Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs / Directors' Fortnight


Thank you for sending the DVD of the above mentioned film.

We will let you know our decision as soon as possible.

With best regards


Bureau des Films / Films Department

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs / Directors' Fortnight

14, rue Alexandre Parodi 75010 Paris

Tel.: +33 (0)1 44 89 99 85

Fax.: +33 (0)1 44 89 99 60

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cryptopticon trailer #2 up on facebook

The 2nd trailer is now up on the Cryptopticon group on facebook.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wikipedia entry

Cryptopticon on wikipedia by my friend Xavier

They received it...

Monsieur / Madame Phillip MARZELLA

Nous avons bien reçu votre film CRYPTOPTICON

La conférence de presse annonçant les films sélectionnés pour le Festival de Cannes se déroule durant la seconde quinzaine d’avril.

Si votre film est sélectionné pour le Festival de Cannes, vous serez prévenu avant cette date.

Nous essayerons dans la mesure du possible de donner des réponses à tous les candidats avant la conférence de presse.


Festival de Cannes

Département Films


Dear Phillip MARZELLA

We have received your film CRYPTOPTICON

The press conference will be held in the last two weeks of April.

If your film is selected for the Festival de Cannes, you will be notified before the press conference

We will do our best to notify all candidates before the press conference.

Yours sincerely,

Festival de Cannes

Film Department

Monday, March 23, 2009


Behind the scenes photos of Cryptopticon now on the wall.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cryptopticon Logo

This is the Cryptopticon logo.

A mindmaze inside which unspeakable things happen.

Be ready to see it everywhere you least expect it.

I trust you as an insider will share its meaning and story with all 'civilians'.

Working on the animated version for YouTube.

To the impossible and beyond

There’s a great quote by German thinker and philosopher Goethe:
“I love those who yearn for the impossible.”

Well, I certainly did yearn for the ‘impossible.’
Shot a feature film in 1 week.
Edit it on a tiny MacBook with media storage of two small lunch boxes.
Finish it and submit it to festivals around the world.

It’s over. Done & dusted. Cryptopticon is complete.

More Goethe is appropriate: “Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality.”

Cryptopticon is not perfect – I can only see the mistakes (!) mine that is – everyone was working at the best of their abilities. I always end up with a few lessons.

Anyway – we made virtue from the faults. Individuality has no smooth edges.

Thank you one and all for your efforts encouragement, patience and friendship over the long haul.

I believe that if your treat an individual as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.

Thank you to those who treated me with the respect and considerations; to the others who didn’t - A plague o' both your houses!

I kid – everyone is always so nice to me – to my face anyway - I tend to intimidate even bulldozer-sized grizzly bears!

See you all at the cast and crew screening/party…no date yet – but it is appropriate we have one soon. Cannes?

Monday, March 16, 2009

The 'first screening'

So John (‘Hips’) and I watched the ‘complete’ (more on this later) film yesterday. It was on a small notebook screen - but that is the best we could do with what we got now. No doubt more tune-up screenings will happen over the next few month.

Anyway, regardless of the screen quality, I think was surprised. In a good way.

I’m assuming this of course, but he smiled a lot during the screening which I took as a sign that he was pleased – but the again John is always of good cheer - maybe he was just humoring me, kind John knows how much midnight oil I burnt over the months I spent editing at night and was probably concerned for my self-esteem – a very caring producer!

Or maybe he did enjoy seeing it again for a third time (script – shoot - edit).

It was first for both of us – as I’ve watched long scenes and sequences but this was the first time I sat through the whole 83 minutes (a prime number what else).

I enjoyed it – the film had good pace and enough twists to keep one hooked.

We had much banter with William (my hyper-interested son) – even this hyperactive 11 yr old was hooked – kept asking questions – “Who did it? Did he…? Did she…?” “She’s lying!” No, he’s lying now…” and on…

For both John and I, the best declaration though was at the end when W yelled “I want to watch it again!” proof that the thrill ride had been a good one.

Anyway, self-congratulations will have to wait; the film is not yet complete – I need to tweaks few beats and the audio needs another look into it – I will spend most of tonight on it - but the film will be ready for submission this week.

Cast and crew screening…?

Thinking about a suitable date…keep you posted ;)

Friday, March 13, 2009


“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.” Akira Kurosawa

Cryptopticon is a dream of a dream – we’re inside someone’s head and see the story unfold through their eyes - yet we are not sure whose eyes.

Early one morning - dawn - maybe 4-5 am - I was in a hypnagogic state, that beautiful and strange somewhere between wakefulness and dream - I dreamt the whole film –– I knew I was dreaming and yet couldn’t stop the dream, the film played and played before my mind’s eye.

I then spent the next 8 months translating that early morning vision into a screenplay that could serve the practicalities of filmmaking.

So what’s it about?

It’s being trapped and escaping and the idea that the most vulnerable may in fact hold all the cards.

It’s about the patterns that are before us and those we wish for or imagine are real.

It’s the reality and imagination fighting to coexist.

It’s difficult to describe the film in words; I think there’s another quote from Edward Hopper

“If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint it.”

Same her – if I could just use words – there’d be no reason to film it.

I had this visual and emotional sensation and needed to have it captured in filmic form. “Cinema is cinema” says Kurosawa

So the best way that I can express it is: Cryptopticon is Cryptopticon – see it and you know what I mean.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It is now finished- just tweaking the technical stuff - audio levels colour, etc.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The lessons

I am a few weeks away from the finished thing: joy and anticipation.

Few discoveries/lessons I’ve made during post.

Do not show hands in close up – unless made up – including waxing:

Even on the most fair and hairless, hi def shots show a veritable forest of follicles and hairy knuckles – not a good look for your leading lady. I did have to blur the shot so to preserve Danielle’s dignity – hairy knuckles appeal to a very select few.

Beware of radio mikes:

If actors wear lap/radio mikes – make sure the mikes are turned off when said actors visit the toilets – as we were shooting a scene without an actor (won’t name names) we can clearly hear on the soundtrack someone’s bowel movements – again not a good for decorum – no, it won’t make it to the bloopers reel.

It can’t/can be fixed in post:

In general if the shots/performance/writing is crap – it can’t be fixed. On the odd occasion it can. So make sure you have all you need during the shoot.

Get your footage:

You can never have too much footage. Sure, it is a labor of pain and love to organize and manage clips and files – but the work is worth it. The additional footage does help when cutting the overall picture. Being limited to fewer shots or scenes is very frustrating. You can always cut away additional material – but it is very difficult/expensive to manufacture shots in post.

Make mistakes:

There are no mistakes only unexpected results (I know this contradicts some of the lessons below - but trust me on this one they are all trues and still hold at the same time). With enough creativity (thinking and courage to leap beyond the obvious); you can elevate things to something above their functional value. This happens especially when a mistake happens and you have an effect you hadn’t intended – e.g. a jump cut. If you look at these with an open mind they can sometimes reveal story subtleties or facts that a more formal and predictable approach may not.

Trust your dreams:

Your vision unfettered by desires or fears (both brought on by the childish ego) is the truthful artistic expression – seek it in all you do.