Friday, May 29, 2009

not another football highlights video

how does someone maintain interest in football highlights? am i losing the intended audience if i play with effects too much? reverse? clever (or not so clever) juxtapositions?

i could be a little more conscious of my pacing in this video.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

when you grow up

this film maker was quite the find. fleet foxes did the soundtrack for this short movie back in 2006. i would sure like to work on set with a project like this. i like the mixed media aesthetic.

When You Grow Up from Matt Daniels on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

mccain's little girl

these are ideas i can get behind. a republican christian conservative that feels strongly for marriage equality. i'm starting to wonder if we did the wrong thing, voting in obama?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Meghan McCain
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage

i like when meghan says blogging won't make the republican party cool for the younger generation, that the republicans need to focus on the message. wait... you mean to tell me that medium is not more important than the message?

this is the sort of opinion i'm trying to find for my one minute for marriage program.

question, where am i going to find these people? blogging doesn't seem to be the trick.

this could be the twilight of the big fight for marriage equality. the young people have reviewed the facts and they are voting yes on marriage equality. the fight is drawing to a close but that does not mean it is time to let up. i would like to see the community step it up a notch and burn all that extra wind we've been saving up. now is the time to sprint that final stretch before the finish line.

edit: i also like when she says she doesn't want to practice what she herself can't preach. actually, i think she flubbed it intentionally. but whatever... =)

Monday, May 18, 2009

wilco (the album) is dad rock

the number one criticism of wilco's previous work, sky blue sky, is that it sounds like dad rock. i never really bought into that as a fault because i can appreciate a good cubicle album. to an extent, wilco has always been kind of a 'dad friendly band' with their woody guthrie tribute albums and wholesome yet creative alt country sound.

i once held a theory that once a band releases a live album, they are done from a creative standpoint. this rule certainly applies to wilco. they didn't sell out. they didn't change their style. they simply doesn't have the chops.

i love wilco but i see no reason for b(r)and loyalty here. so i probably won't be standing in line june 30 when the new album comes out. but i am pretty excited about the new phoenix and grizzly bear albums. i've heard them and they sound great. i'd like to get a physical copy for my vinyl library.

this is the video for 1901, the latest single off of wolfgang amadeus phoneix:

if it wasn't for the song, i probably would not watch the whole video. at its heart, it is a pretty standard live band music video. what i do like, however, is the combination of creative lighting in production and masking effects in post production. think i could learn how to do this in after effects cs4?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

a wink & a smile

i served the beer and wine for this event at nw film forum friday. the event goes for a week so check the calender and see if you can't catch a viewing. support local film makers.

the film exceeded my expectations. this last decade, burlesque has gone through some serious revival and with that fresh audience comes two things. first, innovation. second, new cliches.

if you are like me, you are fearful of the new cliches. if you've ever been to a dive bar or a bad party, you might have seen hipster girls stumble awkwardly around a stage and call it burlesque.

this is not that kind of show, folks. this is the real deal. these acts are truly unique and worth taking a look at.

the stories of the women are so personal, it is impossible to criticize anything. the interview sequences bring meaning to the half naked women on stage. so, this is certainly one of those female empowerment films about feeling comfortable with your body and your sexuality. the fault of this movie is that it never steps outside of that box. it would have been nice to see some interviews from friends or family. or club owners or bartenders. or barflies or anybody else on the fringe of the scene.

but certainly worth checking out.

i'll be looking for upcoming film pretty funny women.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

the homeless world cup

i met semi tareen in a film making class. i helped him make this movie. i learned so much about leadership watching him.

the other day, he recommended kicking it on his facebook so i decided to give it a look. it is about the homeless world cup and some narration is provided by colin farrel. it moves a bit slow but there are some interesting parts so take a look at it here on hulu:

this documentary is about homeless people first. the football tournament is merely a mechanism within the plot structure that transforms the characters from one thing into another. the success of the film depends on the likability of the characters.

the american guy is the most compelling to me. he says he hates it when people ask him, how could be homeless in a place like america? the problem is, he never answers that question. he is angry and he is righteous.

one strategy for this movie would have been to follow the american team through the world cup, discussing the personality of homelessness in america. but this film is very ambitious. it wants to discuss homelessness as a world issue. it is a profile by comparison.

the kenyans for example, are so grateful for the nominal accommodations provided by the tournament. the team sleep together in a big empty room in sleeping bags on camping mattresses. we are living like a professional team, one says to the camera.

the afghanistan boys are just so happy to see girls! and you better watch out because there is a small love story involving one of these refugees.

i love the scene where the us team is invited to visit a town in south africa where the non-whites were forced to live during apartheid.

and of course, no homeless video would be complete without a u2 song. you'll hear that during the irish guy's arch. go figure.

there is something sad and beautiful about how all these men come together and put so much of themselves into something as silly as a football game. i grew up in the suburbs and i never had much respect for sports but as i grow up and see more of the world, i see how sports are a metaphor for life. so is it sad, that they put so much of their hopes and dreams into the object itself, or is it beautiful how they are able to transcend with the aid of the more existential implications of sport?

Monday, May 11, 2009

pirate radio and seattleiam

movies like this really appeal to my sensibilities. anybody who serves the us military and does not begin to question the motivations of the federal government needs a serious head check. i might want to look into this website a bit further.

help the fight for marriage equality

i want to put together a couple high quality power viral videos for equal rights washington's one minute for marriage program. if anybody out there knows of anybody that would be a compelling and willing subject, please forward me their information.

i have already made many videos but i want to step things up a notch and do something more appropriate for broadcast news quality personal profiles or human interest stories.

ideal subjects would be:

1) proud parent who must confront conservative values in accepting gay son/daughter and ready to illustrate the irony in the struggle between family values and keeping the family together.

2) same sex partnership who want to raise family together. maybe they have kids or simply want to adopt. directly challenge the white picket fence 2.5 children atomic family.

3) libertarian intellectual who believes in marriage equality because the government has no business legislating morality. ideally, this person is a conservative christian who draws a line between personal faith and public law. this person may even have personal issues against the lbgt community but cannot compromise values of personal liberty.

please don't be afraid to contact me with your opinions. i would love to hear your ideas about the cause or about my strategy. we should all be strong advocates for communication and openness.

i would like to do something a little more like this:

watching short films

vimeo is a great site. you can find film makers and students like jacob mendel. below is my favorite video of his because he sticks to his specialty, bringing life and movement to his stark images by adding sound.

Rooms from Jacob Mendel on Vimeo.

i am thinking about the 8mm film that i want to make later this week and i wonder if maybe i should pick a route similar to this. maybe i want to film people doing things on capitol hill. protesting foie gras, standing in line at molly moon's, working construction... what other things do people do on the hill?

his other films seem to be missing something when he adds too much to the formula. the tom waits soundtrack is a bit much.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

no foie gras movie

i am not surprised that narn did not answer my request for a video interview. it is my fault, perhaps. my yelp page is covered in notes of foie gras appreciation such as "people who do not like foie gras, do not like kittens" and "my last meal before i die shall be foie gras" so they are in their right mind to group me together with the "get a life and go home" crowd that typically laughs at them as they protest outside lark and quin's.

quin's owner has the right idea here. 10% of all foie gras sales go narn.

i think he may have learned from the cigarette companies. not to say that foie gras is like nicotine addiction but the idea that sometimes the best way to fight your enemy is to support them.

but where the cigarette companies do it because they have to, Scott Staples does it because he is punk rock.

i am interested in making a movie about the foie gras protesters, not because i am interested in their politics. i don't want to share their views any more than i want to fight them. i am interested in this sort of epic battle that they have stirred, the clashing of titans.

foodies will never stop eating foie gras. it is not because they lack ethical discretion. we simply live by a different world view. one where putting a tube down a bird's throat is not cruel. it is no more cruel than keeping a goldfish in a bowl. but doesn't take my word for it.

anthony bourdain puts it better than any of us could.

the animal rights activists will be around to protest foie gras for as long as there are liberal arts institutions to create them. there will always be people to look at "the big picture" and see the grey areas in life and i appreciate them. i really do.

my point of view, as the film maker, will always be subject to scrutiny. and my job will be to make that point of view accessible. transform it into something to be consumed in mass.

edit: my photo is used on capitol hill blog. yay!

bob dylan's new album

this morning i went for brunch at because its the only place that wasn't packed with mothers enjoying their one day a year. i picked up a copy of bob dylan's latest album, together through life.

the cover art fascinates me because i think i have seen it before in a time life magazine. appropriate because bob dylan himself should be in time life magazine.

as trendy and appropriate it is to hate pitchfork, i am often amused by their way of saying what most of us are afraid to say. that is, even are most immortal music idols are merely human and often say or do things are objectively uninteresting.

"My band plays a different type of music than anybody else plays," Dylan recently told Rolling Stone. "As far as I know, no one else out there plays like this. Today, yesterday, and probably tomorrow." This suggests that he has never heard a moderately decent blues band in a bar.

now, go read whole pretentious thing yourself.

i have a theory that bob dylan died in that motorcycle accident. he did not survive. what we have today is some impostor. from time to time, that impostor is able to contact the spirit of bob dlyan or channel bob dylan's ghost and that how he was able to bring us great albums like john westly harding. or time out of mind.

okay i made a pact with my girlfriend, never to make her listen to bob dylan so... bon iver.

Friday, May 8, 2009

tommy dean & friends

i spent a whole summer following around tommy dean with a camera. i wandered the streets of seattle and slept out of my car and hung out with some slightly dubious characters. then, i spent three months editing this movie.

tommy dean & friends (1:07:14) from Joshua Guerci on Vimeo.

i borrowed/stole the camera equipment from seattle university. i was not a big fan of the consumer cannon vixio cameras at first but eventually i learned to love them for what they are. little innocuous windows into people's souls.

not long ago, i sat down to make some "final" edits and i discovered that my hard drive had crashed. seagate external hard drives have a habit of overheating. if you buy a freeagent hard drive, i cannot stress enough that you need to buy two. if you are lucky, only one will over heat at a time and you'll still have your data.

the obvious fault of this movie is that it is too long. i might be a genius film maker someday but today, i'm a beginner. an amateur. it's too early to get self indulgent. even as a student piece, this film loves itself a bit too much.

there is no context for my subject. i don't have any footage of tommy dean in the market and i don't have nearly enough footage of him busking. and of course, the classic 'seattle shots' are missing from this film. no space needle. no viaduct. no pikes or pioneer square. of course, it might be a blessing that i avoid that cliche.

i would love to do another film like this but i don't know when life is going to allow me to do that. a student has so much freedom to pursuit things like documentaries and self-indulgent cinema. the rest of us have responsibilities to answer for.

how not to do online video

i came across this company on youtube. my first thought was that someone had set this website up fifteen years ago and had abandoned it. the cyberspace equivalent of a ghost town. then i see the itunes logo and i am just confused.

it is an internet based television show that apparently has a contract with comcast to broadcast content on fox. content providers like to bring on people like this because it allows them to say to potential customers that they support local film makers. its a cheap gimmick.

to sum up itv's problems i would say, here is an internet television company that thinks like a cable network. for starters, the introduction logo sequence is fifteen seconds too long. and a close second is, what is the host weaing? i am certainly not an expert here, but if you are going to have a 'fassion' show, i woulds suggest against a balding host who looks like a washed up 70s lounge singer.

aesthetic aside, don't assume that your audience knows your subject. who is count kody? well, he's an event planner. but the video doesn't make that clear.

solution: skip the atari graphics at the begining and start off with a wide establishing shot of the count's events. show people enjoying themselves and having a good time. natural sound of chatting in the background and count kody says in his own voice something like "i put on this event!"

and of course, the video would be less than two minutes long because we'd do away with the host and stick to the meat and potatoes of the subject. that is, who is count kody and why do i, the viewer, care about what he does?

also, i would steer away from the temptation to post an extended cut. it would only confuse your audience.

finding faults in this video is too easy. what is it? what could have been a great opportunity to talk about the underground community of independent board game designers as turned into a corny nonsensical music video. where is the value in this?

i would start with showing people playing the game. voice over from the designer saying "i made this game" and so on.

i was excited to see a company showcasing local news and an independent perspective but i am disappointed by the execution.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

the crocodile is back (old news) and the doves will be playing soon

i've been sleeping under a rock for the last few months so i have not been to the crocodile since it has reopened. i've probably missed out on a bunch of brilliant shows. c'est la vie.

i am already impressed. they have a facebook page. and they have a twitter account. even better, they have a vimeo account with exclusive performances by indie artists like telekinesis!

Telekinesis "Rust" from The Crocodile on Vimeo.

the first crocodile show i will attend will be may 20th for the doves. only $20 for the band that pitchfork raves as kind of like coldplay if only it was cool to like coldplay.

i have a theory that the comparison is merely coincidental. the doves are huge fans of robert fripp and king crimson. king crimson are kind of like pink floyd if only it was cool to like pink floyd but that is beside the point. robert fripp put out some terrific material where he collaborated with brian eno. and of course, coldplay's most recent album is produced by brian eno.

okay, i'm not going to draw any lines here. just show the dots.

no. actually, i'm going to show you for the title track of the doves latest album, kingdom of rust. which believe it or not, was the point of this blog.

hump day might be awesome

raise your hand up real high if you want to see this movie:

honestly. humpday could quite possibly be what all seth rogan movies aspire to be but fall just short of because seth rogan doesn't have the guts to outright say... wait. i don't have the guts, either.

this film has one big obstacle to overcome. as i see it, most mumble core movies fail at evolving past the premise. is humpday going to be a great feature film or a great short film that drags on too long?

i don't know when we'll be able to see this piece of local seattle film hit the big silver screen but i know i will be excited to see if it cuts the mustard.

there are two options available. you can go to the big party with the film makers. or you can just see the film at the egyptian like a reasonable person.

there is madness at the end of the world

as promised, here is more of the video from monday night. this is a husband wife duo called star called sun. i still think they should rename the band sun called star but i'm kind of a goof ball.

again, i wish i was more confident shooting with a tripod. i used to be a pretty good at it. when i was in high school, i helped out at my local suburban mega church and piloted the beta cam that sent a signal to the giant projected image that hung over the pastor's stage.

yeah. my humble beginnings. it was the only period in my life where i attended church on a regular basis. i sat through 2 or 3 sermons a week! and when that i got old, i started doing audio for the youth group meetings. i remember one lesson in particular because a key point required me to play a song off a cd. many youth group lessons actually included a cd selection but this one was daring because it included a secular selection. one hit wonder the verve pipe and their hit single, freshmen. the song was already 2 or 3 years dated at the time of the lesson so it was particularly strange. especially because the twenty somethings really felt like they were being edgy by playing it.

not sure where that was going. maybe it all points back to the subject of the song. i kind of like the end of the world, too.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

erin sings

i filmed this at open mic. it is tricky to be the host and film at the same time but it was a slow night so i pulled it off.

this was the first time i used a tripod in a long time. i think next time around, i will be more confident.

the first time i exported this video, i forgot to mix down the audio correctly and i got all mono sound in left channel. it makes sense because i took a single line off the mackie boardand plugged it into the left channel. that means, i should have brought the .mov file into a final cut pro sequence before bringing it into compressor.

or, i might be able to find a 'mono' output option in compression. that could work.

random and the ode to handy randy the ritter critter

this video clip is imperfect. it is raw. no b-roll no nothing. just a clip.

this was my first time out and about with the cannon xh-a1 hdv camera and i wanted to try it out in a documentary style. i have to say, it is quite the inconspicuous camera and it doesn't allow me the same sort of freedom of innocence that the vixia models have provided me. when you pull a professional or solid state camera out, your client knows you mean business. your subject will also know you mean business and they might get a little camera shy.

there is quite a dreamlike feel to the movement here and i think that must be a slow shutter speed. i don't remember what i had it set to but it must have been low.

in the editing room, i wanted to try out the steady camera filter and i am mostly happy with the results. i could have improved the framing if i had provided a little extra room. perhaps if i kept my subject within the 'tv safe' area, i could have avoided chopping his head off from time to time. but in a way, i kind of like the look of it. it as though the viewer is not really listening to the performance and more interested in the movement of the street and life of the city. does it add to the piece? perhaps.

i went back to ballard later to get some b-roll but i ran into random again and i shot some more footage. i am still up in the air about doing a video about random. i don't really want to head out there again until i get a clear idea of what i want to do.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

foie gras

if you are looking for something to do friday night, you might stop by lark. there will be a foie gras protest at 7pm. this could be a great opportunity for you to show the world how you feel. weather you choose to express yourself by picking up a picket sign or a fork, in just an hour you can earn yourself a whole weekends worth of satisfaction.

if you miss the event at lark, you have no reason to fret. the protest crawls over to quin's by 8pm.
my plan is to interview narn later this week and ask them three basic questions. first, how would they frame the foie gras situation in seattle? second, what are the counter arguments? third, are they prepared to answer those points? my main concern is not doing something cliche or obvious with this video. and of course, a fair and balance sane discussion would be quite refreshing.
i would not be surprised if narn declines the interview. i would say there is a 5% chance that i will get an interview because i have no built in audience with this blog. but we'll see.

one minute for marriage is often too much to ask

rule number one of interviewing people: prepare yourself to ask the right questions and prepare your subject to answer them. you can't just stick a camera in someone's face and expect them to perform like a trained monkey. people are generally shy and don't have any idea how to communicate their ideas on a mass market.

i am no exception to that rule.

i am in charge of this project.

when i tell people about what i do, i always talk about this project. in conversation, it always perks people's interest. it is more compelling to them than street musicians or bruce bickford or anything i have done in the past and yet the project gets so little attention from the internet.

this might be more telling of my previous work than it is for the one minute for marriage project. the truth is, i don't think people really care to talk about it anymore.

if i want to create compelling content for one minute for marriage, i need to focus on three stories and tell them with care and precision.

as a local seattle videographer, i cannot rely on businesses and non-profits to give me work. i have to generate work for myself and make proposals based on what i feel are my strengths and skills. granted, i have no interest in running a non-profit but i might have to step it up a notch and make things happen on my own here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

tommy dean in olympia

finally you can watch it online. this is my first and will always be special to me. it is a bit long and i apologize for its length but i would like to share it with you here and welcome any comments or criticism. anything you have to say is helpful to me in future projects.

tommy dean is a street musician and for quite some time, i found his spirit to be so compelling. some people love him and some people hate him and from i have seen, the people who truly know him fit under both categories. and from what i have seen, tommy dean wouldn't have it any other way. he is truly on fire with the spirit of adventure and creativity.

tommy dean show (38:41) from Joshua Guerci on Vimeo.

as a local seattle film maker and videographer, i want to use this project as a demonstration of what i can do with video and a little bit of a flavor of what is to come. i like creating space with sound and video. i would like to create a sort of sense of what it is like to be with a person. not so much the details of what makes them interesting or anything like that but something more visceral.

if i have learned one thing from making this movie, it is to keep the camera rolling. you never know when life is going to happen and if you blink you will completely miss it. you need this sort of manic energy when watching an artist. you need to embrace every moment and every idea if it hurts you or makes you laugh or makes you cry or anything at all as long as you feel it. whatever you do, don't let it lie forgotten.