Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Young Actor

I recently spoke with a young actor who has been acting since he was thirteen years old. He has been in several small films but he recently stared in his big feature film.

He is only 20 years old and he has been in over 10 films and has traveled the world. He said he just finished filming Cheepers Creepers 3.

"I play the loud mouth curly red head," he said.

It was interesting to get his perspective on the art of acting. I asked him what he thought was the most important aspect of his job.

Ironically he said realism.

"The best actors are the one's that don't look like they are acting. They are the ones that can make it real." 

It's interesting to think that the best way to portray a fake persona is to be as real as possible.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"Broken Memories"

So last week I had the opportunity to interview a screenplay writer named Frankie Lauderdale.
She is 65 years-old and the first movie she has ever sold has recently been released in a few film festivals.

Her story tells the tale of an aging man with Alzheimer's and the effect it has had on his son who has become his caregiver.

Jasper has started to lose sight of reality and begins to wonder all around. When it becomes too much for his son, Levi, they hire Maggie to help out.

Upon meeting Maggie, Jasper mistakes her for his late wife Sylvie and thus begins an interesting love triangle of past and future struggles.

Speaking with Frankie was so interesting. She provided an insight into the world of film from an Oklahoman perspective.

Her film, "Broken Memories" has won some awards and has received extreme positive feedback.

Her story has taught me that it is never too late to succeed.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Today in Class...

It has come to my attention that when students take some sort of film class they have a greater appreciation for the art of cinema.

It is one thing to learn how to make a film. You are more likely to appreciate it if you understand how it has been constructed but what if you were just told to watch movies?

After interviewing a friend of mine about is film class I have learned that he has come to enjoy watching movies more so than he did before this class.

He told me in his class they watch a different genre of film every week. For example they have watched "Citizen Kane" for mystery.

"It's nice because you are able to discuss with other students why one movie should be considered for one genre or another."

He said it has been interesting to talk with his fellow students why certain movies have certain plot lines or why the cinematographer shot a scene a specific way.

I always enjoyed my film classes in high school and in college so it's nice that others are enjoying it as well.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Results

"If you have the words there's always the chance you'll find the way." 

Like with most new experiences people tend to learn several news concepts and skills. Blogging has been a new experiences for me in which I have gained knowledge on expression. I am not one to hide my opinion but through blogging I feel I have expressed some of them in creative ways. It has become a new medium for me to use my way with words.

“Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Throughout the semester I have blogged about various aspects of the film industry and I have tried to treat each blog as a new conversation.  I have tried to be mindful of my words and the specific effect I wanted it to have on that certain blog.
I feel with each new post my blog has gained more and more depth. It has become a place where we discuss more than why we liked a certain film.

“Writing well means never having to say, ‘I guess you had to be there.’"— Jef Mallett

Blogging is journalism with out some of the same limits. I am able to publish my own content and control it how I see fit. I act as the editor journalist, and page designer. I feel for the most part having a blog has helped me practice my journalism skills with out considering all the rules.

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

Blogging has allowed me to venture into the world of cinema. I have been able to observe and explore all the different perspectives of film making. I have been able to share my love for film in interesting ways.

"A blog is only as interesting as interest shown in others." 

The most important thing I have learned from blogging is the topic of my posts. People will not read your product if they think it is just you venting and its endless copy. Be aware of the look and content of your blog. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Market

While there are negative aspects of the affects social media has on the film industry, there are also some benefits.
With the advancement in technology has come cellphones which act as both a camera and marketing tool.

According to social media strategist, Sam Milbrath, cell phones have been the death and life of filmmaking. Although it has made it easier for those to on a budget to make, produce and promote their own films it has also helped those with oodles of money and no set budget.
For cinematographers working in a massive studio social media serves as a cheap way to promote their film and receive pre production feed back. It enables them to spend their money and time more on the overall content rather than the small picture aspects.

Milbrath also said that the film industry can use social media to connect fans and build almost a community like situation.
Feedback on social media can be used in keeping an audience interested.
Small budget films also benefit from social media because if it is from an unheard studio with an unknown director and actors then they all can become known with social media.

Peer Pressure

Tweets, Pins, photos, and blog posts change people’s perceptions. It can sway one’s own opinion into a certain direction.

However, how does changing opinions affect the film industry?

When one is contemplating a film to or its overall meaning, they often seek other perceptions.

For example, recently there has been buzz on numerous social media networks about the new Beauty and the Beast film.

According to actor Josh Gad, his character, has been portrayed as gay. There has been several opinions posted on this news. A majority of them are from people who are boycotting the film because of its modern adaptation of one of its characters.

Now people who may be contemplating their attendance of the film may feel it’s inappropriate. It would depend on the ratio of encouraging or. discouraging posts.

According to digital analyst, Brian Solis, seventy five percent of people are influenced by the positive social networking the research when choosing the films they watch.

So the overall effect this has on the film industry is engagement in films. Though a seemingly small issue it potentially could escalate if the influence of social media continues to increase.

The Birth of Social Media

For several decades there have been numerous advances in technology affecting aspects of many professions.

Over time is has been easier for doctors to save lives, for journalists to filter news and for creative storytellers to circulate their visions.

The advancement has also enhanced day-to-day activity in the common aspect of life. Last century it was the norm for loved ones to not see or hear from each other for months to years.

However, with cell phones and computers people can speak and virtually see each other everyday.

With this new technology has come new features.

In fact, the advancement has birthed a new phenomenon: social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others are used as tools for citizens to report aspects of life.

Although at times harmless and beneficial, social media has its overwhelming disadvantages.

It as become a hosh posh of thoughts and opinions.

Specifically in the film industry social media has had both positive and negative effects on the viewing, distribution and perception of movies.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Hidden Figure

After weeks of attempting to see it, we finally made it. We had wanted to see the movie for ages but because of the hectic lives of a college student slash journalist and a library tech slash future teacher, we were slammed with our realities.

However, today was the day. It was our time to escape the realities and venture into a world of empowerment. 

We went into the theater not knowing how Hidden Figures would make us react but we hoped we would enjoy some witty statements from the three NASA genesis.

Throughout the film we laughed, we groaned and we sat there contemplating the astonishing difference between American civilization in the sixties and American civilization now.

There was one particular sequence in the story that I found at first unfortunate but happy with the resolution.

Katherine Johnson, an amazing mathematician, was selected to work on the task force in charge of sending the first man to the moon.

As the only African American there, for the first time, there were no "colored" bathrooms. Therefore, she had to walk across the NASA campus to use the restroom. She wasted forty minutes everyday.

One day her boss noticed and dumbfounded he decided to rid NASA of separate bathrooms because and I quote:

"Here at NASA everyone pees the same color."

With an uproar of laughter, the entire audience found this both hilarious and powerful.

Oscars' Mistake

And the winner is...La La Land 

No wait. It was Moonlight.

All the craziness at the Oscars were very interesting last week. I have had several conversations that have found the incident either a publicity stunt or an honest mistake.

According to one of my classmates, "you can't fake something like that."

He seemed to think the whole thing was planned and that it was an attempt of the Academy to make the awards ceremony more entertaining.

However, others view it as a simple mistake. 

No one can truly determine what happened. All we can know is that a stage hand must have given the wrong envelope to the presenters.

There's one thing for certain, the best picture of the year 2016 was Moonlight.

Though I have not seen it, I am glad that a film with such an important message was recognized as the best.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Score of...

"I feel like soundtrack music is almost like seeing the movie again but with my ears." -Unknown 

There several aspects that make a movie a movie. Acting. Special Effects. Costumes.


Whether we're watching in suspense as the shark is about to attack or crying because Rose will never let go, movie music enhances our emotions.

 Some of the best and worst times in film have been that much better or worse because of the under layering music.

We take movie music for granted.

Try to imagine Star Wars without music or the infamous Psycho scene in complete silence.

 We are often too focused on what is being said or what drama in unfolding.

However, without the music the scene would just be people talking. 

How tragic would it be if Trolls lost the sunshine in their pockets or if there was no city of stars?

Monday, February 20, 2017

An Actor's Perspective

"I kinda just wanted to view it like when you were a kid. You know like you pick up a stick and you pretend to shoot aliens or whatever. I felt like I kind of took that mentality into it." 

Kiowa Tucker is a 21 year old actor who has been acting in films since he was seventeen years old.
So far he has acted in a few films.

In his first film Petting Zoo which is on Netflix, Kiowa played a bad boy type character and he said he did not really have to go through an audition process.

"When we had [started] shooting the movie I had already known about not breaking the fourth wall and I had just kind of known what you're trying to do is create a natural environment. I'm not trying to be Hollywood.

Directed by Michael McGee, Petting Zoo is an indie film about a young girl who is about to go to college but her plans are put on halt when she finds out she is pregnant. 

Kiowa's role was that of the boyfriend that ends up being the father of her child.

"It was a lot of and it was a lot of work but you didn't notice the work because it was just so much of a blast."

For Kiowa the best think about being an actor is just that being an actor.

"I really enjoy just the actual doing of it because then I can almost method act."

He believes an actor's perspective should be noted but also coincide with the director's perspective and purpose.

"It's a balance."

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Brigsby Bear"

So I am a journalist for The Edmond Sun and my editor asked me a few weeks ago to write an article about former Edmond resident, Kevin Costello.

Costello has recently received a lot of attention from various Oklahoma media outlets for his work on the film "Brigsby Bear."

He co-wrote with Saturday Night Life actor, Kyle Mooney, who is also the star of the film.

The film tells the tale of a young man, James, who was kidnapped as an infant and grew up with one fond memory.

Brigsby Bear.
What was actually a one man and cheaply made television show, was a whimsical world of magic and love for James.

However, after he is discovered and returns to his family, James is unable to function because of the lack of Brigsby.

In an effort to restore his happiness, James attempts to finish Brigsby Bear. However, in the process he becomes close with his lost family.

This indie movie has been described by several critiques as a heart warming and feel good film. It even received high praise at the Sundance Film Festival.

I was not able to get an interview with Costello just yet because the film is to be realized in theaters this summer. He is required to hold off on interviews until closer to the release date.

However, I will be able to interview him a few months from now and I look forward to discover the inter workings of this fellow Edmondite's mind.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The "La La Land" Issue

Winning seven Golden Globes and receiving positive reviews from prestigious publicans, "La La Land" has widely become one of the greatest films of the year.

With its amazing music and charming love story, audience members have fallen in love with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

However, there is the issue of the ending. Without spoiling it I can't go too much into detail, but for those who have seen it, the film has an interesting twist.

I have spoken with several friends and almost all have said it was such a great movie but it would have been better with a different ending.

It has become quite the debate so the question arises "Is La La Land truly the best film of the year?"

Late Night "Arrival."

"I want to go to a movie Elisabeth." She had all this energy in her voice, probably from her late night coffee buzz.  It was Monday night, we were feeling spontaneous and bored.

"I'm down for that," I replied with slight amusement. "What movie?"

"Arrival" was our choice of film. Andi said it received great reviews from the one and only Mom.
Who was of course known for her marvelous cinema critiques.

It was a movie about aliens. Yet again. With reluctance, I drove us to Tinseltown. We went inside and discovered, save for two other people, we had the theater to ourselves.

After 15 min of previews for other alien or thriller-type films, at last ours began.

Two and a half hours later, in the car, Andi and I were discussing the major issues with conflict, the pros and cons of advances in technology, and where the future of the human population may lie.

"Arrival" was about creatures from another planet who were seeking assistance form humans. However, they could not communicate, so interpreter Louise (Amy Adams) and other scientists work with two of the aliens in an attempt to understand each other.

Their language is complex and incomprehensible. Because the world is confused and anxious patience is wearing thin. However, through time and with patience, Louise learns to understand them.

It turns out they were here to offer the humans something; their language. Because she could communicate with them, Louise saved the world.

Now, while this is just a movie, it raised a good point. Seemingly a contributing factor to conflict is lack of understanding. That was the overall meaning for this film.

This movie, intended for entertainment, served as propaganda and the bases of an intelligent conversation.

That's what a successful movie is suppose to do. It is suppose to make you feel, think, and question.  I am not completely sure the motivation of the screen writers or the director but they must have wanted to produce something more than a good movie.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It Might Be Over Soon

As I repeatedly adjusted the lightening and focus, I thought about her story. I tried to imagine what she was like with her eclectic clothes and outspoken personality.

"I want to get a close up of the letters," Lauren said. As I moved the camera to and fro, capturing shots of the tan parchment, I began to read the small black letters.

I stopped briefly on one peculiar note and silently read the looping letters.

"It might be over soon."

I feel it would be appropriate to share my experience as a filmmaker. This past semester I was in my first documentary class. Media Production.

For our final we were tasked with creating a short film of some kind. We had about two months to organize, shoot, and edit a five to twelve minuet film. At first I was to be the director because I wanted to turn one of my favorite articles into a movie.

However, scheduling conflicts caused us to go in a different direction. This turned out to be for the best.  One of my group members, Lauren, is a spoken word poet and we brought one of her poems to life. A few years ago her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Grom, as she was called, had passed away weeks before we starting filming.

 Lauren wrote an extremely sad and thoughtful piece that vividly described what her mother was going through. She performed it for us and instantly we wanted to make it a movie.

Our entire production took about two weeks. We had two days of shooting film at Lauren's grandmother's house. We tried to get as many shots as we could that captured Grom's true essence.

I was the cinematographer. It was all about lighting, depth perception, and focus.

The rest of the time we spend editing all of our shots or B-roll together. Lauren rewrote her poem into a script and she did an outstanding voice over.

We added the Bon Iver song we wanted to use from the beginning and thus 'It Might Be Over Soon' came into existence. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


This blog will take a deeper look into the world of film making. Most everyone loves to watch movies. It's a way for us to escape from reality for a good two hours.

However, I have always thought a lot more about the way a movie is constructed. The actors, the set designs, the costumes, the makeup, and all the things that make a film a film. It's all just fascinating to me and with this blog

I plan to use my journalistic skills to interview and learn from cinematic people. I hope to explain how scriptwriters, directors, and actors really consider the story that they're portraying.

Films are basically books brought to life. However, there are things directors or actors will do to further symbolize certain aspect of those stories.

So to concluded the first of many posts, I will act as your directer guiding you through the Reel Life.