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I'm writing this in mine, and my desk is a mess, so perhaps that's why I responded so much to Zach Wigon's piece, "This is Where You Work: Braden King's Office." My office is not built to inspire, but, as Wigon reveals, King's is. On its walls are posters, clippings, printed-out emails and other things designed to inspire King while he's working on his films, like Here, which opens in New York tomorrow. "... I've always put stuff up on the walls," King says in the piece. "In some ways, it's a kind of processing - it's like a physical version of Tumblr, where you're grabbing little things you like and organizing, synthesizing. In another sense, whether it's literal notes of something to do or a piece of art or a quote, they're reminders - reminders of inspirations or feelings or moments."
I guess I also find the piece interesting because it's something of a throwback to a time when you had to have an office to work. Now, you can work anywhere. ("You worked off your laptop before there were even laptops," a colleague once said to me.) There may not be a wall to tack your inspirations on. Your inspirations might then be digital ones, like a playlist or a screensaver. Or maybe they're human, like the good energy from your local barista. Or maybe just a walk around the block with your headphones in your pocket, the randomness of city noise acting as a creative catalyst. But wherever you do the mental work of creation, you should keep your mentors and their admonitions near. Two of King's are Winston Churchill (his quote, "If you think you're going through hell, keep going") and Andrei Tarkovsky: "Juxtaposing a person with an environment that is boundless, collating him with a countless number of people passing by close to him and far away, relating a person to the whole world, that is cinema."
Read the rest of King's at the link. And if you want to take a picture of your own workspace and write about how it feeds your creativity, I'd love to run it on the blog. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Switching gears, there are two IFP deadlines coming up producers and filmmakers should take note of. The No Borders Co-production Market for narrative projects is May 4. U.S.-based producers with partial financing on new, feature-length scripts seeking funders, partners, sales agents, and additional financiers are eligible to apply. On May 4 too is the deadline for Emerging Narrative, an IFP program "focused on exposing emerging writers and writer/directors to producers, executives, and agents who can help take their projects - and careers - to the next level."
Now I'll go back to what I was doing before jotting this newsletter - writing up an interview I just conducted with one of our 25 New Faces, Andrew Allen. Along with his partners at FiftyThree, Allen just launched an app, Paper, that made the Apple App Store's "App of the Week" and has been downloaded 1.5 million times in the last 14 days. We talk about app development, story, and balancing a career in tech with being a filmmaker. Look for it in the next day or two.
See you next week.
ENVISION: ADDRESSING GLOBAL ISSUES THROUGH DOCUMENTARIES, APRIL 16TH AND 17TH This year's edition - ENVISION 2012: Stories for a Sustainable Future will focus on developing a better global future building on three key issues: just and sustainable cities, clean water and green energy. The conference, a unique partnership between IFP, the United Nations Department of Public Information and the Ford Foundation, was founded on the shared belief that storytelling and documentary film can be powerful tools in building a better future for all people. Highlights of the program include an Opening Night screening of Jessica Yu's Last Call at the Oasis; keynote addresses by Don Cheadle, Academy Award-nominated actor and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme, and Alexandra Cousteau, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and Founder of Blue Legacy; conversations with filmmakers Lixin Fan (Last Train Home); Rachel Grady (Detropia); Brandon Litman and Kyle Ruddick (One Day on Earth), and special performances by Bernice Johnson Reagon and Michael Franti. Conversations with representatives from Participant Media, UN-Habitat, World Wildlife Foundation, Google Earth, Development Seed, Music for Relief, Samasource and others will also be included. Scott Tong, Sustainability Correspondent for Marketplace, American Public Media, will serve as host for the program of Tuesday April 17th, which will be streamed live at www.envisionfilm.org. More on the program here.
Hammer to Nail Review
The Cabin in the Woods
Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope
A Conversation with "Cabin in the Woods" director Drew Goddard
ENVISION: Addressing Global Issues through Documentaries, April 16th & 17th
POST MORTEM By Michael Tully
There is such a thing as pitch black comedy, and then there is the work of Chilean director Pablo Larrain, whose warped sense of humor deserves its own adjective. Tar black, maybe? With his latest two films, Larraín has returned to his country's unpleasant recent past to try to make sense of what transpired. In Tony Manero, the Pinochet era had been wreaking havoc on Chile for five years, while in Post Mortem, they've only just begun. But rather than bluntly condemning the Pinochet regime, Larrain has other mischievous tricks up his sleeve. The resulting works defy easy genre categorization and confirm Larrain's status as one of world cinema's most jarringly distinct voices. read more THE CABIN IN THE WOODS In director Drew Goddard and co-writer/producer Joss Whedon's highly anticipated The Cabin in the Woods, five high school friends go to a remote cabin where horrors of a less than predictable kind await them. Originally shot in 2009, the film's release was delayed due to its former distributor MGM going bankrupt. Fortunately, the public finally gets to see what critics and festivalgoers are calling a wildly entertaining revitalization of the horror genre. HERE Braden King's Here focuses on Will (Ben Foster), an American mapmaker who travels to Armenia to do a survey of the country and encounters an expatriate photographer named Gadarine (Lubna Azabal). On a whim, the two decide to take a trip together and engage in an intense love affair. Shot on location in Armenia, the film debuted at Sundance 2011 and has gone on to be honored at several subsequent festivals. MONSIEUR LAZHAR In Phillipe Falardeu's Monsieur Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant named Bachir (Mohamed Fellag) is hired at an elementary school after the tragic death of a former teacher. Unbeknownst to his grieving students, Bachir is recovering from a tragedy of his own. A critically acclaimed drama about loss and hope, Monsieur Lazhar was nominated for Best Foreign Film at this year's Oscars and won Best Canadian Feature Film at Toronto International Film Festival 2011. COMIC CON EPISODE IV: A FAN'S HOPE Morgan Spurlock's latest documentary Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope is a behind-the-scene's portrait of the biggest and most popular comic book convention in the world, San Diego Comic Con. Featuring interviews with Kevin Smith, Eli Roth, Seth Rogen and Stan Lee. among others, Spurlock's documentary is sure to be an entertaining treat for the geek in all of us. This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay discusses Laurel Nakadate's Wolf Knife (pictured left), and announces the new head of The Jerusalem Film Center, and Michael Murie discusses Sony's NEX-FS700.
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A CONVERSATION WITH "CABIN IN THE WOODS" DIRECTOR DREW GODDARD By Dan Schoenbrun
They say you have to know the rules to break them. And Drew Goddard is a man very familiar with how to write for genre, collaborating over the last decade with some of the biggest names in American horror and sci-fi. In 2008 Goddard penned the screenplay to J.J. Abram's found-footage monster movie Cloverfield, and before that he served as a series writer on television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, and Alias. So it should come as no surprise that his directorial debut, Cabin in the Woods, not only pays homage to the genre tropes implied in the film's title, but expertly subverts them as well. read more
Tallgrass International Film Festival
Earlybird Deadline: April 13
Regular Deadline: June 29
Late Deadline: July 13
WAB Deadline: July 20
Festival Dates: October 18 - 21
Santa Fe Film Festival
Earlybird Deadline: April 13
Regular Deadline: May 11
Late Deadline: July 13
WAB Deadline: August 31
Festival Dates: December 6 - 9
Malibu International Film Festival
Second Extra Deadline: April 15
Third Extra Deadline: May 15
WAB Deadline: June 15
Festival Dates: August 4 - 10