Working on the Future

Some of you may have heard or even tried virtual reality.  A week ago I was fortunate enough to shoot a virtual reality show for Dirty South, in association with RED and NextVR. Two shows in fact, one from the crowd’s POV and one from inside the DJ booth. This is part of the awesome-ness that is available to me working with someone like Dirty South. Things like this just don’t present themselves otherwise.

If you haven’t experienced virtual reality, it is almost impossible for me to describe. It’s a far greater experience than 3D, which I don’t particularly enjoy.  It is a fully immersive visual experience. When I first tried the Oculus Rift I had the immediate thought – the future is here.  It was astounding.  And we are bringing you the first electronic music experience in VR… with two of the greatest at what they do – RED and NextVR.  I can’t wait to share this…

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NY to LA… one more time.

Recently, as in a week ago, I made the move back to Los Angeles from New York.  Unlike last time (in 2002), I drove cross country.  It was cost prohibitive to ship a car and all of my stuff… and I actually wanted to drive across the country and visit some states/cities that I have yet to lay eyes on.

I wound up going through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, Arizona and eventually California.  It took me about 5 days and I didn’t push myself too hard because I was doing this by myself. I may have the most boring set of photos from this trip ever, but here they are… (and yes, that is my life fitting into one car)

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Top 5 Movies That Got Me Into Movies

Brother’s McMullen

I had to go with Brothers McMullen because I am a Long Island boy and can relate to Ed Burns, more so than Aronofsky – who is also a NY’er.  Burns grew up in a similar environment as me, and in fact we share common friends (although I’ve never met him).  Being able to relate to the filmmaker was just one of the reasons this is my top film to get me into movies.  The ability to take an ultra-low budget, financed by donations from family and friends, and turn it into an indie hit spoke volumes to me when I first realized that I wanted to follow a path in film.  Brothers and Pi were the two most influential films for me at the onset – which is odd because of their two very different styles.  I think I’ve seen each over 50 times now.  I found Burns’ film to be tightly edited and shot well, two things you don’t find often in indie films.  The score was a delight as well.  Harkening back to my being able to relate to Burns, I am also Irish Catholic and take that very seriously.  Therefore, the subject matter of the film really hit home and I thought each storyline was accessible.

Pi

The first film I saw where I was not only blown away – but thought to myself, ‘Hey, I think I can do that.’

Bottle Rocket

Before Wes Anderson was a photocopy of himself. Where style and oddity were actually unique, not overdone to death.

Star Wars

A film that is basically like turning your childhood dreams into reality.

Clerks

A film that made me pause and say, this is great, but pretty shitty.  Other than quoting a film because I loved it, this was actually the first time I noticed the dialogue in a movie.  I noticed it because it was all dialogue. It was eye opening in a few ways. I think this is Kevin Smith’s crowning achievement, but that’s another discussion.

NY Premiere of ‘With You’

As With You continues to dominate the iTunes charts across the world, we are getting ready for its New York premiere this Wednesday.  The film screens at the Landmark Sunshine Theater in SoHo as part of the CBGB Music & Film Festival. Screening starts at 8:30pm and is immediately followed by a Q&A and listening party for Dirty South’s album of the same name.

We even have custom made popcorn boxes from the film.  I hope you come and join us cause we are excited.

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Top 10 Anti-Romances

To quality for this list, the guy and girl cannot end up together.  The reason for them not winding up together cannot be because one of them dies (The Fly, Atonement). We, the audience, should want the characters to be together.  But they just can’t be… whether it is them, society or another extraneous circumstance.  As always, I have to be a fan of the movie.

I would include something like Spiderman, but I honestly didn’t want him to wind up with Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane.  I couldn’t stand her.  The same goes for Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane in Superman.

  • Out of Sight
  • McCabe and Mrs. Miller
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Top Gun
  • White Men Can’t Jump
  • Casablanca
  • Once
  • In the Company of Men
  • Drive
  • Lost in Translation

Honorable Mention

  • 8 Mile
  • Far From Heaven
  • Scott Pilgrim vs The World
  • Closer
  • 500 Days of Summer
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Manhattan
  • Your Friends and Neighbors
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Blue Valentine
  • Laurel Canyon
  • Singles
  • All the Real Girls
  • Audition

‘With You’ goes #1 in 17 Countries

WY-#1 in 17banner

If you’ve been following, over the last 9 months I produced the film With You, which is also the name of Dirty South’s upcoming album. The film is based on the album and exists as an extension of the music – but is most definitely not a music video. It is a narrative, 38 minutes in length (the album is 53 minutes).

We shot in Los Angeles in February/March of this year and it came out this past Tuesday, exclusively on iTunes. That same day it shot to #1, leap frogging films by Pixar, Disney and some other massive companies. It has a lot to do with  Dirty South’s fan base, the excellent buzz/reviews the film and music have been getting, and the low price ($2.99). That means a lot, because if you do the math – hundreds of thousands of short films get made each year, only 365 even have a shot at being #1, with most #1’s holding the spot for a length of time. I’m proud of the work we did on this and in the short amount of time it took to shoot and turnaround. It was his first directorial effort on anything but a music video and there was a lot of moving pieces. He dove right into a complicated shoot with a complicated post. And we already have our next few projects lined up… you’ve seen a lot of the rumblings here… stay tuned!

 

 

These Drums Are Better Than Your Drums

We are hard at work on an animatic for the opening scene from my next animated film, Orient City: The Dark Ronin Chronicles.  Zsombor is killing it and the animatic itself is actually done. He even took a few frames and finished them so they are the ‘final’ cells from the film (you’ll see them in due time). He did a pass of sound, then I did a pass of sound… now Dragan has to do a pass of sound and mix it.

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Then, we need to add the music.  Dragan has some ideas he’s working with – but the general concept is Ennio Morricone with an oriental twist.  Like Once Upon a Time in the West meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It will be epic – like the movie itself.

In laying down sounds, Zsombor put some drums to the video. When I cringed and Dragan almost threw up, he was a bit poopy. He really loved his weak-ass drums. Then Dragan broke these out and cheered him up…