Over the years I've had requests to make the music from my shows available and so recently I started using SoundCloud to make this happen. Below is the first set I've created, "Themes from Our Series", which are the themes to three of my shows... "88 Hits", "Exposed" and "Pink".
In the future I'll add "Continuum" (once it's done) and other projects I produce. Also, I plan to create some playlist with scores from each of my films (and series).
One thing I've always done is had original score created. This is the norm of course in the feature film world, but as I've learned recently, this is not always the case in the web series world. For both "Pink" and "Exposed" we really created some great high-end score, and we're doing the same for "Continuum". So I will be sharing these in the near future.
Most of the tracks below are streaming only for now, but some of the files are (or will be) available to download for free.
Themes from Our Series by Loud Pictures
And here's a direct link to the set:
Thanks for listening!
Even though I produce a fair amount of web content, I do not actually watch that much of it. Partly because I'm super busy, but partly (and probably mainly) I really don't think much of it is very good (yet).
So when I heard about Jeff Lewis' new project (he plays Vork in Felicia Day's show "The Guild"), The Jeff Lewis 5-Minute Comedy Hour I was interested, but at the same time worried it might fall into the web series abyss of bad comedy shows.
I'm happy to report it is actually very good - and very funny.
Now in saying that you do need a certain type sense of humor (very dry) and you need to not be offended by a lot - and I do mean a lot - of cussing and crude scenarios. But if these things don't bother you or if you're like me and they make you laugh, then you'll probably really like his show.
It premiered back in September I think (or thereabouts) and I've watched it here and there, but recently I sat down and watched all the eps back-to-back on his YouTube channel. Do yourself a favor and check it out yourself...
His main channel:
A particularly funny episode, "Drive Thru":
UPDATE: Looks like the $99 pricing was a "Cyber Monday" sale and it's now back to $199. However, I just found the software still on sale at Digital Juice for $99. Not sure how long it will last though. Here's a link: http://www.digitaljuice.com/products/products.asp?pid=1571
I've used storyboarding software in the past from Frame Forge and Storyboard Quick, but I really don't use it that often. However today I came across this interesting quasi-storyboard software for Final Cut Pro that I might use a lot... Martini.
From their website...
Martini - The QuickShot Creator for Final Cut Pro
See into the future and visualize your upcoming shots with Martini! Now, bridging the gap between your unshot scenes and your final edit is faster and easier than ever with the shot-creating power of Martini!
Don't get blacked out! No more black slugs with text explaining what "shot goes here" - show that shot wth the dynamic power of Martini. From single shots to multi-shot sequences, Martini helps directors and editors piece together a better final film.
Loaded with hundreds of classic and unique shot styles Martini's easy-to-use interface guides you through the quick creation of frames. Select a shot style, from single person up to 5 people in a shot...everything you need from basic over-the-shoulder shots, two and three shots, close-ups as well as fight scenes, chase scenes and other pre-composed multi-shot sequences.
Select a location: choose from hundreds of pre-loaded backdrops. Interiors, exteriors and even your own digital location photos. You've already scouted your location? No problem, use the My Locations option and bring that into your shot.
Here's a direct link to their site:
And here's a nice video explaining the software:
If you've ever made a film, music video, commercial, etc. you know there are always missing shots and/or pickup shots needed, and this really does look like a great tool to help fill in the gap (and help you, your client, and/or your DP visualize them).
It's only $99 too, and I think you could pretty easily create larger scale storyboards if you wanted to. I have not personally tried the software yet, but plan to download the demo and give it a try.
If anyone already owns the software or has tried it, please let me know if it is good or not. Looks pretty good to me...
P.S. And no, I am not being paid by them because my blog has the same name - although that's not a bad idea. :)
I started a new YouTube channel today (www.youtube.com/watchblake). Mainly because I wanted to easily upload personal videos I shoot with my iPhone 4 (it has a "Send to YouTube" button, and, it works pretty well). But I also have decided to use it to showcase my work and some behind-the-scenes stuff I'm calling "Scene This?".
Here's "My Work" Playlist (most of my trailers):
I have tons of unseen footage that's been shot on a Flip Video camera (and now a lot on an iPhone) and so I'm now going to share it (highlighting my more interesting productions and gear). So far I've got a good snippet from "Exposed" (there's a lot more coming from this show), a visual effects setup from "Continuum" and a clip from a recent commercial shoot I produced using an iKan dolly.
Here's a sample from my "Scene This?" Playlist ("Exposed" clip):
And, back to the main reason I started the page - I have a Playlist called "Diversions" where I'll upload entertaining things I do - and the first being the Roger Waters show (from last night in Dallas) doing The Wall all the way through. No David Gilmour, but it was almost Pink Floyd... Great show!
From my "Diversions" Playlist (opening of Waters show):
Anyway, I'll play to update this as much as possible along with my other six or seven YouTube accounts (not kidding!). :)
I just created a Blip.tv show page for CONTINUUM and posted the trailer on there too. Nice thing is it will feed to iTunes and be available as a "podcast" there soon.
Until I decide on our exact distribution and release strategy we will continue to play with a mild version of "super syndication". The teaser is currently available on YouTube, Facebook and now Blip.
Help spread the word! :)
At first glance this seems like a good idea, but the more I read the details I'm not so sure - at least from the film side of things. The script side is more doable, but I'm not quite sure what a "test movie" is? Especially one that is "full-length".
I will say the prize money is quite large though...
Read the details here at IndieWire:
And then check it out for yourself here:
Let me know what you think?
Interesting article from cnet geared towards mainly Hollywood movies on the web versus original content on the web. I think both will have a profitable place online in the (near) future...
The roots of the strategy can be traced to consumers. Too many were choosing to download films illegally. Younger people who didn't go the file-sharing route ignored Blockbuster and cable and gravitated to the Internet's top video-rental store, Netflix.
A descent Ad Age story on some recent web-to-TV success stories...
From the article:
But why move to TV what already works well for the internet? Simply put: A popular web show brings networks a built-in fan base, (comparably) cheaper talent, lower budgets and, in some cases, advertisers willing to follow a show or personality across any platform.
Read the entire piece:
I think it's good that mainstream pubs like Ad Age are following this trend, and I hope it continues.
I've always been a fan of Robert Rodriguez - not necessarily of all his films - but of his mindset and the way he makes his films. Even though they are developed and produced for the most part through Hollywood, they are done in a decidedly indie fashion (he often writes, directs, shoots, edits, scores, you-name-it). So now it just makes sense that he is starting his own indie film company (Quick Draw).
Of course as I mention, his Hollywood films very often feel "indie" to me, but I assume the news ones will be much less expensive (although his films are notoriously "cheap" by Hollywood standards) and less commercial. We shall see...
I think this is a good move on his part and a move that a lot of other Hollywood and Indiewood filmmakers might look to do in the coming years as the traditional Hollywood system changes (and in some cases falls apart).
Now this is really cool...
The ability to repeat the exact same shot twice is invaluable when doing any tricky VFX work - think of the one actor playing twins in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.
Typically I'll do a lock off shot of the background plate, then the action on top of that, and if I want to add any movement or camera shake I'll do it in post. But with this rig it would make that so easy (and you wouldn't have to do a motion control smooth dolly, etc. anymore). Maybe this kind of thing has been around for a while in Big Hollywood, but I've not seen it if so.
Very cool. Now I just wonder how much it cost? :)
If you are on Twitter or Facebook (and are a filmmaker, or actor, etc.) you have undoubtedly come across someone trying to "kickstart" a project via crowdfunding.
I personally can't decide if this is a good way to go or not (for my projects, for others sure - I've actually donated recently). I don't like the idea of "charity" or the perceived notion you are desperate (not saying folks are, just some perceive it this way), I would probably rather work the financing out in another fashion. But then again, if you're just trying to finish post or score or similar and your FANS are game to contribute a few thousand bucks, then why not. Note I stress "fans", to me this is key.
For more info on this topic check out these two great blog posts:
First one from Sheri Candler (someone btw, I had never heard of until I "met" her on Twitter)...
Top 5 Ways to Fail at Crowdfunding:
And secondly, from Scott Macaulay (editor of Filmmaker Magazine) a continuation of Sheri's post on his blog - he adds three more tips...
Btw, the main two crowdfunding sites I know of are Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com. The primary difference between the two (as far as I can tell) is that with Kickstarter you only get to keep the funds pledged if you meet your goal. On IndieGoGo you get to keep whatever funds are pledged, even if you don't make your original goal. Kickstarter is more well known and has more traffic (I'm told), but man, I'd probably go with IndieGoGo to have "guaranteed" funds.
P.S. Interestingly, both Kickstarter and IndieGoGo's sites look VERY similar in layout and design.
Tech geek alert here... This is interesting stuff if you own or have ever shot with a Canon 5D using an external monitor, or if you're a video engineer playing with a calculator right now.
Seriously though, this is quite informative and a great "fix" for the limitations of the 5D HDMI output using a SmallHD DP6 monitor (I own a Canon 7D and so don't have these issues)...
Good interview from TechCrunchTV with filmmaker Adam Rifkin (new series "Look" is on Showtime) talking about social media, studio and indie filmmaking and new distribution models. This all relates to web series, music and books too. Good stuff.
Way back when in the mid-90s a film called "The Brother's McMullen" hit it big with audiences and critics alike at the Sundance film festival. I personally liked the film too. It also was one of the films along with "Clerks" that told me (and many others) that I could be a filmmaker. Not because of the storytellling or content mind you, because of the budget. $25k for "The Brother's McMullen" (and $28k for "Clerks").
Cut 15 years ahead to today and what is Ed Burns doing? He's releasing a new $25k movie. I guess there hasn't been any inflation since 1995.
If you don't know who Edward Burns is he's probably best known (to mainstream commercial viewers) for his roles in "Saving Private Ryan", "15 Minutes" (opposite Robert Dinero), or from his appearances on "Entourage". He's really created a nice career staying in the indie world, but also being relevant in the Hollywood system (mainly as an actor). And to those who follow indie film, you probably know he's directed a handful of really nice movies over the past decade (along with acting in them) and is continuing that trend today.
His latest film is called "Nice Guy Johnny" and to be honest, while I am interesting in seeing the film, I'm more interested in how he's financing and distributing it.
ALL filmakers (that's film, TV, web, whatever) should check out this very interesting interview with him on his latest film and on how he is trying to reshape (indie) distribution...
Interestingly, a lot of what he's talking about is being done in one form or another (and with varying degress of success) in the web series world right now.
Nice blurb on Jake Johnson at TIFF 2010 this year being named #6 in their "Top 10 New Faces". Jake co-stars in the film "Ceremony" with Uma Thurman, and is probably best known for his starring role in "Paper Heart" last year with Michael Cera and crew.
Of course he's best known to me for his great work in my new indie feature "Spilt Milk". You can watch the trailer here, and join the FB page here, if you're interested in seeing more.
Oh, and there's also a mention in the blurb of a certain filmmaker and a certain upcoming film... hmmm, I wonder who it could be? :)
Here's a Vimeo embed of the trailer for you non-FB users out there....
The trailer for my new indie feature "Spilt Milk" is now online... so please check it out!
Release date is TBD.
I'm really looking forward to shooting with this new ARRI ALEXA camera...
The first feature film to have been shot with ALEXA cameras is Anonymous, an Elizabethan thriller with a controversial take on the true authorship of writings attributed to William Shakespeare. Set amidst London's shadowy theatrical and royal circles around the turn of the 17th century, the film features a strong cast of British stage actors and is directed by Roland Emmerich, best known for more explosive Hollywood action movies such as The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. Emmerich worked with cinematographer Anna Foerster on the project, with whom he has collaborated since Independence Day in 1996.
Direct link to story and full interview with the DP:
This is directly from The Hollywood Reporter...
YouTube eyes pay-per-view films
Move would put it in more direct competition with Apple
Aug 30, 2010, 07:34 AM ET
Google's YouTube video service is in talks with Hollywood studios to launch a streaming pay-per-view movie service by year's end.
The Financial Times reported that the service is expected to launch in the U.S. and then get rolled out globally. The move would put YouTube into more direct competition with Apple and others, such as Hulu and Netflix, as players try to become the preferred destination for distribution of content in the digital age.
Hollywood seems intrigued by the idea of YouTube's big reach, according to the FT report.
It said newer film titles would cost about $5 on the planned on-demand streaming service.
The news of the planned YouTube film service launch comes after Google top executives wooed studios and guilds during a chat with reporters on the sidelines of Herb Allen's annual Sun Valley media mogul gathering in July.
I like this idea, but still haven't seen any evidence that the "culture" of YouTube can be changed or swayed to watch professionally produced long format content (ie. Hollywood or indie FEATURE films). The Sundance experiment in January failed miserably (films were available to rent during the fest on YouTube and hardly any were actually rented - a few thousand). Right now I'm very bearish on this because YouTube is such a "one-off-user-generated -video-community".
Some web series have obviously found success on YouTube (including my show "Pink"), but these are bite-sized episodes and even these haven't penetrated the marketplace very substantially compared to the millions and millions of views the Fred's of the world get.
So while I'm glad to see YouTube trying this I feel Hulu and Netflix have a much better chance of success with online Hollywood and indie films. Just because you have the large numbers doesn't mean they'll watch.
This is a press release about the new Netflix app for iPhone and iPod Touch. I am personally happy to see this on these devices (I don't have an iPad where the app originally appeared).
Cool things are definitely happening with the convergence of the "web" and "TV" worlds...
NETFLIX APP NOW AVAILABLE
FOR iPHONE AND iPOD TOUCH
Free App Enables Netflix Members to Instantly Watch
TV Episodes and Movies Streamed from Netflix to iPhone and iPod touch
LOS GATOS, Calif., August 26, 2010 – Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] today announced the availability of its free Netflix App for iPhone and iPod touch, allowing Netflix members on plans starting at just $8.99 a month to instantly watch a vast selection of TV episodes and movies streamed to their iPhone or iPod touch at no additional cost.
The Netflix App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.
"Apple has changed the game for mobile devices,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive officer. "We're excited that our members can now carry Netflix around in their pockets and instantly watch movies and TV shows streamed from Netflix right to their iPhone or iPod touch."
The Netflix App delivers a high-quality viewing experience, a broad array of movie and TV choices and a clean, intuitive interface. It is available via both Wi-Fi and 3G networks. TV episodes and movies are conveniently organized into a variety of categories based on members' personal preferences, popular genres, new arrivals and members' individual instant Queues. Members can choose a movie or TV episode from any of the lists and just tap the innovative Multi-Touch user interface to watch instantly or to save the title for viewing later.
Additionally, users have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream, and stopping at any time. When users want to start watching again, the video stream starts exactly where it was stopped, even on a different device capable of streaming from Netflix.
The Netflix App supports any iPhone or iPod touch device running iOS version 3.13 or later.
With more than 15 million members, Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is the world's largest subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the Internet and sending DVDs by mail. For $8.99 a month, Netflix members can instantly watch unlimited TV episodes and movies streamed right to their TVs and computers and can receive unlimited DVDs delivered quickly to their homes. With Netflix, there are never any due dates or late fees. Among the large and expanding base of devices that can stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix are Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's Wii consoles; Blu-ray disc players from Samsung, LG and Insignia; Internet TVs from LG, Sony and VIZIO; the Roku digital video player and TiVo digital video recorders, and Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. For more information, visit http://www.netflix.com.
My WB Original series EXPOSED is now being distributed outside the bounds of TheWB.com by a syndiation company called AlphaBird. I had not heard of them until this deal happened. Warner Bros. has recently been asking me about M&E tracks and so now this all makes sense. I assume AlphaBird will take the show overseas as well.
So this is pretty exciting as now the series will be available to watch on 3rd party sites starting with DailyMotion.
Here's a link to the show there:
One thing that is a bit odd on the show page there is the current "Clip of the Day" is actually Episode 16 - EXPOSED is a serialized show - so if someone watches Episode 16 first then they know how it ends. Either the programmers at DailyMotion don't realize this or it's done automatically? Either way, not very good. But besides that, I'm very happy that the show is getting out to more of the world. :)
Here are two press stories about the release:
Broadcasting & Cable
UPDATE: Here's another piece from Video Nuze on the deal talking more details about the financial and branding side of things... pretty interesting to know.
The 3 other WB Originals released this summer as part of their "Summer Programming Block" (High Drama 2, Downer's Grove and Chadam) were also part of the deal.
And there is talk of the showd landing on Hulu too (not sure when though), so we'll wait and see what happens!
Koldcast TV does a very nice job of marketing a lot of their web series through their blog stories, and yesterday they did one called "The 15 Most Extreme Acts of Mob Violence" - and they featured my show "88 HITs" in the article.
Here's the blog post:
And from this "88 HITs" was their "Most Watched" series of the day yesterday 8/17/10. Pretty cool!
Thank you Koldcast TV for doing a nice job promoting indie web content. Keep up the great work!
Just read this really cool article and interview with Felicia Day. If you don't know who she is... well, this will definitely tell you...
And here's a video interview she did as part of the article:
And too, this is the main article that Felicia's story came from:
Lots of really good info on original web content and the folks making it.
I've been talking a lot about the new teaser for my upcoming sci-fi series CONTINUUM recently, but I wanted to remind folks that my other series EXPOSED is playing right now on TheWB.com.
Here's a pretty cool graphic I found too on TheWB's Facebook page...
Please check out the show if you haven't already:
This past weekend the teaser trailer for my upcoming online thriller CONTINUUM premiered during Comic-Con as part of the "Celebrate The Web" off-site panel. Now you can check it out here...
And a direct link to it on YouTube:
Also, here's a nice shout out from NewTeeVee about the teaser (near bottom of page):
The series is currently in post-production and a release date is TBD.
Today the new DVD is being released for my friends Matthew Tompkins and Julio Cedillo's film "The Fragility of Seconds", or in Spanish - and the way it's being marketed - "La Fraglidad De Los Segundos".
Here's a descripton from Netflix:
In a matter of moments, the lives of three strangers collide, forcing each to decide how badly they want to live: a con man (Chuck Huber) just released from prison, an FBI agent (Matthew Stephen Tompkins) suffering from professional burnout and a brother (Julio César Cedillo) bent on rescuing his sister. Matthew Tompkins and Julio Cedillo direct this gripping drama based on real-life crimes in Juárez, Mexico.
And here's a link to Netflix to rent the film:
And a link to Amazon to buy it:
I'm very happy for these guys and the release. This was a true passion project funded through blood, sweat and tears (no joke).
It's a great indie film that you should definitely check out!
Filmmakers and actors alike have a good opportunity to check this out on Thursday, July 15, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. PST on www.openfilm.com.
WHAT: Academy Award-nominated director, renowned acting instructor and Openfilm Advisory Board member Mark Rydell is conducting a live online webcam chat to answer questions from independent filmmakers, film fans and actors, Thursday, July 15, from 4:30 to 5:30 PM (PST). Mr. Rydell will offer expert advice on everything from acting tips to directing techniques to insider insight on the latest industry trends.
WHO: Mark Rydell has credits on both sides of the camera. An acclaimed director (The Rose, On Golden Pond, Even Money), he also has acted in numerous TV episodes and motion pictures and is an instructor at the famed Actors Studio for aspiring actors and directors.
Other members of the Advisory Board–renowned actors and filmmakers Robert Duvall, Scott Caan and Openfilm Chariman James Caan–will be hosting future Openfilm Live webcam chats, as well as providing feedback and distribution advice for short or feature films submitted to Openfilm’s Get It Made competitions.
WHEN: Thursday, July 15, 2010 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. PT
WHERE: Online at www.openfilm.com, or www.livestream.com and www.ustream.TV
I really liked Spike Jonze's latest (short) film "I'm Here", and this video below talks about it, some of Spike's history and then what's going on with The Creators Project. Check it out...
I find it very interesting and actually kinda cool that an A-List guy like Tom Hanks has a YouTube Channel...
He also has a Twitter account...
Btw, both of these are Verified to be real. We live in very interesting times!
Check out Kristyn Burtt and The Web.Files interview me (EXPOSED) and Jace Hall (CHADAM) about our new WB web shows...
Tubefilter covered the premiere today of EXPOSED, along with the other three new shows from The WB... CHADAM, HIGH DRAMA 2, and DOWNERS GROVE.
Here's a link to the article:
And please watch EXPOSED! :)
My new series EXPOSED premieres tomorrow, Tuesday June 15th on TheWB.com. Here's the official press release from Warner Bros. Television (and btw, the show page links on TheWB.com won't be active until tomorrow 6/15)...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE SUMMER SIZZLES WITH “HIGH DRAMA 2: AGAINST ALL OZ” “CHADAM,” “EXPOSED” AND “DOWNERS GROVE” ON THEWB.COM
There’s Something For Everyone as Four New Original Series Premiere June 15
BURBANK, Calif. (June 15, 2010) – Things heat up on TheWB.com this summer with the June 15 premiere of four new original series: “High Drama 2: Against All Oz,” “Chadam,” “Exposed” and “Downers Grove.” From real-life drama and cutting-edge animation to a modern thriller and off-beat comedy, TheWB.com has fans covered with a hot programming selection. Offerings include new series from producer/director McG (“Terminator Salvation,” “Supernatural”) and Jace Hall (“V”), among others.
· High Drama 2: Against All Oz: Viewers can get their docudrama TV fix by going behind the scenes with the students of Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Penn., as they prepare for the opening night musical production of The Wizard of Oz. The series features real characters, real drama and no scripts. Episodes 1–5 launch Tuesday, June 15, with the remaining episodes 6–10 on Tuesday, June 22.
· Chadam: Animation and machinima fans will enjoy “Chadam,” an action-horror-adventure story from cutting-edge artist Alex Pardee and producer Jace Hall, created using the Unreal Engine 3, the gaming technology behind hit the videogame titles “Gears of War” and “BioShock.” A resident of Cardboard City, Chadam must learn to use his hidden powers to free the city’s residents from the violent zombie-like pallid. Episodes 1–5 premiere Tuesday, June 15, with the remaining episodes 6–10 launching Tuesday, June 22.
· Exposed: This cerebral thriller takes viewers into the world of Henry Dye, a college student with a dark past. Menacing text messages and paranoia threaten to destroy Henry as he searches for the extortive source, all while attempting to maintain a normal existence to his fiancée and family. Episodes 1–8 launch Tuesday, June 15, with the remaining episodes 9–16 debuting Tuesday, June 22.
· Downers Grove: Fans of off-beat buddy comedies should definitely visit “Downers Grove,” which is not only a suburb of Chicago, but also a state of mind. Follow four friends and their misadventures as they hang out, drink and stave off the boredom of life in the ’burbs. Episodes 1–5 will go live Tuesday, June 15, with the remaining episodes 6–9 launching Tuesday, June 22.
Social Media Links:
· High Drama 2: Against All Oz
o TheWB.com: http://www.thewb.com/shows/high-drama
o Freedom High School Drama Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4959203479
o TheWB.com: http://www.thewb.com/shows/chadam
o Alex Pardee Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alex-Pardee/28942283385
o Alex Pardee Twitter: @alexpardee
o Jace Hall Twitter: @jacehall
o The Used Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/TheUsed
o TheWB.com: http://www.thewb.com/shows/exposed
o Blake Calhoun Twitter: @blake_calhoun
o Kim Matula Twitter: @KimMatula
· Downers Grove
o TheWB.com: http://www.thewb.com/shows/downers-grove
o Michael Blaiklock Twitter: @ LILmookieB
o Elisha Yaffe Twitter: @elishayaffe
o Heidi Heaslet Twitter: @redheadheidi
o Destination: http://www.thewb.com/
o Twitter: @thewbdotcom
o Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theWB
“High Drama 2: Against All Oz” gives viewers an exclusive backstage pass to The Freedom High School Theater Company’s production of The Wizard of Oz. Viewers will get a look behind the curtain as casting pits friend against friend, students with Broadway stars in their eyes try to move beyond the confines of the high school stage, and the pressures of a sold-out show threaten to bring the cast and crew crashing back to Earth. “High Drama 2: Against All Oz” features real characters, real drama and no scripts. From Bombo Sports & Entertainment in association with Studio 2.0, “High Drama 2: Against All Oz” is executive produced by Bombo’s Steven Bram, Paul Doyle, Jr. and Bob Potter, and Studio 2.0’s Rich Rosenthal.
“Chadam” is an action-horror-adventure story which follows its self-titled hero as he develops his power of imagination to physically change his environment and, ultimately, his world. Chadam must learn to harnesses his power of imagination after he’s called upon to save the residents of Cardboard City from the maniacal serial killer, Viceroy, and the zombie-like pallid who have taken over the city. The character Chadam was originally created by cutting-edge artist Alex Pardee for the band The Used. In this installment, “Chadam” is realized in full 3D animation via the power of the Unreal Engine 3, the same gaming engine used in popular videogame titles such as “Gears of War” and “BioShock,” for the Xbox, Playstation 3 and PC platforms. From HD Films in association with Studio 2.0, “Chadam” is executive produced by Jace Hall.
In “Exposed,” handsome, brooding Henry Dye seems like any other Ivy League pre-med student to his friends and acquaintances. But when Henry starts receiving a series of cryptic, untraceable cell phone texts ordering him to carry out increasingly perilous tasks, he is forced to comply – with the threat of exposing his shocking past and true identity if he fails. “Exposed” is executive produced by McG and co-executive produced by Blake Calhoun and Mike Maden. The series is from Wonderland Sound and Vision, Alternative Fuel LLC in association with Studio 2.0.
“Downers Grove” follows Alden, Brett, Pudge and Jodi, four friends in their early 20s who never grew up. When everyone their age went away to college, they stayed in the suburbs, always on the prowl for the next party and never far from disturbing the peace. In Downers Grove, you can never go home again. So they never left. From Sorry, Dad Productions and Mr. Nice, in association with Studio 2.0, “Downers Grove” was created by Justin Becker, Michael Blaiklock, David Horwitz and Elisha Yaffe. The executive producers are Anne Kenny and Eric Wilker.
TheWB.com is a premium, ad-supported, video-on-demand, interactive and personalized network featuring original series created or acquired specifically for TheWB.com, a collection of The WB Network’s most popular series and other successful programming, a commitment to interactivity, and an extensive network of distribution partners. Follow TheWB.com on Twitter @thewbdotcom.
# # #
Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Publicity
Okay, so yeah, this is Avid propaganda here, but I still like seeing what the "big boys" use in their filmmaking. Of course the funny thing is the film "Kick-Ass" is considered and "indie", and I guess technically it is based on my definition which is simply financed outside the studio system, but... not many "indies" I know cost $28 million!!
Anyway, check out the propaganda for yourself. :)
Nice video excerpt here from Steve Jobs about why AppleTV is a hobby...
Nice succint article (albeit pretty common sense info) on why TV shows get made - geared towards SyFy Channel (written by one of their development guys) - but relateable to any network really. Check it out...
Yeah, so this is a weird one... The DP for my feature film "Killing Down" (Alan Lefebvre) was in a Walmart the other day and snapped this picture:
That is obviously a shot of "The Marine", an action flick that came out around the same time as "Killing Down". If you've never seen the DVD artwork (U.S. version) for my movie then this wouldn't mean a whole lot, but if you have then like me you probably did a doubletake.
Here's a side-by-side comparison:
So as you can see they look A LOT ALIKE. We brought this to the attention of our US distributor and they said "we use the same graphic designers as the studios". So I guess that means they copy each other? Seems odd to me.
My guess is either the same guy did the work, or it was a blatant rip-off. Since "Killing Down" didn't hit DVD shelves in the U.S. until January 2008 (and "The Marine" was in late 2006 or early 2007), I'd say my DVD artwork is the derivative one here. Luckily the movies aren't exactly the same! :)
Oh, and just for the record, here's the artwork WE DID ORIGINALLY (and what is still being used overseas, unless someone has copied the "Die Hard" DVD cover...). :)
A good commentary about the Streamys and the IAWTV issues from a veteran web video creator, Tim Street:
Someone from old media once asked me, “Who do these guys think they are?” “Who gave them permission to do that?” I said, “It’s web video, you don’t have to ask permission, you just go do it.”
Read his blog post here...
Very nice interviews from FreshDV with Ted Schilowitz
And Part Two is here:
(scroll down to "A REDtrospective Part 2)
Jag35.com sells some pretty cool gadgets for you DSLR video shooters out there... check out their monitors and cage, etc.
If you follow the DSLR news you likely know that the recent BIG NEWS was that the season finale of the FOX network show "House" was shot on the Canon 5D. This really is incredible when you think about it.... I mean, a network show can shoot on pretty much ANYTHING they want, including 35mm film - although that is becoming a rarity.
Anyway, as usual, DP Philip Bloom has done a great job of following this and actually scored an interview with the Executive Producer/Director of the show.
Here's a link to his blog with info on the shoot, and also a link to the audio from the interview. Well worth checking out...
Great article on the difference between TV directors and Movie directors...
A lot of great announcements at NAB including Avid's latest Media Composer version 5... This is a HUGE upgrade. If you haven't heard here's a list of the new features...
-Directly access and edit RED files through AMA, without transcoding (images are scaled to HD frame size)
-Work natively with QuickTime video formats, including Apple ProRes and H.264
-Edit video and audio by dragging and dropping elements in the timeline
-Keep high-end finishing projects in-house and gain great color precision with HD-RGB support (including dual-link I/O -support with Nitris DX systems)
-Monitor video externally with support for the Matrox MXO2 Mini
-Mix and match frame sizes and aspect ratios — in addition to formats, frame rates, and resolutions — in the same timeline
-Take a break during long renders and have your system email you when the job’s done
-Import AVCHD files directly from cameras and other devices
-Capture to and edit XDCAM HD and DVC PRO HD formats from baseband without additional hardware
-Access low-res XDCAM proxies for offline work, with full-quality audio
-Import text-based ancillary data and embed it in the video signal with the new “Data Track” and SMPTE 436M support using Nitris DX- and Mojo DX-based systems
-View stereo audio tracks as single channels in the timeline for easier handling
-Create high-quality sounds and mixes with support for RTAS audio processing plug-ins
-Natively access and edit 4:2:2 MPEG-2 media from the new Canon cameras using AMA
-Work Directly with RED Using the Newly Improved AMA
With Media Composer 5, AMA (Avid Media Access) has been completely reengineered, so you can work natively with more file-based media formats now and in the future. With the new and improved AMA, you can speed up RED workflows by directly accessing RED files (.R3D) in Media Composer without having to prepare them through MetaFuze (all footage is scaled to HD frame size). Plus, you have access to its full metadata and color management data too.
Edit QuickTime Formats Natively
Get native access to all popular QuickTime formats, with full access to clip metadata. Thanks to AMA, you can natively access and edit any movie that can be played in Apple’s QuickTime Player (including Apple ProRes and .mov files captured by Canon 5D and 7D cameras) right in Media Composer — no transcoding, rewrapping, or logging and transferring required.
Drag and Drop Video and Audio to Edit
Get comfortable — with Media Composer 5, you can truly edit the way you like. In addition to the standard way of editing, you can also now directly manipulate elements in the timeline to edit video and audio. Drag and drop clips anywhere you want on the timeline to rearrange sequences. And grab a clip’s in or out point and drag to trim a scene, dialog, or music.
Get Full-Quality HD-RGB Processing
Keep those finishing jobs in house, and deliver the highest quality color and effects work, with support for full-quality 4:4:4 HD-RGB color space processing in Media Composer. With the higher resolution detail, you can perform color correction, keying, and effects work with greater precision and ease. And if you have a Nitris DX-based system, you can digitize, process, monitor, and output (output in Symphony systems only) projects in HD-RGB, using the two HD SDI connections to handle the high-bandwidth resolutions.
Monitor Video Externally through Matrox MXO2 Mini
If you don’t have a Nitris DX- or Mojo DX-based system, Media Composer 5 opens the door to third-party workflows, enabling you to monitor video externally using the Matrox MXO2 Mini interface, which is available for Mac and Windows systems. When paired with Media Composer software, MXO2 Mini becomes a dedicated, high-quality monitor-only solution for file-based or workgroup production, so you can view your video work in real time without any major expense.
And here's a short article on that new low cost 3rd Party HD monitoring solution from Matrox...
Very cool stuff.
One word describes last night's Streamy Awards ceremony... Sad.
If you don't know what I'm talking about read this first:
These folks do a good job of describing it.
So here's my take...
I didn't mind that there were tech issues - that happens (although it was ironic that the tech issues started during the Craft Award videos). I didn't mind the poorly written jokes - again, that happens with most awards shows. What I did mind was the overall tone and sloppiness of the presentation.
The Streamys are supposed to celebrate the best in Web TV, but last night (pretty much) the entire show was dedicated to demeaning it (I'm not talking about the actual awards or the winners of course - I'm talking bout the comedy bits and a lot of the presenters). Now don't get me wrong, I love a little self-deprecation. Making fun of yourself or your place in the world is fine. I joke all the time about being the "red-headed step-child" of the TV industry. But to keep that up for almost the entire show was just too much.
I was also very surprised at the amounts of sex references, sex jokes and just plain vulgarity throughout the entire production (and I'm not even talking about the two streakers - which was, um, yeah..). And trust me, I'm not a prude.
Web video already has a stigma of being dumbed down, vulgar, pornographic, etc. and the Streamys played right into that stereotype. This was a huge mistake in my opinion, and why in the world the very smart guys at Tubefilter (and I do mean that sincerely) would approve the various comedy bits, etc. is beyond me. Not to mention that there were entirely too many acts/bits and they were all waaaaaay too long. They should know better. They work in the world of web video where most entire episodes are 3 to 10 mins total. Some of these bits were that long or more. Btw, some of them were very funny. I laughed a lot (early on more so than later admittedly). But each and every bit could have been cut in half and they could have easily lost a third of them.
The final main thing for me was the sloppiness in the presentation. If we (the Web TV industry) really want to be taken seriously I think the industry's most prestigious (or supposed to be) awards show should reflect that. I actually thought last year's show did for the most part, but this year was a big setback.
The video playback tech issues (forgivable, but still..), the sound issues, NOT HAVING A VIDEO SCREEN in the theater so us in the "cheap seats" could see what was going on (on stage and in the front rows), the general pacing of voice overs and host coming on and off stage, SECURITY (how many times did people crash the stage??), the lame 3D Streamys animated nominee intros (this is subjective of course, but I thought the animation looked comedic, like it was from 1997 - it was not contemporary at all), and the list goes on. But all these "little things" really add up to one big mess.
So this is why I'm sad.
I want the Streamys to be successful (heck, I'm an IAWTV member and I won a Streamy last year for Best Direction in a Dramatic Web Series for 'Pink'). I want the Web TV industry to be successful. I want sponsors and financiers and distributors and our audiences to take the industry seriously. And I know the Streamy Awards and the Tubefilter guys do too.
So I liken this misstep to Kevin Smith's early movie career. He made 'Clerks'. Was a big hit. Went out and made 'Mallrats' next. Was a huge flop. But then he made 'Chasing Amy'...
Let's hope next year's Streamy Awards is our 'Chasing Amy' (without all the dick jokes of course). :)
I personally own a Canon XH-A1 HDV camera and have been very happy with it over the last 3 years. We actually shot two of my web series, PINK and EXPOSED on it with a Letus DOF adapter. So when I heard about the release of the next generation of this camera I was intrigued.
The new version is called the XF300 (and XF305). They are tapeless cameras, which was expected, but what I was surprised about was they will shoot in the 4:2:2 color space at 50Mbps and onto standard (cost-effective) CF cards. Unlike the Panasonic HVX and the Sony EX series, Canon has chosen to go with the ubiquitous recording media, which I am very happy to hear. The Sony SxS cards and Panasonic's P2 cards are great, but they're also very expensive (yeah, still) costing upwards of $1000 or more depending on size (some smaller capacity cards are cheaper).
The Canon actually uses the same kind of cards my Canon 7D DSLR camera uses, which is pretty cool (and pretty interesting...). I wonder if Canon will "blend" this line of cameras with it's DSLR cameras in the future? This new XF300 uses 1/3" CMOS chips now (three of them instead of the one used in the DSLR), so why not give it one big one like the 7D or the 5D? Talk about a great camera! But I digress...
The new Canon XF cameras will be on display at NAB next week and available to buy in June. I'm not quite ready to get a new camera this summer, but come this fall I'll likely be an owner of one of these (btw, not to use instead of the 7D - which I love - but to use on corporate and commercial jobs that require more of an ENG or "run and gun" style of shooting).
Read more about the camera here...
I'm trying out some new looks, so this is a test and also to let folks know that it's a work-in-progress. :) Thanks!
UPDATE: For some reason my Date Badges aren't updating, so sorry for the sloppy look, but I am working on it...
UPDATE #2: Okay, the Badge dates appear to be working now... cool!
Hadn't thought of this, but it's true. If the US Postal Service doesn't deliver mail on Saturdays as has been proposed starting in 2011, then Netflix could be the biggest loser in that deal...
Press release from Content Film (Fireworks) about PINK being at the international MIP-TV market, along with several of their other new "digital" acquisitions like RIESE, GIRL NUMBER 9 and SPLATTER...
Hopefully they'll sell some new territories!
My online series 'PINK' has been rather successful for me over the past several years, and now we've just had the good fortune of landing a foreign distribution deal too. This is no small achievment in general, but especially for a "web series".
Generate, our domestic distributor (and primary owner of the show) did the deal with Fireworks International, the TV and digital distribution arm of Content Film (http://www.contentfilm.com/). They also distribute several high profile series like VALEMONT (from MTV), RIESE, GEMINI DIVISION, etc. and loads of feature films and TV shows. So we're in really good company.
What I personally would like to see happen with this deal is it create the opportunity for a Season 4. I'd really like to do (at least) one more season to wrap up the current story line. We REALLY left the fans hanging at the end of Season 3. :)
I'm also excited to see how it plays in more foreign territories. We of course have had lots of our fan base come from Europe, and now - unfortunately - most of the content will be U.S. geoblocked (meaning it is only viewable domestically). But, this will allow Fireworks to sell to the various Internet portals, and mobile providers throughout the world - and ideally build new audiences and create new fans (and the ones who get geoblocked here should be able to find the show in their home country soon).
I can't wait to see how it all works out!
Here are three links to stories about the Fireworks deal:
PRWeb Press Release:
ARRI's new ALEXA camera looks really great. It's affordable (within reason, especially for rental houses - but some owner/operators), it has 13 stops of lattitude and uses 35mm lenses...
Here's a link to two videos about the camera. The first one is a demo/preview of the actual prototype (that will be unveiled at NAB soon). And the second one is an interview with the main ARRI guy responsible for the design, etc.
I keep saying this, and it's very true - it's a GREAT time to be a filmmaker.
Looking forward to seeing this...
The final episode of this season's FOX TV show 'House" is to be shot on the Canon 5D.
Let me say that again, a NETWORK TV SHOW is going to shoot a multi-million dollar episode of their series on a $2700 camera (sans lens). This is ground-breaking and I don't say that lightly.
Here's a link to the news:
I believe this to be accurate too as I got it from Rodney Charters on Twitter - the DP for FOX's series '24'.
The other tidbit is that it appears they might shoot the ENTIRE next season on the 5D. This is to me really amazing. I'm not sure I'd want to have invested a lot of money on a RED ONE or similar recently. Especially when/if Canon allows it's DSLR line to record RAW - and this is in the rumor mill now. I'm not an engineer, but it would only make sense that if it did RAW recording then you've be able to do 2K, 4K, etc. just like RED. Even if you can't, the 1080p video is crazy good already, and if it were uncompressed coming out of the HDMI that would be greatness.
Long story short, it's a very cool time to be a filmmaker. Oh, BTW, we shot my new sci-fi series 'Continuum' on the Canon 7D - the little brother to the 5D and I must say the footage really is stellar (pun intended). :)
Really nice interview with Matt Nix, the showrunner for "Burn Notice" and the new series "The Good Guys"...
I like what he's doing Out There.
Check out the indieWIRE article on Paramount's new venture (spawned after the success of micro-budgeted "Paranormal Activity")...
So, this looks like a pretty cool thing on the surface, and I am interested to see how it pans out (might even try to pitch them myself). But with my recent ventures in the studio world I'd be surprised if 1) they can pull off a feature for $100k, and 2) if the filmmakers will live to tell about it. ;)
While we really enjoyed our WB experience on the soon-to-be-released online series "Exposed" (www.thewb.com) - the amount of notes you get from the studio is substanstial and they don't differ from say a mult-million dollar production or a $100k one. So you're like, "Wow, we should be getting paid more to have to deal with all this." (the studios seem to forget that you're not a well-paid staff writer, or perhaps they don't care?).
I also bet that the "$100k budget" is for "production only" - as they'll likely spend a good chunk more on post, score, and of course distribution. Great marketing hook though.
But hey, I like the "indie spirit" of Paramount Studios here (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one). :)
Been very busy shooting new series "Continuum" this past week, and we have about one more week to go. This above graphic shows a raw production still and then the same still color corrected. We set the Canon 7D up to have a "flat" look for great latitude during color grading and this side by side comparison shows that (click on image to see larger view).
I'll be posting more tech info about the HDSLR production and post process soon. But right now back to work on the show. :)
Kim's new role as Hope on "The Bold & The Beautiful" is getting a lot of great press including this new feature from her hometown paper in Fort Worth, Texas...
Read Star-Telegram Article
Definitely an inspiring story for those actors Out There trying to make it! :)
Btw, some very cool PINK news is coming soon too...
This short film has amazing VFX and a really nice emotional story. Do yourself a favor and watch it now!
We announced the cast, start date, etc. today in a press release!
Alternative Fuel, Loud Pictures Prep New Sci-Fi Thriller 'Continuum'
Original Web Series Created and Produced by 'Pink's' Blake Calhoun and Mike Maden Starts Shooting February 22nd
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) February 4, 2010 -- Director Blake Calhoun and longtime producing partner Mike Maden, the award-winning production team behind some of the Web's most cinematic original series including Pink, 88 Hits and TheWB.com's forthcoming Exposed, today announced principal photography on their next digital project, the sci-fi thriller series Continuum, will begin February 22nd in Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles and will release the first ten episodes this summer.
Created by Calhoun and Maden and produced & directed by Calhoun, Continuum is a futuristic thriller in the noir-ish tradition of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien starring Melanie Merkosky (CBS/EQAL's Harper's Globe) as Raegen, a woman who mysteriously finds herself aboard a space ship with no memory of how she got there and at the mercy of the ship's computer, voiced by actress/producer Taryn O'Neill, best-known for breakout performances in Compulsions (for which she recently won the inaugural Indie Soap Award for Best Supporting Actress) and the post-apocalyptic After Judgment franchise. Brad Hawkins, veteran TV/film actor and costar of Pink, rounds out Continuum’s minimal cast as Tipton.
"I’m really excited about Continuum because I've always loved the darker side of science fiction and this series will allow us to put our own spin on the genre," said Calhoun. "We’ve decided to produce the series as an independent, like we did with the first season of Pink. We’re going to give owning our content a try again and see how it works out."
Continuum is being produced by Calhoun and Maden's Alternative Fuel and Loud Pictures production companies in association with CJP Digital Media, the production/distribution/promotion arm behind successful Web originals including Illeana Douglas's IKEA-branded comedy Easy to Assemble, Spherion-sponsored The Temp Life (which will feature O’Neill in the Feb 8 episode) and dark crime drama The Fall of Kaden. Calhoun and Maden are represented by United Talent Agency and managed by Generate.
About Alternative Fuel
Alternative Fuel was formed in 2008 by filmmakers Blake Calhoun and Mike Maden to produce content for the television, film and new media markets. Currently two feature film projects are being developed, along with a Warner Bros. TV script, and a new online series.
Calhoun and Maden first teamed up to create the Webby nominated and Streamy winning series Pink. That show has now been viewed nearly 8 million times on YouTube, Hulu, iTunes, TheWB.com, Koldcast, Facebook, MySpace, Vuze, Yahoo, MSNBC, Blip.tv and others. So far three seasons have been produced (35 episodes), and more are under consideration, as is a DVD and possible film adaptation.
From the success of Pink, Calhoun and Maden pitched and sold another original web series to Warner Bros., who then partnered them with executive producer McG and his company Wonderland Sound and Vision. That show is called Exposed and will be released in 2010 on TheWB.com.
About CJP Digital Media
CJP Digital Media, a unit of NY-based CJP Communications, specializes in creating, distributing and promoting brand-centric messages and content via digital, social, mobile and traditional media channels for clients across industries. CJP created one of the very first and now longest-running brand-sponsored Web series: The Temp Life as an alternative communications vehicle for recruiting firm client, Spherion Corp. in 2006. Most-recently, CJP Digital worked with IKEA and creator/producer Illeana Douglas to promote and distribute the current season of their branded Web comedy Easy to Assemble, which Advertising Age proclaimed "the most watched branded Web show to date."
My WB web series has a very small mention in Variety from yesterday. Look at the bottom of the article to see the blurb. Oh, and the actual article is pretty cool too. :)
'Supernatural' Spawns Web Spinoff
Wonderland, WBTV producing 'Ghostfacers'
Wonderland is McG's production company who also produced 'Exposed'. Btw, we don't yet have a release date for the show, but it is supposed to be "soon".
Yep, Tiffen now has a Steadicam for, wait for it... the iPhone.
Here's a link to article:
It's called the "Steadicam Smoothee" and it's actually for the iPhone and other small "Flip" style recorders.
And here's a video about it from CES:
Of course who knows how much it will cost...
If you have a 3G iPhone and use the camera a lot (or the 3Gs and use video) these affordable lenses could come in handy...
I'm not sure if these are available in the U.S. or not though.
Who Am I?
I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.
Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.
- ► 2014 (10)
- ► 2013 (16)
- ► 2012 (22)
- ► 2011 (31)
- ► November (7)
- ► October (5)
- ► September (3)
- ► August (5)
- ► July (5)
- ► June (6)
- ► April (9)
- ► March (8)
- ► February (4)
- ► 2009 (101)
- ► 2008 (95)
- ► 2007 (75)