Saturday, February 29, 2020

Film Opening - Blog #7 - The Game at Hand

One of the major implementations of the opening film for our scene is when the high school students coordinate an elaborate game of poker. Poker has shown itself to be a game with high stakes, one with strategy, and superhuman skills. A just a single one of 52 cards can mean the difference between winning and losing thousands in gambling. The strategies are maliciously cunning and ruthlessly exacting. The culture behind the whole community of gamers has become one of the mute expressions and a particular goal in mind: eliminate others and prevail.

Variations of Poker

A true classic origin to the game most are familiar with. This version consists of basic parent fundamentals that are almost always paired with other mechanics to add strategy in the fallout. Beginning with 52 cards ranked high to low (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, etc), however, the suite is irrelevant. The end is simple; Whoever has the highest collection of 5 cards at hand is the winner. There's a collection of ranks to classify different possible combinations; "Four of a Kind", "Full House", "Flush" and so on are some examples. 

Stud Poker

A poker variant where each player receives a set of cards; Some are faced up and others aren't. Whoever will bet first during the game is variable throughout the session, so it does not matter who is physically where on the table. The common theme is whoever has the most face-up cards is most likely to win. There are four or fewer rounds in one game, and some styled versions of Stud Poker include "Six-Card stud" and "Caribbean Stud" Besides these key differences it follows the classic orientation of a typical poker game. 

Texas Hold Em'
Yee-haw! Especially down here in the South, we Americans love so dearly. Two "hole cards" are given to each player in the start. The main stage consists of "the flop", "the turn", and the final one, "the river" The main goal is to collect the best combination of five card sets from the rest of them. The cards are dealt randomly and each player needs to manage their "money" within set of cards. They can chose to trade there cards and auction them around in such deals between other competitors. The winner is ultimately the one who has comprised the best hand and not gone bankrupt by the finale: A fat cash prize known as "the pot" This variation blossomed in Robstown, Texas around a century ago, bringing an American classical variation to the table. 

Understanding the fundamentals of the the styles poker has brings us creative opportunities to clash conflict among the cards with each of the characters we write. The micro war is full of twists and turns to excite the audience and drive tension or drama that will not be let go so easily. The high school hustle is swift and sly, and our main character must not have his scheme exposed in the neighborhood clique. 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Film Opening - Blog #6 - Equipment

     Years of development in my skills and return investment into effective products keeps the quality and traits of my content up to standards. Multiple commissions, school projects, and other events have offered me an opportunity to handle my net savings back into high-quality tools video production and other cinema gigs. Middle school was the origin of it all, as I had started with just a little adorable Canon point-and-shoot to work my way up to the set up I have now. I'm more than glad I can contribute to my team's upcoming project with cinematic attributes. I love that I have the skills and strengths to use my gear in its fullest potential for films that can match Hollywood productions.

Camera Set-Up
1) Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
     This beast has the workhorse powers unseen with a camera of its cost until now. For $1,300, you get a cinematic monster with 4K DCI recording up to 60 frames a second, in BRAW Q0. BRAW has become Blackmagic's answer to the lossless nightmare of CinemaDNG and created an efficient codec that could process RAW metadata into flat images to run smoothly on many systems of varying processing power. The color sciences of their new tech has proven itself as a big player with competing brands' similarly priced digital cinema cameras. This camera has given the chance for premium motion pictures at consumer-friendly costs. It is the pinnacle of "the most bang for buck"

 2) Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Canon EF Lens and Metabones EF-MFT Ultra 0.71x Speedbooster

     It is often heard that the Micro Four Thirds mount has its fundamental downsides, which it does. The crop factor, lack of diversity in lenses, and so on. Metabones has done a great service to the industry by introducing magnifying lens adapters in numerous flavors on mounts. Famously have they offered one designed for Canon glass onto the native MFT mount; Perfect for the Blackmagic. Not only does the Speedbooster increase sensor size by multipling the crop by 0.71 times (effectively making it 1.42x like a Super 35 camera instead of the 2x natively) and make paired lenses faster in exposure, it allows a much wider range of fantastic aftermarket lenses. The Sigma 18-35mm lens is famous for provided an incredibly sharp and versitle image in photography and filmmaking, and has rightfully become incredibily popular as a great wide-zoom, especially in low light scenerios. The bundle of tools together has created a ruthlessly valuable mechanism to spawn something beautiful in every project. 

Forever will these tools be at my side to create spectacular art!
("Dean Milan",

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Film Opening - Blog #5 - "BAD BEAT" Scheduling and Characters

     "Bad Beat" is going to be the official name behind our new film concept to come into production. Our research into the poker community and trends in the game spawned a term we believed our main character, Nathan Hill, fit flawlessly. The term refers to a "bad beat jackpot" in the game of poker, in which the one who seems to have the advantage, looses in the end. It's a satirical twist stinking of mockery and ego; The man who believes he is on a pedestal above the lame kid gets the tables flipped on him and is crushed beyond his dominance. This phrase gives an appropriate tribute to the style and charisma of our main character. Today our team met up in a group to discuss how we were going to invest in what props to purchase and how we would block up who would work on what in particular. Our main concern was creating a set of intricate detail yet have it be financially efficient. Our current focus is figuring out the web of characters in our scheme and planning the rest of the project.


The opening scene will consist of these characters and what their relationship is. Nathan Hill is the primary character in the story, and he is a high school senior student how running poker scams to get by financially. His uncle, Chester Hill, is an aged man yearning for a future since his divorce, yet after Nathan's father is slammed behind bars, his focus is to be the guardian of and befriend Nathan. Rebecca Martin is Nathan's best friend, the only since childhood. No other pair of peers is bonded so tightly, as they are the unbreakable bond of effective criminals. No crime is done without the other, as they fix their hustle getting each other's backs, no matter what they run into. 

Nathan begins the night with Rebecca, challenging two swindlers coated in black leather to a poker game in his home, a gamble indeed. He invites them to search for the answers of what exactly went down for his father, as these men are associates of the Mafia group that butts heads with his dad's group. Nathan and Rebecca execute their cunning tricks to assassinate these men, defeating them in an embarrassingly quick fashion. They had come to spell trouble, but Nathan isn't letting them put a dent in his shield yet. An unsettling foreshadowing reeks off these chaps as they proceed off into the darkness down the block. 

An imminent fight sees them for the fate, but he must find out the truth with his dad first. A new week of planning and sculpting of the plot will continue Monday, so see you then.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Film Opening - Blog #4 - Planning

Now is the time to initiate scheduling as the back bone of our project in the making. Today I'll discuss three core ideas to set up everything: set design and the score for the opening segment.

Set Design
Creating the scene behind the opening of the film includes extensive lighting set up around a table in a garage stuffed with vintage relics. Alyssa Wheelock has offered her home as the main establishment for the shooting days. 

Key Concepts:
  • Musky lighting and soft details around caking everything in the garage.
  • Rusty tools, equipment, and other machinery.
  • Stuffed boxes of novelties, supplies, screws, little parts.
  • Daunting warm lights to bake the room's ambient light.
  • Wooden or marble backgrounds to create a cabin-like look.
  • Comfortable couches and chairs
  • Pillows, misplaced laundry around the area.
  • Dirty floors and dusty things.
  • Basic electronics like a television or radio operating quietly in the background.
  • Refrigerator full of beers and other treats, including a microwave for a quick snack. 
The goal of these ideas is to create an essence of a man cave, private and exclusive to a group of elder friends in a time of need. The room no one speaks of but is welcome to visit for the refreshments and entertainment with other social pals. Its a paradise for friends - a comfortable place to crash and for them to be themselves, the true definition of a home. Who doesn't love to crack open a cold one with the boys and enjoy a nice Friday night with buddies?

We wish to create a scene that can offer a place of relaxation and challenge that with the dialogue between the characters as tensions are introduced for the main character, bringing him sickening troubles for his future.

A fantastic source we found for quality musical productions was a website named ""
We have purchased a subscription to access the rights for their entire library of content, giving us the ability to use it without legal troubles regardless if its commercial project or not. We are granted the expansive ability to use their music in any fashion we choose. Most of these examples for concepts incorporate a blues style of jazz music. 

Notable Songs Pitched:
  • "Ellis St" by Duffmusiq - Likeable classic ambient jazz; Includes light sax and drums with a cinematic "Soul & Rnb" charm in the style.
  •  "Traumatraum" by Denhollander - Slow, smooth, deep saxophone notes with deep bass. A eerie romantic theme of dramatic darkness.
  • "For You" by Olivier Olsen - A fusion of both "Ellis St" and "Traumatraum", but losing the drums for a quiet snare, synth, and classic piano.
  • "Circle" by Columbia Nights - Foreign drum sequence with romanticized strings, a beautiful melody with a peaceful tone. Great listen with natural songs bringing reminiscence to a casual lounge. Playful and charming in harmony.  
  • "Dallaltra Parte Del Muro" by Livio Bartolo -  Acoustic guitar and harmonizing piano come together in a loving urban duo. The nature of the song is fashionable and dreamy.

I hope you have a beautiful day fellow reader, and I wish for you to enjoy the music as much as I have. Cheers!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Film Opening - Blog #3 - Concept Work

       This whole week has been a shower of rigorous brainstorming and the blossoming of new ideas to smash together into something marvelous! We awed at the drive of characters' changes throughout a canvas of experiences and challenges in life. The incredible stories of characters defeating Nazis, overcoming disease, learning lessons to be a better human, proves that the idea of an adventurous drama styled film has so much potential from the simplest of sets. There is no need to introduce spastic sci-fi sets for a complex saga of a universe. The adventure-drama is a stunning moment for a complete and wholesome story that many can connect within a moving experience. The best films of all time contribute an astounding lesson to be learned and understood from the story, and that is what I truly credit in what makes film-making so extraordinary; Its ability to touch at someone's soul or heart through the artistic application of colors and sound. The potential for masterpieces is unlimited, as they can make us saturated with vile hatred, crush ourselves in sorrow, or drive us to a radical burst of proud energy and excitement in a thrill.

       Our origin concept develops the exposition premise of a young adult lad whose father had died in a shoot out dispute. The timeline is the 1990s, and his father had been a part of a local street gang of more finished men who each have their hustle in the neighborhood. Now an orphane, a lonesome young man, the main character is adopted legally and socially into the pack of folks, taken under the wings of some special and unique individuals.

        It begins with a casual Friday night gathering, one withered garage stuffed with the stench of salsa, cigarettes, and classical hair products. The musky aroma of age and leather sets its place amongst the walls. The main character is placed at one end around a poker table, handling cards and their conversation follows for what to do as a father-less man. A new chapter in his book of Life emerges as his goal now is to see who slaughtered his father, and the hunt goes far deeper into who he understands himself as since birth. 

Photo credits:
"The Sting (1973)"

"That '70s Show (1998-2006)"

Monday, February 17, 2020

Film Opening - Blog #2 - Genre Research

Here are three more prime examples of adventure/drama films: Hugo, Interstellar and Apollo 13.

1) Hugo (2011)
(Photo: "Hugo Review" by
Hugo movie review
When "Hugo" was released in 2011, it was denounced as one of the most creatively done films with unseen implementations of special effects and camera work cinema. Its inventive application of CGI environments and cinematography led to a gorgeous film with a heartwarming story at its core, one with an orphan boy searching for the answers to his origin. This movie brought unheard-of storytelling techniques to a 3-D family film and adventure, taking its massive budget and making it count to something beautiful.

Hugo lived on his own in the train-stations of Paris during the 1930s. His whole knack was fixing clocks, tinkering with robotics, and messing with novelties left to him by his deceased father and uncle. Using his knowledge and access to hundreds of gizmos, he takes care of the station's clockwork and timepieces. Later on, he discovers a "mechanical man", an automaton, which holds a secret from his past unless he can get his hands on a special key. After uniting with the god-daughter of George Melies, they team up to search for the answers to why there is a connection between them and the automaton. It holds the ultimate collection of secrets from his past, and they go on an adventure together with twists of mysteries to solve.

2) Interstellar (2014)
(Photo: "Interstellar Style Black Hole Visualization (4K Ultra High Definition)" by somewhereishere)
Interstellar Style Black Hole Visualization (4K Ultra High ...This marked the time of a new age in computer rendering technology, as this film was marveled for its advanced mathematical engines to spawn the scenes that were present in "Interstellar" The new graphics designers also noted important data that made scientists awe at the potential for such physics mechanics. These tools were used to visualize black holes, which were vital to the story-line for one of Christopher Nolan's most notable works yet.

Nolan went to great deals of efforts to immerse his audience in such a charming level of detail into the shot composition and plot. The drama between a father and his family, mainly his daughter, adds a heart-wrenching level of stress to the journey back home, decades later after his life is manipulated by the powers of black holes. The human race is dying and only has so many days left on a withering Earth, forced to run a secret program in search of a wormhole as a potential escape to save them from extinction. Only Cooper will have to sacrifice a lifetime with his family to find a solution and complete the journey, as he eventually comes home only a few months later in his time to discover his once-young daughter on her death bed. Leaving behind his family leads to an epic adventure to make every second count on his expedition, as minutes can mean months back home.

3) Apollo 13 (1995)
(Photo: "Loren Dean and Ed Harris in Apollo 13 (1995)" by Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment)
Ron Howard's film "Apollo" highlighted the aborted mission of Apollo 13 once disaster strangely struck their space probe, yet the longer it took them to solve the sooner their doom was inevitable. The film follows the teamwork between the crew on-board and back home in Houston as they search for answers to get their men back home safe and sound.

They learn that the goal now is to make the impossible possible; To make the mission a relief and not a tragedy for America with the loss of 3 astronauts. The fight against the clock menacingly ticks as they join together to stop the internal damages to their spacecraft, with their lives in extreme crisis. They were stranded 205,000 miles from their beloved Earth home and the strength of their thinking and instincts brought them back in one piece but still on death's door for the route. It has proven to be one of the most nerve-racking and nail-biting experiences in cinema torturing three vigilant men, all because of one exploded oxygen tank dangling in space with them.

Now with six remarkable films on display, I am excited for the trips anticipated for the future of cinema. Goodnight folks!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Film Opening - Blog #1 - Genre Research

Adventure/Drama films have demonstrated themes that have proven to be some of the most innovative and entertaining content in the last fifty years of cinema. Hysterically written characters, turbulent journeys, and epic lessons are the fundamental concepts behind some of the most creative stories in media. Down to the raw details, we see the conflict between characters who have a soul or mission of their dearest importance, and it offers a thriller full of mystery and opportunity. Adventure/Dramas can arc into different categories of styles, covering a broad spectrum of themes or engaging enjoyed qualities (or trends) specific to a targeted demographic. Today I'll discuss three prime examples, each touching at characteristics unique to each other film given: The Dark Knight, The Lion King, and Jurassic Park. 

1) The Dark Knight (2008)
(Photo: "The Dark Knight", Warner Bros. Pictures)
This is Christopher Nolan's second film of his Batman-themed trilogy, including "Batman Begins" (2005) as the first and "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012) as the finale. 

Image result for the dark knight

Bruce Wayne, after escaping the wrath of Ra's al Ghul, learns of the new villain Joker terrorizing Gotham into torture and raw fear. The film follows a triangle relationship of events between Bruce, Harvey Dent (soon to be known as Two-Face), and Joker as their choices unfold into a crime style adventure drama. Each primary character in the film such as the ones mentioned in addition to Gordon, Alfred, Rachel, and Lucius Fox follow a major change in their life from the clash of terror. The line between the good and bad guys blurs and painfully twists as the drama blossoms, with Gotham as the victim to a new era of hell. A classic idea of cops and robbers to a whole new depth about the flaw in humans at its most effective manipulation in nature.

2) The Lion King (1994)
(Photo: "The Lion King", Disney Enterprises, Inc)
Matthew Broderick, Sally Dworsky, Robert Guillaume, Moira Kelly, and Joseph Williams in The Lion King (1994)This masterpiece of animated artwork marks a question, "Are there any good children's animated films?" at rest. It was the symptom of Disney's renaissance era, starting with "The Little Mermaid" (1989) It brought a new charm to the magic behind what could be expressed through the writing of talented storytellers and what made film special through the composition of animation. 

"The Lion King" continued this legacy only 5 years later when it told the story of a young lion tricked by his uncle King on who was responsible for his father's fallout, soon to learn of his true history and past as an adult on a search for answers after his exile. 

3) Jurassic Park (1993)
Image result for jurassic park
(Photo: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom", Universal Studios)
A dazzling disastrous mixture of mad science and cooperate greed bring us the mutation of ideas into one monstrous chaos of an adventure as some kids fight through the jungles on the search to destroy Jurassic Parks cloned beasts.

This film is the pinnacle of practical effects at its finest craftsmanship and the optimized balance of techniques to bring the audience through an understandable expedition in a situation no man has seen before. It brought a contemporary look at the theme of dinosaurs tied with the theatrics of paradoxical mishaps between characters who search for answers. The charm in realistic effects and relatable characters brought the audience through an amazing adventure that looked beautiful on the 90s big screens.

Tomorrow I continue my search for what makes adventure dramas the masterpieces they are - Analysis of the plot synopsis's I'll see are at the utmost value in my research. Monday afternoon will bring three more tributes to the table.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Music Blog Post - "Jay Moon" - Maroon 5 Parody

January 2020 was the big month where we finally developed our own parody based on pop band Maroon 5's song "She Will Be Loved" and produced our own marketing campaign. This included in depth research into the category of pop culture and other influential artists sharing the same genre.

Our genre in particular was modern electronic pop music.

Popular trends in this style (summary) include a teenage target audience, distribution across easy access platforms like Youtube, Spotify, and Instagram. There is a major implementation of interaction with the audience in live streams or thread communities. Most artists follow a marketing plan of a certain color theme throughout their products. Some notary examples include,

Billie Ellish

  • Black and Green
  • Collaborations with other artists - Khalid and Justin Bieber
  • Partnership with Spotify allowed an interactive area for 3 days in LA for fans to go into 14 rooms for  fans to understand her “mind” (her room, puppies...)
  • 24.8 million subscribers. 


  • Blue and Gray
  • Electronic style music.
  • Constant tours in home city Las Vegas - OMNIA Nightclub since 2017
  • “Clarity” Album debut in 2012 was a major boost in success for mainstream music and reached #8 on the HOT 100
  • 5.6 million subscribers.
The main focus behind developing the sense of character and personal connection back to the fictional artist Jay Moon included,
  • Color themes to have a visual appeal.
  • Representation of common hardships for the teenage demographic in American society.
  • Easily enjoyable and accessible content.
  • Methods to connect across Internet mediums like Instagram and Snapchat.
  • Red, Blue, and Purple all represented prime ideas all teenagers experience, such as heartbreak and newfound freedom.
  • Attractive model
  • Popular clothing and designer choices
  • Major connection to emotional experiences.
The music video implemented the majority of these core principles into one fun-backed and well-produced short film music video. Producing the final vision of what the video ended up being taught my crew and the difficulties of birthing a concept into an approachable and realistic goal. Balancing time, finances, and resources were the ultimate tug of war against our creative concepts for an influential video. Setting up the costumes, colored powder, film sets, lighting, camera equipment, framing, transportation, and editing all proved to be the utmost critical priority. Delivering the export to Youtube was the biggest celebration for a month's worth of passion and care for a work of true cinematic art. I am fortunate to have mastered my camera technology and was able to utilize my skill sets with Blackmagic Studios equipment to have the foundations in creating quality media. My previous experience with video production in cinema and television brought me to a better fundamental understanding of my boundaries in what I was capable of achieving and how far I could challenge myself. 

Marketing included a handful of campaign products created for the promotional night of our video, including CDs and clothes.