Be You Artist Series – CMJ 2011

LA Comedy Shorts provided me with many a new friend. One of these friends is Jim Turner, the director of Ninja Sex Party, who invited me to the Be You Artist Series, part of CMJ 2011.

I’d never heard of CMJ before (stands for “College Music Journal”), but I kept running into people in NYC who had heard of them, as they produce the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival, a yearly event.

The event I went to was arranged by Blank Label (a design and management agency), Rotting Television (an “envelope-pushing” blog) and Big Vision Empty Wallet (an artistic network).

The pieces were varied and impressive. Rarely do I like that many films in a night’s showing.

Jim’s pieces kicked off the night. He’s well-known in this community and┬ádidn’t disappoint.

Jack in a Box is a series about a downtrodden gay man who works at a theater ticket office. I’d seen Jim post it on Facebook but hadn’t gotten around to watching it before. I’m glad I was in a position where I had to watch it, as it fit a niche that I had spent some time looking for a while back: a comedic web series to fill the void after getting through all of Agents of Cracked.

Jack in a Box was followed by Ninja Sex Party’s The Sacred Chalice. If you haven’t seen Ninja Sex Party, but the name makes you giggle, you definitely have to check out the following two videos:

Other pieces I want to highlight from the night:

Adam Taylor’s Melody June Cooper: actress* for hire

A hilarious, yet depressing multi-genre piece covering the stereotypes that a black working actress is forced to endure.

Ballard C. Boyd’s Everything is Going to be Alright

Ballard went to a bachelor party in North Carolina thinking that he’d record a bit, but ended up coming out with an amazing piece done with both clear artistic talent and humanity.

Sam Roden & Nick Hartanto’s The Lonely Pair

A case-in-point of simple done right: a man spends a night out with a girl he knew in high school that he hadn’t seen in years. Shot beautifully, with a soft and genuine foundation provided by the actors.

A solid night all around. Thanks to everyone who shaped it.