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Cannes Film Festival

June 11th, 2015

Cannes Poster
I was lucky enough to be invited to France this May and dropped into 68th Cannes BeachCannes Film Festival as a spectator, not a participant. The seaside town in France’s southern Cote d’Azur exhibited a film feeding frenzy with red carpets, lines of people pining for entrée to screenings at les Palais des Festivals, glitzy automobiles cruising the boulevard, and cafes overflowing with cineastes (filmmakers).
Cannes sports car

“The Festival de Cannes is a celebration of cinematographic art. We exist to showcase Cannes venuethe new writing, new genres and new visual innovations of our time. Every year in May, Cannes gives a sort of snapshot – both ephemeral and lasting, when one adds up the years – of what constitutes the art of cinema.”
Pierre Lescure, President, and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate, April 1, addressing the French National Assembly’s Commission for Cultural Affairs

The 12-day invitation-only Cannes Festival encompasses a rich array of film Cannes Official 2015 Poster activities. In addition to providing screenings of current and classic films, Cannes is a Marché du Film (a film market) which attracts over 10,000 buyers and sellers from around the globe each year. Indeed in a town nearby the next day at a balcony restaurant I met Michael Shoel, President-CEO of Ariztical Entertainment who was traveling around France after scouring Cannes for LGBTQ films.

Official 2015 Poster

Le Festival de Cannes also includes “Leçons du Cinema, de musique, d’actrice, et d’acteur” – master classes on directing, composing, and acting taught by famous professionals such as Gena Rowlands, Lalo Shifrin, and Sydney Pollack. The non-profit festival also features beaucoup de interviews of current and esteemed directors and actors and cast and crew of the current year’s films.

There are also many special events such as Diversity Day – “because all stories matter” – as the flyer read that a teenager handed me. He was one of the fourteen aspiring filmmakers that Dana Glover brought to the festival. Glover, a stranger pointed the way to the parking garage’s elusive entrance and we chatted. He told me that he wears two hats: Director at Midian Films and Executive Director of the pro-diversity Cinema du Cannes Project (and yes, he’s Danny Glover’s cousin).

Awards
The festival’s Board of Directors selects over 300 artists from all over thePalme d’Or world based on their work and peer recognition to serve on juries which determine who wins in each category.

They award prizes for best film, best actor, best actress, best director, and best script as well as a special jury prize. They select films and filmmakers from around the world as 2015’s awards attest.

Cannes also recognizes student and seasoned cineastes, short films and long and is considered a showcase for European and international films. Editors, cinematographers, sound designers and the rest are omitted in this high octane review and recognition of filmmakers.

The Palme d’Or (golden palm frond), the biggest prize of all, is awarded the last day. The Prize Un Certain Regard is for students and comes with 30,000 euros. This year the Palme d’Honneur (honorary prize) went to Agnes Varda (pictured below).
Agnes Varda

Short History
First Cannes Film Festival PosterThe first Cannes Film Festival was planned for 1939 with Louis Lumière as President. It never happened due to WWII. The festival debuted in 1946. The attendance of big stars such as Sophia Loren, Kirk Douglas, Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, and Cary Grant in the 1950s popularized the festival.

I’ll leave the last word to one of France’s pre-eminent cineastes:

“The Festival is an apolitical no-man’s land,

a microcosm of what the world would be like

if people could make direct contact with one another

and speak the same language”

Jean Cocteau

Awards, History/research

Mash-up Trailers

May 13th, 2012

Editors and other filmmakers are taking old and new movie previews, a.k.a. trailers and turning them every which way in their digital systems to create entirely new promos and mini-features and send them off to the Internet. You can take images from other films, add new graphics, VO, music, VFX, SFX – your imagination and time is the limit. To see examples organized by categories, go to the trailer mash

Here’s my favorite so far: The Shining re-imagined as a Rom-com.

But is it legal?
“A trailer is studio’s prayer, one that is answered on opening weekend. And everyone wants the answer to be yes.” Marshall Sella, NY Times Magazine, 2002.

Yes. Studios hunger for these spoofs as they help promote their movies. Some productions companies, notably Lucasfilms and Lionsgate, have even held contests and given out computers, tickets, and other awards to the winners. Curt Marvis, president of digital media for Lionsgate, explains it this way, “The worst thing that can happen (for a studio) is to have no one talking about your film. With millions of people viewing trailers and Twittering and chatting about movies online, it’s important to take that huge group and use them as an army of valid spokespeople and promoters of our content.”

Can a mash-up help your career?

It may get you any money but “Working on these projects is an absolute résumé builder if you’re looking to break into an editing, creative or marketing field,” contends Kelly Reeves, managing editor of Urlesque.com, an Internet humor blog.

So go ahead! Create one yourself and springboard your career. And let Joy know how it goes. I’ll definitely consider posting it.

Awards, Editing practices, Jobs

Being Caesar and other creatures by performance capture-actor Andy Serkis

May 7th, 2012

I came across an article based on an interview by Noelene Clark from the LA Times Hero Complex section on performance capture and acting. Since performance capture relies heavily on post production processes and the pairing represents once again the crossing of lines between production and post, I thought this was worthy of a Joy post.

Andy Serkis is performance capture pioneer who created Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and more recently, Caesar, the chimpanzee in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

To get an idea of what Serkis does, watch this clip of him creating Caesar: (scroll down to see the video) http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/01/23/the-hobbit-andy-serkis-says-gollum-is-printed-into-my-dna/

Serkis on Performance Capture and Acting

Actors regularly ask Serkis “Are we going to be replaced by digital characters?” He does not differentiate between live-action acting and performance capture acting which he sees simply as technology – a liberating tool. “I am quite evangelical about it to other actors because I think…it’s a magic suit you put on that allows you to play anything regardless of your size, your sex, your color, whatever you are. As long as you have the acting chops and the desire to get inside a character, you can play anything. So I long for it to be accepted by the acting profession so that it can proliferate.”

Creating Caesar
Andy Serkis

Serkis spent time studying primate behavior for Caesar as well as for portraying King Kong in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of the same name, to establish their characters. As any actor would, Serkis thought about Caesar and pondered, “…what’s he going through? What’s he feeling? What’s he thinking?…You start to combine physicality with an emotional journey that you’re creating.”

Acting nomination and Awards

Serkis received a Critic’s Choice supporting actor nomination for creating Caesar and the movie’s main star, James Franco, campaigned for an Oscar nomination. (It failed to materialize.) This all brought on a slew of question Serkis has heard over the years regarding how to categorize performance capture acting for awards: “Should there be separate categories for live acting and digital acting? Should there be a hybrid award?”

Serkis thinks there should be one category – acting – because “My part in it, what I do, as say the authorship of the role, the creation, the emotional content of the role, the physicality up until the point of delivering that for the director, it is acting.”

He believes, “Getting that nomination for the Critics’ Choice is a significant leap, really, in understanding. Again, this is not taking anything away from the post-production process and what all of those incredibly talented people do, whether they be animators or visual effects artists…What was great about getting a supporting actor nomination is that it clearly shows, it defines an understanding within the industry that it is acting.”

Awards, Technical & process, Visual FX editing

Oscar Blog: Animated Shorts

February 22nd, 2012

I guess I should be talking about the editor noms for next Sunday’s, (Feb 26), Academy award ceremony, but, as usual, all nominated editors deserve the award, and, as I stated previously, I hope Thelma Schoonmaker gets it for Hugo just because she’s will break a three way tie with three male editors and be the first editor to take home four Oscars.

So, on to what caught my eye this week: The five animated shorts nominated by the Academy this year:

Dimanche (Sunday) – France

A Morning Stroll – U.S.A.

Wild Life – Canada

La Luna – U.S.A.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore – U.S.A.

A short film, according to AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) rules, must have a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. The bunch I saw ran from seven to fifteen minutes. While there were female producers and other female crew, the shorts were all directed by men and mostly featured male characters.

As I sat in a local theatre, watching short after short, I was awed by the marvelous ideas and images. I also noticed that animation can play much faster and looser with transitions in time and place, and therefore story as all took leaps unfeasible in live action shorts – or longs for that matter.  As I watched short after short, soaking up the clever images accompanying the good stories, I waited for the film that would soar into the stratosphere with a story and theme above the others. It finally came in the form of…

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Since I saw it this 2-D flick in the theatre, I have now watched it three times online – twice with other people who were equally entranced – and I am still seeing things. View it yourself and see what you think and if you agree that it deserves the Oscar.

It’s a 15-minute fable from Shreveport, LA based Moonbot Studios that uses CGI and miniatures to tell the tale of a book lover and writer who lives in the New Orleans. Since it has no dialogue, it qualifies as a silent film, though there’s music and spare sound effects. Throughout the movie the “Pop Goes the Weasel” melody plays – slow, fast, upbeat, forlornly, etc. – always underscoring the mood of the moment. The animation allows for some unexplained moments – or at least I didn’t figure them out – but they are part of the charm and power of the medium. Also, if you spell out the central character’s name syllable by syllable – “morr is less more” it’s a bit nonsensical.

The real genius of Moonbot’s creation is that it’s both a book and a film, evocative of the “live” paintings in the Harry Potter movies and books but much more. Let me explain…

Shot from short
Act 1

In the first act a Katrina-like storm destroys the city and his book, literally spinning his life in a new direction. In his porkpie hat, body, and actions, Morris is a ringer for Buster Keaton.  The film also pays homage to the Wizard of Oz when it reverses the tornado scene, transitioning from colorful New Orleans to a colorless land of destruction where the storm deposits houses drop from the sky, upside down, and Morris emerges from one of them. The act ends with a black out.

Shot from short
Act 2

The second act then begins with Morris in Bookland (my term) where the color slowly seeps back into the landscape and opened books fly like birds, flutter their “wings” like butterflies, and walk on stilt like legs. The power of the reaction shot is proven once again as books – primarily an old fashioned copy of Humpty Dumpty – react to Morris – laughing, urging, crying, etc. often via flip book motion.

Shot from shortAs the act progresses, Morris revives a book in an operating theatre as one books becomes a heart monitor machine, another a heart pump, another provides operating instructions, and a third looks on – Humpty Dumpty again – with encouragement and concern. He also revives the local population, handing books via a takeout window. The people are colorless until they receive their book – in color – which breathes color into them.  Morris also takes up writing his own book again inside a 19th century library – his new, post-hurricane home – where books form his family.

Shot from short
Act 3

The third act shows Morris, now gray-haired, finishing his opus, and completing the hand off of it and his library-home to the next generation.

The animation allows for some unexplained moments – or at least I didn’t figure them out – but they are part of the charm and power of the medium. Also, if you spell out the central character’s name syllable by syllable – “morr is less more” it’s a bit nonsensical.

Lastly, the film is avilable as an interactive e-Book on iPad, completing the translation of book to film and back and placing it firmly in 2012. In the end it’s the force of story that holds the viewer-reader attention as “book” and “film” meld and the words lose their meaning. Long may the force be with us!

But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself in this trailer for the iPad app. Yes! A trailer – another connector between the world of film and books. (FYI: I haven’t accepted a dime from any commercial sources so far on this site and will let you know when I do. I just rave or pan as I see it.)

Awards, Joy goes to the movies

Emmytime, 2011

September 19th, 2011

Didn’t come out the way I voted but I was happy with the winners (see below) in the editing category I voted in (Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie) – whom I scored #2 (out of five). Sherlock Holmes I thought the premiere Sherlock Holmes episode, “A Study in Pink” exemplified modern editing and updated the cerebral, acerbic, aspergian Holmes fittingly, as opposed the Downey film series which turns him into just another action detective (I love Robert Downey’s acting and have read all the Holmes’ stories multiple times but couldn’t get past the film trailers).

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in

“A Study in Pink” ©2011 Hartswood Films, BBC

Productions, & Masterpiece Theatre. All Rights

Reserved.

Too bad the rest of the BBC series didn’t live it up to the premiere. I’ll be talking about its editing in the online course I’m presenting next month: “Inglourious Editors: The State of Editors and Editing” on October 13, 6-8:30 p.m. PST. (Click link for more info and to register. I’d love to have you there.) In the meantime, watch it – it’s worth your time for the editing alone.

Emmy 2011 LogoKudos to the all the Emmy winners and nominees as well as all the editors who toil in TV land – you cut more in less time and often do wondrous, ground breaking work – we “out of the closet TV viewers” appreciate your work.

Here’s the official list:
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 63rd Annual Creative Emmy Awards

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie
Sarah Flack, A.C.E., Editor HBO
Robert Pulcini, Editor
Cinema Verite

Outstanding Picture Editing for a Comedy Series (Single or Multi-Camera)
Sue Federman, Edited By CBS
How I Met Your Mother
Subway Wars

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series
Sidney Wolinsky, A.C.E., Editor HBO
Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire (Pilot)

Outstanding Short-Form Picture Editing
Matt O’connor, Editor ESPN
Anthony Marchegiano, Editor
The 2010 Espy Awards
Images Piece

Outstanding Picture Editing for a Special (Single or Multi-Camera)
Michael Polito, Editor HBO
Bill Deronde, Editor
Kevin O’dea, Editor
Katie Hetland, Editor
Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour:
At Madison Square Garden

Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming
Lewis Erskine, Edited By
Aljernon Tunsil, Edited By PBS
Freedom Riders

Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming
Josh Earl, Supervising Editor, Discovery Channel
Kelly Coskran, Supervising Editor
Alex Durham, Editor
Deadliest Catch
Redemption Day

Awards, Editor’s role, Television

Appraising titles and credits

August 15th, 2011

Emmy StatueI picked movies and mini-series for my judging category for the upcoming 2011 Emmy’s. This is the most time-consuming category to judge since you’re required to watch the entire show but I wanted to see Mildred Pierce and a few other shows that I’d missed. I’ll blog about the show I chose for best editing and why I voted for it in the future but for now, I’d like to riff about titles and credits as I viewed some outstanding ones.

What’s in a title and opening credit?

The opening title and credits can do much more than display a show’s name, players, producers, director, and crew. If created thoughtfully, they serve as an introduction to a movie, kind of like a welcoming committee, greeting you and pulling you in. If created artistically, opening (head) credits can add even more to a picture and stand out on their own. Often, combined with music, they set an emotional tone to the movie, a pace, and an expectation of the type of content to follow i.e. nail-biting thriller, fast-paced comedy, reflective drama, etc.

Credits can be fun (remember the animated ones in the Pink Panther series) or weave in the show’s theme (like Breaking Bad’s periodic table of elements) or thrilling, (like those set to Bernard Hermann’s taut music in North by Northwest) and much more.  Here’s a unique example from Too Big To Fail, one of the Emmy-nominated shows I judged, which inserted the credits into Wall Street’s electronic ticker tape and boards.

  • First example
  • Title
  • Credits 2

Title designers and credits

There are many famous self-described “type geeks” who live and breathe graphics (GFX) and title design. One of them, Kyle Cooper, title designer on Rango, Tron: Legacy, Ironman, and Spider-Man 2, explains, “Type is like actors to me. It takes on characteristics of its own. When I was younger, I used to pick a word from the dictionary and then try to design it so that I could make the word do what it meant…”

Many filmmakers believe credits shouldn’t stand apart from the movie but should blend in and be a part of the story’s exposition. Susan Bradley, title designer on Wall-E, Up, The Motorcycle Diaries, Ratatouille, and An Inconvenient Truth observes that titles, “can do very much or very little; but really shine when they live within the story and reflect an important quality driven by your director.”

Credits and story

Additionally, credits can clue the audience into the film’s plot, location, time period, style, and characters. The split screen credits at the start of 127 Hours give insights into the film’s risk-taking hero as he determinedly drives through the night to escape the city and set off on his fateful desert hike.

Head Credit

Head credit from 127 Hours.

End credits are usually more utilitarian. Networks routinely cram them to one side of the TV screen to make room for promos, a practiced referred to as the “squeeze and tease.” But sometimes they can be entertaining and extend the movie such as those tailing Ratatouille or Spider-Man 2.

Tail Credit

Tail credit from Spider-Man 2.

Just plain credits

Budget, as with any factor in a film, plays a role in determining how fancy credits will be. Some directors stick to plain credits, even though they could pay for more: Think Woody Allen’s standard white on black credits.

So think about credits the next time you place them in a show you’re editing or view them on tube and screen and clue Joy in on your conclusions.

Awards, Editing practices, Editor’s role, Television

The Social Network wins the Academy Award

February 28th, 2011

Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter took home best editing Oscars for The Social Network last night, following their A.C.E. Eddie and BAFTA wins a few weeks ago. Congratulations on your work and well-deserved awards, boys! It shoulda gotten best picture too but oh well! To celebrate the pair and their movie, here’s an updated version of my October post on the movie.

Social Network Editors

No ordinary flick

In keeping with the latest technological trends, the film (guess we should drop that term and call it a digi?) was shot digitally on a RED camera, actually two to three cameras for each scene.

The Social Network is unique because it is driven by dialogue. Unbelievable but true, especially in a male-centered film. The action scenes, such as the crew race, are puffery and lead to the weighty dialogue scenes a reverse of the typical male-oriented films where the dialogue is poor and serves as set-up for the heavy duty action sequence. The scenes are taut, the characters interesting (men only, except for a couple of minor woman characters), and the dialogue and yes, social interactions, step right along.

Angus Wall, left, and Kirk

Baxter after their win for

The Social Network.

Associated Press photo

I always remember what Carol Littleton, A.C.E., (The Other Boleyn Girl, Tuesdays with Morrie, ET and many more), once said: “One-to-one dialogue scenes are difficult because it’s literally about the very thin connection between two people and that connection can’t be violated. You have to be aware of it all the time. They may be connecting or not connecting emotionally, but you have to be aware of what’s happening between them the whole time.”

The eyes have it

I believe the strongest actors show their power in their eyes. Notice the intensity in Jesse Eisenberg’s as he does an extraordinary job of taking on main character, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Angus Wall, half of the pair of editors on The Social Network along with Kirk Baxter, says in an interview by Oliver Peters (who pens Digital Post, a helpful, technical editing blog), “From the start, Kirk and I cut the scenes very tightly, using faster performances and generally keeping the pace of the film high. When the first assembly was completed, we were at a length of 1 hour 55 minutes – actually a minute shorter than the final version. Unlike most films, we were able to relax the pace and put some air back into the performances during the fine cut.”

However, in reading Peters’ interview, I found out there was more to creating the movie than being deft at dialogue and story.

VFX

Yes. According to Baxter, who edited The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, “there are about 1000 effects in The Social Network.” Two major characters, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, are identical twins played by two different actors. Baxter reports that the movie “has a lot of digital matte paintings, but there is also face replacement much like in Button…there are two characters who are twins, but in fact the actors aren’t, so a similar process was used to turn one of the actors into the twin of the other. Although the story isn’t driven by the same sort of visual effect, like the aging technique that was a dramatic device in Benjamin Button, it still has a lot of effects work.”

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss
Editor as magician

Did you notice the room switch? Baxter reveals that The Social Network, “was very well scripted and directed, so not a lot of storytelling issues had to be resolved in the edit. In fact, there were a number of scenes that were great fun to put together. For example, there’s an early scene about some of the legal depositions. It takes place in two different boardrooms at different times and locations, but the scene is intercut as if it is one continuous conversation. David [Fincher, the director] gave us lots of coverage, so it was a real joy to solve the puzzle, matching eyelines and so on.”

Editors’ POV

Wall gives his and Baxter’s point of view: “This is a movie about the birth of a major online power, but what happens on the computer is a very minor part. For us, it was more important to concentrate on the drama and emotions of the characters, and that’s what makes this a timeless story. It’s utterly contemporary…but a little bit Shakespearean, too. It’s about people participating in something that’s bigger than themselves, something that will change all of their lives in one way or another.”

Way to go, Angus and Kirk! Enjoy your award and night of partying. We look forward to seeing what you do next.

Awards, Editing practices, Editor’s role, Technical & process, Visual FX editing

SF SuperMeet Part II

February 3rd, 2011

SuperMeetIt was a gloomy day in SF and I dragged myself over the GG bridge but I was glad I did.

Cost of the SuperMeet: $11.34

Parking: $24 or $0 if you walked 2 long blocks and were lucky find a space like me.

Value: Up to you, but most would say, “Yeah, totally worth it.” And if you won anything in the $50K raffle, even more worth it.

Evening program

After welcoming FCP User’s groups from across the country – Boston, LA, and DC, SF Cutters prez Claudia Trask intro’d The New Up, a B & W music video shot on the muni and streets of SF.
editing process
Next up was Tony Cacciarelli, Product Marketing Manager from AJA. “Pronounce it A-J-A, Ahjah or any way you like but call us” was his message. He went over the company’s KiPro ($3995) but concentrated on six months old more affordable KiPro mini ($1995). It’s a mini-field recorder that attaches to a video camera and helps create edit-ready video because it records Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files on industry standard Compact Flash (CF) media. The audience appreciate this speeding up of an Apple tapeless workflow as it allows recording to be quickly imported, no log and capture necessary.

Attention students = those with .edu in their email

An Autodesk rep spoke next and he said that students can use Smoke free for 36 months by going to http://students.autodesk.com The rest of us can have 30-day free trial at http://usa.autodesk.com

Voda Studios Voda Digital and Voda Studios from Seattle took the stage next, proclaiming that in the future tablets will outpace TV as stats show that more people are now online than are watching TV. Hmmm. How many are on both as the same time? They cited other stats – 96% growth in Smart phones over the past year and 20% of internet traffic during peak time in U.S. on Netflix – to underscore their point that the world of media and how we think of it is a-changing.

Don’t be ashamed of autofocus

My favorite speaker came last. Michael Blieden, DP on the Jimmy Fallon show, talked about experimenting with new cameras. “Part of the artistry [of cinematography] is being in charge of the focus,” he began. So it went against his grain to use auto-focus on last year’s opening skit of the Emmys. Blieden did a superb job of showing how he experimented with Canon’s XF305 which employs face recognition, a fairly new technique that doesn’t always maintain focus. I’ll let the results speak for themselves. Here his footage from the opening of last September’s 2010 Emmys:

http://www.nbc.com/emmys/video/emmys-opener-jimmy-fallon-is-born-to-run-full-length/1246536/

All this before the 8:30 break! After which I took off, handing over my raffle tickets to a new friend who said he’d call if we won. Still waiting!

Awards, Editing practices, Editor’s role, Marketing & budgeting, Technical & process, Television, User groups & meetings, Visual FX editing

Made in Dagenham – Some days there are victories!

January 27th, 2011

This movie called to me for several reasons: good reviews, director, topic, headlining Scene from Made in Dagenham 1actress Sally Hawkins, and supporting cast including Bob Hoskins and Miranda Richardson. The movie dramatizes the 1968 strike by 187 female machinists at the Ford plant in Dagenham, UK. They fought to be re-classified as skilled labor which led to…well, go see the movie!

The editing on the movie is refreshingly traditional: Invisible edits, no quick cutting, odd or repeated angles, discontinuity, fancy VFX, in-your-face edits, or music video-type montage sequences. In fact, there are no montage sequences at all and I didn’t miss them. The editing matched the story, as it should, regardless of style. Just as modern style editing plays a vital role in making The Black Swan a strong, edgy movie so traditional style serves Made in Dagenham.

The movie is linear with mini-subplots that provided short bursts of the characters’ home lives, Scene from Made in Dagenham 2 then propelled them to take action, neatly and quickly sending the action forward and back into the main story. The short interludes of period music served to pep up the story and also drive it forward. The traditional editing style included wide shots of the workers’ blockitechture housing and the factory and framed the band of women against the larger forces at work against them: the monolithic Ford company, autoworkers’ union, and British government.

Why is it always a small, skinny woman who stands on something above the factory floor to get her Scene from Made in Dagenham 3co-workers’ attention and foment a strike? This is one place where the movie’s a bit too Norma Rae – but it’s underplayed and perhaps an obvious bit of homage. That said, Sally Hawkins is a reason to see any movie. Also, the ever-excellent Miranda Richardson adds a steely verve as an MP dismissive of the sheeple who work for her and determined to meet the strikers.

Made in Dagenham is a feel good movie about workers and women’s rights worth seeing for all the reasons mentioned above. If you see it, report back on the editing and how you feel it serves or doesn’t serve the picture.

Note: After I wrote this, A.C.E. nominated Made in Dagenham for an Eddie for best editing of a musical or comedy feature. Good luck to editor Michael Parker!

Awards, Editing practices, Editor’s role, Joy goes to the movies

Lightworks emerges from the dark

November 20th, 2010

Lightworks ConsoleA nano of light years ago, Lightworks was neck-in-neck with Avid in use and popularity. They both pioneered NLE digital editing and shared the 1994 Academy Award for technical achievement. Lightworks was unique for its ergonomic console and is still used by Thelma Schoonmaker and other high profile editors as well as many editors in Canada, Europe, and Great Britain (its birthplace).

I have a special affection for the system because I trained hundreds of professional editors, assistants, post supervisors, and college students on it during the system’s heyday from 1994-1997. It was frustrating to see the product base shrink due to poor management decisions.

So it warmed my heart to see the announcement from EditShare – the system’s latest owner – last week:
Lightworks System Lightworks for FREE … just in time for the holidays!
It is with great pleasure that we take the first step in the roll out of Lightworks Open Source and deliver the free download to you! On November 29th, the free download will be available exclusively to those who have registered.

Lightworks developers have been working day and night to develop a variety of enhancements for the new NLE.

Final Cut Pro and Avid could use some competition, not that I’m under any illusions that LW will regain its former top spot. Avid gave away free software last year. And it’s BYOC (Bring Your Own Console- joke!). But it’s a start.

Please shed some light, Lightworks

I thought of you, my faithful readers, and sent the following email to EditShare on November 10:

Hi Friends,

Is it too late to register for a free download? If so, how do I do this? If not, will you be offering this again in the future? I am interested for myself as well as my blog readers.

Also, I would like any info you can provide for U.S. readers as I am updating my book, Cut by Cut: Editing Your Film or Video.

Thank you,

Gael Chandler

Former LW trainer in Hollywood

So far no response. Don’t leave us in the dark, Lightworks! I will let you know if I get a reply. In the meantime, go here to read the full story and see all the features the new system offers.

Awards, History/research, Technical & process