New short film: 'Another Day'

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New short film: 'Another Day'

For your viewing pleasure, here is my new short film "Another Day," a little drama that focuses on a married couple struggling with the fact their relationship is coming to an end. 

"Another Day" was shot in May of 2014 on location in Los Angeles and Littlerock, CA. The film stars Jessica Quiles and Chance Denman. We shot it on Canon 5D Mark III.

Thanks also to crew members Blake Williams and Vince Wong. For a tiny project with essentially no budget, this one came together quite well. Enjoy the show.

Music in the film is by Tony Anderson and Moby, licensed through the wonderful The Music Bed and Moby Gratis. Two fabulous sites for independent filmmakers to boost their projects.

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Box Office: 'Fault in Our Stars' shines

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Box Office: 'Fault in Our Stars' shines

Teen drama "The Fault in Our Stars" even seemed to impress studio executives when the anticipated big-screen adaptation of John Green's book stormed into theaters Friday with an impressive $26.1 million in ticket sales. 

Fox's tearjerker starring "Divergent" hero Shailene Woodley and her bud Ansel Elgort is on track to take home $50 million this weekend, easily beating its competition at the North American box office. On Friday, the film bagged an average of $8,226 per theater at 3,173 locations. 

New entry "Edge of Tomorrow" underperformed, picking up just $10.6 million for an opening weekend that should end in the $30 million range. Despite stellar reviews and a strong cast (Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt), Doug Liman's sci-fi spectacle earned an average of $3,053 from 3,490 sites. 

"Edge of Tomorrow" took the No. 2 spot Friday, but Angelina Jolie's hit "Maleficent" may take over by the time Sunday comes to a close. Disney's flick grabbed $10.1 million, aiming for a $32 million weekend. Estimates will be released tomorrow, with actuals following Monday.

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'Another Day' Day 4 Shooting Notes

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'Another Day' Day 4 Shooting Notes

When you're shooting a super low-budget independent short, and time and resources are limited, things can change and adjustments need to be made, quickly, and without compromising the planned outcome of your creative product.

On the last day of shooting for my short "Another Day," we were supposed to travel to a remote road outside of Palm Springs, in the middle of the desert, to capture the film's climactic moments during sunset. But the challenge of racing against the sun was the least of our problems. 

Construction along the highway estimated the travel time to three and a half hours as opposed to the regular two hours. Long driving times and only a short filming period led me to switch things around a bit in the script, and as a result, we ended up heading back to Littlerock, CA.

The location of our second to last day of shooting impressed me with gorgeous views and an inspiring freedom to film wherever I desired, so I wanted to take some more advantage. We shot one scene in the middle of what looked like a deserted road, followed by the film's final scene, which we shot in a vast, open field.

My two great actors Jessica and Chance were great sports and gave me their best, despite the SoCal heatwave hitting us all with ridiculously high temperatures. We hustled along and got some great footage, before proceeding to celebrate the wrap of production. 

Check out the ungraded still from the day four shoot above. It is a personal favorite, and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful shots I've captured until now. 

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'Another Day' Day 3 Shooting Notes

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'Another Day' Day 3 Shooting Notes

With the majority of the shoot done and done, we had two shorter scenes left to capture, and on the third day of physical production for "Another Day," this journey took us to the small town of Littlerock, CA, just over an hour out of Hollywood. 

I chose to shoot in the Littlerock area for several reasons. First, it provides gorgeous views of the plains and hills surrounding the Angeles National Forest. I also wanted to shoot in a spot where we wouldn't attract much attention, and the little community of Littlerock was the perfect choice. 

This is a place where you can shoot in the middle of a road without a car passing through for an hour. It is a place where no police officer stops you to ask for permits. It's also a place with train tracks stretching across the vast plain.

Once scene took us to a residential street graced with gorgeous, large trees. The final scene took us to the aforementioned train tracks. I wanted both scenes shot during sunset, so racing against the sun proved a bit of a challenge, although it worked out quite well in the end.  

Both scenes we shot on day three will be without audio in the final cut, which means I could talk to my cast and give directions while the camera was rolling - an obviously easier and faster process when you are short on time and you lack the luxury of multiple takes. 

A majority of the footage we captured turned out really nice, as evidenced by the screenshot above. As usual, ungraded, shot flat.

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'Another Day' Day 2 Shooting Notes

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'Another Day' Day 2 Shooting Notes

The second of four shooting days for my short film "Another Day" has come and gone, and today we captured the film's longest scene; the main spine of the story, which is set in a bedroom and features all of the movie's dialogue between the two leads.

Of course, when you are working with cameras that might as well be considered computers, things are bound to go wrong, and before we even started shooting the first scene of the day, I encountered issues connecting my 5D Mark III bodies to my IKAN VH8 external monitor. 

For reasons unknown to me, the connection between the two sometimes works, and it sometimes doesn't. Needless to say, I decided to ditch the monitor so we could get going, and with that, a successful day of shooting kicked off - without any more technical issues popping up along the way.

I'm someone who likes to use as much natural light as possible when I shoot my own shorts, and for this interior scene, I was able to achieve just that. I did end up using one bulb inside a china ball to get a slight rim lighting going on Natalie, the female lead character, but that's about it in terms of artificial lighting. 

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Production underway on 'Another Day'

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Production underway on 'Another Day'

It may have taken three years to find the time and inspiration to write and direct my next short film, but 2014 began as a promising year, which led me to put more emphasis on personal projects. The result is a short fiction film titled "Another Day," which I am currently shooting over a one-week period.

In a nutshell, the film focuses on a married couple struggling with the fact that their relationship is coming to an end. The basic idea for "Another Day" originated in 2011, when I started writing one long scene that would eventually turn out become this film's spine.

Jessica Quiles and Chance Denman are the two wonderful actors taking on the story's two characters, and even though we just started shooting, I can already tell their performances will take the writing to a much higher level.

"Another Day" is mainly set in Los Angeles, with some key scenes being shot in Littlerock, CA and the Palm Springs desert. Other locations include the Hollywood Hills and the Pacific Coast Highway between Santa Monica and Malibu.

My goal with this film is to provide audiences with a relatable story about a love lost and the struggle to hang on to hope in a relationship that is not going to last. The story draws a nice contrast between the beautiful memories we tend to hang on to, versus the harsh reality of accepting that we can find ourselves powerless when love fades away...

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