Archive for June, 2015

It’s a Rough Cut Life

June 22nd, 2015

One of the great parts of blogging is hearing from readers. When the reader has created a video like Matt Orfalea who sent a bouncy, spot-on comic short, “Rough Cut” the joy is tripled. Watch it and relate, all you editors and producers.

Matt’s Story
How Matt got started creating videos is a wonderful story itself. I’m handing the invisible mouse over to Matt to tell it in his own words. Stay tuned for the punchline.

“When I was in high school, a teacher came to me asking if I wanted to edit his documentary about our school’s community service. I was stuck in boarding school, on crutches at the time, so I wasn’t able to do much else. He gave me a quick intro to iMovie and lent me his laptop and camera (amazing right?). I soon found myself in study hall…having fun! That had never happened before!

The documentary was screened in front of the whole school. Everybody seemed to love it and cheered. Except for the headmaster. Because my doc made fun of our school’s community service effort, and the fact that although the headmaster required all students to fulfill community service hours, he had not contributed a single community service hour himself!

The priest who had approved the screening told me afterwards that he almost got fired for it. Yep. My very first film almost got a priest fired!!! That was my introduction to the power of cinema.”

Where is Matt Today?
Matt Orfalea
Again, in his words,
“After graduating from Santa Fe University of Art & Design, I moved to LA to work in postproduction. All those editing gigs were the inspiration for “Rough Cut.” I still do freelance work and many many rough cuts.

I’ve been making YouTube videos for years now and have managed to gather a small following. The ultimate goal would be to just focus on that. Of course making a sustainable career out of YouTube is a total long shot… So I figure if YouTube doesn’t work out I can always be a rapper.”

Check out his videos on YouTube.

Editing practices, Editor’s role, Fun & games, History/research, Technical & process, Visual FX editing

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).

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