Sucking away valuable moments of your life ...

Starter Pro Cine Rig on a Budget

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Whereas it it true that gear matters much less than a good eye and a good set of camera skills, a decent rig can help that good eye translate into great output. People spend thousands of dollars on their starter rigs – but a great professional rig can be had for under $1500 if you have a few decent photography lenses laying around. It also includes a great audio capture solution.

Post-Mortem: 2015 Boston 48 Hour Film Project

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For the second time, my 48 Hour Film Project team, Shoot the Moon Films, decided to enter the Boston 48 Hour Film Project for the 2015 event – along with 89 other teams. What follows is my record of both the timetable/process we used and a post-mortem analysis of the flaws and potential improvements in our processes in creating “Acceptance”.

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers: Interweaving Epistemological Layers and Being Other People

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Peter Sellers was an enigmatic enigma – at least, if we are to believe the 2004 biopic The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. This film combines a fascinating biographical picture of Peter Sellers the man with the relatively unused technique of sliding effortlessly between not only epistemological layers, but also expository styles and even points of view. Peter Sellers effectively retcons his life.

Bamboozled: Narration and Racial Power Struggles Through Camerawork

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Spike Lee’s 2000 film Bamboozled was seen by many (including the late Roger Ebert) as being too shocking to effectively convey the social message it had wrapped in its unusual satirical bent, steeped heavily in elements of Lumet’s Network. I’d like to examine some of the more subtle camera angles, movement, and composition to dig deeper into the way Bamboozled tells its story.

Deconstructing Harry: Discontinuous Editing as a Narrative Tool

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“All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it.” - Harry Block

Although film scholars tend to focus mainly on Woody Allen’s early body of work, especially films like Annie Hall, many of his later works can teach us an impressive amount about the subtle craft of creating a film. Deconstructing Harry, made twenty years after Annie Hall, can teach us about the power of discontinuous editing to further a narrative.

Unbreakable: Isolated in Plain View

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“Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world, to not know why you’re here.” - Elijah Price

How do you isolate a character in a crowd of people? How do you film an entire train scene with only three actors? M. Night Shyamalan managed to pull this off in his second collaboration with Bruce Willis, the superhero / drama film Unbreakable.

If you haven’t watched the film yet, this is your warning that THERE BE SPOILERS HERE.

Smoke: The Art of the Long Take

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“I’ll tell you what – Buy me lunch, my friend, and I’ll tell you the best Christmas story you ever heard. How’s that? And I guarantee, every word if it is true.” - Auggie

Smoke is Wayne Wang and Paul Aster’s first collaboration on a serendipitous independent film, to be followed up by the less-successful Blue in the Face. I’d like to examine an extremely long take in the third act of the film, and the way it helps tell the film’s story.