Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

It was fantastic to see so many people at graduation yesterday!
Congratulations to all of the graduates! Last week and this week were amazing opportunities to meet alot of you and get to know your families. Thank you for introducing me to such a warm and welcoming community. I am looking forward to future graduations and celebrations.
Have a safe and happy holiday this year! See you at the quarter start on January 11th!

Don't forget the DAM Festival deadline is January 10th. GRADUATES, GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT YOUR THESIS FILMS!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Security Policy UPDATE!

Hello Students and Faculty!
I have just added a link outlining building security policy regarding shooting spaces and guest entry.
The link is located under AiNYC LINKS labled Building Security Policy
All students and faculty should take a moment and read over the policy for their own reference.
Faculty: Remind your students of the policy when they intend to shoot or rehearse.
Students: Review the policy when planning your shooting and rehearsal dates.
This list of guidelines was set up to avoid confusion for scheduling and prevent broken or missing property. Enforcing these policies will reduce overbooking spaces and allow for a comfortable classroom environment. This security protocol has been in effect for the past three years, according to the facilities director. She has asked my cooperation to enforce these guidelines.
Thank you for your participation and cooperation!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Location - Location - Location

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, (http://www.bls.gov/oes/2008/may/figure31.pdf) film and video editors have a better chance of finding employment in metropolitan areas. That means if you go to school in New York City then you have a competitive advantage of finding employment in your field compared to someone that lives outside the city. Location after graduation can be a major factor in finding employment in your field. Think twice before moving away from NYC after graduation. Either way, develop a game plan for career success with your career services advisor before you graduate.

Marc Scoleri, Director of Career Services
The Art Institute of NYC

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Security Policies

Just yesterday, I had two requests from students to sign off on a list of people for visitor's passes. The passes were for actors and crew for film shoots. At the end of the day, the building manager contacted me to inform me of the current security policies. Now that I am aware of this policy, I will be enforcing it. Please read the policy below. - Eve.

Security Policy for Non Student Entry
- A list of cast and crew from outside of the school MUST be submitted to director Eve Okupniak via e-mail at least one week before shooting or casting. The request must also include the date, time, and location of the production. If the request is submitted less than one week, the request will NOT be granted.
- Once the request is granted, the requesting student will be responsible for their guests and the rooms the production is occupying. All furniture must be replaced. All guests must be escorted out of the building by the student.
- If you have any questions, please e-mail director Eve Okupniak.

* Please keep checking back for updates concerning video shooting in the Beach Street building.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Crew Call from Black Bag Pictures!

Hey Guys! I wanted to post this crew call for many reasons. The most important being that I met the producers of this film and I love their philosophies regarding film making communities. Black Bag Pictures is a production company that is seriously committed to building an inclusive artistic community of creative people. The goal of this network is to create relationships between artists that can work on collaborative projects. They will be shooting their first project this weekend and next. If you are looking for a independent, professional film experience, I recommend that you include yourself on this project. Here is their pitch:
"We are shooting a post-apocalyptic romantic dramady short in and round Brooklyn and are looking for a camera, grip and electric crew as well as PAs. This is a great opportunity to get hands on experience and work with top-rate Brooklyn-based film company.
The Dates:
December 05 - Afternoon, light day
December 06 - Running around, exteriors
December 07 - Running around, exteriors
December 12 - Interiors
December 13 - Interiors
December 14 - Pickups
If you can work any or all of these days please e-mail the DP Josh Hays at joshhays@gmail.com. Please include your contact information, your CV or film resume and a link to any work you have on the internet.

Black Bag Pictures

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

DAM Submissions!

If you are interested in submitting, e-mail


I will be happy to send you the submission documents!
Please send whatever you can! AiNYC must be represented!


Alpha Channel Submissions, CLOSED

As of 9pm last night, Alpha Channel submissions are closed. If you have any questions, please contact Ross Williams regarding any Alpha Channel business.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Video Production vs. Digital Filmmaking

Hello Students!
I hope all of you had a relaxing vacation! I wanted to address an issue that has been clogging my inbox. Many students have inquired about switching to the Digital Filmmaking program that will begin in January of 2010. Here are some factual points that will help in your decision making.
1. The fundamental difference between both programs are as follows: 1 additional General Education class, 1 less TV production class, a Mid program review, and a rearrangement of pre-requisite classes. The program outcomes and mission statement are the same.
2. If you are a video production student looking to switch you will encounter the following problems:
a. Not all video production classes will transfer because of the re-sequence. While the courses are the same in content, the pre-requisites change the way the skills are taught.
b. Upper level courses will only be offered as the program rolls out, only first quarter DF courses will be available WI10. For example: If a 5th quarter student transfers to DF, that student will need some 5th quarter classes. That student will NOT be able to take those courses for another year, therefore delay graduation.
c. Students who are in the process of working on their thesis projects may have to restart the thesis approval with the new criteria.
Please review and consider this information before contacting me in regards to switching programs. Thank you! I hope this helps with any questions you are considering.
- Eve Okupniak

Friday, November 20, 2009

Film Posters that will make you smile

If you are a cinemaphile, like I am, then you will love the new exhibit on display at Gallery 1988 in LA. Mondo Tee's is a graphic design company that deals specifically in creating "retro" designs for the 21st century. I love the posters they do for repertory theater! Check out the post on Twitch! Click HERE for the post.

- Eve.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ranting and Raving

Hello ya all!
I have just passed my one month mark, and I am still here!
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of the students who have visited me these past few weeks. The company is always appreciated, regardless of the circumstance. A few things to bring to your attention:
- The Panels are BACK! : Upon student request, efforts will be made to reinstate professional panel discussions for the VP department. The first panel will be broadcast and film post-production. Keep checking the blog for dates and times. Please send me any topic requests.
- I will be doing various classroom visits for the next two quarters. Please do not acknowledge my presence if I am in your class. My purpose is to observe you in your natural habitat.
- TV Studio Clean Out: Efforts will be made to clear out the TV studio toward the end of the quarter and over break. We need to work together to keep the space clean and professional. After the studio is clear, a new set of guidelines will be posted in the control room and in the studio. Pay attention to these new guidelines and follow them :)
- New links have been added to the AiNYC VP LINKS section. Check them out!
- Keep your eye out for film festival and workshop postings. If you missed something, click on the corresponding label on the right hand side of the page.
As always, your support and efforts are always appreciated. If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, please comment on this post and I will respond.
Super Director Eve

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cannes 2010: Opportunity

Click on the image to view the entire ad. DEADLINE MARCH 2010!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Demo Reel Examples: Editing

Definition: "Film editing is part of the post-production process of filmmaking. It involves the selection and combining of shots, connecting the resulting sequences, and ultimately creating a finished motion picture. It is an art of storytelling."

Editing establishes the mood of the film. The most skilled editors are rhythmic in their pacing and deliberate in their cutting. Successful directors have an editor on staff that they trust with their livelyhood. This means, the director gives the editor the film that they have worked on for 18 months and walk away. Filmmakers tend to loose sight of their original vision when they spend so much time with a story. A healthy practice is to give the story a new set of eyes. Francis Ford Coppola has Walter Murch. Martin Scorsese has Thelma Schoonmaker. Alfred Hitchcock had George Tomasini.

I tried to find editing reels for your visual education. After much research, I resigned to the fact that watching a well edited scene is more powerful than a rushed reel. 
Below are some links that will kick-start your research. Click on the titles for the links. 
Cinema Editing Terms: This site has a simplistic design that helps the viewer locate terms quickly. 
WNYC Radiolab Interview with Walter Murch: Great interview with W.M., explaining his philosophy on editing from a scientific point of view. 
Best Editing Sequences: A list compiled by AMC in regards to the best editing examples in the history of cinema. Another quick reference guide. I suggest you look for clips of the sequences that are discussed on You Tube. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Everything Hitchcock: for Screenwriters

Upon my internet stumblings, I have found this site, for all things Hitchcock. Click HERE for the link. At first I was a little disappointed. It's very basic, almost like someone's class project. After surfing on it for a few moments, this director's conclusion is that the site is a great place to begin your research if you know nothing about the great director. For you script writers out there, you will be especially interested in the "Theories" section. 
Cheers, Eve.

For screenwriters - In addition: here is a link to a blog post on "Mystery Man of Film". Good information on the element of surprise in story. Check out the right hand side for links to the best posts!! Click HERE for the article mentioned. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

WI10 Registration UPDATE!

I have posted the VP Class Grid online to help you choose your classes for registration. When you log on to your online student account, check your audit. Then, check the class grid. Cross out all of the classes you have taken. See what classes you have left. Register for the classes for which you have taken the pre-requisites. If you have any questions, please see David Nash.

The grid is located on the right side of this page under AiNYC LINKS.

Please comment on this post if you are having any difficulties. I will answer your questions as soon as I am able.

- Eve Okupniak, Department Director.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Columbia University Film Festival

Submission Forms are in the LINKS section titled: CUNUFF Submission Form. The forms will be posted until the late deadline March 5th!

Friday, October 30, 2009

WI10 Registration!

Reminder that midterm is registration time!
Starting on Monday, go see your adviser David Nash. He'll give you your audit and information about registering online. David's office is located on the 5th floor.
If you have any questions or concerns, David can be reached at dnash@aii.edu.

LGBTI Needs Filmmakers

"The Battered Lesbian Task Force of NY Coalition for Battered Women is soliciting proposals from a videographer/filmmaker to work with on the development of an educational film on domestic violence in the LGBTI community.

Please submit your concept for a film to educate domestic violence advocates, the LGBTI community and our mutual allies.
Reply by December 14th 2009
Include experience and other work you've done, and a short sample of your work to : carson@njcbw.org"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Workshop on Pitching for Film and TV

"Got A Great Movie Or TV Idea? This class is designed for those seeking to break through to the next level. Acclaimed producer/director Robert Townsend will discuss his technique for pitching ideas: from concept to development, through the various stages of rewrites, pitching to executives at studios, and give advice on how to close the deal with clarity, precision and confidence. Townsend will listen to pitches from class attendees and help critique, refine and further develop those presented in the session. One lucky attendee will be handpicked to get his or her idea fully developed with Townsend, and then go on to pitch it to a Hollywood studio. Over the years, Robert Townsend has created a unique and diverse body of work covering variou genres, with comedies like, "Hollywood Shuffle", musicals like "The Five Heartbeats", fantasy comedies like "The Meteor Man", sit-coms like "The Parenthood", and epic dramas like "10,000 Black Men Named George". Currently, Mr. Townsend is busy at work with seven projects in various stages of development and completion."
Click HERE for additional information and ticket prices.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Demo Reel Examples: Director

I hear this too often . . .
So, you want to be an actor/cinematographer/editor/screenwriter/director? Did you know that's like saying, "I want to be a driver/machinist/mechanic/designer/CEO"? Common misconception is that the director can do several things at once. As filmmakers, you need to understand that each position has it's own unique set of attributes that is difficult enough for one person to master. Without master cinematographers, actors, production designers, costumers, etc., the director is nothing. Being a director does not mean that you micro-manage everything on set. The director has their own unique job; to control the artistic direction of the film/video/commercial. This means the director needs to communicate with an actor to get a performance; with a production designer to execute a landscape, with a DP to create a mood, etc. A competent director surrounds themselves with a talented crew that they trust. Communication is the key. Delegation is the secret. The director is the conductor of the symphony, not the pianist/trumpeter/violist/conductor.
Begin your research by checking out a few site links. Here are some examples of directors who have done both film and commercial work:
John Hillcoat Samples
Michel Gondry Samples
David Fincher Sample
To get an idea of their film work, do a search on IMDB.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Demo Reel Examples: Cinematography

I wanted to begin posting examples of professional work to get you guys thinking about your lives outside of school. This will be a series of examples I want you, the student, to examine and consider when making your own films.
Here is an adequate example of a DP reel from a working cinematographer.
If cinematography is your forte, pay attention to the following attributes while watching this reel: use of color, framing, gray scale value, action (of characters, space, and the camera itself), speed of the shot. This small checklist is an example of several characteristics that a good DP has to take into consideration when framing shots.

2009 Director of Photograghy Reel from Real Sprague on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Learning from the Music Industry

Tribeca Film has a great article on their site discussing how the independent film industry is taking a cue from the music business. According to Chris Dorr's article, the days of the distribution industry are over. This digital consultant predicts that artists can make more profit from their work by marketing themselves through various social networks and self-distribution online. Take a look at Tribecafilm.com to see his full article.
Do you agree with Chris Dorr? Do you think that the distribution industry has it's place along side of the dinosaur?
Comment on this post to let me know what you think.
- Eve.

Welcome Students!

Hello Video Production Students! I am your new director, Eve Okupniak. In my experience, I will not see the majority of you until you are in one of three categories: 1. being recognized for an achievement 2. being recognized for a serious issue 3. graduation. Input and participation in your education at AI is very important to me and the success of the department. The purpose of this blog is to keep the conversation going while you are in school and after school. My job will be to consistantly add information regarding the school and industry. I ask that you contribue your comments, suggestions, and send me links that you feel would help your peers.

My e-mail is gokupniak@aii.edu

Thank you for participation!