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10 Tips on Shooting Low-Budget Movies, and 10 Tips on Producing and Financing, both from SXSW. And then there are 10 Tips on Pitching from the IFP's Script to Screen conference this weekend. I feel a little guilty about this because, if you read books about Internet promotion and copywriting, this is exactly what you're supposed to do: organize materials into lists. Make bullet points. Structure articles into how-to's with quick, identifiable takeaways. This is because it's pretty much a fact that articles with numbers in their titles attract more readers than articles without. So if I'm guilty, it's only because I'm following the mainstream advice and thinking about SEO rather than finding some way to reinvent festival coverage.If you've read our website, you've noticed lots of lists.
Having said that, I can see the utility of this approach, both for you, the readers, and me, the writer. (I wrote the two out of SXSW.) Once you decide that you're going to boil things down into bullet points, you more intently look for them. Sentences that might have glossed by me, spoken in the context of larger discussions, suddenly achieved greater resonance. If I had decided to summarize those panels later without the list concept in my mind, I probably would have glossed over half the things I chose to highlight.
More importantly, though, perhaps the list format is the best one because it's the one most suited to the ways these panels are organized. The moderators probably had ten questions, and each of the participants probably jotted down bullet points of a few things they wanted to say. Maybe to cover a conference differently, the conference itself would be different. Here's my idea: you sign up for a screenwriting workshop, one that promises lots of industry experts. You show up, and a person takes your coat and leads you to the conference room... which turns out to be small locked cubicle with a desk, refrigerator, pad/paper/computer, restroom, cot and no internet. And a timelock that lets you out 48 hours later.
Not as ascetic as this is something happening this week in Paris. "Submarine: A Motionless 48 Hour Voyage" is a weekend happening created by Arte Cinema's Michel Reilhac. It's described like this: "Shut yourself up with seventy other people cut off from any temporal reference points for two days and two nights at La Gaite Lyrique in an out-of-the-norm, out-of-time experience." For 75 euros, you surrender your smart phones, watches and clocks, enter the museum, and allow the programming, which includes film screenings, to wash over you... or not. When I spoke with Reilhac last month, he stressed that you could do whatever you want - be social and meet your fellow participants, or hole yourself off. Sleep when you want. Eat when you want. Treat the disruption of your everyday routine, or your bodily cycles, as a spark for your own creativity. For Reilhac, who has been at the forefront of French transmedia production, this kind of '60s-inspired participatory art experience, where media is just one part of the fabric, is the next frontier in expanding our notion of the 21st century media experience. Perhaps it's the next frontier too of panel and industry events, where the audience/expert division is broken in creative new ways. To be continued...
See you next week.
NEW YORK INDIES COME TO THE WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER'S WINTER GARDEN The NYC Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment and IFP will showcase the best of "Made in NY" films with a curated two-night screening series featuring Constance Marks' Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey on March 27 at 7:30pm and Whit Stillman's Metropolitan on March 28 at 7:30pm. Being Elmo, winner of a Special Jury Award at Sundance 2011 and an Audience Award nominee for a 2011 Gotham Award, gives an inspirational, inside look at Kevin Clash, the creator behind the icon beloved by children of all ages. Clash displayed his creativity and talent at a young age and following his dreams, ultimately found a home in New York on Sesame Street. Preceding the upcoming release of Whit Stillman's new feature, Damsels in Distress, the Metropolitan screening salutes one of the great New York independent films of the 1990s. Writer-director Stillman's surprise Oscar-nominated hit is a sparkling comedic chronicle of a middle-class young man's romantic misadventures among New York City's debutante society. Part of Spotlight on Independent Film, the free screenings are presented by Arts Brookfield and sponsored by RBC Capital Markets. No RSVP is required. For more information, click here. here.
Hammer to Nail Review
The Raid: Redemption
4:44 Last Day on Earth
The Deep Blue Sea
An Interview with The Announcement director Nelson George
New York Indies Come to the World Financial Center's Winter Garden
4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH By Michael Nordine
A number of recent films have collectively suggested that the more global, or even cosmic, the crisis, the more intimate the response. This was done most recently in Perfect Sense but also last summer's Another Earth and, to a lesser extent, The Tree of Life, about which it might be more accurate to say that the cosmic is crafted from the intimate. (Melancholia breaks from this trend somewhat, and its cold remove is part of what makes it so disconcerting a film.) This art-house apocalypse continues in Abel Ferrara's 4:44 Last Day on Earth, one of whose touchstones is a close-up on two lovers' bodies as they sleep together: this, the longtime writer-director says repeatedly, is how we console ourselves in times of crisis. And yet, as a viewing experience, what comfort this lavishly titled, austerely shot film brings is mostly cold. Its largely confined setting of a single New York City apartment restricts our knowledge to that of the characters; there's no omniscience to be found from either within or without.read more THE RAID: REDEMPTION Gareth Evans' much buzzed action film The Raid: Redemption focuses on Rama (Iko Uwais), a rookie cop whose task force is assigned on a mission to raid a tenement building inhabited by a criminal regime. When their cover is blown, all hell breaks loose and the men must fight for their lives to escape. On the festival circuit, Evans' film has received accolades for its impressive fight choreography. 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH What would the end of humanity look like in New York City? In Abel Ferrara's 4:44 Last Day on Earth, it's just another day of TV watching, internet surfing and take-out Chinese. As the clock ticks down, an artist couple (Willem Dafoe and Shannon Leigh) take stock of themselves, and, in a scene that is worth the price of admission, Dafoe's character considers whether to break his vow of sobriety. The film also stars Natasha Lyonne, Paz de la Huerta and Paul Hipp. THE DEEP BLUE SEA Adapted from the famous stage play, Terence Davies' The Deep Blue Sea tells the story of Hester (Rachel Weisz), a passionate woman who has grown tired of her dull marriage to a British judge. Her world turns upside down when she meets a tortured soul named Freddie and engages in a tumultuous love affair with him. The film also stars Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russell Beale. This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay shares Jamie Stuart's new short Both Ends, Nick Dawson shares his Top Ten Screenwriting Tips from Script to Screen (pictured left), and Dan Schoenbrun discusses his SXSW Memories.
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AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT DIRECTOR NELSON GEORGE By Alix Lambert
I sat down today with my old friend Nelson George to ask about his recent and past projects. We discussed his newly finished film The Announcement, about Magic Johnson 20 years after he made the announcement that he has the HIV virus. And then we worked backwards and discussed Good Hair, Life Support, and George's path from journalist to filmmaker. read more
Melbourne International Film Festival
Late Deadline: March 22
Festival Dates: August 2 - 19
Burbank International Film Festival
Late Deadline: March 25
Second Late Deadline: May 25
WAB Deadline: June 15
Festival Dates: September 5 - 9
New Orleans Film Festival
Regular Deadline: March 30
Late Deadline: May 4
WAB Deadline: June 4
Festival Dates: October 12 - 18