Practice, Craft, In Your Blood: “Man in a Blizzard”

Roger Ebert blogs, rather gushes on his blog about “Man In a Blizzard”:

This film deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject. (1) Because of its wonderful quality. (2) Because of its role as homage. It is directly inspired by Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent classic “Man With a Movie Camera.” (3) Because it represents an almost unbelievable technical proficiency.

You can tell from the cinematography he knew exactly what he was doing and how to do it. He held the Vertov film in memory. Stuart must already been thinking of how he would do the edit and sound. Any professional will tell you the talent exhibited here is extraordinary.

The creator of the film writes to Ebert:

The simple answer as to how it was done so quickly: practice.

Most of the work I’ve done for the past half dozen years has been improvised online press-related shorts, which by nature requires a fast turnaround. Before that, I used to storyboard all my work — so I had a strong sense of film language. The trick is to step into situations, often without a plan, and try to make it look like it was all planned. For instance, when I first started doing work for Filmmaker Magazine, I had just done my NYFF44 series, and Scott Macaulay asked if he could see the scripts I used for the episodes; I had to tell him there weren’t any.

“In your blood” from the title is a reference to another blog post, where Ray Bradbury talks about reading Moby Dick dozens and dozens of times to prepare to write the screenplay for the movie version starring Gregory Peck.

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