Oct 31, 2009

Pumpkin Theology

Charlie Brown and Linus have always had entertaining outlooks on things. Have a great Halloween everyone. Let the holiday ads begin!

Oct 30, 2009

51 Worst Horror Movie Cliches

Getting into the Halloween spirit I found myself scrolling though numerous videos and posts about the upcoming day of tricks and treats. I then thought that it would be fun to write a list of horror movie cliches - especially because no genre pains me more. For every good horror flick it seems there is at least 100 more that are so bad they might as well be considered jokes - which then takes us to the problem with a lot of comedy films, but that's another post.

I began writing a list of horror movie cliches only to discover soon after that dreadcentral.com had already put a fairly lengthy and entertaining list together: The 51 Worst Horror Movie Cliches. So, instead of regurgating the same thing over again and branding it as an all new concept (*take note horror movies*) I've decided to share Dread Central's already well done and humorous list. Feel free to add any additions you think they missed.

Let us begin . . .

1. Parents just don't understand: Yes, no matter how crazy or odd the behavior of their children becomes, these horror parents just refuse to care, say, or do anything about it. In severe cases the statement "He/she must be on drugs!" is often spoken.

2. We travel in packs! Whether monster or slasher, the fodder must consist of a group no smaller than six members of either friends, family, or tourists. Another characteristic of this cliche is that the members must consist of all ranges of gender, race, and stereotypes.

3. Arise ye Baddie! Our beloved baddie has just had a bridge collapse on him and it looks like everything is gonna finally be OK ... But wait! A closeup of the rubble reveals an eye opening, a hand rising, or even a weapon thrusting from the ashes! Way to let us in on the upcoming secret "surprise" attack finale, Mr. Writer!

4. Let's investigate! What was that strange bump in the night? I have an idea! Let's go stumble around in the dark and check it out. I suppose it could be a serial killer or maniacal slasher or even a bloodthirsty mutant beast, but I'll bring this flashlight; that'll scare 'em away!

5. Bad luck Baddie: This of course is a reference to the inevitable occurrence of a string of miraculous, heaven-sent events unfolding to ensure the demise of our beloved baddies and the survival of the inept heroes. Never mind that until now the guy/monster has been completely unstoppable.

6. Can you hear me now? Oh no! The baddie's gonna get me! Damn, the phone is out! I'll climb out this window ... It's jammed! OK I broke it with a chair, now I'll drive away to safety ... Oh, what do you know, the car won't start! This has got to be the lamest, most unoriginal, overused plot ploy ever! Any writer who even considers using this turd of a script concept should stick to writing commercials and sitcoms.

7. I'm gonna run! Um ... Over here? - The baddie makes his presence and intention known and the would-be victim must make a run for his life. Five feet away is a car. Twenty feet away is a house. A quarter of a mile away is a dark, menacing forest. Their choice????? The forest of course! Run, rabbit, RUN!

8. Hey, I didn't know MacGuyver was in this flick! Our heroine has exhibited nothing but Paris Hilton-level intelligence throughout the entire movie. But once she's the only survivor left, she discovers the brains to build an incredibly clever, ingenious, and lethal trap/weapon out of nothing but a rubber band, shoelace, and half-eaten hamburger! You go on with your bad self, Richard Dean Anderson!

9. The Bachelorette: Horror Edition: Ah yes, nothing sparks the mood for romance like seeing all of your closest friends/family hacked to itty-bitty pieces! Somewhere amidst all the blood and guts, our hero/heroine finds the time to make that special connection with that special someone. This guarantees a final scene containing coy looks followed by a long sloppy session of tonsil-hockey. And BTW, it's purely coincidence that they are the only two survivors.

10. Zoloft saved my life! Our hero/heroine begins and spends the majority of the movie lacking self confidence, popularity, ambition, and is more or less a completely insecure mess. But at the right moment, they discover themselves, believe in who they are, and break out of their self-loathing-basket-case shell to whup some serious baddie ass! Who needs a session with Dr. Phil? Just survive a horrible bloody massacre, and you'll be fine!

11. Bombs can't kill the hero/main character: Any time our film involves a bomb, we have one of two things happen:

A.) Bomb time does not run on our time. We will see our hero running from the bomb, they flash to the screen of the bomb. It's at 3, and our hero still has a long way to go - he must be dead. Then it flashes back to him running for about 5 seconds so by this time we should hear BOOOOOM! But WAIT! What's this? We are back to the bomb and it still has 2 seconds left. Then they will make the dramatic dive out of the window or door just as the bomb blows up.

B.) Our hero becomes a master bomb technician. Not only does he disarm the bomb, but he will do it with 1 second left on the timer. As if to say "Fuck you, bad guy. Beat that!!

12. Where are you guys? Similar to "Let's investigate!" This is usually where we have one or two characters left. All of their friends are either missing or have been brutally murdered by some maniac. Yet, they will still hear a sound or see a figure and keep calling out to their friends, walking deeper and deeper in their own death trap. Your friends aren't answering you because they are dead. Keep up your idiotic antics and you will be next.

13. The crazy scientist: No matter how many of his friends or people around him he has seen the mutant/monster brutally murder, he will still insist "We must capture it alive to study it".

14. OK, he's dead: This is when our hero has finally managed to knock down the bad guy. After having his friends killed and almost being killed himself, it seems that knocking the bad guy down is a victory. Rather than bashing in his brains to ensure death, he will turn the other way and walk away or start running, just asking for the chase process to begin again.

15. Well ... I guess we'll just blow him up: It will always take these geniuses many failed attempts at trying to shoot the monster and use every other method of death before they realize why not just get the military involved and either blow him up, burn him, or freeze him.

16. Uh-oh! Teenagers are bumping uglies! Watch out, viewer, two hormonally charged teens are about to drop trou and have a roll in the hay! One can be sure that a grisly death is on the way when they finish, or in some cases, while they're goin' at it!

17. No...that WASN'T the wind: Here's a great one. We usually have two teens equally as dumb. The guy always wants to get it on, but just as they are about to ... there's a sound!! The girl asks "What's that??" Now you figure the first thing that comes to mind for both is "Holy shit, that's probably the maniac that was just chasing us with a knife." But no ... his response is always "It's probably just the wind". Sorry, guys, but it's never the wind.

18. Don't ever ask for directions: - You're better off just driving around looking for where you're going and running out of gas than asking for directions. But if you must ask for directions, don't go to some rundown gas station in the middle of nowhere or some house in the middle of the woods. What you are doing then is not really asking directions but rather "Could you demented backwoods fellas tell us the best place to go where you can hunt us down one by one and brutally murder us?"

19. Have I made it clear that this killer is crazy? The grisly/unthinkable acts of violence aren't enough to prove the killer's unstable ways. We have to get cheesy/trite commentary from the killer before, during, and after each kill. Can be a good thing if done right, but when done wrong, it just makes the killer seem like a poorly thought out stereotype.

20. No one is going to listen: This one is very similar to "Parents just don't understand." No matter what is going on or how crazy it looks, neither the police, your parents, or anyone else will believe you. There can be a body ripped to shreds which clearly not even a group of teens can do; yet, you will still be blamed.

21. Listen to the "crazy" guy: So if you and a group of friends are going camping or something and some crazy looking guy says "Don't go there" or "You don't want to stay there," it's usually a good idea to listen to him. 99.9% of the time that "crazy" guy isn't so crazy and knows exactly what he's talking about.

22. Don't be a tough guy: This one pretty much speaks for itself. If you act like a tough guy, then you're dead. You may be able to last a while, but you will be brutally murdered by the time the movie is over.

23. The double twist!!! We all know a lot of movies have been throwing a twist in just for the hell of it. What about the double twist though? This is where we get a twist at the end of the movie which sometimes isn't even bad. But then we get another twist within the last few seconds that makes absolutely no sense and just seems to be there for the hell of it, usually all but ruining the movie.

24. My light won't work?!?!? This is when a character has a flashlight. They may be walking in the dark woods or a dark house, and the light will be working fine. But as soon as they hear a bump in the night or some maniac killer is after them, the light will suddenly decide to stop working, resulting in the death of our character.

25. He's gonna change: This is where we have a husband/boyfriend beat his wife/girlfriend or abuse her. Yet, she will still go back to him, sometimes even more then once insisting "He's a changed man". Once an abuser, always an abuser. THEY DON'T CHANGE.

26. See no evil, hear no evil: A lot of times in a horror flick you'll get the monster operating from an attic, a basement, a shed, etc., where there are all kinds of people living. Everybody hears the weird noises. Everybody sees the footprints or bloody trail left behind. But they continue to go about their lives and chalk it all up to mice, cats, "house noises", etc.

27. Why do we own this? This entry refers to the fact that there seems to be a lot of ordinary people who not only own weapons like machetes, but casually leave them lying around just in case a baddie shows up and forgot his at home.

28. I'll be back! This one's real simple. No, you won't. If these lines are penciled in to be read by any actor/actress, it's curtains for that character sooner, rather than later.

29. It came from outer space: Of course - That's right, a strange bloodthirsty creature has descended upon a small town. The writers couldn't think of anything original to explain its methods/appearance/origin, so naturally it must have come from the Last Great Frontier. Ugh!

30. Fuck leaving, let's kill it! Sometimes some survivors have a legitimate chance to pack up while they're still alive and get the hell out of there. More times than not, though, they develop this personal grudge and decide to stay and kill it/him instead. I don't know about you, but if i just saw 10 or more people savagely killed, I'd give the baddie his/its due and get the hell outta there alive. Besides, local law enforcement can handle the situation! Can't they?

31. Mommy Dearest: When it comes to slashers/killers, we almost invariably learn later on that issues with Mother played a big part in their going "postal" on the innocents (Friday the 13th, Halloween, Black Christmas, and of course Psycho, just to name a few). It worked for these movies, but after seeing it done so many times, it's def a cliche now!

32. Stand back! I'm an expert: When dealing with baddies, a lot of the time one of the characters in the group is an "expert" on whatever is killing people in large numbers in the movie. This character's function in the plot is to basically explain everything not only to the other characters but also to the audience. Occasionally good info, but usually just redundant and something you already knew anyway.

33. Rules are made to be broken: Why is it that 9 times out of 10, when we have a really cool baddie, the writers have to ruin it by inventing some "magical" or "special" way of killing it? I mean, c'mon! There's no shame in being offed by a simple double-barrel shotgun blast to the head! These rules usually just make the story that much more unbelievable and over-the-top silly.

34. I'm just to damn horny: This is when two teens feel the need to crank out a quick one or go into some long make-out session. Usually there would be nothing wrong with that, but when there's a killer on the loose and your friends are dying around you, all of your focus should be on not being the next to die.

35. The shoulder grab!!! This is where we have two characters, usually a male and a female. The female will already be scared shitless because there is some type of killer/monster on the loose and her friends/family have died right in front of her. Our genius male character figures the best way to get her attention is to silently sneak up behind her and grab her shoulder. How about you call her name out or even whisper it out? Or at the very least walk a little heavier so she can hear your damn footsteps. That is just one example of the shoulder grab. I'm sure many of you have seen it in other situations also.

36. Oh, the suspense...or lack thereof: This one happens in all types of horror, be it zombie/monster/killer. I will use zombie as an example. It usually happens early in the movie, well before we get to the action. We will hear some type of bump or knock or scratch. Then the suspense music kicks in, and we watch as the camera follows our main character. As this is happening, we are all going "OK, movie, we have seen this before. You're gonna get to where you heard the sound and it's gonna be a freaking dog, cat, or one of your friends, not some zombie tearing apart some hapless teen like we all want it to be." And what is it when our character and camera reach their destination??? It's a freaking dog, cat, or one of their friends.

37. Hey, a coincidence...and another...and another: Yes, I think you can figure out what this one is. We don't have one or two coincidences but an entire movie filled with them. I mean, how many times can the main character just escape death or just happen to run into the right or wrong person or just miss being caught before the director realizes "Wow, this movies just has way too many coincidences to be taken seriously."

38. I mutated myself!!! This could technically be part of "The dumb scientist" cliche. Why is it that every time a scientist thinks he has perfected whatever he is working on, the dumbass always decides to try it on himself, horribly mutating himself and ruining his life in the process.

39. Good job trapping yourself: (Zombie only) Ah yes, you gotta love how when you have a horde of zombies after you, these brilliant people decide to trap themselves inside a house or some type of abandoned building. Nothing like having a pack of zombies engulf you as soon as they break in. And they will break in, and everyone knows that. As far as i know, zombies don't climb so why not find the fattest tree and wait those S.O.B's out.

40. Damn right I'm a sharp shooter: (Another zombie only) Something about zombies just gives everyone an amazing trigger finger. Our people can range from an ex-military guy who has fired many weapons in his life to a ditsy clueless blonde, a nerdy little teenager, or some fat slob; yet, they are all equally as gifted with a gun in their hand. It also doesn't matter the type of gun. It can be a hand gun, machine gun, shot gun, or a sniper rifle. Our characters will always find it in themselves to not only shoot the zombie but to also make sure it's a head shot. Pretty fucking good considering you have never shot a gun before or been this scared in your life.

41. I didn't know this was a PS2 game!! When a director is making a movie on a low budget, he can't make the monster CGI. Even CGI on a bigger budget movie a lot of the time doesn't look that great. But I swear on some of these lower budget movies the monster looks like he was cut straight out of a PS2 cut scene. It amazes me that some directors want their names on these pieces of garbage. You're much better off just sticking a man in a rubber suit. At least that would look decent and give a cheesy 80's feel instead of a garbage feel.

42. The dream/daydream: The name pretty much speaks for itself. Usually one of our main characters will either have a real dream and wake up in bed or they can be at work or something and having a daydream. It usually will have them getting killed or killing someone. It's always something really dramatic ,and we all KNOW it's not really happening and just a dream. So why even put it in? There is no way you can tell me anyone actually falls for the dream.

43. If they could only hear the music: Hey what do ya know. They're playing the ominous theme music. I wonder if the baddie is around the current area? Thanks for ruining the element of surprise, writers!

44. Maybe his/its vision is based on movement: We all know about the many cliches characters commit with what they choose to do when the baddie shows up. This cliche is about what they don't do. I mean, try something. Anything. Run, punch, kick, dance a jig! Just do something besides stand there and scream or sit on the ground and look up at your impending demise.

45. Slow-mo pre-butchering: This one is strictly for the slashers and serial killers. We've all seen it: The victim is down/trapped and the killer is moving in for the death blow and...he SLOWLY raises the weapon up over his head. This would be a good time to take some action, victim.

46. Oppressed by "The Man": Sorry, friends and NAACP members, but if you're a member of any minority, you're not gonna make it to the end of the movie. How often does a Black, Latino, or Asian character wind up being the lone survivor?

47. Boo! OK, let me try again. BOO!!!!!! This one really annoys me. It usually happens in the first half of a movie where they will have all these dumb jump scenes. Where maybe a knife will fall or an animal will jump out or something. We always gotta get the spooky jump scene music with it, too.

48. We all know... This is when you know everything that's going to happen in the movie. Some movies are so predictable, it seems like all we are waiting for is the idiot characters to figure out what we already know.

49. Ominous fog, as per usual! Yep, we're walking through the forest, parking lot, etc., and a ridiculously thick and visible fog rolls in! Nobody sees it. Nobody worries about it. Nobody even friggin' mentions it! As a viewer all you can say is, "Gee, wonder if somethin' bad is about to happen?" Blech!!

50. Chug...chug...chug: The engine to my car won't start when I most need it to. Like when I'm about to get killed for example. Do car engines have minds of their own and just like to fuck with their owners? They're probably laughing the whole time as the hapless victim is frantically turning the key and only getting a chug chug chug. Seriously, though, instead of trimming the gore or nudity in a movie, they should be forced to trim the dumb parts like cars not starting.

51. Electricity: Marvel at it and all of its BLUENESS! Noticed this one just the other day. Many a time has a baddie (or group of baddies) been sent back to hell via a nice flesh-searing electrical shock. And although electrocution is a gruesome way to check out, it doesn't make for a very visibly gory death. So what did the movie makers come up with? Make it BLUE! But why stop there? Along with making it blue, let's make it course up and down the body for maybe 30 to 60 seconds! And of course there must be a funny dance performed by the one being fried. It's really quite silly since in reality being electrocuted does not last a full minute, and the current is definitely not visible to anybody who happens to be viewing it as it occurs. Also, if you watch closely, sometimes the person being zapped is either grounded or not in position to complete a circuit. Thus, they would have been fine anyways. But hey, it sure is fun watching 'em do that funny dance!

Oct 27, 2009

R-Rated Claymation by MackProductions

This clever animation is a great early intro to your Halloween weekend. I love simple concepts that are done well, especially when it comes to claymation. The novelty of seeing 24 frames per second in plasticine gets me every time. To be clear, R-Rated isn't nearly as violent in a world of malleable monsters.

Oct 26, 2009

Inspired Singles: Issue 01

A single a day keeps your creativity in play.
Join me as I share some of my fav tunes in an effort to pay the inspiration forward.
Inspired Singles: Issue 01 by Luke Fandrich

One Day by Matisyahu

The message of understanding has been preached and preached, however some songs make you appreciate the sentiment as if it's actually original with a catchy chorus and relevant lyrics. Matisyahu's single is a feel good - peaceful anthem that makes you believe that 'one day' doesn't have to be that far off.

Nightingale by Howling Bells

Haunting and beautifully melancholy, Nightingale is an ambient escape worth taking. With a driving undertone and sorrowful synth accents, this is the song that would best accompany one of those dreams you have where you start flying and can't seem to land.

To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra

This song moves me in a way that's difficult to explain. Simple piano chords swell into driving lyrics that paint a fragile image. In its sweeping simplicity this song strikes an honest emotional reaction that not unlike the reality of experiencing love - feels raw, pure, euphoric and distant. Honestly, one of my favorite songs of all time.

Oct 24, 2009

Las Vegas: Edits (2008)

Las Vegas was made to be experienced. After my first time being there in 2005, this return trip in November 2008 was all about taking things to the next level. Upgraded room, Cirque show, trip to the Hoover Dam, and a ride on the Big Shot on top of the Stratosphere tower were just a few of the highlights. With so much to see and do I decided to be a lot more selective about what I shot.

The first time around I decided to make a full blown travelog, and have since cut down the footage into select edits which can be seen here. For this 2008 trip I decided that a few quick cuts and montages were sufficient for creating memorable mini home videos. I treated the shooting far more casually this time (largely because I already captured most of the city on the last visit). It's always a lot of fun catching things in the moment.

These few energetic edits are meant to reflect a glimpse, not document the trip verbatim. The Bellagio Fountain remix I cut was an experiment altogether. With scenery and popular attractions that are familiar to a lot of people, I really just wanted to play with this footage to highlight what makes Vegas so exciting in both my own experience and in a stereotypical sense (the bright lights, etc.).

Take a look at these short edits and let me know what you think. They're fun slice of life/slice of vacation compilations. You can bet there will be a lot more of these types of edits to come.

Las Vegas 2008 - Edit 1

Las Vegas 2008 - Edit 2

Las Vegas 2008 - Bellagio Fountain Remix

Oct 22, 2009

Monarch Theatre Project - Medicine Hat

This is a great time to be a Hatter with the return of the Monarch Theatre.
Growing up in a small city like Medicine Hat, Alberta there's a certain sense of pride you feel when your community takes a step in a direction that you feel is long overdue. When I was a kid, and even as recent as my first few years of university (coming home in the summer), I remember going to the Monarch theatre downtown.

It was always the 'old' theatre to anyone my age, with a single screen and those seats that reclined on a spring. The entire theatre sloped on a smooth curve to the front so you'd occasionally hear change or candy make it's way all the way down from the back row. The theatre was opened in 1911 and was renovated in the Art Deco style in the 1930s. In some ways, going to the Monarch movie theatre was an experience in itself.

When the Cineplex opened up at the mall it was really only a matter of time before we lost both old theatres downtown. There's an element of romance when thinking about both the Monarch and Towne theatres because of the memories so many had there, although the reality is that they were both past their prime. Their age was showing and although our Cineplex wasn't really that much to brag about, by comparison it was a significant upgrade. Both downtown movie theatres closed several years later.

The surprising part of this story is that the Monarch theatre was purchased by the city last year and has since undergone renovation to reopen in just a matter of days. This isn't just going to be another movie theatre though. As host to local events like the Medicine Hat Film Festival, the theatre will also be running on a regular basis to play classic, art, and independent films on the big screen. 

The grand (re)opening is taking place on October 24, with a feature screening of Casablanca. Other upcoming films include Vertigo and the Rocky Horror Picture Show just in time for Halloween. I've always felt that there should be more theatres like this that give people a chance to see classic movies as they were meant to be seen. I've got my fingers crossed for movies like E.T. and Indiana Jones.

For a small city like Medicine Hat, the Monarch theatre is made even more special because of its cultural relevance and focus. For those locals who are likely to come across this post, I encourage you to take full advantage of this great addition to our city. It's great to see the Monarch come back stronger than ever and provide a forum for classic and independent cinema. I can't wait to see the results of all the hard work for myself.

Visit the official site for the Monarch Theatre here

Oct 19, 2009

Writer Wanted

As of late I've been looking for ways to expand the scope of my blog by trying to find more creative ways to include other artists. This isn't simply a matter of adding names for name sake, but instead is really just a proactive way of creating a more engaged and discerning group of readers and viewers. Editing Luke will always maintain my personal focus and story as the fundamental motivation behind it, but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of other great stories that would compliment my own.

I'm looking for a writer. Someone who's interested in movies, cinema, pop culture, etc. With the popularity of my blog growing each month, with thousands of viewers/readers stopping by, I thought it would be fun to offer a reoccurring movie column to anyone who was interested in writing/creating it. That writer would have creative control over their submission, I would just feature it. I was thinking of a once a month post focused on some aspect of movies - with some consistency in the topic(s) for continued readership. Really I'm open to almost any idea, I'm just interested in providing the forum to for a talented writer who wants an audience.

There are likely to be numerous revisions taking place on this blog to enhance it further before the year is out. Featured writers are just one part of this. Series of posts like Cinematic Acrobatic Presents are further examples of the changes taking place. Anyone who writes for Editing Luke will still get full credit and a featured link to their own blog, email, contact info, or whatever works best for the individual. Your input will be part of creating a more dynamic forum for those interested in independent filmmaking, and you'll also be creating another credit for yourself.

If you're interested or have an idea for a column, contact me by sending me an email (address in the sidebar) or leave a comment. I'll entertain any idea, and whether you have a single post or an idea for a series - the canvas is blank and you can color it however you want.

Do you have an idea for a column?

Oct 17, 2009

Cinematic Acrobatic Presents: Tyler Cyrenne

To feature the talents of other artists and gain their unique perspectives has long been the motivation behind a lot of what is posted on Editing Luke. To encourage interaction, involvement, and feedback is vital, and I can think of no better way to do this than to allow other motivated filmmakers to share their views in their own words.

As a close friend and film school buddy it only seemed like a matter of time before Tyler Cyrenne shared his view for this series. To me, Tyler has always embodied a lot of that film school optimism and belief that bigger things were just around the corner. It's really been in just the last couple of years though that his approach has become even more assertive: starting a blog, entering contests, and creating original videos on his own terms. Plus, I have to say his involvement and assistance in many of my film school shorts and personal projects in recent years has also reflected his ambition, for which I very much appreciate.

With his stint in film school being one of the longest (sorry Tyler, I had to say it) of anyone I know, he's now starting a new chapter. I look forward to seeing how he decides to pursue his filmmaking in a professional/commercial capacity in the years ahead. In continuation with this new series of posts, readers, viewers, and dreamers, Cinematic Acrobatic Presents: Tyler Cyrenne.

1. Who is Tyler Cyrenne?

I’m a 25 year old filmmaker from Regina, Saskatchewan. I was born in the small town of Ponteix, Saskatchewan, where a lack of productive activities drove me to movies as a form of escape. With no local movie theatre, I either had to rely on TV, buying or renting, or driving an hour to the closest theatre. This meant every movie I got to see on the big screen became a privilege, and was rare, which made me appreciate the cinema more, and added a permanent magic to all things movies. And once I found out people could go to school for filmmaking, what I wanted to do became very clear at that point.

Personal Blogs:

2. As someone who went to film school, was it worth it for you?

Definitely. Even if most of film school was BS classes, the production aspect of it provided a practice ground for the basis of what making a well thought out film entails. And being able to constantly have your work critiqued by professionals and colleagues (other than moms and relatives) was an invaluable if not occasionally harsh way of letting you know if A) you have what it takes and B) how to get in the habit of always aiming higher and always experimenting no matter how little or pointless. Filmmaking isn’t always about how much money you can make or how successful you become; it’s about whether you have the passion to keep pushing yourself enough and not give up so that eventually the rest falls into place. The friends I made during film school going through this insane process have lasted thus far and I believe will last a life time.

3. What about movie-making inspires you?

Movies are unglamorous to make, cumbersome to put together, time consuming and a pain in the ass - but it's all for the sake of feeling something at the end of it. Be it a feeling of accomplishment for the filmmaker, a laugh from the viewer, or a whole date planned around seeing a movie and getting that first kiss after. To put something out there that creates so many memories, and contains so much life; to know that without that one small idea that arose out of a joke, or an everyday situation none of it might have happened or have had as nig of impact, is the most rewarding thing someone can do.

4. If you had to choose a single project you've made or participated in to showcase your style, which would it be and why?

I would say it’s 4th Year Film Project. Now, it’s not one of my most pristine or well thought out projects, that’s more likely to be something like Gilligan. But, from start to finish on 4th Year, I wanted something that would appeal to my core audience – and at the time that was my friends and I. So, the script was always based around the inside jokes or sayings we had at that moment. The film was intended to capture that moment in time, so that I could watch it later on down the road and just laugh. I’m very nostalgic for the old times so to sum up my entire film school experience it was the only thing that made sense to do at the time. The same goes for my involvement in the Buick to the Future series - it’s about getting together with your friends, and capturing that moment. Which is why there’s four in the series so far, I imagine. Because when you find something that works, it’s becomes not only easier and easier to add on to that storyline, but it’s more and more fun, and almost addictive.

5. Passion, Creativity, Drive - Choose ONE.

Passion, hands down. Passion for something means it’s all you think about. You live and you breathe it, it becomes a part of your being. If you have passion, creativity and drive will fall into place. For me it’s a natural evolution.

6. Seeing as you've helped me with a number of my shorts, I should ask, what has that experience been like from your perspective?

Rewarding. I say that for two reasons. One, it’s nice not having the (albeit light) pressure of having to write the script or work the camera or edit it later on. All I do is go over the script, show up and get to act silly. Then I wait a few days, and I get to see the fruits of our labor. Not to mention in most of our films together we do so much ad lib that it’s entertaining to see how you put it together. Buick 2 is a great example of that. The other reason ties to what I said earlier, about making these films together, and bonding over the experience, making our relationship stronger as friends and as filmmakers.

7. In a utopian world, what would you like to achieve with your work or what would you like it to say about you individually?

Obviously we all want to be successful and win Oscars and all that stuff. I don’t think any actual filmmaker or actor that actually wins goes into that project aiming for that type of recognition. They do it for the same reasons I do – to have fun and challenge themselves. If you win something –great, if not - then whatever. That’s not what matters. What I want to achieve ultimately is to be able to make the films I want with a decent budget and the freedom to collaborate with whoever I want. I want my movies to appear in the same places as the movies I’ve watched and fell in love with, in hopes that maybe I can inspire someone in the same way I was inspired - plant that seed of inspiration and passion and the idea that no matter what, you can achieve anything. I want people to see my movies and say “That movie was awesome, I had a great time watching it, and it looked like they had fun making it”. Because if things go the way I would ultimately love them to – it will be.

Oct 11, 2009

Luke Fandrich: Editor Profile

My editor profile is just one of several different video mash-ups that I've made to showcase my different styles, edits, and projects over the last year. With a body of work that is becoming increasingly diverse, both personally and professionally, this is the next logical step in the evolution of some of my edits (not to mention a great way to create variations for different sites). As much as I want to focus on certain skill sets, I like how these previews give more immediate support to my independent status by acting as proof of my ambition, history, and drive. It's also an easy way to reflect my pride in my work. Plus, as an editor, I find it's fun just to piece something fresh together when you find yourself looking over your past projects. Enjoy!

Oct 10, 2009

Buick Stop Motion

For some of you this may look familiar. Not just because it's another video featuring my old Buick, but because my Buick 360 video has been around since this blog began. This new edit was actually put together last summer, yet like so many of my random shorts, it took rediscovering the photos to feel like sharing it. Not much else to it really, but you can always check out Buick to the Future or Educated Detours for more of my old car. I think it's safe to say that more experiments like this are sure to find there way to this blog - they're just a lot of fun to make.

Oct 8, 2009

University Shirt

August 2008

Associated Post(s):

As one of several uni shirts I bought during my school years, it seemed fitting to wear this one while making one of my shorts specifically about my life after film school last summer. It's a pretty simple story, but with my movies becoming personal time capsules themselves, this was just one more way to create a lasting university memento.

Oct 7, 2009

Student Life Student Debt

Lately I've been nitpicking my finances more than usual. It's come from realizing that I've been out of university for a year and a half now, and despite making strides to balance my income, the fact that I'm still living out of my parents basement to tackle my student debt is a considerable hiccup.

Maybe I should be clear that claiming the basement has still allowed me to live relatively separate from my folks, and to be extra clear, it's not as though they're cooking me dinner or doing my laundry. No, coming back home after university was more or less my only (realistic) option. Student living had resulted in some moderate student debt that at the time seemed too overwhelming to even tackle. If there is a bright side to my griping, it's that this situation has allowed me to repay thousands to my student loans, the bank, and my folks since being back.

This week I'd been searching out apartments to tempt myself with rediscovering the freedom that comes from having a place of your own. While my job is secure, the ability to make some extra income with my promo editing is still there, escaping my basement suite seems foolish. I hate admitting this to myself, because nothing seems as tempting right now.

I got into this problem by being too impulsive and clinging to an old goal of what I thought I could get out of university. When I ditched school after 6 years (2 of which I had to borrow money to pay for) I had to settle with the reality that one way or another I was going to have to find a way to give that money back - which is obvious, but funny how you don't let that weigh on you when the checks come in.

The issue here is that I'm not just saving to pay back debt, I'm saving to take my real shot at editing in either Calgary or Vancouver next year. It's because of this that I had to retract my plans of considering a place of my own. It's not just the cost of getting the apartment, it's the loss of money for the real goal. The basement is allowing me to pad my bank account while making more generous contributions to my debt. Understanding and seeing this balance evolve into the more flexible situation it is now has been a significant lesson in itself. It's the point of this post.

With student life comes student debt. In one way or another there is a sacrifice you're making, be it your money, time, or the other potential opportunities that may have been passed up in the course of your education. An education that you start to realize happens outside of the classroom more than in it.

I was 24 when I left school, next summer when I plan on moving I'll be 26. It's taken this long just to put myself in the position of taking another risky leap - of actually establishing myself somewhere with long term career (editing/production) potential. That shift in thinking when you realize what growing up actually requires is a kick. For all the sacrifice, it is nice to have a level head about things again - I can actually see myself merging into the lane I've been aiming for.

Was your student debt worth it?

Oct 4, 2009

Viral Video Film School

I recently discovered an amazing web series called, Viral Video Film School. Whether you've heard of it or not, it's certainly worth seeing for the first time or over and over again. If you've got some time to kill, this is a great place to start.

Hosted by Brett Erlich, Viral Video Film School is produced as part of the InfoMania show on current.com. As you may have guessed, VVFS is focused on breaking down popular viral trends across the 'interwebs' (I just love that word). From the worst parents to best animal sex, the series focuses on the real life humour and novelty behind these videos/situations and the people who decide to shoot and post this stuff. With fast paced critique and witty one-liners, Brett is one of the more entertaining vloggers I've seen. The addictive jump cuts and perfectly timed support clips just add to the unassuming polish of the series.

I suppose there's not much else you need to know that it doesn't explain itself. I'm just now beginning to explore the other clips from the web show, and if they're half as good as Viral Video Film School I think I'll continue coming back for more. Check out a few of the segments I've posted below, and for more visit Viral Video Film School here. Enjoy!

Viral Video Film School:
The Internet's Dumbest How-To Videos

Viral Video Film School:
YouTube's Best Birthday Videos

Oct 1, 2009

Cinematic Acrobatic Presents: Alex Lamburini

To feature the talents of other artists and gain their unique perspectives has long been the motivation behind a lot of what is posted on Editing Luke. To encourage interaction, involvement, and feedback is vital, and I can think of no better way to do this than to allow other motivated filmmakers to share their views in their own words.

For the debut of this brand new series of original posts I'm very happy to feature a young artist that I've had the good fortune of getting to know through his work and his interaction on this blog. As a student I knew I wanted to kick off this series with his interview - I've long made it clear that my own early student work proved to be a catalyst for much of my more ambitious projects and goals. Without further delay, I'm proud to feature the brand new interview of this up and coming artist, ladies and gents, Cinematic Acrobatic Presents: Alex Lamburini.

1. Who is Alex Lamburini?

Alex Lamburini is a sixteen year old director, photographer and screenwriter. His film career began when he was only fourteen years old and was selected out of hundreds of aspiring filmmakers nationwide to join the Samsung Mobile Fresh Films production crew, where he produced a film featuring actor Scott Cohen from Gilmore Girls. While working with Fresh Films, Alex and nine other teen filmmakers cast, directed, produced and edited a short film on a professional Hollywood set in only seven days. At fourteen Alex was already working with casting directors from the film “Freaky Friday” and professional actors. This proved to be only a stepping stone in Alex’s career. At age fifteen, he directed a short film entitled “Meeting Mr. Williams” on location in New York with a small DV camera and a budget of $0. Alex went on to win the El Capitan Film Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival for his short film “Meeting Mr. Williams. Hundreds of films were submitted and Alex’s film “Meeting Mr. Williams” was one of eight that was selected for the prestigious award. Alex Lamburini will be working as an intern for a major film studio in New York City and at only sixteen years old he is directing the new music video “It’s So Clear” for the band The Given Motion. Alex is planning on attending NYU film school after high school.

Personal Blog: Alex Lamburini
Twitter: Alex Lamburini

2. What is it about filmmaking that initially hooked you?

I think what initially hooked me about filmmaking was simply, storytelling; that and being exposed to film production at a very young age. When I was only thirteen years old I began writing stories and being the lover of literature that I am I analyzed them. I began to notice that in each of them I found a little bit of myself and my god, this fascinated me! I found that I was translating certain aspects of my personal feelings and experiences into my stories. While this was my initial “hook” all this really did was engage me in the writing aspect of filmmaking. I think what really got me filming and eventually directing was my desire to release these feelings and bring them to a new medium for people to understand what I was experiencing. That medium, for translating these stories just happened to be directing a short movie and that’s where it all began. I couldn’t tell people what I was feeling so directing a film allowed me to show it to them. At this time I was hungry for more and I wanted to actually make a film. That year I was only fourteen years old and I was accepted out of hundreds of aspiring filmmakers nationwide into the Samsung Mobile Fresh Films program. I worked with nine other teen filmmakers to produce a film from start to finish. We did everything from casting actors to shooting the film on a professional Hollywood set and finally editing together a final cut, in only seven days. Throughout the week we worked with a casting director from the film “Freaky Friday” and actor Scott Cohen. I learned so much and it opened up so many doors for me, I think that’s what really pushed me to pursue a career in the movie industry. It gave me so many of the tools I needed to succeed. The experience of producing a film at such a young age was indescribable and it was something I couldn’t imagine living without. I was hooked from that point on.

3. What are your influences, both in terms of other artists and what you take from your everyday life?

I think in terms of other artists my two main influences are Steven Spielberg and Brett Ratner, for two entirely different and unique reasons. Spielberg’s films deal with aliens and the paranormal and this of course stems from his feelings of alienation as a child. When I wrote my first film “Meeting Mr. Williams” I found that alienation was a key theme in the story. I think Spielberg’s ability to masterfully handle this concept in his films is amazing, and it has inspired me and touched me in a way that no other filmmaker has been able to. It’s not so much his storytelling that has inspired me but it’s more his niche as a director that has inspired me beyond belief and I find myself incorporating similar feelings into my films today. For example, in my film “Facing the Sun” the protagonist Caty feels both emotionally and physically alienated. I think my protagonist Caty kind of acts as the alien figure that is so predominate in Spielberg’s films. I feel that special connection with him and his films and it really has influenced my work as a director. As far as Brett Ratner is concerned, he has served as a major inspiration for me as a director. I know professionally, Ratner wouldn’t give up when he was coming up in the movie industry. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and from what I’ve heard he was extremely driven. He was NYU’s youngest film major, at only sixteen years old. If that’s not a perfect example of his drive, I’m not sure what is. I think because of the attitude he had when he was starting out Brett Ratner really has been a major inspiration in my career, especially considering that I’m just starting out myself.

I think as far as my influences from everyday life are concerned I would have to say that my life is my work and my work is a mirror image of my life. I think Andrei Tarkovski put it best when he said “The advice I can give to beginners is not to separate their work, their movie, their film from the life they live.” Your best work comes from what you know and if you separate your life from your work, you’re not going to come away with quality work. I think as far as my influences are concerned I find that whatever I’m going through in my life at the time that I’m writing a script or directing ends up working its way into my film. It’s not so much that even I try to do this; it’s just something that happens. In terms of everyday life my come from my emotions and my experiences. Even terrible experiences have fueled some of my best stories, so I never shut out of my feelings and emotions. In terms of what I take from my life; well I take everything and I think this quote explains that best – “If you want to work on your art, work on your life.”

4. If you had to choose a single project you've made or participated in to showcase your style, which would it be and why?

I think if I had to choose a single project to represent my style it would be one of my first films “Meeting Mr. Williams.” The premise behind that film was about coming of age and feelings of acceptance. In the film every character feels out of place in one way or another and when these characters meet they kind of justify their placement. It’s an interesting concept. I think that movie may be less of a conventional film, but it’s something that defines my style so well. My scripts and films are marked by characters that feel alienated, out of place or trapped in some way. Often times in the end these characters come to find acceptance or placement at the same gaining knowledge concerning something. Essentially this is everything that my film “Meeting Mr. Williams” is. The characters in that film find acceptance in each other while maturing in their own way and grow past their burdening feelings of alienation. Also, I’ve been told that my films have a haunting quality to them. They leave the audience with something when they walk away and I think “Meeting Mr. Williams” does this so well. The ending deals with themes of acceptance and considering that these feelings are so universal, they really touch home with a lot of people, and leave them with something when they walk away. This project sort of paved the way for my style to develop in future films so I see it as a starting place. I think because of its simplicity and symbolic nature, it really shows the most about my style as opposed to something that’s completely fueled by plot. I’ve directed films like that and it just doesn’t get across a perfect image of my style like this film does.

5. Passion, Creativity, Drive - Choose one.

Drive. Hands down, no questions asked. Don’t get me wrong, passion and creativity are extremely important but you can have all the passion in the world and all the creativity in the world but without drive that just makes you talented and most importantly unknown. I’ve met a lot of talented directors and writers that love film but they don’t care if people see their work. They don’t care about getting their work out to a wider audience or taking advantage of a great opportunity in their career. For some reason the interest is just not there, and where does that get them? Absolutely nowhere. Success doesn’t just happen because you’re talented. If that was the case, there would be thousands of people that were famous and successful. You have to make things happen for yourself, nothing is going to come to you. You need to come to it. You have no idea how many talented directors I’ve known that have flopped in their career and at the same time I’ve known people with one hundred times less talent succeed, and it doesn’t pain me to see that because I know those people that were one hundred times less talented, wanted it one hundred times more.

6. Best piece of advice you've received so far?

I think artistically speaking the best advice I’ve received was from music video and TV commercial director Tom Oesch. I wrote to him asking him for advice. He’s probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever spoken with; he got back to me the next day. The first thing he told me was that I needed to find my niche. I needed to find a very specific style and focus on that one thing. Tom told me that everyone that’s successful in Hollywood is known for something, whether it’s Ace Norton, who’s known for shooting quirky pieces, that utilize crazy CGI or Joseph Kahn who’s known to blend live action with CGI. He told me that Hollywood is incredibly categorized and departmentalized. After all this, he finished by telling me not to spread myself too wide, find my niche, develop it and once I become very, very established, I’ll have more leeway to try other things. I take this advice to heart every time I consider directing a film, or begin writing a script. I think as I grow older and my career progresses this advice becomes even more important. I know that when I write a script, it’s a unique story and the reason I’m able to direct it is because I know the material so well and it’s something that is really my niche. In the future I won’t be writing the scripts, other writers will, and I need to have a specific style, something that I can bring to a producer and say, this is why I would be perfect for this script, let me direct it. If you can’t be specific about your style you won’t be able to identify a script or a story concept that you can really contribute something to as an artist. Keeping that in mind, I take Tom’s advice to heart every time I direct a film or write a script.

7. In a utopian world, what would you like to achieve with your work or what would you like it to say about you individually?

I want to direct. That’s set in stone, but eventually I want to direct professionally, in television or for movie studios. I’d like to start my career directing music videos and commercials coming out of film school. There’s so much to be learned here that can carry over to a successful career directing feature films, because they all deal with storytelling the same way movies do. Just in a shorter amount of time. It’s like getting paid to practice directing short films. I think eventually I want to get to a point in my career where producers can read a script and think of my name as a director, because I’d be perfect for that film. That’s really all I want; to direct movies. I direct because I want to get a message across through my film or contribute something to a story and then be able to entertain people with that story. That’s why I love this. It’s that simple, there’s really nothing else to it. I think as far as what I’d like to say about myself is concerned. I’ll let my films do the talking, because in every one of my films there is a little piece of me, and there’s more to be learned there then I could ever tell you about myself as an artist.