DIT for Mind Hive Films
DIT for DP Mego Lin
DP for Director Tara C. Hall
Gaffer for DP Chris Westlund & Director Patrick Muhlberger
Gaffer for DP Jon Peter
Gaffer for DP Chris Westlund & Director Patrick Muhlberger
Gaffer for DP Chris Westlund & Director John Heeg
Gaffer for DP Alejandro Lilande
1st AC for DP Josh Young & Director Jeff Jenkins
Starring Johnny Pemberton, Eric Anderson & Lauren Pence
A hopeless young man decides to sell his soul in hopes of bettering his chances with the young woman across the way. In doing so, he loses the thing he loves most, and his life is changed in an unpredictable way.
Official Selection Austin Film Festival 2014
Winner Best Producer HollyShorts Film Festival 2014
Winner Honorable Mention Speechless Film Festival 2014
1st AC for DP Jeffrey Scott
Key Grip for Talkboy TV
DIT for DP Vasco Nunes
Key Grip for DP Chris Westlund & Director John Heeg
"My Funny Valentine" - Directed by Joe Battaglia
"Super Saver" - Directed by Sam Stefanak
"Chez la Fleuriste" - Directed by Cynthia Robinson
"The Anniversary" - Directed by Sam Stefanak & Andrew Sigrist
"Bay Pointe Technology" - Directed by Tyler Zak
Music: Brain Retractor - Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Chez la Fleuriste (Check it out here!)
Chez La Fleuriste follows Robert, a successful business man trudging through an unfulfilling life, who finds himself wooed by Catherine, a whimsical extrovert and lover of French film. The film follows a non-linear path through their relationship’s ups and downs–as the things that once drew them together may now push them apart–and Robert learns that fairytale endings may not always come to be.
Chez la Fleuriste is a project that has been in the works for a quite some time. A few years ago my friend Cynthia Robinson--a French & English major and Film minor--wrote a script based off of a French poem she had a great fondness for: Chez la Fleuriste by Jacques Prévert. She took the poem and expanded its mere 20 lines into 15-page screenplay. The story evolved into the tale of a successful but arrogant business man (Robert) looking back on his past love for the whimsical, vivacious Catherine--and trying to figure out where it all went wrong.
In the summer of 2010 I read the script and fell in love immediately. I met with Cynthia about coming on board for her film, and soon after took the reigns as both Director of Photography and Producer. We attempted to move into production in the spring of 2011, but it faultered; our schedule was chaotic, our crew spread thin over various projects, and our actors swamped with work in the theater and elsewhere.
We were disappointed. We were upset. Cynthia and I knew we had an intense love for this project, but it just wasn't happening. That's when we decided to take a step back and gain a new perspective. We decided to move production forward to next year. It would be hard to quell our anticipation to start shooting for an entire year, but we knew it would allow ourselves ample time for proper pre-production and to do this film right.
Cut to: Spring 2012. We've learned from our mistakes, grown as filmmakers and creatives, and gained greater insight into this entire production. We have spent the past year honing the script, enhancing the visual approach, and putting together a stellar dedicated cast & crew to make this film a reality. We are incredibly excited to move into production in the coming weeks and finally bring this film to life.
Our sincerest gratitude goes out to the people who have dedicated to this project. We cannot thank you enough for your contribution--whether it be creatively, financially, or coming aboard our crew. This project has been an important part of our lives for the past several years, and we can't wait to move into production and share this wonderful story with the world.
Keep updated on our progress at: chezmovie.com
Follow us on Twitter: @chezmovie
We Need to Talk About Kevin
I am a huge fan of 'dark' films, and We Need to Talk About Kevin more than passes that test. It also possesses a truly genuine emotional core. If I had to describe this film, I'd say it's a thriller about relationships wrapped in a horror shell. Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton) is a new mother to an unplanned child who seems born with a pre-disposed distaste for his own mother. The film jumps around throughout the first 17 years of Kevin's life and we see the grueling life Eva struggles to endure as she is psychologically tormented by her own child.
Eva: Haven't you ever wished you had somebody else around to play with?
Kevin (age 6): No.
Eva: You might like it.
Kevin: What if I don't like it?
Eva: Then you get used to it.
Kevin: Just because you're used to something doesn't mean you like it. You're used to me.
This film has some of the best cinematography I've seen of late. The imagery in Kevin is absolutely astounding, and is made even more effective by some top-notch sound design. Additionally, the editing does a fantastic job of weaving a web of mystery throughout the film. We don't quite know exactly what has happened and what's to come--as the narrative timeline jumps around constantly--yet it never feels convoluted or confusing.
For anyone interested in the darker side of the human condition and looking for an intense thrill ride with incredible production value all around, I cannot recommend We Need to Talk About Kevin highly enough.
Verdict: Highly Recommended
Best Features: Absolutely stunning cinematography, intense performances, stellar editing and fantastic sound design.
Over this past spring break I went on a backpacking trip to Utah with some friends. We hiked through the backcountry in a near-blizzard, slept through (or attempted to sleep through) massive winds, and spent 3 days trekking through Coyote Gulch in Escalante, Utah. It was a much-needed trip and a head-clearing, rejuvenating experience to get away from all the stresses of work, school, personal life, etc. A common saying in the photography world is that "the best camera is the one you have with you". This was certainly true for my time in Utah, as the following photographs were all taken with my iPhone (so much for getting away from technology).
In recent years there has been an influx of end-of-the-year compilation videos of the past year's movies. One of particular interest is the work of Matt Shapiro, who has been cutting together these compilations since 2006. His most recent work, 2011: The Cinescape, is far greater than just a simple compilation video. This piece shows some intuitive editing chops and incredible storytelling skills. It is difficult to put into words why we filmmakers do what we do. This video communicates exactly that--it says... well, Shapiro himself said it best:
This video is an attempt to use the remarkably diverse selection of films released over the course of a year's time to construct a broad narrative encompassing the many different elements that comprise the cinematic medium we love so dearly.
Jeff Who Lives at Home
I saw this film on a whim last Sunday at the local Athena cinema. I didn't know much about it going in, other than half-watching a trailer posted online and general positive word-of-mouth. By reading the synopsis of this film, one might expect a cookie-cutter stoner comedy; in fact going into it I expected a very Judd Apatow-y comedy with a lot of vulgar jokes and ridiculous situational humor. What I was treated to far exceeded my expectations.
Let me start off by saying this is hardly a traditional comedy. Perhaps a more accurate yet complex description: this is an adventure film about coming of age wrapped in a serious drama with a pleasantly comedic tone. The fact that Jeff (who, you guessed it, lives at home) is a stoner is not the comedic nucleus of the film, it merely serves as the catalyst for his soon-to-come journey. Jeff (Jason Segal) structures his life perspective on the film Signs; long story short, he puts heavy stakes in fate and destiny and believes everything happens for a reason. When he gets a wrong-number call asking for "Kevin", it provides the first 'sign' sending him on a journey that brings him face to face with his distanced family members and the issues holding them apart.
This is a story about someone who is desperate to feel like they have a purpose in this world, and dedicating everything they have to find what that purpose may be. Segal's performance is incredibly honest throughout, and Jeff's insistence on a higher purpose--especially in the face of his condescending white-collar brother--is terribly heartbreaking at times. There's a great mix of conversational and situational humor as well as incredibly deep emotional content as the three focal characters of the film (Jeff, his brother, and his mother) face their own individual mid-life crises.
The story is unique, the performances stellar, and the score absolutely charming. I didn't know what to expect from Jeff Who Lives at Home, but I can confidently say I already expect it'll make my top films of 2012.
Verdict: Highly Recommended
Best Features: Grounded performances & a fantastic[al] score
Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain This is the film that convinced me I wanted to be a cinematographer. I've always had an interest in camera work and operation and certainly an appreciation for lighting and shot composition, but this film showed me what is truly possible with cinematography. I fell in love with this film instantaneously (not to mention the marvelous Audrey Tautou) and was entranced with its vibrance, perspective, and energy; in fact, I assume I probably looked quite like Amélie in the shot above.
And Yann Tiersen's score is absolutely wonderful. A particular favorite: Comptine D'Un Autre L'Apres Midi