Saturday, June 09, 2007

Boise Filmmakers Blog Construction

So, if you haven't noticed, I've been playing the, "monitor and adjust" game with this blog, trying to get it's functionality down the way I'd like it. One of the things I didn't like was how the blog didn't serve well as a message board, but is a nice place to put content and "bigger" announcements for the film community. SO... I've added a few things to make it feel more like home, specifically:

- a message board link. It's up there on the left. I'll be moderating the board, and as long as I know who you are, I don't care what name you use. No anonymous posting, however; don't be a tourist.

- some links for filmmakers (I won't change these often)

- some links for tourists (I'll change these often)

- hey, there's a game at the very bottom of the blog in case you're bored!

Occassionally, if there's something I want to support, I'll throw a banner ad up at the top (like I did with The Host) but that won't happen very often.

Okay. Play well; make movies.


Real Filmmakers. No Tourists.

The Host / Ocean's 13

So Thursday I've got some tix burning a hole in my pocket and I go see The Host, a really kick ass $10 million film from South Korea, and Ocean's 13, a really slick $100+ million film from Hollywood. Guess which one's most likely to earn it's money back?

Ocean's 13 probably will simply because - unlike the rest of the "threequels" scheduled for this summer, Ocean's 13 is really quite good. The acting is, well... the same as in the previous two Ocean's movies - you can tell these guys had a hell of a good time shooting this movie (I swear there were at least two scenes where Brad Pitt breaks character and is laughing at what's going on, but it works because his character is kinda' chuckley that way...), and that this is how they see themselves when they see themselves as, "movie stars." The only person I didn't think was very good in the movie was (holy crap!) Al Pacino, who - while playing the "evil" character, plays it very... quietly. Anyway, great editing, a fast-paced flick with improbability written all over the plot lines, it's a fun ride with characters we've grown comfortable with.

As for The Host, it's already made it's coin back (see below). The Host is a great ride with characters we've never met, but come to love by the end of this Godzilla-style monster movie. Not really a horror flick, The Host rolls like a great old "B" movie, but with a better script and better sub-plots. The SFX were done by a company called, "The Orphanage" out of San Francisco, and - while not up to ILM standards - they serve their purpose incredibly well (with the exception of a scene where something is on fire), and - unlike most other monster movies, the SFX don't get in the way of a rather compelling story about family and what it means to stick together through thick and thin. Like all monster/sci-fi movies, I'd recommend seeing it on the big screen, if for no other reason then to see the monster the way it's meant to be seen: drooling in your popcorn.

Will The Host do well, financially? Well, 20% of all people that live in South Korea have seen the movie (not an exaggeration), plus it's already pulled in another $2 million here in the states, adding up to a more than respectable $88 million - a pretty damn good return on investment.

Which brings me to the question, where does that leave the Boise film community? As I see it, we're probably not going to produce a $1 billion franchise like the Ocean's... series. However, we DO have the capability to harness and develop a SFX community here (what with Boise being home to both HP and Micron...), which (in turn) allows us to develop films along the same lines of The Host - a quality genre piece with a good script and good SFX. Why is this a preferable plan? 1) Making money making movies is all about getting distribution. Most distributors choose to distribute films based on which actors' names are on the poster or DVD box. 2) Genre movies have the best chance of success in lieu of having name actors in them. Why? Because we watch them for the MONSTERS/KILLING/SEX/QUIRKY WEIRDNESS /RELIGION, not for the acting. The Host is meeting success and great reviews worldwide, and most people watching the movie have to read the damn thing's subtitles, which tells me there's something to be said for the genre market - provided we develop quality films within that market.

- Will

Real Filmmakers. No Tourists.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Boise activity in the last 12 months.

One of the things I really dig about living in Boise is the active amateur film community. Just in the last 12 months there have been nearly 100 short films shot (mostly for i48, but still... that's a lot of content), as well as the feature films The Broken Quiet, Vagabond Lane, Guns of Jericho, Norman Waiting, Ibid, and The Sanguinarian. As I write this, Drew Wattles is in production of a short sci-fi film with Dan Epp, The Muse Building residents Iron Circle Pictures/Appaloosa Pictures are working with Boise uber-director Michael Hoffman on a documentary of the 2006 Fiesta Bowl winning Boise State University football team, Autumn Angel director Mike Gough is in Wyoming shooting a marching band documentary, and I'm STILL editing my damn movie.

Here's a pic from i48 2007. Left to right it's TJ Johnson, Jim Van Dam, Pete Iverson and me. This was taken around 4.25 pm at Pete's house. It was such a tough shoot...

As for the i48 2007 judging, I think Jim's wife Chris sums it up best...


Real Filmmakers. No Tourists.