Monday, April 7, 2008

Take 5 with filmmaker (and Salon host) Mark Colegrove!

Mark Colegrove has been making short films and music videos since 2002, and in
2005 served as editor and director of photography on the feature-length 70's Italian B-Movie homage, Pleasures of the Damned. The sequel, Isle of the Damned, will premiere at the Creative Alliance just in time for Halloween, on October 17th, 2008. Mark is also the host of CAmm's bimonthly CAmm Salon - a networking and critique event for local filmmakers. The next CAmm Salon is tonight - Mon Apr 7 at 7pm!

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

I just rented King of Kong last week, and I thought that was pretty amazing. It was entertaining, funny, heart-warming, basically all of the right ingredients were there. I'm not too big on documentaries usually, but this one was great. It was a sports film on par with Rocky.

As for a waste of time and money, that's my specialty, because I actually love seeking out crap. My buddies and I used to get together pretty often to watch some real cinematic stink-bombs, and provide our own MST3K style commentary, so to me, a truly-bad film can actually be a gem. I find the worst films to be something right in-between, something mediocre and bland... not bad enough to make fun of, and not good enough to enjoy. Evan Almighty was pretty bad, even though I saw it for free.

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

There's so many bad films that I've seen over and over again, but one that stands out above the rest is Max Magician and the Legend of the Rings. Some of the folks from Pleasures of the Damned turned me on to it, so I bought a copy of ebay, and have gotten a good deal of replay value out of it. Picture a cheap Harry Potter knock off, shot at the Maryland Renaissance Festival during-off season, chock full of cheesy digital fx, and horrible ADR. It has it's redeeming qualities... somehow they had a budget to shoot on 35mm, and the special fx makeup is quite good, but it's truly a laugh-riot. There's this one scene at the end where Max has to resurrect these mystical ancient knights, so he reads this spell, and since the production team was too lazy to dig a hole in the ground for the knights to rise from, instead they just climb out of a pile of leaves.

3. How'd you get into filmmaking?

In High School, my friend Ken and I made a bunch of cheesy movies for English class... anytime there was a paper due, we'd convince the teacher to let us do a short film instead, so we did modern versions of Othello, Streetcar Named Desire, etc. We had to edit using two VCRs, run through a mixer so that we could add in music. If you screwed up, you'd have to start over. I got to college attempting to major in Math, and it got too tough for me eventually, so I went and got a degree in Film instead to learn how to do things the right way. If my teachers ever saw Pleasures, they would probably take that degree back pretty quick.

4. What's your fave piece of gear?
Dave Kratz, the DP for Isle of the Damned, got a jib halfway through production, and it really changed the way I thought of the storyboards. I feel like moving camera pulls the audience in more. I'd use it on every shot if only it didn't take so long to setup.

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

I would say that it's always best to keep things simple. Easy locations, fewer actors, etc. The more complicated that stuff gets, the more of a scheduling nightmare your film will become. Generally (or on my level at least) you're not paying people to be there, it's not a Hollywood picture, so don't think of it as such. Do something different that will make your film stand out. Blair Witch (love it or hate it) is a good example. Don't just go out and try to do a rip off of National Treasure for $3000, because the audience, given the choice between your film and that, is gonna go see Nicholas Cage's toupee.

Here's a trailer for Mark's next film,
Isle of the Damned. Warning, some graphic content!

1 comment:

PR_GMR said...

I'm completely in agreement about what the worst movies--It's those movies that are perfectly mediocre and aren't bad enough to funny. I hate most of Hollywood's bland crap.

Luckily, your teachers at Towson will never see 'Pleasures' and come back for that degree.

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