Tag Archives: the derrick brothers

Behind The Scenes from BLOOM

Directing BLOOM in Atlanta

Here are some production stills from the TV pilot sizzle we directed in March 2017.

Directing has to be the most intense rush one can get in the entertainment world. You prepare for weeks, if not months, for a few lightning quick days. Days that are filled with joy, exasperation, and revelation.

Setting marks during film of BLOOM Copyright © 2017 ShadowBoxer Cinema

Story Construction – Pixar’s 22 Writing Laws

pixar logo story telling at its best
Pixar logo

We’re not the first to post Pixar‘s 22 Writing Laws and we certainly won’t be the last, but bare in mind — it is always good to review story fundamentals to stay sharp.

Jazz giant John Coltrane would practice scales EVERY DAY for hours, why? To keep his craft at the utmost sharpness. In the film & TV game, the competition is entirely too fierce for one not to strive for the very best each and every time. And the Pixar Brain Trust has an unbelievably impressive track record of winners at the box office and at Oscar time. And each PIxar film’s success came down to an impressive, driving story.

As Bryan Tracy advises: find out what the best are doing and do what they do.

Continue reading Story Construction – Pixar’s 22 Writing Laws

Hearing Your Draft Read Aloud

One of the things that weigh on screenwriters is the number of people who actually read your material. Unless it’s getting made, perhaps 30 people TOPS will read the work you’ve spent countless hours on. Such is the vagaries and frustrating aspects of the business.

What is doubly irksome is a screenplay isn’t a work that is supposed to be “read”, it’s a document that is designed to be performed and to marshall resources and personnel so it can be filmed.

Continue reading Hearing Your Draft Read Aloud

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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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

ARCHITECTS OF CRIME – Behind the Scenes

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DoP Shane Daly and his team get ready for the next take; Peter Lucas, Rhona Bennett, , , Shane Daly (L to R)
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20 stories above the streets of Los Angeles a crime is about to take place… the rooftop video village; Co-writers/co-directors Chris & Will Derrick review the framing, while producers Hilliard Guess and Indra Bartona observe. DoP Shane Daly and his team finalize the camera set-up.
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Ana Zimhart kicks the shit out of David DeSantos during a take. DoP Shane Daly captures the action.
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Ana Zimhart reveals the blackmail footage as David DeSantos looks on as his fate is sealed.
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Ana Zimhart precariously walks the balance beam.
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Co-writer/co-director Will Derrick gives a last minute adjustment to Rhona Bennett and Peter Lucas
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The Derrick Brothers and DoP Shane Daly work out the scene breakdowns and framing options.
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A take in progress; Will & Chris Derrick watch Rhona Bennett and Peter Lucas on the monitor; DoP Shane Daly captures the take.
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Co-writer/co-director Chris Derrick reviews the framing of Rhona Bennett’s close up. DoP Shane Daly lines up the shot.
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Ana Zimhart prepares to flip off the water tower.
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DoP Shane Daly, high up on the building, readies his camera team to capture Ana Zimhart (climbing down the ladder) scale wall — in the one and only take.

These are a few more of the behind the scene photos for ARCHITECTS OF CRIME. MovieMaker magazine was gracious enough to hi-lite our work on its Instagram feed.

Looking at these now, several months later, the project looks ambitious, but every film project one directs can be considered ambitious because of the number of people you have to persuade to be on your same page. This means no one is above the film; that’s why egos must, under no uncertain terms, be checked at the door. The greater (or shall I more fragile) the ego at the department head level or above, the more trying directing a film can be. Everyone’s name goes on the film, and why does that no satisfy one’s ego? Why does that fail to give one satisfaction, because if it did then the yelling, screaming, and sabotaging wouldn’t happen.

We are forever thankful and grateful to our collective team who helped make this happen.

 

 

 

 

 

Star Wars: Rogue One Trailer

So LucasFilm drops this today!

The official trailer for ROGUE ONE: A Star Wars Story. The pluses is that we’re seeing the Star Wars universe with NO hint of the Skywalker Clan as main characters in the story… which after 7 films that story element has worn extremely thin (and we have two more films to go).

The minuses… it’s a story about the Death Star, which makes the fourth film to deal with a similar type of planetary menacing weapon. And since this is obviously about the mission that leads into getting the stolen data tapes into Princess Leia’s hands, so she can upload them into R2-D2 to kick off STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE.

Another plus! Forest Whitaker. Not since LAST KING OF SCOTLAND have I been more excited to see him in a film. He adds a quality to his universe that we haven’t seen… sure, Samuel L. Jackson was in the misbegotten prequels, but he doesn’t fit into this kind of universe. Whitaker elevates every scene he’s in, and when he’s not the star he brings nuance and energy and gravitas like only a rare few can do.

Another minus… the visual “lens”; just once would I like to see a Star Wars film executed with the directorial panache of an “artiste”; yeah, that sounds pretentious as fuck, but you know what I’m getting at here. Guys like the late, great Tony Scott or Danny Boyle or Steven Soderbergh never get a shot at directing a franchise film because they parameters of the franchise are too constricting to their director’s voice, and the producers and studio have the fiduciary obligation to cherish the franchise, to deliver these exact replicas of what made the franchise a franchise in the first place. But if these guys (or girls) were given the reins, it would be like the best fan fiction imaginable…

So Christmas this year… I guess all the other movie studios are going to concede December and April to Disney for the next 5 years (consider the Star Wars Film and the Marvel films). It’s probably a good time to buy Disney stock.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU – Part 11 featuring Nicolas Winding Refn

So l’enfant terrible Nicolas Winding Refn gets invited to the Criterion Collection.

I find Refn’s work hit-or-miss, but if it’s one thing it is consistently intriguing… DRIVE sort of elevated his stature in Hollywood, and unfortunately ONLY GOD FORGIVES dinged him. However, a film like BRONSON is where he gets to shine and dazzle.

His selections in the Criterion Collection closet are curious… it seems that most modern day auteurs bow down to Tarkovsky, and a lot of people yearn to see more Alex Cox (REPO MAN is delish).

I was a little surprised that he selected THINGS TO COME; but it’s a gem of a classic film that was so ahead of its time, and is one of the few films that can’t be duplicated because the world has moved to such a place that it is bizarre to conceive of something in the aftermath of a global-scale conflict that isn’t dystopian in the vein of the YA novels/movies that have dominated the Hollywood landscape for the last half decade.

Kazan’s advice… “Do it your way” is precisely the kind of thing Kazan would say, and it’s what filmmakers must do. Lest their work become forgettable. And that’s one thing we can say about Refn, his work is not forgettable.