Friday, October 24, 2014

Interview With Rhonda Vigeant - Home Movie Legacy Project

© Rhonda Vigeant

Rhonda Vigeant is the creator of the Home Movie Legacy Project, and is instrumental in spreading the gospel about converting your home movies to digital format.  We sat down for her podcast, and chatted about my experiences converting my family's home movies, indie filmmaking advice and lessons learned from Hollywood.


Thanks to Rhonda for including me in her story.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#HomeMovies - My First Music Video in 4th Grade

You wanted the best.  You got the best.  The hottest band in the world...TINY KISS.  From my recent #HomeMovies archive transfer at Pro 8mm Film Lab, comes my first music video shot in 4th grade with the benefit of the Kodak Ektasound 130 8mm film camera.

The stick puppets were created by my mom, complete with real human chest hair for Paul Stanley (not really, weirdo).  We were rocking to "Detroit Rock City."  And, seriously, who doesn't rock to DRC?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Make Your Short Film Now - The #FilmmakerChallenge

If you're a filmmaker, pay attention.  The 2015 Sundance Film Festival short film entry deadline is one week away (Aug 25th, 2014 - $60).  That means you have seven days to come up with an idea, then shoot, edit and submit it.  You don't need permits or a crew or a wealthy uncle to fund your film.  What you need is a brilliant idea.  That's the easy part since you're a cinema genius.  Now for the hard part: tools.  Since necessity is the mother of invention, use your boundless creativity to shoot on your iPhone, or borrow a friend's GoPro camera.  Shoot Super 8mm film.  Go fully digital and animate in a computer.  Use available light and sound.  Friends and relatives suddenly become actors.  Make your movie, and story is everything.

I give you permission to safely shoot in your living room at night, after work, because true cinema never sleeps.  Just you and your genius subject idea.  You may also edit on your laptop during your lunch break because true cinema doesn't eat like the normals.  Do whatever it takes, but...

Tell your story.

The excuses are already building in your mind.  "I don't have time.  I missed the deadline already.  'Game of Thrones' is on my Apple TV."  These are work barriers you create in your mind from fear.   Fear, that prevents you from making the great American 8-minute short film.  That #shortfilm is getting in, kid.  You're gonna do it!  You're gonna crack that 00.002% that gets accepted.  You might even be discovered by Hollywood at America's best film festival.  It happens every year.

I exaggerate to make my point.  But not so much that I can't mention the story of filmmakers Mark & Jay Duplass.  I attended a Sundance Film Festival "Artist At The Table" event, where Mark and Jay gave the intro speech (FYI: I bought a ticket).  They told the story of making their lo-fi, second short film "This Is John." With days remaining until the Sundance deadline, they decided to improvise their film with the materials available to them.  The Duplass brothers filmed in their apartment in less than 1 day for the cost of a $3 DV tape, posted on their home system and submitted to Sundance 2003.

"This is John" got accepted, and the rest is, well, you know.

Good luck, filmmakers.  Don't be boring.  I challenge you to make a film and submit.  Let me know how it goes (#filmmakerchallenge).

Here's Mark Duplass talking about investing $3 into his career, and staying indie until it was time to move up to studio filmmaking.  ***MUST WATCH VIDEO FOR ANY FILMMAKER***

Here's Mark's Guide To Sundance Success (from Buzzfeed).

Here's Film Independent's Guide To Sundance Successful Submissions.

#FilmmakerChallenge is for positive, creative change.  It is not affiliated with any film festival or organization in any way.  It is an open tag for the stimulation of creative thought, with the hope of furthering better cinema.

Here's a reminder from Forest Whitaker, Mike Figgis, Salma Hayek and yours truly to MAKE YOUR MOVIE.

2015 Sundance Film Festival
Official Shorts Deadline: $60 entry - August 25th, 2014 (arrival date)
LATE Shorts Deadline: $80 entry - September 15th, 2014 (arrival date)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kodak 8mm Home Movies: A Short Film

"Dracula Vs The Wolfman" - This horror short film from 1973, shows the eternal conflict between the lawful evil dark lord "Dracul" and his chaotic evil nemeses "The Wolfman."  Shot on 8mm Kodak film, it was thought lost forever, until a print miraculously appeared in a condemned Chilean insane asylum (screening was confirmed by a 1974 "Cray-Cray Bingo Night" pamphlet).  Unfortunately, the young female was devoured during the making of the film.

The film is directed by Patricia Boyd, and stars Tre Hellman as "Dracul," and the first on-screen, magnetic appearance of James Boyd as "The Wolfman."  A five-year old Boyd was rumored to have stayed in character, even as the cameras stopped rolling from production.  Boyd was later seen in THE ROAD WARRIOR, and had a scene cut from THE LOST BOYS.
Photo: Robert Stenger

< Director James Boyd reminiscing on the power of Kodak Super 8mm home movies.  Organic, man.

< Discussing 8mm home movies as our link to the past, and they're slowly dissolving in attics and garages all across our country.  Help preserve this amazing art form by transferring your home movies to digital.  But, be prepared for what you might find.

Rhonda Vigeant, "Home Movie Legacy Project"

< Rhonda Vigeant, creator of the "Home Movie Legacy Project" at Pro 8mm film lab in Burbank, CA.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Short Film: Super Secret Untitled James Boyd Kodak 8mm Home Movie Project

< Sliding with the Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly and the Canon C100 on a home movie project.

< 8mmmmmm goodness.  These are my family's memories and Kodak moments from 1958-1982.

And then the video camera arrived...but that's a story for another day (UPDATE: See below).

Welcome back, Kodak!  On this day (July 31st, 2014), Kodak decided to just keep making film.  Now we can all be "filmmakers" again.  Thanks, Kodak (and the very powerful filmmakers who made it so).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The 6161 Studio-cam Is Now Live

If you've ever wanted to see how post-production works in an indie film studio, or you're a Dropcam person who's into a show about nothing, then the "6161 Igloo" studio cam is for you.  I'll be Tweeting out LIVE show times of when I'm in the studio, editing away on my documentary "QUAD: The Movie" through 2014. Bring some pah'kern. Special guest stars planned, and wild, weird events LIVE on camera.

You will need a free Dropcam account to view the feed.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

#QUADthemovie Buzzes The Aerial Cine Conference at AbelCine Burbank

So #QUADthemovie got the opportunity to head on down to AbelCine in Burbank to witness their aerial cinematography conference.  This was an awesome spectacle of serious camera people and their passion for flying the box.

On display were Hollywood-style drones that can hoist high-end professional cameras.  Safety and education were themes stressed all day long by the conference speakers, like Rich Hanson from the AMA, Lucien Miller from Innov8tive Designs, San Diego-based Aerial Mob and Charles Eide from the FlySafe training program.

Special thanks to Robert Rodriguez, Andy Shipsides and the AbelCine team for hosting us, and putting on such a kick ass conference for aerial cinematography.  I met some very passionate people at this event, and #QUADthemovie is very honored to be working with some great pilots and hobbyists.

< At the aerial cine conference, shooting with Canon C100 with Atomos Ninja 2 external recorder for uncompressed ProRes HQ files.  Our lenses were 14mm, 24-70mm f/2.8L and 70-200m f/2.8L.  Audio was direct to dailies through the C100 via a Rode Lav on channel 1, and a Sennheiser MK-416 shotgun boom mic on channel 2.  We used my Philip Bloom pocket dolly for some cool b-roll on the drone floor.

We shot B-cam on an iPhone 5s for BTS stills, and any quick b-roll video pickups.  We had a rock solid 5DMK3 DSLR on site as a back-up to A cam.

< #QUADthemovie be book leernin'.

Keep on quadding in the free world.


< Aerial Cine leader Robert Rodriguez announced the formation of the Society of Aerial Cinematographers.  Safe flying standards for commercial artists are a must.

Photo: Alex Meza

< Conferring over the c100 and Atomos gear.

Photo: Alex Meza
Photo: Alex Meza

Photo: Alex Meza

< Drones aplenty at the Aerial Cine event.  The passion of the pilots and industry attendees convinced me that the #QUADthemovie documentary was in good hands.

< Test 1-2.  Sipowitz.  Sipowitz...

< Going handheld in the sponsor area.