Monday, December 28, 2009

Sherlock Holmes...


So along with nearly everyone else in this country we went to see movie this past Christmas weekend. We decided to wait on seeing Avatar in 3D after the crowds die down. Visually striking and well acted, this version of Sherlock Holmes is definitely worth seeing. I have read a few negative reviews about Guy Ritchies direction but we couldnt disagree more. Ritchies f/x driven version (not necessarily a bad thing here) actually stays true to the story. With a strong cast and an ambigiously gay undercurrents between the Holmes and Watson, Sherlock Holmes is worth the price of admission. Sure, Ritchie adds his trademark slo-mo fight sequences and other stylistic flurishes, but he allows the characters to breath and without ruining their performances with MTV style cuts or cheesy CGI. And overall, the story is easy to follow and doesnt get lost under all of the endless fight scenes or subplots. After a strong opening weekend and an ending that leaves the door open for more sequels, Robert Downey JR clearly has another film franchisee under his belt....and again this isnt a bad thing.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Heading into 2010...guerilla style


Last week we were relaxing at home, casually watching a lo-fi suspense movie named Cavite on the Sundance Channel. At one point the main character eats at a taco shop, which we noticed looked strikingly similar to a taco shop down the street from us. Soon the character was visiting other locations that looked straight out of our neighborhood. Sure enough, we checked the movie online and it was filmed in San Diego. The film is about a security guard who becomes the unwilling puppet of a terrorist group that has kidnapped his family. Apparently, we missed the train on this one, as it was a big deal back in 2005 when it came out. It won the "Someone to Watch" award at the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards.

The film was obviously shot on the run, guerilla style with a low-end camera, minimal crew and no location permits. It was very encouraging for us to see that you can make a film on barebones and still receive recognition from the industry for its quality in story, and has further strengthened our resolve to finish a short film for festival submission this year.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sherlock Holmes...


So we were able to check out the latest Sherlock Holmes and I have to say that it was an entertaining film. Checkout our blog tomorrow for a full review.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays from your friends at El Roberto!!!


Hey everyone, we just wanted to take the opportunity to wish all you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and whatever else you might be celebrating at this time of year. It’s been a great year for all of us here at El Roberto, and we’re very appreciative that folks like you visit our little website from time to time and feign interest in whatever we might have to say. There may be a ton of other movie blogs out there that are bigger and better, but we’re happy just to be able to share our love of movies and filmmaking with people who feel the same way we do. Now get back to being with your friends and families and watch some good Christmas films while you are at it!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Its Tuesday....

and we have spent the night wrapping xmas gifts. As promised, later this week we will post a review of The Limits of Control. Until then, checkout the trailer...

Monday, December 21, 2009

How to create 3D video at home!!!

So we have been checking out all of the reviews about Avatar and how your life depends on seeing it in a 3D/IMAX theater, and were curious to see how easy it would be to create 3D at home when we stumbled upon this clip. We are definitely going to experiment with this and will post our results.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Inspirational Words



We found a great article in Filmmaker Magazine about steps to turn filmmaking into a serious career. This is really good advice and we strive to stick to this level of commitment to filmmaking goals ourselves. Check it out...

BETTER LIVING THROUGH FILMMAKING
Tips on how to be a successful filmmaker during the recession.
By Esther B. Robinson

What do you do when all the news is bad news? Layoffs, bank collapses, credit constriction. Gloom is the swine flu of our media ecosystem, and it's hard to ward off infection and hysteria. Our economy's become a dark, frigid sea that we're supposed to distance swim without instruction or a shore in sight. So what does that mean for us as creative individuals?

First and foremost, we need to recognize that we have unique resources. The news may be bad, but we started adapting to murky economic realities long before most people ever dreamed of a financial crisis. We've evolved for this extreme environment, like those crazy deep-sea fish — the glow-in-the dark ones with lamps on their heads. We may not be pretty, but we know how to survive in dark waters — and now the whole ocean's gone dark. Everyone else is panicking. They don't know how to live like this. But those of us used to late-night edit rooms, 20-hour days, Red Bull, ramen and shoebox apartments... we already know how to swim in these waters. We've already developed our weird adaptations in order to find work, food and friends, and now we're at an advantage. While everyone else slows down or stops, we can see clearly and keep creating. While others are blind in the dark, we can be proactive and fearless, and by taking some pretty simple steps we can make major leaps in our work and our careers.

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN THE RECESSION:

1. Commit yourself to filmmaking.


First, stop equivocating and commit to the long-term goal of being a filmmaker. You're either in or you're out — decide. Then recognize that living day-to-day, throwing everything into the next project without regard for what follows may not work over the long term. It's a question of pacing. If you still want to be doing this when you're in your forties, fifties and eighties, then you need to construct a life that functions. Committing to being a filmmaker means making all parts of your life work well.

2. Dedicate yourself to a lifetime of making inventive, rigorous work that matters.

If you're going to do this for the rest of your life, then you must ask yourself, "What am I making?" Is what you make the best possible thing it can be? Have you done the thinking to bring real artistry to your pursuit?

Commit to rigor over fluff and meaning over flash. The world does not need more predictable fare. The world needs films that share something about our moment; something that cannot be seen in any other way. To be a great filmmaker you must be inventive and rigorous. So swear to yourself that you will be as fearless as possible in pursuit of this goal.

3. Use your creative skills to build your future, not to deny your current situation.


We've all heard someone (maybe even ourselves?) spin fantasies about "how it'll all work out." That financier, that funder and even Mom, in a pinch. Someone's coming to make it right. They'll fix our financial mess for us, and we can ignore life's harsher realities till that white knight arrives. But unless there is a trust fund on your horizon, this is creative fiction. And while your ability to weave creative fiction may serve you professionally, it will hold you back in your actual life. There is no buyer, funder or producer that is going to save you. You only have yourself. So decide to use your creative skills to build your way forward through the challenges. Instead of using your creative imagination to deny that things are hard or to ignore reality, learn from past mistakes and do not repeat them. You need to be able to look at your life, banish fear and say with unshakable confidence "I've got a new plan."

4. Spend with clarity and save with purpose.


Why is it that when someone says, "You can't make that movie," you think, "Yes, I can," and if they say, "You should have some savings," you say, "There is no way." Recognize that you are skilled at making a lot happen with little money and use that skill on your work and your life. You're a filmmaker, you know how to build real things from no resources. With planning and forethought you can both make your movie and slowly build up savings.

Be ruthless about the difference between what you want and what you need. Track your money, making sure you're spending it well and prioritizing things that really matter. The goal is to save. Set a target savings amount. If you can, buy only what you need and barter for whatever else you want. Use eBay and Craigslist for bargains on all those weird little things you cannot live without.

For your films, be clear that big movies need big partners. If deep-pocketed partners aren't in your future, you need to change your "at any cost" strategy. Narrative filmmakers may need to embrace the era of the small movie: small containable scripts, few locations, small crew. You also may need to deepen and wield your knowledge about local and international tax credits. Both narrative and documentary filmmakers need to really research the grant landscape and be realistic about the odds of receiving funding.

Also don't be afraid to slow down your schedule to benefit your work and your pocketbook (remember everyone is adjusting — no one will blink at a schedule change). A slower pace means you can fit your film around your money job and use the extra time to keep on solid financial footing and deepen the work. Keeping your money job allows you to move forward without falling too far behind. However if your film is topical in a way that means it must be shot right now, then you need to really know how much cash it will take to make it happen.

So be realistic and clear about how much your film will cost and which funding sources are likely and which are not. Make a plan for what you will do if none of the funding comes through. Next, make a plan for if half comes through. Your goal is to understand how much debt you can take on. Be realistic about this part and set a limit before you start shooting. It's important to know the answer to this in advance because during the crunch you can easily lose sight and get into trouble. You need to be honest with yourself — you may not sell this film. The debt you are accruing is yours and yours alone. Having a clear sense of this in advance can really help you make strong choices during production and post and could mean the difference between long-term debt obligations and solvency.

5. Get your credit in order.


Remember that access to capital when you need it is good but bad debt can sink you. So if you have debt, commit to eliminating it: Figure out how much you owe, figure out what your upcoming costs will be and determine how much you can realistically spend each month to pay down your debt. Three good online debt resources are Snowball down your debt, the smart money resources, and powerpay.

For those of you with no credit, you can establish credit by joining a local or national credit union and obtaining a debit card that you can then trade up for a credit union charge card.

Either way, dedicate yourself to raising your credit/FICO score. Use resources like the Filmmaker article from Spring 2009 to assist you so you have the credit resources you need when you need them.

6. Embrace multiple income streams.

Other forms of income make your work possible. Instead of fighting this, be grateful. It's amazing how much energy you save if you stop fighting this paradigm. If you need more money, find new sources of income based on your odd skill-set and apply No. 3. If your job is demeaning or bad, commit to finding a new job and leaving your old one. But remember that this is a recession. Don't just up and quit your day job. You might not find another one as easily. And frankly, your day job is keeping your movie happening even though it feels counterintuitive. Sure, you may need to make adjustments to keep your second (or third or fourth) job from interfering completely with your film, but it's likely necessary to keep you moving ahead financially in these times. By first adjusting your attitude you greatly improve your chances of making the whole thing work.

7. Create strength through community.


Your friends and colleagues are your greatest resources — they have skills, equipment, intelligence and savvy. Clues to survival reside with our peers and our community of fellow filmmakers and artists. The choices they make will help us solve our own problems and make better choices. Take colleagues you admire out to coffee, lunch or dinner, and ask questions about how they make it work. Also, do things that help you enjoy your community. Too often in the single-minded pursuit of filmmaking we forget to enjoy our friends. Movies get made by groups of people. Make sure that this group brings you joy. Communal dinners, caffeinated meet-ups, tequila. These are all tools to bring folks closer together, and the better we play together, the better we work together.

8. Manage your goals and chart your progress.

Set your goals in writing. Studies show that writing down your goals drastically improves your chances of meeting them. Break down the steps. Any goal, even a big one, is achievable if you break it down into the smallest steps possible. Then share your goals. Make yourself accountable publicly so that you have an incentive to follow through on things like debt reduction. Also, track and share your success. Use the discipline of goal tracking to bring order to your life. Then use the lists to remind yourself that you are making progress. It's too easy to think you aren't moving forward if your goals are really big, but progress is progress, so make sure you can chart yours.

9. Give more and participate in making the world a better place for all people.

When you focus on your own challenges it's easy to forget that the world is a difficult and challenging place for those less fortunate than yourself. Don't be a selfish artist, be a good citizen. Volunteer for a cause, a campaign or a soup kitchen. Help your friend or neighbor. Give advice, give your time, give your expertise. Especially do this when you're afraid. It will banish the fear. It will also lead you to new and unexpected opportunities. And remember, even when it's hard, we are blessed to be able to do what we love.

10. Make the decision to make your best work and be good with money and enrich the world.

Now go out there and kick some cinema booty.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

$300 budget?!?!

That's right. According to the BBC a filmmaker from Uruguay who created and posted a short film called Ataque de Panico! on YouTube in November 2009 has been offered a $30m (£18.6m) contract to make a Hollywood film. Checkout the video and let us know what you think.

This isn't the only filmmaker who has landed a career from posting a video on Youtube, checkout this old viral video from 2000 called 405.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

.WMV Hell


It started simply enough. I'd created a corporate health video for my company as one of our goals for the year. It was finished in a few weeks, looked great, and was well-received by my team. All that was left was uploading it to the company site, at which point El Roberto officially became a victim of the Mac vs. PC deathmatch. You see my company like most runs with Windows. And their system only plays windows media files or Mpeg 2 quicktime. It was also required for the vids to be compressed to under 50 mb(ha!). Our first issue was conversion. It is almost impossible to convert a mac-based video file into a decent-looking windows media file without plunking down almost $200 for a Flip4Mac program. We downloaded several converter programs from download.com, but the compression on all of them was crappy. If the audio wasn't muffled, then the video was ridiculously pixelated. This has been going on for almost two weeks now. Sleepless nights attempting to convert .mov files to .wmv and getting crap. Scouring endless Mac forums on converting files to .wmv and coming up with nothing. I could go on, but you get the point. Finally, after talking with some co-workers, I found out I could finangle myself some extra room on the network and did not have to necessarily post the vid on the website at 50mb or under. I could actually link to the vid at a much higher size. So tonight, we finally were able to create a slick .avi file that works in windows media player and is a decent size. Hallelujah!!! (Angels cry)

So some tips for you people out there attempting to convert Mac files to Windows Media compatible format: Don't do it!! Jk, but make sure you use a decent converter like FLV Crunch, and DON'T attempt to compress to anything under 100MB or you'll end up like us-hairless with high blood pressure..

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hello, Dolly!!


As the year comes to a close we're working to build up our gear cache...in addition to getting a second camera, a big focus for us is acquiring a dolly to utilize for long tracking shots. Unfortunately a professional one costs a gazillion dollars-definitely not in our budget. So we'll have to make do with a homemade one. Thankfully, there are numerous videos on the web detailing how to make an efficient and low-cost dolly and track. A cool DIY vid is below. Well for sure be making one of these in the next couple of months and posting our results. Ciao for tonight.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday


Finally...someone agrees with us that The Royal Tenenbaums is one of the best films of the decade. Directed by Wes Anderson the The Royal Tenenbaums was definitely overlooked in Rollingstone's best 10 films of the decade list. It will be interesting to see if City of God will get its due.
By request, we will be posting a review of Expelled:No Intelligence Allowed a documentary by Ben Stein later this week.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Last round...


So I'm in the last round of the screenplay competition I enrolled in September. I finished 3rd in my heat once again, so I'm doing okay, although not as well as I'd like. My assignment in the last round is as follows: The Location has to be set in a nursery. A wig has to appear in the script at some point and the genre is ...drum roll please...OPEN!!!! Yeay!!! THANK GOD. The last 3 assignments have all been in genres I'm bad at: Horror, Monster Movie, and Science Fiction. Bleh..but now my options are much broader. I just got my assignment an hour ago, so I'm going to spend the rest of the night thinking of a killer story idea. Ciao!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Top Ten Movies of the Decade!!!


So Rolling Stone just came out with a "best of 00's" issue. There is a section devoted to the best movies of the decade which we were eager to check out, as Peter Travers is a good critic whose tastes generally run similar to ours. So here's their top ten

10. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

9. Mystic River

8. The Departed

7. Brokeback Mountain

6. The Incredibles

5. No Country for Old Men

4. A History of Violence

3. Mulholland Drive

2. Children of Men

1. There will be Blood

I'm a little meh about this list..its very male-centric. A lot of guns and violence driven films here..and Mulholland drive as number three??? What?? I appreciate an enigmatic film as much as the next person, but making it the third best film of the decade mainly based on its purposeful ambiguity seems a stretch. Anyways I won't spend a bunch space trashing their picks..however, we've listed out a few movies we think they definitely should have included on their top ten of '00 (besides Mystic River, ugh. Okay I'll stop. sorry.)

City of God - I can't believe this was overlooked. In my opinion it's the epic gangster film of the decade. Genius director Fernando Meirelles runs at breakneck speed with the tale of slumkids growing up wild and reckless, in colorful 60's Brazil. The movie is so much fun to watch-its like "Goodfellas" except with Brazillian street urchins.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Charlie Kaufman is a genius and the first mainstream screenwriter to make the human mind and nature his main subjects. And all director Michael Gondry's movies seemed culled straight from your most Ambien-induced dreams. Those two forces together made a magical, whimsical movie about the way our brain and hearts work. It's funny, bizarre, depressed and hopeful all at once. Plus it made you think, which is considered a fatal ailment in movies nowadays.

The Royal Tenenbaums-Comedic classic. Inspired hipster's Halloween costumes for the rest of the decade.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon- Ang Lee made an exquisitely shot film which I think re-ignited interest in the artistic Asian action film genre at least in the US. Although I have to admit after the 19th knockoff movie came out with the same "flying warrior" wire stunt tricks, I started to curse this movie.

Also, I noticed that for a magazine about music, it was strange that Rolling Stone didn't mention any music documentaries. Here's a couple we think they should have shouted out


Dig! Before Britney Spears shaved her head, or Amy Winehouse snorted coke in the middle of her concert, there was good old Anton Newcombe of The BrianJonestown Massacre pummeling his bandmates on stage in front of a packed house of records execs. This film (culled from 2000 hours of footage) is a breathtaking glimpse of a musical genius whose megalomania keeps his band from success even when it's being thrown at them. It's Celebrity Trainwreck 101.

Some Kind of Monster-Yeesh..these guys are such arrogant wusses.

On a personal note, we've had an intense week related to converting some large HD quicktime clips into 50mb windows media player files. It has been painful to say the least. But after much blood, sweat and tears, we've found a solution, which we'll share within the next couple of day. Ciao!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New DVD box set release...


The Criterion Collection is releasing the box set, 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa today. As is says on the Criterion site, "The creator of such timeless masterpieces as Rashomon, Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, and High and Low, Akira Kurosawa is one of the most influential and beloved filmmakers who ever lived—and for many the greatest artist the medium has known. Now, on the occasion of the centenary of his birth, the Criterion Collection is proud to present this deluxe box set celebrating his astonishing career. Featuring twenty-five of the films he made over the course of his fifty years in movies—from samurai epics to postwar noirs to Shakespeare adaptations—AK 100 is the most complete set of his works ever released in this country, and includes four rare films that have never been available on DVD." If you are thinking of what to get for a film buff this xmas, this DVD collection is a must have for any film geek. I know that I want it.

While I am enjoying checking out the Criterion Collection site, I am not digging that they are charging you 5 bucks to watch Michelangelo Antonioni's film L'AVVENTURA, while you can watch it here for free...

Monday, December 7, 2009

DIY DSLR CAMERA STABILIZER!!!


We are thinking of trading in the old Canon XTI for the latest Canon DSLR which has the HD Video feature.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Movie time is here!


So it is December 6 already and sad to say we're a little disappointed with the current movie offerings. Around this time of year all the studios start pushing their big holiday movies and Oscar contenders. But so far we've only gotten a couple of Oscar-buzz movies (like Precious) and a whole lot of boring, run-of-the-mill flicks crushing the box office due to lack of any serious competition (I mean really, Blindside???).

But it finally looks like some good quality movies are coming out in the final weeks of the year. Entertainment Weekly has put out a list of the top ten remaining movies they're looking forward to this year. I definitely agree with their choices. I'm particularly excited to see the Peter Jackson movie "The Lovely Bones" and Tom Ford's "A Single Man" Check it out.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More remake news...

Hitchcock fans will be pleased to know that Michael Bay plans on producing through his Platinum Dunes production company a remake of The Birds. We can almost guarantee that this film will be awful and will cost gazillions to produce. Also, apparently the director assigned to this disaster plans on amping up the gore to make it a R-rated flick. Naomi Watts is apparently signed on to play the new Tippi Hedren. Hopefully the director doesn't have some issues to work out on Watts. Stay tuned.

Here is part 2 of the Anthony Francoso interview produced for Artepolitik.com.


What is El Roberto up to next? We are currently in preproduction for our music video/short film that we are planning on shooting in January and are wrapping some smaller video projects this month before the end of the year. More to come soon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Raise yo hands like its Friday

Here is part one of the interview with Anthony Francoso of the band Geronimo that we produced for Artepolitik.com, which is an emerging Art and Politics web site. Definitely check out Artepolitik.com and take time to participate in some of their forums.


On a different note, after our last post about the Clash of the Titans Remake I have been been thinking a lot about film remakes in general and if a film is better after a second go around. Honestly, I believe that there really should be a rule if a film is a classic such as Pyscho then it shouldn't be remade. If a film was bad or has a lot of potential to be good then why not....right?!?! Any thoughts???

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Clash of the Titans remake!?!?


That's right....someone decided that it was a good idea to remake the original 1981 Clash of the Titans into a 300 rip off. I have to admit, that I will probably go see this film or at least wait until its been ripped and posted online someplace....my only concern is the somewhat cheesy looking effects and metal music playing in the trailer...hopefully that doesn't end up in the final film. Honestly I am anxious to see it and I encourage someone to try to remake the original Jason and the Argonauts as well. Not to disrespect the work of Stop Motion Animator Ray Harryhausen who created the effects for Clash of the Titans, Jason and the Argonauts, and many others but I would fully support remakes of these films if down correctly...any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nine...

The last time there was a movie called 9 it was painful to watch...this time I don't think that this will be the case...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Two bullets and a shopping cart....


So I was finally able to see The Road and it was worth the wait. I don't want to spoil the film by giving away too much but we highly recommend it. Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic tail of man and boy vs.cannibals vs.dying world with only a pistol, two bullets and a shopping cart make for interesting theater. But you can really say that the film is mostly about the nature of the bond between father and son rather than just a post-apocalyptic action flick. This film has much more depth than that and is more of a social/environmental commentary.

In terms of the acting, Viggo Mortensen's performance shouldn't be ignored come Oscar time. After reading the book, I couldn't imagine anyone else playing the father. Also, the post-apocalyptic landscape shot by Javier Aguirresarobe (shot in location around Pittsburgh,New Orleans, and Mount St.Helens ) is both strangely beautiful and frightening. Director John Hillcoat who directed the Proposition, brings the same surreal landscapes and slow paced story telling to the Road which seems to be missing from films nowadays. Go see this film if you want a reprieve from 2012 and New Moon.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Its been a rainy day here in SD...

and we have been balancing our time between completing a video for Artepolitik.com and watching TV. Tonight we might actually get out of the house for a bit to checkout The Road. As you know we have been talking about this film for sometime and can't wait to see it. We will be sure to post a review by tomorrow, until then checkout what Roger Ebert had to say after seeing The Road a second time.
"I first saw "The Road" in September at the Toronto Film Festival, as one of eight films I saw in three days. I wrote a draft of a review at the time and sent it. That review accidentally found its way into sight in October, long before the film was scheduled to open. I yanked it offline as quickly as I could."

Here is the The Road press conference at the London Film Festival.


Friday, November 27, 2009

The end of the world as we know it in the movies....


Have you noticed how many End of the World flicks there has been out this fall??? Seriously, for the past 10 years we have had there has been a major comeback in Apocalyptic/Post Apocalyptic cinema. And not that we are complaining but its been interesting to see that audiences are still plunking down the $$$ to stand in line to see them and it doesn't appear that Hollywood is going to stop making end of the world flicks anytime soon.... well maybe until 2012 when the whole S@$& house is going up in flames...so get your kicks now...btw, check out this interesting upcoming film called the Arcadian.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Its that time of year again...


to be eating until your in a food coma!!! Well at least that is what we did....anyway from all of us at El Roberto Productions, we hope you had a wonderful Turkey Day...

The next couple of weeks are going to be ridiculously busy for us but we will have some new footage we shot for ArtePolitik.com posted soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Its almost Thanksgiving and....

the Fantastic Mr.Fox opens tomorrow and despite the mostly postive reviews we have to admit that we are a bit skepitcal after watching the trailer.

The Road is finally opening this week after several delays. Hopefully its worth the wait but something tells me that its not.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Screenplay Contest


This weekend was the third round of the screenwriting contest I enrolled in a couple of months ago. I am in the third round with one more round to go. As I've mentioned before, the premise is you are tasked to write a 5 page screenplay in 48 hours. You must write a screenplay in a specific genre, at a specific location with a specific item included in the script. For my heat, the genre had to be horror (boo) the location it had to be set in was a farm, and there had to be a remote control somewhere in the screenplay. I reeeeally hate horror movies and never watch them so I was a little unprepared with that aspect. However, I think I did okay. I ended up writing a story about a group of girls who are lured to a farm, thinking that they've come to audition for a reality series but are actually trapped at a snuff video factory. I went with cheesy and funny horror. We'll see how I do. Right now, were sitting here watching the Ken Burn's War series and relaxing. We have some work to do this week, but we'll take it easy and enjoy the short week :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

An Education Review


I spent the whole weekend slaving in front of my laptop working on a script for a screenwriting contest I'm currently participating in. More on that tomorrow. But as a break from all the hard work this weekend, we decided to go see An Education, a movie I've been dying to see for weeks. It was pretty much exactly what I'd expected, which is good. It's about a British schoolgirl falling in love with an older man who manages to manipulate and seduce both the girl and her parents into believing he is her glamorous and righteous savior. The style of the movie is very sophisticated 60's posh which I love. And the main actress Carey Mulligan is cheerful and fun to watch just like all the reviews are saying. The only dark spot is of course Peter "I can't act to save my life" Saarsgard. He performed his usual sleepy-eyed, ambiguously shady schtick, but this time with a very confused British accent. It was pretty funny actually. All in all it was a sweet, sad movie (although I think the Oscar buzz is a little unnecessary). We're heading to bed now, preparing for a busy week! G'night :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Friday!!!

So tonight we are going to be taking a short break to checkout
Kelsey Brookes show, Bigger, Brighter, Bolder at the Quint Gallery. Check out his interview we produced for Citybeat.

This weekend C is going to be focusing on a screen writing contest, and I am going to be working with Artepolitik.com on some video content for their site. Also, this weekend we will post some more footage. Have a great night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fight club


An interesting piece of news came out today. The new Fight Club Blu Ray DVD just came out, and it has a cool fake-out. When it begins, instead of showing you the Fight Club menu, it starts out with the movie menu for the 1999 Drew Barrymore romantic comedy Never Been Kissed. They actually did something like this before; On the original DVD they anti-piracy "warning" actually had a message slipped into it. It's a funny addition. Hopefully we'll be trading in our DVD player for a blu-ray later this year and can check out the new version of Fight Club. Have a good night :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hump day...

From director Adam Yauch, yeah that Yauch, comes Gunnin' For That #1 Spot.

I think that this looks both accessible and inspirational and look forwarding to seeing it when it makes its way to SD.

Here at El Roberto, we are constantly looking for new films to checkout. So if you have seen anything good recently, drop us a line and we will watch it and let you know what we think. theelroberto@gmail.com

Project update, we are currently taking the night off to recharge a bit and will return this weekend to start work on some new videos.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Black Dynamite Movie Review


So a friend of ours got an advanced copy of Black Dynamite they let us borrow, so we got to revel in the all the platformed glory. I'll be frank: I almost peed myself it was so funny. As a lot of critics have stated, they do take painstaking attention to detail. The badly dubbed sound, the fuzzy lighting, the boom mike that keeps dipping into the scene. All of that stuff is great, but on top of that, the writing itself is good. There are so many subtle awkward funny moments that after the ingenuity of the gimmicky humor wears off your still laughing. Unfortunately I don't think it got a wide release so when it comes out on DVD, we'll be sure to let you know so you can grab it..it is definitely a classic...In other news, I was editing a video for work the entire weekend, literally from 8am to 1am every night, so I'm just starting to now recover from the exhausting weekend. Right now, were cleaning off our computer as we were down to 65 gigs..But now we've opened up a couple hundred gigs and are back in business!! Whoo-hoo!! Check ya later :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yeah its Sunday...

and we are busy finishing up the sound design on a video C shot and cut for her work. This next week we are going to be focusing on pre-production on our next project.

Checkout what Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's multimedia studioOscillscope has been up to. More on Oscillscope this week. Checkout Terribly Happy directed by Henrik Ruben Genz.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mad Max 4!?!?


That's right....after nearly 25 years in development hell, director George Miller is returning to helm the 4th Mad Max film....unfortunately the real Mad Mel Gibson won't return for the sequel. In addition to the feature film, Miller is also producing a R-Rated 3d animated film to go along with Mad Max 4, similar to Animatrix. Can't wait...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The weekend is almost here....

This looks sort of interesting....

This could be a good festival....What do you think?.
2010 Peach on Earth Film Festival Mission Statement:
"Peace on Earth Film Festival (POEFF) has been established to celebrate and encourage the work of independent films from around the world on the themes of peace, nonviolence, social justice and an eco-balanced world. POEFF is a not-for-profit film festival whose primary objective is to raise an awareness of peace, nonviolence, social justice and an eco-balanced world, as possibilities, by bringing attention to independent films from around the world. Through the power of motion pictures, POEFF endeavors to enlighten and empower individuals, families and communities to step out of the ignorance of conflict, violence and divisiveness into the light of communication, compassion and understanding." We are starting to look at festivals more closely as develop some of our creative projects. 2009 has been a good year, but 2010 is going to be awesome.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Kelsey Brookes video...


is our latest for Citybeat. It was a lot fun and interesting interviewing local Sd artist Kelsey Brookes. We are definitely fans of his work now and are looking forward to seeing his show later this month at the Quint Gallery.

Tonight, we are working on our video for Artepolitik.com. And we should have the video posted soon if we can finish entering subtitles in Final Cut...which is a tedious thing to do btw...

Anyway, last night I watched an interesting documentary called The Revolution Will Not be Televised. Its a documentary about the April 2002 Venezuelan coup attempt which briefly deposed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Its a great doc and you can watch it online for free which is a good thing. In a few days, I will be posting a short version of an article I am contributing to Artepolitik.com about it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Where the Wild Things are review


Soo..two weeks later than planned we went to see "Where the Wild Things Are" aaaand...meh, unfortunately. I wanted to love it so bad. But after 1 and a half hours of basically the same exact images and scenes over and over again I felt kind of bored. The movie is basically 2 hours of what you saw in the trailer. Awesome, looking fuzzy monsters and a cool little boy running wild in the forest, yelling at each other and throwing things. It's fun and silly, but there was really no plot. It was just the characters chasing and fighting with each other. The look of the film is spectacular-a golden glow lays over everything and the sets are a perfect mix of fun make-believe and a dark nightmare world. It is a very imaginative setting, but ultimately, the cool visuals were not enough to keep me entertained without a meaningful plot. So there it is..I'm disappointed in myself for not liking the movie, and disappointed in the movie itself for not meeting my expectations. But oh well, that's just my opinion-and I'm sure there are plenty of people who will love this movie and watch it over and over on DVD. Just not me. Ciao for now..We'll have our latest vid up tomorrow.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The beginning of a new week...

So we were way too busy to watch a bunch of movies over the weekend but we did have a chance to see Where the Wild Things Are. We will post a proper review tomorrow, I promise. Also, be sure to checkout our latest Citybeat video and our Anthony Francoso of Geronimo interview at The Troubador in Beverly Hills for Artepolitik.com later this week. Talk to you guys tomorrow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The weekend!!!!

Ok, so for our movie blitz this weekend, we are finally going to checkout Where the Wild Things Are, and hopefully a bunch of other flicks...

We have been waiting till the crowds die down before seeing it and will post a proper review soon.
Besides seeing a bunch of movies this weekend, we are working on a number of projects and will have a new Citybeat video posted on Tuesday and later in the week, an interview that we produced for ArtePolitik.com. Plus we are finally going to take a day and organize our studio a bit to setup some additional workstations, setup a network, and a Green screen!!!. We are looking forward to having some additional space to create projects.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Movie Blitz!!!!


After we complete editing our latest video, we are going to catch up on some movies this weekend...anyone have any suggestions on what we should go see??? We were thinking of checking out The Men Who Stare at Goats or Where the Wild Things Are finally...also we just saw a preview of surfer/musician Rob Machado's movie The Drifter which was featured on the news tonight....looks interesting.


Anyway, we are currently working on a corporate video project that C filmed and we are logging footage from our latest Citybeat project...new footage posted soon...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Video

Here is our latest video for Citybeat.

We were lucky enough to tape Transfer while they rehearsed for an upcoming tour in support of their album Future Selves. We are definitely going to check them out when they play San Diego.

Tonight we filmed another project for Citybeat, and will have footage posted next Tuesday. Have a good night...javascript:void(0)

Monday, November 2, 2009

10:44pm and ready for bed


It's been a long night of editing and were pretty tired. We're going to wrap up our work for tonight. We'll have a Citybeat new video posted tomorrow that we're excited for everyone to see. Have a great night!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Finally..Final Draft!


After years of dreaming, I finally broke down and bought Final Draft 8. Believe me, it was hard plunking down the $280.00 it took to buy the software, but I have to admit it was totally worth it. There are just so many perks with this program! Not too mention the sample inquiry letters! Anyways, I've been busy all weekend testing out the software and am excited to start using it to finally finish my screenplay and begin submitting to festivals and contests. I'll be sure to post my interesting experiences with this new software as they arrive. We've been busy this evening editing footage from a Citybeat story this weekend. It was pretty neat. We were able to go into the studio with local band Transfer and film them record. I'm not one to gush, but they were amazing. I can't wait till the video is complete so you guys can see how good their sound is. Anyways, I'm off to enjoy what's left of the weekend and pretend I don't have to go into work in 9 hours. Ciao!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quentin Tarantino


announced earlier this month that he is planning to shoot Kill Bill 3. I have to admit that my gut tells me that it will be awful but has Tarantino really disappointed? Well that's debatable when you think about Grind House...I actually love that movie, but that's his one movie everyone either loves or hates...either way, you have to admit that you love the fake "film trailers" in the movie..

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halfway there....

and I am ready for the weekend....only C is dragging me to see An Education at some point.... Not sure how I feel about that...

Anyway we are preparing for a couple of shoots the next couple of days and will have some videos posted soon but until then check this out festival out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday

You know that this is going to be awful...

So I watched Paranormal Activity recently and have been meaning to write a quick review of it...but all I can say is that its not worth the hype...yes it was made on a meager budget, and yes it has been making tons of $$$...our recommendation is to not waste your money and wait for video if you must see it...not very scary and slow.

We are preparing for a quick shoot tomorrow and after this weekend so more videos coming soon!!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Its Monday night...


and we are busy planning some upcoming shoots this week and for the rest of the year. Also, we finally got around to installing the Apple Jam Pack. We have been desperately needing more loops and instruments to create music for our projects. Checkout this video of what you can create with the Apple Jam Pack.
Now this looks promising...Denzel's latest effort directed by the Hughes Brothers is set in a post apocalyptic world and pits Denzel against a group of misfits led by Gary Oldman...sucks that we have to wait till next year to see it....should be good...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Its Sunday night...

and we are both bummed that the weekend is ending. I was checking out Apple's film trailer section and found these interesting films:

Disturbing the Universe

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oy veyer, Screenwriting contests


A while back I mentioned that I'd enrolled in a screenplay competition from NYC Midnight. It's kind of a fun flash fiction competition where you have to write a 5 page screenplay in 48 hours. There are four rounds and the results just came in on the 1st round. I did alright..3rd place in my heat (of 17 ppl). Thankfully, we have three more rounds so I have a chance to avoid making the mistakes of the last round. Anyways I just got my task for this round: I have to make a sci-fi genre script that takes place in a fish farm and includes a plunger. Great..why can't I get comedy or drama? I'm always getting sci-fi, horror, or monster movie- genres I know least about. Oh well- here goes. I'll let you know how I do on this round :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Greetings

The weekend's almost here! And for Thursday here's a new trailer for a movie that looks pretty cool..Bronson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Videos!!!

Hi All,

After the hectic last few days, we are spending the night relaxing on the couch and watching a movie from one of my favorites Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche, New York. It's a bizarre movie, but one of those that you enoy watching a few times to figure out all the puzzles. Here's the latest videos we shot for citybeat. Check 'em out and have a grand night!

The Fiction 101 contest


The San Diego River Blitz

Monday, October 19, 2009

Its going to be a long night editing...


We just got back from covering the Fiction 101 reading for Citybeat at Claire de Lune and now we are busy assembling the footage. We should have this video along with the River Blitz video posted tomorrow. Its been a busy last couple of days filming but we are looking forward to focusing on our music video project this week.

So we lied and weren't able to watch Where the Wild Things Are over the weekend...but we will probably go see it during the week to avoid the crowds. Hopefully we will have a review posted by Friday...anyway I need to get back to work to meet the posting deadline....good night

Film Tip of the Day!?!?
How to build a dolly on a budget!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Its Sunday night


and I am exhausted from filming an interview with one of the members of the band Geronimo at the Troubadour in LA. The Troubadour is a pretty cool music venue if you are ever in LA. Anyway its been a long day and I am ready for some ZZZ..but we should have our latest Citybeat video posted this week plus some other fun stuff.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

El Roberto vs. Wild


Yes, that's A deep in the riverbank along the San Diego River filming some volunteers cleaning the area. We shot a vid for Citybeat this morning about the river clean-up event, and safe to say we were more than a little unprepared. They told us to bring walking shoes, but we should have brought a machete and army fatigues! Seriously, we ended up tramping through deep, thick brush, and had to hack our way out of Amazonion plants left and right. I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, but poor A was wearing shorts, so he provided a nice breakfast for some mosquitoes and spiders in the area. We followed the group for about half a mile but then decided to head back so we wouldn't get lost alone. It was definitely the most adventurous story Citybeat has sent us on. It was a little scary too, as there were a lot of homeless camps in the area. We didn't see any actual homeless people, but I was a little wary of our small group tramping around deeply hidden homeless encampments with a $4,000.00 camera. But it ended up being a safe trip and we're actually almost done editing the video. Hope everyone's having a great Saturday. We're off to watch "Where the Wild Things Are" in a couple of hours, and we'll post our review tomorrow. Ciao!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday night....


Lately we have been checking out a lot of music videos for inspiration, and we stumbled upon the The Dead Weather's latest. Not sure how I feel about the song or what the video is really about, but I think that the director made great use of lighting and color for effect. And not to mention that the video appears to have been produced on a modest budget which is also cool.

Tonight we are preparing for a shoot in the morning and are laying low. However, tomorrow night after we finish editing, we are going to checkout Where the Wild Things Are. We will be sure to post a short review after this weekend. Have a great night.

Film tip of the day: How to make buckets of fake blood if needed...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Its almost the weekend

and we stayed in to capture some footage C shot for a project she is producing. This weekend we are shooting 3 projects and we should have them posted early next week. Anyway, the last time we went to the movies we saw this trailer....

Some movies should never be remade.....this is definitely one of them

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Black Dynamite


As excited as we are to see Where the Wild Things Are this weekend (although it seemes you can't escape those drippy trailers anywhere these days), we've been hearing some buzz about another movie on our list. We mentioned this movie a while ago after seeing the hilarious trailer. And now almost a year later its finally coming into theaters. Reviews from Entertainment Weekly and Roger Ebert are both in, and they're pretty good. There have been a lot of mock blaxploitation movies made in the last few decades, but this one seems unmatched in its meticulous, platformed, wood-paneled authenticity. Can't wait to see it. Above is the trailer again for old times sake:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A little something for your Tuesday....


The Phoenix Film Festival is now accepting submissions for its April to April 15th, 2010 festival. According to its site "The Phoenix Film Festival has recently been named one of The 25 Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine and has been called the most filmmaker-friendly festival out there. The Festival annually screens over 100 films, holds amazing parties and provides filmmaking seminars to capacity audiences. Over 20,000 attendees enjoy the 8 day festival that takes place all in one convenient location." This looks like a great festival.

Anyway, tonight we are preparing for a couple of shoots this weekend so we should have some new clips posted soon. Stay tuned!!!

Film tip of the day: How to create chemical burn effects!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yeah its Monday...


and we are staying in to catchup on some work. I was checking Withoutabox earlier and and found out that the Sedona International Film Festival is now accepting submissions for its 2010 festival. This looks like a great festival with lots of opportunities for filmmakers to showcase their work... too bad Withoutabox doesn't post most of its festival announcements until a few weeks before their submission deadlines.

Anyway we are currently revamping the blog this week, and have organized our latest film reviews and have posted a link to some our older Citybeat videos. More to come.

Film tip: How to make fake corpses and more!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Endangered species: Indie films


In depressing news this week, Disney has drastically cut the staff of their indie movie production co. Miramax from 70 to 20 people, in what now seems to be a growing trend among big movie studios of downsizing or eliminating their arthouse films divisions. I've always felt that the film industry has destined itself to an agonizing and shallow death, by allowing big business to come in and turn film-making into a corporate, profit-driven, statistics machine. Film studios looking for the almighty dollar will continue to dumb down movies based on what statistically sells (i.e. boobs, explosions, and talking cartoon animals) and intelligent movies designed to trigger your imagination and make you think, will be a thing of the past. It would be better if filmmakers just stop putting their trust in these big profit-driven studios and released their movies under smaller, more art-house driven production companies. They may have less money to work with, but its worth it in the increase of creative control. Miramax might still be a powerhouse, had the Weinsteins not giving in to the lure of financial security under Disney and kept working on their own. Entertainment Weekly has an interesting article about the subject. I hope that independent production companies will find a way to survive outside the reliance of the shallow corporate movie houses.