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About KevinNikkel

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  1. Guy Maddin's very first short film with the Winnipeg Film Group was called "The Dead Father"... I think you can find it on the DVD of "Careful" or try www.winnipegfilmgroup.com The film is semi-autobiographical if I remember correctly, and very strange, as per all of his films.
  2. You guys in Chicago are lucky. Geographically, you could possibly pitch in and share equipement... i.e a monster of a PC system or a G5. Several years ago I joined with some friends here in Winnipeg to buy a Sony camera. The informal cooperative transformed my filmmaking perspective. Suddenly I could make lots of short films when ever I wanted because the camera was freely available. Collaboration and pooling resources is obviously the key... and access to good gear goes far. I also love what was said earlier... at the end of the day, just go and make your film, regardless of the software/hardware. Limitations (and dogma rules?) can inspire creativity: perhaps a film made without software? Editing in camera? Just a thought.
  3. I really enjoyed reading this thread. I'm using FCP 3 and am sold on it... but I am tired of people who claim that the Mac platform is sent from heaven. I'm also convinced that people need to get out there and make films with what ever software they have, regardless of the functionality. Software is often like an animal in much need of attention. The danger is that you spend all your time tweaking your software and no time creating good films.
  4. I mentioned in a discussion after the critic's roundtable at Flickerings my concern that critics too often overlook the inter-related obligations of their role with others in the "square" of cinema. (Note: Credit for the square idea goes to Bevan Klassen, director of "Wildlands" at this year's Flickerins) The square is made of: -filmmakers (directors, and all cast/crew) -film critics -venue curators -audience It seems to me that each of these groups need each other, but are also some how obliged to the other. This get complex, expecially when discussing the "narccistic" nature of expression. We are individuals yes, but we also exist in community. We must offer our ideas in the context of relationship. At a minimum a filmmaker needs to respect the relationship with his/her characters and with his/her audience (a starting point for this idea would be Flickerings dogma rule 9 relates well here: "...neither the characters nor the audience are to be manipulated and/or disrespected for the sake of communicating a "message"."). I also believe the critic ought to be more aware of the filmmaker; perhaps this means avoiding a complete separation of the film from the filmmaker. Too many film reviews seem to review the film as a separate entity, devoid of its creator. Films are made by people (teams of people actually...). Perhaps more filmmakers need to respect their audience in how they use the craft. Likewise, critics need to respect the other members of the square (filmmakers are a part of the audience... curators being another. I am a currator of a local short-film venue and am at times frustrated at the lack of concern given by critics to small events. If it isn't a Hollywood franchise that has a long run in a huge theatre it is not worth reviewing.) The curator has a tough job. He/she has to keep making it at the box office, pick films people want to watch, pick films people need to watch, and pick films by new filmmakers to help foster growth. Conversations with a local art house cinema programmer has left me heartened that he is trying to squeeze in independent films so the exposure increases the chances that a filmmaker has the opportunity to make a second and third film. I haven't mentioned the audience yet, but I think that more can be expected from that end too. Kevin
  5. Dale, this will be more of a filmmaker's commentary on "Eileen": As I mentioned previously to you, I still feel your monologue was the strongest of the lot. You owned it and it flowed where the other stories were more 'read'. I think editing/inter-cutting the other stories around your strong monologue would enhance it. This would probablly cut the length and might make the film's title & chapter credits less connected. I liked the chapter titles but perhaps they too should move quicker. I'm a firm believer in short short films. In my view, the vast majority of the films at Flickerings suffered for length. With your film, the pay off was unnecessarily delayed by your pacing/editing (again, I like a short/snappy short film)... but the pay off itself was fine. I really liked the story/concept of what actually happened to Eileen. I wish you would explore this type of pseudo-Biblical storytelling more in the future. I find it interesting. It creeps up on the viewer like the frogs in Magnolia. You are definately on to something with this... keep this option open, but not too obvious in your future work. As stated in other postings, I'd benefit from a second viewing. Your "Ernest goes to the Window" film is also covering some good ground. I really liked it-- in fact much more than "Eileen". I can't remember if I mentioned to you at the time, but it reminded me of the protagonist in Cronenberg's "Spider"... we hear him mumbling but only catch bits and pieces. I liked the fact that I didn't know what Ernest was really doing. Still not clear on the "found footage' of the other Ernest on TV, nor did I like the 'goldfish' bit. Enough said. Keep at this. Between the two films, progress/creativity are evident. Kevin
  6. I must say that I'm flattered by the above discussion. Seems rather high-brow for my typical flight path... but that might be my lack of film-criticism-type-background. I'm very interested in how this film is seen to be "Canadian". If anyone else sensed that, please elaborate as to how (Mike... please explain your statement). I'm also a huge Egoyan fan... and am flattered by his name surfacing in the context of a discussion of my film. Leaving some things more cryptic or unresolved was my intention. In regards to the priest character: My funding proposal for the initial project included the following quote from Flannery O'Connor: "To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures." I attempted to make the priest someone who has been through a lot in life... similar to the priest in "On the Waterfront". Perhaps he is someone who lived through Vietnam or other types of traumatic events. This type of person is not your typical "Simpsons" type clergyman. Our first intro to him is him lighting a smoke... or hestitating over lighting the cigarette. He then proceeds to dump half of his morning mail into the trash then immediately discards his smoldering butt into the same can. He isn't bothered by consequences but rather does what needs doing according to him at the time. When he discovers the husband... he is not intimidated by someone with a gun about to urinate on his church. In my mind, he knows this type of character. His suspicions are later confirmed when the wife shows up. He knows that this guy won't change unless something drastic happens. Shooting him is the best thing that could happen to him at this moment (with apologies here to O'Connor). The priest is fully aware of his actions and attempts to wound him (a la the wounding in "Ghost Dog") Perhaps this is explaining too much info that the film itself should explain. I believe there is enough there to get what I've intended to say. Frequent viewings would obviously help. I've seen it far too many times myself. Kevin
  7. Anyone out there have opportunity to see my film "Shooting Guns in Church" at Flickerings last week and willing to comment? Kevin Nikkel
  8. ... just returned home from a post-Cornerstone holiday and am therefore a bit late in posting this. I wanted to mention how much I enjoyed meeting/chatting with Jeffery, Dale, Robert & Mike L at Flickerings. I value your ideas and the perspective you bring to these threads and films. The panel discussion was very stimulating for me as a filmmaker... but I don't think I'm done with that conversation. More to follow. Kevin N
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