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Sarv Kreindler's blog

Werner Herzog to Lead Rogue Film School Seminar, August 22-25, L.A.

Werner Herzog will be leading what is sure to be an entertaining and informative 4-day seminar he calls Rogue Film School, August 22-25 in Los Angeles.

Herzog writes on the seminar's website, "The Rogue Film School is not for the faint-hearted; it is for those who have travelled on foot, who have worked as bouncers in sex clubs or as wardens in a lunatic assignment, for those who are willing to learn about lockpicking or forging shooting permits in countries not favoring their projects. In short: for those who have a sense of poetry. For those who are pilgrims. For those who can tell a story to four year old children and hold their attention. For those who have a fire burning within. For those who have a dream."

Applicants must fill out a form and submit a short film they've directed. Applications are accepted from now through June 13th, and all will be reviewed personally by Herzog. If accepted, the cost of the seminar is $1500.

Ushering in a New Era of Creative Documentary Filmmaking

In the same way that Truman Capote's In Cold Blood ushered in a new form of literary non-fiction, Elisabeth Donnelly of Flavorwire makes a case for a new genre of documentary, which liberally uses reenactments and other filmmaking tricks to tell its factual story.

She writes, "This playfulness with form has made the genre of documentary livelier, and the results have been good for the 'artistry' of the form — after all, many of the best documentaries of the year are the sort of stories that stick with an audience and are made to linger. There’s something to be said for that kind of art. But maybe it’s time for documentary film to officially enter its creative nonfiction phase, with a new, silly catch-all term that shows the lack of boundaries within something as seemingly solid as the truth."

The Independent Film Industry Needs to Switch Focus to Quality Not Quantity

In the past year, the state of the independent film industry has been wildly debated with experts like The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis bemoaning the saturation of the market, producer Ted Hope lamenting the unviability of making a living as an indie filmmaker, and The New Yorker’s Tim Wu contradicting Dargis by claiming that great talent can only be found when there are many indie films being made.

Examining Banksy's Instagram Account

The Creators Project examines Banksy's purported Instagram account, which has been updated frequently with short videos.

They write, "We can't say for sure if this is Banksy's personal account, but it's certainly interesting. Maybe Banksy is experimenting with video now--or, more likely, maybe he's just having fun with the app and winking at his new followers?"

Read the full story here.

Best of Recent Documentaries

Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan picks his best documentaries of 2013 and even what to look forward to in 2014.

He writes, "Proofs of the remarkable strength of documentaries in this day and age are manifold right around now. If you were fortunate enough to go to last month's Sundance, for instance, a prime nonfiction showcase that this year screened some 40 documentaries from around the world, you got a peek at the best of what 2014 will offer."

Read the full story here.

Video Art From Around the World

The Huffington Post lists some of their favorite video art exhibits from around the world, writing, "As the appreciation for Video Art as a genre rises, venues, festivals and programs around the world have formed in an effort to push its visibility and celebrate the art form in both the art world and public realm. The Video Art community is now international, with support between artists and organizations helping to boost the genre into the spotlight. From New York to Moscow, we've collected some of the world's best programs bringing exciting video art to venues around the world, and all open to the public."

Read the full story here.

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Apps for iPhone Journalism

Glen Mulcahy of News Shooter gathers together an extensive list of his favorite apps and accessories to augment mobile journalism.

He writes, "Is the iPhone, or any mobile device a suitable replacement for an ENG crew? In short: NO. But it can offer another content creation method and with a few cheap accessories it can create high quality stories, particularly in the hands of skilled journalists. News and the way it is consumed is changing rapidly – social media is a direct competitor for online news sites and both are slowly cannibalising the market share for linear over-the-air broadcasts."

Read the full story here.

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Using Kickstarter as a Distribution Platform

Instead of using Kickstarter as a way to crowdfund their independent film, the filmmakers behind The Projectionist: A Warrior Reduced to a Shadow have used the site as a way to promote dsitribution.

Says director Ryan M. Kennedy, ""The contributions that are received get them an instant incentive. The moment they contribute to our campaign, we send an HD download file and a link to stream the film. Most people like instant gratification and they want the payoff."

Read the full story here on Indiewire.

A Look at the Users of Vine vs. Instagram

L.J. Williamson of The Los Angeles Times looks at the different forms of creativity that are emerging on Instagram video vs. Vine.

He writes, "Instagram's and Vine's quickie videos, with their wide variations in quality, mirror the low art/high art tensions in the film and television industries, but it's too simplistic to assume that Instagram will always inhabit the high end and Vine the low. Instagram, which attracts more cinematographers than comedians, like a young starlet can sometimes fail to offer much beyond good looks. While Vine, which has a large share of quick-and-dirty wisecracks and sight gags, can often surprise with the amount of ingenuity users stuff into a tight package."

Advice for Documentary Filmmakers: 'Work with Someone You Love'

In an excerpt from the book Tell Me Something: Advice from Documentary Films on Truly Free Film, filmmakers DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus offer this advice, "Work with someone you love. Love what you do. Listen to your partner, but stay true to the voice inside. It’s not always easy, but why easy? Take a deep breath. If you’re lucky, it’ll be the best adventure of your life. And you’ll share it with your love. "

Read the full story here.

Discovery's Science Channel Launches Online Video Hub

Discovery's Science Channel has launched Sci2, an online, curated video hub that will offer short-form videos and live feeds related to science.

Writes VideoInk, "Sci2 works as an on-demand channel, with users having their pick of videos and live feeds to choose from. For instance, the Live Feeds section offers always-on streams focusing on topics such as time-lapse videos, live city cams, NASA archival footage, and slow-motion videos.Videos are compiled and curated by Science Channel and “chief curator” Elise Andrew, the creator of the very popular I F***ing Love Science Facebook page."

Read the full story here.

BitTorrent Is Looking to Revolutionize DIY Distribution

Indiewire explains how BitTorrent is hoping to change its reputation for piracy, by partnering up with filmmakers and content creators in a way that could revolutionize DIY distribution: the BitTorrent Bundle.

Says Matt Mason, BitTorrent VP of Marketing, "One of the key motivations behind bundle product is to help people really understand and get what BitTorrent is. It's a great technology that can really help filmmakers more than it hurts them."

Read the full story here.

VIP Event: Technology Leadership Summit, March 4-5, Ft. Lauderdale

The Technology Leadership Summit is a unique event and a uniquely valuable experience. As a pre-qualified attendee, you will meet and learn from a virtual “who’s who” in the TV technology business. You will have access to THE industry leaders and experts covering THE topics that matter most.

Attendance is limited to ensure a quality peer-to-peer experience. Qualified executives receive a FREE participation package that includes hotel accommodations, meals and networking activities.

 

Panel discussions focus on real-world topics, such as:

• File-based content workflows

• The future of broadcast television

• Multiplatform content distribution

YouTube Creator Philip DeFranco's Tips for Success

Uber-successful YouTube Creator Philip DeFranco stopped by Rhett and Link's Ear Biscuits podcast to discuss his tips for making it on YouTube.

VideoInk gathers the top 4 including, "Take advantage of the front page. The front page of YouTube is curated, so capitalize on that! DeFranco’s spoofs and rants about front page content got him tons of clicks."

Read the full story here.

HBO's Mentorship Program Now Accepting Applications from Diverse Filmmakers

HBO has started a new four-week mentorship program called HBOAccess and is now accepting submissions.

Explains Indiewire, "The intent of the program to 'identify diverse talent, provide development and mentorship, and afford participants opportunity to create short-form content for HBO,' per the premium network's announcement. Filmmakers equipped with knowledge of cameras and scripts (and the ability to be in Los Angeles for the production period in June -- housing and travel are not included) are allowed to submit one narrative directing sample (either a full-length feature, short or webisode)."

Read the full story here.

Behind the Brilliant Text Visualizations of 'Sherlock'

One of the many great things about BBC's Sherlock (airing on PBS in the U.S.), is its clever visualizations of text messages, Internet searches, hashtags and the ilk.

Explains producer Sue Vertue about the genesis of the technique, "It was really as simple as [director] Paul McGuigan not wanting to do close ups of a whole load of phones whilst we read the texts...in a modern-day Sherlock Holmes series, we had to incorporate social media—it would seem weird and old fashioned not to."

Read the full story here on Wired.

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Video Art Pioneer Nam June Paik Influences the Future of the Art Form

The Creators Project examines the life and work of video art pioneer Nam June Paik.

They write, "On January 29th 2006, the digital arts world lost one of its progenitors to complications from a stroke. But the totality of Nam June Paik’s life is such a tour-de-force that immortality once seemed like an achievable feat for the South Korean-born artist. His works prodded, dissected and interrogated the 20th century’s flagship creation: a new intimacy between man and technology. His medium of choice? The television set, along with its implications of a coming future in which communication was predominantly digital and one-way."

Read the full story here.

Chuck Workman Celebrates the Art of Film in Documentary 'What Is Cinema?'

Documentary filmmaker Chuck Workman discusses his criteria for including filmmakers in his love letter to artsy films, What Is Cinema? He says, "I made a rule to myself that it has to stand next to [Robert] Bresson. For people my age, Bresson is like the Alain Resnais or the very strong, more theoretical filmmaker where you have to study his films; somebody that was serious about their filmmaking.”

Read the full story here on Reap Mediazine.

Smartphone Filmmaking Is Set to Explode

Indiewire predicts that 2014 will be the year that smartphone filmmaking goes mainstream.

They write, "Over the last century, each generation of technology revolutionized filmmaking. But with the smartphone filmmaking, the barrier to entry drops to something close to zero.  It's an ultra low-cost medium. It's easy to use. It also offers a sense of immediacy -- you can do away with crew or shoot surreptitiously. It turns anyone into an amateur filmmaker -- but as the smartphone is being adopted by professional filmmakers, it's fostering a new aesthetic."

Read the full story here.

Filmmakers to Follow on Twitter

Filmmaker Jason Brubaker provides a handy list of 20 worthwhile filmmakers to follow on Twitter.

He writes, "Listed in no particular order, these are some of the filmmaker thought leaders who are actively working to create and refine an awesome new filmmaking paradigm."

Read the full story here.

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Why More Filmmakers Aren't Trying Shane Carruth's DIY Distribution Method

Shane Carruth's DIY distribution plan for Upstream Color, which premiered at Sundance last year, seem like the wave of the future. But in an article on Filmmaker Magazine, Scott Macauley delves into why nobody followed in his footsteps after this year's festival.

He writes, "During the festival I asked a number of filmmakers if they had considered emulating Carruth by using Sundance as the launch of their own DIY efforts. They all shook their heads, but their reasons were subtly different."

Read the full story here.

Spike Jonze on Casting Joaquin Phoenix

The Creators Projects picks out some of the choices bits from last week's Spike Jonze AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit.

The Rise (and Backlash) of Crowdfunding

Wired examines the rise of crowdfunding independent films with 2013's high-profile projects like Rob Thomas' Veronica Mars movie, Zab Braff's Wish I Was Here, and Spike Lee's latest venture.

Says Thomas, "There used to be a lot more movies made in the $2 million to $10 million price range, but the economics of the business has studios betting mostly on bigger movies. What we are guinea-pigging is a model that would allow studios the confidence to make smaller movies. If they can be confident the audience is out there and enthusiastic, we might actually see more smaller budget films. That seems like a good thing to me.”

Read the full story here.

 

Film Critics Weigh In on the State of Cinema

Celluloid Junkie weighs in on the trend of major film critics opining on the state of the industry.

What to Expect in Film, Video & TV Tech in 2014

At the rate today's technology is progressing, it's almost impossible to predict what bold, new products we'll be seeing in a year's time. Still, David Shapton of RedShark News tries by giving some insight into where we find ourselves today and (possibly) tomorrow.

He writes, "The white heat of the revolution that we're currently in really will change everything. It's already started. But the current is getting faster and if we don't take drastic measures, we'll get swept away. Does that sound alarmist? Of course it does. But if you're not prepared to think about it, you definitely should be alarmed. The world is changing and it will keep changing, until we can't ignore it."

Read the full story here.

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