Category Archives: 2008 Film #01

12 Films Movie Posters

For Christmas this last year, my wife Christina surprised me with an incredible gift: she had full-size movie posters for all 12 films designed, printed, and framed for me.  Needless to say, they turned out incredible.  They were designed by our friend Daniel Benitez, and he did a fantastic job of giving each one its own unique style and look.

Film #1: Mystery Box

Film #2: Click Click

Film #3: Paper Covers Rock

Film #4: April Fools Day

Film #5: I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon

Film #6: Eliza’s Last Day

Film #7: The Pick-Up

Film #8: No Rest For The Weary

Film #9: Shadow Of Revenge

Film #10: Going Postal

Film #11: Skytalkers

Film #12: Home For Christmas

Mystery Box at the San Diego Film Festival

The screening times for Mystery Box at the San Diego Film Festival have been announced.  It’s going to be screened twice during the festival: Thursday, September 25th at 5:00pm and Friday, September 26th at Noon.  Both screenings are at the Gaslamp theater in downtown San Diego. (The address is 701 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101).  Right now you can just buy passes for the full festival or specific entire days.  The tickets for individual screenings will be on sale September 15 for $10.  All tickets and passes can be purchased here.  I hope to see you down there!

Film #1: Quick Update

As the end of the month has arrived (it just passed midnight), I’m working hard to finish up my first film of the series.  Here’s a little progress report: I finished the full visual cut and I’m really pleased with how it all looks.  Now I just need to be as pleased with how it all sounds.  I’ve moved on to editing sound and creating the soundtrack.  I’ve actually got some foley work to still do in order to get some sounds that weren’t happening live during the shoot.  I’ve got about half of the music bed created for the film and I’m working on the second half.  The plan for the film is to still have it up by tomorrow (or I guess it’s today – either way: January 31).  Stay tuned…

Film #1: The Shoot

The shoot on Tuesday turned out well. But wow, it’s been a while since I’ve produced and directed anything completely from scratch. As I mentioned, writing the script wasn’t exactly a quick and disciplined process. Nor was it done with much time to really plan the shoot as well as I would have liked. No, I finished writing the final draft of the script at around 7:30am the morning of the shoot. I spent the next hour storyboarding as much as I could (which ended up being about half the script), and then charged through getting the apartment and equipment set up for the shoot. And by equipment, I mean camera and tri-pod; and a couple of old work lights…this is a no-budget production after all.

At 9:30am, my brother Blake (the lead in the film) arrived, followed by my friend, Chris who offered to help out any way he could. When I went to actually print out the script, my printer decided to stop working. It printed out one page of the script, followed by a page missing random lines and half-lines of text, followed by white sheets of paper. I switched cartridges, but it did nothing. The cartridge had ink, the printer head was moving across the page, but all I received was blank paper. Not wanted to waste too much time, I decided to shoot off of my storyboards (which as you’ll recall is only half complete).

We got off to something of a slow start (which was entirely my fault – a result of not being in the habit of running a shoot), but eventually we got a good pace going. Chris had to leave halfway through the shoot; but just before he left, my friend Allison was able to come over to help out. Their help was indispensable. Of course the fun part of the shoot came when I ran out of storyboards. I would periodically check the script on my computer to make sure I was still on track, but for the most part the second half of the film was shot completely from the hip. You’ll have to let me know if you can tell.

I’ve already logged and imported all of the footage and I’m really excited about how some of the shots turned out. If nothing else, I know I’ve got a few good-looking shots that I’m proud of. I’ve got a lot of work to do on the sound as well as color-grading. Light was hard through most of the shoot. My apartment does not fill with natural light well (which is what I had been counting on) so I was constantly using a mixture of natural and tungsten light and only really felt like I got it right a couple of times. So, I’m counting on my ability to fix it in post (which is never a good thing to count on…seriously). I’m planning on shooting the title sequence this weekend as well as some foley sound; and then it’s all about the editing.

All in all, the day went well. I was able to shoot the script with a fair amount of coverage, dive head-first back into production, and have fun at the same time. Shooting this film gave me a lot to think about and remember going into the production of the next one. Namely, how I plan and organize the schedule and shoot beforehand.

Stay tuned for the completed film in just under a week.


Writing is not something I do a lot of (in case you couldn’t already tell by the overwhelming number of posts I’ve written since starting this site 21 days ago).  But writing is something I want to do more of and (hopefully) get better at in the process.  Besides, in order to shoot and edit 12 films over the next year, I’m going to have to first write 12 films over the next year.  So in a sense, the project (and especially this blog) is becoming a discipline in writing for me.  Although so far it feels like it’s been a exercise in attention deficit disorder.  Seriously, it is so hard for me to just sit and write.  I feel like after every sentence, paragraph, and phrase I need to check my email or see what’s on TV or get up and stretch or do something else not-writing-based.

In fact, as I type this, I’m in the middle of revising my second draft of the January film, “Mystery Box” (more on the film soon).  Of course, I’m shooting it tomorrow but that doesn’t seem to stop me from distracting myself from writing it tonight.  Although I guess technically, I’m shooting it today as the clock just passed midnight.  So with that in mind, I’d better get back to my current revision of the script.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.