Friday, February 8, 2013
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
What a great blessing, having the opportunity to work and collaborate with an exceptional person like Neil Lisk. When ever he was on board each step of production benefited from his talent, professionalism, and heart.
Before a shooting schedule was even made Neil would have notes and ideas about tone, style, and ways to translate deeper meanings and themes cinematically. Once the locations were locked he would take pictures of each and every one, creating a detailed shot list. He’d then present a list of options, inclusive of what ‘glory’ shots could actually be afforded, always finding ways of transforming very little resources into what would appear to be much bigger productions on screen, even to the point of spending his own money on renting gear he thought would ad value to what the audience would see.
During production Neil dominated, first to arrive, last to leave, doing what ever it took, no matter how trivial, to keep things going. With very little time and even less money Neil was the ‘go to’ guy for making decisions when there was no time to hash things out. He could see the entire scope of a scene in his head, instinctively knowing how to get the coverage needed while never having an issue with the line. Very active in blocking, Neil would carefully watch actors run through their actions, figuring out all the necessary set ups. When time was at an absolute minimum, Neil would come up with a way of shooting entire scenes in just a master, while still keeping it visually interesting. When framing, Neil would spend as much time as necessary looking into the monitor with the production designer, moving props around until the picture looked absolutely perfect. Camera movement was another thing Neil was a stickler for, but only as it served the story. Every push, pull, or dolly move had to actually mean something.
Neil’s technological knowledge was without question, as was his ability to do multiple jobs at once. He brought a certain respect to the set, never making a final decision until it was sanctioned by the director, keeping criticisms and opinions only for those who needed to hear them. He was the first to admit he was wrong, never complained or had an ‘attitude’, even when doing something he didn’t totally agree with. Actors loved how Neil would always give them encouragement and space. His energy and professionalism being contagious.
Once principal photography was wrapped Neil would continue working, sitting through rough cuts, providing notes and advice during the entire editing process. Always a cheerleader during horrible early string outs, Neil was usually the one who’d find a solution for scenes that didn’t quite play out like they were on the page. “There’s a great little movie in here mate, don’t give up”. He’d sit through every color timing session, offering insight as well as an incredible eye. We’d think we have picture lock and then... eight more pages of notes from Neil Lisk.
Neil wasn’t perfect, he could be too logical, by the book, and occasionally drive people crazy with his perfectionism. But over all, Neil Lisk's about as close to perfect as a person could be.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Dances With Films, now in its 14th year, renowned as one of the last truly independent film festivals, champions the unflinching spirit at the very core of the independent film scene. While the vast majority of film fests rely heavily on celebrity, DWF relies on the innovation, talent, creativity and sweat equity that has always revolutionized the entertainment industry. And that reliance continues to prove successful with alumni moving on to write and direct celebrity-studded vehicles, star in blockbuster movies and network series, produce multi-million dollar films and create hit TV shows, even OSCAR® nominees... In a world of formulaic, homogenized film festivals Dances With Films continues to break the rules and bring you tomorrow’s stars today.
This was a really fun festival where someone from NoA participated at least one of the daily events every day. We had a lot of fun watching the movies, attending the panels, going to brunches, parties, but mostly meeting all the great people involved!!
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Santa Cruz is a pretty amazing unique little funky beach town, with bitchin’ beaches, a rad boardwalk, vibrant down town, and an open minded population that looks and acts like no other. Just a cool laid back ‘tripy’ vibe. The perfect place to screen our flick!
Lord and Lady Deal arrive the first day of the fest on a Monday(we screen on Saturday). “You’re here, so early?” Real Deal replies “We’re here to work”. And work they do for the next two days as Lady P and Real Deal promote, promote, PROMOTE... also making nice with the friendly people at the festival. Daily calls come into LA, reporting press articles and radio interviews.
I arrive on Thursday, meet all the fine folks at the festival, and then am immediately put to work... stickers go on cards to be handed out, posters are put up, and people are talked into coming to the show....
We’re pretty excited, but there’s still a downside. Hardly any pre-sale tickets have been sold, making Deal and I wonder ‘will the whole damn audience be standing up for the Q & A?’. Lady P is extremely confident that is NOT going to happen.
We head to Stazz’s acoustic show at the Ugly Mug in Soquel. Everyone is blown away by her talent and we pimp our screening for the next night.
Friday rolls around and more of the cast and crew roll into Santa Cruz. Chris, Christopher, Sam, Tabetha, Bob, Gint, Gina, Santino, Tony...
People start showing up. Lots of them. Guess people in Santa Cruz don’t usually buy pre-sale tickets for movies. We even see some of the people from Stazz’s show at the Ugly Mug.
The flick plays amazingly well, with the audience positively reacting through out. Q and A lasts about twenty minuets. Cast and crew then hang out at the Crepe Place across the street, recapping the evening.
Saturday is the last day of the fest and Lord, Lady Deal, and myself have wonderful parting conversations with all the friendly folk we met before heading back on to LA, ready for our next film festival adventure.