You people don't suck anymore.

Maybe it’s just me, but has anyone else noticed that no one seems to be watching the ExG blog recently?

Hello?

Damn. Okay, only rhetorical questions from now on.

I’m concerned by the apparent lack of interest in our little artist-collaborative schtick going on here, which is especially problematic because Andrew and Ethan are gearing up and looking for people who don’t mind working long hours for no money for a new film project.

I think part of the lack of participation of late is the fact that the only updates for the past weeks have been to the Exploding Shorts site – which, in the interest of keeping you reading this (is anyone reading this?) I have purposefully neglected from conveniently hyperlinking – but you should also take into account that I don’t frequent the forums so that may have something to do with it.

But that’s beside the point. Yes, I know. I started a sentence with ‘but’. Blame my editor.

The gist, meat, and purpose of this post is to get you to take a greater interest in our little community. Logging on to the site will take only a few minutes. You can write comments and posts on pithy film-related topics, taking an active part in the literary experience that I’m sure Andrew had in mind when he bought the domain. If you’re interested in a more active role, you can even join our community outreach programs, and even adopt an inner-city black kid and teach him the joys of cinema. Conversely, if you’d like to help, but don’t have the time, you can donate to the WorldVision organization.
Or you can just write me a check.

Exploding Shorts: music videos

Two music videos from local bands for you today:

Cartographics
Cartographics, by Antics, is a video I co-directed with Jacob Smith and just finished last Tuesday;

The Sound of Impending Doom

The Sound of Impending Doom, by The Ghosts of Verona, is a video I did last fall.

Exploding Shorts: farming and floating orbs

Two long titles for you today:

The Floating Orb Of Knowledge Does Its Taxes

The Floating Orb Of Knowledge Does Its Taxes, my final project for my 2D design class last semester…

Everything You Need To Know About Farming In The 1850's-1890's In 30 Seconds Or Less

And Everything You Need To Know About Farming In The 1850’s-1890’s In 30 Seconds Or Less, a project which I am singularly ashamed of, but people keep asking to watch. You happy now?

Exploding Shorts: Transformation Transportation Transubstantiation, Philosophy Time!

Two more new school projects today:

Transformation Transportation Transubstantiation

Transformation Transportation Transubstantiation, which I made for my media class last semester, and Philosophy Time!, which I made as part of a group project for my high school senior humanities class last spring.

Philosophy Time!

Enjoy!

Exploding Shorts: Don't Have A Cow, How To Siege A Castle

Don't Have A Cow

How To Siege A Castle

TWO premieres of class assignments tonight, as an apology for my lateness (I’ll explain later). First, my first assignment from my intro to filmmaking class this semester, a silent short I co-directed with John Keefover, Nick Kelley and Jacob Nollette called Don’t Have a Cow, and a video I made for my high school speech class with Chris Doyle and Evan Riffe called How To Siege A Castle. Enjoy.

Wholesale Souls, Inc.: A Gratuitous Review!

I know, I know.

We’ve all seen this little ditty about school, suicide, and the importance of eating dessert first. What you haven’t seen is said ditty on your own television screens, listening to the audio through taped-up headphones so you don’t disturb your parents reading on the couch five feet away. You can try to get them to watch the movie with you, but the new O magazine came today, and your mother is engrossed in Dr. Phil’s latest methods for saving her children (read: you) from themselves (yourself).

I am happy to say I’m different from all of you, because I have seen WSI in the relative comfort of my own home.

Given that at least 80% of the people who read this have already seen the movie, I don’t see the point of critiquing the film itself. I already know what most of you think about this film by listening to the cast commentary. So I think I’ll just review the packaging and peripherals that Andrew spent so much time designing.

Right out of the shipping package, I was very pleased with the cover design and film notes. The back design was particularly nice, free from thumbnailed screenshots and bogus movie reviewer quotes proclaiming WSI as the best romantic comedy of the year, or some such bullshit.

Take a moment out of reading this review and scroll down the page until you come upon the posted image of the packaging. Now, scroll back up and continue reading. The art on the discs looks COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in person: the colors are vivid, the images are succulent and inviting; looking at these 4.5 inch plastic slabs, I found myself wondering if they were edible. I haven’t licked the discs yet, but it’ll be the first thing I do after writing this.

Having unwrapped and opened the DVD box, I took a moment to suppress my salivary glands and proceeded to put disc 1 (the movie) into my DVD player. I then thought better of it, and put disc 2 in (the not movie).

Quick show of hands: how many of you received the personal introduction to the interactive menus by Andrew himself? Really? Good. I won’t feel stupid talking about it now.

The interactive menus are gorgeous. When navigating the content, the POV pans and zooms around the menu, inducing motion sickness while you search for the hidden video of Parker at the…never mind. And no crude menu options superimposed over clips of the film, either! Just a classy black-and-white production still of Greg looking bored. When he dies, we’ll use that image in the slide show at his memorial service.

The documentaries on the special features disc, in true Hollywood filmmaking style, are much more involved and…well, long…than perhaps they should be. We must remember, though, that if we are to join the elite as a legitimate film interest, we must be able to choke our viewers with as much lax editing and worthless content as possible. For $20, people expect not just a film experience, but a soporific as well.

The film itself, being on the first disc, was good. It looked and sounded a lot like the last time I saw it, but the kicker is I was watching with headphones and I couldn’t tell the ADR from the original sound feed! The mixing on this movie is…NYAAAQ! Not even Hollywood can rock that shit like Andrew did!

I liked the commentaries, as well. I think Andrew was slightly off his rocker when he decided to hold a commentary session with more than ten people, but he had the forethought to invite his parents to the recording session; their presence probably kept the commentary from devolving into an obscenity-laced shouting match…I’m referring to YOU, Parker and Paul.

So, in a long-overdue summation, I like the movie. I like the special features. I like the DVDs. I like the DVD case. I even like Pokémon. I like 5-star ratings, and I’m going to give Wholesale Souls, Inc. a 5-star rating.

[rate 5]

For those of you who question my rating, I just have to say that every rating system has to have a basis, so we might as well use this film as a standard for all subsequent work.

P.S. The discs don’t taste at all like what they look like.

Exploding Shorts Month: Selfless Self-Indulgence

Selfless Self-Indulgence

Exploding Shorts Month continues today by premiering Boulder Shoot-Out honoree Selfless Self-Indulgence, a film which was written and shot by Parker Cagle-Smith, Ethan Holbrook, Sean Cummings, Vvinni Gagnepain and Aubrie Hendryx in a mere twenty-four hours.

Wholesale Souls, Inc. DVD NOW AVAILABLE!!!

*UPDATED* Here’s a nice picture of the DVD:

Wholesale Souls DVD

You can now purchase the Wholesale Souls, Inc. DVD online here.

You can also find the DVD on Amazon, but it’s better for me if you buy it from the CustomFlix store linked to above, because that way Amazon doesn’t take a percentage of the profits.

This is a moment two years in the making, and I’m very excited. So what exactly do you get when you buy the DVD for $16.12? Well, here’s the short list:

DISC 1

  • The movie (yes, I remembered to put it on the DVD)
  • Multiple commentary tracks from the director (me), the cast and crew
  • Extensive DVD-ROM content, including a production diary, the original script, and the fantastic penguin painting by Mecha Ostorga

DISC 2

  • “Making Wholesale Souls, Inc.
  • “What Now?”
  • “Serious Business: Strange Mistakes, Insane Blunders, General Weirdness”
  • Teaser and theatrical trailer
  • Teaser for Terminal Philosophy
  • Unedited rushes for several scenes
  • DVD-ROM content: Diary of a Mad Filmmaker vodcast archive
  • HIDDEN CONTENT!

All this is housed inside some very nice interactive menus on discs with very nice printed and lacquered full-color labels and a very nice case insert. I just looked over the proof copy and I can assure you that it is, in fact, very nice.

I owe a debt of gratitude to you all for being so patient in waiting for the DVD, and especially those of you cast and crew member who helped make Wholesale Souls happen. I wish I could buy DVDs for all of you, but unfortunately I can’t afford that. If you feel like you deserve to get a copy but can’t afford to pay full price, let me know and we can work something out.

New apparel

To celebrate the availability of the Wholesale Souls, Inc. DVD, why not spend some more money on a “Hello, my name is Stan” T-shirt? Or if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, how about a stylish black Terminal Philosophy T-shirt?

Exploding Shorts Month continues with a documentary

Pacifism Documentary

Hello everyone, and welcome to round three of Exploding Shorts Month! Today I have the second assignment I completed for my intro to filmmaking class: a documentary short on contemporary pacifism. These two interview subjects were fascinating and I hope to put up some extended cuts of the interviews sometime soon.

I have also added Anti-Film (a triptych), my contribution to the Filmmaker Deathmatch, to the Exploding Shorts site.

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