Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Friend Feature: Sam Freiberger

Sam Freiberger (sometimes known as Sam Sandak) is a filmmaker, writer, troublemaker and self-proclaimed Duke of Sherman Oaks, CA.  He studies film at NYU and minors in blowing minds.



Sam creates a very special presentation for his dorm's talent show in this short documentary.
Shot by me and edited by Daniel LaCosse,

The events of "I Want To Be, Anarchy" point out several of Sam's defining traits:
-Constant rebellion against rules that constrain artistic expression.
-A desire to cause a stir, stand out, and affect minds.
-Intense dedication and commitment to whatever task he has at hand.  Perfectionism.
-A love and deep respect for great works of art.  Film, drama, and *sometimes* even poetry.



This photo on the left sums up Sam's dedication to his art form.  He's a man who lives and breathes the movies.

Living in California, Sam was on television from an early age.  He even wrote an episode of Drawn Together when he was a youngster.

Sam has been an extra in several feature films, and tells all while standing in line to be an extra for the next Christopher Nolan Batman movie in this article

I met Sam at NYU when we were both in the Liberal Studies Program, waiting impatiently to be transferred into film school.  He and I teamed up in an ill-fated project to write and shoot a short film about Abelard and Heloise in the style of a 70s blaxploitation gorefest.  In all honesty, he's probably one of the most intellectual people I know.  It shines through even when he's being a single-minded bat-out-of-hell chaotic absurdity machine.  Which seems to be a setting of his that is always on.

Even when simply joking around in everyday conversation, Sam is a sharp critic.  He turns his sharp mind and tongue on many targets, but especially those within showbusiness.

He seems to be particularly obsessed with Owen Wilson and James Cameron, singling out these two more than all others as archetypal clowns who embody the sins of the entertainment world in his imagination.

Ogwun Doidson - a character from Sam's imagination.

Sam and I took Sight and Sound: Film together, and with Daniel LaCosse and our friend Mocao we created 20 short 16mm films in the course of a month.  This crash course to film also gave us a pretty immediate understanding of each other's personalities.

As a storyteller Sam delights in always betraying the audience's expectations.  One may hear the opening of a story by Sam and say "Oh this is going to be one of THOSE stories."  When suddenly NOPE, you were wrong and you get taken on a roller coaster ride in the opposite direction.  He keeps yanking you to-and-fro even when you're already deep inside the rabbit hole until a bigger picture, independent of traditional "events" "plot" and "logic," comes to light.

Sam strikes me as a person who sees life for the absurd, unpredictable, interconnected, psychedelic reality that it is —he simultaneously relishes the chaos and struggles to understand it.  He walks a tightrope between nonsense and depth that I can greatly respect.

Sam's chooses a new favorite word frequently.  Some of Sam's favorite phrases include "Advantageous," "ALLLLRIIIGHTTT," and "Unreasonable"

Sam is also the inventor of the "Extrepancy" —an experimental form of essay that shifts back and forth between poetic, dramatic, and nonverbal formats.

As best I can tell, his favorite filmmakers are Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino.


You have probably seen Sam.  Back in spring, 2011, when those crazy religious fanatics decided that NOW is the time for the world to end, Sam was pictured providing an alternative point of view.  This picture of Sam found its way around the internet and I saw it on tumblr long before I realized that I was looking at my own friend.

Right now Sam is working on a handful of projects:

American Cheese is a movie he's making for fun.  It's a meta-narrative, in which Sam attempts to write a script about writing a script, and reality begins to collapse because of it.

Saint Mark's Hooker is Sam's Junior Narrative or "Color Sync" project.  About a down-and-out prostitute who is approached by a seemingly charming billionaire, only to find that behind the endearingly improbable lies the dangerously insane.

Footleuce is a comic book that Sam and I are collaborating on.  It's like Footloose but it has dragons and mech suits.

And for any three projects that Sam has going on in real life, there are ten more brewing just under the surface.  Some he only dreams about, others he goes so far as to write for fun —Take Steinfeld for example, a take on Seinfeld that incorporates Spider-Man, columbian drug wars, and a giant bear.

In conclusion, Sam is totally nuts and I love him for it.

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