Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fashion: Original Penguin Store Grand Opening Party

Original Penguin has been around since 1955, and it's style of clothing is one that is passed on from one generation to the next.  Grandpa looks classy, dad looks hip, and the kids look cool.  So if you're looking for classic clothing with a modern-retro-hipster-rocker vibe then stop by an Original Penguin store because you're cool like that.

The Original Penguin Store at Valley Fair Mall celebrated it's Grand Opening with a party on Thursday, November 17, 2011. DJ Sequence brought his distinct scratching and mixing style and rocked the house...welcome to The Penguin Club!  The only thing missing was a disco ball and strobe lights. Everyone enjoyed snacking on sliders from The Counter at Santana Row, and drinks provided by Grey Goose while shopping for great outfits.  Picture Atlantic blew the roof off the house (well almost) when they treated friends, family, fans, and customers to a special musical performance.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Film: Some Kind of Sign

Script outline.
All great artists suffer for their art.  I guess that's why Team Film Antics keeps coming back for more.  The 48 Hour Film Project has descended upon San Jose for the fifth year, and Film Antics along with 30 other teams will push their creativity to write, produce, shoot, and edit a short film in 48 hours.  All for their art. That's 2 days!  2 days!!!

Manny & Raymund

The San Jose team is helmed by Paul Aspuria (Director), Raymund Aranda (Producer | Actor) aka The Debonair Rogue, Manny Barredo (Assistant Director), Juan Sotelo (Writer), James Davis (Actor), Dillon Lin (Sound), and Jenny Casey (Actress | Choreographer), and Cindy Ramos (vocals).  Paul, Manny and I arrived at Camera 3 in downtown San Jose with the other film makers to pick our genre.  Manny was given the honor of picking out of the tin can.  He jokingly commented that we would get Western/Musical...the one category we had been lucky to avoid (much to my relief) in the past.   My worst nightmare came true, as Manny revealed to Paul and I our genre...Western/Musical.  Nooooooooooo!!!

Nutrition of choice...
Juan concentrating.

James napping.
I had to shake it off...there was nothing I could do.  This was a challenge and Team Film Antics was not backing down.  So we headed off to James' loft and began to brainstorm and chow down on some Little Caesar's pepperoni pizza.  This was Juan's first 48 Hour experience, and while he hunkered down to write the script, James, Jenny and I went over wardrobe, got comfortable with each other, settled into our characters and tried to catch some shut eye.  In the mean time, Paul, Manny, and Dillon tested out the camera and audio equipment, and soon headed out to shoot B roll.

Dillon @ 3:00 a.m.
Juan finished the script just as Paul, Manny and Dillon came back from shooting B roll.  This would be the first time we would be shooting where there was very minimal dialogue...always a challenge for actors.  We had a couple of quick read thrus then headed out.  Cameras rolled at 1:30 a.m. and turned out to be a race to finish before the sun came up.  The sun won...we had only one shot left.  We shot the final scene Saturday night after recording Cindy's rendition of Ave Maria.  We decided to grab some grub at Flames before tackling the rest of the project.  We would be cutting it close to the deadline this time.
Jenny & James @ sunrise.

"Some Kind of Sign" premiered at the 48 Hour Film Project screening at Camera 12 in downtown San Jose on Thursday, August 18.  For those of you who weren't able to make it to the screening here is the video for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pets: The Search for a Stylish Dog

My family's first dog was given to us, our second was her pup, and our third we rescued from the pound.  All three were gorgeous.  It's been three years since our last dog, Sam, passed away.  My brother, sister and I decided that this time we wanted to go to a breeder for our next dog.

(r-l) Stewart, Rock, My Brother, London
Now, I've always been partial to large breeds mainly because our first three dogs were large (black lab mix, black lab mix/german shepherd, australian border collie mix).  But, also because I've always felt that large dogs were more stylish and masculine (nothing stylish about walking around with a dog in your handbag).  Yeah, I said it...stylish. Don't laugh.  Next time you see someone walking their dog take a good look.  To a certain extent master and pet resemble each other.  So when my sister started researching Scottish Terriers, a small breed, I was hesitant.

My brother, sister, and I visited a Scottish breeder last week.  I'll be honest with you.  I was pleasantly surprised.  These little guys weren't as little as I thought, and they're bark sounds as intimidating as a large dog (perfect for apartment living).  Not only that, they're sturdy and solid.  Most importantly, they're damn stylish.  You can groom them so that their coat is soft and sleek or you can just let it grow wild and grungy.  I prefer soft and sleek.  I found them totally amusing. The breeder would call their name, and like children, they hear their name, but they don't respond.  

Payton (foreground), Stewart (background)
The best part of the visit was when the matriarch of the bunch, seven year old Tiger,  plopped down in front of my sister, rolled over, and presented her belly for my sister to rub.  The breeder and her husband were amazed.  Apparently, most breeders have one dog which they use as a gage to see if prospective owners were suitable.  Tiger was known as "the mean" one, and she had never done that before.  Well, Tiger did it two more times...once for my brother, and once for me.

Jolene & Payton
Good looks aside, one of the most important things to keep in mind when your planning to adopt a pet is to make sure that their personality and demeanor matches yours.  By the end of the visit, I had fallen in love with three of them.  One in particular kept making her way toward me.  Her name was Jolene.  She was the show dog...sweet, calm and an absolute looker. And I don't care if she was "the mean" one, Tiger was absolutely adorable.  Then there was London, the youngest at 10 months, and the shyest.  I just wanted to pick her up and rock her like a baby.  If I could have gotten away with it, I would have grabbed them, put them in the car and burned rubber in my sister's Toyota Yaris.

Although we didn't go home with a pet, we did find our future breeder.  Hopefully this time next summer, my brother, sister, and I will each have our own Scottie.  Jolene will be their mom so you know these pups will be beautiful.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Film: 48 Hour Film Project

Director, Paul Aspuria
The 48 Hour Film Project pushes the creativity of filmmakers around the world by giving them 48 hours to write, produce, shoot, and edit a short film. The films produced are nothing short of amazing considering most of the filmmakers were running on little or no sleep to make the deadline. On Friday, June 10, 2011 the 48 Hour Film Project came to San Francisco.

Filmmakers at Lot 46
I had the opportunity to participate with Film Antics in our 5th, that's right 5th, 48 Hour Film Project. This year our team consisted of Paul Aspuria (Director), Raymund Aranda (Producer/Actor) aka The Debonair Rogue, Vivek Mohan Kumar (Director of Photography), James Davis (Actor), and Kelly Dessoye (Actress). Being veterans of the 48 Hour Film Project, has it's benefits. One benefit is learning what worked and didn't work from previous projects so that we could work more efficiently.

Me typing at Starbucks.
Paul and I arrived at Lot 46 on Geary Street amid a throng of anxious filmmakers. It was dark, it was crowded, and it was hot. In the past, Paul was the one who would pull the genre out of the envelope. The last two times he picked Romance. This time he asked me to go up to see if our luck would change...I pulled Dark Comedy. Whew!!! I was scared I would pull Western/Musical. We decided to do a night shoot for the first time. The key to our success would be to keep things simple in every aspect of writing, producing and filming. Paul started writing the script for Graduation Buzz as we sat down and ate our dinner at Lori's Diner. He was able to write the script in 2 hours. I sat down at Starbucks and between sipping my double tall soy white chocolate mocha I proceeded to type out the script. It took me 30 minutes...not bad.

DP, Vivek Mohan Kumar
We began shooting at 11:30 p.m. around Union Square. Apart from a couple of homeless people asking for money, intoxicated bar hoppers, an irate tennant, cabbies thinking we needed a ride (where are they when you actually need them), and lack of sleep, the shoot went rather well. We wrapped just as dawn started to change the color of the sky...5:30 Saturday morning.

Lead Actress, Kelly Dessoye
Paul worked on editing Graduation Buzz between naps on Saturday. I came over to work on the paperwork while he put the finishing touches on the piece Saturday night. Like most of the teams, we were usually scrambling to finish the project on Sunday to make the deadline of 7:30 p.m. This was the first time we would finish without having to rush to turn in the project. Yay!!!

Paul directing Lead Actor,  James Davis.
Graduation Buzz premiered at the 48 Hour Film Project screening on Thursday, June 16, 2011. If you couldn't make the screening watch Graduation Buzz below. Enjoy, like, and share it with anyone and everyone!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sports: America's Favorite Past Time

This is how Danielle wears a baseball cap.
The first time I was at a baseball game was the 3rd grade during a school field trip.  The San Francisco Giants were playing at Candlestick Park...they lost.  It was also the last time, until June 6th, 2011 when I attended my second baseball game with my friends.  This time it was at AT&T Park and the Giants were playing Washington.

Kelly - "Who's up for some beer?"
The best part about going to a baseball game is getting to hang out with friends and just have a blast eating hot dogs, drinking beer, and cheering on the team. This game was special because it was first baseball game for my friends Kelly Dessoye,Vivek Mohan Kumar and Danielle Cheifetz.  Although it was Danielle and Kelly's  first game, growing up in America they were familiar with baseball. Vivek on the other hand, is from Dubai where there is no baseball.  My friends and I had a lot of fun explaining the rules to him throughout the game.  Mind you, none of us are die hard baseball fans, but there's just something awesome about watching a friend's enthusiasm grow about a past time that most of us take for granted.

Vivek's 1st game & 1st churro.
Oh, yeah...the Giants won!!!  13 innings, but they won!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Music: "1925" by Lovers Drugs

Here's an awesome music video from Lovers Drugs directed by Paul Aspuria of Film Antics.  This is the third of a series of five music videos Paul has directed for Lovers Drugs.  Can't wait to see the fourth and fifth installments.

I've been fortunate enough to work with Paul and Film Antics on a number of projects.  Although I wasn't able to be part of this production, I am looking forward to working on future projects.  Until then, enjoy and share!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Film: Bill Cunnigham New York

If you are a slave to fashion then you MUST see the documentary by Richard Press and Philip Gefter "Bill Cunningham New York."

Not familiar with Bill Cunningham?  You will be after watching this film.  Bill Cunningham is a photographer who has dedicated his life to capturing and chronicling all that is unique and fashionable on the streets of New York City.  As Anna Wintour says, "We all get dressed for Bill."  So the next time your in NYC dress to impress, and keep an eye out for an 80 year old man in a blue smock with a camera riding around the city on his schwinn bike.  Who knows, you might find yourself featured in his column, "On the Street," in the Style section of the New York Times.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I Am Fashion: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2/11

I know it's been a while since my last post so let me bring you up to speed.  The last couple of months I've been busy in pre-production mode for the Academy of Art University School of Fashion show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City.  I had an amazing time producing & hosting this project.  I could not have done this without a talented and dedicated production team which consisted of a brilliant director/cinematographer, Vivek Mohan, an awesomely kick-ass editor, Hailey Yang and an outstanding original score by Wylie Burge.

Many thanks to the Fashion and Multimedia Communicatioins departments at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for this unforgettable experience.

We hope you Enjoy Share Like with as many people you know.

I Am Fashion: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2/11 from Raymund Aranda on Vimeo.