Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Big in France…and beyond: Two-time Cannes Lions award winner Sebastian Leda conquers the Hispanic commercial market

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Still from "Robocop"

Still from “Robocop”

To be embraced by the notoriously finicky French is a badge of distinction for any artist. Just ask Jerry Lewis. Or Mickey Rourke. Or Charles Bukowski. Or for that matter, Sebastian Leda (00 Film), who won his second award at Cannes Lions this past May for a commercial entitled “Robocop.”

What separates Leda from the legions of directors and producers who have exited the festival with statuettes in hand is that Leda and his longtime creative collaborator, Francisco D’Amorim, are the only winners to have received prizes for spots targeted at the Hispanic market. Both “Robocop,” which took home this year’s Silver Lion award, and “Crying,” which garnered the Gold Lion at the 2010 festival, represent the kind of high production value commercials tailored to Latino audiences defining all the work produced by Dos Ex Maquina, the company Leda formed with D’Amorim shortly after graduating from Art Center.

Cannes Film Festival voters are far from alone in recognizing the value and vast reach built into Leda and D’Amorim’s business plan. The duo has been thriving both critically and commercially ever since they made the fortuitous (or prescient) decision to distinguish themselves from LA’s mob of young, hungry directors by catering to an under-served and rapidly growing viewership.

In the Q&A below, Leda gamely agreed share a few ingredients in the special sauce that’s given him a competitive advantage in the world’s most competitive (and lucrative) industry.

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June 2014 alumni news and notes

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

From The New York Times to Esquire, from Cannes to the Venice Biennale — Art Center alums have been busy making, making headlines and making their talents known within some of the world’s most prestigious events, platforms and publications. In addition to this primer on their accomplishments, we’re also inviting the Art Center alumni community to nominate candidates for this year’s Art Center Alumni Awards. Read on to learn more.

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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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Media Design Practices alum delivers TED talk on memes as the ‘street art of our social web’

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
An Xiao Mina examines "The Meaning of Memes" on the 2013 TEDGlobal stage.

An Xiao Mina examines “The Meaning of Memes” on the 2013 TEDGlobal stage.

Think you know your memes? If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve probably run across the likes of Grumpy Cat, Scumbag Steve or, one of our personal favorites, Art Student Owl.

Those viral images and videos that people modify and spread across the Internet are always good for a laugh, but at the TEDGlobal 2013 conference in Edinburgh, Media Design Practices alumna An Xiao Mina took the stage to deliver a talk entitled “The Meaning of Memes,” shedding light on how individuals across the globe are turning memes into “the street art of our social web.”

In her talk, Mina provided examples of how people in both democracies and censorship states have used memes to speak out on controversial issues, from the detainment of Ai Weiwei to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. “These memes are about more than humor,” Mina said on the TED blog. “They do what art and visual expression have always done—make us feel less alone.”

This story originally appeared in Art Center’s Spring 2014 Dot magazine, where you can read more about alumni and faculty achievements.

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

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

2014-DIFF-image-E_Williams

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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Advertising students ride their Trojan horse to an ANDY Award win

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

In April I traveled to New York with Art Center Film alum Armen Perian, with whom I collaborated on the above spot, TROJAN | Experiments, whose creative team also included cinematographer, Mike Reyes and producer, Greta Kahlitz. The purpose of the trip was to attend the 2014 International ANDY Awards Show and Party at TriBeCa Rooftop. For the past 50 years, ANDY’s have been the gold standard in honoring creative excellence in advertising. So we were incredibly honored to attend the prestigious event, where Chairman David Droga and the jury honored the night’s winners and celebrated the boldest names in advertising, including industry legend David Abbott, Lee Clow, Jeff Goodby, Bob Greenberg, Sir John Hegarty, Rich Silverstein, Mary Wells Lawrence and Dan Wieden.

We had a delightful time, and TROJAN | Experiments received an International ANDY Award in the student category. So how and why did we produce an award-winning spot for condoms, of all things? Read on to find out.

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Grand Theft Auto: RISE places Film grad in the driver’s seat of a Jaguar spot

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Grand Theft Auto: RISE – Live Action Short Film from Gevorg Karensky on Vimeo.

A lifelong fan of cars and games, Gevorg Karensky has fashioned a filmmaking career that brilliantly blends both passions. Born in Russia, he emigrated to the United States in 2002 at the age of 14. For his undergrad Transportation Design thesis at Art Center, the aspiring-surgeon-turned-filmmaker collaborated with Film classmate Cathy Peng (BFA 10) on the game and live action hybrid Grand Theft Auto: RISE.

It became an immediate viral sensation, generating more than 13 million YouTube views and earning Karensky a spot in Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors Showcase at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Critics praised his raw talent. “[It] blows every other fan-made project I’ve ever laid eyes on completely out of the water” (Sam Gibbs, Gizmodo UK).

Karensky recently wrapped A New Dawn, a launch film for the Jaguar F-TYPE R luxury sports car, which bears his filmic signature that at times blurs the lines between the real and the virtual.

“Art Center opened the doors for me to start creating my very first projects and to experiment,” he says. “It was my home and I was there every single day from morning to night. [It] also gave me a great platform for entry into the real world.”

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This story originally appeared in Art Center’s Spring 2014 Dot magazine, where you can read more about alumni and faculty achievements.

In Memoriam: Beloved Film faculty member, Michael Gottlieb

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
Michael Gottlieb

Michael Gottlieb

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of our colleague and member of the film faculty, Michael Gottlieb.  Michael was in a tragic motorcycle accident late last week, and we are deeply pained by his loss. He was 69 years old.

Writer/Producer/Director/Photographer Michael Gottlieb was raised in New York.  The man whom he thought of as a father, Dr. Francisco Marino, was a prominent psychiatrist who mentored Michael through his teen years and beyond. Michael began his professional career working as an assistant on film and photo shoots and found great success as a fashion photographer. This, in turn, led to his becoming a Clio Award-winning commercial director and cinematographer, making many national spots for such clients as Xerox, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.

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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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Art Center in the news | April 2014

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
Sterling Ruby, MFA 05 Art, courtesy KCET

Sterling Ruby, MFA 05, Art, courtesy KCET

Art Center’s students, faculty, staff and alumni continue to make news around the world. For those who may have missed a headline or two, we’ve curated this handy highlight reel of our recent media clips.

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