Monday, December 17, 2012

Alpha Channel Selections HERE

Missed Alpha Channel? Check out selections HERE on our YouTube channel.

Happy Holidays

Enjoy the break everyone! Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

UPDATE: Alpha Channel

Hey everyone! Below is the updated program for Friday's screening of Alpha Channel. The program will be as follows:

Arms of an Angel (portfolio class intro)

Cole Santiago – Sign Here for Death
Sergio Camargo – Chance
Daniel Arena – Blue Man Group Promo
Dave Brooks – Lust
Fredy Soberanis - Torrent

FA12 Graduate Reels

We will also be announcing the winners. We still have tickets available for Friday's screening, so please GET YOUR TICKETS HERE:

Short Film Contest - 1st place is 15k!

Hey guys, here's a great opportunity. Enter your original short film via Youtube link and collect votes for your short - one grand prize winner will win 15k, three category winners will win $5,000, the overall second place winner will win $3,000 and overall third place winner win receive $2,000.

Click below for details and how to enter:

Monday, December 10, 2012

UPDATE : Alpha Channel Program

Hello Everyone! 
Below is the updated program for Monday. This is UPDATED from the original program. Monday Evening's Alpha Channel is as follows - 

Arms of an Angel (portfolio class intro)


Apples for Steve Jobs
Parallel Delusions
Lady of the Forest
Sign Here for Death
The Untold Story
Within Shadows

Please contact Eve Okupniak at for questions relating to programming. We will also be updating the Friday program tomorrow morning to accommodate the time of some projects. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Alpha Channel Program FA12

Below is the Alpha Channel Program for Monday Night December 10th. We will rescreen only the three winning projects on Friday night December 14th. The winning projects will be posted here Tuesday Dec. 11th.

FA12 Graduate Reel Intro
FA12 Graduating Student Reels - 45 Minutes

Alpha Channel Selection -
Dave Brooks - The Untold Story and Lust
Sergio Camargo - Chance
Fredy Soberanis - Torrent
Joshua Argueta - Innocence
Harold Urena - Within shadows
John Dulak - Pillow Talk
Hector - Apples for Steve Jobs
* Three more selections have yet to be submitted. Check back for confirmation.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

6 Filmmaking tips from Wes Anderson

Almost everyone who knows me knows I am obsessed with Wes Anderson's films. There's something captivating about his meticulous attention to the smallest details, from his set designs to his methodical cinematography. Everything in a Wes Anderson movie is carefully crafted with an artisan touch, which is refreshing in a world full of many sequels, prequels, and Saw movies; he is an auteur in the truest sense. Perhaps the most important aspect of Anderson's films are their ability to tell a story that is universally relatable; his films often focus on a broken or unorthodox family circle, unrequited love, or the search of a parental figure. Anderson's last film, Moonrise Kingdom, captured the innocence of first love so well that the feeling of nostalgia was overwhelming even after I left the theater. If you haven't seen his films, pick one up at our library on the 2nd floor right away (Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums is a good place to start).

With that said, here are six filmmaking tips from Anderson himself. If you scroll to the bottom, you will find more filmmaking tips from filmmaking greats like Scorcese, Kubrick, and more. Enjoy!

6 Filmmaking Tips from Wes Anderson

- Melissa

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Releases

As you already know, the holiday season is upon us and to filmmakers & cinephiles, that only means one thing: Oscar season. Let's take a look at the releases this month and possible Oscar contenders:

Les Misérables
Director: Tom Hopper
Release Date: Dec. 25

Based on the famous musical of the same name, Les Misérables stars an ensemble cast: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and more. There's already buzz that the film will be considered for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jackman), Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Song (for "Suddenly"). Considering that the film took the unusual route of letting the actors sing live than lip synching to a recording of their voices, a couple of Oscar nods are expected.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Director: Peter Jackson
Release Date: Dec. 14

The movie promises an epic quest plot and the beautiful cinematography we expect from LOTR movies. It's expected that the film will receive a nod for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor (Freeman), Best Supporting Actor (McKellan, Armitage, Serkis), Best Supporting Actress (Cate Blanchett), Cinematography and pretty much every technical award possible.

Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Release Date: Dec. 19 (limited)

It shouldn't be too surprising that the film, about the hunt for and eventual capture of Osama bin Laden, is getting Oscar buzz; Bigelow surprised many when she snagged Best Director and Best Pircture for The Hurt Locker, beating out Avatar. It isn't far-fetched to think she could pull out another Oscar victory.

Director: Michael Haneke
Release Date: Dec. 19 (limited)

Although there hasn't been much promotion for the film, you can almost be sure this film will take home an Oscar or two. Haneke, who's past films include The White Ribbon and Funny Games (US remake), is known for his bleak and disturbing style; add that to Amour's plot about an elderly man caring for his wife as her life comes to an end, and you already know this has potential for being a big tear jerker. The film has already won the coveted Palme d'Or and major acclaim from critics, so definitely expect this to be an Oscar contender.

Django Unchained
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Release Date: Dec. 25

It's a Quentin Tarantino film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Enough said.

What are you looking forward to seeing in theaters this month?

Alpha Channel Updates

We are reviewing Alpha Channel Entries TODAY! Tickets and winners will be posted on Wednesday - December 05.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

UHE Looking for Content

Hey every one this is information coming straight out of career services, If you want to get your work seen and start getting it out there check out the following:

"UHETV, a new global entertainment network is looking for brand new, well-produced, HD content such as independent artist videos, webisodes that run thirty minutes to an hour,
short/full-length feature films and movie trailers. We would like to run this content as a promotion for 90 days at no cost to you in order to measure our audience’s response.

Urban Hollywood Entertainment has obtained national distribution through Dish Network on demand and Simply Me Distribution.  The UHE TV channel provides 24 hour access to all kinds of television and film content. Our present viewership is 4.3 million per month.
Urban Hollywood is a brand that will always provide quality, dedication, exposure, and professionalism. The executives of Urban Hollywood have created what most networks don’t have all in one which is diverse programming for a globally diverse audience.  The content that is broadcast by Urban Hollywood consists of Reality Shows, HD Films, Sports, Travel, Radio and more in development."

There will be a conference call with more information and how to submit your films @ 1pm today, Here is the info:
CONFERENCE# 605.475.4350
ACCESS CODE: 2713282

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Alpha Channel Fall 2012

Stay tuned to the blog for upcoming details and updates.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thoughts about NYC from a Film Blogger

Editor of, Alex Billington, has published a refreshing love letter to the city we live in. Often, I hear of students who want to switch coasts in order to pursue their film career. The decision to work in the film industry is a personal one, whether we believe it or not. Long hours, freelance work, and tight deadlines force us to make life decisions that would be unheard of in most other professions. The experience of living in LA for three years professed that type of lifestyle (and the way they do business) was not for me. LA is car commuting city and I hate driving. The two sided nature of producers and studio executives hindered my growth as a filmmaker. As counter point, I still have several friends at Dreamworks and ILM who enjoy the abundance of networking opportunities with the saturated film business around them. Even our own instructor, Johnny Woods, has defected to the left coast and is doing fine. Both NY and LA are not for everyone, but I have to give props to those who love the city who will drive by in a cab on a rainy day and flip you off at the same time. I <3 br="br" nyc="nyc">

Filmmaking Contest with Kevin Spacey and Willem Dafoe

Attention all Writers: here's a chance to write a script starring Hollywood actors! Jameson First Shot is sponsoring a contest and all you need is a script no longer than 7 pages - the grand prize winner will have their script turned into a short film starring Kevin Spacey, Willem Dafoe and Dana Brunetti. Unfortunately you must be 25 years or older to enter, but if you are, check out the rules and conditions HERE.

Moving Past Sandy

As we now enter the last phase of recovery after Hurricane Sandy, only now can we start collecting all our thoughts and feelings on such a devastating natural disaster. Many of us were affected in different ways, some more severely than others, but as we look back on what happened we should strive to find a silver lining. Like any experience, new feelings and thoughts can be channeled into something creative. Use this devastating experience to push your creativity and create something out of this situation.

As for those who are still affected by Sandy, you can give a helping hand here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"The Public Creates Stars"

Next March, one independent film will debut in 100 theatres around the United States — and it could be yours! Co-presented by MovieMaker Magazine, MANHATTAN SHORT is launching a truly revolutionary project that will help indie filmmakers gain wide exposure for their work. Like absolutely nothing else in the world, the Feature Film Project will premiere one film on March 21st, 2013 in more than 100 theaters across the country. Audiences at each venue will get to vote on whether or not to bring the film back for a full, one-week run at that cinema. If the majority of viewers vote yes, the film comes back. It's that simple.
The film will be distributed on DCP, which SpectiCast will provide free of charge.
The Feature Film Project is open to filmmakers worldwide, and the deadline for entries is December 31st, 2012. Click Here to register your film.
For cinemas that would like to be involved in The Feature Film Project, Click Here to nominate your venue.
Visit our website at

It's the Public that Creates Stars

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

           TROPFEST, The World's Largest Short Film Festival, Announces 'ROUGHCUT' FILM SYMPOSIUM IN NEW YORK
Malcolm Gladwell, Charles Randolph, Liev Schreiber and more join Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Scott Foundas for Day Of Programming on the Art of Storytelling On Screen
New York, NY (November 12, 2012) – Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival which staged its hugely successful U.S debut in Bryant Park earlier this year in front of a 10,000 plus capacity crowd, today announced its next phase of programming, the Roughcut film symposium. Produced in the United States in partnership with The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Roughcut is an exclusive and intimate day-long series of lectures, conversations and presentations about the art of storytelling on screen. The event will feature actor/writer/director Liev Schreiber (Salt, X-Men: Origins, Everything Is Illuminated), film editor Sarah Flack (Lost in Translation), producer/writer Scott Rosenberg (Gone in 60 Seconds, Con Air), Entertainment Weekly's film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, Global Chief Creative Officer of R/GA Nick Law and Tropfest’s founder and director/producer John Polson (Swimfan, Hide and Seek) in moderated conversations with FSLC Associate Director of Programming, Scott Foundas.  Best-selling author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Outliers) will keynote the event in a conversation with internationally celebrated screenwriter Charles Randolph (Love and Other Drugs). Roughcut will be held on Friday, December 7th beginning at 10 am at The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s landmark state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
For more information please click here or to buy tickets, please click here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Director Talk for Students

The Bubble - Alumni Accomplishment

Alumni Phil Swift had a successful kickstarter campaign last year in which he raised $10K to create the feature documentary, The Bubble. The Bubble is about the town of Celebration, FL, created by the Disney Co. for Disney employees. The experience living in the town was supposed to mimic the experience of living in Disneyland itself. Phil's film uncovers the facade to reveal the fragile and honest underbelly of it's residents.

As a backer, I have been receiving updates on Phil's progress. He had a screening at Pixar studios and the premiere will be in Akron, OH on December 28th.
Congratulations, Phil!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Halloween Party

Thank you to all who came out to the Halloween Party. Here are some pics from that memorable night!

Attendance Reminder

Following the events of Hurricane Sandy, we hope that you have been safe and able to resume your  class schedule as usual. However, the attendance policy stills stands, so if you still having issues attending class you must communicate with your instructor to see how your classes are doing.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Registration for Winter 2013

Registration for the Winter 2013 quarter is now in effect. David Nash will be registering students according to their teach out forms. If you do NOT have a teach out form, please see David Nash immediately!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Short

The Green Ruby Pumpkin from miguel ortega on Vimeo.

Happy Halloween! Come join our party today 5-8 TV Studio!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Free Event - Inside The Cutting Room with Bobbie O'Steen

Hey guys, here's a chance to join renowned author, Bobbie O’Steen (“Cut to the Chase”, “The Invisible Cut”) for an in-depth discussion with master film editor, Tim Squyres, who will screen footage and talk about his work on such films as, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Syriana”, “Rachel Getting Married”, and “Life of Pi”.

Click below for free tickets!

Free Event - Inside The Cutting Room with Bobbie O'Steen

Director Talk - Halloween Party and Registration!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Video Contest!

Science, it's a Girl Thing! is holding a video contest for their website which encourages young women to choose science in their future careers. All that's needed to enter is a 1 minute (or less) video designed to create awareness for the initiative and to encourage young women to consider scientific career paths. The prize is 1500 euros.

Click here for complete contest rules!

Another Short to Feature

Here's a little inspiration for the weekend: independent filmmaker Stephan Zloetescu has signed a deal with Warner Brothers to turn his short film, True Skin (below), into a feature film. Zloetescu will be directing the feature.

Monday, October 15, 2012

David Fincher's Kickstarter Campaign

If you thought Kickstarters & Indiegogo fundraising campaigns were only for students, guess again. David Fincher, Eric Powell and Blur Studios created a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their new comic book-turned-animated movie, The Goon. Because Hollywood isn't too keen on putting money on original ideas these days, it appears they need some help funding a feature-length story reel based on Powell's script in order to persuade Hollywood to create this film. The campaign states, "Because this movie isn't a sequel or filled with dancing animals we'll need more to bust open the gates." Check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

So far the campaign seems pretty successful. Hopefully they achieve their goal!

When raising funds for thesis, make sure to start a Kickstarter or Indiegogo. They're free and may help you out significantly!

Looper Pre-Visualization

Like the pitch video for a Halloween remake that was posted a few weeks ago, here goes another pitch video - this time for Looper, before it became the film that plays in theaters now. It's interesting to see the process of a successful film being made, especially in its earliest stages. Check it out below.

When preparing to shoot your thesis film, it's important to visualize the look and tone of your film. Borrow visual aides from other films, drawings, photos, and anything that might help serve as a blueprint for both you and your crew during pre-production.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fountainhead Project

Here is an example of promotion for your portfolio. Earlier last quarter, I wrote and directed a short scene in our sound stage. I did what all of you guys do for Directing the Actor - took a scene from a book / movie, rehearsed with my actors, then recorded the scene in our set. This video is what I showed at Alpha Channel this past September. This version is not quite finished, however I wanted to share this with you to demonstrate what you can accomplish with the resources you have. The crew were all alumni from the program. The equipment and location were done on campus. Click on the link below to see the film, if you missed Alpha Channel. Enjoy! - Eve

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Michael Myers takes Driving Lessons

* WARNING - This video has graphic blood and gore, however it's hilarious. If you are squeamish, skip this one. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DFM Halloween Party!

Bring your best film/TV costume and your party shoes to the DFM Halloween Party on October 26th (5 - 8pm)!


The party will be held on the 2nd Floor (Cage, TV studio, and various hallways). Get your free ticket at the Cage. You MUST be dressed as a film/ TV character in order to attend. Music and refreshments will be provided! We will also be raffling off various prizes - don't miss out!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Alpha Channel Friday Screening

Thanks to the alumni, faculty, and staff that participated in the Alpha Channel Screening on Friday! Here are some picks from the show. Also, special thanks to Ryo, Ian, Melanie, Kallie and Josh who attended to support the students. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not All Movies Make It

As filmmakers we experience several road bumps along the way, and sometimes that road bump is getting the film made in the first place. SlashFilm posted a pitch video for a proposed Halloween remake by head Storyboard Artist and Animatics Supervisor at Marvel Studios, Federico D'Alessandro. Unfortunately, his proposal was turned down in favor of Rob Zombie's version on the horror classic. Check out D'Alessandro's amazing animatic short below:

Even Paul Thomas Anderson's new film, The Master, almost didn't make it off the ground. Anderson, an Oscar award nominated director, experienced trouble getting a studio to pick up his latest film. But luckily, the daughter of a multibillionaire CEO, Megan Ellison, decided to try her hand at producing movies that were considered "commercially challenging" and picked up Anderson's film. If the thought of a great director like Anderson experiencing trouble getting his film made isn't staggering enough for you, Orson Welles once faced the same trouble - and lost. Welles, arguably the best director of all time, once had an idea for a half-animated, half-live action adaptation of classic childrens book, The Little Prince. Unfortunately, after a rumored meeting between Welles, Walt Disney and his staff went awry, Disney refused to participate. Welles went off to do other projects and the film adaptation of The Little Prince never materialized.

Although a great story and creativity are the major driving forces behind a film, sometimes even those elements can fall short of getting the actual film made. Meeting the right people at the right time is a big factor, which is why networking can be as important to filmmaking as the story itself.

Short films > Feature films?

There's an interesting article on Hollywood and its lack of original story lines in feature films. This is explained quite simply; movies cost a lot of money to make, and studios don't like taking a gamble on a new idea. Thus, we're left with a constant stream of sequels and adaptations.

But what about new ideas and where do they fit in? This is where short films come in. Short films provide a different medium with more artistic freedom to tell a story.  Like the article points out, directors such as Spike Jonze and Chris Milk are experimenting with short films and trying out new ideas that perhaps would not be possible to do with a feature film. A quote by Jane Campion comes to mind - "..Short films are not inferior, just different. I think the short gives a freedom to filmmakers. What's appealing is that you don't have as much responsibility for storytelling and plot. They can be more like a portrait, or a poem. The great thing is that almost everyone ends up doing something creative with them, even those directors who then go on to make quite boring features."

Although most of us dream of making a feature film one day, maybe we should change our feelings on what many of us perceive as a limitation and embrace the short film. Someone once told me that true artistic freedom lies in film school; you're free to dream up any idea and make it on your own terms. Make your short film with that in mind and chances are that short will be more creative and original than what you see on the big screen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Alpha Channel - The Photos

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the student screening last night! Special thanks to Ryo, Roz, and Josh for lending their support by being present for the students and their work. Nice to see some alumni came out for the event as well. I hope you all enjoyed the new space! See ya all on Friday for the Alumni/Faculty/Staff Screening!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Enter Your Short Film to Shorts Showcase!

Here's a chance for your short film to play on PBS!

Shorts Showcase is broadcasted on PBS into 18 million homes in Southern California. The show offers student filmmakers a venue to be seen by other film enthusiasts, producers, directors, etc. Their website, is known throughout the industry as the "24/7 Film Festival". A new short will be shown every week on PBS and daily at The film that gets the most votes each month wins a prize and the top films of the year will be screened at their Awards Ceremony in April 20143. The submission deadline is September 30th.

Here is an interview with the Polish Brothers - a must-see for any filmmaker and s sampling of their benefits Shorts Showcase has to offer you:

Don't miss up on this! Fill out a submission form here.

Faculty/Alumni/Staff Screening

Friday Sept 21st is the Faculty/Alumni/Staff Screening. Students are welcome to get tickets! See what your instructors are making! - Click to the right for tickets

Below is the program.
Eve Okupniak - The Fountainhead
Zardon Richardson - Chief
Ian Fischer - Magritte Moment
Chris Conway - Carpool
More Alumni Submission to be confirmed! The post will be updated in the next few days!

Talk with Roger Deakins going digital.

This is a MUST WATCH for Cinematographers. Here is part two -

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DFM Department Meetings

Attention all DFM faculty and students! We will be having DFM department meetings throughout next week (week 11)
Ask your instructors for details.