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Monday
Apr132015

Monday Movie Meme – Keeping up with the Kindliness

(l-r): Eddie Murphy and Louie Anderson in "Coming to America."We never know how much even the simplest gestures such as a smile or “hello” can alter the course of someone’s day, for the better. So, this week’s Monday Movie Meme is all about highlighting the good deeds that create a ripple effect of positive vibes and hope for those around us: Random Acts of Kindness.

Share on your blog or in the comments section, movies featuring kind gestures involving the main or supporting characters. This includes scenes where a movie character is either the recipient or the giver of some type of unexpected deed that had a positive impact on one or more people in the film. Here are my selections for this week’s “Random Acts of Kindness” theme.

  • A fast food worker gives a pair of ruby earrings to a random subway passenger, after his girlfriend breaks up with him, in the comedy COMING TO AMERICA starring James Earl Jones, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall.
  • An abused and bashful housewife does grocery shopping for her partially blind daughter-in-law who was released from prison only to work a maid for the town’s mayor, in the drama THE COLOR PURPLE starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey. Although the housewife’s act of kindness was intentional and done for family, her good deed wasn’t exactly planned, so I still consider the gesture in this scene to have a level of randomness to it.
  • Townspeople pool their funds to save a local business from folding after $8,000 in missing deposits put a distraught father at risk of going to jail, in the family drama IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE starring James Stewart and Donna Reed.

K is for Kindness

 

What movies, featuring scenes where random acts of kindness are being performed, would YOU add to this list?

Saturday
Apr112015

Movies Made Me Do It – Becoming a Jack of all Trades

“We cannot change the cards we’re dealt, just how we play the hand.”
- Randy Pausch

In any kind of endeavor that we take on independently, be that making movies, parenting, being novelists, performing music, etc. we must figure out the best plays for the hand we’re dealt, in order to get ours projects off of the ground.

It’s not uncommon to get the feeling that the deck of opportunity and achievement isn’t stacked in your favor, when you’re operating on a small budget. I understand this all too well, having had to play my court cards, essentially becoming a Jack of all Trades between the time it took writing the screenplay for a buddy drama to the day it played in a theater, and then using this movie to benefit the American Red Cross.

Among the multiple hats I wore and several industries I ventured into while bringing the concept of an Army Sergeant’s marriage proposal gone awry, to fruition include:

  • Graphic designer, to produce the key art and other promotional materials including the movie poster, World Premiere flyers, raffle tickets, website headers, DVD cover and DVD packaging.
  • Visual merchandising, to design and create the retail displays during my Red Cross fundraiser.
  • Street vending, to sell tangible products during my fundraising initiative in support of the Red Cross.
  • Magazine publishing, for the zine I made to introduce military veterans, small businesses and corporations to my work, in request for collaboration on the Red Cross initiative.

J is for JacksWhile this is just a start, it’s all I’ve gathered during the time of writing this blog post. As you can understand, none of these positions have anything to do with what I wanted when the journey for this particular project began, which was basically to write and direct a movie.

Now I look at it as a venture that helped me build on some skills I already had while also allowing me to develop some new ones.

So it was time well spent when I consider that I now have a nice little portfolio that can garner me some gigs if I need some extra work. That’s not too shabby, especially since there’s no telling when any of these “trades” will come in handy sometime in the future.

How often do YOU find yourself in the position of a Jack of all Trades?

If the world ended and communities were rebuilt based on the skills of their inhabitants, what is the one random thing YOU do really well?

Friday
Apr102015

15 Insane Misconceptions about Indie Films

Director Mo Ali on the set of his action crime film MONTANAI’d be willing to bet the festival submission fees spent on my film last month that most people have misunderstandings about how the movie industry works. Yet it still never ceases to surprise me when meeting someone whose idea of what constitutes “independent film” goes no further than Sundance or flicks like The Blair Witch Project.

Even hardcore movie fans across the board have the motion picture industry pegged all wrong, according to insiders who set out to debunk a lot of myths floating around in your heads, and into your conversations, like wildfire.

In You're Wrong: 10 Common Movie Blog Reader Misconceptions, Cinemablend’s Josh Tyler and Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich goes on to clear up the ins and outs of how things happen in Hollywood. One of the “straight truths” from these veteran film reviewers is that no matter what movie goers and crabby filmmakers want to believe, box office results do matter; the money made at theaters affects what you’ll be watching in the future.

In Debunking 5 Myths of Independent Cinema, Raindance’s Elliot Grove points out how marketing budgets are huge factors in determining what movies get on your radar as are social media know-how, yet neither of these things indicate whether the film is good or not.

I is for Indie

 

Are there any aspects of the movie industry that YOU think are absolutely insane?

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