Posts Tagged ‘Film’

Tales from the art side: ArtCenter launches Untold Stories to share alumni Q&As

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA 13 Grad Film)
This short is not only something I’m proud of—the tone, the look and the story are all representative of my voice as a filmmaker and it is probably the last time I was able to create something that’s not weighed down by expectation or inundated by other voices. This is something that is truly me. More recently I’m waking up and developing a few independent feature films. Films go much slower than commercials and music videos and the projects start out seeming so far away, like a pipe dream. But in the blink of an eye everything starts to happen and it’s all on top of you.

We have created a virtual sharing space, Untold Stories: Q&As with ArtCenter Alumni, for alumni to talk about their past, present and future projects as well as the ideas and challenges that shape their careers, lives and work.

ArtCenter alumni are some of the most accomplished art and design professionals in the world. We hail their prominent successes in our various digital and print publications, including Dotted Line, Dot magazine, the Viewbook and social media channels.

We are proud to share these triumphant moments. But fame—or even outsize accomplishment—is not the only evidence of success. We believe that inspiration, innovation and authenticity are the true hallmarks of a creative and fulfilling life. So, as we celebrate our 85th anniversary we are embarking on an effort to understand meaningful achievement in all its variations and to share the many untold stories of ArtCenter alumni.

In many ways the site is an anthology of alumni work and will be used as a source for content on all of our communications channels where we will continue to share the ArtCenter story with the world. Alumni have been invited to explore and engage with Untold Stories by answering questions and submitting images to this highly visual and highly personal space. This is the place where designers and artists share their thoughts as well as their work. Here is a small sample of posts already inhabiting the space. We invite you to visit Untold Stories to peruse the rest and keep checking back for new entries.


Best summer job ever? American Apparel hires Film student Zak Marx to direct a slate of commercials

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 2.59.35 PM

Current Film student, Zak Marx, between summer jobs for Nike and American Apparel. Photo by Photography and Imaging student, Christopher Stoltz.

Relevance is a loaded topic for anyone with creative aspirations. That goes double for members of the Instagram Generation seeking to forge a directing career on screens big or small. And multiply that to the power of three for anyone and everyone working in advertising.

The relevance of relevance certainly is not lost on Zak Marx, a current student in Art Center’s undergraduate Film Department who happens to qualify in all three of the above categories after scoring a coveted gig with American Apparel directing 12—count ‘em, 12!—commercial spots central to the brand’s image overhaul under its new CEO, Paula Schneider.


Jeff Wall on artifice, actuality and accident — and why he doesn’t make films

Monday, March 9th, 2015
Jeff Wall spoke about his work and its influences. (Art Center photo by Juan Posada)

In the Grad Art Seminar series, Jeff Wall spoke candidly about his work and its influences. (Art Center photo by Juan Posada)

Vancouver-born and -based artist Jeff Wall is now living and working part-time in Los Angeles, which is good news for students at Art Center. A capacity crowd filled the L.A. Times Media Center at Hillside Campus last Tuesday night, eager to hear what he had to say.

Jack Bankowsky, who co-curates the popular Grad Art Seminar series with fellow faculty member Walead Beshty, introduced Wall, and reminded the audience of three of his works—opaque black and white prints—that are set in Los Angeles: Citizen (1996), a man lying on the lawn in a public park; 8056 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles (1996), a cinema-turned-synagogue, framed in a circular black vignette; and Office Hallway, Spring Street, Los Angeles (1997), a man in a dimly lit, nondescript hallway.


Art Center’s Film department joins Birdman’s Emmanuel Lubezki in embracing ARRI Pro Camera Accessories

Friday, February 27th, 2015

ARRI PCA Gear for the C300 from Chase Hagen on Vimeo.

This video is more than it seems. It’s not just a polished promotional piece for ARRI Pro Camera Accessories, targeting young filmmakers. It’s actually a multi-layered (and slightly meta) example of Art Center’s core values—collaboration, industry-minded creativity, polished production values. Look closely at the video’s ingredient list (aka credits) and you’ll find that it’s been fortified with Art Center talent at every level. Film student Chase Hagen produced the above behind-the-scenes look at the production of a music video, directed by Art Center Film alumnus, Steve Dabal.

The piece, which was shot in the soundstage at Art Center’s Hillside campus, was commissioned by ARRI Pro Camera Accessories as a result of a relationship fostered by Undergrad & Grad Film chair Ross LaManna and Advanced Cinematography instructor Affonso Beato, ASC. Then again, Art Center filmmakers are in good company: Here’s an interview with Birdman‘s Oscar-winning cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, in which he credits ARRI equipment with facilitating some of the film’s most innovative camera-work and creative flourishes.


Thanks + Giving: A Next Level dose of brotherly love for Art Center donors

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Thank You! from Art Center College of Design on Vimeo.

The following post was written by Martel McCornell & D’Angelo McCornell  ( The Next Level Brothers ), who are biological brothers and film directors from Cleveland, OH. They both are currently attending Art Center College of Design for undergraduate and graduate Film studies. They were truly born Next Level—inspired and determined to continue to become greater together, providing value through great game changing film, design and community innovation.

When we were first approached to create this donor Thank You video, we were very excited and honored to represent Art Center by doing what we love.  Projects that are about value is our niche and purpose.  We knew it was an opportunity to write history and create a positive legacy by expressing our gratitude to those who helped us get where we are today.


Critical Faculties: Meet Art Center’s 2014 Faculty Enrichment Grant recipients

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
"January, Julia F. Parker, Yosemite Visitors Center" Photo by Jonas Kulikauskas.

“January, Julia F. Parker, Yosemite Visitors Center”
Photo by Jonas Kulikauskas.

Providing a top notch education in art and design requires an intricate ecosystem comprised of state of the art facilities, a driven and talented student body and, perhaps most of all, a broad body of skilled faculty members committed to engaging students and their own creative and professional practices in equal measure.

It’s no accident that Art Center’s faculty is comprised of working artists and designers, many of whom are game changing iconoclasts and leading innovators in their fields. In addition to being steeped in the most up-to-date best practices in any given field, Art Center’s faculty members offer incentive to students to continue pursuing their creative dreams.

But maintaining dual careers requires a surplus of passion and resources, both temporal and financial. To that end, Art Center’s Faculty Council has has marshaled funds to help out with the latter in the form of its annual Faculty Enrichment Grant program, which distributes up to $40,000 to faculty members actively pursuing projects “related to creative or professional development.”

Last month, the Council announced the seven recipients of its 2014 Faculty Enrichment Grants. Each will receive an award of up to $5000 to support their work outside of the classroom. The Dotted Line reached out to each of the seven recipients to learn more about their award winning projects. Here’s what we learned:


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.


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.


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.”


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.