Pañuelo is the story of Junior who, devastated by the loss of his father, abandons his love of photography, and begins to hang with the wrong crowd. His single mother Olga, and younger sister Daisy, try desperately to bring him back into the safety of the family that loves him.
I spent most of my thesis year at SVA working on Pañuelo. Unlike most of our thesis productions which were shot in the fall and edited in the spring, Pañuelo was shot during the summer of 2009 so I had plenty of time to edit it in the fall before starting work on my other thesis projects. It's a good thing too, because Pañuelo needed plenty of work! The initial cut was over 40 minutes long and by the time we were done with it the final cut was around 20 minutes. It was the first long short film I've ever really worked on and it was certainly an adventure. Not to mention it gave me plenty of opportunities to brush up on my Spanish!
Pañuelo editing carried on well into the spring where it shared its editing hours with my other two projects (Vanity and Zombies Are Our Friends) and it was really my baby for most of that year. Seeing it on the big screen at the Dusty Film Festival was really an amazng experience! And editing this trailer for it was a really fun side project, so I hope you all enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed editing it!
Paul wrote this article for DOX Magazine during the Power Trip era. Check it out for some interesting information on the 4:3 to 16:9 conversion. After all, you still come across 4:3 content stretched to fit a 16:9 screen, even now. How do we make it all look good?
"Versioning" has become an inevitable burden for non-fiction filmmakers as they adapt their work to fit various television time-slots in an effort to squeeze every drop of revenue from a project.
My film Power Trip now has four different length versions with another in progress, and I am approaching twenty distinct Masters, with iterations for NTSC, PAL, Texted and Textless. Tape stock expenses alone are burdensome.
Now comes a new dimension to versioning as TV transitions from the traditional 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 - finally catching up to cinema, which went wide-screen decades ago, reacting to the perceived threat when television was new. There seems to be little consensus across borders about the best way to make this transition, so the process has become bewildering.
In Europe I've seen 16:9 TV's stretching out 4:3 sports broadcasts, making the athletes look ridiculously fat. Channel surfing on a sophisticated wide-screen TV produces a startling variety of shape contortions to fit the screen size. Broadcasts in 4:3 from the US, such as MTV, suffer most, blown up and cropped on top and bottom to fit 16:9...CONTINUE READING HERE!
Zaal Kikodze was a wonderfully colorful and popular character in my movie Power Trip, as is clear from this excerpt at his farm in the hills near Tbilisi, Georgia. He was also a scholar, a professor of archaeology and an accomplished mountain climber. I was happy to be his friend and enjoyed his company whether it be on the jeep adventure we took in the mountains of northern Georgia near Chechnya with journalists Wendell Steavenson and Lika Basiliai or just sipping vodka in his warm and friendly apartment in central Tbilisi.
In July of 2005 Zaal Kikodze and a climbing companion were caught in a storm high up on the difficult Ushba cliffs in the Georgian Caucasus where they lost their lives.
Zaal has been dearly missed by the friends he made all across the world.
Happy New Year, DPers! We wish you all the best for 2013! Also, a little bit of news we've been sitting on.... this Christmas, Mark Devlin, the star of our film BLAST! has launched the BLAST telescope from Antarctica for the 3rd time! Check out the video of the launch here as well as the article below for additional information!
The telescope is still in the air! You can track BLAST’s progress here! Follow the scientist’s blog here.
Get inside the “cypher,” the energetic core of freestyling, climaxed with an exhilarating performance from Mos Def!
The Making of Freestyle (continued)
Kevin was in California much of the time, so Henry and I collaborated on the re-edit in NYC, first working in his apartment near CBGBs, then finishing up in my apartment in Stuyvesant Town. The challenge was to find some kind of a story within the random performances and interviews. We started by organizing the material into chapters. Then we dug deeper into the footage. We found an interview of hip hop impresario Bobbito, which had never been digitized or synched. It was a goldmine!
The Providence Team at the Portland National Poetry Slam were masters of the “Group Piece” poems. This duet by Bill MacMillan and Corey Cokes, excerpted in SlamNation but complete here, is just one example of their talent.
I was a “fixer” on this music video. Treach, of Naughty by Nature, was not happy with the cut. It had been through several editors by the time it got to me. If I remember correctly, a record company rep supervised the edit rather than the director. Treach sat in the back couch with his girlfriend at the time, Pepa, from Salt n Pepa, and did not speak to me at all, only addressing the rep, who then gave me instructions.
For me the problem became clear fairly quickly: the video was overcut. Fast cuts can be a crutch for music videos. It’s a sure-fire way to add energy, so when in doubt, make more cuts. But it can also make a mess. Apparently, the previous editors had a lot of doubt, because the over-editing was interrupting the flow and distracting from some great shots. My solution was to remove some edits and let the nice shots play out, especially the evocative shots of Treach in the darkeness. For example, the shots at about 2:17 might have had 4 or 5 quick cuts interrupting Treach’s move in and out of the shadows. I got rid of all of them.
I knew I was on the right track when I would preview an edit, and Treach would exclaim his approval from the back. But always to the rep, never to me. When the edit was over, Pepa had already left, the rep went to retrieve the master tapes, and Treach and I were alone in the room together for the first time. As he was walking out, he surprised me by giving me a big hug and a Thank You.
This poem was originally called Two Fathers but everyone called it "that Mandela poem”, so now I call it Mandela. It was a useful slam poem, perfectly pitched to disarm black judges. One of my best moments in slam poetry was when I performed it for an audience of over a thousand slam poetry enthusiasts at the Ann Arbor Nationals in 1995, where Deb and Steve Marsh let me read it the evening of the finals, as part of a few pre-show readings.
This was barely a year after Mandela was elected president of South Africa. I remember doing a very relaxed reading, like gentle story telling, as if I were some raconteur, and saving the emotional fireworks for the very end. Well, the crowd went wild, what with Mandela's ascendance to the presidency very fresh in people's minds. Besides, your bourgeois armchair revolutionaries really love to be milked by social justice rhetoric, whether they come from limousine liberal America, Africa or elsewhere. I should know; I'm one of them.
When I walked back to my seat, I saw people in the audience with tears in their eyes, including some cynical, hard-bitten buddies of mine who normally needed a poke in the gonads with a sharp stick to activate their tear ducts.
Another time I read it in Winston-Salem, where a black friend of mine from New York listened and then fled the venue into the night, because it reminded him too much of his own father problems. We remain good friends to this very day, even though we've never shared any confidences about our fathers beyond this poem that apparently stabbed him in the heart as fiercely as it had stabbed me. Sometimes you only find out how powerful your subterranean emotions are by writing them down.
OK, some links. My book of poems, Suck My Poem, is available here, and my novel Vagina Rebel is available here.
These days I've reincarnated myself as Adam Ash, singer-songwriter, who performs solo and with his band the Dingbots. Check out my band's CD here and follow my music career here,where you can also listen to three of my songs, including the rather bizarre My Girlfriend Got Freaky with a Strap-on.
Wammo was also featured in our film SlamNation. He visits often when he's in New York City and offered to write a theme song for the movie, BLAST! while it was still in post-production. The result is this charming, exclusive performance edited by Rina Svet in her early days with DevlinPix.
This excerpt shows how the art of Freestyling infuses all aspects of hip hop - “that fleeting moment of escape.”
The Making of Freestyle (continued)
It took me awhile to decide whether or not I would join the Freestyle team. Technically the project was a mess – all sorts of different formats, several editors, many iterations. It was going to take a long time just to get it ready for a re-edit – guaranteed brain damage. By then I was working on my next project, Power Trip, and wasn’t sure I wanted to dilute my time. There was a lot of negotiating, and stalling, but finally I decided the movie deserved to find its audience. I signed on as “Producing Editor” (or Preditor, as I preferred to be called).