A Dreamer Walking

Spielberg Tribute

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on July 9, 2011

Here is a link to a GREAT interview of Steven Spielberg. It just happens that J. J. Abrams and James Cameron are asking most of the questions. Let me tell you guys it does not get much better then this. Grab a note pad and get ready to listen to some invaluable advice. When it comes to studying filmmakers you can not get much better then Steven. (Click on the photo to go to the video)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Thanks On Animation for the link)

DP/30 Slumdog Millionaire Director and Writer

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on March 17, 2011

If you look to the right in the Blogroll section you will see I have a link to Movie City News’  DP/30 section. The DP/30 section of Movie City News consists of dozens of thirty minute interviews of some of the top filmmakers in Hollywood. I ran across a especially insightful interview of  the director and writer of the award winning movie Slumdog Millionaire. The director is Danny Boyle, someone who I have just began to study. I hope to have some papers up on him soon. The writer is Simon Beaufoy, a critically acclaimed screenwriter who won an academy award for his screenplay of Slumdog Millionaire. You do not see interviews much better then this one. These filmmakers are very upfront about their philosophy on filmmaking and they give us some very good information about the film industry and their personal process. I especially liked hearing what Danny and Simon thought of going to India to film the movie and the energy that they felt they caught. They talk about how filming in India changed their entire way of looking and filmmaking. We also see the passion Danny has for filmmaking and we hear about the trust he puts into the screenplay. Slumdog Millionaire had a great partnership between writer and director which resulted in a incredible movie. I hope you enjoy and find this interview as informative and as enjoyable as I did.

Visiual Education

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on February 2, 2011

I watched a brilliant ten minute interview of Martin Scorsese talking about the importance of visual literacy. In the video Martin expresses the importance of being literate in the techniques and history of film. I personally agree with Martin Scorsese.

Could it be that film is just as important of a subject to learn as math and English? The more I think about it the more I believe that film should be just as important as any other topic in school. We live in a age where film is a huge part of our lives. Whether it is through a TV set, cell phone, computer, or at a movie theater, the visual medium of film impacts us.

Not only are we exposed to film where ever we go, we also have more access to the tools to create film then we ever had before. The majority of youth already do express themselves through visual means. The internet literally has hundreds of millions of videos created by youth not yet out of high school, some even in middle school.  Seeing how huge film has become for our society it is sad to see how ignorant most of us are on the literacy of the medium. I am not saying we should all be forced to be filmmakers, but I think it is crucial that we know the literacy of film like we know the literacy of reading and writing. Very few seem to know how the camera is used to express an idea or point of view. Because we are so illiterate in the language of film, we often let the medium take advantage of us.

The lenses, the angles, the cutting, and the subtitle types of sound in a film, all impact the audience mostly in subconscious ways. At one point, when we went to movies, many of the theaters would put in one or two frames of a food product they were selling. One or two frames does not give us time to consciously see what is being show to us. However, subconsciously we the audience are effected by those images and many would get up to go buy their product. Luckily that tactic is against the law now, but there are many more ways for film to abuse an audiences mind. Just the difference between a high angle and a low angle in film is extreme. When we look up on someone we see them as a higher power. Looking down on someone is way to belittle the person. Film can distort shapes and color, to get a curtain emotion out of an audience. Sound can be used to get inside someones head. A filmmaker literally can use film as a weapon to abuse us and make us feel and even act a curtain way. World War II is a great example of the power of film. The German film Triumph of the Will is considered one of the most powerful films of all time because of the influence it had on the German people in trusting Hitler and his Nazi party.

There are many films that are made by amateur filmmakers that express violence and abuse in extremely unhealthy ways. There have been numerous films posted on the internet that express many misconceptions  about minority races and people with different sexual orientations. There have been cases of individuals killing themselves because of videos going public that represented them in a negative or unpopular light. Visual media is a powerful tool that is often misused by youth because no one has taught them how to use it or what kind of power it really has.

If we started to teach just as much through visual means as we do through verbal linguistic means, we would see more students succeed in school. As a student in middles school and high school, I often was frustrated at the very lopsided concentration my teachers and councilors gave to verbal linguistic learning. There really was no film classes at my school and the art classes felt like a joke. Grades for art class had nothing to do with the artists skill, just whether or not you completed all the requirements. For subjects like math and science we were graded on what we knew and how well we  could express what we knew on a written test. Thus, in math and science where I did not test well and my “skill” level was not very good, my grade suffered. However, with art I concentrated more on developing my skill then getting all the requirements done, and my grades suffered again.

The image is just as powerful as the letter. It is completely unfair to have one side be judged based on how good you are and the other judged on whether you can complete the bare minimum. It is also ridiculous that our resources are so lob sided. There are still many schools that don’t offer film classes. The reason why so many watch movies is because the visual medium speaks to them. Film is a powerful tool that can influence us in many ways. We can literally see how a professional perfects his craft through film, we can experience history through film, and we can be manipulated and abused through film. Everything depends on how we treat the medium and whether or not we give it the recognition it deserves.

Scorsese: Interviewed by Charlie Rose

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on January 25, 2011

Charlie Rose is one of my favorite interviewers and I think he does a splendid job interviewing Martin in this hour long video. I am posting this video because Martin does a good job talking about his career up to 1997 when this interview was taken. Especially in the second half of the interview, Martin goes into detail about what got him interested in film in the first place and why he has done some of the projects he has done.

Wall-E: Andrew Stanton Interview

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on January 18, 2011

I stumbled upon this very informative interview with director Andrew Stanton talking about some of his thought process behind the movie Wall-E.

Wall-E is not my favorite Pixar movie but I think the movie’s storytelling is superb. We are introduced to the robot Wall-E and find out exactly what kind of character he is and what he is longing for in life within the first seven minutes of the film. The first twenty to thirty minutes of Wall-E consist of some of the greatest animation I have ever seen. The Pixar guys had guts. They trusted that the audience would not loose interest, even though there was little action and hardly any duologue at the beginning of the film.

Wall-E also represents a break away from the typical Pixar visual style. Andrew used lenses and brought in a color schemes that were different from movies like Cars, Finding Nemo, and Monsters Inc. He shot for a more realistic look. The movement of Wall-E was very limited compared to most of the Pixar characters. This allowed for the animators to stretch their skills and learn how to communicate a lot with a little.

Anyway, here are the video’s. Enjoy!

(Go to the site beta adikted or their youtube page for more interviews of popular filmmakers)

Dice Tsutsumi Interview

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on November 2, 2010

Here is a link to a interview on Chiustream of the Pixar artists Dice Tsutsumi. I found this interview very helpful, I love Dice’s philosophy on what art should be about. You should click on his name and check out his website. He did the color script for the latest Toy Story movie. He is someone I would love to work with someday. Dice has the attitude of a student, where he is always trying to learn no matter how high of a position he is in.