Blog, business, graphic design, Pasadena and local, post production for film and video, sound

The movie we’re shooting


Not That Funny is a movie that is shooting currently in Sierra Madre, CA. I am an associate producer on the show. What does that mean? Well, it can mean anything, but for me, what it has meant so far is

  • recording production sound for a week before our wonderful sound guy came on board
  • renting my Canon 7D camera, lights, hard drives, and other useful stuff to the production
  • managing the digital workflow for set-to-editor-to-director-to-post, as well as managing dailies
  • general help on-set and off-set
  • even some graphic design! (see the photo of a fake poster above)
  • maybe sound design.

The cast and crew is incredible. We are halfway through 25 days of shooting, followed by some additional pickups and various projects to get the film ready for completion. The editing process will take several months of massaging the footage to make it serve the story. Our hope is that it will get picked up for a few film festivals in early 2011, and then see theatrical distribution sometime during the year.

Our cast is outstanding, anchored by John Kapelos (remember Breakfast Club?), K Callan, Brigid Brannagh (Army Wives), and the amazing Tony Hale (Arrested Development).

Check the movie out:

Blog, business, post production for film and video, sound

What Hearken Creative did (is doing) this summer, Part 3

Well, I can’t say “did” for this one, since we’re still in production. I’m associate producer on a quirky little film called “Not That Funny” starring Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Chuck, and a bunch of other stuff). Here’s a breakdown of what I am working on during this film:

  • Recorded all production sound for the first week of shooting (before our wonderful sound guy showed up)
  • Managing/devising digital workflow for the production and post-production
  • Assisting with social media and web presence for the film
  • Renting Hearken equipment to the production (KinoFlo Diva Lights, Canon 7D, microphones, batteries, cards, hard drives, etc.)
  • Assisting in whatever way I can on a small shoot, sometimes as a production assistant, sometimes as a driver, sometimes schlepping crafts service, sometimes…?

The cast and crew of this tiny pic are wonderful, and I’m honored to be working with them all. I can’t wait to show you some of the production stills, and get this film finished so everyone can see it.

Blog, business, post production for film and video

Jimmy Kimmel tells it like it is…and it's funny.

According to the NY Times, Jimmy Kimmel started the ABC upfronts (rolling out the new Fall shows for advertisers) with a comedy bit and, true to most comedy, it had a few grains of truth in it:

Bouncing onto the stage at just after 4 p.m., Mr. Kimmel self-deprecatingly declared, “All of ABC’s late night comedy talent is assembled here on one stage.” After rattling off a few statistics about the affluence of his viewers, he then admitted that he’d made all the numbers up. (He said so in a more obscene way.)

Then, in a “Jerry Maguire”-like moment of clarity, Mr. Kimmel said, “Everything you’re going to hear this week is” nonsense. “Let’s get real here. Let’s get Dr. Phil-real here. These new fall shows? We’re going to cancel about 90 percent of them. Maybe more.”

To the ABC advertisers, Mr. Kimmel said, “Every year we lie to you and every year you come back for more. You don’t need an upfront. You need therapy. We completely lie to you, and then you pass those lies onto your clients.”

Returning to ABC’s advertisers, Mr. Kimmel said, “Next year on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ your product could kill Dr. Izzie. It just depends on how much you want to pay.”

Wow. I know it’s comedy, but we’re getting a bit too close to reality here. One of my favorite relatively-new shows is Chuck, and now word comes that the only reason it is getting renewed for a third season is Subway’s integrated sponsorship (read: “mammoth product placement”) for the next season. The television landscape is crazy. Good shows get cancelled (”Pushing Daisies”), bad shows keep going on (“The Bachelor”), and then, in a first, two fan/critic favorites actually get saved from the ax (the aforementioned “Chuck” and Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse”). Crazy times.

Back to Jimmy Kimmel. I remember right after 9/11, watching one of the first Letterman broadcasts after the attacks, and turning to my wife and saying “comedy/irony/farce will never be the same again — they may never come back.” Boy, was I wrong. There are still a million and one things to make fun of, and I’m glad that people are roasting what needs to be roasted.

Thank you, Jimmy.

Blog, business, post production for film and video

Is product placement doomed by the recession?

I always thought that the product tie-ins for Chuck and Heroes were kinda funny (I don’t even remember what companies they were!), but I didn’t know that the whole concept of product placement as a viable advertising vehicle was going to go away. And then this morning, Jeep decided to cut its losses in the wake of Chrysler’s financial situation, and not promote the phenomenal tie-in of the Jeep in the new Terminator movie.

It’s funny. They are in deep financial distress, and really need to keep selling cars in order for a Chapter 11 to work (or else they have no reason to do a reorg). But it’s hard to continue to advertise when there’s no money to spend. How to solve it?

I find some of my clients in a similar position: unable to make more money, but unable to advertise to bring new clients in. It’s a tough economic climate we’re in, and some of the things that we have done to help clients are:

  • cut costs of design and production,
  • cut costs of printing and other buyouts,
  • advise on ways to maximize the return on investment for advertising, and
  • create flexible payment plans for our clients.

We hope this helps keep some of our customers coming back for more projects with Hearken Creative, and we hope that your company is weathering this storm well.