Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): January 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Class of 2002


In January 2013, I unveiled a short film called Class of 2002, several months in the making, which told the story of several young lives against the backdrop of the past decade. Mostly using photos, narration, and stock footage I was able to create characters and evoke a mood. I am proud of my accomplishment, but my work is only beginning, because I see this as the first step on a long path, winding out of view in the distance.

I also hope that the film will gain viewers as time goes on, and that those viewers (i.e. you!) will share the film if they like it. Right now, that's the only "marketing campaign" I've got, your word of mouth. So please spread the word!

Today I'm offering up the film one more time, along with all the posts featuring or related to my movie. If you're not ready to watch the movie yet - don't think you have time, or aren't in the mood - I hope you'll follow a few of these links just to whet your appetite before returning.

My movie, Class of 2002:





*(keep in mind, the full edition featured above is a revised version of these chapters)

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That's it. Now it's up to you!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pictures of Memory: Images & Words from Class of 2002


A taste of my short film, "Class of 2002", in quotes and screen-caps

Often, I've heard about a movie and thought vaguely in my head, "I'll see that at one point." Only when enticed by extracts - an image, maybe a clip, sometimes just quote or even a description - have I then truly been tempted to take the plunge. This post is intended in that spirit, for lurkers or newbies who haven't watched my movie yet (although those who've seen it may appreciate the post as well). Perhaps these somewhat mysterious extracts will lure you in.

The film is embedded at the end of the post or click to watch Class of 2002 right now.


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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Obama: Recollections of a Premonition



This piece - originally titled "Obama: Premonitions of a new epoch" - was written and published four years ago, when the events it describes transpired. It is being re-presented today for obvious reasons. Do I stand by everything I wrote? Not exactly. Much has changed. More to the point, much didn't change. But this makes, among other things, a fascinating time capsule.

The essay is also re-appearing in the midst of a month devoted to my recently completed short film "Class of 2002", a fictional photo-memoir focusing on five young people in the past decade. Therefore I'm using the occasion to encourage you to watch the movie if you haven't yet, and would also note that the film actually provides an interesting complement/counterpoint to the following essay; while touching on many themes addressed below, the film's tone is far more pessimistic and melancholy. 

Like many in my generation, I've seesawed between a sense of disappointment and frustration on the one hand, and on the other a yearning for, well, hope and change, which Obama represented so vividly in 2008. Since then, there have been disappointments and frustrations aplenty, with him and others, in politics and elsewhere. Yet perhaps by reflecting on the worried but still vivid optimism of that freezing cold winter day, we can at least momentarily cultivate a feeling of positivity.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2002 in 2012: The Making of My Movie, Class of 2002


The how & why of my adventure in filmmaking, followed by the end result.
Click here to watch the film first.

Commencement: Discovering a Premise

My long journey began in, of all places, Hollywood.

Not behind the closed doors of a cushy studio office, or in a limousine winding between the (literally) star-studded sidewalks, nor even on a sweaty camaraderie-boosting soundstage but at a wings joint on Sunset Boulevard. It had been nearly two months since my quixotic arrival in Los Angeles, but this was the first time I had actually gone out in the city itself, after weeks of scrambling to find a place to live and work. Now, as the clock rolled past midnight, and April gave way to May, I was unwinding with co-workers after a stressful week.

Having finally secured a position at a fundraising organization, I set to work immediately pursuing my real goal, making movies, only to discover, like the characters in Godard's tragicomic La Chinoise, that what I thought had been a great leap was only the beginning of a long march. Additionally, the week had seen my blog disappear into thin air (later resolved, although at the moment my prospects appeared bleak) and offered reminders that, even once hired "permanently" this high-turnover job was hardly a sure thing (indeed, within a few days, I'd be the only one at this table left at the office).

Tonight, the talk quickly shifted from work to movies - street fundraisers, like all impermanent employees in this city, tend to be supplementing work, or dreams of work, in the entertainment industry. I turned to a younger co-worker, who had earlier claimed many story concepts he didn't know what to do with (in other words, the exact opposite of my problem), and asked him if he had any short film ideas he'd be willing to share.

He responded, "Yeah...I haven't written much on it, but I'd love to see a movie about a bunch of characters waiting at a train station for the afterlife. It wouldn't be about where they were going or what happened when the train arrived, but what they were thinking, and who they were."

With that, the wheels began to turn...

Monday, January 14, 2013

I've made a movie




Evening update: If you were having trouble viewing on Vimeo, please note that the embed has been changed to You Tube

Class of 2002 is subtitled "a photo-memoir" because it takes the form of a documentary fusing snapshots, home movies, found footage and voiceover to recall the tragic lives of five young people the narrator knew in high school. This is, of course, a work of fiction and through its anecdotes, illustrations, and asides I hope to tell an overarching story. The narrator focuses on his five classmates, whom we discover through his descriptions and recollections, but eventually we learn more about his own life, and how it connects to the people and places we've encountered.

You can view the short film, uninterrupted and in its entirety here:



(It's also on Vimeo; however, I had trouble viewing it on that platform, and switched to You Tube.)

I will return later with further details about the how & why of this film. For now, please watch it. I made it for you guys, as well as for me. Enjoy.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The conclusion to Class of 2002 (Part 3), directed by Joel Bocko

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This is the final chapter of my short film. Watch Part 1 and Part 2 first, or wait until Monday morning when I post the film in its entirety. I would actually recommended viewing Class of 2002 in one sitting, which better sustains its dramatic momentum, but understand some may prefer a serialized format. That's one reason I uploaded them this way first, though doing so also allowed me to set more reasonable deadlines for myself in terms of completion.

At any rate, this is not a project for which I am being paid, or getting some sort of school credit (my student days are long in the past by now), or fulfilling any sort of externally-imposed goal. It's not part of a contest, or commissioned by anyone but yours truly. Class of 2002 is strictly personal; it's for me - and more importantly, it's for all of you. So I hope you are able to watch and enjoy it. See you Monday...



The embedded video does not work on my computer, though it seems to be fine on most. If you have trouble viewing, Click here to watch Part 3.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Class of 2002 (Part 2), directed by Joel Bocko

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The second half of the film was longer than expected, so I split it into two further parts (hence the slightly abrupt ending of this segment). The conclusion, Part 3, will premiere on Sunday followed by a posting of the entire film, probably with some minor technical and aesthetic modifications, on Monday morning.

Watch Part 1.