Jimbeaux Bloggins
My enchanting ranting, poetry and prose
The occasional clippings, drippings
and Fun Fotoz

"Briefly Describe" 

For your viewing pleasure, an educational short film I wrote, produced and directed for Aspen Publishing. "Briefly Describe" documents the day Alex is scheduled to appear in court. Alex is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a car accident two years prior.

"Briefly Describe" from James Huffman on Vimeo.



This vignette was part of a series of video lessons in Tort Law. This video was also a client favorite...

"I wasn't sure what I would think of the Day in the Life video but that might be favorite of all.  There were certain creative, subtle elements that floored me.  I loved the annoying alarm in the background, and the discussion on the radio (regarding shoes, I believe) while the man struggled to move about his bedroom added great irony.  But then showing his destination at the courthouse being asked if he could describe a typical day in his life was classic."

Behind the scenes "factoid:" The actor in this episodes is John Harpster. John and I actually went to the same high school in Ridgewood, NJ. We don't hang out that much in LA. We don't hang out ever in LA... but we stay in touch via Facebook... so when I was casting for this role, he popped into my head... always happy happy to hook up an RHS alum... so I sent him an email... fortunately he was available... and the rest is history.... if you consider my little educational video "History."

 

TRAILS: Day 725 (still working) 

Still working. Still aiming for that August 25th deadline. I'd say we are 90% wrapped as far as shooting. Had a meeting last night with a team of composers to discuss the music for the film. I'm kind of all over the place with what I want. But eventually we'll find something that works. I've added a handful of new pins to the Pinterest page for TRAILS to access as reference and inspiration....

http://www.pinterest.com/TrailsShortFilm/





"Last Looks On A Final Frame #shortfilm #BaldwinHills #LA #LongDay"


(Still working. Stay tuned.)


 

Can I get an"O-Gee-Golly" from Salvador Dali? 

Super Super Busy. Like insanely busy. Don't mess with me right now. I'll get back to ya.... but for now.....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my DAD! Yesterday anyway. Jerry D turned SEVENTY THREE on JUne 4th. Actually. He was born in 1940 so I think that makes him 74.

We are headed to NJ in July. Kristen and I will fly into Newark and bounce around the NY/NJ/CT metropolitan area for a few days and hopefully squeeze is as much quality time with family and friends as we can manage without... going crazy I guess.... We are DEFINITELY going to go see a game at Yankee Stadium. I missed the Yanks when they were out here playing the Angels in Anaheim so I gotta get my game on in the Bronx.  

So sad to see that Don Zimmer died. Baseball will miss him. I love that he was SEVENTY TWO when he went after Pedro Martinez during a bench clearing brawl between the Red Sox and the Yankees back in 2003. Probably his finest moment, even if he DID get thrown down on the ground like a crotchety old man.

You know what? I started writing KEWL in emails and texts because I was making fun of people who do that. Now I've essentially become one of them #NotKewl I did the same thing with hi-fiving my wife. It was a joke and I ran that joke til it just couldn't run no more... then I was the dip-turd who hi-fived his wife. I still do it from time to time.

“Just because I don’t know the meaning of my art, does not mean it has no meaning.” ~ Salvador Dali

Ok I'm rambling... I gotta go. I told you I'm busy.

OH... for your viewing pleasure... here is the Directors cut (Director being ME) of a recent educational video I Produced/Directed. I added the funk to spice it up a little bit... I KNOW.. I posted this already... I'm sharing again because I like it....
 
 


Nighty Night. Don't give up the Fight.


 

Bring Tha Funk! 

Here it is... the full (BRING THA FUNK) version of "Adverse Possession" for your viewing pleasure....


"Adverse Possession" (Directors Cut) from James Huffman on Vimeo.




Had to spice this one up a bit. I always make it a point to fund the fun in any industrial/educational video project I'm asked to produce/direct... and this one may get the thumbs down from the client..  but I just had to go there. Solid work from Michelle Bernard, Ray Barnes, Jaimie Fauth, Mercedes Manning, Andre Myers and Joe Eberlein as "Benjamin Brunk."
 

Omnipotent Kids 

Holee Crapp I been busy. My opportunities for blogging are few and far between. I'm shooting a ton. Prepping for more projects. I'm shooting TWO short films and the Pet Food Business is BOOMING. Busy aint bad. Busy is GOOD. However you want to look at it. Busy is for REALZ. My short film TRAILS, formerly known as TRAILS OF GRAY is still moving forward. The story and the film as a whole has gone from a short story about a couple getting lost in the mountains... essentially a ghost story... to a much more complex tale and six unassuming characters, the original lost couple, included, who are all connected by one unique kid, who roams aimlessly through the city and through the story. The deadline for Sundance is August 25th. That's my goal right now, to get this film into Sundance. Cordano Russell is the kid who I cast to play this omnipresent character. Cordano is a really good kid. Cordano is also a phenomenal skateboarder. He is only 9 years old and he's is getting attention from major brands and sponsors. It's his skateboard skills that led me to create this other YET TO BE TITLED short film. Ive been calling this project "Zoning," because it is a by-product of one of the legal vignettes that I wrote and directed for Aspen Publishing. That particular vignette is about a zoning variance hearing where dozens of people in "Any Town USA" attend this city council meeting and protest a re-zoning application that would convert an old sorority house into a rehab/halfway house for trouble military veterans. I have a lot of familiarity with homes fro troubled veterans because my father has been part of the Beacon House program in Long Island, NY. My awareness of that program and my Dad's involvement gave me the motivation to write this vignette is such a away that the project inevitable paved the way for a bigger, more meaningful endeavor. Add to that the fact that Ive always wanted to carve a creative project like a web series or short film out of one or two of these corporate gigs (but never really had the opportunity) and boom... I'm jumping on it. So as Ive been writing and producing and casting and coordinating all these scenes and episodes for Aspen, Ive been finding ways to squeeze in a few scenes to shoot for the film. What Ive got right now is a 75% finished film about Fathers & Sons... about love, loyalty and frustration. This film is about our military veterans... about a world that is desperately dependent on... dare I say ADDICTED TO... oil. It's a story and the people that have died fighting in wars in the name of that addiction.. and the people who fought, survived.. and brought that war home to share it with their family.... its also about kids.... and skateboarding. There's a lot going on there I know. But when it all comes together... I think once its done, it should be a really compelling film... with some important messages. maybe I'll submit this one to Sundance as well. I have to come up with a title. "Zoning" doesn't quite cut it, but that's all Ive got. 

Cordano isnt the star of "Zoning." Elijah Grissom is. Cordano is a great skateboarder and a decent actor. Elijah is a decent skateboarder and a great actor. I cast Cordano in one of the educational vignettes... about skateboarding... for obvious reasons... but I cast him as the main character in TRAILS because he has something special. He is a very charismatic, charming, good-looking kid. He is not as good of an actor as Elijah, but I wanted that unspoken unique quality to come out in this omnipotent kid. Cordano doesnt have many lines in TRAILS. He is everywhere and seems to see everything... so there is a lot of non verbal acting for him... and it suits him perfectly. Elijah is more experienced as an actor and he is super solid, fundamentally, for someone his age. He takes direction and gets it immediately. Polite. Professional. He's been a pleasure to work with. I met both kids when I was auditioning actors for ANOTHER corporate video I'm writing and producing for Aspen. That episode is a lesson in Tort Law and it centers around 3 kids on their skateboards who come across a pile of debris and decide to rip some tricks on it. One of the kids gets hurt and the viewer (Law students and/or Professors) are encouraged to discuss in class the liability in such a scenario.

My plan was to use Elijah and Cordano and another young actor named Logan to play the 3 skateboarders. I came up with the idea for the film as I was planning out the shooting schedule and it looked like I might be shooting the skateboarding scene on the same day as the Zoning scene. We shot the Zoning scene down at Chapman University, which is in Orange, CA and since Cordano was coming up from Sand Diego, Logan lives in Costa Mesa and Elijah lives in Long Beach, I figured I would try to make it easier on the kids and the parents if I cut down on their travel a little bit. So, as I was mapping out a nice long day of shooting in Orange, I started visualizing these kids in the world of the zoning hearing... my imagination took over from there and the story evolved.

Logan was actually the one who was supposed to be the main character in "Zoning." He was the son in the "Parental Immunity" Tort Law scene hat I shot a few months ago. He is a pretty good actor and he was pumped to take on a new role.... but when he showed up to set that day at Chapman, he was sick. He got really upset . he was crying and trying to keep it together...  but he just wasn't able to perform. I felt bad for him but the show must go on. I had to make an adjustment, so I took the script over to Elijah and his Mom and I said  "Okay Elijah, you're up. Logan can't  do it. He is sick and he is going home. Can you learn this monologue in 2 hours?" He said yes. He got work. Did a great job too. We've been running and gunning ever since. 
 
 


 
 


That's a picture of Cordano and Owen. Owen is the original kid who appeared in the early version of Trails. He is still an important part of the story. Cordano and Owen shot a scene together in Torrance a few weeks ago. I took this picture of them once we wrapped.


Ok, I gotta go. I wish i had more time to write this blog... and I will certainly try to drop an update as often as I can. This busy thing is really really good. Its' exhausting... but it's good. Good things are happening. 

Stay tuned.


"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have" - Thomas Jefferson


 

A contractual collapse in 3 acts 

I've been working on a new educational video series for Aspen Publishing. After a considerable amount of tinkering. The first episode is finally ready for public consumption.

Closing: A contractual collapse in 3 acts

Closing: A contractual collapse in 3 acts from James Huffman on Vimeo.



A short film slash educational vignette about a closing gone wrong. Produced/Directed by James Huffman for Aspen Publishing and indie city entertainment. Features Gill Hellmund, Deborah Ramaglia, Kaisli K, Jim Gilchrist, Larry & Cathy Haryung (Mother & Father in-law) & Daniel Bogart, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Administration, Chapman University School of Law.



 

"The One Who Thinks He Can" 

This poem just popped into my head. My head football coach at Ridgewood High School used to read it out loud to the team every week before the game. I don't know if Coach Johnson reads this poem anymore at Friday Night meetings, but the words still visit me from time to time...

“If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you've lost,
For out in the world we find
Success being with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are:
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.”

― Walter D. Wintle

 

High Trails Between Takes... 

We finally got out and resumed shooting yesterday...





" Cordano Russell takes in the scenery over Smugglers Cove while the crew sets up another shot for the short film TRAILS, written/directed by James Huffman."
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