Friday, November 16, 2007

The Last War



First off "The Last War" was written, produced, and directed by a gentlemen by the name of Amodio Giordano. I met him at the advertising agency I worked. We both loved George Romero, and were a fan of the his work. My credits on this film were the cinematography, the editing, and sound mix, and I'm billed as associate producer. Amodio and I were a two man crew, and we acquired our equipment from Staten Island Community television. Amodio is a great graphic artist, and he even made a poster for it which hangs on my wall in my office at home. Another man who should be credited is also my friend Andy, also named maxruehl on YouTube. Andy helped in the mix, and I believe it is his moan that we hear in the Church sequence. We slowed it down, and filtered it.

The sound mix is credited to Charlie Banner & Nick Devito which was in reality Amodio and I. We mixed the entire film in one Saturday at the agency. It took about 8 to 10 hours, and it came out really well for the equipment we were using. The original soundtrack was by a man named Ron Granger, and our recording engineer was Roger Bartlett. Ron had toured with Patti Labelle, and Roger was responsible for some of the music in "Urban Cowboy". Both Amodio and I visited his home studio in NYC, and were amazed to see two Gold records on his wall. It was my first brush with some great artists, and I never forgot it.

The video was edited on an old A/B editor that could do dissolves. We edited the film over two week-ends I think, but I'm not to sure. We even took out shooting permits, which came in handy when a highway officer stopped us while we were filming on a Staten Island road way. We showed the officer the permit and he smiled and said have a good day.

The film was shot over two week-ends I believe. One day Amodio and I had over slept, and we had to boogie out the door to the shoot. I stayed overnight with Amodio and his family, and it was a very communal feeling. I liked that. We were doing what we loved, and I was getting some great shots. Everything looked good, and even though we weren't shooting film I really loved the images we got. Later Amodio would decide to put the images in Black & white, and keep the past footage in color. We had discussed the possibility of doing this throughout the shoot, so I shot accordingly. It was a good choice and one that helps the film.

The film even won in two categories in the Nova film festival. It won best video in health & environment, and best original teleplay. Amodio deserves the credit for this neat little film, and I cannot help express my appreciation to our star Noel Catti, who was a real trooper throughout the shoot. Amodio and I eventually helped him with his video project which was a Christmas musical. Another BIG thanks goes to our voice. The incomparable Geordie McNeil. Geordie was the agencies resident voice. He has done commercial voice over work, and he is a great editor & producer.

The film was shot in 1990, so its old, but the work still stands out, and it's a good film. I had hoped that we would carry this working relationship into making a feature, but that all collapsed, and never was. Like all things it was great working on it, and it was a lot of hard work, and passion. I thought it deserved to be put on-line and viewed.

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