In the final chapter, the two characters finally meet each other. It’s a great end to the series. I like to take this time to give you my interpretations of trilogy. By no means this is exactly what Keone and Mari’s intention for their story. This is what I just feel as their director.
In part 1 “PLAY” we meet Keone. We quickly see he has a unique imagination and sense of humor when he accidently acquires the ability to freeze time. His playfulness is shown when he gets in the middle of a pick-up game of basketball. Upset by disrupting the flow of the game, the basketball players attempt to give Keone a hard time, but not until he freezes them again (great Segway for a dance number). He then loses the power later in the story, and feels a useless without it.
Now how does Part 1 carry over to the final chapter? Well, Although Keone can’t freeze time anymore. His playfulness, imagination, and sense of humor still comes back in this third film. He is flirty yet also timid at the same time when he see’s Mari. He wants to grab her attention but he’s a bit hesitant and “slow to speak,” hence the subtitles. Keone using the subtitles as gimmick to meet Mari was quite charming and playful. It was nice to see that side of him return in the third installment because it seemed like a quality the character Mari adored in a man.
In Part 2 “FIND” we are introduced to Mari. We see that Mari struggles with self-confidence and appearance, but later finds peace by just being her “true-self.” The soundtrack to the film was “superwomen.” And I couldn’t agree more Mari transformed into a “superwomen” in the third one. Although we see Keone and Mari interacting and getting to know each other, Mari didn’t fully let her guard down until the end of the part 3. Keone’s first words to Mari in the film were “How are you?” What’s so cool about that, Mari didn’t even answer Keone right away. She made Keone wait. WOW! Now that’s a strong women! She didn’t put her guard down that easy. When she felt she was at a safe haven she finally responded with “I’m Good.” I myself totally admire a woman who molds a man to treat them with respect. The transformation to being a “superwomen” was totally evident there. What I also like about making keone wait, is that it showed Keone and Mari complimented each other. Keone is playful when he meets Mari, but Mari is playful as well, playing along side the subtitle gimmick. At first you think Mari had to match keone’s level of playfulness, but we then find out Mari was making Keone match her level of playfulness.
“Oh the things that just make you smile”
Well those are my two cents on the trilogy.
The hardest part putting this film together was finding a location that complimented the story. We both wanted to be outdoors, and we both wanted a place that had a lot of contrast, have colors that pop, and have a park feeling. If its no secret the project was inspired by the pixar short film “Day and Night.” That’s where the silhouettes come to play, but what I also liked about the film was the color contrast between blue and green. Although it’s a cartoon, I wanted a setting that had lots of blue and green to pay homage to the original film. Luckily we found a place. Emotional and visually I feel the colors does something. The contrast between the BLUE sky, and the Green leaves/plants just captures the eye. The backdrop of the bay brought a natural outdoors feel. The tree in the middle complimented the characters. Everything at this location was perfect for the film. When we shot Part 3 there was a problem. It was cloudy. The sun wasn’t out. So my raw footage looked very grey. Having it grey would bring a depressing feeling. So I had to transform my raw footage to make it Sunny and bright during post-production. This is where visual effects came to play. Check out the before and after pictures.
In this second installment of the series titled “The Meeting”, we focused on Mari. It’s not so much of a predecessor of the first short film PLAY or a sequel, but more along the lines of another “episode” focusing on another character. There is a huge contrast from the first and second episode. The first was more fun, fast and up beat; it kept you on your toes. As for the second, the music had a mellow tone to the film, so the pace of the film is much slower than the first. That was the challenge, how do you keep your audience attention from beginning to end with the pace being much slower?
Well, Mari had a great story to begin with. We later teamed up to make sure we told the story in a way people can understand, as well as being impactful. In general, the story is a women struggling with how she sees herself by societies standards, and finds herself more at peace by just being her true self. Originally the story was the “insecure” Mari looking in the mirror for the whole film, and in the mirror we see the “true” Mari dancing as a reflection while the “insecure” Mari watches. Having the whole choreography as only a reflection seems so two dimensional, and that would be the easy route just to just split screen “insecure” Mari on the right side of the screen and the “true” Mari on the Left side with special fx. I personally felt seeing two “Mari’s” with the “twin effect” for the whole piece will be too distracting to the choreography; I wanted to maintain the integrity of the dance because that conveyed the most emotion. Again this is a Dance-short, so I felt the dance is a character of its own and the dancing had to be displayed to its full potential to show its full message. So I decided to scratch that original plan and instead of seeing a reflection of Mari, I designed a shot where we go inside of the mirror as if we go into the world of the “true” Mari. Going into the mirror will allow parallelism with the “insecure” mari, and enabled shooting the choreography to be more flexible. This allowed the choreography to carry the film.
Visually I had to keep the audience attention. With a slower paced song, I had to focus on emotions with visuals. I then used color tones to interpret the story i.e. “color grading.” When we first see the “true” Mari, I wanted to represent hope. Notice that the color tone is more golden than some of the opening shots of the film. That golden look allowed a brighter look. Bright comes from light. Light represents hope, which I wanted to depict the “true” Mari as. As we later see the “insecure” Mari transform into her TRUE self, the ending becomes really brighter; that just symbolizes the big leap into the light. This golden color tone was inspired by the movie DRIVE. It’s totally a film that inspired me with cinematography. Well, in this film, I noticed that the golden moments in the film were when the main character was happy. It’s a dark film, but when its golden, its when the main character is in love. I wanted to bring the Golden look to this film as well. I also used a tactic used from the LXD. They backlit the windows to accentuates the lines of the choreography. The windows weren’t heavily exposed in the raw footage, so I brought out the exposure during post-production.
You can do so much with a shot, and enhance it to give more artistic value. When looking at the shots, I hope it doesn’t just SHOW you something, but make you FEEL something. I want to take the next step to have lighting, color grading, and compositing more substance to a scene. This stuff does require a lot of labor. Constructing a shot has to be well planned out and executed. So to all my future working partners who want me to direct, all I say is give me TIME, and… FEED ME. Haha
We find out after Mari leaves her house, she went somewhere to read. It leaves us right where the first epilogue ended: Keone sitting down. DUN DUN DUN. I’m hoping you are putting together the “pieces of the puzzle.” This should reveal what’s leading us to the final conclusion of the series.
Keone Madrid’s short-film supplement (read after watching)
Since the dawn of the Canon 5D mark II, Digital film DSLR’s were becoming popular. For a reasonable price you can record video in 1080p. Anyone can now shoot high-def, while also having the quality of the “film-look” to your video. YouTube/Vimeo scene exploded. Everyone was shooting DSLR these days. I see music videos after music videos. I see concept after concept. I see everything shot with DSLRs, and its starting to all look the same to me, for example: really cool lights, muti screen looks, and simple cut and paste etc. Even I am guilty of doing all those while editing, I easily got bored of doing it over again. So personally, I had to make an effort to set myself apart. I want my video’s to stand out. I want everything that I envision to come to life in my videos. I guess it all started with watching the Freddie Wong channel (youtube.com/freddiew). He made simple concepts with visual effects. That’s when it hit me; I need to stimulate my audience visually. The programs he uses allows him to create on film exactly what he envisions in his head. I don’t want my videos to be limited to just cut and paste, I want my creations to be limitless. That’s when I started learning visual effects. It allowed me to be more abstract. It challenges the way I view cinematography, and it got my brain to be more active, because I’m dreaming up shots left to right. I still have lots to learn. I’m no film magician like Freddie W, but I want to instill wonder when people see my videos too.
For choreographers, they love to put their choreography in film too. That’s when I knew I have to capitalize on this market, because I know choreographers imaginations are so inventive that simple “cut and paste edits” aren’t going to cut it. My goal is to make everything that a choreographer dreams up come to life. If they want something to look like “this” I better be able to make it happen. If they want something to look like “that” I better be able to make it happen. AND KEONE MADRID was one of the choreographers who challenged me to make his vision come to life.
Keone pitched the story of a guy having the ability to freeze time with an imaginary remote control. I asked myself “How in the world am I going to make a guy freeze time believable and not cheesy.” I didn’t. I somewhat lied to Keone and told him I knew how to pull this effect off, and once he gave me the green light, I would eventually learn how to composite time freezing. It was a big gamble but I was confident I would pull this off.
I feel what makes this film what it is, was the collaboration between director and choreographer. It was a back and forth type of relationship. He threw an idea, then I threw back an idea as well. The brainstorming of this project came together so well, that everything flowed so smoothly. It wasn’t a simple shoot at all; we strategically had to come up with a thorough game plan. We wanted to give the audience the impression of a short film. Not a concept. We were inspired by classic musicals (from the likes of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire) and we researched how they shot their dance numbers. We wanted the dancing to feel like a dance number and not a “music video.” Just like how there are random dance numbers in “Austin Powers”, or like the prom scene in “She’s all that,” we wanted the effect of a big production dance number in our film (the basketball court). Even though there is no singing in our short, we shot the dancing like a musical, hence the genre a dance-musical short.
Everything was planned out shot for shot, from the iPhone battery dying to the baby in the end freezing. All of this was done before shooting. So planning was a major factor when it came to the final product. All the time freezing was of course strategically planned. I had to imagine where everything was going to be while shooting (the basketballs, as well as, the b-ball players in the air). Editing it was a pain, but so much fun. The toughest shot was when Keone froze the two guys right after the choreography outside, and you see Keone cross over. That shot literally took 10hrs to complete, while the final duration of the shot was about 5seconds. Let me be clear, editing this film was labor intensive. Maybe 2-3 months to get the first rough draft done. I don’t have a crew to do this for me, cause I am the only person in my circle of friends who can do this. I need to teach people so I can have people help me. ANY TAKERS? Haha.
One more thing, moments before we shot, Keone and I prayed. I think he felt led cause this project was so much greater than him that he wanted everything go according to plan, and God had the power to make everything happen. The more I look back on his prayer, the more I felt God use me to make all this happen. I mean look, I never dabbled with special effects until now; I didn’t know half the things I was doing; and I only had about 4 days to prepare before we shot. Seeing how things were coming together in the editing room, everything just felt so miraculous to be honest. I mean, remember I didn’t believe I was capable of doing this film to begin with. All glory to God. Now that the film is finally on youtube, I look back and it was so much fun to be apart of something that was very challenging. I’m thankful that I had an opportunity to do it. It gave me an opportunity to learn more about the art of filmmaking. The challenges I came across were learning experiences that I would use for the next video and more to come. In summary, I told myself I wanted my work to stand out from the others. I am not there yet, but Keone’s project helped me become one step closer to it.
(Inside the Epilogue)
After the credits, there is a epilogue, but it wasn’t to bring closure, it was to show what it is to come. If you haven’t figured it out. This is only part 1 of a trilogy from Keone and Mari. Don’t keep your hopes up for more time freezes in the trilogy, cause there won’t be. However, I do feel the playfulness/the cartoony-ness of Keone in the first film will play a key part to the trilogy in my opinion. So a girl is introduced in the epilogue, and it’s played by Mari. DUN DUN DUN!!! That’s it; all you can do is wait until the next vid. I don’t want to give anything else away, but I am also excited to show the next video from this series. GOOD NEWS is the wait wont be long. It will be premiered no longer than two weeks.
GOOD NEWS GUYS, The scheduled release for Keone’s short film is coming really soon. Please support them by spreading the word on their new YouTube channel to get the latest updates to their material. THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER!!!!
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A short film from Keone Madrid
Directed by X
Here is a commercial I did for Movement Lifestyle promoting theTOUR. For just one minute, this commercial was labor intensive. Long hours were spent in front of my computer.
So the previous commercial I focused more on the point of view of a ordinary dancer. That dancer wanted to prepare himself for theTOUR. This commercial focused on the the choreographers preparation for the tour. This approach had to be epic. Marketing team wanted a gatorade/nike esque commercial, so I wrote a story about what if we can quantify brain activity of a dancer. Metering things such as: imagination activity, creativity, musicality, technique levels, and etc. We then see the choreographers (Keone Madrid and Mari Martin) in the process of putting something together and later come to find out that their “Motivation Meter” was at its full max “100%” when it came to looking at theTOUR poster. These choreographers want to cook up something special for these events and I hope dancers will be excited for what these choreographers are going to bring to the table
some of my effects were insired by “Stranger than Fiction” and the opening title sequence to “Walking Dead” and “breaking bad” (the erie grundgy texture). Some other influences came from other video’s I see on vimeo.
thanks again mL for pushing my limits. Also, thank you KEONE AND MARI for shooting this for me as a favor. They took their time out of their schedule to make this commercial what it is
if you want info for the tour please visit, as well as register, at themovementlifestyle.com
GOD BLESS X
MY first performance in 2010. Studio 429 annual Friends and Family dance expo. All the advance class choreographers showcased a big medley. I lost my place in Vinhs piece and kinda stuttered. I only did Mari and Vinhs class. I’m easy to find, I’m the guy with my usual hairstyle. After three months of training, I feel so much better with dance and I got a lot of more room to improve, but its all about consistency and hopefully in a year of straight choreography, im going to step up…we will see? freestylin, maybe imma post another blog about freestyling cause there has been tremendous things going with that!!! keep you updated, but for now enjoy the choreo
It was AWESOME, finally been consistent with dance, been freestylin’, sessioning, teaching, TAKING CLASS, but most importantly sharing knowledge with my peers.
yesterday, awesome another 2 class day. Mari’s at 6:30. Went to the studio right after work. I THANK GOD THAT I’M NEVER TIRED AFTER LEAVING WORK SO I COULD WORK ON MY TALENT. She did a piece to Temper Trap - sweet disposition, she was like ‘its from 500 days of summer’ then i got excited. epic. Then Vihn class at 7:30. execution and performance was his main thing that day, and it was fun cause i like footwork.
I teach, and my little 9 year old is starting to make her own tuts and waves. Shes freestylin on her own. That just validates that I should keep teaching and i love teaching, and my other class is preparing to do a show in may.
Got back to sessionin with Dnoi, ellis, and everyone at pac arts. Totally got more foundation to my arsenal of movement when it came to poppin’. there is always something new to learn
as for my peers, i’ve been running into my fellow dancers, and tell them what GOD does in my life (CAREER AND DANCE ESPECIALLY) so i can motivate them to follow their dreams. THATS THE BEST PART OF MY DAY IS TALKING TO MY PEERS ABOUT GOD. People are surprised about how my walk is so strong with the lord these days compared to a few years ago. THEN I GIVE THEM THE 101 on my life and they are touched cause the past year was my the hardest of my life, and I conquered it with GODs help. This story of my life is a long long talk. so thank you everyone who had a open ear for my words of wisdom the past few weeks
Be consistent with your life, the improvement may be fast, it may even be slow, but always never give up…everything will get easier the more you love it. There will be struggle and pain, but the love with get you through it. never give up the fight!
So I took 2 dance classes today, Mari’s and Vingh’s. Apparently I need more conditioning, or their dance classes are extra tiring. I almost couldn’t breath after Vingh’s class. Actually talked to Mari for a bit, we talked about dancing to tegan and sara. Hopefully, she will be inspired by their music, and make a piece to them. After class, I was drenched in sweat, and quickly gone through my whole bottle of water halfway through my first class!!! WHHHHHHHHHHAT, I’m thirsty. This will be a chronic habit. This will be on a weekly basis. Hopefully i’ll work up to 3 classes in a row, or three classes a week, maybe even four.
After today, i’ve notice pain is inevitable. Reaching your full potential isn’t suppose to be a walk in the park. I’m not going to let my condition to get tired easily stop me to get me to where I’m suppose to be. I’m still going to persevere cause I know my body can still handle this pain, cause the “love” of this talent will help me overcome the evils of this world, and also help others overcome their inner demons. That’s why I’m still fighting!!!! This is what I LOVE
That is why we need to use our gifts that God has given us, we are no mistake in our creation, we are made for a reason, TO OVERCOME THE DEVIL! our gifts will guide people out of trouble. One of my gifts is dance, and one day I want to lead our youth to a better future through dance. Some people’s gifts are to talk, or listen, whatever your gifts are, use it for the greater good, and you will see yourself fight for your goals through another level, you will accelerate your work ethic in what you want to do…
cause your not getting better for yourself, BUT FOR OTHERS, you offer your gifts as gifts to others. That’s whats going to make you persevere