January/February 2004

The Medium is the Maker

Affordable Options for Unique Visuals


Filmmakers are often touted for their “vision”—their singular sense of how a movie should look, sound, and feel. But every film starts on paper, with a screenplay or even just an idea for a character or a mood. A director must partner with a cinematographer, a production designer, and others to translate that idea into a compelling, visually sophisticated narrative.

Aaton’s Cantar & A-Minima


Aaton, the innovative French camera and audio manufacturer, has recently released two new and remarkable products—the Cantar digital audio recorder, and the A-Minima Super16 film camera. The A-Minima is a film camera built to operate like a DV camera, while the Cantar is a digital audio recorder that operates much like a standard reel-to-reel recorder, but records to an internal hard drive in a way that surpasses other digital means like DAT or DV cameras.

Colorvision

Marc Johnson's Enlightening New Series


Marc Henry Johnson, executive producer and chief visionary of the newly premiered public television series Colorvision, is a passionate advocate for fair and balanced representation of minority cultures on our airwaves and movie screens. Disarmingly affable, Johnson is also politically savvy, articulate, and inclusive-minded.

Sam Chen

Computer-Animated Biopic Strikes a Chord


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.

Festival Circuit

2003 Mill Valley Film Festival


Nestled next to majestic Mt. Tamalpais and filled with four-star restaurants, fine watering holes, and numerous natural wonders, the small city of Mill Valley nestled in Northern California’s Marin County provides a great backdrop for a relatively small but exceptional film festival.

The FCC Showdown

Can Independents Win The Battle?


On October 22, 2003, the FCC held a hearing on localism in Charlotte, NC. FCC chairman Michael Powell probably wished he’d stayed home.

Sweet Sixteen

Shooting up with 16MM


MAY 10, 2003

Digital Intermediates

It's Not Your Parents' Technique


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.

Detroit, Michigan

Slowly grows fertile for filmmakers


Over the course of two generations, Detroit has gone from a symbol of American industrial pro-wess to a shorthand term for the worst of American urban decay. The city’s hardest days are over, though—the days when commentators were calling Detroit a third-world city or, as Diane Sawyer once said, “the first urban domino to fall”—and there are real signs of recovery.

Ask the Documentary Doctor


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.

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