Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Take 5 w/Armando Valle

Armando Valle is an independent filmmaker, and soon-to-be graduate of the University Of Maryland at Baltimore County. His short films 'Rental' and 'A Walk In The Park' have been screened at several Baltimore venus, with 'Walk' winning 2nd place at the 2005 Camm Slamm. He also runs the website, dedicated to the art and critique of contemporary horror films.

1.What's the last movie you loved and what was the last movie that felt like a waste of time and money?

I really liked 'Juno'. It's a superbly scripted and executed indie film. I just loved the performances and the whole tone of the film. The stars really aligned for that movie. I'm not an animator, but I thought Pixar's 'Ratatouille' was somekind of masterpiece.

I tend to avoid bad films right from the get go, so it's been a while since I've seen a movie that's wasted my time and money. A movie has to be really, really bad for me to say I hate it. I really like a lot of stuff. That said, I didn't like 'Crash' a couple of years ago. That movie practically hits you over the head like a hammer with its message. I also thought 'The Chronicles of Narnia' was one kiddy-fied, generic, boring movie. After the excellent 'Lord Of The Rings' trilogy, watching 'Narnia' is like regressing to an awkward stage of childhood. And the sequel, 'Prince Caspian', looks like its gonna blow chunks too.

2.What's your guilty pleasure movie or TV show?

I'm guilty of TiVo'ing 'Cheaters'. I get some sort of dark pleasure from watching dumb people destroy their relationships on national TV. I'm guilty of really liking Michael Bay's 'Transformers' movie, but that's partly because I'm a huge Transformers geek. Also, I think the first 'Evil Dead' is better than 'Evil Dead 2'. There, I said it. (a thousand horror geeks just gasped).

3.How'd you get into filmmaking?

I remember watching Clive Barker's 'Hellraiser' in 1987 and saying, 'This is what I want to do the rest of my life. Bring visions like this to life.' I then bought John Russo's 'Makiing Movies' book and read it time and again until it felt apart on me. Shortly after that, I enrolled into film school at UMBC (the first time).

4.What's your fave piece of gear?

It's gotta be the movie camera. It's such a sexy piece of equipment. There's something about handling a camera, framing your shot, doing a complicated handheld shot, that'ssorta like the cerebral version of the rise you get when you play an electric guitar. A great camera hits my pleasure center right in the center of my brain.

5. What's the one thing you'd warn a new filmmaker NOT to do on their first film?

Don't do a feature without doing a short film. I see some many filmmakers talking trash about shorts, and then they go and do awful features, Just because the equipment has gotten digital and its way cheaper, you still need to know how to craft a good film, and the economy of the film short really teaches you that craft. The second thing I would advice is don't go with the first set of actors you find. Make sure you audition widely and be picky, even if you're not paying those actors. A poorly-assembled cast can turn your genius indie first film idea into a forgettable flop.

Oh, and use lights. Just because you're shooting digital doesn't mean you can just shoot in the dark in the middle of woods without lights. You still have to figure out a way to light your night woods scene. Period.

No comments:

Indie Film Blogs

Live feeds from some of our favorite indie film blogs! Arts and Minds

Salon: Beyond the Multiplex


Film: Film blog | - Indie Eye

doc it out

Filmmaker Magazine CPTV