Sooooooo, I’ve been busy! Currently about to be 2nd A.D. on my last academic related film thing with the Michigan Creative Film Alliance. I’ve also been recently reassigned as the post-production supervisor on our film we put together with this year’s Film Specialization in order to wrap up the small things and start throwing it at festivals. I’m also currently doing very early research on a project that might become a thing. You know, hush hush.
I know I’ve said I’ll be writing all these things here and I haven’t. I still plan to. We’ll see. For now, here’s the most recent update from my IndieGoGo page, also way too late!
Long time no report! I apologize for this. It has been nearly three weeks since we shot and wrapped the second film, “Sharing of the Domestic Burden.” It was a tough two day shoot with a bunch of wonderful hiccups. Many crew members had to cancel and we were worried that we’d be short on hands. Thankfully, we had a revolving door of helpful hands willing to put in some work. Special thanks to Taylor Normington, Richelle Witbrodt, and Abbi Diedrich for helping out for a couple of hours.
Shooting for “Domestic Burden” was hurried but quite a blast. Alyx, Christianna, and Heather were excellent together and it was great being on the set. They were all very interested in their characters and bringing the story to life. Working with them, I frequently thought about expanding these characters into something bigger. Perhaps that’s in the future. It was a ton of fun, despite the long shooting hours. The on set effects we did with lighting and color are something I’m particularly stoked about. Emily, working script supervising and makeup, did a pretty knockout job on makeup. You can see some of the work here:
Spoilers abound. Take notice: I know little about comic books, so that is not the perspective that I am coming from with these notes.
To start, let me say that I have a very unhappy relationship with comic book movies. I’ve largely stayed away from such films after I saw Spider-Man 2 as a child. I hadn’t really developed critical sensibilities, but if you look deep into the internet, I wrote the most scathing thing I’ve ever written about that film. I felt, little angst-y me, that it was the worst film of all time. That’s probably not true.
That being said, I was apprehensive going into this film. Joss Whedon taking the reigns of the project, I felt like it could be rewarding. And, in the end, I did end up getting involved with this film. It’s still a marketing juggernaut, as Dana Stevens points out in the Slate Spoiler Podcast, but Whedon is able to bring in a lot of backstory and character development into this film, and even weave it into the gigantic action sequence that ends the film.
Was I still underwhelmed? A bit. But, I find it fascinating that this film, which seems to position itself as a call to an “old idea” where people, and nations, can come together to work for the “Greater good,” could be argued, following the very final sequence in the film, that The Avengers is actually about the benefits of anarchy, much like season 4 of Buffy, in the most vague senses of the idea.
A lot of people are talking about Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, and he does, to my surprise, fit perfectly and steal the show. I actually found him to be quite an attractive character, too, and I think Whedon does a good job balancing the sexualization that he probably is forced to do with the female characters with balancing a sexualization of the male characters. But, I’m not sure if audiences have been trained to sexualize the male body. It’s a tool versus an object. Nonetheless, the group I went to see the film with concluded their viewing with a discussion of which male lead was the sexiest.
Has anyone written about how nearly every children’s film and major blockbuster has some sort of storyline about saving the environment? It’s has become the easiest and least-offensive political statement (If you can even call it that) a film can make. How does this relate to the way that we understand greening and preventing environmental disaster? Does watching these films numb our fears? Are these messages that help or hurt us?
In the end, I think Joss Whedon did a decent job working within a system that he can’t really do a lot in. The female characters are much more developed than I think they’d be if the film was helmed by someone else (read: some other male director). That being said, this is still a gigantic blockbuster film. The audience I was in, at one point, bursted into spontaneous applause during one moment of the film, and I think that says something. This movie is actually pretty fun, and I think that is something that a lot of these movies, at least for me, aren’t.