Twitchy Says...

Film Critic, Indie Filmmaker, General Film/Art/Life Discussion


Published by Benjamin 'Twitchy' Strack under , , , on Sunday, March 29, 2009
So my term as President of the chapter is complete, so I now have significantly more time. Friday morning, I had a really great interview with the Director of Operations for WXMI Fox 17 in Grand Rapids. I felt the interview went very well, although there was an equipment test during it which I felt I was not properly prepared for. The position is an 'Operations Technician', and to start I'll only be getting 12ish hours a week, spread across 4 shifts. They would primarily be night shifts from 9pm-12 or so. I find out on Wednesday if I get the position or not.

My close friend and fellow filmmaker Chris Spenceley are trying to start working together on some projects. The foremost is helping him complete his feature length light-saber film, For Knowledge and Defense. There'll be a new trailer of it on youtube soon that I recently helped him edit. We're also going to try and put together a few more short films in the next few months and into the summer.

I'm also submitting my own short film, Static, to the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts, so we'll see how that goes.

What I'm Watching
Randomly, the Rocketeer was on TV tonight, which makes meet very excited. It is by far one of my favorite movies from my childhood, right next to Hook. And watching it now with a background in filmmaking, its still a pretty good flick. No surprise really after looking up the director Joe Johnston. He directed Jumanji, October Sky, and Hildalgo, all of which are movies I enjoy. Its also been announced that he'll be directing the First Avenger: Captain America supposedly starring John Cena to come out in 2011. All that aside, if you've never seen the Rocketeer, check it out. And if you have seen it, go catch it again.

The other big deal thats happened in the past few weeks is the series finale of Battlestar Galactica. This show has meant much to me for a long time. The mini-series premere started in December of my senior year of highschool, and I've watched it religiously ever since. All that being said, its ended in the most tragic, epic, mind-blowing way I ever could have imagined. My one spoiler is that Apollo and Starbuck don't end up together, and that makes me incredibly heart-broken. I've been waiting for 5 years to see them end up together, and they just walk away from each other. Everything else was beautiful and poetically appropriate. There's a few random episodes in the middle seasons, but other than that, watch the entire series, and enjoy the most beautiful ending to a television series that I have ever witnessed.


Published by Benjamin 'Twitchy' Strack under , , on Friday, March 13, 2009
I've had a good week of movie watching and job searching. Rumor has it that Woodtv8 in Grand Rapids gave 'early retirement' packages to 30 of their technical crew in order to hire younger personnel. Needless to say they're getting a copy of my resume ASAP. My dad has a contact at Fox17 in GR, so he's getting my resume directly. Supposedly they cycle through cameramen every 3-6 weeks. Hopefully that doesn't mean they're terrible to work for.

Theres a film crewing up in GR as well, for a feature called Genesis Code. I googled it and came up with a Sci-Fi movie from a couple years ago(completely different). Apparently this is a film about a hockey player questioning his faith. It is a 8-9 million dollar movie, so thats a pretty high budget for something being shot here. Problem is, no matter my skill level, you generally can't be paid on feature until you have a crew credit on a feature, meaning I'd have to volunteer.

from Dragonriders of Pern is coming along. I've been reading it all week and making mental notes on a structure for a screenplay. I feel that I have a few good ideas on how to make it exciting on a screen and yet very true to the book. After I finish, I'll re-read at least one more time and take specific notes as I write the movie synopsis.

What I'm Watching
I watched The Gameplan this week, and it was... well, livable. The saddest part was I felt that the little girl acted better than Duane 'the Rock' Johnson. I guess I can put up with it reminding myself that its a kid's movie.

I saw Rachel Getting Married tonight, and have to admit I really enjoyed it. It was a very good independent film. A big mental movie about how people people interact and observe and judge others, even within their own family. If you can find it, see it.

I saw Taken at the end of last week, and absolutely loved it. Liam Neeson is simply brilliant. It was kind of like a more mature movie out of the Bourne series. It did not have the shakey camera of the Bourne series, and was therefore much easier to stomach. They also didn't try to play Neeson off as some super-man. He had great training, but was getting old, and had bits of trouble during fights, usually walking out with at least some small injury. A great portion was also shot river-side in Paris, which I can only imagine would have been a producer's nightmare (especially with the car chase). Overall, amazing film and I loved every minute of it.

Spring Break for Some

Published by Benjamin 'Twitchy' Strack under , on Friday, March 06, 2009

Western's spring break was this week. Since I'm no longer a student, that means nothing to me, although I'm enjoying a brief respite from the fraternity.

People do so many different versions of Mass. What if Mass, and the text and meaning behind each movement, were put into a story in film? Hmmm... I'm going to toy with this further.

Coming Up
I've been asked to come into a local school to talk to kids about filmmaking and screenwriting. I need to go through some of my work as well as some famous movies/scripts to show the kids real-world examples of screenplay translated onto the big screen.

What I'm Watching
Seen a few movies this week for the first time. Enchanted, which was actually much better than I expected it to be. Meet the Robinsons, which was also much better than I expected it to be, and actually did good young-age time travel stuff that I think kids would like without frying their brains (Back to the Future II anyone?). Waterhorse: Legend of the Deep was not a Eragon rip-off as it seemed, and actually didn't make me never want to watch movies again...

And after all those youngster-esque movies, last night for three hours in the theatre, I sat through Watchmen.

Loads of fun. Got the comic-book feel without the chunkyness of Sin City. Lots of violence, lots of blood, a fair amount of sex, and and this-is-just-barely-R amount of nudity. If you're one who can stomache all that and enjoys dark alternate world superheroes, then this movie is for you. Most all-around entertaining movie I've seen in a while. Rumor has it, the DVD will include a FULL HOUR of deleted scenes. Crazy.

'Til next time...