Tag Archives: featured

Color’s Power and Potential

What makes color have an impact in cinema?

How it’s used.

Why it’s used.

What subtextual value the filmmaker assigns to a given color.

What specific color palette is used.

Filmmaker’s Color Tools

In cinema, color comes in two forms – light and production design (which includes costumes, hair, make-up, props, and set design); top-of-their game filmmakers utilize both to fit the characters and the themes of their stories.

There’s a fascinating and informative book called “If It’s Purple, Someone’s Going To Die” by Patti Bellantoni. She dissects how color is employed in a film’s production design to elevate, spotlight, or suggest various themes, emotions, and foreshadowing.

The Vimeo video below will give you an idea of how certain directors have implemented some form of color theory in their work.

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Birthing RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

When you watch a film that you absolutely fall in love with five minutes in, and you know it’s going to change the way you appreciate “movies” from then on out, when you sense in your gut that “movies” will become “cinema”, and you are destined to become a “cinephile” and to sacrifice a typical existence for one that is constantly seeking the brass ring of cultural immortality through cinema… you probably, at some point, ask yourself — many times over and over — how did those guys create that piece of entertainment?

For us, it was RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

Indiana Jones and his swashbuckling tale of derring-do exploded upon the cultural landscape in the summer of 1981 and irrevocably changed everyone’s expectations and appreciations for the action-adventure film. It gave George Lucas his second extra-lucrative franchise… and gave us the man in the hat with the whip.

raidersofthelostarkThe thing is, we are by no means unique in regards to our love and appreciation for this movie. RAIDERS’  impact can’t be overstated, and not just with us.

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Premiere of ARCHITECTS OF CRIME at LA Shorts Film Fest 2016

On Saturday, September 3, 2016, our film ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiered at the LA Shorts Fest… one of the Academy Award-qualifying film festivals.

We had a blast unveiling our film for the audience at LA Shorts Film Fest, and to our fabulous cast and crew who were in attendance.

Daniel L. Abrams, Hilliard Guess, Indra Bartona, William Derrick, Ko Massiah, Christopher Derrick, Peter Lucas.... filmmakers, producers, cast of ARCHITECTS OF CRIME, LA Shorts Fest - LA Live, Regal Cinemas
Daniel L. Abrams, Hilliard Guess, Indra Bartona, William Derrick, Ko Massiah, Christopher Derrick, Peter Lucas…. filmmakers, producers, cast of ARCHITECTS OF CRIME, LA Shorts Fest – LA Live, Regal Cinemas

 

Hillard Guess, William Derrick, Luther Mace, Christopher Derrick - ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiere, LA Shorts Film Fest - LA Live, Regal Cinemas
Hillard Guess, William Derrick, Luther Mace, Christopher Derrick – ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiere, LA Shorts Film Fest – LA Live, Regal Cinemas

 

Ana Zimhart and William Derrick at LA Shorts Fest, LA Live - Regal Cinemas
Ana Zimhart and William Derrick at LA Shorts Fest, LA Live – Regal Cinemas
Peter Lucas, William Derrick - ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiere at LA Shorts Film Fest, LA Live - Regal Cinemas
Peter Lucas, William Derrick – ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiere at LA Shorts Film Fest, LA Live – Regal Cinemas
Christopher Derrick, Hilliard Guess, Mario Perry, Indra Bartona - ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiere at LA Shorts Film Fes - LA Live, Regal Cinemas
Christopher Derrick, Hilliard Guess, Mario Perry, Indra Bartona – ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiere at LA Shorts Film Fes – LA Live, Regal Cinemas
Ana Montgomery Photo LA Shorts Fest AM28175
Filmmakers, producers, cast, and crew for Architects of Crime premiere, LA Shorts Fest, LA Live – Regal Cinemas.
Ana Montgomery Photo LA Shorts Fest AM28135
William Derrick, Marcos Efron, Bobo at ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiere, LA Shorts Film Fest – LA Live, Regal Cinemas

 

Waiting for the film to play on the big screen - William Derrick, Hilliard Guess, Christopher Derrick
Waiting for the film to play on the big screen – William Derrick, Hilliard Guess, Christopher Derrick

 

Main title card for ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiere at LA Shorts Film Fest - LA Live, Regal Cinemas
Main title card for ARCHITECTS OF CRIME premiere at LA Shorts Film Fest – LA Live, Regal Cinemas

Continue reading Premiere of ARCHITECTS OF CRIME at LA Shorts Film Fest 2016

First Festival Selection for Architects of Crime

,Proud to announce that our science fiction film noir short film Architects of Crime is an official selection of the 2016 Action On Film International Film Festival.

AOF2016OS

The Festival Game

We’ve had films in festivals before (F*ck You, Pay Me! screened at the  Hollywood Black Film Festival, Amsterdam in the Picture, and the Seattle Science Fictions Shorts Film Festival, to name a few). We even took home top prize. Which is an accomplishment, to say the least. It’s a tremendous honor to have your film screen on the festival circuit. It’s were you get a different type of exposure; the audiences are more inclined to appreciate alternative storytelling styles and endings.

One of the things that sort of sucks about making indie films and shorts (and particularly writing screenplays) is the target audience isn’t the actual viewing audience. It’s a small collection of people who then make a decision if a wider audience is going to see your film. And the big reason you seek the “I like this” decision for the Hollywood so-called taste maker ranks is that marketing dollars will be spent on your film if they get excited about your work.

Oone doesn’t need Hollywood’s permission or sanction to get your film seen by audiences, not with YouTube and Vimeo and all the other streaming platforms available. However, where Hollywood has the market cornered is marketing and advertising. It’s as if  Hollywood film distributors are actually niche ad agencies *it’s a wonder that a company like Publicis doesn’t snap up a film studio with its intricate distribution machine).

You have to do a great deal of self-promotion to raise awareness of your film just using social media. Selection and subsequent screening in a film festival adds to the audience awareness critical mass that you’re after.

We’re so excited!

Controlling the Aspect Ratio

The bulk of this article comes from Benjamin B’s article in The ASC magazine, entitled THE ELASTIC FRAME, any remarks or additions have been marked in blue.

In our current age of digital projection, the projection aspect ratio is subject to change at the will of the filmmaker, giving the filmmaker unprecedented control of how he or she wants to present their work on what canvas.

The aspect ratio of a film the “canvas” in which we filmmakers compose our images.

Let’s take a look at the options and their history.

1. Film-Projector Gates
2. Digital Projection
3. Biutiful (2010)
4. Anamorphic is not 2.40
5. Mommy (2014)
6. The Elastic Frame
7. Tradition and Innovation

Addendum:
11 35mm and 70mm Aspect Ratios

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1. Film-Projector Gates

In the days of film projection, aspect ratios were defined by pieces of metal. In film cameras the gate is the window that lets light through to the negative. Gates have a slot for sliding hard mattes, thin pieces of metal that narrow the window to a desired aspect ratio. (Hard mattes were more frequent in European cinema than Hollywood, where producers demanded open gates to have the option to do minor reframing). Many (but not all) film prints were also exposed with metal mattes that blocked light, putting black around the intended image frame.

Film projectors were outfitted with metal gates that matched the aspect ratio of the film, though these gates were often slightly bigger than the target aspect ratio; for example, some theaters used 1.66 gates for 1.85 films so as to be sure to not impinge on the image.

In traditional 35mm, aspect ratios could be changed by optical printing, but it was a complicated process. Note also that prints of anamorphic films had squeezed images, and required changing the projector lens as well as the gate so as to unsqueeze the image optically during the screening.

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Asimov on Creativity

Creativity… it’s the cornerstone success in any human society, especially one where technological development is critical, and designing the “new” is requisite for advancement in any field.

A couple weeks ago, MIT Technology Review published this lost article on creativity by the late, great Isaac Asimov.

The genesis of this outstanding article was the the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, under the aegis of a contract going by the acronym GLIPAR (Guide Line Identification Program for Antimissile Research). “The government recognized that no matter how much was spent on improving and expanding current technology, it would remain inadequate. They wanted us and a few other contractors to think ‘out of the box.'”

It was suggested that Isaac Asimov “would be an appropriate person to participate. He expressed his willingness and came to a few meetings. He eventually decided not to continue, because he did not want to have access to any secret classified information; it would limit his freedom of expression. Before he left, however, he wrote this essay on creativity as his single formal input. This essay was never published or used beyond our small group.” 

This essay “describes not only the creative process and the nature of creative people but also the kind of environment that promotes creativity.”

ON CREATIVITY

How do people get new ideas?

Presumably, the process of creativity, whatever it is, is essentially the same in all its branches and varieties, so that the evolution of a new art form, a new gadget, a new scientific principle, all involve common factors. We are most interested in the “creation” of a new scientific principle or a new application of an old one, but we can be general here.

One way of investigating the problem is to consider the great ideas of the past and see just how they were generated. Unfortunately, the method of generation is never clear even to the “generators” themselves.

But what if the same earth-shaking idea occurred to two men, simultaneously and independently? Perhaps, the common factors involved would be illuminating. Consider the theory of evolution by natural selection, independently created by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace.

Continue reading Asimov on Creativity

THE DARK ARTS – comic book cover

I love the process of making art… seeing ideas get tested, rejected, and then finalized is illuminating.

So we wanted to show the Anatomy of Cover for the for first issue of THE DARK ARTS…

As tarot cards are a key element to the first story arc, we wanted to give a nod to that…

We’re lucky to get the exceptionally gifted veteran colorist Lovern Kindzierski to add his magic to Oscar’s wonderful and haunting pencils & inks.