Stanley Kubrick: Man, Myth, Camera!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about this yet! I recently purchased my first DSLR, the Canon 550d, and I’ve named it STAN after the legendary film director, Stanley Kubrick!

And my, he’s a beauty. He takes amazing photos (especially in RAW format), and now that I’ve perfected the setinngs, he shoots stunning videos when accompanied by my new lens, the Canon EF 50mm/1.8, who I’ve named WALLY after Wally Pfister, the Director of Photography of The Dark Knight trilogy. I’ve also just purchased two lenses on eBay: the Vintage Praktica 28mm f/2.8 Prime Lens, and the German-made Carl Zeiss Jena 28mm f2.8 Lens. If you’ve got any filmic advice for using these lenses, please feel free to write a comment!

Anyways, here’s to an enjoyable future shooting films with Stan the Man!

Have a good weekend.

– N.MULLALLY

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40 Years of Leatherface

The buzz continues! This year, I’m excited to announce that the chilling 1974 slasher film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, will be re-released on Blu-Ray this September to celebrate its 40th anniversary. I love slasher films! Unfortunately I don’t write about them here, so I thought I would in this post to commemorate the legacy of this amazing film. I actually watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 this week, and its dark comedy was hilarious! However, I personally prefer the more intense violence and horror of the original film, as well as the 2003 remake (and its 2006 prequel). Additionally, I thought Texas Chainsaw 3D was a really great film, and I thought it was a wonderful homage to the original, in that it served as a true sequel to the original film as opposed to TCM 2. The 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray also includes tons of cool new special features that I can’t wait to watch! I’d love to watch the film with writer/director Tobe Hooper’s commentary, actually.

Anyways, slash away, horror lovers and chainsaw wielders!

N.MULLALLY

How Solomon Northup Inspired My Film

You’ve probably seen last year’s critically acclaimed (and Academy Award winning) Steve McQueen film, 12 Years a Slave. The film tells the incredibly remarkable story of the aforementioned Solomon Northup, an African-American free man living in New York who is then kidnapped and subsequently sold into slavery. The film won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. I personally enjoyed the film, and found it’s violent and intense sequences to be powerfully emotive and moving.

Basically, to explain the title of this post, I am writing to say that slavery is a major theme and important plot point in the screenplay for my (hopefully) 2015 feature film project. I am only on the first page of the script, but as the film’s duration goes on, the horrific reality of slavery will be portrayed. Northup’s amazing story has helped me in shaping and really giving deep thought to the brutal act of slavery, both in the past and even the present. 

Anyways, I purchased 12 Years a Slave on Blu-Ray last night, and I look forward to watching it next weekend.

Have a fantastically fun filmic weekend, filmmakers!

– N.MULLALLY

 

 

A Spike Jonze Love Story

Evening, filmlovers/makers and general audiences. I thought I’d write a post reflecting on a film I’ve been thinking a lot of about lately, it’s called ‘HER‘, and won last year’s Golden Globe & Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay – and it truly deserved both awards. It’s written and directed by Spike Jonze, and it’s about a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his intelligent computer operating system, voiced by the beautiful Scarlett Johansson. It was my personal favorite Oscar-nominated (and winning) film of 2013.

The film’s really been making me think about how connected and devoted we are to our technology. Be it our brand new iPhone, gaming console, video camera, printer, television or radio. As time goes by, will we, someday, be able to own an advanced OS and develop a relationship with them, laugh with them, cry with them, even get physically intimate with them? The film is like a haunting vision of the future, where finding love can be as close as your local electronics store.

From an indie filmmaker’s perspective, the film was fantastically and beautifully well-written, along with graceful cinematography that is so lovely to watch. I have to say, I’m a real crybaby in films, and I have to admit that by the end of this film (which has a beautiful ending), I had run out of tears. 

So if you’re looking for a truly remarkable technological romantic comedy-drama, why not give HER watch, and maybe even read the screenplay afterwards (you won’t be disappointed).

Hope you all had an awesome weekend. Here’s to the new week.

N.MULLALLY

The Death of Cinema?

This year, smartphone producers have stunned the world with an exciting new feature – Ultra HD 4K shooting capability. For those of you who do not know what 4K is, it is basically the equivalent of a digital professional film camera. The highest-quality 4K that looks most promising right now is from the Samsung Galaxy S5, that can shoot UHD 4K video at a video resolution of 3840 x 2160. While this is not true 4K, it is very close. Other smartphones that can shoot in 4K are the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Sony Xperia Z2. From the many video samples I have viewed on YouTube, the Galaxy S5 has the best audio and video quality. For a young indie filmmaker like myself, these smartphones are very appealing because they are much cheaper than a 4K video camera or DSLR. Most 4K cameras range from about AUD $950 and up, while the cheapest Galaxy S5 I have found from a quick Google search is AUD $619.00. If you want an even cheaper alternative, I’d say after the S5 that the Note 3 is the next best quality. I found one priced at AUD $372.00

So if all this sounds great, what’s with the title of this post? Well, professional film directors, such as the legendary Quentin Tarantino (my all-time favorite director) has labelled the rise of digital film technology as “the death of cinema”. Although I respect Tarantino’s liberal perspective as a lover of 35mm film, I personally am excited about the introduction of smartphones that can shoot video in UHD 4K, provided that people use the new feature to shoot videos, short films or even feature films and not videos of cats playing Jenga! 

Samsung Galaxy S5 4K Video Test – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO0gUEON8Kc

Galaxy Note 3 4K Short Film – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klYu_Qa_tjw

Sony Xperia Z2 4K UHD Video Test – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmIBJvWLD60

 

Enjoy your week filmmakers!

– N.MULLALLY