Diary of a Mad Filmmaker: First Birthday

One year ago today, the world first trembled before the might of the Diary of a Mad Filmmaker vodcast. It was a heady time, flush with possibility and the hope that “vodcast” would someday become a real word. This was a time before “vlogs,” and Snakes on a Plane was nothing more than a distant possibility.

Today, this vodcast turns one. A lot has happened in one year. Against all odds, Wholesale Souls, Inc. was finished and Exploding Goldfish Films, now based in both Fort Collins, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota, has moved on to other projects. Again defying all odds, we shot an entire film in one month, in high definition, no less. And we continue to move up in the world. Today I will finally announce that “big news” I’ve been sitting on for weeks and weeks. But first, I want to take a little look back, in hopes that I can answer the question: how long can this meteoric rise last? How high will we reach before our success ultimately peaks and we are inevitably flung earthward at tremendous speed? But more importantly, what kind of a phrase is “meteoric rise?” Don’t meteors generally fall? I ask you, when is the last time you saw a meteor rise? The only reason I can think of why a meteor would possibly rise would be if it was shot out of a cannon. These questions and more will be answered.

Thanks for watching, and here’s to another good year.

You can find a high(er)-definition version of today’s installment (640×480; iPod compatible) here (46 MB).

"This American Life" podcast!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, everything seems to be going my way. I just took a break from editing the Diary of a Mad Filmmaker birthday festivities in which I finally announce that “big news” I’ve been holding back, and found out that this is the day I have been waiting for since iTunes began supporting podcasts a year ago: the fantastic radio show This American Life JUST STARTED PODCASTING.

In my opinion, TAL is the best show on radio today, but unfortunately I have never really internalized local radio schedules, even less so now that I’m in Minnesota, so I am constantly missing this fantastic program. But now I can have it delivered right to my computer every week! I can tell that I’m not alone in being excited about this, because even though as of this evening their feed contains only a fifteen-second test clip promising a new show on Monday, it is already the most popular podcast on iTunes.

You can find out more about This American Life at thisamericanlife.org, and you can subscribe to their podcast through the iTunes podcast directory or here.

The vodcast turns one!

On October 16, the Diary of a Mad Filmmaker turns one year old! In preparation for a very special vodcast (in which that “big news” will finally be revealed), take a gander at this:

two minutes with God HD (720p) | Standard | iPod

You Explode Filmmaking: Phase 1

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce the first part of a new project being undertaken by the Minnesota branch of Exploding Goldfish Films, called You Explode Filmmaking. The general idea is that I am looking for a quick movie project to pass the time up here, and I have access to some new equipment. Here’s what I’ve got:

I am now allowed access to a GRAY STUDIO containing (among other, less interesting things) a FULL SIZED SWEEP painted in light gray/white. The sweep is approximately 15 feet wide by 8 feet deep, with a 12-foot ceiling. Also in this studio are a wealth of lights. They are somewhat underpowered, but there are a lot of them. The lighting kit includes: SOFT HALOGENS, SOFT FLUORESCENTS and SPOTS of various sizes. Also in this room are a couple small, beaten-up FLATS and a few rolls of BACKGROUND PAPER. I also have access to my own CAMERA, TRIPOD and BOOM MIC. In addition, I have access to other locations around MCAD, including a MODERNISTIC COURTYARD, a museum with a CLASSICAL GREEK FACADE, and various places INSIDE/OUTSIDE MCAD.

The question, then, is what to do with these resources? I’m sure that some of you out there, hungry for access to such things, have some ideas. So I’m letting you decide.

The idea here is that I will be the director, but you all will be the producers. You tell me what to do; I carry it out and make it work. In Phase 1, I want you to give me PRODUCTION CONCEPTS. No dialog or characters yet; no sets; just a premise.

Here are the criteria you must abide by:

  • The production budget is approximately zero.
  • It must be able to be shot in a weekend
  • It must feature no more than five characters
  • All studio work (including setup) must be completed in 4 contiguous hours or less

You have one week to submit concepts. Just leave them in the comments section, and make your proposals as simple or detailed as you see fit. Please note that even if you’ve never been involved in film before, even if you’re viewing this blog for the first time, I would urge you to leave your thoughts, as the success of this project relies on your involvement it receives, and the number of new and different ideas and people getting in on the action. Note that you do not have to be registered to comment or vote.

In one week I will select the few best submissions and let you vote on them. Then, in Phase 2, you’ll start working on the script.

What Can You Do In A Day?

I received an interesting email from my aunt in Boulder about THE SHOOT OUT 24 HOUR FILMMAKING FESTIVAL. From October 20-22, teams of filmmakers, students, etc., are challenged to produce a short film (and they mean short – see below) in – of all things – a single day.

Taken from the SHOOT OUT FESTIVAL website

“You have 24 hours to make a short filmvideo happen, not 48 or 72 but a fast and furious 24 hours. We leveled the playing field with NO editing allowed. Just pick up a camera and shoot!
Proven and organized process that guarantees you will have fun!

“Please note: Film must run 7 minutes or LESS, including titles and credits. Editing must be done in camera. You must use 5 of the 11 possible mandatory locations or props. One of the items must be in the first 30 seconds. You must supply final dub on serial numbered MiniDV tape supplied.”

Wow! They practically make the movie for you!

If anyone’s interested, you can check out the official website at: www.theshootoutboulder.com/

Interesting movie concept: Death of a President

My roommate Fernando pointed out a new film which I find to be a fascinating concept: Death of a President is a fake documentary examining the events surrounding the fictional assassination of President Bush in February of 2007. I like the idea of this movie not because of its political subject, but rather because I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of fictionalized documentaries. They seem to be the closest thing to a completely fabricated reality that can be achieved on screen. Anyway, here’s a trailer:

What do you think?

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