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Rock

Alpert + O’Neill Between “The Rock” and a Hard Place on HBO

Working with longtime collaborators HBO and producing in tandem with film star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, director/producers Jon Alpert + Matt O’Neill debut their new documentary ROCK & A HARD PLACE  Monday March 27th at 10pm.

Jon + Matt are available for spot + branded content work at NYC’s Rascal Films.

Rock

Incarcerated young people enter the famed Miami-Dade County Corrections & Rehabilitation Boot Camp Program in search of a second chance: the opportunity to trade an extensive prison sentence for a fresh start. In this harsh, 16-week camp, drill instructors push inmates to their limit, but those who complete it can become constructive members of society who are substantially less likely to return to prison. The program reports a recidivism rate under 15%, while the national rate of prison recidivism is approximately 70%.

Inspired by Dwayne Johnson’s own experiences with the law as a youth, ROCK AND A HARD PLACE is a passion project for Dwayne Johnson, who calls it one of the most important films he’s been associated with. “By the time I was 16, I had been arrested multiple times for a variety of things, and can relate to what these kids are going through,” he says.

Johnson executive produces along with Dany Garcia, his producing partner and co-founder of Seven Bucks Productions, and Rasha Drachkovitch of 44 Blue Productions, the Emmy®-nominated executive producer behind “Lockup,” the longest-running prison series. Oscar® nominees and multiple Emmy® winners Matthew O’Neill and Jon Alpert produce and direct.

The film opens with Johnson’s visit to the boot camp, where he observes the induction of a group of 38 young offenders, convicted of crimes ranging from assault to armed robbery, who are on the brink of lengthy prison terms. Once the chaos has subsided, he tells the young men why he wants the world to see this program and emphasizes why he believes this may be their last chance.

ROCK AND A HARD PLACE follows the inmates through each phase of the camp, beginning with the brutal first weeks, which are marked by constant verbal confrontation, physical training and strict military-style discipline. Several cadets can’t or won’t comply with the rules, and the ranks are thinned to 35 after a month. Those who remain resolve to follow their instructor’s extreme demands, although tears and moments of resistance sometimes surface.

Rock

As the weeks go by, cadets attend anger-management classes, learn vocational skills and are surprised by “protocol tests” that measure their progress and patience. In what guards call “a test of discipline,” some of the more promising men are selected to leave the prison as part of a mobile work crew. Two of them decide to escape during one such session, but are soon recaptured after a manhunt that makes the evening news, and now face even longer prison sentences. The incident rattles camp guards and management, who warn the other prisoners that escape attempts will only undermine the legitimacy of the entire program.

Cadets finally arrive at graduation day, where family members beam as they march past in precise formations before being released to their loved ones. Johnson gives emotional remarks as he congratulates the young men at a post-graduation courtroom reception.

Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill note, “As our nation wrestles with a prison system that has become the largest in the world, ROCK AND A HARD PLACE highlights an alternative incarceration program that provides a pathway to hope and positive change.”

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Shine designs LA LA LAND logos + titles for Lions Gate + Damien Chazelle

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Shine designed the main titles & designed and animated vintage studio film logos as well as other typography and graphics for the new Lions Gate film LA LA LAND from director Damien Chazelle.

LA LA LAND Producer Fred Berger said, “I’ve had the privilege of working with Shine on three films already and will keep roping them into projects as long as they’ll continue to put up with me. Michael, Bob, and their team are, quite simply, exceptional. They are visionary artists, consummate professionals, passionate storytellers, and an utter joy to work with.

Our most recent collaboration, Damien Chazelle’s LA LA LAND, demanded a delicate balance of old and new while making a bold statement off the bat. Shine created a beautiful Summit logo, imagining what it might have looked like in the 40’s or 50’s, which immediately sets the tone and pulls us into the world of the film. But nothing makes me smile more than when audiences applaud as the striking golden main title card slams onto picture and fills the frame. They’re cheering for the opening musical number, but also for Shine’s brilliant work. And it’s well deserved.”

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LA LA LAND is the story of Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, struggling to make ends meet while pursuing their dreams in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. With modern day Los Angeles as the backdrop, this musical about everyday life explores what is more important: a once-in-a-lifetime love or the spotlight.

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Matthew Peyton

Fantastic fashion + celeb portrait photography from Matthew Peyton

Check it out! Sensational fashion + celebrity portrait photography work from our friend MATTHEW PEYTON

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Bodega

Welcome to BODEGA Jon Dennis & Randy Hackett !

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Directors Jon Dennis Randy Hackett Join Bodega SHOOTonline.com

Jack Ruby - Vinyl

Our own punk rocker Robin Hall inspires Jagger + Scorsese for VINYL on HBO

Robin Hall - Jack Ruby - Vinyl

Turns out that our very own Northern Lights EP Robin Hall was a punk rocker back in the day! And a very influential one at that with his proto-punk band JACK RUBY. Their raw experimental sound influenced a number of the big punk and alternative bands to come out of the 70’s NYC music scene – though they never released any music commercially themselves. A recent re-discovery by Thurston Moore and others led to a release of their music and in turn led to their songs being used in HBO’s new show VINYL, which premiered Sunday Feb 14th. Interesting story below from Pitchfork about how it all transpired.

 

Pitchfork

How “Vinyl” and Lee Ranaldo Turned a Lost ’70s Act Into TV’s Next Great Fictional Band

by Marc Masters

In the premiere episode of “Vinyl,” the new HBO series created by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, record label owner Richie Fenestra (played by Bobby Cannavale) sits on his couch, wired on coke and cigarettes, shaking his head to a song blasting from his stereo. The tune is “Bored Stiff” by a band called the Nasty Bits, whom Fenestra decides his company, American Century Records, absolutely must sign.

The Nasty Bits didn’t actually exist in the 1970s New York music scene that “Vinyl” depicts, but “Bored Stiff” did. It was originally written by one of those great bands that almost got lost to history, the proto-punk outfit Jack Ruby. The quartet existed sporadically for only a few years in the mid-’70s and never released any music commercially. But in 2011, Weasel Walter’s ugEXPLODE label released a CD of their 1974 demos; three years later, the small labels Saint Cecilia and Feeding Tube followed suit, releasing the same material from higher-quality tapes, along with more recently-discovered music.

Those releases caught the ear of “Vinyl” music supervisor Randall Poster, who heard the show’s fictional band in them. “There’s a punk rock foundation embedded in Jack Ruby’s music, before punk existed,” says Poster, whose lengthy resume includes The Royal Tenenbaums, Boyhood, and Carol. “Their music is stripped of all classic rock artifice, and it puts forward the root of something that would evolve from there. It works for Kip Stevens [the singer of Nasty Bits], who is having a moment of crisis trying to connect to what brought him to rock and roll in the first place.”

Jack Ruby’s music is indeed a fascinating hybrid of underground sounds, made at a time when mainstream rock was becoming a cartoon and punk was just around the corner. Their songs were clearly influenced by the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, with singer Robin Hall’s snarl echoing Iggy Pop, as well as Richard Hell. But their tunes also include layers of noise generated by atonal guitars and electronics. Hall recalls bandmate Randy Cohen, who went on to write for “Late Night With David Letterman” and the New York Times, filtering stock sound effects through his Serge synthesizer, which was “the size of a coffin.” The results foreshadow the unruly strain of post-punk known as No Wave. (One incarnation of Jack Ruby even included bassist George Scott, who later played in No Wave mainstays Contortions and 8-Eyed Spy.)

According to Hall, being both catchy and chaotic wasn’t seen as a paradox in the downtown New York scene in 1973. “Everybody was doing something different, and it was very generous in the boundaries,” he recalls. “There was nothing that wasn’t allowed.” So as much as the Nasty Bits scoff at their label’s attempts to smooth their sound in “Vinyl,” Jack Ruby could dream of success while also refusing to bend. “We wanted to be popular, not underground,” Hall says. “But we were also committed to noise, and there was no thought of compromising. We assumed no one was going to get us, even as at the same time as we thought we would have hit singles.”

Judging by the music that survived, Jack Ruby’s Top 40 fantasies were not such a stretch. All four tunes that show up over the course of the show’s initial 10-episode run—”Bored Stiff,” “Hit and Run,” and “Bad Teeth,” plus Jack Ruby’s take on the Four Seasons’ “Beggar’s Parade”—are swinging and infectious, like punk before punk existed. It’s easy to hear why these songs could have impressed a label seeking fresh sounds; even 40 years later, Jack Ruby have a bracing immediacy.

To replicate that immediacy, Poster turned to one of his rock’n’roll heroes: Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo. He tasked Ranaldo with recording the songs of Jack Ruby and other bands depicted in “Vinyl” for its soundtrack, and in turn, Ranaldo called on an array of current musicians to help. “Randy likes the idea of bringing a lot of people into the game,” says Ranaldo, who previously worked with Poster on Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan bio-fantasy I’m Not Here. “All the different people we’ve had—tons of musicians coming in and out—have made it exciting.”

Ranaldo, whose ex-bandmate has also notably praised Jack Ruby, put together a band with bassist James McNew (of Yo La Tengo), drummer Steve Shelley (also of Sonic Youth), and guitarists Alan Licht and Don Fleming. When you watch the Nasty Bits raging away in a scene, you’re actually hearing Ranaldo’s band backing up singer James Jagger (yes, Mick’s son), who portrays Bits frontman Kip Stevens. Of course, Ranaldo and company are out of the age range of the show’s fictional group of disheveled twenty-somethings, so Poster and his colleague Meghan Currier hired some actual musicians to play Jagger’s backing band: Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils.

“We’re basically accessories to the [Kip Stevens] story,” says Beach Fossils founder Dustin Payseur. “He’s the singer in this proto-punk band, and we’re his weirdo, fucked-up bandmates.” None of the members of Beach Fossils had ever acted before, but at the beginning their tasks were pretty simple. “For the most part, [the directors] just said, ‘Play like you’re losing your mind,'” says Payseur. “And I said, ‘I know how to do that.’” “One of the assistant directors told me, ‘I don’t even care if you’re playing the part—just run around stage, fall down and act insane,” adds guitarist Tommy Davidson.

James Jagger as Kip Stevens in “Vinyl”. (Niko Tavernise/HBO)

As episodes progressed, Beach Fossils were given lines to perform, which all members say went surprisingly smoothly. But they really got into the whole experience when they were simply pretending to perform in front of crowds decked out in ’70s garb. “The scenes where we’re playing onstage with the crowd reacting to us—it’s easy to feed off that energy, because it feels real when you have a hundred people screaming at you,” says Payseur. “It makes you feel like you’re totally immersed in [that time] when you’re shooting [one scene] for 12 hours,” adds guitarist Jack Doyle Smith.

In other “Vinyl” scenes, real bands from the time period are played by actors, with Ranaldo’s supergroup of sorts also providing the music. For one flashback scene—set in 1968 at legendary St. Mark’s nightclub the Dom—Julian Casablancas joined Ranaldo’s group to sing the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs” and “Run Run Run.” For another, they reworked Alice Cooper’s “I Love the Dead” with Andrew W.K. on vocals.

Scenes featuring more obscure artists required mixing and matching. “We needed to record something for a scene with Joey Ramone’s first band, Sniper,” recalls Ranaldo. “But there’s not one bit of music you can hear by them—there’s not even one picture of the band you can find.” So Ranaldo chose songs from a similar group of the same era, the Magic Tramps (led by Eric Emerson, best known for his acting in Andy Warhol’s films). He recorded those tunes with Yo La Tengo, alongside Jesse Malin singing as Joey Ramone.

Ranaldo’s stable of collaborators widened even further when creating music for the end credits of individual episodes. Guests included Iggy Pop, X’s John Doe, the Kills’ Alison Mosshart, and Charli XCX, who Ranaldo says “did a Stooges song and totally fucking killed it.” “That’s the fun part,” says Poster of all this partnering. “There are a lot of people involved who we’ve all worked with before and know. Somebody like Ira Kaplan, he’s an incredible musical resource. I’ve always cited Yo La Tengo’s [partial covers album] Fakebook as a great inspiration for me in finding material.”

Ranaldo and Fleming also served as on-set consultants, making sure the concert scenes looked and felt accurate. “It was pretty amazing to watch,” says Ranaldo. “They would do a club show with 150 extras wearing what people coveted from vintage stores 25 years ago. The Velvet Underground scene was supposed to be the Warhol crowd, so there were people in bouffant hairdos and gold lamé mini-dresses.”

But Ranaldo seems particularly thrilled to have helped rekindle the music of Jack Ruby. “I think they were straddling this period musically,” he says. “All of their recorded stuff was super raw, and you can feel this nascent energy rising up, which makes it valuable as a historical document. Jack Ruby led to some great stuff that happened even if they didn’t get there themselves.”

This recent interest in Jack Ruby, after decades in obscurity, must feel redemptive to the band’s only surviving members, Robin Hall and Randy Cohen. For his part, Hall admits that “Vinyl” has provided a thrill that his teenage self couldn’t have imagined. “I was a 15-year-old kid in New Hampshire when some girl said to me, ‘You look like Mick Jagger,’ and that made me want to be a rock’n’roll star,” he says with a chuckle. “It’s amazing that 40 years later, Mick Jagger’s son is singing my band’s songs.”

The Chickening

NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOU FOR – “THE CHICKENING” !

Update: 1M views on YouTube

The Chickening

World-premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, US-premiered at Sundance this past Sunday night and Schaffer/Rogers premiering RIGHT HERE!  Fantastically sick short film from filmmakers Davy Force + Nick DenBoer.  We proudly represent Davy Force for spots + branded content at 6 POINT MEDIA

You haven’t seen “The Shining” until you’ve seen it infused with chickens!

The Chickening is the first of its kind in remixed, augmented cinema. It is a theatrical trailer for a fictional film in which Stanley Kubrick’s classic film The Shining has been artfully transformed into a new, poultry infused comedy adventure by digitally altering the film to create a new narrative. This new style of filmmaking is a hilarious collision of classic films with modern day visual effects; “Cinegraffiti” — the ultimate neonostalgic visual feast for this digital age.

The Chickening

Fun review + interview from film blogger Scott Wampler below:

The Chickening

NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOU FOR “THE CHICKENING”
Directors Nick DenBoer and Davy Force have created something you simply have to see to believe.
By Scott Wampler Jan. 26, 2016

I have attended Fantastic Fest for many years now, and lemme tell ya: during that time, I have seen a thing or two. I’ve seen courageous feats of karaoke. I’ve had unexpected run-ins with weirdo celebrities. I’ve seen food fights, I’ve seen actual fights, and I’ve had my face melted right the fuck off by the world’s greatest Satanic marching band.

I’ve also had my mind blown by more movies than I could possibly count (if there’s one thing Fantastic Fest does better than anything else, it’s that), and at Fantastic Fest 2015, the most mindblowing bit of filmmaking I encountered was a short film by the name of The Chickening.

At Fantastic Fest, this short (directed by Toronto-based filmmakers Nick DenBoer and Davy Force) was paired with Anders Thomas Jensen’s Men & Chicken, and…well, to say “it took everyone by surprise” would be a massive understatement. The crowd I saw this short with went bananas. We talked about it for months afterwards, hoping that it’d eventually make its way online, where it might be shared with the rest of the world. Today’s a big day for some of us.

It’s an especially big day for The Chickening’s creative team. I was fortunate enough to speak with Nick DenBoer over the weekend, and he agreed to answer a few of my stupid questions about his incredible short:

First question: why?

Why chicken? I grew up on a chicken farm and then worked in my dad’s poultry butcher shop until I was 17, de-boning and slingin’ chicken carcasses. You can’t shake that shit.

My co-director Davy Force and I have been talking about doing this mega, next-level film remix for years and we finally had some free time last March to bust it out. We’re both animators/vfx artists/remixers and we have collaborated on a lot of similar projects, so this came together pretty naturally. The Chickening is a proof of concept we made to pitch around to studios, namely Warner Bros (hence The Shining) in a bid to create a series where every episode is a different remixed classic film. It’s a lot of fun to do and we think it’s got a lot of viral potential, but obviously there’s a lot of red tape in acquiring and regurgitating Hollywood’s sacred cows.

How long did it take you to put this together?

Davy flew up to my studio in Toronto and we shot the shit for about a week, writing and rough editing to force our new narrative on the original film. We then parted ways and cranked on it for about 2 1/2 months; Davy from his studio in LA and me in Toronto. We collaborated remotely and I assembled it as it came together. This was intended to be a 22-minute piece, but we did this for zero budget in our spare time, so we did as much as we could until it worked as a balls-out trailer. If we made our 22-minute version as intended, the narrative would make a lot more sense, but I think it’s going to live as you see it and we are moving on to the next project.

Wait, is that Kenny Hotz of Kenny VS Spenny fame? Holy shit.

Yes, that’s K-Ho. We’ve been pals for a long time. I worked on Kenny Vs. Spenny and we’ve done a lot of messed up video stuff together.  He’s always down for taking his pants off in front of the camera. Kenny’s been a huge help in selling the idea and getting The Chickening into the film festival circuit. He’s onboard to help write and produce more of this kind of stuff wherever The Chickening takes us.

Is there anything special you’d like to note about the short? Anything we might’ve missed the first time through, or any special behind-the-scenes goings-on that were particularly compelling?

There’s lots you probably missed the first time through. Maybe the pictures of ISIS on the wall behind Jack in the office, or the box of chicken-flavored condoms, or the pile of Tommy Wiseau references. This thing is loaded with Easter eggs and designed to be watched a bunch of times, so you’ll keep seeing new details. Kubrick was like that with all the details, too, and we think – although we sort of defaced his film – that we are still paying homage to a great piece of cinema. We wanted every still of this thing to have a WTF vibe.

Behind the scenes shooting was fun. I took a whole chicken and cut off its head and feet to use as a puppet in the final shot where Wendy is getting attacked. Pretty much everything was shot on green screen and comped. It was all done pretty DIY on no budget, so all the voice actors were pals, so it was a blast shooting the mouth replacements. And the shot of the girls dancing is actually me dancing: I mapped the dresses onto my body and then built the hallway in 3D and projection-mapped a still onto it so I could do some fancy virtual camera work. That’s my favorite shot, I think.  I made the music for that too.

We’ve seen stuff along these lines before – clips from famous films reborn with added effects, bits of one title edited into another – but DenBoer and Force are playing a different game here. DenBoer says the original intention was for The Chickening to be 22 minutes long, a claim backed up by the insane plot synopsis included in the press release I received:

Jack Torrance takes a new job as senior chief night manager for “Charbay’s Chicken World” —a state­-of­-the-­art, volcano­-fried, fast-food poultry production facility and resort strategically built on an active volcano. Jack travels to the remote facility with his wife, Wendy, and 42­-year-­old man­-child son, Danny.

During orientation, Mansturd Nurlman (regional manager of Charbay’s) mentions a new experimental product that is currently under development: “The Shiny” — a brand new BBQ sauce created in the research laboratory deep within the radioactive volcano. Strange things start happening to Jack after he tries the sauce, and he slowly begins morphing into a chicken creature and becomes unstable and aggressive.

Scatmok (a hyper­dimensional alien) conspires with Danny and his little friend Tony (a snarky Italian man who happens to be Danny’s index finger) to steal the recipe for “The Shiny” but their plan is compromised when they realize the horrific side effects of the experimental BBQ sauce. Danny and Scatmok decide they must destroy the BBQ sauce pipeline in order to stop the spread of this condition that has mutated Danny’s father.

Meanwhile, Jack has learned some of the restaurant’s darkest secrets from some of the other employees, including a potential cure for his condition. In the end, the restaurant is destroyed in a spectacular exploding BBQ sauce conflagration, with Wendy, Danny, Tony, Scatmok and a now­-cured but frozen­-solid Jack, who grumpily curses his former employers as they drive off in the Beak-Machine into the sunset.