A Filmmaking Blog | VashiVisuals
Sometimes creativity can be triggered by one seemingly irrelevant thing. Sometimes that one thing can be right in front of you…hidden in plain sight. In my case that one thing was a stretch of winding road by my home that has thousands of reflectors on the median. I’ve driven this road hundreds of times. At night, the reflectors whiz by in a frantic blur and it suddenly reminded me of a video game I played as a youth…Atari’s NIGHT DRIVER. Read more…
From sources unnamed and unconfirmed…I have heard semi-coherent rumblings that Steven Soderbergh is coming out of feature film directing retirement to tackle the next SLAP SHOT hockey film. He will also star as the fourth Hanson Brother.
The original SLAP SHOT (1977) starred Paul Newman and he called it his favorite film experience ever. Directed by Oscar winning director George Roy Hill (The Sting) he had previously directed Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969. It goes down in film history as one of the greatest sports films ever. Profane, violent, hilarious and as accurate to a minor league professional sport as has been. As a 10-year veteran of professional hockey I can attest to have seen or lived through every event in the original film.
In SLAP SHOT 4: THE LOST BROTHER…Seven Soderbergh will produce, write, direct, shoot, edit, cater and star as the long lost 4th Hanson Brother.
If the scuttlebutt on the cold ice sheets of Minnesota is correct…Slap Shot 4 will position Steven Soderbergh into the driver’s seat of redefining the hockey film genre. The spectre and stench of Stephen Baldwin’s Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice looms ominously above the 4th iteration of the franchise like an old, wet jockstrap. But Hollywood and hockey fans around the world have faith that Soderbergh can re-invigorate this tale of ice warriors with violence, humor, hijinks and Singani 63.
Sunsets in movies are often cinematic moments that can also signal some kind of change about to occur. When used as a storytelling device, they become more than just beautiful shots. They can become iconic moments. When combining character, story and visuals…the beauty and grandeur of a daily natural phenomenon enhances the narrative and makes the viewer FEEL the moment. Here are 4 cinematic sunsets that had a profound effect on me:
Guest post by Samson Pojdl. 17-year-old filmmaker & VashiVisuals film intern.
In the words of Steven Spielberg, “When you have a dream, it often doesn’t come at you screaming in your face, ‘This is who you are, this is who you must be for the rest of your life.’ Sometimes a dream almost whispers. And I’ve always said to my kids: the hardest thing to listen to — your instincts, your human personal intuition — always whispers; it never shouts… So you have to, every day of your lives, be ready to hear what whispers in your ear… And if you can listen to the whisper… and it’s something you think you want to do for the rest of your life, then that is going to be what you do for the rest of your life, and we will benefit from everything you do.”
My name is Samson Pojdl and I was born and grew up in London, England. When I was 8-years-old, I moved to Switzerland because of my dad’s work. When I was 12-years-old, I moved to America to better my education. I am now a 17 year-old high school senior in Florida studying film and video. Read more…
ADOBE MAX 2015 – The Creativity Conference will be held in Los Angeles from October 3 to October 7. I’m very proud to have been invited to present and will be speaking about the work I have edited over the last year. I will share my experiences editing 2 feature films, 2 documentaries, a music video, a short film and a commercial. All of these projects were cut in Adobe Premiere Pro because…for me, it’s the most powerful, flexible and constantly improving NLE out there.
Here are some of my projects I will be discussing:
THAT WHICH I LOVE DESTROYS ME – PTSD documentary
PENTATONIX – Mary Did You Know (Music Video with 37 million views)
DEADPOOL – The 2016 Marvel Super Hero film starring Ryan Reynolds
William Faulkner won two Pulitzer Prizes for fiction and the Nobel Prize in Literature. He also wrote an essay about the first professional hockey game he attended back in November of 1955. Born in Mississippi back in 1897, hockey was not really on his radar…but it really is on mine!
I played professional hockey for 10 years and won the 1999 ECHL Kelly Cup in Biloxi playing for the Mississippi Sea Wolves. My father Vaclav Nedomansky was the first player to defect from a communist country and play in the NHL back in 1974.
I’m currently in production of a feature film documentary covering my father’s journey from Czechoslovakia to North America and found this 1984 NHL All Star Game magazine that contains William Faulkner’s first impressions of the fastest game on two feet…
Until next time…
HANNIBAL aired on NBC for three seasons before being cancelled. It was one of the most cinematically spectacular shows ever on TV and it redefined what was allowable in terms of violence on prime time networks. Creator Bryan Fuller made murder, cannabalism and other horrible acts delectably palatable while maintaining a visually beauty that both rivals and supersedes the biggest budget feature films. It paid homage to the original source material but then creatively rewrote the narrative and delivered an operatic version that both acknowledged and expanded on the lore of Hannibal Lector.
Creator and writer Bryan Fuller has generously shared all 3 seasons of the scripts and every filmmaker would benefit by reading any of them. I want to focus on the first episode titled “Aperitif” written by Bryan Fuller and share with you the script superimposed with the actual show to fully appreciate the translation of script to screen. This first episode of HANNIBAL is visually and creatively fantastic and raises the bar of what to expect no matter what the format. The translation of word to imagery is no easy task. What do the written words actually turn into in front of the camera? Watch the first 5 minutes of the first episode of HANNIBAL. Enjoy the magic…
Until next time…
After a long stretch of 18 months parked in front of my edit bay…I’ve finished 3 film projects and have moved onto the next challenges. The hours, days, week and months blend together as you edit, tweak, massage and adjust the timeline into its final state. I’ve put the Adobe Premiere Pro timelines from the last three films I’ve completed and a bonus Adobe Audition audio timeline into one huge image. It serves to both remind me of great work accomplished and taunt me with the memory of thousands upon thousands of decisions made. Enjoy!
On top of the 3 films, here’s a peek at 4 short form projects I cut this last year as well. One was a spoof video for director David Zucker (Airplane, Naked Gun) titled SIDE EFFECTS. Two experimental short films and a documentary round out the rest of the work. I find it pleasing to see your projects all grouped visually in one spot. It both reminds you of all the hard work poured into your projects while looking graphically interesting. So many cuts and shots blended into a rainbow mosaic that represents so much.
In the very near future I will be sharing me experiences working on GONE GIRL and the upcoming DEADPOOL. Both films were cut exclusively on Adobe Premiere Pro and I was hired to both set up the workflow for the post production teams and also train all the editors working on both films. I was privileged to share my vast experiences cutting 4 feature films and hundreds of commercials on Premiere Pro with some of the best editors in the business. Stay tuned…
Until next time…
John Williams has scored some of the most famous films of all-time. Nominated for 41 Oscars he has won 5 times for Best Score. The five wins were for: Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. and Schindler’s List. The role of the composer is a challenging one as sometimes they write the music sight unseen before the film is shot and other times they start their work after the final edit is complete. A 1980 BBC documentary chronicled William’s experience scoring The Empire Strikes Back with George Lucas, producer Gary Kurtz, director Irvin Kershner and the London Symphonic Orchestra.
The most amazing part of the documentary is watching Williams, Lucas, Kershner and Kurtz watch the Carbonite Freezing scene where Princess Leia says “I love you” to Han Solo. Not only is it one of the most emotional moments in the Star Wars saga (with the best response a rogue like Han could ever give) but it also shows the scene with no music, temp sound, hissing compressors obscuring actors lines and the on-set dialog of David Prowse playing Darth Vader which would later be replaced.
The unfinished scene is audibly distracting, sonically jarring and although picture locked for the edit…almost indistinguishable from the final film as we know it. Williams had to block out the distractions, listen through the audio chaos and create a score that elevates this scene to show-stopping status. He understood the emotion of the scene and amplified the moment with his music…something he has done time and time again to great result.
Filtering out the noise to clearly see what the story needs is a lesson every great filmmaker has learned.
Here’s a closer look at this magic musical moment: