Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The 13th Amendment [VIDEO]

An Internet contact of mine Philly's own Mike D of Reelblack is doin' it "reel" big. Forgive the pun. :(
Reelblack’s latest short film production, THE 13TH AMENDMENT was recently awarded the Grand Jury Prize for the first ever CNN IREPORT FILM FESTIVAL. IReport is CNN’s user-generated video blog. The 13th Amendment was chosen among hundreds of submissions dealing with this year’s election submitted from around the world. Grand Prize is a trip for two to his 2009 Presidential Inauguration and a hi-def video camera.

According to Mike he "chose the title The 13th Amendment to remind folks that there wasn't always a time when all Americans had the right of freedom. One of our greatest privileges is the Right To Vote. Please do it on November 4." I can't agree more.

Congrats to Mike D and his awesome company/movement, Reelblack! You can view The 13th Amendment below

You can view the award announcement at http://youtube.com/user/reelblack

Mike Klein's article in Philly Inquirer about the win can be viewed here: here

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hip Hop Rules

It was the fall 1999, a cold and blustery day. Okay I don’t know what the weather was and it isn’t even really relevant to this story. I just always wanted to say that like the narration to some old movie LOL. Let me try this again.

It was the fall 1999. I was looking in the course catalog for some film/television classes. I came across MCOM 430-Media Producer being taught by “White”. The first day of class I meet our instructor Rick White. I was surprised to see Rick teaching this class. You see I met Rick in 1996 when he directed my first winning script Without a Doubt. (You can read more about that at the link.) Rick is a Director/Producer from the local television station that co-produced my script, WMAR TV 2 (in Baltimore). I came in kind of late and he was showing his reel and the opening to my film was part of it. :D

Knowing his field Rick taught us how to be a television producer, showing us exactly how they produce the news among other things. Our final project was to produce our own piece and that brings me to the point of this blog entry. (It took me long enough I know).

I knew this rapper and I decided to produce a profile about him. I shot hours of footage on several different days to get some good footage. One night I met him in the studio and that’s where I interviewed his producer Mark Baltimore.

This was one of the three final production projects I had to complete. I shot all this footage with the rapper and had to edit it down to I think 10 minutes or less. When I started editing I was like wow this stuff with Mark is good. Turns out after all the hours and days I shot with the rapper Mark’s stuff was the best. Every time I showed my piece (and it wasn’t many times) people would like what Mark had to say best. Truthfully even I did and one of Mark’s sound bites closed the piece because I thought it was so strong. If I had the time I might have went back and shot the whole thing about Mark, but I was under the gun. For some dumbass reason I was taking THREE production classes. I was taking Video/Film Editing, Directing For Film and the aforementioned Media Producer. In retrospect, I should have never done it because it was grueling. Let that be a lesson boy and girl film students, DO NOT take three production classes in one semester. It was our final project and I had to finish it. It took me about 14 hours to edit the piece down and I got it down to around 5 minutes.

This re-edited piece is all Mark Baltimore. I combined the “old school” ‘Nother Brother opening with new ‘Nother Brother animation. I threw in some quick transitions to break up what I thought was the best stuff he had to say. Most of it is from the original piece, but I included NEVER BEFORE SEEN FOOTAGE. (I always wanted to say that too.) There really is no clear narrative to this re-edited piece, it’s basically sound bites strung together. I kept the same music and the same “strong sound bite” closes the piece along with the “old school” ‘Nother Brother closing. I digitized the original project and then went and found the original footage and digitized some of that. (Never lose your footage boy and girl film students; you never know when you might need it.) I rushed this re-edited piece also, but before you say some people never learn let me explain. I didn’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time on this because I am still editing The Part . I also wanted to show some of the hard, hard work I did in college. Okay it wasn’t that hard (LOL). You never know, if this gets like a gazillion hits I might shoot an update with Mark.

For the filmmakers, I originally edited this with Media 100 editing software and the new edit was done with Avid. By the way I got a B in the class. :D

Well here it is no real frills just “The Rules”. First, a WARNING the video contains explicit language. Having said that...ladies and gentlemen Mark Baltimore

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

CAmm I am

Since 1995, The Creative Alliance (pictured left) has promoted Baltimore, Maryland as a dynamic center of art in all genres. With members ranging from artists and educators to neighbors and supporters, The Creative Alliance cultivates community through collaboration.
The Creative Alliance is based in the old Patterson Theater hence their full name The Creative Alliance at The Patterson. I'm a member of CAmm, the Creative Alliance MovieMakers.
Creative Alliance MovieMakers (CAmm), a media resource group, offers workshops, screenings, equipment, and networking to folks who work in (and/or love) film, video and digital media. Created by artists working in film, video, and digital media, Creative Alliance MovieMakers’ mission is to establish Baltimore as a national center for distinctive and significant film and new media-making. Building on Baltimore’s heritage of original voices, CAmm cultivates a community that supports the creation and promotion of innovative work in film, video and new media.
I started going to the Creative Alliance because of CAmm events, screenings, workshops, etc. They have other artist events, workshops etc, but as you know, I’m all about film. They have the CAmm Cine Lounge (formerly the CAmm Salon).

Two of Baltimore’s most important filmmaker programs merge to make one powerhouse professional and networking opportunity for filmmakers and actors!CAmm Salon and Cinema Lounge team up as the NEW CAmm Cine Lounge! Cinema Lounge, the vibrant film gathering formerly at Gardel’s, moves to The Patterson, merging its lively following with the CAmm Salon’s detailed critiques and short format screenings.
Cinema Lounge’s Stacie Gentzler (Black Ink Films) hosts! Bring your new film or work in progress (max length 15min) for critical conversation with your peers(plus written feedback!) Bring business cards, headshots, press packets, etc for our info exchange tables! Networking power hour w/ drink specials finishes the night!
The Salon (yeah Imma call it the Salon for a minute) is a great way to see what other filmmakers are doing and give your feedback. To be a filmmaker you must, first MAKE FILM, then you must WATCH other films. In my opinion to be a good filmmaker you must always be a student of film. I have to make a concerted effort to just WATCH a film and not analyze it. As a filmmaker you are always saying WOW that’s a beautiful shot, that’s a cool camera movement etc. At the Salon you can admire and critique people just like you...independent filmmakers. I suggest if you are a filmmaker you get down to the CAmm Cine Lounge (okay I said it) and not only see films, but meet other filmmakers; plus remember...bring plenty of business cards.
The Creative Alliance also offers the CAmm Cage.
Based in traditional film, digital video and new media technologies, CAmm also offers access to affordable production equipment rental.
They have a blog @ http://cammcage.blogspot.com/. You can see a video about the CAmm cage below.
You can go to Creative Alliance’s website at http://www.creativealliance.org/