Monday, November 25, 2013

The Contest

Last year I decided to film and enter a spec commercial for the website Poptent. If that last sentence confused the heck out of you let me explain. A spec; is a commercial that is filmed with out the companies knowledge and out of your own pocket, with the hope that you impress someone. Poptent runs contests for spec commercials that end with the companies purchasing said commercials. This contest was for SIM Mobile, a pay as you go cell phone company. Their big thing is you can remove your sim card and put it any phone (I'm not sure who owns a phone that still uses sim cards). SIM Mobile wanted a gritty urban feeling while using the tag line "More for the People". For some reason the future set battle scenes from Terminator kept popping into my head. The shooting went pretty well, I even used a few actors from the Cat Power video "Cherokee" I worked on. I called in allot of favors on this one including my old pal Moses Martinez who shot 2nd Unit. My major problem with this project were the post issues. Mainly the music and sound, I had a friend who promised three days in a row to come over and help. Six hours before the deadline to upload the video my buddy Anthony Ceglia and I created the music and sfx using Final Cut. Not everything came out the way I wanted but I was still really happy with how everything came out and I love all the acting. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Codename: Beacon

Codename: Beacon was the brain child of Chicago transplant Michael Arzola. Michael plays a psychic government assassin (condenamed Beacon) who has just been called back into service. Michael had acted previously for me in Static City. When he told me about this project and that he needed some help I agreed wholehartedly. I brought Moses Martinez along to film it and I got a small part as Michael's victim. After we filmed Michael edited it all together and put this out. As you can see it never made it out of rough cut stage. A few months into 2010 I had a falling out with Michael and he erased me as a friend from Facebook. Oh well glad I'm done working with him. Enjoy the video

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Static City

Welcome to Static City, a film that I worked on (wrote, produced,acted) from '07-'10 and unfortunately was not able to finish. I wrote this film for my best friend and fellow LACC film school alumni, Moses Martinez. We had no money what so ever and when I mean no money I mean nine hundred dollars, lol. Not much money, we were all poor. I think we got some cool stuff on camera including a giant warehouse that Moses got us for free. I love all the great acting also Mark Wood, Jo Mani, Bart Leenders, Gabe Fonseca and Andie Ximenes all did an amazing job. I also had a part in the film, the original part was that of a drug dealer who the police interrogate at an after hours spot. Then the day before we were to start shooting the main actor playing the white cop told us he couldn't do it. So Moses comes to me and says "yo if the guy playing the Mexican cop fell through I would be playing him, but it's the white cop". So I took over as the co-lead with Gabe. We had a great time making this and a shout out to Shaun Phaneuf for the great job as gaffer, 1st AD and terrorist, you were awesome!! Sorry for everybody I missed!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

More Work with Corona

So this is another in the line of Corona commercials I worked on :) This job was really fun! We actually closed a street in Long Beach down for two days. The project was shot with a stedi cam and all in one shot. At the end of the video you will notice a giant billboard with a Corona sign on it. I helped the construction crew hang that sign. Unfortunately while we were up there the scissor lift's battery died. This happened a minute before lunch, so they just left us up there for an hour, lol. It kind of sucked, and it was hot but we got down eventually and were able to eat(that's all I cared about any way). Enjoy the commercial it was a fun one to make!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fun Times with Corona

In early 2012 I worked on a series of Corona commercials. I was an art PA on the whole thing and actually got 5 union days. The shoots were fun and all over Los Angeles. The location here was the parking lot FOR the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The first few hours of the day was moving the cars into the right position for the shooting. Then we started set dressing, that means putting out all the props. During the filming I was hiding inside of a blue car and working the smoke machine that is next to the grill. If we had a real fire we would of had to have a special effects guy and a fire marshall, way too much money! This whole shot was one take and involved a glide-cam set up. The operator did an amazing job and had a really cool look, like the bad guy from the 80's flick Body Double. Please enjoy the spot as much as I enjoyed making it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cat Power, the desert and I

Have you ever been in a situation that you knew just wasn't right. In summer of 2012 I had my own end of the world experience. I was working in Lancaster (that time of the year you could just refer to it as hell) on a music video for the indie artist Cat Power. If your like most of America there is a good chance you don't know who Cat is. Though she has appeared on Letterman and dated actor Giovanni Ribisi for like 6 years she is still pretty indie. I've also discovered since that shoot that allot of her fans are a tad unbalanced, we could have a whole chicken and the egg conversation with that one.
I was hired (when I say hired I mean I worked for free) to do props, I ended up also doing art department and chauffeur for the singer. I worked for free because they didn't have enough money to pay allot of positions. It turned out they did have two thousand dollars to buy a Ford Bronco for the shoot since it was getting tough to find one to rent.
I can't get too into what happened on the shoot since I signed a confidentiality agreement. I can say we originally were shooting the video for a song off her new album called Ruin (I actually really like it) instead mid-way through filming it was changed to the song Cherokee. If you watch this video and think it doesn't make any sense that has nothing too do with the change in song, from the get go the idea never made any sense! I might have said too much already, don't want to get sued, got to love Hollywood. I can say that everyone on the crew and and all the actors were amazing and some of the coolest people I have ever met.

Check out below the art and clothing from two guys I met on set who you will recognize as zombies at the beginning of the video.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Amateur stuntman has fun with breakaway bottle

A co worker and I were bored last year so he decided to film me hitting myself over the head with some breakaway glass. We buy most of our breakaway glass from a company in the San Fernando Valley called Alfonso's Breakaway glass and it's not cheap, but it is safe. The film industry uses breakaway bottles to protect the actors from injury. Even though it's safe it can still cut you if it gets in an eye. Enjoy the video.