Film Fest 2013 and my latest role

For my college’s annual end-of-the-semester film festival, I hoped to put together a film noir/buddy cop/pirate mashup. I still have the script, but I didn’t have the time. Instead, I worked on another project that I’ll have a post about soon.

I did manage to act in this short film, though. It won an award at the film festival.

http://vimeo.com/80807949

This marks the fourth film fest movie I’ve acted in, and the fourth one in which I’ve been a villain. Also, it’s probably the most professionally produced one that I’ve been a part of, so it’s a great capper on my college acting career.

I Just Wrote My Epitaph

spoon river

I’m in the play this semester, a production based off of Edgar Lee Master’s 1915 collection of poems Spoon River Anthology.  It’s set in a graveyard, featuring the monologues of the deceased inhabitants of a small town. So for our bulletin, we’re doing something new: instead of a short bio, we all get to write our own epitaphs. I composed this gem of lyrical grace:

 

Here’s Adam Rowe
As dead as sin
‘Twas finals week
That did him in.

My Career as a Surly Film Noir Detective/Bar Fight Director

For the Spring semester every year, my college allows it’s students to direct and stage their own plays for a night titled One Acts. It’s entirely student-run: direction, acting, set design, choreography. For the Spring of 2013, I starred in a short play — one act long, as the title indicates — about a hotel detective who has just ten minutes to solve a case. If he goes just a minute overtime, he’ll be fired. True to Film Noir form, the play features a femme fatale, snappy dialogue, burbon, and a ton of double crosses. And, of course, a cold-blooded murder or two.

Here’s the Youtube playlist of the entire night. Below, I’ve embedded the two videos of my play, Murder By Midnight. Continue reading

Summer 2013

Warning: this one’s a slightly dry post… mechanics of my mission, ect. Blah blah blah. Skip down to the cool round photos if you want the highlights.

I have big plans for this summer. I’ll be starting my final year of college in the fall, and I have a squarely three-month time span between now and then. In that time, I hope to accomplish two things. I want to get this blog onto a firm every-other-day posting schedule, while hopefully stocking up enough spare posts to keep it going strong during the school year, a task that I’ve found is pretty darn difficult. Second, I want to explore ebook self-publishing. I’ve already done some research into this, and I have a few options to follow up on. I have two or three novels that are okay enough to publish. Sadly, I probably don’t have the time needed to write more this summer, but you never know.

My blog plan means I’ll have to write seven posts every two weeks. To get that done, I hope to publish posts elsewhere on the internet, and then reposting them on my blog. By setting up this site as a hub, I can keep my audience up-to-date, while still pulling in interested people from other sites. I’ve already started posting, as you might have noticed. Here are the categories that I’ll be using to keep me churning out the insightful commentary that all you fans love so much.

Sci-Fi Essays

I’ve got a kinja blog over here, where I post science-fiction related information for the Io9 crowd, like this recent post about Steven Moffat’s plotting misadventures.

Book Reviews

books

I’ve got this account at GoodReads, where I post book reviews. I’m hoping to expound on my favorite genre, the wacky shenanigans genre, which I coincidentally also came up with. In future posts here, expect a deep study of the genre. For now, you’ll have to settle for this recent review of the Henry Reed books.

College Advice

I’m a freelancer at HackCollege.com, and I’ve blogged lists of the posts I’ve written for them in the past. I’ll be continuing that practice in the future.

Film Reviews

Sadly, I’m no longer in my cinema class, which is what forced me to post a 300-500 word review here every week. Now I just need to rely on my own initiative, and I always tend to watch more TV than film when I’m given the chance. I certainly wouldn’t check out such admitted classics as Citizen Kane or On the Waterfront.

Trailer Reviews

This one won’t be regular, either. The trailer reviews were commissioned by my college newspaper’s website. They’ve only posted one so far, and they’re on hiatus for the summer, but they want around five reviews for the next year. I might easily do more on here.

Miscellaneous

I’ll post links to my guest posts, and I might even post the guest posts that have failed to find hosts. Heh, post hosts. Anyway. I’ll also add old articles I’ve written for my college newspaper’s print version, and past blog posts I’ve squirreled away. Also, I might expound on some notes that I’ve written for myself: I have a ton of old thoughts that can easily make fun blog posts. For example, nicotine patch gym shorts. “Get addicted to exercise!” Genius.

Projects

Last and greatest: my various projects. I’ll try to keep you updated on:

Emmett

EmmettMy planned podcast is The Academic Emmett, a dramatized series of short fiction stories airing around December 2013. It stars Emmett, who’s basically Sherlock Holmes if he were a college student and a mad scientist instead of a detective. I’ll have my own website for it, and I’m in charge of writing, recording, some voice acting, rounding up all the other voice actors, editing, adding music and sound effects, designing the site, and advertising for the whole thing once it’s done.

I still need to finish 13 stories this summer, but I just wrote one this weekend, so it shouldn’t be too tough to complete those on time. I’ll have a total of 4 seasons, each about 11 episodes long and covering a year of Emmett’s academic career. This is my favorite one… I’m excited.

Flux | Flow

fluxflowThis is the TV show I’ll be acting in. Most of the work will be done over the fall semester, but I may be writing a future episode ahead of time, which will be a great way to flex my screenwriting muscle. I’ve been studying the art via reading Story, by Robert McKee, which I’ve been enjoying.

More about the show here.

NoiARRRRR

I’m writing, producing, and co-starring in a genre mash-up that I’m calling NoiARRRRR. That’s right, five Rs. It’ll be a buddy cop film starring a film noir detective (that’s me!) and a pirate. They’ll have to learn to work together in order to stop a group of smugglers. Expect plenty of terrible puns and great genre references.

Stalker

I’m planning to get started on a film spec script. The plot? The stalker of a B-level actress is the only one with enough information to save her when she’s kidnapped. We’ll see how this one progresses…

Untitled Young Adult novel

That’s right, I’ve got one more writing project planned. More information to come on it. Can I possibly finish these all? No. But you won’t be able to find out which I complete and which I don’t until August. Follow along. It’ll be fun, I promise.

As drawn by me, that is.

Film Review: The Shore

the_shore_quad_landscape

The Shore’s 30-minute span is enough to detail a story, though barely: the back-story has to be detailed in a five-minute monologue from Joe to his daughter. To be fair, though, the actor who portrays Joe is the best one there, so it’s a smart choice to give him the heavy lifting. The only noticeably poor actor is the daughter Patricia, in fact, probably because most of the others are older, with more acting experience. Patricia’s slightly forced and ham-handed emotions were a little distracting. The film’s slow-paced atmosphere and beautiful location definitely helped to communicate the universal emotions of love and loss covered by the short film. I spent my last spring abroad in Ireland, and the sense of the people in the film was the same as the sense I got while visiting the actual country.

While the film is only 30 minutes long, its penchant for lingering shots of cold Irish hills and numerous subtle reaction shots made it feel cinematically lengthy. This fact might stand against the assumption that short films are the future of cinema due to the shortening attention spans of the internet generation – if the film has less information in it than a typical, frantically cut Youtube video, it will still feel tedious. For now, though, the style is what qualified the film for its 2012 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, so no one’s too upset about it, I suppose.

I appreciated the film for the fleshed-out, realistic reminder it gave me of Ireland, and Irish life, and for the fact that it didn’t have an entirely sappy ending – the fact that Joe doesn’t tell Paddy the truth and allows Paddy to be the guilty one is, in my book, not an entirely perfect ending. And since I don’t enjoy entirely saccharine storytelling, I appreciate the touch.

Film review: My Left Foot

MY LEFT FOOT, Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, 1989

My Left Foot is a strong film not for its portrayal of Christy Brown, the real-life Irish artist and writer with cerebral palsy, but for its portrayal of the typical life that he led. By showing his family’s life beyond just centering constantly on Christy, the film was able to communicate the fullness of the man’s experience. If it had only focused on the trials of a disabled life, the film would have reduced itself to a cheap, sentimental Hallmark movie. But Christy’s siblings argue with his parents and each other in vignettes completely unrelated to Christy’s struggle to be understood. His sister fights with his father over an unwanted pregnancy completely separate from Christy’s personal struggles with a lackluster love life. His father’s drunken bluster and his mother’s sacrificial loving understanding of everyone in the family are expounded on subtly. These are all plot points that interact with Christy, but they don’t define him strongly.

As a result, the film portrays the man in a manner that feels authentic and holistic. Personally, I felt that the film had an unrealistically happy ending, particularly given the amount of time that it spent emphasizing the realistically challenging life that Christy had ahead of him. The framing device for the film kept it interesting, though, and the fact that the actual memoir that the movie is based on shows up early in the film is a fun meta twist. I don’t even need to explain that Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing at his role, since he has gotten Best Actor awards for this and basically every performance he ever gives. The entire family was acted well, though. I’m not sure where they found that many homely Irish-looking guys.

It wasn’t my kind of film, to be honest. I found the film difficult to watch due to its depressing nature, which is a testament to its strong acting and storytelling. The actors kept me in the story so well that I didn’t even go for the cheering ending.