Stark Insider is a major media sponsor of Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) 39. Don’t miss a thing. Get your iPad, iPhone, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, or plain old web browser ready, and be sure to subscribe to the Stark Insider YouTube Channel for updates, news, and reviews. Plus interviews with host Loni Stark.
A day without doing something creative, be it for here on Stark Insider or something related to my effort to better understand filmmaking, is a dull day. Or at least to make the attempt to do something — anything — creative. Some days, the blank page, black timeline, empty storyboard just sits there, taunting you. But come hell or high water I must take a swing.
Once again, that meant roping Loni Stark into one of my endeavors.
It’s called A Gift From Me To You. There’s a literal part, and there’s a far less literal layer to the short. We shot it Saturday. I had to wait for the sun to set, so that meant we did most of it around 9pm or so. Because Loni is an early riser that in itself was a challenge — keeping the energy level (and interest!) up.
Lately, I’ve been focused on lighting. And, also sound. I want to improve both for our Stark Insider projects. Red carpet and run-and-gun is fairly straight forward. You mount an LED light on top of your camera, and blast everything in front of you like headlights on a car. Music videos, short films, and documentaries are a whole other beast. There, you often have the luxury of time and space, and can setup lights to get, at the very least, everything properly exposed, or, perhaps at best, achieve a desired “look”. With Gift, I was trying to create a student film arthouse look. Yes, I’m trying to make my student film try to look like a student film.
I used the superb Canon C100 II. And for glass, the astonishing — just really amazing — Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens (round-up of some of my favorite lenses for DSLR and mirrorless video). If you can afford only one lens and can’t spend the thousands needed for cine lenses, try the Sigma. All the hype you read and see about this lens is real. It’s on my camera for non-doc, non-interview work almost 100% of the time.
Anyways, I’m still cutting Gift, and it should be ready shortly. Seems about right given we’re entering my favorite season, fall, and a bunch of new horror films are arriving just in time for Halloween — led, of course, by the glittery, cool, fun Neon Demon (review).
Meanwhile, I’m trying to create as much as possible, to work my way through, and make at least 39 bad films as quickly as possible. The only way to do that is to hammer them out. Keep story-boarding. Keep spending time in the steam room listening to 80’s new wave to inspire ideas. And to keep on persisting even when videos don’t always turn out as well as you had hoped (and when even Mom and Dad aren’t so keen to watch them). There’s always the next one.
Here’s some stills from A Gift From Me To You. Coming soon to Stark Insider. And, of course, featuring, yet again, Loni Stark. My eternal gratitude (and apologies)!