Thursday, July 21, 2011

A new, collaborative, open source editing platform

I came across this website which presents quite an interesting future revolution in NLEs. Take a look at Novacut Pro Video Editor.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trailer: Another Earth

Trailer for the upcoming movie Another Earth directed by Mike Cahill. Reviews applauded it being a truly compelling film. Out in July 2011. Premiered at Sundance Festival 2011.

On the night of the discovery of a duplicate planet in the solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident. -

Check the trailer below:

Sundance Interview:

Featurette - Meet the Artists:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Trailer: Biutiful

The lastest film by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Biutiful starring Javier Bardem. This film, like the characters and locations, is characterized by opposing elements that create conflicts both outside and within the main characters. Unlike Iñárritu's previous film, all of which included multiple narratives and span across countries, this film is centred around one single character in one single city, Barcelona.

Have a look at its trailer:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Trailer: Le Quattro Volte

"L'uomo e':

1) un minerale
2) un vegetale
3) un animale
4) un essere razionale

Abbiamo in noi 4 vite distinte...e quindi.."

A documentary by Italian director, Michelangelo Frammartino.

Trailer: Poetry

Trailer for South Korean drama film Poetry directed by Lee Chang-dong.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Trailer: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

From the director of Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog, a spell-binding documentary about reconnecting with our past.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Art of the Title

An interesting montage of how the titles of films evolved in time.

A Brief History of Title Design from Ian Albinson on Vimeo. includes an array of film and tv title design from all around the world in order to honour the creative artists behind the titles which we are so familiar with and we've seen over and over again in a matter of minutes (or seconds) in our favourite films.

Click here to visit the official site.

Walter Murch says...

"Film editing is now something almost everyone can do at a simple level and enjoy it, but to take it to a higher level requires the same dedication and persistence that any art form does."

Walter Murch, ACE
- Film Editor & Sound Designer

2 time Oscar Winner:
  1. - The English Patient (Best Film Editing - 1997)
  2. - Apocalypse Now (Best Sound - 1980)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cartoon Movie, Lyon 2011

A very interesting forum that took place in Lyon, France, between the 2-4 March that brought together 700 professionals in the animated feature field. It is very interesting to note that it took place in the very place where cinema was born.

Official Poster of the Event. Designed by Jean-Loup Felicioli.

Presently, Euronews is featuring the event on its Lifestyle section. Watch the feature online here.

Visit the official site here.

Here are some videos (trailer & extract) of already produced animated features:

Chico & Rita
by Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal & Tono Errando

Une vie de chat | Extrait 1 | Au cinéma le 15... by Folimage
A Cat in Paris
by Alain Gagnol & Jean-Loup Felicioli

To view the entire list of selected projects, click here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Science of the Movies: Motion Control

Yesterday's Science of the Movies episode on Discovery Science Channel, tackled the subject of Motion Control, and host Nar Williams, with his unique take on things, explored how this works in various situations.

Motion Control is described as ways of how you could bring your camera undercontrol with the ability to repeat the same movements precisely through the use of a computer.


Meet Milo...the super robo-cam.  Here is how Milo can perform the same movements (zoom, track, dolly, rotate on its axis...) and actions (including focusing) in the same way precisely every time.  All Milo needs is one faithful controller.

Here is a video tutorial on the industry's leading software used for Motion Control, Flair by MRMC:

Here is a showreel made entirely of Motion Control footage:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sergei Eisenstein says...

"The most important thing is to have the vision. The next is to grasp and hold it. [...] You must hold and fix it in your memory and senses. And you must do it at once."

- Sergei Eisenstein
Soviet Filmmaker
(from Film Form, p. 261)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Trailer: I'm Here

Ordinary is no place to be.

Another work of art by Spike Jonze, director of Where The Wild Things Are.

I'm Here Trailer from We Love You So on Vimeo.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Trailer: Nostalgia for the Light

A seemingly interesting documentary which I'm sure is worth a view. From what I have read, parting from the vastness of the universe, the documentary turns its focus "in an opposing and inward" point of view.

Visit Official Site

Friday, February 25, 2011

Good editing is NOT invisible

Since D.W. Griffith, classical film editing has followed suit his style of invisible editing, where editors were trained in hiding edits behind techniques like the Match Cut and Cutting on Action. Now, we meet Dr Karen Pearlman who argues that good editing is NOT invisible in the following clip. Personally, I believe that like a piece of clothing can't exist without seams, the same a film can't exist without editing. Even if there are no cuts at all, the story and story structure are the elements that move the story forward and a source of motivation for each cut (or choosing of not cutting at all). What do you think?

This video clip was retrieved from this site

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Documentary: Don't text while driving

This morning, during one of my lectures, a student of mine presented to this class this short documentary he came across. What struck me mostly about this, about the structure of it, is how it was treated. The message is so clear and subliminal but very powerful at the same time. Who would guess that the senders of information are AT&T?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Short Film: Bro

A touching short film about a teenager coming in terms with his brother's disability. I loved it for its simplicity and the how the director managed to exert such powerful acting from the main actors. You could say, you can almost be walking in the main character's shoes. Worth a watch!

Directed by Chris Dundon.

Watch now on BBC film network

Thursday, December 30, 2010

William A. Fraker says...

"If you want to take 1 class to learn about the cinema, I'd say you should take 1 year of film editing. Editing is extremely important; that's how I started."

- William A. Fraker, ASC (1923–2010)
Cinematographer of Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Kino International

Kino International was founded in 1977 as a theatrical distribution company specializing in classics and foreign language art films. Here is a selection of classical films you can find and purchase on this site:

Check out its site here

Trailer: I Am

Now this documentary is a perfect example of how a starting point of a documentary not always leads to an intended conclusion. From the director of Bruce Almighty, The Nutty Professor and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Tom Shadyac, he offers something quite different than what this director usually offers: a documentary that has a very positive outlook about us. Check the trailer out:

Click here to visit official site

Trailer: The King's Speech

Something to look forward to next year. Directed by Tom Hooper and featuring three of my favourite actors: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Steve Martin says...

‎"You know what your problem is - it's that you haven't seen enough movies. All of life's riddles are answered in the movies."

- Steve Martin
Writer, Actor and Producer

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Trailer: The Tree of Life

I think this is going to be another masterpiece by Terrence Malick, director of The New World (2005) and The Thin Red Line (1998). Here is its trailer:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Darren Aronofsky says...

"We used a lot of close-ups. For me, the close-up is one of the great inventions of the 20th century; it allows an audience to sit in a dark room and stare into the eyes of a person who’s emoting without being self-conscious. I’m always about getting close to the actors and feeling their emotions and their presence."

- Darren Aronofsky
Director of Black Swan (2010) and Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fourteen Actors Acting

14 actors under the direction of Solve Sundsbo, acted to form part of a video gallery for the NY Times of classic screen types. Wonderfully shot and presented in black and white, we can see actors like Robert Duvall, Vincent Cassel, Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Natalie Portman, James Franco, Javier Bardem and Tilda Swinton, perform several classical screen types. A palette of short films, this collection is as good as an actor gets when the camera is focusing solely on his/her performance to transmit emotions, rather than a cathartic build up of events.

Click here to view these portraits on their official site

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Science of Sleep

The Science of Sleep struck me in its simple take on the topic, yet the characters are complex and three-dimensional and are the ones that carry the story forward in a very unique way. The way the main character perceives the world is treated in such a unique and playful way, yet his inhibited dreams often tend to toil on his sense of reality.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trailer: Inception

Dreams and the beauty of illusion. I am fascinated by how the world of filmmaking and dreams goes hand in hand - both illusionary in their own unique and sometimes 'common' way.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

À bout de souffle

Wonderful behind the scenes image of "À bout de souffle" or "Breathless" by Jean-Luc Godard.

Notice the equipment used for the dollying...and the director himself is assisting the DOP.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Freddie Francis says...

‎"Before I light a scene, I have to find a reason for it."

- Freddie Francis, BSC
Director of Elephant Man (1980)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Map the Music

When music becomes a source of therapy, greater things can happen. Eleonora Rose Abela questions about the wonderful journey enthusiastic filmmaker and music lover, Samantha Hale, went through to produce her very first film: Map The Music, featuring Imogen Heap, Zoe Keating, Cary Brothers, Rachael Yamagata, Tori Amos and many more...

Q: I can see on your Facebook page that you wrote that you are an "accidental filmmaker". How did this come to happen?

A: Well I never intended to make a film or thought I would wind up behind the camera, but everything just kind of happened after my dad passed. I sincerely wanted to know why music meant so much not only to me but to so many people, so getting a camera and learning how to use it seemed like a good idea at the time. Turns out it was! I used the money I had earned from a Visa commercial as an actor and...did it. I asked tons of questions and surrounded myself with people who were knowledgeable on the technical side of things and just made it up as I went along. I made lots of mistakes along the way, but luckily I had my good friend, Trent Ward, on my side to guide me. He wound up as the editor on the project, but also shot some beautiful footage for me.

Q: How did the idea originate?

A: Music was my way of dealing with the pain I felt when my dad died. I kept going to concerts because it was the only thing that made me feel better. Imogen Heap happened to be on tour at the time, so I just decided to go all out and do the full tour. Honestly I was running away from having to deal with how I was actually feeling at the time - and I know that now - but I genuinely wanted to know why music was helping me so much, and thought talking to other people about it as well would help me figure it out.

Q: You often describe yourself as being a music lover. What does music ACTUALLY mean to you?

A: Everything. I don't think I have ever gone through a day without listening to music in one way or another. It inspires everything I do. Whether its filmmaking, running on the treadmill or sharing a moment with a loved one. Music is always there. Never take that for granted.

Q: Has the course of this journey changed your perception towards music in any way?

A: I feel like I appreciate it even more now. I have been lucky enough to be around some incredible musicians, so I think I have a new understanding of how much love and effort goes into creating it. Especially getting to see so many live shows and sound checks and random improvs that these artists create. Getting to see some of the same songs played in different cities and hearing them change from show to show was one of my favorite parts of being on tour. Its just insane how hard these touring musicians work. Their dedication and passion for their art is so inspiring. Especially Imogen. She is incredible.

Q: It is very clear that this documentary allowed you to meet some of our most beloved artists who some of us, only dream that such a thing could happen. Can you narrate an experience that you've gone through when meeting a particular artist and how this will remain in your memories for ever?

A: Getting to sit down at the piano with Imogen and play an improvised duet together is a memory I will have for the rest of my life. Getting lost in New York with Kate Havnevik. Finally getting Tori Amos in the film. Telling Zoe Keating and Charlotte Martin about the film for the very first time....words can't describe it. But getting to know these incredible artists and realizing that they are not only great artists, but great human beings.

Q: Can you mention any particular show / item that left an impact on you?

A: Every show I went to left an impression on me in different ways. But if I had to pick one - I would say the Imogen show in Virginia Beach. It was about 2 weeks into the tour, and everything became real to me. I realized I was really actually making this film, and that my dad was really actually gone. I cried throughout that entire show. But I needed to. It was good for me.

Q: Can you recall any funny episodes that happened during its production?

A: Oh I had so much fun along the way. Especially with all the Hotel Cafe guys - Cary Brothers, Jim Bianco, Racheal Yamagata...never a dull moment! I think the Hotel Cafe Tour show at The Living Room in New York was so much fun. Everyone was hanging out after the show and laughing and drinking and playing with each other on their songs. Such a fantastic community of artists.

Q: I understand that producing a documentary required a lot of production and post-production challenges. Can you name a few?

A: Oh man. Yes lots of craziness there. But like I said earlier - Trent Ward really saved my ass. He is a wizard at color correction, sound mixing and making sure the story of the film flowed.

Q: How can you describe a typical production day?

A: Well there was really nothing typical about any of the days I was filming. I never knew what to expect. The only thing I planned was getting to the venue a few hours before the show and then just seeing what would happen. Thats the nature of filming a documentary. Its real life so you never know what people are going to you film everything possible just in case magic happens!

Q: How did you go about financing such a project?

A: Initially I used the money I earned from working as an actor on a Visa commercial. Thats how I bought the camera and paid for the Imogen tour. When I got back from that I went back to work waiting tables in between traveling for interviews.

Q: Did you build up a team to produce this documentary? If so, what kind of roles did they have?

A: At first the Map the Music team was just myself and my friend Lisa Tsaur. She was going to be the editor on the film and was more the technical side and I was more the creative side. Unfortunately she was not able to finish the film for family reasons, and my good friend Trent Ward stepped in as editor. He is brilliant and was so supportive and helpful throughout the filming process so I was so lucky to have him as an editor as well. Later I met Zac Nadile at Hello My Name Is Records and Cristina Parker at Noise NY and along with Trent they became my team MTM. Without them I would not have been able to release this film.

Q: How did you decide which artists you wanted to feature, and how did they go about agreeing to participate?

A: I just got really creative in finding ways to directly contact my favorite artists and just asked if I could interview them. Luckily for me my favorite artists are also wonderful people. I went up to them after shows or send blind emails hoping they would respond. And they did.

Q: What about the rights for the music you used?

A: The artists who are on their own label were kind enough to let me use their work in my film, and the artists on bigger labels helped me contact the right people with whom I could secure the rights.

Q: I understand that a lot of promotion was required about this film. How did this come about?

A: So far its all word of mouth, and people hearing that their favorite artists are in the film who then buy it. Social media like Facebook has been incredibly helpful. I am just hoping that the word gets out amongst some great music magazines and such so people will start writing about it. Still working on that!

Q: OK, so now that your documentary was ready, how are you distributing it?

A: I licensed it through an incredible indie label here in LA. Because it was a music themed documentary they decided to take a chance on it, and I am so grateful that they did. The owner of the label, Zac Nadile, is one of the most incredible people I have ever met - let alone had the pleasure of working with. He gets it. He truly gets what this film is about. I am just so lucky that our paths crossed.

Q: What did you do after all your hard work has paid off, and the long-awaited release day had arrived?

A: I went to the beach. Thats where I go to feel close to my dad.

Q: I understand you embarked on such a quest for healing purposes. How did this journey actually help you grow?

A: Well it gave me the beautiful distraction from the sadness that I needed to have until I was ready to deal with losing my dad - who was my rock. It allowed me to stay strong and turn something tragic into something beautiful.

Q: Any plans for another project?

A: I would absolutely love to make another film. I can't really get going with anything new until I feel I have done everything possible to get Map the Music out there...which could be a while. But I absolutely would love to do this all over with a new group of musicians or actors or any kind of artists.

Q: One final quote you've used as a mantra during this journey:

A: "Take risks."

Q: Anything else you'd like to add...

A: "What does music mean to you?" Thats what its all about.

For further information about the film:
The DVD is available at
You can also connect with Samantha on Facebook at

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trailer: Black Swan

I have a feeling this is going to be a great film! Directed by Darren Aronofsky