Director Guy Maddin Summons The Souls Of Lost Films With ‘Seances’

on Friday, May. 27th

Not that long ago I accidentally found myself at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Storyscapes event. It was a happy fluke of scheduling: I’d hoped to go for years, but it was never in the cards. Without even realizing it I booked my first real vacation in two years to New York City during the exact dates of the festival, and while there a friend who was working on one of the projects invited me up to see the work and meet the filmmakers behind it.

The work in question is an interactive film piece produced by the National Film Board of Canada called Seances. The core filmmaker in question is arthouse hero Guy Maddin (Brand Upon The Brain, Saddest Music In The World). This being Storyscapes the project wasn’t a straightforward film, but a kind of interactive mad scientist experiment in the art of “lost movies.”

Seances is a film art installation that somewhat randomly generates a new film for each audience that views it. Never to be seen again. (more…)

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Devolver Digital Makes A Different Kind of Leap From Games to Films

on Tuesday, Apr. 9th

Indie games and indie movies are proving to have a lot more in common than the label “indie”. While game creators take a cue from filmmakers in finding their artistic voice, filmmakers can stand to learn a thing or two from how the independent video game scene operates as a business.

Case in point: Devolver Digital.

The Austin based video game publisher is the distributor of indie darlings Hotline Miami and Luftrausers. In Hollywood terms these games are underground, sleeper hits that build up word of mouth over weeks and months. A process which becomes supercharged thanks to social media.

Devolver Digital have turned its attention towards the mess that is online film distribution. A decision driven by cofounder Mike Wilson’s experiences with trying to release a feature by way of Video On Demand (VOD).


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Crowdfunding 201: A New Model From Seed & Spark

on Wednesday, Jan. 30th

It’s a familiar scene to many filmmakers: they budget out their film, calling in favors left and right, then they launch their crowdfunding campaign and someone sends them an email that says, “Hey, I don’t have any money to give, but I’d love to help.” Invariably, that help can lower the budget. Maybe they have a location you can use for free. Or extra lenses they can loan you. Or they can edit the film for you. Suddenly, you don’t need $X.

Only, you still do.

Kickstarter doesn’t care that you suddenly found an editor that can knock a chunk off your budget. The target goal won’t change.

Enter Seed & Spark, a (very) new entrant in the crowdfunding space. I met up with them at Sundance, via mutual friends. (more…)

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Promotional Image courtesy of the Sundance Institute.

Sundance Preview: It’s Getting Crowd(fund)ed In Here

on Friday, Jan. 18th

To the surprise of absolutely no one, crowdfunding has become a major part of the scene in Park City. Last year, the Kickstarter party filled a rather large venue to capacity almost instantly, forcing them to turn away hundreds of people at the door. And, oh yeah, a bunch of films made noise in the festivals themselves, including Keith Miller’s Welcome to Pine Hill, which won the Grand Jury Award at Slamdance.

This year is no different. The Park City landscape is littered with films, and I’ll be there to sort as much of it out for you as I can. But first, we sent out a survey to a number of filmmakers about their campaigns. Think of it as a preview of coming attractions. Some got back to us. Some didn’t. Some we’re hoping to catch up with on the ground. We culled some of the best bits for this piece.

But if you’re going to Park City or you’re staying home and watching from afar, here’s a few films to keep an eye on, made possible (as they say on PBS) by people like you.


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on Thursday, Dec. 13th

Last week we told you about the Kickstarter campaign that the Los Angeles cinematheque known as The Cinefamily are running to upgrade their theatre.

Now whether you’re in the LA area or not there’s a reason to sit up and take notice of the campaign this weekend, because the theatre is putting on a star-studded, webcast telethon starting Saturday which you can watch from the comfort of your laptop.

But how big are the stars?

Try Robert Downey Jr. for starters.


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Goin’ To The Movies: AFI Fest Starts Tonight

on Thursday, Nov. 1st

Is it for the simple reason that the American Film Institute’s AFI Fest Presented By Audi* is in my backyard that it winds up being my favorite film festival of the year? Is it the fact that by being so close to the Awards season they get to host major premieres? Or could it be that by being at the end of the year’s cycle of films they get to cherry pick from all the other festivals to create an awesome program slate which they then offer up to the public for free.

Of course it’s all those things.

But you don’t care about that. You just care about movies, so here’s what I’m psyched to see at this year’s AFI, as always it’s a hodge-podge of genre, indie, and foreign films that have caught my eye… (more…)

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Crowdfunding 201: Asian Bad Guys

on Sunday, Oct. 7th

First, a pitch video:

I really like this pitch video. It moves quickly (only 2:18 long). It’s funny. It has a guy with a pretty awesome mustache. And it gets the point across.

The campaign is a Staff Pick, which according to a study by Ethan Mollick, means that 89% of the time it’ll hit the goal. It even got to that magic number of 20% relatively quickly.

And yet, it’s struggling to even hit the half-way point with a week left. What gives?

I reached out to Stephen Dypiangco (the one without the mustache) over email to ask him some questions. (more…)

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One Way Forward: AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women

Amanda Mae Meyncke on Wednesday, Aug. 29th

This week film journalist and filmmaker Amanda Mae Meyncke takes a look at the uphill battle women directors face in Hollywood through the lens of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women and her own personal experience. In the second of three parts, Meyncke takes a closer look at the history of the DWW. [Read the first part of this series here.]

When the AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) was founded in 1974, it was the only program of its kind, founded with the intention of supporting women directors and helping them move towards directing major feature films, correcting the imbalance of power that existed in Hollywood. Well, it’s thirty eight years later, and where are we now?

Men continue to dominate the field of filmmaking, while women and other traditionally marginalized groups such as homosexuals and people of color find themselves on the outside looking in. (more…)

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Long Way Left To Go: Women Directors Face Uphill Battle in Hollywood

Amanda Mae Meyncke on Tuesday, Aug. 28th

toms cheap sale
hogan donne 2014

This week film journalist and filmmaker Amanda Mae Meyncke takes a look at the uphill battle women directors face in Hollywood through the lens of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women and her own personal experience. First up: the DWW through the eyes of one of its current participants.

Women directors make up less than 10% of all working directors in Hollywood, and the AFI Directing Workshop for Women has been doing its steady best to change that number. Since the program’s inception in Los Angeles in 1974, there’s been plenty of famous faces in the ranks, and a high percentage of the alumna have moved on to directing features, television shows and creating their own singular works.

Lauren Ludwig is the prime example of a women director who doesn’t take no for an answer, and makes things happen without waiting for the perfect moment. One of the eight women chosen to undertake the AFI Directing Workshop for Women this year, she’s an accomplished playwright, radio and theatre director as well as a writing coach who has won numerous awards for her theatrical work. Her short film Burns Brightly, created during the workshop, finished production this summer. We recently caught up with Ludwig to catch a glimpse of what the program was like on the inside.

The question of why there are so few female directors working in Hollywood is a complicated one, and Ludwig believes that the problem begins for many female directors in film school when more forceful, and often male, voices are rewarded with attention, while women may be afraid of speaking up, or discouraged. She acknowledges that the problem is a systemic one and that there is no clear-cut solution to getting women into positions of authority within the industry.

“Women need to be told they are storytellers and encouraged to tell those stories,” said Ludwig.


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Best of: The Indie Film Landscape

on Tuesday, Jul. 3rd

We’re taking a little well earned R&R this week, but we’re still thinking about you, loyal reader. So we’ve gathered some of our favorite posts from the past year into these handy-dandy Best of Turnstyle News pages. One for every day this week.

From Sundance to SXSW to the LA Film Festival, this has been an exciting year for independent film. Here’s a few of our favorite pieces and movie reviews from the year so far.

REVIEW: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Five Things We Learned At Sundance

‘Mosquito y Mari’ Director Defies All Convention

The Road to Sundance and Beyond– Indie Game: The Movie

Is SXSW Film Festival The Best Fest?

Bindlestiffs: A Raunchy Teen Comedy Made by Teens

Hacktavisim in the Spotlight: An Interview with the Documentarians Behind ‘We Are Legion’

Elizabeth Olsen, Star of ‘Silent House’ is an Actor’s Actor

REVIEW: The Iran Job

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To Build The VR Education of Tomorrow One Scholar Turns To The Past

There are plenty of folks in the education technology field who are excited about virtual reality as the next great educational tool.



We’re Closer To Our Photorealistic VR Future Than You’d Think (INTERVIEW)

A look into the virtual world of tomorrow with USC researcher Paul Debevec.


Prepare Yourselves For The Personal VR Video Revolution

Virtual Reality is rapidly approaching a watershed moment.

Ralph Echemendia

Spoiler Alert: Hollywood Isn’t Taking Cyber Security Seriously (LA Film Fest)

Tonight at the Los Angeles Film Festival, squeezed in between movies and red carpet events, a symposium on Cyber Security is being held at the Grammy Museum.

Gumroad Rentals H

Rent Video Straight From Social Media Via Gumroad

The people who brought the “Buy Now” button to Twitter are going all-in on film distribution.