Friday, October 29, 2010

The Horror...The Horror...

"It comes with very little plan or order, and if you are sometimes reminded of a hunting dog with a substandard nose casting back and forth and following any trace of interesting scent it happens to come across, that is fine with me.

But it's not a hunt. It's a dance. And sometimes they turn off the lights in this ballroom.

But we'll dance anyway, you and I. Even in the dark. Especially in the dark.

May I have the pleasure?" - Stephen King

Contemporary horror films (when ORIGINAL horror films actually do come out) have completely missed the target as of late. I understand the concepts of sex and death, but there's a way to marry these two concepts that doesn't turn the film into a collage of soft porn (hard core in some cases). Also, it seems that women have been subjected to nothing more than set pieces...waiting to be mutilated and, well, fucked. It's hard (not really) to judge the "new" horror films because they're either sequels or American remakes of overseas films. Is there not an original horror filmmaker left? I'd like to think there is. I'd settle for some adaptations right about now. Poe and King seem to be favorites of the industry (well, not at the moment, but at one time they were). Maybe the best of the horror film days are behind us. I like to think there's hope though.

I'd recommend Stephen King's "Danse Macabre" to all the horror aficionados out there. It's a great book that details the best the horror genre has to offer from comics and novels to films and radio broadcasts. The master storyteller even includes a few chilling lines of his own in the mix.

As an aside, AMC has a new series premiering on Sunday, "Walking Dead." I'm excited. Hopefully there won't be any running zombies. I AM NOT A FAN OF RUNNING ZOMBIES! The fact that something that's been in the ground for several decades, years, days (seconds :) ), can get up and run down living flesh with a 4.4 40 yard dash (yeah, the speed of the undead is incredible) kills it for me every time. I like the slow zombie. Slow and unstoppable. Chilling.

Check out the website (link posted below) and be sure to tune in Sunday night at 10 for the feast of flesh.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Undeveloped Adult

"We have tears in our eyes
As we wave our goodbyes,
We so loved being with you, we three.
So do please now and then
Come and see us again,
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.

"All you do is to look
At a page in this book
Because that’s where we always will be.
No book ever ends
When it’s full of your friends
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me."

-Roald Dahl

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Five Rules From Jim Jarmusch

Rule #1: There are no rules. There are as many ways to make a film as there are potential filmmakers. It’s an open form. Anyway, I would personally never presume to tell anyone else what to do or how to do anything. To me that’s like telling someone else what their religious beliefs should be. Fuck that. That’s against my personal philosophy—more of a code than a set of “rules.” Therefore, disregard the “rules” you are presently reading, and instead consider them to be merely notes to myself. One should make one’s own “notes” because there is no one way to do anything. If anyone tells you there is only one way, their way, get as far away from them as possible, both physically and philosophically.

Rule #2: Don’t let the fuckers get ya. They can either help you, or not help you, but they can’t stop you. People who finance films, distribute films, promote films and exhibit films are not filmmakers. They are not interested in letting filmmakers define and dictate the way they do their business, so filmmakers should have no interest in allowing them to dictate the way a film is made. Carry a gun if necessary.

Also, avoid sycophants at all costs. There are always people around who only want to be involved in filmmaking to get rich, get famous, or get laid. Generally, they know as much about filmmaking as George W. Bush knows about hand-to-hand combat.

Rule #3: The production is there to serve the film. The film is not there to serve the production. Unfortunately, in the world of filmmaking this is almost universally backwards. The film is not being made to serve the budget, the schedule, or the resumes of those involved. Filmmakers who don’t understand this should be hung from their ankles and asked why the sky appears to be upside down.

Rule #4: Filmmaking is a collaborative process. You get the chance to work with others whose minds and ideas may be stronger than your own. Make sure they remain focused on their own function and not someone else’s job, or you’ll have a big mess. But treat all collaborators as equals and with respect. A production assistant who is holding back traffic so the crew can get a shot is no less important than the actors in the scene, the director of photography, the production designer or the director. Hierarchy is for those whose egos are inflated or out of control, or for people in the military. Those with whom you choose to collaborate, if you make good choices, can elevate the quality and content of your film to a much higher plane than any one mind could imagine on its own. If you don’t want to work with other people, go paint a painting or write a book. (And if you want to be a fucking dictator, I guess these days you just have to go into politics...).

Rule #5: Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.” MM

Wise words from a Great American Filmmaker.

Antonio Di Robinson

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Choice

Life is about making a choice..."a choice of who you wanna be before the worms get you and your soul fly's away."

-Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Feature Film Project

Good day guys and ghouls. I realize it's been awhile since I myself have blogged about anything pertaining to my life. I've been writing my first screenplay for my first feature length film. I'm proud to say that after months of agonizing (and at times it became excruciatingly difficult...try writing cold turkey if you don't believe me) over the script, I'm finally finished. Well, sort of. I've done the necessary revisions and need to apply them to the actual script, but the hard part (as it pertains to the writing anyways) is finished. THANK GOD!

The working title is "Her Gates of Death." Not going to go into much detail, but the film, at its foundation, is about the subconscious evil in both men and women as it pertains to relationships.

As this will be my first feature film, I realize the hardships that lie ahead, but I welcome them with open arms. It's been a few months since I've shot anything meaningful (or anything at all for that matter) so the opportunity to step behind the camera once again is one that I revel in. LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL I SAY!

I'll be shooting the film in Charleston, SC. It's been awhile since I've been down in the Holy City so the opportunity to get back is one that I'm excited about as well. I wrote the script from memory of the various locations I've visited in Charleston. My visual memory is a lot sharper than I knew. Everything was pretty clear in my mind and I only stumbled once or twice in terms of visualizing locations.

Before shooting is to commence there are a few (more than a few really) tasks that I'll need to get to: Casting, location scouting, securing locations, crew, equipment. All necessities in making one's film a reality. I have a few contacts so I'll be hitting up a few of them, but I'll be relying heavily on myself with most of the things I need to come by. I think for my first feature film it's better to rely more on myself for the experience if nothing else. I'm not going to be getting crazy though. I do KNOW I'll need help. Hopefully I don't run into to much strife when it comes to the locations I need. That's my biggest worry right now.

I have received some helpful advice from a friend (Jesse Berger) of mine who has a film debuting at this year's Charleston International Film Festival. If you would like to keep tabs on the film "Republic of Pete" (if I'm not mistaken, he'll be posting a trailer soon), his blog is:

I'll try to keep you posted on the coming events and struggles in shooting the film. Until then, Que Sera Sera.

Antonio Di Robinson

P.S. - I'll blog about the film's budget as time progresses.