Posts Tagged ‘2011’

A Five-Minute Fringe Film in 48 Hours

August 18, 2011

As I was researching topics for this week’s blog entry, I came across an ad in Philadelphia Weekly, (an alternative newspaper serving the Philadelphia area) for a contest sponsored by the 2011 Wilmington (Del) Fringe Festival. The object of this contest is to make a 5-minute film from first scene to last edit in 48 hours or less. I had to learn more. So, like the inquiring mind that I am, I went to the website and here are the details:

Participants must shoot their film in Downtown Wilmington on September 9, 2011. The film can be in the genre of filmmaker’s choice. The film must incorporate what the website calls “three randomly chosen mystery elements” and they are: a line of dialogue, a prop, and a Wilmington location. The contest clock starts on 8:00 PM on Friday, September 9, and the film must be completed, meaning that both shooting and editing must done and submitted to contest judges by 8:00 PM on Sunday, September 11. There are $4,000 in prizes for the filmmakers and the top prize is $1,000. Registration deadline is September 2, 2011.

Now this is one contest that if I was a filmmaker I would enter. Here is a chance for all the budding Scorceses and Spielbergs of the world to shine. It is contests like this that re-affirms my faith that there are both creative minds in filmmaking and those willing to encourage and promote these creative filmmakers (albeit on a small scale and at a Fringe Festival).

Now to the powers that be in Hollywood: What’s wrong with you? You keep greenlighting redos, remakes and reboots (the latest greenlighted project is the remake of the 1980’s gem of a movie Dirty Dancing) yet you ignore all the original minds out there who are coming up with great stuff. The people at Wilmington’s Fringe Festival aren’t ignoring these people and for all we know a future Oscar winning director could be among one of the participants. Also, the contest is being held in Wilmington, Delaware, you know, the home of Vice President Joseph Biden. Wilmington isn’t actually considered a filmmaking center, yet this contest is taking place in this humble town. That should tell you something about being open to new ideas.

So, to the participants of the 48-Hour Filmmaking Competition, I say good luck. May you make films that make people laugh, cry, think, wonder and feel awestruck. I hope, win, lose or draw, that the experience is a positive one for you and that this contest helps you to grow as a filmmaker.  Now, stop reading this blog and start storyboarding your 5-minute gem.

As for everyone else, carry on to what you were doing before you surfed over to my blog.



Has the Well Run Dry?

March 10, 2011

Doing a blog like this gives me the opportunity to share interesting personal discoveries. Case in point, not too long ago I took my nephew to see Yogi Bear (in 3D). I had railed against the film in an earlier blog entry (see December 2, 2010 entry, Can’t the Powers That Be Leave Well Enough Alone) because I thought it showed a lack of imagination among studio executives. After all, just because the technology exists to make a movie with a computer animated Yogi and Boo-Boo doesn’t mean that such a movie should be made.

Well, I watched the film with my nephew and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked it. It was an entertaining story. Dan Ackroyd was great as Yogi. Justin Timberlake was a very good Boo-Boo and the human actors looked to me like they had fun with their roles. So, the powers that be aren’t so bad for greenlighting Yogi Bear.

Of course, not all is sweetness and light in the Land of Blog. I learned that two previously successful films, one from the 1980’s and one from the 1990’s have either been remade or greenlighted. The films are Arthur and The Bodyguard.

The remake of Arthur is scheduled to come out in April. For those of you not familiar with the movie, the original Arthur is a comedy released in 1981 and starred Dudley Moore as a spoiled and boozy man-child millionaire who must choose between marrying for money or love. Liza Minnelli starred as the woman he ultimately chooses and Sir John Gielgud was Arthur’s erstwhile butler. I saw it when it first came out in and while I didn’t get all the jokes and lines, I liked the movie. The remake follows the same story line except that the 2011 version Arthur isn’t boozy and Helen Mirren plays Arthur’s nanny.

As for The Bodyguard, Warner Brothers recently approved a remaking this film. The Bodyguard came out in 1992 and dealt with a former Secret Service Agent who is hired to protect a pop star from a stalker. The original starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. The story has been updated, so instead of having the bodyguard be a former Secret Service Agent, the bodyguard is a former Iraq War Veteran and he has to content with the stalking via Twitter, Gawker Stalker and other Internet sites. So far, no actors have been chosen to star in the movie.

Good gravy! What has gotten into the studios? First they mine the comic books, then the sitcoms, now recent movies? It is one thing to redo Clash of the Titan because special effects are more advanced in the 2010’s then they were in the 1980’s. Arthur and The Bodyguard didn’t have any major special effects to begin with, so what could be improved about them? These films were both successful and good movies in their own right. Why couldn’t the studios leave them alone and greenlight a project that is not a remake or reboot? After all, there is so much talent and money out there. It is hard to believe that studio executives could not find, let alone fund, an original project.

Then again, I could be wrong. The new versions of Arthur and The Bodyguard could end up being just as good, if not better, than the original versions. Maybe they just needed some infusion of 21st Century sensibilities and doing that would give these films a little something extra to make them better creations.

Yeah and if you believe that, then I could sell you some bridge in Brooklyn and afterwards flap my arms and fly to the Moon when you find out that I don’t hold the deed to such a structure.