Category Archives: Treasure on the web

The Orange Tune – Martin Sommerdag

I have been following Martin’s work since a few years now. And his unique perspective on various subjects never fails to intrigue me. And right from the scripting to the choice of subjects to camera angles and movements and to the final look of the film, everything about his film, “The Orange Tune” made me admire his scope as a filmmaker.

The Orange Tune, is not an extravagant feast. It is minimalist on many fronts. But at the same time, it wears that grungy look with pride.

The opening shot of the film, in which you see a girl dressed in orange coming down from a staircase. The staircase is emerging from a strange source of light. I felt the director wanted to signify birth over here. Then the girl starts performing the same action over and over again. Like playing the same song on repeat. The Filmmaker, purposefully changed his angles making the days look a little different from one another. But we know that as the action performed doesn’t change, all the angles are the same.

David Brower, the narrator captures the eerie tone that the film wanted to create very well. The voice over itself puts you in a pensive state and the visuals do the rest of the job quite well.

If I have to criticize the film a bit, I felt the opening credits are too long. Sometimes the audience might lose interest if nothing exciting happens in the first few seconds of the film. Apart from this minor suggestion, I felt the film did it’s job tremendously well. The job of leaving me with some unanswered questions.

The film is weirdly motivational. At the same time it is dark. There is no silver lining. It feels like the film is a warning to all the viewers to stop listening to the same song again and again and change the channel once in a while. Or maybe it is just an experimental film that tries to pull you out of your comfort zone. I don’t know that. But I don’t want to find out. 🙂

“Life is like an old vinyl record and if you don’t change track or melody once in awhile you will feel trapped and maybe go a little crazy. THE ORANGE TUNE is about the danger of daily routines and how hard it is to break free from once comfort zone.” The film description says. And I believe no matter what you do, your life cannot be a cycle. Even if you’re doing a job that is perceived as interesting by the world, you cannot paint the whole picture of your life in monotone.

Life cannot be a box of set rules and perfect corners. It needs to be a playground.

“Insanity is doing the same thing. Over and over again. And expecting things to change.”

This is one of my favourite quotes from the Far Cry franchise. And it always made me wonder about our day to day lives. We keep doing the same thing over and over again. And yet we believe in the fairy tale that tomorrow will be different. But it rarely happens. Do get something that we haven’t achieved before we need to do something that we have not done before. I have been trying to implement this in my life for a long time. And I think, now is the time to stop procrastinating.

Check out Martin’s previous work over here:

TUNGUSKA DIARIES – A Different Take

The Unknown Bunker – Martin Sommerdag

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The Unknown Bunker – Martin Sommerdag

The film opens with these lines:

During World War 2 Nazi-Germany built over 8000 concrete structures along the Danish west coast. after the war were many bunkers closed down or made public by the Danish Government. There are still many unknown bunkers.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/76406336″>The Unknown Bunker</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/alphahawk”>Alpha Hawk Films</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

It is said that in a screenplay, your first ten pages define how interesting the rest of the film is going to be. In the world of short films, I think it is just the first ten seconds. And for a person like me, these three lines certainly made it clear that the rest of the film is going to be damn intriguing.

I have been observing lately how important sound is in films. As the film commences the audience is introduced to a menacing soundtrack. It helps you get involved. But listen to it long enough and the conspiracy theories start building up in your head. Exactly what the maker wants you to think.

The film stars Thomas De Hansen and Martin Sommerdag. It must have been really challenging to be in front of the camera and handling the production at the same time. Having a small crew has it’s own benefits. It is difficult to pull off. But the directors who can manage it, make cinema a personal medium of storytelling.

The mood the film creates will definitely remind you of some classics of the genre like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. To enjoy this film, you will need to be a little patient. Some people have a taste for slow paced films that build up slowly but steadily towards the end. You need to set your expectations aside when you watch a film and start with a clean slate. If you do so, you will be introduced to a whole new world previously known only to the director of the film.

The film is smart and scary at the same time. The fun part is, as an audience you don’t feel like passively observing through the lens but you feel like you are actually taking part in the action. The whole realistic approach to filmmaking immerse you in the experiences the characters have and after some time you appreciate the raw images that move in front of you.

I think I owe a lot to the director for teaching me so much about the “found-footage” style of filmmaking. In fact it would be a nice experiment to try something like this as our next project. Cheers to getting inspired!

Director: Martin Sommerdag.

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbtRsgPWIRU

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2008671/

Alpha Hawk Films

Shock and AWE, provided by David Donihue

Whatever! Simply whatever you want to learn, The Internet is the answer. Nowadays, it is simple for us to just type a query in the search bar and get the answers in an instant. Living is far less challenging now, isn’t it? Well, not exactly. Even though The Internet is full of information, not all of it is worthy of your time. It might not even be true for that matter. In such times, I can’t express the joy when I discover something that is truly brilliant. Something that all of us young filmmakers can aspire to do some day!

1.Take Me Home

Just some time ago I discovered this music video by David Donihue. I was astonished by the positivity it has to offer. Not one of us gets everything so easily. And the way you deal with failure is what defines your character. There are two things that matter in the world. The situation and your reaction to the situation. Rather than revealing anything more about the contents of the music video, I’d just like to say that this video was uploaded just about 12 days ago and it has already crossed the 300,000 mark. Go ahead and watch it!

2. Shock To The System

Upon doing some research I found a few more videos by the same director. This time, it’s a totally different subject and the treatment will leave you astonished. A thought provoking concept, conveyed beautifully. Avoid the family filter and watch it. It is imperative that you do!

3. Doping

Well, just as I was talking about our reaction to the situation that matters, I saw this. It led me to believe that the situation doesn’t matter at all. In fact nothing else matters. This beautiful She Hulk in the video brought out the monster in me. It reminded me of two little words I love to say to all of them who do not appreciate my efforts. The video made me laugh and it made me think! That is quite an achievement!

4. Blue Sky

Something ironic about the video being in black and white isn’t it? I am a fan of Black and White. In fact, the very first film that I made was in black and white. Even one of my latest films is in black and white. The tone itself made me nostalgic. The music and the lyrics were a brilliant addition that simply took me down the memory lane. Watch the video and learn how well emotions can be handled!

“So who is the one that fills your life with colours?” This is the question I wanted to ask myself upon looking at the video. The video is simple and yet touching. And the interpretation of the title “Blue Sky” in the video makes this video one of my favourite music videos I have seen lately. I feel the title of any film or any art form for that matter, should have a deeper meaning. I could sense the director wanting to derive that meaning from the title of the song and incorporate it into the video so that it reaches the audience effectively.

(I took a break as I wanted to download these songs from iTunes, or otherwise.)

Coming back to the film making bit of these five videos… I think what I loved the most about these videos are the story part of them. Nowadays, when the attention span of audiences has shrunk down it is remarkable to find something that can hold the audience for 5 to 6 minutes. Usually we see music videos with fast moving imagery and no story at all. But I feel, the story behind a film is very important. And even I am sure I will definitely remember these music videos for the story and the overall direction.

Why am I featuring this awesome filmmaker?

I feel some filmmakers, over a period of time develop a style for themselves that they are comfortable in. I feel it is very dangerous for the “art” of cinema. As soon as an artist enters his comfort zone, the art dies. And I feel David over here is determined to give us a variety of good films in the form of music videos. I feel it is important that we learn that nothing good ever comes out of comfort zone.

Discovering a new artist on The Internet is happiness. It is a day well spent.

I want to share this happiness with you guys and I want you to pass it along…

Cheers!

Ebola Warning – A Chilling Truth

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
– Mark Twain
“Based on a true story.” “Based on actual events.” There is something scary about these lines that make any film even more scary. All of us know, film director James Wan using the same warning in most of his horror films. And maybe that slight possibility that the same incidence, can happen to us too underlines the horror in the film.
Not long ago, I had written about Found Footage films. I tried to explain my take on how realism can be used to enhance the experience of a film. I feel the film by Director Martin Sommerdag Ebola Warning [Biological Research Film] takes this realistic approach to a whole new level.

Ebola Warning [Biological Research Film] from Alpha Hawk Films on Vimeo.

As the Director has mentioned, this film is a byproduct of a personal experience. Not by the director himself, but by his father. He was a biosafety level 4 chief virologist and he went missing in 1997. He was declared dead by the authorities but his body was never found. The film is a digitized version of various classified documents together with the old super 8MM film reel. And the film points at a patient diagnosed with Ebola.

The film Ebola Warning was screened at both New York Film Festival and Los Angeles Film Festival in 2008. After which the director claims that a very strange incident happened. A gentleman approached him and telling him that he knows his father. They decided to meet the next day. But that man never came.

The video uses shots from a top-secret biological research film recorded by Centers for Disease Control in 1978. It shows a nurse collecting organic samples from the subject or patient. All under the observation of a mysterious guy dressed in black. I want to point it out to our readers that the patient zero (the first person to have contracted the disease) was identified in the late 70s.
Apart from this, the film keeps itself open for possibilities. It is equipped with an abrupt start and and abrupt ending, leaving it for the viewers to decide and interpret. For me, I am scared of biological weapons since I got the idea way back in school. What if the next super weapon is a biological one? A virus that can kill a country from the inside? How easy it is for a superpower to eliminate its competitors by releasing a deadly virus in a country! How efficient and how clean! The idea gives me goosebumps. The film has planted this conspiracy theory in my mind and it is going to be difficult to get it out.
I think I will have to watch something lighter to get this out of my system. Maybe I will watch another teaser of “A Beautiful View”

A Beautiful View [Teaser 2] from Alpha Hawk Films on Vimeo.

TUNGUSKA DIARIES – A Different Take

The whole idea of my blog is to appreciate films that push the envelope and learn something while I do so. “Short films” is a medium that is really close to my heart and when I see a short film, so passionately made, it simply inspires me to make more and more films.

TUNGUSKA DIARIES from Alpha Hawk Films on Vimeo.

The film TUNGUSKA DIARIES is based on the true event near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Russia. It was a large explosion caused by an asteroid and it is the largest impact event on or near Earth in recorded history.

The first thing I did after watching the film is to read more about this strange incident. I suggest you to read about the incident first and then watch the movie so that you can enjoy it even more.

The film actually combines the “found-footage” method of filming with an impactful sound design. I could really sense the presence of something, which is not supposed to be there due to the whole POV treatment. And although not realistic, it works quite well for the film.

The cinematography of the camera needs to be appreciated as well! The camera is never static. And there is always something happening on screen. It really kept me intrigued. A few suggestions would be to search for a few facts on the technical aspect before filming, such as the aspect ratio and the quality of the footage to make it more believable. However, the short is a stylish and satisfying version of a real incident, so nevertheless it works for me.

Well, I can’t help but to go back to the music of this film. While watching the film, I knew something is about to go wrong. And the music built the suspense tremendously well. It felt like I was watching Cloverfield made by Alfred Hitchcock.

I feel it is never too easy to make a found footage film. And I also think that a found footage film should be as open ended as possible. The film does score well in that manner. The film is smart, scary in a way and showcases a creative twist. It brought this strange phenomenon to my notice. And now I cannot stop thinking about it.

Over here I want to give a big shoutout to the makers of the film, especially Martin Sommerdag, the Director. Their film – A Beautiful View is coming out shortly and it is already on my must watch list.

A Beautiful View [Teaser] from Alpha Hawk Films on Vimeo.

#Crowdfunding – Financial Freedom Once & For All

Financial Freedom For All from John Burke on Vimeo.

The Spiritual Workout is an intensive course committed to solving the chronic financial struggle with massive amounts of higher consciousness. The talented team which includes the producer Steven Morrison, director John Burke, PRO Delilah De La Rosa are planning on making a video documentary that will show us how to change and how we think about financial stress and struggle.

The film plans to cover 40 people in the timespan of 21 weeks and changing the way they think using the following 15 concepts, collectively known as Spiritual Workout®

It is a practice that solves problems by using these universally spiritual concepts:

  •    Be Compassionate
  •    Beliefs Matter
  •    Be Present
  •    Choices Abound
  •    Everything Is Energy
  •    Have An Attitude of Gratitude
  •    Intentions Matter
  •    Judgments Separate Us
  •    Listen to Inspiration
  •    Mind and Body Are Connected
  •    Take Responsibility
  •    The Law of Attraction Is Always On
  •    We Are All Connected
  •    We Are Here for a Reason
  •    We Belong to the Planet, Not the Planet to Us

If we search on the Internet, there is no shortage of “abundance” information out there for people who are struggling financially. But how to actually apply them in our day-to-day lives? How can we make them work towards achieving our goals? The film will show us how…

The audience for this film is massive and mainstream due to the universal experience of financial hardship. The topics covered in the film will definitely help people who are in a bad financial condition and also the people who are doing well for themselves but wish to create a better society. The film aims to teach the people who struggle financially to create financial freedom for themselves. And more importantly how one can keep hope in the time of financial struggle.

The project plans to find answers to the following questions:

  • How easy or difficult will it be for people to change their perspectives?
  • Where are the blocks and how do we eliminate them?
  • What is/isn’t common to all of us who engage this process?
  • What impact will the support of community have on the unfolding?
  • With whom will we/won’t we connect and relate?
  • What will happen to the relationships of people in the cohort?
  • How many others will learn as a result of watching the finished documentary?

The first phase of crowdfunding is still on which plans to secure a San Francisco/Bay Area location, design a set, hire a crew, recruit our cohort of 40 participants, and shoot the first four to six weeks of the documentary. They have set a target of $43,500 and there are multiple perks to choose from. The perks include – getting your name in the list of Special Thanks in the film credits, ways to learn more about Spiritual Workout, as well as opportunities to peek behind-the-scenes.

We are on the verge to flip the calendar and emerge ourselves into a new year. We are surrounded by resolutions and all of us would like to learn some great techniques to do better financially. And there can be no better alternative than this!

So be a part of this groundbreaking and inspiring documentary and visit the Financial Freedom Once & For All campaign site here, where you can become eligible to receive great perks from the creators of this documentary.

Indiegogo campaign

Vimeo

#Crowdfunding – The Perfect Circle

When I think about the portrayal of autism in films, I think of “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” or “Rain Man”. While doing some more research about my upcoming independent film, I stumbled upon this:

When it came to the pre-production of the film, the makers have been thorough and careful. After finalizing the idea, the makers decided to wait for 2 more years till the film was actually ready to move on for production. And this fact deserves everyone’s respect. These guys over here are not bunch of newbies taking out there cameras and shooting the first thing that comes in front of the lens. There is a deep thought behind the film. Plus, this movie actually has an author of a Critics’ Choice Bestselling novel named Cruz Orman. So kudos to that!

To summarize the film, it is based on a 17 year old boy named Charles who happens to struggle with autism. Charles’s life begins to unravel after witnessing a tragic event that happens upon an unlikely, confident, impulsive New York Times Critics’ Choice Award Winning Author. Two of them form a pair and go on a jam-packed journey through street chases and increasing adversity leads to further chaos. It sounds like a completely different subject bringing together two misfits, having lots of adventures.

A good cast can make a good film great. And this film definitely has a great cast to assure the authenticity of it.

“Charles” is played by the Bloodwood Cannibals star Nathan Anthony Carter. The film Bollywood Cannibals is currently now #59 on Amazon Prime “Popular Movies” section.

“Saphire” (Sister of “Luke”) is played by Chalet Lizette. She has performed in westerns, drama, psychological thrillers, horror, comedy and many more. In 2015 She is already going to be releasing a film with Danny Trejo.

And Catherine Stand will be making her debut here as Charles’s sister.

The whole purpose of this film with such an important subject is that the makers don’t want people to take the subject so lightly. The makers believe that families can really come to appreciate the morals we are going to project in this movie.

The Perfect Circle is a film brought to you by G.M.H. It is a unique film that shows great potential. The creators of The Perfect Circle are raising funds through crowdfunding. Their crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter will help them start production of The Perfect Circle Movie. So be a part of this groundbreaking new and innovative film and visit the The Perfect Circle campaign site here, where you can become eligible to receive great perks from the creators of this new independent film.

And because I simply loved this line –

*Pledging will really make a difference for someone around Christmas time. (so why not add their name under a “producer” credit)?

Crowdfunding

Facebook page

YouTube video

 

#Crowdfunding – THE NAPOLEON: A Story of Artillery’s Evolution

As much as gunpowder and gasoline is interesting to watch on screen, the making of such a legendary weapon is always an interesting story. At the beginning of the Civil War, the Napoleon, the Model 1857 light 12-pounder gun, was the state-of-the-art.

And just like any other modern revolutionary invention, the story of this gun is full of twists and turns: politics, technology, wars, and memorable characters. The Executive Producer of the film, Robert L. Silverman wanted to tell this story ever since he helped restore a 1861 Napoleon at the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey. And when a person with such a keen interest in the subjects takes up a project like this, you can place your bets on it!

The documentary intends to describe the Napoleon’s design, capabilities, and place in history. It will let the audience experience all the movement, fire, smoke and sounds that the artillerists did while in battle. The subject so intense and interesting needs to be well researched to be the best of its kind, and it will definitely be.

It is surely going to be a documentary that will make some serious buzz in the historical and military weapon space.

This month the creator of this documentary started raising funds through the innovative use of crowdfunding. His crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo will help him produce a high quality documentary and will allow him to film on location and to pay for first rate production and post-production work.

Raising money for a subject that requires such an intense amount of research followed by hours and hours of meticulous execution is not an easy task. That is why I want to use my Blog to promote such ventures that are ambitious and different from the redundant world of cinema. And if you feel that such new subjects should someday reach the theaters near you, this is your chance…

So what are you waiting for? Be a part of this groundbreaking new and innovative documentary and visit the The Napoleon-A Story Of Artillery’s Evolution campaign site here, where you can become eligible to receive great perks from the creator of this new historical documentary!

Link to the YouTube video

Link to the Crowdfunding campaign

#Crowdfunding- Lost Angeles by Leonardo Leon

Film making is not just going out there and pointing your camera at the first thing that pops in front of you. No. Film making is the greatest illusion created by human to convey a story, portray the world; through his eyes. And the feature film Lost Angeles by Leonardo Leon explores how people lose everything in search of their Hollywood Dream.

You can watch the video over here.

The film is directed and co-created by Leonardo Leon. By looking at the video the film looks very promising with a sense of redemption towards the end. It is definitely going to be a film that will make you think about a lot of things that we take for granted, once again. The protagonist of the film, being a college dropout comes to Los Angeles to fulfill her modelling dreams. But not all dreams are meant to convert into reality. The protagonist takes us on a journey to show us the real “Hollywood” as she becomes homeless.

A very interesting fact about the film is that the crew, during the filming actually stayed with the homeless people of Los Angeles; to discover more about their lives. The actors and director left their apartments for the streets to accurately capture this reality on film. The characters in the film actually interact with real people during the film, giving a more natural and realistic feel to the film.

There seems to be a sense of irony to the concept of the film. The city of Los Angeles features some of the richest stars in Hollywood. At the same time there are innumerable people who fight for their basic needs, every single day. And all of this happens in a very close proximity. This is a wonderful attempt to capture the contrast and surely gets a thumbs up from my end.

There are many Academy Award winning films out there who appear to highlight a sensitive issue. But in fact just showcase poverty in some developing countries and make money out of it. Lost Angeles is not one of those films. The makers actually want to help them. The makers have promised to donate 10% of your contribution to shelters around the Los Angeles Area. If contributions pass the $50,000 mark they will donate 15% of the donations. From the Heart Productions also makes it possible for contributors to make a 100% certified tax deductible contribution. And this fact has attracted me even more towards this project.

So what are you waiting for? Be a part of this groundbreaking new and moving project and visit the Lost Angeles campaign site here, where you can become eligible to receive great perks from the creators of the this new feature film.

Tissue by Stuart Wahlin

If you think about all those amazing things you can find on the internet when you’re not really looking for anything in particular you will be surprised. Stuart Wahlin‘s short film Tissue, made for Colchester Film Festival is on of those rare pieces which have a lot more to offer than what appears on the surface.

The competition provides you with a title to the film which can be interpreted in any way; one line of dialogue and an action. There is a limit to the duration and the film is supposed to be completed in just 60 hours. For this entry the line given was “I’ve seen what happens to people like you” and the action was  someone dropping a torch.

I think a short film can be deciphered in many ways. And more than often, the interpretation of a viewer can be totally different from that of the maker. When you attempt to tell a story in such a small time, every element in the frame does matter. I think the film has a subliminal message that the night is darkest before the dawn. Not given in a grand sense of things but in a very personal, semi-autobiographical manner. And that’s why, the use of torch holds utmost significance.

I really appreciate the tracking shot which kind of depicts the solitude the writer has created for himself. I write myself and I know many who do it as a profession and I think this one shot of less than 2 seconds tells us a lot about the character.

Also, the main character played by North Roberts has an interesting habit of keeping a pen in his uppermost buttonhole. And that comes handy towards the end. The attention to such details can really make the film believable.

When asked to speak more about the backstory of the film the director mentioned that he wasn’t too satisfied when he was given the title of the film. He wasn’t sure if the film could be completed without any certainty of cast and crew. Yet towards the end, things turned out positively and the film was produced.

I am not a fan of a lot of constrains when making a film. Film making is a tough job and it has its challenges anyway. But making a film in 60 hours including writing, shooting and editing it is a commendable job. Some of the director’s work is available over here including the award winning web series, Hand of Glory.

As a fellow film maker, I believe it is important to appreciate the genuine work of others. If you like his work, go like the Facebook page and do spread the word!