Los Angeles

PODCAST: Writing and Crowdfunding an Original Webseries With Will Gong

By Noam Kroll

On this episode, I interview Will Gong – a talented Los Angeles based Writer and Editor with years of experience working on large scale feature film projects. Currently working at Disney, Will has edited promos, featurettes, behind the scenes content, and much more for films like Star Wars: Rogue One, Beauty and the Beast, Straight Outta Compton, and many others.

While Will has a great deal of experience working on larger productions, he has most recently decided to develop his own content on a smaller scale, and is now in pre-production for a new micro-budget web series he wrote, titled Bunkheads. Over the course of this interview, Will shares his invaluable insight on the development and writing process for his project, experiences with crowdfunding and pre-production, and much more.

Take a listen to Episode 15: Writing and Crowdfunding an Original Webseries With Will Gong

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For more info on Will Gong and his project Bunkheads, please visit: www.bunkheads.net

You can also check out Bunkheads on social media using the links below:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BunkheadsTV

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bunkheads

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bunkheads

And for more content like this, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

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From:: Noam Kroll

Venmo Scammer Steals an URSA Mini

By Charles Haine

A Venmo scammer is targeting camera gear in Los Angeles, highlighting lessons for all filmmakers selling their kit.

When it’s time to upgrade to the newest camera, one of the best ways to offset that cost is to sell your old equipment, which often harbors a lot of value. Unfortunately, used marketplaces are not always entirely trustworthy—as experienced by several Los Angeles filmmakers in a story broken by The Verge. A man going by the name Andy Mai has been buying photo and video equipment, including a used Blackmagic URSA Mini for the amazing price of $1,500, and paying via Venmo. A giant red flag should be Mr. Mai’s insistence on breaking the payments up into many sub-$100 chunks; after the camera is exchanged, the payments turn out to be fraudulent, leaving the seller without cash or the camera.

What can you, as a filmmaker, do to protect yourself?

Read More

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From:: No Film School

Scammers are using Facebook Marketplace and Venmo to steal camera gear

Following multiple instances of camera store burglaries earlier this year, a new report from The Verge sheds light on an ongoing scam that uses Facebook Marketplace and payment system Venmo to steal camera gear from unsuspecting sellers. According to victims interviewed for the report, scammers operating under the name ‘Andy Mai’ and variations of it have made off with at least $25,000 worth of camera gear.

The scam is simple but devious in nature, and it depends on sellers being unfamiliar with Venmo and its policies. After contacting a seller, one of the scammers will request to pay for the camera gear using Venmo; if the seller agrees, the payment is made via a large batch of small, rapid transactions. Though sellers report having found this odd at the time, the money appeared to be safely in the sellers’ possession, and so they proceeded with handing over the equipment to the ‘buyer.’

Upon trying to transfer the money to a bank account, however, the seller discovers that the transfer has been halted and the account frozen. The reason, according to the victims, was cited as a violation of Venmo policy which forbids using the platform to receive money for selling items. About 20 sellers, all in the Los Angeles area, reported being hit with the same scam over the course of two weeks.

The Verge states that out of the 20 or so alleged victims who have come forward, they were able to verify four of the thefts and that those thefts alone totaled $25,000; actual victim losses are expected to be much higher. In a statement on the matter, a Venmo spokesperson told The Verge that it ‘strongly’ cautions its users to only receive payments from known, trusted individuals. → continue…

From:: DPreview

6 Reasons Why “Memento” Is Christopher Nolan’s Most Complex Movie

By Bennett Ferguson


During a drive from Chicago to Los Angeles, Jonathan Nolan told his brother, Christopher, about a story he was working on—a story that would change both of their lives. It was a tale of vengeance shadowed by loss: The saga of a man incapable of making new memories hunting for the criminal who murdered his wife.

Jonathan’s story (which was published in Esquire under the title “Memento Mori”) got his brother’s attention. Not only that, but Christopher ultimately adapted the concept for the screen as “Memento,” a Southern California neo-noir that received two Oscar nominations (for Christopher’s script and Dody Dorn’s editing) and became famous for its audacious backwards narrative (which begins with its protagonist, Leonard Shelby, played by Guy Pearce, completing his bloody-hearted mission, then doubles back to dissect the events that lead up to the kill).

“Memento” was released domestically in 2001 and in the years since, both Christopher’s and Jonathan’s stock in the entertainment industry has gone stratospheric (as writers, the brothers collaborated on several of Christopher’s films, including “The Dark Knight,” “Interstellar,” and “The Prestige”). Yet despite the increasingly flashy achievements of both men, “Memento” remains a milestone in their respective careers—for the following six reasons and beyond.

1. Its backwards narrative captures its protagonist’s fractured state of mind

In our current era of suffocating Marvel bombast, it’s almost unbelievable that a film as unconventional as “Memento” was ever greenlit. Yes, Christopher Nolan quickly proved himself with the masterfully menacing “Following,” but the idea of making a film that opens with an ending and closes with an opening must have seemed daunting. After all, emotions are linear by nature; at the time, how could audiences have been expected to invest in a film filled with feelings that coursed like a river backpedaling against its own → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Editor Ethan Mitchell Joins Cut+Run

By Staff

Cut+Run has welcomed editor Ethan Mitchell to their roster. Mitchell will be based out of the NYC office and is also available to work via Cut+Run’s locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Austin. The editor is reportedly known for editing beauty-infused work in a variety of genres, including visual storytelling, documentary, comedy, and brand supported […]

The post Editor Ethan Mitchell Joins Cut+Run appeared first on Below the Line.

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From:: BLT News

SIGGRAPH 2017 Production Sessions to Feature Expert Creators of Game of Thrones, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Cars 3, Overwatch, and More

By Staff

SIGGRAPH 2017, the annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing advancements in computer graphics and interactive techniques, has announced the highlights of this year’s Production Sessions program. SIGGRAPH 2017 will mark the 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and will be held 30 July–3 August 2017 in Los Angeles. SIGGRAPH Production Sessions […]

The post SIGGRAPH 2017 Production Sessions to Feature Expert Creators of Game of Thrones, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Cars 3, Overwatch, and More appeared first on Below the Line.

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From:: BLT News

THROWBACK FRIDAY: How Not to Get Ripped Off in Post Production – Indie Film Hustle

By Alex Ferrari

Please note: Throwback Fridays are archival episodes from the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. After many requests from the IFH Tribe to bring back some of the show’s best episodes, I decided to create Throwback Fridays. These episodes will not be posted every week but at least twice a month…if not more.

There’s so much amazing info and knowledge bombs in many of these past episodes and I don’t want them to be lost in the sea of IFH Content so I’ll be putting a spotlight on them in Throwback Fridays. Enjoy!

How Not to Get Ripped Off in Post Production

Over the years I’ve seen many of my fellow indie filmmakers get completely ripped off when they entered the post-production process. So many promises are given and the rates they charge are criminal. I wanted to put together a podcast to pull the curtain back on the “true” pricing of post production services.

Now, this is based on my experience working in Los Angeles so the prices might differ depending where you are in the country or the world.

I hope this episode provides a great amount of value and that it saves you your hard earned cash while making your next indie film. Enjoy!

Right click here to download the MP3
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    From:: Indie Film Hustle

The International Cinematographers Guild Selects 21st Annual Emerging Cinemtographer Awardees

By Staff

The International Cinematographers Guild (ICG, IATSE Local 600) has announced eight honorees for the 2017 Annual Emerging Cinematographer Awards (ECA). The collection of short films will be showcased at the ECA premiere event at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theater in Los Angeles on September 24, 2017. Screenings in three major U.S. cities follow the […]

The post The International Cinematographers Guild Selects 21st Annual Emerging Cinemtographer Awardees appeared first on Below the Line.

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From:: BLT News

Why Success Takes a Lot More than Just Desire

By philcooke

I actually met a prospective filmmaker recently who moved to Los Angeles to become a film director. I asked him what he’d directed so far and he replied, “Nothing.” But that wasn’t all. I discovered he’d never taken a class, never read any books on the subject, never worked on any projects at all. All […] → continue…

From:: Phil Coke


By Posted by Jody Michelle Solis, Editor

SIGGRAPH 2017, the world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques, proudly announces Floyd Norman, the first African-American animator to work for Walt Disney Animation Studios, as its keynote speaker. SIGGRAPH’s keynote session featuring Norman will be presented as a fireside chat, allowing attendees the opportunity to hear a Disney legend discuss his life and career within an intimate setting. SIGGRAPH 2017 will mark the 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and will be held 30 July–3 August 2017 in Los Angeles.

Floyd Norman was the subject of a 2016 documentary film entitled “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life” from filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey. The film, which covers Norman’s life story, also includes interviews with such notables as actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg (voice, “The Lion King”), Richard Sherman (composer, “Mary Poppins”) Leonard Maltin (film critic), Ralph Guggenheim (former vice president of animation at Pixar) and Gary Trousdale (co-director, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”), among others. Ain’t It Cool News hailed the film “delightful” and said, “[Norman is] a man who has undoubtedly brought joy to your life without you even knowing it.”

“Floyd Norman is a living legend and a national treasure. He is an animator, storyteller, and renowned artist. As the first African-American animator to work at Walt Disney [Animation Studios], Norman is an inspiration to those of us who followed his trail-blazed path into the animation, motion graphics, and computer graphics fields. We are thrilled that he has accepted our invitation to appear as our very special keynote speaker for SIGGRAPH 2017,” said SIGGRAPH 2017 Conference Chair Jerome Solomon.

Norman was hired as the first African-American animator at Walt Disney Studios in 1956 and was later hand-picked by Walt Disney himself to join → continue…

From:: Student Filmmakers


By Posted by Jody Michelle Solis, Editor

SIGGRAPH 2017, the world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques, is pleased to announce that it will host a special VR presentation and film screening produced by The New York Times. SIGGRAPH 2017 marks the 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and will be held 30 July–3 August in Los Angeles. Registration for the conference is now open.

Graham Roberts, director of immersive platforms storytelling for The New York Times, will present a 40-minute talk about the organization’s VR expertise and integration of the new medium into the legendary media outlet’s news reporting through NYT VR. The Talk will include insight into the making of “The Antarctica Series: Under A Cracked Sky,” a nearly 10-minute short film that was executive produced by Roberts and is one of four films within the Times’ Antarctica series.

“Under A Cracked Sky” will also be seen during a recurring screening within the conference’s first-ever VR Theater, part of the SIGGRAPH 2017 Computer Animation Festival.

“We are beyond thrilled to be welcoming Graham Roberts, the man who helped spearhead and establish the Times‘ NYT VR program, to our conference this year,” said Jerome Solomon, conference chair for SIGGRAPH 2017. “Having a project with the pedigree and prestige of ‘Under A Cracked Sky’ truly establishes the fact that we continue to present our attendees with world-class material and technologies. I am certain people will enjoy Graham’s presentation and short film — after all, it doesn’t get more impressive than The New York Times!”

Graham Roberts notes, “VR is an incredible new tool that gives people a different perspective — it offers the feeling of full immersion within our news stories and reports. I see VR → continue…

From:: Student Filmmakers


By Posted by Jody Michelle Solis, Editor

SIGGRAPH 2017, the world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques, will host a highly diverse array of new Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) projects from around the world during its upcoming annual conference. SIGGRAPH 2017 marks the 44th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, and will be held 30 July–3 August 2017 in Los Angeles.

A relatively young program within the SIGGRAPH conference, VR Village features VR and AR installations that are both content-driven and highly interactive. The venue offers attendees the ability to explore the fascinating potential of brand-new VR and AR formats for shared experiences, engaging audiences, and powering real-world applications in health, education, entertainment, design, and gaming.

While previous years’ VR Village contributions included art, real-world applications, and simulations, the 2017 program focuses on diversity — both of the storylines featured within the projects as well as the diversity of creators and producers who are presenting content.

Denise Quesnel, 2017 VR Village Chair, said, “Our jury selected content for this year’s VR Village that would be ‘hands-on’ and that focuses on the experience itself rather than the technology. In this way, we will be offering conference attendees the chance to explore the capabilities and functionalities of each project in context. Projects that include performative elements and social experiences will be featured, along with multi-user experiences that are highly collaborative.”

Quesnel adds, “We made a conscious effort for diversity – we tried to normalize our content to be as diverse as possible. We believe that diversity in content, and diversity of contributors, helps facilitate perspectives and opportunities that are of great benefit to attendees. The experiences that will be seen this summer are not only outstanding examples of VR and AR, but can only be → continue…

From:: Student Filmmakers

Animation Expo in Los Angeles

By Posted by Jody Michelle Solis, Editor

Animation Expo in Los Angeles

SPJA ANIME EXPO features Animation premieres, making of animation show, competition, cosplay, Music, Gaming. The tradeshow will take place from July 1 through July 4, 2017, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Film Premieres and Screenings

Be among the first to watch a premiere, discover a new series, re-watch an old favorite alongside other fans

If you’re attending Anime Expo, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re interested in anime, so come watch the latest at the expo. AX hosts premieres of the newest movies and shows, as well as screenings of many more. In recent years the expo has premiered works such as Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, Sword Art Online II, and the world premiere of the English dub of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

The expo also has four dedicated screening rooms in both the LACC and JW Marriott which host over 100 screenings sessions throughout the weekend. These screening rooms showcase a wide variety of anime series and content, from nearly every genre possible. Many of these series can be purchased in our Exhibit Hall.

2017 Exclusive PREMIEReS
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Prologue OVA World Premiere
7/1 @ 4 PM

Tokyo Ghoul World Premiere
7/3 @ 7:30 PM


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From:: Student Filmmakers

SMPTE Publishes Key Reports on Time Code Standard

By Posted by Jody Michelle Solis, Editor

SMPTE®, the organization whose standards work has supported a century of technological advances in entertainment technology, today published two documents, the Time Code Summit Report and the Material eXchange Format (MXF) Time Code Study Report. Both reports offer valuable insights into how the SMPTE Time Code standard (ST 12-1 Time and Control Code) can evolve to serve as a more useful tool in media production.

“SMPTE Time Code is used extensively throughout production and postproduction. With the evolution of media technology since its introduction in 1975, it is showing its age in some areas,” said SMPTE Director of Engineering and Standards Howard Lukk. “We are exploring ways to improve Time Code. The results of the Time Code Summit Report provide a better understanding of the drawbacks in its current use, in and beyond the conventional audio/video community, and of the direction we need to take in developing a new standard. At the same time, we’re using the MXF Time Code Report to clarify Time Code in MXF and how facilities can work with it more efficiently.”

The Time Code Summit Report presents the methodology and findings of surveys performed at the Time Code Summit, a series of focus groups held in London, New York, and Los Angeles. The report summarizes user requirements that must be addressed by any new Time Code standard, particularly the proposed Time Labels standard to address the radical changes brought about by the industry’s integration of Internet Protocol (IP), the push to higher and variable frame rates, and other factors testing the limits of the existing Time Code standard. The report also includes an explanation of the study effort, the survey questions asked and answers provided, and the dialogue that occurred at each summit.

The MXF Time Code Study Report focuses on the current usage of Time Code within → continue…

From:: Student Filmmakers