12 Months of Movies: December

I guess you’ve probably noticed the gap between September and December.

Life. As it happens. Is rarely the way that you planned.

Actually those are song lyrics, but they’re good song lyrics. We have filmed a movie every month since September, but we haven’t finished editing them. October’s movie will be in post for a while, and is titled¬†Fail the System. November’s film is an art piece that lacks a few imperative components. It has a crazy story of its own.

But this, this is December. And we finished a fun little film that I am very proud to call my own. We had some notable awesome help. We had a great location given to us by Officeworx, downtown KC.

So here it is…Three Single Guys.

As always, feel free to comment with feedback, critique or projects of your own!

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12 Months of Movies: September

In September we made a film that turned out a lot longer than I first anticipated. We worked with a fantastic new actor, who continuously went out of his way to be helpful, offer suggestions and step out into the street to make this film special.

When I wrote this script I was thinking about one of my best childhood friends who was deployed during some of the really bad parts of the War on Terror (not that any part is good, mind you). I am also married to a veteran, my brother is a veteran and my grandfather fought in WWII.

So here is SPC Lisa.

As always, feel free to comment with feedback, suggestions or projects of your own!

12 Months of Movies: August

August happened…A while back.

I think I’m losing my momentum. It’s been a rough summer. The fall is turning out very well, and I have little good reason to be delayed in making or posting my films, but I am. I am.

This is something that turned out maybe not like I wanted. And I’m not exactly surprised, but I shall let you decide how you like it.

As always, feel free to comment with feedback, suggestions or projects of your own!

Fail the System: A short film with a long process

I’m working on the short film for October. I’ve been working on the short film for October since…June 12th. Originally I wanted to write a short about a very controversial subject that I have never seen in a film. But when I started writing Working_Title Red I realized that I had to have a primary storyline that was more accessible to a general audience.

I wanted to write a drama. So I started doing research on dramas, especially dramas that were dialog-driven, which is not the way I have been writing for years. The above show was recommended to me. I watched A LOT of it and found that the representation of family drama is the best I’ve seen onscreen.

This show, Broadchurch, was also recommended to me as a quality drama. It’s about a small English town that experiences the murder of an 11-year-old boy and struggles to come to grips with the reality. It is one of the most cinematically beautiful stories I have ever seen. The editing is superb, the acting is flawless and the writing is arresting.

It’s also one of the most depressing things I’ve ever watched and I had to take it in parts to better deal with the emotions it brought on (I don’t like watching things that make me that sad, but it was very good).

The following images I found as a reference for very good cinematography composition. The DefineFast Productions film will employ this kind of style.

So what is Working_Title Red about? Well, it became Fail the System, and it is about a sister and brother who work together to outwit a devious college professor and deal with some serious relationship issues. Yes, a drama. With dialog. Although it is not as dialog-driven as something like Gilmore Girls.

Since Your Sister Sent Me, a short film DefineFast made in 2013, I have not made anything this intense as a large-scale project. The cast and crew is currently being assembled for this and I am excited to see it become a reality.

Just a little info into the process of making a short film. As always, feel free to comment with feedback, critique or projects of your own!

12 Months of Movies: July

I know it’s been a long time. I’m sorry. I got involved in a project in July that turned out to be a bigger commitment than I realized, along with a lot of other things (Like moving. Which I did this weekend).

Since I wasn’t the writer, producer or director of this project, I was hesitant for it to count as my July film. And it happens to be a web series, so that’s a thing. BUT, I was brought on board as the Cinematographer, which was HUGE. I’ve never been the cinematographer for anyone else’s project (Except commercially and for the TV show JDtR, of course).

So I really enjoyed working with the people from Masked, a modern retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I do have my own short films planned for August, September and October. ūüôā

As always, feel free to comment with feedback, suggestions or projects of your own!

12 Months of Movies: June

The unsinkable DefineFast Productions has struck again.  This time to bring you a short film about co-workers.

This film was unique in that it takes place entirely in 1 location.  We tried to vary the shots to emulate the movie Buried, which is cinematically fabulous and also an incredibly disturbing movie.  Our film does not compare to Ryan Reynolds being locked in a coffin under ground, but that was the inspiration.

Here is Marketing & Numbers.

As always, feel free to comment with feedback, critique or projects of your own!

12 Months of Movies: March

We set out to make a short drama, but that got put on hold.  So we made this other thing.  I came up with the idea, Cody wrote the script in about 30 minutes, then I revised it.  Paul and I came up with a rough shot list, mostly just coverage.

Then we filmed for about 3 ish hours. ¬†We shot the barest minimum I’ve shot of any film since 2007. ¬†That includes films made for the 10-Hour Film Competition and the 48 Hour Film Competition. ¬†That made editing interesting.

Special thanks to Jeremy Wood, who allowed us to use his office. ¬†And had grace with us when…well, you’ll see what we did.

Enjoy the tiny story that is night.

As always, feel free to comment with feedback, ideas or films of your own!

12 Months of Movies: January

A truly collaborative project is unlikely.

Seriously.

Pixar does it.  Game design companies do it.  I suppose the Coen Brothers do it all the time.

My husband and I made a film. ¬†When we filmed the majority of it I didn’t even know the ending. ¬†Here’s some advice: ¬†if someone wants to film something without a script and just wing and don’t even storyboard, don’t. ¬†Don’t do it. ¬†You’re gonna waste a lot of time and get frustrated.

That being said, this project worked. ¬†In part because Joshua doesn’t really know what he’s doing. ¬†He listened to me, he filmed, he set up shots the way I described and let’s face it, we are pretty happy together no matter what we’re doing. ¬†That’s why people get married, isn’t it?

So here’s the film.


Special thanks to my dad for some props.

As always, feel free to comment with feedback, film suggestions, or movies of your own!

Rules, Anyone?

Welcome to 2015.  The Earth is still round.  The USA is still my home.  Gravity still keeps us trapped on the surface of the only habitable rock in nearby space.

Stop that. ¬†What I’m saying is this; a new year has begun, but humanity remains the same.

Last time I posted I told ya’ll of my new goals for this year. ¬†I briefly mentioned something I dubbed “12 Months of Movies.” ¬†I’ll elaborate.

In this illustrious 2015 I shall complete a film every month. ¬†A “film” in this instance is anything motion captured that exceeds a minute in length and tells a story. ¬†Whether the story is true (or a version of truth, called a documentary), or fiction, animated (drawn, generated, stop-motion), or live action, silent or full of diegetic sound, filmed by me or another person, written by me or another person…it’s all an open field. ¬†When I say “I” in this instance I mean that I will be the driving factor behind the film, whether I produce, direct, write, edit or shoot it, I must be either the main reason or the partnering reason the film gets finished.

So:

  1. I shall complete a film exceeding the length of 1 minute each month.
  2. The film can be any genre and any medium.
  3. I must be the driving force behind it’s completion.
  4. I must post it here, whether it succeeds or utterly fails.  We learn more from our failures than our successes anyway.

(Joss Whedon)

You may be asking me why I am doing this.  After all, I had a fairly successful year last year with 52 creative projects.  Why trouble my life by seeking out a new way to suck my time and energy away?

There is a terrible burden in being an artist.  It is this:  does my work, my life, my soul and heart and time mean anything?  Is this art actually worth anything?

I don’t know yet. ¬†I don’t know what kind of stories I should be telling. ¬†I know what kinds I like to see, but I don’t always make those kinds of stories real.

What I can tell you is that I shall make some comedies.  I shall make some dramas.  I will hopefully make an action film or two, since I enjoy those greatly.  And I shall want, desire and ask for your feedback.

Tell me what works. ¬†Tell me what doesn’t. ¬†Give me your opinion. ¬†Even if it’s “I hated this movie a lot”, tell me. ¬†And when I ask you why, please be specific.

That’s the only way I’ll ever really know if it means anything.

Following that line, what story or genre or type of film would you like to see, if anything could be made?  A vampire movie?  An epic?  A drama about a big family?  An action movie?

Next time I post, it will be a film.  Talk to you then.