Sunday, January 24, 2021

"Wonderkid": a gay star soccer player hides out from his tormentors but still comes through

Football pitch metric

Wonderkid”, directed by Rhys Chapman, written by Marr Diss, presents a gay star British soccer player (Chris Mason) trying to avoid the subtle harassment of his teammates (30 min), om the Alexis Labtec channel.

The kid spends a lot of time sulking in hotel rooms, despite neatly packing and folding his clothes, and secretly making rendez-vous near Piccadilly Circus.  I don’t know if this could have happened during the pandemic, the film was released in July 2020.

There is one encounter toward the end.  Let your partner do it, I say. 

The soccer ("Association football") field diagram embedded from Wikipedia, click for attribution. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

"Fractal": curious sci-fi horror, very personalized


Model railroad 

Fractal” (19 min), from Bad Media Student (“Bad Robot”???), directed and written by Blake Hurford, looks enticing.  The title is interesting (self-replication of a pattern, common in nature). 

A young special ops student Maya (Skye Butcher) has finished her training and is sent back to her boyfriend (Zach Raabe), who had expected a relatively “conventional” relationship. 

She keeps relapsing into memories of her trainer (a fattish guy played by Jaxon Graham-Wilson) and deteriorates mentally.  Her genuine (and lean) boyfriend doesn’t notice the danger he is in, until too late.

I don’t think the physicality of the climax will be very clear to most viewers.

The film’s scenes are shot with different color filters to suggest various kinds of color-blindness.

There is some interesting background music:  a Chopin mazurka, and then some music that sounds rather like Max Reger.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

"I Can't Actually Believe This": comedy by Connor Franta ("Pigeons and Doves")


w Hollywood 2012

Connor Franta does another short monologue in his “Slice of Life” series, “I Can’t Actually Believe This”, alternative title, “Pigeons and Doves”. After publication he changed the title to "This Is a Lie

Connor uses pixie-like effects in his minimalist townhouse in West Hollywood, where he draws an analogy between the differences between pigeons and doves, and the dichotomy “Black Lives Matter” v. “all lives matter”.

There’s also the issue of his plants, which seem to be conscious life forms.

I have pigeons on my balcony, but it Is the crow, who will watch me work at my computer for 15 minutes at a time and return, like this unit is his.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

TRT World: "What Is Antifa?": can it morally barge in on "gentrified" outdoor dining?


Philadelphia, 2006

TRT World, from the Turkish Public Broadcast Service, presents a short narrated by Yunus Paksoy, “What Is Antifa?

Paksoy interviews Antifa activist Jason Charter, who makes three “demands”.

In the middle of the 11-minute film he migrates to interview Ford Fischer, who owns his own media company News2Share from Washington DC. 

Fischer points out that Antifa groups believe it is perfectly legitimate morally to protest in “gentrified” neighborhoods to point out to new residents and property owners that they have personally become part of the problem.

Later Paksoy presents some footage of the Capitol riots and then questions Charter about when violence against ordinary civilians is warranted.  He thinks he does have a right to barge into gentrified, privilege people having dinner and demanding allyship from them. He thinks that is not too much to ask given the circumstances. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

"Life on Gas Giants" (Dreksler), gas bag intelligent beings in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter?



The Dreksler channel describes “Life on Gas Giants” (Sept 2018)

Organisms like bacteria could float in the atmosphere indefinitely because of the strong winds below, in a zone of reasonable temperature and pressure.

Larger, bag-like and possibly quite large organisms could evolve (something like our own coelenterates or even octopi) and might even be intelligent and self-aware.  But it would be hard for them to find materials to build things (with ocean bottom organisms on Earth can do).

Wikipedia embed of comet collision with Jupiter in the 1990s, click for attribution. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

"Coronavirus Complications: Life After the Virus" (DW Documentary, Germany)



DW Documentary presents “Coronavirus Complications: Life After the Virus”, from Dec. 2020.

Filmed in Germany, the documentary examines the course of patients who go to the Schoen Klinik in Bavaria.  People who thought they had mild cases find their endurance and breathing capacity severely reduced even months later.  This is being reported more recently.

People go down to it for physical rehabilitation of their lung capacity.

Maria is a physician and is unable to meet the physical demands of the job with emergency treatment of patients.  On the other hand, Christopher finally recovers well enough to train for a marathon, after six months.

Recently, medical journals have reported that even asymptomatic cases often show significant damage on chest X-ray.  Among people whom I know, this has not really been confirmed. 

Wikipedia picture embed from Bavaria, click for embed 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

"What's Up with those COVID-19 Variants?" from Sci-Show

SARS-CoV-2 without background


SciShow asks, “What’s Up With Those COVID-19 Variants?” (January 12).

In six minutes, the short covers the B1.1.7 variant (UK) and B.1.351 (South Africa).

The variants have spike protein changes, making them attach to ACE2 receptors more easily, and another change that may make it harder for the immune system to recognize that a cell is infected.

The UK mutation may have occurred in a single patient who was ill a long time.

People with these variations seem to have several times the viral loads in their nasal passages.

An increase in transmissibility will increase the death rate downstream a few weeks later because of more cases.  The sudden explosion of the UK variant in early December 2020 has led to a new strict lockdown. 

Image, embed from Wikipedia, click for attribution. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

"Here Comes Frieda": a young woman expects a lottery ticket to grant her an escape from a category 6 superstorm


My model O'Niell Cylinder, 2015

The DUST short film “Here Comes Frieda”, directed by Robin Takao D’Oench, presents a young woman Lilly (Ellie Wallwork) cowering in a basement apartment in a big city as a superstorm, category 6, approaches.

She has bought a lottery ticket for a lifetime in a paradise in low orbit (presumably an O’Neill Cylinder). It’s 2040 and climate change is closing in.

But other people come to her apartment to take the ticket away from her, or to show it fake.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

"What does a Producer actually do" when making a film?


Random glove

Crimson Engine explains “What Does a Producer ACTUALLY Do?” (2018/2/13).

The producer runs the entire infrastructure to make the movie, but does not provide money.  The producer uses money raised by others, which are often financial entities on Wall Street.  The producer hires (and more rarely fires and replaces) the director.

He discusses the Executive Producer, which is a more flexible concept having to do with supporting the project and raising money.

He explains a PGA Title, which requires being on the set for 80% of the set days.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

"The Reimann Hypothesis: Explained": a math professor turns an unsolved math problem into interesting animation

Farey diagram square 9


Quanta Magazine presents Rutgers University mathematics professor Alex Konorovich explaining “The Reimann Hypothesis” (2021).

It’s hard to describe this for a short film review page.  It has been simulated on computers with trillions of computations, but it hasn’t been proven logically.

It will help predict the distribution of primes. Imagine a city, maybe in a science fiction movie (maybe in an O’Neill cylinder) where every building represents the number of floors equal to the number of prime factors of some prime number, with the streets arranged in a grid matching these numbers.

Proving the theorem and related ones (there is even a “Mobius function”) leads to some amazing animation.  It also corresponds to how quarks and bosons or the parts of baryonic matter behave.

Illustration is a Farey diagram, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

"Never Alone": If you lose a love, just imagine he is there


NYC 2016

Jesse James Rice presents “Never Alone” (2020), with Brian Sounalath and Jordon Sorenson.

A distraught man comes home and sees his ex-boyfriend at every turn in his house. 

Then a female friend comes over to hang out and make his face reality. The song “Roar” plays in the background.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Producers want to see brief synopses of proposed films before they see scripts or even long treatments


Mason Locke Weems and George Washington, VA

Shane Stanley (the Film Courage channel, from Oct 20, 2020, explains “Producers don’t want to read your screenplay; here’s what they really want.”

They don’t have time for full scripts.  They want a logline and two-page synopsis, one paragraph per act.  If appropriate (for a layered film) they may read a detailed treatment which could run twenty pages and shows all the backstories and character arcs.  You should copyright all your materials first before you send it to them (with the copyright office was well as Writer’s Guild. If the treatment is based on a previously published book, the connections (and changes) and legal stuff would have to be clearly stated. 

He also talked about the value of art work, and talked about that kinds of films are perceived as making money.  Exotic locations help.

Tyler Mowery (Practical Screenwriting) has a 24-part thread on Twitter today on screenwriting advice. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

"Just Ask Him": In high school, a shy student "confronts" his extroverted role model

DC United at RFK, 2014

 Just Ask Him” (2020), a short film by Brian Tognotti.

Andrew (Donovan Napoli) is a rather shy teen who wants to make a soccer team, and meets a more outgoing guy Ricky (Rio Davilla-Smith) in class.

It will turn out that both are in the closet, but Andrew needs to get up the courage to ask for a date, and to try out for the team. 


Saturday, January 09, 2021

Why many film school graduates never have a career in the film industry


driving to downtown LA, 2012

Shane Stanley explains “Big reason why many people will never have a career in the film industry” for Film Courage.

You have to hang out, offer to work for free (as an intern) and meet everyone and make yourself useful.

You have to become a prole.

Film school may not make that much difference. The video was release in December 2020.  How do you hang out during the pandemic? 

Is this the way to get “Epiphany” made? 

Friday, January 08, 2021

"The Mistake I Made When Hollywood Stole My Screenplay" (Shane Stanley)


Hotel room on the 405, in 2012

Shane Stanley explains “The Mistake I Made When Hollywood Stole My Screenplay”.

He says register your work with the copyright office, not just Writers Guild West.

When the film comes out, the Monday before the Friday opening, you file a complaint.

I wonder how likely this would be with my own “Epiphany” screenplay.  So many charactersm so complicated.  But one good idea I’ll share here:  a guy could to an intentional community, in resignation after the world falls apart, and offer to build them a system to turn work credits into cryptocurrency.

This writer says, don’t share their work (even in Zoom sessions)?  Is it really that likely to happen?

To be “ripped” is a common slang among videographers and some screenwriters.

There is a different culture between people who write for a living and people who write out of ego.



Thursday, January 07, 2021

"This Is a Test" of how your afterlife starts


my train set 

This Is a Test”, by Nathaniel Hoopes (16 minutes) on the DUST Channel.

Well, in an IT shop, we would have said, if it works, it’s production, otherwise it’s a test.

An obese man does string-theory dimensional travel to various locations in his life, carrying a pet jellyfish in a bowl, and sometimes using a Sony HD camera with a small screen. 

The effect is that of a David Lynch movie, reminiscent of Eraserhead and with a song that reminds me of the Lady in the Radiator.

Perhaps this is what happens at Death, time stops and you loop through your life infinitely. If your brain is still physically intact.

The end credits roll so fast you can't read the actor's name. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

"How I Became Confident", Nate O'Brien makes Philly look interesting


Philadelphia, Drexel U, 2018

On this crazy day when the Capitol was attacked, I’ll share a film a little more uplifting, “How I Became Confident”, by Nate O’Brien.

O’Brien, 22, makes videos with financial advice for teens and young adults, does intriguing selfies around Philadelphia, and makes the City of Brotherly Love look intriguing, even mysterious.

It is not another borough of New York City.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

"A Woman's Work: The NFL's Cheerleader Problem" on PBS Independent Lens (abridged)


Raven's home stadium, Baltimore, 2010

 Yu Gu directs the documentary “A Woman’s Work: TheNFL’s Cheerleader Problem”, an 80-minute documentary truncated to about 50 minutes to fit into one hour on PBS Independent Lens on Monday January 4, 2021.  The film is written by Elizabeth Ai and Jennifer Arbold. Feminism and pro football collide.

There are around ten lawsuits against various NFL teams by the women, who at first had to deal with not being paid regularly. Then there was the question as to whether they were employees or contractors.

The job involves a lot of physical fitness sessions, and I even wondered about Washington’s have a female assistant coach.

There was plenty of script that maintained that women always have two jobs, including in the home.

Monday, January 04, 2021

"The Rise of Bitcoin", major documentary showing how cryptocurrency got started


coins at home

The YouTube channel Plot11 offers “Digital Economy Infotainment”, and on Dec. 18, 2020 it posted “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin”, directed by Nicholas Mross, as a YouTube Original.

It seems to be a prequel to “The End of Money as We Know It” (2015) which I reviewed on Wordpress.

Bitcoin is essentially an open accounting system posted on a decentralized public ledger called a blockchain, allowing users to process what amount to “labor credit” in relation to a finite supply of computing power,’

It was supposedly envisioned in 2008 by a person using the name Satoshi Nakamoto.  At the end of the film, a person named Dorian with that last name is entertained by denies connection to the project now.

The very first transaction using bitcoin was supposedly a pizza order.

The film traces particularly the developing of two trading exchanges, Mt. Gox, which would go under, and Trade Hill.

The film traces the careers of some entrepreneurs, including Charlie Shrem, who would be arrested and imprisoned for two years for abetting the operation of Silk Road, on a charge relating to unlicensed financial transfers (didn’t make a lot of sense).  The film also briefly covers the imprisonment of Ross Ulbricht.  The film points out that having a digital currency (and even tools like TOR) doesn't mean you will use it illegally. 

Sunday, January 03, 2021

"At the Intersection of LGBTQ Pride and Black Lives Matter", short film by the Los Angeles Times


West Hollywood, 2012

The Los Angeles Times has a short film “At the Intersection of LGBTQ Pride and Black Lives Matter”, posted July 2020, with Erika D. Smith, Lillian Faderman and Alexei Romanoff, 6 minutes,

I can rather let the film speak for itself.

However the tone of gay rights has changed since 2010 (end of “don’t ask don’t tell” and even 2015 (Obergefell and gay marriage) and today, with the pandemic and then the unrest after a number of police actions against some individuals of color.

This year, the pandemic precluded Pride celebrations as we known them and largely (though not completely) closed bars and discos; but large protests associated with Black Lives Matter grew.  Various influencers in the gay community were encouraged to vigorously support BLM on their social media pages, often unaware of the apparent Marxist connections (as with Patrisse Cullors).

The film maintains that Stonewall started among people of color, not white gay men, who are quite separate in many cultural beliefs.

Friday, January 01, 2021

"The FLOW State of Life" (from "Perspectopia")


Chapel Hill, NC, 2017, my visit

Max Reisinger, owner of “Perspectopia”, offers a six minute outdoor meditation, “The Flow State of Life”, otherwise titled “Every Time I Walked Back to Get My Camera in 2020”.

With lively varied speed photography of the self, he describes how his life changed when he went to high school in France for a year, and then came back to North Carolina for his senior year (combined with college start) and started his clothing company.

There’s a lot or organized stuff in his production room, which would not please minimalists.

Some of the ideas are similar to the college videos on John Fish’s channel (Harvard).

I think this could make a nice entry for DC Shorts2021.