Monday, January 31, 2011

Not Dead Yet....

With advances in digital video and photography happening all the time, many professional filmmakers and photographs still prefer the film medium over digital. Although many believe digital video will surpass film or is now actually a better medium, the debate goes on. Not sure which you prefer? Checkout John Mellencamp's tour trailer shot entirely with super 8mm.

John Mellencamp Trailer from Rounder Records on Vimeo.

Don't even think about putting away that super 8 camera...thanks to popular demand Kodak has recently released a new super 8 motion picture film. According to the article on Kodak's website:

"Super 8 mm film is a versatile, affordable option for filmmakers who require the image quality and flexibility of film," says Chris Johnson, product manager, Entertainment Imaging Division, Eastman Kodak Company. "Quantum leaps in film emulsion technology have made Super 8 - once considered a hobbyist's format - a viable option for professional filmmakers and students."

As a fan of all things film, (I regularly shoot 35mm and super 8mm) I am excited to see what the new super 8 color reversal film can do. Recently we shot some test rolls of Kodak Ektachrome 64T color reversal film and some Kodak TRI-X B&W reversal film, to see if we can employ this into our rig as alternative to the cold crisp reality that HD delivers. Yes film is slow, grainy, unpredictable, and development and transfer costs can add up. However, regardless of what anyone tells you, most Hollywood pictures today are still shot with 35mm film. Yes there has been a number of advancements such as the Red Camera or high-end HD cameras such as the camera that George Lucas used during his Starwars Prequels, or plugins and even iPhone aps that replicate the look of film.... but nothing delivers the warm, resolution, and depth of field of film. So for filmmakers and students alike, super 8mm is still a viable alternative. To read more about Kodak's new Super 8mm film, click here.

Don't agree? Here is some experts debating the subject:

Can't get enough? Checkout Robert Rodriguez - Film is Dead

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Banksy....Not a fan of 20th Century Fox

The elusive street artist Banksy has produced an intro for the Simpson's that takes aim at 20th Century Fox's alleged animation outsourcing to Asia. The intro shows factory workers creating animation, promotional products, animal abuse, etc under hazardous conditions. The extended intro is definitely not a typical intro for the show and is interesting considering that the Simpon's are show on Fox. Take a look below.

Even though the 2011 Sundance Film Festival is ending today, this video gives you an overview as to what happens at the festival and demonstrates why you need to go next year. Well, at least we are thinking of going...

Making the transition from day job to filmmaker is easy as...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sundance Film Festival News....

Isabella Rossellini on directing:

Checkout this interesting trailer for Pandemic 41.410806, -75.654259, which is premiering at this years Sundance Film Festival.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sundance Film Festival 2011 "Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul"

The Sundance Film Festival has always been the place to release cutting edge independent film to the industry and film fans alike. Top films from around the world compete in the perfect setting to celebrate the art of cinema. This year is no different.
Checkout the trailer for Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The 83rd Annual Oscar Nominations

And the nominees are....Yes its Oscar season once again. Will the The Network or Black Swan or even The Kings Speech take home the best picture Oscar??? We weren't shocked by any of these films being nominated...well other than Inception.....any thoughts?

The 83rd Annual Oscar Nominations

Best Picture
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The Kids Are All Right ”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“Toy Story 3″
“True Grit”
“Winter’s Bone”

Best Direction
Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan”
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”
David Fincher for “The Social Network”
Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”
David O. Russell for “The Fighter”

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
James Franco in “127 Hours”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Adapted Screenplay
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy for “127 Hours”
Aaron Sorkin for “The Social Network”
Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich for “Toy Story 3″
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”
Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini for “Winter’s Bone”

Original Screenplay
Mike Leigh for “Another Year”
Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington and Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson for “The Fighter”
Christopher Nolan for “Inception”
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for “The Kids Are All Right”
David Seidler for “The King’s Speech”

Animated Feature
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“The Illusionist”
“Toy Story 3″

Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”: Robert Stromberg (Production Design), Karen O’Hara (Set Decoration)
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″: Stuart Craig (Production Design), Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration)
“Inception”: Guy Hendrix Dyas (Production Design), Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (Set Decoration)
“The King’s Speech”: Eve Stewart (Production Design), Judy Farr (Set Decoration)
“True Grit”: Jess Gonchor (Production Design), Nancy Haigh (Set Decoration)

“Black Swan”: Matthew Libatique
“Inception”: Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech”: Danny Cohen
“The Social Network”: Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit”: Roger Deakins

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland”: Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love”: Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech”: Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest”: Sandy Powell
“True Grit”: Mary Zophres

Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop”
“Inside Job”
“Waste Land”

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name”
“Poster Girl”
“Strangers No More”
“Sun Come Up”
“The Warriors of Qiugang”

Film Editing
“Black Swan”: Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter”: Pamela Martin
“The King’s Speech”: Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours”: Jon Harris
“The Social Network”: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful”: Mexico
“Dogtooth”: Greece
“In a Better World”: Denmark
“Incendies”: Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)”: Algeria

“Barney’s Version”: Adrien Morot
“The Way Back”: Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman”: Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon”: John Powell
“Inception”: Hans Zimmer
“The King’s Speech”: Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours”: A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network”: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession”: Tanel Toom
“The Crush”: Michael Creagh
“God of Love”: Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe”: Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143″: Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night”: Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo”: Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute”: Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing”: Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)”: Bastien Dubois

Sound Editing
“Inception”: Richard King
“Toy Story 3″: Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy”: Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit”: Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable”: Mark P. Stoeckinger

Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland”: Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″: Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter”: Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception”: Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2″: Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Sound Mixing
“Inception”: Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King’s Speech”: Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt”: Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network”: Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit”: Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Sundance 2011 News
In case you haven't seen is Kevin Smith full Red State speech on Film Distribution....

Monday, January 24, 2011

Transmissions from Sundance...

Kevin Smith is at the Sundance Film Festival premiering his latest effort Red State which is a departure from his usual fare. Not to mention that Smith is using "alternative methods" to release and promote his film. We applaud his efforts and can't wait to see how this all plays out. Checkout the "Red Statement" regarding their marketing and distribution play and view the trailer below.

"The Harvey Boys 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.

Therefore, The Harvey Boys will not spend a dime on old world media buys (such as TV/Print/Outdoor) as we self-distribute our film, Red State, in an admittedly unconventional, yet extremely cost effective, word of mouth/viral campaign.

Knowledge is power, and we believe in empowering the filmmaker - so the Harvey Boys vow to make the financials of Red State open and transparent from which anybody hoping to follow suit can learn. We will do what no studio has dared: open up our books for the world to see so anyone interested in pursuing a similar independent release strategy has a better understanding of the BUSINESS of Red State.

And if we're successful - or even merely effective - at producing a film distribution apparatus that can stand apart from the cost-prohibitive studio model currently viewed as the only way to get a movie into a theater? It is our intent to use the groundwork we lay with Red State to aid other filmmakers in releasing THEIR films, via our newly launched SModcast Pictures.

Don't hate the studio; BECOME the studio. Anybody can make a movie; what we aim to prove is anyone can release a movie as well."

The Harvey Boys

Jon Gordon & Kevin Smith

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Unseen Orson Welles flick finally being released....

According to an article on The Guardian, the day has come for Welles unseen film The Other Side of the Wind to be released. Welles started work on the film in the late 60s, shooting periodically from 1969 - 1972, with Wells declaring that the film was 96% complete that year. Some short clips have surfaced on Youtube and add to the mystic of film as being cutting edge for its time through its use of alternative production techniques and psychedelic visuals. Now this definitely isn't Welles only unfinished film as he has several projects that have never seen the light of day. Despite this fact, we are definitely looking forward to its release.

Here is another clip.

As many of you know, the 2011 Sundance Film Festival is underway in Park City Utah. I had an opportunity to attend back in 2007 and loved every minute of it. We weren't able to go again this year but that hasn't stopped us from keeping up with everything that is happening at the festival. This year, the festival is streaming many of its films and panels for free online. That's right! So click here to follow what's going on.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Filming with digital SLR cameras

Whenever we discuss buying new equipment Andrew has always pushed for purchasing a digital SLR like the Canon 7d as our backup HD video camera. I've been hesitant to consider a digital SLR because the idea of filming with a handheld digital camera just feels WRONG to me. Well, I think its time I get over it. The other day we were walking in Balboa Park and caught a small crew shooting some kind of sight seeing segment and lo and behold what did I see-oh yes, a shiny Canon 7d was perched atop their tripod, so small and unassuming. If that wasn't convincing enough I found out that one of the top video production companies in SD lists the 7d as one of their standard shooting cameras. So obviously I need to suck it up and hop on the digital SLR bandwagon. Especially now that Nikon and other have come out with competitively priced answers to the 7d priced under a thousand. So hopefully we'll be purchasing a digital SLR very soon this year and posting gorgeous vids with 35mm depth of field and detail like the following one we found on vimeo

D3100 test from newreverend on Vimeo.