The Big Picture

The Catalyst Awards for NAB 2015

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 11:30 -- Nick Dager

Every April during the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas hundreds of companies presents thousands of ideas of ways to improve the motion picture production process. These ideas are packaged in hardware and software of all shapes and sizes. The best of them offer ways to make the task of bringing picture and sound to the screen easier, faster or less expensive. Some promise all three. But the best of the best do even more. These truly groundbreaking breakthroughs don’t simply improve the process; they point to a different way of doing things. Some people call these developments disruptive and often that’s true. But they catch on as people see the value of the concept, regardless of the cost and in a very short time it becomes the way everyone works. These are the ideas that merit a Digital Cinema Report Catalyst Award.

A Filmmaker First

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:38 -- Nick Dager

Alan Blanco says he thinks of himself “as a filmmaker first” and it’s understandable why. For someone still so early in his career he’s had a wide range of craft jobs on a long list of films. His IMDB credits list includes gaffer, key grip, camera operator, sound recordist, editor, sound editor and ADR engineer. Now, he’s added two more credits: screenwriter and cinematographer. Blanco co-wrote Manos Sucias, a widely acclaimed independent feature film with director Josef Kubota Wladyka and shot the film on location in Colombia. The film opens in select New York theatres April 3.

Moving to Metadata

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 11:35 -- Nick Dager

As the National Association of Broadcasters convention approaches, one topic that seems likely to get a lot of attention is the Interoperable Master Format. The motion picture industry as a whole is starting to coalesce around the concept of relying completely on metadata to carry content through the entire production, post-production and delivery process. In particular, the IMF is steadily gaining traction and, when widely adopted, could serve to streamline workflow and delivery. It can’t happen too soon.

The Colors of American Dreams in China

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:07 -- Nick Dager

American Dreams in China, director Peter Chan's first digital cinema effort, was shot on Arri Alexa and recorded on Codex. Chan’s strong affection for the filmic look determined how the film would be graded and finished in post. Colorist Antonio Zhang of the Chinese facility Post Production Office Group supervised the entire process.

Making Jail Caesar

Sun, 11/23/2014 - 13:26 -- Nick Dager

How does a young man some called “a wastrel” become, at just 33, Julius Caesar, ruler of the known world? For writer, director, producer Paul Schoolman, that question was the genesis of his new film Jail Caesar. Starring Derek Jacobi as Sulia, John Kani as Marius and Alice Krige as the Pirate Captain, the movie is set in three South African prisons and features prisoners in key roles. The film has won several major awards around the world and will be available on Netflix later this year. I spoke via several emails with Schoolman and co-producer Krige, about the long, hard task of bringing Jail Caesar to life.


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