Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And the Frenzy stops!

I've finished my script, and became a winner in the 2009 script Frenzy. I used new screenwriting software called Celtx, and it worked for me pretty good. I would thoroughly suggest using the software if you're starting out. It's free, and really it has some great features.

The script turned out to be 107 pages, and though I know it's all in the re-write I think I can be proud of the script. It's from the heart, and I wrote on what I knew about. I'm sure I can write a better script, but right now I love this one, and I guess that happens with every writer.

I have heard about doing a feature in two weeks on Twitter. I have to say I'm intrigued, but there is so much to think about, and there are a lot of limitations, but I do like a challenge.

It reminds me about the time I read about Roger Corman's film "Little Shop of Horrors". It was made on a bet that Corman could make a movie in 2 days using sets that were standing form other movies. I have to say that is intriguing.

Right now I'll bask in the after glow of writing a pretty good script, and to think I finished just in time for my birthday. It's going to be a good May Day! Remember filmmakers. UNITE we have nothing to loose but our chains.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jack Cardiff 1914-2009

I just found out that Jack Cardiff died today. Wikipedia describes Cardiff's career as: "spanning the development of cinema, from silent film, through early experiments in Technicolor (and, less successfully, Smell-o-vision), to film making in the 21st century. He was best known for his influential cinematography for directors such as Powell, Huston and Hitchcock." I knew him as an innovator of Technicolor film, and for his film "Black Narcissus" (1947). A lot of his early work was shot in the studio, yet it didn't look it. It is a testimonial to his skill as a director of photography that his films still are admired and loved.

Cardiff won his cinematography Oscar for the 1947 film "Black Narcissus", which was directed by the legendary duo of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

Cardiff received two more nominations in the same category for "War and Peace" in 1956 and "Fanny" in 1961.*

Jack Cardiff was a legend," said British Film Institute Director Amanda Nevill.

"He was a world-class cinematographer who pioneered the techniques of shooting in Technicolor. "He made a unique contribution to some of the greatest films ever made."

It always sad to say good-bye to such a talented man, but it is always great to have his material available for us to enjoy over and over again.

If you like to see some stills and listen to Cardiff talk about his photography, and his film career go to Cardiffs web site. He was an astounding still photographer also.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Frenzy & the Documentary!

Dear Dad from Karl Bauer on Vimeo.

It's been crazy, and exhilarating all at the same time. When I do something I seem to tax all my resources, and push everything too the limit. I'm on page 59 on my script about my dad. It's gotten a bit difficult as I get up there on pages, but I'm getting there. Since I'm basing some of this on things that have happened it sometimes gets a bit painful to write. But it's amazing how much I forgot too. In these past few days I've been talking to people, and letting them tell me about how they saw things. Sometimes it's like Rashômon and at other times it's amazing how certain memories trigger others.

The above clip is part of the documentary about my dad. It has no music to it, and it's my voice that's narrating it, and I'm a bit uncomfortable hearing my voice, but it is a start. There is so much more to do, and I'd like to hear less of me and more of others, but that may be difficult since there are very few who are alive now who really knew my dad. But I figured I manage, and I did say I would try and post my progress, so here it is. Comments are always welcomed. I've been video taping my mom, and that's kind of fun. I hope to do more this week.

To inspire me I watched "Italian American" by Scorsese. Scorsese did a little documentary on his parents back in 1974 which is pretty neat. I like how his subjects do the talking, and how intimate it is. It's well done, and I'm pretty sure Scorsese shot this in 16mm. It's on YouTube if your interested. I'll post the first ten minutes below. It's a good lesson on how to make an interesting documentary, and it's really entertaining.

It's been interesting. I'm not totally satisfied with the script, or the documentary, but it'll evolve. The one thing I can say at lest is that I'm doing something I love, and that's important. Not doing was killing me, and doing something for yourself is quite rewarding. We'll see how it all goes. Of course there are a lot of other thoughts running around the old noggin, but lets finish some projects before we start others.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Frenzy is on...

So I've been writing. Twenty pages in, and closing in on finishing the first act. I have to say I'm exceeding my goals here, but I have a feeling as I get more into it I'll have a bit more of a problem. I do know how I want to end the script, and I do have some ideas for the middle, but the hardest thing for me to write is the son's part. Funny isn't that. Now I'm not basing it the son's character on me, but I would be lying to you if I said the character wasn't a bit of me. They say write what you know. Isn't that the key? Well I am and it seems to be flowing.

What frustrates me is that I'm not writing it to a particular budget. Right now it's pie in the sky for me. If I didn't do that I would have limited myself even more, and that would have hurt the story. So I'm writing for story sake. Not for budget. I doubt I could even put this into production, but the script is getting the creative juices flowing again, and I think I can do some justice to the story. I don't hate it, and that's not a bad thing for me. I just need to keep at it.

Last night I was watching TMC, and they had "Satuday night, Sunday Morning" which was Albert Finney's first part. I remember seeing it in film school, and it came back to me slowly. I like how the director Karel Reisz shot it, and used music to inspire a theme. (See the trailer below for an example of the music) Reisz would also do two other films I liked called The Gambler with James Caan, and The French Lieutenant's Woman with Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons. Seeing Saturday night, Sunday Morning kind of inspired me, and it jolted me into thinking on how powerful silence is sometimes in the cinema. Sometimes a shot is worth a thousand words.

Maybe that's what is making me write, but I want to take this writing assignment seriously. I'm not the greatest writer, but with practice i can get better, and with some editing a good screenplay can be a great screenplay. Hey right now the creative muse is singing, and who am I to argue. As for now the FRENZY continues. Let's see how it all works out.