The Work Of Blind Budget Films (Re-Post from the old Ryan’s Reviews site)

Description: (only thing available related to this on Blind Budget’s site, http://www.fwank.net) The One-day film project:
This is a project by Blind Budget Films wherein we create an entire short film in one day. It is a grueling process, but it has yielded us some awesome results so far. Please have a look.

Major Cast:
Brian Lorelle and David Grisham

Written and Directed by Brian Lorelle and David Grisham

Shorts Included: Ill Flower, Strangers & Cigarettes, Teacup, Wiley Gangster, Dig, How the Fuck?, Excessive Force, Strangers & Cigarettes, We Have Lightsabers, Bird Watcher, and Spy.

Right from the very beginning of TWoBBF, I was struck by the great composition and movement of the camera. Ill Flower opens with quick moving shots full of texture and color; I was immediately drawn into the film by the beauty of the seemingly random items the camera strayed over. I found this visual acuity to be present in most of the shorts that comprised TWoBBF. This visual stylization is important, as most of the films that make up this compilation actually have very little or no dialogue.

The quality of the picture varies throughout the films – some were obviously shot on an older digital camera, and are quite grainy (reminiscent of footage I’ve shot before on my digital 8), others were shot on a newer DV, the grain is gone and instead replaced with crisp 30p images. Truthfully, I’m not sure which format’s images I like better. While the picture quality is much crisper, and the auto focus not nearly as noticeable, on the films shot on the DV, I actually enjoy the grain on the “digital 8” shots.

Unfortunately, on the footage shot by both cameras, there never seems to have been any lights or mics present. All of the lighting throughout these shorts appear to have been shot with available light and on-camera mic. I guess if you were going for a Dogme 95 certification, this would be ok – but these shorts break to many other Dogme 95 edicts to be able to claim that was their intention with the lack of lights (and I’m pretty sure if asked, Blind Budget would make no mention of Dogme 95). The lighting is not horrible or unwatchable, but the films would most certainly benefited from the use of some strategically placed lumens.

The sound through out the shorts is quite uneven; the (unlicensed) music – which is not a problem as long as you don’t try to sell your flick – is carefully selected and works very well within most of its applications. The dialogue is a different story. Because of the use of the on-camera mics (I’m assuming), the dialogue is muffled and hard to understand in many points. Many of the films benefit from their lack of dialogue for this very reason.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that the lighting or sound situation in TWoBBF makes these shorts in any way unwatchable – but the films production value could be much higher, which would vastly improve TWoBBF overall. That being said, many of these films were part of Blind Budget Films’ One-Day Film Project – and were conceived and seemingly completed in one day. One day.

Did I mention ONE DAY? For such a short period and limited cast / crew, TWoBBF is a standout project. Sure, the shorts have their flaws – some are too dark, the auto focus on the camera too haywire, the dialogue obscured by wind – but these films also show great promise in their artistic merit, and their improvisational, loose feel, and their overall quality. I would greatly welcome a film from Blind Budget that married their great composition and overall flow (and surrealistic weirdness) with some decent pre-production, additional cast and crew and a longer script. In the mean time, I think I need to watch Bird Watcher again and try and figure out just what the hell is going on.

Overall 7 / 10

The Work of Blind Budget Films is not on the imdb.

The Work of Blind Budget Films is not for sale, but you can watch some of the shorts at http://www.fwank.net/film.html

The Work of Blind Budget Films site: http://www.fwank.com

…oh, and I bet you’re thinking “he had Strangers and Cigarettes in the list twice!” and you’re right, I did. Because Blind Budget shot it twice – once on the “digital 8” camera, and again on the DV – and created an almost shot-for-shot remake of one of their own films, smartypants.

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