Father & Daughter Film Report
Say "OKLAHOMA" and more than likely the first thing that comes to mind is the OU football team that produced such players as Billy Sims, Brian Bosworth, Adrian Peterson (and yes, to accommodate all our OU fans, the list goes on and on) not to mention all the great coaches too. Those into musicals will of course think of the very first musical ever written by the team of composer Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, resulting in the box-office smash that ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances, winning countless awards - including a special Pulitzer Prize in 1944 - and of course the Academy Award for the 1955 film adaptation:
Yes, the title of the musical has an explanation mark after it, and we suggest the same grammatical symbol be placed after this film festival:
Founded in 2001 with a one night screening of short films from Oklahoma film makers at City Arts on the State Fairgrounds by Justan and Jayson Floyd (mom provided hot dogs & snacks for the 50 or so people who showed up), deadCenter has evolved into one of the top film festivals in the world, attracting over 25,000 fans.
COME EARLY...a typical showing, and nearly every showing we attended was sold out...and for good reason, great films, interesting category blocks (Strange Encounter Shorts, Rebels & Rejects Shorts, Rated "R" for Ridiculously Awesome Shorts, Freak Fest Shorts, Game Changer Shorts, to name a few. With creative titles for just the categories, you can bet the films were creative and unique as well...!
Great Films? Wonderful films, hands down. You can't attract crowds like above if you weren't putting up some great flicks.
Atmosphere? With over 400 fabulous volunteers in the revamped downtown area of Oklahoma City, one of the best.
Workshops? Education? Of the most innovative sort. More on this later, for as you know, film education is a big deal here at the Father/Daughter Film Report.
Let's check out some of the films first, shall we?
Click on image to see the film or trailer:
After you watch the trailer, there will be some information on how you can get the film for $1.99. Do it. It always amazes us how in such a short time (in this case, 12 minutes) a film can totally captivate and move you emotionally. Deeply emotionally.
Writer/Director Benjamin Cleary's first attempt at directing can certainly be labeled an unqualified success, for one, you will see countless awards listed on their website:
Not shown on the site - yet - is that is was up for an Academy Award in 2016...
Get the film and see why...one of the best films - feature or short - we've ever seen...in any category.
Every once in a while, a film will come along that is so over the top, so campy, you sit there with a slight smile going, "Well, this might be kinda fun". Then something happens as the film develops. It gets real. It gets deep. It gets profound.
All the while remaining fun....and clever.
Click the image below or HERE to see the trailer for:
667, Neighbor of the Beast
which by the way, is a film that does just that...
We think you get the idea. Now you probably already noticed some pretty cool special effects and innovative camera shots, and let us tell you there are a lot more. The film is actually worth seeing just for those. But more importantly, it is the story and how it is told that will really get you....as the film states:
"The devil is in the details."
This ought to be required viewing in Sunday schools of any denomination....
Sing for Your Supper
Click on image below to see the trailer:
If you loved that dystopian feel you got in the film Brazil (1985), then sprinkle some weirdness you'd get from any Twilight Zone episode, then you will love this film. If you like musicals, then you will absolutely adore it - yes, it has singing in it...well, it pretty much has to, we're talking about a totalitarian world where singing is actually a form of currency.
So what happens when our protagonist gets laryngitis...?
Perhaps for most people it is something to get over in a few days, however in this society, the repercussions are more.
A LOT more....
Even if you are not into musicals, the songs and dance - which are award winningly done by composers Gavin Keese (imdb) and Sherri Chung (imdb) and choreographers Joseph Corella (imdb) and Brooke Engen (imdb) - fit perfectly into the story line as well as being entertaining...on several levels.
The world created by writer Michael Jonathan Smith (imdb) & director Mu Sun (imdb) is one so bizarre and eerie enough that you are hooked right away in the first few moments....
EDUCATION @ deadCenter
We can honestly say that in the context of going to a film festival for education, deadCenter is in the top three in the world, right up there with Sundance, and Oaxaca (which is known as the "Sundance of Latin America"). Let's repeat that:
"...deadCenter is ranked in the top three in the world."
Panels, workshops, lectures....yes, yes, yes...the great ones all that that. However deadCenter offers something no one else does:
Each year, deadCenter invites outstanding high school students from around the state to attend a free two-day seminar during the festival to watch films and attend classes led by filmmakers, college professors, and the visiting actors, writers, and film professionals in town for the festival.
We're talking classes and presentations by the likes of Academy Award-winning special effects make-up artist Matthew Mungle; Casey Twenter and Jeff Robinson, the Edmond based writers of the William H. Macy film, Rudderless (2014) Director and OCU Moving Image Arts Program Chair Fritz Kiersch; legendary Native American actor Wes Studi, known for Dances with Wolves (1990), Last of the Mohicans (1992), & Avatar (2009); Academy Award-winning producer (The Godfather Parts I, II, & II, Apocalypse Now) and OCCC artist in residence Gray Frederickson.
Move over UCLA & Southern Cal....it appears Oklahoma is looking to be the place for film education too...
And there is something more than just the place...
After the panel discussion on editing, Father was able to ask a few questions of Oscar nominated film editor Carol Littleton (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Body Heat, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Accidental Tourist, & Wyatt Earp, to name a few) on the event that got her into film and on her Career Achievement Award by the American Cinema Editors (ACE) board.
...its the people. Yes, all those Academy Award & countless award winners named above have something in common.
They are from Oklahoma.
No matter how famous they get, no matter how high they go up the ladder in Hollywood, whether they started as a film maker or farmer, they come back to help/teach/guide the students & emerging film makers in their home state.
That says a lot about the type of film people you are going to meet in Oklahoma and at deadCenter: caring, supportive...wonderful!
By the way, here's a preview of his latest work in the role of casting director AND associate producer (click on image to get to site and trailer):