on our official site. [more inside]
A lost girl approaches a shop keeper. This film was shot in 24 hours for no budget and I'm really proud of how it turned out. Please watch and share!
Can Joey explain the Marvel Cinematic Universe to his sister Cassie, who only has eyes for Rocket Raccoon? Click to find out!
I've been looking for a good place for deeper discussion of great films and TV shows. I saw this thread in AskMeFi and checked out the criterion forum, but found it lacking. So I created my own film and TV discussion forum. Please feel free to join and add to the (currently non-existent) conversation. Tell all your film geek friends too. Thanks. :)
This is an international crowd-sourced dance-film project put together over the web. I got 50 filmmakers on all seven continents (including Antarctica) to each shoot two seconds of dance by choreographer Bebe Miller. There was a manual on my website that trained the filmmakers in how to learn their 4-count phrase assignment and how to frame the performer they would find on the street. Each person then sent their footage back to me for editing. I explain it more in this HuffPo blog.
A few months ago I took part in an animation marathon as part of the Fete de L’Anim in Lille and Tourcoing. Myself and two classmates from St Joost created 10 seconds of animation in two days. It was super fun and you can watch our segment here, and the whole compilation here. Our little clip and its companions are playing at this year’s Annecy Off, an alternative festival in Annecy dedicated to young filmmakers.
"Surviving a suprise sex party with your soul intact is tough. Welcome to the Black And White midnight party." - This is a nail-biting, brand new, Australian short that's just been released. ‘Black And White’ is a dark morality tale about a man that finds himself stuck at a sex party in the middle of nowhere. It’s about the horror of moral collapse and how we act when no one is watching. It's one of the most intense clips you'll watch all year.
"In the near future social networking has moved out of the virtual world and into the physical. A confronting portrait of a world we may soon know too well. Welcome to the evolution." Winner of the Jury Prize Best Sci-Fi Short Maelstrom IFF 2011 - Winner Best Screenplay Dark Carnival Indiana IFF 2011 - Official Selection 14 International Festivals including Fantasia Montreal, Bermuda IFF, London Lift Off 2012, Chashama New York, - Eng - 19mins - Director: Richard Williamson- Online Release May 6th 2014. Hope you like it.
I made a video putting together the Hannibal Lecter scene from Manhunter (1986) and the remake Red Dragon (2006) as a way to compare direction and performance for a scene that is nearly identical in both movies.
I was perturbed by the rising xenophobia (or at least, anti-immigrant sentiment) in my city-state of Singapore. I decide to start a series of events celebrating the food and art of our many communities. The idea is to put people who wouldn't typically find themselves in the same room, much less at the same dinner table, in the same place and feed them great food. In the first instalment, we had Bangladeshis and South Indians, mostly construction workers, come to have biryani with Singaporeans and white collar residents/expats. In the second, we had walking tours of Little Myanmar, showcased all of the culinary highlights of the country, and also showed a great little film from indie Myanmar filmmakers. Of course it's debatable really how much of an impact this can really have on policy, but my hope is that we can at least start conversations and friendships.
A semi-comprehensive listing of all the upcoming analog film screenings in the Chicago area, big and small. [more inside]
I produced a horror movie called YOU'RE NEXT. It comes out this weekend in the US, and in the rest of the world over the next few weeks. Critics even like it, which is pretty rare for a horror film these days. So if you like horror movies, go see it. If you don't like horror movies, go see it anyway and help support MeFi's own me.
Transwoman writes screenplay! Invites others to do what they will with it! Film at some point in the future! [more inside]
Exploring strange byways of horror with author Max Sparber. I look at horror-themed art, cult films that never really found their cult audience, disquieting comics, and write two-sentence horror stories, along with a amiscellany of other oddities from the world of horror.
My misguided, confident cartoon character is back with some invaluable advice for the romantic traveler... in his trademark, confident style seemingly informed by the infinite wisdom of men's magazines. [more inside]
The Coen Brothers' "handsome movie about men in hats" was filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1989. Twenty years later I visited as many of the exterior filming location as I could find and photographed them in their current state. [more inside]
A list of exhibitors who intentionally show films on film (35mm, 16mm, whathaveyou) to the public — cinemas, festivals, museums, and itinerant groups. It started out as a news digest looking at (1) cinemas that are switching to digital technology and (2) cinemas that are choosing to preserve analog film exhibition in some form, but I kept finding so many interesting little pro-analog cinema projects that I had to make a list of them. [more inside]
Chris Peters is a classically trained artist based in Los Angeles, with numerous collectors in the music and film industries. To complement his recent exhibition of new paintings at Paul Booth's Last Rites Gallery in New York City, Mr. Peters created this short experimental film "The Soul Never Sleeps". It was designed to evoke the same mood and atmosphere as the other 12 pieces, acting as the exhibition's "13th Painting." The original score was composed for the film by Michael Hebert, an Emmy award winner whose music can be heard in feature films, television and national broadcast commercials. [more inside]
Absurdist science fictional takes on such illustrious ephemeral film genres as the Nature Documentary, the Anti-Drug Film, the Pseudo-Educational Advertising Film, and the Ethical Afterschool Special, using a mixture of found and original footage.
A 5 minute scifi film. Two cops jump back in time to investigate a cold case. [more inside]
I recently published my short story collection American Death Songs. "Midnight Rider," starring Ryan Hurst (Opie from Sons of Anarchy), is a filmed monologue of the collection's opening short story, the tale of a stoned man being chased by the cops when he lets the radio decide his fate. It's a funny, sad, weird ride. Directed by Nina Corrado, music by Blake Neely.
About a year and a half ago I started writing haiku-ish film reviews for movies I'd seen. I'm up to 90 or so now.
A freezing cat seeks the warmth of a woman, but ends up having to rely on city infrastructure. Along the way, there's a bit of Gangnam Style, a hot-tub scene of sorts, and a very brief bedroom dalliance. [more inside]
in 2010 I (along with many others) were interviewed for a documentary on the formation of the world-wide life-drawing cabaret show I helped found. After two years on the festival circuit, it is now available for all and sundry on Vimeo. Interviews with Akynos, Gal Friday, Amber Ray, Molly Crabappple, and more. NSFWish video and audio. Directed by Peter Bolte (14 min)
Spotmaps is an on-going project to map the colour footprints of different films. The website was designed to show off the completed image library. [more inside]
I finished an animated comedy short this summer, about a lovesick cat, which I am now turning into a YouTube series. Franklin the Ladies' Cat combines animation with live action, and episode 1 is up! Hope you'll help me spread the word if you like it. [more inside]
Rotten Tomatoes scores can be very helpful when trying to figure out what movie to watch, but I find their website to be incredibly slow and frustrating to navigate. Since Rotten Tomatoes has an API, I decided to make Quick Rotten as a way to quickly look up Rotten Tomatoes scores and get a sense of what critics think of new releases. My friend John Holdun then chipped in to make it look pretty.
A short spoof of Escape From New York, created for the Fantastic Fest 2012 Bumper Contest.
I have over 24,000 16mm educational films from the 1920s thru 1980s and have been sharing them at avgeeks.com (previously). But I still have a ton of films no one else has made available online in good quality, if at all. So every day during the month of August, I'm digitizing and uploading public domain 16mm films that anyone can watch, download and/or repurpose for their own projects, free of charge. They're being collected at av-geeks.tumblr.com, and include The Potheads, a bizarre amateur anti-drug film from 1968, a 1958 interview with Ansel Adams about his craft, sexy industrial porn, Any Boy USA, in which Mr. Whiskey explains the perils of the big city to our hero, and lots more. I'm uploading at least 3 new films a day; the goal is to get to 100 miles (240 hours) of film by the end of the summer.
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