So Harvey Weinstein is in the firing line for multiple claims of sexual harassment by many people. By women who have experienced encroaching encounters with the film producer, and many men who claim to have witnessed the same.
In this month’s Movie Trailer Watch, I point out the few arrivals that make me stop, rewatch and think, “WTF?” Those WTF trailers that don’t really show exactly what’s going on or understand their meaning. Alternatively, they have seemingly crazy summaries that make you wonder, “WTF?”
A Wrinkle in Time
Chris Pine and Oprah Winfrey star in a film about time travel. It’s a time travel show featuring wonderful sets, gorgeous graphics and visuals that will spin you out of control. I think that pretty much covers it, unless you can tell me what the plot is, then I’ll include it here.
Liam Neeson sits in a chair and is suddenly given an offer he CAN refuse, but doesn’t. Why though? I mean why the f***?
A Norwegian sci-fi fest about a girl with supernatural ability falling in love with another girl and being tested. Nicely shot, everyone’s thin and the message of diversity against your own mind plays quite well. But again, WTF?
Better Watch Out
America has its share of horrors, thrillers and comedy, but throw all three into a mix and you get a WTF trailer that gives you an unexpected surprise. Enjoy it.
This movie is bonkers, pure bonkers and the title gives nothing of it away. The central plot is about money and jealousy, love and jealousy, sex and jealousy. And Afros, so many Afros. It looks too crazy to be real but here it is, someone paid money for it and it’s on.
Christian Bale puts on his best Batman voice with a bulldog moustache, facing off against other people that don’t like him out in the Wild West. Rosamund Pike supports with a solid American accent, but you have to ask where it came from. I mean, what is this movie about???
Every podcast with most veterans will include a soundbite that goes something along the lines of “I love playing the villain.”
The antagonist is the best thing about a movie, regardless of the protagonist chosen as the film’s blockbuster drawcard. From Gary Oldman in Dracula, to Darth Vader in Star Wars.
And in comedy, it’s no different. Here’s my Top Five Classic Comedy Villains you have to see.
Alan Rickman in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”
While Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman “chewed the furniture”, Alan Rickman gorged upon his lines with relish…and mustard.
It had tremendously help from Kevin Kostner’s wooden Robin Hood to make Rickman’s antics and larky comments that much richer.
Gary Oldman in “The Fifth Element”
In stand-up a joke can be told the same way throughout, yet the performance will constantly change the nuances of the punchlines. And one could’ve delivered a better “Jean-Baptist Emannuel Zorg” quite like theatre great Gary Oldman.
This multi-layered Brit lavishes his character with a Southern drawl and neurotic energy that can never be copied, imitated or perfected.
Thomas F Wilson in “Back to the Future”
Range is a gift and a talent for any actor, and Thomas F Wilson’s many turns as “Biff Tannen” in Back to the Future.
Consider this: he played a rambunctious teenager twice, a self-made business bully and a subservient lacky, a conniving old man AND a villainous, dirty cowboy. Across three movies. I’m still trying to think of a more widely known role any other actor has yet achieved.
Oh and coolest fact I’ve found about a movie yet, Back to the Future is banned in China as they consider time travel “disrespects history.” This means that, potentially, half of the world has never seen Back to the Future.
Rick Moranis in “Spaceballs”
For all the choices above, this list needs a campy, straight-shooting actor who knows when to have fun, and Rick Moranis shone in Mel Brook’s Lucas-blessed parody “Space Balls”.
He provided everything a comedic director would ask for, “Just go out there and be funny.” and Moranis definitely did.
G.W. Bailey in “Police Academy”
While R Lee Eremy as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket” epitomised true military authority most teenagers despised, G.W. Bailey’s turn as the underrated leader Lieutenant Harris in “Police Academy” galvanised the comedic version.
Campy and Napoleonic, the character was the butt of the group’s jokes and the source of recalcitrance for many a youth then and today.
And there you have it. Hope this cheered up your day from the long weekend.
So the protests went well…
And everyone showed up to voice their opinion and let everyone understand why we were doing it. You can see the coverage of all the protests here.
Meanwhile, I did a stand-up comedy event where I voiced my opinion on the subject. Check it out.
I starting writing my own comedy shortfilm as a way to create something I thought I never could. I realised too that, in order for them to be made, I would have to make them.
So, I may have learnt a couple of things along the way that most would never know, some know only too well and others forget.
1. Write your comedy shortfilm properly…then ask a friend if it’s funny
It all starts with the story. I have no specific way of writing anything well, as I haven’t as yet. Everything I write down is an experience in line with an experiment.
The format is key too. Learn to write in a screenplay format, there’s tons of tutorials out there, like this one for my last sketch, the Driving Test. It helps because everyone knows the format.
Don’t wait. I could easily wait until a buddy of mine would show up at my pad, beers in hand and ready to dish out some cool anecdote I’ll be inspired to write down, but it’s not so easy for those that don’t come around to mine.
Don’t look to anybody else for inspiration, just write your story. You can, and should however, look to someone else for guidance after writing it. Get their take, receive their input gladly and follow along with whatever advice they give.
Most times, they’ll be right.
2. Get a better camera than what you’ve got, cos yours is crap
However, you can tell the quality is lacking, with depth of field and quality of view. So, get a better camera.
If you’re lucky, get a friend who knows cameras. Maybe he is a cameraman. I know one, he’s cool and wants to do more sketches. I’ll keep at it.
3. Keep it simple, don’t try to redo Police Academy
The first time was with me a Joe, the next with Nathan and a few more. The following was a huge undertaking and it didn’t pan out as well as I would’ve liked.
Focus on the simpler tasks first. Write all your stories, but then focus on the ones you can practically pull off on a shoestring budget with minimal fuss.
It takes a lot to coordinate extras, props, main leads and continuity. Keep it between friends. The bigger stories can be created later when more people follow and believe in you.
4. No beer on set, your grip will let go
I learnt that from my last big production. Don’t bring alcohol to the set as people will start fooling around and make unnecessary noise while director and cinematographer speak.
Keep to simple snacks, drinks and sandwiches. But no alcohol, trust me. It will spare you time.
5. Learn to edit yourself, cos no one else will
That’s my biggest joy of the whole process, the editing phase. I love taking what Iv’e written down, then organising all the clips into one big mess.
And be prepared, this is the most time-consuming part. You will get frustrated with the files you have to sort, the audio you have to bring together and syncing both all at the same time.
And it’s learning the programs. Adobe Premiere is the industry standard, while Final Cut Pro is the layman’s lazy “professional” movie editor. Go for the latter, it’ll save you time.
As for the art of editing, I can’t teach you that. Watch other things and then mimic them. Reproduce the editing in some of the best films you’ve seen and avoid the worst ones. This will take some research.
6. Take care of the special effects and they’ll take care of you
I mean more about the titles and the lighting, as these affect the mood and how audiences perceive your shortfilm. I’m busy reediting my latest short because the lighting is all wrong on so many places and it bothers me.
Where you can, learn about filters and effects. In one comedy shortfilm I filmed long ago, I’m learning Adobe After Effects to turn it into an old 80’s movie complete with broken film (to hide that we never shot the connecting scenes). It’s excruciating, but in the end worth it.
And invest in taking time to make a cool introduction. There’s plenty of title templates to choose one, so use one that’s right for you.
7. Listen to your sound and make sure they can hear the punchline.
Need I say more? Don’t pass up the opportunity to better your sound. If you feel you can’t hear that one thing, fix it and fake it if you have to.
8. Release it and then don’t expect anything
Marketing your comedy shortfilm is the second hardest thing, as nobody would’ve heard nor care about its premise. And it won’t get many likes.
Mine hasn’t. I know. But I gotta keep trying, as I love the process of taking a story to film. Eventually, someone’s going to like it.
Check out our latest comedy movie, “The Biltong Shop”
THE BILTONG SHOP (2017) – A Comedy Movie
A lonely shop attendant overwhelms his latest customer with emotion and dried meat.
Nelson de Gouveia, Werner Bestbier, Joe Emilio
Idea and Camera by Nathan Brooks
Written, Edited and Directed by Nelson de Gouveia
Produced by To The Sky Productions, 2017
Casey Affleck has been slammed in the media and social commentary for winning an Oscar award, since he’s been accused of alleged sexually harassment by two employees.
He was accused of sexual harassment. Allegedly. Not proven or convicted.
In this post my girlfriend sent me by Sady Doyle, this voice of reason hosted by feminist-brandishing magazine Elle condones that “if the allegations are true, more and more women will be forced to work with Affleck despite the danger he poses to their physical safety and mental health“.
So she pre-empts with confirming that nobody has proven the allegations, but leads further with warning women off him regardless.
That is the male equivalent of slut-shaming and therefore sexist. Well done.
For those who argue that it isn’t the same thing…you’re right, men don’t suffer from slut-shaming, we’re applauded for being promiscuous. But women hardly suffer from being labelled “sexual harassers” either, and it happens to men too.
While women are being automatically derided as victims, men are automatically labelled as predators. Society says so, surely it must be true?
I’ve been accused of emotional abuse, a form of sexual harassment, by an ex-girlfriend recently. She posted on our comedian channels and on her own Facebook page that I was narcissistic, controlling and a sociopath.
I know I’m not any of those things, and I even showed these to my loving partner prior to the initial birth of our relationship. So far, things are completely strong between us and she finds me nothing but understanding and caring.
And, of course, nothing come of it since I’m not a celebrity winning awards or being celebrated for my first ever major accomplishment. No profit from it, I’m afraid, sorry.
Still, if I was, this would cloud it and show up to ruin the party. Even if it did reach anywhere, it would be with the comedy community, the people who provide me with the opportunities to perform as a comedian talking crap on stage about the “last 10% of my own fucks to give” or “my girlfriend starting playing my Xbox.”
So far though, it hasn’t. Everyone knew her and had their own opinion, and most of it wasn’t favourable. None of it came from me as I enjoyed her company and was sad she ended our relationship.
But to then, 2 years later, begin a slur-ranting phase about me without proof or provocation, it amounts to slander.
With Affleck’s case, it’s about two women that accuse him of making their working lives hell, and he eventually settled out of court. Mind you, Sady does bring up many proven examples (Mel Gibson, Roman Polanski, where’s Chris Brown), but argues his conviction without the facts being proven.
Here’s where I’d write Sady’s line a little more accurately.
If the allegations were proven to be true, Casey Affleck should pay restitution financially, therapy and rehabilitation, and even jailtime. He should also return his award as it was gained on the backs of those that suffered under him.
If the allegations were proven to be false however, we should forgive him and apologise to him for slandering his name after having worked so hard to achieve one of Hollywood’s highest awards.
Meanwhile, we will never know until the next time it MAY happen.
This isn’t a case to defend Casey against the naysayers that believe he did it (and oh boy, they do), because I have no idea. No one has come forth with proof showing Casey saying those words or being a dickhead.
He probably is a dickhead. Most people are.
But until we prove his sexual harassment, we have to defend his rights to freedom of expression as much as we should to every woman, every child and every man that walks amongst us. just as much as we expect everyone else to do the same for us.
As for my case, I know what emotional abuse is though, I suffered it recently and glad I came out of it, but to slander in public with no proof means nothing, especially from me.
No, I’m calling the pitchfork-wielding villagers out for getting their facts straight and promoting hysteria. You’re not fake news, you’re being Fox News. Stop it.
Check out our latest little comedy shortfilm:
TITLE: Driving Test
TAGLINE: A Driving Instructor struggles to teach a student the basics.
CAST: Joe Emilio, Nelson de Gouveia, Cara Ruthernberg