Sunday, April 23, 2017

Deciphering Movie Posters

Imgur user, LamerisiremaL, recently posted a fascinating look at Hollywood posters and what they can tell us at just a glance. We found this interesting and so we're re-posting it here in its entirety.

Movie poster cliches and what they tell...

  • Back to Back. Do the main roles have a love/hate relationship, and are they forced to work together to get the job done? Show them off with backs against each other.

  • One Eye. One eye looking eerily to the public. Probably a horror movie, but human nature will be a theme.

  • Yellow All Over. A bright yellow poster is probably an independent movie but with a mainstream enough script so it is accessible for the main public. Floating Heads. Big heads over small people, the beach or a desert, silhouette at the ocean and pastel colors--bring your tissues because tears will flow with this emotional drama.

  • Backshot of a Loner. Feel the drama while looking over the shoulder of our hero, he/she is most likely holding a weapon. In Bed. Main characters in a bed (often frowning to each other) indicates that the problems are just there, in the bedroom.

  • Blue. Movies revolving around animals are most likely with blue posters and white letters, add a big moon for drama. Black & White. Black and white face and background with colored flames, this will be a action-packed movie.

  • Skewed and Running. He's running! But where? A thriller. The blue adds to the suspense as the main lead is unwillingly pulled into a drama in which he needs to discover something. Red Dress. A woman in a red dress, it's a romcom!

More at distractify. Special thanks to Michael Holly for sharing the link.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

George Lucas Foundation Project Completed

Back in December, Tarazod flew to Oregon to shoot interviews with Nature Conservancy fire-control burn bosses from around the US. The footage has now been edited and the project completed.

A total of 88 short videos were produced which will be used with new technology in a fourth grade test program sponsored by the George Lucas Foundation.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

NGSS Red-Winged Blackbird Project Near Completion

The Next Generation Science Standards video project that we started last year on the red-winged blackbird is nearly finished. We have been working with the National Science Teachers Association to create five educational videos meant to inform other teachers on the use of NGSS in the classroom. A number of individuals were involved in the planning, shooting, scripting, narration, and final edits. It's been a good collaborative undertaking.

The videos are now completed and awaiting final review. A few tweaks may still be necessary, yet the work for the most part has come to a conclusion. Next up is the NGSS bat project we shot in the fall of 2016.

MARCH 28, 2017 UPDATE: It's done! The last of the red-winged blackbird videos has been delivered.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

More NGSS Narration Recording Sessions

Earlier today, we continued our recording of narration for the Next Generation Science Standards video series that we are working. Nicholas Wootton has come into his own as the voice for these short films, originally filling in for our dear friend, the late Colin Cameron who was the narrator of the first series back in 2015.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Don" to Screen at Critical Edge Film Fest

Last month, our short film, Don Circles the Drain, was part of a preview screening for the Critical Edge Film Fest in Madison. The actual festival is now upon us and Don will again play on the big screen.

Date: Saturday January 28, 2017
Time: 2-5 pm
Venue: The Marquee Cinema, 1308 West Dayton St., Madison, Wisconsin

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Don Circles the Drain - Full Movie

Don Circles the Drain: Surviving Access TV in 10 Easy Steps is a co-production between C Side Films and Tarazod Films.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"Giant Chicken" sequence from Mad City Chickens

Mad City Chickens is our documentary from 2008. It's about backyard know...they're pretty humorous animals if you spend anytime around 'em. So during pre-production, we decided that we wanted to keep the movie lighthearted, to break things up...with a giant chicken (which was inspired by the work of artist S.V. Medaris). And if we're doing that, we might as well throw in a "mad scientist" as well.

It been almost ten years since we shot these fantasy sequences. The professor was played by our good friend Colin Cameron, who recently passed away. The original clip is about 2:30 minutes and appears about three-quarters of the way into the movie. Then the story was concluded with another sequence that ran during the end credits. Both segments are now shown below in a contiguous manner.

The documentary originally premiered at the Wisconsin Film Fest on April 3, 2008 and then in DVD form on March 23, 2009.

The other players included:
  • Patrick Aspinwall...Lab Assistant #1
  • Justin Riley...Lab Assistant #2
  • Nancy Rost...Piano Player
  • Stephanie Wisniewski...Sidewalk Onlooker
  • Craig Johnson...Narrator

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

In Memoriam Colin Cameron

Our colleague and dear friend, Colin Cameron, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on November 6, 2016 (obit). Since the 1950s, Colin was an integral part of the Madison art, theater, and filmmaking community. He acted in and was involved with over 100 films.

  • We first met Colin just before the premiere of Geoff Lafayette's horror-comedy Buckystein. Colin played the starring role of a wacky Dr. Frankenstein.

  • It was because of Colin's zany performance in Buckstein that we asked him to be in our documentary Mad City Chickens. Although it was a non-fiction film, we wanted to add a fantasy sequence to maintain a lighthearted feel to the movie. It involved a Giant Chicken and a mad professor. We filmed his scenes in July '07 and it premiered the following March.

  • Colin landed the lead role of Rusty in the short, Hits. This was a Wisconsin Film School project and Tarazod was part of the instructor team. It was during this shoot that Colin would be introduced to fellow filmmakers and future friends Nicholas Wootton and Michael Holly. Hits premiered the next year.

  • We began two new film projects in 2011, and Colin was on board with both from the very start. He became the executive producer on our documentary, Benjamin's Ride: An Autistic Boy & Snow White, as well as on our short narrative, Strindberg's Assistant. Whenever time allowed from other gigs, we would work on these films. For the next five years, he was a steadfast source of creative support. Both movies are still in the post-production stage, and each will be dedicated to his memory when finally completed.

  • In addition to being the executive producer, Colin also plays the role of August Strindberg in Strindberg's Assistant.


  • Along with Windmiller Media and Exchange Productions, Tarazod co-produced Nicholas Wootton's film, Just God. Colin co-starred as Satan, and his scenes were shot in January of 2013.

  • He also narrated the trailer.

  • Michael Holly and Nicholas Wootton with Colin in March of 2013. We attended the premiere of our short, Beast. Bike. Beauty, at the Wildwood Film Festival.

  • Production begins on Don Circles the Drain, a joint project between Tarazod and Rick Richard's C Side Films. Colin was an associate producer, set photographer, and an extra in several different scenes. And he would also become the narrator and an assistant editor on the movie the following year.

  • No Sleep for Ronni is another narrative film we have in post-production. Principle photography was shot in 2014. The movie stars Veronica Narang with Colin in the supporting role of her doctor. He was also the executive producer.

  • Colin continued with his tireless efforts to move Don Circles the Drain towards completion. Numerous pick-up shots were needed to fill out the storyline. He was there to assist on almost every one of them.

  • We recorded his narration for Don Circles the Drain over several different sessions. And for months, Colin worked side-by-side with us on the edit of the film until it was finally completed in July of 2015.

  • Tarazod was hired to shoot and edit a series of educational videos for the National Science Teachers Association. Colin was asked to do the narration and everyone fell in love with his warm gentle voice.

  • Attending the 2016 Wildwood Film Festival in February for the screenings of both Don Circles the Drain and Just God (left to right: Colin, Rick, Robert, Nicholas).

  • Colin continued to edit with us on our three remaining films, particularly Benjamin's Ride. Throughout the summer, he sat with Robert at the editing station--three to five days a week. Real progress was being made. Our hope was to get a cut completed by year's end. As it turns out, however, more paid video work came in, which meant the film projects would need to be delayed until 2017.

  • The final gig we worked on with Colin was another project for the National Science Teachers Association. He resumed his narrator role, and we finished recording the last lines of the script just one day before he would leave on a two-week trip to Ottawa and then New York City. Upon his return, he had an accident in his apartment and was taken to the hospital. He passed not long after.

It's difficult here, sitting at the editing computer. The loss of his creative spirit and youthful energy is so keenly felt. Colin touched the lives of so many people. Ours will forever be changed for the better because of his close friendship. He will be missed.

Colin pictured in Madison with his sister, Mary (2008).

A Celebration of Colin's life will be held at the Brink Lounge, 701 E. Washington Ave. in Madison, from 2-5 pm on December 18, 2016.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

High Desert of Oregon

The video shoot at the Nature Conservancy conference wrapped up late last night. Before his flight home, Robert had a little time to explore the Cline Butte Recreation Area in the juniper forests on the edge of the high desert near Redmond, OR.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nature Conservancy Burn Boss Interviews

In natural areas that contain plant and animal species dependent upon fire for their survival, controlled burns are utilized to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Prairies are one example of the many diverse ecological landscapes which benefit from fire. A burn boss is the person in charge of the fire management team performing the controlled burn.

For the last two days, Robert has been in Oregon--along with science curriculum author Emily Miller--conducting interviews with Nature Conservancy burn bosses from around the US. The footage will be edited for use in a fourth grade test program sponsored by the George Lucas Foundation and headed up through a joint collaboration between Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.