Saturday, July 27, 2013

El Paso Plaza Classic Film Festival

            Hello everyone, I hope you had a great week. For those of you who didn’t know, I am thrilled to announce that Vicissitude will be part of the “Local Flavor” line-up at the El Paso Plaza Classic Film Festival on August 3rd.

            Vicissitude is a documentary that portrays a personal side of several victims of the drug-related violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. People saw it on the news or read about it in the paper for a long time, but they never got to see what these people went through on a deeper level. Whether someone was carjacked, had to shut down a business, or experienced a death in the family, the documentary also gives focus to the history and facts behind the drug war that sparked in 2008. However, it ends on a positive note by covering the actions that are taking place by groups of people and organizations to uplift the city and its people. If you’re interested in reading more about the production process of the documentary, click here to check out a blogpost I wrote a while back.

            The Plaza Classic was created in 2008 and will run from August 1st to the 11th in downtown El Paso, Texas. "One of the goals of Local Flavor, and of the festival as a whole, is to bring people downtown," says Carlos Corral, the festival's local film coordinator, on an article from Newspaper Tree.

             The festival includes a wide line-up of classic films such as West Side Story, Goodfellas, The Sound of Music, among others. It also features panels with specials guests, including Academy Award winning actress Rita Moreno, art exhibits, concerts, and screenings of feature length films and shorts made by local filmmakers.

            Vicissitude will be screened along with the short films Art by Gabriel Lira, Mas De Uno by Jonathan Herrera, and Noventa by Bryan Thompson at the El Paso Museum of Art on August 3rd at 1:00 p.m. There will be a Q&A session after the film and I’ll have copies of the documentary on DVD for anyone who’s interested in taking one home. I’m looking forward to seeing some of cast members and Kickstarter donors, as well as family, friends, and film enthusiasts. See you there!

Ricardo Ramos Copyright 2013

Inspiration From Precious Pearls

            Hello Project Runway fans, I hope you enjoyed Thursday’s episode. I’ll be discussing different elements from the second episode, so don’t forget there will be spoilers in case it’s on your DVR and have yet to check it out.

            For the second challenge, contestants had to find inspiration from precious pearls and design eveningwear. Before the challenge, a line of models walked down the runway wearing jewelry totaling over 30 million dollars! Each designer chose a model based on the diamonds they were wearing and had one day to work on their million dollar looking attire.

            I think it was refreshing to have this challenge because it was nice to see formal designs made out of more traditional materials, but on the other hand, it may sound like I’m contradicting myself, but it wasn’t too exciting. Yes, it was indeed a difficult challenge for some, but it wasn’t your “out-of-this-world” challenge such as constructing out of parachute material. (I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode). Alexander recognized it wasn’t enough time to work on it, Timothy of course thought it was too superficial, and Dom thought it wasn’t her forte.

            Sometimes I wonder what the whole deal with Sandro is. Surprisingly, he proved me wrong and I do think he’s the real deal when it comes to designing; however, I have a hard time deciding if his temper tantrums are legit. Yes, it is entertaining and sometimes hilarious, but it gets to a point where it does not flow organically. The scene while they were sewing was really funny, but it will not compare to when he grabbed the crewmember and demanded he help him set up the steamer. “Thank you for good service,” Sandro said after the crewmember politely walked away and refused to help him. That was definitely my “LOL” moment of the night.

            The runway was good but there wasn’t an outfit that blew my mind. The freak out scene with Helen was interesting. It’s not my intention to sound mean, but it’s good this happened to her for being so cocky. I was also disappointed that Kahindo got eliminated. Timothy or Helen deserved to get kicked out. Timothy really screwed up again, he doesn’t deliver with conviction, and he just lacks experience. Helen claims that eveningwear is her forte, but it turns out she doesn’t know how to construct cups; and of course, her design was unfinished.

            At the end of the day, it was smart to get rid of Kahindo. Helen and Timothy have more to offer in terms of drama. Kahindo was predictable and somewhat conservative. If you could pick, who would you have gotten rid of? It doesn’t necessarily have to be any of these three contestants. And also, what are your thoughts on Kate winning the challenge?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I've Always Been Here, But I'm No Longer Invisible

             It feels like it was just yesterday that I was rooting for Patricia Michaels a.k.a. Waterlily to win season eleven of Project Runway. I was unaware that there are two seasons per year, but it was cool to tune into Lifetime and get “introduced” to a new group of designers with whom I’ll be attempting to spend my Thursday nights with.

            I feel that Bunim/Murray did a great job casting this season because most of the contestants have really interesting backgrounds. To throw out some of the examples that stood out the most to me, there’s a veteran, a guy with a hearing disability (who actually requires an interpreter), a costume designer for Broadway shows, a guy who makes his clothing out of recycled materials, lots of foreigners, and Kate from season eleven. Also, it seems like there will be lots of drama between some of the designers, which is great, because that makes for great reality television. There are two rivals from Milwaukee, Helen from Jersey seems to not like Kate at all, and Sandro seems to have an anger issue. Based on the trailers, I can tell it will be crazy on that aspect.

            Some of the changes that were made are good for spicing up the show. The designers will now have to manage their challenge budgets for the entire season and will be using a Gobank account. About time for an upgrade from cash to a credit card!
It’s a clever idea that Tim Gunn now gets to sit with the panel during the runway show, but more importantly that he can exercise a save; however, he can only use this privilege once. (The same tactic is used on Idol). In the words of Tim, “I’ve always been here, but I’m no longer invisible.”
Also, an “anonymous” runway show adds excitement, but even cooler for the contestants, the winner of this season will take home the biggest prize in Project Runway history. A package worth over half a million dollars consisting of $150,000 dollars in cash, $50,000 dollars on technology, a fashion spread on Marie Claire magazine, the all-new 2014 Lexus IS 350, a $50,000 dollar styling contract with L’Oreal, and much more.

            If you haven’t seen the episode, I must warn you there are spoilers (not that I haven’t given out facts above. Anyway, read at your own risk).

            The parachute challenge was a cool way to kick off the season and the fan interaction vehicle through is a great idea to get fans more involved with the show; it’s a smart way of taking advantage of social media and technology. 
It was sad to see Angela leave because she seemed promising, her story was appealing, and in all honesty, Sandro should have been the one to go home. His outfit was outrageous and his attitude isn't the best; however, it was an intelligent move to keep him in the show, at least from a producer’s perspective.

            It looks like it will be an exciting season. I’ll have to try to keep up by watching the episodes online starting in August since I’ll be relocating to Los Angeles and more than likely won’t have cable. If you watched tonight’s episode, feel free to share who is your favorite contestant so far as a designer but also as a character. And by the way, congrats to the team behind the show for receiving five Emmy nominations this morning.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Reality TV Extra

            Hello everyone! I hope the weekend was festive and that the week that lies ahead is shining bright like a diamond. I just finished watching an Adam Sandler marathon on FX and decided to give you some Reality TV Extra and write about three things relating to the genre that happened this week.

            First of all, I thought the series premiere of Hollywood Game Night was a total success. This fun and exciting show hosted by Jane Lynch (Happy birthday by the way!) features two teams consisting of celebrities and one “regular” person per team for a chance for he or she to win some moolah. The challenges are hilarious and get you playing at home. If you had a chance to watch it, I wonder if you agree with me that the “Lil’ Picassos” challenge was the best.

            The second news is odd and interesting at the same time. To get straight to the point, it was announced that Oprah Winfrey will be releasing a Lindsay Lohan reality show on her OWN network. The show will be an eight-episode docu-series following Lindsay as she goes through rehab and attempts to get back on the groove of her acting career.

            Lastbut not least, Idol gets a little piece of The Voice, as Diana Buddingh, Talpa Media manager, gets hired as director of global entertainment production at FreemantleMedia (Idol, The X-Factor, America’s Got Talent). Buddingh, whose last gig was to head up international productions for the spinning chair singing competition, will be working with FreemantleMedia’s director of global entertainment development managing all commercial, talent, and third party relationships connected to the company’s brands.

            If you missed Hollywood Game Night this week, don’t forget to check out the second episode this Thursday at 10:00 p.m. EST on NBC. Also, would you consider watching Lindsay’s show? Honestly, I was a bit skeptical at first, but it means something special if it’s on the OWN network. I’m curious about it; plus, as someone who grew up watching and loving Lindsay (The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, Bobby), it’s about time to see something of good from her. By the way, did you catch the new trailer for The Canyons?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Sexually Flexible Spidey

            Hello everyone, my apologies for being gone for so long. I can’t believe I haven’t posted since June 20th. I’ve been busy wrapping up my masters (I graduate in a month), planning my big move to Los Angeles, working at StagesPlus, and I was in Chiapas, Mexico last week on vacation with my mom and sister (Yes, I’ll be uploading pictures like I did for my trip to Puerto Rico).

            Anyway, if you tend to read my blog on a consistent basis, you may remember I’ve mentioned that I love scrolling through IMDb news religiously. This morning before my final entertainment business project class started, I ran into several interesting articles; however, there were a couple that truly caught my attention. One with a huge, bold title saying, Andrew Garfield on Spider-Man: ‘Why Can’t He Be Gay?

            With the repeal of DOMA and Proposition 8 and a plethora of gay pride parades last month, I decided to give homage to such events by stating my opinion on Garfield’s thoughts on a sexually flexible Spidey.

            “What if MJ was a dude? Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking! So why can't he be gay? Why can't he be into boys?" Garfield told Entertainment Weekly about the conversation he had with Matt Tolmach, the producer of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

            After finding out that Shailene Woodley’s scenes have been cut out (she was cast to play Mary Jane on the sequel), Garfield says he has a potential actor in mind.

            “I’ve been obsessed with Michael B. Jordan since The Wire. He’s so charismatic and talented. It’d be even better—we’d have interracial bisexuality!”

            As an aspiring producer, I would actually love to be on Tolmach’s shoes. If this were to be taken seriously, I would heavily consider such idea. This is something that, to the best of my knowledge, has never been explored in a superhero franchise and it would be interesting to spice up the plot a bit. I am aware it could be a risky decision, but with a more accepting society of the LGBT community and more open-minded moviegoers, it could be a revolutionary, wise decision. Plus, it’d be good for LGBT kids to have a superhero role model to look up to. What are your thoughts from a producer’s standpoint and/or a Spidey fan? Comment below.

By the way, did you get a glimpse of this new image from "Spidey 2?"