News

New Residency at Kimmel Harding Nelson

I’m pleased to announce that I have been awarded a new residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City! The residency will compromise the month of March. Stay tuned for what I have planned during that time.

"Clearance" Accepted at No Budget Film Festival

My short film “Clearance” has been accepted to the 5th Annual No Budget Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA. As it might sound, the No Budget Film Festival prides itself on its programmed films having been made for nothing. All resources must be begged, borrowed or stolen.

The Festival is 21st and 22nd. Tickets on sale now!

http://nobudgetfilmfest.com

Photos from the Midway Show

Check out these photos from Jonathan’s recent Midway Show, part of his artistic residency at Hub-Bub in Spartanburg, SC.

A new short film, made during my artistic residency at Hub-Bub in Spartanburg, SC. Starring Eli Blasko, with help by Lauren Ferebee and Amber Hansen. Enjoy!

Announcing my Artistic Residency!

Hello friends,

I’m tremendously proud to announce that, for the first half of 2014, I will be joining three other artists as part of Hub-Bub’s Artist-in-Residency program in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Finally, the space to think critically about my work, unencumbered by the daily grind of a basic income! All of my southern friends are encouraged to meet me for interdisciplinary artistic shenanigans.

You can read more about the other fellows at the link!

"Meditations: ItsOkayItsOkay" to appear at FLICKERS

Pleased to announce that the third short in the Meditations series, “Meditations: ItsOkayItsOkay” will be appearing at FLICKERS, the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

We’ll be a part of their Horror series, our first foray into genre festivals!

FEAR FROM WITHIN: EXPLORING HEARTS OF DARKNESS
Saturday, October 19, 2013
9pm

Bell Street Chapel Theatre
5 Bell Street, Providence, RI

Hope my East Coast folks can make it!

Lay in Wait

Our Kickstarter campaign has begun! We’ve been working on this project for over a year and a half. Support independent cinema, support our dedication, support the creation of art in your community!

Check out our behind-the-scenes look at our recent 35mm camera tests!

  “Meditations: Supper” will be coming to the Hollywood Film Festival next month! 
  http://hollywoodfest.com/  
 October 19th-21st. Stay tuned for more details!

“Meditations: Supper” will be coming to the Hollywood Film Festival next month!

http://hollywoodfest.com/

October 19th-21st. Stay tuned for more details!

"Art of Missing You" wins West Coast Songwriters' International Song Contest!

More good news!

I’ve just been informed by our composer on “Meditations: Supper”, that The Art of MIssing You, one of two original compositions for the film, has won the Miscellaneous Category in the 2012 West Coast Songwriters’ International Song Contest! The competition was judged by an Executive Committee comprised of noted singer/songwriters and industry leaders. Past judges and Conference guests have included hit songwriters and producers Narada Michael Walden, Steve Seskin, Andre Pessis, George Merrill and Bonnie Hayes.

Check out the press release here:

http://www.westcoastsongwriters.org/press-releases

Prometheus

You’ve likely read many reviews already of Prometheus, reviews that are far more comprehensive in taking apart its many inconsistencies/plot holes/logic gaps. After reviewing so many of them myself, I’m convinced that I have little to add, despite the film being a bountiful harvest of such things.

But if you haven’t heard them before, here are a few:

The film ends exactly where it begins. Character motivation is manic and unpredictable. Dramatic scenes are clunky and result-oriented. A cheap theme is stated and restated constantly without any investigation of what the question actually means. The narrative relies both on creationism and evolution in order to work. Flamethrowers shouldn’t be able to work on a surface of a planet that has no oxygen.

These are all, of course, frustrating for a viewer trying to follow a coherent narrative. They’re fun to make light of and take apart. So then why do I feel so utterly disturbed by what I saw? Why is my reaction so strong, so vitriolic?

There’s plenty of successful entertainment that’s mindless and careless. What makes Prometheus different from Battleship, or a Transformers movie? What makes it so different, so much more frightening than those films? And why should we consider Prometheus a warning sign about the future of movies? I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past 36 hours. Because the film scares the hell out of me, it really does, and not at all for the reasons the filmmakers intended.

Human beings are pattern-seeking creatures, and while I don’t think we’re always seeking harmony and balance, I do think part of what makes us who we are is our ability to organize, consciously or not, our thoughts and emotions. Categorize and differentiate. And this goes for mundane utilitarian ways of thinking as it does for our ways of creating and maintaining the meaning in our lives. I’m talking about emotional meaning, spiritual meaning. We create our truth, our right and wrong, through a development of instinct, through juxtaposition, difference, the inherent comparison that comes with an empathetic response.

It’s why stories can be thrilling, images haunting, emotions telling. Our ability to distinguish makes great storytellers and a great audience.

Prometheus’s narrative and thematic incoherence is a threat to film and art everywhere. Just think. It had to go through a long process and a lot of people to get to the screen.  Why didn’t anyone, during all this time, stand up and say “Hey, this doesn’t really make any sense.”? Why didn’t any of the reviewers call the filmmakers out on their bullshit? Why didn’t the audience walk out when confronted with such brazen incompetence? When tremendous problems exist in halfway serious movies, when they’re allowed to fly under the radar by not only the people who make them, but by the people who watch them, it lowers our expectations, our standards for art and culture and, ultimately, I think, meaning. The search for meaning is not easy, and although we might not ask a lot from our entertainment, Prometheus is not presenting itself as just entertainment. It’s venturing out in the cold, hard world of thematically rich and existentially engaging cinema, and it can only survive if we allow it. 

Every film sets their own internal logic from the very beginning, develops its own vocabulary, and when a film fails to follow its own rules through sheer negligence (and NOT as a deliberate choice), we have to stand up and say “YOU CAN’T FUCKING GET AWAY WITH THIS SHIT. THIS DOES NOT WORK. THIS NOT A SCENE. THIS IS NOT FILMMAKING.” If we don’t, not only will our mass entertainment be mindless, but so will our halfway interesting genre movies, our indie films, everything. A whole generation of people will grow up with this stuff, reference it, make their own homages signifying nothing.

This is not a just a message for filmmakers, but for anyone who cares about the moving image: be alert, be substantive, and be BRUTAL. We have to push back against this kind of thoughtlessness, this kind of narrative dissonance. We need to work harder to develop and maintain our perspective on the world, not just the particularities of what we believe but also how we articulate it, how we relate it to the world. We should expect more of ourselves, and more of our films.

"Meditations: Supper" at Woods Hole!

“Meditations: Supper” will appear at the 21st Annual 2012 Woods Hole Film Festival in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, held from Saturday, July 28th – Saturday, August 4, 2012. It is the oldest independent film festival on Cape Cod and the Islands.

From their website: “The Woods Hole Film Festival is an eight day showcase of independent film featuring daily screenings, workshops, panel discussions, staged readings, special events, parties, awards ceremony and more.”

For all of our supporters in New England, we’ll have more information on the exact screening time and place, and where to buy tickets.

Thanks for your support!

Cine Gear Expo Screening Tomorrow

Hello friends,

If you’re based in Los Angeles and missed our last screening of “Meditations: Supper”, you have a second chance at the Cine Gear Expo Screening series on May 31st. We’ll be in competition with four other shorts and we’d love to see you there!

It will be at The Studios at Paramount in Screening Room #5 at 7pm. You can buy tickets here: http://stores.homestead.com/GearExpo/StoreFront.bok

Hope to see you there!