Sunday, December 2, 2012

Is Color Correction So Five Years Ago?

Is Color Correction So Five Years Ago?

My film, “The Forest Is Red” was shot in black and white. Actually, to be accurate it was technically shot in color, and then made black and white in post before editing. But for all purposes it was shot as a black and white film, intended always to be black and white. Attention on the set was paid to things like contrast and separation in the gray scale and not to color and skin tone.

In theory you should “color correct” black and white footage just like you should color correct color footage. Except that in the black and white universe this process is a little less creative, more technical, it consists of making sure things match properly and that everything is nicely contrasted.

And herein lies my little story.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Forest Is Red Wins Best Feature Film at the European Independent Film Festival in Paris

The Forest Is Red screened in Paris a couple of weeks ago at a wonderful film festival in Paris called the European Independent Film Festival. The event, organized by Scott Hillier and an obviously excellent crew of passionate individuals had "well made, high-end indie" written all over it, the sort of spirit that I love in filmmaking.

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.