3 Scenes That Affected My Life

In continuing the series of calling out a few scenes I’ve seen in my lifetime that truly stand out, here are 3 more. These are not simply scenes I remember — they truly had a profound impact on me and on how I view the art of filmmaking. 

This one is music and montage driven and how it can move a story forward.

TOOTSIE (dir. Sidney Pollack) – even as a kid I loved this moment. At first you may think it's just a superficial romantic montage, capturing those first innocent moments. But watch closely and you'll notice there's something deeper going on. Pollack structures it so brilliantly so that we're watching two people falling in love with OTHER PEOPLE.

WRITTEN ON THE WIND (dir. Douglas Sirk) – the first time I saw this film was in college. The juxtaposition of editing, the cross-cutting and use of music over images was pretty revolutionary to me. I hadn't really seen it used so effectively before and in such a violent manner. Mind blown.

PLANES TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (dir. John Hughes) – the images and flashbacks were used so effectively here that even as a teen I was so moved. I felt the power of a real friendship on display with perfectly timed cross cutting and the sublime score working together. In particular, it's when Steve Martin laughs to himself is what sticks with me to this day.

3 Scenes That Affected My Life

In continuing the series of calling out a few scenes I’ve seen in my lifetime that truly stand out, here are 3 more. These are not simply scenes I remember — they truly had a profound impact on me and on how I view the art of filmmaking.

Fair warning. We're gonna have minor spoilers here.

REAR WINDOW (dir. Alfred Hitchcock) – my parents showed me this and it's one of my top-ten all time faves. This moment made me lean forward and tell Grace Kelly to get out of there. Never had I felt such anxiety from seeing a film. I felt just as helpless as Jimmy Stewart. When Raymond Burr looks up at us across the way...jaw dropping. To be able to create such a visceral feeling, yup truly a master at work.

THE THING (dir. John Carpenter) – I saw this film at a friend's sleepover when I was in third grade (gotta love going to someone else's house to sneak in a horror film when you're 10). This film is full of great moments...but this sequence...oh man this sequence! The moment when his fucking chest caves in shocked the hell out of me. It blindsided me with a slap of fear and being disturbed all into one.  I can't recall feeling that way about a movie before seeing this film.

THE BREAKFAST CLUB (dir. John Hughes) – Seeing this clip brings back great nostalgia for me. I bought a used VHS from the video store across from my junior high (snuck off campus with my buddies to do it -- and talked the clerk into letting me purchase it, as this was before videotapes were sold cheaply to the public). When I saw the movie for the first time, it was just perfect. So relatable. So funny. So touching. And then this scene happened. So fucking romantic. It's stuck with me to this day on wondering how I'd ever be able to create something like this...not only a moment like this, but the actual feeling that fills my heart when I see it. It's all about a perfect budding romance. The what ifs. And all done with music and very little words.

HOW DO YOU WRITE ABOUT HOW TO WRITE A JOE SCHERMANN SONG?

That's the title of a new article featuring an interview conducted by Ian Crabb (a huge SCHERMANN SONG fan out of the UK). It's an email roundtable discussion with actors Joe Schermann, Christina Rose, Mark DiConzo, Debbie Williams, composer Ken Lampl and myself.

This was a blast to do -- and covered so many topics about making the movie that this is just Part 1.

"The film world has been awash with musicals lately. They’re certainly order of the day. But this is unlike one you’ve seen before. Real people, real situations. It’s as close to real life a musical can get. I hate cross-referencing, but imagine ONCE having a one night stand with WARRIOR. And you know what? It’s purely magical.

With a group of such exceptionally talented people there was really very little work for me to do. I just asked the questions and let them talk to each other. I was hoping for a “roundtable” kind of feel to this piece, like everyone was just shooting the shit in the same room."

I can't thank Ian enough. It's people like him keeping our movie alive that makes doing all this crazy filmmaking stuff worth while.

Click here to read the interview.

 

Top 21 Films of 2013

My list comprises of any film that I've seen for the first time in 2013.  These are not necessarily the "best" of anything -- rather they were films that brought cinematic joy to me by inspiring and entertaining.  I've listed a #1 title for 2013 and one from any other year.

Read More

UNNERVED on MovieMaker Magazine's Instagram

We had the honor of posting images for a week on MovieMaker Magazine's Instagram account while filming UNNERVED in Maine during Sept/Oct.  Actor/Producer Mark DiConzo and DP Chad McClarnon thought about making a quick sizzle instead of just posting pictures and it was a great idea -- even if we were only in Week 2 of shooting.  Our team felt it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of its new video function to show off some footage -- which no featured filmmakers on their account had done yet.   MovieMaker Magazine even asked us how we did it.

It's such a tremendous platform of exposure, we figured why not take full advantage (all 15 secs of it) of what it can do.  The sizzle teaser was our last post of the week we were featured.

Here's the video in full HD

3 Scenes That Affected My Life

In continuing the series of calling out a few scenes I’ve seen in my lifetime that truly stand out, here are 3 more that come to mind. These are not simply scenes I remember — they truly had a profound impact on me and on how I view the art of filmmaking.

BEFORE SUNRISE (dir. Richard Linklater) – the power of what’s not said is more amazing than anything that could be said. It was in this moment that filmmaking subtext opened my eyes.

WITNESS (dir. Peter Weir) – again, what’s not directly addressed was so powerful.  As a kid, I found this very romantic.

FANDANGO (dir. Kevin Reynolds) – the extended dance scene in one of my favorite underrated gems. To me it was pretty bold to spend so much time in this moment.  Not sure most filmmakers would do this (or be allowed to by studios) nowadays.  Thankfully it’s allowed to breathe and we get to enjoy it in all its beauty.