Last Monday, Kieran Crilly‘s Facebook wall exploded with ecstatic messages that echoed this one: “A-ma-zing!! Congrats dude!” That’s because the night before, at the 86th Annual Academy Awards, Crilly’s film, The Lady in Number 6, won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject, and Crilly’s friends could not quite believe that one of their own had worked on a movie that just won his industry’s top honor. The film, in which Crilly served as Director of Photography, is an uplifting portrait of Alice Herz-Sommer, a classical pianist and the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor and was considered the favorite going into the awards. Still, when Kate Hudson announced the winner, Crilly was stunned.
Crilly is a cinematographer and producer based out of Montreal, a city where I spent some of the most hedonistic years of my life. I know him mostly in the context of late nights and earlier mornings. But back then he was still a driven filmmaker, and as a member of the Kidnapper Films collective, planted the seeds that led him to the Kodak Theater last Sunday. To see him reach this career pinnacle so early on is both surprising and somehow totally expected. I asked Kieran to take us through his night and what his might mean for the rest of his career. Even though he’s a big deal now, he graciously accepted.
So did you actually get a statue yourself?
Unfortunately no. Only two got handed out for the film. One went to Nick Reed the producer, and the other was for Malcolm Clarke the director. But I definitely tried to take as many pictures as possible with it to completely mislead everyone.
What did you think your chances to win were like going in? Did you read all the forecasts?
I think my attitude towards our chances changed back and forth every day after the nominations were announced. I’m working on a new film with the same director now, so we were forwarding every email and I saw all the forecasts that the producer would send Malcolm, so obviously that was encouraging. But when I got a chance to check out the competition, I couldn’t believe how moving some of those films were. Those stories were pretty amazing: a revolution in Yemen, a hospice run by inmates for inmates, an incredible artist in the desert, and a story of incredible forgiveness. After you see those films and meet those filmmakers, it really makes you wonder how anyone can predict what will happen. But yeah, we were going in with high hopes. Right up until the envelope got opened up, then it was like “Holy shit, we’re going to lose.”
What was walking the red carpet like? A surreal experience?
Are you kidding! It was insanely surreal!! In fact, it was such a rush that I snuck back out and did it a second time!
Describe what it’s like to actually walk the red carpet.
The red carpet is divided between nominees and guests, so if you’re the actual nominee, Nick and Malcolm, you go on one side of a velvet rope and you can interact with the press, and that’s where the big names are. Along with the other Canadians on the team I was on the other side, so we walked next to the celebs, but not along with them. Inside the theatre there was a big cocktail party for about two hours, so in there I met with other people in the industry, but not necessarily what you’d call celebrities. I got to meet and shake hands with one of the biggest cinematographers in the business, Roger Deakins, someone I really admire and look up to. For me, that was a bigger thrill than meeting say Angelina Jolie or Steve Carell. After the awards at the Vanity Fair party there were tons of big names walking around. We took a photo with Bill Murray, my girlfriend met Larry David, and I took a pee next to Bill Hader, but I’m not really someone who goes bonkers around celebrities.
And what’s it like approaching the Kodak Theater? Tight security?
Yeah, they don’t show that part on TV. They block off Hollywood boulevard (is it a boulevard?) for blocks in either direction and you have to drive through about four checkpoints before you even get close to the Oscars area. The LAPD have concrete blockades up, the sidewalks are fenced off, there’s a ton of people on the other side with posters and cameras, screaming every time a car or limo pulls up.
Did you have a flask of booze on you?
Ha, no. But there’s tons of free drinks inside, bars on every level of the theatre, and during the actual show you can get up and leave the theatre during every commercial break. The publicist we had, (little shout out to Dish Entertainment) was pretty awesome. They had us prepared for the whole experience and we brought some snacks in, knew exactly what to expect, and really shepherded us through the night. I can’t imagine going through that week without someone like that to really give you a heads up about every little detail.
What was watching the show like live?
The show itself was really impressive. Basically you’re watching the most professional people in the world put on the biggest entertainment show of the year. I guess the only difference from TV is that you’re taking photos and texting them to friends and seeing them write back “Holy shit that just happened on TV!” Of course, right after our category was announced we all ran downstairs to find Malcolm and Nick and hoist the golden boy. I guess that’s a pretty big difference.
What was going through your head after their name was called?
Um, I think my hand went up to my mouth in shock, and the first thing that happened was actually really awesome. The guy sitting right in front of me was Tom Christopher, the producer of one of the other short docs, Facing Fear, and he instantly spun around and grabbed my hand and shouted “Congratulations!” with a huge smile on his face. It was really that moment that you see on TV where the nominees really are happy for each other and it was really sweet of him. Then I jumped up and hugged the Canadian producer Frederic Bohbot, who was sitting next to me and we shouted and jumped up and down.
What happens when the show is over, is it a nightmare to get out of there?
You wait. Right after the show all the nominees and winners go to a banquet called the Governor’s Ball where they eat, there’s some entertainment and you get the plaque screwed on to the statue. But that part of the night is strictly nominees and winners only, so we hang out outside drinking lattes and waiting till their done to head out to the party. We did try to sneak in to the Governor’s Ball but never even got close, and then ended up outside the theatre! It was a hassle getting back in to get the valet.
And so where did you party after? The Vanity Fair party?
Yeah, we headed to the Vanity Fair party. Basically, the Oscar is like a golden ticket. Whether you’re invited or not, it opens doors. On the way up Sunset Blvd. to the Vanity Fair party, there were barricades and state police, and every time you just stick the Oscar out the window and they’re like “Oh, cool, have a great night!”
What was the party like?
Pretty swanky. They had taken over a parking lot and built a massive series of tents and trailers. It was done up like a big banquet hall, lots of portraits on the walls, big open bar, people walking around giving out food and trinkets, and you couldn’t walk three steps without running into either a celebrity or someone swinging an Oscar.
And is your cell phone blowing up?
Oh dude, texts, emails, instagram, facebook, I’m still working my way out of it.
What do you think this means for the rest of your career?
I think that’s probably the hardest question to answer. Probably easier to answer in a few years, when I can look back at what has it done for my career, right? I mean, I hope that the film is seen by a wide audience, I hope that people enjoy it, and that maybe some of those people want to work with me. I’ve been doing documentary for a long time and I’m really ready to work in some other areas – commercial, creative web content, that kind of stuff really interests me right now. Also I do a lot of producing so I want to continue on that front – hopefully this opens some doors. And directing is something I’ve dipped my toes into before but now I’d like to explore that further. I think I’m going to make a move to Toronto soon so that’s exciting and obviously I’d love to do more in the US. Either that or this is where I peak and it’s all downhill from here, hahaha!
Did you ever expect a nomination might be possible, let alone a win? How did you find out about the nomination?
Well we knew we were shortlisted in the category for the short nomination in December. The Academy released a short list of 8 films and announced that between three and five of those would get nominated. Then on January 16th the nominations were announced. For me that was the biggest anticipation really, because after that no matter what, you’ve got a nomination on your CV, and really that’s a major accomplishment right there. I was in Washington DC shooting on the current film I’m working on, a feature doc about the relationship between the US and China. I was having breakfast with Malcolm, who is directing this one too, and we were watching the TV in the hotel restaurant. They announced all the big categories, but skipped the doc shorts, so we were sitting there waiting for about twenty minutes before our producer Fred Bohbot texted me from Montreal to let us know. It was totally surreal. I think that was the big moment where I had to stop and think about it, holy shit I have to go to LA, I need a tux, I need to figure out how to crash the parties….um, we just got nominated. The win was just too much to really hope for and hasn’t even begun to sink in yet.
The Lady in Number 6 is now available for rent or purchase on Vimeo.
Earlier today, Page Six lit a fire underneath Andrew Garfield’s ass when they reported that the Spiderman star backed out of a tearjerking segment at last Sunday’s Academy Awards because he was unhappy with his lines. The plan was to have Garfield appear on stage with 5 year old Miles Scott, who late last year became known as “Batkid” when the Make-A-Wish foundation turned sections of San Francisco into Gotham City so Scott, who is a leukemia survivor, could live out his superhero fantasy.
Academy producers had planned to have Garfield—the closest thing to a real-life superhero we have, sorry firefighters and police officers and soldiers and everyone else who risks their lives to save others—appear on stage with Scott to officially anoint him as a superhero. According to Page Six, “Garfield refused to go by the script. He came up with his own lines. The producers felt that Garfield’s [rewrites] were not appropriate. Garfield had a tantrum. He stormed off. Miles and his family, who were at the rehearsal, were devastated.”
That is not a good look for any human being, let alone one who’s carrying a billion dollar franchise about a professional do-gooder. So, his Spidey sense telling him that shit was about to hit the fan, or maybe because he’s actually just a good dude, Garfield spent the next day at Disneyland with Scott and his family, according to a statement from the Academy, who also denied that it was Garfield who canned the segment:
“Due to the nature of a live show, hard decisions sometimes must be made which require the Academy to cut segments due to the logistics of production,” a rep for the Academy told Fox411 of why the planned bit was scrapped at the last second. “Andrew Garfield understood that his segment had to be omitted, and he drove to Disneyland on Monday to spend time with 5-year-old Miles Scott (Batkid) and his family.”
So to recap, Miles Scott is a real life hero, Andrew Garfield is an image-conscious actor, and I’m some dude who just wrote this for no apparent reason.
Do y’all know what Oculus Rift is? Us neither, but it’s apparently a new Virtual Reality-goggle concept, that parent company Oculus VR raised $91 million (2.4 of those million on Kickstarter) to produce, and will be available to consumers late this year or early next. It’s pretty next-wave stuff that raises a ton of exciting possibilities, but none more so than what a genius named Greg Miller produced when he created a VR recreation of apartment 5A at 129 W81st St in New York City. That would the one-bedroom of local comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who, for nine years, navigated the banalities of everyday existence with his three sociopathic friends.
The project, which is called Jerry’s Place VR and took Miller a month to create, will be available on Oculous Rift as well as PCs and Macs. Miller describes his process:
I started by scouring the Internet for screen shots of Jerry’s apartment but that didn’t yield much. Eventually I resorted to screen-capping streaming episodes so I could get detailed images of the various items around the set. I tried to be faithful to the shows original props and it’s era, but some things were near impossible to Google. I did a lot of research and tried to find images of the original products used in the show, and modeled around those dimensions, rather than relying solely on blurry screen shots. I found lots of good footage of the bathroom in the episode “The Barber,” during the part that Newman enters Jerry’s bathroom to find a hair sample. I feel like the main room and the bathroom are very well created, however I could only find one screen shot of Jerry’s bedroom, at the end of “The Chicken Roaster.” I used a blurry screen grab to texture the painting above his bed, and was able to recreate the bed, sheets and nightstands accurately. Unfortunately, due to the dimensions of the apartment it seems like it would be impossible to actually fit the bedroom the way the show depicts it. It came out cramped, but I’m happy with it.
Now comes the part where we end the article on a Seinfeld reference, so yada yada yada, not there’s anything wrong with that, and no soup for you.
Have a good night.
You may recall New York Magazine’s cover last August—the one of a nude Lake Bell with a fake black and white rose tattoo stretching from her thigh to her neck? What you might not remember, however, is that her husband, Scott Campbell, was the artist. Based out of Brooklyn, Campbell has inked the skins of many favorites, including Marc Jacobs, Johnny Depp, and Nan Goldin, but more than a tattoo artist, he also creates unusual sculptures and paintings.
Most recognizable are his low-relief sculptures constructed from United States currency. The use of layered bills in former works created images such as the grim reaper, skulls and the sentence, “Bless this Mess.” Of course, given our country’s extremely high economic status at the time of their exhibition in March 2012, these pieces engendered absolutely no mixed feelings or varied sentiments. If anything, they were utterly uplifting and inspiring.
Now, two years later, Campbell is exhibiting a new series of work at Galerie Gmurzynska that employs similar techniques, yet yields an entirely different response. His Sundance award-winning wife inspired the love-themed body of work on display, which is aptly titled “The Smartest Things I Ever Did Were Foolish Things for Love.”
In the collection, layered American dollar bills construct the outline of a nude female figure lying in bed, rather than images commenting on economic turmoil. Oversized dollar bills, to which Campbell added bold black lettering, hang on the gallery’s walls. Making use of the already present “one” on the bills, Campbell creates statements like “Hey hONEy” and “Almost dONE.” And last but not least, a site-specific installation composed of his Fuse Paintings—designs drawn with gunpowder and subsequently lit on fire—takes over the ground floor of the gallery.
If you happen to find yourself in Switzerland before April 20th, see the works yourself at Via Serlas 22 in St. Moritz.
Toward the end of 2013, Tierney Finster and collaborator Niko “The Ikon” Karamyan won the DIScrit 89plus challenge, an online survey of artists born in or after 1989. The prize, a stipend known as the Re Rebaudengo Serpentine grants, gave the two, who’ve been friends since the 6th grade, enough money to fully realize their gonzo vision. That vision is a trilogy of retro-soaked R&B music videos directed by Finster on grainy VHS, the first being a remake of former teen idol Tevin Campbell’s video for “Can We Talk,” which stars the two of them as lusty, would-be lovers. With Karamayan’s vocals and Finster’s visuals, the result is sultry and romantic, yet perfectly abstract. Where does the 22-year-old see herself in five years? “I hope to be writing, directing, and acting in my own movies, as well as continuing to collaborate with others who are doing the same. I also anticipate expanding my other writing work, telling stories in multiple ways via multiple platforms.”
Where were you born?
LA – the San Fernando Valley
Where do you live?
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Fun-loving, site-specific, frisky.
How did your career get started?
I don’t know if it really has yet. I’ve always enjoyed storytelling and performing, and I’m fortunate that there isn’t a major distinction between my personal and professional lives. I finish college this month, so I look forward to having more time to devote to my own work and ideas on a deeper level. I’m also still interested in creating a good side hustle.
Where do you hope to be professionally in 5 years?
I hope to be writing, directing, and acting in my own movies, as well as continuing to collaborate with others who are doing the same. I also anticipate expanding my other writing work, telling stories in multiple ways via multiple platforms. I feel blessed to be connected to a community of artists so special to me. I want to contribute to the conversation surrounding their lives and work, adding context and helping to facilitate the type of appreciation and analysis I think their projects merit.
What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career?
I am most proud of my relationships with the people I love, many of whom I get to work with. Nurturing these relationships gives me the most lasting satisfaction.
What famous person dead or living do most wish you could have as a roommate?
I don’t know if anyone would be suitable for a full-time situation. Missy Elliot might work. I’d love some girl on girl (bonding) with Anna Nicole Smith and Blackout-era Britney. Deep and meaningful moments with Dave Chappelle and the writer bell hooks. It would be a dream to speak candidly with Yasser Arafat. I’d also really enjoy it if Mannie Fresh were next door to provide me live, motivational soundtracks.
What is your favorite driving music?
I tend to be in the passenger’s seat, so I don’t always get to choose. I love everything Niko plays, and am always happy to experience Matthew Marble’s mixes while cruising in his car. My favorite rides play CDs from start to finish – Britney’s Blackout, Lil Wayne’s The Carter, everything Jack White, and the Bad Boys II and Training Day soundtracks. Lately, a lot of IO Echo’s Ministry of Love, Kelela’s Cut 4 Me, and DJ Mustard’s Ketchup mixtape.
Whose career would you most like to emulate?
I like Norman Lear, he was able to challenge and disrupt collective consciousness in ways mass audiences found entertaining and digestible.
If you had to live in a past time, what do you think would be the most fun era and why?
Or World War II-era, its atrocities opened up some exciting new opportunities (and burdens) for the women left at home.
What activities do most enjoy doing alone?
Writing, dancing in the mirror, watching Showtime, recording myself.
How do you wind down before bed?
Sleep clothes, Aquaphor and body oil, ice water on my bedside table.
When are you most relaxed?
At the beach, in the water.
What kind of person were you in high school?
Goal-oriented. I wanted to go to college and I wanted it paid for. I also wanted to have as many fun experiences as I could. I was vice-president of the School’s Site Council, presiding over monthly meetings with the principal and vice-principal, dean, and a group of teachers. I was president of Model United Nations, and in Student Government for four years. My school was a humanities magnet within a big L.A. public school, and the curriculum and environment were both perfect for me. I learned a lot and exercised my positions of power for as much good and bad as possible. My party-girl interests also peaked during these years. I would go out at least a few times a week, wearing a lot of glitter. Often, it was still caked on for class the next morning. It was a very hectic, “live fast” lifestyle that I’ve distanced myself from over the last few years.
Do you have any phobias?
I’ve never loved climbing mountains or riding roller coasters but I’m slowly acclimating to each.
Which artists inspire you?
Niko, Matthew, Ryan Trecartin, Kesh, Shakespeare, Rothko, my many family members (who would probably never identify themselves as artists).
What’s a serious side of you that people are unlikely to know about? Either in terms of interests, hobbies, or personality?
I am very much for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. I have spent time in Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan, and have attended national conferences on Palestinian rights and the current boycott and divestment movements. I love the Middle East and hope to return as soon as possible. The legacy of Orientalism is stronger than ever in our current culture of American terror – it is of critical importance that our media begins to contain accurate, humanistic portraits of Arabs and their multiplicity of identities, and for Americans to publicly recognize the Israeli apartheid that our country supports and funds.
What most bothers you about life in Los Angeles?
I wish places stayed open past 2 a.m, but I think everyone should get to bed earlier as it is.
What are some new hobbies you would like to take on?
I’m hoping to begin Arabic lessons soon. I’d also like to learn some sort of self-defense or sport.
How do you hope to grow as a creative person?
A little by little everyday, to places I can’t yet conceptualize.
If there was a phrase that you think best sums up your approach to life what might it be?
Finally! A story that will interest both New York hipster d-bags and pathetic sci-fi geeks! (Just kidding. I am also interested in this story and I am neither of those things, except for the first one.) Adam Driver, who plays Lena Dunham’s loveable log of a bf on Girls, is reportedly in final talks to play the main villain in the new Star Wars movie, according to Variety. Driver, who’s already attached to star in Martin Scorsese’s next film Silence, reportedly beat out actors like Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving for the part. The only roadblock now is working around his Girls schedule, not just for season four, but beyond, since Driver is likely to be a part of the next three instalments of J.J. Abrams’ new vision. The script for Star Wars Episode VII is obviously being kept top secret, but his character is said to be “in the vein of Darth Vader.” That’s a shame, since Adam Driver’s face is obviously his best part.
We’ve done mini deep-dives (shallow dives?) into the budding, mysterious careers of Inc. and FKA Twigs. The former is composed of two very shy brothers from L.A. who came up as session musicians before making a name for themselves by crafting cryptic, slinky R&B. The latter came out of nowhere last year with a music video that we still watch every few months or so to remember what actual creativity looks and sounds like. Now they’ve teamed up for a transcendent, brooding song, not-so-mysteriously called “FKA x inc.” which comes with a beautiful video, co-directed by Twigs and Nick Walker, of the three of them hanging out in the desert, making black magic together. The track will be available as a 7″, and also comes with zine, which you can grab here. Watch the video below.
A titanic, radioactive monster laying waste to human civilization is supposed to be the stuff of nightmares, so it never made any sense that in the movies, Godzilla either got a schlocky, B-movie treatment, or, in the case of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 remake, co-starred with Matthew Broderick in a semi-comedic children’s film. Well everyone, director Gareth Edwards is saying fuck all that, and, by the looks of this new trailer, is not only giving us the Godzilla we deserve, but the Godzilla we completely and utterly fear. Watch.
We don’t tend to cover sports news here at BULLETT, unless it’s something monumental like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady taking out the garbage. But last night in Los Angeles, something momentous happened that we felt you, our mostly non-sports following audience (we assume) should see. Jason Collins, a basketball player who last year came out of the closet but had yet to play an NBA game since, finally made his way onto the floor as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, thus confirming his place in history as the first openly gay athlete to play in a major American sport. The L.A. crowd acknowledges the moment with a respectful and slightly subdued round of applause, but watching it, you can’t help but get the sense that what we’re witnessing is a paradigm-shifting event.