Oakland, CA Film Politics – ACT NOW

Oakland is going through plenty a political stir lately. Budget proposals tend to bring out the best and most often the worse in that world. Of course it all affects us as citizens of the city and for this topic working professionals who would like to use Oakland as a backdrop for their productions.

Last night I spent 7 hours at the City Hall Council Meeting where some of these issues where discussed (as well as many other non related ones). It’s a tad complicated, as with many political matters are, and I have been trying to figure out what it all means.

Since Sean House has a great email circulating about all this I have included some of his text below.

There are two major issues at stake:

    Oakland Film Office – Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has submitted a list of Proposed Budget cut options, one of which is the ELIMINATION of the Oakland Film Office, (Ami Zins and Janet Austin), on which she is asking City Council to indicate their priorities on by April 8th (Friday). It is critical that you express your thoughts on this matter soon (see below).
    Oakland Film Center – Last night, the full Oakland City Council voted on a resolution which has a section that would eliminate the Oakland Film Center as a mandate of the Oakland Army Base redevelopment. As you may know, the OFC is home to approx 30 film industry businesses (including Ranahan Production Services, Arthur Freyer Lighting, Ness Generators and many more) and has operated on the former Army Base since 2004. Because of this there were last minute negotiations with members of the OFC and the developers of the cite and they came to this wording in the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA). “CCG is encouraged to make an accommodation for the Oakland Film Center at market rate rents in the master planning process. Staff further directed to return to the committee with a progress report regarding ENA implementation approximately six (6) months before the ENA Term is set to expire.”

When talking to Tim Ranahan he mentioned that he was happy about the amendment and stated so to the Council. There is more details to come, Tim and Patrick as well as all the companies in the OFC have more to negotiate as new players get involved with the redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base. It’s not over yet.


Please show your support through letters, emails and phone calls to the Mayor’s office, and each of the City Council Members. Send the same letter/email to all!!!

Keep it positive!

Please try to bcc Tim Ranahan (ranahan@gmail.com), Sean House (outhouseprod@yahoo.com), and Ami Zins (filmoakland@filmoakland.com), so that they can make hard copies of the individual letters.

I recommend writing a personal story that shows how your film business or talent helps the economy and community of Oakland. You are a tax payer, and if you live in this city your money counts.

I myself have put 10 of thousands of dollars into my home office to provide a space where talented filmmakers can create. Much of that money was spent IN Oakland and the business around me. Not to mention the many more dollars I’ve spent on camera equipment that is used for local productions. Throughout the years I’ve shot many films using the helpful resources of the OFO, having shot at the KTOP, City Hall many times as well as using permits to shoot at various locations throughout the city. I employ local talent and rent from companies at the OFC (even if the shoots are out of the city) because they are close by and well equipped.

The creativity of the film business is a positive one in Oakland and we should encourage it as much as we can.

Together, we can make a difference!!!

Keep it Positive!

Jean Quan
Mayor of Oakland
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
3rd Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
phone: (510) 238-3141
fax: (510) 238-4731

Larry Reid
Council President
Councilmember District 7
Office: (510) 238-7007
Fax: (510) 238-6910

Jane Brunner
Councilmember District 1
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 2nd Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 238-7001
Fax: (510) 238-6910
Email: jbrunner@oaklandnet.com

Ignacio De La Fuente
Councilmember District 5
Phone: (510) 238-7005
Fax: (510) 238-6129
email: idelafuente@oaklandnet.com

Patricia Kernighan
Councilmember District 2
Ph: (510) 238-7002
Fax: (510) 238-6910
Email Pat Kernighan

Nancy Nadel
Councilmember District 3
Phone: (510) 238-7003
Fax: (510) 238-6129
Email: nnadel@oaklandnet.com

Rebecca Kaplan
Council Member at Large
(510) 238-7008

Libby Schaaf
Councilmember District 4
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 238-7004

Desley A. Brooks
Council Member, District 6
City Hall
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 238-7006 (office)
(510) 238-6910 (facsimile)

Maverick Spirit Award

Last year I shot a interstitial piece highlighting Cinequest’s Maverick Award for 2010. The piece focused on sculptor Carlos Perez who designed the award and was shot at the Sacramento Art Foundry. The finished piece was played before each Maverick Award was presented to the recipients.  This year the award was given to Deepak Chopra , Benjamin Bratt and Terry Zwigoff.

Produced by: Moving Red
Music by: Andrew (Endika) Currier
End Graphic: Konstantin Abadjiev

“Cinderella Moon” Feature Film at Toronto Film Festival

In my earlier post, I talked about how I just got back from working on a feature film shoot in China,  called “Cinderella Moon”.

“Cinderella Moon”

Well, the film is finished and is premiering at the Toronto Film Festival. So if you’re in town in September go check it out! Unfortunately, I’ll be out of the country in south-east Asia for some shooting and documentary research.

Here are some of my BTS photos (and a select group of other crew photos) from the shoot:

FB Photos 1
FB Photos 2
FB Photos 3
FB Photos 4

Website Changes

So I’ve been slowly updating my www.infinitemachine.com web site and have made some pretty big changes. Certainly, still more to go, but I wanted to get the structure up and running as soon as possible so I could get the site working for me.

I’ve had some great feedback given to me and given that I’m quite busy, I’ll work on changes as I go. If you have any feedback let me know.

Some of the new ideas and goals I had for the site:

  • Show how I can contribute to the visual elements for film production.
  • Illustrate a visual development  in stages and how each step the creative process can work with each other.
  • Preview examples of artwork as well as a cinematography and how that affects each development step.
  • Discuss how I can be a part of any one of these steps in part, or in whole.
  • Provide a “story” to each image to further illustrate the process.
  • The site should work on a creative level, as well as on a rental equipment level (even though that’s not my primary focus).

The sum total of these goals should show that I have a broad range of experience in visual storytelling; both in development and execution.

And just because I like to include images with each post, here’s a new image I made up for the new site:


This image shows how precise you can be with SketchUp as a pre-production and planning tool. I used SU to plan how the dolly track and jib combo would work (or even if it would work) as it dollies back out the Oakland City Hall main doorway. I was also able to figure out how the sun would hit the stairway and what was needed with an overhead silk to knock out some of the direct sunlight as it changed throughout the morning.

Whoops, I Accidently Made Something in SketchUp…

… How did that happen?

On Sunday I have a complicated shot that I’ve been planning for weeks now. I took measurements and built the Jimmy Jib Triangle that we’re going to use as well as the basic measurements of the location.

The shot will have a dolly run of about 36 feet, moving the jib from the foot of the stairway, out through the door and on the front entrance landing.

The SketchUp Jimmy Jib model has fully articulated parts so you can rotate the jib arm head separately from the base, as well as a functional remote head.

I guess I gotta build the RED One cam in SketchUp now…

RED One Camera

basket filled
light falls on c mos
images by red

The button was pressed yesterday, money flows today and the RED is soon on its way.

What’s with the horrible poetry? Plenty of little items still need to be acquired but that was the big one. Super geeky unboxing photos to follow as soon as the beauty arrives.

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

So the past few weeks I’ve been making some progress on Fuel & Fire and most importantly I’ve done some conceptual experimenting. So now is a good time to take stock of all that work. This thing has become a beast of a project despite all my efforts to keep it simple. All in all it really doesn’t matter how long it takes (except for the opportunity cost to my free time). A big part of creating the Fuel & Fire project is that it allows an avenue for me to learn new tools.

Let the game film/state of the state/mental re-alignment begin… Read more