The Libya conflict claimed the life of filmmaker and photographer Tim Hetherington (left), shown here with Sebastian Junger, who wrote a remembrance of him in Vanity Fair. Photo credit: Tim Hetherington.
We search for the more interesting and provocative news and views of the past week…just so you don’t have to.
This week we have a look at some of the news from the Tribeca Film Festival, whether or not transmedia means anything of importance, and how DSLRs like Canon’s 5D now get important help from industry mainstays.
Now in its tenth unspooling, the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) continues to add value to its feature debuts by adding streaming media, VOD capabilities, and forays into social media and as well as more standard mixes of panels and speakers that offer insights on the state of New York’s media industry.
At theWrap’s inaugural conference about the independent film business, Harvey Weinstein said that The Weinstein Company is on track to outpace even its most profitable years at Miramax. An article on their website said that Weinstein figured that the company would get some 200 films being held by debtors out of hock (there’s still $335 million in debt overhanging company operations) within two to three years.
If you would like the video of Weinstein’s talk at theWrap’s session, click here.
Executive director of the Tribeca Film Festival Nancy Schafer talks about the TFF’s first 10 years with indieWIRE. According to Schafer, the “power of cinema to foster change” still constitutes the real roots of the TFF.
TheWrap’s inaugural conference on independent filmmaking also included a talk by R. Eric Lieb on transmedia as the “future of storytelling”. Lieb, president of Blacklight Transmedia, described transmedia as a type of storytelling in which creative elements “are disbursed systematically across different media channels” in order to create a unified media-based entertainment experience. Article is here.
Still not sure what transmedia is? Earlier this month the PGA had codified the nomenclature to move it into the producer’s groups purview. Here’s what a transmedia producer must do according to the PGA:
A Transmedia Narrative project or franchise must consist of three (or more) narrative story lines existing within the same fictional universe on any of the following platforms: Film, Television, Short Film, Broadband, Publishing, Comics, Animation, Mobile, Special Venues, DVD/Blu-ray/CD-ROM, Narrative Commercial and Marketing roll-outs, and other technologies that may or may not currently exist. These narrative extensions are NOT the same as re-purposing material from one platform to be cut or repurposed to different platforms.
A critique from Filmmaker Magazine’s Scott Macaulay on the term and its viability is here.
Lieb had been in town to present at the a conference on transmedia co-produced by the IFP. As a term and concept, transmedia has garnered disdain according to the IFP’s Mark Harris. As Harris says on this posting from on Filmmaker Magazine’s site, “(Independent filmmakers) think it’s just marketing, or they don’t understand why people can’t just sit and watch a good film.”
Read more here.
Variety offers its usual extensive range of coverage of the festival, from reviews to distribution deals to a telling look at how varied the festival has become in Anthony Kaufman’s Tribeca: Decade of Expansion.
If this first spate of warm weather has your thoughts drifting to the out of doors–including, of course, that classic New York refuge of rooftops–you’ll want to check out Rooftop Films’ lineup for their 15th annual summer series. Screenings start May 13th and runnning through August 20th.
Independent Film Week 2011 gets a new venue as per this article on IndieWire. The two groups behind the week of new work–Independent Film Project (IFP) and the Film Society of Lincoln Center–have announced that they will relocate the event to Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center; it will include joint programming during the New York Film Festival.
We just couldn’t get to most of the many new product announcements at NAB 2011 in our posting last week, but hopefully our suggestions of where to go for more info helped.
But if you want to check out one more series of short, smart NAB articles that will leave you with a better sense of how and just where all the new tech fits together, I can highly recommend David Leitner’s five-part Mondo NAB that he wrote for Filmmaker Magazine.
A move by two important players announced at NAB 2011 caught our notice the other day, so we thought to mention it here.
At the show, Technicolor announced a strategic alliance with Canon USA. What’s the big deal? This is the first time a world-brand lab of Technicolor’s size and sophistication will work to enable DSLR users to make use of Tech’s color-science, delivering a suite of creative tools to cinematographers using Canon EOS DSLR cameras in motion picture and television production.
Here’s Below the Line’s short article on the news.
This is pretty impressive stuff, considering how readily the output from Canon’s large sensor DSLRs has made its way into feature film and TV projects. The new suite of creative tools include Technicolor’s CineStyle; paired with Technicolor’s Digital Printer Lights, the two apps will provide “seamless pipeline from principal photography into editorial.” You can read the full release here.
For indie filmmakers, broadcast lenses suddenly became more relevant at the show as large, single-sensor camcorders proliferated. Check out Mitch Gross in Abel Cine’s blog on how the lenses–with their high zoom ratios with wide apertures in a relatively compact size–are now usable via a custom optical adapter the rental/sales house now offers.
Finally, in this touching tribute in Vanity Fair, Sebastian Junger remembers his “collaborator, confrère, and friend” Tim Hetherington, the Restrepo co-director who was recently killed while covering the fighting in Libya.
Author and filmmaker Junger co-owns the Chelsea bar and restaurant The Half King, where Hetherington frequented when he wasn’t on assignment in a dangerous location, according to a blog on the LA Times website.