• On Location in Petaluma

    On Location in Petaluma

    When making films at my scale, which is to say “human scale,” shooting on location is the only affordable way to do it. And by “location” I mean as close to home as possible. My new #indiefilm mantra is: “My hometown is my backlot.” And, as it happens, my hometown, Petaluma, CA, is also everyone…

  • We’re On the Spectrum Between Ed Wood and Orson Welles

    We’re On the Spectrum Between Ed Wood and Orson Welles

    Great piece by Andrew Bloom at Consequence of Sound that expresses  a notion I’ve been mulling since I first saw Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. Bloom drills down into the scene between Johnny Depp’s titular character and Vincent D’Onofrio as Orson Welles as the filmmakers discuss keeping to one’s artistic vision: Burton and his collaborators sketch an…

  • Burning Down the Art House, Part Three

    Burning Down the Art House, Part Three

    The third and final installment of the mini-series “Burning Down the Art House” focuses on Tom Schiller’s hat tip to Fellini, “La Dolce Gilda,” starring Gilda Radner and evoking a nostalgia trip for your host.

  • Burning Down the Art House, Part Two

    Burning Down the Art House, Part Two

    Still in pursuit of the elusive art film, I find my way to Ingmar Bergman through the portal of parody and pubescent thanatos.

  • A Girl, a Gun and an iPhone: All You Need to Make a Movie

    A Girl, a Gun and an iPhone: All You Need to Make a Movie

    Summer movie season is upon us. Well, it’s technically been here since May because, like climate change, Hollywood can adjust the seasons seemingly at will. At your local cinemas, iron-clad playboys flex computer-enhanced muscles whilst spaceships go where no man has gone before – again. It’s a dizzying display of predictable imagineering, so pixel-perfect that…

  • American Zoetrope: 827 Folsom, San Francisco

    I’ve developed an interest in spaces where a shit ton of creativity went down – then poof! – they’re gone. Maybe they moved, maybe the money ran dry or the place was overrun by cossacks, or hipsters or something. In the Bay Area there were hundreds of such places around the dot-com boom/bust, however, none…

  • Wooing Hollywood to Wine Country

    Pray tell, is it “campaign” or “champagne” season? I always get those two confused, seeing as corks tend to pop around voting booths, at least when I’m around. You see, I’m a political demigod – I learned long ago that true power, like crap, is taken not given.? Or, at least that’s how I imagine…

  • How to Make a Feature Film for $250

    Of the “rags to riches” narratives comprised in the American Dream, one variation seems to be recurring with the regularity of sprocket holes on celluloid. It’s the tale of the independent filmmaker, rebuffed by Hollywood, who manages to make a movie on little to no budget, often maxing out credit cards and the goodwill of…

  • Dial M for Movie: Will iPhone change how we make movies?

    Zealous geeks have their own version of the Rapture and Armageddon, neither of which is terribly apocalyptic unless, you know, one needs to reboot HAL or something. If this were an SAT-style analogy, it would go something like “Armageddon is to the Singularity as the Rapture is to ______.” The correct answer? (a) Convergence; (b)…