Friday, May 6, 2016
When I drew pictures throughout the years, I realized as I got older that it is perfectly OK to throw away sketches I didn't like. People say it's good to keep old work so that you can gain some perspective, but if the perspective is simply; "Yeah, OK, I got better. I get it," then there is no need to keep everything.
I feel the same way about this blog. I used this as a platform to talk about my emotions sometimes. I would also talk about places I went. I tried stories and poetry. I never tried to use this as a means to make money.
For some reason, people look at it. Every week, I get views from around the world, and I am not sure why.
Right now, I want to keep my emotions close to my chest. I do not want very many people to know about my private life. I want to focus more on the future.
I want to write things that spark a discussion with people, and thankfully, I have succeeded in doing that so far. I want to write things that will help others...I want my writing to mean something.
So I don't think I will write on this blog anymore.
If you want to see what articles I post, you can check my portfolio, which has to be updated as we speak, but I will try to fix it as often as I can:
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
But even before the creation of the Internet, HD, and online pirating, Abel's first feature-length film in 1979, Driller Killer, was admittedly created with the intention to make a profit rather than spread a message or create for art's sake. Abel spoke of their inspiration to create a horror film came from the success of Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974. This low-budget film became a cult classic practically over night, and Mr. Ferrara seemed to want to jump on the band wagon on genres that seemed to have a real niche with American audiences. He repeated this by making the cop-gone-wrong-in-New-York story of Bad Lieutenant in 1992.
These guests left the student audience with a pessimistic message of, "Independent film is dead", by Ken Kelsch. They both also expressed that they felt today's film makers were lazy, and that New York lacked the type of dynamic community of artistic creativity that it once had. While their words of experience may have left a sour taste in the mouths of the Montclair students, a much more optimistic panel spoke on March 1st, 2011. Aaron Sonnenberg, the Content Operations Manager for blip.tv, Steven Beckman of Cinetic FilmBuff, and Ingrid Kopp of Shooting People all spoke about the process of digital distribution.
Each of these guests gave their own insight into making what Ken Kelsch and Abel Ferrara saw as disadvantages actually become huge advantages in getting independent film out to the masses. With the Internet, it's possible to use social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word on a film that has been recently finished, or even ask for help in raising funds through KickStarter. YouTube celebrities have even been known to make 6-figure salaries.
Aaron Sonnenberg gave examples of people who have started web series and actual careers from advertisement revenue on Blip.TV. For students interested in creating their own shows, he suggested filming several episodes in advance, including 'behind the scenes' footage, so that content can be uploaded on a regular basis. Instead of creating a series or movie that would be attractive to the masses, it's possible for film makers to make content that is attractive only to specific sub-cultures. Communities both in person and on the Internet have come together to discuss and create films dedicated to topics that they are personally passionate about; not just in New York, but all over the world.One of the major complaints about today's digital media made by Abel Ferrara is that with the existence of movie torrents on web sites like Pirate's Bay, film makers lose revenue that would normally be made from rentals or DVD sales. A suggestion to counter the problem was made during this Digital Distribution panel. Aaron Sonnenberg said that it's often a good idea to offer a 15-minute sneak preview of a movie on web sites like Hulu or YouTube, free steaming video sites, and offer viewers to buy the remaining rental on websites like Netflix, Itunes, or On Demand. That way, a film that would previously be overlooked is now available to massive audiences all around the country. One would argue that independent film is not dead. It's still alive and kicking, just with a new face.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Matthew started off as a theater major at Yale University with dreams of acting in or directing a Broadway show. But when the opportunity to work for public access television presented itself, he jumped at the chance. After gaining experience in broadcasting, he met documentary film maker Jon Alpert, and stumbled upon a tragedy that changed not only his career, but our nation.
Matthew and Jon were in New York City on September 11, 2001, only a few blocks away when terrorists crashed planes into the Twin Towers. While the rest of the nation held its breath in complete shock, Matthew and Jon filmed. Being some of the very few people to have professional camera equipment ready at a moment's notice, they immediately got to work on capturing the reactions of the people during the tragedy. The footage ended up being used in a documentary. It began his life of traveling the world, filming documentaries for PBS, Discovery, and HBO. He has been to Iraq, Venezuela, China, Egypt, and so many other countries, putting his own life in danger in order to capture history in the making.
The documentary we were lucky enough to see during our class was China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province, which was nominated for an Academy award in 2010. I had to hold back my tears as we watched the raw emotion of parents who had lost their children in an earthquake because the school buildings collapsed due to construction that clearly wasn't regulated or inspected properly. This documentary brought a voice to the oppressed people living in the Totalitarian society where even after attempting a protest, never had justice served to the people responsible for the negligence that killed their children.
Matthew gave all of us advice that transcended not only film making, but for life in general. He urged us to always network and get to know people in our industry, and walk through any open doors we may see, even if they don't seem like they are exactly what we planned for ourselves, because we never know where it may lead. Through his stories of crazy antics in different countries, he urged all of us to always have a back-up plan just in case something goes wrong. If we plan on creating a documentary, try to make it as personal, with as few people on the crew as we possibly can.
And in stark contrast to one of our earlier guests, Ken Kelsh, who can be quoted saying that it's impossible to say anything in film making nowadays, that artistic aspirations are something of youth, and that "independent film is dead", Matthew seemed incredibly optimistic. Even with capturing unscripted reality, it's clear that he is able to put his own touch on the message he wanted to put across to the viewer. He explained his detachment and thought process that goes into filming a disaster, and the editing process afterward. There is a difference between standing in the middle of chaos and turning on a camera and seeking out the story and human emotion. I saw that as an art within itself. Matthew O'Neill a truly inspirational guest.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Besides running to find a spare piece of paper and jot down inspiration for my novel before I lost it in sleep, all I could think to do was listen to my Ipod and try to doze until a more sane hour. I started thinking back on the music I discovered this year, and what songs fit what I was going through in 2010.
The Morning Of- Tell Me I'm Wrong
I probably listened to this song 1,000 times within the first month that The Morning Of's new album came out. I was even going to go to one of their shows at the University of Delaware, which requires me to drive through back woods and farm country. Normally, in the daytime, that route wouldn't bother me. But I was on a narrow, foggy road in the middle of nowhere without my GPS and not positive if I was going the right way. I felt like the victim in the opening of a horror movie, so I decided it was a good idea to wait until another night.
Minus The Bear- Excuses
In general, I've been listening to Minus The Bear a lot the past few months. It's just that whenever I introduce someone to the band, I play 'Excuses' for some reason. Then I move on to 'Animal Backwards' and 'Pachuca Sunrise'. They're just a very chill. And they're one of the rare bands where I can play all of their albums straight through and never get bored.
You, Me, And Everyone We Know- Happy Birthday
For whatever reason, YMAEWK likes to sing about strippers, and I LOVE IT. I've been listening to this song since '08 or '09, but it was still almost like my anthem this year. I never get tired of listening to it. I sang it to my brother John when he turned 18 in September.
The Limousines- Internet Killed The Video Star
Thanks again to Charles Trippy for introducing me to this song. It's so catchy and true.
The Ready Set- Love Like Woe
My brother Phil would play this on my Ipod every time I drove him somewhere. I love it, but for whatever reason, I never added it to a playlist. I guess since I drive him practically everywhere, I felt no need to do it myself.
Maybe later, a song will pop in my head and I'll be kicking myself for not including it on this list. But right now, I think I should shower and try go to Central Park to meet up with some people for an epic snowball fight.
Friday, December 10, 2010
"If he needs a million acres to make him feel rich, seems to me he needs it cause he feels awful poor inside hisself, and if he's poor in hisself, there aint no million acres gonna make him feel rich."
"He had never been angry in his life. He looked in wonder at angry people, wonder and uneasiness, as normal people look at the insane."
"An' he wasn't that big- he looked so grand up there...Against the sun, with his arms stretched out. An' he looked big- as God."
-Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
"The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question."
"He was angry at himself for being young and prey of restless foolish impulses, angry also with the change of fortune which was reshaping the world about him into a vision of squalor and insincerity. Yet his anger lent nothing to the vision. He chronicled with patience what he saw, detaching himself from it and testing its mortifying flavor in secret."
-A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
"When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you're done, you have to step back and look at the forest."
-On Writing by Stephen King