What's new in the world of film

The simple answer... nothing... there is nothing new happening. Except for maybe the strange blurring of lines between New Media and what Television Stations are calling 'New Media' as a way of somehow branding their products as hip and funky for their ill educated Gen Y target audience. But lets not get into THAT discussion, it's boring and ruled by the fact that there doesn't seem to be adequate ways of eliciting revenue from true New Media products so we have to masquerade old media as something new. Happily there ARE new films in the world of film and I've just spent a goodly amount of time sitting in dark rooms watching what Australia and the World have to offer at the Sydney Film Festival.

One of the more interesting sessions was the Dendy Awards screenings. With the documentary Rare Chicken Rescue probably the stand out film. It had that uniquely Australian flavour that we love so much down here.

There was also a short film about a dead Maori boy whose white friend, although somehow responsible for his death, went to the lounge room based funeral to say his farewells. The film revolved around the stand-off between the Maori family and the white kid. As an allegory on the state of affairs between indigenous and western culture it was probably the film with the most compelling idea in the session as it tried to talk about how without forgiveness and the giving up of anger on the part of the indigenous culture their future would be one doomed to destruction. It's just a shame that this excellent idea suffered from some really poor Direction with everything from the on-set cues, to the shot choices, to the editing being a decided turn off to the intrinsic message. Film can be an unforgiving medium even when using the best ideas.

There was also a film whose cinematographer was a very close childhood friend of my families. I'd heard along the grape-vine that he was involved in the industry and it turns out that Adam is now one of Australia's most talented young cinematographers. Good on him. His visuals in the film at the awards saved what I felt was an otherwise ho-hum effort.

But that's enough from me on the world of film. Whenever I critique other peoples work I always end up feeling like a bit of a duck-head. Who am I, with my film offerings, to tell other filmmakers what they should and shouldn't create. It's not like any of my films have appeared at SFF.

Duck Head
Compiled from Duck featured in The Mill and random emo girl.

In other news:
  • DSR is back, finally! YAY!
  • I haven't touched anything to do with Dragons all week.
  • Possum is molting... no, not molten, molting.
  • I'm trying to hire a camera operator for football.
  • I'm trying to get an appointment with my surgeon to convince him to operate before the shut down the elective surgery for Catholic Youth Week.
  • And a thousand little things need to be done.

I hope everyone is having fun out there.


Animating with Fire and Ice

I know, Crazy! But anything is possible with a pair of scissors, your imagination and a box of matches.

Oh Mandy by the Spinto Band and directed/edited/post prod by Jon Watts over at Colonel Blimp


Playing with Paper

So, a long time ago now I found this cool website where they give you free designs to make all manner of paper birds. They're lots of fun to make and look at. They're what my Japanese friends would probably call 'kawaii'. Go, make, have fun!

So as I continued playing with the ideas of dragons I thought to myself that it'd be really cool if the dragons came directly from the imagination of the child and the best way to illustrate that would be to have the dragon come to life directly from a child's drawings, ie. you could have a Nani-bird-style dragon where the designs on the dragons are the chidlers pictures and then stop-mo animate the paper dragons running around the room destroying things.

So, last night while watching that His Dark Materials movie (which I really quite like, 'cause I understand it will never be a patch on the books, except for some of the voice direction) I had a go at creating my own little paper dragon. He needs some design changes to his snout and will have to be somewhat bigger to animate properly but I think he worked out really well and is quite cute. With some wire inserts it would be quite animatable in my opinion.

Now, if only I had children's pictures. I guess I could go all out and ask the local supermarket to co-sponsor a colouring competition with me, with the 'winners' being included in the video clip... Hmmm... is that direct advertising to the age group the song is intended for or what?! And we'd probably get at least 20 pictures back to make into Dragons. Hmmm... I'll have to talk to my financial officers (that's Me and Mooncar ;) BTW) and see what we can rustle up as prizes. I like the idea of that.

Of course, It'd mean I'd probably have to finish this project *cough* Easter film still needs some editing *cough*.

So, what do people out there in the big wide world think?

UPDATE: Paper dragon Mk II - The snout is heaps better now but he still needs a couple of changes.



My first!

Hey, Look-y what I found. This was the first time DSR and I shot something together.

It was so much fun and took about 2 days of construction and 10 hours of shooting. I remember making this absolutely super cool sci-fi-type trapezoidal shaped set with removable walls and a mock-concrete looking floor for this little guy to sit in... why isn't it there? Because I finished it really late one summer night and let it sit over night and the hot glue of cardboard backed set met massive amounts of humidity and when I came to shoot the following morning the whole thing fell over and I shot with what I had rather putting it back together.

Anyway, I also updated the end to include my logo. It used to have... um... yeah, I don't remember. Enjoy!