Burbank-based AlphaDogs Post Production has released the documentary American Empire on Amazon instant streaming and DVD. The film is also available on iTunes, Vudu and Xbox. American Empire sets out to trace a common cause of our problems in finance, food, medicine and social justice.
When an action movie script on a tight budget included such challenges as close-ups of mixed martial arts fighting, a high-speed car chase shot from a low-flying helicopter, and low-light location scenes, director of photography, David E. West, knew the solution was to capture it all using a Canon Cinema EOS C300 digital cinema camera, a Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera, and EF-Series lenses. Having used the EOS C300 camera on a previous assignment, West was enthusiastic about its portability and low-light advantages. He also owned an EOS 5D Mark II camera, and was a fan of Canon lenses both for photography and for shooting reality TV. West decided from the outset that the ambitious visuals needed for Blunt Force, a new film from director Daniel Zirilli, would make this an all-Canon project. Shot on location in Mississippi, the movie tells the story of an ex-soldier imprisoned and forced to be part of an Internet cage-fighting club.
While on location shooting the documentary about traditional silk weavers, Silkies of Madagascar, award-winning National Geographic stills photographer and video director David Evans decided to make the leap to Director of Photography.
It’s taken several years for cinematographer Lan Bui to bring Redemption: The Darkness Descending to completion. But it’s been worth the effort. The multi-platform project began as a 24 episode web series that allows the audience to enter an underground world and become part of the story through a groundbreaking interactive app, and has since grown into a feature film.
When shooting his recent independent feature Heads We Do, cinematographer Andrew Huebscher faced challenges including a tight budget, a 15-day shooting schedule, exterior night scenes, and the need for outstanding motion-picture image quality.
Foxed, an award-winning, 3D animated short by Toronto-based director James Stewart will have its Canadian 3D premiere and theatrical run in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, starting June 28.
Principal photography has wrapped on Mom’s Night Out, the family comedy produced by Kevin Downes to be distributed by Affirm Films and Provident Films. Its creators describe it as film that celebrates real family life—where everything can go wrong and still turn out all right. "We wanted to make a film that the whole family could enjoy," said Downes, who also acts in the movie.
Demarest Films and Cinedigm have entered into a co-acquisition and distribution to create a new co-acquisition and marketing arrangement that should greatly expand independent film acquisition, marketing and distribution opportunities for both parties.
[Editors Note: As has been widely reported, in recent weeks filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Steven Soderbergh have predicted that Hollywood will implode if the major studios continue to invest only in tent-pole movies and endless sequels. In a guest column Russ Collins, artistic director of the Cinetopia Festival, CEO of Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater and director of the Art House Convergence, takes exception.] Steven Spielberg is a gifted filmmaker whose impact on the art and business of cinema is arguably peerless. Steven Soderbergh is a gifted and important filmmaker. The aesthetic and financial success of both Stevens is unquestioned. However, both of these cinema icons have come out with almost bitter assessments of the future of movies recently. I believe these assessments are wrongheaded. Maybe it’s because the pessimistic assessments come from these two cinema idols that it makes me sad and a little mad.
LA-based rental house Radiant Images announced the Radiant Novo Challenge filmmaking competition at the Palm Springs International ShortFest this week. The Radiant Novo Challenge will provide select filmmakers with the opportunity to create a short film using the new Novo digital cinema camera.