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The Marinsider: Film-Me-In
by Jay Randy Gordon
As 32TEN kicks off its workshop series—(lf-rt) Pierre Maurer, Fon Davis, Carol Baumann, Lorne Peterson and Larry Tan—the participants, especially Ms. Baumann, seem to be enjoying themselves. photo: J. R. Gordon
Let's take a look at the numbers—think of the numbers we used to see before the start of a movie: 3... 2... 1... 0.... That spells: 32 TEN , as in
32Ten Talks Miniatures and Digital FX
The former Lucas moviemaking soundstaging headquarters (once called Kerner Optical and Kerner Studios) for its address at 3210 Kerner Blvd. has re-branded and re-loaded. Launched in early 2012 by longtime entertainment industry leaders Tim Partridge and Greg Maloney, 32TEN Studios is a production services company offering digital and practical FX as well as stage rentals. Since the facility was designed and first occupied by ILM, it also has a stellar theater.
This month Maloney, along with Vince De Quattro, kicked off a Professional Workshop Series for professionals and enthusiasts alike featuring production designers, model makers, and visual special effects veterans from ILM. The first one was entitled "Models and Miniatures in A Digital Age with
", who did a lecture on practical visual effects, followed by a panel discussion with
, Fon Davis, Carol Bauman and Pierre Maurer.
Fon worked hard to put together a comprehensive presentation and slide show demonstrating how practical effects are more relevant now than ever because of digital photography.There was also a screening of Pierce Burton’s "Sense of Scale" documentary on model making with a post screening Q&A with Pierce Burton.
It was fun to watch Davis, Tan and Peterson in particular holding court to the 70+ in attendance at 32TEN's deluxe George Lucas Theatre. Lorne Peterson is a visual effects master who worked on the six "Star Wars" films, won an Academy Award for “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and a British Academy Award for Visual effects, and authored “Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside The Star Wars Model Shop".
Fon Davis is a Vietnamese-born model maker turned studio owner, who worked his way up to do everything from 'Nightmare Before Christmas' to 'Star Wars'. photo: courtesy 32TEN
Davis, fresh off a mini-speaking circuit at places like the San Diego Comic-Con (March) and
, is now involved in projects like MORAV: Missions and is hard at work at his Lagunitas (West Marin) model making and production studio.
MORAV is an indie series, graphic novel-to-screen film now in production which plunges you into the middle of World War III with the crews of giant robots and an embedded news correspondent, all fighting for survival in a terrifying robotic war, see their
Rumors are that Fonco is in final discussions with the lead female character that will be pivotal to the cast. During the presentation, Fon described the pros and cons of using physical models versus CG renditions, and how those choices vary depending on the shot. He also discussed pre-production considerations involved in the design and fabrication of practical models, such as choice of scale, choice of materials, budget limitations, motion control, composite shots, and stop motion.
Next up for Speakers at 32TEN Studios is the JULY 26 arrival of a Hollywood Pitch Agent,
. Kosberg comes to the Kerner Loop of San Rafael, compliments of 32TEN Studios tenant (app developer) RipplFX, and he will teach anyone who has thought they had a great MOVIE idea how to formulate succinct, persuasive, and compelling pitches that could land their ideas on TV or the big screen.
George Lucas announcing he is moving on. photo: courtesy Lucasfilm
Speaking of Lucas, by George, BYE George
Inside sources confirmed what many of us feared: The promising Grady Ranch studio plan fell victim to nimbyism in the form of the local Lucas Valley homeowners association. Actually, it was a loud few (more like five or six key individuals that we call “flies in the ointment”) that spoke their mind and transformed what would have been solid tax revenues for the county, not to mention several film industry positions and real-life film production jobs, into a revenue flow in reverse.
Not cool. Particularly for those of us wishing that more films would be shot in the rich and varied Marin County climes, terrain, and locations, our hopes were dashed by the loud few.
The result? Now that George is tired of his loaded, entitled neighbors putting up the “not-in-my-backyard” stance, he wants to transform the Grady Ranch property into low-income housing. Lucas stated: "If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit."
Basically, George said, if you want to thumb your nose at a nearly 300,000 square foot, state-of-the-art movie studio, complete with day care center, restaurant, gym and a 200-car garage … and the resulting $300 million of economic impact and activity that it would bring to the surrounding Grady Ranch over the next few years, after all I've done for the area, then basically shove it.
He is now working with the Marin Community Foundation to construct affordable housing for either low-income families or seniors living on small, fixed incomes. In order to smooth along the development, he provided the MCF his pricey technical studies and land surveys that Lucasfilm spent years conducting. Surely Silicon Valley will welcome George, and chances are the project will remain in NorCal to find favorable rates and a giant PR bonanza deal down in Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Mountain View... Valley Ho!
Charlie Walker, who was given the Standard Oil contract to clean up Stinson Beach after their oil spill, later wrote the book on it: 'America Is Still The Place'. photo: J. R. Gordon
Film-Me-In: The Marin County Film Rumor Mill Keeps Turning
There is a feature film project to start shooting late 2012 and early 2013 in Marin County (Stinson Beach, Muir Beach), Richmond, Ocean Beach, and downtown San Francisco with post-production scheduled for just after the America's Cup race. It is based on an infamous Standard Oil tanker collision and crude oil spill just outside the Golden Gate in the Winter of 1971.
Oil was everywhere, and in coastal Marin County, one controversial yet inspiring man was responsible for supervising the cleanup. Based on a true story that was written in book inside Folsom Prison, this man's accounts of what happened will be shaped into an intriguing feature drama that captures the zeitgeist of 1970's San Francisco. This writer understands that the yet untitled film project is simply called “Slick.”
Woody Allen to San Francisco?
YES, that is what we hear. Woody to Sausalito for an encore of “
Play It Again, Sam
" (1972)—well that could happen but is unlikely. More likely: Allen's 2013 plot undisclosed and untitled film, starring Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Peter Sarsgaard, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., and the D-man, Andrew “Dice” Clay, will be shot in New York and San Francisco. Nevertheless, the Marinsider has it on good measure that some stagers involved with Woody's production company have been sniffing around South Marin—smells like a hidden part of Sausalito to me.
Marin Film Fests
Congratulations to the 4th Annual
Sausalito Film Festival
which played in May, the 12th Annual
Tiburon International Film Festival
which ran in April, and good luck once again to Mark Fishkin and the 35th Annual
Mill Valley Film Festival
team which is coming from October fourth through the 14th.
Props to Propville for Showing that Marin Cares
Marin County Film Office
—yes, a privately-run office does exist and it, along with us, would like to see more movie magic made in Marin, especially now that Grady Ranch will not be materializing any film projects—should step up and take note of San Rafael's Teri “Today is your day to be the Hero“ Cundall. Teri calls herself the Chief Instigator and runs
, the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest directory for production resources, from props to photographers, live camels to musical instruments, sound studios and film locations.
A rabid regionalist (but in Marin, that's a good thing), Ms. Cundall holds environmentally and socially conscious businesses in the highest regard. Teri has guided Propville since 2000 and has more than 15 years of production experience for the likes of Apple, Wells Fargo, Nikon, Adobe and the Grateful Dead.
A free-to-use resource, The Propville Directory was built by production professionals with roots in film, commercial photography and special event production plus merchandise people and event/theatre planners and brings together independent media artists and the companies that provide goods and services in Northern California. Always hungry for connection, Teri transverses all realms of production for not only the resources necessary, but the community and understanding that can help make a stellar workflow experience.
In her Marin shout outs, Teri offers high marks and favorable opinions to people like Steve Rizzo, GM of the
Lodge at Tiburon
– they both tend to host the production crews for automotive commercial shoots who come to Marin and West Marin to shoot car commercials. She also highlights professional Location Scouts like
Cathryn “Catbird” Blum
, Matt Reoch of
of Magnetic Image Video, San Rafael, CA (a professional camera rental house).
When she is not developing new additions for the directory, Teri is styling, planning a Dog & Pony Show™ or breathing deeply in Downward Dog.
Like my last article boasted, “Marin may just still be the place”—for film, yes, but also for music. Famed music club fixture, The Trident, on the main Bridgeway drag of the Sausalito waterfront that stares face-to-face with our beloved San Filmcisco skyline, will be re-opening in 2012 (TBD) following a long-standing internal upgrade and re-designed sound and lighting system. Of note, Led Zeppelin, Santana, and Vince Guaraldi made regular appearances there back in the day, and Bill Graham would hold regular private parties, many of them with the Rolling Stones. Welcome back to the future, The Trident.
Also welcome to the neighborhood
, Phil Lesh and friends' relatively new place, which provided many upgrades and overtook The Seafood Peddler ...and thanks for coming back
Sweetwater Music Hall
in Mill Valley. You both really rock.
Jay Randy Gordon is the co-founder of the
Transmedia Film Festival
(Oct 12-13 in SF), as well as the founder of
(a new basketball tourney for the ages) and an event producer residing in Marin County:
or just call (650) 346-8127
Posted on Jun 25, 2012 - 09:21 PM