The Best Movies I Saw in 2014

I know I’ve missed some good ones, I’ll get to them in 2015.

The ranks are pretty fluid after the top 2, this is just based on how I feel right now. I do know for certain I had the most fun at the cinemas this year with TGBH, so that’s a solid #1, and #2 was just great, I’m a sucker for any McDonaugh brother film.

1. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
2. CALVARY
3. INTERSTELLAR
4. A MOST WANTED MAN
5. NIGHTCRAWLER
6. INTO THE WOODS
7. EDGE OF TOMORROW
8. BOYHOOD
9. BLUE JASMINE*
10. THE LEGO MOVIE

Honorable Mentions: WHIPLASH, ROSEWATER, GONE GIRL, SNOWPIERCER, BIRDMAN

* – came out in 2013, but saw in 2014

Deal with it!

Movies I Watched in 2014

Here’s my list of movies seen this year in chronological order.

TOTAL MOVIES SEEN IN 2014: 200

I beat my previous record (set last year) of 190.

Of the 200 films, 82 of those were in cinemas (denoted by a * in this list). This falls short of my record 88 cinema screenings in 2013.

Goal for 2015: 225 movies, 95 in a cinema. Wish me luck!

MI4: GHOST PROTOCOL
RUSH
CLOSED CIRCUIT
TOUCH OF SIN
THE TERROR, LIVE
HER*
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2
BLACK HAWK DOWN
NOT FADE AWAY
I HEART HUCKABEES
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN*
TALENTED MR RIPLEY
BLUE JASMINE*
SHORT TERM 12
LETHAL WEAPON
POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE*
DEFENDING YOUR LIFE*
THE SUM OF ALL FEARS
BLINDSIDED
HERCULES
EMPERORS NEW GROOVE
ACT OF KILLING
IT p1
IT p2
MONUMENTS MEN*
HUDSUCKER PROXY
THE HANGOVER 2
BEFORE SUNRISE*
BEFORE SUNSET*
CLOUDY WITH MEATBALLS 2
BEFORE MIDNIGHT*
ESCAPE PLAN
THE LEGO MOVIE*
THE LIFE AQUATIC*
ALADDIN
GRAND PIANO
POLTERGEIST
MR PEABODY*
GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL*
TURBO
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS
GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL*
FEVER PITCH
DDD*
NOAH*
FADING GIGOLO*
HANGOVER 3
CAPT. AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER*
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT
DARKMAN
JOBS
WEIRD SCIENCE
DIVERGENT*
STAR WARS
EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
TRANSCENDENCE*
RETURN OF THE JEDI
HOW I CAME TO HATE MATH*
9 MONTH STRETCH*
GOD’S POCKET*
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2*
NEIGHBORS*
AFTER EARTH
WE’RE THE MILLERS
MAN IN THE MOON
CHEF*
MILLION DOLLAR ARM*
LICENSE TO KILL
XMEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
GODZILLA*
EVIL DEAD II
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
EDGE OF TOMORROW*
22 JUMP STREET*
MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE
WAYNE’S WORLD
THE PURGE
THE CONJURING
WORLD WAR Z
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2*
DETECTIVE DETECTIVE DETECTIVE*
GOOD WILL HUNTING
FATHER OF THE BRIDE
FILMQUEST SHORTS*
DETECTIVE DETECTIVE DETECTIVE*
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF APES*
SNOWPIERCER*
THE THING
LIFE ITSELF*
BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
DAY FOR NIGHT
FIRE WALK WITH ME EXTRAS*
SLING BLADE
THE INTERNSHIP
HERCULES*
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST*
IDENTITY
LUCY*
THE DEPARTED
YVES SAINT LAUREN*
CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
THREE KINGS
FARGO
THE PURGE ANARCHY*
A MOST WANTED MAN*
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY*
CALVARY*
KICKASS 2
SKLAR BROTHERS SPECIAL
BOYHOOD*
YOU’RE NEXT
THE HOBBIT
ROUNDERS
PAIN & GAIN
EMPIRE STATE
THE FAMILY
CROUPIER
ROGUE TRADER
DECEPTIVE PRACTICE
RESOLUTION
100 FOOT JOURNEY*
THE GODFATHER*
THE GODFATHER PT 2*
THE PARALLAX VIEW*
KLUTE*
THE GODFATHER PT 3
GOOD MORNING VIETNAM
APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX
PARIS JE T’AIME
TALES FROM THE SCRIPT
THE HOBBIT DESOLATION SMAUG
GOD HELP THE GIRL*
12 ANGRY MEN
CADILLAC RECORDS
THE NAKED GUN
TUSK*
THE NAKED GUN 2 1/2
NAT LAMPOONS VACATION
THE VANISHING
A SEPARATION
WARM BODIES
CHEF
GONE GIRL*
MIKE BIRBIGLIA GIRLFRIEND BOYFRIEND
TRUE LIES
THE EQUALIZER*
KILL THE MESSENGER*
THE REVISIONARIES*
JOHN WICK*
NIGHTCRAWLER*
CITIZENFOUR*
WHIPLASH*
FURY*
INTERSTELLAR*
BIRDMAN*
BIG HERO 6*
INTERSTELLAR*
IN THE CUT – EDITING
ROSEWATER*
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK*
HUNGER GAMES MOCKINGJAY 1*
GUNGA DIN*
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME*
DETECTIVE DETECTIVE DETECTIVE
HUNGER GAMES CATCHING FIRE
DEVIL
CHRISTMAS VACATION
PENGUINS*
PARIS TEXAS
GRAVITY
SCROOGED
WILDLIKE*
DETECTIVE DETECTIVE DETECTIVE*
ANCFF SHORT DOCS
MIRACLE ON 34th STREET
DUMB AND DUMBER TO*
THE BABADOOK
EXODUS*
THE CONVERSATION
LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3*
SUNSET STRIP
FOXCATCHER*
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
THE HOBBIT: BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES*
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
A CHRISTMAS STORY
NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL
HOLIDAY INN
INTO THE WOODS*
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS
THE MAZE RUNNER
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES
TOP FIVE*
ANCHORMAN 2
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF

DDD Trailers and Such


DDD’s rad teaser trailer!

We’re getting very close to a completed feature film! Our score is very nearly done, our ADR sessions complete, and just a few straggling VFX shots to wrap up. After that we will do a new pass on the sound mix and the color, and then the film is done. Finito. Complete. Kaput.

I still can’t believe it sometimes – we had scratch, nada, rien, last June. The notion of shooting a film didn’t even exist in our minds, and here we are, 9 months later, about to deliver one. Like a baby!

And it’s been a blast every step of the way. I really love post-production, and wish I could do it for a living. Shooting – not so much. It’s a means to an end, a necessary evil in my book. But anyways…

We launched our website for DDD this week, and have had a great response. You should check it out, and go watch our full trailer there [click pic]:

dddwebsite

PS – I realize I never posted SHOOPS here on my blog. I finished a short film and didn’t even tell you guys. I’m a great blogger.

Anyway – you should watch SHOOPS! Here you go:

The Best Movies I Saw in 2013

I know I’ve missed some other good ones. Oh well. This was based on how I happen to feel right now. The numbers don’t really matter, except for Llewyn – that is definitely #1.

1. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
2. NEBRASKA
3. MUD
4. GRAVITY
5. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
6. THE HOBBIT: DESOLATION OF SMAUG
7. WORLD WAR Z
8. ZERO DARK THIRTY*
9. UPSTREAM COLOR
10. THE STORIES WE TELL

Honorable Mentions: THE WIND RISES, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, THE IMPOSSIBLE*, WOLF OF WALL STREET, LIKE FATHER LIKE SON, BLIND DETECTIVE, MIELE

* – came out in 2012, but saw in 2013

Deal with it!

Movies I Watched in 2013

Here’s my list of movies seen this year in chronological order.

TOTAL MOVIES SEEN IN 2013: 190

I shattered last year’s previous high of 147. I credit being unemployed for more than 6 months :(

LIFE OF PI*
STAR TREK
TIN TIN
ZERO DARK THIRTY*
ZERO DARK THIRTY (again)*
SLEEPWALK WITH ME
BOURNE LEGACY
THE MASK
THE AVIATOR
MAMA*
ARBITRAGE
QUARTET*
THE IMPOSSIBLE*
DREDD
SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN*
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4
FLIGHT
IDENTITY THIEF*
FINDING NEMO
FIRE WALK WITH ME*
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD*
A BANDE APARTE
ALL OF ME
GOSFORD PARK
A CAT IN PARIS
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA
BLUE VELVET*
SILENT HILL REVELATION
UPSTREAM COLOR*
GROSSE POINTE BLANK
GOON
OZ*
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
PHIL SPECTOR*
KRULL*
THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES*
THE LORAX
BURT WONDERSTONE*
THE USUAL SUSPECTS
ROXANNE*
SPRING BREAKERS*
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4
TRANCE*
SINISTER
DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS
JURASSIC PARK 3D*
LA STORY
AT ANY PRICE*
EVIL DEAD*
YOU DON’T KNOW BO
THE DOTTED LINE
THE HUNGER GAMES
OBLIVION*
MUD*
THE TERMINAL
LA CONFIDENTIAL
THE STORIES WE TELL*
SHOTGUN STORIES
IRON MAN
IRON MAN 3*
THE GREAT GATSBY*
JOUR DE FÊTE*
LE PASSÉ*
JIMMY P*
MIELE*
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS*
FEDORA*
BLOOD TIES*
BLIND DETECTIVE*
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA*
JAWS*
ONLY GOD FORGIVES*
LIKE FATHER LIKE SON*
NEBRASKA*
ALL IS LOST*
THE IMMIGRANT*
PLEIN SOLEIL*
SNEAKERS
JAWS 2
THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR
MON ONCLE
MUD*
THE DICTATOR
THE IMPOSSIBLE
HANGOVER PART 3*
MAN OF STEEL*
THIS IS THE END*
OUT OF AFRICA
THE THREE AMIGOS
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY*
SEEKING A FRIEND AT THE END OF THE WORLD
SPY GAME
WORLD WAR Z*
THE HEAT*
DESPICABLE ME 2*
THE LONE RANGER*
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
LEGAL EAGLES
CLUE
WAITRESS
PACIFIC RIM*
THE CONJURING*
JACOB’S LADDER
THE WAY WAY BACK*
BEST WORST MOVIE
L’ASSASSIN HABITE AU 21
LEAP OF FAITH
42
THE WOLVERINE*
TIMOTHY GREEN
PARANOIA*
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
THE WORLD’S END*
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
IN A WORLD*
GLICKMAN
PROMISED LAND
THE SPECTACULAR NOW*
WE BOUGHT A ZOO
THE BEACH
AUSTENLAND*
ENOUGH SAID*
INSIDIOUS 2*
HITCHCOCK
THE UNTOUCHABLES
SIDE EFFECTS
DON JON*
GIDEON’S ARMY
PRISONERS*
SUNSET STRIP
THE INFORMANT!
DONNIE DARKO
GRAVITY*
PATRIOT GAMES
APOLLO 13
MOVIE 43
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS*
HARRY POTTER AZKABAN
HARRY POTTER GOBLET
HARRY POTTER ORDER
HARRY POTTER HALFBLOOD
HARRY POTTER DEATHLY 1
CARRIE
ENDER’S GAME*
BAD GRANDPA*
HOBBIT 1
BIG SUR*
HARRY POTTER DEATHLY 2
THE WIND RISES*
THE SACRAMENT*
WHITE HOUSE DOWN
VHS
101 DALMATIONS
OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN
WALTER MITTY*
12 YEARS A SLAVE*
FROST/NIXON
BAD 25
THE HOST
FLIRTING WITH DISASTER
BLOODSPORT
CATCHING FIRE*
Z
TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL
INDIE GAME
PHILOMENA*
WILLOW
FROZEN*
PITCH PERFECT
COOL RUNNINGS
INDIE GAME
HOW VIDEO GAMES CHANGED THE WORLD
PLANES TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES
TAKEN 2
PARENTHOOD
PARKLAND
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB*
UPSTREAM COLOR
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS*
AMERICAN HUSTLE*
HOBBIT 1
HOBBIT 2*
SAVING MR BANKS*
CASSE-TETE CHINOIS*
POPULAIRE
ERNEST ET CELESTINE
BELLE ET SEBASTIAN*
WOLF OF WALL STREET*
TRUE GRIT
THE LUNCHBOX*

* – seen at a cinema

DDD’s Next Steps & Showing Off The Animated Gif

We haven’t officially released a single frame of DDD until the above image. Technically it’s 24 frames of our film, but only at the river part of the picture. Ask me how to make an animated gif seamlessly loop like that if you’re curious. I couldn’t find anywhere online, so I had to discover it for myself. I should make a tutorial and post it somewhere.

Anyway. I’m not sure how to do the next couple steps for our feature film. It’s (mostly) done, and in the next few months we will have a proper premiere – whether at a lucky festival or hosting one ourselves here in LA. We’ll have a big LA party premiere regardless (probably in March or so if SXSW doesn’t dig it). We need that LA party in hopes of getting “friends of friends” and “people who know people” to come out. Maybe something could start rolling for us then…

So what do we need? We need a marketing plan, the teasing/building anticipation thing, the “creating buzz” or whatever. I’d love a Producer with capital P to come on board and show me those ropes. I imagine the first order of business is to get that premiere date, and then calendar backwards from there. There’s press releases, interviews on blogs/podcasts, releasing key stills and art from the film, make a teaser trailer, a real trailer, etc.

I’ve been half-brainstorming some viral marketing things to do also – weird fake behind-the-scenes videos with some of the strange characters in our film, stuff like that.

I want to do a short fake-doc on our hopes of getting one of those glass case costume displays for our movie at the Arclight. What a big deal that must be! I can see it now – my jeans and black turtle neck on a mannequin, dramatically lit – “Aw! The Game Master’s clothes from the actual shoot! Wow, Justin Edwards actually wore these on set! Crazy!” because that’s what I do at those displays.

Anyone got any other cool ideas? Seen any other viral campaigns that were cool and clever I could steal for us? Our goal: nothing short of getting a LEGO™ set and video game made about our movie. Sound reasonable?

The Fall Life

DDD_DVD

Hey pseudofans! It’s been a few weeks obviously. No worries. I’m still working my tail off pursuing these aforementioned creative endeavors.

For those in the dark, I went to Alaska in August and shot my first feature film (no offense, Ready, Set, Bad! – you’re getting a proper treatment next year!). It’s called Detective Detective Detective, and is already locked and shipping off to festivals. We still have some sound/color/music work to do, but festivals are cool with near-finished versions.

I had a blast, made some great new friends, and felt we did a good job being creative within our means. We basically took all the money we could find and used that to pay/feed everyone at my parents’ cabin in Alaska, then ran around, shooting the script my brother and I whipped together.

Quitting my job, selling my car, etc. has put some major financial strain on me since June – AKA I’m flat broke and can’t find a job to save my or anyone else’s life. But looking back, I have no regrets and I’d do it all over again.

In the meantime, since pseudo-wrapping on DDD, I’ve managed to finish that Shoops short I shot in May – remember that? It’s all good to go except for getting some original music in there. I have the talents of Dan Lyon from one of my favorite bands Traveling By Sea at work for me on those – and he has already sent me a handful of amazing demos. I can’t wait to share that with people and send it to a few festivals for some fun. It’d be cool to have a feature and a short in the same festivals!

So what’s next? Aside from pushing these two movies out there, I’m actually prepping my next short film which shoots in early December. My friends wrote it and asked me to direct, and I am happy to oblige. It’s a change of pace for me, too – a drama, dark, shocking, with a Coen Bros. vibe, we hope.

I’d still like to do that Old Souls script I wrote last year when I get back from holidays, as well as keep working on my animated short, Loney. Those should take me into festival season for DDD and Shoops, which I hope prove to be the springboard to get proper backing my next feature! Shew!

Meanwhile, don’t ever stop creating.

Shooting A Feature Film In 7 Weeks

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 12.47.30 PM

Hey quick update just so when potential cast, crew, and investors come check out my website they don’t see a silly cat video or old news at the top.

It’s true. I am directing a feature film. Very soon. 7 weeks from now production will have already started. I cannot wait. It’s what I’ve been sitting around on my ass all these years for.

Okay that’s not actually how it’s happening. No, it’s NOT sitting on my ass that is doing it.

Long story medium:

I went to Cannes. I was surrounded by film, film lovers, and film makers. There was this film marketplace with thousands of films looking for attention, distributors, etc. I thought, “Why don’t I have something to share yet? Why don’t I go home and make something to share? I have a voice, and I want people to hear it. Ah well. Like always, I’ll complain about how I’m not shooting features, go home, and another year will go by with me waiting for some guy to knock on my door with a million dollars.”

Fastforward two entire days, and I receive word that my parents are heading overseas for a couple weeks in August. I jokingly said, “Hey that’s great, maybe I’ll come up there and shoot a film at the cabin and housesit while you’re gone.”

Fastforward two entire hours, and I thought, “Wait. Why don’t I go up there and shoot a film at the cabin while their gone?”

Fastforward two entire minutes, and I had written a pitch to my brother to help me quickly write a small movie that takes place at the cabin with only 2-3 characters, because I was going to make a movie in Alaska at my parents cabin while they’re away.

Fastforward two entire weeks, and we’ve written it. And have already started casting it. And have crew on board to go shoot it, and some investors helping us pay for it. Oops!

I quit my job. I sold my car to pay my bills for a few months while I shoot it and edit it.

It’s all happening very fast, and actually using all the student loan abyss education of my producing Master’s degree from AFI. I’m producing it with the venerable Leslie Andrew Ridings under his Black Noise Industries banner, and all fingers are crossed that we get Matthew Nauser to shoot it for us – we had a wonderful experience on BENJAMIN & SHOOPS, and hope to have fun with a lot more time and a little more $.

The banner image above is a little teaser. The title is one of thousands we have tried. I happen to like this one! We’ll see if it sticks…

And maybe I’ll get to this more often as a production diary? But I don’t know, everything’s going so fast, and the next time you hear from me it may already be shot! Seat of our pants or go home!