"Three Worlds" Teaser Trailer Debuts

Three Worlds teaser trailer - Vimeo 

Three Worlds teaser trailer - Youtube

Video Killed The Movie (at least for today)

Video is the new mainstream form.  I've been saying it for a few years now, but as it's producers have gotten more savvy with technology and techniques, they can mimic, but more importantly, innovative trends and styles in the visual medium at a hyper kinetic pace.  This is why individual music video directors are not as sought out as before.  Because, anybody with some visual map can do it.  And they are.  In droves.  You get the good and the bad, but, you get it all.  And fast.  And new, and fresh.  TV anyone?

That in lies the huge challenge for Hollywood and feature films in general (especially ones that really on novelty and gimmicks).  The human appetite for novelty knows no bounds.  And video quenches that thirst weekly, for 1/100th of the price.  Plus, for its consumers, hell, it's free.

That's why, in some weird essence, a movie like SPRING BREAKERS competes with RiFF RAFF and his once a week music videos (the man who I believe is the genesis of the film, even if it be subconscious).  RiFF RAFF has been around for a few years, doing videos which are in the same spirit of the feature film.  For people familiar with his work, the movie feels tedious and outdated.

Of course, I'm exaggerating to make some point.  But, we cannot turn a blind eye to this phenomenon.  It exists.  Just today, I watched a well made, action POV music video that is buzzing the net. Comments include, "best thing I've ever seen", or "hollywood can never touch this".  Of course, this happens almost weekly and is a by product of internet hyper hyperbole. And, once the surface of the video is scratched, the novelty wears off quick.  But, the savvy generation has seen it, internalized it and moved on.  

You can no doubt see that this is where the wellspring of ideas originate these days.  And, by the time Hollywood or some indie director rips it off and places the same scene in a larger context, it's already old news for the next generation.  They've seen it, experienced it, and moved on to about 20 other new things.  This generation doesn't place the same importance on scale as they did before.  In the game of originality, who done it first is as important as who done it better.

For feature films to keep a footing in its proper place, it must rely on it's core strengths, that of unique storytelling, expression and originality no matter how difficult. The rerun, sequel game is not a long term strategy.  If it is, ruin is almost guaranteed.  Once the nerds turn away because there favorite comic book video game is better than the movie, well, then what?  You don't think that's going to happen?  

Long form films must also adapt to a faster distribution strategy.  One that keeps it fresh in a market that changes faster than a blink of an eye. Certainly not an easy task.

Voice of America interview and some Links

On Saturday, August 7th, I was interviewed live on the satellite channel V.O.A show, Shabahang, with host Behnood Mokri. They showed a few clips of my work, talked a bit about WHALE, and a bit of the challenges involved in being an Iranian American filmmaker.

The segment ran about 15-20 minutes, and when a link is available, I will post it, although my Farsi is not so good, and I'm sure it caused a few laughs. All in all, I received lots of kind messages from people all around the world saying that they enjoyed the interview.

We are currently working on a new website which will make navigating easier, especially in trying to find some of my work, which is scattered everywhere..

In the spirit of making things easier to find, you can access some of my channels here. They are all a bit different(Vimeo and Dailymotion shows some longer films like Plain Us and knock. knock. for now, and Youtube has WHALE along with some other videos), although in the future, I will migrate them all to one place. For now, check them all out, see what you like, and connect with me.

Amir @ Youtube
Amir @ Vimeo
Amir @ Dailymotion

Plain Us in full view

First film: Plain Us_24minute film
Then info
Then explanation

Plain Us_full short film by Amir Motlagh from Amir Motlagh on Vimeo.

Distributor: Movieola-The Short Film Channel & AYA Films
Premiere: Hells Half Mile Film and Music Festival, Oct 2008

Cy, an Iranian American indie rocker drops into the city he grew up in while on tour, to visit the family he could have had. Thing is, life's never so easy, even when you're in a rock and roll band.

Written, Directed and Starring Amir Motlagh
Producers: Joshua Virnick, Amir Motlagh
Cinematographer: Zamir Kokonozi
Production Design: Tom O'Connell
Sound Design: Brock Carter
Music: Shanks and the Dreamers

Amir Motlagh
Kindy Barr
Nadia Anwar
Art Toussi
Tom O'Connell
Rami Askar
Kristen Penza
Joshua Virnick

Shot in 35mm, DV Intro


Total Run Time: 24minutes
©AYA Films, Amir Motlagh

To be honest, this has been a relatively strange time for me.  I just finished releasing an album, and am about two days away from finishing my first narrative feature that has been three years in the making.  In between time, i have been very busy as usual.

But i have wanted to make some changes in pattern, and in all honesty, believe that i have been behind the curve on the internet for quite some time.  Maybe i have been to busy, but probably i have been to near sighted.

I finished a film in 2008 called Plain Us.  It premiered at the Hells Half Mile Film and Music Festival in Oct.  A few weeks after, it was solicaited by Movieola-The Short Film Channel for broadcast rights in Canada.  This was very early in my usual cycle to go for this type of deal.  I thought about other screenings and festivals and the usual pattern that films "must" go through.

But this time, instead of thinking it over long, i signed away on the contract, thinking that broadcast, the internet and a non-exclusive contract was best, and the sooner the better.

This time, i don't have the time nor the money, nor energy to dive all my resources into the festival thing. The "what if's" is not something i want to experience right now.  I have been there, done that, and in the end, want to try something else for once.

I am coming on my 8th year as both a professional, and at many times amateur filmmaker, and i have put in my dues.  So, without further ado, i present Plain Us, in full, for free on the web.  Watch it, enjoy it, hate it, love it, be indiffent, but please send it to someone else, many people else.

Also, it is 24 minutes long, so take a deep breath from your twittering, and sit back.

With Luv,