Tag Archive: jonathan rosenbaum

Prep Underway for Thirty Decibels Book Trailer

Before I get into the update – Chicago folks, we need your help!
We’d like to shoot early to mid-September and we need: 1) A choir rehearsal space, either in a school or church or theater, for a few hours; 2) A library for a few hours (bookstore may also work); 3) A high-school age choir group. These choir and library shots are very important to the trailer. So please get in touch if you know of any resources!

Lately, I’ve been working behind the scenes with Chicago’s Palinopsia Studio to prep for our Thirty Decibels book trailer shoot – finalizing storyboards, discussing wardrobe and props, and securing locations – all leading up to the upcoming shoot.

Thirty Decibels storyboard, showing main character Ava in the library: the only place Whisperers hold authority

Thirty Decibels storyboard, showing high-powered politico villain, CityLeader Frankel, using his full volume

Wardrobe will take on a post-cultural layering theme.

Main character Ava's vest, to be paired with a white hoodie.

Short films are such a blast to work on. I have a little previous experience to draw from…

From 2000-2002, I worked for a large Chicago ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather. My main clients were Sears, Kenmore, Suave, and Dove – and I was lucky enough to art direct several TV spots. Basically, that means I helped create the “story” behind each commercial, helped cast the actors, and worked with the director, propmasters, effects artists, and editors to make sure that story idea came across effectively. After stepping foot on that first film set and seeing how efficiently film professionals could create a story from thin air, I was hooked.

In 2002-2003, I worked on the sets of a few short films: I was a set dresser for graduate student Rae Shaw’s film Soap and Roses, which earned the attention of film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum (here’s the unofficial review, and a sample scene); I was a PA (production assistant) / actor in a hilarious horror-comedy called Skunk Ape!? , which appeared in the Tromadance film festival (here’s my take); and a PA / actor in an adaptation of the rather talented Chicago author Joe Meno‘s I Was a Mathlete Until I Met Margo Marriswhich appeared in the Chicago International film festival, Tribeca film festival, and Dances with Films(Click the title to see the whole film. I’m not Margo Marris, but I have a fun cameo.)

I have such a soft spot for filmmaking – for the collaboration of skill, passion, wit, and elbow grease from everyone involved. And I’m so excited to be a part of that tradition again.

I look forward to posting our progress here as we go.
If there’s anything specific you’d like to see, or if you have any questions for myself or the director, fire them away below! We’d love to hear from you.

Rave review from a movie god

I just received film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum’s unofficial review of a film called Soap and Roses. I worked on the film while I was freelancing last year.

I say “unofficial review” because it was an e-mail from Mr. Rosenbaum to the director of the film, Rae Shaw (who now has a master’s in film – Soap and Roses was her thesis project.)

I was a set dresser on the project – especially exciting because Mr. Rosenbaum “especially liked… the overall look of the film.” Yay!

Here’s what Rosenbaum said:

Dear Rae,

I’m truly sorry that it’s taken me so long to get back to you. Cheryl Ross and I decided to watch Soap and Roses together, and it actually took us this long before we had a chance to get together and do this. (We saw it only last Saturday.)

In any case, I think it would be accurate to say that we were both impressed. Speaking for myself, I especially liked the direction of your main actors, the interesting and original choices of camera angles, the editing, and, more generally, the overall look of the film.
All in all, it shows a lot of promise, and I hope you’ve been making progress in your career since you moved to Los Angeles.

All the best (and Happy Thanksgiving),

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Soap and Roses is not viewable online, but try BET or BETJ listings for “Best Shorts” or “Short Film Showcase” – they’ve aired it multiple times (Yay, Rae!)

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