Monday, January 21, 2013

Short Films, Shallow Analysis

There is a website where you can see trailers of eight of the ten nominees for short.
Here it is,

Based on my viewing the trailers:


Minkyu Lee, director | Adam and Dog: Dog is created in the garden of Eden. Who cares?

Actually the wedger they used is 49 sections

Emeryville, California in the house.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sound Mixing and Sound Editing

You have probably asked yourself what is the difference between these categories. I have. But then I still think a component stereo system is pretty high tech.

I recently received a pair of Dr. Dre Beats headphones but I am still a little week in the technical department.

Back when I was making films....2006 through 2009...I worked in I-Movie 08 and didn't really get too deep into mixing but I guess I did editing. Like I had to synch up dialog if I had cut away from a scene. And you have to be very exact or it looks like bad dubbing or a weird cable feed.

I would guess that mixing is the capturing of the sounds...the helicopters, the shooting, banging and clanging. Editing is putting together the sounds in the movie. Does that sound right?
Here are some of my past favorite award winners. (These will be listed by movies since I don't know who the hell these people are.)


1942Yankee Doodle Dandy - Lots of tap dancing by James Cagney,

1961: West Side Story - Dancing and fighting. Also very tuneful.

1970: Patton - Very little dancing. Just the Russians towards the end of the movie. One landed on the table in front of Georce C. Scott. Patton distrusted the Russians.

1974: Earthquake -This beat out Chinatown  and The Conversation which seems borderline crazy. But it is an arcane award. Earthquake resonates for sentimental reasons. It was the first time I invited Peggy Shearn to go out with the gang. Ah romance. Going to see Earthquake in Northern California.

1979: Apocalypse Now- Another sentimental choice.We saw this movie at the old Varsity Theater in Evanston. It was our first night out after our daughter, novelist Amy Shearn was born. A bloody, complicated disturbing movie about Viet-Nam. That's a good time.

1995 Apollo 13- Those were sounds from space. That is good mixing.

2010: Inception- Those were sounds from dreams. They weren't even real. Lots of imagination.

Sound Editing

I don't understand why but some years like between 1968 and 1974 they did not even give out this aware. What was going on with sound during that time. I think it was political and had to do with unions, the studio system and Nixon.

My favorite sound editing...

1967 The Dirty Dozen: Two words. Trini Lopez.

This picture of Trini Lopez is from the Internet Movie Firearms Data Base which is a web site that indentified weapons from movies, TV and video games. Trini is holding a grease gun.

This year's nominees for Sound Mixing are:

Les Miserables
Life of Pi

I saw them all except Les Miserables. So the question, who made it the best slurry of sound. Tough field. I go with Argo. I love a good Persian bazaar scene.

Sound Editing

Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

I am all over ZDT for this one. Love the opening. The sounds of 9/11. Black screen. Cell phone. The void. Brilliant invocation of the "chase."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Don's Oscar Picks: Visual Effects

The Four Horseman of Hilarity: see joke below
Rachmil Cohon in a bathtub

This is the first post of my take on the Oscars of 2013. I am somewhat of Hollywood insider. I know a guy who was an assistant director of the Oscars telecast in 2000 . I actually saw my friend on TV handing a script to Peter Coyote (nee Rachmil Pinchus Ben Mosha Cohon), who was the "Oscar" narrator that year.

Also, Peter Coyote played, "Oscar" is Roman Polanski's disturbing 1992 film, Bitter Moon.

Visual effects. The nominees are:
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott | Life of Pi
Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill | Prometheus

Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick | Marvel's The Avengers

Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson from Snow White and the Huntsman.


From 1964 to 1971, the name of the category was Best Special Visual Effects. The name was since changed, in 1977, to Best Visual Effects.

Ok, now here is a very long way to get to the joke. So, in the forgettable film Road to Hong Kong, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra are part of a lame inside joke about "Special Effects"

If you want to play along at home, go to 1:29:35 and use the cursor because the movie is horrible. If you are really bored you can also go to 13.49 and see Peter Sellers as an Indian Dr. Who hilariously put "too much curry in his corn flakes"

I have never heard of any of nominess. so I am totally objective.


I only saw Life of Pi.

 Prometheus is a guy from a Greek or Roman myth. I'm too lazy to search for it.

The Avengers has Samuel L Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., and I think Hugh Jackman. Never saw it. I liked Iron Man. But ultimately I'm a DC guy. Superman. Batman. Marvel seemed too out there. Not like the real fortress of solitude, Stately Wayne Manor, and bizarro world.

 The Hobbit. Again with the Hobbits. We just had a decade of Hobbits. I am an older person. I admit. Not as fantastical as many. Not ready. ready for another Hobbit.

Snow White and Huntsman sounds like a porno film about Michelle Bachman and the other Mormon candidate

My selection: Life of Pi

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stopping in at the Lake of Magical Writing

Ganesha is a Hindu God depicted with four arms, two legs and the head of an elephant. He is known as the Remover of Obstacles.

A 4 inch brass covered statue of Ganesha sits at the base of my computer.

An even smaller wooden Buddha sits by his side.

There is a plastic red eyed gorilla posed as "The Thinker."

Handwritten on a post-it note, "Let's work the problem people." (Gene Krantz, played by Ed Harris in Apollo 13)

Framed 20 stamp panes of Frank Sinatra, Cowboys of the Silver Screen and Edgar Allan Poe.

Coins from Hong Kong and China,

Another post-it note from online traffic school:


These totems are supposed to make me feel better.

That and the occasional jumbo char dog with mustard, relish, celery salt, tomato and pickle.

From LTH Forum: