PROLOGUE: Lately, I've been observing and came to a realization; the current version of humanity have a hard time accepting negativity. Too many polluted quotes on social media and too little leading by action. I personally believe that any traumatic situation must be experienced to it's fullest, and if you ignore it [or choose to], then all your interdependence will be dyed with sorrow and hopelessness. You will then carry those stains for the rest of your days.
It's normal to respond to the natural emotions of loosing your earth. It's normal to cry when you loose a loved one. It's normal to experience a heartbreak warfare. It's very normal to feel angry and ask the appropriate questions.
This trending new-age obstinate pursuit of happiness is clearly leading mankind towards a cliff of dissatisfaction and misery. More specifically to the younger generation. It's almost as if the feeling of being miserable is allowed, but not welcomed. I say embrace your fucking pain! Welcome it with open arms. Talk with it. Explore it. After a comprehensive examination of the facts causing your pain, you will become a new version of yourself like a snake shedding it's skin. And that shit feels good I tell ya!
People choose to put on a inspiring meme-quote on Instagram instead of practicing exactly what they are posting. Ex-liaisons keeping tabs on each other on Facebook even after they moved on with their new bae. Allegedly, of course! Why not just talk and express how miserable you feel and free yourself from your emotional holding? After all, if you can express your happiness to the fullest, then why not the opposite?
We are becoming so banal with current affairs and dealings with our own lives that we think we are capable of solving everything with our head. Which is not the whole truth. I'm not writing this post to give out a solution to your situation. Each individual's situation is different.
But rest assure that your [situation] is real. The cause that triggered your [situation] is a fact. The emotional reaction that you are feeling is live, which makes you alive. It makes you who you are and that is called being a human. Keyword: BEING.
INTROSPECTION: Here is another insert piece shot for my documentary in progress. In fact, this piece also serves as a visual treatment for a premium leather outerwear company. Once again, I have no statement behind it. I just did it. I did what I honestly felt to do. Shadow box. Inspiration? I'm still in the creative rehab stage from watching The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I'm in it for the past 3 years.
SOUND: I've mentioned this on my previous post. My go to source for music is a dive deep down my state of honesty. For this piece, I was looking something with a rhythm as opposed to my previous piece. I always explore two locales; my childhood memories and my roots. Ilaiyaraaja's music is and always will be my go to source. I think it's also fair to state that any 80's born baby in the Southern part of India will have some blood cells infused with his music. He is the Walter White of music and I'm one of his many bitches. That being said, I picked the opening title track from the film Virumaandi and gave it to my sound buddy to clean and mix it for a thirty second slot. He also added some reversed bass notes for the quotation cards.
I think the more I get older, the less I’m interested in the banal. I feel like my taste in films is getting refined as if I’m shopping for an haute couture designer coat. The difference between the coat and a film is that, I can appreciate the material and the craftsmanship and fully understand the theme behind a creation of a motion picture. The coat? Well, it’s just too damn expensive and I couldn’t care less of its components.
I’m more interested in a filmmaker’s journey as an individual rather than their technique and artistry. Any filmmaker’s body of work consists of certain trademarks. Fincher shoots locked down, Greengrass shoots handheld, Mani Ratnam uses a train to separate key characters and the list goes on. All are techniques/style to advance the plot but what makes them take those decisions? More specifically, what’s the psyche behind that ruling?
These days I’m more into solid story telling. I’m into studying a filmmaker’s work without sound. You can watch Hitchcock’s Psycho on mute and still grasp the film's suspense. I’m still trying to figure out the false advertisement behind Nightcrawler as I did not see Jake Gyllenhall in it. Could a man be that calm while his world is crumbling on the other end of a series of phone conversations in Locke? The spirituality behind Interstellar? The virtue of ignorance in Birdman? The escalating pressure of a working class single mother in Babadook? The 12 year documented footage of boyhood? MI6 homosexual code-breaker in second WW? Humanity under inquest in Apes? In simpler term, what makes a great film? I’m interested in that.
Below are 21 films that I'll be studying individually in terms of narration and editing in the upcoming months. The film below Nightcrawler is an Indian film called Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum [The Wolf & The Lamb]. Click for a larger view.
PROLOGUE: It was a very cold Wednesday morning [December 10th, 2014] with a 25cm snowstorm warning. It was also my court date where I would finally learn if the judge would grant me the possibility of shared custody of my daughter. The mother of my child pulled yet another one of her dirty trick to extend the process. She simply didn't show up and on top of that, she changed her lawyer two days prior to the court date for the fifth time. Yes, this means she pulled this trick in the past for an astonishing five times!
I came back home with a gloomy heart, picked up my gear and went straight to the mountains to relax and recalibrate my mind to a healthy and positive state. I ended up filming some insert shots for my documentary in progress and managed to record couple of monologues. Most importantly, I was able to recalibrate my mind back into it's place. It is just a court date. It was my 16th court date in 4 years. I can go for one more. Or two. Or three. I'm well aware of the justice system being blind but I hope it can count. This is where I start to hum Mr.Cash. You can run on for a long time...
INTROSPECTION: I love making self reflection pieces. It's peaceful. It sharpens my creative side and most of all I get lost in the process. It takes me away from all those "I'm pretending to live but never living" type of people. I find the most utter peace up in the mountains in below zero weather in a snowstorm. Nature is like the luxurious division of reality. Who doesn't like a little luxury? I don't have an artist statement as I have nothing to state. This piece is simply my meditation on how I dealt with my custody issue on that particular day.
GRADING: I was inspired by Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I wanted to try the cooler side of the color wheel as I'm used to lean towards more of the earthy tones. I always go with how I feel and which color represents the best of my emotions. I felt a bit cold physically and heartily thus the blue and grey tones.
SOUND: My go to source for music is a dive deep down my state of honesty. I close my eyes and I scribble the tracks that comes off my mind. Usually I pick up about 20-30 tracks including movie scores, advertisement jingles and music tracks. I then try them one by one to see what's the best fit. For this piece it was very easy. I picked the score from the film THE TOWN. It's called Healing And Stealing by Harry Gregson-Williams & David Buckley. It slowly waltz in when Doug recites his letter to Claire at the very end scene of the film. The film ends with the quote "But I know I'll see you again - this side or the other." That sentence holds a very profound meaning to me. That's all I can say for now on that. The wind howls are from a Tamil song called Katre En Vaasal by A.R.Rahaman from the film RHYTHM.
I'm happy to finally share the MADE edit of Jungle by X Ambassadors & Jamie N Commons. The concept is simple -- to tell a story of a bunch of street buskers hand picked by Sam and Jamie from NYC, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, London and Rio De Janeiro, ship them to L.A. and record THE BUSKER REMIX of the Jungle track.
I got the opportunity to edit the location B-rolls to compliment the narration. I pulled a similar style with the last Poster Porn episode [see here]. It was that video plus my street photography series [see here] that got the attention of the good folks at Noisey. What's more thrilling to me is to watch my suggested cut made it as the final cut. In my line of work, dealing with a client who advocates the definition of "taking risks" is a luxury. It's also extremely and I mean ex-fucking-treamly rare that a creative director values you for your creative worth rather than what you can do with the task. I made 2 cuts. One very generic cut and the final cut which starts ambiguously right in the middle of the track. I told myself that this track already has two awesome music videos; the official music video and the heavy-duty FIFA 2014 worldwide promotional ad campaign for Beats headphones. What the hell can I bring to the table when the viewers click on the play button? Well, whatever it was, it seems like I brought something. Below are the two visual vignettes. All location based shots are chopped by yours truly.
Words from HypeTrak - It was a massive single when it dropped last summer, and then when Jay Z got on the remix, it broke all barriers and made it's way to Billboard's Hot 100. Today, the song gets a rejuvenation from the Alex Da Kid (the song's original producer), as the English mega-producer was called upon to revitalize the song as part of the Budweiser MADE Underground series where he teamed up with some of the best street performers and underground musicians in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York City and Philadelphia during the worldwide search with X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons. They performed the remix last month live during the 2014 Budweiser Made in America Festival and after being very well-received, it'll now become an official single available on iTunes along with official footage from the recording session that'll become available at midnight tonight, September 30. But in the meantime, you can still press play above to listen in, enjoy.
Here is the final result of the final music video I co-edited with the director duo - Stephane Grasso + Michael Shu. This project marks my very first experience handling Arri Alexa footage. Surprisingly, my 2010 iMac handled the cut like melting butter. My only tip would be to cut with proxy [Prores] files offline and then replace it with either RAW or HQ linking back to online. Cut on Premiere Pro. A huge thanks to Hervé for giving me the opportunity to work on this projectt.
Credits: Artist | Pierre Kwenders Track | Mardi Gras | Directors: Epher Heilland | Production: Roméo et Fils | Producer: Martin Henri | Producer: Gilles Pinaudeau | DP: Simon-Pierre Gingras | 1st AC : Pierric Soucy | Makeup: Janick Sabourin Poirier | Art Direction: Laurence Ward | Coordination: Gabryelle Côté | Editing: Epher Heilland | Additional Editing: Vinoth Varatharajan | VFX: Alexander Marks | Camera Equipement: Département Caméra | Stereoscopique Rig: Jean-Pascal Gauthier
I was cooped inside an editing suite for six weeks cutting this video. Among some of my previous work, the one I've just completed rates the most challenging. It's simple. Very simple. Yet, complicated. Very complicated.
Also, with the assistance of professionals in the child psychiatry division, it's now proven that I'm a victim of parental alienation. But of course, the judicial system doesn't give half a fuck and the court papers are like Facebook security features - a colossal joke.
Then this one. I watched it three times. First time viewing, I was holding my emotions because I was sitting in the center row, sold out crowd in an advanced screening. Second time viewing, I made sure to choose the last row, last seat so I can free my emotions. Unsuccessful. Somebody beat me in the choose your seat screen.
Third time is a charm they say. No pun intended. Still no luck. Fuck it. I chose the front row, last seat. Then came that scene. That particular scene. That very specific scene. There I was...every single hair on my body stood up and my heart started to race, sweat beads started to form all over my face, my lips started to tremble and I let it rip -- I cried. I cried hard. I cried the hardest. My shoulder blades were galloping. Yes, I cried that hard. More harder than here. I'm confident that people behind me saw me weeping but I couldn't care less. Once I was able to calm myself down, I immediately left the theater. Thank you Mr.Nolan.
Oh yeah, then I went for a walk in the forest yada yada...and took the following shots of myself bla bla bla...120mm pish posh...It's winter and it's beautiful and I skip subjects.
Come and witness The Posterz’ bass dropping rampage in this second episode of Poster Porn, chronicling their NXNE 2014 performances in Toronto – Vice Island, Tattoo, and Bruise Cruise (watch episode 1 here). This philosophical ass feature (with cameos from Bruce Lee and shit) gives a slight behind the scenes glimpse of Pharrell-looking boys of The Posterz as they prepare for and celebrate their first ever time at NXNE – a performance which marks the largest concert the trio have ever taken part in. Come along for the ride, filmed by Vinoth Varatharajan.
I will be posting a breakdown of the whole process of filming and editing of this film in the upcoming weeks. For now, here is the inspiration behind the episode's intro sequence. A cross bred of intros of the Golden Era of adult films and Indian movies.
Traditionalism is fucking boring. So...I know a guy - who knows a girl - who knows a girl - who opened a hipster food joint. She said the website is in need of freshly shot culinary photos. I asked her if it's cool to shoot it with my phone? She said as long as it looks good. I showed her some samples. We in business. Oh...and also shot a music video for them Zoo Legacy boys and took a creepy self portrait.