♫ He’s a Superfan! A Superfan! He’s Super-fannish! ♬
Kris Brannon, AKA “Sonics Guy” (AKA a former member of Fools Play Improv), is a pretty cool guy, and (obviously) very passionate about getting an NBA team back in Seattle after the Sonics were taken away many years ago. He shows up at events all over the region in his Sonics gear holding signs with various “Bring Back Our Sonics” messages. Everyone loves getting their photos taken with him:
Here we are WAAAAAAAAY back in 2011.
Well, he was recently the subject of a fun little documentary about the leaving of the Sonics and the hope for their return, called Superfan. It was an official selection at the Seattle International Film Festival, the Tacoma Film Festival, the Chicago International Reel Shorts Film Festival, and was also shown on Alaska Airline’s in-flight entertainment. And you can now watch it RIGHT HERE:
At fewer than seven minutes long it’s not horribly in-depth, but it’s very well done.
Kris and filmmaker Leigh Burmesch at SIFF. Photo by Raimundo Jurado (obviously).
Heck, I don’t know many people who have been the subject of documentaries, do you? And, no, I don’t really count.
Back in September I wrote about Prom Queen (aka Celene Ramadan, aka chiptune musician Leeni) and her very exciting and ambitious Kickstarter campaign to make a 12-song album with 12 accompanying videos that, when strung together, will form a full-length film.
The Kickstarter campaign was obviously a success. How could it not be? It was an awesome idea.
The expected delivery date is April 2014, so I’m excitedly anticipating that. In the meantime, though, filming chugs on. One video has been completed and released, the video to “Can’t Seem to Cry.” And a big chunk of it just happened to be filmed in one of my all-time favorite restaurants:
Listen up, ’cause I’m gonna break it down for you.
XXX Root Beer is a burger joint in Issaquah:
It is probably my favorite burger joint in the state, despite its distance from Tacoma. They have amazing, huge, incredibly-sloppy burgers (but don’t ask for a fork & knife no matter how sloppy they are). But since their name is XXX Root Beer, they’re known of course for their homemade root beer floats. These things are gargantuan and come in mugs the size of your face. Not only do they have scoops of ice cream in them, but the mug is garnished with a scoop of ice cream on the rim.
Today I’m talking about Prom Queen once again, this time because she has a pretty awesome idea for a Kickstarter campaign. You see, Prom Queen wants to put out a new album, Midnight Veil. But instead of just putting out a new album, she wants to make a video for each song. But instead of just making a video for each song, she wants to make a series of videos that, together, make up a film. As she puts it:
Prom Queen: Midnight Veil will be a full-length album-film. I will be making 12 videos for each of the 12 songs and they will be strung together and woven into a film, or rather an interconnected series of short-films.
It’s quite an ambitious project, and she’s asking for $12,000. That may seem like a lot, but it really just breaks down to $1,000 per video, which is really not very much money to produce professional-quality videos.
I really like projects like these. It reminds me of Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, in which Daft Punk’s Discovery album was transformed into a full-length animé movie designed by the acclaimed Leiji Matsumoto (Battle Ship Yamamoto, Captian Harlock). Plus Prom Queen is no stranger to making movies; Celene directed the puppet classic A Very Alan Thickemass a few years ago (unfortunately the movie seems to have disappeared from the internet except for one clip). Her recent video for “This Town Ain’t Big Enough” was super-professional (though as she points out she didn’t direct it herself, it still proves she knows how to surround herself with talented folks). So I have every confidence that this movie can kick some major ass, if we kick it first.
There are lots and lots of independent movies floating about the world and the internets in various stages of production. Many of them have Kickstarter campaigns. One of them is called “Winning Dad.”
How is it that this movie came to garner my support when so many others have not? Well, for starters it’s being made locally: all Western Washington cast and crew and whatnot. For another thing, it’s got a pretty intriguing premise that fits very well into our enlightened, Pacific-Northwest mindset:
Colby’s dad knows his son is gay, but he doesn’t like talking about it. He respects it, but ignores everything about that aspect of his son’s life – he doesn’t even know about Colby’s long-term boyfriend, Rusty.
Increasingly committed to Rusty, Colby hatches a plan to trick his father into camping with Rusty under the pretense that Rusty is Colby’s straight friend and future business partner. Colby is convinced that, given the chance, his father and his boyfriend will get along great…
Here’s their Kickstarter vid so you can learn more:
As an added bonus, they’ve also hired Ellen McLain, who you probably know as the voice of GLaDOS from the Portal games (and in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Pacific Rim extravaganza) as one of the on-screen characters in the film. She’s also gotten involved in the Kickstarter campaign, and let’s just say that this time the cake is NOT a lie:
And what’s that song that was playing in the background during that video? Why it’s “Skatepark” by Julia Massey & The Five Finger Discount!
I’m planning to see Skyfall soon. I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site that I have an unnatural affection for all things 1960s spy-related, and in particular the James Bond films. I know that a lot of them are pretty crappy, but I just can’t bring myself to care. I kinda heart them and the weird genre they spawned that became its own thing.
So to study up for Skyfall, I really wanted to re-watch some of the Bond flicks. But who has the time? Fortunately, someone has come up with a genius idea. With a little editing, they have created their own James Bond movie out of ALL of the previous James Bond movie. In their own words:
Approximately five minutes from each of the 22 Eon produced James Bond films have been cut together, in order and in sequence, beginning with the first five minutes of DR. NO (1962) followed by minutes 5-10 of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963), minutes 10-15 of GOLDFINGER (1964), minutes 15-20 of THUNDERBALL (1965), continuing on through each of the remaining 18 Bond features (accounting for variables in each title’s running time) culminating with the final five minutes of 2008’s QUANTUM OF SOLACE.
The effect is simply astonishing. Even though it makes no literal sense, the sequences flow brilliantly into one another in a sort of surreal, super-distilled way. Some of the transitions are jaw-dropping, especially the switch from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to Diamonds Are Forever, and the switch from License to Kill to Goldeneye.