Archive for the ‘Principles & Productivity’ Category

UFVA Panel – “Self-Reliant Filmmaking”

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I am in New Orleans at the University Film & Video Association conference. Today I moderated a panel on Self-Reliant Filmmaking. There was a good crowd and, as often happens with these things, the discussion just scraped the tip of the iceberg.

The panelists were:

Paul Harrill, Virginia Tech. Moderator.
Sasha Waters, University of Iowa.
Jennifer Proctor, Grand Valley State University.
Bob Hurst, University of Kansas.

As promised, I am posting links to many of the articles and resources discussed by the panelists and myself. If this is your first time visiting Self-Reliant Film, I encourage you to sift through the posts, especially the first post, which lays out some of the points made in my discussion today, and the resources page.

Paul Harrill: Panel Opening Remarks

Yes, The Sky is Really Falling” by Mark Gill
Welcome to the New World of Distribution by Peter Broderick

Workbook Project – website led by Lance Weiler that “bridges the gap between tech and entertainment”

CinemaTech – Scott Kirsner’s blog about “digital cinema, democratization, and other trends remaking the movies”

Self-Distribution Case Studies:
Power to the Pixel conference presentation: Brave New Films
Power to the Pixel conference presentation:Four Eyed Monsters

Panelist Sasha Waters:

Be Fake, Remake – group blog featuring work from Sasha Waters’ Remake Seminar

Panelist Jennifer Proctor:

Jennifer Proctor: home page (see “Teaching Materials“)

Center for Social Media – Best Practices for Fair Use in Online Video

Vimeo — a video hosting community

Student work shown:
Anna Gustafson, “Woman
Evan Rattenbury, “Land O’ Dreams
Josh Carlson, “Donkeys vs. Elephants

Sita Sings the Blues is out on DVD. How, I’m still not sure.

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Sita Sings the Blues, the critically acclaimed animated feature film single-handedly made by Nina Paley, is being released on DVD today. For those that haven’t been following the story, the film’s use of uncleared, copyrighted musical compositions has restricted the film’s release.

Today, indieWire reports that “[t]hrough an intense study of copyright laws, Paley has realized the opportunity to allow other people to sell her work with her endorsement, and she can receive donations from these distributors.”

But the author of the article does not mention the legal conclusions that Paley (and her lawyers) arrived at, nor does the article make any mention of the source for this information.

One website that is acknowledged is QuestionCopyright, which has a lengthy interview with Paley. The comments section that follows the interview is worth a read, too, as there’s a lot of back-and-forth between commenters supporting Paley’s attempts to produce “new work” (as copyright law is supposed to encourage) and several other others that argue that blame Paley for the situation at hand.

Unfortunately, I still don’t have answers about how Paley and her lawyers have decided to release the film on DVD. Perhaps it’s because they’re also giving it away via torrent?

If you want to buy the DVD, it’s available here.

UPDATE: See the comments for answers….

Self-Reliant Film v3.0

Monday, July 6th, 2009

As a way to mark some changes at Self-Reliant Film, I’ve done a site redesign.

I recently mentioned that Ashley would be making some posts on SRF to discuss her documentary, For Memories’ Sake. This marks something of a shift in Self-Reliant Film. Though I’ll still be the main voice of the site, I will no longer be the sole blogger here.

In addition to Ashley’s posts, my hope is to invite a couple more filmmakers into the mix in the coming months. The aim in doing this is to cover more of the things happening in cinema today while providing a voice to some interesting filmmakers — especially regional filmmakers — working today.

Anyway, it seemed appropriate to clean up the website design to mark the changes.

While it’s on my mind, here are some notes on the new look:

Though its aim was to tie-in to the imagery of the letterpress chipboard posters that I use for my films, I was never fully satisfied with the “chipboard” version of the site. So I’ve decided to go with a new, cleaner look that will (I hope) allow users to find information more easily.

The top SRF menu consists of static pages, and their “child” pages.

The lower menu features categories of “mega”-tags. Hovering over each one will bring up a category of tags used on the blog. And clicking on one of those will give you all the posts in that area. In some cases (like Films & Filmmakers -> Genres) there is a third layer of categories (in this case, “Experimental” and “Documentary”).

The main idea is to make the content you want more easily findable. Let me know if you like it, or if you don’t.

Oh, and in case you’re interested, this site uses a WordPress template called “Thematic Power Blog” by Ian Stewart.

Lovell Films website redesign

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

In anticipation of the completion of For Memories’ Sake (see previous post), I’ve done an overhaul of the Lovell Films website which, for the uninitiated, is the site for my film projects.

Check it out, if for no other reason than to get a preview of the Self-Reliant Film redesign that will launch in a few days.

No Budget Film School this weekend…

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I’ve written about Mark Stolaroff’s No Budget Film School before, but he’s holding a two-day class this weekend in L.A. that looks like it might be interesting. Guests include Peter Broderick, Alex Holdridge, Jay Duplass, and others.

If you’re in L.A. and interested in no-budget filmmaking, this is probably worth a look.