Little Saturday Morning Post here…

My weeks are getting busier, for sure, so that’s why I’m having a hard time posting as often as I’d like.  That being said, let’s get it to it.

Paul Newman

Paul Newman

First off, Paul Newman died last night at the age of 83.  He was a really successful salad dressing entrepreneur for those of you who don’t know.  He was also nominated for 10 Academy Awards in his life time too, and won once for his role in The Color Money, a film, I’ll be honest, I have never seen.  It’s strange to see Hollywood icons steadily disappear, these juggernauts who used to be the face of the industry.  Now, there is a generation of people, myself included, who were never really familiar with his work, or at least had not rushed out to see a Paul Newman movie.  It’s just mainly cause of age.  That, and he had really taken to being part-owner of a stock car racing team and being a philanthropist in the twilight of his life.  I guess maybe I have some Paul Newman movies to watch now.  If you have any personal faves, feel free to let me know.

As far as film school is concerned, we’re really starting to gear up here for our D1 projects.  Next week is the last week of actual class.  We’ve been assaulted with information since we got here.  Now, we actually have to use it.  After we’re done with class, we have a week of what they call “crew drills,” which is essentially you learning from the second year MFA’s and professors on a real set environment.  This should be a little nerve wracking.  We had an exercise the other day in Directing where we were to set up lights and camera for a closeup of one person in a two-person dialogue scene.  After that, we had to set up another over the shoulder shot for a second person.  Then, a wide shot.  What Reb was doing was showing us how clunky it is to light fr a scene in a close-up and then try and move the lights for a wider shot and such.  When you film a scene, you typically want to shoot from the outside in.  Meaning, you need to light the entire scene first, and from there you can move in to the close ups and such without having to adjust the lights much after that.  On a film set, it’s all about time.  You have a specific schedule of shots you plan to shoot and if you’re not being efficient with how you set up, you’re going to blow the whole schedule.  If you blow the schedule, you don’t get as many shots or coverage of the scene.  If you don’t have as many shots, you’re stuck in the editing with whatever you have.  There is no way out of it.  Everything in film is like this assembly line and one little snag has ripple effects way down the line.

For our D1’s, the whole point is just to get through with a some semblance of a movie on the other side.  They’re only going to be 5 minutes long.  We pick our scripts from a pool of shorts written by written by writing students based on the 7 deadly sins.  They vary in genre: horror, comedy, thriller, drama, etc.  We get 1 or 2 actors assigned to us, and we might have to cast smaller roles to fill out the script.  It’s pretty much just a test to see if you can even handle making a movie.  Our MFA class has two tracks of 15 people each.  You only make the movies with your track.  Each person gets one day to direct their project with everyone else in the track filling out the crew positions.  We rotate through every position on set, from Above the Line positions (Producer, Director, Director of Photography, Production Designer) to Below the Line positions (Key Grip, Gaffer, 1st AD, 2nd AD, 1st AC, 2nd AC, etc).

I’ll be honest, I have no idea how this is going to go.  I keep having this vision, like I said, of showing up to the location and no one having any idea where to start.  It’s going to be fine.  I think everyone is a little concerned.  Our track has had a few clashes of personalities lately and we need to make sure there isn’t like “an incident” on set.  I’m not expecting to make a groundbreaking movie here, I just want my set to be calm and fun.  No yelling or screaming.  Let’s just shoot something and hope it goes well.  The cool thing is we get our films assigned to the other track for editing.  So, we’ll have a completely objective opinion about what works and what doesn’t.  This will be a big help when you are dealing with a very complicated dolly shot you spent 3 hours on doesn’t fit into the overall feel of the film and it needs to be cut.  You would want to keep it becsause you’re attached.  The editor will say, “this blows, lose it.”  I mean, this could be good and bad.  So, maybe I’ll cut together a directors cut with some commentary for the DVD.

Ok, I started this blog in the morning, but then I left ot eat some Qdoba with Dave and Matt.  We saw Eagle Eye after that.  Not bad, kinda long.  It was a fun movie nonethelsess.  Then we had a little Back to the Future Part II.  Not sure I like Part II as much as the first but it is so cool.  They really had a fun time splicing in new scenes into the old ones.  That was really awesome.

I guess I ran out of things to say.  I’ll have more of an update in a few days.  Some things to look forward to this week: We have to interview as a rockstar in our acting class.  I’m Ozzy Ozbourne.  That should be fun to play.  I’ll just bumble my way through it.  Then on Friday night we have the rockstar performances.  Every person has to perform a song from their respective rockstars and it’s going to be an all-out party.  I think that will be fun.

Pretty upset that UGA lost to Alabama.  But at least we lost to a ranked team, USC, looking at you.

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3 Responses to “Little Saturday Morning Post here…”

  1. Carrie Elway Marino Donavan Says:

    Rule number 1, youre number 1.

  2. cool hand luke is a good, generally crowd-pleasing paul newman movie

    and qdoba? thought all the qdobas in town went under… whered u find a freaking qdoba??

  3. rule number 2, crocs number 2

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