P&P – Day 5 – The Pendulum Swings

Filming the Deadly Progress of the Pendulum

The most famous image from Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story “The Pit and the Pendulum” is of the sword swinging back and forth, coming down ever closer over the hapless protagonist tied to a platform below. The titular pendulum, in other words. I tease a few glimpses of the pendulum as envisioned in my musical adaptation “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” in the trailer for the short film:

At top and right above I’ve included two screenshots from the trailer showing the protagonist being menaced by the pendulum from high above and at close clothes cutting distance. I wrote about shooting my performance as the victim on the platform in the previous shooting diary entry P&P – Day 4(&5) – On the Rack. When we shot those set-ups we had to imagine the actual pendulum blade. It wasn’t on the set. It was a miniature set piece to be added later into each shot where it appears in life size dimensions in the frame. And while I on the rack was being filmed in one corner of our set on day 5 of our shoot, the pendulum miniature was being filmed by our second unit in another corner of the set.

Below you can see the miniature pendulum on the track that was built for it to swing past the camera. Production designer Mariana Soares da Silva is putting some finishing touches on the blade.

You might notice that in our version of “The Pit and the Pendulum” the sword looks like a cello bow, except rather than having bow hair running parallel to the wood like for a typical bow, here there is a blade running perpendicular.

The pendulum not only looks like a cello bow, it also sounds like three cellos moving towards each other and then moving away in an eerie glissando, like a pendulum arc, modifying the cello chord to get musically closer in harmony with every approach as the blade gets closer and closer to the victim’s torso. In other words the pendulum’s action is revealed musically as well as visually, as you can see from this excerpt of the score. The music is as important to telling the story as the images. The film is a “musicabre” after all.

Producer Henry Borriello with Marian Soares da Silva and the miniature pendulum

Assistant D.P. Jennifer Liu was promoted to 2nd Unit D.P. for the days the pendulum miniature shots were filmed. In this shot the miniature is angled in such a way towards the camera that it will appear to the audience like they are looking up at the blade as it swoops by.

Each pendulum shot was filmed in slow motion. This would allow us later to adjust the speed of the film perfectly to match the timing of the music describing the progress of the pendulum.

In the shot below the pendulum is swinging by even closer to the camera/audience’s point of view.

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MONTAUK EXCURSION

Overnighting in the Far East of Long Island to Attend the Screening of “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” at the Offshore Art and Film Festival

Me on the Long Island Railroad last Friday – a three hour plus ride from Brooklyn to Montauk in the far far corner of Long Island.

A poster for the Offshore Film Festival greeted me on the train platform as I disembarked at the final stop.

My AirBnB host generously offered to show me the Lighthouse at the far corner of Montauk (and Long Island – so far east one can see Rhode Island across the waters of Long Island Sound, past Connecticut’s eastern border.)

According to my host, George Washington himself commissioned this lighthouse. My host also called it the only tourist attraction in Montauk. Outside of the beaches, I suppose.

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P&P at the OFFSHORE FILM FESTIVAL

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” is playing as part of the Offshore Film Festival, enjoying its inaugural year in the tony vacation town of Montauk at the far eastern tip of Long Island.

The festival runs today through Sunday. My short film will be screening on Friday during the Comedy and Horror Night (8-10pm) at the Solé East location:

But as lovely as the place is, you do not necessarily have to go all the way to Montauk to watch my musical short film adaptation of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story via the Offshore Film Festival…

Although some films like “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” will be screening live in the evenings at locations around Montauk, most of the small selection of films included in the Offshore Film Festival are also screening virtually. You can catch the selection here.

So come join me in Montauk or simply order your virtual ticket to watch “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” anytime during the festival here.

Which means for the next five days you have one in-person and two on-line opportunities to watch me get menaced by the monks of the Inquisition from the comfort of your own home and screen, the Offshore Film Festival and, continuing through the end of July, the afore-posted New York Lift-Off Film Festival.

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Happy Birthday, Ed, Here’s Your New Viola/Piano Duet!

Ed’s birthday is today, and, as every year of the past 29 years that we’ve been together, I compose a viola/piano duet for him on his birthday. He plays viola, I play piano. Each one of these duets is called an Evocation. I’ve shared some of these Evocations before on this blog (as in here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Today I share Evocation XXIX. The four pages of the piano/viola score and a computer rendition of the music. As ever, the computer sounds, well, like a machine, but until Ed and I hire professionals to play the Evocations in a recording studio (donations welcome), this is what I can do for you here.

Evocation XXIX took on a gothic flair – apparently I’m still in musicabre mode.

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P&P SILVER MASK AWARD

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

received the award for

Best Horror Short

from

Silver Mask Live Festival

Silver Mask Live Festival requested that I send them selfies with my award certificates, so I obliged:

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Short-Filmz Reviews P&P

I don’t generally publish back to back blog posts on the same day, but mere hours after I posted about the award from the Royal Society of Television and Motion Pictures for my short film Edgar Allan Poe adaptation “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre“, I received notice that the Short-Filmz website posted a rather fine review of the film. Here some excerpts:

“This film had the power to connect with our emotions and leave us entertained.”

“Colour, texture, and sound … powerfully shift moments of tension and conflict.”

“The look, costume, make up and styling is simply brilliant.”

“This is one of those very strange films that’s hard to explain and it’s best that one just sees it for themselves.”

To read the full review, and a lot more about P&P and me, go here.

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P&P ROYAL AWARD

The Royal Society of Television & Motion Picture Awards

gives

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

an

Outstanding Achievement Award

for

Short Film

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P&P at NEW YORK LIFT-OFF FILM FESTIVAL

“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”, my musical short film Edgar Allan Poe adaptation (say that 3 times fast) is currently playing on-line as part of the New York Lift-Off Film Festival through the month of July.

For a $12 pass you can watch over 100 short films, and then vote for your favorite too – hint hint.

Tickets are available for purchase via Liftoff.network/new-york-lift-off-film-festival-2022/ – Choose the Judges’ Select Shorts program.

The direct checkout link for P&P’s Vimeo program is the one to “Judges’ Selects Shorts”:

Checkout.liftoff.network/judges-select-shorts-new-york-2022/

From the festival: “JUDGES’ SELECT SHORTS” features shorts highlighted by the jury as daring and sometimes experimental; we are proud to bring you content from these outstanding filmmakers.”

“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” is #31 on the list of all participating short films in the Judges Select Shorts.

Once you have purchased your pass, you can watch films all month long.

Including “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”. You can watch it once, twice, thrice…. (but you can vote for it only once).

Oh … and if you are watching on your laptop, I recommend using earbuds or headphones to get an even more dramatic sound mix experience.

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P&P CULT CRITIC MOVIE AWARD

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

received the

Outstanding Achievement Award

for its

Original Film Score

from the

Cult Critic Movie Awards

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ELDERBERRY BLOSSOMS

with a real life Elder in the background….

See him?

There he is!

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BROOKLYN PRIDE 2022

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P&P HOLLYWOOD GOLD AWARDS

Hollywood Gold Awards

bestowed the

Silver Award for Horror

to

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

as well as an

Honorable Mention

for its

Original Score

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FROM BHUTAN WITH JOY for P&P

Short Film – Actor – Soundtrack

Druk International Film Festival honors

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

As far as I know, the Druk International Film Festival is the only film festival from the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. That and their dragon logo (Ed loves dragons) imbues them with a little more sentimental interest in our minds. They also gave my first short film musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” an Audience Choice Award for short film two years ago, adding to the sentimental value.

This time around the Druk International Film Festival chose to give Tell-Tale’s follow up “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” three awards, for short film, actor, and soundtrack.

At one point Bhutan was declared the happiest country on Earth. It certainly has brought me joy.

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P&P’s STARDUST BEST ACTOR AWARD

Stardust Films and Screenplay Festival

gave me the

Best Actor Award

for my performance in

my short film Edgar Allan Poe adaptation

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

UPDATE 6/5

CUCKOO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS

ALSO HONORS

“THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM – A MUSICABRE”

as “Winner” with an “Honorable Mention” and citing a “Best Horror Short Special Jury Awards”. Not sure which of these notices to favor when I list this on IMDb, but I am grateful regardless!

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P&P’s GOTHAMITE and ART FILM AWARDS

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

won three awards from

Gothamite Monthly Film Awards:

Best Horror Short

Best Original Score

Best Visual Effects

Additionally

Art Film Awards

singled out the film’s

Sound Design

Todd Maki created the sound design of “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” with me.
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P&P VIRGIN SPRING CINEFEST AWARD

Virgin Spring Cinefest

gives

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

the

Outstanding Achievement Award

for

Short Film

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