#13 How To Raise Money For Your First Feature Film [Podcast] – Interview w/Award Winning Filmmaker Logan Stone


Hello and welcome back to the Chris Brodhead show (http://chrisbrodhead.net/). Where I interview fascinating entrepreneurs, filmmakers, artists, and anyone else with valuable knowledge to share.

And this episode’s guest, Logan Stone (Instagram @IAmLoganStone http://www.cinestone.com/), delivers beyond expectation.  I am so excited for you to hear our conversation.

Me and Logan met at a film meetup in Pilsen a while back and have kept in relatively close contact ever since. Logan is an incredibly talented, not to mention award winning filmmaker and cinematographer. His cinematography actually looks the way we always wish our footage would look. I have been wanting to chat with him on the record for some time now and after hearing he had finished principal photography on his first feature “Noise and Color” I knew now would be a great time.

The feature length film is about a disillusioned man struggling in a dystopian Middle America who finds a mysterious videotape that proves the existence of a mythic paradise in the desert. They filmed over 20 days with a crew of 18 people in New Mexico and St. Louis. The stories and insights he shares any filmmaker or person interested in film will find super valuable. You can find out more about the feature and Logan Stone at http://www.Cinestone.com/.

If you’d like to read the show notes, see a list of awesome quotes, and engage in an insightful and fun discussion about the episode please go to http://www.ChrisBrodhead.net/LoganStone.

I plan on releasing regular podcast episodes with other fascinating folks as well as video essays on my favorite subjects… which will most likely be Batman and filmmaking. Thanks again for listening and keep having an awesome day!

Enjoy!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/discover-your-worth-in-chicago/id1253168291?mt=2Copy of Discover Your WorthIn Chicago

 

 

 

Listen to it on iTunes

Show Notes:

1:30 How the production went for “Noise and Color”

3:30 How Logan came up with the idea for “Noise and Color”

8:30 Logan’s editing tips and style

14:45 How Kubrick edited his films

19:40 What changed from Logan’s initial thoughts for the film to the finished production

28:45 How did you assemble your ideal crew?

30:30 The biggest issue encountered during production

34:00 Why Logan chose to make this a SAG approved production

35:30 How many people did Logan audition for the main roles?

39:30 Why Logan chose intentionally did NOT do any rehearsals

43:00 Did your directing philosophy or style evolve over the course of production?

46:45 Any happy accidents during production?

52:00 How do you know when you’ve got THE take?

1:02:45 How do you speak an actor’s language?

1:07:00 What will you do different for your next feature?

1:10:45 How are you planning to market and release the film?

Links:

https://cameraambassador.com

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Caine-Applause-Revised-Expanded/dp/1557832773/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501265114&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+caine+acting+in+film

Quotes:

  • “Any work done with feeling is more a reflection of the artist than the work”
  • “Trying to make my way toward becoming an efficient proficient filmmaker, which I don’t think I am yet, on this journey, it’s kind of like crabs in a bucket in a way, if a crab sees another crab about to climb out of the bucket it will pull it back down, your success is my failure.”
  • “There’s a lot of sacrifice, a lot of trusting your gut, and your intuition, that’s necessary when you’re trying to pursue something so big and audacious and fucking and scary as trying to go make your dreams happen.”
  • “My favorite thing about the story is the dude, like the protagonist is not a good guy.”
  • “Sometimes cutting shitty people out of your life is the price you have to pay to make it to paradise”
  • “You go into a shoot with a script and ideas and a vision in your head and rarely if ever are you going to film exactly what’s in your head… it’s like suggested improv.”
  • “Editing the footage is the final rewrite of the script”
  • “I was doing it alone for a while but you got to get your team.”
  • “You have to strong-arm (your film) into existing”
  • “Putting a healthy chunk of my own money into the production was a trust building exercise with the investors”
  • “Looking at the timeline (of the edit) and I feel like I’m at basecamp of Everest”
  • “Kubrick is notorious for stopping a take and spinning a can of beans in the background a quarter of an inch.”
  • “Consciously or unconsciously a director is making a thousand decisions for any given scene.”
  • “You kind of have to let those expectations go and be adaptable, keep going and trust yourself in the editing room.
  • “There’s almost a victory in having just done the thing (finishing principal photography on his first feature). If it’s good that’s just the cherry on top.”
  • “Film school wasn’t necessary. (Making this film) taught me way more.”
  • “The biggest issues during production were always needing to put out (metaphorical) fires that were miles away from set”
  • “Filmmaking is creative problem solving”
  • “The level of talent that a SAG performer affords you just worked for the film”
  • “When the characters are so neutral it allows the audience to project themselves onto them. All the actors have to do is be a blank slate. A millimeter toward the desired emotion and a job well done.”
  • “If you google ‘How to direct actors’ 90% of the answers will be ‘cast well’”
  • “intentionally wanted to stay away from rehearsal bc I didn’t want them to already make decisions on how they were going to play the scene and have it baked in.”
  • “i did get on the phone with each actor once a week to break down scenes and what is the subtext of this line. We all had done the homework.”
  • “We would always go big (with the performances) at first and then reign it back”
  • “(when editing) I can just go to take 3 or 4 bc I know they are going to better than 1 or 2”
  • “The role of director is to calibrate the mood on set. Filter the decisions through a singular lens.”
  • “What you make of your time together is ultimately what the film becomes.”
  • “(A big storm rolled in during shooting) If we’re not in danger we are absolutely going to use this.”
  • “(you have the take when) the two actors are so tuned into each other neither are in their head”
  • “After the actors finish their lines, just let the camera roll for like 10 seconds and watch what they do”
  • “You call cut on the rhythm. And that same rhythm still applies in the edit… If I watched it on mute I bet I would still call cut at the same point.”
  • “I use a stand desk bc editing is very much like a dance. You stand up to allow your body to feel the tempo of the scene.”
  • “Is it internal or external. Internal meaning let me feel the emotion that will color the lines which is in my opinion more effective.”
  • “It’s a battle, you’ve got 20 people in New Mexico, in the hot sun, you’re out of your groove as far as your routine goes, giant temptation to yell ‘yeah we’re good on this take’, it’s reminding yourself of why you started this. The discomfort you feel in this moment is temporary so push through and make sure you’re getting what you need.”
  • “Take your time to really visualize the film from start to finish… The more work you do in the beginning to make those creative choices and at the same time be ready to fucking throw the plan away.”

 

Number 11: “Billy Madison/Happy Gilmore” or “What happened to Adam Sandler?”

“Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore” basically defined my life from the age of eight to fourteen (and still echoes into my thirties).  I have to thank these movies for so many good times.  I am still a heavy user of quotes from both of these films.

Adam Sandler was basically the funniest person in the world when I was nine.  I couldn’t imagine a funnier actor in the world.  The way he just said whatever he thought and did whaterver he wanted connected directly with my funniest of funny bones.  I didn’t even understand a lot of the jokes but watching Sandler say “Peeing in your pants is cool!” caused me to have convulsions.

And then because I was so deeply in love with these films I could use them as friend tests.  I could utter a standard quote from one of these films in passing and if my new acquaintance could finish the quote or drop a relevant new one than I knew they were good people.

These movies are amazing.  Adam Sandler is an incredible talent.  I really thought after seeing these two films probably fifty times each that I would have a new and amazing Adam Sandler movie to enjoy every two years or so.  Well that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Though these films did deliver on everything I loved cherished and enjoyed in this world they brought with them an onslaught of some of the worst films to ever grace the silver screen.  Dare I say “Star Wars” prequel bad.  For every one “Wedding Singer” or “Water Boy” we got ten awful terrible death to the art of film as we know it films.

This trend started off slow at first with “Big Daddy” and “Little Nicky” both of which I really didn’t mind and thought we’re better than the reviews gave them credit but no where near the genius level of “Billy/Happy”.  Then following this we’re the WORST movies I maybe have ever seen.  “Click”, “Grown Ups”, “Grown Ups 2”, “You don’t mess with the Zohan”, “That’s My Boy”, “Jack and Jill”, “Anger Management”, “Mr. Deeds”, the list goes on.  I almost wonder if the beauty and glory of “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore” were worth the horridness and tragedy that followed.

Whenever Sandler went off on a creative tangent with the likes of “Spanglish” or “Punch Drunk Love” I was the first in line to support him in his artistic pursuits.  I was really hoping this would become a new development and he would grow as an artist.  This sadly was not the case.  And now with the release of “Pixels” which has been aptly nicknamed “The death of art” I pray that he is somehow stopped.  I understand people still show up in droves and pay top dollar to see these “films” but once your bankaccount has eight zeros in it what’s driving you to continue?  If it’s just for the money than how much is enough?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.  If Adam Sandler started putting out material that he even appeared to give a single fuck about I would certainly be the first in line.  But until then FUCK “PIXELS”!

If you also hate the movie “Pixels” so much you can’t sleep at night than come on down to the Staged Reading of my Psychadelic Cyberpunk Film Noir screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar‪ https‬://www.facebook.com/events/875860632494808/ because it will hopefully be more like Billy Madison!

Number 13: “Citizen Kane”

This may appear to be my “Look how smart I am” addition to the list.  I did initially see this film BECAUSE it’s supposedly the greatest/most important film of all time but that’s not why I loved it.  There are plenty of movies I saw because they are great but didn’t necessarily enjoy them.  I saw “The Godfather” and didn’t lose my mind.  I’m absolutely certain of it’s brilliance but it just didn’t connect with me.

“Citizen Kane” on the other hand connected, hook line and sinker.  As a boy growing up you have this odd thought that only modern actors/directors/writers can really make you feel anything or possess any sort of gravitas or bring any weight to a performance.  Watching Orson Welles chew the scenery as the most interesting and broken man in the world (at the time) was so pleasurable I could shriek.  And he also wrote/directed/produced it AGAINST the world’s most powerful man’s almighty force is equally triumphant.

Watching this for five minutes you forget that it was made seventy years ago.  Because frankly not that much has significantly changed since then.  We still have emotional problems, we still don’t know how to make relationships work, and we still have problems that no amount of technology or money can or will ever fix.

And this movie is just fucking brilliant.  The camera angles, the story, the characters, the structure.  It’s just a fucking blast to behold and as described by my good buddy Michael “it’s just a lot of fun.”  I could not agree with him more.

citizen kane
My favorite show loves this damn movie!

What a presence Orson Welles is in this film and every film he’s in for that matter.  I recently had the good fortune of discovering “The Third Man” which is one of my favorite Film Noirs of all time.  He doesn’t show up until about an hour into the film but his hilarious and powerful presence is felt throughout.  And when he dies at the end, even despite of his severe despicableness you’re still left wanting him on screen.  You want to see that smiling mug of his and enjoy his energy and presence.  It was watching this movie, that withholds and then grabs away his magic energy that really drives the point home that he was something special.

So in a way Orson Welles with his incredible ability to DO EVERYTHING in the world of filmmaking would easily be my be all end all.  And if I was alive in that time and still possessed this incredible desire to become a filmmaker he would have been my number one.

If you think not a thing has changed since 1941 then come on down to the Staged Reading of my Psychedelic Cyberpunk Film Noir screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar ‪#‎Chicago‬https://www.facebook.com/events/875860632494808/ because you’re right!

Citizen Kane
This quote sums up my life philosophy pretty handily.

Number 17: “Jurassic Park”

Oh man what a flick! I honestly can’t tell you a movie I was ever more excited to see than Jurassic Park. HOLE EEEE SHIT! I was excited to see this film.  I was what eight years old when it came out?

Steven Spielberg said he wouldn’t let his kids see this film.  That made my ultra violence loving behind want to see it even more.  It confirmed my suspicions that dudes got straight up eaten in this movie. OMG was I excited.

Then I heard they were going to have a midnight showing on the Thursday before it opened.  I begged and pleaded for my Mom to take me.  I must have offered my very soul to her and she amazingly, and possibly for the first time in my life, said “no.”  I was stunned.  I was always able to “negotiate” for that extra toy or video game or even to stay home from school but now this relatively simple request of taking an eight year old to see an ultra violent PG-13 dinosaur movie at midnight on a school night was denied.  I was livid and would see to it that I was the one who got what was rightfully mine!

After exhausting my eight year old brain I came up with nothing.  My dad DEFINITELY wasn’t going to take me and my brother was 5 and an idiot.  So I asked my Mom what she recommended.  “Well you could call and ask your friends and family.”  EUREKA!

So that’s what I did.  I called every person whose number we had and asked if they would like to accompany me to the world premiere of Jurassic Park.  Now I thought my enthusiasm for this great film would carry me through and well past the finish line.  But would you believe it?  Not one of my aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, teachers, friends, mailmen, milkmen, grandparents, strangers, creepers with white vans, not one would agree to take an underage kid to see an ultra violent dinosaur movie at midnight on a school night. The NERVE!

So I did what any overprivileged young chap would do.  I sulked and bitched and wined and moaned until I eventually fell asleep.  I of course still had to go to school the next day and suffer while so many lucky fools we’re watching this amazing film.  It felt like the night before Christmas times the day before summer starts.

But after six miserably long hours that final school bell rang and I was off to the races.  My mom picked me up from school and we went right to the theater and saw the HELL out of that movie.

It was amazing!  Now normally as an eight year old, you see an ad for a toy, video game, movie, whatever and it looks AMAZING!  And then you get it, open the box and it’s just a fucking toy.  But this movie BO MY GOD!  It was better than my wildest eight year old fever dreams could have ever imagined.   It had the T-rex in full nineties CG end of the world screaming glory.  The wicked smart velociraptors (which if I may say is the COOLEST NAME FOR A SOULLESS KILLING MACHINE OF ALL TIME!).  And this crazy island filled with other dinosaurs and unsuspecting visitors.  IT WAS AMAZING!!

And as we we’re walking out we ran into my cousin Timmy (the only person I could not get a hold of in my desperate attempt to hitch a ride to the midnight show).  He was also walking out of the theatre.  My Mom said “Yo Tim! Wha’d ya think of the movie?”  To which he replied “Oh man it was even better the second time!” Oh so he must have seen an earlier show that day or something I thought.  “Oh yeah I saw the midnight showing last night.  Craziest movie of my life! I’ll never have an experience like that again!”

My blood began to boil and I imagined savaging him like my spirit animal the velociraptor.  But alas I calmed myself as my Mom informed him of my desperate search for a ride.  He laughed and said “oh sorry little buddy but I didn’t check my messages before we went.”

Just breath I thought.  Someday you’ll own a flock of Velociraptors and you can enact terrible vengeance (Just like in Jurassic World!). As we parted ways I made peace with the fact that I had just witnessed the greatest cinematic event of my eight years and likely the rest of my days.  I then proceeded to see the movie nine more times in theaters and countless times on vhs.  It was truly an amazing film.

And if you love dinosaurs so much you’d sit through a staged screenplay reading come on down to the Staged Reading of my Psychadelic Cyberpunk Film Noir screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar ‪#‎Chicago‬https://www.facebook.com/events/875860632494808/ because we’ll have a live dinosaur in the studio audience! (We will not have any dinosaurs in the studio audience).

Number 18: “Friday The 13th”

I was absolutely obsessed with these films growing up.  There was something about the hockey mask on a deranged sociopathic killer that got my ten year old self more excited than a bear pooping in the woods.  Maybe it was the copious amounts of nudity. Maybe it was the intense blood and gore.  Maybe it was simply the crazy iconic mask of Jason that just got me excited.  In any case I loved these movies!

Funny enough I can’t really say I love them anymore.  I would never sit down and watch one.  For one they are fucking terrible.  For two they are incredibly outdated.  For three violence ain’t really my thang no more and for four, my brain has been “Clockwork Orange”-d to the point where this nudity doesn’t even cause a blip on the meter; LOL or :(? You decide!

But as a ten year old without a lot of cinematic experience, judgement or merit I FUCKING LOVED THESE MOVIES!  They we’re so violent and scary.  I would watch them in the dark by myself or with some friends and just scare myself to near insanity.  After each viewing I had to turn every light on in the house and sleep that way.  It was like voluntary torture that I really enjoyed.

Not sure what I really saw or got from this but man did I enjoy it.

I think the first Jason I was exposed to was like number 3 or 4.
It starts with this dude chainsawing a tree and there’s this really nerdy and annoying guy talking.  The dude with the chainsaw simply can’t take his nerdy ass anymore.  So in front of this attractive girl he attacks the guy with the chainsaw killing the fuck out of him.

Watching this as an eight year old I was like “oh shit! Jason hasn’t even shown up yet.  This movie is ca-RAY-Z.”  Then Jason shows up and he’s this fucking huge dude who appears to be rotting.  He’s like a zombie only he has a hockey mask on and a wicked huge rusty machete.  But even scarier than that is the absolutely bat shit crazy look in his eyes.

I don’t even remember entire movies I just remember scenes.  In “Jason In New York” the boxer dude hangs with Jason for a while.  He boxes him and nearly knocks him off the side of a pier.  Then Jason is like “enough play time” and with one punch knocks the dude’s head clean off.

Then his friends run into a diner and say “there’s a deranged serial killer after us who just punched our friends head clean off.” To which the unimpressed waitress replies “welcome to New York…”

For some reason this response made me want to go to New York even more.  I was already dying to move there and live in a super sweet abandoned subway station with my roommates the Ninja Turtles.

I have a faint recollection of watching this with my buddy Brandon.  Not sure he was as into Jason as I was but he was sure as shit as scared as I was.

In class I used to draw his mask.  I was fucking obsessed!  Now that I think about it I was showing some fairly strong signs of being a serial killer…

And if your 18th favorite movie of all time is also a movie you would never watch again and you realize now you almost became a serial killer then come on down to the staged reading of my screenplay “Mum Knows Best” at The Annoyance Theater 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL on Sunday Aug 9, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM because we’ll be safe!

Number 21 “Fitzcarraldo”(But Also “Men…”/”Aguirre: Wrath of God”)

The real title of this post should be my “How much I loved German Film Class my Junior year of college.”  Cause I never would have seen any of these films without that amazing little class.  And I never would have become aware of Werner Herzog, who outside of say Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, and Christopher Nolan is my MOST FAVORITE FILMMAKER OF ALL TIME!

The dude is the coolest MFer on the planet.  He’s got this wicked sweet german accent and to hear him describe the agony and the ecstasy associated with “Fitzcarraldo” is enough to make your head explode.  The amount of pain and anguish this one single person withstood to make that film is astounding.  I was so enthralled with the film I watched it four times.  Once with the regular english dubbing.  Then with the commentary.  Then with subtitles (Over German).  And then a fourth time in Dutch with subtitles because in the commentary he claims this is the truest version for some reason.

This movie is fucking mind blowing.  It’s all about the rubber trade in South America in the 1800’s.  The rubber barons down there had so much money they would feed it to fish.  Fitzcarraldo wanted to build a magnificent opera house in the jungle. But he needed to raise more money.  He intended to earn this money by taking a short cut on the river by transporting a giant steamship over a mountain.  So they legitimately moved an entire steam ship over a mountain to the river on the other side.

In “Burden Of Dreams” we find out all the insane terrors that went down during filming.  Herzog stepped into a mud pit filled with broken glass.  One of the crew who was chainsawing a tree was bitten by the most poisonous snake in the jungle and instead of waiting for the doctor and likely dying he simply chainsawed his own foot off.  And most wonderfully was his stories of working with Klaus Kinski.  An incredibly talented insanely moody and awful person to work with (Check out Herzog’s film “My Best Friend”) who is also Natasha Kinski’s father.  They made a bunch of movies together and Kinski is amazing in this film.

Next up on the German film class roster was a little film called “Men…” (German translation was “Der Men”).  It was a pretty dated looking movie from the 80’s, with dumb haircuts and dumber outfits but there was something special about this film.  It was unlike any American movie I had ever seen.  It carried true male emotion and vulnerability.  Something not really allowed in normal “American” films.  The main character was a typical workaholic who took everything in his life for granted.  One day he comes home to find out that his wife has left him.  He tracks her down and sees she’s now shacking up with a local musician.  Blind with jealousy he somehow manages to become roommates with the musician and hire him to work for his own company.  This could have gone many stupid and cliched routes but it didn’t.  It stayed on a path the was true, felt right, and connected with me something fierce.  You just felt like you knew the characters and could completely relate to what they we’re going through.  Can’t recommend this film enough.  See it if you can find it.

Last but not least, another masterpiece from my main man Werner Herzog “Aguirre: Wrath of God”.  Good God this movie is awesome!  And to top it off I was really into the Marz Volta at the same time I was into this movie so I decided to hit mute and crank up “De-loused in the comatorium”.  Wow did they go well together.  I’m not saying it’s better than “Dark Side Of The Moon” over “The Wizard Of Oz” but it totally is! Seriously give it a try sometime.

And if you enjoy German cinema than come on down to The Annoyance Theater 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL on Sunday Aug 9, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM for my staged screenplay reading!  And because Werner Herzog will be giving an authentic German accent lesson! (Werner’s not going to be there nor giving German accent lessons).

Number 23: “Lost In Translation”

I love “Lost In Translation”! And not just because Bill Murray is in it.  Though he will be making at least one other major appearance in this list #ChrisTop30Films

This movie appeared to me at just the right moment.  It was my first semester at the University of Central Florida.  I was a pending film major.  Pending because I hadn’t been accepted nor was I sure I wanted to be accepted (more on that to come).

I was super gung ho about becoming a filmmaker but also super insecure about my work and socializing in general.  I could walk up to any girl and strike up a convo but talking to another dude or person of similar interest was bizarrely terrifying to me.

Luckily I had already met some really cool people in my freshmen orientation.

The leader of the pack was Mr. Michael Dennis.  With his last name starting with a “D” and mine with a “B” we we’re delightfully placed right next to each other in our orientation class.

I being the first to speak to someone new, always (because it’s easier than sitting in awkward silence in my opinion).  I must have said “hey man what’s up” or something like that and then somehow or another one of us muttered a Simpsons quote and the other immediately finished it.  Sparks flew as rockets launched, ships went out to see, and the ticker tape parade began.  It was best friends at first Simpsons quote.  And we’ve been best friends ever since. Twelve plus glorious years.

It was Mr. Michael Dennis who inevitably invited me to see this masterpiece of simple yet extremely complicated emotionally driven relationship cinema.  We had to drive all the far theater in a super nice area of Winter Park.  I being the wannabe lady killer invited a girl and we met Michael there with another friend from film class.  Phil I believe.

I had already heard amazing things about this movie.  At this point I didn’t even realize what a Bill Murray fan I was.  It embarrassingly wouldn’t be until 2007’s “ZombieLand” that I finally realized what a MASSIVE Bill Murray fan I am.  The dude is a god damn living legend times savior.  Love him!

The movie starts and I am just drawn in to the atmosphere and the location.  Tokyo is unlike anyplace I have ever seen.  It’s dark, crowded, filled with flashing lights, and quite beautiful.  There is a young girl who is just flat out gorgeous.  Like classy pin up gorgeous multiplied by Marilyn Monroe (who would later become the world’s sexiest woman Scarlett Johansson; go figure).  And then Bill shows up and he’s brooding!  He’s not happy go lucky problem free Bill Murray.  He’s problem filled Bill Murray.  And he’s fantastic.

The movie goes on like this orbiting their beautiful non-age appropriate and growing relationship.  And it perfectly elicits the excitement and wonder of every relationship I’ve ever had while on a trip.  Every girl I ever had a crush on and wasn’t sure liked me back. The dizzying highs when you are around them, the terrifying lows at the thought of them leaving, the muddling middles where you’re not sure where this is going or where it should go.

They both need exactly what they get in this movie.

I like to think they never saw each other again and just enjoy the memories and wonderful experiences they had together.  Cause sometimes that’s enough.

Bill Murray is fantastic in this film.  He’s super funny and just real.  He’s a real person with real feelings and he’s fucking sensitive about shit.  I’m so glad he decided he could do roles like this.

Whenever I’m in need of a vacation or an exciting fling I put this film on and enjoy our memories.

And if you want to make some great new memories to enjoy come to the Staged Reading of my screenplay “Mum Knows Best” at The Annoyance Theater on Aug 9th at 5:30 pm.  Bill Murray is gonna be there! (Bill Murray will 99.9% NOT be there). Here’s the Event Brite as well! 

Number 25: “Good Will Hunting” #ChrisTop30Films

Good Will Hunting is a great film.  It’s one of those movies that just connects so well and so hard it burns itself into your psyche.

It’s got Matt Damon and Ben Affleck when they were super young and super skinny. Sure we’d seen them in a few things before but they were definitely still fresh faced and fuzzy tailed.

To round it out we had Robin Williams and Minnie Driver.  Two much more recognizable faces at that time.  I hadn’t seen “Dead Poets Society” at this point so my main source of Robin Williams brilliance was Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire. Two of my favorite films growing up #Obvs.  But this movie was different.  This was a different, deeper, raw, filled with pain, real side of Robin Williams I didn’t even know existed.  He had always been the funny happy go lucky distraction from all of life’s problems.  But not here.  Oh no, not in this movie.  He was the revealer of that which is too scary to see, think about, or even consider hinting at.

I have seen this movie maybe ten times and I’ve NEVER made it through the “It’s not your fault scene” without balling like a little school girl whose dad just came home from war.

And the fact that Matt and Ben wrote this together as two struggling actors in LA is so inspiring it makes me sick with jealousy.  They couldn’t get the roles they wanted or the recognition they craved so they just made something up that fit their styles, personalities, and goals perfectly and then went to town trying to get it made.  This strategy or philosophy has  always made the most sense to me.

Why would I wait around for someone to find me when I could hone my storytelling and acting craft and make something great myself?  I don’t understand people who say “I’m just waiting for the right role.” Or even worse “I just can’t find the right role.”  Fucking make the right role homie!

I’m not saying this is an easy feat at all! But it sure as shit beats sitting around waiting for someone to realize how great you are.

One thing I’ve realized about most of the artists who have made it is they had to slog through nine hundred miles of shit before they got to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Then once they got there the journey wasn’t over.  It had just begun.  With hundreds or even thousand more miles of crap.

But that’s the point isn’t it?  We don’t play music just to get to the end.  We play music or sing a song or act out a scene to enjoy the journey through it.  If we played just to get to the end the person who played the fastest would be the best.  And that is definitely not true.

Anyway I am a big fan of this film.  It is super inspirational and just downright a good ass movie where the realistic characters go through real pain and grow as real people.

And if you want to grow as a real person come to The Annoyance Theater 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL on Sunday Aug 9, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM for my LIVE SCREENPLAY READING!

Even Southies are welcome 😉

Number 29: “Road Trip”/”Old School” #ChrisTop30Films

Ok I know, I know this is technically two movies but hear me out.  These movies have the same director, some of the same actors (Sean William Scott, Todd Phillips, and Matt Walsh!), the same writer, and they are both deeply embedded in the pantheon of great college movies.

Oh and I have been deeply influenced both comedically and life directionally by these two fantastically hilarious films.

Without these two unbelievably hilarious films I might never have gone to a state school, drank as much, or developed such an “open minded” sense of humor.  So yeah these we’re kind of important movies to me.

I saw “Road Trip” when I was a freshmen in high school and “Old School” when I was a junior and man oh man did they get me excited for college.  I had one thought in my mind and it was “dude don’t fuck this school thing up because no matter how much high school sucks you’ll still have four plus years of totally awesome college.  And if it’s one tenth as fun as Road Trip and Old School than OH SHIT are you going to have an amazing time!”

And as luck would have it I did not fuck that school thing up. Even though I was not the biggest fan of high school I still did what I had to do to get really good grades and a sweet scholarship to the school that most resembled the college experience in these two movies.

“Road Trip” and “Old School” showed me a world of endless possibilities, great friends, and the prettiest/friendliest ladies I had ever seen on the silver screen.  I wanted this experience more than anything I had ever wanted (and I got an N64 for Christmas as an eleven year old!).

This was a difficult concept to take in while still of high school age.  You see I was not the greatest with the opposite sex from ages let’s say 0 to 18.  I was pretty funny and could get some solid laughs but once the laughs stopped I was like “uhhh so… Do you like stuff? No? Ok… Gotta go! Bye!”  So that didn’t help to satisfy the urges.

But these two movies showed me relatively normal dudes who, like me, came out of their shells in college, learned a thing or two, and had the time of their lives.

From “Road Trip” I learned to always be up for adventure, be yourself, and the best times you can have are with your best friends doing something relatively stupid.  Also that you shouldn’t have a long distance relationship while in college.  Since I had no prospects coming out of high school this would not be an issue.

From “Old School” I learned that college is apparently the best time of your life and you should enjoy every moment to the absolute fullest.  Which I did my absolute best at.  If there was an attractive woman in the cafeteria, class, hall, sidewalk, video store, restaurant, Best Buy, football game, bar, neighbor, pool, driving, school clinic, friend’s house, etc I never hesitated for even a second to go up and commence conversation.  Even though I was still wicked anxious I figured, like these movies clearly displayed, there we’re plenty more where those came from.  I got rejected A LOT.  But I also figured out that I was a pretty good conversationalist and I was FUCKING FEARLESS!  None of my buddies would DARE go up to some unsuspecting girl and commence conversation.  So for a brief moment I was kind of the man.

Sure most of them didn’t pan out and I eventually succumbed to a girl friend during the second semester of college (big mistake!), this first semester of college was so heavily influenced by these amazing movies I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough time for Bed Bath and Beyond in the morning!

Ok back to the review. Since this is technically a review I’ll give you my top ten favorite scenes from these two movies:

10. “It’s so good when it hits your lips!” Frank – “Old School”

9.“Barry’s last name is Manilow… Barry’s name is Barry Manilow” – “Road Trip”

8.  “Please STOP!… OK keep going!” E.L. – “Road Trip”

Best college movie ever
Best college movie ever

7. “We’re streaking! Everybody’s doing it!” Frank – “Old School”

6.  “I was just calling to see if you’d be up for an entire meal of food.” Frank – “Old School”

5. “You know because it’s your dog!” – Kyle “Road Trip”

4. “But we will give nothing back to the community, and that is a promise.” Beanie – “Old School”

3. “Yeah I play golf on the weekends… but I hate golf!” Walsh – “Old School”

2.“Dear Mitch, if you’re holding this letter you already know. The house has been boarded up. The doors. The windows. Everything. We’re at the Comfort Inn. Room 112. I love you. Frank.”

1. (While performing the iron cross and smoking a cigarette) “Still holding! Still Holding!” – Beanie “Old School”

The influences from this movie weren’t all great.  One could make a pretty convincing case that these films with their slick portrayal of the college party life could have stunted my growth as an artist.  For years all I focused on was the bare minimum in class and the bold maximum in partying.

But alas perhaps that was instrumental in my deciding what I was going to do with the rest of my life.  Even with a pursuit as fun as “Drink the beer” and exciting as “Talk to as many women as you can” these inevitably come up hollow and you must search for something of more substance.  Which I eventually did ie My amazing girlfriend Sarah, digital marketing business, and pursuits as a filmmaker.

Anyway, SEE THESE MOVIES!  They have had a profound impact on my life, my story telling ability (plus the stories I experienced while being under the influence of these films), and my comedic timing. As well as keeping my mind fresh by quoting the shit out them whenever I have the chance.

“We’re at the Comfort Inn. Room 112. I love you.”

Chris

And don’t forget how good the PUBLIC SCREENPLAY READING of “Mum Knows Best” will be when it hits your lips at The Annoyance Theater 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL on Sunday Aug 9, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM.  Join us!

 

My Top 30 Films of All Time Countdown

Hey Everybody and welcome to the blog announcing “My Top 30 Films of All Time Countdown”.  You can use #ChrisTop30Films to tell me how brilliant/silly I am via social media.

Each day around noon I’ll be releasing a new film review blog in the countdown from my thirtieth favorite film all the way to my first favorite film.

Is this to celebrate the fact that I’m now thirty and can no longer drink, sleep, have sex, have as much hair, think, or overall act like I did when I was in my twenties? GOD NO! It’s to announce my “PUBLIC SCREENPLAY READING”. Click the link or scroll down for more info 😉

From this countdown you’re gonna get some action films, some romance, some drama, but mostly you’re gonna get ME telling YOU not only why these movies are awesome but how deeply they affected and literally changed the direction of my life.

Quick preview of “#6” Blog to come:

I saw my sixth favorite film of all time “Fight Club” in 1999 when I was fourteen years old. This film said very clearly “Hey! You will NOT be satisfied working in an office and should think long and hard about your many alternatives.” I was fourteen and already like “Man that office salary cubicle life is bull shit!”. And I didn’t even have to work for forty years or have a stroke to realize it. This amazingly slick propaganda film convinced me in vivid ultra violence that when the time came I should explore other possibly non-traditional ways to make a living. And I didn’t even need to start a Fight Club :B

So you’ll not only get my “expert” analysis of the film but also the deep and fun ways it affected my life.

How neat is that??? (crickets)

And if my math is correct the last blog post will come out on exactly the day of my “PUBLIC SCREENPLAY READING” which I am totally stressing and freaking out about.

But in light of my inability to withstand criticism of any weight directed at my chosen art I would love you to come watch the performance read by actual actors (how awesome is that?!)!

The reading is at The Annoyance Theater 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL on Sunday Aug 9, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM. It should be a rollicking good time!

Or if you are lucky enough to live in a place without the worlds weirdest weather (i.e. Chicago) you can tune in to the Periscope live broadcast and watch from the comfort of your own home. #SweatPants!

But either way you can RSVP at the Facebook event here!

We will have free snacks and the Annoyance Theater has a full bar!

Hooray!

So stay tuned cause I’m going to post a new blog errrday until the Big Day that is the Unveiling of my “Master Work” titled “Mum Knows Best.”

It’s a combination of “Blade Runner”, “The Maltese Falcon”, and “Inception.” With tons of other elements from the film noir, sci-fi, action, and comedy genres that I love so much!

But Chris aren’t all three of those movies like basically the same thing? YES, YES THEY ARE!

Well how is your movie going to be any different? I DON’T HAVE A CLUE! But maybe if you come you can tell me and we’ll make it better together! #TeamWork!

Well thanks for reading, I’d love you to come or watch from afar and join me in celebrating the best movies this thirty year old “man” has ever seen.

Love ya!

Chris “Praying This Screenplay Comes Out Remotely Decent” Brodhead