Film Fighter Spotlight: Smooth Films

Hey all! Today I’m interviewing Smooth Films, who won our 3:30 Fight with their film 3rd Floor.

1. So, what inspired you to make this film?
Our friend (and writer) actually got the inspiration from his personal life. He says his father would keep his brothers and him in the backseat of his car and do drug deals all night because he couldn’t find a sitter. He says most of the time his little brothers crying would keep him awake so he remembered most of it. Ted was 17.

 2. Anything you wish you could change, or do differently?

Just the audio and certain jumps. We didn’t think we had time to sync.

3. What would you say the biggest influence on your film would be?

The abuse of alcohol

 4. What are your favorite films?

Too many to list but “A Bittersweet Life” is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. It didn’t have the English subtitles so we had to have our Korean friend translate as we watched.

5. On a scale of 1 to WINNING!, how would you rate Film Fights?

We’d say you guys were full of tiger blood.

Motherfuckers.

6. What was your rig for shooting this?
These contests are rigged?

7. What the fuck is up with those Gogurts!?  It’s like yogurt in a tube, for like, 8 dollars. Seriously, I mean, in this consumer market, what are they thinking?

Alot of my friends like to do ecstacy. I prefer taking ecstacy without taking ecstacy, so pass me another go-gurt.

8. Woah, I’m finished. Was it good for you too?

Best 3 and a half minutes of my life.

9.Well, I have to run, I have work in the morning. Thanks for answering our questions! Hope to see you around Film Fights!

Cheerio!

Hello, Hello!

Yesterday was a day big for lazy people (like me.) Yesterday was the day The Beatles’ complete discography was finally released onto iTunes and I’ll be the first to admit, I splurged. Fucking Apple.

For those of you who haven’t read the media buzz yet, the press seems to think that up until now, nobody has ever been able to buy a single Beatles album anywhere in the world. Lo’ and behold, Apple comes in to rescue us from our silly primitive ways, and as such Humanity has entered into the next Renaissance. Seriously though.

In all honesty, I am pretty excited about this. Apple and the Beatles seem to go hand in hand, and I think this is a big development for Apple. I’m not sure why, I’m not sure how, but it feels important. Hm.

 

Series Of The Week: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006)

Over in Japan, shit is wacked. You can find it all, hostess clubs, whale burgers (yum!), vending machines full of panties with dookies in them, I love it all. But most importantly, in Japan there resides a very powerful young woman who’s subconcious abilities may just shape the entire universe.

Some organizations call her a temporal distortion, some call her evidence of self-evolution, some call her god. The only thing we do know for sure is that her name is Haruhi Suzumiya and like all things in Japan, she’s goddamn nuts.

Haruhi is for all intents and purposes your normal 16 year old girl. Well, maybe not normal. Utterly bored and frustrated with anything normal and mundane, she stubbornly stands by her belief of espers, aliens, and time travelers.

As it turns out, she’s right. They exist because (theoretically) she wants them to exist. Haruhi possess the power to create and destroy matter and entire universes based on her emotional and subconscious state, what’s even scarier is she doesn’t even know she can do it.  If she gets too angry, depressed, or spiteful, she could theoretically destroy the entire universe. It’s up to a few chosen individuals and one poor, poor, boy stuck in the middle of it to keep her in check.

Among this crew lies (ironically enough) an esper, an alien, a time traveler, and Kyon, a freshmen boy who wants nothing to do  with it.

The shows quirky humor and beautiful animation make this a bit of a cult favorite, although watching it in anything but Japanese with subtitles is a proper crime. In fact, the shows popularity has spawned a spin-off religion called Haruhiism, a fun little group if there ever was one. It’s one of the more inventive shows out there, and is certainly well done.

If you’d like to buy it, feel free to check out the DVD, although you can just as easily watch all the episodes for free online. It had a relatively short run, so it shouldn’t take too much time to go through. Make sure you’re watching it in chronological order though, it’ll be rather confusing if you watch it according to it’s release schedule.

So come on in, the S.O.S. Brigade is always looking for new members…



The Evil Dead Gets Animated

Despite the fact it’s almost a year old, I was linked to a video today, a fellow rotoscoped the entire trailer of “The Evil Dead 2” and put it online. Evil Dead 2 is arguably my favorite horror movie, so it’s very, very, very cool for me. The video is very impressive, and I’d recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of such thing (or even if you’re not…)

Swallow this.

Hello Ronnie! – A Chat With The Always Classy John Soares

A little while back you may remember me giving my appreciation for slathering like an idiot over an internet series called Sockbaby. To make a long story short, my page view count went from 5 readers to 6, and that unfortunate individual that clicked on my blog? John Soares, the man himself: Ronnie Cordova.

He’s here to talk to us today about his new internet series The Danger Element, which is already making waves around the indie community. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce via computer screen, Mr. John Allen Soares! 

So John, almond farmer to action star, that’s a pretty big transition. How did it all start?

I guess it started with my parents showing me the movie GHOSTBUSTERS when I was like 4 or something. I’ve wanted to make films for as long as I can remember so its really hard to pin down exactly where it started, but GHOSTBUSTERS is definitely the earliest influence that I can remember. We watched a lot of movies at my house, so I have to say it started there.

Hello? What’s with no hello!?

We’re UN-hello now.

As demonstrated in “The Tyrants of Nazca” you’re clearly a fan of Indiana Jones, but what other movies have influenced you in a major way?

TYRANTS OF NAZCA was actually made by Ben Beames. I just acted in it. I do really love the Indiana Jones films though and they have a huge, HUGE influence on me every day. I think all of Spielberg’s films influence me in a big way. He really knows how to do this stuff. Otherwise, I love a wide variety of movies. My favorite film at the moment is THE FOUNTAIN. I love Guillermo Del Toro’s stuff too. I’m also a fan of what Michael Bay has done with things like THE ISLAND and TRANSFORMERS. There is a film called FRANKLYN that I totally adore. All of Christopher Nolan’s work is so good that it almost makes me want to stop trying. It would take a list far too long to name all the different sorts of films I like.

What was the first movie you ever made, and what did you do with it when it was done?

My first film was called OASIS. It was a 12 minute psychological, horror/suspense short that I did as a student. I entered it in one film festival and it received the biggest ovation of anything I remember seeing that day. It was really exciting. I don’t know, maybe I will make it available for the public to see someday…

You’ve said before that you “want to make the movies I like to watch.” Following this guideline you’ve broken the norm of boring, artsy indie film. What is your advice to people that want to make really cool action and suspense movies, but aren’t sure how to make it cool and exciting?

I think you kind of said it already. Make what you like to watch. Just look at what you enjoy in a film and focus on recreating those things. More than anything, you just have to make stuff. Don’t make up excuses for why You can’t. Just do it. It takes a long time to get really good at this and it won‘t ever happen if you aren‘t doing it. I’ve been at it since the age of 12 and still don’t consider myself to be anywhere near as good at it as I want to be at the age of 29.

Alright now fuzzy little man-peach, ever drunk baileys from a shoe? Ever gone to a club where people wee on each other?

I’ve never drunk Bailey’s. If I do, I’ll make sure its from a shoe.

So, you just wrapped up episode 3 of The Danger Element, that’s quite an achievement! How long are you expecting this series to be?

I’m looking at at least 12 to 13 episodes total. I’m also writing a feature that would come after the series.

You haven’t really been shirtless yet in the series. Fix that.

For you, Griffin. Just for you.

There’s a lot of Steampunk influence in The Danger Element, whose idea was it to integrate it into the universe?

When I created the character, I don’t think the term ‘Steampunk’ had been invented yet. I really just wanted to make him kind of look like he was a fighter pilot. This was also the reason I wanted the car to be the way it is. I really wanted him to look like he was piloting this open cockpit fighter plane while he was driving. I had always kind of had that notion of injecting a little old aesthetic in with my modern story. I was really introduced to Steampunk as a style and a movement when I met Kato, the founder of SteampunkCouture.com . I actually met her in person for the first time in a spectacular underground steampunk night club in LA, so you can imagine the impact the whole idea had on me. She’s a really brilliant designer and her style kind of suggests practicality and use more than it suggests dressing up like you are living in 1906. It really fit the idea of what I was doing with Battle J, so I thought maybe I could integrate that into the design of all the things that have anything to do with him. Like maybe his order is just independent enough of society that everything has its own look and its own aesthetic evolution. Kato already designed Enki’s costume and its brilliant. The whole idea kind of spills over into the props as well, like Enki’s gun, which was built by Ben Page.

As far as Doctor Elymas’ goes, he is actually supposed to have been alive since the 1800s. He’s used his twisted science and magic to keep himself alive since then and so it makes sense for him to have one foot in the old and one foot in the new. And its great because I just kind of like the way it looks.

Do you have The Danger Element fully written yet, or do you write each episode as you come to it?

There is an outline that is in various stages of completion. Each episode exists as either an outline or a completed script. As I move along I will often edit or rewrite things. So I guess the answer is yes. For the most part. It existed originally as a feature film script, but a lot of it changes somewhat in the adaptation. I really wanted it to work as a series and not just as a feature that is chopped up into sections.

And finally, what piece of filmmaking wisdom do you personally use most often?

‘Don’t be lazy.’

I really had to think about this question and I think this is the best answer. Its really easy to cut corners or to say, “well, I don’t have the resources to do this right. Maybe someday.’ But the truth is, when you put everything you’ve got into what you are doing, it may still not turn out just the way you hoped, but it will be a step closer every time. So don’t be lazy. Take the extra steps. Set up that last light, black out that window, get out the right microphone, reshoot that shot on Friday that didn’t look right when you shot it on Monday. Do everything you can. Don’t cheat yourself.

When I started thinking this way, it changed everything.

John Soares spends his days being professional badass and doing other gentlemanly things. He occasionally enjoys going to clubs where people wee on each other.


Griff’s Game of the Week: Red Dead Redemption – Undead Nightmare

(For those wondering, this won’t be a regular column, just a little something to mix it up this week)

Red Dead Redemption is probably my favorite game of all time. Between it’s incredible story,  to the world itself, everything reeked of professionalism and really made it an enjoyable experience. Naturally, when the downloadable content was announced, I was excited. But especially excited for the last one on the DLC list, “Undead Nightmare.”

Looks like my ex-wife

 

I have a little obsession with zombies. Looking directly to my right I see a copy of “Behind the Scenes of Night of the Living Dead,” the abused case of “The Evil Dead 2” and a poster of Zombi 2 on my wall (which is so pleasant to look at while trying to get to sleep). So yeah, a little obsession.

I wish I was kidding.

When I heard of the “Undead Nightmare” DLC I was more than a little excited. Of course it could never live up to my imagination of what it would be like, but it was be neat.

The release date was scheduled to be October 26th, which for you geniuses out there, is today.

I’d like to be the first to tell you that Red Dead Redemption – Undead Nightmare did not meet my expectations. It exceeded them beyond my wildest dreams.

I’ve been playing for about three hours as of writing this, and I’m hooked. So much to do! Where should I begin?

The first thing you’ll notice is that these zombies don’t go down easy. It takes a headshot to kill them which, unless you suck and have auto-aim on easy, is not a terribly easy feat, especially since there are 20 of them running towards you at once. Ammo is also extremely scarce, so there’s a tenseness to the game that never lets up, a feeling of dread only offset by going “Holy shit, that is so cool” every 5 minutes.

There are also new stranger missions added onto the main storyline, optional side quests which add a lot to the game. You thought zombies were bad? There’s many more weird creatures to discover in this game!

Too much cool to possibly be in one image

For any of you who felt guilty after single handedly perpetrating animal holocausts in New Austin in the beginning of the game, prepare to feel even worse as you are shown the consequences of Sasquatch genocide by your own hand. That’s right, I said it: The goddamn Sasquatch.

There are also the four horses of the apocalypse, mythical undead horses with special powers you can exploit. If you can find and tame these beasts, prepare to dominate the undead. “But Griffin,” you say “how can a super attractive sex god such as yourself find one of these creatures?” The simple answer? You get lucky.

But don’t worry, there are other creatures in the game. You can tame wild horses! Oh, yeah, wild undead horses. And those pesky bears? Yeah, they’re undead too. Holy shit could this game get any cooler?

Undead Nightmare is some of the most fun I’ve had with a game in recent memory, so I’d highly suggest picking it up ASAP.

Be quick, or be undead!

Coming Up: A Man and His (Sock)Baby

While Jason Eisener tediously edits together his wonderful feature film, I’ve arranged for another very special guest to speak with us! I’d like you to prepare yourselves for the internet sensation that is John Allen Soares, speaking to us exclusively about his series The Danger Element.

Can you dig it?