Keep on Rollin’ will appear in the inaugural edition of the Long Shadow Film Festival 11/21/11

My music promo for Voodoo Swing, Keep on Rollin’ will appear in the inaugural edition of the Long Shadow Film Festival next week. The venue is at the Filmbar in Phoenix, AZ.


Rémy Martin The Heart of Cognac Experience

Last night I attended the Rémy Martin The Heart of Cognac Experience tasting at the Ebell of Los Angeles in Hancock Park. The event is broken into separate rooms, each focusing on a different theme. They really went all out on this, it was quite an enjoyable time. If you are at all interested in cognac, or liquor, I would highly recommend this event. I should also mention, a strict ‘no photo’ policy was in place, so I have no pictures to accompany this article.

Upon arrival, a suggested charitable donation was encouraged at the door and you are given two tokens redeemable for drinks as you wait for your ‘tour’. The waiting room is adored with quotes and various trivia relating to the Rémy Martin brand and a cognac bar. I ordered two of their sidecars, which consists of:

Rémy Martin Sidecar

    1 1/2 oz. Rémy Martin VSOP
    3/4 oz. Cointreau
    1/2 oz. lemon juice

Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

And ‘hey’, they were pretty good.

First, we were brought into a room with a flat screen TV; where they played a video detailing the process behind cognac production and what makes the Rémy Martin house different from other brands. (hint: its the grapes). At the end the presentation you are given a shot of VS cognac.

Next, my favorite part of the tour,  we were brought into a room with hundreds of graduated cylinders. Each was filled with Rémy Martin cognacs of different vintages. The crowd was broken into small groups and it was our task to best replicate Rémy Martin VSOP with 1, 2, 5, and 10 year old cognac blends. Our first attempt was way to strong. However, in the last few seconds, we put together a second milder blend and we tied another group for first place. In addition to the cognac blend that we made, this room was finished off with a shot of VSOP.

Last was a room lined with oak barrels made to replicate the cellars master distillers use to age the cognac. This room was finished off with a shot of XO.

By this time I was properly inebriated. Lucky for me, Jennifer was my ride home. And that concluded a really great night.

below is my invite

You’re Invited to the Remy Martin Heart of Cognac Tasting Event

The Heart of Cognac Experience

Come join Rémy Martin for
The Heart of Cognac Experience,
an unforgettable evening of good
friends and outstanding cognac.
If you have a passion for fine spirits
and enjoy the thrill of discovery,
this exclusive event is for you.
In addition to tasting some of our
finest spirits, you will learn how
Rémy Martin captures the
Heart of Cognac in every bottle.

You and your guests must be 21 years or older with valid photo identification to attend the event(s).

PLEASE CLICK BELOW to learn more and find the event location in your area.


Review – The Skin I Live In (2011) – dir. Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In (2011)
2011 Sony Pictures Classics

During the Cannes Film Festival, if you miss one of the red carpet premiers all is not lost. They replay all films that appear in the main competition at alternate venues on the final Sunday of the festival. I had the pleasure of seeing Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I live In starring Antonio Banderas at one such venue.

At the risk of giving too much away, The Skin I Live In is the story of a brilliant plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard (Banderas) who has developed a new type of synthetic skin impervious to damage. The new skin doesn’t burn, it prevents mosquito bites and can be used in skin grafts for burn victims. His invention is a true medical breakthrough. Apon announcing his findings to the medical community, Ledgard’s colleagues plague him with accusations regarding the nature of his tests and things are further complicated through a link between his work in progress and a personal tragedy. Parallel roads cross paths when Ledgard stumbles across a botched burglary and he is forced to take action.

It should be known that my vagueness above is deliberate. The Skin I live In is a wonderfully complex tale, and unfortunately such a short description doesn’t do it justice. My goal was to avoid spoilers as best as possible. Hopefully my review will peak your interest and act as encouragement to see this film for yourself. If it’s not already understood, I think it was great and highly recommend it. It’s not often a film has such a lasting effect.

Let me know what you think in the comments section.


Coup de Pouce workshop РCannes Short Film Corner РCourt M̩trage

As part of the Short Film Corner, the Cannes Film Festival offers a series of panels and workshops for young filmmakers. I applied and was selected for one such panel. It was called, ‘Coup de Pouce’, which roughly translates to ‘helping hand’ or ‘a push in the right direction’. My advisor was Roland Nguyen, head of the short film acquisition at France 3 television; we discussed short films and the viability of sales in an ever-crowded marketplace.

The majority of Nguyen’s advice was from a Francophone perspective. That said, the recommendations were still applicable for sales outside of French speaking markets. He said: concentrate on visually stunning productions; work with a distributor if possible, don’t try to sell your film yourself as buyers often purchase shorts in blocks; and not to spend too much time on broadcasters, focus on the internet and new media. Directors can rely on gimmicks to create buzz around their films. For example, a filmmaker offered a €100 prize via twitter to one lucky fan who both watched and shared his film. Finally, he suggested not worrying too much about recouping investment in your short. This should be the springboard to launch your career.

French television is one of the largest buyers of short films in the world. However, to receive government funding they are required to purchase a certain amount of French films. After that, they concentrate on French speaking nations like Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. Then finally, they look to the rest of the world for content. So for us in English speaking regions, it’s not the most viable game plan to try to sell to French TV.

For English speaking content there are opportunities at the following stations: BBC [UK], Channel 4 [UK], Movieola [CAN], Sundance [US], IFC [US].

While the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival is a great place to land a sale or distribution deal, Nguyen stressed that the premier venue is International Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand. Clermont-Ferrand takes place in the winter before Cannes and it’s the largest short film market in the world. He asserted that you should contact your prospective buyers months before the event. You can find contacts in databases like Cinando. And plan to attend; you will strengthen your chances of success by meeting with buyers in person.

In closing, the Coup de Pouce was a great experience and I would like to thank the Cannes Short Film Corner for selecting me. It’s nice to be able to speak to someone on the other side of the fence and hear the perspective of an actual buyer. And finally, I hope those who read this write-up find my notes useful.


Keep on Rollin’ album promo for Voodoo Swing, Electric Lotus Label and Gretsch guitars

Here is a promo I shot for the new Voodoo Swing album, ” Keep on Rollin’ “, for sale May 7th, 2011. Voodoo Swing are signed with Electric Lotus Label and sponsored by Gretsch guitars


Brandon Adamson – Apricots and Afterthoughts

Finished color correction late last night. Final titles complete. Without further ado, here is Brandon Adamson – Apricots and Afterthoughts. Enjoy.


Polaroids scanned and ready to edit,

All the Polaroids have been scanned for Apricots and Afterthoughts, now begins the color correcting and editing.


Polaroid photo shoot today.

I shot about 200 Polaroids for a music promo today with Ashleigh Taylor Silverman (model) and Brandon Adamson (musician) for his upcoming single, “Apricots and Afterthoughts”. The idea is to stitch the photos together on a video timeline and create a nostalgic slideshow animation effect. I’m super happy with the results. I think with a little color correcting, it’s going to look very nice.

The day started out with a bit of a snag, my light assembly got all jacked and wouldn’t lock down. I was unable to point it in any direction other than straight up. This was remedied with copious amounts of blue painters tape, which at times I use en lieu of gaffers tape, problem solved.

Most of the film carried an expiration date between 2002 and 2008. Because it was bought from multiple sources, it was impossible to know if it was cared for properly. Brandon and I did do some test shots earlier this week and to be honest the results were mixed.

I would say that the shoot today had an 85% usable shot rate. Whereas, the other 15% were throw aways do to the emulsion being dried out. Once more, the practice shots we took represented some of the poorest examples and by firing those we actually got rid of some of the bad roles rather then shooting them during production. So everything worked out great. Also, I should add, Ashleigh takes beautiful pictures. This was a major contributing factor to the high usable footage rate. And she is a sweetheart to boot.

I also took some 35mm stills, after I scan those I’ll post a couple here.

In other news: today is my birthday.


Polaroid promo coming next month

Brandon Adamson is prepping for an upcoming music promo to be shot entirely on Polaroid Spectra film next month. He’s been buying tons of the stuff on ebay, I’m going to do all the photography and after the pics are scanned edit the piece together. He’s picked out a model and forwarded me her Model Mayhem page. She’s a super cutie so I’m excited and think thing will turn out great.


Shot some scenes for writer / director Mike Pearson this weekend,

This weekend I shot some scenes for writer / director Mike Pearson’s upcoming project. I’ve agreed not to divulge any info regarding the content as it is “in production”. There will be more info available as the project progresses. All the motion footage captured this weekend was super 8mm, shot on his Sankyo 620 XL camera. We used pro8mm stock, 200T(interiors) and 64D (exteriors). And I shot some medium format promo stills on his Holga.