I was raised on classic films.  Among these were some of the best work from Mickey Rooney, who we sadly lost yesterday at the young age of 93.  Some of these movies included Captains Courageous, Boys Town & National Velvet just to name a few.  Al great movies but my personal favorite of Mickey Rooney’s was his portrayal of the eccentrically funny Ding Bell in the comedy classic It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

Mickey Rooney_Ding BellTeamed up with Buddy Hackett playing his friend and nervous sidekick Benji Benjamin, the two get swept up in a chase for $350k.  The scenes with them, Jim Backus as the alcoholic airplane pilot etc are worth watching just for that!  Below is a small clip of some of the ensuing comedy!

wide_noah

Being a follower of Jesus is the center of my life.  Many fellow Jesus followers feel the same, as they should.  I know many love movies like I do.  And some are considering NOT going to see NOAH, the latest movie from filmmaker Darren Aronofsky who has blatantly said “Noah is the least Biblical movie ever made.”

I understand why Christians would avoid this film, but… 

1)  OPENS UP CONVERSATION

The story may be off but it can lead to conversations about the true story and what the Bible says about it.  But you can only relate if you’ve seen what they have seen and know how the story is told both from the Bible and the movie.  No one likes talking to people about movies they haven’t seen.

2)  GIVES HOLLYWOOD INCENTIVE TO DO MORE BIBLE BASED MOVIES

The more revenue brought in the more likely movies of the genre will be made.  There are so many great stories in the Bible that translate well to the big screen.  Pray for good writing and a desire by all to tell the most accurate version they can.

3) ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO READ THE ACCOUNT FOR THEMSELVES

People are always interested in what the book says vs the movie.  Recently The New York Times ran an ad encouraging people to read the story for themselves with a link attached to YouVersion.  Check that out here!  I’ll always encourage people to study the truth for themselves.  We need to rely on facts, not just the word of others (this applies to more then just this topic).  Btw, if you haven’t read it in a while I suggest you do before your friends start asking questions about Noah ;)

So take some friends, watch the flick and enjoy some quality time and good conversation!

 

 

 

seeking-a-friend-for-the-end-of-the-world-posterI watched this movie for the first time today.  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was pretty much what I expected for the first half.  Sex and drug jokes and a story that was sorta iffy.  But then it opened up.  Steve Carell‘s character Dodge falls for the unlikley character Penny, played by Keira Knightley.  I won’t go in to far here but character development is solid and the ending I didn’t expect at all!

What really threw me was how much it got me thinking:

  Watching the characters in this story deal with this question was interesting and very much pulled me in.  It was an emotional tug I did not expect.  I do wish director & writer Lorene Scafaria would of gone the route of cleaner content.  This is the kind of story that could be a wholesome flick but they chose to let it try to be a dirty comedy when it didn’t need that element to make it appealing.

But it still comes back to the question: If you knew the end of the world, or your life was a few weeks away what would you do and how differently would you view things ??? Please let me know. It’s an interesting thought to ponder.

 

Harold Ramis We lost a great one today.  Harold Ramis made us laugh and laugh.  Comedy in any form is difficult to do well and to do it well in movie format shows a true gift.  Weather writing, directing, acting etc he was great at all of it.  Ghostbusters, Caddyshack and Groundhog Day are comedy movie legends!  To be associated with all three is truly incredible.  Other movies involving Ramis include Stripes, Analyze This, Animal House, Ghostbusters 2 and many many other recognizable flicks!

My personal favorite of these is Groundhog Day.  It’s arguably my favorite romantic comedy ever made.  Such a great mix of comedy, drama and romance.  Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell made for very good chemistry on the screen.  Her character was such a sweetheart and Bill’s such a turd and they balanced so well.  And we can’t forget Harold’s roll as the doctor that check’s out Bill Murray’s claims of reliving the same day over and over again.  He even gets credit as co-writer of this classic!  Harold Ramis Bill Murray Groundhog Day

Harold Ramis may not be with us anymore but his personality and humor will be with us as we are blessed to have these movies to enjoy for years to come.  His efforts were not for nothing.  Thank you for the laughs Harold.  We are forever grateful.

 

volunteer_filmmakingThe resume of the filmmaker is not like that of most occupations.  Most industries want to know  your education level.  They want to know how long you’ve worked in that particular field even more then they care about the quality of the work.  They just want to know you’re knowledgeable and can do it.  But in the filmmaking business it’s all about what you’ve done.  Your body of work is all that matters.

Working for free isn’t always the most intriguing thing.  Sometimes duty calls where a non-profit or a cause presents itself and it’s enough to make one willing to offer hours of work at no cost.  But in the filmmaking world there can be great value in working for free!  I’ve done my share of free work dating back to when I was beardless.  I still do some projects on a volunteer basis.  My latest volunteer project can be seen here!

1)  GROWING IN YOUR CRAFT

Volunteer filmmaking allows for the filmmaker to continue getting better at what they do in every way.

2)  FREEDOM TO EXPLORE

Volunteer gigs are often vague when it comes to the clients intake.  They are often happy getting a promo or plug at no cost to them.  This allows you as a filmmaker to try new things and explore new avenues.  Take some creative freedom and see what you can do!

3)  LARGER PORTFOLIO

Obviously the more movies produced the more you will grow your resume and help yourself gain large gigs down the road!

4)  CAN LEAD TO PAID WORK

It’s all about networking while working.  Doing projects on a volunteer case can lead to paid gigs simply by word of mouth for those you’ve worked with for free.  It has for me and will for you too!

I highly recommend listening to this podcast by my friend Mark Sieverkropp entitled Project Success.  In it he talks about the value of doing projects, or volunteering no matter what career you choose to take on or potentially take on!  Also check out his new book by the same title here!

Go & grow!

This promo video is for Thrive, a young adults ministry based in Gig Harbor, WA.  It was made with the help of Nate Ward and Rebekah Parkhurst.  Nate and I shot the footage.  I edited the video and Rebekah wrote the music and made the end graphic.  It was shown at a fundraiser for Thrive the beginning of February 2014.  It was a great thrill for me to have the opportunity to have a professional musician score my video.  I’m not sure I can go back to buying tracks!

Nate Ward facebook

Rebekah Parkhurst facebook

Check out more music by Rebekah here!

 

I came into this movie with decent expectations and they were met.  The Place Beyond the Pines is a very unique story revolving around fathers and sons and stretches multiple generations.  Director/writer Derek Cianfrance takes the subject of the fatherless in great twists and turns down a heart wrenched road.

Luke, played by Ryan Gosling, is a motorcycle stunt rider turned bank robber.  Avery, played by Bradley Cooper, is a young cop with ambitions of becoming more.  Their lives clash and change the lives of their families forever.  Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta and others round out a very well placed cast!

What I love about this movie is how different it is.  (SPOILER ALERT)  It’s rare to find a movie not called Psycho that kills off a big name part way through without any apologies.  At one point they jump ahead 15 years which is very hard to do in any story.  But they fill the gaps well and what transpires is superb.  This story is defiantly one of a kind.

Let us know what you think of The Place Beyond the Pines!  Comment below or hit me up on twitter @filmmakerdoc

Kevin Costner directing Dances With Wolves

One of the greatest aspects of the DVD/Blu-ray era has been the inclusion of Director’s Cut’s (DC).  Sometime’s a director has a different vision for their project then the movie producers have.  And of course, most of the time whoever has the money gets the most say.  In some cases it’s an extended story that could help the movie or it can be an entirely different story all together.  I’ll share with you two of my favorite scenarios of each.

First is Dances with Wolves: Director’s Cut.  This Oscar Winning film was lengthy in its original theatrical release running at 181 minutes.  When Kevin Costner‘s Director’s Cut was released it rounded out at 236 minutes.  This extra 55 minutes pulls the story together so well!  I can’t even watch the original release anymore because so much is missing.  I’ll talk more about this film in a future post because it ranks as one of my favorites ever.  I highly recommend the DC.

Then there is the case of telling a completely different storyPayback  had a different story then the director/writer Brian Helgeland intended.  Producer and star of the movie Mel Gibson agreed with fellow producers that the movie would be better going in a different direction.  Helgeland disagreed and stepped down as director midway through the shooting of the film.  Some years later his Director’s Cut was released with his vision intact.  Each version has a look that’s different then the other.  The difference is so big that Kris Kristofferson‘s character isn’t even in the DC!  Two different stories, two solid flicks!

It’s so great that we now can enjoy multiple versions of a story seen from different perspectives.  What are some of your favorite Director’s Cuts ??? Let us know!!

Grudge-Match-wide

Judging by the trailer, Grudge Match seemed to be a movie dedicated to boxing classic films Rocky and Raging Bull and those films respective stars Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro.  Funny throwbacks such as Stallone looking to punch a side of beef in a butcher shop (like in Rocky) was a funny take for fans of these classic films.  Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin‘s funny banter seemed like the makings of a fun movie.  Not so.

Selling this movie as a comedy, it turns out most of the story is built around drama.  And more drama.  And more drama.  Then they tried to slip some jokes in that fell flat and hard.  Hart’s character, a boxing promoter, was forced.  The character was completely unnecessary and only seemed to exist for comedy re leaf but very little funny came from him.  Kim Basinger played the former lover of both Stallone and DeNiro.  Another unnecessary character and subplot.  The one bright spot was Jon Bernthal‘s performance as DeNiro’s estranged son but you’ll likely miss it falling asleep before his character is introduced.

I know the hard work that goes into making a movie.  I hate throwing anyone’s project under the bus.  Why not invest the time and solid cast into something worthwhile?