Category: Skillshare

International as HELL

Posted by – November 6, 2012

Our Asian premiere was last month in Seoul Korea, and for everyone who’s asked what Easterners would think of GHOSTS, Tate has the answer:

Basically, they thought we were dead-on. It’s not ‘if’ the US drops off as a world power and China rises–it’s ‘when’. And they were looking forward to it. They were a bit nervous about Korea’s position, because they’re the little country beside the giant, much like us. But at the core, they thought it was a good bet to come to pass–they didn’t think the US would fall as far as the 3rd world, but figured they would become more like 2nd world countries, perhaps like certain European countries that still have some clout, but aren’t as relevant or super-powery as they were.

They were very interested in how we picked all the jobs, and had other unforeseen insight about the Babymakers and Spam. Koreans have a lot of guilt about giving up children for adoption, so it really struck them. They also liked the way the people sat down in the office.

When he wasn’t drinking soju and talking future economics with the fest organizers, Tate also did a workshop on our kind of lo-fi sci-fi community powered filmmaking — see above.

Since our Sci-Fi-London release in May, GHOSTS has screened in Berlin (Moviemento), Toronto (Royal Cinema), Boston (MIT), Poznan, Poland (Transatlantyk), Ann Arbor (Workantile), Ottawa (Mayfair Theatre), Tucson (Arizona Underground Film Fest), & Seoul, Korea (Gwacheon International SF Festival). Next week it’s booked for Miami (O-Cinema) and Tampa (Muvico Ybor) & later this month for Bath, England (Bath Film Festival)!

Not bad for its first six months. We gotta get a world tour t-shirt printed up with all the cities on the back.

Also expanding our international reach are our awesome volunteer subtitlers — thanks to Antonio and Aram we now have subtitles en español!

Promotional Skillshare

Posted by – July 6, 2011

Big news first: post-production on Ghosts is done, minus a few audio tweaks, and we’ve already submitted it to TIFF and Fantastic Fest. Hooray!

Now begins the promotional phase, and we hope to get you involved. Similar to the skillshares in the beginning, we’re opening up the process to everyone involved.

A week today, Wed the 13th at 7pm, we’ll be meeting with Darryl Shaw — the director of another lo-fi sci-fi movie shot in Toronto called Android Re-Enactment (trailer). We’ll be brainstorming promotional ideas and distribution possibilities for both our movies, and everyone on this list is welcome to sit in and contribute.

RSVP if you’re coming and I’ll let you know the location.


Posted by – March 27, 2009

Hey all –

Jim has invited me to take the lead on a video documenting the filmmaking process of ‘Ghosts With Shit Jobs’ (I will also be involved in the main production in some capacity or other).

I’ve worked on several documentaries in the past and have a few ideas about how to do this. It’s still pretty embryonic but I wanted to share some thoughts and encourage people to think about this aspect of the production as things move forward.

First of all, I am NOT interested in making what I would describe as an interview-led documentary. This doesn’t mean that there will be no interviews; it does mean that interviews would take a back seat to footage drawn from actual unstaged incident and interaction, on set and behind the scenes. This requires a greater amount of shooting, less predetermination of content and more involved editing. Very roughly speaking, it steers the project toward cinematic documentary traditions and away from television models.

It also requires a greater amount of indulgence and consent from cast and crew as subjects. The model only really works under what I’ll describe as a ‘negative option’ consent arrangement – that is, you can ask the camera person to stop filming, but barring this, all on-set happenings are considered fair game. In exchange it would be understood that the documentary cameraperson’s presence will not be physically disruptive, and that the approach of the documentary will be respectful. In short, it requires trust on both sides

To pursue this, then, I would require a generalized consent policy that the production as a whole can endorse; so I hope you have time to discuss this and arrive at some conclusions at the meeting on the 5th.

The other thing that needs to be said is that I will not be present for every day of the shoot, and you never know when something interesting is going to happen; so I would be interested in working out a protocol which would allow other cast and crew to pick up the documentarian role in my absence. More broadly, it would be great if a general consciousness of the documentary pervaded the overall production, so that, for instance, the feature cameraperson might roll camera during rehearsal to capture that process, or individuals with something to say might feel at liberty to request an interview or even tape themselves.

The issue of documentation in my absence comes up immediately in the context of the meeting on the 5th. This meeting will be key to the evolution of the overall project, and it would be a great loss to the documentary if it weren’t recorded in some way. And I’ll be on an airplane!! I’d appreciate any help anyone can offer in documenting this meeting – even a (clean) audio-only documentation if video would make folks uncomfortable at this juncture.

If anyone is prepared to take the lead on the latter, please let me know. And if folks feel that this initiative calls for a special ‘documentary’ skill-share, I’m happy to facilitate that as well. Otherwise, please share any thoughts you might have on this idea.

Editing Skillshare

Posted by – March 8, 2009

We’re doing an editing skillshare on the afternoon of Sunday Mar. 15th, a week today. UPDATE: Both the beginner and advanced skillshares have been postponed til April. Email or comment if you’d like to be kept in the loop. Exact time and place to be confirmed. Depending on interest, we’re considering doing a super-beginner session for folks that’ve never touched an editing program, as well as a more advanced one for folks with some editing experience. So let me know via comment or email by Thursday if you’d be interested, and what level you’re at, and I’ll let you know the final deets on Sat.

And no, the editing suite will look nothing like the one above. It was just the prettiest picture I could find.

We have a ton of footage to choose from thanks to the great shooting skillshare Craig ran last month — about a dozen of us broke up into groups and shot various scenarios. Because we rotated positions, we each got a chance at being actors, shooters, and directors. Good fun! The editing workshop will be a bit different as it’s more computer-centric, but we’ll make sure everyone gets hands-on time.

The Shooting Skillshare Reshoot

Posted by – February 9, 2009

Defeated by the cold several weeks ago, we are planning to shoot indoors this time. It’ll be this Sunday, Feb. 15 at 1pm.

Craig Macnaughton, who will be leading this one, says: “i was thinking of sharing a few technical tricks (like lens selection), and a few creative techniques (maybe moving masters and center of emotion).”

So, if you’re like me and you’ve already learned some painful lessons like:

  • make sure the lens isn’t smudgy
  • tripods are useful in fighting audience nausea
  • shooting with 2 cameras can cover up your mistakes
  • you push the big red button

…then this is the skillshare for you!

Kidding aside, the skillshare is open to anyone who gets this email who is interested in trying some hands-on shooting stuff, not just directors or crew. Just reply to this or add a comment and I’ll get in touch with the location to confirm on Fri or Sat.

Skillshare #2: Shooting Up Alleys

Posted by – January 5, 2009

We’re having our second skillshare on Jan. 25 at 1pm. Want to improve your camera shooting skills? Do you have some skills you’d be willing to share? I’m thinking it’d be fun to shoot this trailer, though it doesn’t mean that’ll be the concept we’ll be going with. (It’ll give us some footage to edit for February’s editing skillshare.)

At 4pm we’ll have an alley tour with Graeme Parry, who gives tours like the one above and who Sean Lerner suggested when I was talking about making a movie with alleys. It’ll be an hour, and then we’ll go to dinner somewhere.

If you’d like to join us for some or all of the day, add a comment. Location is to be announced.

Lighting and Sound Skillshare

Posted by – December 3, 2008

What the next movie's gonna look likeI’m going to this Trinity Square Video workshop this weekend on Lighting and Sound. It had a max of 4 and is full, unfortunately, but I’m thinking I could probably take notes and (along with one of the other more experienced directors) run a free workshop for this project’s participants. If you’d like to participate let me know in the comments (Dec. 21 aft is good for me). Any other skillshares that would be good?