Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Studio or Scam? - the Amazon Debate

As an educator and working filmmaker, I tend to look at film contests with a double edge sword; both as a potential opportunity for advancement or scandal. Too often, these contests have clauses that state if the sponsor comes out with a similar idea to your submission then you have to sign away your right to sue. Artist's source of income stem from the creation of ideas and executing those ideas for a specific purpose. The consequence of some contests are cutting the artist out of their rights to intellectual property. In essence, stealing ideas.
There are two sides to this debate. Supporters of such contests believe that this approach benefits artists by giving them goals and access to publicity, funds, and support that would otherwise be difficult at best to maintain on their own.
Any artist can agree that maintaining a career as a artist is an exercise in persistence and humility. Yes, we need all the help we can get to get a functioning career kickstarted. However, the question I post to you: Are your ideas are worth giving away in order to get access to an opportunity? This is not an easy question.
This line of thought was sparked by a link posted on the "Studio of the Future" post from two weeks ago. This link is an article posted by the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. The director, Jessie Harris, spelled out his thoughts of caution. His opinion is this:
Basically the goal of Amazon studios is to take original ideas from inexperienced filmmakers and pay them very little or nothing for their work, all while creating an interesting social experiment for their users and a fake PR stunt that Amazon is revolutionizing Hollywood and supporting the next generation of filmmakers.
He goes into the details of the Amazon contract to support this opinion. Click HERE to read the full article.
Here are a few links that are posted by artists against this method of soliciting materials:
Motionographer Response to Sesame Street Contest
VFX Soldier Post on Unpaid Internships
Personally, I believe an opinion stems from the purpose of the contest. There are many non-profit, union based organizations (WGA, DGA, WFNYC) that support filmmakers by supplying financial support for creating and distributing films. These organizations do not profit from ideas. Their goal is to judge work based on their reputations as pillars of their artistic communities.
The fine print is what defines the deal as good or bad. Best advice: read all terms of contract before submitting to anything! Including film festivals Make sure you know your rights as an artist/creator.  
The ultimate question to all of you: Do you support or disagree with the idea of contests? Let me know what you think. - Eve.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Alpha Channel Poster is Here!

CALL FOR ENTRIES BY DECEMBER 1ST! If you have questions regarding submission, please contact Eve Okupniak at gokupniak@aii.edu Thanks!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cage Hours for Thanksgiving

Wed 11/24 9am - 5:30pm Thurs and Friday 11/25-26 CLOSED Saturday 11/27 9am - 6pm Sunday 11/28 11am - 5:30pm

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Studio of the Future: Amazon Films

Increasingly, the film business is moving toward an online platform for creation and distribution. The online industry just took a giant leap forward with the announcement of Amazon Studios. While other outlets for film collaboration exist (Withoutabox.com, Fox Searchlight Lab, even Craigslist), this is the first major push by an online institution to combine collaboration, creation, and distribution of short and (eventually) feature films. Below is a quote from the Amazon Studio's website.
Movies have been developed pretty much the same way since talkies were considered cutting-edge. But here at Amazon Studios, we believe 21st-century technology creates opportunities to make and share movies and scripts more easily than ever. We invite you to:

- Win money. Amazon Studios will award a combined $2.7 million in our first year's worth of monthly and annual contests for the best scripts and movies. There is no charge to participate.
- Get noticed. Your work will be shared with a global community of filmmakers and fans, who can offer revisions and advice. Screenwriters can see their words come to life as full-length test movies made by directors vying for our $100,000 monthly awards.
- Get your movie made. The goal of Amazon Studios is to work with Hollywood to turn the best projects into major feature films.
This may be the future of our industry. Please go to the site and check it out: http://studios.amazon.com/
If you have any opinions, let us know what you think! Cheers! - Eve.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Animator Turned Filmmaker

I wanted to bring your attention to someone who probably isn't on your radar, Ruairi Robinson. Ruairi was nominated for a Oscar in 2002 for his short, Fifty Percent Grey - posted below. Check it out to get ideas for your own shorts. . .

Uploaded by sabotage. - Full seasons and entire episodes online.
Now Ruairi has just finished his first Live Action Feature film, Blinky. It's always encouraging to see short filmmakers make the transition to features! To see more of Ruairi's work, http://www.ruairirobinson.com/main.htm

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NYC Horror Film Festival: Begins tonight!

"America's largest and most recognized genre film festival focusing solely on Horror and Science Fiction. Each year the NYCHFF celebrates both the horror classics we grew up with and the new horror films & filmmakers who created them. the NYCHFF fills the city with special screenings, parties, celebrity guests and free giveaways. The New York City Horror Film Festival is the Halloween time event not to be missed.
So, keep your eyes peeled right here for full festival information, submission info, lineup, tickets, details about the huge, open-to-the-public kickoff party, and info on all the cool events the NYCHFF does throughout the entire year to support genre films and filmmakers!"

Nov 10th - Nov 14th

From Eve - "I just checked the line up and there are many short films programed. I encourage all filmmakers interested in the horror genre to attend. Find out your competition or get ideas for future projects!"

Opening Party is TONIGHT at Tribeca Cinema's at 8pm.
Click on the link for full festival line up and details.http://www.nychorrorfest.com/news.php

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Classes Open for WI11

DF132 Sound Design Section E on Monday at 1:15 
DF122 Cinematography Section D on Friday at 1:15 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Closed Classes WI11

Hey Everyone,
Here are the closed classes so far:
Digital Film/Video Production
DF122 Cinematography and Lighting Section A --T---- 8:15-12:15P and Section C ---W-- 6:00-10:00PM
DF132 Sound Design for Digital Film Section A ---W--- 8:15-12:15PM and Section D -----F- 1:15- 5:15PM

Issue with Links, SOLVED

Hello Everyone! I am still having issues with the links on the blog. Currently, the links are not showing up on Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera. Google has been contacted about the situation. Hopefully, we'll have a solution in the next few days. Thanks for your patience.

In the mean time, please use Firefox to view this site.

UPDATE: I have gotten a response from Google. A patch has been provided to solve the "missing gadgets" issue. I have checked the site with Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome. All three are working fine. Let me know if there is still an issue with Safari or Opera. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Registration Begins for WI11

Below are some tips for registration time. Register online at MYAICAMPUS.COM Also, check the DF and VP grids under AINYC Links to the right.

Video Production Students:
- Review the check list (CLICK HERE) to see what classes are being offered. CORRECTION: The check list says WI10, please ignore. It's supposed to be WI11. Thanks!
- The following classes are no longer being offered in VP: VP122 Screenwriting, VP121 EFP/ENG, VP124 Directing the Actor. If you need these classes to graduate, please be advised by David Nash or Eve Okupniak, immediately.
- If you need VP202 Video Post Production to graduate, DF172 Experimental Filmmaking will be replacing that course. You can only get that course by signing up with David Nash or Eve Okupniak

Digital Filmmaking:
- First Quarter Students Register with David Nash Monday Night (TONIGHT) 5:15pm Room 640 or Tuesday Afternoon (TOMORROW) 12:15pm Room 635
- Review the check list (CLICK HERE) to see what classes are being offered. CORRECTION: The check list says WI10, please ignore. It's supposed to be WI11. Thanks!
- All DF courses in quarter's one through five are available. Only the DF172 elective will be available.
- The GE options are noted on the checklist.

ALL Majors should be conscious of the THESIS TRACK. I will not allow for students to take two pre-requisite courses within the same quarter. Be aware that if you fail, withdraw, or put off taking a THESIS TRACK course, you are delaying graduation.

As always, if you have any questions, please ask Eve Okupniak or David Nash. The office hours and contact information are posted to the right.
* NOTE: I will not be posting anything this week in order to make sure everyone has this information. Cheers! - Eve.