Monday, April 30, 2007

Closing Night at the AFF

Closing Night

Director Hal Hartley, who resides in Berlin, Germany, was in attendance for the Closing Night feature of his newest film, FAY GRIM - the sequel to HENRY FOOL. Unfamiliar with Hartley's work, I was worried going in that I wouldn't follow. But unlike some sequels, you didn't have to see HF to follow FG. Hartley does a great job revealing bits of the story through interactions between characters, and never telling too much, or making the viewer feel as if they are being force-fed intentions.

The exciting news is that FAY GRIM is slated to open at Landmark Midtown Arts in the near future. Take the opportunity to see this independent gem that was shot in HD. The writing is engaging, the production design appropriately soft-handed, and the music masterfully done. I will definitely go see it a second time.

The Closing Night party was thrown by the fun-loving folks at Magick Lantern. Magick had a photo booth, cotton candy, snow cones, and old-fashioned cigarette girls. Entertainment was provided by Cadillac Jones and a DJ. Rotating sets helped keep the vibe fun and interesting. Reigndrop Lopes was in attendance, and helped get the dance floor moving.

Festival Director Dan Krovich announced the winner of the 2007 Audience Award - Darius Goes West - a film out of Athens, Georgia.
Festival Winners include...
Dramatic Feature: Great World of Sound
Documentary Feature: Protagonist
Please visit for Short Film winners.

Check back with soon for a festival wrap-up!

C-47 on Filmmaker's Friday: Part 4

This little travel-log will be divided into four parts, both for your reading benefit and for my writing benefit.

AFF Bus Tour: Part 4

We were now on our way to our final stop, Lab 601, where the promise jello shots and a tour of the post-production facility that was home to the upcoming horror film The Signal was too much for our tired band of artists to resist. As the FurBus continued on its journey, I continued to ask more questions of the filmmakers.


Cevin Cathell - Program Director - Sonoma Valley Film Festival

What do you think when you hear "Atlanta"?

Very cosmopolitan!

As a programmer for a film festival, what films do you look for?

The story and the feeling they leave you with.


Ashley Epting & Jane Cook - Producers

Why should people make their films in Georgia?

Unique settings and a growing film community. You're also a big fish in a small pond as opposed to being out in LA or NY where you're going to be a small film in a big pond.

What films are you working on right now?

We've optioned Ferrol Sams "Whisper of the River" and we're also working on the true story of an art forger called "Art of Deception".


The FurBus finally arrived at its final destination: Lab 601. What you first notice about this post-production facility is that it has a personality all its own. We have arrived on "Free Beer Friday". As we enter the break room, beer (and no beer tastes sweeter than free beer) and snacks are distributed as we meet and chat with some of the lab's employees. There's also a giant pole in the middle of the lab, not because the building used to be a firehouse, but simply because it's cool to have it there.

But don't mistake Lab 601 as a house of drunken revelry where you'll submit your film never to see it again as it vanishes in a haze of alcohol and foosball. No, Lab 601 is so good at what they do, they're investors on The Signal (which, eerily, was playing on all the video monitors) and provided post-production services on the acclaimed documentary Darius Goes West free of charge.

As our tour and long day came to an end, I slid down the pole in the middle of Lab 601. It had been a unique and unforgettable day as I had the pleasure of meeting numerous filmmakers and visiting the labs that would hopefully one day help them and help you in all your filmmaking endeavors.

Friday, April 27, 2007

BLOOD CAR storms the AFF

BLOOD CAR Premiere

Having attended some of the most anticipated and talked about films in the festival, I was surprisingly blown away by the enthusiasm and volume of viewers that attended the AFF premiere of BLOOD CAR. This film has already reached cult classic status. If you haven't seen it, DO IT - and in a theater with a live audience! I can't believe this film has not been picked up yet. That's all you get. And some photos.

Experimental Shorts at the AFF!

AFF Experimental Films

This program boasts the most intimate audience of the festival. Held in a smaller theater, the enthusiastic and curious alike attended the much-anticipated Experimental Shorts program at the AFF. For some, discussions on these lasted well into the morning. Here's my plug - if you're producing experimental work - GET IT OUT THERE! There is a hungry audience waiting to see what you've done in your studio all those endless nights.

Co-Directors (I like to call Experimental folks "co-conspirators") Michael McReynolds (itaki) & Dan Bush (Psychopia) were in attendence, and hosted a Q&A about their film "E-Motion Studies". For it, they used a high-speed scientific Photron camera to capture defining moments in interpersonal relationships. They projected them at normal speed, causing the moments to quietly unfold like living photographs. The filmmakers worked with musicians from Twittering Machine to create unique soundtracks for each moment, and played them simultaneously. "E-Motion Studies" is something that must be experienced in a theater. Keep an eye out for this film - especially if the theater has HD projection. It's not to be missed!

IT'S NOT TOO LATE... get your BLOOD CAR fix!
There's one last screening TODAY at 5:15pm.
It premiered to a packed house last nite, and word has it that today's tix were flying out the door. So, get your tickets now!
This is one AFF show that is not to be missed!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Most Talked About Film at the AFF...

...has got to be BLOOD CAR. Having generated buzz with the New Visions Award at Cinequest in San Jose, AFF audiences have been anxiously awaiting the premiere.

BLOOD CAR will be playing at Landmark Midtown Arts Cinema
at 10pm on Thursday, April 26.

If you haven't already gotten your tickets*, do it now!!

*Your BLOOD CAR ticket gets you into the much-anticipated AFF premiere, AND the official afterparty at THE WARREN!
Bring your ticket stub or festival pass to the Greenwood Ave. entrance of THE WARREN (behind the Dark Horse Tavern - 3rd floor) and enjoy the sights & sounds of DragonRadio, check out some amazing food, and chat with the filmmakers!

See you there!

AFF Tuesday 4/24

AFF Tues. 4/24

Sunday Panels

AFF Sunday Panels

Saturday Panels

AFF Saturday Panels

"Secret Screening" on 4/20

AFF Secret Screening

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

C-47 on Filmmaker's Friday: Part 3

This little travel-log will be divided into four parts, both for your reading benefit and for my writing benefit.

AFF Bus Tour: Part 3

Some members of our group had staged a getaway so they could go see some films (filmmakers wanting to see films? What is the world coming to?). Before they could escape, I leaped from the bus and asked some quick questions.


Lanre Olabisi - Writer/Producer/Director - August the First

So what do you think when you first hear "Atlanta"?

The South, Fried Good, College (because his roommate was from Georgia)

What was the biggest challenge in making this film?

Everything is a challenge, but currently, distribution is the biggest challenge (although this is the film's fourth festival).

Why should filmmakers make flims in Georgia?

The varied landscape and the good weather.


Phyllis & Lia Johnson - Producer - I'm Through With White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks)

What do you think of when you hear "Atlanta"?

Rap artists, plantations, and peaches.

What films are you hoping to catch at the festival?

Someone Else's War, Killer of Sheep, Reservations


Although some members of our group was now lost to the sands of time (or other festival activities), we soldiered onward to Crawford Communications, the largest post-production facility in the southeast.

Our first stop was a sound-mixing lab where we watched some of Novum, "One if the best films no one is ever going to get to see." But like the screening room at Cinefilm, the auditorium we were in at Crawford was a high-end sound set up which allows mixers to accurately mix sound to a stadium setting. They're also the ones who work on the Regal Concert Series, seeing as people who handle live performances don't worry about the center speaker and the sub-woofer and those two elements are somewhat vital to a screening experience. As we left, the tech gave us a very important note: always clap at the beginning of a take and end with two beeps because sync is far too time consuming for how easy it is to bypass sync problems.

We moved on to one of Crawford's editing suites, where we learned another important lesson: Talk to your post-production facility before you begin filming so you can save time, money, and heartbreak. Senior Editor Tom Roche then showed us a film Dare Not Walk Alone, which was a fantastic documentary but desperately needed a skilled and focused recontrasting and brightening. For a few thousand, Crawford provided those services. While such a service may seem like a luxury to a filmmaker on a tight budget, it's a shame if you have a great film and no one can tell because it looks wretched.

Tom then showed us some of Crawford's fun side where they edited together a concert of the Japanese Punk Metal band, Melt-Banana, whose lead singer doesn't speak English but has access to an English Thesaurus and that's where she gets the lyrics.

We then moved on to the Spirit 2K Data-cine that allows for massive color correction because it's transferring digital information and--oh no, my brain broke trying to explain it. Once again, for a better explanation, talk to the experts. However, I do know that it will get your film up to broadcast standards should it air on television.

It was now time to leave Crawford which meant it was also now time to conduct the last interviews of the day and visit one more, very different post-production facility.

C-47 on Filmmaker's Friday: Part 2

This little travel-log will be divided into four parts, both for your reading benefit and for my writing benefit.

AFF Bus Tour: Part 2

Before moving on to our next stop, the Digital Intermediary Cinefilm, we stopped for lunch at The Colonnade where I had the chance to speak to more members of our party.


Arik Sokol - Jury Wrangler - Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival

So what do you think when you first hear "Atlanta"?

Ikea (because every time he visits Atlanta he happens to buy Ikea furniture), traffic, Six Flags.

What is the job of a "Jury Wrangler"?

To keep the massive egos of the jurors in check and make sure they don't wander off. If you lose them, they're very hard to track in an urban environment.


Amy Dotson - Producer & Managing Director of Narrative Programming - IFP

As an Atlanta native who has returned for the festival, what's changed and what's remained the same?

Well the urban sprawl has definitely increased but what I love is that there are bars and parks I used to frequent that are still around.

What are some upcoming projects IFP is handling?

In June will be staring Roughcut Labs, which well instruct aspiring filmmakers how to get their films distributed without having to go through the Miramax route.


After our hearty meal where I learned I missed out by ordering something not-fried, our journey continued by heading to Cinefilm.

Our group was split into two, and my group headed to the screening room and its incredibly comfortable chairs and sofa. Aside from the fact that screenings rooms are neat, it also serves the function of allowing you to really see how your digitally mastered colorization will play on the big screen as opposed to a computer monitor. Furthermore, we learned that a Digital Intermediary is designed as cost-effective. I was too dazzled by the pretty colors and leather chairs, but I'm sure if you contact Cinefilm, they'll explain it much better than I ever could.

Our group then switched places with our now rival group (dirty looks were now passed and a dance sequence from West Side Story was almost enacted), and we moved on to the Telecine where we got to see how the technicians work through the images and handle the lights and colors to create the best image possible. But wait! What if the filmmaker doesn't agree with the tech's choices? It's not a problem because while the director is off handling other projects, he can just check the Virtual Telecine online, see what the tech has done, and then send comments, all in the space of about a minute. Technology be praised!

After this demonstration, our groups reunited, hugged, and swore a blood oath never to fight again. However, as we were getting back on the FurBus, we learned that some members of our group were deciding to go rogue...

Friday, April 20, 2007

C-47 on Filmmaker's Friday: Part 1

This little travel-log will be divided into four parts, both for your reading benefit and for my writing benefit.

AFF Bus Tour: Part 1

The Georgia Office of Film Production was good enough to let us on its tour showcasing Atlanta film production for the benefit of visiting filmmakers and festival organizers . And we were going to ride in style on the FurBus, which is like a shuttle but AWESOME. Riding in it is like riding in a feather boa. I don't know how many purple peacocks, magenta zebras, and twenty-foot leopards had to die to upholster this thing, but it was totally worth it. Already, the group was having fun and we were on our way to Production Consultants & Equipment (PC&E).

Matt Dentler - Film Festival Producer- SXSW

So what do you think of when you first hear "Atlanta"?

Coca-Cola, Hip-Hop

What films are you looking forward to seeing this year at AFF?

A bunch, but most notably, the remastered print of 1977's Killer of Sheep.

Running not only Austin's largest film festival but one of the largest film festivals in the country, what's the most important thing to consider?

You have to care about the audience. The festival should be about them.

We arrive at PC&E, but before our guide Mark Woffard can show us around, they've set up a coffee bar for our group. And like filmmakers to coffee, the filmmakers go to the coffee. While most of the group goes for an oral-injection of sweet caffine, I chat up the gentleman to my right.

Skizz Cyzyk - Programming Manager - MicroCineFest

As someone who's been attending the Atlanta Film Festival for over ten years, what can you tell us about how it's been in the past to how it is today?

Well, there's been good years and bad years but I definitely think the festival is about to enter a new golden age.

As the Programming Manager of Maryland's Underground Film Festival, what the most important thing to consider?

Films. Festivals should be about the films.

What films are you looking forward to seeing at AFF this year?

Monday, Hannah Takes The Stairs


With coffee firmly in hand, the group begins the tour and Mark tells us all about the lighting equipment and services they offer. I'm not a cinematographer, but if I was, I imagine the halls of PC&E is what heaven would look like. Everywhere there are wall-lights, clamps, tweenies, inkies, and more. But Mark makes note that whatever your filmmaking needs, PC&E will work with your to make sure that will find a way to meet your vision with your budget.

As we move on through the massive soundstages, we arrive at the cameras. Camera Rental Manager Paul O'Daniel explains that they recently spent $750,000 on new equipment. As he explains the functions of their new $400,000, top-of-the-line camera, he notes "The talent is here, the work force is here, and now, the equipment is here."

AFF Opening Night

C-47 at the Atlanta Film Festival's Opening Night Premiere: The Last Days of Left-Eye.

AFF Opening Night

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

C-47 at the Opening Night Gala

We were there! These photos prove it!

Click the photo to view the whole album! (Photo Album will appear in a new window)

AFF2007 Gala

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

C-47 + AFF2007 + You = GREATNESS.

You can't argue with that equation. It's science.

C-47 will be at this year's Atlanta Film Festival. Oh hey, you're gonna be at the film festival too? That's cool. We should totally hang out. Here's where we'll be.

FILM BUS! - C-47 goes on a trip around Atlanta with filmmakers outside the community as we try and convince them that not every place in the city is named after Ted Turner and that Atlanta is a great place to make movies, even if those movies aren't about Coca-Cola or Hartsfield Int'l Airport. The bus is kind of full, but check this blog and it will be just like you were without the stopping to go to the bathroom every five minutes.

INTERVIEWS! - Upstairs from the Landmark Midtown Art you'll find a bar called The Independent. Inside The Independent, you'll find the Filmmakers Lounge where we'll be interviewing festival participants and you'll be sharing stories of filmmaking over a beer, if you're so inclined.

- You know all those panels you're planning on attending so you can learn to be a better filmmaker. We're co-sponsoring those! You'll see us at...

The State of Independent Film - Current trends in indie filmmaking and why you need to know about them.

The Write Stuff - Everyone has a great idea for a movie but few know how to translate that idea into the write...I mean right format. And after you finally commit that great idea to the page, what's next?

International House of Production - Minus the hearty breakfast but plus a delightful buffet of knowledge about distributing and exhibiting your film beyond the comfy shores of the United States.

Conversation on Animation and the Making of First Flight - DreamWorks animator Kyle Jefferson takes you inside the creative and technical process of making this animated short film.

Getting The Right Rights For Your Documentary Film - Nobody wants to get destroyed by the legal system when making a documentary (unless they're making a documentary about getting destroyed by the legal system). This panel will talk about how to successfully navigate shark-infested legal waters.

A Conversation With Will Packer And Rob Hardy Of Rainforest Films - How do you distribute films without losing your love of films? Isn't it a fact that the business side of filmmaking crushes souls? Packer and Hardy will tell you how they've managed to brave film distribution with souls still intact.

Get Your Act Together! Your Business Act! - Hey, you're an awesome actor so why do you keep getting turned away from auditions for being too "human" or too "oxygen-dependent"? Where's your super-agent who's gonna fight to get you every part you richly deserve? Attend this panel to find out how you can balance your craft and your business acumen.

We'll also be attending screenings, after-parties, and all other kinds of happenings. So if you're at the festival, come by and say hello! Don't be rude. Say hello. Don't see us from across the room and avoid eye-contact and be all awkward. We're your best friend when it comes to independent filmmaking in Atlanta. So now that we're so close, you only have to introduce yourself and watch this space!