Every brief that comes across a filmmaker or agency’s desk provides a choice. In that moment, you can choose to pay the bills or work on a project you love. If you’re one of the lucky ones, those two overlap. That was the case for the team at Blue Ox Films when they got a brief from The CW. It didn’t have everything planned out, and that was a beautiful thing.
Director/Writer Ricky Staub and Producer/Writer Dan Walser are the founding team behind Neighborhood Film Co., a production team who recently released their first feature film Concrete Cowboy. On the other side of the table, we have famed producers Jeff Waxman and Jen Madeloff, who besides producing Concrete Cowboy, have worked on Vice, John Wick: Chapter 3, Mother!, and dozens more.
When thinking about the Star Wars universe, “small” is probably not a word that comes to mind. But for Dave Asling, Owner/Creative director of Creation Consultants, Inc., miniatures and models are perfect for creating larger-than-life visual effects. His company’s work on films such as I, Robot, X-Men: The Last Stand, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Elysium and Welcome to Marwen, led Disney+ to tap them for work on Star Wars: The Mandalorian.
We’ve talked many times about creative constraints and their value, but sometimes as filmmakers we don’t have the luxury of constraints. As they say, there’s nothing scarier than a blank page, and that’s just what Director Josh McGowan was faced with in his production of Cadillac’s Oscar spot.
For Nike’s Lebron 17 spot, the team at Blue Ox Films knew they needed to do more than think outside the box—they needed to create a new one.
In filmmaking, it’s really easy for a project not to make it off the ground. At the beginning of pre-production, there’s a laundry list of things that can make you stumble out of the gate, which makes the production of Park Stories’ 8 part docu-series Prodigy even more astonishing.
Producing a non-profit film can be difficult because the work is so important. There’s a looming social/humanitarian/environmental problem and taking a chance on a film production isn’t always in the cards. Also, words like “capital” and “budget” tend to complicate the matter, too.
As filmmakers, particularly documentary filmmakers, it’s our job to do the digging. It can be uncomfortable and it’s never clean, because the truth is never simple. This is why documentaries are so important—they offer the time and context needed for the truth, as long as we can extract it.