Sunday, January 20, 2013

Going For Broke

Sitting on your status quo won't get you very far. In order to make waves, you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and take innumerable risks. For some people, the possibility of success is even more intimidating than the possibility of failure. But as the old saying goes: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The potent combination of smartphones equipped with digital cameras and websites like YouTube and Vimeo make it possible for any aspiring artist to shorten the time it takes from being perceived as a mere wannabe to a budding professional. If a video goes viral, the person who made it can become an international celebrity.

Internet fame beckons to all who want it (from keyboard cats to Chris Crocker), In May of 2012, a group of fearless Russian teenagers in Kiev uploaded a hair-raising video documenting their hijinks atop the Moscow Bridge.

The guys at Americablog recently posted this clip of some Finnish teenagers helping a friend overcome some inhibitions which had prevented him from performing certain tricks on skis. Anyone who enjoys watching Parkour videos will be fascinated to watch these kids in action.

In 2011, when SherpasCinema released its spectacular film entitled All.I.Can, the creative team issued the following artistic statement:
"The film strives to unite global mountain culture and bind us together as the leaders of a revolution. We must be inspired to do all we can for the environment. We must learn how to take that first tiny step in the right direction. We hope an inspirational fire is sparked and [that], while we journey through the hills in the coming years, we can channel the energy borne from our passions towards green, sustainable and forward thinking."
The trailer from All.I.Can reveals it to be so much more than a film about skiing.

This clip from All.I.Can reveals some extremely clever editing coupled with a rare artistic vision..

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With the 2013 SF Indie Fest about to commence, Bay area filmgoers will be exposed to some fresh, new talents. One who quickly caught my attention was Filipino-American Jerell Rosales, whose short film Born To Dance This Way not only demonstrates his solid skill as a rising filmmaker, but introduces a classic comedic character who has "feature film" written all over his fat little face.

In 2010, Rosales premiered We No Speak, a short film about a bland and boring woman who yearns to become a sassy, sexy, siren. The mousy Eileen turns to 22-year-old Russell ("Diva Trainer Extraordinaire") for coaching.  His self-proclaimed areas of expertise?
  • Sitting
  • Model walking/posing
  • Dancing/hair whipping

Russell Argenal's character has since evolved into Joo Si, whom Rosales describes as "a fierce, fabulous, and overweight backup dancer in Los Angeles." In the following clip, Rosales and Argenal discuss what went into the making of Born To Dance This Way.

As you can see from Argenal's dance reel, he's willing to go full throttle on any dance moves thrown at him by a choreographer (this clip contains footage from Born To Dance This Way).

Without a doubt, the character of Joo Si owes a lot to shows like Glee, America's Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance.  His audition to become a backup dancer for a sexy female pop ensemble (The 4Play Ladies) is both riotously funny and surprisingly endearing. No matter how hard one may want to laugh at Joo Si, it's impossible to deny that, in his heart of hearts, he just knows that he's ready for his big break.  Here's the trailer:

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