Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Short Shelf Life: Animated Movie Licensing Challenges

How does movie licensing present unique challenges to licensors, licensees and retailers?
With more animated theatrical films being released each year — from Disney/Pixar, Warner Bros., Sony and other studios — the market for licensed merchandise tied to those films is increasingly competitive. Add to that the inherently short-term nature of a feature film’s lifespan, and you have a licensing sector fraught with challenges.
“The shelf life of a film is so short,” says Juli Boylan, svp, Sony Pictures Consumer Products. “It’s literally about the opening weekend. Retailers feel there’s just not enough time to create consumer demand.”
Retailers are comfortable with sequels. The original Ice Age had almost no licensing, while Ice Age: The Meltdown, will be Fox’s biggest film-licensing program to date. LEARN MORE...
by Karen Raugust for awn.com; PHOTO © 2002 & 2006 Twentieth Century. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 27, 2006

"Half Nelson" Dominates

PARK CITY '06: "Half Nelson" Dominates Survey of Sundance 06 Critics and Journalists
Ryan Fleck's "Half Nelson" -- and its stars -- topped indieWIRE's first poll of critics and journalists who covered the Sundance Film Festival. The film, which debuted last month in the dramatic Independent Film Competition at Sundance '06, was the overwhelming favorite among a group of 50 members of the media -- reviewers and writers -- who were surveyed this week by indieWIRE. The poll included top film critics and journalists who write for an array of U.S. newspapers, magazines and publications; the Sundance Film Festival does not present a critic's prize at the annual event.
"Half Nelson," directed and co-written by Fleck -- and co-written, edited and co-produced by his creative partner Anna Boden -- was voted best narrative feature at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival in the indieWIRE survey of journalists and critics.
The film is the story of a Brooklyn, NY public school teacher dealing with addiction (played by Ryan Gosling), who forms an unexpected friendship with one of his troubled students (played by Shareeka Epps). "Half Nelson" is a feature adaptation of Fleck's Sundance award-winner short film, "Gowanus, Brooklyn."
LEARN MORE... by Eugene Hernandez for http://movies.yahoo.com

LOGLINE: Prostitution. Love. Choices

BLUFF CITY - an independent drama about the lives of people living in a boring southern town.
A new whorehouse called Betty's opens in the town.
Queenie, struggles to become a nurse. She meets Suga, a prostitute and later she joins the ranks of the prostitutes to make more cash. She meets Prince, an aspiring photographer who takes on jobs as a call guy along with his pals Rocky and Gino. Al, a police officer, and one of Suga's clients wants her to quit and be with him. Later there's arguments between these individuals' lifestyles. All become unsure of
their future. LEARN MORE... Seeking funding estmated at $300,000. Email writercls2k@yahoo.com if interested and put BLUFF CITY in the heading. Looking to film Fall 2006/Jan 2007

Independent Film: CRIPPLED CREEK

In the Winter of 1881 a small whaling vessel called the Bohemian wrecked somewhere in the Atlantic en route to America. The crew, desperate and afraid, resorted to cannibalism to live. Only one person survived the ordeal. Seeking a new life and anonymity in the New World, he decided to start over in a small coastal town in the North East of America.
As fate would have it, he met and fell in love with Elizabeth Trapper, the wife of another sailor. Elizabeth, left vulnerable by loneliness, succumbed to the stranger's advances; the two became the town's favorite topic of gossip.
Ultimately, Elizabeth's husband Josiah Trapper returned and could not ignore the whispers and rumors surrounding his wife. The two lovers fled and found a remote cabin in the woods outside of town.
Trapper followed the two to their hideout, where the two men fought, and Josiah Trapper was killed. The towns people heard about what happened, and accused the stranger of murder. They formed a lynch mob and hung the man and later drowned Elizabeth for adultery. The woods lay quiet for over a century.
LEARN MORE... www.crippledcreekthemovie.com

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sanyo Xacti HD1 Digital Camera

Making its debut at the CES 2006, the Sanyo Xacti HD1 is the world's first high-definition compact digital media camera (among commercially available high-definition media cameras, as of January 2006). Offering advanced, next-generation video performance, the Sanyo HD1 is the world's smallest and lightest high-definition digital media camera, ideal for recording today with the future in mind. Sanyo, the world's leading manufacturer of digital cameras and components, designed the Sanyo Xacti VPC HD1 to easily record both 720p high-definition video and 5.1 Megapixel digital still images to a standard SD flash memory card. The Sanyo Xacti HD1 will be available in the U.S. in late March at an MSRP of $799.99.
LEARN MORE... by mark peters for http://www.pma-show.com/2006/digital_camera/sanyo_review/001_sanyo_xacti_hd1.html


NELSON MADISON FILMS latest production is a contemporary, independent feature drama. A character driven story that takes place over the course of one year in David Anderson's life, details the rise, fall and redemption of a successful young businessman stranded in Los Angeles, when the SEC shuts down the company he works for. After losing his job and the beautiful, but expensive Rachel, his life is turned upside down and inside out. An unusual sequence of events lead David to a new "home", where he makes friends with two unusual men. Marcos is an older black man (unemployed by outsourcing and age) who becomes his first true friend and father figure. Joe, an unemployed writer, is sometimes happy-go-lucky, other times self-pitying and depressed. LEARN MORE... http://www.nelsonmadisonfilms.com/

A Brief, Early History of Computer Graphics in Film

John Whitney, Sr., also known for the slit-scan technique that produced the visually powerful "into the monolith" imagery of 2001: A Space Odyssey, is often credited with bringing computer graphics to the film industry. He experimented with war-surplus analog computer control mechanisms from antiaircraft weapons to control the motion of a camera in the late 1950s and 1960s, producing a number of short animations and television commercials. He continued his work with computer imagery, always seeking to create harmonic, algorithmic motions, producing some very attractive mandala-like imagery in a series of short animations through the 1970s and 1980s.
Ivan Sutherland's 1962 MIT thesis on an interactive computer graphics interface, called Sketchpad, demonstrated for the first time the power of computer graphics as a method for controlling and interacting with computers, and served as a great inspiration to other researchers. The University of Utah and the New York Institute of Technology fostered rich environments for this fledgling science, producing a crop of computer graphics researchers and techniques that have helped to shape the field.
The first feature film to use digital image processing was Westworld, in 1973--the same year as the first SIGGRAPH conference. John Whitney Jr. and Gary Demos at Information International Inc. (III; aka "Triple I") provided digitally processed, pixellated versions of motion photography to portray an android point of view. The same group used digital compositing to materialize characters over a background in the 1976 sequel, Futureworld. These efforts were recognized with a Scientific & Engineering Academy Award in 1994.
In 1977 Star Wars used what was probably the first example of 3D computer graphics in film, albeit in the form of vector or wireframe, rather than shaded, imagery. Larry Cuba, in what was then called the Circle Graphics Habitat (now the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, or EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, created a 3D wireframe view of the trench of the Death Star that was used to train rebel pilots. This film also featured a rare example of analog 3D computer graphics--a very brief, false color image of the Deathstar emerging from behind a planet--created using the Scanimate system.
LEARN MORE... http://www.beanblossom.in.us/larryy/cgi.html

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Samsung's SyncMaster 730B

An outstanding yet affordable 17-in. LCD computer monitor
While shopping for a new flat panel LCD computer monitor for my home office recently, I didn’t hold out too much hope of finding one that fit all of my requirements, because they were pretty specific.
First, it had to work with both a Mac G5 and a PC simultaneously as I went back and forth with a Belkin KVM switcher. I wanted it to be future-proofed (at least for the near-term) with DVI connectors, as well as analog connectors – because although the Mac has DVI graphics, my PC doesn’t yet. It had to be pretty small, but have at least a 17-in. viewing area. And of course, it had to be affordable but have a great picture. LEARN MORE... By Frank Moldstad for

More Superman, Batman Sequelized?

According to Thursday's Variety, the dream could come true as soon as 2008, in the form of sequel to Batman Begins, and 2009, in the form of a sequel to the upcoming Superman Returns.
Warner Bros., the studio behind both revived superhero franchises, would not comment on sequel plans. It called the Variety report "speculative."
Earlier this month at WonderCon, a leading comics convention, Superman Returns director Bryan Singer copped to having "ideas" for more Superman movies, ComicBookResources.com reported. But Singer said those ideas were "like my ideas for X-Men 3," a movie the ex-X-Men helmer is definitely not directing.
Still, the Website said, fans pressed ahead, asking what villains might pop up in additional Superman adventures. (Kevin Spacey plays Lex Luthor in Returns.) And, still, the Website said, Singer deflected.
"Let's see how the game plays," Singer said, per ComicBookResources.com.
LEARN MORE... By Joal Ryan for Eonline - PHOTO: Warner Bros. - http://news.yahoo.com/s/eo/20060224/en_movies_eo/18417


Why We Fight, a new film playing in select movie theaters, is the best documentary I have seen in a while. Going further than Fahrenheit 9/11 did, and providing a richer historical context to that tragic day, Why We Fight is the latest movie to look at the madness in Iraq (and how we got there). The film uses incredible stock footage, old newsreels; its a master collage. It doesn't just look at why we fight in Iraq, it looks at why we have fought in virtually every war since WWII. I hate to spoil it for you, but the bottom line of why we fight is money.
Moore brings this to light in both Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, but this film centers on it. Who's profiting from all this war? Not me. Not our "enemies". It's the stock holders of major weapons manufacturers, and the companies that make products part of the war machine that gain from this unnecessary conflict.
LEARN MORE... http://michaelvalinsky.blogspot.com/2006/02/why-we-fight.html

Friday, February 24, 2006


When Special Effects are created and staged properly, the public never even notices they are present. No one stops to wonder how the person wearing the Jack in the Box head sees in order to walk, run, ride a bike and even drive a car. A mini 'lipstick' camera hidden behind a hole in the tip of the mask's black nose feeds to video-vision goggles inside. The problem is solved simply, but invisibly.
Working in Hollywood is like playing a game of chess on a bucking bronco. Every move has to be thoroughly planned out in advance with careful strategies, flexible enough to deal with the many issues that can -and usually will- develop in the course of a project. Experts in our field, we maximize the technical and aesthetic opportunities of each project. We are a one stop effects shop, with complete facilities for all steps of our effects processes. We combine the industry's best special effects designers, sculptors, model makers, mold makers, lab technicians, makeup artists, machinists, mechanics, costume fabricators, hair specialists, eye and teeth fabricators, painters, and puppeteers. LEARN MORE…

The Future?

Technology Predictions for 2006 … Sort Of
What have we learned from our near past that can give us glimpses into the mysterious future? Were there events, announcements, revelations, changes in buying patterns that can point us toward an understanding of tomorrow? Probably not.
But, not to be daunted by mere facts and logic (or the fact that I’m about a month late in bringing these to you) I am firmly committed to the idea that history repeats itself at least whenever it suites my thinking. So I’ll crawl way out on that technology limb, look over the horizon, and tell you what I see. READ MORE…By Guy Wright

Thursday, February 23, 2006

China Bans Toon Live-Action Hybrids

In a strange move, China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has banned all TV shows and films that feature live-action actors interacting with animated characters.
"These human live-action, so-called animation pieces will not receive distribution or distribution licenses," read the order, issued Feb. 15, 2006. The state-run Xinhua News Agency states that CG and 2D characters interacting with humans jeopardize "the broadcast order of homemade animation and mislead their development.”
This move comes on the heels of the Chinese government’s big push to increase the market share of Mandarin-language animation produced in the country. Stations in the country currently are even having trouble meeting demand with foreign programming.
However, the ban is not retroactive and programming already approved will remain on the air.
LEARN MORE... http://news.awn.com


Intrigue and betrayal stain the streets of Charlestown in the independent film TOWNIES.
Mickey Callaghan, son of an Irish political prisoner, has returned to the mean streets of Charlestown, wiser, and more determined to stay ahead of the system. His gang of life long friends have sparked a bloody gang war and Mickey's honor to the code of silence has the unwanted interest of the Irish mob. LEARN MORE...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


INSIDER TRADING is absolutely legal on the Hollywood Stock Exchange. Not only is it legal, it's encouraged!
Check out entertainment news, insider info, and other Tools of the Trade to help you make the best buys.
1. Join for FREE and get two million Hollywood Dollars®.
2. Buy and sell shares in your favorite movie and celebrity stocks with your H$.
3. Build up your portfolio and get cool stuff.
LEARN MORE…http://www.hsx.com/about/whatishsx.htm

"Waiting on Alphie"

Our movie starts at the beginning of an overnight standoff between Alphonso Conte and Gus in a New York café. Gus, flown in from Chicago, on an anonymous job, awaits the order from the café payphone to kill Alphie or let him live. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, they are in a standoff that turns minutes to hours. As today becomes tomorrow, the two find themselves discussing life, society, food -- and a secret from their past that comes crashing down.
While we wait all night for the call, we are "entertained" by the Waiter on duty who feeds Gus and Alphie appetizers (and one-liners) ... we are treated to a reunion of Alphie and his ex, Brenda, in a (needless to say) uncomfortable meeting.
Then, an even more uncomfortable moment occurs when two police officers enter the café for a to-go order. Finally, in a dynamic on-screen moment a Robber enters the setting to bring the movie to a violent climax.
White Lightning Productions presents a Diesel Movie Werks Production of a Kevin Hicks film, "Waiting on Alphie". Starring James K. Fulater, Lance Zurek, Matthew Landon, Keri Szymanski and Kendall McAdams. For distribution inquiries and actor interviews, please contact Eric C Lindstrom, Producer.
A café in New York joins two men. Gus, flown in from Chicago, awaits the order on the café payphone to kill Alphie or let him live. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, they are in a standoff that turns minutes to hours. As today becomes tomorrow, the two find themselves discussing life, society, food -- and a secret from their past that comes crashing down. LEARN MORE...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Independent Films: CUSTODY

There are defining moments in everyone's life: A wedding day, the birth of a child, and the day you realize you're totally trapped by your circumstance. Rick Stevens was a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Life was good, and while his marriage could have been better, he certainly wasn't prepared for what lay just ahead. In a series of surreal events Rick Stevens' life changed dramatically. His wife was gone and he was left to tend to his children alone. Women have done it for years, but to be a single-custodial father? Well, it seemed too much to bear. Rick Stevens was a prisoner of his circumstance and situation. Rick Stevens thought he'd lost it all, but in a redefining moment he found he had everything that mattered. Sometimes you have to lose it all, twice, to know what really counts. LEARN MORE...

Content Undercover-Battle for Your Living Room

Revisiting Star Wars-A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
- The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded
- Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you’re my only hope
- The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers
It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly thirty years since George Lucas sprung Star Wars on us. Today we are entering a content delivery war and it isn’t in a galaxy far, far away. Tellywood is feeling a disturbance in the Force as if millions of voices suddenly cried out! Their money model is broken and they struggle to regain control of their ship. It’s becoming apparent that it will be impossible.
The Sundance Festival proves great video doesn’t have to cost tens of millions to produce. With as little as $10,000 and a lot of sweat labor, material can be produced people actually want to see. Check out http://festival.sundance.org/2006/.
LEARN MORE... By Miles Weston for http://hometheater.consumerelectronicsnet.com

Monday, February 20, 2006


"Happy Trails" is a comedy about relationships, communication, and the importance of a full tank of gasoline.
When Gareth and Sarah's car - and their relationship - break down on a remote country road, the last thing they need is to be picked up by the couple from hell.
Welcome to "Happy Trails," a darkly funny portrait of a romantic weekend gone very bad. LEARN MORE... www.happytrailsmovie.com

Content Undercover: The War of the Roses

High-def DVD wars are like some couples....
You’ve got to admit it. Some couples you know mix like oil and water. Can’t live with each other…can’t live without each other. Sort of makes you think of the next-generation DVD roadmap doesn’t it? If you ever saw Danny DeVito’s black comedy The War of the Roses you can almost see the parallel. Or as the studio said in its promo, “Once in a lifetime comes a motion picture that makes you feel like falling in love all over again. This is not that movie.”
Next-generation DVD was going to be a beautiful marriage that produced some beautiful, brilliant kids. It has also turned out to be a dysfunctional relationship.
Remember, radio was going to kill records, and then later it was CDs that were going to kill them, and then music downloads were going to kill records and CDs. Of course TV was going to kill radio and movies. Instead we got American Idol and Howard Stern.
Remember when networking and the Internet were going to help us create the paperless office ? Sure didn’t hurt the printer/printer cartridge industry! All this virtual stuff—video on demand, Internet TV, music downloads , web access — doesn’t replace the real thing. Just ask your significant other !
LEARN MORE…By Miles Weston for hometheater.consumerelectronicsnet.com

Will Mobile TV Be a Turn-On?

The Industry will be betting on it but there will be many challenges ahead.
Imagine you have 10 minutes of time to kill while waiting in line. You flip open your mobile and scan live snapshots of four 24/7 reality programs, reviewing info about the broadcaster, the show, and the number of current viewers. You choose one and get a live streaming video of the show with a scroll of the text chat interaction underneath.
Welcome to mobile BlogTV, a service introduced by Israeli mobile operators Cellcom and Hutchison’s Orange. The service is based on the technology of Tapuz People, a local company specializing in chat, mobile chat, blogs, and blog TV.
Andy Warhol would have loved it. Some “actors” sing or dance, some just talk or do funny sketches. But all of the channels star real people who use webcams or third-generation (3G) phones to create their own live TV show and beam it to the mobile network, creating a new revenue stream for the mobile operators and giving everyone their shot at—if not 15 minutes—at least 15 seconds of fame. More than 20,000 new blog TV entries are aired in Israel each month, says Dan Chen, head of Tapuz Mobile, a division of Tapuz People, which is in talks with European operators about expanding the service.
LEARN MORE... http://www.redherring.com

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Chinatown at the Ziegfeld!

I've seen Chinatown many times at home. Seeing the film for the first time in a movie theatre was a revalation. I didn't watch Chinatown. I experienced it. This film was composed to be seen on a big screen. Sure, the film plays well watching at home. But I was completely blown away by this presentation. The ziegfeld has secured a wonderful print. I love going to a Theatre like this. I don't have to worry about projection or sound quality. Add to all of this the $7.50 admission price (!) and I'm in 7th heaven!
Seeing this film again reminds me of what I don't like about most contempory films. Where today's films are almost all cut for the sake of pace, Chinatown has a deliberate pace. It's not single minded in it's editing. You get to savor the story as it unfolds. It like having a wonderful 5 star dinner. It makes today's films seem a lot like fast food.
Here's a link to the 3rd draft screenplay by Robert Towne:
CLICK HERE.http://www.awesomefilm.com/script/chinatown.txt
Here's Roger Ebert's review: CLICK HERE.
And here's Rotten Tomatoes 100% rating!
CLICK HERE.http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/chinatown/

posted by http://reelcinema.blogspot.com/

Back in the Game

an Interview with screenwriter James Justice
James Monroe Justice had a very unique experience. He sold 6 scripts in the '80's and then couldn't sell the next 20 screenplays he wrote. What happened? What would keep a produced writer from selling?
Once you discover the problem he had, you can easily solve it for yourself. James was kind enough to share his fortune, misfortune, and the solution that has led to his current script being optioned.
HAL: James, thanks for doing the interview. First, can you tell us how you broke into the business?
JAMES: I was living in Gainesville, Florida after getting a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Florida and as trying to write a novel. A novelist friend suggested it would make a good movie. I told him
I didn't know the form for writing movies. He said to get a screenplay and just follow that. So, I did and four months later I had a screenplay hand-written on four legal pads. I showed it to my novelist friend and he made some suggestions for changes. I revised it and typed it out (it came to 168 pages) and he got a production exec at 20th Century Fox. A few months later I met with the exec who told me the script wasn't what Fox was looking for, but he liked my writing and asked if I had an agent. When I said I didn't, he suggested a guy whose office was a few blocks from Fox. I dropped the script off and a few days later the guy called me and said he loved it. I ended up rewriting it a couple of times, getting the page-count down, and when I came out a few months later we got a deal at CBS Theatrical Films.
READ MORE... http://www.scriptforsale.com

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Roland Marvel, a man who lost his faith following a personal tragedy is the main character in "Led to Believe", an independent film about spiritual reawakening. Set against the political and social backdrop of the Bush administration's march to war with Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003, the film looks at Brother Matthew, a very unusual minister; and Ava Mathias, a woman torn between duty and love.
Focusing on the personal conflicts of the main characters, it also touches on the obligations of conscience that come with being part of a democratic society. This independent feature is shooting on digital video, in a fast-paced, "guerilla" style, on location in and around Nashville. Already in production, a dynamic producer who has time for this “no-budget” feature is needed to help push it along. LEARN MORE…http://www.hometown.aol.com/outofthefog2004/LED.htm

The Mystery of Subtext

For most people, subtext is the most illusive of all the writing skills. You ask a screenwriting teacher about subtext and you'll get a vague answer that will leave you confused, but won't provide any real insight. Why? Because many of the best writers of subtext operate primarily from intuition. So they don't have a conscious structure they can teach.
But there is a structure to subtext and it can be learned.
The quality of your dialogue can be dramatically improved by building in meaningful subtext. Well written subtext is the mark of a professional writer. On the other hand, constant on-the-nose (OTN) dialogue is the mark of an amateur writer.
READ MORE... by Hal Croasmun for www.scriptforsale.com

Mobile phone art, distribution, and trends

On a trip to Japan several years ago, I noticed some trends. I noticed that most kids had a cellphone, even young ones.
Back in the USA, I signed with an agent and secured deals with carriers to distribute my art as wallpapers for mobile phones. Now after about two years I am actually seeing some success. Like any business, you have to be able to produce. No one is going to pay you any decent up front money to create telephone wallpapers, everything is a split. Kind of like pay for view. You earn a percentage based on the amount of downloads. I was told in the beginning that one design can make you a lot of money, but no one can tell you what the public or what the carriers will embrace. As an example two designs out of 25 added up to 85% of my earnings in January with one carrier alone. Some designs will get thousands of downloads, others five or six.
My newest hurdle is figuring out WAP and how to distribute my art and animations and make a few bucks. I am almost there. Marketing is a whole new discussion. The business end can be very Hollywood like. What is coming is (non) mobile media supporting mobile content. In other words, a magazine article would have a WAP enabled code that you enter into your phone to download a mini show. As an example, typing in "Apprentice" actually is a code for a specific WML download. Advertisers are gearing up to create product-rich content to entertain the buying public using this method. LEARN MORE... Mike Browns for consumerelectronicsnet.com
I can be reached at mike@bigredshoes.com for comments, suggestions or leads: Mike Browne - www.bigredshoes.com

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Screenwriter's Journey

Interview with Rie Natalenko
I had the opportunity to talk with Rie Natalenko when she was in
L.A. pitching her latest project. She recently won Australia's top
award for a screenplay and was hired to write a mini-series because
of it. She's a delightful woman who is on her way to some serious
success in this business. Here, she talks about her journey as a screenwriter and what drives her.
HAL: I watched the Industry Award show on the net and saw you
win Best Unproduced Screenplay in Australia. Is it true that when
you won your award, you kissed Geoffrey Rush?
RIE: I certainly did. That was the best thing about the award.
I kissed Geoffery Rush.
HAL: In front of millions of people! The script was "Heloise," right?
I loved that script. Didn't anyone there say "We should produce
that?" READ MORE... http://www.scriptforsale.com

A New Beginning in Animation: Renaissance: Motion Capture

Renaissance, a futuristic thriller filmed in motion capture, animated in 3D and rendered in flat black and white, defies categorization.
Is this French animated feature the shape of things to come? If anything, it heralds a new era of filmmaking, just like Polar Express or Sin City did.
In the year 2054 in Paris, police and the Avalon Corp. are trying to find a kidnapped researcher who holds knowledge that can transform the future of the human species altogether.
The film was in development well before Robert Rodriguez put together his demo of Sin City and Robert Zemeckis started work on Polar Express. “We came up with the first Renaissance concept back in 1997,” explains Marc Miance, founder of Attitude Studio, a facility dedicated entirely to the recreation of high-end virtual characters. “At the time, we were thinking of an animated CG film shot entirely in black and white with no shades of gray set in Paris.”
By Mireille Frenette and Benoit Guerville for awn.com; Images © Onyx Films/Millimages/Luxanimation/Timefirm Ltd./France 2 Cinema.


Sometimes, the only thing you can change is your mind.
This independent short film tells the story of a father in a concentration camp. He struggles with the decision of whether to let his son be killed in the gas chambers, or save him at the cost of another boy's life. Shot on location at Camp Mabry in Austin, this film, based on a true story, traces the moral, ethical and religious torment that often accompanied the physical suffering of death camp inmates. LEARN MORE... http://www.bendinglightmovie.com

Thursday, February 16, 2006


AFTER DRACULA, AL-QAEDA is NEXT! "Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things comic book heroes are there for," Frank Miller said.
"Holy Terror, Batman!" an upcoming graphic novel from famed Batman writer Frank Miller, sees the caped crusader facing off against Al-Qaeda operatives who attack Gotham City.
Miller, who has already inked his way through 120 pages of the 200-page opus, told a recent comic book convention that the novel was an unashamed "piece of propaganda" in which Batman "kicks Al-Qaeda's ass."
The driving force behind the work, Miller said, was "an explosion from my gut reaction of what's happening now."
Holy Terror is "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against," he said in remarks posted on the entertainment website, IGN.com.
A 20-year comic book veteran, Miller became one of the best known names in the industry with the graphic novel "Dark Knight Returns," in which he brought Batman out of retirement.
He was also the creator of the graphic novel series "Sin City," which was turned into a hit movie of the same name last year directed by Miller, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino.
Miller said the use of comic book heroes for propaganda had an honourable tradition.
LEARN MORE... by Hilary Goldstein for comics.ign.com; AFP for news.yahoo.com; photo (c) dc comics; warner bros films


DOGCAM: Attach a tiny "lipstick cam" to the family dog, and you've got an interesting POV shot that is just one way to go extreme when shooting.
Motorcycle racing, rock climbing, and underwater adventures are just a few extreme activities you can capture on film. If you've tried to capture them already, you know that working in extreme environments or in any situation with high activity can be challenging. Learning about extreme shooting, picking up some action shooting techniques, and exploring new gear will make that challenge a little less intimidating, so that you, too, can shoot extreme.
Don't forget the basic videography principles just because you're shooting something exciting. Extreme shooting is still shooting. In fact, some basic skills are even more important when shooting extreme, because the potential for harm is greater and bad shooting blows the once-in-a-lifetime shot.
LEARN MORE... by Jenny Hanson for videomaker.com

New DVDs sparking copy-protection confusion

When the first high-definition DVDs finally hit shelves this spring, a mad scramble may ensue--not for the discs themselves, but to figure out what computers and devices are actually able to play them in their full glory.
Unraveling the mystery won't be easy. Many, if not most, of today's top-of-the-line computers and monitors won't make the cut, even if next-generation Blu-ray or HD DVD drives are installed.
That's because strict content protection technologies may automatically degrade the DVDs' picture quality, or even block them from playing at all, if the right connections and digital protections aren't in place. Even the most expensive computers sold today mostly lack those features. LEARN MORE... http://news.com.com


With more than 1 million videos being sold on iTunes in less than 20 days after its video launch, video industries prepare for a probable revolution similar to the one that rocked the music world five years ago.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO said, “Our next challenge is to broaden our content offerings, so that customers can enjoy watching more videos on their computers and new iPods.”
Music videos are available from artists including Madonna, U2, Eurythmics, Coldplay and Kanye West, and animated shorts are available from Academy Award-winning Pixar Animation Studios. In a landmark deal with ABC Disney, the iTunes Music Store also offers current and past episodes from the two most popular shows on television, “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” as well as the new drama series “Night Stalker” and the two most popular shows from Disney Channel, “That’s So Raven” and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” READ MORE.. www.apple.com

Favorite Google Videos

Visit this kid friendly collection of free funny and the funniest and humerous google videos. Commercials and strange items worthy of consideration are included and nothing much above a PG-13 rating. If you have your favorite google videos for consideration please sent them to getoutait@yahoo.com
A favorite place for kids! SEE THE CRAZY DANCIN' HAMPSTER


The "tapeless" production future everyone has been dreaming about might be closer than you think.
Direct-to-edit tapeless systems record digital video data directly to a portable hard drive -- bypassing the need for videotape. The big benefit is no logging and capturing from tape -- you simply "drag and drop" your finished video clips right to your desktop and you are ready to edit.
Some of the biggest video companies in the world, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, etc. have developed various direct-to-drive or even direct-to-chip cameras -- all looking toward a tapeless future. Why the rush to leave tape behind? Time. And, as the pundits have long noted, time is money. LEARN MORE...
by Bill Davis for videomaker.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

DONATE towards our independent ZOMBIE film

Anybody who donates will be listed in the credits of the film
For a long time I've wanted to make an independent horror/comedy film involving zombies. I've had a few rough scripts lying around, one of which I really want to do. The thing is, it's going to take money. No, not big Hollywood budget type money, but still shooting for a decent chunk o' change. Now I'd love to be able to say that I'm raking in the cash with this web site, but the fact is I'm not. Even with all the traffic and exposure that it gets, it doesn't cover my rent or anything. Admittedly, that's mainly because of my own refusal to put an insane amount of ads on my site or go "the porn route". I've had offers to do so from various companies, but I'd have to change the entire layout of I-Mockery just to support all those annoying ads and that's not something I want to do. Nor do I want to subject you people to a ton of intrusive ads on every page of the site. I've always tried to keep the advertising unobtrusive as possible so you can enjoy reading the content here on I-Mockery. And I'm definitely not putting porn on the site. There's enough of that shit on the web as it is, and I'd rather people come to this site because they're looking for some humorous pieces to laugh at... not some girl with a nice rack. So, I'm currently working a full-time job just to cover my personal expenses.

The Late, Great, 2D Animation Renaissance

From 1988 to 2000, while CGI was still taking off its training wheels, traditional hand-drawn 2D animation experienced a renaissance of interest in a way not seen since the 1940s.
It is difficult to describe a historic period just lived. Time and distance are required to put what has occurred into perspective. The animators who were flipping paper, drawing Ariel or Stimpy, knew there was suddenly a lot of fun projects to work on, but they probably didn’t think they were living in a new Golden Age. And except for a few grizzled vets, many thought it would last forever. From 1988 to 2000, while CGI was still taking off its training wheels, traditional hand-drawn 2D animation experienced a renaissance of interest in a way not seen since the 1940s. This created, in Tinseltown, a boomtown atmosphere of fast careers and fast profits. But it was a renaissance that carried within it the seeds of its own demise.
READ MORE... By Tom Sito for awn.com

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Better Than the Game

Interspersed between all that football drama in Super Bowl XL were the commercials, and at a record-setting $5 million per minute, this was some pricey television time. Contrasting with last year’s Super Bowl production, where high-definition commercials were the exception rather than the rule, this year, more than two-thirds of the spots were produced and aired in high definition. It's a good bet that next year nearly all the commercials in Super Bowl XLI will be shown in high definition. Those that were in standard definition looked pretty cheap compared to those adhering to that sharpest and most colorful of formats, full-blown HD. READ MORE... To view Super Bowl XL spots, visit http://www.ifilm.com/superbowl?htv=12

Saturday, February 11, 2006


SLICK, FLASH AND DIDI is a comedy adventure about three unusual cousins meeting together for the first time in 12 yrs. Didi is a cute, bubbly girl who has mental problems. Slick is a lonely epileptic shy guy who owns/operates a Taco Joint inherited from his deceased grandparents. Flash is deaf, a sidekick to Slick, and co-owner/waiter of the Taco joint. Anyone interested in DVD release of this feature, is invited to WATCH THE PREVIEW. M12 Productions; trailer available at http://video.google.com

Film Investors Global Alliance

The Film Investors Global Alliance is an online forum for film investors, producers,marketers, financing companies and the entire film community to discuss the new business trends, financing options, marketing plans etc.
Visit this meeting junction for independent film makers and producers to find potential investors who are interested in funding new film projects and in new concepts. If you have a film project, a new concept or script idea that you want to promote to potential investors or if you are looking for the opportunity to invest in upcoming independent film projects, "The Film Investors Global Alliance" is the right place to do it. LEARN MORE... http://movies.groups.yahoo.com

Friday, February 10, 2006

Taking Charge

"Taking Charge" is Vine Entertainment's modern day "Bonnie & Clyde." After Patricia's father cuts off her monthly allowance, she suggests that her boyfriend Pauly rob a bank. They settle for a check cashing joint but the robbery turns bad as one person is shot and another is killed. The get away car is gone and they must hijack an ambulance and the chase is on. SEE THE TRAILER... http://thevineent.com


Motion Picture Production & Distribution have travelled a great distance in the past 110 years from the first motion picture in 1895 and have changed its shape, ideas appearance, marketings, investments and business as such. Now Film Financing and Marketing have become one the most risky and less predicable investments. The doors of Film Financing is only open for biggies like Spielberg and always closed for newcomers who waiting for a Helping Hand or struggling for an opportunity to release their first film and prove themselves.

Herewith we suggest few ways to arrange Funds / Finance for your
Films. Once you decide on a project, the film maker should choose the
distribution platform - Film, Television or Cable, Web and should
start the initial marketing and market studies. The most obvious
choice or avenues for Film Funding or getting the Finance are
Industry Financing, studio development production deals, independent
distributor financing, talent agency financing, end-user financing,
completion funds, regional film promotion commissions, grands and
foundations, Lender Financing, Production Loans, Negative Purchase
Commitment, Presale Financing Commitment....Also find a list of
Grants & Funds available yearly.

Industry Financing
An in-house production will usually start as a development deal. A
filmmaker will first have to pitch the concept to a studio creative
executive and then submit a synopsis of the project to the creative
department. If the studio decides to finance the development,
production, and the distribution of your project, then the studio
will ultimately own most of the rights associated with the film.

When a studio gets involved in your project, the first phase will be
a "Development Deal Memo," which is a short form written contract
between you and the studio. The Development Deal Memo will simply
outline the agreement, salary, time schedules, screen credit, and
percentage points. The studio will make Development Deal Memo's
contingent on a "Step Deal." A Step Deal is when the people working
on the development of your project are paid incrementally as the
project develops. In addition, the development work is reviewed and
evaluated at each stage.

Independent Distributor Financing
An Independent Distributor is a distributor who is not regularly or
substantially affiliated with a major studio. When submitting a
project to an Independent Distributor, you must have some financing
in place and be ready for principle photography. The reason being is
that Independent Distributors do not have the resources to develop,
produce, and distribute your project.

Talent Agency Financing
A new Filmmaker could also obtain assistance in financing through
talent agencies. A talent agency will package your film with two or
more of their clients. Talent agencies will not fund the project
outright. Some agencies will help arrange financing through their
resources such as, below-the-line facilities deals, international co-
production deals, foreign government subsidies and presale

End-User Financing
End-User financing is when a theater, cable or television station
will put up money in exchange for equity percentage participation in
the film's revenue generation for specific markets. Obtaining end-
user financing through video and cable companies is called ancillary
end-user financing. The foreign market may be another possibility to
acquire end-user financing.

Completion Funds
Completion funds are designed to provide partial production financing
or post-production financing. These funds can be provided for films
that meet the following requirements: a) have completed principle
photography; b) are complete except for post-production; or c) are
complete through post-production, but can not be released from the
lab due to unpaid lab fees. If you are obtaining financing through a
lender, they will require a completion bond which will ensure the
project will be finished.

Regional Film Promotion Commissions
There are lot of Grants, Subsidies and Incentives offered by Regional Film Promotion Councils and Commissions. A Film Maker should properly study the various incentives offered by regional film & toursim promotional authorieties.
For example, Florida recently adopted a P&A (prints and advertising)
Fund. Essentially, it is an incentive for filmmakers, such as yourself, to produce films in Florida. The Florida Film and Television Investment Trust Fund has the authority to invest three million dollars to be used on completing films that spent 40 percent or more of its production budget in Florida.

Grants & Foundations
Grants & Foundations offer on an annual basis - assistance, completion or production funds, from which you can obtain financing for your project. The Funding through Grants & Foundations are more suitable for documentaries and educational films/videos.

Lender Financing
Lender financing is one of the best ways for a filmmaker to secure funding for a picture without going through the studio system. Though lender financing is time-consuming and complicated, it is a great resource for independent producers.

Production Loans
Lender financing is the process of obtaining a loan from a lending agency to finance the development, production, and/or distribution of your film. Third-party feature film development loans or non-bank loans may be secured by some form of hard asset and are usually recourse to the borrower. In other words, the lender may seek
repayment directly from the borrower, personally, in the event of a default. In equity investment, the lender actually becomes an investor whose investment is at risk. As a result, there may be no obligation for you to repay the loan.

Negative Purchase Commitment
The term "negative purchase" refers to the commitment made by a distributor to a producer to either purchase or license a film's distribution rights from you, the producer. The distributor guarantees to pay an agreed-upon price when the distributor picks up the negative after delivery of the completed picture. When using the negative pickup method for financing your production, you will sell
and/or license the film to a distributor in exchange for the distributor's promise to pay an agreed-upon price. You can then take the negative pickup distributor commitment to a commercial bank, use the purchase letter as collateral, and borrow production funds from the bank. This same tactic can be used to secure funding from

Presale Financing Commitment
Presale financing ("presales") is the funding of a film's production costs through the granting of a license for the film's rights by a producer to a distributor in a particular media or territory before the completion of a film. Presales can take the form of funds, guarantees, or commitments.

From: "Reel" contact: ajithkrs2001@yahoo.com

Thursday, February 09, 2006


THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT WINS TOP HONORS AT 33RD ANNUAL ANNIE AWARDS INCLUDING “BEST ANIMATED FEATURE” DreamWorks Animation SKG and Aardman’s “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” the Academy Award® nominated film and one of the best reviewed movies of the year, was honored Saturday with ten Annie Awards including “Best Animated Feature.” Presented by the International Animation Film Society to recognize the year’s finest animation in film and television, the acclaimed comedy adventure won every category in which it was eligible, tying the record for the most Annie Awards for a single movie. The first feature film outing for the beloved clay animated duo from Aardman's Oscar®-winning shorts -- the cheese-loving Wallace and his faithful canine companion Gromit – “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” also garnered a directing award for Nick Park and Steve Box, voice acting for Peter Sallis and writing honors for Steve Box, Nick Park, Bob Baker and Mark Burton. In addition, Nick Park won for character design. READ MORE... http://www.animated-news.com

HD Meets 3D in the VX3

Custom camera houses have long constructed special-purpose film cameras for unique motion picture applications. Now that ingenuity applies to video with the 3DVX3, a new digital stereoscopic HD camera system from 21st Century 3D in New York City.
The core camera section is based on a pair of Panasonic AB-DVX100As. Foregoing tape, a direct-to-disk recording system captures raw CCD data in 4:4:4 RGB color space at 10 bits per channel, producing vivid 3D images at up to 1280x720 resolution per imager, 24fps progressive.
The company said its capture method provides advanced dynamic range and color fidelity, more like film than digital video. The genlock-synchronized system features two entirely discreet image channels simultaneously captured by six CCDs, two on-board CPUs running Mac OS X with over 2.8 GHz of processing power. There's a maximum record time of one hour per eye on paired sets of 100 GB removable 7200 RPM drives. READ MORE... www.21stcentury3d.com

Late Night TV - Heeeere's Johnny

Late Night Televison is TVs best programming. We have assembled everything about everybody in the late night scene. Even memories of the best TV Host and interviewer that there ever has been or will be. Johnny Carson was the consumate personality. He respected and interviewed everyone from little children to Tiny Tim. Only a Giant could have done 30 years in entertainment. Access to all of the other entertainers that work the late hous has been added to Mr. Carson. Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, Carson Daly, Bob Costas and Craig Kilborne. READ MORE...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

First Look at the Panasonic AG-HVX200 (Video)

Panasonic Broadcast announced that its powerful AG-HVX200, the world’s first hand-held high definition solid-state memory camcorder uniquely combines multiple high definition and standard definition formats, multiple recording modes and variable frames rates, and the vast benefits of P2 solid state memory recording in a rugged, compact design.
At a press briefing held here today, Panasonic announced introductory pricing for the HVX200 including $5,995 suggested list price of the camcorder only, a $6,995 list price for the camcorder and two 4GB P2 cards, and a $9,995 list price for the camcorder and two 8GB P2 cards. Pricing on other introductory HVX200 packages are available at www.panasonic.com/hvx200
READ MORE... www.studiodaily.com

Reconstructing Orson Welles

Perfectionist auteurs have become well known for monkeying with their movies up until the last minute and beyond, but how do you release a DVD director’s cut if you don’t know how the director himself would have finished the film? And how daunting is that job when the director is as formidable a legend as Orson Welles himself?
That was the challenge faced by New York’s Criterion Collection when it decided to restore Welles’ 1955 film, Mr. Arkadin. “The film had been re-edited many times by many different people in various territories, as Welles had been taking too long to edit it himself,” recalls Criterion’s technical director, Lee Kline. "There was film everywhere, but each was a different cut." READ MORE... By Iain Blair for studiodaily.com/filmandvideo

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Looking for reporters!

myfilm.com is looking for reports who attend film festivals. If you are planning on attending a film festival in the near future please
Thank you
Scott Wolpow

Podcast Your Animation !

With Toon Boom Studio, you can easily save your animation for podcasting, an emerging technology that allows you to watch and hear media content on your iPod, including news, TV shows, and, of course, Toon Boom Studio animations.
The iPod is a great vehicle to showcase your animated content anywhere you go and reach an audience of millions. Use this lightweight technology to share your animations with your friends and family. LEARN MORE... http://www.toonboom.com/

SIDE EFFECTS (the independent film)

America! Built on a better pill.
A young woman fumbles with love and ethics as she navigates a career with one of corporate America’s darlings…the pharmaceutical industry.
KARLY HERT has spent the last ten years selling drugs...legally, that is.
Although conflicted on a daily basis by the values within the pharmaceutical industry, an industry driven by profits at the expense of patients; Karly has been seduced by the golden handcuffs of corporate America.
Enter ZACH DANNER, who convinces Karly to be true to her values and walk away from her lucrative but empty job. As their relationship blossoms, Karly devises a plan to get out. But leaving is never quite as easy as it seems...
LEARN MORE... http://www.sideeffectsthemovie.com

Monday, February 06, 2006

G! Dude, Where’s My Car?

A parody of both "The E! True Hollywood Story" cable television series as well as the 2000 film "Dude, Where's My Car?" released by 20th Century Fox, where we take a phony “behind-the-scenes” look at the making of "Dude, Where's My Car?" from the hilarious hijinks on screen to the deadly hijinks off screen. LEARN MORE... http://www.tallyhoventures.com/

The Process of Making an Historical Film

A MIDWIFE’S TALE: Every film begins with an idea. Shortly after Laurel Ulrich's book A Midwife's Tale was published, I (producer/writer Laurie Kahn-Leavitt) read a review of the book, bought a copy, loved it, and called up rights division of Knopf, the publisher, to inquire about optioning the film rights. They told me to speak with Laurel, the author of the book, which I did. And the two of us clicked. From the very beginning, I had the idea of interweaving the story of Martha Ballard's life with Laurel Ulrich's process of piecing it together. The film I imagined would begin as a documentary (with the twentieth century historian and the eighteenth century diary) and evolve into a drama as Ulrich gradually figured out what happened in Martha Ballard's world. READ MORE... http://www.dohistory.org/film/process_preprod.html

Sunday, February 05, 2006


THE PINK PANTHER, the new version with Steve Martin, opens this next week and Sony has outdone themselves with an entertaining website for this film complete with a fun video game where you customize your car, toot your horn, drive around searching for clues and make an ultra-fast get-a-way.
A world-famous soccer coach has been murdered and his priceless ring has been stolen - a ring set with the stunning diamond known as the Pink Panther. The French government needs a master detective to solve the crime and recover the gem...but he's not available, so they recruit Inspector Jacques Clouseau. SEARCH FOR CLUES... www.sonypictures.com/movies/thepinkpanther


Something New, the directorial feature debut by Sanaa Hamri, breaks no new ground with its familiar plot devices, but it offers flashes of intelligence and truth beneath the surface.
When dealing with romantic comedies of any kind, a title like Something New can seem misleading. No matter how much spice is thrown into the mix, at the end of the day we’re usually left with this formula: Boy meets girl, they hopelessly fall for each other, a huge fight erupts generally based on a misunderstanding, and boy and girl are happily reunited at the end. Audiences applaud and filmmakers get to add a few extra million dollars to their savings accounts. Everyone wins, even if nobody is enlightened. READ MORE... www.cinemablend.com

Saturday, February 04, 2006

'Grandpa Munster' Al Lewis Dies at 95

Al Lewis, sporting a somewhat cheesy Dracula outfit, became a pop culture icon playing the irascible father-in-law to Fred Gwynne's ever-bumbling Herman Munster on the 1964-66 television show. He was also one of the stars of another classic TV comedy, playing Officer Leo Schnauzer on "Car 54, Where Are You?"
Lewis, as Officer Schnauzer, played opposite Gwynne's Officer Francis Muldoon in "Car 54, Where Are You?" — a comedy about a Bronx police precinct that aired from 1961-63. One year later, the duo appeared together in "The Munsters," taking up residence at the fictional 1313 Mockingbird Lane. READ MORE... http://www.munsters.com/allewis.html

Bloodrayne video game adaptation

Heidi Martinuzzi talks to director Uwe Boll and star Kristanna Loken about the upcoming video game adaptation Bloodrayne. The film Bloodrayne opened to an excited, albeit skeptical, audience. There’s no denying that German director Uwe Boll has had mixed, often downright volatile, reactions from horror and video game audiences with his last two films. House of the Dead (2003) (scripted by The Dead Hate The Living director Dave Parker) and Alone in the Dark (2005) were financially successful, if not faithful adaptations of the games. In fact, since Artisan has released House of the Dead on DVD, it’s been among the top ten highest grossing German films of all time, right behind Das Boot, believe it or not. READ MORE... pennyblood.com

Friday, February 03, 2006

Computer generated voices

Computer generated voices: They can actually read your script and provide you with a soundtrack for your film. It's a lot easier to visualize and troubleshoot your script when the characters are actually speaking their lines. Or, you can make your own audiobooks. You can also podcast without saying a word.
The program is only worthwhile if you add the upgraded voices. They pronounce words much better, and have a higher bitrate. They recognize question marks, and add the intonations. When comparing the same passages read by the free voice, and the premium ones, there's no comparison. Still, the voices sound more or less computer generated, but not to the point of distraction. I found that the first book I listened to was a little distracting, but by the second one, the stilted speech didn't bother me.
http://www.nextup.com/attnv.html LEARN MORE...

Thursday, February 02, 2006


This film is a celebration of the B-movie genre with campy special effects to over the top acting, it is a guaranteed good time. It even stars Carmine Capobianco of such films as Psychos In Love, Galactic Gigolo and Cemetery High. This film is Every where from Filmthreat.com, to the IMDB.com, to Rottentomatoes.com
It is the story of Jack. Jack has a gun, Jack loses gun. Jack enters Hale Manor where he faces booby-trapped living rooms, tiny attic prisons, molten lava, deadly lasers and gets attacked by an evil army of circus gimps. Jack kills everyone. Jack gets gun. LEARN MORE... www.halemanor.com

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Film Festival Submissions

A discussion with independent animators Patrick Smith and Signe Baumane about the agony and the ecstasy of entering one’s film into festivals.
Congratulations, you just finished a film. Now, you can put it in the bottom drawer or send it out to festivals. Nobody I know takes the bottom drawer option.
That leaves two big questions: Which festivals do you target? And how do you deal with the rejections?
LEARN MORE... By Sharon Katz for awn.com

The Prevalence of Previs

Vfx professionals discuss with Janet Hetherington how previs is becoming more widely integrated into the production process. Today’s previsualization techniques are tending to look more and more like the actual end product. And in the current vfx environment, previs often acts as a digital “blueprint,” allowing filmmakers to plan a movie in incredibly accurate detail.
“It’s all there in the previs, and it is simply a matter of extracting the information needed,” says Ron Frankel, president of Proof Inc. (September and Charlotte’s Web). “In the context of complex sequence that involves multiple departments and filmmaking techniques—live action, CGI, miniatures, stunts, special effects, etc.—using previs brings an added level of confidence, focus and efficiency to the production, which all translates into less waste and a better product.”
LEARN MORE... By Janet Hetherington for vfxworld.com; Bill Westenhofer, vfx supervisor of The Chronicles of Narnia, finds that previs allows vfx departments to be more precise in pre-production. © Disney Enterprises Inc. and Walden Media Llc. All rights reserved.

Repurposing Animation for the Internet

Bruce Springsteen’s complaint about 57 channels and nothing on has long been out of date by a factor of ten or so — and now that figure seems poised to multiply a hundredfold.
Something is on those channels, though. Broadband delivery, Internet downloads and online streaming are supplementing traditional cable and broadcast (remember them?) television. High-speed Internet connections let cable services, web portals and new media entrepreneurs become content providers in their own right.
LEARN MORE... By Joe Strike for awn.com


Five years ago, if you couldn’t afford to shoot your feature or short film on 16mm or 35mm film, your next option was a low-resolution digital video format. The rise of HD and HDV has changed all of that. The last few years has seen a dramatic increase in the prevalence of feature films being shot in HD. “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” “Collateral,” and the latest “Star Wars” trilogy were all shot using the newest HD technology.
Big-budget filmmakers are certainly not the only ones to catch onto this trend. Indie filmmakers around the world are shooting in HD, and with good reason. HD is less expensive than film. It doesn’t require expensive film development. 1 hour of finished HD footage costs around 100 bucks, while 1 hour of processed 35mm film can cost upwards of $4000. Shooting on HD not only cuts down the budget, but can actually improve the quality of the project because each take is significantly less expensive. This allows the director to experiment with creative shots and gives the actors freedom to improvise within their scripted performances. For that reason, IndieClub President Eric Colley, shot his feature “GPS,” (currently in post-production) in HD, using the Sony F900 Camera. “Shooting HD was a great experience. I love being able to see on the monitor exactly what you are getting. Our script involved action and remote locations. I don’t think we could have managed to get this movie shot on film. The budget and time constraints would have killed us.”
New York City Filmmaker and Local IndieClub Group Leader, Roman Jaquez recently hosted a sold-out HD and HDV Discussion Panel. The panel took place Dec 5th, 2005 at the New York Art Institute and featured the following speakers: Richard Miller, Executive Producer of Guardian Entertainment; Michael Vitti, NYC FCPUG leader; Albert Xavier, President of Belier Entertainment Pictures; Manfred Reiff, a Director of Photography with more than 10 years experience shooting commercials and feature films. The panel was a big success.
HS: It sounds like the panel went very well! Congratulations! What kind of information from the panel did you find most useful for a filmmaker who is considering or planning to shoot on HD or HDV?
RJ: Well, its difficult to answer that question on behalf of any filmmaker, especially the audience who attended which was composed of a very diverse group. The audience ranged from experienced directors, producers, writers, cinematographers, actors, college students and curious individuals; they all had a different take on the industry but one reason in common to be there: to learn about HD and HDV. There was a clear misunderstanding among some of the attendants: they thought HDV was the same as HD but less expensive. That's a myth we busted. I think the most useful information from the panel was the clarification that HDV is not HD. HDV or High Definition Video is a video format that uses lines of resolution of 1080i and 720p and is highly compressed using MPEG2 codec to create a stream that can fit on a DV tape. We can talk about this subject for a long time if we take into consideration the differences in camera, monitor, storage and distribution choices, but in the end, it all comes down to who the filmmaker's audience is and where the finished project will be shown.
HS: I know I’m excited for the release of the new Panasonic AG-HVX200 camera. Shooting HD on a camera that costs less than $10,000 sounds almost too good to be true. Did your panel and attendees discuss this camera?
RJ: The panel talked about the HVX200 especially about the consumer expectation that the camera could stream at 100Mbits/Sec using the P2 cards. We did not cover much on the specifics of the camera but instead talked about the signal handling and how the camera falls under the category prosumer camera along with the JVC's GYHD100, Sony's Z1U and Canon's XLH1 instead of the pro HD category of Sony's HDW-F900 CineAlta, Panasonic's AJ-HDC27 F Varicam, and Grass Valley's Viper FilmStream. I understand that some individuals believe the HVX200 is a step above the other HDV cameras (I am not saying otherwise) but the classification of this camera is in part due to the size of the image sensor 1/3" vs. 2/3".
HS: As a director and a DP of films, commercials, and music videos, what formats have your worked with? Do a prefer working with film or HD and why?
RJ: Because of the reliability of the HD production workflow, its quality and its costs, I'd personally prefer to work shooting with HD rather than film. However, I only have so much say over what the client wants and can afford. For example, at the moment I am in pre-production of two TV spots: one for Melucci Celauro & Sklar a law firm in NYC and the other for The Green Grocer (thegreengrocer.com) an organic grocery store in Upstate, NY, both of these projects will be potentially shot with the DNS-201W which is not HD nor Film but is best suitable to the needs of both of my clients. On the other hand, early this summer I will do a stock shoot for Six Flags and Warner Brother's Looney Tunes in HD, the choice of format was determined by them although there is no final word on what camera will be used.
HS: You currently have a feature in development, “A Weekend with My Father.” Can you tell us a little bit about your plans for this film?
RJ: "A Weekend With My Father" is a Christian film that deals with tough questions targeted to the belief system of Christianity, particularly the controversial belief of Christians that Jesus rose from the dead. I can only talk so much about the project as you would understand but I'll give you a hint: "The Passion Of The Christ" meets "Amore Perros" in 2008.
HS: Thanks, Roman, for taking some time to share with all of our members some information from the HD Panel and your experiences!
By Hallie Shepherd (http://www.indieclub.com/member.asp?id=23508), Including an Interview with Roman R. Jaquez