Monday, December 1, 2008

Film Junk

I am a movie geek, there, I said it. I make short films all the time, my bedroom walls are covered with movie posters, and everyday I go to Film Junk is my favorite of the sea of movie blogs out there on the interwebs, it covers the best stories going on out there in Hollywood daily. It is run by Computer Science Graduate and Video Game Programmer Sean Dwyer with help from Film School Graduate and Amateur Filmmaker Jay Cheel and former Radio DJ Greg "The Gasman" Gaspari. ‚"I started a site back in 2001 called Space Junk, which would eventually become Film Junk." says Dwyer. "At the time, I really enjoyed print zines, and I wanted to create a place where some friends and I could post random reviews, articles, stories and artwork... basically an outlet for creativity. Publishing it online seemed like a lot less headache than photocopying a bunch of issues and mailing them to people. Eventually I started posting news stories on the site on a daily basis, and as blogging became more popular, it seemed like a natural format to adopt for the site." Sean also does a weekly podcast with Jay and Greg, the podcast covers movie news and reviews, and very funny disscusions between the trio. "Jay and I hosted a few different radio shows on our local university radio station, and one of those shows included movie reviews and other offbeat discussions." says Dwyer. "We eventually quit because the radio station wasn't reaching very many people, and there were too many restrictions being placed on us (ie. no swearing allowed). A couple of years later I learned what podcasting was, and it seemed like a great way to continue doing the same kind of thing on our own terms, and reach a much larger audience. Our friend Doug was doing a podcast with John Campea from The Movie Blog, and they had me on as a guest one week, and after that I was hooked."

Greg Gaspari was a radio DJ for his local canadian radio station where he went by "The Gasman". He later went on to manage HMV, a DVD and record store, where he met Jay Cheel. "Jay asked me to be a part of the podcast, the first time I met Sean was the first time I was on the podcast." says Gaspari.

Jay Cheel is one of the most talented filmmakers out there today, but the sad thing is most people probably haven't heard of him. "In High School I was originally planning on pursuing animation or illustration." Cheel says. "It was after recieving a video camera as a gift that I decided I wanted to go to film school." Jay has made many short films for Film Junk and co-hosts the Film Junk Podcast with Sean and Greg Gaspari, he also runs his own movie website The Documentary Blog. "I started The Documentary Blog after I graduated from film school." said Cheel. "I found that Film Junk wasn't always the appropriate output for some of the films I was getting in to, so I decided to start my own site." Jay recently finished the short documentary The Goblin Man of Norway. The film centers on the Goblin Man, it was originally intended as viral marketing for the video game Too Human, which he worked on at Silicon Knights in St. Catharines, Ontario. The film started to evolve into a lot more than it was originally planned and recently played at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival in October. Cheel was hesitant to reveal to much information about Goblin Man in my interview with him because of a highly secretive marketing campaign going with it right now. Jay is currently working on a new short film Colore non Vedenti which he explains as "A movie about a guy struggling to get through a crucial second date while slowly realizing he's caught up in the middle of a 'Body Snatchers' style alien invasion. It's a tribute to films like The Stuff, Invaders From Mars and Invasion of the Body Snatchers." After Jay is finished with the film, he plans to submit it to some film festivals along with providing it free online.

I highly recommend visiting Film Junk. In my humble opinion it is not only the best Movie Site out there, but one of the most well run and entertaining websites in general. Sean even has great plans for the future of the site. "Next year I hope to apply to become a member of the Online Film Critics Society, so that my reviews can get published on Rotten Tomatoes and become more widely read. I'm also hoping we can attend a few more film festivals over the next year, and continue to find ways to expand our audience without compromising the personal feel of the site." So what are doing just sitting there? Visit right now! I don't think you'll be dissapointed.

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