ACURA METRIC MASHUP

Hey Everyone! I hope you are having a productive summer. Below is an amazing collaboration between Acura and Metric. Metric toured 3 big cities showcasing their music and the new tricked out Acura ILX in front of every venue. We got to film it all. This is just 1 part of a mashup that is part documentary, part music video, part live concert and part Acura commercial. Of course, thank you to my amazing last minute crew: Bernard Evans, Carole McClintock, and Quincy Gray. Thank you Matt Stanley and Lauren Graham for bringing me on this project. More videos to come.

Enjoy!

Acura ILX and Metric Blend
Los Angeles tour

THE MEN'S ROOM

Congratulations to the principle team for this film. I was lucky enough to be the UPM and star in the film and am proud of its success in the festival world.

Check out the trailer!

The Men's Room Trailer from Nature Show on Vimeo.

Klucid- You have skills

Having a website these days is really important if you are in any sort of creative industry. I feel like being able to establish your brand and showcase your work in one space you can call your own is key. If any of you are ever looking to get a website built, you should absolutely go with my favorite, Klucid. He built irinapopov.com for me and made it ever so user friendly to edit, add content and more. I owe it all to him.

Check out his website! http://klucid.com/

See you kids later!

check out www.klucid.com for more website samples!

First in Flight

This amazing short I worked on is finally wrapped. Congratulations for pulling off one such an ambitious project. Below is a photo of a to scale replica of the Wright Brothers' glider against a 30x50' green screen. Practicals shot at the sand dunes in Pismo Beach. Crazy shoot! Thanks for playing.

First in Flight
First in Flight

More Stop Motion

There are truly some amazing stop motion shorts out there. These days anyone could buy a camera, learn how to use it, get an idea, execute and post online. This helps with the decline of moviegoers due to all of this increased accessibility thanks to the internet. However, it allows and promotes a huge wave of content produced by a demographic that wouldn't normally have access to this industry. It fascinates and scares me how fast technology is progressing. According to TRANSCENDENT MAN, Ray Kurzweil predicts that with our ever-accelerating technology, we will be able to transcend our biological limitations. Boundaries between human and machine, real and virtual will be blurred and we will even be able to cure death (you should really watch this documentary). This may seem like a huge digression on my part but this rapid development of technology and science does and will continue to affect the film industry in ways that we probably can't imagine at this point. How we will be making films to how we will be experiencing a film in the future will all change. I think filmmakers should be excited that we are entering a new era with possibilities of pioneering new methods of movie making and marketing! But really, I just wanted to show you this really well made stop motion by PES.

Chipotle, Sustainable Farming and Stop Motion

Hey All!

So this week has had an interesting emphasis on factory farmed meat for me. It started with FOOD Inc. when I was so disturbed by the images that I didn't eat meat for a few days after. Then I remembered this amazing ad campaign that Chipotle aired at the Grammy's in February. Chipotle now supports the FOOD WITH INTEGRITY campaign to stop factory farmed meats. Chipotle's founder, Steve Ells, also started the Chipotle Cultivation Foundation to encourage sustainable farming methods and local farms. I think this is a huge step for Chipotle, whose major investor used to be McDonalds. Above that, this is a hopeful shift for the commercial food industry because family farmers who raise animals naturally now have major clients like Chipotle keeping them in business. When demand increases so does supply and Chipotle sees that and should be commended for stepping up as a fast food chain to promote such a sustainable cause. I feel like other fast food chains have no excuse now.

On a side note, Chipotle's commercial is very well made and sends a strong message that resonates with audiences hopefully inspiring them to support the cause. Below, I have the Chipotle ad and the making of showing you how much effort and talent went in to make "Back to the Start". I am very impressed with the filmmakers' use of 3D model making, forced perspective and mechanics. Stop motion is a love of mine and I respect any team that can do it well. Please go get a a burrito from Chipotle and check these videos out! Thanks.

Visit www.chipotle.com for more information on Chipotle's stances on the food market. You can also just Google it of course.

Andrew Stanton Talks Story

Stars - Barbie Hatch

What a great experience working on this video. The kids were adorable and the director and DP collaborated so well together. It was a long day from morning to night but everyone stayed on top of it so thank you all for that. The song is also such a success- congratulations everyone! One more music video done. Just press play.

Robot & Frank Review

I recently watched a screener for ROBOT & FRANK (2012) by first time director, Jake Schreier. This drama comedy centers around an ex-robber who is now elderly and suffering from dementia. His kids who are grown up can no longer give him the attention they think he needs so they get him a robot caretaker that Frank reluctantly accepts into his life. The cast is very impressive: Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden and Liv Tyler. This film absolutely deserved the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film prize at Sundance this year-- Congratulations!

I commend the filmmakers for making tasteful piece set in what seems to be present day but in an advanced world allowing me to connect to the space. In an interview Schreier said, "But I think part of the same reason why we wanted to make the movie was because it was the onset of technology into spaces where it hasn’t been before. So Frank’s life has been relatively devoid of this new technology. He has a TV phone that his kids have gotten him, but otherwise he is living in a place that can be from any era almost. It is all old stuff. So you get the contrast of these little pieces that stick out more rather than trying to art direct everything to be very futuristic. I think the same goes with the town. It is a rural town where if you up to a rural town right now you will find a lot of old cars up there and you won’t find flat screens all over the place in the way you would in New York City." I think the lack of modern technology strengthens the heartwarming relationship between human and machine. Their micro budget was a great limitation for what kinds of technologies could be done because the filmmakers were able to really focus on the character arcs an really create this welcoming worlds we could all dive into.

Also, I found great humor within the rationality of a robot mind interacting with a mentally unstable human. The dialogue was very well constructed and realistic. I was able to relate to even a robot, who plays with the idea of sense of self using it to manipulate our main character. I loved how the robot was faceless so at times it could appear a little creepy like you didn't know what it was thinking and at other times it had the adorable Eve look from WALL-E; this heightened both the comedy and drama between Frank and the Robot.

I feel that the uphill battle I have with some of these science fiction films set in the future with artificial intelligence tend to become a gimmick and difficult to relate to but with this film I got lost in the story and the characters. The world was very real to me and I appreciated how no one ignored natural issues that would arrise from robots integrating into our society. For instance, Frank's daughter was an advocate against robots who believed that robots were replacing human interactions when she should be taking care of her father rather than some machine. At this point in the film the audience and Frank understand that the robot is more than just a machine, it is Frank's friend. That is what made their relationship so real because we didn't want to accept that the robot was just a program. There were even times that the robot would testify this fact and Frank would say that he didn't want to hear it because it would creep him out. These were moments in the film that made the human condition so real and apparent that we thirst for connection. I felt myself forgetting and denying that this robot didn't have feelings until comic relief reminded me that it was just a finite machine. One of my favorite scenes in the film is with Frank and his wife at a party where they both bring their robots (The dialogue is from memory and not 100% accurate).

Frank: Why don't you interact with each other?
Frank's robot: That is not my function.
Frank: Well when humans become extinct aren't you robots going to build your own society?
Frank's robot: I am not sure what you mean.
Frank: Just talk to him like you would a human.
Frank's robot to wife's robot: Hello, how are you?
Wife's robot: I am functioning normally, and you?
Frank's robot: I am functioning normally too.
Both robots turn back to Frank staring blankly at him.

I am so impressed with the filmmakers ability to create such a raw and honest relationship between two polar opposites-- a stubborn, lonely old man and a humanoid robot who thinks its only purpose is to improve the health of his human. In the end, It feels like they both need each other when in reality the robot was just a tool for Frank to come to terms with his dementia. I am confident that this will be a top ten for me this year. The film is witty, intelligent and the actors do an amazing job with the material. This is a must see!

Frank and his robot.

Location Location!

I was hired as location manager for a webisode for CHILLER TV (Sister of Syfy). Then, the UPM dropped out and I got upgraded to producer since I had helped with most of the principle crewing. However, I still have the responsibility of finding locations along with everything else. Solution? Hire a UPM. Done! But a good location manager that will do it for a small budget? It might as well be me. So it is.

One of the most challenging positions in pre-production? Location manager. Having been one myself, it is really about who you know and creating your own private database for locations and connections to those locations. I find it is so valuable to just become best friends with these location owners, establishing trust and dependability. When a production loses its Plan A location, everything is turned upside down and it directly affects every single department. In general, I feel so stressed until I have my locations actually locked down and once they are I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I really value the position of the location manager and their team because they seriously have to do an astronomical amount of work to make so many people happy. It isn't just finding the right look, its about if this location can even handle a crew of 100 people plus and then does it fit with the budget, etc.-- there are just so many elements that have to fall into place. There is just something so valuable in a location team and I am very excited for the day I find mine.

PS: I am searching for the perfect office space to splatter blood all over. Any leads?!

-Take Care, Irina