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‘films’ Category

  1. A Lot of Good Stuff

    February 25, 2011 by jjosh

    Ok, let's follow this path a little bit, and see what we're talking about as far as unlocking creativity.

    First off, there was this short short film that I really wanted to make. Got an invite to submit a film to Moviehouse a few weeks ago, and so we made A Minor Revelation, which I have linked to before, but will do again for the sake of completeness.

    A Minor Revelation from josh granger on Vimeo.

    So that played at the Moviehouse film night, and there was a vote to see which of the 14 2-minute films would win. The vote was decided by applause, and we won, which was pretty exciting. Such a democratic way to vote too, it was a blast. What did we win, you ask? We won the first swing at the pinata they had for the rest of the party. So they handed me a big wooden stick, and told me to give it a go.

    I took one crack at it, and decapitated the thing. Done. One blow. It was fun as hell. Someone got a great pic of it:

    Then, it keeps going. Unbeknownst to me, friend HB and MRT made off with the head and hatched a whole plan to hit me like that scene with the horse's head in The Godfather. Last weekend was such a monster — we were out trying to see an event at 3:30am on Saturday morning, then had guests visit for Saturday & Sunday (and they are guests who like to drink), so it was late nights all round. Monday I knew I was staring at a full day of work, so really Sunday morning was the only time I had to try and sleep in, recover. Went to bed late Saturday night after a heavy round of drinking, so stoked to turn off the alarm and just sleep as long as I wanted…

    And was awakened to the pinata head, and MRT filming me and giggling. When you watch this, look at me, look at how I'm hiding from the camera, I'm in so much pain, both physical and spiritual. All I want to do is hide.

    I don't know if you caught it, but the only way I was able to get her to turn off the camera was by saying "You wouldn't want me filming you when you wake up in the morning." Because believe me, she wouldn't. Let's put it mildly and say she's not a morning person.

    So she left me alone, and I was lying in bed, frying my brain because I couldn't get back to sleep after that crazy experience. My brain was on overdrive, and I hit on the idea that what we needed to do with our afternoon was to shoot a remake of that Godfather scene, shot-for-shot. And since MRT had put me through some pain that morning, I was pretty sure I was in a good place to demand that this happen.

    We loaded up the scene from youtube, had it on the iphone, and made a shot-for-shot remake. It was a good time, 'cuz our friend who were visiting were tv folks too (an AP and an editor) so we all got really into it. Loaded it up, put the original sound under it, and AK who was staying with us dialed up an awesome sepia color-correct to try and match the original…it came out well…

    But the real fun is with youtube doubler, which I have come across a number of times, and with which you can run the original and our remake at the same time to see how close we got…not bad for just an afternoon…you'll know it's in sync if the audio sounds normal (no echo)…if it won't sync up, try going to the original page, and if it still won't sync there, try hitting refresh a bunch…

    YouTube Doubler

    Yeah, that's a lot of good stuff.

  2. This Race is Amazing

    February 12, 2011 by jjosh

    We shot a short short film yesterday morning — remind me never again in one day to attempt to shoot a short, edit it, then watch the Superbowl, then finish the edit — and got it all polished up today. It came out pretty well, and was a blast to do. It’s been ages since I’ve done a small film, shooting for no reason other than the fun of it. And this was actually even a bit above that as it was super simple narratively, but we did rent a bunch of equipment (7D! doorway dolly!) from rental places in Manhattan to make it look really good. And I think it does. Maxine did a stellar job with the camera work, and Vince was so solid in the main role.

    The reason I felt we had to get it done yesterday was that there was a deadline for a 2-minute film submission today. We got it all done, I burned the DVD and then rode a bike over to 3rd Ward to drop it off. Sunday is the 4th anniversary of Moviehouse, a kind of film art collective screening night (or something) and they had an open submission for 2-minute films to potentially show at their event. I didn’t really read too much about it, just saw the open submission, knew I had been desperate to make something fun, and put the plan in motion. At one point I said to Vince, and realized it was true, that with this kind of project, “a deadline is almost as good as getting paid.” And it really is true. Having a deadline helps so much, gives you that push.

    There were a lot of factors contributing to the fact that I hadn’t made a fun film in a long time: moving to New York meant kind of a social reset and it took some time to find like-minded folks, Maxine and I have been pretty swamped trying to take Hitman to the next level, and working on Musicwood at the same time, and — and this one was a tougher realization — it’s been secretly hard for me to get into the swing of things because this was something that Mike and I always did together, and with him gone, it’s kind of a tough reminder. It’s been 6 years (really, 6 years?) and it’s definitely dialed down a bit, but it’s still tough. Last Wednesday, Mike’s birthday, I finally got around to digitizing all the films we made in the 90’s (those VHS’s are getting close to crumbling) and I’m in the process of getting them up on vimeo. I’ll post the link when they’re up.

    There’s an even weirder thing, which is that I have this raw footage for a film Mike and I shot in 2001 or 2002, and have since lost the finished piece. You have to understand, we were making little films whenever we could, although, since neither of us had a camera or any kind of editing equipment, we had to find people to borrow it from all the time. So at one point we decided we were going to apply to be a team on ABC’s Amazing Race. We made up this whole narrative for our team, where Mike and I had been best friends but then he stole a girl I was really into and we hated each other, but then they broke up so now we’re trying to patch our friendship back together. You know, the kind of stuff that reality tv eats up with a spoon.

    For the application you also had to send in a video of the team, so they could see how you did on camera. And for some reason, we thought it would be best for us to make this completely bizarre video where Mike was this shirtless guy living in an old abandoned shopping center in Annapolis (Parole, now a crazy mall/America place), and I was his friend who used to live there but somehow got out. He phoned me, and I was imploring him to leave the crazy shopping center, and finally he does, extolling the fact that “there’s a whole world out there!!” The implication being that Amazing Race would allow him (and us) to experience that world. It was totally bonkers. I was working as an editor for TLC at the time, so we cut it on the AVID I had access to, and recorded it out to VHS.

    And sent it in, and I think I saved the project for ages, and then somehow it vanished. No trace of the finished film has ever turned up, but I have the raw footage on a miniDV. I know at some point I’ll try to re-create it — although it won’t be 100% because I know there was music of some kind, and I had MIke do some voice over for it — but right now, I’m too too busy to think about it…

    At some point though, it’ll be a blast.

    Oh, and no shock, we didn’t get into the Amazing Race, although I remember Lee K was really digging the film.

    And then hey, Thursday I got an email that said Moviehouse is going to screen it Sunday Feb13th as part of the mini festival we submitted it for! Amazing! Stop by 3rd Ward if you’ll be in the area, it should be fun…looks like about 10 films, so it’ll be great to see our film projected large, and with an audience…I will report how it goes…

    A Minor Revelation from josh granger on Vimeo.

  3. heaven’s door

    October 8, 2010 by jjosh

    I'm doing this gig for a month in midtown, and I have to take a subway tunnel on 14th st to get to the 1, and as well as a "New York Times published poet" there's always someone playing music in there…this morning there was a guy doing an amazing version of Knockin on Heaven's Door…it sounded perfect, underground, mournful, acoustic, the sadness mirroring the people on their way to somewhere, in between places…

    it made me think of watching Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" which is a fitfully amazing film, and for which Dylan wrote the song…I remember watching it with Brooks M when we were in HIgh School and he was crazy…he was telling me how if you really want to make a film you should pick your favorite film and just watch it over and over, learning what shot cuts to what, and trying to figure out how it was made…this sounded horrible to me…I did not have any kind of discipline back then, and the idea of analyzing a movie shot by shot seemed awful…Brooks told me he had done it to PG & Billy the Kid…then we watched it…

    parts of it were crazy boring, parts of it were amazing…the part where Knockin on Heaven's Door shows up is amazing…

    unfortunately I can only find it in Spanish, but maybe you can still get the impact of it…even today when I heard it, I thought immediately of Brooks and how I've been meaning to break down a favorite film of mine for ages and have never sat down and done it…gotta do that some day…

  4. would that I were in Portland…

    October 6, 2010 by jjosh

    then I could go to this animation festival, which looks amazing.

    DMTV trailer – Floating World Animation Fest, Holocene, Oct. 13th 2010 from Floating World Comics on Vimeo.

  5. man, relax

    September 17, 2010 by jjosh

    true story…(thanks KT G!)

  6. a face melter

    September 8, 2010 by jjosh

    Wow. I love Dash Shaw's low-fi sci-fi psychedelic aesthetic, and this animated film he's been working on looks amazing. Music is solid, building building building. It looks like a dream with a plot. Can't wait to see the final product, here's a trailer…

    "The Ruined Cast" / Dash Shaw – demo teaser from Howard Gertler on Vimeo.

  7. raga

    August 25, 2010 by jjosh

    A couple of things here. One, I love the word raga. It's so great. Two, this film looks pretty amazing, and you know, I've got a birthday coming up in a couple of months.

  8. a certain surgical procedure

    August 10, 2010 by jjosh

    hey you guys know that story about GZA being at SxSW and showing up really late for his set and being completely drunk and forgetting lyrics and just generally giving an awful show? did you know it was because he had been partying it up big style with Bill Murray getting wasted in the middle of the day? true!

    check the relationship below from JJ's Coffee and Cigarettes, which you don't need to see really…bu this scene is so amazing. The way he cuts to the close-up when BM says "Wu Tang Clan!" And the little augmented "ting" when the tea cups clink…so much fun…"I wouldn't hold my breath on Ghost"…

  9. f-book

    July 19, 2010 by jjosh

    When I heard about this film, I thought, it must be a joke. But apparently it's not. The true story of the creation of Facebook. Written by Sorkin, directed by Fincher, starring that guy who was awesome in Adventureland. And Timberlake. I don't know what to think, but it's def got me interested.

  10. on parade

    July 8, 2010 by jjosh

    I give this to you on Thursday, specifically not on Friday.

  11. too many notes

    July 7, 2010 by jjosh

    playing in the drone band, I think about that phrase a lot, "too many notes", 'cuz we try to stick to one note per song…and when I yt'd up that scene, I was so impressed by how amazing it is…there is so much going on in it, from the politics to the jealous composers to the genius…I love that when the Emperor is finally prompted to say that there's too many notes, Mozart doesn't hesitate to hit him back with "there are neither too few, nor too many." ZING!

  12. pictures

    May 4, 2010 by jjosh

    Joseph Gordon Levitt, aka the kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun, aka the main guy from Brick, aka by all accounts a pretty awesome guy, turned his camera on the paparazzi and made this short film. It's pretty entertaining…

    [from the pretty great DVblog]

  13. hoopla

    April 13, 2010 by jjosh

    Some of the stuff we were shooting in Seattle reminded me of this scene from Hudsucker Proxy…probably the best scene in the whole film…

  14. idea-a-thon

    April 13, 2010 by jjosh

    I may have to get this DVD. There are so many cool images and ideas packed into the first 1:00 clip reel part of this…stimulating to the extreme…

  15. time to (pac) man up

    April 8, 2010 by jjosh

    sometimes the net just kind of makes you chuckle. and that's ok.

    PACMAN: THE MOVIE TRAILER from Therefore Productions on Vimeo.