UMMMMM, well I didn’t know Bella was going to be in this movie, I thought it was Kristen Stewart. The movie was a little slow moving for my tastes but I sat thru it, as they introduced the adult version of Snow White played by Kristen Stewart, it reminded me of seeing Bella from Twilight. There was a part of the movie where she says the lords prayer, I was like really!?!?!? In Enchanted Middle Earth? Then the heaving of the chest seems to be her best moments but again they reminded me of scenes out of Twilight. Let’ see, she jumps off a cliff into the ocean, reminiscent of the scene where she jumps off the cliff just to see Edward again. Then there was a scene where she bit into the poison apple and guess what, she dies slow like when she writhing in pain when she was about to be dispatched and Edward had to save her. Ok I guess I’ve done enough Bella bashing but, come on now. She did her thing in Twilight only because they needed an awkward teen and she fit that perfectly. But a princess?, Snow White to be exact, not so much! Do I think that Kristen deserves a chance as an actress to grow…absolutely! But as Snow White, she does not convince me.  I think she is cute in an innocent sort of way and that’s why I admit, I liked her in Twilight, or should I say, I grew to like her.  Remember, like the Harry Potter Kids (as I like to call them), they grew into their roles.  You saw them “becoming”.

 As far as action it was cool. Loved the effects, especially the way they made Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins look like dwarfs. The troll under the bridge scene was climactic but Bella oops I meant Kristen, oops I meant Snow White soothed the savage beast with her eyes. She might have been thinking about Edward and that’s what actually turned the beast away.

 Chris Hemsworth is getting a lot of face time since Star Trek and has been pulling his weight.  I can see him having longevity as an action or fantasy hero.  He seems to own those roles well! Loved him in Thor and the Avengers if you didn’t see it, you must go now, stop reading this post and GO NOW!

Charlize Theron, ok, she’s HOT! I loved her role in Italian Job with Mark Wahlberg, and she was riveting in Devil’s Advocate as the simple wife going crazy after her husband played by Keanu Reeves, lands a great job in NYC as a hot shot lawyer with your boy Al Pacino.  Anyway, I loved her as this character Ravenna, but honestly she is so good, she could have played Snow White and had some unknown play Ravenna (the bad witch) who is seeking to stay beautiful and live forever off of the blood of the young and pure of heart Snow White…Okizay!

For me an actor should be able to pull you into the character he or she is portraying, making you connect with the character.  I remember HATING and I mean HATING Christian Bale as he played a racist guy in Shaft, that if I’d have seen him in person I’d probably would have jumped on him and beat him down myself….but that’s how good he played his role and now I love him as Batman, the DARK Knight, which by the way, to me is the best vision so far of Batman.  Anyway, I digress.  Great effects, visuals were stunning and believable.  We even get a chance to see some fairies.

If you haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman, well in my opinion, you can wait for DVD/Blue Ray but if you have nothing to do on Saturday or Sunday at Matinee time..lol, then go check it out! Oh it’s kind of dark, so not for the kiddies!

Ok so we’ve been waiting and waiting and it is finally here.  I know most of you won’t know what I’m talking about but those of us who know the crazy wacky world of Film Riot with Ryan Connolly, family and friends, know what I’m referring to.  The Long awaited short film by Triune Films, TELL, I’m not gonna spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet! But, I will say this, I’m usually not predisposed to Horror Thriller movies, not my thing.  I’m more the Star Trek, Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (Yes I’ll admit it here) type, but I loved the story.  Lead Character Taylor, played by Todd Bruno, had me sucked in from the start.  The intensity of his character was evident, yet he was vulnerable, corny sounding but true! Jenny, played by Shana Eva, gave us a nice view of a woman wanting answers from her seemingly inattentive and non communicative boy friend Taylor.  Ray played by Tim Connolly, is the friend of Taylor, who finds out the ugly truth.  Remember I can’t give it away if you haven’t seen it, so yes I’m being evasive…lol…also supporting actress Brigitte Kali Canales  who plays Terra and Adriana Pascual who plays Officer Diaz round off the cast of this well put together piece.  I will say this, Office Diaz took it like a champ and I felt her pain, just glad she was able to….oops, Oh well I guess your gonna have to watch TELL and TELL me what you think.

As a student of Film Riot and yes a student, I’ve grown to love the way they weave their stories and skits.  My favorite out the box short was LOSSES.  I felt like damn, I wanna be like them when I grow up! Check that out if you haven’t seen it but I blogged about it so hopefully you’ve been paying attention.

Let’s continue shall we, ok so Ryan originally had another person that he had mentioned before that was supposed to be doing the score at first but for whatever reason he ends with Hybrid Two a dynamic duo consisting of Daniel James and Aaron Frensley, who in my opinion are phenomenal at what they do. I must have been on their site for about an hour, easy before regaining my senses.

By the time you read this post it will be a few days after the official release date of Wednesday May 23rd, 2012.

Make sure you stop by and TELL ’em HI! Support the independent film maker.  They’ve got DVD/Blue Ray and the sound track available for pre-order.  I pre-ordered MINE!

Ok, so after waiting so so very long, it’s HERE…..AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

So of course, I’m not going to wait on any ridiculous long line to see this film when I can wait a couple of days to see it in comfort! Well for me, it was well worth it!  I’ve been a Marvel comic book fan since I was a kid and this was by far the most exciting real action adventure version of a comic book story.  Not to mention the individual stories and their characters.

Some would say it lacked enough action in the beginning, but there was a story that needed to be told and I believe they told it well. In the beginning it seems that many had an issue with Joss Whedon as director of the Avengers.  Well I would say that he did a smashing job! I was a little distraught the they killed off Agent Phil Coulson played by Clark Gregg though.  It had humor, emotion and action, plenty of action.  I actually liked Ed Norton as Bruce Banner the mild-mannered super nerd (but I wouldn’t say that to his face, he has anger management issues), but Mark Ruffalo did a good job as well!  It’s nice that Lou Ferrigno was honored by being the voice of the Hulk for the new Avengers, to me that pays homage to the pioneers who started it off!  Of course Stan Lee makes a classic appearance. If you want to get mad at something, let’s take a brief look at The Last Airbender, or maybe not… never mind it was so bad I don’t want to bring it up in my blog.  M. Night was just not the right person to do The Last Airbender, they they butchered the pronunciations of the names, which sounded horrible, I mean the original writers were there, that should not have been a liberty given to him to change the names, when the followers of the series are well accustomed to the names! Tsk Tsk Tsk and now we have to wait until someone wants to pick up the reigns again and do a brand new version. Oops sorry let’s get back to business!

Cast Breakdown

Robert Downey Jr. has totally owned the Stark/Iron Man character.  I’ve always liked Robert Downey as an actor, he seems to get into his roles and plays them with passion.  Chris Evans, aka, The Torch, does a great job in playing Captain America, Steve Rogers, but what are we gonna do when we need the Torch again….they are gonna have to make the Captain America suite flame resistant.  What can I say about new comer Chris Hemsworth, who did a smash-up job in the first climactic scenes of Star Trek!  I can’t see any one else playing Thor but him now! Great presence on camera as the demi God of Thunder, he really makes me believe Thor is well and thundering! Scarlett Johansson, I’m still undecided about her.  I mean she fights well but, I’m just not sure…to me, she needs to be like Kate Beckinsale from Underworld…I mean Kate is just a beast with the fighting skills, I’d even take Carrie-Ann Moss who played Trinity from the Matrix with her scorpion kicks.  But we’ll see how Scarlett develops! I heard another comment pertaining to Hawkeye played by Jeremy Renner, it was said that Legolas had to watch out….hmmmm I think NOT! Hawkeye is killer with his bow don’t get me wrong but he’s no match for Legolas Greenleaf an Elf of course played by Orlando Bloom plus Legolas can walk on snow and not leave a footprint…come on… but that’s just in my opinion, don’t want any hate mail about that so let’s continue shall we.  Tom Hiddleston as Loki, I love that as a bad guy he doesn’t mind really getting his hands dirty.  I mean he can fight with that damn staff can’t he.  But I think hulk made a pin cushion out of him, when he slammed his @$$ around like a doll.  Damn that’s gonna leave a mark, but to say the least, he takes a licking and keeps on ticking! Stellan Skarsgård has had a really good run so far. He’s acted in a lot of movies but most notably 2 of the Pirates of the Caribbean, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Thor, Angels and Demons and Beowulf and Grendel just to name a few.  Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, she is just right for the job! Demure & Sexy all in one package! Ok and last but not least Samuel L Jackson as SHIELDS Nick Fury, man he took some hits but he’s a fighter and of course a manipulator.  He knows what he needs to do to get the job done! I see from the photos that War Machine is expected to make an appearance!

So there you have it! All the right ingredients to make the right popping dish call the AVENGERS! If you didn’t see it, GO IMMEDIATELY! I will leave you with this….stay until the very very end so you can see how the set it up for the next movies and yes there’s gonna be MORE!

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

So while we’ve been waiting for the 5D Mk III and the we’ve been playing with the C300 and the Scarlet by Red, another player has been making a lot of noise in the background! A company named Black Magic Designs have come up with a unit that places a lot of very high end features in a very cost effective package for ALL filmmakers alike.

Please say hello to the Black Magic Cinema Camera

Now this camera impressed me with the stats out of the gate and for such a reasonable price point.  Not to say anything but it’s almost what I expected from the C300 and was hoping for some in the 5D Mk III but that’s another story!

“The Blackmagic Cinema Camera features an amazing 2.5K image sensor with a wide 13 stops of dynamic range for a true digital film camera. You get a built-in SSD recorder, popular open standard uncompressed RAW and compressed file formats, compatibility with quality EF and ZE mount lenses, LCD touchscreen monitoring plus metadata entry, all packed into an exciting hand held design!” This was taken from the site itself.  From what I can tell the industry is a buzz with this new entry into the film world.  It’s compatible with EF lenses and since I’m with Canon already that helps me out.  Although I was planning to get the PL set when I get my Scarlet.  So the only thing I see so far is the lack of more FPS, it goes to 30, there goes my dream of super slow mo’ EFX without using a plugin…but again I digress.

For the money this camera, based on the specs, should produce some very stunning images.  We’ll wait to see the explosion of tests that will undoubtedly start to trickle in as some more people get their hands on this unit.

For more information please see the Blackmagic Designs website for all the juicy tidbits!

From what I can see from the information, it’s gonna be a pretty cool unit that will offer a lot of things to filmmakers! Oh I didn’t mention that it comes with Davinci Resolve and I love the color editing features in that application.  I had to download the light just to see it work!  I’ll tell you more about that later

HAPPY SHOOTING!

Ok, so again this may or may not be appropriate for this blog but it’s my blog and I can post what I want. Now that I have that off my chest and have your attention….

I was privileged to be given an opportunity to be camera guy on a shoot for this band through Turner Studios. Now to be honest I had never heard of them before this. I googled them of course, just to get a background on who they were. Well needless to say I hadn’t heard any of the songs that they had done. But they were very very popular though. Anyway, we have a pre-production meeting with the staff at Turner and another shooter I had met that day as well. Plans were set to shoot an interview and walk to stage on Monday April 2nd!

Man as you can possibly imagine, I’m excited, about the opportunity and about the shoot. Monday couldn’t come quick enough! Finally Monday arrives and I’m going through my mind how the shoot will go and everything will be perfect. I arrived at Turner around 2:45pm and we head to get the cameras we’ll be using and then head to the equipment room where we meet up again with audio “A-Team” Gerald and Chris, to prep the gear and get whatever else we’ll need for the shoot! We are shooting with Sony EX3s. I get tagged as the main camera and Gerald jams me with time code. We get lights and some other gear and head to the Tabernacle. Once there we setup in a room for the interview, getting lighting set and then then interview began.  In walked lead singer GaryLightBody and keyboardist Tom Simpson and they were so energetic and had a great spirit about them.  They introduced themselves to EVERYONE in the room, sat down and after a few minor adjustments, started this wonderful journey through time with them.  They were great, humorous and truly HAPPY.

We were given the opportunity to do the walk to stage and the energy level was through the roof.  We got some great footage and I personally left with a feeling of exhilaration that I was blessed with an opportunity to be a part of this.  I was thankful and put out there that I need more of this! 🙂

Anyway if you don’t know about Snow Patrol check them out here! Special treat for all you music enthusiasts.  They are also distributing their album on Vinyl – Yes vinyl is still relevant in the music world!

That’s all for now folks!

Ok, so I know I haven’t written in a while. Lots of things happening, good things, growing and learning! So enough of that…

Canon finally announces the Canon EOS 5D Mk III! How many years ago now did the famous “Reverie”, The first 1080p short film photographed with the Canon EOS 5D MKII by Vincent LaForet was released to the world, changing thing forever. Since then, there have been many a films made and continue to be made by this wonderful camera. Some would venture to say that the arrival of this camera was more anticipated than the Cinema Camera Canon released late last year. Don’t get me wrong now, I think Canon’s got it! The Lenses, the ability to hit low light situations with ease. Like I heard another filmmaker say, I know what “I” want and I’m gunning for the Scarlett unless a shift in the space time continuum makes my reality something completely different. But anyway, back to the Mk III.

We’ve all seen how beautiful the images are from this full frame camera, from stills to captivating movies. It’s been boasted that the 5D Mk II was seen on the set of Iron Man and of course Shane Hurlbet’s Act of Valor I believe was shot with that with Letus’ new gear also “House” DP Gale Tattersall, just to name a few. Films that have been showing in a lot of the film festivals have been filmed by this camera! To say that this is a fluke is crazy. The camera takes wonderfully astounding images. But you can have a wonderfully astounding image and have a bad story and it all will suck then.

I’m not going to get into the specifics of this camera here, seeing that you guys can go to Canon’s website and find out the juicy details yourself.  But I already know that the chosen few that will their hands on the camera, will be posting some incredible footage.  Again to make this clear, I myself shoot with the Canon T2i, and I’ve loved the way it shoots, do I know about the issues, YES but through the trail and errors of others I’ve learned to not make them an issue.  Also I’ve installed the Magic Lantern Firmware update and now I have a great movie making machine.  I’ve never met Koo (nofilmschool.com) but I’d love to, because he has inspired me to stick to what I believe in.  I’ve been studying about the Red for a while as well and I know, KNOW KNOW that it is what I want to shoot with!  I’m excited about getting it in my hands and I’m excited about shooting my movies with it! Sorry I’ve digressed.  Check out the Canon 5D Mark III, would love to get some feedback regarding it.  I actually just borrowed a 5D MII and learning my way around it.  Man it’s heavy…..lol

Enjoy

Michael “The DP”

There are not too many times that I’m NOT inspired to write or be creative. But then there are also times when the creativity keeps flowing like a river with no end in site, and we as artists love when we are able to stay creative. I was asked by a few friends and peers of what I thought about state of the industry and what music has become today. Hmmmm Great question but I don’t think there is an easy answer. I believe things evolve as they need to because of the “times” we are in. Example you say? Ok, well how about back in the war times when all the men went to war and the women were left to tend the homes and finally lend helping hand by gathering metals for the factories to make more artillery and so on and what spawned from that, an age of music that catered to keeping the masses upbeat in the face of what was going on in the war. Later you had the “hippie”s who didn’t want to fight but make love and be easy. Music emerged from that time as well out of necessity. And times were good, as far as creativity goes. You had good music and even those that rose above the clammer to become what we call today ICONS and or legends such as Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, just to name a couple.

Unfortunately that is the same now. We’ve gotten to an age where the technology is allowing more of us to be creative and gives us the ability to put it out to the world via the internet. Now that being said, it doesn’t mean that everything that is out there is good! I think we’ve lost ourselves in the technology. There is now a fusion if you will of human and machine, cyborg musicians/artists. There is a cookie cutter standard now in the business, I sometimes don’t know to whom I’m listening to on the radio because everything and everyone sounds the same. Where is the art in that? As an artist myself, I remember going to a concert to watch Bone Thugs In Harmony and at that time I never really listend to them at all. After a few mediocre opening acts they come out and I must say, they gave a SHOW. Something for me to hold in my memory for as long as I live. it was incredible and although I may not have understood everything their fast talking rhythms spewed out, I enjoyed their show.

For me, it’s not good enough to have a good recording any more. It’s time to get back to the roots of where this started. I think a lot of the artists of today have lost touch with that. You listen to a record then hear them live and your are like WTBH. But we’ve gotten so use to that that when people go flat or even sharp it’s totally unacceptable, machines are making things sound so PERFECT, we’ve lost the human element. It’s perfect PITCH or nothing.

I had a good friend of mine send me this film regarding the “Industry” and not just music but visual arts too. I didn’t know what to expect but I ended up watching the whole thing. I suggest you do the same and draw your own conclusions about the industry. I strive for what I strive for because of what I know I want to be and see. In order to see what you want to see you have to create that yourself. You can’t expect that others are going to do it for you. Affirmations of being the change you want to see comes to mind and I am committing myself to live that! We are in a great time where a lot of playing fields are now leveled because of technology. That does not mean that EVERYONE should be an artist, but every one CAN be creative in his or her way. Find what your passion is and go forward with it. Passion knows no end, it doesn’t know what it is to be lazy or complacent.

I hope you get from this what I got from it, which is a renewed faith in what I do and what I pursue to accomplish. I want to feel like I’ve added something to this art in me just being ME!

ENJOY

(if you click on the link to watch it please support the filmmakers by rating this film on their IMDB site.  I’ll post it here as well) And as always support independent artists!

What do you know about the Tuskegee Airmen? Honestly I don’t know too much. I’ve heard rumors and small stories about them but never the whole truth.  It’s almost like the X-files.  That part of history seems shrouded in mystery and doubt.  Well I ran across this little tidbit of information that I hope you will find interesting.

In an appearance on The Daily Show, George Lucas said that he had trouble getting funding for his new movie, “Red Tails,” because of its black cast.

“This has been held up for release since 1942 since it was shot, I’ve been trying to get released ever since,” Lucas quipped to Jon Stewart. “It’s because it’s an all-black movie. There’s no major white roles in it at all…I showed it to all of them and they said no. We don’t know how to market a movie like this.”

“Red Tails,” which stars Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Terrence Howard, is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, the group of pioneering black pilots who fought in the United States’ segregated armed forces during World War II. The movie is directed by Anthony Hemingway, the rare black director getting a chance to direct a big-budget feature.

Last week, Lucas told USA Today that he was worried that if Red Tails was a failure, it could have negative repercussions for black filmmakers. “I realize that by accident I’ve now put the black film community at risk [with Red Tails, whose $58 million budget far exceeds typical all-black productions],” he said. “I’m saying, if this doesn’t work, there’s a good chance you’ll stay where you are for quite a while. It’ll be harder for you guys to break out of that [lower-budget] mold. But if I can break through with this movie, then hopefully there will be someone else out there saying let’s make a prequel and sequel, and soon you have more Tyler Perrys out there.”

CLICK LINK TO SEE INTERVIEW – the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-george-lucas

Now, I’m not going to say you have to see the movie just to support black actors, I want to say go see the movie because it’s a part of our history that has not been shown as it should be.  Those were true role models and heroes.  In the interview you hear George Lucas say that even Tyler Perry moves are considered in the low budget realm.  I know most would and probably have taken offense to that but as far as I’m concerned, it’s FACT! Why can’t we have movies like that from our black filmmakers? Why do we have to always be depicted in the roles we see in most of those films? Why can’t we do a “Avatar” or better yet a new generation “Huxtables”? It’s beyond me.  Well this post was not meant to discredit or defame anyone.  These are just thoughts.  My thoughts.  As I filmmaker our job is to bring great stories to life…not just a great looking film but a film with substance.  Lucas said, he thought it was a great story and he spent time with the men that made it all happen.  He started with about 40 of them and it has now dwindled to less than 10.  It’s a shame those that didn’t make it won’t be able to see how wonderful the film will be.

Well, I’ll be going out to see the movie, not just to support it but also to see a little bit into our history.

Welcoming 2012

Posted: December 31, 2011 in News

Wow, I can’t believe how fast this year flew by. It’s almost as if time is moving faster. Does this mean we have less time to do what we have to do or does it mean we are doing so much that time is passing by quickly. Maybe it’s a combination of both. Whatever it is, 2012 is upon us!

A recap of all the accomplishments and milestones would take me too long, but I may just highlight a few.

Emancipated from my 9 to 5 12/31/10
First official radio interview with the legendary Dianne Broomfield of WDGP Radio which caters to independent artists of all genres
2nd Radio interview with Star Jones on the LMB Network on WBOL-AM
Worked with the Artist Shop to bring Videography 101 to the youth
“Where I’m Going…” Received Independent Music Award’s R&B Album of the Year for 2011
Featured artist at Mark Squared Music Unboxed Series
“Running” first film I was on as gaffer and 2nd camera unit, won Atlanta and made it to nationals
Quarters 2nd film I was camera operator on, with writer/directors Leo Ricciardi and Maria Layus
Produced music for the hit stage play The Mistress Club written and directed by Tiffany Roberts of Simply Tiffany Soul
Worked on a short film called Check For Me by  writer/director Richard Castro
DP’d on a short film called Currency by writer/director/filmmaker Daniel Ransom
Co-produce the Bill Butler Jammin Show with legendary Skater Bill Butler, executively produced by Francis Palacios
Was Creative Director for WSEX Radio Show by Mr. Dean
Assistant camera on independent artist Neysa’s video for S.O.L.O. Directed by Leo Ricciardi and Maria Layus
DP’d, directed music video for independent recording artist LaFaye
DP’d music video for independent recording artist ItsRedge directed by Dave Evans
Assistant camera on independent artist Neysa’s music video Big Stupid Liar
Featured artist for Samantha Cardwell’s, Notes of Inspiration
DP’d on independent country singer Shane Lee’s first official music video, written and directed by Shane Lee
Performed several times on the stages of The Underground Atlanta(main stage and alley stage)
Started writing my own script for a short to come out next year -CodeName:Nightfall
Shot and edited the teaser trailer for one of the characters of CodeName:Nightfall

Wow as I sit and reminisce about all this, I am truly blessed to have been able to do so many things.  Often times we tend to accentuate the negative and what we don’t have and so on, instead of taking a little time to be thankful for the things we do have and have accomplished! I say that to myself first because there are times I fall victim to that same cycle!

Resolutions and new leaves are for TVs and Trees (you’ll get that later) I’m so not into that, but my resolve is strong in continuing to bring integrity to a corrupt and crazy industry, feel good music to patiently waiting listeners and more exciting images to the world of film. Yes, you can change the world…One Step At A Time! So walk your walk and as Jay White would assuredly say – TAP INTO YOUR DESTINY! I am not in the same place I was last year and next year those steps will be even greater!

To those I know and to those I don’t know I sincerely wish for you all a prosperous new year and may all your endeavors bring you what you want most in life! Remember the golden rule applies to everyone and everything across religious boundaries and social classes and different ethnic backgrounds. Happiness and love is the greatest of these for me!

Ok, so I know some of you guys are wondering what ever happened to the SOLO video project, our editors are currently away in Venezuela, their jobs take them abroad. So it’s coming!

With that said, we shot a video for a new song called “Big Stupid Liar” off of independent artist, Neysa’s upcoming album called “Out The Box”‘ which will be a diverse musical journey! With the help Mark SQuared, who you should remember from a previous post and some unexpected talent replacements, we were able to have a great shoot and had a lot of fun and pull off Neysa’s vision!

Another spectacular thing was I got to work with my son Jaysen Jae B Stewart of WEARETHEPPL, who was D.o.P. or DP of this project. He, with the aid of the 1st and 2nd AD Dave Evans and DreQuan Medallion, respectively, was able to keep things together and get the shots needed! There was a point where we actually shot a scene both hand held together at the same time!

Now on to the talent, we had some last minute changes and aspiring actress and model Mona mia and Nicole Goolsby and then we have Erika Allen and Katie Aikins and of course NEYSA

Here is a first look behind the scenes of “Big Stupid Liar”|

More to come…