Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

FresHDV’s Oakhurst Interview

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Matt at FresHDV has been running a two-part interview this week with indie film/postproduction techie blogger Josh Oakhurst. Josh’s from-the-hip style suggests what might happen if you crossed that Mad Money guy on CNBC with a video engineer. This is my way of saying Josh’s energy can make some otherwise somniferous subjects (say, differences in video codecs) interesting.

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Comments! (And Christopher Alexander)

Friday, February 10th, 2006

I’m out of town right now and I’ve got limited access to the internet. This morning I checked my email and it looks like there are a lot of new, great comments on several different posts. No time right now to reply to all of them, but a quick thanks to everyone out there for supporting the blog by reading and by posting such thoughtful, um, thoughts. One reason I set up this blog was to build community with the other like-minded individuals out there. If you’ve posted recently, it’s great to hear from you — and if you’ve been bashful about posting so far, consider yourself formally invited.

On a completely unrelated note, while I’m traveling, for your enjoyment I thought I’d share an introduction (via Merlin) to the great architect/philosopher Christopher Alexander whose A Pattern Language is one of my three or four favorite books of all time. Part II of the article is an interview. Discussion of how his ideas relate to film to follow. In fact, hey, how about you get it started?

We’ll resume our regularly scheduled programming early next week.

Frederick Wiseman: Pro and Con

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

This year’s honoree of the ASC’s Award of Distinction is Frederick Wiseman. American Cinematographer‘s appreciation of his career is worth a read, and there are some great photos of Wiseman editing on his Steenbeck 6-plate. Wiseman’s a great filmmaker — probably one of the five or six greatest living American filmmakers. If you’ve not seen High School or Titicut Follies, add it to your to-see list.

Of course, if you haven’t seen any Wiseman films it’s not like I can blame you. Unless you’re friends with bootleggers, your best bet for seeing one is to go to a university library, which is about the only kind of institution that could remotely afford one of his movies: $400 per title. (That’s $400 per VHS tape, folks.)

This is the way Wiseman wants it, apparently. Here’s a quote from his company’s website:

I am a student/filmmaker/individual without the resources to rent or purchase a film. How can I see a particular Wiseman film?
We have the Wiseman films on deposit at several public libraries and archives throughout the United States. One of the largest collections is at the Museum of Television & Radio in New York City and Los Angeles. Patrons may not remove the films from the premises but there are video booths available to view films and television programs free of charge. If New York and Los Angeles are not convenient please call us and we will let you know if there is a library in your area with any of the films.

Wiseman is, of course, entitled to do whatever he wants with his work, but it seems at least a little hypocritical that the people he’s trained his camera on (the poor, those living in remote areas, etc.) are those that have the least access to his movies. I guess I expect more from a filmmaker who’s otherwise so sharp at seeing the relationships between people and institutions.