Full disclosure: I, in no way, intend on using this site to post movie reviews. There are simply too many sites out there already giving their half-formed, barely legible opinions and I don’t want Less Talking, More Shooting to stray from its initial goal. That being said, I will occasionally mention films that I think warrant some attention.
This weekend I saw on the only screen it is currently being shown (one of the advantages to living in New York City). It is the story of a girl moving back into her mother’s TriBeCa loft after graduating from college. It has a unique comedic voice and sparse, ambling narrative. It is directed by, and stars, Lena Dunham, a 24-year old filmmaker who is currently developing a . One of the things worth noting about Tiny Furniture is that it was shot entirely on a HDSLR camera.
Despite my , and this month’s video, I don’t work exclusively in Super 8 film. A few months back I picked up a and most of the videos you’ll see on this site will be shot on that. If you’re unfamiliar with the world of filmmaking and cinematography, there has been a great deal of attention lately on the use of consumer DSLR cameras for video-related purposes. There are , about them, and even who work almost exclusively with them. These cameras have been used on commercial, TV and music video shoots, but aside from popping up in some Second Units, not many features have been shot with them. Tiny Furniture is by no means the first, but it is the first film shot on an HDSLR that has received a great deal of attention. In terms of cinematography, the results are impressive, but show some limits.
Just a quick report on the progress I’m making with this month’s video. At this point, I have the footage and the music selected, so now it’s just time to put it together. Beginning the editing process has been interesting-I haven’t looked at the footage since I had it processed several months ago. There are some great shots of the band and other attendees, and also some choices that won’t be making the final cut.
It sometimes seems as though my generation’s greatest cultural product is nostalgia. It can be seen in the 80s-referencing fashion trends, the blippy synth-drenched pop music and the faux-vintage, Hipstamatic photos that everyone with an iPhone seems to upload to Facebook. But nostalgia for the sake of nostalgia is one of the most destructive opponents to creativity.
As I mentioned in my “First Thoughts” post, I had a few ideas regarding the type of song I wanted to use in November’s video. Over the last year or so, there has been a great influx of lo-fi, experimental music being made in bedrooms throughout the world. It goes without saying that this has been assisted by the ubiquity of music production technology, as well as the ability to self-distribute over the Internet. Their ability to conjure nostalgic images make them the perfect accompaniment to my Super 8 footage of the Jazz Age party.
Jamie Harley is a video artist that works with found footage and retro visuals set to lo-fi music. This footage is further manipulated and edited to interesting results. One of his earlier works is this video for Memory Tapes’ Bicycle:
Harley’s work is reminiscent of the pastiche work of . See another example after the jump.
The first month in and I’m already bending the rules. For my first film, instead of shooting something new, I am going to edit some old footage that has been sitting around. Back in September of last year (2009 if you’re reading this in the future), I attended a Jazz Age lawn party on Governor’s Island.
“I can’t really envision a time when I’m not shooting something.”
While applying to grad school, I wrote a personal essay about my habit of seeing life as a film. I call interesting views “good shots”, I regard people as characters and search for the connections and meanings within their actions, and I insist on speaking in movie quotes. It’s gotten to the point where if you haven’t memorized the script to Mean Streets, you probably won’t have any idea what I’m talking about in conversation. This is what Marty means in that quote above. But unlike Scorsese, I have spent way too much time figuratively “shooting” then actually doing what a filmmaker does-you know, make films.
Enter Less Talking, More Shooting. In order to remedy this lack of output, I have decided to force myself to make one film a month for the next year. The subject matter, style and format can be anything, so long as I shoot something. The only rule I have posed is that by the last day of each month, I have a new video . I have yet to figure out the consequences/punishments I should instill upon myself if I miss the deadline (feel free to leave suggestions in the comments). I’m sure it won’t be easy, and the budget for each will likely hover somewhere around the $0-$50 range, but good things have come from less.
Along the way, I will be posting my ideas and notes on this page. And yes, I realize the irony in publishing essays on a blog called “Less Talking.” I hope for this to become a production diary of sorts, a place where I can work out ideas, get feedback and insight and be able to exhibit the filmmaking process as it develops. Titles of posts will be prefaced with the month to which they relate. I will also occasionally link to other videos and articles that I find of interest. These will be headed with the “Inspiration” title.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you continue to follow me over the next year. Feel free to leave feedback, suggestions, hateful comments after each post. I’m always open for collaboration and new ideas. And don’t forget to become a “fan” on and follow me on .