NFNY | Annual 9/11 Program

Standard

NF 9/11 Program | Photo from Wikipedia

Every year  before launching their fall series, NewFilmmakers New York hosts their annual 9/11 Film Program which features films and videos produced in memorial to the victims of the horrendous attacks on the cities of New York and Washington. This year NFNY featured a number of innovative and highly emotional works by some of the most talented filmmakers I’ve seen come through there (to date). Three of those filmmakers are featured in a new video featurette released today, that will put the 9/11 Program into the spotlight.

Alex Quade | HORSE SOLDIERS OF 9/11   Award winning filmmaker Alex Quade shows us the war America was fighting in Afghanistan before America even knew we were fighting a war there, in her documentary film Horse Soldiers of 9/11. Before US sent tanks, fighters and other 21st century technology to weed out the terrorist threat, they sent in the Green Berets, Special Forces, CIA Operatives and so forth – all riding horseback through the mountainous terrain, to get a hand up on the terrorist threat. The film ended up winning Alex the Edward R. Murrow Journalism Award. Congrats Alex!

Amy SternAmy Stern | THE LADY WHO MISSED HER TRAIN   Amy Stern directs a thought provoking documentary, The Lady Who Missed Her Train, on a woman who missed her Metro North train into the city on September 11th because of a dispute over a cup of coffee. This dispute ended up saving her life, because had she made her train she would have wound up a victim of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks. We’re taken back to the coffee shop, the Scarsdale train platform where she was left waiting and we have a one on one talking head style interview with her as she reflects back on that fateful day.

Jennifer GarganoJennifer Gargano | 8:46   I first became aware of Jennifer Gargano‘s film 8:46 at the 2012 Manhattan Film Festival, which I also participated in as a filmmaker. Unfortunately, for circumstances beyond my control, I had missed the screening there but was ecstatic when I found out it had also been programmed at NewFilmmakers for the 9/11 Program. The movie explores the daily life of various “regular” people the day before the terrorist attacks and a few of them on the day of. It includes a recreation of the events of September 11th from various points of view and is a fitting tribute to the people who’s lives were changed, or lost, on 9/11.

Check out the featurette with filmmaker interviews and clips from their films right here:

Direct link URL: http://youtu.be/21D1QiBtk08

-E

Filmmaker Profiles: Christiane Hitzemann & Joe Pera

Standard

Christiane HitzemannIncluded here are two filmmaker profiles for NewFilmmakers New York. These are the last of the profiles to go up for NF in 2012.

The first is Christiane Hitzemann who talks about her film ONE BEDROOM and the second is Joe Pera who takes about his film THE KNIGHTS OF DEATH METAL.  Both movies are extremely well written and entertaining.  I hope to see more of their work in the future.  Enjoy the interviews!

Filmmaker Profile: Christiane Hitzemann

Direct Link URL: http://youtu.be/Ni189EYKhfI

Filmmaker Profile: Joe Pera

Direct Link URL: http://youtu.be/J6uOOvJSZHI

Matt Harrison on MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD

Standard
My Little Hollywood

My Little Hollywood

Guest Writer: Matthew Harrison (dir) MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD starring Shawn Andrews & Tiprin Mandalay

Editor’s Note: Matt recently had the North American Premiere of his film MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD at NewFilmmakers New York’s Fall Series. Film Anthropology asked Matt to write a paragraph about what he learned about his film from the west coast screening the film. Here’s what he had to say:

Last week, following up the triumphant New York premiere at New Filmmakers, Tiprin and I screened our film MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD to a packed house in Fotokem’s plush 38-seat Theater 2 in Burbank, California. Invitations to this private screening were focused primarily on filmmakers, tastemakers, creative friends and other ne’er do-wells. Much like our first few screenings, we learned a few new things about our film.

Here is a short list of Thing We Learned from our Los Angeles screening:

1) People like the free wine we serve before the film.

2) If we play the film too loud, the audience can’t hear each other laugh. While watching MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD, people really need to hear each other laughing so laughter can build.

3) The film’s visual grit matches the gritty reality of the characters’ struggles to break into Hollywood.

We have some future LA and NYC screenings in the works. Keep up with the film by visiting: http://www.filmcrash.com and continue to follow Film Anthropology.

Filmmaker Q&A: Clarke Mayer | FEED A

Standard

Feed A One SheetFilm Anthropology (FA): What was the seed that originally inspired you to make FEED A?

Clarke Mayer (CM): I think “Feed A” came together as a result of a few factors.  I became a freelance cinematographer in the event business as soon as I got out of college.  I was living in this (beautiful) home with my family and I wanted to make a horror/sci-fi film very badly.  I had become a fan of the found footage genre because I could relate to it.  I understood it from being in that business.  I think a lot of people (filmmakers and critics included) write off found footage as an illegitimate style or genre, but I feel it has a strong sense of realism and it can make you forget that you are watching narrative fiction when it’s done right. I was definitely inspired by films like “Poughkeepsie Tapes” and “Rec” and most definitely “The Blair Witch Project.” I felt like I needed to do a found footage film, even if only a short, and probably just to get it out of my system.  So I decided to send the family out to Atlantic City for a weekend and shoot this film in 48 hours over two 12-hour nights.  One thing I knew was that if I was going to make a found footage film, it was going to be loud, harsh, in your face, and terrifying.  I also loved monster movies growing up, so this was the perfect match.

FA: Talk about your production process, what was the timeline of your film from concept to production and through completion.

Feed A Movie Still

CM:  I work with a filmmaking collective called “Killer Goose Films.”  We have been together since college.  When one of us has a project we bring it before the group and give it the green light ourselves. What is great is the immediate support and enthusiasm from the group because they are not just my crew or team, they are my friends.  After 9 months of set-building, creature design, effects tests, casting, etc., we shot “Feed A” over two nights in three locations.  I started working on a handful of feature films right after I shot “Feed A” and unfortunately I can say it took a back seat for while, which sucked because I really wanted it finished.  Finally, about six months ago, when my schedule finally cleared up, I worked nonstop to get EVERYTHING done for “Feed A.”  When I was set, I did a KickStarter campaign to raise money for festivals and successfully raised about $1600. It was very important to me that “Feed A” be watched loud, in the dark, in a theater.  Currently we have been accepted and/or screened at 12 film festivals in the U.S.

FA: How did you achieve your high produciton value, specifically in the following areas: police involvement, realistic SWAT uniforms & weapons – all seemed very real. Additional areas: sci-fi elements, the monster, the lab in th ebasement etc.

Feed A Movie Still 2

CM:  I will get to the budgeting for the S.W.A.T. gear and basement, but first I would just like to point out that my actors killed it.  These guys were able to nail these 2-3 minute takes without cutting, flawlessly, complete with all the intense blocking of running from 7-foot-tall creatures that want to kill you.  They are the reason “Feed A” works.  I had to make sure that they felt the part though.  I bought authentic and replica S.W.A.T. equipment and weapons from the Internet (I’m sure there is a red flag somewhere in government computers with my name on it after this film) so that they felt exactly like the characters they were portraying.  Let’s be honest: it’s kind of cool to be dressed head-to-toe in S.W.A.T. gear.  The creature (believe it or not) was actually one of the cheaper things to build in the film.  That was designed by Andrew Pattison from original sketches I had made (they are terrible compared to what Andrew made).  The basement – and I don’t like to spoil too much here, because if you are reading this, you should probably be watching “Feed A,” – was a matter of buying a lot of clay.  When you see the final sequence of the film, you will understand.  For nine months, there was a giant hole in my basement floor.  Jenn Moy and Shawn Reber designed one hell of a set piece on a shoestring budget, the icing on the cake being the “Infinity Mirror” that was used to simulate an endless doorway.

FA: Where has the film screened? Are there any screenings coming up? What sort of reception are you getting at the festivals?

CM: The film has screened at “The Arizona Underground Film Festival,” “Pollygrind” in Las Vegas and “The Charlotte Horror Film Festival” among others.  We were nominated for “Best Action Sequence” and “Best Sound Design” at “The Action on Film Festival” in Monrovia, CA.  We didn’t win, but it was honor to be nominated, there were A LOT of shorts screening there.

FA: What were some of the challenges you faced in getting your film into the festival circuit?

CM:  I think the challenge of getting the films out into the festival circuit for me personally has been getting out to see them myself.  I have only been able to see “Feed A” on the big screen twice, and it has already screened about eight or nine times I believe.  Bummer!

FA: What projects are you working on now?

CM:  Right now, I am working on quite a few projects.  Freelancing gives me time to do a lot of cool stuff, both paid and pro bono.  I just finished DP’ing a feature film called “Heaven is Now” directed by Audrey Lorea and I am not going to start rambling here but all I can say is, SERIOUSLY, look out for this one.  I also recently shot director Gabe Rodriguez‘s “Havana in Bushwick” which was a lot of fun.  I work on a satirical web series called “The Eco-Terrordacyls” which keeps me laughing and sane. I am also helping out with a couple documentaries about boxers with “Feed A” executive producer Dale DeVino and anything related to music I can get my hands on.  Mostly, I have a camera in my hands.  I love cinematography, but I also write and edit.  Killer Goose and I also love doing the New York 48 Hour Film Festival.

URL LINKS:

Killer Goose Films:     www.killergoosefilms.com

“Heaven is Now” directed by Audrey Lorea:   https://www.facebook.com/heavenisnowfilm

The Eco-Terrordactyls:    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheEcoTerrorDactyls

Filmmaker Profile: Matthew Harrison & Tiprin Mandalay

Standard

Matthew Harrison & Tiprin Mandalay

Los Angeles based filmmakers Matthew Harrison and Tiprin Mandalay ventured out to Staten Island to talk with me about their film MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD which recently had its North American premiere at NewFilmmakers New York. Matthew is an NYC native and got his start making Super 8mm films. He has won numerous awards including a Jury Recognition for Directing at the Sundance Film Festival.

MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD was shot in 1996 on 8mm analog videotape in the style of Reality TV, before Reality TV came into existence. It stars Shawn Andrews (Dazed & Confused) and Tiprin Mandalay. Recently Matthew, with the help of Tiprin, rediscovered the footage and edited it into this unqiue feature film.

More on Matthew Harrison and his work at: http://www.filmcrash.com/

Direct Link URL:  http://youtu.be/KFINplo0VCE 

Filmmaker Profile: Sarah Singh

Standard

I had the opportunity to interview filmmaker Sarah Singh about her film THE SKY BELOW which explores the history of the partition of the subcontinent (India) which essentially created Pakistan and how this event has influenced the region and is directly and indirectly responsible for much of happenings that go on there to this very day. The film is very fascinating. You can purchase a copy of the full version at her website: http://www.sarahsingh.com/?page_id=26

Direct Link URL: http://youtu.be/sMuoaX1-qOc

Filmmaker Profile: Michael Rader

Standard

Man Vs UltramanMichael Rader is an artist in Brooklyn, who it turns out, has made a few experimental films. The most recent is MAN VERSUS ULTRAMAN, which I was introduced to by the 2012 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival.   In the main lobby of the festival where filmmakers had their movie posters up, Michael had his poster and the special thing about it was that he painted it himself and brought the canvas in and hung it up. Not a copy, not a Photoshopped Kinkos printed run off – but the actual painting. Right away I thought WOW – I have to include this guy in my profile series!

MAN VERSUS ULTRAMAN screened at the AOBFF on the one night I couldn’t actually make it to the festival so, as is common with films and filmmakers that intrigue me, I went ahead and looked for it on the NewFilmmakers WithoutABox submissions list – low and behold it was there. Around the same time I was keying it into the Fall program, I got an e-mail from the director of the festival – a forward from Michael, asking that the film be placed in the same program I had just listed it in.  What are the odds?

Now we have here, Michael’s Filmmaker Profile, filmed on location at his studio in Brooklyn, to promote his upcoming NewFilmmakers screening of MAN VERSUS ULTRAMAN. During the filming of the profile I found out that he had screened with us before, a Chaplin inspired film. Here is the story of both of those projects with clips from MAN VERSUS ULTRMAN. If you can make the 6PM program on Monday October 8th, , head on over to the Anthology Film Archives and join us!

Direct Link: http://youtu.be/uTUVM6Quqtk

Artwork from MAN VS ULTRAMAN will be on display at CHRISTOPHER HENRY GALLERY

November 8th through December 9th 2012.

LIPSTICK LIES – Premiere Stills

Standard

LIPSTICK LIES at last premiered last night at the Anthology Film Archives as part of the NewFilmmakers New York screening series and one of the opening films of FallFest 2012.

Here are a few stills from the screening event. More can be viewed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/newfilmmakersny/sets/72157631691093680/with/8053829354/