A blog for my TCF 312 class. IE: For class, click my profile for my personal blog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I have several goals as a filmmaker. I want to be a writer director, but I'll do anything to get my foot in the door. For my generation of filmmakers I want to be the person that someone thinks of when they think of the person that made that really cool horror movie, or I want to be the person that people think of when they think of a quality tv show (like how I think of Vince Gilligan, Joss Whedon and Kurt Sutter). I want to be the person that makes the stories that gets peoples hearts pumping faster, gives them dread and fear, and keeps them on the edge of their seat with my entertainment.

In this class I want to learn more about shot composition, how to enhance the story with my images. Being a writer I tend to squeeze all of the story onto the page, and only see certain things in my head that I want reflected on the screen to help out the story. I want to be able to learn to channel that vision more and know when I'm writing a scene how I can help tell this story with my camera instead of just my words.

I also want to learn about the different lights, lighting techniques etc because the last class I took on making videos/film didn't really address this like I thought it should have. We were given a basic understanding but not full knowledge. I want to be able to increase my knowledge of these things and know off the top of my head what I will need on a set.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Visual Style

I find that a lot of the things that inspire me nowadays are more still images, more specifically drawings for that matter. I see a lot of images online that I save because they inspire me about a story, or a plotline I could create, or a character I could write. I do find inspiration from movies and moving images but more on those as we come to them.

I like this picture for several reasons. I like the idea of imagination in a child and how imagination can take you  wherever you want to go and on whatever adventure you want to go on. I also like the idea of children's idea of being prepared for a situation. Kids are fascinating to me (mostly because I have one) but if you really pay attention to kids they can teach you a lot.

 I like this picture because of the way the light works. We get light from the moon to illuminate the outlines of the edge of the picture and we get light from the fire to give us these deep shadows. It is also very creepy and strange, which I like a lot.

 Any Left4dead fans? I like this picture because of the reflection off of the gun. Its a very well lit picture in my opinion, and it tells you everything you need to know about Francis just in 1 image. 

 You might not be aware of it, but there is this artistic movement on the internet known as Alternative art, or ALT ART for short. The idea is to take something from your childhood, a cartoon, a movie, and make it more modern, dark, realistic, gritty....adult if you will. I like this image because it takes a story everyone knows and turns it into something darker. It shows the idea of interpretation and how things can be changed.

This image inspires me, not because of what it is literally, but because of what it represents. This is the Keywork, the symbol for the Prog rock band Coheed & Cambria. Their music inspires me more than any other.
I like this picture because I love 2 ideas that it exemplifies. #1 That even monsters have monsters and #2 that for every monster you're afraid of there is one even bigger monster.

I like this because of the caption, and because of how this picture exemplifies the title of the film. Also the movie in general is a big inspiration (as you could have guessed).

One more thing I really like is great/unhappy endings in movies.
WARNING: Spoilers below for the film The Devil's Rejects

I also really like scenes that make us feel sympathy for villains.

On the turn of that I like it when weak characters are empowered and become villains.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My top 10 horror films

As a film student I have two primary goals I have set for my future: work on a tv show and make a horror film. Picking my top 10 favorite tv shows is a lot harder than my top 10 horror films, so that is what I will share with you.

#10 Scream
I like Scream because it plays with the conventions of the slasher film (my favorite horror subgenre) so well, and it's an incredibly well written and smart horror film. I also love the references to real life horror films, giving the movie a self aware or meta approach.

#9 Cannibal Holocaust
Cannibal Holocaust started what we now call "found footage" movies (Paranormal Activity, Blair Witch etc.). The movie begins as a straight narrative then become this incredibly disturbing and brutal found footage movie. When it was being filmed the director had the main actors sign an agreement that they wouldn't promote the film for an entire year so as to make their characters fates in the film appear real. He eventual had to go to court and prove the actors were still alive to prevent himself from being jailed.

#8 Psycho
One of the many films on this list that doesn't need an introduction, but all I can say about it that hasn't been said already is that it still works.

#7 Trick r Treat
Besides #9 this is probably the least known on this list, but one of the best examples of horror anthology ever made.

#6 The Descent
Proof that you don't have to have men in a horror movie to take down the big bad monster. A very very well made movie, claustrophobics should beware.

#5 Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Yes I'm one of those purists that likes the older horror movies way more than the new ones, this one in particular. Instead of just being a zombie movie, Romero took his time in creating a message about people and hiding it inside the film. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Romero this past November at a horror convention in Kentucky.

#4 Halloween
This movie was my first real exposure into horror films, I watched every minute of it the first time I saw it and I ate it up. This movie will always hold a special place in my heart, it created my love for fear and it created one of my favorite slasher killers.

#3 The Exorcist
I got lucky and got to see the directors cut of this movie on the big screen last semester, and it was an incredible experience. It was like seeing it for the first time, since all the other times I had seen it were on television/DVD. Another film that needs no introduction.

#2 The Thing
One of the best (if not the best) remakes of all time. John Carpenter took what was a cheesy 50s sci fi movie and turned it into one of the most gruesome, creative, and iconic horror films ever. If you haven't seen this movie, go buy it now.

#1 The Shining
This needs no intro either, but it is my favorite horror film (and not just because its the only horror film made by my favorite director Stanley Kubrick) but because there are so many levels to this movie that its able to create different scares and meanings for everyone that watches it.