Cinematic Experience: From Spectacle to Empathy

A new housemate once told me she didn’t like movies, and I was surprised, how could she not like movies? She said she didn’t like having her emotions manipulated. And sure, I’ve cried at the movies. Even a good documentary can move me. It’s empathy happening.

Say you’re watching a movie at home and you have no empathy for the protagonist, what’s to keep you interested, keep you from turning off the show and moving on with your life? Perhaps curiosity? Suspense? If you don’t want to know what happens next, the movie has failed. And in that sense, every movie is a suspense film. Continue reading

40-Second Elvis Movie

At a party convened to celebrate poetry, If Not For Kidnap, a guy introduced himself and said he’d perform an Elvis song from an avant-garde French movie in which Elvis played an ornithologist. James Okubo, a filmmaker based in L.A., was at the party with me and I said let’s make it—the Northwest Film Center had an upcoming 40 second film festival.

Here’s a sample of the storyboards I made for this project: Storyboard

Portland, Oregon: Video Production & Multimedia Internship with ProspectPDX

ProspectPDX is looking for an intern who can help out on commercial production. Experience not required, they want you to learn new skills. The biggest requirement is being passionate and hard-working. They’re offering ten hours a week for three months. It’s open ended. The main focus will be video but you’ll probably work with other media. If you’re resourceful and able to learn on the fly, apply! Selected candidates will hear a reply in mid-January.

PROSPECTPDXInternship

Active link to online application form: http://goo.gl/xbWdaL

Portland Film Festival 2014

Last November I began inviting filmmakers and authors to participate on panel discussions at the Portland Film Festival. Thanks to Steve Doughton, we’re fortunate to have Jon Raymond on the screenwriting panel. Raymond has a collection of short stories, Livability, featuring the Pacific Northwest (most take place in Portland), and he’s made four movies set in Oregon with Kelly Reichardt, including Night Moves and Meek’s Cutoff. PDXFF14indie

I first learned about Ted Chiang after watching a movie, Enemy, and reading an article that mentioned the director’s next project, Story of Your Life. Ted Chiang is a 21st century Borges, a master of short fiction, and his participation in the Science Fiction, Film and Technology panel has been a big draw for the festival. His story, Understand, is also slated for a screen adaption. PDXFF14scifi

We’ve also got the area’s hottest literary agent, Fiona Kenshole, moderating a panel discussion on adapting books to film. She’s worked with major directors and screenwriters, acquiring and adapting books and original scripts into movies, including the Academy-nominated Coraline. See portlandfilmfestival.com to discover what we’ve prepared for you. PDXFF14booksI put together the posters using Photoshop and InDesign.