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Test Footage of the GoPro HERO4 Session

gopro

Today GoPro announced the release of their first brand new camera in nine years: the GoPro HERO4 Session. The reviews trickling in thus far are fairly positive, despite noting the trade offs that accompany a design that is 40% smaller than the current HERO4 line. (For starters, the camera will reorient itself based off a 180 degree axis, but it cannot rotate at a 90 degree angle.) On the plus side, the Session comes waterproof (up to 33 feet) straight out of the box, and has an in-camera microphone that drains as you move from liquid to air. It’s available July 12 for the price tag of $399, and you can check out some GoPro approved test footage above.

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Jazzed: Asif Kapadia’s Amy

Amy Winehouse in Amy Amy Winehouse in Amy

When it came to music, Amy Winehouse forcefully played dual roles, as much master as slave. She had a tough time separating the two. As a young teen in the barely middle-class Southgate section of London, she was under strict instructions from older brother Alex, who constantly played music in his room, never to enter without knocking. Otherwise, she said, “He would throw things at you.” One time, however, she could not stop herself, and stormed in without permission. Dumbfounded, he imagined an emergency. “What’s this?” she asked, pointing to his record player. “It’s Ray Charles,” he answered. “’Unchain My Heart.’” She left his private sanctum and proceeded to play Ray Charles “exclusively” for the next three months. Needless to say,…  Read more

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Christopher Makoto Yogi at the Sundance Directors Lab

Christopher Makoto Yogi on set at the Directors Lab Christopher Makoto Yogi on set at the Directors Lab

Hawai’i-born director Christopher Makoto Yogi is at the Sundance Directors Lab with his feature, I Was a Simple Man. “Like marionettes on a toy stage, the ghosts of Seiichi’s past haunt the countryside in this tale of a Hawai’i family facing the imminent death of their eldest,” is how its described by the Sundance Institute. Below, Yoti describes leaving the Labs and finding quiet time — but missing the experience. Read Part One of Yogi’s diary here. The final night of the Directors and Screenwriters Labs went something like this: fellows, advisors and staff roved up to a mountain house that afforded us a panoramic view of the Stewart Falls waterfall. One by one, each fellow tossed our script into…  Read more

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“We’d Revert Back to the Idea of a Cauliflower”: Debra Granik on Stray Dog

Ron Hall in Stray Dog Ron Hall in Stray Dog

Much more than a companion piece to her Oscar-nominated feature Winter’s Bone, Debra Granik’s Stray Dog sets its sights on a peaceful and welcoming side of Missouri rarely seen in American cinema. Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, a Missouri-bred Vietnam vet and biker, goes above and beyond to help both those in his RV park community and fellow veterans suffering from PTSD. It’s rare to see a film that focuses both on the goodness of the human spirit and the painful, lifelong regrets that it may hold, but Granik allows the layers of the narrative to unfold with a nonjudgmental eye. Patriotic without suffering from American exceptionalism, the film — an entry in last year’s New York FIlm Festival Spotlight on…  Read more

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Livi Newman on Shooting Successful Sex Scenes at the Sundance Directors Lab

Livi Newman directs actress Tashiana Washington as director of photography Dagmar Weaver-Madsen looks on. Livi Newman directs actress Tashiana Washington as director of photography Dagmar Weaver-Madsen looks on.

Olivia Newman is at the Sundance Directors Lab with her feature First Match, the tale of “a teenage girl from Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood [who] decides that joining the all-boys high school wrestling team is the only way back to her estranged father.” She is also eight months pregnant. Below, she writes about shooting sex scenes. Read Part One of her Sundance Diary here. “Shoot every scene like a sex scene and you’ll be wildly successful.” That’s what James Mangold said to me. I was sitting in a circle with the Week Three Creative Advisors who had all just watched the very last scene I shot during the month-long Directors Lab. In it, my main character, Mo, a fifteen year-old girl…  Read more

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To Not Be Crippled by Storytelling: Les Blank’s A Poem is a Naked Person

Leon Russell in A Poem is a Naked Person Leon Russell in A Poem is a Naked Person

Early in Les Blank’s A Poem is a Naked Person, we see a shirtless, bearded man in cutoffs standing in an empty white pool nonchalantly scooping tiny scorpions into a mason jar with a piece of paper. At first, this action is underscored with “Take Me” by George Jones, carried over from the prior scene, which featured Jones playing in musician Leon Russell’s riverside Oklahoma recording studio. As the Jones song winds down we’re treated to the scorpion catcher’s musings on creativity, on how letting children draw on blank walls is sensible parenting, on how he’s made uncomfortable by prefabricated housing where everything is already finished. Once he’s cleared the scorpions, he begins to paint on the pool floor. We…  Read more

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“Just Say No to Poverty Porn”: Maggie Steber on She Does Podcast

Maggie Steber (photo: Elaine Sheldon McMillion) Maggie Steber (photo: Elaine Sheldon McMillion)

Maggie Steber is a prolific documentary photographer who has worked in 65 countries around the world focusing on humanitarian, cultural, and social stories. For over three decades, Maggie has worked in Haiti, an experience that has impacted her emotionally and personally and led to her book “Dancing on Fire.” She has received the Leica Medal of Excellence, and recognition from World Press Photo Foundation, the Overseas Press Club, Pictures of the Year, and the Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri. Her work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, AARP, The Guardian, and Geo Magazine among others, and is featured in the Library of Congress and…  Read more

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Filmmaking

Trending modularity and remote control both evident in VariCam 35 user interface, detached from recording module by cable. Trending modularity and remote control both evident in VariCam 35 user interface, detached from recording module by cable.

Digital Motion Picture Cameras in 2015: The Dust Settles

Have you heard? The United Nations designated 2015 the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies,” and cinematography made the cut. But is IYL 2015 finally the year in which the dam burst of innovation subsides, and new digital cameras and techniques no longer threaten to drown us? Surveying the…  Read more

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Apr 28, 2015

Festivals & Events

Richard Linkater, forefather Richard Linkater, forefather

Chronicle of a Dream Foretold: BAMcinemaFest 2015

“Withdrawing in disgust is not the same as apathy,” comments one of the tenuously overlapping characters in Richard Linklater’s 1991 game-changer Slacker. The word itself, fairly recent at the time of production, is a moniker the speaker fully embraces. The branding may sound tactless, if…  Read more

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on Jun 16, 2015

VOD Picks

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