The Golden Age of Television is back, in movie form.
God I love this short:
It’s like when people say “shorts should really be under 15 minutes, unless…”
This is the unless.
The cut back to the guys struggling with the mannequin is magic.
WHAM, a short film that I wrote and directed last summer is premiering this weekend at the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, AL. It’s a great festival and I’m really excited to be a part of it, in fact so excited that I’m waking up at 4am on Friday to fly in early so I can enjoy a full day of meeting people and seeing great films. If you’re near Birmingham this weekend, check it out.
The film will also screen in Washington, DC at the very excellent DC Shorts festival on September 8 and 10. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it back home for the screenings because of work, but it’s my first screening near my hometown in Maryland and it feels good to get to show m friends and family back home what I’ve been working on for the last few years.
And finally, it’s coming to Chicago for the first time on September 22 at 4pm at the Middle Coast Film Festival. I love this festival. The Deadline premiered there last year, so it will always have a special place in my heart (they programmed Off Book too). I’m a little sad that they moved it from Bloomington, Indiana to Chicago because I liked the excuse to take a road trip. It’s screening at the Davis Theater. Come see it and have a drink at Carbon Arc if you’re in town.
I released this earlier this year and completely forgot to post it here. The Deadline, my first short film, is now available to the public:
A trailer for my new short film, WHAM. The film was finished in November 2017 and will go out on the festival circuit in 2018. You can learn more about WHAM here.
It was a great weekend! The festival was so well-organized. The parties were great. The other filmmakers were great.
The screenings were excellent, with average and peak quality of films far above what I’ve been seeing at other festivals this year.
And Bloomington, IN is a lovely college town. The screening venues and projections were great too, especially the main theater.
I can’t recommend this festival enough.
I’m also really happy that The Deadline got to premiere there. They gave it two screenings, including one in the main theater.
It’s really amazing, the first time you see a film you made up on a big screen with a professional audio system.
I had tears in my eyes. Then it was too much and I had to leave for a minute because sometimes I get weird watching my stuff with other people in the room.
And Off Book won the award for Best Comedy Short!
But really, I want to share some of the films that I saw and made me laugh:
Lovewatch by Harrison Atkins. One of the best/funniest things I’ve seen this year. Unfortunately, he hasn’t posted in online yet, but here’s another great weird short from him:
The Day Before. The full film isn’t released yet, but here’s the trailer:
I was going through my Evernote to catch up on stuff I’ve saved but haven’t had time to digest and this Tony Zhou video came up. I realized that I already posted it but it’s worth posting (and watching) again, as are all of his video essays.
Having just directed a short film that relies mostly on physical comedy, and certainly using (or trying to use) it in The Deadline, I’ve really developed a profound appreciation for Keaton and the filmmakers he collaborated with. It’s insanely hard to pull of physical gags and requires a lot of good camera technique as well as performer technique. And rehearsal. And props. And special stages in Keaton’s case.
For the last short, I have people bumping heads on the sidewalk to pass out. Choreographing that was not easy, although it wasn’t impossible either. I’m still not 100% sure how it will turn out, but it looks good so far, at least in the long takes. I really didn’t want to use cheap tricks to get people to fall on the ground (hard pavement in this case), like cutting from the head bumps to the bodies on the ground. So we had to devise special padding that blends in with the sidewalk for the actors to fall on, which required the ingenuity of Jim Jarosz of Channel Awesome.
This was the third short I’ve directed and I would say 70% of my stress was around the physical humor — would it play well, would it look silly (in a not funny way), would anyone get hurt. 15% of my stress was the weather because we were outside and at the mercy of the rain, which fortunately the film Gods smiled upon us. The other 15% was the usual ever-present suspicion that everything would fall apart at any moment.
Here’s another short film from Portland Comedy Film Fest that I really liked and meant to post earlier and then remembered while watching Wimbledon highlights at my hotel in Baltimore on Sunday: