Jun 182013

I’m finally working on the second episode of the White Shoulders silent movie series.

I forgot how challenging these shorts can be. The style is very specific; the rhythm pretty tricky. Everything has several filters on it, so any infinitesimal change requires several minutes of rendering time. The White Shoulder shorts are probably the most difficult editing work I’ve done – which is weird because they end up feeling light and maybe effortless.

Evelyn Avenue regulars Savannah Bearden and April Novak return for episode two, and the tone is slightly different than the first. I have no idea how long the series will run. I try to keep it as open and flexible as possible. However hard the editing is, the filming itself is meant to be casual. I come up with the story the week before we shoot and draw out preliminary storyboards. Coming up with the dialogue is one of the last things I do, usually during the edit. I do have some idea where the series is headed – I know it will have a few breaks in style and story – but I keep myself in the dark from episode to episode.

Episode 2 was shot by Erik Morrison, with some additional footage by me.

If you haven’t watched episode 1, or need a refresher:

 Posted by on June 18, 2013
Dec 092011

Congratulations to the following:

The winner of the full bottle of choice (choosing from Tauer Perfumes or Tableau’s Miriam fragrance) is Ivona.

The winners of a purse sized atomizer of Tableau de Parfums’ Miriam fragrance are Melissa K (commenter 158), Matt S (302), and Helena K (309).

Thanks for watching and commenting, everyone.  We’ll send you an email when the next episode of White Shoulders comes out, at which time we’ll hold another drawing.

Note: winners were selected through random.org.  Expect an email from us shortly.

 Posted by on December 9, 2011
Dec 072011

Every year, Andy Tauer, the perfumer behind Evelyn Avenue’s Tableau de Parfums line and Tauer Perfumes, does an advent calendar, offering regular giveaways throughout the month of December.

This year, Evelyn Avenue is participating by conducting a draw.

What you get: The lucky winner will get a full bottle of perfume, his or her choice, from either the Tauer or Tableau line.  Visit Andy’s site to see your choices.

What you have to do to get it: Comment on this post.

When you will get what you get for doing what you have to do to get it:  Winners will be announced Friday, December 9th.

What you could also get: For every hundred comments, we’ll select another winner, who will receive a purse spray sized bottle of Miriam, Tableau’s first fragrance.

A New Series for the New Year:

2011 was a busy year at Evelyn Avenue.  The site launched, along with the Tableau de Parfums line and the Woman’s Picture series.  We produced a feature film and several shorts for the series this year, as well as the first cinema portrait in the Woman’s Picture Portrait Gallery, Miriam.  We launched the first Tableau scent, inspired by and named after the Miriam portrait, at Luckyscent in LA and here in our store.

We…got some sleep in between all this, but not a lot.

What’s Coming: In 2012, we’ll continue with the Woman’s Picture series, presenting more portraits and related shorts.  Loretta, the second fragrance in the Tableau line, will be released.

But Today: leaping headlong into the new year, we introduce a new silent film series, White ShouldersWhite Shoulders is inspired by, among other things, noir, old silents, sixties music, Daphne Du Maurier, Hitchcock, Edward Gorey, Hank Williams, Turn of the Screw, Aubrey Beardsley, ghost stories, and, of course, perfume.  Hope you enjoy it.  Episode two coming soon.

 Posted by on December 7, 2011
Nov 292011

I like long haul projects, the films you plan for months and spend years finishing, but I’m always trying to figure out how to retain a certain level of spontaneity during a shoot, and by the time you get everything prepared on a big production, and everyone is assembled, it can start to feel a little militaristic.   I keep trying to simplify the process, to get everything extraneous out of the way.  A lot of people tell you all kinds of things are needed to make a film.  Really I think you just need a sense of story, and imagination.  They’re not the same thing, but the one helps the other.  Cameras are increasingly lightweight, and easier to use.  With the right kind of approach – an open one, maybe – you can get at interesting things.

We filmed this short in an afternoon.  Rather than plan a character over a long period of time, we looked in our closets, and put something together.  We tried to figure out who this woman is as we shot.  We filmed in our back yard, with what we found there.  It made me pay attention to the space we were in a lot differently, because I wasn’t necessarily trying to make it conform to a preconceived idea.  We used the weather we were given.   A dog roamed into the yard and we used him too.

We’d been talking for a while about making a silent movie.  I still have plans to shoot a larger one, something a little more ambitious, but this is good practice.  I think of films like this as sketches.  And we had such a good time I think we’ll keep following this woman, whoever she is, to see where she takes us.  Last weekend we went back out into the yard to pick up where we left off.  We invited another friend to create another character.  I made some notes and drew a storyboard a few days in advance and we loosely followed those.  I’ve been looking at comic books, which seem to me to have a lot in common with silent films, the ratio of image to text and the way these little bits propel a story.  I’ve been thinking about serialized stories, too, because I like the way they give you an opportunity to think a lot between each segment or episode.  So we’ll maybe follow this woman with no real agenda and see what avenues it leads down.

 Posted by on November 29, 2011