Archive for the ‘Broadcast Cinema’ Category

Tequila Avión’s $10,000 video competition challenges Art Center students to induce thirst

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Image from video by finalist, Tatyana Kim

Image from video by finalist, Tatyana Kim

Tequila Avión, in collaboration with the Film Department at Art Center College of Design, has challenged students to create a commercial or viral video for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize. Through this partnership with one of the world’s premiere design schools, Tequila Avión encourages fans to tune in to the Tequila Avión YouTube Channel to vote for their favorite video. In mid-July, Tequila Avión will announce both the winning viral video and winning commercial, rewarding each with $10,000.

To kick-off the competition, Ken Austin, Founder and Chairman of Tequila Avión, visited Art Center College of Design to share the Avión story.  Film and Advertising students were challenged to create a commercial video or viral video inspired by the “World’s Best Tasting Tequila.” Entries were narrowed down to compete for the $10,000 grand prize in each category.

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Warner Bros. President Greg Silverman, Directors Tarsem and Tom Kuntz offer insider tips at Dot Independent Film Festival

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

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Film lovers and film makers from around the world will be celebrated and honored at DIFF LA, the Dot Independent Film Festival of Los Angeles, a student organized gathering on Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on the Art Center College of Design Hillside Campus at 1700 Lida Street in Pasadena. The event is free and open to the public. More than 200 U.S. and international student filmmakers vying for exposure in the celluloid landscape submitted work hoping to be selected to screen and maybe even stand out as an award winner in this 2nd annual festival.

Kicking off the event is Greg Silverman, president, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures and Art Center Trustee. Additional special guests making appearances during the day are film director and Art Center alumnus Tarsem (Immortals, Mirror Mirror, The Fall) and commercial director Tom Kuntz (Old Spice, Skittles, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like).

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‘Stand With Us’: Students find kinship with Homeboy’s gang intervention program

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

This spring term I had the privilege of directing a short film as part of a Designmatters studio hosted by the Graphic Design Department, which was structured in partnership with Homeboy Industries, the country’s most successful gang intervention program.

Addressing Homeboy’s real and ongoing need for fundraising, we put together a video called Stand With Us. It brings together the insights of longtime donors to the organization with the stories of two former gang members, whose lives were transformed for the better at Homeboy.

Homeboy decided to screen Stand With Us on May 3 as an opener for the Lo Maximo Awards, the organization’s annual fundraiser. It was a fabulous night with food and drink, glamorous people (some of whom were tattooed) and lots of hugs, laughs and even some tears. It was a special moment for me as I got to see an eclectic and undoubtedly grateful crowd cherish my work—and the fruits of a successful collaboration between my school and one of LA’s finest institutions.

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Film alum’s Mother’s Day commercial, a finalist in Chevy competition, set to debut Sunday

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Jake Viramontez was busy making documentaries until a contest announcement, sponsored by Chevrolet, calling for spec commercials tying family cars to Mother’s Day inspired him to expand his portfolio into a genre best described as doc-style promotion (aka the heartwarming, triple-hanky TV spot).

He quickly settled on a concept — a dad takes his crying baby out for a joyride in the family Chevy to give mom a moment to rest — derived from his sister’s bout with new-parent fatigue. He then submitted the idea and was picked as a finalist among nearly 300 entries from 34 countries. Now Viramontez’s spot, ‘The Extra Mile,’ will air on Mother’s Day during The Today Show and Good Morning America. “We chose ‘The Extra Mile’ because it’s a beautiful tribute to what Mother’s Day is all about: a day to honor mothers and show appreciation for all of the special things they do every day,” said Paul Edwards, vice president, Chevrolet Marketing at General Motors.

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From muscle machines to dinosaur skulls: Art Center’s March 2014 alumni notes

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

It’s that time of month again. Time, that is, to catch up on the creative undertakings Art Center’s talented diaspora of alums have been plotting, planning, pitching, prototyping, publishing, publicizing, producing and plying. And that’s just the p’s.

Dive into the following digest of alumni accomplishments and works-in-progress. And for those alums among us, be sure to clue us in on your own news and notes for inclusion in our next dispatch. We don’t want to miss anything. This is Art Center, after all. And we’re nothing if not completists.

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From Wong Kar-Wai to Jean-Luc Godard: Art Center’s streaming video collection is a cineaste’s paradise

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

FEAT Brochure.inddBack in the old days the only way to see a film was to wait for it to play in your local theater. If you missed it: Tough luck. You lost your chance. Then home video – videotapes, laserdiscs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs — came along and changed all that.

This advent seemed to make film viewing much more convenient. Or did it? Sometimes the movie you want is checked out. To borrow a DVD from the library, you still have to leave the house and go someplace. And then there’s always the risk that the disc might be scratched. It’s enough to drive a person crazy.

Well, all of that is about to change. It’s time to say goodbye to those hassles now that the Art Center library has just acquired a massive streaming video subscription called Alexander Street Video! This collection currently contains 26,000 videos. All of the films have been shown at major festivals and thousands are award winners. The collection includes films by many of the world’s leading contemporary directors, including Michael Haneke, Wong Kar-Wai, Andrei Zvyagintsev, Koji Wakamatsu and Jean-Luc Godard.

Some of the most interesting films hail from Asia. The Art Community will have access to work by acclaimed Chinese director Xie Fei (Black Snow; Woman from the Lake of Scented Souls; A Mongolian Tale), Iranian new-wave director Dariush Mehrjui (The Cycle; The Lodgers; Mum’s Guest) and leading Indonesian director Garin Nugroho (And the Moon Dances; A Poet; Bird Man Tale).

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Oscar-nominated VFX whiz explains what makes an award-worthy special effect

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
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Film instructor and alumnus Dan Bartolucci is in demand as an Autodesk Flame® artist and VFX editor.

With the Oscars just days away, we decided to chat with Film instructor and alumnus Dan Bartolucci who, as a member of the Lola Visual Effects team, is Academy Award nominated for best visual effects for Lone Ranger. Visual effects tends to be one of the more mysterious and mystifying categories, capable of stealing the spoils of a perfectly predicted Oscar pool from the savviest of movie buffs. With that in mind, we sought answers from the ultimate insider. Bartolucci is an esteemed Autodesk Flame® artist and VFX editor who remains very dedicated to his alma mater, where he currently teaches two classes. He can’t reveal the title of his current project but we’ll be sure to find out and let you know when it’s available for public consumption.

Immediately after completing Art Center’s undergraduate film program in 2010, Bartolucci ignited a VFX career that’s been soaring ever since. He has conjured many memorable feats of special effects magic, including shrinking Chris Evans in Captain America, aging the lead actors at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and emaciating Bella in Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.

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Rock ‘n’ roll soldier conquers Art Center…and Hollywood

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
Sam Gonzalez

Samuel Gonzalez Jr. Photo by Lindzee Meltzer.

“There is no true terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it.” — Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock’s wisdom provided the inspiration for the concept of “CATASTROPHE,” a month-long exhibition of elaborately staged, large-scale, dark-toned photos created by undergraduate Film alum Samuel Gonzalez Jr. opening today (Jan. 28) at the ArcLight Theaters in Hollywood.

The 30 photographs on display in the theater lobby through March 28 juxtapose surrealist images illustrating the turmoil of the human condition against period landscapes, all the while alluding to humanity’s relationship to the artificiality of a heightened cinematic experience. The psychological narrative animating the photos informs the show’s subtextual ideas about the collision between film and reality. Gonzalez’ eerie pieces blend beauty with horror, love with betrayal and truth with despair, suggesting an open world of endless interpretations and possibilities.

Gonzalez has gained an intimate understanding of this particular confluence of ideas, after spending much of his life creatively interpreting the world around him to create new opportunities for himself. As a young Army recruit stationed in Iraq, Gonzalez’ deployed a creative outlet to offset the stress of combat by starting a rock band called Madison Avenue (after the ironically named path on which his barracks were built). That experience paved the way (financially) for him to attend Art Center’s film department and has since provided the inspiration for the mini-series he’s currently developing with one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers.

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Fall 2013 Graduation Week: So many faces going so many places!

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

This Saturday, following years of all-nighters, critiques, finals, internships and hopefully some fun, 153 Art Center students will graduate. As that day approaches, we take time to celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world and, as is custom at our Fall Graduation, we also honor alumni who have already paved the way. Here’s the lowdown for the week.

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Thursday, December 12: Graduation Show Preview
Industry leaders, employers, corporate partners, donors and alumni get the first look at the Fall term’s graduating artists and designers at the invitation-only Graduation Show Preview. This event, hosted by Alumni Relations to welcome new graduates into the community, gives our graduating students an opportunity to network with potential employers and fellow alumni. The show features student projects from major fields of study at Art Center, including Advertising, Entertainment Design, Environmental Design, Film, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Imaging, Product Design, Transportation Design, Graduate Film and Graduate Industrial Design.

Graduation Show Preview will be held at Hillside Campus from 6 to 9:30 p.m., with a private reception immediately following.

Friday, December 13: MDP Work-In-Progress Show
Media Design Practices is holding a work-in-progress show from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Wind Tunnel Gallery at South Campus (950 South Raymond). The MDP/Lab track will be presenting thesis work in progress from their Ciphertexts & Cryptoblob inquiry and the MDP/Field track with be featuring projects from Kampala, Uganda.

Saturday December 14: Graduation
Join us in the Sculpture Garden at Hillside Campus from 4 to 6 p.m. for our graduation ceremony. At the ceremony, we will honor three of our alumni who will be presented with Alumni Awards. This year, all the awardees received degrees in Product Design. Gordon Bruce will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, Stan Kong will receive the award for Outstanding Achievement and Spencer Nikosey will receive the Young Alumni Innovator Award.

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My most memorable film: Billy Weber on ‘Days of Heaven’

Friday, October 25th, 2013
Richard Gere and Brooke Adams in "Days of Heaven"  Photo by Bruno Engler. Paramount Pictures/Photofest

Richard Gere and Brooke Adams in “Days of Heaven”
Photo by Bruno Engler. Paramount Pictures/Photofest

The following piece about Art Center Film faculty member, Billy Weber, was originally published in the September-October 2013 issue of Editors Guild Magazine

Terrence Malick’s “Days of Heaven” (1978) was, and remains, a riveting film. From the opening montage of period stills accompanied by Saint-Saens’ musical suite, “The Carnival of the Animals” to the final shot of young Linda Manz’s character skipping off into an unknown future, the film has an emotional, almost hypnotic, pull that never lets up.

The editing is such that practically every cut brings a new flood of information, in an elliptical style in which image and naturalistic sounds take precedence over dialogue. And yet, despite the lack of normal storytelling convention, the film packs an emotional wallop unlike very many movies in history. Released 35 years ago this September through Paramount Pictures, “Days of Heaven” introduced a new style of storytelling to the American cinema, albeit one that has not been widely imitated.

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