By Omar Chavez

Blue Whisper, Directed by Jeff Adair

My best friend, Ja’el, often shows me independent short films made by acquaintances of theirs, and asks for my opinion. I suppose they asks my opinion because I have a background in theater and film, and am a professional commercial videographer; so somehow, my bullshit qualifications make me a critic. I’ll take it! So this time, Ja’el shows me Blue Whisper, and short film that is classified by director Jeff Adair as “experimental”. I would have to agree. “Experimental” is the perfect adjective to place before “short film”. This is not an insult. It is a compliment to a very talented artist who realized that “Blue Whisper” was a first step towards a concept that has the potential to be something much more.

First of all, let me get this out of the way. The aesthetic was excellent. The cinematography, lighting, washed out effects, editing, music, sound, etc. was creative, professional, and pretty kick ass to say the least. I could see some influence in stylistic themes taken from other films, but taken in a way that was natural of any film maker. There was never a moment where I thought, “Oh, this guy stole this or that from so-and-so.” Everybody has their influences, and it’s nice to see a director pay homage to his influences without straight up jacking another movie scene for scene. It short, this short film looks dope, yo.

If I had any criticisms, it would be this; the writing was a little too abstract. I understand less is more, but if the length of the film is already less than usual (hence “short film”), I would’ve liked to hear one or to complete sentences that would maybe “bring it on home” towards the end. I got the sense of “Noir” in the movie, but to dabble in “Noir” requires a solid conclusion to a body that swims in the obscure end of the pool….No pun intended. The woman lost her son, it affected her marriage, it’s all she can think and dream about, the memories are painful, where does she go from here?…..I, as a viewer want to know….or at least be given a glimpse of the direction  her character will go. To leave her at a stand still is to leave me at a stand still, and trust me, I have enough stand still in my own life. I want to know the meaning of this movie.

Again, I applauded Adair. I liked it. I want this movie to continue. So I’ll go back to the word, “experimental” because experiments are often tried and tested again and again until the experiment is finally proven or dismissed. So I look forward to watching the next installment in this talented writer/director’s repertoire. Well done sir.

 SDU: Why Dream. Work. Conquer? What drives it?

Jeff@Ludus: It’s the secret to happiness. If you stand still for too long sometimes life can lead you down the wrong path. As long as you stay on a path/mountain/mission you will always be happy. So you have to have a purpose….dream. You have to be the best, I mean why not give 150%, so you have to WORK hard to CONQUER it. I love the work; I can’t see it any other way. I have a hard time “sitting still”

SDU: Like I asked Michael Travezo in the first interview and i will ask you, Tony Hall (producer/sound operator) and Josh Puebla (Lighting and Set Design) please jump in, since it seems all of you meet by fate. How did all of you meet and find your way here at the Studio?

Jeff@Ludus: I was working as a editor after college at a place called mikey b’s(haha) and i met Dave. Dave was my boss. Dave told me i was wasting my time there. i got fired a few weeks later, around the same time, i was working on a short film “No Change”. I had asked Dave to help me out with it, thus inviting Dave into my perception of filmmaking. This project helped me and Dave really get to know each other and he appreciated my passion for film. this relationship bringing me to the Ludus. Thanks Dave!

Josh@Ludus: Great question!! I am glad you asked! Some say chance and others might call it a snowball effect. I say INEVITABLE. We were called to something great long before we ever knew. It started with me being introduced to Michael Traverzo who had recently moved from Houston. 1-2 years later we were working side by side in a company that specialized in private events for corporations (This is also where I met my forever good friend Esme!). And right across the hall was Dave French editor and chief of the video department. Next to step in the picture was Jeff Adair.. Ninja extraordinaire!

He was hired on to shoot and edit for the company. Long story short, the company we all worked for could no longer hold our passion and dreams of creating art! And now que THE LUDUS! A melting pot of individuals (Brothers!) Some of those brothers are Shane Connelly, Julio Alonzo, and Tony Hall. And this is where we gathered our resources and troops to begin this epic journey.

Tony@Ludus: I met the Ludus through Jeff Adair. A friend I knew who is a DJ kept telling me about cinematographer he had worked a couple of event with and he could help with some of the musicians I had been dealing with. The cinematographer he was telling me about was Jeff Adair who oddly enough is from my same home town (Athens Tx)  and was a friend of my younger brother.  We shared the same visions and concepts for my passion in music and his with film and it grew from there. I was embraced by the close knit family of Dave, Julio, Shane,Josh, Michael & Esme where passion is required with what we do.

SDU: Another question for all three of you. Chace Saumell, a colleague of yours and one of our writing contributors, mention that you guys literally eat, sleep, and work there. How does the living situation create the dynamic there at the studio?

Jeff@Ludus: I love it. I never leave it. For the first year and half of the Ludus, I have been an artist at war. I war against time and how many projects I could fit on my plate. Working 24/7 and only napping when I absolutely had to have it. Over the last year and half, I’ve cranked out somewhere between 40-60 projects. My perception and work continues to grow as I do as a person.

Tony@Ludus: Honestly, we have a dynamic like no other I have ever experienced. Our chemistry on set is amazing and I think it is due to our living situation. In today’s world most have a “me first” attitude, we have gone against the grain and put together a group of selfless individual….But just between me and you, we are really all a little crazy

Josh@Ludus: Well unfortunately, I am not part of the living situation at the studio. I live in North Dallas with my gorgeous wife Laura Lee Puebla and my 3 beautiful children Jacob, Jenny lee and Julia. I do however see and feel the dynamic in the air. It’s great to know that when I show up for work everyone is already there!

SDU: An almost obliged question Jeff…What  film directors have you always admired? 

Jeff@Ludus: king.kubrick.arronofsky.fincher.

SDU: Blue whisper can hit deep for anyone watching who has lost much or found wanting. With Directing and editing this short film, you also wrote it, how did this story come to fruition? 

Jeff@ Ludus: It really came from the idea of a woman having a dream of sitting on a bench with a strange man knowing details about a dream she had the night before. I like doing that. Think of one weird/creepy scene and build from that. I think its a cool unorthodox way of piecing a story together.

SDU: Come 2012 what projects do you have lined up? Any you can speak about at this time or gives small details on the direction of the project?  

Jeff@Ludus: Dropping a huge doc with producer S1 in 2012…and in the process of getting started on my next short. 2012 will be a big year….

(To be Continued. Conclusion Part 5: Odds or Evens)

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Written by The Sundown United

The SUNDOWN UNITED is a multi-faceted project that houses an apparel and accessories brand, and online-magazine(weblogs/articles). All ends of and begins with the Sundown United our trademark, lifestyle, attitude, and personal perspective on Americana art/lifestyle subculture.

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