News & Updates

MSD Dog Commercial

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It was a relaxed day even though the Building was filled to the brim with cats and dogs. The animals were supplied by Van and Julia. There was restless Skipper, the cat that wasn’t too keen on the big bright lights of show business and what Hollywood had to offer. Kenzo was all over the place scampering and scurrying. And Mai was hesitant at first but with a little coaching from Van she was ready to rock and roll.

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We set up the lighting and a single idea had progressed and evolved and was becoming animated before my very eyes. We were shooting two commercials today. A champion rises and the the original MSD commercial. It really is a different experience when shooting animal. You turned the camera on and put a light in their face and they  looked at you like “ What do you want from me”? I forgot their animals were not trained actors. Both shoots took a little time and a lot of patience. Brad, Tengah and Van did a Fantastic job handling the animals.To me those three have a superior amount of patience. And  in the very end we got all the footage that was needed. The fun part was giving the animals voices and a kind of personality. Watching how the voices and the animals incorporated together is something really awesome.

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1P5A9363-Written by Bentura Mendoza-

The Music Box (eps.1)

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The Music Box (Episode 1)

As the lights were blazing on Van, Scott and Myself, I looked to the ceiling and realized this is our first show, I’ve never hosted anything in my life, and it’s going to be live!  My mind started racing like Jesse Owens and seeing Van, a local up and coming singer on the ground practicing the catalog of songs that she would be performing and doing laps around the studio and hugging walls..

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The air was filled with much  anticipation as the first Music Box show was going to be aired live in just a few minutes. The Brilliart crew  was diligently  setting up the equipment and checking sound. Scott was setting up his piano and adjusting his seat to get comfortable.

Something wasn’t very comforting, I built up this moment too much in my mind and before I could even grab a hold of my thoughts I heard a voice in the distance say “and three, two, one, and  we’re live.” My Nerves. I was at an instant mute, but to my relief, words came out and I presented  Scott and Van and I did my little monologue but right when i finished speaking. I hears a voice in my ear that say, “the control room had experienced some technical difficulties” start over from the top. To my relief, I had a second start. My second time around went kind of rough and even a little tough. I looked over at Scott and he was more relaxed than ever then I looked at Van as she had a nervous look about her. I immediately saw sheer confidence in those eyes–a spark that was in her had been ignited and had turned into an inferno of song. This really helped me with my hosting duties, so the party started off with a bang. Scott and Van did their sweet thang musically complementing each other in every way. This was truly a new experience for all of us, it was a little unnerving at first, but very exciting nonetheless. As the show progressed Van and Scott sang their rendition of a variety of songs ranging from “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons to “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars, Their collaboration together was effortlessly cool to the touch. Scott also beautifully performed one of  his own compositions, “Love Lost”, and Van brought the house down with her acapella version of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”.
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“I lay on the ground as a type of a stress reliever whenever things are too overwhelming and life doesn’t agree with me, I often lay on the ground to level out things” said Van, briefly after the show’s airing.  As the show came to a close it did have it’s minor setbacks, but that’s why pencils have erasers. With the rush of performing live, Scott & Van’s energy was immediately focused on compiling a list of songs February’s show. Doing the music box for me was like going into the deep end of this pool and forgetting you don’t  know how to swim. Despite it all, it was one of the most memorable experiences.

This Music Box showed Brilliart’s fans  that we can venture out into different media outlets and express ourselves in different shapes, forms, and fashions. Overall the show was quite a success, and The Music Box will  definitely get bigger and better. I can’t wait until the Next show on February 12. The anticipation is literally killing me.

-Written by Bentura Mendoza-

Finders Keepers blog – Puppy Love/ pilot

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Friday there was much preparation to be done on the upcoming Finder’s Keeper’s webisode. From Makeup, to wardrobe, to all the important film equipment that was vital in the webisode’s success. The Brilliart crew made sure to have all the proper equipment and checked that all the lights, cameras, and batteries were accounted for. Everyone arrived at the shooting location which was on a massive amount of land and perfect for what we were looking for to succeed delivering this shoot; furthermore, It was a gorgeous day perfect for shooting.

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The set became quiet as the first scene was being shot. In the beginning there were some mishaps such as a slip and a fall, a broken prop, but determination and a conquering spirit drove the Brilliart production to greatness.

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The extras were prompt and ready to work, as the scenes were shot with great detail. Although some shots were already premeditated, others were conjured up by a moments inspiration and proving innovation, heart, and ambition. “It is better to have all the imagination in the world and a couple of dollars in your pocket, than an unlimited fund of money and not a single original idea in your head”.

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As the sun was setting and the day was winding down and the episode wrapped up, I saw the cast and crew talking and laughing amongst themselves and I knew this was a great day–a great shoot, and a moment in time i would never forget. A very special thank you to the cast, crew, and everybody that contributed to making this webisode possible. Lastly, a special thank you to Kenzo, the hardest working little pomeranian in show business today.

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-Written by Bentura Mendoza-

Special Valentine Mini Photo Session

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To celebrate 2013 Valentine and to share our love to everyone, we offer a very special Valentine mini photo session for only $49

What you get:

  • 45 mins photo session
  • 6 professionally edited digital images in different poses
  • 1 lovely edited Facebook timeline cover
  • 1 FREE 8×10 print
  • AND a great time with your loved one(s)…

Contact us NOW at

832.657.1433

or

photography@brilliart.com

Hurry!!! Offer expires soon

Tips to have a great professional headshot

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The first impression is always important. Whatever your profession is, in order to promote yourself or your business, not just having a nice photo of yourself but having a great headshot is an essential step to give you an advantage over others. With help from professional photographer, you can achieve a great portrait of your own identity which people can identify with and remember you by.

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TIPS FOR GREAT HEADSHOTS

Please consider these following tips before going to the studio for your headshot. These tips will help shorten the process but enhance the quality of your portraits greatly.

1. Clothing- Keep it simple

  • Mid tone colors work best
  • Avoid stripes, prints, too-bright colors, all-white, and distracting logos etc.
  • Avoid a trendy tie or outfit unless that is synonymous with your profession, and you are willing to have another headshot done every time styles change.
  • Avoid seasonal colors.
  • If you know what background’s color you want to be shot with, try not to wear the same color.

2. Hair – Fresh haircuts are good, but give them a couple days to look just right.
3. Time of day -Don’t schedule your business portrait appointment for the early hours. You may have slightly puffy eyes, and need to do a re-shoot. Conversely, a late afternoon business photo may mean a 5 o’clock shadow.
4. Jewelry/glasses/accessories – If you normally use glasses, then you should wear them in your portrait. Jewelry should be kept minimal, and not be distracting from the star of the show… YOU!
5. Facial expression: Try different expressions, and see which you prefer. You will probably want to appear strong, but approachable. Smile from within!!!
6. Double Chin- One of the best ways to get rid of the appearance of a double chin is to remember the turtle. Lean forward a bit, stretch your neck out just a little bit (think of the turtle sticking his head out) and then raise your chin just slightly. Try it in the mirror to see how much is best for you.
7. Yourself: Get plenty of sleep the night before, eat healthy and light the day of the shoot to avoid feeling bloated or hungry. Drink enough water to keep your lips moisturized.

THE OTHER SIDE – SHORT FILM PRIVATE SCREENING

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In the morning it was busy, busy, busy, with a lot of hustle and bustle, things were moving and grooving. The whole Brilliart family was hard at work with precise preparation and careful attention to detail, setting up the decorations, food, and entertainment. We turned a regular empty space into a magnificent viewing room that was warm, comfortable, and cozy.

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As the guest arrived they enjoyed the delicious variety of food and had the pleasure of listening to one of Houston’s finest pianist, Scott Graham

All the guest seemed to be really enjoying themselves in the comfort of the Brilliart facilities. It was a small reunion for “The Other Side” cast and crew. There was plenty of talking, laughing, and beautiful memories being created, then the room went black, the film was shown, the audience was captivated by the emotional depth and outlook “The Other Side” explored.

The film was followed by a series of questions by an intrigued audience, eager to know more about the film and it’s future. Brilliart’s editor had a special surprise for the entire cast and crew he showed a behind the scenes look at “The Other Side”.

The video was inspiring, comedic, and filled with tons of heart, showing just a taste of how one idea turned into such a big story. There was only one minor audio defect but those are mistakes you take, learn, and grow from, you move forward and never look back. But even that little mishap couldn’t tarnish how great the film was and how successful the night had been.


-Written by Bentura Mendoza-

“The Other Side” – Blog #2

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So I came to a startling realization…our DP, Brad Nguyen, looks SUSPICIOUSLY like Psy. You know. The guy that does that Gangnam Style song.

The similarities are so close, it's bizarre.

That’s him with his awesome wife, Julia. What’s funny is that our director, Tengah, actually that it was Brad pictured on the right. Now, every time any of us see Psy on tv somewhere, like on Ellen or the VMAs, we always tell Tengah “Oh my god, did you see Brad on Ellen last night?!??” Okay, it’s not that funny. You know what is, though?

This is. (click it. image courtesy of tumblr.com)

Anyway, we just wrapped up the third day of shooting. One thing I’ve noticed about filmmaking is that it’s a lot of hurry-up-and-wait. Oops sorry, we used that term a lot in the military. What I mean is, you rush rush rush around, trying to grab everything you need for the day on set, get out there and set up, and then…you sit around. And wait for sound and lighting to get settled. And then SHOOT! And shoot more! And then wait for makeup to fix and retouch. And then MOAR shooting! And then wait for something else. It’s a good thing all of us working on this project are such good friends, though. We never run out of things to talk about.

Pictured: Stimulating conversation.

One thing of note: when shooting a movie where you have actresses and actors dressed up in questionable attire on a questionable street, take care not to alarm the neighbors so they call the police. This cop pulls up on the street we were filming on. Doesn’t say anything. Just. Sits there. He’s there for like a minute, and then he turns around and heads off. Later, when I left to go pick up food for the cast and crew, I see him sitting around the corner. Just. Watching. Very creepy. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that we were minorities.

No officer, we're waiting for the bus.

Thanks to Heather, our make up artist (pictured above, left), for stepping up! One of our extras cancelled last minute, so Heather volunteered (actually, more like volun-told, but she was a super good sport about it) to fill in for us. Of course, she didn’t bring any clothes with her, but Natalie, our lead, and Melissa, one of the other girls, ransacked their wardrobe and actually came up with a really nice outfit. Yay for girls that are the same size! Check out Heather and her work at HA! Make Up & Hair Art.

Seriously. They're rad. (photo by Janet Quirarte)

“The Other Side” – Blog #1

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What a crazy month its been! Four weeks filled with long days of script writing/rewriting/complete overhaul, discussions turned debates, meetings upon meetings, location scouting, and casting have FINALLY worked themselves out enough to begin shooting.

Wait, what?

Oh yeah. We here at Brilliart Films are working on our first short film! It’s called “The Other Side”. We are planning to submit it to a major upcoming film festival (can’t say which one because of rules and whatnot, but trust me, its pretty major!). All in all, though it’s been a lot of long hours and some frustrations, we are having fun AND learning a lot about how different the film medium can be. To be honest, before this, I personally had NO clue how hard or involved the whole process was. A lot of times on set, I just stared slack jawed while my more infinitely more experienced co-workers would throw out all these different technical terms and whatnot.

So our film is about a young girl who’s desire to prove she can be of help to her family sends her treading the uncertain line between right and wrong. Eventually, she learns she can’t buy happiness and reevaluates what is truly important in life.

Like corgi puppies. (image courtesy of tumblr)

And I know what you’re thinking. Yeah, it’s not a SUPER original story or anything, but with a few exceptions, what film really is anymore? It’s a classic for a reason; the story of how things can quickly spiral out of control due to the choices we make and the importance we place on certain things in life is something we all can relate to.

I remember when Brad (co-founder of Brilliart Films and the Director of Photography of TOS) approached us about doing this film. Everyone was super excited to finally get to the meat and potatoes of what we all wanted to do, which is film. Justin (editor extraordinaire of Brilliart Films and my co-writer for the script) and I sat down and immediately began to try to hash out a good story to tell. Almost everyday, he and I would have lengthy discussions on how to make the script better.

A typical discussion Justin and I would have in our office for about two weeks straight. (image courtesy of google)

Eventually, we finally came together on a story we could both get behind. It had changed drastically from what we originally came up with (in a good way). Then it was off to scout locations, casting our roles, find crew, prep all the equipment, and get the necessary paperwork done. We did all of this in the span of about two weeks or so. We were so excited to able to get all that done in such a short amount of time that we rewarded ourselves with a little party.

Artist's rendition of the rousing party at the Brilliart Films office. (image courtesy of owlchelsea.files.wordpress.com)

Day one of shooting was grueling. I think we were there for what, eight and a half hours? Luckily, everyone in front of and behind the cameras were super professional, although there were many silly moments. Part of working with fun loving people, I suppose.

I think we were trying to figure out who farted.

We are really excited to continue work on this project. If you have a chance, please check out our Kickstarter page and help us by donating a few bucks or sharing it on social media. Stay tuned for more updates and ridiculousness to come!