- Insufficient funds for a project of this type and scale (a fantasy film with an ensemble cast)
- The weather constantly turning on the cast & crew (and messing with insurance, since these events are classified as 'Acts Of God)
- Actors not on set or even in the same country as the film was prepping, thus great increasing the difficulty in preparing adequately (a humorous example being a horse that was supposed to push Johnny Depp forward, but because he wasn't there, on the day of the shoot, the horse did squat)
- Shambolic hierarchy (throughout the film, the team are disorganized and pointing fingers at each other over the various problems afflicting the production)
- Lack of faith among the crew, many commenting multiple times on the challenges, some absurd, on making a film like this with what they had.
Leaving that behind, we moved to main point of today's seminar - what film were we going analyze for the essay, and why? My choice is Michael Cimino's infamous epic western Heaven's Gate (1980), which has very much become a nightmare scenario for film producers, with notorious stories of overspend, waste of film and constant retakes, animal abuse during the battle scenes and above all else, loss of control by the producers, who were unable to stand up to Cimino's rampant perfectionism and swelling ego. The advantage of having this type of film to analyze if primarily its age (30 years) and as a by-product, the sheer wealth of material available that talks about the film and its many problems (including a documentary available on Youtube called Final Cut: The Making & Unmaking of Heaven's Gate).
Later, we had the seminar for Film & Innovation, where we showed off our shorts to each other, and got feedback: my team's, however, couldn't be shown due to some technical bugs, but it was later posted to the MDX Film Facebook page for all to see, and it seemed to have gone done well. The short is available here on my Vimeo page:
Afterwards, we watched some other art shorts from professionals on UBU.com, in order to help generate some ideas for our own pieces (A 2 projector piece for exhibition). Some of the shorts shown included:
- Me/We, Okay, Gray by Eija-Liisa Ahtila - a 3 screen work, which loop and show different parts of the film
- If 6 was 9 by Eija - Another three screen piece, where the narrative jumps between the screens, with occasional continuity between them
- Twenty Six (Drawing & Falling things) - unlike the other two, this one is more humorous, a sort of artistic Looney Tunes where two men interact with objects and/or each other, often leading to playing with perspective.
- Sthory by Michael Snow - a two screen piece where the images overlay, creating a sense of depth
- The Sandman by Stan Douglas, another two screen work, notable for its one continuous shot panning across a room as a man narrates