Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

IMAX 3-D… Movies Are Worth It Again

July 16, 2011

My movie-going attitude has changed completely.

For a few years I’ve been almost completely turned off from seeing movies in the theater. Whether it’s the cell phones ringing, or people texting or talking or the (literally) meth-head-ghetto-hillbillies sitting next to me. At almost every screening I fill with anger at some point due to rude audience members who think they live in a bubble and have total disregard for the other viewers. Or, in the case of “The Tree of Life” a groundbreaking, thought-provoking, philosophical film with an extremely (for the most part) respectful audience the projectionist used the wrong lens for the 2nd or 3rd reel so the total immersion of the film was completely broken. Paying $10.50 to increase my blood pressure and misanthropy is not worth it. So, for the most part I’ve dedicated myself to going to New Haven’s Criterion Cinemas on Tuesday night when the theater is mostly empty and it only costs $6. That’s worth it, right?

I used to think so until last night when I saw “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: part 2” at the IMAX 3D theater in the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford Connecticut.

Two weeks ago I saw the new Transformers movie in 3D at Criterion Cinemas. Throughout the movie I felt like I had to focus to be able to make out the 3D effects. It was like looking at one of those hidden-image 3D pictures. I expected the same of the new “Harry Potter” movie. The best 3D experience I had had to date was “My Bloody Valentine” in 3D, the movie looked great and the 3D really popped. I wasn’t too impressed with Avatar’s 3D. There were some good effects but it wasn’t a game changer for me, it was still just a gimmick.

“Harry Potter” in IMAX 3D changed all that. I cannot stress enough how amazing this film looked. I was truly transported and mesmerized throughout the film. The IMAX screen and massive sound blocked out the fact that I was in a sold-out theater. The 3D was impeccable and, dare I say, magical. It doesn’t hurt that the movie was fantastic too (I wasn’t much of a Potter fan before watching the last 3 movies over the previous 2 nights). But, I came away with the impression that even a crap-tastic film would move up at least one or two notches in my opinion based solely on the IMAX presentation. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. A true event movie-going EXPERIENCE.

Why ya gotta be so mean?

A ticket cost $16.50 which seems like an enormous price to pay just to go see a movie, and I choked when buying my ticket on-line but now I have a new value system applied to what I will pay for a film.

$6.00, Tuesday night discount at Criterion New Haven: It’s still pretty much worth it to see the top-notch art-house films or even the big budget blockbusters after opening weekend.

$8.00 – $11.00, Matinee – Regular priced at most theaters near me: Not worth it. The typical experience of seeing a movie in a theater is a waste of money at these prices. I won’t see a regular movie at these prices again. (add in the $3+ surcharge for standard 3D and it’s DEFINITELY not worth it)

$16.50, IMAX 3D – Truly the ONLY way to see movies going forward. I was on the fence about seeing Cowboys & Aliens, if it plays at IMAX 3D I’m there. Captain America, I’m there. The extra cost of the ticket pales in comparison to the experience. (edit: Just found out the next IMAX 3D movie scheduled is “Real Steel” which I wasn’t too interested in, but you can bet I’ll be at it now!).

At first I thought I would never see a “regular” movie in the theater again (My home viewing experience is just fine, actually it’s preferable to most of my experiences in the theater) but then I realized that “Another Earth” is out this coming weekend (July 22nd) and if it plays in New Haven I’ll go see it for $6 the following Tuesday.

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An Open Letter to the Families and Friends of Filmmakers, Writers, Musicians & Artists:

February 1, 2011

My friend and colleague, Shane Tea French, posted the following note on his Facebook page recently. I felt it should be shared.

An Open Letter to the Families and Friends of Filmmakers, Writers, Musicians & Artists:

SO . . . .

Most of you know me. What do I do? In my eyes? I am a FILM MAKER. Above all else. All I do leads down the path to making  films that better the world, change lives, express emotions, transform the human tapestry. To me. That’s what I want to achieve and strive to be in my LIFE. While you all get to get married, something I have forgone in the goal of MY ART, and have children….I make movies, videos, etc. (My children.) And everyone VERBALLY supports me. “Shane, you are so talented.” Thank you.

I worked on a film called BURNING INSIDE, an amazing film I am proud to have been involved with. More than the shitty MAIN STREAM crap I suffered through in L.A. (GARFIELD, FLICKA, THE CAT IN THE HAT, etc…) and sold my soul to SCUM who would soon turn the theater experience to an utter lack of originality in remakes and 3-D that you see today. Everything that that place represented disgusted me to such a degree, I like so many others, some call us “THE LOSERS,” could not take it and came back to the EAST coast. Now I live with my Mom (like a slightly more social Norman Bates) who supports me unconditionally and try to make films on the weekends when not literally wiping butts at my day job.

I EXIST FOR ONE REASON: TO BE INVOLVED WITH AND MAKE FILMS. NOTHING ELSE. NOTHING ELSE WILL SATISFY ME. NOTHING ELSE TAKES PRECEDENCE. I AM AN ARTIST AND THAT IS MY ART. I CHOOSE MY LOVE OF FILM OVER HUMAN COMPANIONSHIP. HENCE: MY LACK OF WIFE OR CHILDREN. BUT: THE FILMS I DO MAKE ARE MY CHILDREN.

So, please. Acknowledge them. (Unless your kid is in dire need of braces?)

This is what I want to do with my life and have wanted since I was 14. I am 38 years old and still haven’t let this world BEAT ME DOWN. Me and my friends in CT made a film (“BURNING INSIDE”) that is one of the coolest and most proud I have ever been to work on. Would I recommend it to any of my relatives? Honestly. No. To my college friends? Most likely yes. To a film student. Definitely. (And I think you would LOVE it.) But whether you like it IS NOT the point. What I need to continue, WHAT WE NEED, as independent film makers, people who do this out of a GUT WRENCHING PAIN OF NEED, something you can’t control, something that pushes, punches, guides, destroys you, makes you move, gets you out of bed when there is NO reason to move: WE NEED SUPPORT! Whether you like what we do or not. IF you are a friEND or RELATIVE, I need you to donate $20 (if you can spare it) to BUY the movies we make so we can continue to get the funding for our next films we plan to make. $20 bucks? Is that a lot? Imagine it is a birthday gift? Imagine you are coming out to see a show. WE NEED THIS TO CONTINUE TO DO WHAT WE DO AND NOT BE CRUSHED BY THE HOLLYWOOD MACHINE THAT GRANTS YOU WITH FODDER THAT CHURNS YOUR BRAIN TO MUSH AND MAKES YOU FORGET WHAT YOU SAW IN A HALF HOUR???! Most of you want to come home and dissolve into your couch. I DEMAND TO BE PUNCHED IN THE CEREBRAL CORTEX AND LEAVE A FILM STILL THINKING. THIS IS ART!

I was granted unlimited access to the behind the scenes making of this movie and shot an HOUR LONG documentary which is featured on the DVD. I made my OWN movie to go along with the feature film. THIS IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME! THIS IS MY ARTWORK, the ARTWORK I CHOOSE to do in this world! THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN MY LIFE!!!! COULD YOU PLEASE SUPPORT ME AND PURCHASE A DVD SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO MAKE FILMS THAT DON’T COW-TOE TO THE MAINSTREAM WHETHER YOU WANT TO WATCH THE CONTENT OR NOT?! At the very least, my contribution/behind the scenes documentary  will show you that hard work, dedication, sweat, sacrifice, and the amazing people who go after their dreams and attain what should be unattainable by shear force of never giving in is a sight to see……And we have FUN doing it.

PLEASE SUPPORT ME. I DO NOT have the $$$$$ for advertising and I need to feel like what I am doing is not being ignored. If my friENDs and FAMILY don’t want any part of my achievement, then WHY would someone who doesn’t know me care either? THIS IS WHAT I’VE DONE WITH MY LIFE.

Very Sincerely, Shane Tea French

BUY THE DVD: http://channelmidnight.com/


House of Usher Update.

July 15, 2010

Some of you may have noticed that William Beckett has removed his blog post mentioning “The Fall of the House of Usher”. And that the Kickstarter Campaign associated with the project has been cancelled. Not to worry, the project is still on but I’ll let William explain:

“Due to the overwhelmingly positive response received after announcing Nathan Wrann’s new short film adaptation of “The Fall of the House of Usher”, those involved in production have decided to take the method of funding in a different direction.  I’d like to thank everyone on here that made contributions and showed support, and I will be keeping you in the loop regarding updates and events connected with the project.  My involvement in the film has not changed, and I am as excited as ever to be a part of this.  A lot of exciting things are on the horizon for the film, so stay tuned!” -William Beckett

Please stay in touch with us by either joining the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fall-of-the-House-of-Usher/140579825955524 or join the mailing list at http://www.thefallofthehouseofusher.com

“There Was A Young Man With No Head…”

May 18, 2010

Hello Family, Friends, Colleagues and Fans,

BIG News today! Our second film, “BURNING INSIDE” (which just had a hugely successful World Premiere at the Connecticut Film Fest), is NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD and Digital Download through our distributor at Channel Midnight http://bit.ly/BI-CM .

It is now time for us to mobilize our army and find an audience for this film. We hope you’ll help us in that effort.

There are a number of ways to help:

1) Forward this as an e-mail to EVERYONE on your e-mail list. Sure BURNING INSIDE was described as “a raw and grinding midnight movie” (Deadline Magazine) and “A challenging and altogether harrowing experience” (Shock Cinema) but you never know who might appreciate that kind of thing, or forward it on to their friends too. (It was also “highly recommended for lovers of smart films.” (fearzone.com)

2) MAKE MONEY! Become a Channel Midnight / BURNING INSIDE affiliate and earn 10% (almost $2 per DVD!) of every sale made with your personal link! Go here for details: http://bit.ly/CM-Affiliate . If you have a moderately trafficked website, blog, facebook, or twitter this option could be pretty darn lucrative. (make sure to put your affiliate link in this e-mail before you forward it on). (If you need assistance setting up the affiliate program, please e-mail me. I’ll be happy to help.)

3) Quick Copy and Paste for Twitter and Facebook (feel free to replace the link with your affiliate link, or customize however you want):

Check out my friend @nathanwrann new movie BURNING INSIDE now available on DVD and Download http://bit.ly/BI-CM

4) Join our Facebook, and twitter pages and repost, retweet, share, “like” and spread the word through social networking: www.facebook.com/burninginsidemovie www.twitter.com/nathanwrann www.twitter.com/channelmidnight http://www.facebook.com/pages/Channel-Midnight-Releasing/101936676513987?ref=ts

5) Go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003MHMU88 and write a review! (It’s amazing how important reviews on Amazon are.)

In short, it’s all about the numbers, the more people that know about it, the more successful it will be.

If you are a member of the PRESS please contact me at nw [at] daltongang-productions.com for press releases, press kits and copies for review.

THANKS EVERYONE!

We truly appreciate and rely on your support to help get the word out about this film.

Nathan Wrann & Kimberly Dalton

Dalton Gang Productions

p.s. We’re still fighting for that Audience Favorite award from the CT Film Fest (we prefer to call it the Best Audience Award). So please go to http://www.ctfilmfest.com/site/node/280 and vote 5 stars for us.

What the critics have to say about BURNING INSIDE:

“impressive…writer-director Nathan Wrann unleashes an unsettling psychological mystery, imbues his story with a unique look and pace and works wonders… a challenging and altogether harrowing experience for discerning horror fans.”

– Steven Puchalski, SHOCK CINEMA

“BURNING INSIDE is a raw and grinding midnight movie, unsavory grim in parts then slowly contemplative.”

– Marcus Stiglegger, DEADLINE MAGAZINE

“There is an awareness of filmmaking as a storytelling medium at work here that you will not find in a multiplex… A wholly original and daring piece of cinema. It’s rare that acting, cinematography and editing work in such perfect harmony to create something this unique… Highly recommended to lovers of smart films.”

– Greg Lamberson, FEAR ZONE

Available now, the BURNING INSIDE DVD includes:

• 120-minute feature film

• 12-part featurette containing more than one hour of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews

• Collection of trailers for BURNING INSIDE and other exciting upcoming releases.

The DVD is now available for purchase at Amazon.com or directly from the Channel Midnight shop or for rent at YouTube. More streaming and Video-on-Demand options are on their way.

For more information, visit channelmidnight.com

Shock Cinema Reviews BURNING INSIDE!

May 10, 2010


Shock Cinema #38

Shock Cinema #38

Check out Shock Cinema magazine #38, available this month, for rave reviews of

BURNING INSIDE:
“impressive…a challenging and altogether harrowing experience for discerning horror fans.”


SATAN HATES YOU:
“weird and wild…a truly subversive work of art.”

BURNING INSIDE will be available on DVD next Tuesday, May 18th from Channel Midnight Releasing. Pre-order now.

SATAN HATES YOU has been selected to screen at a number of film festivals this summer, dates and locations coming soon!

BURNING INSIDE *World Premiere* at the CT Film Festival

April 21, 2010

My second film, BURNING INSIDE, is screening at the Connecticut Film Festival (CTFF) in Danbury, CT on Saturday May 8th at 10pm at the Danbury Music Center!

The BURNING INSIDE CTFF webpage is here: http://www.ctfilmfest.com/site/node/280

Tickets are now on sale here!

If you’re coming in from out of town here are some hotels to stay at:

Kim & I will be staying at The Maron Hotel with rates starting at $79 (203) 791-2200…
There’s also The Ethan Allen Hotel $89 (203) 744-1776…
and $89 at The Holiday Inn Hotel (203) 792-4000.
Make sure you mention the group code CTFF when calling in for your reservations.

At 10:30am on Saturday May 8th I’ll be participating in a panel called My First Time: Rookie Filmmakers on Their Debut Projects at the Palace Theater in Danbury (Sib Law who did the green screen and some producing duties on Burning Inside will also be participating in the panel) (tickets: https://the-connecticut-film-festival-llc.ticketleap.com/buy-tickets/festivals-and-fairs/my-first-time-rookie-filmmakers-on-their-debut-projects/danbury/94E7C736-ECA6-4DBD-B5DF-4F0BA051966 ).

I highly recommend that you check out the CT Film Fest webpagehttp://www.ctfilmfest.com/site/ . There’s a ton of great events, musicians (The Sawtelles, who contributed the opening title song to HUNTING SEASON are playing on Saturday at 7pm) and very informative panels going on for the entire week.

Please pass this invite onto all of your friends, family, fans, tweeps, facebookers, myspacers etc!!

Kim and I hope to see you there!

We’re planning on spending a good deal of time around the festival events passing out flyers, if you want to help out, let me know and we’ll get together to work to promote this thing.

http://www.daltongang-productions.com
http://www.channelmidnight.com
http://www.facebook.com/burninginsidemovie

Hello, I’m Henry.

March 30, 2010

Once again Bad Lit finds the coolest damn videos.

In Mike Everleth’s latest post he writes about a screening of Nosferatu (1922) at an upcoming film fest. The twist is that the silent film will be accompanied by a live dj (from Evolution Control Committee) spinning vinyl soundtracks from other movies. Mike writes up a more in depth description (complete with date and time) and embeds a sampling of the movie with the soundtrack that you should check out here. Although I have to say that some of the music is a little too on-the-nose (the James Bond theme from Dr. No as Harker escapes out a window using sheets) it is, ultimately, a really neat idea.

Coincidentally I was thinking about ways of enhancing potential screenings of a future project (possibly related to my “Light Reading” post the other day) by having live accompaniment of a minimalist soundtrack. (Potentially subconsciously inspired by the on-stage musicians in Ethan Hawke’s incredible recent Off-Broadway revival of Sam Shepard’s “A Lie of The Mind“?)

You might hear more about this later.

Nosferatu (1922)

A Little Light Reading Tonight

March 26, 2010

This will make sense later…

Film Promotion… Rube Goldberg Style

March 25, 2010

One of my RSS feeds and daily spots to visit on the web is Mike Everleth’s excellent underground-film blog, Bad Lit.  Yesterday (March 24th, 2010) he posted a great blog about on-line underground film promotion. He touches on the current Facebook/twitter follower-building school of thought but focuses mostly on the general ineffectiveness of current underground film promotional websites to actually do their jobs and promote a film. Here’s an excerpt:

There’s a lot of chatter online these days about the need for filmmakers to promote their films on the Internet. This chatter typically translates into the need to send out massive amounts of stupid Tweets and irritating Facebook updates. If you do those things, the theory goes, you’ll build an interactive “community” around your film online and generate interest that will build as your Twitter and Facebook profiles gain more followers.

As a whole, I agree with him. I really, really do. The general conversation in the indie film/DIY/DIWO/Self-Distribution world is about to seismically shift from “Distribution” to “Promoting” and Mike does a great job of comparing underground film websites with a model that currently seems to be working: WebComics. However, there are inherent differences between feature (or short) filmmaking and webcomics that prohibit promotional film websites/blogs from having the same interactivity that webcomics have.

A good webcomic will put 1 or 2 pages up per week. That means that it is the job of the comic creator to post NEW content regularly. At the same time the new content is posted the comic creator can also post a blog commenting on what they have posted (like Jason Brubaker does with the excellent webcomic ReMind) I think it’s a great model. In contrast a feature filmmaker can’t post 1 or 2 scenes per week (if they do it’s now a web series (Like Wreck & Salvage. series Mike mentions) and not a feature or short film). So, either “special feature” content needs to be posted on a regular basis or it gets posted when there’s “news,” which in the indie film world is usually bunched up into busy spurts with months of “inactivity” between.

As a filmmaker I would love to be able to put up a behind the scenes clip every day that I’m on set. But at the end of a day that usually extends past 14 hours, blogging just isn’t on the schedule. Having a producer around that is willing to document the “making of” (Like the Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then blog he links to) would be a Godsend. I don’t want to diminish her blog, I’m sure it’s fantastic (haven’t had time to read it yet) and I’m sure she is very busy during the course of the production but when you’re the writer/director/camera/production designer/editor etc etc blogging isn’t conducive, and can be a bit distracting actually. Looking at her blog I see that there is only 9 subscribers, I don’t know if that is reflective of the overall readership but if it is, considering the ample amount of time that she has put into it, I’m not sure what the cost/benefit analysis would say about that effort.

Another issue (for lack of a better word) that I have is that creating an interactive website to promote a film is the beginning of a Rube Goldberg machine. Follow me here: I’m making a movie that I’m going to want to promote. So I create a blog/interactive website to promote the film. I get 1 or 2 random hits per day. So I create a facebook page to promote the blog/website to promote the film. I get a hundred or so friends (mostly people that already know about the film). So I create a twitter feed to promote the facebook page to promote the blog/website to promote the film. I get a bunch of followers, and still only a dozen random hits per day. So I create a youtube account to post videos that I tweet about to promote the facebook page that was made to promote the blog/website to promote the film. Then I make a press release to promote the video I just posted on the youtube page that is also mentioned on my twitter feed to promote the facebook page that promotes the blog/website that was created to promote the film. A couple of web magazines post the press releases and I get a few more followers to my twitter feed that was made to promote the facebook….. I think you see where I’m going with this.

Like I said I agree with Mike. Web presence is definitely a major part of building awareness and finding a way to use it successfully is the golden ticket. Looking at other models from other arts is definitely a good place to start (people started comparing the indie-music scene and indie-film scene about a year ago or so). Looking at what they do successfully is as important as seeing why it’s successful for them and if the same successful properties will apply to indie film. Maybe the solution is to have “press” on set every day of the shoot, rather than just one or two days, and let them do the content for you.

This is a great conversation to have. Does anyone have great examples of websites/blogs that you frequent that have helped you to be aware of a film that you might not have otherwise known about? Post the link in comments. And make sure to visit Bad Lit for the whole article.

This blog was directly inspired by Bad Lit.

p.s. @MikeEverleth thanks for the RT of my tweet of the facebook post that mentions the article in Fangoria about the launch of the Channel Midnight website which will be distributing my film BURNING INSIDE.

Movie of the Day – 03/03/2010

March 3, 2010

I will post a picture of my tv screen displaying a scene from a movie I’ve seen recently and you’re supposed to guess what movie it is from. The picture will be something that can be identified by someone that saw the movie, but not by someone that didn’t (at least not very easily). Leave your guess in the comments.

Movie of the Day 03-03-2010

Movie of the Day 03/03/2010