Archive for the ‘Film/Video’ Category

New Website

June 7, 2011

Hello all!

Many thanks for all your support over the last year as I travel, work and write. It’s come time, however, to change things up a little. As a result, I’ve launched a new website:

www.stevensirski.com

I am still trying to figure out how to post pictures, but I hope to have that done shortly. I’ve tried to clean things up a little for easier navigation. Please let me know if I’ve been successful or if something needs to be changed.

If you have any suggestions, please contact me at stevensirski [at] gmail [dot] com. I’d be more than happy to talk/chat/email with you.

As for this site, I will keep it active for now, but will stop updating it shortly.

Many thanks for your continued support,

Steve

Coffee and Milk Featured in Teach Away, Inc. Telegram

February 4, 2011
Students' Reaction Shot

My Grade 6 Advanced English class participating in the Coffee and Milk shoot.

I’m proud and honoured to report that Coffee and Milk has been featured in Teach Away, Inc.’s January 2011 telegram. Teach Away is the company that brought me over to teach English in Korea.

Find the article here.

View the short film here or pictures from the shoot on Flickr.

I also have other posts about the film here.

The 62-Hour Bus Trip: The Movie

January 17, 2011

For those of you interested in seeing what Canada’s scenery is like from the view of a bus seat, I invite you to take a look at the video I made of my epic journey across the Great Canadian shield. Facebook it, Twitter it, burn a copy and sell it to your friends, share it with others or subscribe to my blog, it’s the cool thing to do. The links are below. Or, better yet, buy me a coffee.

Running time: 3:20

Format: HD

Video and editing by: Me, Steven Sirski

Music by: Dan-O, www.danosongs.com

Since WordPress doesn’t allow me to embed Vimeo files, you’ll have to go here.

The Five Muses Online Release

December 14, 2010
The Five Muses

The Five Muses. A short film by Steven Sirski.

Though I was a graduate student at the time, The Five Muses is my first film done outside of the film studies program. The script was written originally to be a music video, but, the band decided not to go ahead with the shoot so I did it on my own.

You can watch it on my Vimeo page.

I’ve posted a director’s statement and some production notes, and you can read about the technical specs here.

You can also view some productions photos on Flickr.

Unfortunately, some of the film was botched while shooting, so you’ll notice one part in the middle is kinda flubbed. I did my best to make it work the way it is and achieved a modicum of success.

What to do? Well, I’m placing the film under the Creative Commons Attribution license, so if anybody has any great ideas to modify the film, go ahead. All I ask is that you give me, the cast and crew credit, then replace whatever’s left. I’d laugh if a Chinese metal band or some Korean pop band re-did the soundtrack, or maybe even Polish subtitles? Oh, and please send me a link to the posted video.

Be gentle, it’s my first.

Creation – Short Film Online Release

December 1, 2010

And now for a change in tone…

While doing an undergraduate degree in Classics and Film Studies, I completed this short film for one of my experimental classes. Inspired by the planet Mars (which was at its closest to Earth in our lifetime), I assembled some supplies and improvised the movie. You can watch it on my Vimeo page.

Here are the specs:

Written and Directed by Steven Sirski

Running time: 7:15
Genre: Experimental
Format: MiniDV
Completed: February 2004

Tag Line
Steven Sirski’s universe begins.

Medium Synopsis
An experimental short film set to the music of Gustav Holst’s Neptune, The Mystic.

What did I use for supplies? A camcorder that had “negative” and “mirror” effects, two black lights, food colouring, a glass of water, the planet Mars, a cigar, and toilet paper. (Wow, this sounds like it could be used in Polish porn, too).

The first things you’ll see are black lights. I set my camera to have a mirror image and then waved the 4-foot black light around. Next up is the planet Mars. Using my camera’s “negative” and “mirror” special effects, I basically stood outside watching Mars in the sky. Yes, I was a social kid in university. If you notice the part where the dots seem to “dance”, that’s because I was smoking a cigar and waved it in front the camera, distorting the dots.

The swirling colours are food colouring dropped into water. For some reason I found it absolutely fascinating to watch these colours mix. I don’t even have drugs to blame.

Lastly, you’ll see some fabric. That’s toilet paper under the black lights, and it’s supposed to represent the fabric of space (well… kinda). I don’t know why or how I came to use toilet paper in the film, but there it is, illuminated by black lights and looking all starry-like.

Set to Gustav Holst‘s Neptune, The Mystic, the short film clocks in at just over seven minutes. I’ll admit, it’s a little long. But since the video files are on a now-botched hard drive, I’m not changing it. If anything, put it on in the background while you work and listen to the music.

Coffee and Milk Korean Interview

November 29, 2010

Murat is interviewed at the first screening of Coffee and Milk

I’ve heard good things about the 12th Independent Film Festival MADE IN BUSAN this past weekend. Compliments on the shooting and editing.

Murat attended and was interviewed. It’s in Korean, so I can’t help you. I hope they’re saying good things. Due to exams, Seung Jae, the student lead, couldn’t attend the screening, and since I’m in Winnipeg, neither could I (though with the current amount of snowfall, maybe I should’ve gone??)

You can find the interview here.

And if you know Korean and want to help me out, I’d love to have a translation of the interview.

You read more about the movie here, or watch it here.

Coffee and Milk Screening in Korea

November 17, 2010
Second Shot of the Day

Seung Jae, Steventeacher, and Murat on set for the filming of Coffee and Milk.

Practically one year to the day since it was shot, my first international short film Coffee and Milk, about a teacher and a student who get into a fight over spilled milk and coffee, will be screened at the 12th Independent Film Festival MADE IN BUSAN!

For those of you who don’t know Korean, here’s the direct link:

http://www.ifmib.org/bbs/view.php?id=gong1&no=193&category=

From my meager knowledge of Korean, the info under that link gives the general information about the movie, which can also be found here, in English.

If you’re not in Korea, you can always watch the movie on my Vimeo page or check it out being featured on the Art of Backpacking website.

The Musician – Update #3

October 5, 2010

There’s no easy way to put this, but my proposed feature film project for 2010 will have to be put on hold. Things didn’t come together the way I expected them to. I’m not sad or angry, nor disappointed or depressed about it. As a matter of fact, I’m okay with the project being pushed off for a little while longer simply because I learned so much this summer. Let me explain what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been reading and writing profusely over the last two months. I’ve been studying finance, other people’s scripts, and how to write stories (you’d think I’d know already!) Furthermore, I’ve kept busy with this blog which I hope you find a bit entertaining or informative. I’ve gone through The Musician‘s script again, breaking it down to its fundamentals, and started another script, a ghost story. I’ve also written some guest posts for a travel website, Art of Backpacking, which you can view here and here. And the short film I made in Korea has been featured on the same website, you can see that here. Lastly, I’ve moved up to Dauphin to work on my uncle’s farm. So things kinda moved in a different direction.

The story is simply not ready, and giving it a little more time will allow it to grow a little more. Although I don’t expect my first film to be on the level of James Cameron, George Lucas, or Steven Spielberg, I do expect that it would be watchable and entertaining.

Yes, it’s a disappointing thing to push off this film but it will get done it due time.

In the meantime, I’ve posted some videos of my work on Vimeo. One short film, Coffee and Milk (the same one mentioned above) and I’ll be releasing another short film in a little bit (it’s my first EVER short film… uh oh!) and that one’s called The Five Muses. There are some videos of me drumming there too.

Many thanks for all of your support!!

Korea: A Reminiscence

August 15, 2010

안녕하세요!

I’ve been back in Winnipeg for just over a month now and many people have asked me “How was Korea?” So I’ve decided to put down some of my thoughts about the country and my time there.

My job in Korea was to teach English to Grade 3s to 6s. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. Using resources from EPIK and Dave’s ESL, as well as some friends who begun teaching there before me, I quickly learned about lesson plans, lesson flow, and classroom management. The first few weeks were intimidating but, once I got into the hang of things, it became a whole lot easier. I will never forget the first time driving up to the school and three kids stopped, mouths gaping, pointing at me as I drove by. They were excited, which helped ease my own nerves.

In regard to Korean life, Koreans always seems to be in a hurry to do something. I don’t get it. I’m sure North Americans are guilty of the same thing, but, as an outsider, I noticed that everything done by Koreans needed to be done right away. If you were a foreigner, you were allowed some lenience. I really felt bad for my co-teacher because every time she received a phone call, she stopped everything to attend to the call, and then (sometimes) sprinted out of the classroom to take care of whatever business needed to be taken care of.

If there’s one thing you’ll soon notice when you go to Korea it’s that everything is Korean. LG and Samsung, Daewoo, KIA and Hyundai, and Angel-in-Us. It’s kinda creepy. Jim Rogers, a renowned New York investor, wrote in his book Adventure Capitalist, that Korea came across as “artificial”. He’s got a point. Korean companies dominate the landscape; not many foreign companies (especially not Japanese, i.e. Sony and Panasonic!) can be found here!

And how about those cab drivers? You really learn to appreciate life after you’ve made it home alive in a cab. If there was one reason to learn the Korean language, it was so you could tell the cab driver where to you lived, and to go slower!

The Korean language. I loved learning Hangul, if only because I could make an attempt to talk to every cute girl that walked by. Aside from that, Hangul looks like such a happy language. Look at a paragraph of Hangul and tell me that you do not see little faces, some happy, some unamused, some winking, some confused!

Cyclops:

Unamused:

Drunk winking:

Wearing cool glasses and smiling:

Surprised pirate:

Sly and cool:

Those are just some of the things I saw when I first looked the Korean writing system. Here’s a sample:

언제나 어디서나 날 따라다니는 이 스포트 라이트
어딜가나 쫓아오지 식당 길거리 까페 나이트
도대체 얼마나 나이 들어야 이놈의 인기는 식으러 들지 원
섹시한 내 눈은 고소영
아름다운 내 다린 좀 하지원
어쩌면 좋아 모두 나를 좋아하는 것 같애 oh no

-from “So Hot” by Wondergirls

Don’t you see the faces? Tell me you see the faces! (Okay, it’s a stretch, but the first time I saw it, I swear I saw faces!)

Some of my friends thought Korea was a third-world country. Couldn’t be further from the truth. Korea is probably more developed than most parts of North America! If you want your luxury shopping (Gucci, Prada, etc.) you’ve got it. Movies? All the English movies are shown in addition to some Korean movies subtitled in English. Music? Great rock and jazz music to be found in Seoul, while Busan seems to be overrun with foreigners and their music groups. Food? Take your pick, all western fast food joints and many European foods (such as pizza or kebabs) are available. Coffee? Yes, Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Angel-in-Us, and my personal favourite (because they gave me cake every time), Cherami (exit 6, Goejeong Station, Saha-gu, Busan). And don’t forget the largest sea-food market in Asia, Jagalchi in Busan. You’ve never tasted fresher raw fish. You walk down any number of isles offering a variety of fish and sea creatures, pick which ones you want, take a seat, slug some soju, then eat. My most expensive bill there was $50, and that was apparently for some “expensive” fish. I can only imagine what the same bill would be in Canada.

And how about that Kpop? Well, words will fail any attempt to describe Korean pop music. Let’s just say, they’ve got America beat at cranking out popstars. America only uses one pop star and makes him/her a star. Korea? They take 18 young men or women, put them on a stage, and make them sing and dance. Be sure to check out Super Junior’s “Sorry, Sorry, Sorry”, Wonder Girls’ “So Hot” (see the lyrics above), and my favourite, “Fire” by 2NE1.

I enjoyed my time in Korea. I’d like to return to Korea one day, possibly to teach, or maybe just to visit. Or maybe to shoot another movie? (See Coffee and Milk below.) The world is a large place and I would really like to see more of it.

PS – In regard to North-South relations, the only “bomb” I experienced was mixing soju with beer, which my kids called “pok tan ju”, translated to mean “the bomb”.

Coffee and Milk featured on travel website

August 3, 2010

My short film, Coffee and Milk, has been featured on the travel website Art of Backpacking. You can view it here:

http://www.artofbackpacking.com/film-feature-coffee-and-milk-teaching-in-south-korea/


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