Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Get Out: The movie we all need

A trailer's been popping up in my feed recently, Jordan Peele's Get Out. Without sound, I assumed it was some FunnyOrDie send-up short about race relations. Like 'omg my white girlfriend doesn't use a washcloth in the shower, what terror' ala Dave Chapelle.

Turns out it's like a thousand times cooler than that.

This movie looks like the perfect cultural response to the racist madness we're grappling with today. It brings the banal terrors of racism that we're inundated with and makes them horrific, to apparently amazing effect.

By the look of the trailer, everything that is understated, insinuated, or denied in mainstream white culture is manifested in its final form here. White people are actually deleting black people from this community through some kind of hypnotic assimilation, and the fall-out is staged against cringe-worthy moments of white ineptitude performed by upper-class parental figures meeting their daughter's black boyfriend. Amazing.

I feel emotionally invested in this crazy movie to a degree that no horror about zombies or possessed children could ever achieve. As a white person, I'm excited to watch this movie for the moments that bring Daniel Kaluuya's character to life in the face of larger-than-life caricatures of white oppression. I want him to triumph over the stupidity as an avatar for every person of color who has to deal with the real-life equivalents of this madness every moment.

The true measure of how impactful this film is going to be is playing out right before our eyes in the comments section of the trailer on youtube. People who are excited about the movie because it reflects their experience or because they find it really clever like I do are waging full on battle with the racist trolls coming out of the woodwork. The fragile white fight is going on full steam! I hope it converts to box office sales.

+10,000xp to Jordan Peele for having this idea. Read More......

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Behind the scenes: Producing/Shooting at LAX

This commercial was a challenge to produce! I decided I'd jot down some notes for anyone shooting at a big airport in the future:

Filming at LAX: Airport security requires background checks for the entire crew, which means you have to be crewed up a week in advance. All gear has to pass through TSA, so we opted to go with Alexa Amiras. Shooting on tarmac comes with a $10m insurance requirement that has to be prepared 7 days in advance in order to obtain the FilmLA permit in time. LAX parking+security+traffic meant no production runs, so everything had to be on hand for the first shot. Background was uncontrolled (it's an airport) so we had to have a number of releases on hand. All in all this 60 second job required 31 insurance documents, permit requests, or applications.

We only had the marching band for a total of 4 hours between the two locations, UCLA and LAX, which required two units and a total of 6 cameras. 3 to cover the constant action in the airport, 1 to capture the marching band on the UCLA field, a timelapse camera, and a background shooter for media. The client wanted one set of footage that was basically a press-release on the event, and another set that was more cinematic, this cut.

Filming at UCLA: Drones aren't allowed on campus, so an overhead shot of a football field is a tricky one. UCLA was more than happy to allow us to use their 40' scissor lift, which was a huge boon.

Though all of our airport/campus contacts were very professional and helpful, I cannot imagine doing an airport shoot if it wasn't for an airport client like Delta (and UCLA on campus). With Delta we got: Access to special rooms to create a DIT base camp, entrance through Delta One, and the ability to coordinate plane arrivals with our crew, which made the whole approach shot possible.

All in all, a bunch of work for 60 seconds! Read More......