Columbus Day

Columbus day has long been 👏🏿👏🏻👏🏼celebrated👏👏🏾👏🏽 in the 🇺🇸 United States, 🇪🇸 Spain and throughout Latin America.🇳🇮🇲🇽🇭🇳🇬🇹🇩🇴🇪🇨🇸🇻🇩🇲🇨🇼🇦🇷🇸🇷🇻🇨🇱🇨🇵🇷🇺🇾🇻🇪🇻🇮🇹🇹

🇨🇦Canada celebrates Discovery Day, which is the same in principal. 🇧🇷

🇮🇹🇯🇲🇧🇲🇧🇧

While Columbus Day was not made “official” until President Roosevelt made a proclamation in the late 1930s, its history goes back centuries.

Although the Renaissance and the age of Exploration were well underway before Columbus set sail, historians proclaim the year 1492 to be the end of the middle ages and the start of modern times.  His voyage symbolically took Europe out of isolation and brought forth a new, global age. Continue reading Columbus Day

Aliens in the attic

Why is Aliens in the Attic a masterwork?

Okay, first of all, it’s poster sucks.  Probably the worst movie poster I’ve seen that wasn’t for some kind of bad video game adaptation.  The first impression you get from this film is that it’ll be a really cheap video game movie, or worse still, a knock off of a video game movies.

33% Rotten Tomatoes, 91% google Users.  Wow, that’s a pretty big spread. Continue reading Aliens in the attic

Evan Almighty

Religion has a huge element of why people don’t like this film.  Some people like religion, but it’s often hard to like a film about it, especially a comedy.  Is it making fun of your religion?  And at the same time, criticising you for not being religious enough.

“I go to church every week.”  they look at her.  “Every other week.”  More stares.  “I’ve been to church.”

Now, religious films sometimes get high ratings, but this appears to be a Christian film.  Almost a “faith based” film.  It’s not about the Buddha, or some exotic religion.  Orientalist film critics get bored of the religion of their grandmothers.  It’s like watching a “Humble and Kind” music video.

Not only does this film cover religion, it’s like a sermon.  God himself talks about “acts of random kindness.”

Now, for the critics who like religion in films, even Christianity, this can be offensive.  It can even seem like blasphemy, putting words in the mouth of God that aren’t in the Bible. Continue reading Evan Almighty

Benchwarmers (2006)

The second in our series of underrated masterworks is Benchwarmers.

Why critics hate: Benchwarmers.
Reminds them of their own lack of skill at sports.  And, rather than gaining the skill to win a game through some crazy routine, they kind of stay mediocre.  Ouch.  As the film title says “reality bites.”

Rather than getting revenge, the nerds merely make peace with their enemy.  And, with the sun.

Critics prefer films in which the outsiders aren’t shown to be truly nerdy, but kind of beefed up, like they are in the film-within-a-film at the end of Disney’s Chicken Little. Continue reading Benchwarmers (2006)

Underrated masterworks

What is a masterwork?  It’s like, a really good film, right?

I started to debate the meaning of masterworks at university.  In the essays titles to choose from, one was, “The Greatest Masterworks are also some of the most immoral.”

Something like that.  I didn’t necessarily agree with the films chosen in “Masterworks of the cinema.”  I think included in the curriculum were Battleship Potemkin, Triumph of the Will, some gory horror film, Bring Me The Head of Garcia Alfredo, and a few other movies that I didn’t like either.  Some of these films could be called immoral, but masterworks?  I would have chosen different films.

So, I guess I’ll start a series of reviews called Underrated masterworks. Continue reading Underrated masterworks

The Sorrows of Deirdre

So, I had a film called “The Sorrows of Deirdre.”  I noticed something interesting.  Depending on who I pitch it to, my pitch changes.

LinkedIn Pitch:

It’s called “The Sorrows of Deirdre” and it’s based on Celtic mythology. Deirdre has been cursed with such beauty, that men’s desires her threatens to divide Ireland. To settle the issue, she’s promised to the King.

But, Deirdre falls in love with Naoise, and flees with him to Scotland. Their adventures with the natives seem almost more dangerous than staying in Ireland. And, as Naoise and his family grow homesick, it seems that one of the king’s servants can persuade him to return.

However, Deirdre’s prophetic dreams tell her than the return means certain death for her love.

Stage32 pitch:

LOGLINE:Some wish for knowledge. Others desire beauty. She was cursed with both.

SYNOPSIS:

Deirdre can dream about the future, but she can’t change it on her own. All men pretend to want to please her, but none listen. So her fate is to witness the destruction of one of the greatest kingdoms in the ancient world.

When Deirdre finds an prophetic amulet, her dreams lead to the handsome Naoise. However, she had been promised to the king from a young age. In order to save Naoise and his family, Deirdre and her new in-laws are forced to flee.

Unfortunately, the locals don’t take to Naoise and his brothers. They battle savage pics, and strange Britons, but most dangerous of all are devious druids who play to their homesickness.

Advancing Aberystwyth mathematics problem

You may have seen flags up this summer for “Advancing Aberystwyth.”  These flags say there are events “supported” by local businesses.  Well, by taxes on local businesses.

Did these events get you shopping more?  Did the chance to see The Goonies on the big screen bring you over from Birmingham, Boston, or Berlin?  Or even Borth or Bow Street?

Whether or not the event was a success in bringing in “more footfall” and more shoppers remains to be seen.  What we can calculate is how much it all cost. Continue reading Advancing Aberystwyth mathematics problem

Why I don’t review short films

Hi Vasco – thanks for sending me your review. I deliberately chose mediocre films, because that’s more of a challenge than describing excellence.

While your review was fun to read, and very well written (actually the best of all the submissions), its tone was far too negative, to the point of sourness, for what I have in mind.

I want the site to be used regularly by the average/casual/new short film fan, not just by sophisticated film-buffs and film-makers. Many people wouldn’t return to a site that did such damning reviews. […]

I also want film-makers to submit, and not many would come knocking if they fear they’ll get taken apart like that!

[…]

So if you feel you could write to a more emollient brief, maybe you could have a go at the other one (or something of your own choosing).


Sourness?  Sourness at what?  Maybe the low rate of pay offered, if I got the job as a film reviewer.  But, I didn’t think that showed.

Okay, so you say, why not just be nice, or emollient?

I was nice.  I said there was a good scene on the bus, and it looked like the actors left the script in their seats, because the film went downhill afterwards.  I discussed its merits, and where it could be improved.  (Within a very short word limit.)  And, sadly, I didn’t get paid a red cent for my work.

I wasn’t being offered enough money to be in marketing, so I didn’t write anything that could be used for publicity.  But, I was honest, fair, and I thought very gentle.

The thing is, if you spend more on the festival submissions than you do on the script, the movie’s probably not going to be very fun to watch.  It’s really hard to find nice things to say, and be honest at the same time, when someone sends you something that was thrown together in a weekend.

Just because you win a festival, that doesn’t mean your film was any good.  It just means the judges thought it was the least bad of the films that were entered. And, you might not have the same taste as the judges anyway.

But, anyway, don’t ask me for honest feedback unless you really want it.

Well, I discussed other films, and to make a long story short, they expected me to watch two films and churn out two reviews in about an hour.  Not only that, find nice warm fuzzy things to say about the films in that time.  All for an unskilled wage, and with a zero hour contract.  And no, I didn’t get paid for “sample” reviews.  No wonder my submission was the best one!  Try being less sour after hearing those working conditions.

Okay, I guess I’ll go back to focusing on fiction and fantasy now.  It seems non-fiction is a bitter pill to swallow.

Vote Attila: Pitch

Logline: A debate shakes the colosseums. Who should take over the Roman Empire? Then, a new candidate emerges: Attila the Hun.

Fantasy

High Budget

Short Synopsis

Most people know Attila the Hun was a warrior, called the scourge of Rome. Attila has featured in novels as a villain or a hero.   but he’s sometimes confused with Genghis Khan, who was hundreds of years and thousands of miles away.

Very little information exists about the real Attila. So while we wish to portray an accurate portrait, this isn’t completely possible. Instead, we wish to spark the audience’s curiosity about history, by making the character come to life, the way big movies bring toys and books to life. For too long, characters like Attila the Hun or Genghis Khan were simply caricatures in films like Night at the Museum and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It’s time to give Attila centre stage in his own story.

While our script does not pretend to portray the real Attila, it creates enough context to help us understand him a little better. But more importantly, the film will be designed to maximize the appeal of the character and his time. In the way Lego Batman suggests that there is more to the superhero than what we see in that movie, we’ll hint that there’s more to the Hun.

May involves large mammals, crowds and stadiums.

Updates to the project will be available at: http://voteattila.com/

About Me

People who have worked on my films have gone on to acquire agents, get art commissions, and advance their careers in film and other industries.

I started out as an actor and poet, who was considering a career in hairdressing, among other things. Then, a friend of mine borrowed his father’s camcorder, and before I knew it I was asked to write screenplays.

In addition to screenplays, I’ve written poems, short stories, magazine articles, web copy, a novel, stage plays and screenplays, as well as speculative radio plays. I hope to add comic books to the list. Most of my writing is around history or is fiction.

I also do administrative work (including all the budgeting, transcribing, marketing and web design) and acting, and have had a hand at post production (including animation.)

I’ve acted in festival films and corporate films, post produced and crewed in corporate films, and done more on NGO and student films. More details of my experience may become available when I apply to work on your project.

A partial profile is here:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/udigrudi/
bloggy company website:
http://ptara.com

What I Want

First choice would be for an executive producer or development executive to make this film happen. Or maybe an agent. Someone with access to funding, or who at least has the nerve to try to raise money.

Even if we can’t raise enough to make it into a film right away, maybe it could work as a comic (first).

I hope to add this film to the Vote Attila website: http://voteattila.com as perhaps a proof of concept. I’m also seeking money to make the website better. I’ve begun an Attila feature, and being commissioned to finish that would be fantastic.

We plan to move this project toward inclusion in schools, as an introduction to Classical history. Teachers, museums, and others can show this film as part of a lesson about barbarian invasions, the colosseum, the Roman senate, and other issues presented and alluded to in this film.

Do you think you could help me get: Commissions for other projects? A job as a staff writer for a cartoon series? Funding to do this professionally? If that sounds too difficult, then this project probably isn’t for you.

Even if you don’t have the money to get this film made, perhaps you can join our team, so I can mention you as a team member when I apply for funding. In that case, let me know what attracts you to this project, and what you feel you can add to it (and a link to your Viadeo, Linkedin, Xing or other professional profile.)

If you’re interested in helping Attila in another capacity, let me know.

Continue reading Vote Attila: Pitch