Sunday, April 12, 2015

Collaboration: Shoulder the Lion

Erinnesse, Patrick and Katie
Erinnisse & Patryk Rebisz film Katie Dallam in SHOULDER THE LION

I study collaboration like a hungry student devouring a loved subject. My favorites are the mom & pop's who manage to keep a business and a loving relationship alive and thriving. They collaborate at home and at work which requires respect, mission and creativity. As crew members, we can feel that. It has a positive impact on our work.
Katie Dallam: down for the count.

The movie SHOULDER THE LION, in part, follows Katie Dallam who inspired the movie MILLION DOLLAR BABY. She lost half her brain in her first (and last) professional boxing match. Errinnesse Rebisz (pictured top) built a mood on set with her regard for the crew, her direction (along with Patryk) and music choices. The crew ran with that to create styling and lighting that helped propel Katie's story or mood. This was one of the rare occurrences where I could incorporate movement (dance?) from the light source (a Kenoflo). I imagined Katie's struggle to hold on to or let go of consciousness as her mind/soul somersaulted from light to dark and back again. There is an element of exploration in creativity. One challenge of creative collaboration is knowing how to explore while still keeping on schedule. We may plan to explore the shot, even though we already we have a rough shot storyboarded. The preparation is still important to get us on the same page.  But the subject matter of a character on the precipice of death demanded our extra consideration.

Erinnessee told me later that the my lighting had inspired her husband to "up his game". This shocked me because I thought I was trying to make my lighting more creative to match his creative cinematography. This reveals another tenant of collaboration. Aspiration + Listening = Something greater than any one of us would have done alone. Collective creativity, like a loving relationship also thrives on respect and mission.  I was admiring (listening to) Patryk's method and doing my best to augment it. He was doing the same for me. 

I got to see the finished film this week at the Middle of the Map Film Festival. Evidently,  Erinnesse & Patryk have collaborated with the post sound people in the same way. Shoulder the Lion is a strong film.

Friday, January 2, 2015

George Brett BBQ

George Brett BBQ Sounds Good
I had 2 jobs with George Brett this year and neither of them were for BBQ; but that may be his biggest passion after the Royals. The smoker behind him looked like sputnik with all kinds of wires coming out of the back of it.
Photo by Honumon Brown Eagle

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What is a Meme?

My friends over 35 always say "What?" when I say "meme". They think I'm talking about myself and then humming. Wiki says a meme is a "unit for carrying cultural ideas" but I think of it mostly as a one frame joke or a one frame mixed media cartoon.
You can create your own memes using these iphone apps.
Cali the squirrel hunter

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas card

Simon folded this stellated icosahedron out of many little pieces of notebook paper with his cousins and Aunt Brenda.

Simon and his stellated icosahedron 

This years Christmas card was a challenge because I wanted to do a cinemagram but also wanted to be able to mail it the old fashioned way. The the iphone 3gs did not have enough resolution for a really good print so we reshot with the 5D.

Simon and his oj

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Moving Pictures

The first time that I watched La Jetée by Chris Marker I didn't realize that it was entirely still images (and not 24 of them per second).  This gave me the confidence to use an old Nikon SLR to shoot one of my first short films, Planet Trash.  In both these films, the still image becomes an asset to the story because it gives us feeling of a lost memory or nostalgia.

The spooky picture above uses video and stills together.  I did it for the perfume business  I intend to do more of these.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Good Mentor: Bill Gilbert

Bill Gilbert (1944-2012) groomed others to be their best. He did this for countless grips, gaffers, electricians, cinematographers and film-makers. He did not suffer fools well but he became an asset to those he corrected.  Here we are on the set of a western picture with his wife Nancy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tomas Update

Tomas Update, originally uploaded by
Its been several years since we finished "Body of War". Tomas Young who the film follows, looks like this today. He may be smiling but his message is dark. Since the movie, an aneurysm (related to his injury) has caused partial paralysis in his hands and his speech is now garbled. Donahue wanted to show that the costs of war are even greater than what the film shows. This epilogue will not be on the DVD. That was cost-prohibitive since the DVD is already out. This will show at future film festivals during the Q&A and hopefully on youtube too.