Friday, December 15, 2017

Fancy Cat Live Part 1 of 2

Check out the band Fancy Cat as they purrrrform live from Port Jefferson.
Pat 1 of 2

Friday, December 8, 2017

Bohemian Live Part 2 of 2

Check out the band Bohemian as they perform live from Port Jefferson.

Please note you'll notice they sounded great with the first song in Part 1, but as the little blonde man fiddled with the soundboard they began to sound worse and worse.  Please do not to count that against them.  They are very talented.

Its unclear why the small hipster man with the weak mustache and early 1900s style haircut allowed the tiny man to keep screwing up the sound for the band.  Every time he tries to tweak it the sound just gets worse.  Either he didn't know what he was doing or it was deliberate.  Either way if you're in a band you better make certain you have your own guy running the soundboard.

Another major issue is the concept of vocals, all live bands seem to spend all their time focusing on the guitar sounding right (which is super important), but they forget the vocals need to be heard.  Every single indie band drowns out the singer with their instruments.  The singer needs to be heard above all else (unless he can't sing, then please, hide him behind the instruments).


It always helps to set a vocal level that gives you five or six decibels of headroom before feedback, then balance the rest of the band to the vocals. If you try to do it the other way, the vocals get totally lost or sound like shit.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bohemian Live Part 1 of 2

Check out the band Bohemian as they perform live from Port Jefferson.

Please note you'll notice they sound great with the first song, but as the little blonde man keeps fiddling with the soundboard they start to sound worse and worse.  Please try not to count that against them.

Its unclear why the small hipster man with the weak mustache and early 1900s style haircut allowed the tiny man to keep screwing up the sound for the band.  Every time he tries to tweak it the sound just gets worse.  Either he didn't know what he was doing or it was deliberate.  Either way if you're in a band you better make certain you have your own guy running the soundboard.

Another major issue is the concept of vocals, all live bands seem to spend all their time focusing on the guitar sounding right (which is important), but they forget the vocals need to be heard.  Every single indie band drowns out the singer with their instruments.  The singer needs to be heard above all else (unless he can't sing, then please, hide him behind the instruments).


It always helps to set a vocal level that gives you five or six decibels of headroom before feedback, then balance the rest of the band to the vocals. If you try to do it the other way, the vocals get totally lost or sound like shit.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Fearless Live Part 4 of 4

Check out the band The Fearless as they perform their last show ever live from Port Jefferson.

The video ends rather abruptly due to technical issues.  The camera battery died and the spare was battery was already exhausted from taping the prior acts.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Radius – A Cool Premise


Story
Radius comes from the minds of the writing/directing team Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard.  It tells the story about a man named Liam (Diego Klattenhoff) who wakes from a car crash with amnesia. As he travels through what appears to be the US Midwest it becomes apparent anyone who comes within a 50-foot radius of him dies instantly.  He eventually comes across a woman named Jane (Charlotte Sullivan) who can assist him with his affliction.  The film’s strength is its masterful execution of the tense moments where Liam’s powers will cause devastation despite his attempts to prevent it.  The early and slow pacing of the film surely lays the groundwork for pay offs that are worth waiting for later on in the narrative. It culminates with a brilliant and I would say surprising twist in the last act between our “heroes” Liam and Jane.  The source of Liam’s abilities is a rather hackneyed trope.  This trope can be forgiven because of the strength of the tense moments and story concept.  Radius makes for an enjoyable film that keeps the viewer interested from beginning to end.

Cinematography


The relatively static camera by cinematographer Simon Villeneuve is very by the numbers and somewhat fails to do the story justice.  It’s as if he’s trying to portray a blank canvas as a busy mural.  The moments where he takes the camera off the tripod are rare but enjoyable.  The most crucial part of these moments are how subtle they are, which is a testament to any good cinematographer.  He also lights the set fairly well.  One might suspect budget and time constraints prevented it from being a truly visual work of art.  It’s a problem even the greatest filmmakers deal with.

Editing


The blue tint for the outdoor scenes could burn the retinas but that isn’t a failing of the cinematographer.  The responsibility for color correction choice falls to the editor Steeve Léonard.  Color correction is an issue all films have to deal with now due to the affordability of DSLRs.  The switch in lenses while shooting different takes within the same scene will cause a color to change and make film scenes visually inconsistent.  Therefore the film editor has to color correct scenes to match.  Given the beautiful landscape of where they filmed, allowing more natural color to shine through would have been preferred.  This blue tint did not hurt the story though.  His cuts were solid, some of his actor’s takes are questionable (more on that later).  As stated previously the way tension builds is done remarkably well.  That’s a testament to solid writing, directing and good editing.  The outdoor sound mixing could have been better but it’s a very minor distraction.  

Acting


Brett Donahue’s portrayal as Sam is the breakout performance in this film.  He’s consistent and believable in his presentation.  I’d love to see more of his work in the future. 

The chemistry between Diego Klattenhoff and Charlotte Sullivan could have used some fine-tuning.  At certain moments it felt like the actors weren’t performing in sync with one another, as if they filmed their scenes on entirely different days.

Klattenhoff & Sullivan on their own certainly have talent and even within the film prove at moments they can hit their acting cues in believable ways.  Their inconsistent performances as a couple, is really the responsibility of the film directors to get right. Labrèche & Léonard definitely tell a cohesive visual story that works well without dialogue, future projects should focus more on actor performances. 


Overall the film is well worth watching and really enjoyable.  It also has a rewatchablilty factor by making the viewer want to go back and see how all the little snippets connect to the awesome twist at the end. 

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
Owner/President
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Casting All Roles for Feature Film - DRAMA



ATTENTION ACTORS: “I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®, the creators of “Dumped” and “The Cosplayer,” are holding auditions for an upcoming drama slated for Spring 2018.

Audition/Filming Details
Auditions will be held in Franklin Square/Bellerose. 

Filming locations set in Queens and Nassau Counties.

Shooting Schedule:
Spring/Summer
Select Weeknights 8-10pm. Weekends, no more than 6 hours.

Film Details:
The Notebook meets American Graffiti.  Music-driven thinkpiece on life, love and the human experience.

The completed project will be submitted to the Sundance Film Festival, as well as select international/regional film festivals.

This is a NO-PAY GIG.  All actors will receive an IMDB credit as well as references.

Available Roles:
BRIAN – Lead, Male 23. Grad Student in Philosophy. Cocky, sensitive, high IQ, too smart for his own good, sarcastic.

MICHELLE – Lead, Female 24. High School Guidance Counselor. Confident, caring, stubborn, sarcastic.

ANDREW – Supporting, Male 22-24. Brian’s best friend. Mechanic.  Practical, loyal, lovario, street smart, and book smart.

JOHNNY – Supporting, Male 30. Brian’s mean older brother.  Loud, arrogant, sexist, genuinely cares about his brother.

TOMMY – Supporting, Male 28-30. Michelle’s ex-fiancé. Jobless, drug addict, abusive, surfer look (good looking, slim physique), horrible childhood

JACK – Supporting, Male 55-60. Brian and Johnny's father.  Divorced, trying to live the eternal life of a 20 year old

STACY - Supporting, Female 24. Michelle’s Best Friend, Andrew’s Girlfriend. In control, keeps her feelings bottled up.

KELLY - Female 23. Brian’s girlfriend. (One Scene - laying groundwork for spin-off. Would be leading role)

LUCY - Female 29. Johnny’s girlfriend. The friend that always ruins the joke.

MAGGIE – Female 23. Love interest for Brian.  Asian ancestry preferred.

DANA – Female 22. Maggie's Best Friend.

Please email: 
iliketoplaywithtoysproductions@yahoo.com with dates/times you’re available to audition.
Place character(s) you're interested in in Subject line.

Include headshot and past credits.