I directed this new music video for Andrew M. Edwards' new song Starfield Tectonics.
'Change the Subject' is a documentary about working to change how libraries label immigrants. Here's a trailer (and a second trailer). In 2014 a Dartmouth College student researching undocumented students in the U.S. repeatedly encountered the term “Illegal aliens” as a subject heading in the library catalog. Dismayed by this use of biased language she worked with CoFIRED (a student run undocumented immigrant rights group at Dartmouth) and rallied college librarians, and ultimately librarians across the United States, to challenge how the Library of Congress categorizes books and other materials about undocumented people. This 55 minute film features interviews with students, faculty, librarians and congressional representatives involved in this instance of campus activism that entered the national spotlight (NYT link). As of this posting, the Library of Congress has yet to 'Change the Subject' and 'Illegal aliens' remains the authorized cataloging term for issues related to undocumented immigrants. [more inside]
I contributed an article to the new issue of queer film journal Dirty Looks on Portia Manson/Gene Barnes, who produced six issues of the erotic queer zine Hippie Dick! in the early 90s, made experimental films like Mercury Rising, and died at the age of 31 in 1995 from AIDS-related meningitis. He was the subject of the tribute song R.I.P. by Bikini Kill. (Gene had attended Evergreen College at the time of the nascence of the riot grrrl movement.) [more inside]
Sarasota Half in Dream is a feature-length Surrealist documentary about dead turtles, crab swarms, decaying resorts, and microscopic histories. Streaming online for free. [more inside]
My pals at the University of Toronto Media Commons and I mapped out all the films and TV shows set (not just filmed) in Toronto to highlight their amazing lending and archival collections.
Lewton Bus, the little film criticism site that could, just devoted the month of August to the Western. [more inside]
An abstract film that starts out soothing and ends in Lisa Frank madness. [more inside]
I finally got around to making a portfolio site of my color and black & white film photography, mostly around Brooklyn.
We just released our 5-minute-documentary about Frank Lukas who collected heaps of memories while getting to the very top in the BMX world today. Now we are telling his story in association with Carhartt. What makes the film special is the mixture of old analogue clips, high quality shots, projections and animations which is pretty unusual for a bike film. It is not just about BMX. It is about a man who followed his dream although there was only a really small chance of succeeding. It is about working one’s way up and not giving up despite all struggles.
A daily list of news and views you can use. [more inside]
"Come With Me" is a new opera written, composed, and filmed by me, and sung by me and a few friends (we're all professional singers) . The opera is micro in scale, at just over 12 minutes, but is packed with full-sized drama, passion, and singing. The concept behind composing and filming "Come With Me" to post on YouTube is to present opera in the same way as other contemporary music - short, sweet, and directly to your phone or computer. [more inside]
A quick round up of stuff I’ve written, drawn or said out loud this year that exists in an easy to see on the Internet form for both myself and something to show to editors and art directors. [more inside]
I wrote, narrated, scored, and illustrated (with pencil, micron pen, and watercolor) a short film about Plants: this one on the topic of air layering.
I'm a film photographer based in NYC and I finally bit the bullet, scanned a load of negatives, bought a URL + hosting, and put up a website. Mostly black and white (some color), mostly medium format (some 4x5 large format or 35mm), in a couple different genres. There's some moody street work, a fun hot sauce expo, NYC Pride 2016, and much more for your delectation. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!
Connor's cell phone comes to life and accidentally breaks up his relationship with his girlfriend. It must then do everything a 'smart' phone can to get them back together. [more inside]
A podcast and blog looking at the good, the bad, and the WTF of western movies, country songs, and that sort of thing. [more inside]
To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the collaborative Living Shakespeare project presents essays on Shakespeare's works by prominent global figures, accompanied by short films featuring the writers co-produced by BBC World TV. [more inside]
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.