Erin Vassilopoulos’ directorial feature debut, Superior, is having its world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Superior was inspired by a short film of the same name that she wrote and directed in 2015 when she was working on her MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While both films explore the relationship of identical twins and feature the same actresses, they tell very different stories. In the feature length version, when Marian is on the run, she goes to the only place she knows is safe: her childhood home. She is greeted by her estranged sister, Vivian, a stay-at-home housewife struggling to conceive and on the verge of a failing marriage. Though the two are identical twins, they live opposite lives. Marian’s mysterious return disrupts Vivian’s small-town routine, and the sisters must learn to reconnect and reconcile. When Marian's haunting past finally catches up to her, their separate worlds collide, catapulting both sisters into grave danger. I spoke with Vassilopoulos by email during the Festival. Our conversation began with what it was about twins that captured her imagination as a storyteller.
Like many people with a musical background, multi-award-winning recording and mixing engineer Chris Fogel, CAS, made the jump from playing instruments to working behind-the-scenes. A trumpet player by training, Fogel has spent more than two decades recording and mixing music for high-profile musicians, films and television projects alike. Most recently, Fogel worked on the scores for The Mandalorian, Tenet, Black Panther and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood; portions of season eight of Games of Thrones, as well as music by Alanis Morissette, Childish Gambino and many others, from ELBO Studios, of which he is co-owner.
Last month, when the Göteborg Film Festival announced that one person would have the opportunity to watch this year’s festival at Pater Noster lighthouse without family, friends or mobile phone, the idea turned out to be immensely appealing. In less than two weeks, the festival committee received more than 12,000 applications from more than 45 countries. After a comprehensive process involving interviews and tests, one person has finally been selected for the coveted place: emergency nurse and film enthusiast Lisa Enroth from Skövde, Sweden.
While the HPA Tech Retreat has long been recognized as the common ground forum of the industry's most thoughtful technical minds, this year’s event comes at a seminal moment in time. At the confluence of the impact of pandemic and technology renaissance, against a changing landscape of media and entertainment, this year’s program curators are setting the stage for an event and knowledge exchange like no other Tech Retreat before it. Set for March 15–24, the 2021 HPA Tech Retreat will, as in years past, feature the industry’s most informed voices.
DPA Microphone and Rycote have announced the winners of the Pay-It-Forward Film Contest Giveaway. The brands joined forces to support the film industry during these unprecedented times by offering first-time and indie filmmakers the opportunity to win a customized DPA/Rycote filming kit. The winners of the contest are Jacob Deming of the United States, Lijie Cheng of Singapore and Sergey Martynyuk of Austria. The winners will receive three DPA mics – the brand new 4097 Micro Shotgun, 4017 Shotgun and 6060 Core Subminiature – along with an array of Rycote accessories.
Redbox is partnering with Screenvision Media to expand its opportunities for advertising to its millions of customers across the United States. With Screenvision Media, Redbox bolsters its ability to provide national, regional, and local advertising to its 40+ million customers across its entire entertainment and marketing ecosystem delivering hundreds of millions of video and display impressions through digital out of home, web, app and connected TVs. Redbox and Screenvision Media will combine efforts under Redbox's Redbox Connect advertising sales arm.
Late last year, as was widely reported, the investment firm Arts Alliance opened Garden Studios, a 62,000-square-foot facility located in Park Royal, West London. Arts Alliance founder and CEO Thomas Hoegh said at the time, “This will be an owner-operated business, spearheaded by people who have long and deep experience across many aspects of the film industry with success stories like Picturehouse Cinemas, Love Film, Arts Alliance Media, Met Film School and Park Circus under our belts. Like all Arts Alliance companies, we seek to demonstrate an innovative and passionate drive for inclusive community building, learning, and opportunities for all.” In all his businesses Hoegh says, “My principal task is not to be in the way.” I recently spoke via email with Hoegh and Garden Studios CTO Rich Phillips to learn more about this latest venture.
Produced to extremely high production standards and directed by Indian American filmmaker Mira Nair, A Suitable Boy tells the story of spirited university student Lata (Tanya Maniktala) as she comes of age in North India in 1951, at the same time as the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election. The series involves more than a hundred characters, many belonging to one of four extended families.
Audio challenges have inhibited wider acceptance of larger direct view displays because, unlike with acoustically transmissive projection screens, loudspeakers cannot be located directly behind the visual image. Placing screen channel loudspeakers around the display perimeter compromises uniformity of coverage, stability of image localization, and overall audio fidelity. To address this situation, Meyer Sound has introduced Ultra Reflex, a patent-pending solution for optimum reproduction of discrete screen channel audio on large-scale direct view video displays. For the initial launch period, Ultra Reflex solution is paired with Sony’s Crystal LED. The first joint installation for the two technologies is at a reference-level screening room and lab on the Netflix campus in Los Angeles.
Late last year, Deluxe Entertainment appointed George Eyles executive vice president and general manager, worldwide cinema. The move marks a return for Eyles, who at one time was Deluxe’s managing director of digital cinema, EMEA. Prior to rejoining Deluxe, he was at Maccs, a Vista Group company, where he served as CEO and led Vista’s Numero box office reporting business. Previous to that Eyles served at Arqiva where he was responsible for the deployment of a pan-European electronic delivery network for cinema and creating that company’s live event services delivering hundreds of live alternative events to cinemas around the world; and for creating and implementing systems and frameworks in areas including asset deliverables and technical operations, optimization of operational efficiencies, creation, localization and distribution of content assets in the digital cinema and digital platform spaces. I spoke with Eyles via email just as he was settling into his new job, which is where our conversation began.