How was your holiday? Your New Year's? What did you do?
I spent New Year's Eve at a friend's bar. It was the opening night. My partner had tried to make a film with him and needed a principal location. We found this house, it was amazing, and the director fell in love with it. The film hasn't been made yet, but the director wound up buying the place, turning the ground floor into a pretty amazing bar space. So, New Year's Eve was with him and the cast of a film that is now a bar. Full circle. It was nice.
I was talking to a friend the other day about a documentary project we are making together. The project has an amazing subject, great source material, but it doesn't fit easily into the documentary boxes of the moment. And it has some structural challenges. We started talking about online documentaries and transmedia -- projects like Prison Valley, Alma, A Tale of Violence and Welcome to Pine Point and realized that the project might be a better online documentary than a film. Thinking about it that way, its structural problems vanished, and I think it might be more fundable too. I thought also about what Mark Harris is doing with his The Lost Children. If you haven't checked out his posts on our site, click here now.
Such lateral thinking is also what I meant when I started my "More New Year's Resolutions" post this year with, "Stop Making Films." Okay, I didn't mean everyone stop. If you read closely, you'll see that what I'm urging is for you to consider other forms for your work instead of or perhaps in addition to the feature. And if the feature format is your love and that's how your brain is wired, great. Go for it. The magazine is called Filmmaker, after all.
There is other New Year's-related material on the site. My less-cranky "New Year's Resolutions for Filmmakers" from 2011 is always a good read. Michael Murie did "The Year in Cameras" that gives you all you need to know about the big developments in 2012. And Brandon Harris posts a personal 2012 "10 Best" in the form of a memoir.
I hope your New Year started out well, and that you have a fresh perspective on all your projects. See you next week.Best,
P.S. We have an iPad edition.
Upcoming at IFP
American Independents in Berlin
For the second year IFP and Sundance Institute's joint initiative "American Independents in Berlin" will take place at European Film Market during the 2013 Berlinale. Presented in generous collaboration with the Berlin International Film Festival and the European Film Market, the initiative provides support services to American filmmakers, companies and organizations at our EFM stand, as well as showcases 40+ films through our "IFP Selects" and "Sundance Institute at EFM" Market Screenings, with the objective of highlighting new American work to buyers, distributors and festival programmers. The "American Independents in Berlin" stand at the Martin-Gropius-Bau also serves as a hub and "home office" to U.S. industry and filmmakers in Berlin, providing a fully-staffed business space perfect for meetings and networking opportunities. IFP is now accepting registrations for the stand from U.S. festivals, sales companies, and production companies who will be attending Berlin and in need of such a home base at the EFM. The "IFP Selects" showcase at the EFM will be announced later in January. For more information click here.
New In Theaters
56 Up is the latest installment in Michael Apted's acclaimed Up series. Beginning in 1964 with Seven Up!, the documentary set was initially based on the Jesuit premise of: "Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man." Well, now the children are all grown up and settled into middle age, comfortably or not. Populated with ample stock footage from the previous installments, 56 Up gives a nice view into the breadth of change in the fourteen participants and reveals how they feel about what they've become and how they have been portrayed. Apted, meanwhile, has seen his series turn from a political bent of class immobility studies into an examination of human nature.
Texas Chainsaw 3D
Texas Chainsaw 3D picks up where Tobe Hooper's 1974 original left off. The townsfolk of Newt, TX decide to burn down the farm of the demented Sawyer family for their part in numerous murders, including the tool-centric escapades of Leatherface that provide the franchise's foundation. The homicidal clan is presumed dead with the exception of infant Heather, who is put up for adoption. Years later, Heather is informed of her adoption and an inheritance left for her by her biological grandmother, which she and her friends travel to pick up, unaware that Leatherface is lying in wait. Texas Chainsaw 3D is the seventh film of the franchise and is sure to provide slasher-fans with plenty of eye-popping gore.
A Dark Truth
Damian Lee's A Dark Truth is a environmental thriller set against the backdrop of Earth's depleting natural resources. Andy Garcia plays a CIA operative-turned-political talk show host, who is hired by a corporate whistleblower to expose the cover-up of a South American massacre. The tension escalates with the military crackdown wrought upon a group of protesters led by Eva Longoria and Forrest Whitaker.
This Week on FilmmakerThis week on the blog, Michael Murie takes a look at RED's Dragon Sensor, Brandon Harris examines 2012, Lance Weiler unpacks Twine (pictured left), and Scott Macaulay delves into "More New Year's Resolutions of Filmmakers" of the past year.
To read more, click here.
Newest Web Article
Chris Sullivan on his animated feature, Consuming SpiritsBy Lauren Wissot
I first became aware of Chris Sullivan's epic experimental animation Consuming Spirits while trolling the Tribeca Film Festival website, searching for cutting-edge work that might play well in the wild southwest. (I served as the director of programming for the 2012 edition of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.) Needless to say, Sullivan's painstakingly handcrafted, novelistic tale of darkly intersecting lives at a small town newspaper - one that eschews any hint of flashy Disney for highly detailed Cassavetes - turned out to be both a must-see and a must-get for me. So I was pleased to recently have the opportunity to chat more deeply with Sullivan, who fresh off his NYC Film Forum premiere spoke with Filmmaker about everything from bringing experimental theater to animation, to academia's cultural hegemony, to never sacrificing cooking for art.
Festival DeadlinesBoston International Film Festival
Late Extended Deadline: January 4
Festival Dates: April 12 - 21
Sarasota Film Festival
Regular Deadline: January 4
Late Deadline: January 11
Festival Dates: April 5 - 14
Seattle International Film Festival
Final Submission Deadline: January 7
FutureWave Submission Deadline: March 1
Festival Dates: May 16 - June 9