Monday, September 27, 2010

Picture blog: 3 Dude's at the 2010 Charleston Green Fair

Back to the Greenfair two years after I did a pic post with shots taken for a doc Justin Nathanson was making. I was taking pics again as Justin was filming a concert by the very young local band 3 Dudes. Here are some pics:
Poster for the band
The dudes before the show
Justin wondering if it's raining
Sound check
Badass soundguy who was wearing a Howlin Wolf t-shirt
Setting up drums
The stage at Marion Square
The show
The show pt 2
Nice drum face
No photoshop here, fun w/ focus on my 50mm lens
Ancient symmetry
Hoola hoop girl    

My fav pic of the set
Nice promo pose    

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

American Heart Association - Spanish Commercial Entry

So I made this for a video contest, which I'm going to start doing a lot more of in the future. My roomate's mom was in town and nice enough to do the voice over... the commercial had to be in Spanish and she is Puerto Rican.

Wish me luck! And if you're a member of leave a comment and show me some love!

Boardwalk Empire Review

Scorcese's The Departed laid out the blueprint for Boardwalk Empire to fail. Now that he's an old Hollywood legend, he can somehow do no wrong. I thought the great directors were supposed to do porno after they peaked?

Scorcese was onto something with his early films. Mean Streets, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver were raw and gritty. They had soul. And now he has perfected his style to the point that it isn't much more than seeing something which is technically sound but lacks the dazzle that once made it shine. He is past his prime.

Whereas he once made films with techniques that challenged conventions of cinema, he is now making over-stylized garbage. Granted this is tv (say what you will HBO, but it's all the same). But the audience of Boardwalk Empire's premier was subjected to a full hour and a half of relentless camera movement seemingly for no reason other than to keep a dimwitted viewer engaged. Boardwalk is nothing more than a hackneyed storyline of Steve Buscemi as a crooked politico alcohol cartel during prohibition. Some will draw inferences on the current prohibition of marijuana. If such symbolic ties exist by the hands of the filmmakers they are most likely light and superficial like the rest of this show... especially it's characters.

The story is predictable for Scorcese and for HBO. That's really all that needs to be said because if you are familiar with modern gangster shows Empire is the Soprano's with Steve Buscemi as the boss in the 1920s. But Buscemi is not a big scary mean looking mofo. He's a skimpy ugly sort of fellow that's made a name for himself playing poor schmucks. And if the general premise of Buscemi playing this particular lead isn't perculiar, imagine him somehow having the strength to smash a guy twice his size into a roulette table. Obviously nobody realized how this or many other little things simply did not work while they were filming. 

Buscemi is known for his talents as a character actor, however he has starred as the lead before. The one film which comes to mind is Tree's Lounge which he also directed. In that film handled himself fine in the big actor's (and director's) shoes. So what makes this perfectly capable actor come off so flatly?

Whether it's Scorcese's focus on the style of this project as opposed to the acting, or the awful dialogue, or the poor writing, Boardwalk Empire is a huge letdown. We're talking writing which gives characters problems that should make them pop out of their cardboard shell but said problems are so obvious that they are worse than having none at all. Typical by the books scriptwriting that should be offensive to a man of Scorcese's likes. From Paul Schrader to this!?!

Besides the awkward acting there are more than enough awkward jarring edits. How did these slip by Scorcese or the producers? The color correction is overdone to the point where some shots which might have had no CGI look full of it. CGI is distractingly fake looking and unappealing. But these are just a few more things to add to the list of Boardwalk's disappointments.

After hearing about this show I wanted for it to be good. I wanted the same while watching it. But as the premier progressed the quality control issues began to blare out of the television building up and expanding like the blood boiling under my skin.
The (Only) Good: The supporting role of a young Al Capone was a wonderful idea for this show. I have no idea if it is any bit historically accurate, nor do I care. Seeing the young version of an American legend is enough to make me want to watch another episode. The actor in this case nailed it. And I suppose any series can start off with a piss poor episode... so there's a chance it might get better.

The Bad: Steve Buscemi is looking like a miscast. Scorcese is way past his prime. He's directed this show before as a bunch of other movies, most of which are better than Boardwalk Empire.

The Ugly: The dialogue, the predictability of the story and characters, and the fact that it embodies the current Entourage mentality of fast cutting style over fresh writing and good acting. Somewhere in it's creation, this show managed to be birthed without an authentic soul.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Avant Grade - Hot Garbage

So I found out about Createspace, a publishing company owned by Amazon. And I've decided to put out the collection of music that I've been working on for the past year or so. I'm calling the album "Hot Garbage". I took some stills of a piece of art I acquired to use as the artwork. And I'm pretty pleased with how the packaging (and music) turned out. Some tracks are available for listen/download at my soundcloud.

Buy it at for the low low price of $12 plus shipping.

S.O.B. on the Documentary Channel

What a bad blogger I've been... S.O.B. began it's 2 year contract with the Documentary Channel halfway through August. The Documentary Channel is available through Dish Network and DirectTV. The next screening will be 9/23 at 6pm on 197 Dish Network, or 267 DirectTV. Here's a link: