Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Enter The Void" Trailer

Definitely interested in checking this movie out when/if it makes its way to the States.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Short Film Review - Spike Jonze's "I'm Here"

So, my first movie review here is going to be somewhat unconventional, as I am reviewing a short film rather than a feature, but it is very fitting for the particular film I am reviewing. The film is "I'm Here" and it is the new short film by director Spike Jonze. In the past we knew him as the skateboarding music video guy who directed the "Weapon Of Choice" video by Fatboy Slim with Christopher Walken. Back then we said this guy had a very bright future ahead of him and we were quite correct.

Spike has directed three films since his music video days, "Being John Malkovich", "Adaptation." and most recently, "Where The Wild Things Are" which was one of my favorite films of last year. Check out the trailer for "I'm Here" below before reading on.

Most short films these days are being released on the internet and this film is no different, except for the way it has been presented. Upon entering the film's website the viewer is presented with a movie theater box office simulation in which you must digitally walk up and get a ticket to enter the theater. There are limited screenings per day so only a couple thousand people will get to see the film per day (As of this writing the film has been available online for quite some time, so you are almost guaranteed to get a seat). The presentation of this menu was quite pleasing and felt like a well put together DVD menu instead of a website.

Once you have your ticket you are prompted to choose "Full Experience" or to just skip and go straight to the movie. I chose skip, but the full experience seems like a facebook connect application where you can hold a screening with friends over facebook, which seems neat, but I was eager to watch the film.

Spike has a wonderful way of connecting people emotionally to his films through the use of music. From the opening credits as we pass by what seems to be a normal American city, the tone of the music says different. It is somber and almost futuristic sounding alerting us that this is no ordinary town. In fact, it is an alternate reality where humans coexist with robots. Now you're thinking, "Oh, it's THAT kind of story. I've seen that movie before...", but this isn't your average I, Robot kind of movie.

What Spike is doing these days with mixing practical with CG effects is pretty amazing stuff. His work on "Where The Wild Things Are" has proven that we can do so and have it be close to 100% invisible to the human eye. His secret is that he captures the emotion in the eyes. Using a practical body for familiar human movement as we perceive it, He masks his non-human characters with computer generated eyes and mouths to give the characters complete emotional depth. This combination is practiced in "I'm Here" and he has proven himself a master filmmaker yet again. It is the best possible combination that even James Cameron fails to recognize (With 100% CGI characters like the ones in Avatar our mind is still distracted on the animation rather than paying attention to the characters themselves).

The story itself may be considered conventional if conventional characters were used, but these robots definitely enable the plot to thicken. It is a love story of sorts, boy meets girl, yadda yadda yadda. But the design of the characters, the atmosphere, the music, the cinematography (the Cinematographer of the film, Adam Kimmel, recently shot "Lars and the Real Girl" which is strikingly similar in both plot and overall look) makes it such a unique experience that everyone should see.

Click the link below to go to the digital theater lobby and see the film!

"I'm Here"
Dir: Spike Jonze
Rating: 10/1o WATCH IT NOW!

Skateboarding Animation

Thought I'd share this video I found on Vimeo the other day.

Skateboardanimation from Tilles Singer on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

WTF!? Of The Week

WTF!? Of The Week will be a weekly post containing something that I find to be just completely ridiculous. This weeks WTF!? Of The Week is:

Shaped Animal Rubber Bands.

That's right. Apparently these little things are all the rage with the kids these past few weeks. We've been getting them in constantly at work and somehow cannot manage to keep them in stock for more then a week.

To get you up to speed on exactly what these things are, the concept is simple. take a normal colored rubber band, make it into a shape like an animal or even a car (who the heck wants a car shaped rubber band?) and BAM! you got yourself a fashionable bracelet. The only odd thing I find is that once you put it on, the shape disappears and it just looks like a regular old cheap rubber band.

So here's the price breakdown for these things. a whopping $1.99 for a package of 12! Walgreens also sells a normal 1/2 lb bag containing a couple hundred rubber bands for $3.49. Oh, and even better...Target sells a large bag of assorted colors for only .49cents! can't beat that.

Here's a little video displaying how these things work. The video does a great job at showing how ridiculous the idea is.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Captain Stubling reporting for duty!

After much debate, i've just ordered myself a Redrock Micro Captain Stubling support rig for my Canon 7D. For anyone who doesn't know what this is, basically it helps stabilize video shot on a Digital SLR camera and also adds follow focus to the mix allowing the operator much easier focusing control. The rig looks like this:

I also found a video of someone using the rig if you are curious as to how it operates (which, believe me, was hard to find for some reason).

Redrock Captain Stubing - Setup from Matt Conway on Vimeo.

I should be receiving the rig within the next few days, so once I get a chance to test it out i'll post some of my thoughts.

First Posting

Hello Everyone!

...or no one since this is my first post here on 'A Taste For The Visual'.

Well, anyway. Welcome!

This blog will serve as my output for all things visual I encounter. whether it be pictures I have taken, films i've worked on, movies I review, things i'm excited for... You name it, it will go here!

For now just enjoy the few things I have added to the page. You will see my Flickr Photostream toward the top of the page, where you can check out my latest ventures in photography, and to the right of the page you can check out some of the links i've added. I'd recommend checking out my Vimeo page if you are interested in any videos i've posted recently.