Thursday, February 24, 2011

3 Things You Should Always Do When Shooting With Props

Hi from Lawrence and Hagan!

Props are an essential part of every film, from Indiana Jones' Hat and Whip to Batman's Batmobile, almost every filmmaker we know has used them for their productions. We recently shot a short presenting Pepsi Film's Tribeca short film competition:

We built three freestanding doors with our bare hands, here's what we learned from the experience:

1. Never build three freestanding doors with your bare hands. Especially in New York City. Especially in the tiny living room of your tiny Manhattan apartment. Especially with your bare hands. I do have to say we were successful, but for large and complicated props, getting a props master who can find a set designer or carpenter to do this will save you the calloused hands and hearts that come with turning your home into a woodwork shop.

2. Planning is key. We've said this before and we'll say it again. Plan extensively. Plan ahead. Plan for the worst. We thought we were so skilled to have built three freestanding doors in a 20 sq. ft. space with primitive neanderthal tools. But on the day of the shoot, with only a couple hours to get our props on location, we realized one crucial mistake: the doors wouldn't fit through our apartment door. How ironic. In the chaos that ensued, we unbuilt all of our doors, carried them piece by piece to our equipment truck, and rebuilt all the doors in the middle of the city streets in sub-zero temperatures. I still wake up in the middle of the night with sweat on my brow and tears on my pillow wishing we had planned for that mistake.

3. Know when to hire grips. After successfully rebuilding our giant doors, we realized we had to hand carry them half a mile to our shoot location because our truck wasn't allowed in. The crew consisted of myself, Hagan, our producer Eddie, and our DP. We had three giant doors, a crane, six lights, c-stands, sandbags, tripods, cameras, lens cases, steadicam cases, electrical generators, and a very convenient crate full of 50 pound weights. You do the math. By the time we trudged through the snow and slush and shame and all the equipment was on location, we were weak and broken men, too physically frail to begin our 8 hour shoot. Should have hired grips for this.

In the end though, I thought we really pulled it off! The shoot went smoothly and we are now using those doors as firewood to last us through the rest of winter. Hopefully that cheerful advice will help you guys avoid similar mistakes while shooting your entry for the Tribeca short film competition!

Anybody have similar stories?

Your friendly neighborhood LawHag

TriBeCa & Pepsi Films

After an amazing first contest, all eyes are on TriBeCa and we can't wait to see what the 28th March closing date will bring.

There's plenty of time to enter and our ambassadors, Lawrence Chen and Hagan Wong, affectionately known as LawHag have created this amazing piece about the magical place that is the Triangle Below Canal to inspire your creative genius.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The one film that won it all.

Hello fellow filmmakers,

We have just returned from a fantastic trip to Barcelona, we met an amazing group of filmmakers and saw some even more amazing work. You'll get a sneak peak into the whole event in a couple days but as of now, we want to congratulate the Pepsi Films Barcelona Grand Prize winners Lloyd Choi and Simon Yang! We met Lloyd and Simon several months ago as winners at the 2010 MOFILM Tribeca competition, and now they've returned and snagged a $20,000 production deal with Pepsi Spain! Their entry, Creative Control in the Hit Delete category, was praised by the entire judging panel (including ourselves) for its storytelling, production quality, and of course creative idea. Here it is in all its glory:

But enough from us, what do you REALLY think of it? Give us your honest opinion!

Word on the street is that Lloyd and Simon are submitting to the Tribeca competition as well, who thinks they can beat them there?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pepsi Film Barcelona Overall Winner!

The first Pepsi Films contest is now all over and the first overall winner has been selected. In fact it's two winners, Lloyd Choi and Simon Yang who are the creative geniuses behind Creative Control.

The jury had a hard time choosing - each of the three films had something different to offer, but they felt that Lloyd and Simon's piece was an excellent short that really answered the brief of Hit Delete.

Do you agree with our jury?

Lloyd and Simon will now work with Pepsi Spain on a special commission, we'll keep you updated on how it's going.

In the meantime don't forget that TriBeCa Pepsi Films is open!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lawrence and Hagan's Top 3 Films By Category

Hi from Lawrence and Hagan:

First off, congratulations to Jimmy Rov & Manuel Mira, Lloyd Choi and Kevin Harvey on taking first place in the PepsiFilms Barcelona Competition! Really excited to be seeing you all soon!

Now that the judging period has come to an end we thought it would be interesting to share our top three for each category in no particular order (keep in mind these are NOT the official 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place results, just our personal opinions):

Wake Up

We thought this film had amazing thought provoking narrative and it really moved us to re-watch the film over and over again. The film also had a cinematic and high budget feel to it.

We were really excited to see such a mesmerizing animated film in this competition because it was so different than all the other entries. We loved that the filmmakers took a risk and ran with it.

You are Young, Wake Up
A great story always generates a strong emotional response and that’s exactly what this film did. The story was both insightful and uplifting.

Hit Delete

Creative Control
Hilarious. We thought it was a great interpretation of the theme and it was fun to watch with a brilliant twist at the end.

Standard Deviation
Fluid dialogue and out of the box filmmaking. This had a strong nostalgic mood and a different interpretation of the brief, which we loved.

Clean Up
Though the ending was slightly predictable it still managed to entertain us with good acting and humorous situations. A good fun film.

Pop Fizz Aaah

For the Future
Great visual environment, very unexpected, funny, great characters, and utilizes Pepsi can in a non-commercial way, which we thought was really important.

Here’s a film that really just ran wild with their idea and the result was a film with an amazing montage, and visually stimulating. It was very experimental, but and that’s why we loved it.

Can't get enough pop
Lots of interesting camera angles and camera work, great sound design, and a fun playful mood to round it off.

That’s all from us, let us know what you think! What were your favorite films of PepsiFilms Barcelona? 

Share it with us on our Great Twitter Debate! Tune in to Twitter @LawHag Thursday Feb 10th at 7pm EST. We want to hear from you.

Till then everyone!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pepsi Film Barcelona Winners!

We are delighted that we can finally announce the first place winners for each of the themes for the first ever Pepsi Films Contest.  There were three themes and we received hundreds of entries, so picking took a while.

Each of the winners has been invited to join Pepsi in Barcelona where they will attend the Pepsi Films & MOFILM awards ceremony, hosted by film critic and TV presenter, Jonathan Ross, and we will find out who the overall prize winner is.

So who are the contenders?

Winner for Hit Delete is Lloyd Choi with Creative Control.

Pop-Fizz-Ahhhh first place was taken by Kevin Harvey with Ants.

Wake up with Pepsi Revolution by Jimmy Rov and Manuel Mira.

Which of these do you think should walk off with the overall prize and the opportunity to work with Pepsi Spain to create a film especially for them with a $20,000 production budget?

Let us know!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Who is the running for Pepsi Films Barcelona?

It's been a long, long time since the 1st November 2010 when Pepsi Films was launched. Since then thousands of briefs have been download, hundreds of films have been uploaded, hours and hours have been spent watching, judging and discussing.

Now, we're finally ready to reveal which videos are in the running for the top slots at Barcelona - you can check them all out from here, or visit our facebook page and tell us which are your favourites.

The winners will be announced soon!

Wake up

Jolt Australia
Treasure map Australia
Cruisin Spain
Young Greece
Pyjamas Bulgaria
Award US

Muse USA
Ants USA
Inspire USA
Delete it

Clean up Portugal
Dating USA
Problema Spain
Log out Indonesia