Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Visit from the Angry Filmmaker

So, life returns to normal after the Virginia Film Festival (what, you mean there's no one here who wants to hear me talk about my film for an hour?). I'm planning my next projects, sending off screeners to some more festivals, and trying to pull together some money to get some professional DVDs done so I can start selling this thing. The Virginia festival screening has generated some interest, so I'm hoping to get things going on the DVD front soon.

On Monday, Kelley Baker, sound designer extraordinaire and filmmaker, visited Baylor to speak in my classes. He spoke in my Postproduction class on the subject of Sound Design (Kelley has been sound designer on many of Gus van Sant's films, including Good Will Hunting, Psycho, To Die For, and Finding Forrester). He illustrated the job of a sound designer by showing a clip from some of his work on Finding Forrester. In a scene set in an empty Yankee stadium, he had to contend with a circling airplane, the hum of the stadium lights, and several other sounds. You can't get rid of sounds that are already there, he explained, so you have to add noise to make it feel natural.

And later, in my Directing class, Kelley spoke about his three feature films, made on shoestring budgets. He emphasized the planning that's necessary for any film. We looked at several of his short films, and Kelley surprised the audience by telling them that the apparently "impromptu" interviews in his apparently documentary shorts were completely scripted and planned. And the films have done very well for him, playing on PBS and around the world and paying him pretty decent money over the years.

Kelley's a cool guy (and hardly as angry as his Angry Filmmaker title would indicate), and it was cool to hang out with a fellow filmmaker for a day and get to know him... If Kelley is coming to your town, be sure to check out his seminars and workshops or go to a screening of his films, and support independent filmmaking. Get more info at angryfilmmaker.com.

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