Sunday, March 15, 2009

well... i got a first rough cut of bryan adkins film "eye of the beholder" done a couple weeks ago. rob and i talked about it and came up with some good ideas to improve things... so now i'm going back and making those changes.

beau roberts finished putting all the sound effects into "isle of succession"... and now he's just going back through with a fine tooth comb to make sure all the levels and everything are right. after that he'll move on to color correction and visual effects... and after that... it's only music.

one of the people i got to work with while shooting "eye of the beholder" was hannah uszak. i thought she was a really talented actress... and was perfectly suited to a project i had in mind. a few years ago i thought of doing a project that was all told in video diary entries... where you are watching this girl talking about her life... over the course of it she is evidently going more and more crazy... she starts obsessing over this guy... blah blah blah... anyway... i thought it was cool... oh, and i didn't want to write a script... i wanted to person to improvise the whole thing... based on direction and discussion.... so i first asked hannah if she was interested in doing a short film with me... (she basically just knew me as the camera guy on eye of the beholder) and she said she was.... so then i explained the idea and the part to her... and she seemed even more interested... we talked about it a few more times... and then we shot it the first week in september '08. i had a bunch of other people there to help with things and to talk and work out the details of each entry, like bryan, beau, rob, felicia, hannah, hannah's friend kati, and matt schwan.... was the absolute most fun night of filmming i've ever had. hannah really really blew me away with her acting skills... she's got an incredible memory too.... we would all be discussing the story.. and what should be in the next entry... everyone was tossing out ideas.... as director i had to be the 'wrangler' and decide which ones would be put it... was a blast.... hannah would listen and participate in the discussion and then would be ready right at the end of it without going over anything.... how she kept it all straight i'm not sure... anyway... it ended up really good... i'm very happy with the final version... rob did some really cool music... and i released in in dec. '08.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

worthy of posting....

a quote from the ever brilliant Stephen Harvey...

"The internet is a land of magical dreams and hopeful wishes of children. And porn."

always remember that....
back like elvis in '68

well.... it's now been over 2 years since i posted to this... how's that for keeping on the ball? i've been doing some film stuff since then... not as much as i should have.. but still...

i helped director bryan adkins shoot his film "eye of the beholder"... which i am, sadly enough, still editing. it was my first experience working on a film that i didn't direct. was intersting, and fun. i had never done any action before, nor worked with physical effects like blood. was a fun experience. plus i got to work with some really talented actors and actresses. that was fall 2007, though we had one last scene to shoot that we didn't get to until september 2008.

while we were working on "eye of the beholder", one of the people who came to help out was Beau Roberts. beau is an editor, and stop motion animator, and had shot some films in college. after helping on bryan's film, beau got the film bug once again and decided to do a project. it ended up being a feature length fantasy action drama called "isle of succession". i helped beau on that film pretty much all of 2008. was a great experience. got to work with lots of equipment that i had never worked with before, and i got to work with lots of talented people that i would have never met otherwise. was really fantastic. we shot all summer long... and into september. i was mainly only there on sundays, due to my work schedule, but i had a great time anyway. after that i spent quite a lot of time at DRM helping beau refine some of the edits... which was another first for me... i had never helped anyone else edit something.... was very cool. and i hope i was a help to him. since then beau has been diligently working... mostly doing sound editing... and he still has a ways to go... but as someone who's seen the whole film... i can tell you it's really really good. i can't wait to see the finished film with all the sound effects / visual effects / and music in there. will be awesome.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My first film was called "9". I started coming up with the idea somewhere around the middle of 2000 or 2001. I had no aspirations of making films at that time, I just had an idea for a film. One day it sort of hit me.... "why couldn't I make a film?"... and so there it was. I decided to do it.

I told the idea to Kate Failor, who really liked it, and agreed to be in it... probably thinking I would never actually make a film. Well, I started writing a script in about february of 2002. By summer I had the script and I gave Kate a call. She was surprised... and she was also in California on vacation or something. She said she still wanted to do it.

I bought a cheap JVC MiniDV camcorder... the cheapest I could find... and I bought Vegas, made by Sonic Foundry back then, to edit it. I didn't know how to shoot a film, or edit a film... heck I hadn't even known how to write a screenplay... but I just jumped in. We started filming in August I think. It was very difficult to get everyone to agree to be in the same place at the same time. We only ended up filmming about 8 days total... but it lasted from August to January. My apartment at the time became Mark's apartment... my friend and composer Rob's townhouse became Kate's place and we scrounged around for other places. The night we shot the first scene in the film, there were a few tornadoes in the area, and we didn't know it, so we sent my friend Matt out for pizza.

The cop in the film was actually a local police detective at the time, and the cousin of the composer Rob.

The whole production cost me the price of a few pizzas, and the cost of the tapes I shot it on. Probably around $75 total.

The editing took me about a year. I had no idea what I was doing when I started... and I had to learn as I went along. It was a great learning experience... but it was far too large of a project for my first film.

There are definitely moments where I cringe in the film, but there are many moments that I like, and overall I'm happy with it as a first film.

Watch it Here

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Well, I guess I should start somewhere. I'm Eric Sparks, zero-budget director extraordinaire. To this point I've made 4 films. All of them have been short films, and all of them have been made on basically a non-existent budget. In chronological order they are ....

9 (26min)

night has broken (8min)

The Boss (7min)

Amos (4min)

At this rate my films will be commercials before long.

Unfortunately I didn't grow up knowing I wanted to direct films. I often wish I had. I was a big fan of movies, but it never entered my mind to actually make them. Only after I was out of college did the urge hit me. Before this I had come up with ideas for films, but really more for just fun than anything else. One of these times I suddenly wondered why I couldn't actually make a film. So I wrote out the idea, wrote the script, got some friends to agree to be in it, and I was off making my first film -- 9. It was far too ambitious of a project, but it was a great learning experience. Since then I've cranked out 3 more films, hopefully improving with each successive attempt.

Please feel free to watch my work thus far and let me know what you think. Also, any film buffs who just want to talk about movies, or filmmakers who want to let me know about their stuff, please contact me.

Thanks, eric