Sunday, October 23, 2016

What Is Reality? (A New Video)

Marion Kerr, David Jakubovic, Tony Ditata, Mad Machine Films
What Is Reality? A new film by Mad Machine Films

We  just wrapped one of the most fascinating videos we've worked on yet! This is a project for Quantum Gravity Research, a group of theoretical research physicists, based here in LA, who are working on a new theory about what reality is. The video is appropriately titled "What Is Reality," and it will be mind blowing. 

The challenge with complex scientific content is expressing it to the non-scientist, or layperson, in a way that is clear but not dumbed-down. One must always respect the intelligence of the viewer, and understand that he or she will have to work intellectually at understanding the material––but at the same time one must make the material clear enough so that it isn't lost to the rapid breaths of a hyperventilating audience. 

As a non-scientist myself, but as someone who loves science and technology at a very layperson level, I take great pains to ask many questions as I study the material, until I have a strong enough grasp of it to be able to express it to someone else. 

When I was 18, I started my career by making training films in the air force for three years, and I always found that best and most effective training films were those that were actually entertaining. and for good reason. With a combination of sophisticated humor, even cheesy humor here and there, and surprising visual and story moments, the viewer has an easier time retaining complex information by associating it with unexpected visuals.

That is what we tried to do here on "What Is Reality," with scenes of Marion suddenly shattering a clock or of Einstein flying into an angry black hole that then burps happily (followed by Einstein trying to climb out unsuccessfully!) 

Here are some images from the shoot...

Marion Kerr on the set of What Is Reality, a new science film by Mad Machine Films, directed by David Jakubovic and shot by DP Tony Ditata
Marion Kerr talking about light speed.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Photoshoot: Man Cleaning Up Calabasas Fire Aftermath

the Calabasas fire blackened a fair amount of land in Calabasas and Topanga, CA. A group of theoretical physicists working on a new, cutting edge, quantum gravity theory (aka "Theory of Everything") about what reality is made of at its tiniest scale, work nearby there. I have been working with them on creating media content about their theory, to share this new physics with the world.

Calabasas fire aftermath. Photo: David Jakubovic
But this morning Russ, who runs the lab, and I went to one of the burned mountains to take some pictures...

Friday, February 19, 2016

Photo Blog: Searching For Pathos at the Holocaust Memorial In Berlin

Holocaust Memorial. Berlin, Germany. Photo by David Jakubovic
Holocaust Memorial. Berlin, Germany. Photo by David Jakubovic
Holocaust Memorial. Berlin, Germany. Photo by David Jakubovic
Holocaust Memorial. Berlin, Germany. Photo by David Jakubovic
Holocaust Memorial. Berlin, Germany. Photo by David Jakubovic

I search for pathos at the massive, city-square sized art installation that is the holocaust memorial in Berlin. Its nameless, uneven, graveyard-inspired design frustrates the observer seeking a climactic, art-driven resolution to the madness it memorializes: rocks, pathways, silence, monuments without opinions. It is a memorial that cannot memorialize, and that’s perhaps its point. I stare at the deliberately placed rocks and feel nothing. The only word that creeps up in my head is an inane, “cool,” and I feel like a non-being, capable of nothing but empty thoughts. An appreciation of graphic design  does not seem to me to be what I should experience here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The American New Wave - A Filmmaking Manifesto

The American New Wave
A Filmmaking Manifesto

Shooting handheld is no way to start a revolution.    

Certainly not now, 52 years after the French New Wave blasted into life with “The 400 Blows,” in which director Francois Truffaut introduced a new cinematic language that he subsequently developed, along with Jean-Luc Godard and other filmmakers, into a maze of mysterious roads, leading audiences seductively to some unknown, artistic conclusion that can only be arrived at after a lifetime of consuming exciting, fascinating, demanding art.

In the ’60s, shooting handheld was a middle finger aimed at the studio system. Shooting in the streets with small budgets and small crews was telling the establishment, “We are no longer interested in this benign entertainment you have created for us. We wish to make something better, something exciting that touches, challenges, and twists your soul, something you can understand and also not understand, something you can’t explain easily but that makes you smile, something that leaves you melancholy but inspired—something better!”

Monday, August 15, 2011

TRAILER! The Forest Is Red

Hello everyone,

This is the trailer for my new film, "The Forest Is Red." I just locked picture on the film a few weeks ago, and next week we are finally starting post sound! Which means that in about two months, the movie will be completed, which I am very, very excited about. Excited because I get to move on with my life, excited because I can stop pouring every cent I make into the movie, but mostly because I can start taking this thing to festivals and to see what the movie can mean for my career and the career of all the others who have done good work on it.

Anyway, here's the trailer. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Forest Is Red - The Camerawork Approach

David Jakubovic and Devin Harjes on set. A doorway AND a lens flare. ©2010 The Forest Is Red
Now that we wrapped our 22-day shoot of "The Forest Is Red," I have time to recollect some impressions I've had, lessons I've learned, and anecdotes I've accumulated during this production of a very low budget feature film.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Forest Is Red - First Four Days Of Our Film Shoot

Jam in the big city. From "The Forest Is Red"
Yesterday we shot our fourth day of principle photography on "The Forest Is Red." Immediately when we began on the first day, the buildup of stress and anxiety in my stomach from the weeks leading up to the shoot evaporated and was replaced with the simple enjoyment, thought, and fair amount of work associated with any filmmaking experience.

Shuo Zhang and David Jakubovic.
©2010 "The Forest Is Red.' Photo by John Schmidt
Shooting a low budget, independent feature film is similar in some ways to shooting a properly budgeted, bigger studio film. Mainly in that you wake up in the morning, shoot some scenes, go and watch the footage, have a beer with the cast and crew and go to bed. The main difference is that the table at the bar is significantly smaller when you're shooting a low budget indie. But while the crew is small, the ultimate images are the same size on a low or a big budget film, which simply means, I guess, that they needs to look as good as possible. In the planning phase prior to shooting, I knew that the small (and therefore less costly) size of the crew allowed me to comfortably add a few days to the shooting schedule in order to have a bit more time to shoot each scene, and this has been useful: we are able to spend time getting each shot right.