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


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 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


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.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Serious Man review

Last night we went to see the Cohen Brother's new movie A Serious Man at the Landmark Theater in Hillcrest. The movie itself is hard to describe. It's a comical look at the life of a professor who can't ever catch a break. His demanding wife dumps him for a touchy-feely Francis Ford Coppola look-a-like. He keeps getting anonymous hate mail sent to his boss at a time when he's trying to get tenure. His kids only think he exists to fix the TV antenna and steal from his wallet. On top of that he has thousands in lawyers bills piling up from his divorce. Its sort of a tragi-comedy play about humanity, where you just need to watch the action and not let the characters problems affect you at all except to laugh at the unfairness of life. The guy catches absolutely no first I wanted to choke him and scream "get a backbone!" But after a while I realized that was the joke- that he was destined for injustice. Just a seems like you can always judge the outcome of your movie experience by the crowd that comes in to watch. Landmark usually has an even mix of quiet, genteel elderly people, sullen artsy types, and loud, self-aware hipsters. This screening was pretty much over-taken by loud hipsters. From the very first shot, they would laugh "hysterically" at every line of dialogue, every scene, even the scenes that were basic set up scenes where nothing was going on. It's as if they were thinking "We know the Cohens are funny and their humour is really dry, so even though this is a location set-up shot showing an empty lawn, it's probably supposed to be funny so I'm going to laugh hysterically". Okay I'll stop my tangent. Overall, it was a good comedy, as usual it was a very-well shot and acted. But the cold, dark severely detached treatment was a little much for me. Not one of my favorite Cohen movies so far. Here's an interesting interview with the Cohen's about their latest movie.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Serious Man

This weekend we are definitely going to checkout A Serious Man directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. Should be an interesting movie. We will post a review this weekend.

Film tip of the day: Obtaining a film grant:

Checkout this great resource for Panavision film grants.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Long Awaited...

Back when Heath Ledger first passed away there was a lot of controversy about how his final film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was going to complete production. He had already filmed a large amount of the scenes, so it wasn't feasible to hire a new actor to start over. In the end they decided to make the movie into more of a memoriam to Heath and had a few famous male actors take his place in the remaining scenes. The trailer is finally here, and it looks really good. It has a Moulin Rouge/The Adventures of Baron Munchausen feel to it. I'm crossing my fingers that they were able to make a decent version of the film given the tragic circumstances.

Not much going on tonight. I've been working on my screenplay and A was cool enough to bring home Adobe Photoshop finally! So expect some really fancy photoshopping in our blogs from now one! Ciao!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Described as the...

"Most Shocking Film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival" Antichrist directed by Lars Von Trier is invoking a variety of emotions amongst critics and viewers alike. According to Jeff Leins with News In Film, "The foundation of the film is a deep-seeded hatred towards women, a misogynistic retelling of Adam and Eve. Trier, through Dafoe, refers to nature as “Satan’s church” and She is the depraved product of this evil. Her corruption harmed their innocent, angelic son"...
Based off the trailer and Lein's review, the film looks visually amazing and sounds surreal and completely disturbing. To me the trailer sort of portrays the feel of vintage 70s satanic horror films such as Rosemary's Baby or The Omen....which isn't necessarily a bad thing right??? Antichrist will be out on limited release on October 23rd.
Film tip of the day:Neck Scar Gore Effects!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday Tuesday....such a boring day....

So I had a chance to watch Zombie Land Sunday night. The comedy/horror/road movie staring Woody Harrelson was well worth the 9 bucks (w/expired student id) I spent. Yes, it bogs down at about the halfway point, and yes it includes a sappy teenage love subplot, but Harrelson's one-liners and the hilarious and sometimes gory interactions with zombies save the day. I don't want to give up to much but Zombie Land is worth the buzz.

From a technical standpoint, the film was captured on HD, and directed by first-time feature director Ruben Fleischer. Apparently behind the scenes, a lot of the interactions between the principle actors were all improv and several minutes was cut from the film before its release. I can't wait for the dvd to come out to see all of the extra footage and to see how Fleischer handled the cast and crew.

Film Tip of the day:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Its Monday...

and we are checking out this Panasonic AG-HMC40 to use as a backup camera. As it says on B&H's site, The Panasonic AG-HMC40 is a camcorder designed to record in high definition on standard SecureDigital (SD) and SDHC memory cards. The camera is extremely portable and lightweight, weighing in at a little over 2 lbs! We are definitely interested in it because of its image quality (HD, 1080P) and its weight as a solid backup camera. We are going to continue to shop around but at $1995, its not a bad deal at all. The only thing we are weary on is that it records onto memory cards instead of DV tapes.

And because its getting closer to Halloween, here is another zombie fx tip & more!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oy, screenwriting contests

Is it me or does the word screenwriter conjure up images of a cliched hipster stroking his beard, while lounging in a coffeeshop bragging about the psychedelic drug trip screenplay he'll never finish? Well maybe it is just me, but it seems like everyone and their mother is working on a screenplay these days. So, I've decided to distinguish myself from the average "unpaid screenwriter" crowd, by enrolling in a screenwriting contest to brush up my skills. NYC Midnight has a lot of fun creative arts-related contests they hold throughout the year, from short stories to 48 hour filmmaking contests. They're all fun and allow you the chance to get some honest feedback from professionals in the industry. So at the last minute I decided to enroll in their 2009 short screenplay contest. The premise is, you have to write a complete screenplay in 48 hours using a specific genre, location, and item they have designated for you. But it's a lot harder than it seems. For instance, my specific group had to write screenplays where the location had to be set in a horse stable, the story needed to include a generator at some point, and the genre had to be a monster movie. What?? Could it be anymore random? And it had to be done in 48 hours. Needless to say I struggled through the process...Having to write a story in a genre that I'm completely unfamiliar with and do it in two days is a daunting task. Eventually I came up with an idea that I think worked okay. It's obviously not a story that I would ever come up with on my own, but given that I only had two days I don't feel like it was that bad. The formatting was a little iffy (too much action and not enough dialogue! and dialogue is too corny!), but now I am a little more prepared for the next round. I'll let you know how good (or embarrasingly) bad I do after the judging ends on October 23rd. Until then I'll continue to work on my feature screenplay and run through my head all the improvements I could have made to the contest screenplay. Anyways, check out the site, if you're ever looking to brush up on your writing!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Zombies.....America's worst threat....

Its that time of year again....Halloween is around the corner, so we will be including some horror themed videos and filmmaking tips this month. More to come later...

Friday, October 2, 2009

So happy its Friday....

and with some drizzling going on in SD we are definitely going to catch up on some movies....C really wants to checkout Big Fan and I really want to Capitalism:A Love Story or Zombie Land. Either way there are finally a couple of good movies to choose from. Should be fun.

Film tip of the day:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Serious Man

It's been one of those days when you have a giant itinerary of things to get accomplished after work. You come home, strap on your working cap, and promptly fall asleep on the couch. I'm pooped. Very unproductive night. Oh well, we have a very full schedule this weekend, so maybe I can make up for lost time then.

Just checking Variety and the Coen Brother's new movie "A serious Man" has gotten a pretty good review . It's loosely based off their father in the 1960's. It looks pretty dark and funny. Cant wait to see it. Until tomorrow!