Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meet the Actress - Amorette

Isabelle Giroux was born in Trois-Rivières, a city in the South of the province of Quebec (yes... French Canada!).  As a young girl, she would play with her friends, recreating film scenarios (The Princess Bride mostly -- the French translation of course) and taping diverse ideas/stories/songs/interviews on her Sesame Street recorder. Through her adolescence, she started singing in the Spanish choir and school shows, which eventually allowed her to study music in other cities. She began writing music, became involved with a blues band, and participated in several contests.  However, it was her personality and natural presence that would garner the most interest.  The way she stood on the stage, delivered a verse, and invoked laughter ultimately allowed Isabelle to shine.  As a result, she decided to take the leap and study acting and performance which would fundamentally captivate an audience. 

Isabelle has professional training from acting coaches, has auditioned for prestigious conservatories in Montreal and Quebec city, and was accepted into the competitive AMDA Los Angeles (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy). She decided to take another leap and go into the unknown once again, and headed to Hollywood in August of 2007.  She graduated from the AMDA Musical Theatre program in December 2008 and has since been leaving her marks within the Performing industry (Short films, Webisodes, Pilots, Music Video, Theatre) -- however, focusing mostly on a Film career. Being a gigantic Amelie fan, she is really excited to be part of A Note to Etienne. She surely loves Audrey Tautou's work, but don't think you'll see Amelie II: She ain't no Audrey: She's Isabelle Giroux!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Amelie Stills

The look and feel for this short was ultimately ispired by the stylized french film, Amelie.   True, A Note to Etienne has much more dramatic undertones, however this film will draw Amelie inspiration.   With fluid camera movements, quirky costume design and a complex set design (more on each later), this short will be a showcase for everyone involved.   Its not simply an actor's piece or director's piece, but allows the entire Etienne family to incorporate a valued participation within the film.  It's important to me that this film is a collaboration -- that it's a team effort.  After all, Amelie sure was and it's still one of the most visually prolific and mesmerizing film I've ever seen.

Amelie Picture 1:  If you remember this shot, the camera starts for birds-eye, then moves downward towards Amelie.  It turns nearly 180 degrees and hovers directly above her.  It's a really magical shot and really incorporates the entire mis-en-scene involved.

Amelie Picture 2:  This is such a memorable scene because of the vivid detailing of the lighting.  The blue is really beautiful.

Amelie Picture 3:  Location is really important for this film and 'Etienne'.  I really 

appreciate how they really utilized this backdrop.  
Amelie Picture 4:  This shot was spectacular because it's one of the few still shots in the film, yet still has so much movement.  Since it's shot through plexiglass, the director allowed Amelie to write the restaurant specials while Nino watches her intently.  Love it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Meet the Director of Photography

Jorge Urbina is an aspiring cinematographer from Mesa, Arizona. He began his studies working in theatre production at an early age in both community and school productions. During his college career, Jorge explored all key roles of film production to help strengthen his craft by creating and working on various shorts and features. In 2004, he earned his BFA Degree in Media Arts at the University of Arizona and is now currently employed with The School of Media Arts as a production lab coordinator while working as a freelance cinematographer. His most notable collaborations have been with Benjamin Lopez of Viento Fuego Productions and Patrick Roddy of Amateur Productions. In fall of 2007, Jorge was picked up by Ben to shoot La Venganza, a Spanish language feature, which earned distribution internationally on DVD and broadcast on Cine Mexicano’s satellite network. This past summer, Jorge was hired to shoot Goodboy, a feature film produced and directed by neo noir filmmaker Patrick Roddy. A Note to Etienne marks Jorge’s first collaboration with Elias Benavidez.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Image Boards

Since A Note to Etienne is a "French film", I'm dedicated to creating the short in a visually evocative and stylized fashion.  With visual pieces, it's very important for me to concentrate on the overall picture, yet still put stress on the nuts and bolts of each scene.  Obviously nothing is more important than the story, but I'm aiming for the tone and feeling of this piece to be as sincere and compelling as possible.  Meaning vivid, enchanting colors (blues, greens, reds) and inviting, fluid camera movements (we'll get more into that later).  

Just to give you a visual, here are two other image boards that I came up with to show the "look" I had in mind for this little French film.

Image board 2 - notice how the red from the house pops within the sea of neutral colors.  The juxtaposition between the vivid colors against the natural tones is suppose to symbolize Amorette's imaginative character.

Image board 3 - these images are suppose to articulate the very vintage feel I want for this film.  Since Amorette is a very analytical character, I want her to have a unique feel to her - she's different, yet engaging.