Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wayne: man dresses up like a bat?

I love the style and intriguing conceptualization Andy Schlachtenhaufen has done in this Batman inspired short film entitled “Wayne" . And I really wish more fan film makers would be as creative with re-interpretations as Wayne is, with an alternate reality origin story for Batman.

Shadowed by a lifetime of brutal mistreatment, Wayne has a tendency to violently lash out when provoked. Recently released from prison, he has taken up residence in the bowels of a dilapidated theatre where he works the night shift as a janitor. With the help of his do-gooder social worker, Wayne is committed to controlling his temper, but when a gang of criminals push him too far, he chooses instead to utilize it.
This riveting film could easily be the “teaser” and foundation for a longer film, or even a series I would wanna see.
David Schlachtenhaufen gives a remarkable performance as the fascinating central character, in a wonderful premise of a masked vigilante.

Authorly Advice

To Aspiring Writers, whether fiction or non---
I often cringe when reading some of the trite & rote advice writers tend to give aspiring writers. Because it often contradicts not only logic, but my own experience as a writer. So in thirteen points, I’ll tell you what advice you should accept, and what you should reject.
I shall dispense this advice… now:
1. Wear… sunscreen.
No, wait. That’s not right.

1. Read. A lot. As much and as often as possible, and a wide variation of styles/ genres. That is actually good advice for a writer, whether novice or seasoned. But especially read most the genre in which you want to write, and the authors you enjoy reading. Read widely, but with great discrimination & discernment.
Do not attempt to study or dissect favorite authors; merely immerse yourself in their work and absorb through habitual osmosis. Do not try to copy their style or literary voice—you should construct your own. The more you are exposed to written words, the more familiar you will become with their composition, and the more comfortable & educated you will be in arranging them.

Prioritize & make time for what matters to you. Practice… but contrary to the conventional wisdom thoughtlessly quoted by many authors, do not try to write every day. Do not force yourself to write, merely for the sake of writing.
Otherwise, you’ll not only fatigue yourself, but you’ll waste already limited available time.
Plus, you’re more likely to produce crap. And you want to practice writing good material, not crap. Therefore, seek to write only when you have something to say, when you have time to focus & relax, when you are in the right (write) mindset/mood, and when you are in a comfortable/ isolated area undisturbed. Forced writing very rarely and then very coincidentally produces good material.
Make time & effort to write as often as possible. Make excuses to write instead excuses to not write. As a writer, you should naturally be compelled to write, with a nagging urgency. Writing (and practice) ought not be something you have to force yourself to do. When inspiration and mood comes, they must be followed by self-discipline.

3. Don’t be afraid to mess up or fail. Don’t let yourself be distracted by feelings/ impressions that you are not good enough, or that what you are currently writing isn’t good enough. Keep writing… you can edit & revise later or as you go along.

4. Passively edit while you write. Save the active editing for when you’ve finished a draft. If a new/better idea or different approach comes to mind … do not put it off until later. Deal with it now, while it is fresh in your mind. Make written notes as ideas occur to you, if you are unable to clarify or elaborate them in the moment, so that you can contemplate & develop them later.

5. Self edit. Please! Don’t create stuff just to create stuff. You would only clutter up the place. Do not put into the public sphere anything you are not proud of and pleased with. Make things that matter to you.
Also, boredom is never a good reason to make something. Have a purpose and a passion for your creativity. Most importantly on this point, don’t subject the world to your flotsam.

6. If you think/feel you’ve hit a dead end, if you don’t know anymore what you’re saying or trying to say… that what you are writing is going nowhere or stalled--- if what you are writing bores you, then you’re doing it wrong. Stop writing and step away. Don’t walk away; at least not yet. Pause and do something else for a while, but do not procrastinate.
Take a break… time away to re-evaluate what you’ve done & what you intend to do, compose your thoughts, let ideas ruminate/ percolate in the back of your mind, wait for new perspective or inspiration about your approach/intent to form. If you don’t know exactly or completely where the writing is going, it is ok to make it up & figure it out along the way. Writing is a process and an exploration… it doesn’t ever come out fully formed at inception.

7. Never write for an audience, a publisher or a market. Story/ content is paramount. Just tell your story--- your way, IN your own way. You don’t know everyone who will read what you write, and taste is subjective. Write for yourself.
Remember that any commercial possibilities are irrelevant to the writing process.
Writing has nothing to do with publishing/selling. If the main or only reason you want to be a writer (i.e. published writer) is vanity… to see your name printed or to “hear yourself talk”, then do us all a favor and cease writing.

8. Do your due diligence of researching and fact checking. Don’t be afraid to research what you don’t know. It will make what you write better, more authentic, and you may learn something in the process.
You may even get material or ideas for other writing.

9. Adopt a minimalist approach to writing: be frugal and brief whenever possible. Avoid gratuitous, rambling or excessive detail & descriptions.
Writers often endorse the concept of “murder your darlings”— cutting out or trimming beloved content that is superfluous, extraneous, self-indulgent or slows the momentum/ impact of the material. Ignore that. Simply tell the story.
No, I’ll rephrase that. LET the story happen; don’t get in its way with ego, or preconceived assumptions & rules about proper structure or format.
Don’t be afraid to include extra indirectly related information, or detour on parenthetical tangents… if it elaborates on and is pertinent to your “story” or the world/platform you are building, keep it in.

10. Never use clichés except to make a point, or to compose a character/ setting/ plot archetype. Defy & resist cliché, expectations and the formulaic.

11. Authenticity is vital! Take the writing & content seriously.
If you don’t, then how can you expect the audience to? Being inauthentic creates an inconsistency that is detracting because it is distracting, and distracting because it is detracting.
(NEVER be funny just to be funny--- you will invariably fail).
NEVER ignore reality or realism for the sake of expediency or laziness. Your writing should always be related to or framed in a sense of believability in all facets.
Always write up to your potential audience, not down. Respect them as you would respect yourself being a reader.
Also, do not insult their intelligence by over-explaining or over-simplifying; engage readers through participation of letting them figure/ find some things out on their own, for themselves.

12. DO use creative verbs to describe actions and dialogue, at every opportunity. Don’t be afraid to use adverbs to modify verbs—- this makes the content more interesting and developed. Feel free to employ adjectives to enhance the character and ambience of content. Alliteration can be your ally.

13. Don’t underestimate or neglect the importance and power of a meaningful and imaginative title.
I tend to judge a book by its title more than its cover. If your title isn’t very creative, then I suspect maybe the content that follows isn’t either. The title is the first contact a reader has with a story: make it interesting.
Similarly, a title can also help set the tone/ theme of your writing, and summarily remind you what your writing is intended to be about.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Through The Rift Darkly

Well done, Brent McCorkle!!!
You've written & directed a great movie.
In the dark horse of a short film entitled “The Rift" , Jude wakes up in a strange and horrible place where the sun never shines. Darkness, painful memories, and despair prevail. He fears that he has gone to Hell, and that he will be forever separated from his beloved wife, Maggie. Things begin to change for the better when he stumbles upon an eight-year-old girl in trouble named Nadia. But is there a way out of this place apparently devoid of hope?

The greatness of The Rift gradually and vibrantly sneaks up on you, tying strings around your heart- like the emotional connection building between Jude & Nadia-- until you suddenly realize its pulling those strings as if your heart is a marionette… dancing for joy.
These two endearing characters beautifully illustrate the power of genuine affection to strengthen a relationship & empower individuals, as well as how bonds may be forged between sympathetic strangers in a shared experience.

I don't know who you are
But you seem very nice
So will you talk to me
Shall I tell you a story
Shall I tell you a dream

-- K'S CHOICE; Everything For Free

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Premiere of La Premiere

La Premiere , a phenomenal film directed by Michael & and co-produced with Nick Regalbuto, serves well as a glorious tribute to cinema and the filmmaking craft.
This story focuses on the Lumiere Brothers, Auguste and Louis, a pair of young inventors who dream of making images big enough for the whole world to see. Based on a true story, La Premiere tells the exciting tale of the invention of cinema as we know it. It’s a story about possibility and believing that with hard work and vision, you can make the impossible possible.
Much like the equally impressive full length indie film Shadow Magic, La Premiere marvelously depicts the early days of motion picture in its inception & introduction to the public.
Also in common, is the sense of awe & wonder evoked in the audience at the essential impression of magic in the medium—both technologically and as a means of storytelling.
Given the continual advances in movie making technology that our society is perhaps too familiar with, we regrettably tend to take much for granted, too easily becoming jaded & forgetting how amazing the creation of motion pictures really is (or can be)… tragically becoming even incapable of being amazed by the simple complexity involved in such a thing.
Fortunately, the delightful La Premiere (like Shadow Magic) vividly reminds us of the power & joy that film and the movie-going experience has… inviting us again to marvel with innocent eyes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Butterfly Circus

Ladiiies aaand gentlemennn, children of all ages... prepare to be astounded & amazed!!!
Joshua Weigel's exceptional short film The Butterfly Circus (written by Joshua Weigel and Rebekah Weigel) is a powerfully inspirational Nietzschean tale of dignity, will to power and self-creation.

At the height of the Great Depression, the charismatic showman of the renowned Butterfly Circus leads his troupe through the devastated American landscape, lifting the spirits of audiences along the way. During their travels, they discover a quadriplegic man ridiculed as a degrading side show attraction at a carnival… but after an intriguing encounter with the Butterfly showman, he becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed about himself and his possibilities.
With graceous eloquence & elegance, the performers embody the belief that their acts should inspire and awe the audience-- not shock or disgust with their peculiarities.

The main character, a man with no arms or legs (Incredibly played by Nick Nujicic-- an actual quadriplegic; not done with special FX), gradually realizes he has the power to change his self-perception and how he lives his life.
However, it is perhaps no accident that he accomplishes this in a nourishing environment of acceptance and encouragement.
Life with a disability does not inherently make you less human… is NOT necessarily a life without value, hope, meaning or purpose.
Beautiful cinematography complements beautiful acting and beautiful writing in The Butterfly Circus.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Uncle Jack’s Misadventure: Sooo... THAT happened

Art imitates life in Uncle Jack -- a charmingly whimsical fairy tale of a short film, by Jamin Winans of DoubleEdgeFilms (the makers of the cinematically enigmatic film INK).
In a Whedonesque casting move, Winans recruits a few actors from INK (Quinn Hunchar, Chris Kelly, Jeremy Make), bringing together a talented crew to present a wonderful & wondrous adventure. This is a terrific filmmaker to keep your eye on.
I can't summarize anyting about Uncle Jack without giving too much away, so I highly recommend you watch & see for yourself.

The fantastical sci-fi twistiness to the way the character Jack’s niece finishes his bizarre story introduces another intriguing story to be told about her.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kate Godfrey creates awesome theme song for Long Story Short

Stop whatever you are doing, now. Download and listen to the stunning theme song for Long Story Short ---FREE.
Words in the song are a traditional Irish phrase:
"Amran O' Mo Kroi", which means "Song From My Heart".

"We are sooo pleased with it, and thank you greatly for the inspiration to pursue such a project.
I am thrilled with the way that it turned out!" --Kate
(Me too)

"This is one of my favorite projects I have ever worked on thus far. I can't wait to read your book!" --Kate

excerpt from the book acknowledgements:
When the idea occurred to me to enhance this book with cross media storytelling through an original, specially made theme song, my first and only choice for the composer was Kate Godfrey.
It was Kate, or no one. Her unique, innovative musical style immediately and indelibly impressed me… and is perfect for this project.
I was grateful and thrilled that she enthusiastically accepted the challenge of my request, designing an excellent song named after and complementing my book.

Read my interview with the remarkable Kate Godfrey
Now, suitably impressed, go listen to her other spectacular music (ask her about buying her album).
LSS companion song produced with assistance from David Durrant at: