Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kon Tiki/AF Tip of the Day

When you get the chance, rent the documentary Kon Tiki. Kon-Tiki was the raft used by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl in his 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands. It won the best documentary Oscar in 1951. It is all in black & white and has Thor narrating so it is very much of a time. But when you think of what they accomplished on this trip it was amazing. They were at sea for 101 days on a raft relying on the wind and the currents too take them across the ocean. I remember seeing it as a kid, I didn't remember it being this fascinating.

There was no boat sailing a long with them, no back up team, no nothing. All they had was a hand cranked radio for contact. If the raft failed they would have all died. Talk about gutsy!

It was all shot in film, hand held, and it is steadier that half the stuff we see on video today. And these guys were filming on the ocean. The exposures are all good and the shots are mostly composed very well. I think all film students should watch this film instead of Nanook of the North (do they even watch that film anymore?). What these guys did with a wind up 16mm camera and the story they tell is pretty fascinating, even today. Totally no-tech! Check it out.

I guess I should write something about Sundance since it is going on right now and everyone is writing about it. I guess my thought is, who really gives a fuck! It is not an independent festival, and hasn't been for years. It has been over run by stars, suits and people from the studios. I am so happy that U2 and Josh Groban are appearing there, (why do I even know this?). If Paris Hilton couldn't make it this year then I guess we have to settle for these folks.

Give it up Bob. What started with all of the best intentions is now a popularity contest that isn't open to serious Independent Filmmakers anymore.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

Writing (and filmmaking) should be about passion! You write a script because you need to. You have to! You need to get this stuff out of your system! - - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)


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