Monday, January 31, 2011

The Visual FX of Black Swan

Here goes a featurette that breaks down some of the special effects done in "Black Swan". I found it amazing, I think you will as well.


Friday, January 28, 2011

So Long! For Now!

Hello Everyone! As of today, I am officially handing over the responsibilities of the DF / VP department to John Mancuso. As most of you know, I will be off for the remainder of the quarter for maternity leave. I'll return for the Spring 2011 quarter.
John's contact information is located to the right of the blog under Interim Department Chair. Please reach out to him for anything you may need regarding registration or department/faculty business. Freddy (from the cage) is now in charge of the blog. If you want anything posted, write him an e-mail or stop by the 2nd floor.
Thanks to those of you who have sent your well wishes. See you in the Spring! - Eve.

"Premake" UP! (1965)

For all you editors and after effects artists out there check out these "Premakes"; movies re-imagined as if they were done in earlier years of film between the 30's and 50's. Ivan Guerro is his name and he's done several awesome "premakes" which are very interesting and funny. If your big on editing, try and see if you could pull off a Premake of your favorite movie.


Be Careful What You Pitch For . . .

I have just been turned onto a Canadian reality TV show called, Dragon's Den. Dragon's Den allows it's contestants to pitch in front of a panel of professional investors to get funding for projects. It's kinda like American Idol for aspiring filmmakers. This particular clip was featured on a blog that I follow, and I wanted to share it with you. This is a good example of what NOT to do when pitching a project to anyone; from a professional to a class presentation. I encourage you to watch this and come to your own conclusions regarding where this guy failed. If you have any thoughts, please share. Thanks! - Eve.

DIY telecine converts film to video!

Hey check out this cool do-it-yourself video, a fellow student put me on to it earlier this month.
If you shooting in film or have film already shot and want to try converting it into video on the cheap, here's how you could do it.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscar Nominations Announced Today!
Click on the link and see who's nominated. I would recommend that you guys check out the short film screenings in a few weeks at the IFC theater. Showtimes will be posted! Check this link to read last year's review:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Red State and Kevin Smith: Warrior Poet or Rogue Filmmaker? UPDATE- Full Sundance Speech

The Sundance Film Festival started this past week. Already, film blogs are posting reviews only hours after the screenings conclude. One film that I have been following closely is the latest Kevin Smith Film RED STATE, a controversial horror film about an evangelical preacher in the mid west who captures and kills people whom he labels as "sinners" in the name of God. People who are familiar with Kevin Smith know him as the indy filmmaker who created a comic empire with his characters Jay and Silent Bob. It's usually the film students who prefer his serious work, Chasing Amy. However, in Smith's 17 year career, he hasn't strayed far from his dialogue heavy comedies filled with the wit, charm, and insider knowledge of the tri-state area.
The premiere screening of RED STATE last night was an event buzzing with discussion, not only about the film but the mission of the filmmaker. Kevin Smith has decided to distribute and promote this film on his own, making deals with art-house cinemas and spreading viral campaigns. In his official statement he says:
"The Harvey Boys (production company) have witnessed first hand the vagaries of "studio math" - the byzantine numbers game that sees an uneducated media and public celebrating "huge" openings at the box office while ignoring the obscene marketing costs attached to reach those figures. We believe it's a pyrrhic victory to simply "buy" an opening weekend by pouring millions of dollars into TV spots, billboards and print ads. As storytellers, why not instead use our creative abilities that resulted in a film in the first place to also creatively SELL that film directly to our public? We believe the state of film marketing has become ridiculously expensive and exclusionary to the average filmmaker longing simply to tell their story. When the costs of marketing and releasing a movie are four times that film's budget, it's apparent the traditional distribution mechanism is woefully out of touch with not only the current global economy, but also the age of social media." For the full statement click on this link
No matter your opinions of Kevin Smith's work, this is a situation that is worth your attention. I believe this approach is appropriate for the times we now live in. Often, I hear many of you discouraged over the cost of making a film. Even when a film is made, there are additional costs to screen, distribute, and market the film. Kevin Smith's reaction to the current big budget system of film making is one that should be taken with curiosity and consideration. I encourage all of you to look into this movement and follow Smith to see if his efforts become fruitful or disappointing.
Since I am a horror movie fan, personally, I am looking forward to this change and hope that Smith's endeavors are successful. If this film makes a profit using this method of distribution, do you think that business of filmmaking will be changed forever? Let us know.
Here are some more links to educate yourself on the film and the controversy: - Red State Home Page *NY Screening March 5th !!!!
FS Review on Red State Controversy
FS Review for Red State Film
/Film Quest for Red State Tickets
/Film Review Red State
NY Times Blog: Red State
Smodcast: Red State Podcast

Cannes 2011: Student Filmmakers Program

Filmmaking Program at Cannes Film Festival 2008 from realideasstudio on Vimeo.

From Real Ideas Studios: "We have taken filmmakers to the Cannes Film Festival for the last 5 years. You can go with us to make a film during the festival or go just to network. We provide the housing, the full-access badge and the know-how. And, we’ll place your existing short film as an Official Selection within the festival’s Short Film Corner.

Real Ideas Studio is a non-profit of filmmakers and educators. Participants within our Filmmaker program receive equipment and professional mentorship to produce short documentaries during the festival, which are publicly screened in an official Palais theatre the second week of the festival.

All of our housing is within walking distance to the festival’s Palais, which is critical to enjoying the festival fully. We provide you with a festival accreditation that gives you full-access, including to all of the screenings, the Marketplace, and the red carpet premieres. All screenings at Cannes are free with your badge!

Our program dates run May 09-21, 2011."

Click on this link for program information:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nolan Announces Catwoman and Bane for "The Dark Knight Rises"

Christian Bale returns as the Dark Knight along side Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Baine.

More @ Variety

I personally would have like to see new villains, but I'm not at all mad about seeing what Anne Hathaway can do as Catwoman. But I am disappointed they chose to use Baine, in my opinion the Baine character isn't much of a threat to Batman and just sends the wrong idea to kids about juicing up on mega roids, But again this is Nolan where talking about so he might have found a solution for this. Like a good friend told me when discussing this situation, "...never doubt God...".

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Director's Reel: Darren Bousman

Did I tell you guys that I love the internet? Well, sometimes. The internet and I have a love/hate relationship.
The reason I love the internet today is because I came across a gem of a page: the blog of horror film director, Darren Bousman.
Click on this link for Darren's blog Darren is most noted for directing three Saw films and Repo: The Genetic Opera. This blog serves as the director's personal soap box for the outside world, posting both personal and professional information. For those of you interested in directing, I would encourage you to seek out pages like this to get a sense of how other people practice their craft, deal with professional road blocks, and view the world. You may have a variety of opinions about this type of work, but I think it's good to explore and get a sense of what other people are doing. - Eve.

Should you work for free?

If you have ever been faced with this question, here is a useful chart to help you with a decision! 
Click on the link below to check out this chart from Gizmodo

Tech Nerdery: OWLE - Lens Mount for iPhone 4

For those of you who are interestested in tech gagetry, here is a post for you. I just read an article that Korean Filmmaker Park Chan-Wook has just created a short 30 minute film using iPhone as his camera. He had help with this gizmo that's presented above. For more about the "iPhone Film", check out the /film post
After reading about this film, I went to OWLE's site. This gadget is the perfect accessory for any practicing filmmaker to carry around in their purse or backpack to shoot random things and practice editing, cinematography, location scouting or shooting rehearsals, behind the scenes, or even a full film to digitally distribute. Check it out and explore the possibilities! - Eve.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Glidecam X-10/HD-4000 Review

I bet any aspiring cinematographer would love to own a steadicam. The control and smoothness of your shots would bring the production quality of your work up 5 to 10x higher. Well here is a review from that breaks down the specs on the Glidecam x10/HD-4000 Kit. Its pretty affordable if you take up a couple of weddings and save up.


New Blogger!; SONY's PMW-F3 and New Sucker Punch Poster

Hey everyone,

Freddie from the AV Cage, I'll be taking care of the blog for while so I hope you find some the post I bring to you as interesting and informative as I find Eve's post to be. I must warn you I happen to like big blockbuster movies with lots of action and I'm also big on the technical aspects of Film making so I'll be posting things about new equipment and programs. So with that intro, here are somethings I happen to find interesting....



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Storm Notice

*School is OPEN! Wednesday January 12th!! 

Hey Everyone! Please keep an eye on your phones if you have signed up for the text messaging service. The president will decide if the school stays open or closed. If the school closes, a text message will go out alerting students and staff of the cancellation. - Get updates via SMS by texting artnyc to 89074 to sign up for the service
For those that do not have a cell phone, call our Emergency Announcement Line, 212.625.6097 for school closing information.

An Editor's Day Out

Hello Aspiring Editors!
I have an article and video just for you. The first is an article that was posted on The article was written by freelance editor, Jeff Turboff. He talks about the difficulty of sticking to a script while in the editing. room. It's interesting to hear his point of view, having nothing to do with writing or directing scripts. I think it's important for every AINYC DF editing student to work on at least one project where that students is not the writer or director. That experience will give the student a clear idea of what it's like to be a editor for hire. Below is the link to the article. Editing Article
Second is a short video that was produced by Intel. If you read /Film, then you might have already seen this. I posted it up here because I think it's a creative way to show off the Intel system in a way that is engaging and lasting to the audience. Remember, even in advertising, storytelling is important. Also, the editing students are encouraged to do a chase film. Here's your opportunity to get inspired. Below is the Chase Film.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Welcome Back and a word about Character . . .

Welcome Back!
This week, as you are picking up your schedules and gathering your books, please take a moment to read the article I have posted below.
The critic, Matt Singer, elaborates on a simple point, that is emphasized over and over again in our classes. "Character and Story are paramount.Without a compelling story and memorable characters, the film isn't worth making." These two areas that are judged by every film critic, instructor, audience member, and film lover. These two things are what defines any narrative story be it novel, play, film, etc. Singer emphasizes on a certain point that has been trend setting in modern American filmmaking: Worldbuilding. To become familiar with that term, read the article and let us know if agree, disagree, or have questions.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Short Films by VFX Artists

Did you know that District 9 was a short film before it became a feature? VFX Artist and commercial director Neil Blomkamp shot and created the short film, Alive in Joburg, to sell his feature length idea for District 9. After several critical raves and Academy nomination for Best Picture, I think it's safe to say that it was a success. The success of District 9 was in the story and the character arc of the film's protagonist, Wikus Van De Merwe. Alive in Joburg sold District 9 because of it's unique idea; using aliens as a metaphor for immigration, using the documentary style to ground that idea in reality, speaking with characters that speak in a common vernacular.
The most successful science fiction stories use these imaginary universes to illustrate social and political realities that would otherwise be sensational if written for the real world. The imaginary world falls apart when the story and characters fail to sell the world where they live.
VFX Artist Patrick Kalyn is trying to follow the Neil Blomkamp method by creating a short film to sell a feature idea. He has just posted his short, Solmnolence, on YouTube to generate interest. Through his professional contacts, he has access to the best equipment: shot on RED, music composer for Assassin's Creed, sound mixing at Skywalker Ranch. However, this film, in my opinion, fails to be successful.
The acting is unbelievable. The dialogue is simple and expository. The plot is difficult to follow. The characters are forgettable.
I have posted both films below for you to watch and make your own judgments. Do you think Solmolence will be picked up for a feature? Let us know what you think.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Welcome Back! Winter 2011

Hello Everyone!
Classes begin on January 10th.
A few things that will be going on / have happened:
  • - I wanted to give notice that I will be out for maternity leave in the beginning of February. Department Chair for General Education John Mancuso will be taking charge of the department until my return next quarter, Spring 2011. His contact information will be posted on the blog at the end of the month. 
  • - The equipment cage just got a makeover and more space! 
  • - The TV studio is painted and patched up for the new quarter. 
  • - The Audio studio will have some additions to the prop closet and sound insulation has been hung. 
  • - Two new HVX's have been purchased. They will be ready for check out for Winter quarter. 
I'll be posting future updates as they happen. Welcome back! - Eve.