48 Hour Film Festival, cont.

That was another great theatre-going experience to mark down in my book. The Tivoli was PACKED OUT. I got there just before seven (when the show was supposed to start, but it didn’t get started until 7:15), and there were people lined up outside, not able to get in because it was sold out. Wow. All to watch a bunch of ten-to-fifteen-minute-long shorts that amateur filmmakers wrote, shot, and edited in one weekend. Of course, given that they were all made here, each filmmaker probably only had to get twenty or so of his friends to show up to fill up the place. Still. It was great to see that kind of support for the filmmaking community. In total, 48 teams set out on the project, and 40 of them completed their films on time (the rest are shown, but not in competition). Those films were split up between four, I think, different screenings. Each audience member got a ballot to vote for their three favorite films in the grouping, and the votes will be counted and a “best of” will screen next Thursday. I sort of want to go, but I probably won’t. Especially since I didn’t get a ticket while I was there tonight, and it’s probably sold out already.

The films were of varying quality, of course. Each one was a different genre–drawn by the team out of a hat at the beginning of the project. Each team had to include a specific character (a bank manager), a specific prop (a shopping bag), and a specific line of dialogue (“Is that all I am to you?”) in their film. Some of them came up with really interesting twists on that…like the team whose bank manager worked at a sperm bank. Most of the films had interesting storylines. The downfall of the less impressive films, I think, was sound. Sound is hard, yo. Which is why I always hated working with sound, and why I chose to emulate silent film in my biggest film project in school. ;)

What was really great, though, was how much the audience was into it. Again, partly because they were watching their films, or their friends’ films, on a big screen in a big theatre, with a big audience, which is cool in and of itself. But everyone pretty much enjoyed all the films. There was more laughter and applause and hoots and hollers than I’ve ever heard at a theatre. That made it even more enjoyable. I just looked at the website for the project (www.48hourfilm.com), hoping to find a list of film titles to jog my memory, but they don’t have them listed yet. They do have last year’s listed, so hopefully after the screenings and competition are complete, they will.

Overall, great experience. Thanks, MK, for letting me know about it. (She doesn’t even read this, but what the hey.) I will definitely be looking out for this sort of thing in the future. Actually, I imagine they have more stuff like this in Austin than they do here. Will have to check that out.

Commerical Fun

Sometimes I love commercials. This one had me falling off the couch.

The best part is when the voice over guy comes on and lists “crime deterrent” among the phone’s features with a totally straight expression.

And this one’s not funny, but it’s one of my favorite recent commercials. Okay, it’s mostly because I like that I’ve seen almost all of the films Kate Winslet is describing. And I like her accent. I=shallow.

If companies would make good, entertaining commercials all the time–commercials that people want to upload to YouTube and add to their favorites list and rewatch multiple times–they wouldn’t have so much of a problem with people fast-forwarding through the commercials on their DVRs. Advertisers, RIAA and MPAA: Quit putting so much effort into stopping people from using your content illegally (or not at all, in the case of ads) and redirect some of your efforts into making quality content.

48 Hour Film Project

I know some of y’all are into independent film. If you’re free tomorrow night, the 48 Hour Film Project is showing a festival of the films submitted last year. Basically, the project gives aspiring filmmakers 48 hours to write, cast, shoot and edit a film, which is then shown as part of the traveling festival, and I think there’s also a competition for the best film submitted.

The Shields’ and Keane’s cousin Mike submitted a film to it, and it’s showing at 7pm tomorrow night at the Tivoli Theatre in University City. I know a few people who are going, so if you wanna support the independent film scene, come join us.

April Reading/Watching Recap

This month, my reactions to Broken Flowers, Thank You for Smoking, Sophie Scholl, Inside Man, War of the Worlds, The Constant Gardener, Crash, Digital Fortress, If on a winter’s night a traveler, and more.


Hi, I’m Jandy, and I have an obsessive personality. Or something like it. I get incredibly obsessed incredibly easily, and when I get obsessed with something, I go all the way. When I was little, it was horses. I had an imaginary stable. But this wasn’t just “oh, sometimes I imagine I have horses.” No, I had a registry. Like, a physical notebook that listed all my horses’ names, their breed and breeding, their height, their color, their discipline, their temperament…and this was an ongoing thing for years, where the horses got older, and I bred them together, and got new horses that got added to the registry, etc. I still have that book somewhere.

Later, it was figure skating. This was after the 1994 Olympics. I watched it faithfully, learned the names of all the skaters, all the commentators, all the jumps and how to do them (although I can’t skate, so I just had to pretend to do them in my living room), kept a spreadsheet keeping track of which skaters were from where and what they’d won, taped and watched every competition for the next two or three years.

On to TV shows, which remain an obsession–to varying degrees depending on the TV show. I can name you pretty much every episode of Buffy right now. Veronica Mars, same thing. I go through phases where all I want to do is watch a specific TV show, whether it be 24 or Lost or Gilmore Girls or Desperate Housewives or whatever. These obsessions tend to be short-lived and don’t extend outside of the show itself (i.e., I don’t really get a great desire to learn everything about the actors’ lives).

Movies are an ongoing one, so I’m not even mentioning it. My love of movies is always bubbling under the surface, but it rarely exhibits itself as an out-and-out obsession.

My current obsession, as you may have guessed based on my last couple of posts, is American Idol, and believe me saying that is incredibly embarrassing. I have spent four years mocking this show specifically and reality TV in general (I still reserve my right to mock other reality shows), and claiming that even this year when I decided to try it out as a concert show, I wouldn’t get into the whole competition/voting aspect. Yeah, that lasted all of four or five shows into the competition segment. By that time, I’d caught McPheever and I couldn’t turn back.

I spent two or three hours this morning scouring the net for clips of interviews, news of what the Idols are doing next, and trying to talk myself out of wanting to go to the American Idol concert this summer. I dislike the elimination aspect a LOT, and I loved the finale with all the Idols back and performing together and just having fun. Now I really really want to go to the concert. Really really badly. Someone talk me out of this! Or, alternately, agree to go with me.

Yeah, that would work. So how about it? August 13th at Savvis? I’d have to come back from Texas for that, but I’d probably do it. That’s how obsession works. Or else September in Austin. For that I’d have to drag my livejournal friend from Houston, though, and a) Houston’s a long way from Austin (although she loves Austin and might do it, and b) I’m not sure she’d want to go. But tickets are on sale now, and I’m sure they’re going fast, so if I don’t decide soon, my decision might get made for me against my will.

In related news, Steven Spielberg wants to meet with Kat! Woohoo! In other, less fun news, her album probably won’t be recorded and released for like six months.

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