What's been going on...
October 29, 2010, A couple of months ago I finished the video started at Osage (see the Nov 13, 2009 posting below.) It can be seen at on Vimeo. Last spring semester at IUPUI in Indianapolis, I taught an advanced video class in which students collaborated in the writing and producing of a short narrative film. The project turned out to be a rather large undertaking, complete with DVD special features. We successfully screened the final product, special features and all, at the end of the semester to a full theater. In a few short days I will hopefully be posting that film, Temporary Separation, to Vimeo. In the meantime the special features can be viewed here This semester we are doing it all again. This time however the scale has been turned down. Instead of nearly 30 minutes it will probably be 10 minutes and the number of shooting days will be considerably less. And I will be able to maintain some sanity. So far we have shot one weekend before running into unexpected delays. Then yesterday we shot flamingos at the zoo for a special effects shot.
Update on SCAM listed below: Now the idiots are using my bio with the name Austin Black. Do not fall for this. Just send them a nasty email telling them what to do. 2.22.10
WARNING WARNING: Some criminal is using my identity in Craigslist ads. He has been posting a job as my assistant. As much as I would love an assistant, I really can't afford one. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY PERONSONAL INFORMATION. 2.2.10
November 13, 2009, I haven't been very diligently keeping up with my news! Let's see...I spent the spring and summer in Los Angeles producing special features for the Harry Potter Bluray and DVD series. This is a job I have done on all the DVDs (since 2001). This time I was the coordinating producer for HP6 and HP7 and the collector's editions for 1 & 2. It was a massive undertaking. I finished in July, proclaimed it to be the last Harry Potter work I will do, and joined my girlfriend at the Osage Arts Community in Missouri. We had a residency at Osage where we collaborated on a video installation. We shot 28 stop-motion scenes with a digital still camera. These scenes, featuring her doing various farm chores, are currently being composited into individual delft tiles and then into a HD wall of delft tiles with all of them are seamlessly looping . This video will then be incorporated into a sculpture we will be costructing during the next year. So that has been and will continue to be exciting.
In other news, Henry now called Of Fire and Water was recently completed. The visual effects and sound mix took longer than expected because they were generously donated by people doing them on their own time. All that remains now is assembling the promtional material and then submitting it to festivals. A 5-minute excerpt can be seen at ctlewis.com. In other news, I moved to Indianapolis in August where I took a job teaching video production at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The job is great but it is taking me a while to adjust to the city.
My on-going and completely consuming project, Arcanum Research, now has a site arcanumresearch.com and a blog. Last May Arcanum was part of a show in Boise at the Modern Hotel. The one night event was an astounding success with about 5,000 people in attendence. You can see pictures of that night and get Arcanum inside-info by requesting a membership to the Friends of Arcanum Research group on Facebook. There are a lot of plans afoot for future Arcanum projects later this year.
July 15th 08, I recieved an Idaho Commission on the Arts grant toward the completion of I Got This Friend !
So I shot Andrew Ellis's film (see below) and had the greatest time doing so. Everything went swimmingly well thanks to Andrew being highly organized and everything falling neatly into place. On August 2&3 we will be shooting several rolls of super 8mm for the various montage segments of the film. Looking forward to it.
In June (08), I will be shooting director Andrew Ellis's modern day Western The Highly Contested Election for Adams County Sheriff. The film tells the tale of a shooting war that breaks out between rural Idaho neighbors over pent up frustrations regarding water rights. The feature will be shot in Adams county over the course of 7 days. Obviously shooting a feature in 7 days will pose some significant challenges; I can't wait to face them. The film features four bad-ass female killers on ATV's. That alone will be worth the price of admission.
I finally uploaded some videos to my youtube channel, ctlewis99. So far it is mostly excerpts from the Peak Show DVD I made a few years ago. The Peak Show was an amazing band featuring Gabriel "Frontrow" Rowland, Holland Greco, Derock Goodwin and Alex Painter. They signed with Atlantic and produced an incredible album, only to be unceremoniousloy dropped by Atlantic as the record industry was turned on its head.
Viva just finished (4/9/08) a week long run at Cinema Village in NYC. It was reviewed in several NY publications, including the NY Times. Check out the reviews at rottentomatoes.com. I was fortunate to receive a nod from Slant Magazine: "lenser C. Thomas Lewis's Brady Bunch cinematography is every bit the tour de force Edward Lachman's Oscar-nominated work on, Far From Heaven was..."
On Sunday May 4, '08, I directed and shot a 35mm short at a local bar. I Got This Friend was written by local Boise writer, Alex Hansen, and is a comedy featuring director and actor, Travis Swartz. I wanted to test Kodak's new Vision 3 stock and take the film through the DI process, and shooting a short in one day seemed like a great way to do it. You can view pictures of the shoot here.
We wrapped photography on I am Henry on February 16h. Yah! Now starts the long task of post.
After returning from The AFI Fest, I started collaborating on a short film with a local writer, Will Smeckpepper. After several all-day writing sessions we started shooting on Dec 12th. We are now seven days into it with about 4 more to go. Production pics can be seen at my on-line gallery. The working title of the film is I am Henry. It is the story of a man who has spent the last two years of his life in relative isolation, recalling his past relationship with Mary, his one true love. Set in a dystopian near-future America, Henry's isolation and his obsession over his relationship with Mary cause him to project his imaginings into the media that permeate his life: radio, television, mail, and even foreign language lessons on tape. Ultimately, Henry confronts the likely fate of Mary. All the while, Henry is observed by unseen helicopters, a ghost with a smile, and a goldfish named Hubert.
Viva screened at this year's AFI festival in Los Angeles during the first week of November. I flew into town to enjoy the festivities. We got an overwhelmingly positve response during the Q&A which is always a pleasure of course. While I was in town I was able to finally shoot the pick-ups for Poor Marcus'Let's Hit the Club. So maybe any year now it will be completed.
Addi from Unpopable recently posted his Sneaky-n-Sleazy music video to the web. You can check it out and his other Inflatable Minute Webisodes at his youtube channel.
On September 29th 2007, I had the pleasure of being the delegate for Viva which screened right here in Boise as part of the Idaho International Film Festival. Check out more Viva clips and excerpts from other films I shot for Anna Biller at her youtube channel. Click to see all 16 videos and you find clips from A Visit From The Incubus, Fairy Ballet and Three Examples of Myself as Queen which I shot way back in 1993.
On August 18th I shot a funny short film for my friend Andrew Ellis in Boise ID. We shot in the Ada Country Grand Jury Court room. The film is called Things Ain't Right in Spitwater: A Serious Courtroom Drama. And the drama involved lots of green slime. Andrew is the founder of smallpondfilms.org, a local film organization here in Boise.
On the weekend of July 21, I shot a music video for Unpopable. Unpopable is an LA-based duo, featuring Addi Somekh on homemade balloon bass and Henry Bermudez on electric guitar. I shot the video for Sneaky and Sleazy. Check them out at unpopable.com.On July 15th, I shot an interesting project for an artist/philosopher named Jimmy Raskin. Jimmy, who also went to CalArts, is represented by my dear friend Miguel Abreu at miguelabreugallery.com. We shot a 25 minute monologue which will be installed in the gallery for his show this fall.
On July 22nd Viva played at the Melbourne International Festival in Australia.
On July 1, I had a great time shooting a fun webisode for my dear friend Addi Somekh. The extraordinary Addi is a balloon twister and musician. The webisode features my daughter Amalia in a balloon light sabre dual. You can check out all of Addi's webisodes at inflatableminute.com.
On June 26th Viva played to a sold-out audience of 1,500 at The Moscow International Film Festival.
Viva played to a full house at the 9th annual Cinevegas Film Festival on June 8, 2007 at the Palms Casino Resort . This was the best audience I have seen this film with. Everyone appreciated the humor and that really added to the energy in the room.
On May 20, 2007 I had the pleasure of shooting a music video for Poor Marcus. Let's Hit the Club is another comedic rap from Marcus and is the follow-up to his youtube cult hit King of the Cul-de-sac (which I did not shoot). Check out that song at myspace.com/poormarcus. Look forward to Let's Hit the Club coming out after we shoot some pick-ups.