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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ouroboros

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THREE MEN AND A BABY.

Ok, so one is a woman and the baby in question is a film about being an artist. Our mutant bionic baby, growing at an accelerated rate, as its dutiful parents fill it with knowledge, wisdom, curiosity and humor. Oh, and artists. So, maybe the title metaphor TWINS is more apropos, as long as I’m caught in an 80’s feedback loop. The perfect Schwarzenegger offspring culled from the genetic material of our best and brightest. Which would kinda make the trailer Danny Devito, I guess… way shorter and far more insolent.

I may have gone off the reservation, somewhat… what I’m trying to say is the 80’s is a far more whimsical decade, where celluloid is concerned, and…. Nope, that’s not right, either. I think it has something to do with film babies, how this project about creation, has in fact become the embodiment of creation itself. Which despite sounding pretty meta, is the literal figurative truth. Everything discussed within, reflects without, like an art event horizon (stay with me).

Every lesson learned over 160 hours of raw footage, distills into content fodder for the final film, and an approach that informs the philosophical structure of the film itself. This is our first film, and we often have no real clue as to how to proceed; fortunately that is exactly what this story is about. How to create, obsess, start something big, rely on others, emotionally connect to your work. And fail, most of all. Because aggressive investigation, experimentation with what doesn’t work, ultimately knocks you smack into what does. As the Almighty Barron Storey says, “If you don’t fail, you’re not aiming very high.”

So with our very first trailer almost in the bag after umpteen 14 hour days, here’s to my equally deluded partners Olga and Jason, the legion of creators who’ve so graciously allowed us into their lives and process, and all of you out there who’ve helped us along. May this film be the wheelbarrow for your dreams! Only far less wobbly.

-allan

PS – We have packaged up the first 50 rewards, which are headed to USPS.  Our plan is to persist throughout the ramp up to Comic Con, and get as many out to you as possible!

Working on trailer titles and reward fulfillment
Working on trailer titles and reward fulfillment

Closer To The Mountain

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I am writing from the headquarters of Good Bully Collective. Inside these chambers is, in no particular order: six cats, one jungle gym, a ball pit (yes, really), a room filled with fur, a bedroom fort transformer couch, walls piled high with paintings, a pirate ladder, and a teepee filled with stuffed animals.

It’s stationed in the heart of the Brewery, the arts compound of Los Angeles, home to acrobats and prop-makers, photographers and painters alike.

Each morning we awaken to the sound of a robot voice over the house speaker system, beckoning us, “GOOD MORNING, GOOD BULLIES. IT IS TIME TO GO TO THE GYM.”

We trundle to the rock climbing gym (conveniently also located in the Brewery) and run hard, and sweat. Sometimes we lift heavy things. And then we mosey back to the Good Bully Bull Pen and get to work.

If we had a MTV’s Real World style confessional, you would see video of us, in succession: eating lunch some days speaking only in French, firing up Skrillex to practice our best— weirdest— twerking, taking micro-breaks to fling kettlebells in the living room, pinning ideas to our monster wall of creativity, chasing cats, drawing, playing League of Legends, playing mandolin, and in general: playing.

But mostly?

We sit at our laptops, for hours on end, endlessly conversing with this film that is Temple of Art: how do we build it? What do we want to say? How do we best say it?

We watch footage. We take notes. We edit. Repeat.

We build the movie like tiny archipelagos, each stretching out tendrils of land mass until they touch the other, tentatively, tentatively.

How do we tell this story best?

Click.

Watch.

Click.

Click.

Edit.

And again.

Kevin Smith came to the house, and we asked him: you’ve been down this road many a time. What advice would you offer us, as young filmmakers? What is the best way to undertake this process, from where you’re standing?

And he tells us: “It’s all here,” pointing to his gut. Just feel it. Watch it, over, and over, and over, and just keep moving until it feels right.

So we watch. And we keep moving.

The first milestone is rounding the corner.

In two weeks we will show the first publicly shared footage of what we’re been working on in our strange art cave.

On Saturday, July 11, at 10:30am, we will be doing a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, sharing the first few pages of this story we’ve been laboring over for so long.

If you’re around, come by and see us (Allan Amato & Olga Nunes) in conversation with Grant Morrison, David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Barron Storey, Jason Shawn Alexander, and Satine Phoenix. We’ll be giving away some surprise gifts, and would love to see your shining faces.

With fire and fervor,
The Temple Of Art Team

Temple of Art, Allan Amato, Dave Mckean (Mirror Mask, Sandman), Barron Storey (Sandman:Endless Nights, Marat-Sade Journals), Kent Williams (Kent Williams:Ophthalm, The Fountain), Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien, Batman-End Game), David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil), Bill Sienkiewicz (Electra Assassin, The New Mutants), Grant Morrison (Batman:Arkham Asylum, The Filth, Happy), Jim Mahfood (Clerks, Tank Girl), Stephanie Inagaki, Kozyndan, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Megan Hutchinson, Denys Cowan, Mark Buckingham, JAW Cooper, Junko Mizuno, Roman Dirge, Brian Thies, Christine Wu, Hueman, Jasmine Worth, Satine Phoenix, Matthew Levin, Soey Milk, Rovina Cai