Forever Yours

During the month of June I did two projects as first AD. The first one was for a company based on New York. They hired me to arrange the schedule and  budget before start of production.  After this project, I was hired again to work for a friend. His film is called Forever Yours.

My friend Parlav Chaudhary invited me to work on his project. It was a short film with students from the New York Film Academy. We shot this film in one day at an amazing location in Reseda. When I say amazing I don’t mean that it was a fancy mansion or something like that. The place was almost like a farm house in the middle of the city.

I always get to the location 30 minutes to one hour before call time just because I am the First AD, and usually I work a lot. So when I got there, there was at least 15 dogs inside of the location. I entered the place and I thought: “okay, cool. All these dogs are going to mess the shoot. Awesome!” I thought of that because at first the house seemed pretty small for that amount of dogs, but I started to find my way to the back of the house and I was amazed by how big that place was. The house in the front was big enough to keep all the dogs inside, then the backyard, where  we set up the stage area and the shooting location, was triple the size of the front house.

Two things that were unbelievable in the backyard: first an artist called Alex Atman, lived there in a cabin kind of house where his atelier, his jawbreaking 3d metal artwork, were exposed to everyone to see. This guy was also pretty cool with us, because he let us use his place for the actors change clothes, and he pretty much cleaned the only bathroom before everyone started using it. The second unbelievable part of the backyard was the animals. There was at least 4 hogs there in the backyard. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. They were the most cute thing I could ever imagine seeing on a set. People have the tendency to think that hogs and pigs are filthy, disgusting animals, and they are kind of filthy and disgusting. But at the same time they are very funny and cute. The noises they make, they way they walk, and how sneaky they are.

There was a moment that one of the hogs were getting close to the craft table to eat what was in the trash can, and I had to scare him off. The hog literally complained with me making noises similar to a man growling. And then slowly he backed away. Everybody laughed at that scene.

The shoot went fine. We were using the RED Camera with a set of very beautiful PL prime lenses as the first camera and we had a rigged 7D as well as the second. The DP was Sanket Dolas and he is one of the most talented DPs I had the pleasure to work lately. We had a crew that were very efficient and everybody was really laid back. I mean, there was no people bitching about anything, and no complains. Even with a 19 hours shoot day. It took us 19 hours to start and wrap the whole thing. By the fact that it was only one day, the overall mood of the crew was good even with the long hours.

I took some pictures of this day and also the still photographer Fred Tapia gave me some frames. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

First AD – Credit Fred Tapia
Forever Yours Behind the Scene – Credit Fred Tapia
REd Camera Forever Yours – Credit Fred Tapia
1st AD
Mario First AD – Credit Fred Tapia
7D
Second camera 7D – Credit Fred Tapia
RED
Shooting with the RED – Credit Fred Tapia
Forever Yours Crew
Forever Yours Crew – Credit Fred Tapia
Parlav and Mario – Credit Fred Tapia
Forever Yours 1st AD

 

where people see a filthy pig, I see a beautiful animal that I don't like to eat.

Rosa Morena

Neste Domingo dia 5 de junho fui assistir ao filme Rosa Morena que estava sendo exibido no Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival. A minha irmã Miriam Amadeu participou deste filme com uma personagem fantástica.

O filme trata-se da história de um Dinamarquês, Thomas (Anders W. Berthelsen), que vai para o Brasil tentar adotar uma criança. Pelo fato de ser homossexual, Thomas enfrenta grandes obstáculos que o impedem de adotar uma criança na Dinamarca. A personagem que a minha irmã faz é a primeira tentativa real de Thomas na busca de seu sonho.

O filme é muito bem feito com atuações verdadeiras e com um roteiro real e denso. Os personagens tem muita profundidade e os diálogos são sinceros. O que mais marca no filme é a perfeita combinação de humor e drama. Homossexualismo é um tema que para ser tratado precisa-se muita coragem e sutileza. O filme lida com o drama dos personagem de forma humana, e não levanta bandeiras que possam gerar polêmica. Eu acredito que que a audiência vai se identificar com a história independentemente  da opção sexual ou da opinião sobre o assunto. Esse é o motivo que mostra o brilhantismo dessa produção.

O filme foi produzido com capital Dinamarquês e Brasileiro. Um dos produtores do filme é o Ivan Teixeira. Conversamos um pouco ao final da apresentação e fiquei muito contente de conhecer um profissional brasileiro tão talentoso e simpático.

O video acima é uma das cenas que a minha irmã faz. As fotos abaixo são do Grauman’s Chinese Theatre em Hollywood lotado durante a apresentação do filme.

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
Miriam Amadeu
Anders Berthelsen
Miram Amadeu

New Feature Film in New York

I am doing the pre-production of a new feature film based in New York.

The director called me from over there and hired me to work for him at a distance. I couldn’t physically travel to New York because I am doing physical therapy and my doctor didn’t allow me to work yet. So we agreed that I would do the scheduling, budgeting, and breakdown before the principal photography starts.

For this production I am using the Movie Magic screenwriter, Movie Magic Scheduling, and Movie Magic Budgeting. These software are really good. They are very helpful with the whole process of pre-production.

The advantages of these software over other software, like Celtx for example, is the industry standard interface. Pre-production of films in Hollywood is made the same way for a long time. Scheduling a feature film is a three-part process: 1 – breakdown the script, 2 – preparing a production strip board, and 3 – determining the final shooting schedule. The movie magic package helps a lot with this process. Little things like the color coding, break down categories, and full integration between script, schedule and budget are key to the creation of a well structured pre-production. Then we have more advanced tolls like Report Design, Day out of Days control, Red Flags features, Calendar Management, and Element linking that makes the scheduling process way more precise.

Another good aspect of the Movie Magic package is that the company who creates the software gives a couple of courses for free. Right now I don’t have time to do them, but as soon as I finish this schedule I might take some courses. I might be able to catch little and more advanced things that I wouldn’t otherwise.

The main production of the film is scheduled to start in July. I am having a lot of work to put everything together as fast and accurate as possible. So far I am doing fantastic. My job is to manage everybody schedule, solve this jigsaw puzzle, and deliver the schedule and budget in two weeks.

 

Encontro com Glória Perez

Pelo fato de estar me recuperando de uma cirurgia no pé esquerdo, fiquei basicamente sem sair de casa por quase dois meses. Tentei da forma que podia me manter ocupado na frente do computador, escrevendo roteiros, vendo filmes, lendo, fazendo trabalhos de edição, e fotografia. Hoje porém, na semana que comecei fisioterapia, sai de casa para algo muito produtivo.

 

Hoje, quinta feira, 19 de maio de 2011 teve um encontro com os profissionais da Rede Globo da área de tele dramaturgia e comércio internacional na UCLA.

 

Glória Perez foi uma das palestrantes num auditório pequeno de apenas 30 pessoas no máximo. Tivemos a oportunidade de conhecer e discutir o trabalho da Gloria. Não somente fizemos perguntas direta para a autora sobre seu processo criativo, como também discutimos a ênfase do mercado da Globo Internacional. Entendemos como esse mercado global esta nascendo e suas perspectivas de crescimento.

 

Pelo fato de ser um auditório pequeno, tive a oportunidade e o prazer de fazer diversas perguntas para a Glória, bem como para os outros profissionais que estavam presentes.

 

Duda Pereira, que é a diretora da Globo Universidades, uma entidade da corporação voltada para a integração empresa-escola, iniciou a palestra dando um panorama geral da rede Globo. Depois ela passou a vez para a Glória Perez.

 

Glória iniciou seu discurso explicando, entre outras coisas, que o trabalho dela como roteirista se baseia em 2 temas: o confronto entre tecnologia e humanidade, e o conflito humano entre culturas distintas.

 

Para abordar tais temas, a autora se focaliza na emoção. Tal emoção é adquirida no conflito do relacionamento dos personagens com outros personagens e dos personagens com seus próprios obstáculos internos. A história é contada através dessas emoções, e a audiência faz as conexões intelectuais necessárias para se entender a mensagem racional que esta sendo proposta subliminarmente. Emoção é uma linguagem universal, e desta forma existe um apelo comercial globalizado para tais produtos televisivos.

 

Glória nos explicou sobre como as telenovelas prendem a atenção dos telespectadores, fazendo uma comparação muito interessante com os folhetins. Eu aprendi que a narrativa dos folhetins e das telenovelas se assemelham porque ambas têm uma técnica de utilização de ganchos ao final dos capítulos e uma abordagem de temas populares e polêmicos. A intenção desse tipo de narrativa é prender a atenção da audiência e gerar a necessidade de se saber mais sobre o assunto. Cada sentença que a Glória dizia, era como se fosse um mês de faculdade. Aprendi bastante, porém uma das partes mais interessantes para mim foi quando pude fazer perguntas.

 

A primeira pergunta que eu fiz foi sobre a relação da autora com os personagens que cria. Glória nos explicou que ela se entrega 100% para a história durante todo o tempo que esta envolvida na novela. Pelo fato de trabalhar sozinha, ela acaba não tendo muito tempo para sair de sua rotina como roteirista em época de produção. Mesmo sem tempo para atividades sociais, a autora não se isola do mundo como alguns roteiristas fazem. Fiquei abismado ao saber que mesmo com o desafio de entregar um capítulo de uma hora por dia, ela mantém contato fiel com o seu público. Eu presumi que a autora faz isso pois é através desse contato que ela acaba dando forma e destino para suas histórias. Glória nos disse que depois da novela estar pronta, ela sente uma dificuldade de se desprender de seus personagens. Muito engraçada e extrovertida, Glória comparou todos os finais de novela com o Titanic. “No fim o navio afunda e todos morrem” salientou a autora. Ela completou com a declaração de que as vezes ela volta a escrever capítulos de personagens que marcaram sua carreira, só para saber como os personagens estão.

 

A segunda pergunta que fiz foi sobre os problemas que ela tem quando algo não dá certo dentro de seu processo criativo. Por exemplo, se ela tem a intenção de gerar uma certa emoção na audiência e acaba errando no efeito procurado. Sua resposta foi que sempre que algo não dá certo a culpa é do autor. Ela focaliza sempre na emoção do personagem, com a intenção da audiência se identificar e se emocionar com a situação apresentada. Se algo não dá certo, o que ela faz não é mudar a emoção e sim a forma de contar a mesma emoção.

 

Fiz mais uma pergunta sobre censura. Como os temas que ela apresenta são sempre muito polêmicos, eu quis saber se ela sofreu qualquer tipo de restrição sobre alguma idéia que ela apresentou. A reposta dela foi clara e simples. Ela nunca sofreu nenhum tipo de censura. A única restrição que aparecia esporadicamente era sobre algum tema que a sociedade ainda não estava preparada para entendê-lo. Um exemplo foi a novela Barriga de Aluguel que ela apresentou para ser produzida, porém na época o assunto era muito avançado para a audiência. Ela guardou o tema na gaveta e, quando o assunto já era de maior conhecimento público, a novela foi ao ar.

 

Conversamos também com o diretor da Globo Internacional Guilherme Bokel que nos explicou sobre a distribuição e produções internacionais das novelas da Globo. Ele abriu nossos olhos para o fato de que as novelas Brasileiras não podem e não devem ser comparadas com “Soap-Operas” americanas. A tradução do termo novela para soap-operas foi feita de maneira incorreta dando a impressão para uma grande parte do público norte americano que uma novela como “O Caminho das Índias” seria comparável com a soap-opera “Days of ours Lives”. Uma das grandes diferenças é que soap-operas americanas são infinitamente mais longas do que as novelas brasileiras. No Brasil uma novela tem a duração de no máximo 8 meses, onde a soap-opera Days of our Lives está no ar desde 1965. Porém a diferença primordial nessa separação é o fato de que a qualidade de produção é simplesmente incomparável. Novelas são astronomicamente melhor produzidas e custam muito mais. Como ilustração Guilherme nos disse que um capítulo de uma novela no Brasil custa por média 300 mil dólares. Se essa mesma produção fosse feita nos Estados Unidos, o valor aumentaria para uma média de um milhão e meio de dólares por capítulo.

 

Algo muito interessante que Guilherme nos disse foi o processo como as novelas da Globo estão entrando no mercado mundial. Atualmente quando a novela é produzida, o foco é somente no mercado brasileiro. Depois que a novela é finalizada, existe uma análise para se verificar o apelo do tema para o mercado internacional. Se existe uma demanda, a novela vai para o mercado internacional, onde o foco é na reedição dos capítulos. Em geral uma novela para o mercado internacional deve ter 150 capítulos com duração de 45 minutos cada um. Para cada território existe uma edição diferente de acordo com o gosto estético e narrativo da audiência. Por exemplo, no México a edição tem que ser mais direta sem muitos inserts fotográficos, pois a linguagem de edição da televisão mexicana fez com que o público se acostumasse com uma forma menos artística de expressão visual. Outra ênfase é na parte de áudio, onde as vozes são dubladas e as músicas substituídas por outras do território onde a novela será veiculada.

 

Algo que me deixou muito empolgado foi que a Globo esta abrindo as portas para produções internacionais. A globo internacional já fez diversas co-produções com outras emissoras internacionais. Um exemplo é uma co-produção da Telemundo refazendo a novela O clone. No momento a Globo está abrindo as portas para o mercado internacional com a idéia de produzir conteúdo no mercado estrangeiro.

 

A palestra foi muito interessante e abriu muito os meus olhos para novos horizontes. Para mim foi uma das melhores coisas que aconteceram desde que eu me machuquei jogando basquete e tive que fazer uma cirurgia no meu tendão de Aquiles. Eu tive o prazer de entrar em contato com uma das melhores escritoras do mundo, conversei com profissionais de alto padrão e pude estimular meu intelecto. Eu sai de lá com o pensamento que a Glória na verdade não escreve os personagens e sim os personagens que acabam por escrevê-la. De uma certa forma, nos tornamos o que criamos. Eu me machuquei, mas não é o machucado que me define e sim o que crio dele. Sei que tenho uma longa jornada para me recuperar, porém trilharei esse caminho passo a passo, mesmo que com o pé doendo.

AVISO LEGAL : não sou jornalista ou utilizo meu blog como fonte para reportagens. Tudo que escrevo aqui são opiniões baseadas na minha experiência pessoal. Não pretendo ferir a imagem ou o trabalho de qualquer pessoa, e sim mostrar, respeitosamente, minha apreciação a todos os indivíduos comentados neste blog. Não autorizo a divulgação parcial ou integral deste texto e me mantenho totalmente disposto a remover qualquer declaração se assim for solicitado.

Side by side comparison – AF100, FS100, F3, 5D

The new wave of large chip cameras

Hello all,

The fast explosion of DSLR shooting speed it up the development of large chip camcorders. Today the major video camcorder manufacturers are fighting for the best large chip cameras. There are 2 options in the market for the prosumer level and one option for the entry professional level.

The prosumer level cameras are:

AF100 – made by Panasonic
FS100 – made by Sony (release at the end of the summer)

Both in the range of US$5,000

The professional entry level is the Sony F3. It goes for US$15,000 with no lenses and US$18,000 with three prime lenses.

There are a lot of good places to research and understand the best option for every person. One of the best places is the personal website of Philip Bloom. He is a filmmaker with a lot of experience in all of these cameras as well DSLRs.

I took a video from his vimeo page and I removed some frames so we could compare side by side the 3 video cameras and the DSLR 5D. The full video can be seen at the bottom of the page.

Click to enlarge

 

In Pursuit of Happiness – A critic about the film “The Secret”

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for

And certain of what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

 

 

The film The Secret tells about the law of attraction or how to achieve success in life through the management of feelings. Even though it is a very controversial film with structural problems, it is an important message that needs to be spread continuously. It is a self-help, full-length documentary that seduces the audience with the idea that everything is possible if positive thinking and positive attitude is the focus. This message is important to society, because it contradicts what mass media message of today’s world preaches.

 

People in today’s society are told how and what to feel. The reason for that is to keep the status quo. To begin with, let’s take a look around and analyze what messages and philosophies of life are being offered through mass media, such as billboards, posters, movies, TV, fashion, and commercials. Every second, every moment, something is being suggested. “Eat this, do that, buy this, look at me, envy that,…”. I his essay Information as power, the United States Army Colonel John R. Robinson explains that “Persuasive Media Message provides or changes meanings, and meanings give direction to action.”

 

Whether we like it or not, we all listen to the vibrations of our environment. We walk through life every single second using our five senses. We want to see amazing images, taste good flavors, feel good, smell nice fragrances, and talk about attractive subjects. Everybody wants to satisfy bodily pleasures. Businesses today have the power of utilizing this need of satisfaction in their favor, so we would only feel complete if we have their products. When people are unhappy with what they have, they feel the necessity of acquiring happiness by buying products. They need to have the newest computer, that particular perfume, the perfect lifestyle, the newest car, the icombo (ipod, ipad, iphone, imac, icrap…), and every little thing that would make them feel better about themselves. However if they are honest with themselves and able to crawl out of their material bodily consciousness, they will realize that the real happiness is not coming from outside. Nothing really satisfies as much as the real truth about things around us. The real truth that is never changing, no matter what year, what nation, what technology. Happiness is found within. The Film The Secret reinforces this notion that we are responsible for our happiness and nothing and no one can change our destiny besides us. This movie points into a direction of thinking that strengthens the philosophy that thoughts create things. As Mahatma Ghandi says “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”

 

The Secret is often confused with religion due to its psychological fundamental theory. Because of that, the film generated controversy among the viewers. There was an overwhelming press over the release of the film and book, and the over media coverage created polemical discussions to the subject of The Secret. The good part of this discussion is that it raised arguments that would make the film or book better if the author had knowledge of them prior to release The Secret.

 

Although on the surface this movie is a bit excessive and over-simplifying, there is an important point to consider in the roots of the main idea. The word “roots” is used here because the way the documentary is represented is rather foolish: here it is a “secret” that is being revealed, something like a magic key that is handed over to the viewer during the viewing. The same tools used by the mass media to make someone slave are used in this film to get the point across. The use of famous people’s quotes for example is misleading. It gives the idea that there is a secret society where everyone who is successful is part of and knows how things work in their favor. The secret is not about getting stuff. It is about developing a sense of true identity and being unafraid to go after feelings in life and being open to many possible ways of achieving it. The documentary it gets to a point of being one note. The beginning of the film presents the story of an older woman telling about her life being a total mess after a divorce, a death in family, and broken home. The film sets up for a question that is never answered because the woman is never mentioned again. It was a creative decision that should not be done, therefore showing that the director of the film did not have enough experience making movies. It is plain and simple documentary about positive thinking. The message is not as secret as the film tries to portrait. This concept is around for a long time. It is a different perspective, using commercially filmmaking to express old ideas. If we look at every quote that is in the film we realize that these people understood the positive thinking theory, but they did it because of natural and personal reasons, and not because at a certain point in their life they got across with a book that contained the secret. Dr. Fred Alan Wolf, one of the people interviewed in the film, had even declared in his personal website that “The Law of Attraction seems to imply that merely thinking such thoughts will attract the object of those thoughts to you. I don’t think the universe works this way. There is no magic field ‘out there’ or magic genii ‘out there’ that will answer those thoughts by granting your wishes as the film seems to imply.”

 

The Secret is an important message that has to be told, but it is not the complete way to find happiness. The Secret focuses our hope self ward. It is all about self-empowerment, self-fulfillment, and getting whatever we want. But what does it matter profit, if a man loses his soul? Life is meant to be abundant, but money is only a part of wealth. If we want to be completely satisfied we have to find balance in life, exercise our positive thinking towards our body, mind and soul, and take actions to get what we want.

 

 

AFM

American film market is one of the biggest film markets in the world.

It is a good place to meet people from all over the place and make especially business connections.

My first impression of the AFM was like this:

It takes place in a beach front 5 star hotel reserved for production companies to sell their films. Each room is a company that has different titles. If some one has a green badge means that this person is a buyer. Purple badge means production company, Red/orange means industry professional and no badge means loser.

If you have a purple you want to talk to green badges and eventually red/orange badges. You don’t want to spend a second with purple and definitively no badges. People with no badges can be annoying. We learned not to trust a buyer that doesn’t have a badge, because badges are expensive. A minimum of $500for a buyers badge.

There is also a distinct status according to the floor that a production company is located. If the company is bellow the 5th floor, their status is not as good as someone who is in the 5th up. The 2nd and 3rd floor are called The Dungeon. They are cheaper and usually the production companies that are there are lower budget. There are a lot of Asian companies in the dungeon, but the quality of their posters and the content of their actions films are not as bad as expected from companies that are in theses floors. The 4th floor is where the lobby and the no badges are. It’s a chaos to stay there. Buyers don’t usually talk to people over there because they suffer a lot of hassle. It’s a waste of time to try to network at the lobby. There are companies in the lobby too, but their budgets are not very high as the ones on the 5th floor up.

 

The 5th floor is a better floor, even with part of it opened to the public where you can find no-badges there as well. The 6th floor is the beginning of the respect. That’s where I was working on. It costs a lot of money to rent a room in the 6th floor. The company that I worked for spent about 30k.

 

The 7th floor is way better and the 8th floor is where the big boys are. Lionsgate, Weisntein, and other are located in the 8th floor. They don’t even look at your face if you are not a buyer. They have the presidential suites and they treat a production company like a filthy dog. “There is no leftover for you here. Go away!”

 

Overall it is a place where business is made. Even with those notions of social separation, AFM is nothing more than an open fair. When I was younger, I used to go with my father to the open market to buy groceries. The simple elements of the open market on the Brazilian streets I saw at the AFM. The banana vendor needed to make noise, scream sometimes, and loudly reinforce that he had a better deal with a better product then his fellow, and sometimes quieter, next-door seller.

First part of the film almost done

We are taking 5 days off and we will start production back again this Sunday, December 20. Ron Quigley (dir./e.p./lead) had to travel. His brother with cancer unfortunately past away. We were about to wrap our second week shooting, and the bad news came. Ron tried to hold on and keep going. This is a lot to handle. The best thing for him to do was visit his family, spend some time away, recharge batteries, and come back renewed.

The good part is that the production is on schedule, footage looks amazing, performances are believable, crew is getting along pretty well, workflow is  in shape. I’m pretty confident that Ron is happy with the work that everybody is doing. As for me, I am really happy with my work too. I am feeling more confident about the work that I do. I can manage the crew better now than I ever managed before. We are always getting good results. Best of all, I am making new friends.

Everybody is amazing. I don’t want to leave anyone behind, but as far as I remember there are in the

– camera/grip department John, Pat, Mark, Tra, Bobby
– make up Deonna,
– Art department with Stacy and Adam,
– production with Edward, Suzana, Rich, Felipe Costa, Coco,
– stills by Maria, and Kevin
– catering by Chris,
– audio by Kevin,
– cinematography by Peter Lugo,
– and direction by Ron.

stills in this post by Kevin.

Everybody is doing an amazing job. There is an excitement every time we call action. I hope this excitement will follow us wherever we go.
I hope that Ron’s brother is resting in peace now. I dedicate my work in his name. May God bless his soul.

Start of production and engagment

Tomorrow we will start the film. The guys had already being there today for a test shoot and pre light the set. I was not able to go because I had to get done with a bunch of school work. I had even a test of one of the best classes I ever took: grip. Good thing is that I nailed the test. I am getting my school done and I am ready for the film.

We are going to start tomorrow from 7 am to 7 pm. It’s a lot of work but we are getting more people to work with us. Today I met a guy that wants to take some still photography of the film. That’s great. I hope he can join us.

There is also one more thing that I would like to mention.
I am an engaged man. I will marry my princess. She didn’t know that I planned to propose to her on thanksgiving. I prepared everything for when the moment would come. I even taped the whole thing with a hidden camera. It was awesome. I was very nervous and stressed out. My neck was killing me since I decided to take this step. It was about one month ago. I called her parents and they were happy with the news. We will figure our plans after I am done with the film and she is done with her finals at school. Now the world is opening to a new perspective. New adventures. New challenges.

I pray that God will bless the end of 2009.
Amem.