Throughout her career, Alison Murray has excelled in the filmic exploration of subculture. Her films, both docs and a narrative feature, burrow deep inside groups situated outside of mainstream culture and capture not only their social dynamics but also the very human stories contained within them. Her first doc, Train on the Brain, looked at the teenage culture of “train jumpers.” Her feature Mouth to Mouth starred Ellen Page in a story of a teenager who runs away and joins a European youth cult. And now her latest, Carny, which premieres this week at Hot Docs, finds Murray on the […]
In Variety, Mike Jones has the very big news that SXSW festival director Matt Dentler will be leaving the fest to join John Sloss’s Cinetic Media, where he will run the marketing and program operations of Cinetic Digital Rights Management. And in an equally notable development, Janet Pierson, who has worked as a producer’s rep with her husband John, has been named as the new producer of the annual Austin-based film festival. From Variety: SXSW Film co-founder Louis Black said: “Saying that Janet will hit the ground running as head of SXSW Film is truly an understatement considering her knowledge […]
I wrote about a couple of this year’s Sundance docs earlier on the blog: Josh Tickell’s Audience Award-winning Fields of Fuel, and Patrick Creadon’s IOUSA. I was positive about the first, enjoying Tickell’s breathless narration and ability to cram a huge amount of info on biodiesel, the alternative fuel source, into his feature. And I was less positive about IOUSA, finding its arguments limited by its focus on one particular contingent of deficit hawks. Another thing: Fields of Fuel is quite direct about what its advocating, coming up with an explicit multi-point plan to harness the power of biodiesel to […]
If you’re in America, there’s a big deadline this week — income tax filing on April 15. But there’s another deadline across the border that filmmakers all over should consider as well. You have until April 18 to submit a film to the Mobile Stories “Obsession” contest. Here’s information from the press release: Obsession can lead to a lot of things….even winning $1,000. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and iThentic are pleased to announce the launch of Mobile Stories: Obsessions – six three-minute films in which award-winning filmmakers give their “take” on obsession. Made for online, mobile, and […]
Over at Stream, Jamie Stuart has a nice piece up in which he looks at the three most important Hollywood movies of the year — No Country for Old Men, Zodiac and There Will Be Blood — and discusses the very different ways they went about creating their images. An excerpt: The fact that all three of these pictures used technologies in different a manner is ultimately irrelevant to the fact that they are all stories told with pictures, regardless of the chosen workflow. While they may be aesthetically different, each approach is completely legitimate. One similarity between them is […]
In Variety, Anne Thompson reports on “post-studio stress disorder” in a remarkably frank piece about the tough job of producing, especially for those studio castaways who are now trying to downside their operations to fit the current economic climate. Here are three graphs: Arguably hardest hit are producers who grew up on big-studio largess and now find the gravy train has moved on without them. Producers and directors once accustomed to pitching a project at a studio and getting easy development money are stymied. Now they need to build muscles and an arsenal of skills they never exercised at the […]
Our friends (well, we don’t know them, but we like to think of them as friends) at Pitchfork, the best music website, have launched their online music channel, Pitchfork.tv. Today, they have a choice offering; the brilliant Chris Cunningham video for Aphex Twin’s “Come to Daddy.” And here’s what the site launched with on Monday: Radiohead performing “Bangers and Mash” in producer Nigel Godrich’s home studio.
Eugene Hernandez at Indiewire has the scoop on some rebranding at the IFP. The IFP Market has been rechristened Independent Film Week. The works-in-progress section will now be called the Project Forum. And, the event, which takes place September 14 – 19, will move to F.I.T. in Chelsea. No word on whether Tim Gunn will be moderating any of the filmmaker workshops. IFP Executive Director Michelle Byrd is quoted in Eugene’s piece: “In the film industry, the word ‘Market’ suggests business transactions, but IFP’s commitment to filmmakers and their projects extends long beyond the six days of Independent Film Week,” […]
Dade Hayes in Variety reports on the big news coming out of the NYC Governor’s Office: the state is tripling it’s 10% tax credit for below-the-line production costs, taking it to 30%. The State Legislature approved the bill, and now it awaits Governor Patterson’s signature. Add in the New York City rebate and you wind up with 35% against below-the-line costs associated with shooting in New York. The increased rebate is designed to make New York more competitive with Massachusetts and Connecticut, both of which have large rebate programs. Just as significant is a change made to the structure of […]
Just a quick reminder if you were planning to submit your project to the IFP Rough Cut Lab, which I’ll be mentoring this year with Gretchen McGowan. The deadline is tomorrow, Friday, April 11. You can read more about the program here, along with info on submitting your project. If selected, you’ll join some very good company. Past Rough Cut Lab films include two big films on this year’s fest circuit, Jennifer Phang’s Gen Art Grand Prize winning Half Life and Tom Quinn’s Slamdance Grand Prize-winning The New Year’s Parade.