starting to become an interesting time to be a DVD fan. With an
increasing number of movies being released on the format for a second
time (watch out in the next column for a review of the upcoming
‘Definitive Edition’ of Fight Club which might gall the thousands who
bought the already extra laden DVD only a – comparatively - scant few
years ago) and talk of Blu-Ray and the like, there’s never been a more
obvious opportunity for people to make money out of the consumer for
the same thing over and over again. Then again, DVD has allowed a
number of films and unknown TV shows to finally fight their way out of
dusty vaults and into the living rooms of those who would love and
cherish them. As Special Edition #15 (and most of the rest of
the columns) shows there’s an eclectic wide range of films new and old
that are being introduced to a whole new set of film fans. Where else
can Laurence Boyce get excited about Hitchcock going via the Queen of
France and some hard edged TV drama outside of a crazy man’s dream?
Look out as the heavy hitters from Cannes 2006 are starting to make their way onto DVD as Special Edition # 14 contains reviews two of the very best from last year’s festival. Laurence Boyce also sees that DVD producers are suddenly suffering from outbreaks of common sense, as numerous great –and forgotten – TV shows are unleashed on the buying public. There’s even a little bit of a TARDIS traveller and his spin off show for those so inclined. Its enough to make you a shut in for the rest of the month (don’t joke though: how do you think that I reviewed these?
Making and Marketing Hobbyist DVDs
The explosion in pro camcorder sales says there are a lot of people out there with video shooting kit that will produce professional results, many of them focused on traditional markets like film and television, but when it is not shooting that carefully constructed documentary, or between film assignments, how can your camcorder earn its keep?
One area of enormous growth is SIVs - special interest videos - aimed at the hobbyist market, where there are plenty of people needing to extend their knowledge and skills but with limited opportunities enabling them to do it. A night class may be too far away, or happen in the autumn, when the skills it imparts are needed in the spring. It is a almost a gift market for people with filmmaking skills who are commercial minded enough not to pass over an income generating opportunity presenting itself before their viewfinder.
Chalk Hill Books, L.A, March 2006, 416 pages, $29.95
Low budget film production is a chicken and egg scenario. For the production to be successful you need experience to avoid potentially costly mistakes. If you have that sort of experience already, you are unlikely to be making low budget films at all. If you want to go the low budget route, how do you get the experience you need to make a success of it?
The sensible and constructive answer to all these things is to get your hands on a copy of this book, Planning the Low Budget Film. It will cost you $29.99 which is excellent value and it is a good guide. Seriously good.
Robert Latham Brown who penned it, is known as Bob Brown in the business. Mel Brooks calls him "Mr On-Budget." Bob Brown has had 30 years in the movie business and accumulated a lifetime of knowledge and hands-on practical experience, on location.
HDV Filmmaking by Chad Fahs
An Authoritative Guide to the Brave New World of HDV
470 pages Thomson Course Technology $49.99
High definition video is the latest technology to enable filmmakers to capture the best possible image at lowest cost. Because it shares tape transport with DV format, it is often see as the next step up, but this is not DV, it is a very different animal and it has far more capability. It carries a lot more digital information and with more control over it, so there's much more that can go wrong, making HDV sometimes a little tricky to handle.
For anyone making that upward step to hi def technology, here is the ultimate guide to the HDV learning curve - one that can get you to the top quickly, easily and safely, with no drop-out.
American video producer Richard Andrewski has solved the studio director's double dilemma. First, how can you keep people comfortable in a studio sweating under from high-wattage floodlights all pumping out plenty of heat along with plenty of light?
Second, how can you get enough cool light instead and keep it under control, without breaking the bank?
Since fully entering the London rat race I have come across a number of 30-somethings that appear to feel rather bitter about being around 20-somethings, much to the bewilderment of the latter. It is these people that will perhaps scoff at the idea that there is a big leap between being 21 and 24, crying that it is all within the same degree of naivety, but I can vouch for this leap when remembering my reaction towards Albertina Carri’s Los Rubios, released in 2003 and one of the first films I saw during my first period of living in Buenos Aires.
A trio of films from the east exploring the subconcious world offered a mind-expanding taste of world cinema at the 20th Leeds International Film Festival.
Khadak, A Taste of Tea and Paprika each show exactly why international film festivals are so important, as they opened a wardrobe door into a Narnia both culturally and aesthetically on the other side of the world. Maybe you would see these films late on FilmFour or through a DVD club, but rarely on the huge screen of a Vue cinema, and even then perhaps only if the TV listings writers are smart enough to make it pick of the day rather than the latest Ron Howard. But at a festival with as strong a programme as Leeds (also famous for its Asian cinema strands) and with an access all areas pass costing just £60 (or a press pass in my case) there is no excuse, and very little risk of being disapointed, as I found out, over three days during the festival.
There are plenty of surprises cooking up in the Shah family's Indian restaurant in Pratibha Parmar's debut feature, Nina's Heavenly Delights. Described by one of the cast as "My Beautiful Restaurant," the film's director acknowledges that ground- breaking launderette drama's influence upon her colourful and amusing romp across some of the boundaries that can separate people from each other. This is an uplifting film celebrating diversity and it's a real change to find Glasgow settings used to capture something of the real vibrance and vitality of that great city. James MacGregor reports on what's on the film's menu.
- Mischief Night
- Iraq's Oscar entry Ahlaam gets a UK premiere at Leeds
- Special Edition # 12
- London Film Festival - Infamous, Who Loves the Sun, Shut Up & Sing
- London Film Festival - Mischief Night, Dark Blue Almost Black and Buenos Aires 1977
- Go Wild With Your Camcorder – How to Make Wildlife Films
- Special Edition # 11
- Classic Britfilm: Edge of the World On DVD
- Special Edition # 10
- Counterfeit Worlds: Philip K. Dick On Film