I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a bit of a nerd. In recent years, this nerdiness has manifested itself in me picking up a new hobby: Dungeons and Dragons. Upon starting to play, I’ve wondered how I went for so long without it. It is a game that offers escapism, world building, improv, teamwork, and chance in a way that I’d never experienced before.
Soon after my first roll of the dice I began to notice something else as well: the many, many shared skillsets between industry jobs and playing D&D. Depending on the play style of your group, Dungeons and Dragons has the potential to teach / reinforce many skill sets you may find yourself needing on your next project.
The list of similarities I’ve found is quite long, so to start let’s focus on one phase of filmmaking to compare: preproduction.
I’d like to introduce everyone to Mr. Peter Paul Socha III Esq. But you can call him Pete Floyd. Pete is the kind of guy that will lovingly call you a douche nozzle on any given Sunday morning. I recently became re-acquainted with Pete, and he expressed interest in writing film reviews for CinemaSlice.com. Well, now that things have been moving, and he’s written a few review articles under his belt– I wanted to take a minute and allow Pete to introduce him self to the SlicerVerse!
This little story I’m about to share with you is a brief look into why it is I am a lover of the cinema. In no way are my opinions facts, nor do I value my opinion over anyone else’s. But I feel 30+ years of enjoying movies at home, in the theater, and even in arenas, going so far as to travel days to see a film debut in an intimate setting, that I have a slightly honed perspective. My story begins like so…
Once upon a time, I was introduced to the wonder of cinema through my parents as a form of babysitting. Plopping me down in front of the ol’ tube to keep me occupied was the first big mistake. It created a love affair that I’ve been maintaining ever since. The second mistake that my parents made was to take me to the theater every weekend. Even if it was to see the silly actioner of the day, it was still an adventure. But the third mistake was encouraging it.
My parents made sure to find ways to get me to the theater no matter what. Or at least to the local video store. (Do you even remember those?) The first film I can remember watching is “The Longest Day“. Considered one of the “great war epics”, the film centers around the invasion of Normandy during World War II. It’s scope and scale are something sorely lacking in Hollywood today. Although released in 1962, a comparable war film wasn’t made until “Saving Private Ryan“, at least in my opinion. I hated it. As a child, who wants to watch a boring historical war movie? I was into Transformers and G.I. Joes. But as I grew older, I came to appreciate the beauty of the movie.
A review for Lunch Meat is a review for us all. I’m sure my insights here will echo those of everysoul fortunate enough to have ridden the unshakable homegrown fiend of a ride that is Lunch Meat. Watching it seems to synchronize the viewer into some larger, undefined headcheese consciousness. And with a movie named after cold cuts, would you expect anything less than the completely strange?
The movie begins with a false sense of security. Entitled yuppie teens call eachother scab and fungus as they drive towards a cabin they’ll never reach. It all feels familiar. Someone likes someone and that person likes someone else. Someone forgot the lunch meat, and someone forgot the gas, so the jeep gets pushed to the nearest watering hole. The jeep finds a drink and the teens find a bite to eat. It’s evident that those aren’t any ordinary burgers and they grimace and chew. Grimace and chew. Continue reading “Schlock du Jour: Lunch Meat (1987)”→
There has never really been a moment in my life that I didn’t at least live with a cat. When I was born, my parents already had a half-persian named Yo-Yo. I moved in with my cousins and they had Simba and Dinkers. Then there was Sabrina, Koko, Maxx, London, Cosmo, Eevee, Yuna, Bowser, and finally Bowie and Raimi. I think it’s safe to say I like cats. Still with me?
Dog people tend to be more extroverted and have more friends. Cat people are more likely to be introverts. I’m generalizing, and also pulling this 100% out of my ass, but it sounds good! So I’m definitely lacking in the friends department because of my affinity for cats, and not because I invite people over to watch a movie where a man dresses up as a cat, uses a litterbox, and wears a giant, barbed, cat cock dildo while he murders women.
Art can be an extremely personal thing– the manifestation of an idea that originated inside of the deepest part of your psyche.
I’ve had the extreme pleasure of working on on film and video projects for the past 20 years, and I understand the importance of collaboration. As much as I want to write, shoot, direct, and edit (and I have on several projects)– it’s just not practical to think one person can be successful in all of these roles (Although we can all find an example to prove me wrong: Charlie Chaplin, etc). And at the end of the day, it’s just not necessary.
If you surround yourself with competent contributors who you trust to pull their own weight on a project, you have more energy to hone-in and focus on specific portions of the project. More importantly, when you lean on others to help produce a piece of art, the end result is an amalgamation of ideas and input from various perspectives.
John Sklba is an actor writer, filmmaker, vlogger, producer and writer– And has been contributing to the CinemaSlice collective before it even had a name. Sklba has produced multiple series, as well as short films; has written scripts, and produced projects for the Slice; Sklba has acted and edited short films as well! Currently, Sklba dedicates his time to researching the emerging technology of 360 video (See Sklba’s 360 series HERE) and producing film reviews (“Shorter-than-the-Trailer-Reviews).
Working tirelessly to pursue a life in the creative arts, he’s still trying to figure it all out.
His work has likely been seen by over a million people at this point, but few will admit watching it nor does he take much credit in it. Que Sera, Sera.
John Sklba ran from his life behind the lens for many years before he embraced it.
He’s currently more interested in 360° video and photography than anything else– Which is an awesome and fully immersive technology!
We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this Slicer!
CinemaSlice is proud to introduce you to our resident illustrator, Ken Leinaar!
We are lucky to work with such a talented and dedicated artists! Anytime CinemaSlice finds a need for a sketch, or custom illustration, we go straight to Ken– and Ken always delivers– shattering our expectations to create something even more interesting!
See below a few of Ken’s CinemaSlice contributions:
Ken has worked with CinemaSlice to develop Poster art, Mixtape Covers, Animated promo videos, and rumor has it he’s current collaborating to develop a top-secret animated series….
I wrote a feature length script in four months and it was terrifying …but I loved it.
I’ve put off writing my first feature for a long time. So much that I was worried I would stop growing as a writer if I didn’t do it soon. Five years of writing scripts that are fifteen pages or less gave me a lot of experience in the fundamentals, but little in way of setting up a larger story. I knew that this had to change.
So, I signed up for a class centered around writing a feature script in a single semester. It was a small class, less than ten of us after some people dropped. When the professor began the first day, he started by telling us two things:
This will be your most time-consuming class of the semester by a longshot
Don’t expect to finish this class with a perfect script that’s ready to be sold and/or shot.
In hindsight this was the best possible introduction we could have had for what was to come.
The first three weeks of class were dedicated to preparation. When you’re aiming to write 120 pages in such a short amount of time, your story structure needs to be solid. Mine wasn’t. I wasn’t used to doing weeks of prep before opening final draft. We focused on character driven stories as well which, again, I wasn’t the strongest with. Continue reading “Feature Length Script in 4 Months!”→