Long time, no see everybody! I apologize for my extended absence from this blog; I’ve had more than enough personal/professional obligations to keep me busy the last couple of months. But if there’s one thing that could motivate me to get Creation From Chaos out of mothballs, it’s supporting the efforts of my fellow artists, and that’s exactly what I’m here to do today.
The project at hand is a new short film called Just Death. Developed by fellow Landmark Sunshine Cinema alums, it looks to be a challenging but absurd piece of satirical filmmaking about the death penalty. To me, it sounds like exactly the sort of art the world needs right now, and I hope you’ll all join me in supporting this great project on Kickstarter. To celebrate the launch of their crowdfunding campaign, I sat down with writer/director Aaron Kelley, cinematographer Lucas Miller and producer Josh Michaels to discuss their influences and goals for Just Death.
Film, as both an art form and a commercial industry, is filled with flashy, star-powered jobs that serve as the major touchstones for us common moviegoers. But anyone who follows film with any amount of enthusiasm is most likely aware of how much of an Industry it really is, and how deeply involved many of the logistics can be. Even if we don’t know much about the nuts and bolts of the industry, we know there are many parts in the grand machinery of film production. Those parts, whether we recognize them or not, are just as essential to production as directing or writing or acting. One such role is that of the production secretary, who is an important linchpin in the production organization.
With that in mind, I reached out to Daniel D’Amico, an old friend of mine who has worked in the industry for the past three years. As a production secretary, he works to coordinate important details in what he refers to as “the central nervous system of a film shoot” — the production office. In talking to D’Amico, I got a perspective on the industry that you’re not likely to get from the more visible elements of production, and one I thought was worth sharing with my fellow film buffs.
Filmmaking is an all-consuming venture, one that requires total commitment from everyone involved in order to succeed. It’s one of the things that makes independent film production additionally difficult, as trying to put that level of focus on something that’s essentially being performed as a hobby can be intimidating, to say the least. This hasn’t stopped Chris von Hoffmann from creating several great short films over the last few years. Von Hoffmann — whose short White Trash I reviewed at the beginning of this past summer — has been hard at work finishing his latest effort, Fuel Junkie, as well as raising funds for a planned feature film. I was lucky enough to get some time with him recently to get a look into the mind of a great new talent who’s been doing a lot with only a little.