"Metropolis" - centerspread from the original 1927 French Pressbook

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Credits for "The Other Guys"

Just thought it was interesting


I was under the impression that the information for the final would be posted here on the blog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jewel of the Himalaya

per request here is the link to my Bhutan video, Enjoy, again and again and again...


Martin Sellers

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ethics of Cooperation & Collaboraton in the Film Industry

Interesting story!  I was looking through my old school folders, and I found this paper that I wrote for Contemporary Moral Issues over one year ago.  It seems to incorporate some of the things we've been talking about lately in class, and so I'd like to post it up.  Try not to tear it too many new ones; after all, it wasn't a HUGE paper.  In fact, I think it was my first paper since English class in good ol' '08.  Oh, and if any of the cast or crew of "Samurai" end up reading this -- it was over a year ago, I hold none of the grudges which were fresh at the time of this essay.


The film industry: a fast-paced, cut-throat business in which creativity flourishes through processes both methodical and ludicrous. Thousands of man-hours go into the production of just one movie, and the cost that goes into that production is, at heart, a gamble on the odds that said movie will become a box-office hit. For months – sometimes even years – writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, gaffers, cameramen, actors, editors, and many others devote all of their efforts to a single creation, joining forces and coming together in a harmonious group colloquially referred to as the “cast and crew.” Without the synergy of everyone involved, an Emmy Award-winning feature film would never be possible. All for one, and one for all: working together is the most important aspect when it comes to creating a movie that is truly awe-inspiring, and collaborating for the benefit of all is what is morally “right” in today's film industry.

Just as Rome was not built in a day, a good film cannot be made without the joint efforts of every single member of the cast and crew. When someone in the ranks fails to get with the program, chaos ensues; as a filmmaker myself, I have seen it with my own two eyes. While producing a short film in college for my Digital Cinematography course, this happened more than once with more than one person. During preproduction, both the secondary actor and the Assistant Director of Photography wanted to write the script their own way, rejecting both the writer's and director's views on multiple occasions. Because of this, pre-production was drastically delayed by several weeks.

When the production process finally came around, the same secondary actor either arrived on the set late without notice, or did not arrive at all, which delayed production even further. Meanwhile, the Director of Photography proved to be extremely unprofessional in his refusal to consult the storyboards from pre-production as he filmed each and every scene; needless to say, this caused more delays yet, forcing everyone to have to spend precious time (that could have been spent completing new scenes) on filming retakes, some of which taking place even in the very last hours of production.

Due to all of these unprecedented hold-ups, the person in charge of post-production was left with a very diminutive timespan in which to put the finishing touches on the movie, resulting in significantly lower quality of the overall piece.

If each member of the crew – be it the tardy secondary actor, the dissentious Assistant Director of Photography, or the unprofessional Director of Photography – had used his or her time wisely and had become dedicated to the success of the finished product, then the movie very well would have been just that: a success. Instead, everyone took a hit as the movie proved to be less than what it could have been.

Of course, many people would argue that a short film project conspired by a small group of college students is hardly an unquestionable authority. Therefore, I would like to cite a passage regarding the early 20th-century filmmaker David Llewelyn Wark “D.W.” Griffith (1875-1948) from the book Lives and Legacies: Artists, Writers, and Musicians (Bossy, Brothers, McEnroe, 2001):

“Griffith . . . introduced several techniques that would become standard in later films. . . . His complex editing techniques, . . . inspired . . . avant-garde filmmakers of the next generation . . .” (p. 81). The short biography goes on to say, “Although he was a commanding figure in the film industry, Griffith's unbridled egotism and . . . attitudes increasingly isolated him from the Hollywood mainstream” (p. 81).

D.W. Griffith is commonly accepted as one of the most important people involved in turning the medium of film into a means of personal and artistic expression. Even so, his own individualistic tendencies caused him to stand alone on the fringes of the film industry, which may very well have held him back from even greater artistic achievements. This is an assumption, of course; but one rooted in the knowledge that cooperation yields a greater-quality outcome than simply working alone. To quote Ken Blanchard, “None of us is as smart as all of us” (“Heart Quotes,” 2007).

It is understandable, though, for one to lean more toward individualism, when many of today's businesspeople have simply become cogs in the machine, buzzing around like busy little drones without anything to let them stand above and beyond everyone else. Plenty of fresh faces in the film industry want the instant gratification of establishing themselves in the business as soon as possible, in hopes of becoming just like the next George Lucas or Steven Spielberg, right out of college. Even some veterans of the industry have been guilty of thinking this way at one time or another.

To further illustrate my point, I have included the following section. This section is an unofficial transcript, retrieved from an article by Paul Bracchi on the TV & Showbiz section of the MailOnline website, of an audio recording regarding actor Christian Bale on the set of Terminator Salvation in New Mexico, after Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut reportedly entered Bale's field of vision and disrupted his acting:

BALE: ... kick your f*****' a*s! I want you off the f*****' set, you p****!
HURLBUT: I'm sorry.
BALE: No, don't just be sorry! Think for one f*****' second! What the f*** are you doing? Are you professional or not?
HURLBUT: Yes, I am.
BALE: Do I f*****' walk around and rip down - no, shut the f*** up, Bruce! Do I walk - no! Nnno! Don't shut me up!
BALE: Am I gonna walk around and rip your f*****' lights down? In the middle of a scene? Then why the f*** are you walkin' right through? 'Oh, dah-dah, dah-dah,' like this in the background. What the f*** is it with you? What don't you f*****' understand? You got any f*****' idea about, hey, it's f*****' distracting having somebody walkin' up behind Bryce in the middle of the f*****' scene? Gimme a f*****' answer! What don't you get about it?
HURLBUT: I was looking at the light.
BALE: Ohhhhh, goooood for you! And how was it? I hope it was f*****' good, because it's useless now, isn't it?
BALE: F***'s sake, man, you're amateur. McG, you have f*****' somethin' to say to this *****?
DIRECTOR JOSEPH 'McG' McGINTY NICHOL: I didn't see it happen.
BALE: Well, somebody should be f*****' watchin' him and keepin' an eye on him.
McG: Fair enough.
BALE: It's the second time that he doesn't give a f*** about what is goin' on in front of the camera. All right? I'm tryin' to f*****' do a scene here and I'm goin': 'Why the f*** is Shane walkin' in there? What is he doin' there?' Do you understand, my mind is not in the scene if you're doin' that.
HURLBUT: I absolutely apologise. I'm sorry, I did not mean anything by it.
BALE: Stay off the f*****' set, man. For f***'s sake. Right, let's go again. No, let's not take a f*****' minute, let's go again! And let's not have you f*****' walkin' in! Can I have Tom put this on, please?
McG: Tom, wardrobe, please. Can I have Tom, wardrobe?
BALE: You're unbelievable, man. You're un-f*****'-believable. Number of times you're strollin' around in the background. I've never had a DP behave like this. Ahhhhh, you don't f*****' understand what it's like workin' with actors, that's what that is.
HURLBUT: No, that's not.
BALE: That's what that is, man, I'm tellin' you! I'm not askin', I'm tellin' you. You wouldn't have done that otherwise.
HURLBUT: No, what it is, is looking at the light, and making sure that you were. . .
BALE: [sound of something being knocked over] I'm gonna f*****' kick your f*****' a*s if you don't shut up for a second, alright?
VARIOUS VOICES: Christian, Christian, Christian, Christian, it's cool, it's cool.
BALE: I'm gonna go, you want me to f*****' trash your lights? Do you want me to f*****' trash 'em? Then why are you trashin' my scene?
HURLBUT: I'm not tryin' to trash.
BALE: You are trashin' my scene! You do it one more f*****' time, and I ain't walkin' on this set if you're still hired. I'm f*****' serious. You're a nice guy! You're a nice guy! But that don't f*****' cut it when you're ***********' and ******' around like this on set!
McG: I got it, I know, I get it.
BALE: Yeah, you might get it, he doesn't f*****' get it! You might. He! Does! Not! Get it!
McG: I know. Good adjustments, OK? For real. Honestly. I get it. Just walk for five seconds, just for five seconds.
BALE: No, I don't need any f*****' walkin'! He needs to stop walkin'!
McG: I get that!
BALE: I ain't the one walkin'! Let's get Tom and put this back on, let's go again. Seriously, man, you and me, we're f*****' done professionally. F*****' a*s.
It is no rare occurrence when a big-time actor like Christian Bale develops an inflated ego; however, Bale later made a public apology on the British radio station KROQ, saying, “I acted like a punk,” and, “I was out of order beyond belief. I make no excuses for it” (BBC News, “Actor Bale speaks out over rant,” 2009).

Where would Christian be, without a Director of Photography? Where would any actor be without the lighting crews and makeup artists? Where would all of the big-time directors, producers, and writers be without the cameraworkers, set designers, and post-production engineers?

Not in film.

Because, without the cooperation among cast and crew members, there would be no film.

It takes a little something from everyone to turn an idea into an award-winning blockbuster. When we all work together, an amazing thing happens, and something small gains the ability to evolve into something truly spectacular. That is why cooperation and collaboration in the film industry is the right thing to do.

The infamous NFL coach Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) – ESPN's “Coach of the Century” – who is known for both his unmarred victory record and his inspirational quotes, once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work” (Estate of Vince Lombardi, “The Official Website of Vince Lombardi,” 2003).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Frontline: Digital Nation

There were a few aspects that I found very interesting. Technology has taken over our life, it makes our life easy but at the same time it takes us away from the people around us, like family. If you ask me, I prefer the real word. I don't reject the idea of internet as a trainig tool or as a communication aid, but I think is better and has more significance to met or have a relationship in real life. I have always loved to read books, but technology has just increased my ability to get a hold of more (the Kindle). The internet helps me keep in tough with my family, who all live 3,500 miles away. In my opinion, technology and the internet are not at the fualt of all these people becoming addicted and distracted. I believe they lack the parental guidance to learn what are healthy actions and what are not.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dear Zachary

You should totally watch this documentary. It is so shocking.