Features

The FCC Showdown

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On October 22, 2003, the FCC held a hearing on localism in Charlotte, NC. FCC chairman Michael Powell probably wished he’d stayed home. There was a kind of “Showdown at the OK Corral” feeling to the whole thing, with nearly 350 witnesses—everyone from fundamentalist Christians to independent film producers and songwriters—making strange bedfellows as they… Read more »

Sam Chen

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Oftentimes an independent filmmaker requires the support of an army of many—actors and crew—to nurture his or her film into fruition. In the case of director-producer Sam Chen’s computer-animated short film “Eternal Gaze”, a biopic on the life and art of Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti, the required support came down to an army of one…. Read more »

Digital Intermediates

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Your next film probably won’t be digitally mastered. But the one after that probably will be. That’s how fast the costs of a digital intermediate are falling, even as the quality and benefits of digital mastering rise. Sure, digital video doesn’t have the warmth of Super 16 or 35, and you’re not about to throw… Read more »

48 Hour Picture People

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At 7:00 p.m. on a Friday night, more than twenty teams of filmmakers gather at a local film center or bar. In a random drawing one member of each team picks a film genre out of a hat. Every team is then given the same character, prop, and line of dialogue they’re required to include… Read more »

Ask the Documentary Doctor

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Dear Doc Doctor: Is a short film the obligatory starting point of a filmmaking career? If so, what can I do with it when it’s finished? It doesn’t seem to make financial sense to make a short. Some filmmakers start with a short either while in film school or out on their own, and that… Read more »

Two Steps Back

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The Federal Communications Commission has voted to loosen media ownership laws, allowing one company to own television stations that reach forty-five percent of the American viewing audience (up from thirty-five percent). The new rules also permit cross-media ownership. Now, one corporation can own both a television station and a newspaper in the same market. On… Read more »

Counter-Currents and the Joy Quotient

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The label “experimental” has been troubling me for a while now. For too many people, the word only conjures up the films of Brakhage, Mekas, Anger, etc. So much so that the very term has calcified within the minds of hipsters and film aficionados alike—ending the canon in the seventies. Today the notion of producing… Read more »

The View from the Whitney

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Chrissie Iles is the curator of film and video at the Whitney Museum of American Art and has been curating for twenty-three years. Before joining the Whitney in 1997, she was head of exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford. Her Whitney exhibit, Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964-1977,… Read more »

Living the Indie Life

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The notion of the starving artist is a romantic one. Sepia-toned images float through our collective minds of creative geniuses scraping together enough pennies to drink a pastis in a Boulevard Saint Germain cafe, tummies growling while masterpieces bubble up in their brains. But the reality of life in the twenty-first century requires serious cash—and… Read more »