Nov 16 2017

November 16, 2017Author: JasperNo Comments

Check out this feature article on Porto from MovieMaker magazine, which delves into the filmmaking procedure done for the film.

Porto is a love letter to the timelessness of great cinema. Director Gabe Klinger is a scholar of cinema history, and he was keen to invoke the textures and traditions of older films and filmmakers for this project.

The story didn’t have to be told in Portugal, but it had to take place in an old city that was lost in time. Depending on where you turn a camera, the city of Porto can transport you to any decade or century, and this was essential in creating a feeling of drifting through time and history. It was also essential to Gabe and I that we shoot on film (as opposed to digital), because film has a way of distancing the image from the present.

The film is about two people on separate paths that intersect for one cataclysmic night in a foreign city. We wanted Porto to evoke both the feeling of time passing throughout their lives, and of events happening in the present, and we worked with a variety of film formats to achieve this. Super 8mm was used for the more fleeting memories throughout their lives, almost like home movies. Super 16mm was our verité format, used to document the important events in their lives leading up to and following their night together. We used 35mm for a more formal real-time feel to show the encounter itself, unfiltered by time and memory. Initially these were to be separate chapters, but in the edit they were integrated to strike more connections between the past, present, and memory.

For the 8mm footage, we tested a half dozen cameras and settled on three different consumer models which slowly fell apart as the shoot progressed. We developed our tests with a hand-processor in Porto, something that we were very excited about initially, but the results were too unstable. In the end we sent our final films to ColorCity, a lab in Paris that at the time was still processing color reversal.

For the Super 16mm, we were watching a lot of direct cinema and verité films, and we were determined to get into the minimal, essential headspace of those filmmakers as much as possible. We even looked into reviving the sound-on-film cameras Robert Drew and associates were using, like, the Auricon, which scribbled the location audio directly onto the camera negative with a pulsing, shuttered light. Ultimately we decided that if those filmmakers were shooting today, they’d be using the lightest and most liberating 16mm cameras, and it was more important to honor their intention than to reanimate the technology. We used an Arri 416 for all the handheld and long-lens scenes following the two lead protagonists, Mati (Lucie Lucas) and Jake (Anton Yelchin), through their solitary existences. After filming several of these scenes, I found I was having a hard time falling into step with Anton. At last, he revealed that he had been honing a nearly imperceptible limp in his right foot for the role, as though Jake had been injured in his youth but hadn’t healed properly. I just had to learn the limp, and from then on we were in perfect sync! Anton was extraordinarily immersed in the role, even limiting his diet to local junk food like “Francesinhas” (meat and cheese sandwiches that are typical in the region) the entire time we were in Portugal, true to his character, who at one point in the film tell us that he doesn’t take care of himself.

For the scenes that take place in real-time the night of the encounter, Gabe wanted to jump up to 35mm ‘Scope to make it feel grander and more immersive, as the evening is experienced for Jake and Mati. We wanted it to feel less dated than the other material, so we shot with cleaner lenses (Cooke-S4s) and designed all of the scenes as single shots or series of shots with as little coverage as possible. Even the lovemaking scenes were designed to feel continuous and unyielding, unlike many love scenes which are minced together from a variety of angles in order to feel discreet. We did, however, shoot them very dark, keying two and a half stops under and filling three stops under from the key side, which veiled them in grain and rendered them in simpler forms, so that the nudity was not awkward and distracting.

The thing I love most about shooting film is that it removes everyone from the immediate results. With digital, you’re constantly seeing how the image will be rendered, which takes you out of the moment. When I look through an optical viewfinder and hear film whirring through the gate, I become totally tuned into the event happening in front of the camera, which is the essence of filmmaking. Each take is a unique event which cannot be repeated. An actor cannot do the same thing twice. This is true with digital, but somehow it’s easily forgotten. Seeing the picture on a monitor makes you think you can refine it endlessly, and that the final, flattened image is most important. It’s not. Good directors can maintain that immediacy and intimacy of the event when working with digital systems, but with film cameras it is inherent in the technology. This is why so many films we love from the last century feel so spontaneous and “raw.”

For us, it’s not about the aesthetic qualities of film (though those help); it’s the way film changes the process. With Porto, Anton and Gabe wanted to get back to this kind of filmmaking, which embraces chance and acknowledges that a movie can never be made the same way twice; that it is a product of who you cast and work with, and where and when you shoot. Thousands of factors influence the events that happen in front of the camera, and it becomes a cultural and historical artifact as soon as it is captured. Unfortunately, with Anton’s passing, this philosophy became even more real for Gabe and I. We’re very grateful to have the film as a recollection of our time with him.

Tech Box

Cameras: Arri 416 and Arricam Studio and Arri LT

Lenses: Zeiss Ultra16s and Cooke S4s

Film: Kodak 7219, Kodak 5219, Kodak Ektachrome and Fuji Velvia MM

Nov 15 2017

November 15, 2017Author: JasperNo Comments

One of Anton’s final films, Porto is set to be released in New York City this Friday, November 17th, in Landmark Sunshine Cinema, and will run until November 23rd. Visit this link for details and for booking advanced tickets! After that, the film will be shown in Los Angeles, California starting on November 24th to 30th in Landmark Nuart Theatre. For more info and for tickets for the LA run, visit this link. Check out high-quality images in our gallery and the official trailer below! Also, keep an eye out (if you’re not yet following us) on our Twitter for some more goodies as we approach and during the film release. All thanks to Kino Lorber, the distributor of the film.


Nov 05 2017

November 05, 2017Author: JasperNo Comments

The second season of Trollhunters is set to debut on Netflix next month, December 15th. Guillermo del Toro mentioned before that Anton’s work will still be a part of the second season. “The reality and the beauty of this is that we can continue not only the storyline and the characters, but we have a huge swath of work from Anton that allows us to continue Anton through more than half the season,” he told Entertainment Weekly. Check out the trailer for the new season, dubbed as Trollhunters Part 2!

From the limitless imagination of master storyteller Guillermo del Toro comes a tale of two worlds set to collide in the epic saga DreamWorks Trollhunters. When ordinary teenager Jim Lake Jr. stumbles upon a mystical amulet on his way to school one morning, he inadvertently discovers an extraordinary secret civilization of mighty trolls beneath his small town of Arcadia. Strong-willed and seeking adventure but wholly unprepared for the responsibilities thrust upon him, Jim is forced to take on the exalted mantle of Trollhunter, sworn to protect the good trolls from powerful enemies bent on revenge. The first human ever to hold the honor, Jim abruptly goes from fighting his way through the daily mayhem of high school to joining a war that has raged for centuries, a conflict that now threatens all of mankind and troll-kind alike. Accompanied by his closest human friends and a few key troll allies, the courageous fifteen-year-old must plunge headlong into a fantastical world of astonishing creatures, glorious cities, and fierce enemies desperate to destroy him. Suddenly destined to play a crucial role in an ancient battle of good and evil with stakes that couldn’t be higher, Jim is determined to save the world — right after gym class. DreamWorks Trollhunters is a heroic tale that uncoils with ambitious, complex storytelling and stunning visuals that raise the bar for animated series, creating an event series that will thrill the entire family.

Oct 11 2017

The first official trailer of Thoroughbreds has just been released. The film is one of Anton’s final projects, and also stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke. I have also added screencaps of the trailer into the gallery.

Oct 09 2017

Anton was commemorated by his family and co-stars yesterday in a touching celebration of his life at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. Via People.com, here are some details from the ceremony.

Star Trek co-star, Zoe Saldana, delivered a speech. “It is a bitter sweet moment, because we’re here for Anton, and he’s not here with us,” she said. “But, it alleviates my heart knowing that we’ll keep him alive. We’re going to keep remembering him in the hopes that by practicing all the things he believed in and remembering all the love that he gave us, and all the joy he gave us, we’re able to just keep him here with us,” she said. She also read a chapter on friendship from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran that says, “Ever since I read that chapter about friendship, that is the one thing I always try to seek in people, and when I find human beings who truly understand the meaning of friendship, I’m moved and inspired.”

Fred Parnes, director of the 2000 film A Man Is Mostly Water, also gave a speech. “I’m here to say that we owe it to Anton to lift our souls evermore, to choose celebration, to choose exaltation and jubilation. The longer I live, the more I’m aware of how little I actually know. But I’m absolutely certain that that is what Anton would want. I can hear him say, ‘Yes, dude! Celebrate my life. Do something unexpected in my name, travel the road less taken and then tell me what you found.’ That’s what he would want and I refuse to let him down,” he said.

Anton’s mother, Irina, also delivered a speech, remembering her son as a “beautiful human being,” and mentioned the Anton Yelchin Foundation, which was created in memory of him and helps young artists who face career challenges due to debilitating disease or disability. She joked a bit as well, saying “Were my son to know we were making him a sculpture, he would said, ‘Mama, you’re laughing at me, right?’ and then he’ll say, ‘Oh, only if it makes you feel better.’”

Among the guests are Jennifer Lawrence (co-star from Like Crazy), Simon Pegg (co-star from Star Trek), Emile Hirsch (co-star from Alpha Dog), Jon Voight (co-star from Court of Conscience), J.J. Abrams (director of Star Trek), Drake Doremus (director of Like Crazy), and Jeremy Saulnier (director of Green Room).

The tribute wall from last year’s Star Trek Las Vegas convention was also on display at the ceremony.

After the celebration, guests gathered in the Garden of Legends for the unveiling of Anton’s statue. It was created by sculptor, Nick Marra, and FX artist, Greg Nicotero.

I have added some photos in our gallery. Some are not that high-quality, but I got what I could get. And it still feels more like a private event, so I only added a fair amount of photos.

Oct 07 2017

A batch of official images from one of Anton’s final films, Thoroughbreds, has been released, including a few production stills and an official poster. The first trailer is expected to be dropped next week. The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival last January, and is set for a March 9, 2018 release.

Childhood friends Lily and Amanda reconnect in suburban Connecticut after years of growing apart. Lily has turned into a polished, upper-class teenager, with a fancy boarding school on her transcript and a coveted internship on her resume; Amanda has developed a sharp wit and her own particular attitude, but all in the process of becoming a social outcast. Though they initially seem completely at odds, the pair bond over Lily’s contempt for her oppressive stepfather, Mark, and as their friendship grows, they begin to bring out one another’s most destructive tendencies. Their ambitions lead them to hire a local hustler, Tim, and take matters into their own hands to set their lives straight.

Sep 05 2017

The first season of Trollhunters is set to be released on DVD on November 7th. No Blu-ray version was announced, as of now. The 4-disc set will consist all 26 episodes of the first season, along with a behind-the-scenes featurette with the show’s creator, co-writer, and co-executive producer, Guillermo del Toro. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon.

The show was one of Anton’s final projects. He was able to record majority of his lines before his untimely passing. Del Toro refused to recast the character and preserved his work. Other voice cast includes Kelsey Grammer, Ron Perlman, Steven Yeun, Lauren Tom, Clancy Brown, Tom Hiddleston, and James Purefoy. The show has already been renewed for a 13-episode second season, which is expected later this year.

When ordinary teenager Jim Lake Jr. stumbles upon a mystical amulet on his way to school one morning, he inadvertently discovers an extraordinary secret civilization of mighty trolls beneath his small town of Arcadia. Suddenly destined to play a crucial role in an ancient battle of good and evil, Jim is determined to save the world…right after gym class. A must-see viewing event for the entire family, DreamWorks Trollhunters will bring viewers of all ages around the globe into the rich and creative world of this all-new Netflix original series.

Aug 16 2017

Check out the first official trailer for one of Anton’s final projects, Rememory. The film will be out in theaters on September 8th, and on Google Play on August 24th.

The film explores the unexplained death of Gordon Dunn (Martin Donovan), a visionary scientific pioneer whose body is found shortly after the unveiling of his newest work: a device able to extract, record and play a person’s memories. Gordon’s wife, Carolyn (Julia Ormond – Mad Men, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Legends of the Fall), retreats into her house and cuts off contact with the outside world when a mysterious man (Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Station Agent) shows up. After stealing the machine, he uses it to try and solve the mystery, beginning an investigation of memories that lead him to unexpected and dangerous places.