Movies

Apr 302012
 

Hey, I’m taking part in this youth initiative that looks pretty good! More deets here.

BFI Future Film and SCI-FI-LONDON Present… Micro Budget Sci- Fi Filmmaking – May 5th, 12:45
Join us for a Q+A with Directors Jim Munroe (Ghosts with Sh*t Jobs), G B Hajim (Strange Love) and Sloan U’Ren (Dimensions) as we discuss the future of sci-fi on film, and making sci-fi movies on a micro budget. Our panel will also be giving feedback on sci-fi shorts made by young filmmakers that will be screened as part of this event.

Apr 242012
 

Fantastically, we reached our goal of $5000 in three days, and it’s still climbing. Thanks to everyone who pledged or told their friends. Thanks also to the Kickstarter folks who made us a staff pick on their blog.

Now we get to decide where we go!

If you have any interest in seeing us bring Ghosts With Shit Jobs to your town, please drop a line. We’re looking for people who’re willing to spread the word in their community and in teaming up with like-minded organizations or collectives (or mythical constructs) to make it happen.

Some interesting stats: approximately 25% of the money funded came from Kickstarter inbound links. The platform more than earned its 5% cut.

I recognized about 25% of the names of the donors, and the rest were lovely, generous, strangers to me — but probably many of them were familiar to our large cast and crew.

For those who haven’t pledged yet, you have until May 18th to get a DRM-free copy of the movie direct from us for ten bucks.

Apr 182012
 

My new lo-fi sci-fi feature, Ghosts With Shit Jobs, will be screening in a few cities in May. We’re running a one month Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to screen it in more cities, and if you support us for $10 or more you can get a special advance copy of the entire feature in June. Please check out our video and rewards!

Our world premiere is happening May 7th at 7:45pm in London, England, as a part of the excellent Sci-Fi-London festival. It’s then screening at Moviemento, Germany’s oldest cinema, in Berlin, Germany on May 10th at 10:15pm. Then we’re back home for our Toronto debut at the Royal on May 30th at 7pm (you can buy tickets here!). I’m going to be present at all the screenings, doing my best to represent for our incredible cast and crew.

If you’re not sure if it’s for you check out the trailer (over 125,000 views!) and the first 20 minutes of the movie — we’ve just posted the introduction to Serina, Human Spam.

Jan 112012
 

Check out the introduction of Anton and Toph Karrento, the Silk Gatherers, the latest clip from my lo-fi sci-fi feature Ghosts With Shit Jobs.

This is actually the segment I directed, and although I did it reluctantly (I figure my real skill sets are producing/writing), it was a joy to work with these two super-talented guys. Fantastic at improv, they totally internalized the 2040 world in a way that just floored me. And I felt they nailed the dysfunctional brothers dynamic. After we wrapped I made a text adventure game starring them that you can play here, just so I could spend some more time hanging out in my head with them. Is that weird, bro?

Oct 252011
 

 

This month we’re releasing the first 5 minutes of the new lo-fi sci-fi movie, which introduces the digital janitor. In each of the coming three months we will be introducing a new character from our mockumentary. Check it out here.

It’s also a part of the Celtx Seeds program, where we’ve additionally posted a little quick-and-dirty interview with a couple of us. We focused on a tips/how-to approach rather than, y’know, our motivations and artistic aesthetic. Not that that’s irrelevant, but since Celtx is a scriptwriting app we figured most of the people watching would be fellow filmmakers.

Feb 022010
 

I made a text adventure videogame for the jayisgames interactive fiction competition that you can play now. Because they’re on my mind — Tate’s making steady progress on the rough edit for our new lo-fi sci-fi feature — it features two characters from the upcoming Ghosts With Shit Jobs movie, the Karrento Brothers.

So if you’re up for a bit of transmedia fun, you can play the game before the movie’s released. Check out the cover art, a description of the game, and some info about the competition after the jump. Continue reading »

Dec 132009
 

click to view still by Josh HendersonWe finished shooting Ghosts With Shit Jobs, the new lo-fi sci-fi feature I wrote, just before Halloween. We’re currently looking for volunteers to help with post-production duties such as:

* soundtrack composition
* special effects and titling
* colour correction
* audio post and ADR

If you or someone you know are into finding out more, drop us a line! We unfortunately can’t pay up front, but click through to see if you’re excited enough by what we’ve shot so far to help us out anyway. Continue reading »

Aug 102009
 

We’re a few weeks away from diving into shooting Ghosts With Shit Jobs, our no-budget faux-doc about Toronto having descended into third world status, and we have a few more holes to fill. Even if you’re not a fit for any of these acting roles, crew, locations, any leads appreciated! And yeah, being a no-budget movie means that no one’s getting paid up front and it’s non-union. Experience appreciated, but often not necessary.

Click through to see the list and Sanford Kong‘s awesome concept art. Get in touch at casting@lofiscifi.com with any questions/ideas.
Continue reading »

May 182009
 

We’re in pre-production for a new lo-fi sci-fi movie called Ghosts With Shit Jobs. Involving many of the same people as our last one, Infest Wisely (imdb / official site), it’s also a no-budget, multi-director project written by me — but with approximately a million times more planning. We’re going to be starting shooting this summer.

In 2040, a generation of Torontonians have grown up after the economic collapse of the west. The movie consists of episodes of a documentary series popular in mainland China about the bad jobs some white people have — the plucky and resilient souls unlucky enough to be born into the slums of North America are both amusing and moving to the Chinese audience.

We’re doing auditions on Saturday, June 6, 12-4. If you’re in Toronto, please check out the roles we’re trying to fill — there’s a variety of ethnicities and ages. Continue reading »

Jun 162008
 

libertyskin.jpgPretty nuts: that goofy Grand Theft Auto 3 video I made five years ago for my zine has been watched by the guy who designed SimCity, the Sims and the upcoming Spore. He actually mentioned it last week in a rather brilliant-sounding videogames-as-art speech.

That video (part of my Pleasure Circuit Overload series of vids about videogames) has gotten a ridonkulous amount of attention for what it is and it seems to keeps bumbling into places it doesn’t belong. (CTheory? The New York Times? Whaa…?)

But just so my head doesn’t inflate too much — I didn’t win the Shuster award for best comics writing I was nominated for last week. My new pal Cecil Castellucci won it for her excellent P.L.A.I.N. Janes graphic novel about a clique of nerdy girls transforming their town with art-terrorism.

Undeterred, I’m diving into researching and writing a new comics project, Time Management for Anarchists: The Comic. Which is gonna be drawn by Marc Ngui, the genius behind the My Trip avatar skins (pictured below).

It seems random, but everything in my life connects if you have enough time and graph paper to map it out. Continue reading »

May 072008
 

infestdvd-thumb.jpgThe lo-fi sci-fi movie I wrote and co-produced last year is now coming out as a DVD, complete with commentary from all seven directors with DIY no-budget filmmaking tips and tricks. To launch it we’re having a screening at the Royal Cinema, one of the last grand independent theatres in the city, Thurs. May 15th at 9pm (608 College, $10). This’ll be the first time it’s screened in Toronto since the amazing advance screening we did at Innis. There’ll be a q & a with the directors afterwards and as a bonus we’re also showing the premiere of “Luggage”, Craig Macnaughton’s new short. Craig did a great job with the design of the DVD and revamped the Infest Wisely trailer with all the great quotes we got from the media. Check out the official press release and the cover art below. Continue reading »

Dec 182007
 

N plus, now with headband!I recently produced a promotional video for some friends of mine who have a game called N+ about to be released. Based on their free Flash game N that they developed independently in 2004, it’s coming out soon on Xbox Live Arcade as well as the PSP and Nintendo DS. It’s a great game, and it was a good opportunity to work with Craig Macnaughton (my co-producer for Infest Wisely) again — he did an amazing job pulling together what was a complex shoot with effects and stunts. Click through to check out the 3 minute vid.
Continue reading »

Sep 172007
 

mtrlinfest-thumb1.jpgThe Vancouver International Digital Festival, with the intriguing catchline of “reminiscing about the future,” is hosting the Canadian premiere of Infest Wisely at Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour, 4pm, $10) on Sunday, September 23rd. I’ll be presenting it and also participating in a Vidfest panel on Monday called “The Wisdom of Crowds: Web 2.0 Democracy or Mob Mentality?” that should be pretty spirited: I already know I completely disagree with one of the panelists.

I’ve also just confirmed that there’ll be a free sneak preview screening as well in Montreal on Friday, Sept 21 8-11pm in Dare-Dare, a gallery situated in a park with no name. Myself and Craig will be there to present it and there’ll also be vids by two other excellent community moviemaking projects, The Assembly and VideoHymn. Click through to see Rickie’s sweet bilingual trippple films flyer. Update: Warren Frey did a videoblog interview of me in Vancouver.

Continue reading »

Jul 052007
 

Marc Ngui’s fake public service announcementOne of the things I thought would be easy — as I know a fair amount of musicians — was getting Infest Wisely scored. What I discovered was that people who write and perform songs aren’t necessarily able or inclined to compose music to order. I’ve seen this before with illustrators that aren’t good designers, even though both are visually-based skills. (Though Marc Ngui, whose hilariously dead-on fake ad was used in this week’s ep, can do both. He also did this anti-milking public service announcement for ep 2 that ended up being cut.)
Continue reading »

Jun 272007
 

Oppenhiemer the catGeneral Chaos, the penultimate episode of Infest Wisely, was posted yesterday. A lot of people have cited the talking cat scene in it as their favourite part — which wasn’t hugely surprising, I mean, talking cats are quantifiably awesome. What did surprise me was that Shannon wrote me that her six year old son Willy now suspects their cats Boo and Lucy of talking to each other in British accents when they’re not home. I’ve never written anything that both six and sixty year olds can enjoy on some level, so it kind of blew my mind.

Jun 202007
 

Sean Lerner as Digger depicted by posterchildWe posted the fifth episode of Infest Wisely, Sublime Algorithm, yesterday. (It’s the one I directed.) I liked the idea of Digger becoming legendary and people spraypainting his image over the city, and after I saw posterchild’s stencil of Alan Turing I knew I wanted him to make it. This led me to the one ethical conundrum of the whole shoot — using public or quasi-public spaces for shooting didn’t bother me at all, but I didn’t want to use real spraypaint to put up the stencil. If the content of the stencil was somehow political, I would have felt fine about it, but I felt that it wasn’t really meaningful outside of the movie context.

So I looked for another way to get it up there. I thought I was onto something with fake hair colour (and Exile stayed open late so I could buy a few cans) but it was way too watery and completely unusable. Then in a last hour save, Susan suggested the fake snow in a can we had from another project. It worked perfectly.
Continue reading »

Jun 122007
 

Troy Jackson as KellyOne of the funnest moments for me on the Infest Wisely movie was getting to see a song I wrote the lyrics for get performed on stage. It was nothing like I imagined it — it was so much better. At the time I was writing the script I had a half-assed idea my pal Maggie and The Republic of Safety might do it. Maggie was on tour, however, but Chris and Anthony stepped up to the challenge: they put together a band from scratch, got them to practise the music Chris’d composed, got them glam-punk wardrobe and tattoos, and then booked the Cameron back room for us to rock out in!

It’s hard to communicate how surreal and fucking awesome it was to see this stranger belting out the words I’d written just two months before:

Get out of our bodies/ you sneaky parasite / if you think we’re your new home/ you’re in for a fight!
Our leaders and rulers our rights have traded/ but I’m fuckin human and I won’t be upgraded!

Download the mp3 here.

Just try not to sing along! (Though if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s better to see it in context in episode four of Infest Wisely, “Spawning Rebellion“.)

Jun 052007
 

Don’t eat it, Christina Jol!It’d be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? Nanotech is going to be able to do all that and more according to the latest ep of Infest Wisely, the lo-fi sci-fi movie I wrote. Early Adopter, directed by my co-producer Craig Macnaughton, follows the story of the voice actress after she ingests a beta version of the new technology. Is it just the stress of her disintegrating relationship or is the EyeSee application a little… buggy?

For the screening I’d offered “nanite-enhanced treats” for attendees, planning something like popcorn with suspicious looking powder, but Susan immediately suggested gum instead — Christina installs EyeSee with a stick of chewing gum. At the time of the shooting we didn’t have any packaging for it but Craig whipped some up and then I hand-rolled 250 of them a few hours before the screening. When people got them at the door they were advised to wait until after the movie to eat them. Click through to see the hilarious package. Continue reading »