Possible 2023 Slate

EDIT: I’m going to keep this stickied to the top of the Blog for all of 2023, and keep it updated as the year progresses.

I’m only a couple of days into 2023, and already i’ve got a stack of really interesting things that I’d like to accomplish this year.

On top of playing as many shows as possible, I’ve already got a stack of ideas scribbled down. . . almost one a month for all of 2023.

Lots of things can get in the way, and plans always change, but as of 4pm on Tuesday, January 3rd, here’s a rough list of everything I’d like to do this year (in addition to 12x VJOLTRONS, and whatever releases I end up duplicating for Virtua 94, Retro Release Video, and anyone else who’d like to release some VHS tapes).


✔ denotes completion!

Jan

VJOLTRON – 1/9

8 HOUR SMART TAPE

• 8 HOUR CYBER TAPE

8 HOUR BEMANI TAPE

Feb

• VXPX_048 – #PureMoods 2023 – VHS release – V94
• VXPX_051 – Future StreamsVHS release – V94
H4XOr1 digital release
VJOLTRON – 2/13
• STREET SPIRIT (FADE OUT) 2019 Photodiary
• STREET SPIRIT (FADE OUT) 2020 Photodiary
• STREET SPIRIT (FADE OUT) 2021 Photodiary
• STREET SPIRIT (FADE OUT) 2022 Photodiary

Mar
Dirty Epic Photo Book
• VXPX_049 – GREETING THE NEW DAY – VHS release
VJOLTRON – 3/13
• VXPX_045 – VVerevvolf Fucktape – VHS & Cassette (re)-release – V94
• VXPX_046 – Perfect Tone – VHS Release
• VXPX_047 – Untitled SC – VHS Release

Apr
60 Second Wipeout Video Installation
H4XOr2 digital release
VJOLTRON – 4/10

May
Home Away from Home Photo book (title subject to change)
VJOLTRON – 5/8


Jun
• VXPX_052 – $kinhead Fucktape – VHS & Cassette release – V94
H4XOr3 digital release
VJOLTRON – 6/12

Jul
Music for Three VCRs – “Decay” Live Performance
VJOLTRON – 7/10

Aug
H4XOr4 digital release
• VXPX_050 – H4XOr5 – VHS & Cassette Release + Tour? – V94
VJOLTRON – 8/14

Sep
V I D E O H E X installation
Music for Three VCRs – “Stasis” Live Performance
VJOLTRON – 9/11

Oct
• VXPX_053 – Øbject Fucktape VHS & Cassette release – V94
VJOLTRON – 10/9

Nov
Music for Three VCRs – “Growth” Live Performance
• VXPX_054 – Music for Three VCRs – VHS release
VJOLTRON – 11/13

Dec
• VXPX_020 – Tomorrow is Code for a Bright and Shining Future – VHS release (finally)
VJOLTRON – 12/11

Thoughts on ‘Tiny Cinema’

Even on a $100 million film, people will complain that they haven’t got enough money and enough time, so that’s always going to be an element in filmmaking.
Ryan Kwanten

 

 

I was wading through my RSS feeds on Feedly (RIP Google Reader!) when I came across this link:

http://kotaku.com/chinas-awesome-microfilms-are-worth-checking-out-482097746

 In the article, there’s a brief discussion of China’s rise of what they’ve termed ‘Microfilms’ (微电影).  Essentially, they are digital shorts posted to streaming sites, like Youtube.

For anyone working in our industry, this is nothing new. . . We’ve all worked on at least one short that was made specifically to be streamed online.  I personally think there’s nothing wrong with that. . . if anything, I think it’s awesome.  ANYONE ANYWHERE can shoot something, post it up, and people can have access to it.  This is the biggest change our industry has seen so far in the 21st century. . . Not the ‘Death of Film’, the rise of Digital Projection, or even the ubiquity of digital effects.  

The biggest change is ACCESS.  

During the 20th century (pre-video), if you wanted to shoot a film and have people see it, you had to go through the Hollywood system.  With home video, these restrictions were somewhat relaxed, and gave rise to the modern indie scene (granted, this is a GROSS generalization. . . there’s a lot more to the story, but bear with me).  Then came the internet. . . and distribution channels widened.

Fast-Forward to NOW, and we have entire communities built around the idea that ANYONE, ANYWHERE can upload video, and share it with the world. . . and the world has been watching.  The fastest run on a video I ever had was 30,000 views in 6 hours. . . more people saw that video that my ENTIRE previous output at that point.  In the scheme of things, my numbers were small, a drop in the streaming video ocean, but still. . . that was a big deal for me at the time.

One thing that I’ve noticed about the youtube is a dearth of serious, dramatic, and for lack of a better word, ‘cinematic’ content.  There’s literally HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of hours of cats in hats, teens crying over [insert pop idol here], and middle-american testicular injuries. . . but the ratio of ‘films’ to ‘videos’ is still quite low.

I’d say the biggest reason why there’s so much content on Youtube (and other sites) is not necessarily the fact that it exists (“if you build it, they will come”), but that the vast majority of people now have 1080p cameras in their pockets.  Most smartphones available on the market will give you a passable image with enough skill, light, and patience.  The sound isn’t always the best. . . but, again, still passable.  The post-production tools are readily available. . . all people need is the time and drive to make films.

Most of the content I’ve seen on Youtube has been either funny, tragic, or informational.  There’s a metric ton of great-looking content being posted constantly. . . but there seems to be a lack of serious, dramatic storytelling.  I suppose my question is ‘Why is that?’.  Why aren’t people shooting small, serious films in their spare time?  Are naturalistic, compelling stories worth less than Vlogs and DJ Fail videos?  Does the world want more rally crashes instead of stories about people?  Much like our Mumblecore forebears (ugh. . . I just cringed at how pretentious that sounded), we’ve got access to equipment, and stories to tell.  But why aren’t we doing it?

My challenge to you is to DO it.  Do it for the SAKE of doing it.  Do it for the art!  We’re all filmmakers (I hate that word).  We’ve got the talent, the skill, and the ideas.  Go forth, and take advantage of this fresh film democracy.

That sound like grandstanding, but I feel like you know what I mean.

The thing I hear most often from my peers is they WANT to write/direct/shoot/whatever their passion is.  They expend tremendous amounts of energy trying to get to a position where they can take advantage of opportunities to practice their craft of choice.  Obviously, these are our careers. . . this is how we pay our rents.  But there’s no reason why we can’t be doing this in our off time, as well.

I don’t know about you, but I love what I do.  I’m a cutter. . . and if I wasn’t cutting professionally, I’d probably still be cutting in my spare time.  Since i’m cutting all the time, I like to think that i’ve gotten pretty good.  In Malcolm Gladwell’s Pop-Sci book The Outliers ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book) ), he talks about a 10,000 hour rule; if you do something for 10,000 hours, you’ll become successful at it.  I’m a big fan of this, and I’ve been trying to get to my 10k hour mark as quickly as possible.  There’s no reason why other people can’t do the same.  Why are you waiting for that opportunity to direct?  Directing is a craft, a skill.  Go out and practice.  

I think of it in terms of touring musicians.  You can’t wait until you’ve sold-out Madison Square Garden to be a rockstar.  It takes a tremendous amount of time practicing, honing your craft, until you can get to a position where you’re successful.  Same goes with shooting.  If you’re a DP, why are you reading this?  Why aren’t you out shooting?

There’s this idea that you need to raise a bunch of money to shoot a film.  This simply is not true anymore. . . You can go out RIGHT NOW and shoot for nothing.  I’m not saying that ALL films should be shot for free. . . that would be terrible.  But there’s other forms of payment besides monetary compensation.  I was talking to a colleague about this idea of ‘just shooting’, and he said that he’d gladly shoot for free for the right project.  In my opinion, as long as you don’t feel it’s a waste of time (time is money), you should have no reservations about shooting for free.  You shouldn’t have any reservations at all.  Just shoot.  

Again, look at mumblecore.  Members of that loose movement had access to new, cheaper means of telling stories, and they ran with it.  Why can’t we do the same?

Enter ‘Tiny Cinema’.

This obviously isn’t a manifesto, but an idea.

 Using consumer cameras (or whatever gear is handy), small crews can shoot naturalistic, compelling stories, inexpensively and quickly.  These films won’t only tell amazing stories (I feel the term ‘New’ can no longer apply to the stories themselves, just the way they are presented), but stretch the bounds of what’s considered possible with current consumer technology.  Minimal Budgets create Minimal Risk. . . experiments can be conducted in a nearly consequence-free enviroment.  The idea of ‘Tiny Cinema’ is to not only help one hone their craft, but be a test-bed for new ideas/techniques that can be applied to larger films/paid projects.  As long as the people involved have a chance to take chances, hone their craft, and contribute to a film they believe in, then the work isn’t ‘free’. . . it’s an investment into one’s future career.  Write in your off time, approach your actor friends (we’ve all got some).  Pick a day, see who’s around.  I don’t care how busy a season it is for me. . . I can always find a day somewhere.  Take a day off, go out and shoot.

Obviously, this sounds like a ‘No Pay but looks good on your Reel’ pitch. . . but there’s more to it than that.  This isn’t a moneymaking endeavor (i’m highly critical of the ‘sell a short to finance a feature’ business model), just an opportunity for everyone to grow, and tell great stories.  

Those of us working in New York live on the biggest ‘back-lot’ in the world.  I urge you to take this idea, using the city we love as a Backdrop, and tell compelling, contemporary stories.  That’s what Tiny Cinema means to me.

As a ‘Put-Up-Or-Shut-Up’ kind of deal, ANYONE who approaches me with a small short like this asking me to cut will get my serious consideration.  If your story is there, I’ll cut it for you.  We’re here, it’s now, and we’re young/hungry.  There’s literally no reason for us to do it.  

Do these things, and put them out in the world. . . and then do them again.  Keep doing them.  Keep doing them until you’re amazing.

Tl;DR Go Out, Shoot Good stories, Use whatever you have.  Do it for Free, Do it For Love, Do it For Art.  That is Tiny Cinema.

See Also:

Mumblecore http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumblecore

Dogme 95 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogme_95

Celtx https://www.celtx.com/index.html

iMovie for iPhone 4 and the future of filmmaking http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-20007040-233.html

 

10,000 Hours to Greatness http://jameswharris.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/10000-hours-to-greatness/

 

Also, this:
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/filmmaking.html

Post-Production Master Class, Sept. 27th

So… I just signed up for a Post-Production Master Class in NYC, presented by CREATESPHERE. I’m really stoked… last time I interacted with Createsphere, it was for REDUCATION in LA.

Here’s the link: it’s gonna be KILLER. .. LINK!!

Here’s some of the stuff that’s going to be covered in the class:

Sessions:

1:00-1:45 p.m. – Grammercy Room

Post Production For Spots:  Delivering On The Idea

The new advertising landscape is wild — from web spots and videos to traditional television and social media, agencies and production companies are at the bleeding edge of creativity. Meet the fearless producers and agency team members who take these ideas from concept to delivery. See how the timeframes dictate the processes, production, post and technological choices that get made.This is a rare opportunity for you to go behind the scenes, explore a series of spots and projects that captivated audiences and come face-to-face with the teams that were responsible for executing the creative.


1:45-2:30 p.m. – Grammercy Room

A Colorful Conversation: Meet the Colorists

The colorist is crucial in the delivery of almost every piece of content seen today, working closely with creative collaborators to deliver stories that are technically and creatively sound. The methodology of color science, ACES, creative relationships and the integration of emerging technology and onset color tools continue to create a dynamic and exciting environment. Join a a panel of top colorists for an in-depth exploration of the changing pathway to the images that capture our attention: Will Cox, Co-founder, Final Frame; Lenny Mastrandrea, DI Colorist and Head of Department, Nice Shoes; Tim Stipan, Colorist,Technicolor-Postworks; and others to be announced.

2:45-3:45 p.m. – Grammercy Room

TECH SPOTLIGHT

See the tools that are changing the industry! Spend an hour with our sponsors and you’ll be rewarded with an in-depth look at the gear that’s transforming post production.

3:45-4:30 p.m. – Grammercy Room

Talent, Story, Time and Technology — Television Post Production, New York Style!

Spend time with the facility leaders and post teams from some of the most important television shows being made in NYC.  Matthew Schneider, Technology and Business Development Director, Technicolor-PostWorks, gives us a spirited look at the ways Manhattan post houses keep up with the city’s busy television production hub.

4:30-5:00 p.m. – Grammercy Room

The Evolving Post Production Career

Careers in post production are in a dynamic state of change. On-set tools, color technology, visual effects, budgets, talent and globalization dramatically and continually affect careers in post production. Join a roundtable of post production professionals who will thoughtfully discuss where we are as an industry and where we need to go. Speakers include Marcelo Gandola, President, Post New York Alliance, Sr VP Deluxe Content Creation Group; Matthew Mallinson, AllCreative NY; Glenn Allen, Co-Founder/VFX Producer/VFX Supervisor, Brainstorm;Richard Friedlander, Co-Founder/VFX Producer, Brainstorm;Terry Brown, CTO, Mega Playground; editors from ACE; facility owners; VFX producers and more.


5:00-6:00 p.m.

Hosted Reception

Relax with a drink, continue the conversation and network with your peers after the Class!

spnsAllCreativeSM6:00-8:00 p.m. – Sutton Place

Super Summit 3

Held after the Post Production Master Class, the Summit, hosted by AllCreative NY’sMatthew Mallinson, is a dynamic meeting of New York post production user groups who get together for cocktails, conversation and networking — and don’t miss the raffle!

See you at the raffle!

Ginger Fish, Addam Bomb & Znuh! @ Santos Party House, Aug. 8th



Click for Details

My good friends Addam Bomb & Znuh! are gonna be supporting Ginger Fish (ex-Marilyn Manson) Aug. 8th in Manhattan… if you’re around, we’ll probably be shooting, and hanging out… so come hang out with us!!

Here’s an interview I shot with Addam a few years ago, so you know what’s up: