Randall Dark is one of the pioneers of making movies and television programs in large format digital video. I’ve known him for more than thirty years and known his wife, Kristen Cox for more than twenty. When Randall recently confided in me that he has Alzheimer’s disease, he encouraged me to think more about Kristen’s needs now than of his own. I reached out to her to offer my support and told her I wanted to write a profile of Randall to remind the industry of how important his contributions have been for the broader world of what we now call digital cinema. She agreed and here is part of that profile, told in their own words.
Production & Post-Production
Randall Dark is a pioneer of making movies in large format digital video. Still developing projects today, he was arguably the industry’s most passionate advocate in the effort to convert the television industry to high definition. Since working on the world’s first HDTV production in the ‘80s – the CBC mini-series Chasing Rainbows – he has made countless feature films and documentaries that explore both the wonders of the world around us and the complexities and humanity within all of us. Recently Randall learned that he has Alzheimer’s disease. With his wife Kristen’s support, he is fighting the disease with all the creativity and humor and simple grace that those of us who are blessed to call him friend know so well.
The Long Walk is the third feature film by director Mattie Do (Chanthaly, Dearest Sister), who was raised in Los Angeles but relocated to Laos to become the country’s first, and only, female filmmaker. In an interview in Women and Hollywood, Do described her genre-bending film as “an unconventional time-travel thriller set in a forgotten rural village in Laos, about the ethos of a man, plagued by regret and loneliness, and his downward spiral into becoming a serial killer. He also has a very complicit ghostly friend.” Cinematographer Matthew Macar shot the low-budget feature over 32 days in Vientiane, Laos with very little prep time.
Film industry veteran David Burke has been appointed chief marketing officer of the Oscar-winning animation studio Laika, creators of Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link. Burke joins Laika from Universal Pictures where he was general manager for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since 2006. Laika president and CEO Travis Knight made the announcement.
The Climb, director Michael Angelo Covino’s engaging debut feature, centers on the complex friendship between two men, Michael and Kyle, played by Covino and real-life friend Kyle Martin. For its Foley team from Alchemy Post Sound (working under supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer Ryan Billia), The Climb posed unique creative and technical challenges. Its first act centers on a bike ride that Michael and Kyle take in France prior to Kyle’s wedding. As the two men ascend a long hill, Michael makes a stunning admission regarding his friend’s fiancé. The results are disastrous with the men ultimately becoming involved in a violent confrontation with a passing motorist. Adding to the tension, the whole scene is captured in a single, intricately choreographed Steadicam shot.
Christie is proudly supporting the Toronto International Film Festival as the Official Digital Projection Partner for the 19th consecutive year. The event runs September 5-15 and, for the first time, all major festival sites, including The Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Elgin Theatre, Roy Thomson Hall, Ryerson Theatre, and the Winter Garden Theatre, will be equipped with Christie 4K projection.
MTI Film’s workflow software Cortex v5.2 has been officially certified to support Dolby Vision Content Mapping v4. Cortex can be used to apply Dolby Vision Content Mapping algorithms (v2 and v4) in preparing Dolby Vision interoperable master format packages, and when importing, exporting or modifying Dolby Vision XML and MXF files.
The goal of the filmmakers behind the Showtime series On Becoming a God in Central Florida was to create a softer look to tell the 1992 story of Krystal Stubbs (Kirsten Dunst), a minimum-wage water park employee who lies, schemes and cons her way up the ranks of Founders American Merchandise (FAM) — the cultish, flag waving, multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme that drove her family to ruin.
The production of the feature film Brittany Runs a Marathon presented several challenges. The directorial debut of Paul Downs Colaizzo, the film was shot by cinematographer Séamus Tierney, who came to the project late. That was just one of the reasons he was grateful to have the Panavision family of services to back him up, including camera support and Light Iron post-production.
The Hollywood Section of SMPTE will explore the advent of wide color gamut and its impact on motion picture and television production at its monthly meeting September 25 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles.