Tuesday, May 26, 2009

48 Hour Film Fest Action - Part 1

It's looking like Lionbelly is going to officially compete in this year's Detroit 48 Hour Film Project, which tales place the weekend of July 24th - 26th. If you've never heard of the 48 Hour Film Project, it's a contest/film fest that's grown almost exponentially over the past few years and now encompasses over 70 cities around the world. Basically, teams of filmmakers are assigned a random genre, character, prop and line of dialog and they then have 48 hours to completely script, shoot, edit and score an entire short film. Looks to be a very exhausting and very fun endeavor-- though it will be interesting to see if our inner Danny Glovers exclaim that we are too old for this shiznit or not, once we get to hour 43 and still have music to add, etc.

To give you an idea of what can happen during one of these things, quality-wise, we present to you two shorts that were made for the Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project by a really talented bunch of folks at a place called Token Media. Pretty amazing what these cats pulled off...

Here is their 2008 Best Film Award winner, Birthmarked for Death, directed by Matt Olson:

And here's their 2009 entry, Chuck Murray Knows, also directed by Matt Olson:

Monday, May 25, 2009

EDENWOOD Getting Close...

Last Friday several members of the cast of our weird cowboy-comedy Edenwood descended upon Backseat Studios in beautiful Ann Arbor to re-record some of their dialog for the movie. This is a common practice in filmmaking, as it's hard to avoid getting some of your audio messed up on set by wind, airplanes flying overhead, policemen chasing you because it's supposedly "illegal to film on the roof of the Ren Cen", etc.

Once you get out of County lock-up, you can go into a sound studio and have the actor folk re-do their lines. It's a pretty hilarious process, because there is nothing quite as madness-inducing as trying to perfectly recreate every little vocal micro-emphasis and saliva bubble that you happened to say onscreen ten weeks ago. It's similar to having to draw what you had for lunch last Wednesday. Actually, it's not really similar to that, but it was fun to type...

The sessions were very productive and are yet another sign that Edenwood is about to be officially finished and released to an unsuspecting world. Try to enjoy your next few weeks, as once this movie comes out, the world is going to be a very different place. Well, okay, that's not actually true, either. But a fella can dream, right?

Soon, we begin the final sound edit and color correction for this critter, which will be our first-ever feature-length monstrosity. Woo Hoo! If you would like to see some funny pictures from behind the scenes, please click here.

More soon!


Thursday, May 7, 2009


It looks like Guillermo del Toro has added yet another project to the pile of things he is either directing, producing or writing-- a feature version of an amazing Spanish short horror film called Mama, by the brother/sister team of Andy and Barbara Muschietti. He will be producing and the Muschiettis will be writing and directing.

The short itself is less than 3 minutes long and is pretty much perfect, you ask me. It's impressive how much gets communicated in that small amount of runtime. It is embedded here for your enjoyment, though PLEASE promise me you won't show it to any small children. Seriously. This would be very BAD for small children to see. Dig?

Without further ado, here is Mama in all its super-creepy 3-minute glory (courtesy of Arrow in the Head at www.joblo.com):


Friday, May 1, 2009


It is here that talented folk from different parts of the movie world share 5 REALLY good tips with the rest of us...

A-ha! Here it is, ladies and gentlemen: our very first blog guest, Mike Brune of Atlanta's Fake Wood Wallpaper (see last entry), with our very first 5 TIPS, which we are hoping will be a regular feature here at the Blogatorium. Mike is a director/writer/producer/actor with lots of work under his belt, including his latest award-winning short The Adventure.

Without further ado, here are Mike's 7 TIPS (he sent a ton of them, and this was as far as we could whittle):

1. Make a film you're passionate about. You will inevitably spend hundreds if not thousands of hours working on your short or feature. Don't settle for less than the best from yourself. Tell a unique story. Tell a different story. Push yourself. I stole this quote from Tom Hall's indiewire blog, but it's from a filmmaker I really admire.

2. Read film blogs, including indiewire.com, spout.com, and more. Keep in the know about independent film.

3. Work on another people's freebie projects, so you can meet other filmmakers who you might like and who will undoubtedly return the favor when you shoot your film.

4. "Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen." -- Robert Bresson (If you haven't seen a Robert Bresson film, go rent one. Au Hasard Balthazar or Mouchette are good places to start.)

5. If you're going to make a short film over 20 minutes long, it better be really fucking good or on 35mm. Consequently, your film festival opportunities are cut in half with a short over 20 minutes long.

6. Read Cassavetes on Cassavetes by Ray Carney.

7. Work with people you like and admire.

Thank you, Mike!

Fake Wood Wallpaper!

About a year ago, a bunch of us saw an amazing indie movie called BLOOD CAR, which was a completely hilarious, surreal horror movie/satire about "the future"-- where gas is $35.00 a gallon and nobody drives anymore. In it, a vegetarian guy who is trying to invent a new kind of engine that runs on wheatgrass accidentally invents one that runs on blood, instead. You'd think it would be pretty easy to guess where the whole thing goes, but in this case there are a busload of truly creative and hilarious twists. Quite a movie...

Turns out that Blood Car is the first feature-length film from a group of filmmakers out of the Atlanta area, called Fake Wood Wallpaper. FWW is made up, much as the fingers of a mighty hand, of five robust warriors of independent filmmaking: Tony Holley, Hugh Braselton, Mike Brune, Alex Orr, Adam Pinney. Like us, they are a band of friends who met in college and coagulated around a desire to make cool stuff.

Aside from Blood Car, they have tons of great shorts under their belts, which can be viewed at their website. A couple of my favorites are:

THE LAST LAST AND THE TRIBULATIONS OF JOHNNYBUSH and THE BIG CHECK, which were both made as part of the Atlanta 48hr Film Project.

Mike Brune, who stars in Blood Car, has an amazing short called THE ADVENTURE, which has been winning lots of film fests around this crazy world we call oith.

He and the director of Blood Car, Mr. Alex Orr, have very kindly agreed to be our first guest filmmakers and will be featured in our first "5 TIPS" segment. Yahoo! These guys have the chutzpah and creative wampum we admire, with the spirit of working hard and persevering without being cynics, which we aspire to.

Check 'em out. I guarantee you will laugh at least part of your ass off. It might be an "energetic" part, thus not noticeable to the naked eye-- but if I was there, I would definitely notice some missing energy-buttocks and would know that my work here is done...

Next up: Mike Brune's 5 TIPS!!!!