Archive for the ‘For Students’ Category

Gina, An Actress, Age 29 on The Auteurs

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

For some time I’ve debated putting my short films online. My work is often quiet, has relaxed pacing, and it can be dialogue heavy. That, combined with the fact that some of my films are over 20 minutes probably makes at least some of my work not the best candidate for online viewing.

I’ve been impressed, though, with what The Auteurs is doing with online video. Their catalog caters to cinephiles, and their site’s design and interface encourages people to pay attention to the videos they’re watching. So I’m happy to say that my short film Gina, An Actress, Age 29, was recently selected for the site. It’s just gone “live”, and the timing is fitting, as the film premiered around this time of year in 2001, at Sundance.

 


Click on the image to view Gina, An Actress, Age 29 on The Auteurs

For now, the film is free for the first 1000 viewers. Spread the word, tell your friends, and become a fan of it if you like.

One way or another, if you do watch it, I hope you enjoy it!

Facebook Safety

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Since social networking is, for better or worse, part of filmmaking these days, this NYT article on Facebook privacy settings is worth a look. The most web-savvy of you out there have already made the changes recommended by this article (or have decided to throw caution to the wind), but others may find this useful.

Best (and Worst) of the Decade

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

I love making end-of-year lists, but I’ve decided to forego drawing up a “Best of 2009” list, at least for now. I’ve seen far too few of the films that are getting attention this year. Living in the sticks as I (proudly) do means, among other things, I only see small-release (i.e., good) films weeks after release, on DVD/streaming, or when I travel to larger cities.

Instead, I offer up 30 films that meant something to me over the past decade…. as well as a few other lists.

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Take the Survey: 50 States, 50 Filmmakers

Monday, October 26th, 2009

The United States of America


I’ve been looking over Ted Hope’s blog lately and one thing he keeps returning to is the idea that in order for cinema to be truly free (i.e., liberated), we have to do our part to help film culture. I agree.

That’s part of what this blog has always been about. One of the reasons I began this blog was to champion filmmakers working regionally.

But now I’d like to undertake a concrete project specifically dedicated to spotlighting filmmakers that live around the country. To do that I need your help. Not a lot of help, mind you — just a few minutes.

I’m calling this undertaking 50 States, 50 Filmmakers.

It will probably end up being a series of discussions with filmmakers working around the country. I hope to talk with others about why they live and work where they do, the challenges and opportunities they face, the resources available to them, and how they support their work. Ideally, these discussions will include links that allow you to watch or purchase their work. And I’d like to do one for each state, in case the title didn’t tip you off.

So, to restate, to do this project completely, I need your help.

I want you to tell me who you think is living and making interesting films outside of New York or Los Angeles. The films can be feature films, documentaries, or short experimental works. I don’t care. “Interesting” and “not-New-York-or-Los-Angeles” is all I care about.

If you want to nominate a filmmaking team or filmmaking collective, that’s cool. I’m open to doing a few historical surveys, too, so if you prefer to nominate someone deceased (say, Eagle Pennell of Texas or Colorado’s Stan Brakhage), go for it. I just want some interesting ideas.

So, without further ado, CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY.

Don’t know 50 filmmakers in 50 states? That’s okay. I don’t either. That’s why I’m doing the survey — to fill in some blanks and to get some good ideas for this thing. Just take the survey and give suggestions where you can. You don’t have to provide nominations for all 50 states.

And please pass this along to your friends. I’d like as many people throwing out ideas as possible. I’m going to leave this post up for a couple of weeks, after which I’ll start compiling replies.

Again, here’s the link to the survey.

Final Cut Pro tips: Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I started noodling with Final Cut Pro soon after it came out (ten years ago!) and taught myself how to use it. By taught, I mean that I learned to hack my way around and accomplish what I needed. But it wasn’t pretty or fast.

After a few years, I really started feeling the limitations of my abilities, so I decided to dig into some tutorials. For whatever reason — probably because I’d seen a few for free online — I chose Larry Jordan’s Lynda.com video tutorials. These helped me immensely with everything from media management tips to techniques that greatly reduced the time I’d spend fumbling through FCP’s interface.

Even if you don’t need to teach (or re-teach) yourself Final Cut Studio, I highly recommend that you check out Larry’s free Monthly Newsletter. Among the tips this month:

Startup Mode Selector, a free application that helps Snow Leopard users learn more about, and harness, 64-bit technology without use of the terminal…

Ken Stone’s excellent iChat Theatre tutorial

and Apple’s substantial (40pages) white paper on Customizing Final Cut Studio Blu-Ray Disc Templates.

Enjoy.