Friday, March 19, 2010

Origin Story

Warning: This blog is self important. If taking your own shit seriously or someone making something out of very little makes you uncomfortable, this ain't for you. "Birdcall" is a pseudonym, but also an entity larger than myself, something other people have had and have vital parts in. I speak of Birdcall like it's MGM, with a storied and vast history, when, well, there isn't one yet. This is a little weird, sure, and probably makes the ol' ego feel good, but that's just how it is. The dramatic tone of voice is one that i am probably too comfortable in. Get over it or move on.

So people often ask me where the name "Birdcall" comes from. Back in the day when it started, when I started making films and thinking that I might want to do this for a living (living? is that what this is called?), all of my filmmaker friends had "companies", or so it seemed to me. Quotations because I am not sure of their legal status, and really, that wasn't the point. The point is doing something bigger than yourself, something greater than masturbation. Maybe not that much greater, but you have to admit that there is a difference between the two. Now when I peruse Craigslist posts in my desperate hours, I see all kinds of assholes with companies and it makes me a little cynical. Especially because they have the nerve to ask for interns. Anyway... I decided, before the release of my first short (and first video work ever), "Just a Glimpse," I decided to make one of my own.

 Among the greatest inspirations for me are the films of Wes Anderson. Now, let's not get into the last few films or his representations of nonwhites or his signature style/cliches, okay? Whew...The first three of his films are huge for me and I can quote a lot of them till the cows come home. 

The first idea that I came up with was "Wildcat Films," a reference to Eli Cash's failed first novel and the above moment of absurd genius from The Royal Tenenbaums. A search revealed that a Wildcat Productions or some such existed in the UK. So, I moved on. I wanted something that was a little obscure, out there, but ultimately terribly amusing to me. So, I went with Birdcall. Birdcalls are actually in several of Wes Anderson's films, but I was actually more taking inspiration from the two moments in Bottle Rocket. I actually captured and uploaded these for this purpose.

The first video comes from the opening scene of the film. Technically, the bird call is the first line of the film, if you think about it. It is off screen, made by Dignan (Owen Wilson) to get Anthony's (brother Luke Wilson) attention. Great scene. I also captured all the way up to the 75 year plan bit, to better illuminate my previous post.

The second video is from a later scene. This comes right after Anthony has had sex with Inez for the first time and their love is in its first bloom. Dignan is being left out and not dealing with it terribly well. The bird call comes in the bar, when Dignan is being beat up and makes a bird call to Anthony (who doesn't hear it) for aid.

More (self-glorifying) history later.

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