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Filmmaker Junction And Hype Host Westside VFX Panel

Filmmaker Junction and Hype join forces to host an evening of Visual Effects for indie filmmakers. The panel will feature VFX Supervisors, Mark Youngren (Star Trek, The Last Airbender, Transformers), Dan Schmit (Soul Surfer, A Single Man, The Runaways) and Matthew Merkovich (Date Night, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Minority Report) discussing the emerging trend of visual effects software in indie film. The first hour will be in the format of a moderated panel hosted by Andrew Zinnes, and the second hour will be individual roundtables with one of the experts on each table where attendees can sit down and ask their own questions.

The event will take place at The Working Village (

) in Santa Monica next month, on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 (7PM-9PM).

No longer just limited to big Hollywood pictures, indie films are successfully integrating visual effects into their lower budget productions. As industry veterans, the panelists will share their expertise on how to create these high quality visual effects at a limited cost. Through a wide range of topics including software packages and effective Green screen shooting the panel will uncover the secrets of indie VFX filmmaking.

To purchase tickets or for additional information on the VFX panel, please visit:

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011 7-9PM
Location: The Working Village, 212 Marine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90405
Cost: $20 (walk-ins $25)

About the Speakers:
Mark Youngren (Splice):

Splice VFX Supervisor/FLAME Artist Mark Youngren pioneered leading-edge visual effects and concepts for over 10 years for such commercial clients as Target, BMW, Volvo, Coca-Cola, Mattel, General Mills, and Best Buy, before he segued his extensive experience into a position in the Inferno/Sabre department at ILM. His 20-year background in motion control, animation, lighting and effects combined with on-set supervisory experience allowed him a unique ability to create stunning and complex visual effects. Prior to his work at ILM, Mark held positions at Fischer Edit, Tele-Edit, and Lamb & Co. Mark is a graduate of Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), with an emphasis in Film. Youngren’s recent move to SPLICE is a return to his creative roots in Minneapolis, as well as the opportunity to collaborate closely with clients again and create visual effects for a diversity of projects.

Dan Schmit (Engine Room):

Founder and owner of Engine Room, Dan Schmit graduated from Cal-Arts in 1989 with a focus on directing experimental animation, motion control and optical compositing. After 13 years in the industry, he started Engine Room in 2001 as a hybrid studio that bridges the service areas of post visual effects, live action and motion graphic design. As creative director, Dan oversees the myriad of post projects undertaken by ER and was VFX Supe on recent features Soul Surfer, A Single Man and The Runaways. Following Dan’s varied career path ER crosses many industry boundaries with a strong presence in television as the sole provider of digital effects for The Mentalist, Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and many other episodics. Together, the studio has produced the VFX for over 40 Disney Channel Original Movies and hundreds of films, television and new media projects. As a Cinematographer, Dan heads Engine Room’s unique DP-driven production company, which regularly shoots special projects for film major studios, networks and commercial clients. He lives in Silver Lake with his wife and kids.

Matthew Merkovich:

Matthew Merkovich made his first movie over thirty years ago when he was nine years old. All he had was a few pounds of clay and a super 8 camera, but with that he created a prehistoric adventure with fighting dinosaurs decades before Jurassic Park. For the last fifteen years he has worked in TV and film, on big summer blockbusters to small indie films. He is an Emmy nominated member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. He’s worked on Babylon 5, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and more recently the hit show The Closer, Saving Grace and Leverage, produced by Dean Devlin. In the feature film arena you might recognize the analysis room scenes from Minority Report where Tom Cruise searches through clues of future murders, the helicopter battle scenes from Black Hawk Down and much of the open water adventure Master and Commander. Most recently he has been collecting awards and recognition for his own short films on the festival circuit while also collaborating with other directors and producers to bring their stories to the screen.

About Filmmaker Junction:

We are filmmakers and the creators and authors of The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook series, a series of filmmaking guide books that have sold over 150,000 copies worldwide. It has always been the spirit of all of us here at Guerilla Film Maker to share with others the experiences that we have gone through as filmmakers ourselves and to ask industry professionals and other filmmakers to continue that sharing experience. Up to now that has been with our books and workshops in London, but now based in Los Angeles, we hope to provide the same level of accessibility.

About Hype:

Hype is an entertainment communications agency that provides brand-strategic writing, publicity and marketing services to a diverse roster of clients in the feature film, television, commercial, music video, and music industries. Opened as a counterpoint to larger agencies servicing the talents behind the scenes, our boutique agency features an extremely hands-on approach to clients and a working methodology that positions Hype as a resource to members of the media.