Film Making

The Gatekeeper.

Shige San is one of the truest examples of a public servant and personal savior. The video below tell the story of  a retired police detective that now dedicates his life to preventing deaths at Japan’s suicide cliffs, providing emergency assistance and counseling even as tourists flock to the site, attracted by its notoriety as a popular suicide destination. This is a wonderful short film, that tells an extraordinary story and worth taking 40 minutes to watch it.

I suggest if you have an AppleTV or a smart TV with Vimeo available you watch it on the big screen. The experience is so much better than on your computer monitor or tablet.

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Unity Gaming Engine’s “Adam”.

Modern film making is less than 100 years old. Think about this, the first movie with synced sound is 89 years old. The first feature length color motion picture dates to 1914. In 102 years the industry has seen massive changes in technology and the way film making is created. Looking to the future you have to think about how gaming works, realistic images get rendered on screen in real-time with real world dynamics.

Recently Unity showed a demo of what the future might hold for the film industry. Not all of it, but definitely some of it. Using just $3000.00 of hardware, running Unity’s gaming engine, they rendered out the video below to a live audience in real-time. The quality is pretty damn amazing especially when you think back to what gaming was like just ten years ago.

Unity’s film The is ADAM, and it’s a multi-part series to be released over the course of the next few months. Each segment is being developed to test each beta release of the Unity gaming engine and additional features, quality, and improved render capabilities. It is all part of a way to demo the new Unity 5.4 and the cinematic sequencer currently being developed, along with an experiments in implementing of real-time believable volumetric area lighting. The Unity demo shows off the physics simulation tool CaronteFX and the quality of the natural physics it produces.

Pretty impressive stuff. The full length short will be shown at Unite Europe 2016 in Amsterdam.

Portrait of a Letterpress Printer.

This put a smile on my face for a number of reasons. First off it is a really nice documentary short. Beautiful cinematography and editing. Solid story line and an interesting character. An insight into the wisdom that one gets from years of creativity. And then there is the portion of the film, where Mr. William Amer comes full circle to rediscover his passion and spread it to others. Love this little film. Great work from

“Spider Drove a Taxi”.

Over the last ten years, the New York Times has been transitioning from an online news paper, to a dynamic media powerhouse, featuring some of the best short films on the internet. In the last couple of years, the production value of their shorts has reached the same level as the journalism it supports. The video below is a prime example of what I am talking about. Part of a series of five films commissioned by the New York Times Magazine’s “The Lives They Lived” issue, which commemorates people who died this year this film focuses on Johnny “Spider” Footman who was New York’s oldest taxi driver. Spider tells a great story, and has a great message for a Monday morning. The film by   that this short is based on can be found here. The trailer for it is below.

“Icons” In One Single Fluid Shot.

The two videos below are for the Sunday Times Culture section. The first “Icons”, is the finished ad, the second the making of. This spot is one single dynamic camera movement featuring two actors. Over the course of fifty seconds the two become Forrest Gump, Don Draper, God, Daft Punk, and a couple of gun toting criminals. When you watch the finished piece it is hard to tell that this was done in a single shot. When I watched the making of, I wondered how many takes they went through before they got it right. In the making of, they were kind enough to drop a picture in picture frame so you can see what the camera operator was getting as he moved with the actors. For an in depth look, click here to go to the Making of website.

Directors – Us
Production Company – Academy Films
Executive Producer – Lizie Gower
Producer – Juliette Harris

DOP – Ben Fordesman
A&R Operator – Simon Wood
Art Director – Alison Dominitz
Hair & MakeUp – Lu Hinton
Stylist – Rebecca Hale
Casting – Hammond & Cox
Editor – Dave Stevens @ Assembly Rooms
Post – Electric Theatre Collective
Grade – Aubrey Woodiwiss
Audio post production – String & Tins
Musical Composition – Tom Player
Lead Actor – Gary Milner

Agency – Grey
Executive Creative Director – Nils Leonard
Creative Director – Dave Monk
Creatives – Jonathan Rands & Johan Leandersson
Agency Producer – Debbie Impett

“Metamorphose”, Hermès

I really hate the term “Fix it in post”. Fix it in post is always harder than you think,  and it takes an extraordinary amount of effort to get it right. The two videos below for  HERMÈS PARIS were produced by Montreal based Julien Vallée and Eve Duhamel studio with everything being shot live and in camera. While there are sections of this spot that look like a blend of CGI and live action, the second behind the scenes video will show you they are not. The result is a very impressive spot for HERMÈS. Watch the first full screen and in HD. It’s completely worth it.

“Trail Therapy”. Steve Fugate, Peace Pilgrim.

The video below will move you. This short documentary by Cyrus Sutton about Steve Fugate is tragic and inspiring. Produced originally for Korduroy.tv it tells the story of man who has walked 34,000 miles on a pilgrimage for peace. I could talk about the aesthetics of the film itself, but that wouldn’t do justice to the story.