Making the Movie


Your Wednesday Links: Went Girl

Most of these links come from the @makingthemovie Twitter stream. If you'd like to see them as they come, follow us on Twitter.

Rolling Stone: 'Gone Girl' Author Gillian Flynn: 'I Killed My Darlings' - It sounds like the film was a rather faithful adaptation. Except that the book was less misogynist, because you could get inside Amy's head. Or more misogynist, because you got more of what was going on in Amy's head.

The Hairpin: Patriarchal Parody: The Rom-Com Logic of David Fincher - My review of the film will be forthcoming, but until then, know that I agree with many (but not all) of the points raised in the SlashFilmCast discussion.

iO9: How To Turn Star Trek Into The Next Marvel Movie Universe

HomeMedia Magazine: Redbox Instant Was Doomed from the Start - and on a related note, Drew McWeeny's rant on why Marvel's universe is "driving Hollywood crazy"

Hollywood Reporter: Hollywood Salaries Revealed, From Movie Stars to Agents (and Even Their Assistants)

People will say, "There are a million ways to shoot a scene", but I don't think so. I think there're two, maybe. And the other one is wrong.
-David Fincher

Your Weekend Viewing: The Ocean Brothers - replaced bad link


Movie Review: Believe Me

official-movie-poster-for-believe-me-in-theaters-and-on-demand-starting-sept-26-2014Believe Me is a sharp, thoughtful film about a group of college students who start a fraudulent ministry. When Sam (Alex Russell) sees how willingly Christian congregations will part with their money, he devises a fake charity and recruits his three frat brothers, Pierce (Miles Fisher), Tyler (Sinqua Wallace) and Baker (Max Adler).

There is some good-natured poking at Christians, especially their love of free-trade coffee, but the film does an admirable job in walking the very thin line between being insulting to Christians and being pro-Christian propaganda. Because of the fine performances by the four would-be charlatans, Johanna Braddy (as the inevitable love interest), Christopher MacDonald (as the ambiguously ethical leader of the touring ministry they are piggybacking on) and Nick Offerman (in a brief but memorable cameo), the characters are allowed to speak for themselves, not for a particular religious perspective.

The film was shot in Austin in just 20 days. Kudos to DP John W. Rutland. The film looks stylish and polished; I find it hard to believe this is director (and co-writer) Will Bakke's first feature.

There are a couple times where I might've made different story decisions. The flashback tease at the open doesn't actually pique my interest in the story, as I think it was meant to. Some of the montages go on longer than needed to make their point. While it lacks the edge of a festival darling, it's edgier than most films which satisfy mainstream sensibilities. All in all, this is a promising debut for Bakke and has put some new young actors on my radar. Believe it.

Believe Me opened in theaters and on demand on September 26. It is rated PG-13. Official website here.


Your Weekend Viewing: The Ocean Brothers

Some nicely-done underwater photography. No VFX needed.

[via CPN]

UPDATED 8 Oct 2014 with new YouTube link. (Original Vimeo link pulled down.)


Making the Movie: The First Decade

Ten years ago I started this website to chronicle a film project I was producing. The project never got off the ground, but the website has continued.

Big round numbers like this seem like they need commemorating. So... yeah.

Thanks for reading. I'll keep writing and making movies; you do the same.


Your Wednesday Links: The YouTube Reboot Edition

Most of these links come from the @makingthemovie Twitter stream. If you'd like to see them as they come, follow us on Twitter.

Fast Company: Rebooting YouTube - A profile of new head Susan Wojcicki and her strategy of promoting 'home-grown' YouTube stars.

TechCrunch: Netflix Is Available In France, But It Still Needs Work - Headline: no House of Cards. The foreign rights were already sold to competitors. Rights issues are what continue to confuse consumers -- difficult to know what movies and T.V. shows are available on what service at any given time. See also Forbes' article on the negotiation dynamics between Netflix & the movie studios.

NYTimes: Kickstarter D&D doc leads to lawsuits - A cautionary tale for tabletop game designers leads to a cautionary tale for filmmakers.

The Film Stage: Quentin Tarantino on Creating a Film-Only Haven, How Oscar Obsession Ruins Festivals, and More

News Shooter: Kinogrip's new Grenoble wooden handgrip

ProdHub: 5 Ways To Give Your Low Budget Film More Production Value

Zeitchik in LATimes: On the set of Birdman with Iñarritú, Keaton and Lubezki - An early awards favorite, along with Imitation Game. Can't wait to see.

Quora: I think I have written a great first draft of my new script, is it worth using a screenwriting service to take it to the next level? - See also What's it like to have your film flop at the box office?



Movie Review: Honeymoon

Fresh review of a Magnet release from a friend who goes by the name Robert Ditzenburger. Enjoy. --JO

* * *

honeymoon-rose-leslieHoneymoon begins with two newlyweds, Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway), telling stories of their romance into the camera lens of a wedding videographer. We then cut directly to their secluded honeymoon on a lake. In all honesty, nothing of dramatic interest happens in the first couple days at the lake. We learn little about the two characters and the newlyweds seem awkward together, as if they were strangers in a shotgun wedding pretending to vacation.

Eventually the duo decides to venture into town where they run into an old childhood friend of Bea’s, Will. Will and his wife give off the same sense of normalcy as Norman Bates in Psycho. Instantly after this chance encounter the forest surrounding this romantic getaway feels increasingly threatening. Paul is plagued by the suspicion that things are not what they seem. Honeymoon follows you through Paul’s frantic search for the truth, while simultaneously trying to maintain his relationship with his wife. His paranoia lets you believe anything is possible in these woods -- supernatural, extraterrestrial, the occult or otherwise. What Honeymoon delivers in the end is as creepy as anyone could hope for.

The film is well-photographed right from the start. You get a sharp contrast between night and day. Daytime scenes feel like a completely different world where the woods are non-threatening. The darkness in the woods at night makes the cabin feel like the only safe haven around.

The early acting in the films leaves a bit to be desired; the couple is hard to believe, the passion of a honeymoon is lacking. The actors do deliver, however, in their moments of distress as the film goes on. They let you feel paranoid and alone in a dark world, where the only person you can really trust is yourself.



Your Weekend Viewing: Kick-ass Russian Sci-Fi Short

As far as I can tell, the VFX house BLR put this video out as a demonstration of their talents. There is certainly some impressive work here. Solid character animation and beautiful design.

What did you think of the short? Where do you think the story should go from here?

[via facebook friend JP]


Avid Error of the Day: Invalid argument, filename:/Volumes…

When I encounter an odd error message and its solution, I make a note. This is one of those notes. I want solutions to turn up better in searches for other Avid users (and myself). As with all error posts on the site, the casual reader can just skip ahead to other less-technical content.

Avid invalid argument error

Exception: Invalid Argument, filename:/Volumes/Media 1/Avid MediaFiles/MXF/2/msmFMID.pmr

Saw this when trying to quit out of Avid after doing some media management. Based on this thread, this is an error that has cropped up for a while when things go wrong with drive permissions. In my case, I think it happened when I changed some partition sizes.

Here's a recommended method by OS X Daily for dealing with bad permissions. They say do a "repair" on the drive using Disk Utility. That gave me an error too. But I was able to use the "verify" command in disk utility and that seems so have fixed it.


Your Wednesday Links: What You Put Your Camera On

Most of these links come from the @makingthemovie Twitter stream. If you'd like to see them as they come, follow us on Twitter.

An Ode to Steadicams (Kottke) - CandyCam: A New Aerial Rig (Kickstarter) - Build Your Own C-Stand (No Film School)

Apple Insider: Apple updates pro-level video suite with fixes for Final Cut Pro X, Compressor and Motion

YouTube: Terry Gilliam's feature-length commentary from the Criterion laserdisc edition of The Fisher King - "I had three rules in my life when it came to making films. One: I would never do anybody else's script but my own. Number two: I would never work for a major motion picture studio. And number three: I would never work in America. I've done all three of these things and it's called The Fisher King."

The Dissolve: From box-office bomb to cult favorite in the making: MacGruber

Home Media Magazine: Hulu Drops Out of ComScore Top 10 Ranking

Fstoppers: A Makeup Tip I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Started Photography

Lights Film School: Indie Film Distribution Deals & Festival Strategies: A Case Study

Bedford + Bowery: The Story of Kim’s Video & Music, Told By Its Clerks and Customers - A must-read for any New Yorkers who remember the weird rare movie rentals institution.


What are Martin Scorsese's favorite films? - Added links to more of Scorsese's lists of films to watch.


Your Weekend Listening & Viewing: Pop Culture Podcasts & Hyperlapse Stop-Motion Techniques

NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour had an excellent discussion of the effects of movie ratings on the types of movies that get made. You don't often think about it, but the small group of people who give movie ratings are a big determining factor in the types of language, violence, and sexuality that is considered culturally mainstream. For a less sober, more in-your-face look at the issue, see This Film Is Not Yet Rated.

Also, Slate pop culture podcast, The Gabfest, had a nice discussion last week about movie soundtracks:

If that's not enough to keep you busy this weekend, well enjoy a demonstration of the latest experimental film technique: hyperlapse. It's a Microsoft algorithm that smoothes out sped-up footage to give a nice steadicam effect to your crosscountry timelapse.

This music video claims to use hyperlapse, but really it just seems to me to be some good old-fashioned stop-motion. Either way, pretty cool:

And here's the how-to: