Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween the Movie

Okay, so I'm probably the only person in the Universe who hasn't seen the Halloween movies. But it just so happened that AMC featured a Halloween marathon on TV last week and I finally found out what all the fuss was about. I saw Halloween (1978), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998). For some reason AMC didn't air Halloween II (1981).

This is what I've learned about Michael Myers:

He is indestructible. He is "Superman." He's been shot, stabbed, burned and run over by trucks. He's been in car crashes, fallen off buildings and electrocuted. He will not die! 

I was relieved when Jamie Lee Curtis finally put an end to his rampage of terror by lopping off his head with an axe in Halloween H20. Unless you count Halloween: Resurrection (2002).  See? Indestructible.

Not sure what Halloween III: Season of the Witch had to do with Michael Myers. Didn't seem to fit the continuing saga at all.

On another note: In the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), Charlie (Mike Myers -- strange coincidence) is on the roof of a hotel being pursued by an axe murderer (Amanda Plummer). It's obviously a comic parody of the scene in Halloween 4 where Rachel and Jamie are being pursued by Michael Myers, including the part where Rachel is hanging onto the roof and Michael is standing over her with the knife. The tribute was lost on me before I had seen Halloween 4. Nice surprise discovery.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Learning Curve

What I've learned about making movies since my journey began this summer:

1) Plan everything before the shoot so that there are as few surprises as possible.

2) Scout locations so you can plan your shots and angles. A real time saver!

3) Create a story board. Drawing each scene and creating the sequence of events helps to see how the movie will flow.

4) Make a shot list.

5) Be flexible. Go with the flow and be open to new ideas that might jump out at you during the shoot.

6) Be creative. Look for interesting ways to present visual motifs and create artistic compositions in the shots.

7) Be thoughtful of everyone involved with the project. Their time is important. Especially if they're doing it for free.

8) Be easy to work with, calm and peaceful. It's just a movie. Get over it. Make the project enjoyable for everyone

9) Keep a folder for everything related to the project (shot lists, releases, scripts, notes, budget, etc.)

10) Think visually. As a writer, I have to purposely edit myself on dialog. Tell the story with as few words as possible. Make every word count.

11) Listen to the actors and others on set and consider their ideas for character, scenes, etc. Don't shut them out of the process. Making movies is a collaborative endeavor. Work together to create a masterpiece.

12) Look for inspiration all around you. Be observant. Notice details. People. Places.

13) Take time to learn everything about your editing suite.

14) Tell a great story.

15) Give "Thank You" cards when it's over.

I've also learned that for some reason, all my movies feature some kind of weird, supernatural theme. I haven't figured out why. The jury's still out.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Catching Up with Woody Allen

I've been a Woody Allen fan since I read "Getting Even" in high school.

QUOTE: I was unable to get a date on only six weeks' notice.

I eventually read everything he ever wrote and saw almost every movie he's ever made. I love his style of humor and comedy.

The first Woody Allen movie I ever saw was Play It Again, Sam, which was the subject of a paper I wrote for a film class in college. I analyzed this movie inside and out and got an "A." Yay, me!

Then Annie Hall showed up and I was hooked for life.

My favorites:
Play It Again, Sam
Annie Hall
Manhattan
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Hannah and Her Sisters
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Husbands and Wives
Manhattan Murder Mystery
Bullets Over Broadway
Match Point

Anyhow, my goal is to watch all of Woody Allen's films. I've only missed two, which I plan on watching this week:
1) You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

2) Whatever Works

And I can't wait to see his latest Midnight in Paris which received rave reviews. Sadly, it never played at our local theatres.



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fun with Dick and Jane

One of my favorite Jim Carrey flicks, Fun with Dick and Jane (2005) is hilarious. For a comedy, the cinematography is pretty spectacular. Note the scene in the office building with the men in suits stumbling over the empty water cooler bottles. I never saw the original 1977 version with George Segal and Jane Fonda, but it's on my must-watch list.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Doritos Crash the Super Bowl

Susan talked me into entering the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest. Create a 30-second commercial, win a million bucks and have your commercial aired during the Super Bowl.

Sounds easy enough.

Stay tuned...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Creating One-Person Shows

Yesterday I shot a promotional video for my friend Christi Mitchell, professional actor and friend who will be teaching a workshop about creating a one-person show.

She is amazing!

She will be performing her one-woman show October 13 in Cheyenne, WY at Lights On! (the Hynds Building) 1602 Capitol Ave. 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Her workshop will be held on Saturdays, January 28 through March 10, 2012.

Go to her website for more information:
Christi Mitchell