Posts Tagged 'Trailer: The Movie'

Trailer: The Movie – the Trailer

Finally, and at long last…

Here is the first trailer for “Trailer: The Movie.” The temporary score is “Crawl,” by Kings of Leon. Please send comments and let us know what you think of it.

I put it together over the last week or so, choosing the one style of trailer we didn’t exploit in the film itself – the all-music trailer. Adam provided creative input and general notes during the process.

For those who don’t know, the film has been submitted to numerous film festivals. As of now, we’ve not heard back one way or another. We’re hopeful, while also realizing that a 45 minute “short” might not work with some festivals’ programs.

Find out more about the film, including updates about film festivals, bios, and production diaries at


Hold For Edit

Sound Editing: not for the faint of heart

sound editing: not for the faint of heart

Weekends are full these days. There’s nothing like spending at least 20 hours Friday through Sunday editing a movie. And that’s a slow weekend. I get antsy sometimes. In the pasty, I’ve been the one handling the controls, but my co-director Adam is more of a technical guru than I am, so he’s running the show. My job is saying this shot/that shot, taking notes for timecodes, keeping track of anything good for an outtake reel, and keeping track of the overall tone and pace of it. The two of us go through the footage together. I’m more outspoken, so I usually say what take to use, and then he’ll question if it’s a bad one and we’ll discuss. We both have definite skills, and the nice thing is that they are mostly separate, but there is an overlap, so we can at least understand where the other person is coming from. This is important, because when you’re cooped up in a room for 10 hours a day, your head can start spinning. There’s just too much to take in, too many tiny decisions to make. So it’s nice that when my brain is fried, I can get up, refill our waters, pace the room, and let him pick up the slack. Likewise, sometimes his eyes glaze over from cutting together too many tiny fragments to make a scene, and I can come in and say, “Go here, get this piece, trim that,” blah blah blah.

It’s a good partnership. We don’t argue much and when we do, we’re both so insensitive toward the other person, it’s hard to take it personally (It might also be helpful that we usually mock each other with a British dialect. The insult sounds meaner [just because] but it stings less because it’s actually just your friend joking around).

Right now, we’re pretty much done with 2 of our 3 “trailers within the movie” for our film, “Trailer: The Movie.” This weekend, we’ve been working on the drug trailer, called “Huff,” about a guy whose childhood addiction to marker-sniffing acts as a gateway to cocaine and heroine. Any time you make a movie, there is the worry that what you’ve written on the page won’t translate to anything good on the shooting day. Or that the performances given on the shooting day won’t mesh together in the editing room, won’t connect like your mind’s eye was sure they would. there are so many ways to screw up a movie, it’s ridiculous. So, it’s been very rewarding to find that the footage is good, the performances are spot on, and the way it all fits together is genuinely funny (since it’s a comedy). We’ve been working on this thing for about 9 months now, and right now is the labor. Only, it’ll be another month of labor before the baby comes out. Okay, enough analogizing, the thing is is this can be an overwhelming commitment sometimes, and it is hard damn work. But there is no better feeling than finishing a large section – after so many tweaks and cuts and refinements – and find that you’ve really got something here. And I’m telling you, we’ve really got something here.

List of Things

NOTE: If your eyes venture to the right, you will see that I am now on Twitter. It’s true.

Thing 1 – The website for “Trailer: The Movie” is up and running (go here!!! Whoops, no HERE), and the site is daily being improved by the lovely and talented Allie Yeary. Check out the posters for the movies within the movie and 4 production diaries (more on their way). There’s even a script sample on the site (I take no responsibility for any spelling/grammar errors, b/c Adam wrote the script as well.)


Thing 2 – Speaking of the movie, Adam and I are 1) editing ourselves sick this weekend. It’s the first time we’ve edited on Adobe Premiere, and before anyone asks why we aren’t using another (potentially better) program, you must ask Adam who declares that Adobe is great. Nonetheless, it can be tricky learning a new and intensely complex program while trying to keep a grasp on how you are going to utilize it for your own specific needs. We’ll see in a month or so how it went.


Thing 3 – Last thing about the movie. Our hospital fell through, so if anyone has any hospitals they know of who are willing to let people film there, please let us know. It’s getting down to the wire, and we’re getting nervous. We’ve been looking since (no kidding) March and had our confirmed hospital bail on us recently. Buncha jerks.


Thing 4 – Spring and Summer Music!!! If you haven’t picked up the new Decemberists’ album, “The Hazards of Love,” (written about in a previous blog) do yourself a favor and get it. Also, recently bought new albums by Green Day (21st Century Breakdown) and Eminem (Relapse). Green days’ is exactly the CD you want for a mid-80’s summer day. It’s 70 minutes of great music, not quite as brilliant as “American Idiot,” but pretty damn close, and just as fun (my favorites are the title track; “Horseshoes and Handgrenades” and “21 Guns”) Eminem… what to say? The CD shouldn’t be called “Relapse,” but “New Rock Bottom” because it’s pretty dreadful. he spends 3/4 of the album rapping about how he can rap about anything that when he finally starts rapping about something, you don’t really care. Also, not for the squeamish. On par with the more graphic sections of prose from “American Psycho.” (That said, the song “Deja Vu” is totally brilliant. Download it and save your money.)


Great summer meal 

Great summer meal

Thing 5 – Fajitas!!! Nothing says summer like having friends over for fajitas, which is what Adam and I did tonight. Fast food gets expensive so instead, we made chicken and fish, peppers, onions, beans, rice, the whole nine yards, and it was fan-damn-tastic! Add some beers and the TV show “Spaced,” and you’ve got yourself one hell of a night.


Also, no matter what Adam tells you, we’re just friends.


Thing 6 – Running. Running about 4 times a week now, usually for 45 minutes or so, added some weights to the front end of the running, and boy am I feeling great! My mind is clearer, I feel healthier, more alive. I know a lot of people shy away from it because it seems like work and sweat and ick, but I am telling you, so for a 10 minute jog, take the iPod, turn up some Green Day or your favorite weekly podcast. When you get back, you will feel revived. You may be worn out, and that’s a good thing, but notice how much clearer your mind is. 



That's what we call "Mad Ups" 

That’s what we call “Mad Ups”

Thing 7 – NBA Playoffs. Conference Finals time and I am sick of seeing every advertisement aching for a Lebron vs Kobe Finals matchup. I find it entirely disrespectful to the other teams who’ve worked just as hard to get here and who (both series’ being tied at 1-1) could easily win, creating an equally compelling finals of Orlando and Denver. All four games have been intense and great watching so far. And of course, there’s always baseball. Oh, baseball, why are you so watchable? Don’t you know I have other things to do? Oh well, I’ll get back to them after the bottom of the inning (No I won’t).

NOTE: Orlando leads the Eastern Conference Finals 2-1


Thing 8 – It seems that everyone I know is either getting married, or married and having kids. I understand wanting to settle down, but dammit, who am I supposed to hang out with? If you all wouldn’t mind terribly, STOP. Marriage is acceptable, but “Having Kids” has officially been ejected from the game (I’m looking at you Royce, you smug baby-making machine). If you wish, I will pretend to be your child for a month or so, after which I guarantee you will wait at least 10 years before conceiving. That is all I have to say on the matter. Enough is enough, really. Wait for me to catch up a little for goodness’ sake. That said, I’m looking forward to next weekend, when Nathan Potter ties the knot. Should be a great time.


Thing 9 – Just remembered: American Idol. I totally watched it. Adam Lambert was off the hook, maybe the best singer I’ve ever seen on there. I’m glad he didn’t win (as I noted in my twitter post. Aw dag!) because a) we know he’s going to get a record deal, b) this way he’ll have more creative control (hopefully) and c) now he doesn’t have to sing that POS After School Special song Kara DioGuardi co-wrote for the winner’s album. Come on! That said, will I watch next year? Doubtful (Totally).


Thing 10 – Summer Movies – Wolverine sucked. It’s the worst comic book movie to date, and that includes “Daredevil,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and the underrated “Spiderman 3.” (Note: I’ve seen only about 5 minutes of “Catwoman,” and it gives Wolverine a run for its money. Too close to call) “Star Trek,” on the other hand, is amazing. Great story, characters, effects. A great summer movie in every way. And directly in between the two falls “Terminator: Salvation.” Some bad dialogue aside, this movie is better than its most recent predecessor and fits well in the Terminator canon. The Terminators themselves are horrifyingly difficult to kill, and I hate to say it but McG directed this movie really well. Really good action movie. With so many titles coming out, every weekend is overwhelming. I’ll see most of them but the ones I’m REALLY looking forward to are: Pixar’s UP, the new HARRY POTTER…, Judd Apatow’s FUNNY PEOPLE, and Quentin Tarantino’s INGLORIOUS BASTERDS


Thing 11 – As for books and reading and the like, I am going to be spending much of the summer with The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Lawrence Stern. I’m also making my way through the comicbook series Preacher by Garth Ennis. Graphic, but enjoyable. Happy Summer everyone!

Worst-Ever Case of the Mondays

This weekend, we began shooting “Trailer: The Movie” and we couldn’t be happier. Regardless of our cinematographer bailing on us (10 hours before we started filming: not professional). Regardless of the cops showing up (After speaking to him, Officer Stone told me: Well, you’re not bothering me any. Carry on.) Regardless the rain on Saturday. Regardless the issues with Adobe Premiere. We spent 23 of the 48 hours on set, I got less than 10 hours total sleep, and I can’t remember being happier. There was a moment, just before we started, when all the extras and crew were gathered around Adam and I (we’re co-directing), all eyes on us, everyone waiting to be told where to go, what to do. Surreal doesn’t begin to describe it. We filmed an m-f’ing RIOT on Saturday. We blocked off a city street. We staged 2 different car-chases. We used real guns and fake blood. We shot a fight scene using a defibrilator. The actors were brilliant, the crew was on top of every detail, the footage looks great. And from what I can tell, everyone had a great time. This was our Action Weekend, so most of the scenes were purely physical: lots of running, fighting, driving, shooting. Lots of guns. Lots of fake blood (maple syrup + chocolate syrup + red food coloring = badass). The extras did a really fine job, and they gave a great texture to everything. It didn’t look polished, it looked messy and accidental and perfect. It’s hard to describe the vibe on the set. It wasn’t strictly serious, but no one really goofed off or screwed around. It had a nice balance of everything. there were times when we’d be really serious and no one really talked between takes. Then, other times, usually involving the fake blood, we could barely keep going we were laughing so hard. We stuck to our schedule very well, even got a few shots done from next weekend, but one of the things I’m most proud of is that we weren’t too rigid. We took our time, got the footage we wanted and then moved on. Most of all, with so many action scenes, you want variation. So the second part of Saturday and much of Sunday was shooting action scenes on the fly. See a location, block a fight or a gun shot, move on. We had the freedom to be inspired by the location and as a result, we got unique and awesome shots.



The Official Logo for 1 of 3 films within our film

The Official Logo for 1 of 3 films within our film

There’s only one bad part to the whole thing: coming back. Adam and I went to a late dinner Sunday night. Our favorite location and the place much of the script was shaped and discussed: IHOP – where dreams come true. We were talking to our waitress and we ran down how many hours we’d spent shooting. “That sounds awful,” she said. But it wasn’t. Maybe it took explaining to her for us to realize it, but I would so much rather spend 23 hours making a film than 10 hours working anywhere else. It was painful to go back to work today. It itched all over and we both called each other complaining. How do you come back from that? It was impossible to feel motivated. I worked my hours, did my job well, but what a waste it felt. All I could think about was shooting. It’s much different than coming back to work after vacation. You wind down from vacation. It still sucks, but the very idea of vacation has a built-in return to something else. This was different. This was more powerful than vacation. This was purpose, that loaded and overused word. And today wasn’t a let-down, it was a fall from grace. It was a crash.


For now, I’ll have to get through a week of my job in order to go to work (let’s use Definition #7 that the dictionary provides: everything needed, desired, or expected). All I want to do is set up a shot, block a scene, direct actors, discuss the lighting and set design. Readers, I’m in love.

Trailer: The Movie

preliminary poster for upcoming movie

preliminary poster for upcoming movie

Here is the teaser poster for a movie that I have co-written and am working on. The idea is deceptively simple. 2 actors, one an up-and-coming new star, the other a quickly fading has-been. The film chronicles their competition through 9 films, over the course of 3 yrs or so. The trailers for all 9 fake movies (4 from both actors plus a bonus trailer) comprise the body of the film, and there are interviews with the actors, directors, producers, agents, etc. in between each trailer, giving the details of the story as it unfolds. We follow them through thrillers, romantic comedies, action movies, art-house types, and Oscar-bait pictures.


The film was written by myself and Adam Rebottaro, and we are currently assembling a production team (it’s sortof a big project), after which we’ll cast, and shoot. How will it turn out, and will it turn out at all? Well, who can know these things? How many millions of good ideas never got off the ground? How many terrible ideas did? (Let’s ask the writers of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,”  they should have a perspective on that) Point is there is no success or failure without first doing. That’s the important thing, I think. I won’t know it’s not possible until I find out it’s not possible. I’ll be honest, too. I had no idea a week ago that any of this was even really plausible to try. But why not? Who says? If we fall, we fall, but we fall for a good joke. A lot of them, too.

And it is funny. It’s a damn funny script. It has potential. I often think of the line from “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story,” in which the makers of the adaptation of the novel and film within the film are discussing if the project is even worth continuing:

Production Crew: Why do we want to spend a year of our lives making this movie?

Director: Because it’s funny.

Production Crew: Is that all?

Director: Is that not enough?

I’ve always found a lot of comfort and truth in that little exchange. I don’t know why I’m talking about comfort and truth right now, though. Really, I was just trying to show off the poster.  We’re on Facebook, we’ve got an email – – we’re meeting with people this weekend. Things are clipping right along. Who knows where all this might lead?

It Has Come to This

June 2019
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