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