Color – Douglas Proce
Muralist Brian Boner paints a simple yet poignant image on the west wall of the MonOrchid Gallery depicting a child pouring water from a water can; the droplets becoming blackbirds that return skyward. Shot by documentary/experimental filmmaker Douglas Proce, ‘Color’ combines several film techniques such as time lapse photography, contrasting colors and constantly moving shadows to minimize the central action taking place, and allow the hum and flux of the city illustrate and resonate the tragic plight of the increasing number of homeless people that die alone every year on the streets of Phoenix. Inspired by photographer Jon Linton, ‘Color’ is the continuation of the Art For Advocacy mural for the “I Have A Name” project, to bring awareness to the plight of the homeless. Final Take – The color of life.
Melvin – Nate Doan
Bored and unassuming Melvin (Tyler Muzzy) leaves his suburban Phoenix domicile for a quick stroll to the convenience store. Along the way he is rudely accosted by a group of satanists in an electric car. Confusing Melvin for their dark lord, they whisk him away to a mysterious location where Melvin must participate in a ritual sacrifice in order for the devil cult/political party to survive. Melvin does his best to talk his way out fulfilling their demands, but his pleas fall on possessed ears. This deliberately goofy movie suffered just about every filmmaking pitfall there is (including disapproving rednecks on motorbikes) yet still managed to make it to the screen with an interesting and entertaining indie. While there was plenty of room for gags and guffaws, ‘Melvin’ relied heavily on the nervous antics of the protagonist for most of the laughs. Props to last minute replacement Amber Bourbon as the no nonsense, serious satanist Rufus who won’t let Melvin off the hook until he completes his calling. Great performances and engaging photography. Bad sound. Final Take – Devilishly fun.
Chasing Gold – Gabrielle Stone
Inspirational mini-doc begins with the Spectrum 16 volleyball club taking home the gold at the 2015 Junior Olympics. Now called Spectrum 17, ‘Gold’ catches up with the team as they struggle to bring home the gold a second year in a row. Well shot doc with great drone photography and spiffy editing by Chris Heck. Final Take – Well served.
Secret – Jerel Damon and Christina Moga
Young Matt (Josh Stevens) and his girlfriend Kat (Maria Tourtchaninova) rummage through his grandparents garage. He finds an old photo of his mom posing with a mysterious child named Johnny that looks just like the imaginary friend he had as a kid. He flashes back to a violent encounter involving his bullied mom and mean dad who angrily insists that Johnny doesn’t exist. Convinced there are shenanigans afoot, Matt confronts his aging dad (Robert Quigley) who continues to deny the boy is real. Undeterred and haunted by nightmares of buried bones in the backyard, Matt enlists the help of his old pal Cody (Michael Clark) who is a policeman, along with his girlfriend and her gothy pals. They grab the Ouija Board and head for the backyard for some spirit wrangling while the cop puts the screws to Matt’s mad dad. Heavily melodramatic yarn with a prominent Novella influence and some groovy home-brewed CGI. Performances run the gamut of everything indie. Final Take – Don’t ask don’t tell.
Release Me – Adalia Tara and Jeremy Hawke
Singer/songwriter Adalia Tara performs all of the sounds heard in this music video capturing the lengths and layers the human condition will go to in order to conceal the essence of being. In a haunting and sometimes surprising tune, a transformation takes place when pretense and a negative self-image are slowly shed, layer by layer to ultimately reveal the human spirit. Final Take – Inner beauty.