Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Tangled Tail - the trailer

Now that the festival buzz is over, it's time to settle back into work. Some of you may be wondering what I've been doing with that sweet sand animation set-up I constructed a few months ago. I have put it to good work! Below is a trailer for my newest film, which I hope to finish by the end of the year.

If you are blown away by the music, you should be. My friend Sean McClowry has graciously allowed me to use his "Concerto for Double Bass - 2nd Movement" for the trailer. Listen to more of his excellent compositions on his website,

I'll be working on this film over the summer, and researching the subject on the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork rivers with my new fly rod! I can actually step out our back door and throw my line in the river. Of course, that doesn't guarantee I'll be bringing home dinner.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Aspen ShortsFest, Day 2,3,4,5

How many films can you watch in 5 days? At Aspen ShortsFest, you can watch all 82! I think this festival is just about perfect in it's size and format. There are 2 screenings each evening, each presenting a "well-balanced meal" of films of various genres, subjects and tones. You leave the theatre feeling satisfied but not overwhelmed. Neither are you faced with that dilemma that often happens at larger festivals with multiple screening venues, of having to choose which films NOT to see. Here you can actually see them all.

So, after several days of a well-balanced film diet, and just before the awards ceremony, we give you our favorite picks. I've tried to provide links to websites and trailers where available so click the picture for more info on each film.

Raju Max Zähle, Germany/India
an and Sarah are overjoyed to adopt an orphaned boy from Kolkata. When he vanishes, they begin a frantic search and hit upon some unsettling truths in the process.

Falling Adriano Cirulli, UK/Italy
A poetic study of human interaction, expressed through movement and sound.

Time Freak Andrew Bowler, USA
Chronology goes comically awry for a wacky inventor trying to change his life through his time machine.

West of the Moon Brent Bonacorso, USA, 10 min
Perhaps one of my favorite of the entire festival, this recounting of a dream becomes a visual feast of paradoxes.

The Little Boy and the Beast Johannes Weiland and Uwe Heidschötter, Germany
A gracious and witty picture of parents at their most difficult moments. Beautiful story and delightful animation.

dik Christopher Stollery, Australia
A child’s drawing is the inadvertent catalyst for this spirited domestic comedy about sexuality and secrets.

And last, but certainly not least, I must give a mention to Animal Beatbox, by Damon Gameau of Australia There is nothing technically special about this animated oddity. In fact it looks as though it was made by a guy, his mother and his girlfriend in 3 days. In fact it was. But when you watch it, you'll see why it was the unofficial hit of the festival. I warn you, the beat will be stuck in your head for days.

Special thanks to all the filmmakers and festival staff and volunteers who made Shortsfest such a great success!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aspen ShortsFest, Day 1

Aspen ShortsFest started off with a bang last night at the Wheeler Opera House. Thom and I love watching movies in the Wheeler. We sit right up in front in the cushy red seats and enjoy the show.

The first thing that came up on the screen, in all its HD glory, was that smart little Aspen bear! Wow! It looked great on the big screen, which reminded me why film festivals will never go out of style, even when everything is up on YouTube. I can't wait to see how "Snow" looks up there Friday night!

If the first 2 programs are anything to go by, this is going to be an amazing 5 days of shorts. Thom and I stayed for both programs and even with our high standards, we couldn't find one film to complain about. In fact some of them were so good they are absolutely worth mentioning. If you have a chance to see these films at a festival, you should:

Swimming Pool - Alexandra Hetmerova, Czech Republic,
It's a quiet evening at the city pool, and two strangers looking for peace instead find each other in this charming aquatic tale.

The Wind Is Blowing on My Street - Saba Riazi, Iran
The wind blows, the gate closes, and a young woman in Tehran finds herself stranded on the street without her headscarf.

North Atlantic - Bernardo Nascimento, UK/Portugal
Hugo, a young air traffic controller in the Azores, has only one pilot on his radar tonight. Their conversation is one he won't soon forget.

Stanley Pickle -Victoria Mather, UK
Stanley's life runs like clockwork, until an encounter with a mysterious girl awakens something deep inside.

After the show, several of the filmmakers came up on stage and spoke about their films and answered questions from the audience. Afterwards, we headed over to the Library (a cozy little bar) at the Hotel Jerome for a nightcap and more conversation with other filmmakers and guests. This will be going on every night at different local venues, so if you come out for the screenings, be sure ask where the party is and bring your stub for discounts on the bar tab. I have to say, from a filmmaker's perspective, ShortsFest is certainly one of the best run festivals that I've been to, and the Aspen community is certainly coming out for it!