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Aaron Hunt

Aaron Hunt

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Sean Porter D.P || Rough Night ||

I interviewed Sean Porter for the first time early last year about his work on Saulnier’s slasher/thriller Green Room. The second time around was a bit brighter, a beach-side domestic dramedy: Mike Mill’s near-epic 20th Century Women. And here we are at interview three with his most expensive film, the Sony funded studio comedy Rough Night starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate Mckinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer and which was directed by Broad City’s Lucia Aniello & cowritten by Paul W. Downs. In the gamut of the three, I’ve no clue where to place it. 

 

On a technical, on-set structure spectrum I’ve got a better idea. Rough Night moved the fastest. Sean opens up about his first experience on a big budget studio film, how he managed to light at a breakneck multi-camera TV-style pace with bare minimum prep, and the perks of industry veteran reinforcements. Outside the indie/studio comparisons, we talk form: how to photograph a comedy, and how the 2.39 Aspect Ratio can elevate the genre. 

Hands on with || Middle Earth: Shadow Of War ||

The Warner Brothers Booth was arguably the most flamboyant and atmospheric booths at this years E3 show floor. Black walls that nearly reached the high ceiling enclosed the Middle Earth: Shadow Of War game demos and their preemptive theatrical walkthrough. A massive dragon was on display up front for fans to take photos with, and they hired the tallest actors they could find to play towering orcs that playfully harassed folks in line. To top it off, a red ambient light shot up into the ceiling and somehow animated itself like an evil and encompassing aura. Next door was the Lego Dimensions booth, and a live stage where WB’s showed off more of their featured games

Hands on with || Ni No Kuni 2: The Revenant Kingdom ||

In this year’s Bandai Namco booth tour (which offered a peer at two games I nominated for E3 Best Of Show: Ni No Kuni 2 & Dragon Ball Fighter Z) I got hands on time with a sequel to one of my favorite games of the last several years: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. It’s sequel Ni No Kuni 2: The Revenant Kingdom had different demos split up per console. Check out my my first impressions below.

Ansel Elgort's Destiny 2 Impressions and His Starring Role in Baby Driver

Ansel Elgort came by after attending  the L.A Premiere of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver (which world-premiered at SXSW) to rep Destiny 2 at Activion’s big booth in the South Hall of E3. In the film, he stars as the titular “Baby” and I got to sneak some film related questions in before segueing into our overwhelming videogame surroundings.  We hung out in the private booth and got to play some Destiny 2 afterwards.

Hands on with Polyarc's || Moss ||

Strung out by day 2 (Day 5 if you count upwards from EA Play through the conferences) of E3 and deep night after parties, I hurried from a Bandai Namco Booth Tour to some hands on time with Polyarc’s PSVR title Moss; an arrangement my colleagues sorted out just minutes from my attending.

SXSW Free Fire Cast/Crew Red Carpet Interviews

A24's Free Fire brought its U.S Premiere to South By Southwest. Anarchic Writer/Director Ben Wheatley (High-Rise, Kill List, A Field In England) and cast, Armie Hammer (The Social Network, Lone Ranger) & (the insane) Sharlto Copley (District 9, Chappie), were in attendance. And the film's promotional presence was appropriately subversive. Press had the opportunity to barbecue with Armie and paintball with Sharlto at the explosive 'Stunt Ranch' which featured plenty other daredevil diversions. 

The Q&A's on either end were no less distinct. Ben will shoot a dumb question down with his deadpan shorthand, Sharlto with his charming abrasiveness, and Armie with his cool formality. The laughter provoked through the film persisted into the Q&A. 

But before things got too rowdy, I was able to talk with Ben a second time (the first a discussion on High-Rise) and with Armie Hammer for the first, about their creative approach to my favorite film of the fest. 

Writer/Director/Star || Ana Asensio || on || Most Beautiful Island || SXSW'17 Best Narrative Feature

Ana Asensio writes, directs, and stars in this formally astute exercise in anxiety and release. It settles on one woman's hustle, Luciana, from Spain, but acknowledges the plight of other NYC women who have migrated from their home countries for all their own reasons. Luciana, financially broke, and shattered by a past guilt that may have drawn her here, wanders Manhattan utterly vulnerable and desperate to make it. 

The wrong kinds of people, or perhaps just equally desperate people, take notice and use her to their advantage. Ana draws much of Luciana's struggle in  Most Beautiful Island (SXSW’17 Narrative Feature Competition Winner) from her own experience, which is at least identical emotionally. 

And for a directorial debut, what a mastery of form. Every aesthetic decision has been premeditated, and every seemingly arbitrary action and pattern holds their own arc and emotional reflection. 

In our discussion, I acknowledge some of these patterns. Ana elaborates.

Toby Oliver ACS || Get Out || Interview

Get Out, a genre sleeper hit rightfully boasted as having spawned ‘From the mind of Jordan Peele’, has seized online review aggregators & the box office as its own. Making back ($33.4m), already, nearly 6 times its budget ($4.5m) in its debuting weekend, Get Out looks to grow in the comings weeks and has, as of March 3rd amassed a $57.8 million gross revenue. Careers have been secured.

Sean Porter D.P || 20th Century Women || Interview

Sean Porter photographed two of my favorite films of 2016. Released first was Green Room, a brutal siege horror exercise, which we talked about earlier in the year, and the other is 20th Century Women, which, during comparison, he describes as “a coming of age, sun-drenched, family dramedy”. They could not be more different. Although, in terms of his approach to exposure, are relatively same. Sean deflates the conceptual stigma surrounding a fluid, less controlled set (and their practical limitations) and brings to light their ability to let intuition breathe. 

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