Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dancing With Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton leads 1,500 people in a dance-along to Barry White's "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" during Roger Ebert's Film Festival in the Virginia Theater on April 20, 2013.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Look What We Can Do

From Boston to my beloved Texas, tragedy, shock, and terror seem to rule.  There is much I am concerned about. There is much I could be truly upset about. But I've come to understand that I'm evolving into a serial positivist (is that even a word?).

My immediate reaction after shock and horror is to seek out those things that are positive. Like how the Boston Marathon already had many paramedics and police in place. Like how West and surrounding areas in that area of Texas has some of the best firefighters and medical teams already there. Like how beyond the tragedy, the people rise up, they help each other, they work to make things better almost immediately. The resilience is evident and overpowers the terror. It shows me the light of humanity and it makes me proud to be a part of it.

I'm probably the biggest Superman fan you'll ever meet. So much so that I can't talk about it sometimes. It was Richard Donner's original SUPERMAN THE MOVIE that really inspired me to be a filmmaker when I was so young. The site of Christopher Reeve flying in the suit gives me chills and hearing John Williams amazing score inspires my soul. It really affected me.

The Man Of Steel trailer premiered this week. I've been anxious about really seeing it and even more anxious to hear Hans Zimmer's take on the score. I mean how can you top John Williams?

There are no words to describe how this trailer and how Hans Zimmer's work has affected me. It was not only, for me, a perfect trailer, but it feels and looks like an excellent execution of a true cinematic Superman. The original SUPERMAN THE MOVIE was an inspiration to me and always will be, but THE MAN OF STEEL looks to be a TRUE CINEMATIC EVENT. It feels like what all movies should strive to be, more than a film, an experience to behold.

For me it was the perfect light to shine through the darkness of this week. The symbol of Superman has always been an example of resilience and courage. He becomes the character that human's look to, to strive to be. And with that, this trailer is an example of the power of the movies.

I believe in the power of movies. I believe a great movie can lift your spirits and elevate your soul. I believe it can inspire you to do great things. That's something we can use now more than ever and it's why I strive to be a better moviemaker.

It makes me think of a line from the original SUPERMAN THE MOVIE. Jor-El says:.
They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.

I disagree. As humans I believe there is much we may lack, but light is not one of them. I've seen more than one example of the light we can shine as a people this week. Maybe even more than the power of cinema, I believe in the power of people. We are capable of creating art that inspires and capable of helping and healing each other in times of tragedy. We are capable of creating and becoming that great experience to behold.

More than fear, this week, I've seen light and inspiration. We're not men of steel. We're beings of light and hope.

And I'm proud to be one.

To borrow a line from my favorite episode of Aaron Sorkin's SPORTS NIGHT. "Look what we can do."

Art by Alex Ross

Monday, April 15, 2013

Melissa Joan Hart's Walk Of Shame

Good old MJH has taken a cue from Veronica Mars and started her own Kickstarter for her own project "Darci's Walk Of Shame". Taking it to the fans to help fund a movie where she can display her acting chops beyond a Hallmark Channel Actor.

Personally I love Kickstarter. It's been very good to me and my projects. And it's an excellent tool for not only fundraising but to also for really building an audience.

I really do love Melissa Joan Hart and I would love for her to succeed at this, but there is talk about how this Kickstarter hasn't really taken off like Veronica Mars and there are a few conversations online about why someone as popular as Melissa Joan Hart isn't getting the same kind of traction for her own project.

One of my issues is with one of the pledge rewards. At the $250 level you can pledge and get your name in the end credits as a Special Thank You. But then there is a disclaimer that states

"We will do everything in our power to make sure your name is spelled correctly and we don't miss any names or leave anyone out. However, mistakes are made, and if we make one here, be assured there is no intent. We ask for your forgiveness, with the understanding that once the film is released, we won't be able to make any changes."

As both a Kickstarter creator and pledger this statement doesn't get me excited to pledge. It basically says we'll take your $250 but you may not get your reward. This statement really needs to be modified. There should be no comment on how someone may be left out, especially since the reward is only limited to 99 people. You'd better not leave anyone out. A better statement would have been:

"We will do everything in our power to make sure your name is spelled correctly. Please make sure you are submitting the proper name the way you want it to be spelled. This is the name we will use in the end credits and it cannot be changed once the movie is released."

Other than that I have no problems with the project other than I just don't find the movie concept to be that exciting. I may very well pledge because I'm a MJH fan, but I think it's tough to get to Veronica Mars level excitement for a project that no one is familiar with.

Veronica Mars already had a built in fan base and a movie was something alot of people were clamoring for for a while. That's why that Kickstarter took off like it did.

$25 grand 4 days in and they're aiming to raise 2 million with 40 days to go. It's a slow start but we can't count them out just yet. I wish her the best of luck in getting this done, hopefully with her fan base and the right push she can really pull this off. Good luck to you Melissa.