Room 131

We wrapped production around 10 pm tonight/last night for “Room 131”. This was my last production with the 4381 crew, and I’m thankful for my time with everyone and to have been able to help out on set as a key grip. Here’s a random pic I snapped of our prop/set decor of Mary. Looking forward to the watch party on Thursday.

 

CALLED UP | My First Short Film

Hi, everyone!

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m excited to announce that my first short film, “CALLED UP”, is finally out! I directed and produced this project, along with co-writing the script. A lot of work was put into this, and it’s been a very fun process, despite any difficulties that many have come along the way. I feel a weight lifted. I’m normally incredibly self-critical, and I personally know what could have been done better in the result or in the process, now, but I’m just grateful and proud of our work. I’m just glad the result of all of our time and efforts can finally be seen.

This story, this production, these people that helped me bring this to life–they all mean a lot to me. A special shoutout to Andro Salazar, who’s a familiar face in 4381 and stars in this film as Aurelio.

“CALLED UP”–After the passing of their best friend Aurelio, two friends play one last game with him at their favorite baseball field.

A story about joy, coming of age, and moving forward.

I hope you enjoy this piece.

CoogTV: The Last Visit

After losing a production day due to a possible COVID-19 exposure, we shot a horror film in a total of 15 hours (two shoot days). This was my second time producing and Leandro Salazar’s second time directing, but his first true directing gig as he was directing solo. The crew was amazing and we all put our hearts and souls into pre-production and production work, so despite the setbacks and things out of control, the shoot itself went so smoothly and I’m so proud of everyone and to have gained this experience. This is definitely one of the most ambitious projects CoogTV has ever done, and I’m thankful for how much effort and care was put into this to ensure it was as professional and efficient as possible. The talent in the picture below is A1.

Back From Quarantine and Hiatus

Hi, everyone. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here. Honestly, the past month or so has been rough, as for the entirety of this semester, but these past few weeks have been like limbo for me. I don’t know how to describe it exactly. A couple weeks ago, I had to rush to quarantine after a possible COVID exposure at my work, and with that I was possibly putting myself at more risk since I was quarantining with my brother who has also tested positive at the time. With lack of access to my familiar resources, I attempted to stay up to date with my classes and production work, but felt myself starting to fall behind. I’ve found it hard to reach out lately.

Things could feel better.

Since I’ve gotten out of quarantine, I’ve been attempting to catch up, but have also been doing a lot of production work for CoogTV, which feels both rewarding and tiring. I like my job a lot and I love the people I work with–that I get to work with. There’s so much in store for us and I’m excited to have made it happen and make it all happen. Things pile up, though, as things tend to do. I enjoy the work more than anything, right now though. It’s a stressor for me, for sure, but a lot of the time, it gets me through the day.

I’ve felt weaker lately. Not really physically so much as mentally, but somehow I’m still here and still learning, and learning to do the things that I love. I get asked by my peers in my Entertainment branch how I’m able to balance running all three shows and maintain order for my teams, schedule, and make time for them and all the productions (I haven’t missed a single Entertainment production this fall/winter), and I honestly don’t know how to answer that. I think I’m able to because a part of me wouldn’t be able to function well if I didn’t, if that makes any sense. I’m grateful for all the experience and the work. It means a lot to me when my peers and co-workers take the time to thank me for the work I’m doing and the effort I put into them and it all.

There’s this pressure I’ve always felt, though, and sometimes it’s much lighter or heavier, but I want to put out the best possible products as I possibly can, when I can. I hate to be inconsiderate of others’ time or my own. I really do. I also hate making things that don’t feel right to me. So feeling set back so often by the twists of my personal life and health makes it all weigh a little more. When can taking personal time for myself stop feeling like time wasted?  I wish some things would alleviate so I could only focus on my craft and myself, just at least one thing. Whether it’s my financial situation, or my health or insecurities, or something. I just hope to accomplish what I’ve always set out to do.

Don’t mean to be too dramatic about all this, though. It’s just something, realistically, that I deal with from time to time, or maybe at all times like it’s background noise. Nat sound or whatever we call it.

I’m going to get back to planning for my next shoots and thinking deeply about… Something. I hope you all have a wonderful night, truly.

– Erin K. B.

Story Song with Leandro

After the Fall

During the spring break, we shot After the Fall, a short film directed by Michael Grossman. It was a unique opportunity to see Michael interact with both the cast and crew. Especially to see in person how he does the blocking with the actors and the placement of the cameras. For the short film I was key grip, and let me tell you I learned a lot over the week of shooting. It was refreshing to work with a crew that no one had an ego and was willing to put in the work. Special shoutout to Stalin Santiago and David Rubio who were DP and Gafer for the film, they were the ones I communicated the most while working. Here’s a teaser for After the Fall – 4381 Productions

 

 

 

 

Song recommendation for the week: La Santa Cecilia – Como Dios Manda

“Angst” (1983): Straight Murder, Son

Despite my best efforts, movie nights normally turn into adding films to watchlists across different platforms in lieu of actually watching… anything. Cut to last week: The cycle starts. My thumbs’ sore from flipping around and my eyes are all heavy from jumping back and forth between screens (harrowing, I know). It was midnight and I was bent on watching horror – I wanted a midnight hour. A drive-in without the drive. That was the agenda.

I landed on Angst (dir. Gerald Kargl) and was immediately hit with a slew of white text: “For the squeamish, discretion is advised,” “Banned in Europe” for XYZ, “Ultra-Graphic Content.”

Alright, so I’m to be held accountable for my own discomfort. Got it, no problem.

It starts out with a man’s face as he stalks the sidewalk, scanning houses across this wide Austrian suburb. He stops and glances to the right at this unassuming two-story and makes his way to the door. He knocks, it opens – an old woman. His hand rises into view clasping a gun.

“I’m shooting now.”

He does just that. What follows is a psychological-profile and narration of this unnamed killer’s behavioral history and 79 minutes of him skulking around and terrorizing a family of three after he’s released from prison.

We are placed into his head, in every facet. Scattered narration, disorienting camerawork, a sadistic performance, and raw, spacious cinematography make this a churning, cerebral, arresting experience. All the adjectives.

This is a film more concerned about the effort that it takes to murder someone than it is exhibition for exhibition’s sake. It doesn’t hold onto the “why”: it’s how long it takes, the physical labor, the adaptiveness, where that drive would come from. The man is an animal but, undeniably, human – a monstrous, despicable, inhuman human. There’s no sympathy for the killer, no real foundation for his actions.

It’s horrifying, made worse by the fact that this was directly modeled after a local crime that occurred just three years prior – so directly that it was banned across Europe. I wasn’t sure if the “Based On A True Story” would hold, but it contains actual quotes from the killer (Werner Kniesek), among others. The lead uses the same model car to carry things out. The deaths are eerily similar. Whole thing’s fucked.

What you get, essentially, is the chance to poke the body with a stick; To have this perspective flipped into the eyes of the audience and touch the aura of murder.

I’ve never seen anything like this and I’m extremely pissed that it feels as essential as it does: this has to be some of the best camerawork I’ve ever seen and, thankfully, it doesn’t fall into the trap of victimizing the killer and justifying their existence.

It is absolutely worth the watch and subsequent nausea.

The Unrated Cut is available on Shudder. If you don’t want to sign up for it, Prime has the other version. Either way – this is a wonderful film to watch with your loved ones, preferably after church, lunch, or on Easter Sunday.

Tips for cold days. Did you know?

Hi 4381 Productions, I hope you guys are doing great and stay safe.

I do not know why so this year Houston‘s climate really remarkable changes at the present time. According to the weather forecast, it will be really cold and snow on today to Monday or even on Tuesday (probably drop below 0 degrees F). I’ve heard that this might be the coldest Houston record in the past 20 years. So, I asked my aunt for some tips since she lives in the cold state all years.

Here are some main points that in my point of view it can be useful for some people in these cold days.

Firstly, at home: You need to buy or wrap a towel to keep the faucets warm outside the house to prevent the whole house from being broken due to the freezing weather. Home Depot or Lowe’s for $1 – $2 can be purchased for outdoor water hose protection.

Also, maybe you need to turn on the drain so that the water can drip at the faucets of the house, especially the shower to minimize damage. (no hot water is coming out because of damage to the cartridge.)

Limit the heat on too high (ideally 72-74). In order to avoid losing humidity in the house, which will make adults and children cough and have difficulty breathing. That would cause easily catch cold because of too much temperature difference between indoor temperature and on the street will cause colds and illness.

Absolutely do not turn on the oven and then open the door to let the heat escape to heat because it will cause house fire. (There was a house fire last month because of this.)

Second of all, remembering to keep your body temperature when going out:
Wearing layers of thin layers will help keep you warm than wearing a really thick, big shirt. Laminated coat helps to circulate air, dissipate heat and help good body temperature. Avoid fatigue, shortness of breath because wearing too thick and heavy.

Wearing a mask will help keep the nose, and mouth area warms. Minimize colds, runny nose and especially avoid COVID 19 infection.

Last but not least, driving on frozen roads:

Drive slowly, keeping at least 5 times the distance from the vehicle in front. That means, you should drive about 15 seconds away from the car in front. So that when you brake, the skid car still has enough distance to stop before hitting the car in front.

Do not hold tightly, tighten the handlebar. Psychological fear will cause the driver to try to hold and hit the steering wheel fast when the car slips accidentally cause the car to lose control and slide long and worse.

Absolutely do not brake quickly, depress the brake hard and hold because that will make the acceleration of the tank and slide faster according to the inertia of the vehicle. Step straightly click and release, click and release so gently. Don’t panic… keep the steering wheel light, swing the steering light gently so you can avoid another vehicle when it slips. you need to be calm, it will handle the car better and reduce accidents

When the vehicle is on the road, ice is frozen on the windshield. Absolutely do not splash boiling water… it will crack the car glass due to the sudden temperature difference. Squeeze warm water, splash slowly. Turn the car on, wait 5-10 minutes, then run. Do not turn on the heat immediately… wait for the car to run for about 5 minutes then turn on the heat to better protect the engine.

So, there are few things I wanted to share according to my aunt‘s experience. Again I hope it helps everyone. And I wish everyone doing great and stay safe! Happy Lunar New Year!