Mar 23, 2017
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Mise En Scene Nov09
Oakland’s 8th Film Festival
The Oakland International Film Festival showed last month at the Grand Lake and Jack London theaters and Merritt College. Despite limited funds, director David Roach (above) and his dedicated volunteers made improvements over last year. They got the program in the East Bay Express, attracted marquee sponsors, and showed some great films, albiet a little light on international fare, save for Melitta Tchaikovsky's "Never Again," about Darfour.
Some interesting films about Oakland debuted: "Through the Walls," by Chris Constantine and Jennie-Sue Nuccio, a moving portrait of musicians in San Quentin, some locked up for life by California's Three Strikes; and "Imagine Peace," by Jasmeme Miranda and Shomari Smith (see Apr09 CS) covers some Oakland residents inspiring kids to personal growth.
Difficult as it is to mount a film festival, as organizers with ten times Roach's budget well know, it is critical that people see films that will never make it to PBS or the local multiplex.
Skype Approaches Broadcast
Last month, Beyond Pix and NATAS demo-ed how Skype can be used as a broadcast tool. It allows a reporter or a pundit to appear on a television show, live, with little more than high speed Internet, a laptop, a camera and a microphone - well, maybe a light or two as well.
Two experts, Julian Spitkka from Skype and Don Sharp from KPIX (above left and center, with Beyond Pix's cinematographer Sean Karlin) discussed what can be called "Skype-casting," no pun intended, before an audience of more than 70 NATAS members from around the Bay Area.
Setting up a live feed at Beyond Pix, they shot the two experts with two professional cameras and one consumer. The first was connected to expensive fiber optic line to the in-house theater, the second to a computer running Skype.
Attendees could see the difference between an expensive fiber connection and the almost free Skype: not much - although with the consumer cam, it was huge. In a pinch, Skype can offer a viable alternative for remote broadcast needs.
Julie Rubio Shoots in Hawaii
Orinda-based director/writer Julie Rubio, who recently recut her 2007 feature "Six Sex Scenes and a Murder" and got it into Netflix, finishes location shooting in Hawaii this month for her next film, "Masked Truth."
"I'm loving it," she emailed. "I am working with my 'A' team again. Marty Rosenberg is the DP, Anthony Lucero, editor, and Christian Glib, art director. I couldn't do it without them."
There are a few additions, like cinematographer Jeff Deveraux (above left, Julie, center, Stephen Meyers, right) and local producer Betty Guerre. Although line producers are essential anywhere, judging from the photo, this gig doesn't look that rough. Interiors are slated to shoot this month in Oakland and San Francisco.
In addition to having "Six Sex Scenes" releasing on both Netflix and Hollywood Video, Rubio's yoga video sold, and "Oakland B Mine," which she's producing with Oakland director/shooter Mateen Kemet, goes up on the Oakland Airport's "media wall" by Christmas.
"With the hard economic times, there may not be as much film being produced in the Bay Area, but I will do my part," says Rubio, "Life is short, I love what I do and I love the Bay Area. So why not make it happen here?"
Intellectual Romantic Indie
The 95 minute feature "Mismo" was submitted to several festivals and will have a new trailer and Website out this month. Co-created by Lorraine Flett and Gino Dante Borges, "Mismo" explores an existential crisis among three people: a Latina struggling with her faith, online dating, and the death of her beloved gay brother; an upper-crust psychologist who quotes Castaneda but has her own lurid history and the man the psychologist meets online.
"The story takes them through a range of emotions - fear, doubt, hope, lust and love," said Ms. Flett, "Proving that, as much as everyone appears different, really we are all the same."
Set in San Francisco, the film was shot at 44 locations in six months of night and weekends, with Danny Baldonado on camera and Jeffrey Davis, who also played the male lead (shown above), on lights and sound. The solid cast, resulting from rigorous auditioning of Bay Area actors, also includes Caroline Kuntz and Lee Kuhn as the women, with newbies Samantha Warnick and Peter Federico in featured roles.
The score is by veteran Ed Bogas, and includes songs from Gregory Paul, Calexico, Xavier Toscano, Chris Trapper and Sean Hayes. The estate of Tennessee Williams generously allowed incorporation of scenes from "A Streetcar Named Desire" for a nominal fee.
The filmmakers are seeking distribution.
Posted on Nov 03, 2009 - 05:44 PM