Latest blog posts by ErenGulfidan Your Film Character's Life on Social Media <p>This is the second post in the blog series I'm writing for my transmedia project, <strong><a href="" target="_blank">REFRESH</a></strong>. To read the first one, visit Refresh - <a href="" target="_blank">The World of Transmedia and Multi-Platform Storytelling</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>I guess it was three or four years ago (maybe five?) that I really started questioning how <strong>social media</strong> was affecting my personal relationships and the way I perceive myself, as well as my friends and acquaintances. Was I accurately representing myself on Facebook? Were they? Did it matter? Why did I care so much about what people were up to? Was I genuinely curious, or was I just killing time? Could it become an addiction? Why did it matter whether my posts received any likes or not? Would my life be better without <strong>Facebook</strong>? What about <strong>Twitter</strong>? Was I doing enough promote myself and my work? Was I creating a brand for myself or out of myself? What did that mean? The questions are endless.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users/galleries/821/Screen_Shot_2014-03-11_at_5.48.50_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="231248" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>And that was three or four years ago... when social media wasn't the social media it is right now. There was no Instagram, no Vine, no Snapchat. I know I sound like a 70 year-old, but trust me, I'm "only" 28. I guess that's considered old though when you live in New York City. Anyway, getting back to what I was saying... Social media at the time was limited. But all these questions were circling my head, and I took relief in what I do best, or what I tend to do anyhow in times of confusion and frustration. I created a fictional character who lived inside my cerebral cortex. The character was a girl in her early 20s who decided to do an experiment and ONLY use social media for communication. That means no telephone conversations aka voice calls, limited face time, no letters or postcards of course. Only Facebook, Twitter, and whatever social platform existed at the time. Email and smartphones were OK too.&nbsp;</p> <p>It wasn't too bad of an idea. I see plenty of films these days, which ask the question, 'What would so and so do without <strong>technology</strong>?' In my story, I was asking what would this young woman do with technology only? And her experiment would face the ultimate challenge when she fell in love with an older man who only communicated via "traditional" means. The things we do for love... Right?</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users/galleries/821/photo7384.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="231250" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Of course, within the past years, my ideas changed, and so did the story. I'm glad I didn't shoot that short film at the time, because I probably wouldn't have created <a href=""></a>&nbsp;now. I don't know what would have happened if I made a movie out of my idea then and the plot I introduced in the previous paragraph, but I would probably be attacking social media more than using it in a helpful way to make my project better. The project would be one-dimensional, because it would only be a movie, maybe go to a few festivals, and then collect dust on a shelf. Or it would keep living online, maybe on Film Annex, YouTube, or Vimeo, but it wouldn't have a life outside itself. It wouldn't have become <strong>transmedia</strong>.To have a life outside oneself... Is that possible? Or for a work of art to have a life outside itself? This is the question I'm interested in.</p> <p>So, instead of being skeptical, I decided to use social media in the best way that I can. I started using it to <strong>develop my character</strong> and <strong>create awareness</strong> for my project. When I created REFRESH, I wanted it to be as visually simple as possible. You go on it, you see a video. You refresh your browser if you want to see a new video. If you don't, you do nothing and the video keeps looping. So, I'm asking, how badly do you want to see this character doing something different? And with that, I'm measuring that feeling of urgency and immediacy we get when we refresh our browsers to check if we have a new email or a new "like" or a new <strong>follower</strong>. How much are we like the girl on the screen? What is the level of our craving for instant gratification, and do we get cramps in our stomachs if we are not instantly satisfied?&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users/galleries/821/Screen_Shot_2014-03-11_at_4.59.23_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="231226" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Sylvia, the main character of REFRESH, is on screen full-time whenever you visit the site. But that's not it. The little icons on the bottom left corner will take you to Sylvia's Twitter and <strong>Tumblr</strong>. On her Twitter, you read her ramblings, thoughts, and feelings. Some of them are light-hearted and funny. Some are depressing and sad. Some don't make sense at all. Some make too much sense. Because that's how she is. She is all of those things. She is 3-dimensional. On her Tumblr, you look at the pictures and videos she posts, hence having a better understanding of what she likes, hates, dreams of, etc. On both platforms, you get to know the character better. And remember, there is no movie yet. I'm developing my character by using social media. I'm also using it to create awareness for the project. If you follow Sylvia on Twitter and Tumblr or just visit her every once in awhile, you're not only getting to know&nbsp;<em>her&nbsp;</em>better, but also discovering/learning more about the project itself. Two birds, one stone? Maybe. And lastly, there's room for interaction via social media. You can tweet to her directly by using the "tweet to sylviamania" on the bottom right corner of the site. Well, maybe you won't now, because you know she is not real. But wait... She's not?</p> <p>In the next blog, I'll get into more detail about the type of videos I'm shooting to create this "external" life for Sylvia. Stay put!</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Eren Gulfidan</a></p> <p>Filmmaker, Transmedia Storyteller, Creative Strategist</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p>Find me&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">@mumfus</a></p> 03 2014 14:45:32 +0000REFRESH - The World of Transmedia and Multi-Platform Storytelling<p>Hi all!</p> <p>I'm excited to introduce a new project that I'm working on. It's called <strong><a href="" target="_blank">REFRESH</a></strong>. What started out as a <strong>short film</strong> concept has now become a <strong>transmedia project</strong> that combines <strong>filmmaking</strong>, <strong>social media</strong>, and <strong>web analytics</strong>. At its core lies a story that almost everyone I know can relate to. Love, longing, communication, and the lack thereof. REFRESH is much more than a film; it's a social experiment and a <strong>multi-platform</strong> experience. My goal is not just to tell a story, but also ask questions about social media's influence on our lives and relationships, involve the audience in the project by doing so, and measure the response.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users/galleries/821/Lily_bed_scene.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="226243" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Social media has become a massive part of our lives. Some people swear by it; others just go with it; and some avoid it. There are a lot of people out there asking whether social media and <strong>technology</strong> are bringing us closer or further apart. There is no correct answer. Everybody's experience is different, and it will stay that way. Perhaps a more important question is this: Are the nature, quality, and intensity of our emotions changing as we get more and more absorbed by technology? In Spike Jonze's latest film, <em>Her</em>, we watched a slightly depressed, longing<em> </em>Joaquin Phoenix fall in love with his operating system, which has a female identity. Scarlett Johansson was basically playing Siri. Pretty much everything you'd see in a relationship involving two humans was there: love, confusion, jealousy, and heartbreak. Was Phoenix's character's emotions less intense or different in nature because he was involved with an artificially intelligent robot? Was the love and lust he felt towards Johansson any different from what he felt towards his ex-wife played by Mara Rooney? How does living in an increasingly technological world change the way we feel? Or does it change it at all?</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users/galleries/821/Rooftop_selfie.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="226244" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>These are the type of questions I'm asking in REFRESH. I'm also incredibly lucky to be collaborating with the wonderful, <a href="" target="_blank">Lillian Rodriguez</a>, who is a talented and dedicated actor, friend, and also a Film Annex blogger. Lillian takes on the role of Sylvia, the main character of the project, and lets the audience into the world of a woman in her early 20s, who is slightly addicted to social media and technology and in search of a meaningful relationship in the real world. Every week, a new video is added to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <p>In the next blog, I will talk about the ins and outs of the project, how I built the platform for REFRESH, how you can interact with Sylvia, and the other goals I'm trying to accomplish with it. Whether you choose to call REFRESH a film or a <strong>data project</strong>, join me in this adventure and become a significant variable in this experiment! I'd love to hear your thoughts about the website. Tell me how it makes you feel, how you relate to it, how many times you refreshed your browser, what else you'd like to see!</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Eren Gulfidan</a></p> <p>Filmmaker, Transmedia Storyteller, Creative Strategist</p> <p>Find me <a href="" target="_blank">@mumfus</a></p> 03 2014 15:07:21 +0000Welcome to the World of Mumfus: Video Production & Creative Strategy<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users/galleries/821/Screen_Shot_2014-02-18_at_3.40.29_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="216248" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Hi everybody!</p> <p>Did someone say the winter is almost over? A lot has happened in the world of <a href="" target="_blank">MUMFUS </a>since October. Starting a company can be more challenging than you think, but it's also extremely rewarding and liberating. Dealing with every aspect of a business can be difficult, but it's more empowering than anything I've ever experienced before. Within the past few months, I've learned more about legal and financial matters in respect to running a business while trying to stay creative at all times. Allow me to get into more details!</p> <p><strong>What is MUMFUS?</strong></p> <p>A creative consulting and production company based in New York City</p> <p><strong>What does MUMFUS offer its clients?</strong></p> <p><span style="color: #ff00ff;"><strong>Video production</strong>, including conceptualization, development, and post:</span> We produce creative, imaginative, insightful, and targeted videos for our clients. Music videos, corporate videos, promo videos for non-profit organizations, and more. Here's a promo video for the Korean singer/songwriter <a href="" target="_blank">Hee Young</a>'s album <em>4 Luv</em>. Video commissioned by <a href="" target="_blank">Pastel Music</a>.</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M31768" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p><span style="color: #ff00ff;"><strong>Creative Strategy</strong> and<strong> interactive marketing</strong> for short and feature-length films:</span> We're talking about creating an audience for your film before you even make the movie! Tell us your story, and we promise to find what makes it tick, what connects it to the masses, and what makes it really special (even if you think you know it). Take a look at what I'm doing with my transmedia project, <a href="" target="_blank">REFRESH</a>. Stayed tuned for my next blog for more details.</p> <p><span style="color: #ff00ff;">Consulting for <strong>online film distribution</strong></span>: You have a video, a short film, or a feature film, but you're not sure which platforms might be the right ones for you? Let's go over your content's needs together and figure out how we can get your project the right exposure and revenue.</p> <p id="yui_3_10_1_1_1392757045009_200"><span style="color: #ff00ff;"><strong>Global outreach</strong> for film and video competitions:</span> Does your festival, campaign, or film contest need extra outreach support? We'll connect you with the right online platforms to get the word out. Moreover, we'll write blogs, press releases, and newsletters, making sure they reach your target audience. We'll connect you with Mumfus' roster of independent filmmakers. We'll also provide you with social media support.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Where is MUMFUS located?</strong></p> <p><strong><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users/galleries/821/Screen_Shot_2014-02-18_at_4.23.42_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="216249" data-galleryid="1025" /></strong></p> <p><strong></strong>We're hollering from the heart of Dumbo, Brooklyn, the neighborhood where all the creatives meet. Located at the brand new, New York City funded <a href="" target="_blank">Made in NY Media Center by IFP</a>, MUMFUS is surrounded by a wonderful community of filmmakers, designers, programmers, technologists, distributors, and more. A blog post dedicated to this amazing place is also in the works. Stay tuned for more!</p> <p>Yours truly,</p> <p>Eren</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 02 2014 14:36:14 +0000Victor Haegelin, The Man Behind the Wire Man and Other Fantastic Creations<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/ComtÇ05_RR2573.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="163633" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: large;">"<em>I fight to make people like stop motion because it's cool, not because it's charming and jerky</em>." - Victor Haegelin<br /></span></p> <p>If you're having a bad day, go to Victor Haegelin's <a href="" target="_blank">Web TV</a> and watch his videos, and you'll feel like you just downed a 5-hour energy drink. Just kidding. The joy you'll feel after seeing this very talented stop motion animator's work will last you a lifetime, which is longer, yes, much longer, than 5 hours (if you're lucky). And there's definitely no crash later. Haegelin's&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">website</a> is like an amusement park. His films are crazyfun rides, and his animated titles made of clay are like cotton candy you want to touch obsessively. Before I go any further with these analogies, let me give you the news that I had the opportunity to interview this talented man who resides in Paris all the way from New York. It's such a small world indeed...</p> <p>So why Haegelin? A director signed to the much-admired and productive production company Partizan, Haegelin has worked with established animators like Michel Gondry, Olivier Gondry, St&eacute;phanie Di Giusto, and Philip Andelman. But I'm not here to drop names. Haegelin's work speaks for itself. It's fun, colorful, refreshing, and innovative. There's a lot of humor to it. There's some social commentary, some experimentation, and lots of absurdity. Haegelin is also one of those people who just gives you a good vibe even if you don't meet him in person. You can tell that he is an analytical thinker, an optimist, and a hard worker who likes to take risks and try something new each time he creates something. If that's not motivational for those of you who are having a bad day, I don't know what it is... Read our fun-filled conversation below!</p> <p><strong>E.G. What's your first memory of animating something? <br /></strong></p> <p><strong>V.H. </strong>I think I understood the principle of animation very early. When I was 12 years old, I bought my first camcorder. It was a prehistoric VHS-C.&nbsp; I knew I could use it to animate if I bought an external module with a remote control. Unfortunately, the module was $100, which I didn&rsquo;t have. So I just made a few short films with my friends.</p> <p>In high school, I saw a very short, cheap, simple claymation made by one of the students. It was like a click in my head. I bought a computer and a camera, and I started to make animations. I think stop motion animation is the perfect example for the art of cheating, because you create movement out of something still. Here&rsquo;s an early cousin of my film <em>Table Bob</em>, which is called <em><a href="">Bathroom Bob</a></em>.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/P15108694712.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="163515" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Haegelin directing Table Bob</em></p> <p><strong>E.G. Can you talk about getting signed to Partizan and working with Michel Gondry? I know plenty of animators who'd kill to be in your shoes!</strong></p> <p><strong>V.H. </strong>You know, sometimes, life is a matter of being at the right place at the right time. And&nbsp;<strong></strong>I was a bit lucky. While still in college, I had to find a one-month internship, and I was having a hard time finding one. Someone who knew that I was fond of animation suggested that I contact <a href="" target="_blank">Partizan</a>, Michel Gondry, or his DOP. And I was like, Partiwhat? Michel Who?!</p> <p>I knew nothing about them, but I called Partizan Paris anyway. They were starting production on a stop motion commercial directed by Valerie Pirson. They hired me for a training period as an assistant animator. During that month, I also had the opportunity to make short animations and show them to the producers. And I guess they liked them, because they called me back a few months later to "try" me as a director on a small, free campaign for Radio Nova, a popular French radio station. I did the <a href="">film</a> and got signed!</p> <p>Perhaps I shouldn't be saying that I work with Michel Gondry, because I only met him a few times in the office (he&rsquo;s right behind me right now actually!) and worked for him once on his last feature film&nbsp;<em><a href="" target="_blank">L'Ecume des Jours</a></em> (<em>Mood Indigo</em>). I don&rsquo;t think he would recognize me! I mainly worked with his brother Olivier Gondry who is also a great director, and all his films present big technical challenges! Everything I did with him was something I&rsquo;ve never done before. I learned so much from him, like taking risks or making something new and different each time.</p> <p><strong>E.G. I'm impressed by your work in general, but <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Professor Kliq - Wire and Flashing Lights</em></a> is my absolute favorite, at least as of now. What's the idea behind the wire man? Am I right in searching for a philosophical meaning, or is it simply a treat for the eyes? </strong></p> <p>Thank you! I think, for the time being, it is my most "finished" work. I&rsquo;ve been wanting to make something new and different, move forward, and not get bogged down in what I&rsquo;m used to making. I wanted to visualize every single sound particle and play with shapes that were created on the floor by the reflection of sound. I wanted to visualize the audio signal with the wire and the animation. I decided that the "wired man" was a kind of "wave man" made of sound that reacts to music. I also wanted it to be the kind of stop motion where you don&rsquo;t really understand if it is stop motion, hand-drawn animation, or CGI. I think I wanted to go much further with it, but I'm really happy with the result.</p> <p><strong>E.G. Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators, and/or animators? Where do you get the inspiration to create the work you create?</strong></p> <p>When I was studying film at FAMU in Prague, I got to discover a lot of Czech animators. I learned a lot from them and I think I still get a lot of inspiration from their work. They have unpronounceable names like Jiri Trnka, Jan Svankmajer, Jiri Barta, and Bretislav Pojar... But inspiration can come from everywhere. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, and I write it down. Most of the time I don't write it, thinking that I&rsquo;ll remember it, and of course, I don&rsquo;t.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/P15500382626.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="163516" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Haegelin directing a KitKat commercial</em></p> <p><strong>E.G. How do you see the state of the animation industry today?&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>V.H. </strong>I think stop motion will never die. It works like waves. Sometimes it is in fashion, and then people are bored of it, and it becomes old fashioned. Then suddenly, someone makes something new and different, and it becomes fashionable again, and so on&hellip;&nbsp; 30 or 40 years ago, it was the only way to make something still move in films. Then CGI came, and everybody forgot about stop motion. Then people got bored of CGI, and stop motion came back because it was charming. I fight to make people like stop motion because it's cool not because it's charming and jerky.</p> <p><strong>E.G. Do you think there are more opportunities for young animators like you?&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>V.H.</strong> Yes there are! Making a stop motion film is very easy even if you&rsquo;re alone. You take the corner of a table, a piece of clay, a camera, and you start. It's much easier to make a nice little stop motion film and feel accomplished than shoot a live action film with good actors, a cameraman, big lights, etc. Stop motion is so much easier to set up. If you have good ideas, you can get to work immediately and show what you can do. This is for someone who wants to become a director. If you want to become an animator, you have to practice a lot. Make an animation, watch it, show it (not to your family, as they are always happy), and see what doesn't work and why. And then start again without these mistakes to improve your skills. All this can be done alone with very few equipment.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Nova02.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="163517" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><strong>E.G. Does the existence of online platforms help you get recognized and get more work?</strong></p> <p><strong>V.H. </strong>Yes, it has become so easy to show your work instantly. But the platforms don&rsquo;t make the movie. You still have to make something cool for people to like it. It's very interesting, because you can see if people like your work or not very quickly. If your film has gotten thousands or millions of views, there might be a potential client in it. But there might also be some people out there who could steal your ideas. Nevertheless, I definitely think that if you make films, it should be to show them. Otherwise, it is pointless. So, yes. Online platforms help!</p> <p><strong>E.G. What's in the future for you? More shorts? A feature?</strong></p> <p><strong>V.H.</strong> I don't know. I will continue to make films. Try something new... It doesn&rsquo;t take long to make one, but we need money. The production team is looking for it at the moment. It's a quite complicated and ambitious 3-minute short film. It will be Hollywoodian! Do you have $130,000 for me?&nbsp;</p> <p>Watch <em>Professor Kliq - Wire and Flashing Lights</em> below.</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M36866" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>Also watch <a href="" target="_blank">this</a> on NEW YEAR'S EVE, because it'll make you enter the new year happy.</p> <p><em>Interview by Eren Gulfidan</em></p> 10 2013 18:14:22 +0000IFP Labs Showcase & How Would Cassavetes Do On Social Media?<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/ifp37489.jpg" alt="" width="263" height="350" data-imageid="154061" data-galleryid="1025" />Last night, the <strong>independent film</strong> community in New York City gathered at Solar One on the East River near 23rd Street for a <strong>social film</strong> night. Though it was an unseasonably cold night for September, the attendees were eager to watch the IFP Labs Showcase, introducing new work by up and coming filmmakers. The showcase was presented in partnership with Rooftop Films, one of the best-attended film festivals in New York, known for its outdoor screenings.</p> <p>IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) has a year-long mentorship program that supports first-time feature directors through the completion, marketing, and distribution of their "low budget" (<$1million) films. Filmmakers join the program to receive the technical, creative, and strategic tools necessary to launch their films – and their careers. The exclusive excerpts (about 20 of them) I watched last night were by the Lab participants, and I was curious to find out how much they've learned and grown during their residency at the program.</p> <p>Daniel Maldonado, an <strong>independent filmmaker</strong> who is currently in post-production for his feature, mentioned that the industry is changing so fast that some of the things he learned 6 months ago no longer apply to the current market. So what can an independent filmmaker do succeed?</p> <p>A volatile industry can be alarming, but there's one thing that remains constant in the equation. The coefficient is the filmmaker who has the power and the ability to promote her work endlessly. She can do this in the traditional way, hopping from event to event, making face time, and with the help of <strong>social media</strong>. <img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: right;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/cass.jpg" alt="" width="210" height="242" data-imageid="154068" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>I'm reading Cassavetes on Cassavetes by Ray Carney, an interview-based book on my favorite filmmaker, John Cassavetes, who is known as the grandfather of American independent cinema. Cassavetes was a very temperamental man who would fight anybody trying to stop him from doing what he wanted to do (his words). He was also a shameless self-promoter in the best possible way. He would lie, exaggerate, throw fits, all because he truly believed in his work and thought his message would make an impact on society. And it did. Would Cassavetes be a leader, an influencer on social media with a ton of followers? Absolutely. He would love it and use it to his advantage till people got sick of him. Perhaps he wouldn't type any of his tweets and would make her secretary do it for him, just like he did with his scripts as he paced back and forth in a room. But, he would still do it.</p> <p>Film Annex's <a href="" target="_blank">BuzzScore</a> rewards those filmmakers who are shameless self promoters, and being featured on <a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a> gives them extra points and visibility, causing their revenues to increase. How much do you believe in your work and how badly do you want to share your message? What do you think of the connection between art and social media today? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!</p> <p>Some of my favorite excerpts last night: <em><strong>Do I Sound Gay?</strong></em><strong><em> </em></strong>by David Thorpe<strong>, <em>Kasamayaki (Made in Kasama)</em></strong> by Yuki Kokubo; <em><strong>Mateo</strong></em> by Aaron Naar; and <em><strong>Approaching the Elephant</strong></em> by Amanda Wilder.</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 09 2013 10:38:40 +0000Getting the Inside Scoop on Sundance Film Festival from Short Film Programmer, Mike Plante<p><strong><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/mikeplante_hand.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="145589" data-galleryid="1025" /></strong></p> <p><em><strong><span style="font-size: medium;">"Festivals and online work well together, and in both cases you have to find a festival or website that you connect with and trust their taste. People will watch a short film more than once, like a great song that you listen to over and over and share with friends. Or an important news item that you share, or a beautiful photograph…" - Mike Plante<br /></span></strong></em></p> <p>I met Mike Plante in July when I attended Sundance Institute's ShortsLab, an all-day workshop where filmmakers get to watch panel discussions on filmmaking, storytelling, working with actors, and collaborating with crew members amongst other topics. Mike was the first speaker at the event as he was one of the organizers. His extensive knowledge and enthusiasm about short films were immediately apparent.</p> <p>Whether you're a filmmaker, an industry professional, or a film lover, there's plenty of information here that you've been curious about. What makes a good short film and what kind of film might get you into Sundance Film Festival?  Are short films simply your ticket to making features or can you make a viable career out of them? So, read on...</p> <p><strong>It seems like there are more film festivals today than ever. What makes Sundance one of the most desired events for filmmakers to display their short films? In other words, what's the key to Sundance's consistent success and popularity in your opinion?</strong></p> <p>Besides a very few exceptions, film festivals are the only theatrical distribution opportunity for a short film, so the more the merrier. I think what distinguishes us at Sundance is that we are lucky enough to have great audiences for shorts, plus we put a lot of time and effort into the projection and sound so the packed screenings are a great experience. Our Festival has a strong history of combining film fans with press and industry, so it’s a huge opportunity for shorts filmmakers to connect with other filmmakers, cast and crew, and possible agents, managers and producers.</p> <p><strong>As a short film programmer with over a decade of experience, what do you think makes a good short film? Or what makes you say, "We can show this at Sundance"?</strong></p> <p>To speak in general terms, it’s about a film “working” for an audience. If it’s supposed to be a comedy, we need to actually laugh. If it’s a drama, it needs to make you feel an emotion. And so on with genres. Documentaries work in the same way with emotions and laughs and worthy stories. Experimental films are only part technical brilliance, you need to get some emotions from it too. Production quality is good to have, but it’s more important to have a great story that’s told in a new way.</p> <p><strong>Many filmmakers see shorts as their "ticket" into the industry or a stepping stone towards making a feature. Why do you think people fail to appreciate the short medium as its own art form? Is it about accessibility, how the industry works, or how films are distributed? Do you think shorts can have their own "industry?"</strong></p> <p>Certainly, there are some filmmakers who make a short film as a way of getting into making a feature. It’s a great way to prove your ability not just to others but also to yourself. And in my experience, there are just as many (if not more) filmmakers who appreciate short film as its own art form and continue working with it. Our short film program each year usually includes work by directors who have made features in the past, and keep making short films.</p> <p>Though there is less money involved in the short film industry than with features, short films do get sales to European television, to some online companies, and in some educational markets. Plus if you are a filmmaker with a vibrant shorts career, your value goes up – in work as a teacher, as a writer, if you try to get into TV work, etc.</p> <p><strong>In addition to your programming background, you also started a film distribution company, Cinemad. As a distributor, where do you see the future of short films? Theaters? Festivals? Online film distribution? Will one of these top the others, or will it be all of the above? Any other possibilities?</strong></p> <p>Festivals are the best way to see a film. The programs are curated, there’s the excitement of an event, and you have all the glory of a theater screening… And online can be a great companion piece. Festivals and online work well together, and in both cases you have to find a festival or website that you connect with and trust their taste. People will watch a short film more than once, like a great song that you listen to over and over and share with friends. Or an important news item that you share, or a beautiful photograph…</p> <p><strong>Can you talk about Sundance's ShortsLab program? How do filmmakers benefit from it? Are you thinking about launching a shorts workshop where selected filmmakers work on developing their films just like the Sundance Screenwriting Lab?</strong></p> <p>ShortsLab is a single-day event full of panel discussions about filmmaking, emphasizing the short form. The attendees get to hear honest advice from seasoned filmmakers with no filter. And there’s a lot of time for taking direct questions from the crowd. It’s a great opportunity for filmmakers just starting out. We also talk about how Sundance works with shorts and the kinds of success and miscues we see. We think this is the best kind of program we can offer shorts filmmakers, and we host them in multiple cities a few times a year.</p> <p>Another program we do is the Sundance Film Festival Shorts Program that tours to art houses around the country. We are bringing a 90 minute selection of shorts from our most recent Festival to over 50 cities in the US, so a variety of audiences can see a sample of what our Festival program is like.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>For a more extensive write-up on Sundance ShortsLab, you can read my blog "<a href="" target="_blank">Sundance in Brooklyn - An All-Day Event for Short Film Development, Production, and Distribution</a></em>."</p> <p>Find <a href="" target="_blank">Mike Plante on Twitter</a></p> <p>Find <a href="" target="_blank">me on Twitter</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Eren Gulfidan</em></a></p> 08 2013 15:58:02 +0000Car Chases and Explosions on WACKY TUESDAYS! - EXIT by Rebel Banana<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-08-13_at_6.04.06_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="143031" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Having lived in New York for 6 years now, I know how annoying those Metrocard machines can be. MTA isn't the most reliable corporation in the world. Just a few weeks ago, one of their vending machines refused to give me my change, and they've owed me $3 ever since. You know I could've bought a bag of nuts or a small umbrella with that money. From the streets!</p> <p>But today, I realized that I'm not the only one frustrated with the world of machines. <a href="" target="_blank">Rebel Banana</a>, a team of animators from Malaysia, share my sentiment. And because they're more creative than I am, they went ahead and made a movie about it. It's called <a href="" target="_blank">EXIT</a> and tells the story of a grumpy debt collector who encounters a faulty auto pay machine upon leaving work. The machine stops working right before it's supposed to give Mike, the debt collector, his change. Mike gets pissed, starts driving away, but to his surprise, gets chased by the machine. I'm not going to give away the ending, but... here's the question. What does the machine want from grumpy Mike? Why is it chasing him?</p> <p>The animation is beautifully made. It gets you excited with its car chases and explosions, but you also find out that it has a... heart, and it's REALLY about... Well, watch the movie! Oh, and yes, it's also kind of wacky.</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M37081" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>Share this movie with your friends and enemies! You'll be helping the filmmakers generate revenues with their film and get rewarded financially. They deserve it, and good movies deserve to be shared. <strong>Social film</strong>!</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 08 2013 17:46:59 +0000Victor Haegelin Joins Eren's Picks! Plus What That Means for BuzzScore and Revenues<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/vic.jpg" alt="" width="193" height="193" data-imageid="141634" data-galleryid="1025" />This week, a new filmmaker joined <a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a>. His name is <a href="" target="_blank">Victor Haegelin</a>, and he hails from Paris, the city of <em>that feeling</em> we sometimes embrace and other times avoid. Yes, I plan on sounding a bit cryptic today. But back to Victor. He is a stop motion animator who got signed to Partizan after graduating from Prague's famous film school, FAMU. He's been creating non-stop ever since, working with people like Michel Gondry, Stéphanie Di Giusto, and Philip Andelman. He tells us that "everything on his Web TV is traditionally handmade frame by frame!" I think Victor fits perfectly into this new society where "local," "organic," and "handmade" things are more and more celebrated. Should Victor move to Brooklyn and leave Paris behind? It's a question to consider. Should I move from Brooklyn to Paris? Probably, yes... if I want to find love anyway.</p> <p>Back to Victor. In addition to being featured as a filmmaker on Film Annex's <strong>online film distribution </strong>platform, <a href="" target="_blank">Victor's Web TV</a> and all of his films became part of Eren's Picks as well. What does that mean? Victor's filmmaker profile and Web TV will appear on Film Annex's homepage in the "sponsored" section, giving him more exposure and visibility. In addition, for every featured film, Victor will gain extra points, amounting to a significant increase in his <a href="" target="_blank">BuzzScore</a>. Victor will soon tell us how he feels about all this in an interview, but he is currently vacationing in an exotic place.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/maxresdefault.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="141633" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Victor's famous Wire Man from Professor Kliq - Wire and Flashing Lights<br /></em></p> <p>So why Victor? Because he is able to make <a href="" target="_blank">two rolls of toilet paper obsess over social media</a> and post embarrassing photos of one another on Facebook. What else? Because he can make <a href="" target="_blank">a bar of chocolate and a bar of caramel dance</a>. He can make drinking look dangerous, but <a href="" target="_blank">flirting at a bar</a> even more dangerous. And lastly, he can create and intricate and beautifully wired <a href="" target="_blank">wire man</a> who can unwire himself while doing a crazy walk.</p> <p>Welcome, Victor, and enjoy your stay.</p> <p>For all those other filmmakers out there, join Eren's Picks and join the <strong>social film </strong>movement!</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 08 2013 15:17:15 +0000Mad Lab Productions Join Eren's Picks<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-08-02_at_6.16.07_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="139718" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Grody Brody</em></p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Mad Lab Productions</a></strong> have been gracing our platform with their creepy presence for awhile now, but today is their day to shine. A full service animation company, Mad Lab is Geri Bertolo and Chris Walsh, two equally talented artists and animators who create sci-fi, horror, and comedy videos, because "their mothers always told them to do what they love in life." Well, their passion brought them to Film Annex, and Mad Lab is now part of <a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a>. So you should be seeing them on our homepage frequently.</p> <p>In 30 seconds, Walsh and Bertolo manage to create absolutely hilarious animations, mostly consisting of 2D and claymation. Their characters are funny and spooky at the same time. And the end result is an ultimately witty piece of work that makes you smile and go "awwwww." Their "Remarkable Cartoon" series, which is my favorite amongst their uploads, features a rubber King Kong, Stephen King (the author), and a boy who gets attacked by his own bird. Mad Lab's "Vampire Instructionals" is also pretty genius. The childlike drawings are beyond basic, and they have that irresistible "adorableness" factor. In Episode 7 of the series, which is called "How To Deal With Sunlight," the little vampires are suggested to use SPF 3000 and stay indoors to play video games. In another episode, a vampire teaches you how to become a bat. Well, apparently all you have to do is to think of becoming a bat, and then you become one.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-08-02_at_6.18.00_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="139719" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Stephen King</em></p> <p>Walsh and Bertolo are pretty social. They update their channel often with new videos and blogs, so why don't you <a href="" target="_blank">subscribe</a> to their channel and join the <strong>social film</strong> movement? Watch their latest upload, A**HOLE ROBOT below. And then find out "how to deal with garlic" as a vampire. Because, at the end of the day, we're all vampires... Right?</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M37307" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M32125" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 08 2013 17:21:09 +0000When a Roll of Toilet Paper Becomes Obsessed with Social Media - WACKY TUESDAYS - Social Film<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/wc1.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="138789" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>If you&rsquo;re reading this, there&rsquo;s a 50% chance you&rsquo;re obsessed with <strong>social media</strong>. OK, I made that number up. But the probability is pretty high. You know plenty of people who eat and breathe social media. And they&rsquo;re not alone! In Paris-based stop motion animator <a href="" target="_blank">Victor Haegelin</a>&rsquo;s super clever and funny <strong>short film</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">Walter and Calvin</a> fall into a humiliation contest by posting each other&rsquo;s "dirty" pictures on Facebook. Who are Walter and Calvin? They&rsquo;re two rolls of toilet paper! And that&rsquo;s why Haegelin&rsquo;s film made it to this week&rsquo;s WACKY TUESDAYS blog.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/wc2.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="138790" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Upon graduation from Prague&rsquo;s esteemed film school FAMU, Haegelin got signed to <a href="" target="_blank">Partizan</a> and had the opportunity to work with the best of the industry, such as Michel Gondry, St&eacute;phanie Di Giusto, and Philip Andelman. In addition to his commercial work, Haegelin impresses with his short films that are full of wit, humor, and creativity. Who would&rsquo;ve thought to bring a roll of toilet paper to life and make it post bathroom jokes on Facebook? Find out who wins the humiliation contest at the end of the film and gets the most likes with the last photograph! Watch the film below:</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M36826" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>Victor Haegelin is now part of <a href="">Eren&rsquo;s Picks</a>, presenting the most exciting, diverse, beautiful films on Film Annex. Subscribe to <a href="" target="_blank">Haegelin&rsquo;s channel</a> to get updates about his latest films and blog posts.</p> <p>Subscribe to <a href="" target="_blank">Wacky Tuesdays</a> to read about the wackiest movie on Film Annex's <strong>online film distribution platform</strong> next Tuesday!<span style="color: #888888;"><br /> </span></p> 07 2013 17:01:14 +0000Sundance in Brooklyn - An All-Day Event for Short Film Development, Production, and Distribution<p>This past Sunday, I attended the Short Film Lab organized by <strong>Sundance Film Festival</strong> and <strong>Sundace Institute</strong>. I was there not only as a <strong>short film distributor</strong>/financier but also as a filmmaker who is developing a short film. So every piece of information was vital for me. The <strong>ShortsLab</strong> was an all-day event, and it was put together by Short Film Programmers, Mike Plante and Emily Doe, and Becca Katz, Assistant to Director of Programming. On a sweltering hot New York City Sunday, it was nice to be inside the beautiful (and air conditioned) BAM building and learn from some of the most talented and perhaps the luckiest filmmakers working today.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/SI13_NY_ShortsLabs__685x250.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="136168" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>The event took off with an introduction by Mike and Emily, where participants got to ask all the questions they've always wanted to ask about getting their film into Sundance. How many films get submitted, how many get picked and screened, what's the ideal duration for a short, what about exclusivity and having it online first, etc. It was a much-needed Q&amp;A session.</p> <p>The introduction was followed by a panel on <strong>short film development</strong> moderated by producer Howard Gertler (Wet Hot American Summer, Shortbus, World&rsquo;s Greatest Dad). The panelist was Craig Zobel whose debut feature GREAT WORLD OF SOUND, premiered at Sundance and SXSW in 2007. Zobel's second film, COMPLIANCE, also premiered at Sundance in 2012 and won a Special Jury Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival. Both films have received several other prestigious awards that I'll avoid listing here for the sake of keeping this blog concise and to the point. During the Q&amp;A, I asked Craig whether developing a relationship between characters was more difficult to achieve in a short compared to a feature. His answer was a definite yes. In case you're a filmmaker reading this and having a hard time taking your characters from point A to point C, take Craig's advice and begin your film with a scene in which the characters appear to have an already-established relationship rather than, say, have them meet in an elevator. Basically start the movie when the characters are already knee-deep in their mess. Another great advice Craig gave was to ask these 3 questions:</p> <p>What are the characters doing?</p> <p>What are the characters saying?</p> <p>What are other people saying about these characters?</p> <p>The following panels were about the collaboration process in filmmaking and working with actors. Notable panelists were present, including Producer Mike S. Ryan (JUNEBUG, PALINDROMES, OLD JOY, THE TURIN HORSE), Cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes (GIRLS, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, TINY FURNITURE, AFTERSCHOOL), Editor Melody London (STRANGER THAN PARADISE, DOWN BY LAW, MYSTERY TRAIN), and Alex Karpovsky (GIRLS, TINY FURNITURE, THE HOLE STORY) amongst others. In the first panel about collaboration, Mike Ryan stressed that films, which are made with group decision, suck. And the films with a real voice are made by those who go with their guts and don't try to please everybody. In the second panel, Alex Karpovsky told us to never shoot the first scene of our movies FIRST. With all the nervousness and the fact of not-knowing-what-you're-doing, you're more likely to mess up, and you don't want your first scene to be terrible. So shoot it later on when you get more confident and the characters are more comfortable with each other, if you can.</p> <p>Last but not least, up and coming filmmakers Eliza Hittman, who is one of my new favorite writer/directors, Rashaad Ernesto Green, and Cutter Hodierne, were the panelists for a panel called <em>Shorts to Features</em>. These first time feature filmmakers talked about their experiences, the challenges they faced, and the gratification that came with never giving up. Even though these filmmakers have completely different styles and they tell very different stories, they were equally energetic and passionate, which was a huge inspiration for me. When I asked, "When is the right time to stop re-writing your script and just go and make your film?", they all responded by saying that it's important to make your film without waiting for too long and asking other people's feedback. Because at the end of the day, it's you who's telling the story, and if you keep asking people for their feedback, you'll never stop re-writing and eventually lose the story you want to tell.</p> <p>Cutter Hodierne had an interesting idea on crowdfunding. He suggested that instead of begging people for money, which is what you do on KickStarter and IndieGoGo, one should make the contributors shareholders of the film. This way, they're more likely to promote a film on social media, which they're a part of financially. I think pretty much everyone would prefer to own a percentage of a film with the hope that it will do well, rather than getting its poster as a gift...</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/examer.jpg" alt="" width="363" height="294" data-imageid="136169" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>After a great day of receiving a ton of useful advice from filmmakers who seemed absolutely sincere and down to earth, getting inspired, and meeting with Mike, Emily, and Becca, I felt excited and motivated about not only developing my own film, but also inspiring other women with the films shown at Sundance. As some of you already know, Film Annex is empowering women in developing countries, starting from Afghanistan, with its <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Women's Annex Initiative</a></strong> and <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Examer Film Project</a></strong>. Our goal is to create a collaboration between our filmmakers and young students in Afghanistan who want to be storytellers. Moreover, we're rewarding them financially for their films and scripts via <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Examer</strong></a>. Inspiring them with short films that screened at Sundance Film Festival would be incredible. I'm excited to explore a possible collaboration with them.</p> <p>Most importantly, I suggest all aspiring filmmakers who are about to make their first short films to give this lab a try next year. It was an extremely valuable experience for me, and I'm sure that no matter what part of the film industry you're in, you'll get a lot out of it just like I did.</p> <p>Till next time,</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 07 2013 18:24:18 +0000The Films of Jaro Minne - Independent Short Film Distribution<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/petitefleur2.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="135333" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Petite Fleur by Jaro Minne</em></p> <p>20-year old Belgian filmmaker, <a href="" target="_blank">Jaro Minne</a>, joined Film Annex's <strong>online film distribution</strong> platform only a few months ago. His shorts are now amongst my favorites in our catalog, and I'd like to take the opportunity to explain why.The other day, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a producer, and we were going over a 20-page script. While I was arguing that 20 pages weren't enough to tell the story, he was saying that the story could easily be told in 1 page. I think some people are just better at identifying the core of a story, while others like to take their time and dance around it. Like everything else, it comes down to a choice, and if you have the ability to simplify things, they're all the more powerful.</p> <p>After watching Jaro Minne's films, I realized that he is one of those filmmakers who possess that kind of skill. His longest film on Film Annex is about 7 minutes, and the rest are even shorter. Yet, they achieve what many feature-length films don't. They're to the point, extremely compelling, and more like fragments of life than fictitious stories. I've always thought of <a href="" target="_blank">Cassavetes</a>' films as fragments of life, and that's why I've been attracted to them. I think of Minne's films the same way. Watching his films is like watching a bunch of people interacting in real life. There's nothing extraordinary happening. There are no special effects, car chases, or alien invasions. It's just people interacting, and that to me is always more fascinating than a car chase.</p> <p>To me, the biggest strength of Jaro Minne as a filmmaker is his ability to present the ordinary in an interesting way. It seems like he doesn't feel the need to turn the story into a comedy to make it funny or a thriller to make it more disturbing. What's funny or disturbing already comes through pretty successfully just by good acting and clever storytelling.&nbsp;</p> <p>Take a look at some of Jaro Minne's films below and let me know what you think. I'd like to start a discussion aboutyour favorite type of storytelling, whether it's situational, fantastical, or comical.</p> <p><em>Regarde-Moi (Look at Me)</em></p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M36663" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p><em>Dandelion</em></p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M36662" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p><em>- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></em></p> 07 2013 14:18:55 +0000If Film Annex Were A Museum for Indie Filmmakers...<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/mitchmyers.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="134098" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Still from Mitch Myers' Now You Know How Your Eyes Look in the Dark</em></p> <p>If Film Annex were a museum or an art gallery, all the artists would get paid for a lifetime, just for displaying their work. They wouldn't have to make something commercial to get noticed or "sell out." They could experiment and go as crazy as they'd want, because they'd know there would be someone in that 50 million-people audience who'd want to see something unique, perhaps a little bizarre, or absolutely eccentric. The thing is, you can only put so many paintings in a gallery or a museum, but you can put a lifetime's work on Film Annex.</p> <p>Everyone loves a good narrative film with good actors and a powerful story. There are many places to see this kind of work, including theaters, TV, and of course the Internet. Experimental films and videos are always considered "art-house" and often elitist. I never understood why. What's high-brow about experimental film? Sometimes, it's just someone messing around... People spend hundreds of million dollars to make something "mainstream," and then snub a no-budget experimental video, because it's "trying too hard" or because it's on display in a forgotten gallery off the beaten path. We all know mainstream is more "accessible" while experimental is much less so. So people say, "Why should I go out of my way to see such and such?"</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M36932?l=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5maWxtYW5uZXguY29tL3dlYnR2L3NhbXNwcmVja2xleS9tb3ZpZS9sZWdfYm91bmQvMzY5MzI-" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p><strong>Now Playing</strong>:<em> Leg Bound by Sam Spreckley</em></p> <p>I know plenty of artists who say they don't care about getting paid for their work. I guess they're lucky, because they've already got money. But for those who don't and still want to make art the way they want to make art, there are other ways to make a living besides being dependent on a gallerist or waiting for that rich guy to buy your work. And the latter almost never happens when it comes to video art anyway. This is where Film Annex comes in with its new revenue share model built on its very own scoring system called the <a href="" target="_blank">BuzzScore</a>. You can read more about the BuzzScore if you're curious about the way it works. But what I want to say to <strong>indie filmmakers</strong> who make experimental films and video art is that they will make money off of their work if they choose to present it on Film Annex and promote it on social media networks.</p> <p>Just a few weeks ago, I received an email from Amy Hill, one of our long-time filmmakers, saying, "Honestly, from the bottom of my heart... Film Annex has changed my life! You've let me do the things I've always wanted to do but could never afford. Just wanted to show some appreciation! Thanks so much!" Amy is not an experimental filmmaker, though I know she paints. But, the opportunities are equal for all filmmakers as long as they produce good work and know how to promote themselves on social media.</p> <p>Here are some of my favorite experimental filmmakers/video artists on Film Annex. Make sure to check them out!</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Sam Spreckley</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Jake Fried</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Mitch Myers</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Daniel Hopkins</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Charles Pieper</a> </p> <p>Till next week,</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 06 2013 14:54:48 +0000Film Annex as a Collaborative Community - Social Film <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-06-21_at_2.20.26_PM3210.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="133481" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Cowbird homepage<br /></em></p> <p>Today, I joined a website called <a href="" target="_blank">Cowbird</a> founded by <a href="" target="_blank">Jonathan Harris</a>. I've been following Harris' projects since he launched <a href="" target="_blank">We Feel Fine</a>, a data collection engine that automatically scours the Internet every ten minutes, harvesting human feelings from a large number of blogs. On the screen, we see hundreds of emotions from sad to happy, from overwhelmed to guilty. And once we click on those words, a longer statement pops up, like "I feel like a rat" or "I realized that I've been feeling ill, because I consumed too much citric acid!" Whatever the feelings and the related statements are, we know that there's a person behind each emotion who is feeling a certain way the moment we read it. So the site creates some sort of real time connection between the reader and the writer who's expressing those emotions.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-06-21_at_2.22.34_PM5679.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="133482" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>We Feel Fine</em></p> <p>Cowbird also connects the viewer with the storyteller, but in a deeper way. We see photographs, poems, stories, some of which are shared on multiple slides. The stories are put into different <a href="" target="_blank">categories</a> like "Bedrooms," "First Loves," "Summer," "Occupy," and others. Somehow, Harris and his team managed to create a more personal platform compared to Facebook and Twitter. Being on Cowbird makes you feel like you're reading someone's diary, and they don't mind. The platform also enables contributors to collaborate on longer-lasting and more "nourishing" stories around shared experiences like <a href="" target="_blank">Hurricane Sandy</a>. </p> <p>I've been fascinated by collective storytelling for awhile, and I always wonder if it actually works out. I think the key is to find a common thread amongst the storytellers and allow them to discover the topic they want to explore together. On Film Annex, we often talk about filmmakers and their projects individually. <a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a> creates a competition between filmmakers and rewards the most social one with the most amount of revenue. It's true that competition creates a fun environment and encourages the filmmaker to be more active. After all, our end goal is to push filmmakers to raise enough money to kickstart their new projects. However, there's also a collaborative aspect of Film Annex that we don't talk about often.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/erenspicks6976.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="133483" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>First and foremost, Film Annex is a community of artists, including filmmakers, writers, animators, and designers. And even though in essence, we are an <strong>online film distribution platform</strong>, we put as much effort into creating a powerful <a href="" target="_blank">blogging environment</a> and user-friendly photo galleries. We want our community of artists to be able to communicate their thoughts in different mediums. And we'd like to think that with all the tools they're given, they have the opportunity and the drive to inspire one another.</p> <p>A few weeks ago, we asked some of our filmmakers to share one of their short film treatments with us. We also asked them to explain <a href="" target="_blank">how to write a treatment</a> in a blog post. Our goal is to share these treatments with students in Afghanistan so that they can write their own treatments and make their own short films. In this way, we are connecting filmmakers from different corners of the world with Afghan kids, because we know there is a common thread, and that common thread is storytelling.</p> <p>I know that several of our filmmakers who are based in the same city collaborate on productions. I'd be curious to see if filmmakers in different locations will also reach out to one another to start new film projects. With <a href="" target="_blank">our new revenue model, which is based on the BuzzScore</a>, we're aiming to spread one idea: Social Film. Social filmmakers earn more revenues, create new collaborations, and work on new projects.</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 06 2013 14:01:55 +0000The Limits of Communication with Tess Martin's Whale Story - WACKY TUESDAYS - Social Film<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/the_whale_story.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="132765" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Several months ago, <a href="" target="_blank">Beyza Boyacioglu</a>, an artist and a good friend of mine, did <a href="" target="_blank">a two-channel video installation</a> about the limits of language and the impossibility of perfect communication. I was the subject. The making of the video required several hours of sitting and eating three different kinds of fruit. Each shoot went late into the night. As tiring as it was, I was delighted to be part of the project, because I too was interested in what she was exploring. I don't think there's anyone in the world who hasn't experienced the frustration that comes along with being misunderstood. I consider myself an articulate person, but I've suffered too many times feeling like I failed at articulating my thoughts and feelings at a level where the person I am communicating with knows <em>exactly </em>what I'm talking about. But since there is always more than one person in a conversation, that articulateness is not the only element needed for clarity to come through. The success of perfect communication also depends on the listener, if there is such thing as perfect communication at all.</p> <p>This week, I added a new filmmaker to <a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a>. <a href="" target="_blank">Tess Martin</a> is a Seattle based artist and animator, and I absolutely fell in love with her work at first sight. Sometimes, I seek filmmakers, sometimes they seek me. Tess contacted me to be considered for Eren's Picks, which provides filmmakers with <strong>online film financing</strong>, and my answer was obviously yes. Like Beyza and her mission to explore the limits of language, Tess is also interested in communication. However, while Beyza studies the interaction between two people, Tess looks at the relationship between a fisherman and a whale. Not to be confused with Herman Melville...</p> <p>Tess Martin's <em>The Whale</em> <em>Story</em>, is the re-telling of an incident in which a fisherman goes on a voyage to save a trapped whale in the waters of San Francisco. With beautiful, painterly imagery, Martin questions whether the whale's response to the fisherman upon being saved was a conscious way of saying "Thank you." "It's so hard to know... The bridge of communication between species is still too far for us to cross," says one of the narrators as the final word. The true story is retold on a 16 foot high wall with the help of the passing public in Seattle's Cal Anderson Park.</p> <p>Watch The Whale Story below:</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M36740" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>Find this story on Twitter by searching for #socialfilm #wackytuesdays #filmannex</p> 06 2013 16:11:30 +0000Building Communities Around Hashtags - Film Annex, Eren's Picks, Online Film Financing<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/tv.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="132398" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>A brand new member joined Film Annex earlier this week. It's a 70 inch flat screen monitor/TV. It's our new best friend here in the office. Today, thanks to our new friend (I'm sure we'll give it a name sooner or later), we had a pretty fruitful meeting about building communities around <strong>hashtags</strong>.</p> <p>Why do hashtags matter? Because in today's fast-paced, information-filled world, hashtags are brief enough to draw attention to specific topics. Moreover, they can be used for creating a brand whether it be a company or a person. Everyone here at Film Annex has a number of keywords attached to them. We use these keywords to define what we do. Here are some of mine:</p> <div>Film Annex</div> <div>Eren's Picks</div> <div> </div> <div>Social film</div> <div> <div><strong>Online film distribution</strong></div> <div><strong>Online film financing</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> <div>Democratizing film</div> <div>Reinventing film distribution</div> <div>Reinventing film financing</div> </div> <div> </div> </div> <div>Now, by turning these keywords into hashtags, i.e. #erenspicks, and asking the filmmakers on Eren's Picks to do the same, I'm turning Eren's Picks into an active community, in which filmmakers and viewers can easily find each other, watch quality films, and connect with each other for new productions.</div> <div> </div> <div>Another good example is #onlinefilmfinancing. All our filmmakers know that Film Annex's financing model is unique and based on advertising revenue. By using online film financing as a hashtag, once again, we're bringing together everyone who recognizes and uses this model to fund their films. Moreover, we're attracting the attention of those who also talk about online film financing and asking them to join our circle. This way, we're adding new people and ideas to our group, working to expand the meaning of and the possibilities that come with online film financing not just on Film Annex, but on other platforms as well.</div> <div> <div> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/pattismith.jpg" alt="" width="412" height="431" data-imageid="132396" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> </div> </div> <div>If it weren't for the use of hashtags, the world would not know anything about <a href="" target="_blank">what is going on in Turkey</a> right now due to Turkish media's refusal to air the current protests of the people against Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But thanks to the wide usage of hashtags such as #occupygezi and #resisturkey by both Turkish and non-Turkish people (including Patti Smith!), foreign media gave this cause a huge recognition.</div> <div> </div> <div>So, I guess the question is... What's your hashtag?</div> <div> </div> <div>Till next week,</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></div> 06 2013 16:42:26 +0000Questioning Originality with Drew Christie - WACKY TUESDAYS' Most Entertaining Films<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-06-04_at_5.36.51_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="131975" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>A man goes to the movies and asks the guy at the ticket booth whether Hollywood has developed an allergy to originality. Sounds like the beginning of a joke, right? This is how <a href="" target="_blank">Drew Christie</a>'s super witty, introspective, and creative animated film starts. And yes, it's all about originality.</p> <p>Recently, I've been thinking about why I stopped going to the movies. When I was kid, my father took me to the movies every Sunday. It was our favorite thing to do together. I remember seeing The Crucible and Evita back to back one afternoon. What a thrill it was! (Although it sounds pretty boring right now).</p> <p>When I first moved to New York, I went to the movies quite often. I cherished the fact that I had access to movie theaters like the Angelika and Cinema Village. But then, slowly, I stopped going. There's an old movie theater near where I live in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, which supposedly shows a mix of Hollywood and art-house films. But the truth is they're mainly studio films, and I'm not interested in seeing any of them. Like the moviegoer in Drew Christie's film says to the ticket man, these films are either sequels or prequels, adaptations, spin-offs, etc.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-06-04_at_5.38.07_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="131976" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>On one hand, I feel like I'm constantly looking for something original without knowing what original exactly means. On the other hand, I am buying into the fact that people don't want to see or hear anything original, because they are used to what they're used to, and nothing is "truly" original. Though to me, originality doesn't mean something I've never seen, heard, or experienced before, but rather something that evokes a feeling I don't feel often or triggers a thought I haven't pondered before. In that sense, the world is full of originality to me, but I've been keeping Hollywood out of that world for the most part.</p> <p>In Drew Christie's <em>Allergy to Originality</em>, which is this week's WACKY TUESDAYS pick, there's much discussion about what originality is and how the history of art is manifest to the fact that originality, as we think of it, doesn't really exist. The film's dialog is absolutely delightful. Thought-provoking, smart, and funny, no wonder Christie made this for the New York Times' Op-ed section.</p> <p>Watch the video below:</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M36430?l=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5maWxtYW5uZXguY29tL3dlYnR2L2RyZXctY2hyaXN0aWUvbW92aWUvYWxsZXJneV90b19vcmlnaW5hbGl0eS8zNjQzMA--" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>Tune in next week for more wackiness on Film Annex's <strong>online distribution platform</strong>.</p> <p>Till then,</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 06 2013 17:29:54 +0000Interview with Animator Jake Fried - Latest Independent Films<p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">About 3 weeks ago, my friend David Axelrod (not to be confused with the former campaign advisor of Obama) sent me this link: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. It was one of those chat messages that you get when you are offline. Upon seeing it, I wrote back, saying "so coool."</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">A couple weeks later, my colleague, Fred Kurzh, wanted to show me something "really cool." It was a video on Vimeo Staff Picks. "I know this guy!" I said, all excited. "My friend sent me the link to his website recently." Fred said he invited him to Film Annex. I opened my inbox and searched for the link. "Yes, that's him!"</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">A His name is <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Jake Fried</strong></a>. a few days ago, he joined <a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a> with his incredibly unique, hand-drawn animations. His palette consists of ink, gouache, white-out, and coffee. An educator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Jake has exhibited his work worldwide and is now enjoying <strong>online film distribution</strong> and sharing on the Internet. In our interview below, Jake goes into more detail about his background, artistic choices, inspirations, and more.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/jake.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="130608" data-galleryid="1025" /><em></em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Deep End</em></a></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">I&rsquo;m curious about your background: What got you into drawing and when you started animating. Would you consider yourself self-taught (even though I see that you attended MICA)?</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /> </span></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">I have been drawing and making art for as long as I can remember, but I only started animating around 2009. &nbsp;My style has always involved reworking and layering images endlessly, eventually I realized I was more interested in the evolution of my images rather than any &ldquo;final state&rdquo;. </span></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">When people describe artists as &ldquo;self-taught&rdquo; they&rsquo;re usually describing some kind of outsider-artist with no formal training or knowledge of art history - that&rsquo;s not me. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Why white-out and not white paint? They&rsquo;re pretty similar, but white-out has that powerful &ldquo;nail polish&rdquo; smell. Doesn&rsquo;t it make you dizzy?!</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">I use white-out because it&rsquo;s matte, dries quickly, and is made to be drawn over. My work wouldn&rsquo;t be possible using gesso or white paint instead - I would have to wait too long between scanning frames and the surface would become too thick to rework easily. The smell doesn&rsquo;t bother me, nothing compared to oil-painting with turpentine. </span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Raw-Data_Jake-Fried_02.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="130609" data-galleryid="1025" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><em>Raw Data</em><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">And where does coffee come into all of this?</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">I basically use coffee like a brown ink-wash - it stains nicely and works well as a mid-tone between the black ink and white-out. &nbsp;It also emphasizes the handmade, lo-fi nature of my process.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">What about the transformation of the figures? Are they pre-meditated? Or do you decide what will come next as you&rsquo;re drawing?</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">I start with a general sense of where I want my films to go, but nothing is pre-planned, I "discover" through the act of making. </span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Do you think about integrating new elements into your work such as using new tools or creating a narrative piece?</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">In every film I explore new tools, techniques, settings, and themes. &nbsp;In my latest film &ldquo;Raw Data&rdquo; I started experimented with metallic-gouache, technological imagery, and sustained head-on portraiture. &nbsp;I don&rsquo;t really see myself taking on a traditional narrative in my work, but I&rsquo;m not ruling anything out for the future.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/jake4.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="130610" data-galleryid="1025" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><em>The Deep End</em><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Who are some of your favorite artists and/or where do you get your inspiration from?</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Other artists that I admire and constantly learn/borrow from would be Philip Guston, James Ensor, Picasso, and the comic-artist R. Crumb. &nbsp;Chuck Close says &ldquo;inspiration is for amateurs&rdquo; and I agree. I don&rsquo;t need to be &ldquo;inspired&rdquo; to work everyday - I &ldquo;discover&rdquo; through the process of making, so I&rsquo;m inspired by working, by the process, by the work itself. </span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">What do you think is the most ideal space for your art to be viewed? How do you feel about showing your work on the internet vs. displaying it in a museum?</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">I think a museum, gallery, or theater is the best place to view art, where you can have a physical relation to the work and be free from any other distractions or stimuli. That said, I&rsquo;m incredibly excited about the world of internet video and how it&rsquo;s allowed me to share my work with such a massive and supportive audience. I think it&rsquo;s wonderful that people can explore my work within the comforts of their own private spaces - where they can pause my films to view individual frames and re-watch when they want to.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">The world of online video is developing so rapidly, I can&rsquo;t really imagine what it will be like in the next few years. But I look forward to the innovations that will lead to new and better ways of distributing and viewing my work, like Film Annex. </span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">WATCH <em><strong>RAW DATA</strong></em> BELOW:</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M36255?l=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5maWxtYW5uZXguY29tL3dlYnR2L2pha2VmcmllZC9tb3ZpZS9yYXdfZGF0YS8zNjI1NQ--" data-videosource="fa" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren Gulfidan</a><br /></span></span></p> 05 2013 13:22:35 +0000How Sharing on Social Media Made Chris Hadfield the Most Famous Canadian Astronaut<p>It seems like people will start making films in outer space pretty soon. The sets will be built inside spacecrafts, of course. Maybe, there will be a few exterior scenes. There won't be any need for special effects, because actors will fly by default. Who wouldn't kill to work on a movie set like this? I know I would.</p> <p>Last night, one of my favorite music video directors, <a href="" target="_blank">Emily Kai Bock</a>, tweeted: "Music video of the year. From a Canadian too" and linked to the Canadian astronaut <a href="" target="_blank">Chris Hadfield's rendition of David Bowie's Space Oddity</a>. I don't think anyone knew that Hadfield had such an amazing singing voice, but what I want to talk about is the video and Chris Hadfield himself.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Chris-Hadfield--012.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="129418" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Chris Hadfield - Photo from The Guardian</em></a></p> <p>Produced in the International Space Station as his five-month command neared an end, Hadfield's video is perhaps the most expensive music video ever made, considering the cost of sending someone into space. Even the most famous directors can fake it all they want, but they will never produce something as authentic as Hadfield did, at least not now. The video, which was uploaded on YouTube only 5 days ago, has over 13 million views. <a href="" target="_blank">Some journalists</a> are already alluding to the possibility of it becoming a viral phenomenon by bringing <em>Gangnam</em> <em>Style</em> into the conversation. Back on Earth, but not in Canada yet, Chris Hadfield is the most famous Canadian human being at the moment.</p> <p>But Hadfield is not a one hit wonder, and I doubt that he will be solely remembered by the success of this video. Besides having one of the most coveted professions in the world, Hadfield has also built quite a social media presence for himself. He has almost a million <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter followers</a>, a <a href="" target="_blank">YouTube channe</a>l with over 100,000 subscribers, and video views surpassing 15 million. On top of all this, more than 360,000 people like his <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>, which he uses to post photos of himself, his crew, and the of course, breathtaking views of our planet Earth.</p> <p>Before the David Bowie video was released 5 days ago, Chris Hadfield was already the king of astronauts in terms of using and being good at using social media. He was already connected to so many people. So getting 13 million views in just 5 days shouldn't have been that hard for him. It really makes sense. There's even a video on Hadfield's YouTube channel called<span id="eow-title" class="watch-title yt-uix-expander-head" title="Chris Hadfield Discusses Social Media Outreach" dir="ltr"><a href="" target="_blank"><em> Chris Hadfield Discusses Social Media Outreach</em></a>, in which he, well, discusses <strong>sharing on social media</strong> and his relationship with his followers. </span></p> <p><span class="watch-title yt-uix-expander-head" title="Chris Hadfield Discusses Social Media Outreach" dir="ltr"><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/outback.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="129420" data-galleryid="1025" /></span></p> <p><span class="watch-title yt-uix-expander-head" title="Chris Hadfield Discusses Social Media Outreach" dir="ltr"><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Australian outback from Hadfield's camera - TIME</em></a><br /></span></p> <p><span class="watch-title yt-uix-expander-head" title="Chris Hadfield Discusses Social Media Outreach" dir="ltr">In a way, Hadfield becomes our eyes and lets us see the world from a totally different perspective. "When we do look down on a place that is currently in great turmoil and strife, it's hard to reconcile the inherent patience and beauty of the world with the terrible things we can do to each other as people and can do to the Earth itself locally. Part of the reason that we work so hard to communicate what we're doing up here as an International team is to try to give people a little glimpse of that global perspective, the fact and the understanding that we're all in this together. This is a spaceship, but so is the world."</span></p> <p><span class="watch-title yt-uix-expander-head" title="Chris Hadfield Discusses Social Media Outreach" dir="ltr">To me Hadfield's social media is so much more important and valuable than Justin Bieber's or Lady Gaga's, but I have to give it to them (or their PR people) for having so many devoted fans. In any case, I'm a Hadfield fan now, and there's so much to learn from him.</span></p> <p><span class="watch-title yt-uix-expander-head" title="Chris Hadfield Discusses Social Media Outreach" dir="ltr">-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a><br /></span></p> 05 2013 15:21:34 +0000You/Me/Evolution on WACKY TUESDAYS and Film Annex's Online Film Distribution Platform<p>Of all the reality shows that make me cringe, I find <em><span class="st">Toddlers and Tiaras </span></em>the most disturbing, and I don't even watch it. Its existence is enough to make me feel sorry about everything that is wrong with it. But the world is fascinated with little girls who are forced to look 40 by their deranged mothers with their hair and make-up, spray tanning, and the mystery beverages they have to chug to stay in shape, feel energetic, etc. These pageant shows let you peek into the world of all those little girls as they become psychologically damaged.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-05-14_at_12.20.37_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="128954" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Usually, for my <strong>WACKY TUESDAYS</strong> series, I pick videos that have some humor and positivity in them. But life is not always ice cream and cake. This week, I am highlighting a music video directed by Mikel Cee Karlsson for the Swedish quartet, The Amplifetes' single "You/Me/Evolution". Shot in a narrative style that's reminiscent of a <strong>short film</strong>, the video turns the lens on a pageant girl's birthday party. With bouncy curls, shiny lips, and plenty of mascara, she takes her seat at the head of the table, looking impeccable in her pink dress. The dinner guests consist of awkward and "perfect" looking kids and their apathetic parents who applaud the little princess in slow motion. There's some dancing, a sexually-charged and ambiguous bedroom scene involving two kids, a dolled-up mother, and lots of balloons.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-05-14_at_12.17.34_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="128957" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>The video has been described as "beautifully unnerving," and I don't disagree, because it's beautifully shot and unnerving at the same time. However, I'll let you be the judge. There's no doubt that the little girl did a good job "acting," though I'm not sure what kind of directions she was given by the director or if she understood what it takes to be a little pageant queen. Still, she got to pretend like one for a day.</p> <p>Watch the video below:</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M32438" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>Tune in for more wackiness on Film Annex's <strong>online film distribution</strong> platform. </p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> <p> </p> 05 2013 11:54:59 +0000An Ode to Short Films and How Much They Rocked at the Tribeca Film Festival, Plus How Online Film Distribution Helps Shorts<p><strong>Short films</strong> are a big part of my life. I scout them, watch them, curate them, talk to filmmakers who write and direct them, and have made some here and there myself. Last week, at the <strong>Tribeca Film Festival</strong>, I dedicated 90% of my time to watching shorts and meeting with filmmakers who make shorts. It was an absolute thrill. Watching a good short film is so refreshing to me. It makes my day better. It's like taking an Advil when I have a headache. I have to admit... short films are my drug.</p> <p>When you're in school majoring in English/Creative Writing, which is what I did, they make you read a ton of short stories. And then, they make you write short stories. Then, you critique other people's short stories, and they critique yours. Your life sort of becomes a short story full of critiquing. Before you graduate, you write a collection of short stories as your thesis. If you're very ambitious, you can also write a novella, but that rarely happens.</p> <p>But when you go film school, which is what I sort of also did, you don't get to watch a lot of short films. You watch a lot of features. You watch <em>Lawrence of Arabia</em>, which is 216 minutes long. And it's cool because you get to stare at Peter O'Toole's once beautiful face for more than 3 hours. Sometimes, they make you watch the shorts that your school's alumni made - the ones that made it to festivals. You feel proud and perhaps envious. You want to make great shorts like that, but you keep starting at Peter O'Toole's face instead.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/lawrence-of-arabia-cu.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="127628" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>I've been wondering about why they don't make you watch shorts in school. And before the Internet "happened", where did people find and watch shorts?! Doesn't this boggle your mind? It surely boggles mine. A few years ago, when I was going through my French New-Wave obsessed period, I found out about <strong>Francois Truffaut</strong>'s short film, <span lang="fr"><em>Love at Twenty </em>(<em>L'amour à vingt ans</em></span>) also known as <em>Antoine et</em> <em>Colette</em>, and <a href="" target="_blank">I watched it on YouTube</a>. It has been my favorite short film ever since. Again, when I found out that <strong>Eric Rohmer</strong> made the amazing <span class="st"><em>Six Moral Tales</em> (<em>Contes moraux</em>)</span> series, which consists of 2 shorts and 4 features, I pinned them down on YouTube and then on Netflix. <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Girl at the Monceau Bakery </a></em>(<em><a href="">La boulangère de Monceau</a></em>), which is a 23-minute short, has also become a favorite. I guess it's obvious that I like my shorts long.</p> <p>Watching shorts at the Tribeca Film Festival last week was such a great experience, because I got to see what <strong>short filmmakers</strong> are making right now. We get a ton of submissions at Film Annex, and I watch a lot of films online, but those films can be from 2012 or 2006, or even earlier - you never know. As I've mentioned in my previous post, I was absolutely impressed with what I saw. And, of course, I have my favorites. Here's a brief look at them:</p> <p><strong>LIFE DOESN'T FRIGHTEN ME</strong></p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/LifeDoesntFrightenMe4.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="127620" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>When does a girl become a woman? If you're a woman reading this, I'm sure you remember that awkward moment when you got your period for the first time. If you're a man, I'm not sure how much you know about the feelings involved when you see blood on your panties. Wait, you don't even wear panties! <strong>Stephen Dunn</strong>'s Life Doesn't Frighten Me is a fantastic short film that tells the coming-of-age story of Esther Weary, who has to deal with the first steps of becoming a woman with little help from her clueless grandfather and his pet pug. The colorful, beautifully-shot West Anderson-esque film walks you through the strains of growing up, feeling ugly, not fitting in, and finally "just sucking it up." Find out more on the film's <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>.</p> <p><strong>EATING LUNCH</strong></p> <p><strong></strong><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/large_EATING_LUNCH_1.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="127621" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Anyone with an eating disorder? Or know someone who does? This 13-minute Swedish film depicts the painful reality and the experience of struggling with an eating disorder in an incredibly subtle, yet shrewd way. Throughout the film, we watch Klara, a 15-year-old, trying to eat lunch in 30 minutes with four other youngsters under the supervision of nurses. Set in a single location, the film, directed by <strong>Sanna Lenken</strong>, is absolutely hypnotizing and a little bit disturbing with terrific performances from the actors. Also an official selection at the Berlin Film Festival. <a href="" target="_blank">More info here</a>.</p> <p><strong>RPG OKC</strong></p> <p><strong></strong><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/RPG_OKC_1.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="127626" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>RPG OKC </em>is an 8-bit style, short animated film by <strong>Emily Carmichael</strong> that tells the story of two video game characters, Paul (SoldierBoy) and Paquine (RedSky), who strike up an unlikely romance on the Internet. The film stands out with its killer humor and sharp dialog, making it one of the smartest and wittiest shorts at the festival. Its commentary on online dating and pop culture references are right on point. As funny as it is, RPG OKC is also severely sweet and heartwarming. Somehow, you're extremely interested in the lives of these pixelated characters and want them united. While SoldierBoy seems to be a medieval warrior, RedSky seems to live in the middle of a desert, chatting online and occasionally staring at the "Sea of Nothing." But, you have so much more in common with them than you can ever know. Absolutely recommended. <a href="" target="_blank">Watch the film here</a>. And we hope to show it also on Film Annex!</p> <p>With <strong>online film distribution</strong>, access to shorts is easier than ever. Filmmakers have more opportunities to fund their shorts now via Film Annex or crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Here's a <a href="" target="_blank">blog by Film Annex's social media coordinator, Jennifer Bourne</a>, which analyzes the current state of cinema and <strong>online film financing</strong>. Take a look. </p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren Gulfidan</a></p> 05 2013 15:20:50 +0000Online Film Distribution and Real Conversations Come Together at the Tribeca Film Festival<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-04-29_at_5.06.19_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="127277" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Being part of an online platform, watching films daily on a computer screen, and corresponding with filmmakers around the world via email can make it easy to forget that films get made outside the online realm that we have all grown accustomed to and take for granted. We are so used to searching for content on the Internet that most of us don't even think about the physical collaboration that goes into the making of that film, TV show, or music video. We don't immediately think about the conversations, the meetings, the rehearsals that bring people closer and lead to the creation of what we're watching on our monitors. And, some of us still separate the world we live in into two realities: Online and offline. Attending the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Tribeca Film Festival</strong></a> throughout the past week made me realize that the line between these two worlds has gotten less and less visible to a point where it's almost impossible for one to exist without the other. It also made me appreciate the conversations and the time spent together with people in the industry I work in so much more.</p> <p>First of all, Tribeca was the most organized, friendly, and tech-savvy film festival I've attended in the past few years. The industry concierge service they had made it possible to set up meetings with filmmakers in an easy, quick, and professional way. There wasn't any room for miscommunication. The staff was attentive and helpful. The comfortable industry lounge they set up was the perfect meeting spot for a filmmaker and an industry attendee, such as a distributor or someone from the press.</p> <p>I watched countless short films at this year's festival, and I watched almost all of them in the theater. Most short programs were sold out to a curious, attentive audience. After every screening, I took note of my favorite films and went straight ahead to the industry concierge where I arranged meetings with filmmakers. In addition to the one-on-one meetings I had, nighttime parties, including the one organized specifically for "short" filmmakers, the industry-filmmaker party, and finally the Heineken wrap party, enabled me to get to know the ones I met a little bit better. But, the festival was more than the abundant face-time, screenings, and conversations.</p> <p><span><span><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-04-29_at_5.09.23_PM.jpg" alt="" width="443" height="360" data-imageid="127278" data-galleryid="1025" /></span></span></p> <p>Tribeca did an incredible job creating an online screening library that the industry had full access to. So, I was able to watch all the films I didn't get a chance to see in the theater on my computer. In addition to making the festival experience easier and the films more accessible, <span><span>the library notified the viewed films' PR and sales agents with the name and email address of the person who watched them. How genius is that? So the filmmaker or her sales agent immediately knows who watched her film and can contact that industry person if there's any interest. Other pluses were the easily navigated and user friendly website of the festival, which was always up to date with special events, talks, and panels. Perhaps a well-organized website leads to a well-organized festival, or vice versa. Either way, I was happy as an attendee. </span></span></p> <p><span><span><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-04-29_at_5.07.05_PM2590.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="127280" data-galleryid="1025" /></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p>When I look back at the festival, I don't only think about the screenings and the interactions I had with the filmmakers, but also the online experience. Half of the filmmakers told me I could watch their films by going to the online screening library; some gave me links to password-protected videos on Vimeo, reminding me once again that the offline and the online go hand in hand. Moreover, <a href="" target="_blank">one of the festival competitions took place online</a>, enabling viewers to vote on their favorite films without going to the theater.</p> <p>In every single conversation I had, the response to Film Annex's model of online film distribution and online film financing was tremendous. Talking to filmmakers now compared to two or three years ago was so different. They got me immediately. When I was telling a filmmaker about being featured on Film Annex's homepage and <a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a>, he interrupted and said, "So it's like a game, right?" And I said, "Yes, exactly." There's no doubt that online video has advanced remarkably within the past couple years, and we all know that people are spending much more time online than they were before. So perhaps, the new, quick understanding is a sign of that. Or, it's the consequence of taking the time to talk to someone in person after watching their film in the theater and being able to put a face behind a business model or a piece of art.</p> <p>My Tribeca experience overall has showed me the importance of face-to-face conversations with filmmakers and other industry members while reminding me that we live in a world where online and offline activities are inseparable. What does this say about the future of film and the future of festivals? We'll have to see in the upcoming years, but I see hope and positivity.</p> <p>In my next Tribeca blog, I'll talk about my favorites shorts at the festival and my interaction with filmmakers. So come back for that!</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Eren Gulfidan</em></a></p> 04 2013 16:09:11 +0000Citadel of New York's Roya Mahboob is Amongst TIME Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/roya54-resized-600.jpg" alt="" width="182" height="273" data-imageid="126059" data-galleryid="1025" />This week, TIME Magazine is filling its pages with the top 100 most influential people in the world. There are 5 categories: Titans, Leaders, Artists, Pioneers, and Icons. For me, the "Pioneer" category tops all the others, as it stands for innovation, change, and hope. To me, it is the most exciting, because it means discovery! And, <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Roya Mahboob</a></strong>, who I am currently sharing an office with in the middle of Manhattan, is dominating the list of Pioneers with 4000, yes 4000 Facebook likes. Jay-Z is at a mere 1200. It's obvious: People love Roya, and they see something special in her.</p> <p>Roya Mahboob is the Founder and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company, a full-service software development firm based in Herat, Afghanistan, providing IT assistance to businesses, private companies, government ministries, and organizations like NATO. Afghan Citadel employs 25 people, and 18 of them are women. I had the chance to get to know Roya when she partnered with Francesco Rulli, the Founder/CEO of Film Annex to start <a href="" target="_blank">Citadel of New York</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Women's Annex</a>. </p> <p>Since then, <a href="" target="_blank">8 Internet classroom have been built</a> with the efforts of Roya and Film Annex in Afghanistan. Children have been connected to the Internet and offered a new school curriculum including social media and filmmaking. The goal is to build 40 Internet classrooms and connect 160,000 students to the world so that they can have a brighter future than their ancestors. </p> <p>As I write this, I realize that my time spent with Roya has not solely been limited to email exchanges and office conversations. I'm happy to have spent a little bit of time with her outside, showing her around Brooklyn and helping her buy an iPhone for her brother. The time spent with her allowed me to get to know the young, energetic, chipper Roya who's changing the world step by step, a little bit better. Congratulations, once again!</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 04 2013 18:09:15 +0000Online Film Financing with Film Annex and Eren's Picks<p>If you are a Film Annexer reading this, you already know the way we work. If you are an outsider, here is an opportunity to discover our model. I am referring to our integration of <strong>online film distribution</strong> with <strong>online film financing</strong>. There are a lot of distributors out there. Online video and content distribution have become pretty much the same thing. Websites are the new movie theaters. Computers are the new TVs. Where does Film Annex come into all of this?</p> <p>In most cases, there are two types of platforms; those that are ad-supported and those that aren't. The ones that aren't offer sale, rental, and VOD services. As a filmmaker, you get a percentage of what you sell/rent. Sometimes, you get an advance payment; other times, you get paid as you go. Who are these platforms? iTunes, Amazon, Mubi, Netflix, Indieflix. The list goes on. And then, there are the ad-supported platforms like Film Annex, Hulu, and YouTube. Hulu is owned by NBC, Fox, and Disney; YouTube is owned by Google, and Film Annex is owned by Film Annex. <strong>Film Annex's advertising fill-rate is at a staggering 95% whereas YouTube's is at 10%</strong>.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-04-16_at_5.00.11_PM.jpg" alt="" width="423" height="395" data-imageid="125233" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Film Annex Model</em></p> <p><em></em>The words "award-winning" and "independent filmmaker" bring Film Annex to mind. Cat videos make one think of YouTube. And Grey's Anatomy is available on Hulu. Which one would you want to be associated with? Video ads have a lot of haters. "I don't like watching ads before videos" is something I hear often. The reality is that most people have to sit through these ads even before they watch a "lyric video" of an 80s song on YouTube. <strong>On Film Annex, the ads are part of our online film financing strategy. To put it briefly, every time you catch the first few seconds of an ad, Film Annex is paying the filmmaker, and you, as the viewer, are paying no one</strong>. Moreover, you are financially supporting the independent filmmaker without spending any money yourself. With the revenues they generate on their Web TV, filmmakers go and make new films. It's an ever-evolving cycle.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-04-16_at_5.30.05_PM.jpg" alt="" width="264" height="258" data-imageid="125234" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Film Annex Cycle</em></p> <p>In a nutshell, Film Annex is the ONLY platform that uses advertising to equally reward filmmakers for their work. With our 50/50 revenue share model, a content creator maintains a continuous revenue stream as long as he/she has a Web TV channel on Film Annex. Film Annex ad revenues are ever-increasing and for a lifetime, whereas revenues generated from online rentals, sales, and VOD are stable and often decline after the film loses its popularity.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-04-16_at_5.32.57_PM.jpg" alt="" width="485" height="270" data-imageid="125235" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Monthly revenues generated </em><em>by Film Annex filmmakers</em></p> <p>The Film Annex Web TV model enables filmmakers to promote their entire body of work via its platform and linked social media tools.  The revenue graph and report allow filmmakers to keep an eye on their performance and how it is affecting their income. This way, Film Annex not only serves as an online portfolio for the artist, but also as a place where he/she can monitor his/her revenues on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. All revenue statistics are real-time.</p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a> </strong>on Film Annex's homepage has a $50,000 monthly budget to share with 15 filmmakers. Are you one of them? If you believe in your work and social media skills, you know you belong on Film Annex's homepage. Shoot me an email at <a href=""></a> if you want to know more or follow my <strong>online film financing</strong> blog. Let's call this the FIRST installment.</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_self">Eren</a></p> 04 2013 17:01:06 +0000Mimiking - A Japanese love story on WACKY TUESDAYS - Latest Independent Films<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-04-09_at_5.36.33_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="123705" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Today officially feels like Spring. Finally. And what can be a more appropriate theme to talk about than love when the weather gets warm and the birds start chirping?! Last week, I started my blog with some "bedroom" talk, and this week I'm determined to continue the conversation with love and its wackiness. For this week's <strong>Wacky Tuesdays</strong> video, I chose <em>Mimiking - A Japanese Love Story</em> directed by Matt Pastor. The film screened in Cannes Film Festival in 2009 at the Short Film Corner, and now it's being showcased on Film Annex's <strong>online film distribution platform</strong>. Moreover, it contains pretty much everything I love: Pockys, a Rubiks Cube, cool shoes, rocks, and of course love. It also contains heartbreak, which I don't love.</p> <p>In this 10-minute short, we get a glimpse into the world of Mimi, an 18-year old who is learning to cope with heartbreak. Through several flashbacks and breaking-the-fourth-wall type of conversations with the camera, we find out that Mimi moved to "this country" (presumably, the US) to learn the language and the culture, but she never thought she could also learn about love. Well, that's when she met Kingston and fell in love. The kissed, exchanged gifts, recorded each other's voices on an old tape recorder, and the list goes on... until Kingston left her.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-04-09_at_4.47.51_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="123704" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Perhaps the the most touching and "wacky" part of the film is Mimi's rock collection. "All my life, I've been a collector. And I believe collections define their owners. I have collected much over the years, some back in Japan, but I take my stone collection everywhere with me. A stone for every person that has ever hurt me." And we see the stones one by one, each representing something different: her father's infidelity, her best friend's lie, her high school crush, etc. If you want to find out what kind of stone Kingston gets, you better watch the movie.</p> <p>Besides having a heart-warming, clever, and quirky story, <em>Mimiking - A Japanese Love Story</em> stands out with its style and colorful props. It's an extremely delightful movie, and I am pretty sure that it's entirely different from anything else you've seen lately. So, here it is! Watch it below, and stay tuned for the <strong>latest independent films</strong> in the following week!</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M34039" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 04 2013 17:09:41 +0000Discovering Identity and Connecting Cultures with Die Welt - Latest Independent Films<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-04-05_at_5.36.54_PM4716.jpg" alt="" width="403" height="566" data-imageid="122951" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Die W</em>elt<em> poster -</em> <strong></strong><strong>Latest Independent Films</strong></p> <p>Last week, I interviewed Alex Pitstra, the director of<em> Die Welt</em>, which screened at the New Directors/New Films series in New York. This week, we started editing the video. As a first-time feature filmmaker, Pitstra managed to create a spellbinding adventure with a cast of mainly non-professional actors. His success is worth noticing and following, and I'm sure we'll be hearing more about him soon.</p> <p>What attracted me to the film was not just the story I saw on the screen, but also the story of Pitstra himself. Born to a Tunisian father and a Dutch mother, Pitstra didn't get to meet his father till his mid twenties. One day, he decided to visit Tunisia to see his father and meet his extended family. The experience changed his life entirely. From then on, he kept going back to Tunisia ever year and kept getting fascinated by the country and its culture. A few years later, Pitstra decided to shoot a film in his new habitat. What started out as an autobiographical story slowly developed and became the<em> </em>filmthat is now hitting festival after festival. The script was penned by him and his cousin who wrote most of the dialog. Some described Pitstra as the "neo-Tarantino," and the opening scene of the film is testament to that statement.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/die_welt_still_02_800px.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="122955" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Still from Die Welt</em></p> <p>Why is this story important? First, I'm drawn to it, because it's extremely personal. What was initially a quest for identity became a captivating and honest film filled with genuine, interesting dialog. It's engulfed with the verisimilitude of the Italian Neorealists and the French New Wave(ists) in a darker, twistier kind of way. Second, I was intrigued by the fact that Pitstra chose to shoot in Tunisia and re-connected his European roots with his Middle Eastern/North African ones.</p> <p>This got me thinking about the <a href="" target="_blank">filmmaking curriculum</a> we're putting together here at Film Annex for children in Afghanistan. Die Welt turns the lens on the Tunisian youth who struggle to realize their dreams and feel trapped in their post-revolution country. Seeing a film shot in Tunisia that explores such a relevant and relatable topic was refreshing to me. It got me curious about what kind of stories <strong>Afghan girls</strong> and boys who aspire to be filmmakers would tell. It would be great to see personal films made in Afghanistan. It would be important for the world to see.</p> <p>When I talked to director, Alex Pitstra, and his producer, Rosan Breman, both told me that they are seriously considering <strong>online film distribution</strong> for their film. This was a great thing to hear, especially because it shows that the filmmakers want their story to reach as many people as possible.</p> <p>Till next time,</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren </a></p> 04 2013 17:35:59 +0000Dan MacKenzie's CREATE on WACKY TUESDAYS' Most Entertaining Films<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/CREATE1.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="122637" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Yes, the bedroom is where the magic happens. We all know it. We watched people trying to show one another their bedrooms in movies. We asked our dates if they want to see <em>our </em>bedrooms. It all happened and is still happening. In this week's <strong>WACKY TUESDAY</strong> pick, filmmaker and stop motion animator <a href="" target="_blank">Dan McKenzie</a> lets us into the magical world of a young boy by taking us to his bedroom!</p> <p>An official selection at Fantastic Fest, Newport Beach Film Festival, and Savannah Film Festival, where it won "Best Student Film," McKenzie's <a href="" target="_blank"><em>CREATE</em></a> presents two parallel worlds: One belongs to a mad scientist who sets out to create a pet monster in an imaginary laboratory; and the other to the reality of a boy's bedroom. Yes, the bedroom is indeed where the magic happens. When I was growing up, I got bored with the Barbie house that was passed onto me from my sisters and started using my drawer set to build one from scratch. That's also I how I split my eyebrow open; by bumping it into the sharp corner of a drawer.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/CREATE2.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="122638" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>CREATE is a short and sweet stop motion film, but it's also wacky because it features a mad scientist. Though perhaps the little boy is in a way madder than the scientist himself. Even though it's only 2 minutes long, there's a whiff of Mary Shelley's good old Frankenstein in here. Highly recommended!</p> <p>A recent graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, Dan McKenzie has recently worked on the television show, Robot Chicken, and LAIKA's feature film, ParaNorman. He is currently residing and working in Portland, Oregon and is the newest member of Eren's Picks! Stay tuned to watch the <strong>most entertaining films </strong>on Film Annex's <strong>online film distribution platform</strong>. Watch <em>CREATE</em> here:<br /><br /><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M33053" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 04 2013 19:01:05 +0000Latest Independent Films - The Revolutionary Optimists is a Catalyst for Change and Women's Empowerment<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/TheRevolutionaryOptimists_L14599.jpg" alt="" width="247" height="360" data-imageid="121964" data-galleryid="1025" />When is a film more than just a film? How much impact does a story have to have on an audience to make a change? Is being "inspiring" enough? Or does it take more to make a truly influential film that makes a difference in the world?&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>The Revolutionary Optimists</strong></a>, which opened in theaters nationwide TODAY, is the only film I have seen that achieves being more than just a film. Directed by two <strong>female filmmakers</strong>, Nicole Newnham and <span class="field-content">Maren Grainger-Monsen</span>,The Revolutionary Optimists&nbsp;is an event, a campaign, and a catalyst for change.&nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier this week, Global Peace Film Festival's Artistic Director, Kelly DeVine invited me to a special screening ofRevolutionary Optimistsat the UNICEF building in Manhattan. The 3-hour event included a panel discussion and a reception, where the filmmakers and the film's subjects were also present. Filmed over several years, the documentary follows Amlan Ganguly, a former lawyer, educator, and children's rights advocate, and three of the children he works with on a journey through adolescence, as they positively influence their communities, fight for their rights, and improve their lives.</p> <p>At the center of the story is Salim, an 11-year old boy who lives in one of the poorest slums of Kolkata, India, and is fighting to bring clean tap water to his community. In order to accomplish this, Salim and his friends draw a "Google" map of their neighborhood and take it to the parliament in Delhi to prove that their community exists, and 9,000 people need clean water. Salim and his friend Sikha also fight to beat Polio by going from door to door and telling their neighbors to bring their kids in for polio vaccines. The 13-year old Sikha is also a women's rights advocate, and she fights for <strong>women's empowerment</strong> and equality between boys and girls by having the girls in her community to participate in soccer matches.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/revopts_7.jpg" alt="" width="570" height="317" data-imageid="121962" data-galleryid="1025" /><em></em></p> <p><em>Salim working on his neighborhood's Google map</em></p> <p>Another story is that of Priyanka, a 16-year old girl who wants to be a dance teacher but is pressured to get married to her boyfriend. If she gets married, she will risk losing her place in the dance group, her job, and her chance at getting an education.</p> <p>Last but not least, we have Kajal, who wants to be a seamstress, but instead spends her days carrying 1,500 bricks on her head for a construction job that pays her $1.49. If Amlan can build a school inside the brick field she works in, Kajal has a chance at an education.</p> <p>The most inspiring part of the documentary for me was the story of Salim and Sikha, who were at the screening. At the end of the film, you see that they were able to get most of the kids in their community vaccinated against Polio. The audience at Wednesday's screening also received the good news that Salim and Sikha's slum will be getting clean water in just a few months. This is an 11-year old kid who went to the Indian parliament and pitched his case to some of the highest-ranked people in his country. It was astounding for me to see the confidence, intelligence, and courage these kids had and how they used these qualities to accomplish their goals. They are able to make drastic changes in their communities while getting their education, playing sports, and having a good time with each other. Salim particularly insisted on the fact that he plays a lot of sports and doesn't spend his entire time doing "grown-up" things.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/revopts_11.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="121963" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Sikha</em></p> <p>I hope everyone gets a chance to see this incredible film. There's so much you can learn from a handful of teenagers living across the world.</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 03 2013 18:36:33 +0000Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard Talks about the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize and Empowering Women Through Science<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/paulgreengard2.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="121586" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Photo by <a href="" target="_blank">Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation</a></em></p> <p>Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard is the Vincent Astor Professor of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at The Rockefeller University and the Director of The Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research. In January, we hosted Dr. Greengard at the Film Annex Studios for an interview with Ushma Neill, the Executive Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The 30-minute <a href="" target="_self">interview</a> regarding Greengard's studies on neurotransmission and brain signals is part of the <a href="" target="_blank">Conversations with Giants in Medicine</a> series.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/pearlmeisterlogo.jpg" alt="" width="113" height="109" data-imageid="121796" data-galleryid="1025" />Dr. Greengard's studies have changed our understanding of how the nervous system functions at the molecular level and invalidated a popular misconception that all nerve cells are identical. Moreover, Greengard, in collaboration with his wife, the sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, established the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Pearl Meister Greengard Prize</strong></a> to honor the accomplishments of women scientists. Named in memory of Dr. Greengard&rsquo;s mother, the prize includes a $100,000 honorarium.</p> <p>In support of our <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Women's Annex</strong></a> initiative, I talked to Dr. Greengard about the history of the prize, the reason for its creation, gender balance in science, supporting women scientists, and empowering women through science.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>You donated your monetary share of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine to Rockefeller and, in partnership with supporters of the University, you created the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize to support women scientists. Was this something you've always wanted to do? In other words, what was the main reason for creating the prize? Did you think female scientists were not getting the recognition they deserved in the field?</strong></p> <p>The prize&rsquo;s namesake, my mother Pearl Meister, has always loomed large in my life though I have no recollection of her&mdash;not even a photo.&nbsp; She died giving birth to me, and I wasn&rsquo;t aware of her existence until I was 21 years old.&nbsp; I have since learned from others that she was an intelligent and gifted woman.&nbsp; I have long wanted to give her a legacy.</p> <p>When I received the Nobel Prize, my wife, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and I decided that we wanted to use my share of the proceeds to create a prize to honor women scientists.&nbsp; And we thought it was fitting to name the prize for a woman who might have achieved great things in her life had she had the opportunity and encouragement.&nbsp;</p> <p>It became clear to me&mdash;based on the outpouring of gratitude that my wife Ursula and I have received because of this prize&mdash;that there is still a great need to recognize the contributions of women scientists.&nbsp; I have received many letters and emails from young women who attend the annual prize ceremony every year and who tell me they are inspired by the recipients.&nbsp;</p> <p>I am pleased that the prize ceremony draws together a spectrum of supporters, from high school students with an interest in science to the upper echelons of academia.&nbsp; Parents bring their children, and science teachers bring their classes.&nbsp; There are undergrads and Nobel laureates in attendance. It&rsquo;s a celebratory event and also an opportunity for a new generation of science enthusiasts to meet and learn from the experiences of extraordinary women researchers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are some of the main factors the selection committee pays attention to before they grant the prize to the winning scientist?</strong></p> <p>The Selection Committee considers a number of factors.&nbsp; The recipient must be an active scientist and have made transformative achievements in her field of study.&nbsp; Some of the recipients have been overlooked for major scientific awards, while some have received numerous other honors.&nbsp; Many have also distinguished themselves as great mentors and advocates for other women scientists.</p> <p><strong>Do you see a dramatic increase in the number of female scientists and their involvement in scientific studies since you started your career in the field?</strong></p> <p>Throughout my career, I have been aware of the discrimination that women face in science at all levels.&nbsp; In recent years&mdash;partially because of the feedback I have received about this prize&mdash;I have also learned about the emotional toll this discrimination has caused and how important it is to honor women scientists and support them throughout the academic pipeline.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>I believe that achieving gender balance in science is a priority. Studies have shown that more women are graduating with degrees in science, but women are still underrepresented in the higher levels of academia.&nbsp;</p> <p>At Rockefeller University I have seen great improvements since I joined the faculty in 1983.&nbsp; This has been accomplished in part because of the foresight of the University&rsquo;s leadership and also because, as I mentioned, there are now more women pursuing careers in science.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The University has a tremendous cadre of women heads of lab who serve as mentors to our students.&nbsp; In fact, two of our heads of lab, Drs. Cori Bargmann and Titia de Lange, were recently selected to receive the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, an award created by leaders in the technology industry&mdash;they were the only two women out of eleven recipients.&nbsp; Both Drs. Bargmann and de Lange serve on the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize Selection Committee, so I feel the prize is in good hands.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>I am also proud that half of the scientists in my lab are women.&nbsp; So, at Rockefeller, I feel we are on the right track, though there is always room for improvement.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Do you think the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize will one day be given to female scientists in developing countries with fewer resources?</strong></p> <p>This is an international prize, and there are many outstanding women scientists who deserve recognition all over the globe.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Can we say that in addition to recognizing the work of women in science, the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize promotes women's empowerment? In your opinion, what are some of the ways to introduce a well-rounded education in science to schools in developing countries like Afghanistan, hoping that this education empowers the citizens in an educational, social, and financial way?</strong></p> <p>I hope that the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize does promote women&rsquo;s empowerment.&nbsp; Every year, my wife and a group of incredible women choose a guest speaker to present the prize.&nbsp; We have been fortunate to have had amazing women, mostly non-scientists, present the prize.&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2011, Michelle Bachelet was the prize&rsquo;s presenter.&nbsp; As you may know, she is the former president of Chile and is now the executive director of UNWOMEN, a new organization within the UN to promote gender equality and empowerment.&nbsp; Dr. Bachelet addressed the exclusion of women in science and how detrimental this is to the progress of biomedical research as a whole.&nbsp; We all suffer if women are not allowed or encouraged to fulfill their potential.</p> <p>As Dr. Bachelet said, the roots of this exclusion begin at a human rights level.&nbsp; When women do not have basic social and political rights, it is nearly impossible for them to achieve success in science or any other field.&nbsp;</p> <p>I agree with Dr. Bachelet and I think that in order for more women in the developing world to become leaders in scientific research, they must first be given the right to quality education and the social opportunity to benefit from their education.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/paulgreengard.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="121587" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p id="ru_jquery_caption_0" class="caption_frame" style="display: list-item;"><em>Paul Greengard, Brenda Milner, Michelle Bachelet and Ursula von Rydingsvard (Original photo appears on <a href=""></a>)</em></p> <p class="caption_frame" style="display: list-item;"><em></em>Watch the interview with Dr. Greengard below:</p> <p class="caption_frame" style="display: list-item;"><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M33931" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p class="caption_frame" style="display: list-item;"><em>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren Gulfidan</a><br /></em></p> 03 2013 12:21:43 +0000Online Film Distribution for Longer Shorts and New Directors/New Films<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/80583.jpg" alt="" width="309" height="190" data-imageid="120631" data-galleryid="1025" />March and April are great months to be in New York City if you want to see the <strong>latest independent films</strong>. Yesterday, the <a href="" target="_blank">New Directors/New Films</a> Series took off at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art. Just like Sundance and SXSW, New Directors/New Films showcase the work of emerging filmmakers. The difference is that <span style="font-size: 12px;">this particular program</span> has been supporting new, independent filmmakers for much much longer. Now at its 42nd year, the series launched the careers of some of the greatest directors/auteurs we know, such as <span style="font-size: 12px;">Pedro Almod&oacute;var, <span style="font-size: 12px;">Spike Lee</span>, Wong Kar-Wai (a personal favorite), <span style="font-size: 12px;">Darren Aronofsky</span>, Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg</span>.</p> <p>This is a great opportunity for me to see some new work by young filmmakers who are slowly and not-so-quietly making their mark in the independent film world. I'm particularly interested in seeing the short film programs showcasing the work of filmmakers from various countries, including Italy, Turkey (my home), and the United States. The best part of New Directors/New Series is that most of the filmmakers join Q&amp;As after the screenings, so they are present and accessible. I can't wait to meet some of them in person.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Another thing I noticed when I was looking at the list of screenings was the duration of the movies. I saw a lot of films between 60-70 and 70-80 minutes. Usually, as you probably know, the conventional feature film is at least 90 minutes long. Just by seeing that these rather short feature films are being presented, I sensed even more flexibility, hope, and opportunity in the future of independent film. You made a movie that's only 63 minutes? Some "experts" would tell you to round it up to 90 minutes, and you would have to force yourself to write more to create something inorganic. Well, don't worry about how long your movie is. Just tell your story and let it be as long as it needs to be. <br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-03-22_at_6.16.27_PM.jpg" alt="" width="220" height="162" data-imageid="120637" data-galleryid="1025" />Speaking of film durations, one of my goals this Spring is to bring longer format shorts onto Film Annex's platform. I'd like to feature longer shorts on <a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a> as well. So if you're a filmmaker reading this, and if you have a short that's 10 to 20 minutes or longer, upload it now. Of course, the first thing I look at when I watch Film Annex films is the story and the quality of the work, but I think <strong>online film distribution</strong> is a great tool to showcase longer shorts, and I want to make the best out of it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Come April, there will be more opportunities to delve into new films at the Tribeca Film Festival. More on that later. Enjoy your weekend, everybody! And watch my Friday pick for Film Annex Shorts. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">I'm Carl by Jack Tew:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;"><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="M29860?l=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5maWxtYW5uZXguY29tL3dlYnR2L2phY2t0ZXcvbW92aWUvaGlfaW1fY2FybF8yMDA5LzI5ODYw" data-videosource="fa" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a><br /></span></p> 03 2013 18:03:38 +0000Is Vimeo on Demand a PRO in Online Distribution? Or is it a CON for Filmmakers?<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/vimeoondemand.jpg" alt="" width="272" height="152" data-imageid="119564" data-galleryid="1025" />There has been a lot of talk over the new Vimeo on Demand, which allows filmmakers to self-distribute their films with a 90/10 revenue share. Yes, 90% of the sales (after transaction fees) end up in the filmmaker's pocket. Pretty good deal, right? Almost every news source wrote about this last week when Vimeo announced their new VOD feature at SXSW on Wednesday. The information in all the articles was the same, and it was rather limited. What they highlighted was the 90/10 revenue split, how Vimeo was creator-friendly, and how the service was only available to those with PRO accounts. All the attention and press made it look like Vimeo on Demand was making its mark on the world of <strong>online film distribution</strong>.</p> <p>All is intriguing and dandy except perhaps that last detail: The service is only available to those with PRO accounts. Well, this aspect of the new feature got some backlash from Vimeo users, calling it "commercial" and an "unclear promise of actually helping filmmakers find their audience." One filmmaker talked about how users need to pay $200 up front and how difficult this is for small producers. A Vimeo PRO account costs $199.</p> <p>It's true that Vimeo never had and still doesn't have any advertising on its platform. Though it's undeniable that part of its income revenue is coming from its own users/filmmakers who pay $199 a year. Considering that almost all professional filmmakers have a Vimeo PRO account, that's a substantial total sum right there. I don't think it would be false to say that Vimeo is dependent on its filmmakers to survive. So, instead of looking at this new service as a "favor" or a "selfless innovation," I see it more like Vimeo finally giving its filmmakers something in return.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/toughlately.jpg" alt="" width="218" height="300" data-imageid="119567" data-galleryid="1025" />There are of course some issues. Let's create a hypothetical scenario here: I am a filmmaker with a Vimeo PRO account, and I paid $199 up front. So that money is gone. I created a Vimeo on Demand page for one of my movies and am selling it for $5 a copy. To make up the $199 I spent to get the PRO account, I need to sell roughly 40 downloads. AND THEN, if I want to make profit, I need to sell more.</p> <p>Now, I'm a huge believer in buying movies. I still buy the DVDs of my favorite classics, and I don't hesitate to spend my money on something meaningful that I'll get to keep forever. However, paying for a short film that I haven't heard much about when I know that I might potentially watch it for free on a different platform will be in the back of my head when I'm purchasing that film. Paying for downloads is still a grey/iffy area, and unless you really like a certain movie and want to keep it forever or you want to specifically support that filmmaker, you just don't pay for it.</p> <p>A filmmaker featured on Film Annex's homepage makes (on average) between $1000 and $2000 a month via advertising revenues. Let's say $1500 for this argument's sake. On Vimeo on Demand, to make that amount per month with the movie you posted, you need to sell 300 downloads/copies. That's a very high number if you're not an indie filmmaker star or an expert in <strong>marketing films</strong>. I think the numbers speak for themselves.<img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: right;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/FA_LOGO.jpg" alt="" width="150" height="150" data-imageid="119569" data-galleryid="1025" /><em></em></p> <p>I think this is a good experiment for all filmmakers to try out and see the results of their sales versus the revenue they generate on Film Annex's <strong>film distribution platform</strong>. Internet lets you try everything at the same time! You might say, well what if I'm not <a href="" target="_blank">featured on the homepage</a>? Let me tell you that if you're a filmmaker with great films, you will get your chance. Plus, with good social media presence and promotional skills, you will be sure to generate some revenue on your channel, and you won't have to pay any fee up front.</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> <p><em>Illustration: "Troubled filmmaker" by Eren Gulfidan</em></p> 03 2013 16:51:09 +0000Beyond “Beasts”: The Art of Court 13 at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans - Beasts of the Southern Wild<p>I took a 4-day trip to New Orleans last week to attend the opening of <em>Beyond &ldquo;Beasts&rdquo;: The Art of Court 13</em> at the city's <a href="" target="_blank">Contemporary Art Center</a>.&nbsp;My cab driver was kind enough to pretend to be my tour guide for 20 minutes as we drove from the airport to the museum. I knew nothing about New Orleans and didn't know what to expect. At the end of the trip, I found myself not wanting to leave. It's definitely one of the most magical places I've ever been to, a place that exists in its own reality, where people seem relaxed, cheerful, and sincere. At least, that was my first impression. I'll have to go back to find out more.</p> <p>When I got to the museum late Thursday, the artists who were involved in the exhibition were prepping for the following evening's opening. <strong><a href="" target="_blank">The show</a>, which is running through June 16th,<em></em> features the work of <a href="" target="_blank">Court 13</a>, the film collective behind the Oscar-nominated film&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><em>Beasts of the Southern Wild</em></a></strong>. The walls of the space were covered with still photographs from the movie as well as references that inspired the story. There was still a bit of cutting, building, hanging, and painting going on, but there was no doubt all preparations would be finished by the next day.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Beasts1.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="118014" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Paul Korzan (Lead Artist) and&nbsp;<em>Ray Tintori (Unit Director) </em>at work - Aurochs and Special Effects Unit</em></p> <p>At the show, original artworks and installation pieces allowed viewers to go <strong>behind the scenes</strong> to see the props, models, animals, and sculptures used in the movie. Hand-painted wooden signs, animal posts, <span title="BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Featurette: " dir="ltr">Auroch</span> costumes and head-pieces that were worn by pigs, and The Turk, Wink&rsquo;s famous truck boat, were all&nbsp;beautifully&nbsp;displayed. The exhibition&nbsp;was testament to the talent and passion of all the artists who worked on the film as it re-created the mystical aura ever-present in <em>Beasts of the Southern Wild</em>.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/beasts3.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="118017" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Scenic Director Z Behl prepping a few hours before the show</em></p> <p><em></em>Multiple LCD screens were placed throughout the room, displaying <strong>making-of</strong> videos, interviews, and audition tapes. Every aspect of the movie's creation was there for the visitors to see. It was exciting to watch how actors were directed, scenes were shot, and sets were built. In the age where <strong>online video</strong> is so prevalent, it was refreshing to have all this material inside of a beautiful building.</p> <p>The show also featured Court 13's early films and materials relating directly to th<em></em>eir creation. Ray Tintori's Sundance Film Festival winning short film <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Death to the Tinman</em></a> (2007) was screened right next to the Tinman costume hanging from the ceiling (Tintori re-built the costume specifically for the show).</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Beasts4.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="118019" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Benh Zeitlin (far left), Director of Beasts of the Southern Wild, doing last minute arrangements before the show</em></p> <p>Participating artists included:</p> <p>Alana Pryor Ackerman, Z Behl, Alex DiGerlando, Crockett Doob, Josh Ente, Meredith Groves, Nathan Harrison, Mai Arakida Izsak, Paul Korzan, Emilia Mello, Jess Pinkham, Ray Tintori, Sophie Tintori, Benh Zeitlin, and Eliza Zeitlin amongst others.</p> <p>Interviews with the film's producers and special effects artists are soon to appear on Film Annex. In the meantime, if you're near New Orleans, go see this amazing exhibition! If you're not near New Orleans, still go see it as it's worth the 3-hour plane ride.</p> <p>-- Eren</p> 03 2013 15:53:40 +0000Filmmakers Today - Floris Kaayk's Origin of Creatures on WACKY TUESDAYS <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/origin-creatures1.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="115399" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>The Origins of Creatures</strong></em></a> is not your typical end of the world film. In fact, it's probably better than every end of the world movie you've ever seen, because instead of Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger, you watch fused body parts (mostly fingers, eyeballs, ears, and feet) showing off superb acting skills. With all the technology around us, <strong>filmmakers today</strong> can get pretty creative, but the Netherlands-based filmmaker <a href="" target="_blank">Floris Kaayk</a> has redefined the limits of human imagination for me.</p> <p>Produced in 2010, The Origins of Creatures is a short film that combines incredible CGI skills with breathtaking cinematography. In Kaayk's words, the film, based on the tale of Tower of Babel, is "a futuristic vision of a world after a catastrophic disaster." What we see is separated (and then re-united) body parts trying to rebuild a devastated city in ruins. The mission is to create a big and lofty nest so that the colony's queen gets enough sunlight to reproduce. I won't tell you if the little creatures accomplish their mission or not. This post contains no spoilers!</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/ofc6718.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="115400" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>This beautiful film (I never thought fused feet and fingers could look so attractive) is perhaps the wackiest film I've featured on <strong>Wacky Tuesdays </strong>so far. It's absolutely a wack fest. Kaayk's film has gotten thousands of views on the web as well as mentions on <em>Wired</em> and <em>Short of the Week</em>. On top of that, it won an Honorary Mention at the famous <a href="" target="_blank">Prix Ars Electronica</a> festival in Linz. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most recognized annual prizes in the field of electronic and interactive art, computer animation, digital culture and music. So, kudos to Kaayk for all these achievements. I added The Origins of Creatures to <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Eren's Picks</strong></a> and hope that this will bring Kaayk even more exposure and revenues on Film Annex's <strong>online film distribution platform</strong>.</p> <div class="description_wrapper"> <div class="description " data-expand-tooltip="Click to expand description"> <p>So, I leave you with the film and the credits now, because everyone who worked on this film deserves recognition! One thing that would be fantastic is if Kaayk let us go <strong>behind the scenes</strong> of this gem and shared some of his secrets on how to achieve such beautiful imagery and how he came up with the wacky idea of fused body parts.</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="91617" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>Creator: Floris Kaayk<br /> Produced by: Marc Thelosen<br /> D.O.P.: Reinier van Brummelen<br /> Composer: Lennert Busch<br /> Sounddesign: Bart Jilesen, Erik Griekspoor, Elena Mart&iacute;n Hidalgo<br /> Trainee: Vincent van der Klaauw</p> <p>Financially supported: Netherlands Film Fund, Rotterdam Media Fund, Stroom Den Haag</p> </div> </div> <p>See you next Tuesday,</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 03 2013 17:35:48 +0000This Week's Recap: How To Empower Women, Latest Independent Films, Interviews<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/BRAC_logo.jpg" alt="" width="210" height="70" data-imageid="113591" data-galleryid="1025" />This week, I've been in touch with influential women and men from both the non-profit and the entertainment worlds. <strong>Farzana Kashfi </strong>works as a Senior Manager in the Education Program at BRAC Bangladesh, focusing on adolescents and youth. She provides adolescent girls in rural areas with comprehensive support structure and works with the urban youth in Bangladesh to develop their skills through informal markets. She also provides regular support in <strong><a href="" target="_blank">BRAC</a></strong>&rsquo;s work focusing on youth in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Afghanistan. Kashfi and is currently developing a comprehensive Global Adolescent and Youth Strategy for BRAC.<span class="text"> During our email exchange, she mentioned that "BRAC has been working in Afghanistan for close to a decade now and I believe [Women's Annex] and BRAC share a mutual interest in empowerment of women and girls." I'll be interviewing Kashfi within the upcoming weeks about <strong>how to empower women</strong>, and I'm excited to collaborate with BRAC's New York City office.</span></p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/pro-mujer-logo1.jpg" alt="" width="182" height="148" data-imageid="113595" data-galleryid="1025" />Another contact I heard from was <strong>Lynne Patterson</strong>, the Co-Founder of <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Pro Mujer</strong></a>. I am fascinated with Lynne's story and how she dedicated her life to empowering women in underprivileged countries. In 1990, Lynne moved to Bolivia with her family and partnered with Carmen Velasco (Pro Mujer Co-Founder) to develop training programs for women receiving donated food. These training programs included business, child development, and health and family planning, all of which led to the formation of Pro Mujer. Lynne expanded her foundation's efforts into Nicaragua, Peru, Mexico and Argentina while opening Pro Mujer's international headquarters in New York City. Honored by the International Development bank as a &ldquo;Woman Microfinance Pioneer in Latin America&rdquo; in 2009 and recognized as &ldquo;Community Crusaders&rdquo; at the annual &ldquo;CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute&rdquo; ceremony in 2007, Lynne will be a great role model for <strong>women </strong>in<strong> Afghanistan</strong>. We set up a meeting for late March, and I'm excited for her to share her experiences with everyone at Women's Annex.&nbsp;</p> <p>I also reached out to <strong>Alexis Lloyd</strong>, the Creative Director of Research and Development Operations at <em><strong>The</strong></em> <strong><em>New York Times</em></strong> for an interview request. Alexis was a speaker at the <a class="event-name" href="">Connections: How the Internet of Things is Transforming Our Social World</a> panel during Social Media Week. At the panel, she discussed the ways social connections have moved on and what this means for the rest of us. I think Alexis can bring in a different perspective to Women's Annex and share her expertise on Internet and Technology. This will be crucial for our platform, especially considering that Internet and Software Development are on the rise as far as industries go in Afghanistan.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/real_life_exp_vimeo_thumb.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="113600" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Still from Kristoffer Borgli's short film, Real Life Exp.</em></p> <p>While reaching out to these influential women for Women's Annex, I didn't forget about filmmakers and the <strong>latest independent films</strong>. <a href="" target="_blank">Kristoffer Borgli </a>and Elias Belkeddar are two filmmakers whose work I've been following lately, and I've asked them to join Film Annex. <a href="" rel="author">Kristoffer Borgli</a> is garnering much attention with his music videos, short films, and commercials. I personally enjoy the Norwegian director's unique style, the blunt narrative situations he creates, and the unconventional music video formats he puts out. I think he'll be a great addition to Film Annex's <strong>online video platform</strong>. Elias Belkeddar also has an impressive resume as a young director. I featured his music video Stuck Together on my <a href="" target="_blank">Wacky Tuesdays</a> blog earlier this week, and I look forward to seeing what else he can surprise us with.</p> <p>I also added new videos and two filmmakers to Eren's Picks; <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Miguel Angel Font Bisier</strong></a> and <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Elissa Bogos</a></strong>. Miguel is a director, editor, cameraman, writer, and musician from Spain. After studying violin for 18 years and piano for 4, he is now composing and supervising all of the soundtracks for his films. He is mostly known for his fashion films. Elissa is a photographer and filmmaker working in Afghanistan. She initially came to Kabul as a volunteer photo editor for Aina, Afghanistan's first independent photo agency, and fell in love with the country so much that she found it nearly impossible to leave. Her photos and videos have appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC, USA Today, PBS, ITV, among others.</p> <p>Lastly, I sent out a series of interview questions for <strong>Matthew Modine</strong>'s short film <em>Jesus Was A Commie</em>. Hope to share the interview with everyone soon.</p> <p>Have a great weekend!</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren Gulfidan</a></p> 03 2013 15:18:46 +0000New Music Videos on WACKY TUESDAYS - Spoek Mathambo's Stuck Together by Elias Belkeddar<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-02-26_at_5.33.48_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="108627" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>For this week's <strong>Wacky Tuesdays</strong> entry, I struggled choosing between two <strong>new music videos</strong>. The first one is sort of an archetypal hipster video in which hipsters wear costumes or weird animal masks and dance around awkwardly. The second video shows an old couple staring at a spider, burning books (Fahrenheit 451, anyone?), dancing on their own, making faces in the mirror, spacing out, taking showers with their clothes on, crying, and cuddling/making out underneath their crispy white sheets, just like Romeo and Juliet! I think the choice is obvious here. I go with the second. This awesome and wacky video is directed by <a href="" target="_blank">Elias Belkeddar</a> for the South African musician <span><a href="" target="_blank">SPOEK MATHAMBO</a>'s song <em>Stuck Together</em>, and it beautifully tells the story of an elderly couple who seem to be, well, stuck together till death do them apart.</span></p> <p>Excuse my advertising language, but this video was like a fresh breath of air for me and it felt like I just had an Altoid. First of all, has anyone noticed that it's 4:3 (or a bit over)? In the world we live in, where everything is 16:9, crisp and clean and high definition, it was just nice to see something a little bit dusty and square. It was kind of like waiting for a good video to watch on VH1 in the 90s. Yes, that's the feeling. <em>Stuck Together</em> is a well-shot, well-lit, nicely designed video, but what really makes it good is the man and the woman who amazingly depict the emotions they depict on camera. As soon as I started watching, I was like, "Who are these people? What are their names?? I want to stalk them. I want to cast them in my movie. I don't have a movie, but I'll make one just to have them in it." So yes, I truly enjoyed this video, and I am pretty sure you will too.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-02-26_at_5.33.04_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="108628" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Here's a bit more about the musician: Real name: Nthato Mokgata. City: Johannesburg. Genre: Afro-futurist, rebel, pure sonic power. <em>Father Creeper</em>, released in March 2013, is his second album, and it's been described as "challenging and attractive as life in our electrified, apocalyptic 2012."</p> <p>The director, Elias Belkeddar, remains mysterious, but don't be surprised if you see new videos by him on Film Annex's <strong>online video platform</strong> sooner or later.</p> <p>And once again, thank you to <a href="" target="_blank">Fred Kurzh</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">FAMusic TV</a> for bringing this video onto our platform. Stay tuned for more&nbsp;<strong>online music videos</strong>. And watch <em>Stuck Together</em> below:</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="97588" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Eren Gulfidan</em></a></p> 02 2013 17:41:55 +0000Guest Lecturing about Online Film Distribution, Production, and Marketing at NYU<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/nyu9474.jpg" alt="" width="172" height="231" data-imageid="101566" data-galleryid="1025" />Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to <a href="" target="_blank">guest lecture</a> at New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The class I taught was called <em>Online Video: Strategy, Development, Distribution, and Marketing</em>. I discussed in particular the Film Annex vision and business model,&nbsp;<strong>online film distribution</strong>, basic production methods, <strong>strategies for social media</strong> to engage audiences, and my own work.</p> <p>The class is taught every Wednesday night by <strong>John Ovrutsky</strong>, who is a graduate of my alma mater, <strong>Franklin and Marshall College</strong>. It was an honor and pleasure for me to be a guest lecturer in his class. The students were very receptive, involved, and interested. It was a great experience overall, and I look forward to more teaching adventures!</p> <p>I started off the lecture talking about the differences between personal and client work and the importance of discussions and teamwork during production. I showed the students four different videos we produced for Film Annex's client <strong>Cupcake Digital</strong>:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Interview with Susan Miller, Cupcake's Co-Founder and Executive Producer</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Interview with Brad Powers, Cupcake's Co-Founder and Chairman</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The Creative Process at Cupcake Digital by Creative Director, Christine Norrie </a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Cupcake Digital - Kids at Play</a></p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_Shot_2013-02-21_at_4.25.27_PM.jpg" alt="" width="517" height="289" data-imageid="101562" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>My intention in showing these videos was to explain how different styles of production serve different purposes and satisfy different needs. For example, while the corporate interviews are good for introductions and updates, the last two videos are more fun and engaging, inviting the viewer behind the scenes to look at how the creative process works at Cupcake. The students were quick to spot these differences, notice the camera angles, and figure out the intentions behind our production crew's decisions.</p> <p>I continued the lecture by introducing two of our filmmakers, <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Ken Turner</a></strong> and <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Jeff Chiba Stearns</a></strong>, who are not only great animators, but also very active social media users. Together, we looked at how these filmmakers are promoting their work online, how many followers they have on Facebook and Twitter, what kind of posts they put up, what kind of blogs they post, what their official websites look like and which social media outlets are they linked to, what they sell in their art stores, the benefits of crowdsourcing etc. We also talked about the importance of branding, promoting the hell out of yourself without being afraid to be perceived as pompous or arrogant, and of course being proud of your work. All these were important factors in understanding how to engage audiences and be influential on the web.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_Shot_2013-02-22_at_2.19.06_PM.jpg" alt="" width="519" height="291" data-imageid="101569" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Throughout the discussion, Film Annex's business model came up numerous times, and we discussed why our <strong>online video platform</strong> <strong> </strong>was different than others. One of the students was quick to realize that "Nobody in the <strong>film and entertainment industry</strong> does what [we] do." Another student immediately noticed the similarity between Klout and Film Annex's <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>BuzzScore</strong></a>.</p> <p>I finished off my presentation showing examples from <a href="" target="_blank">my own work</a>, including the <a href="" target="_blank">music video</a> and the <a href="" target="_blank">album teaser</a> I've made for singer/songwriter, Hee Young. I hope my lecture was helpful for all the students and they all made some new discoveries. I hope to see them one day on Eren's Picks on Film Annex's homepage :)</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>To see my presentation online, visit slideshare</strong></a>.</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren Gulfidan</a></p> 02 2013 15:22:31 +0000Social Media Week: Women's Empowerment and Girls Education with Fereshteh Forough in NYC<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/smw2.jpg" alt="" width="228" height="228" data-imageid="99831" data-galleryid="1025" />This morning, I woke up earlier than usual to meet with my colleague <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Fereshteh Forough</strong></a>, one of the co-founders of <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Women's Annex</strong></a>, to attend <em><a class="event-name" href="">Girls Education and Women's Empowerment in Real World Social Networks</a>, </em>a <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Social Media Week</strong></a> panel that focused on <strong>female empowerment </strong>in developing countries. </p> <p>The panel was introduced and moderated by<strong> Scott MacMillan</strong>, the Communications Manager of <span><a href="" target="_blank">BRAC USA</a>, a non-profit organization that empowers people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. MacMillan opened the session with a 40-year old anecdote to explain the power structure in developing countries, particularly in Bangladesh, which is where BRAC was founded back in 1972. Though slightly long and complex, the intro achieved to shed light on the power struggles, corruption, and injustice, especially towards women, that is still prevalent throughout the globe.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The panel started getting interesting for me when the female leaders of the three featured non-profit organizations began to share their stories. <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Christen Brandt</strong></a>, the Director of International Operations at <strong><a href="" target="_blank">She's the First</a>&nbsp;</strong>was the first speaker, and she talked about how her organization is helping girls in poor countries realize their full potential and continue with their education. With the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Starfish Mentorship Program</strong></a>, She's the First, assigns mentors to young women to break the cycle of early marriage, giving birth at a young age, and lack of education, things that their mothers had to go through. Starfish not only educates, but also empowers young women with knowledge and skills in areas like reproductive education, financial literacy, health, and critical, independent thinking.</span></p> <p><span><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/smw3614.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="99832" data-galleryid="1025" /></span></p> <div class="background"> <div class="transbox"> <div class="scroll">Up next was<strong> Farzana Kashfi</strong>, the former Senior Manager of the Education Program at <span><span>BRAC Bangladesh. She's currently getting her Master's Degree at Columbia University. Kashfi spoke extensively about education outside the classroom and safe spaces for young girls. She also talked about financial empowerment for <strong>women in Afghanistan</strong> and encouraging girls to sit in shops to learn unconventional trades. I liked this idea immediately, as I thought this would a) push young women out of their comfort zones and encourage them to be braver, and b) show the men in that particular society that women can work outside of their homes and be expert at any type of trade without feeling any sense of gender discrimination. Kashfi added that it was important for women to work so that they could support their own education. "You have to create awareness from bottoms up to tops down," she finally stated. </span></span></div> <div class="scroll"><span><span><br /></span></span></div> <div class="speaker-copy"><span><span>The final speaker at the panel was</span></span><strong> Lynne Patterson</strong>, the co-founder of <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Pro Mujer</strong></a>, an organization that delivers a holistic package of services like financial opportunities, business empowerment, and healthcare, to underprivileged women in poor and developing countries.</div> </div> <div class="speaker-copy">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="speaker-copy"><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Women_sAnnexLogo_Fnl_3C8103.jpg" alt="" width="185" height="145" data-imageid="99833" data-galleryid="1025" />One of the last questions at the Q&amp;A following the discussion amongst the panelists was about social media. An audience member asked how these organizations were integrating <strong>social media strategies</strong> into their platforms. To my surprise, the answers from the panelists and the moderator was unsatisfactory. In fact, only Christen Brandt from She's the First spoke about the positive effects of social media use on her organization's efforts and outreach. This is where Fereshteh and I came in. It was the perfect opportunity to introduce <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Women's Annex</strong></a> and how we're <strong>building</strong> schools in Afghanistan, opening Internet classrooms for middle and high school students, creating a social media and filmmaking curriculum for <strong>Afghan girls </strong>and boys.</div> <div class="speaker-copy">&nbsp;</div> <div class="speaker-copy">The response we received from the panelists was extremely positive, and we can't wait to collaborate with them on this project. I was thrilled to learn about all of the organizations I mentioned in this blog today, and I really think that we are filling the missing puzzle pieces with Women's Annex.</div> <div class="speaker-copy">&nbsp;</div> <div class="speaker-copy">More soon...</div> <div class="speaker-copy">&nbsp;</div> <div class="speaker-copy">- <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Eren Gulfidan</strong></a></div> 02 2013 15:53:31 +0000Eren's Recap: Female Empowerment with The League, Cherry Lane Theatre, One Billion Rising<p>This week was very inspiring for me. I met wonderful people, attended amazing events, and interviewed powerful and inspirational women about theatre, the arts, and <strong>female empowerment</strong>.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/carnegie7299.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="99151" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Carnegie Hall, February 12th, Tuesday</em></p> <p>I will remember Tuesday night as the meeting of cultures. It was my first time at Carnegie Hall, and I got to see students from the <a href=";_r=0">Afghan National Institute of Music</a> perform with those from Scarsdale High School. In addition to introducing us to traditional Afghan music, the young musicians performed western classics like Vivaldi&rsquo;s Four Seasons, Ravel's Bolero, and Chopin's Nocturne in C Sharp Minor. Thank you, <a href="" target="_blank">Francesco</a>, for making this night possible along with <a href="" target="_blank">Fereshteh</a> (Women's Annex) and <a href="" target="_blank">Mike</a> (Target Marketing Annex). Music is a great tool that brings people together and promotes peace, just like film. I really enjoyed the ensemble's rendition of Bolero - it was so powerful and had hints of Afghan music in it. Combining eastern and western instruments and music was key to the performance, because I took it as a symbol for promoting peace in Afghanistan with the help of Western allies. <strong>Foreign forces</strong> might be leaving the struggling country in 2014, but I think this performance was proof that Afghanistan will stand for its culture and traditions and won't be afraid to show the world what she's got! With all the talented, passionate kids, the future of Afghanistan is bright, and <strong>Afghanistan's culture</strong> will keep expanding.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/league.jpg" alt="" width="302" height="172" data-imageid="99155" data-galleryid="1025" />Wednesday night, I attended a networking event organized by the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>League of Professional Theatre Women</strong></a>. Thank you, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Mari Lyn Henry</strong></a>, once again, for inviting me to this amazing mingling session, which brought together so many special women. From actors to theatre makers, from producers to advertisers, the night was filled with the chatter and laughter of talented women who were existing or prospective members of the League. One of the prospective members I met, <a href="" target="_blank">Laura Hooper</a>, told me she is a theatre maker, and when I asked her what that means, she said she puts together plays in unique places like supermarkets and people's kitchens. How awesome is that? I've never heard of this type of theatre before, but when I talked to a few people about it afterwards, I was informed that it was a kind of street theatre that was prevalent in the 1960s. I kept thinking about how cool it would be to host a play in MY kitchen, and how fun it would be to see a play that took place in a supermarket. Laura is already one of my new favorite people, and I can't wait to meet more women like her, which is why I should join the League (if they'll have me of course)!</p> <p>Thursday was one of the best hectic days I've had recently. I had two video interviews with two incredibly talented and inspiring women: <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Jenny Lyn Bader</a></strong>, the Artistic Director of <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Theatre 167</strong></a>, and <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Angelina Fiordellisi</strong></a>, the Founder and Artistic Director of the historic Cherry Lane Theatre. With Jenny Lyn, we talked about her play <a href="" target="_blank">167 Tongues</a>, which is a part of the Jackson Heights Trilogy, currently up at <a href="" target="_blank">777 Theater in Manhattan</a>. I recently <a href="" target="_blank">wrote about this great play in my blog</a>, and I recommended it to everyone. In addition to being an eye-opener by introducing the audience to different cultures co-existing in one neighborhood, the play takes us back to the basics, the emotions that make us empathize with one another like love, loss, compassion, jealousy, and anger. I also talked to Jenny Lyn about her theatre company, Theatre 167, her plays, and how to empower women through theater, writing, and the arts at large. It was also fascinating to find out that both Jenny Lyn and I, when we first started writing, told our stories through the eyes of a male narrator. This shows how much we were influenced by the male perspective, the cultural default setting, and how as we got older and got to know ourselves better, we were able to shift to the female perspective.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/jennylyn.jpg" alt="" width="319" height="237" data-imageid="99156" data-galleryid="1025" /><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/angelina.jpg" alt="" width="237" height="237" data-imageid="99157" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Jenny Lyn Bader and Angelina Fiordellisi</em></p> <p>Later in the afternoon, I met with Angelina, and honestly, I could talk to her forever. She's one of the most inspiring people I've met. I was so fascinated by her story, her background as an actor, how she revived <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Cherry Lane Theatre</a></strong> when it was falling apart and how she has been running it so successfully since then. We talked about how she met <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Edward Albee</a></strong> and got him involved in Cherry Lane's Mentor Project. We also discussed the <a href="" target="_blank">Celebrating Women Playwrights Program</a> and why it was important for women in developing countries and all over the world to be introduced to theater as a way of self-expression and empowerment. Both videos will be online soon, and I can't wait to share them with you!</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/obr-mailheader.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="99154" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>OK, I'm wrapping up. But, there's one more thing. You might be yelling at the computer screen right now, "Isn't your week over already?!" Almost! I promise. Last night, for V-DAY celebrations, I went to the Hammerstein Ballroom with my dear friend, actress, writer, and activist, <a href="" target="_blank">Lillian Rodriguez</a> for the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>One Billion Rising</strong></a> event to stop violence against women around the world. Amongst the speakers were <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Glenn Close</strong></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Rosario Dawson</strong></a>, and we watched the live performance of the song, <a href="" target="_blank">Break the Chain</a> TWICE!</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/glennclose.jpg" alt="" width="290" height="217" data-imageid="99152" data-galleryid="1025" /><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/rosario.jpg" alt="" width="291" height="217" data-imageid="99153" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Glenn Close and Rosario Dawson</em></p> <p>One Billion Rising is a global movement that was initiated by <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Eve Ensler</strong></a>, the writer of <strong>Vagina Monologues</strong>. It's inspiring millions of women to speak up about abuse, rape, and violence. For more information, <a href="" target="_blank">please visit their website</a>. My goal is to promote the movement's videos also on Film Annex's <strong>online film network</strong>. At the end of the night, Lillian's eyes were glowing, and she said she felt like her heart was expanded. I think she had a Eureka moment.</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">EREN</a></p> 02 2013 11:53:02 +0000Filmmakers Today - Kim Holm's RELEASE THE FREQ on WACKY TUESDAYS<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/kimholm2.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="98818" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Does anyone remember that song <em></em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Rabbit in Your Headlights</strong></a> by UNKLE, featuring Thom Yorke, and more importantly the amazing video directed by the one and only <a href="" target="_blank">Jonathan Glazer</a>? I think Glazer might still be my favorite music video director ever even though he has been missing from the scene lately. BUT, I might have a new favorite guy now. His name is <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Kim Holm</a></strong>, an artist, designer, and director from Norway, who is responsible for this week's <strong>WACKY TUESDAYS</strong> video - Release the Freq by<a href="" target="_blank"> MATTA</a>, a dubstep duo from England. Mr. Holm stands behind all the intricate and superbly imaginative details of this video including the design, direction, cinematography, editing, 3D &amp; Animation, so basically... everything that makes this video amazing.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/kimholm.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="98819" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>There's no plot to summarize or a story to tell. This is a video that will hit you like no other, because it's just visually breathtaking, inexplicable, beautiful, and of course according to me, wacky. Is Film Annex's <strong>online film network</strong> turning into an online network of wackiness? Perhaps, but all these videos I'm highlighting in the Wacky Tuesdays series are so original and creative that I don't see any harm in getting a little crazy. This video is proof that <strong>filmmakers today </strong>are taking more chances, especially with music videos, and they aren't afraid to produce material that is very out there and somewhat bizarre. I can't even tell you how happy I was to see just deers in this video and not a bunch of women shaking their booties, "the youth" doing hip things, or someone singing next to a fog machine. All I can say is that this video is an adventure and you should join the ride.</p> <p>This video is part of the Film Annex <strong>Music Web TV</strong>, so thank you, <a href="" target="_blank">Fred Kurzh</a>, for scouting it. It would be great to see more videos from Kim Holm on Film Annex. And now I leave you alone with this wonderful and wacky video. Please enjoy it to the fullest as this might be your only chance to get back to nature today.</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="92694" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">EREN</a></p> 02 2013 16:33:32 +0000167 Tongues, Meeting Jenny Lyn Bader, Female Directors, Playwrights, and Producers<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/167-Tongues-Flyer.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="98633" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Yesterday, I spent the afternoon watching a wonderful play, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>167 Tongues</strong></a><strong></strong> by Ari Laura Kreith, a <strong>female director</strong>. The play is part of the <strong>Jackson Heights Trilogy</strong>, produced by <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Theatre 167</strong></a>. Thank you, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Mari Lyn Henry</strong></a>, for inviting me! <span class="style_2">The play</span> explores the emotional geography of&nbsp;Jackson Heights, the most culturally diverse neighborhood in New York City, and apparently in the world! There are 37 characters in the play, and their stories intersect along the way, producing a heartfelt, imaginative, humorous, and touching whole. It was an absolutely pleasurable 2 hours, and it was eye-opening to witness the stories of all the characters from so many different backgrounds. From the Ecuadorian girl who hates her mother to the aspiring Puerto Rican stand-up comedian, I already have my favorite characters down. I couldn't help but ask, "Who this and who's that?" as I watched the actors perform, because I wanted to learn more about them.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/JHR-6508.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="98634" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Still from 167 Tongues</em></p> <p><em>167 Tongues</em> and the Jackson Heights Trilogy is a Theatre 167 production led by two women, <strong><strong>ARI LAURA KREITH</strong> </strong>(Artistic Director) and <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>JENNY LYN BADER </strong></a>(Co-Founder, Director of Artistic Development). I had the opportunity to meet with Jenny Lyn Bader who is one of the writers and the producers of the play. Other plays Bader penned include <em>Mona Lisa Speaks </em>(Core Ensemble), <em>None of the Above </em>(Lion Theatre), first produced by New Georges (w/ Alison Pill) and published by Dramatists Play Service;&nbsp;<em>Manhattan Casanova</em> (Hudson Stage), winner of the Edith Oliver Award (O&rsquo;Neill Center), also seen at Guild Hall (w/ Mercedes Ruehl); and&nbsp;<em>In Flight</em>, which won the NAAA Festival in London. Bader also authored both seasons of the web drama&nbsp;<em>Watercooler </em>(MSN) and <em>He Meant, She Meant</em> (Warner Brothers). A Harvard University graduate, she also frequently contributes to the New York Times.</p> <p>I think Jenny Lyn is a great role model for all women who want to tell their stories, and I'm excited to introduce her to our <strong><a href="">Women's Annex</a></strong> audience. The play really resonated with me and showed me once again that despite our differences, the emotions we feel, our basic needs, and our empathy for one another brings us closer. There was a lot about the way we connect with each other in the play, the way we express ourselves, our need for friendship and intimacy. With <a href="" target="_blank">Women's Annex</a> and Film Annex's <strong>online film network</strong>, our goal is to bring women from different backgrounds under one umbrella and give them the tools to express themselves through <strong>online film distribution</strong>. Watching a play directed by a <strong>female director</strong> and co-written by a female playwright will be inspiring for all women in Women's Annex, and I recommend this event to everyone!</p> <p>For more information, visit the <a href="" target="_blank">play's website</a>.</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 02 2013 18:02:39 +0000Re-Discovering Film Annex's Online Film Network <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-02-08_at_4.24.20_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="98321" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Still from Jon White's <strong>Pancakes</strong></em></p> <p>Whenever I talk about Film Annex's <strong>online film network</strong>, I always say that animation is the strongest genre on our platform. But today, I think I proved myself wrong. As I browsed the new films on our platform, I came across a filmmaker called Jon White from Staffordshire University and was blown away by his films. It was refreshing for me to watch shorts that were 15, 20 minutes long as opposed to the 5-minute duration I was used to. The argument is that people can't focus on a video for more than 4-5 minutes when they're on the internet, but perhaps we can change that by presenting exciting material that is well-made. After all, don't we always go back to the stories that stick with us? That mean something to us? We can watch a visually striking 4 minute short that is super cool and talk about it for awhile. Maybe it becomes a viral phenomenon for some time, but then it might be forgotten... Whereas, a short film that is not so short, which tells a good story and resonates with us, can stay with us for a long time.&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_shot_2013-02-08_at_5.27.53_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="98322" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Still from Jon White's&nbsp;<strong>Wooden Heart</strong>&nbsp;(also, handsome bloke)</em></p> <p>That's how I felt when I watched Jon White's <a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>Pancakes</strong></em></a> and <em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Wooden Heart </strong></a></em>- two films with great performances and interesting stories. I don't want to get too sentimental, but these films were like a breath of fresh air to me and they opened up a new window in my brain. I decided that I should pursue more longer-format shorts for Film Annex's&nbsp;<strong>online film distribution platform</strong>&nbsp;and highlight these films more frequently. Jon White and most of his films are now part of <a href="" target="_blank">Eren's Picks</a> so you should be seeing more gems from him soon.&nbsp;</p> <p>Staffordshire University isn't an unfamiliar name/place for us. We have many filmmakers on Film Annex who attended this school and made great movies. In fact, some of them, such as Mark Kuczewski, Sorcha Anglim, Amy Hill, and Andy Parker, whose Web TVs generated between $10,000 - $20,000 individually, are our most active filmmakers and appear in Eren's Picks on our homepage. Having all these filmmakers who studied together on our platform shows the solidarity behind filmmaking and how "word of mouth" is still effective in the times of social media. And it's really all about seeing results. As our filmmakers secure a steady income with their films on Film Annex, they tell others to do the same. It's not rocket science.</p> <p>This week was inspiring for me as I contacted inspirational people, including Gayle Nachlis from <a href="" target="_blank">Women in Film</a>, Debra Zimmerman from <a href="" target="_blank">Women Make Movies</a>, and Zainab Salbi from <a href="" target="_blank">Women for Women</a>&nbsp;for interview requests and to introduce them to our new platform, <a href="" target="_blank">Women's Annex</a>. Moreover, <a href="" target="_blank">my article about women's empowerment was published on</a>. But most importantly, I feel like I re-discovered Film Annex this week, and it felt great.&nbsp;</p> <p>Till next week,</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">EREN</a></p> 02 2013 17:18:42 +0000Film Annex is Democratizing Online Film Distribution with Advertising <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/IMG_0814.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="98102" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>The Film Annex Team in New York</em></p> <p>Every <strong>online film network </strong>brags about what sets them apart from others. When it comes to Film Annex, I can easily say that our original content is our biggest strength.&nbsp; The best part of browsing Film Annex is coming across new filmmakers with unique styles. Recently, I got hooked on a female director's work. Her name is <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Raquel Yunta</a></strong>, and she makes simple, almost childish, 2D animated films. She describes her own style as simple, clean, and comic. Another aspect about Film Annex that makes it special is the fact that it brings <strong>film distribution and advertising</strong> together for the benefit of the filmmakers. When I see Raquel's films, <a href="" target="_blank">The Bench</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Fix the Dancer</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">The Painter</a>, my initial instinct is find out more about her and her work. I'm curious to see if she's been using her blog and photo galleries to share her process. I want to know if she is revealing any secrets about her future projects. So, I immediately check her profile.</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="97437" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>To my surprise, I don't see any blogs or photos on Raquel's channel. However, I know that her three animated films already make her a strong candidate to be part of <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Eren's Picks</strong></a>. I contact her to tell her how much I enjoy her films and encourage her to work on her channel in order to promote her work in the most effective way possible. Currently, Raquel's <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>BuzzScore</strong></a> is 28, and her revenues add up to only $3.36. I know that Raquel can earn hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, with her movies, if she becomes a featured filmmaker on our homepage and joins Eren's Picks. So I guide her through the process. And this is another aspect that makes Film Annex special. We work with the filmmakers on an individual basis. I haven't heard any filmmaker telling me that they were contacted by Vimeo or YouTube to work on their channels, because they have the potential to earn so much more with their films.</p> <p>There is a reason why Film Annex is an ad-supported platform; half of the generated revenues on a channel goes to the filmmaker. I find it ironic when a filmmaker complains to me about the pre-roll ads before his videos and then goes and shoots a commercial for a big brand or a corporation. At Film Annex, we're using advertising as a way to democratize<strong> online film distribution</strong> for filmmakers. To learn more about how to join Eren's Picks and increase your revenues, visit <a href="" target="_blank">this page</a>. We always look forward to working with new filmmakers and supporting them throughout their journey.&nbsp;</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>EREN</strong></a></p> 02 2013 17:16:00 +0000Eren's Recap: Op-ed for TakePart, Teaching at NYU, and New Female Filmmakers<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: right;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/TakePart_Logo.jpg" alt="" width="205" height="205" data-imageid="97599" data-galleryid="1025" />I wrote my first op-ed today with contributions from my colleagues, Jennifer Bourne and Fereshteh Forough, for <strong><a href="" target="_blank">TAKEPART</a></strong>. And it feels great! <span>Allan MacDonell</span>, the senior editor of, the leading source of socially relevant news, features, opinion and entertainment pieces, had contacted Jennifer to request a piece about our new platform, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Women's Annex</strong></a>, and our opinions on <strong>women's empowerment</strong>. Penned by a Turkish, a French, and an Afghan woman, I hope this article sheds light onto the women-related issues we are addressing and the solutions we are bringing to them with the help of Women's Annex. I'll let you know when the article is published, but in the meantime, you can read an excerpt from it:</p> <p>"Like any other art form, filmmaking is a tool for women to tell their stories. The Sundance Institute study reflects the reality that women are not given equal opportunities as men when it comes to telling their stories, being financially self-sufficient, and taking charge in the workplace.</p> <ul> <li>If women keep facing these obstacles when they are embarking on their projects, how can they get their message across to their audience?</li> <li>If they are not given equal financing opportunities as men, how will they tell their stories?</li> </ul> <p>Women&rsquo;s Annex was launched to address these issues and others.</p> <p>Women&rsquo;s stories are equally important and marketable as male-created stories. Every woman who registers on controls her own web channel that she can curate with videos, blogs, and photos. Female content creators such as filmmakers and bloggers can upload their films and videos to connect with their viewers. Other participants can curate their channels with films and videos by their favorite filmmakers on the platform. All women get paid for their content via the pre-roll advertising that is displayed before their videos. In addition, all bloggers get paid for their approved articles."</p> <p>TakePart is the digital division of <strong>Participant Media</strong>, the company behind important films such as <a href="">An Inconvenient Truth</a>, <a href="">Waiting For Superman</a>, <a href="">Food Inc</a>, <a href="">Good Night &amp; Good Luck</a>, <a href="">Charlie Wilson&rsquo;s War</a>, <a href="">Contagion</a>, <a href="">The Help</a>, and many others. It's a wonderful coincidence that the organization is tied to a company that produces remarkable films, and I'm excited to explore opportunities for collaboration there as well.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: left;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/nyu.jpg" alt="" width="177" height="177" data-imageid="97600" data-galleryid="1025" />This week, I got offered to guest lecture ANOTHER class at NYU, this time a Storytelling class taught by screenwriter, <a href="" target="_blank">Misha Votruba</a>, who has been a Film Annex member for many years now. Looks like I have a lot of prepping to do this month, but I'm thrilled about all these opportunities and to be sharing my knowledge with students.</p> <p>On Tuesday, I met a new <strong>female filmmaker</strong>, Mrinalini D.S. from India, who is starting production on her new short film, <a href="" target="_blank">Red Mondays and Turquoise Twos</a>. I'm currently putting together interview questions for her and her crew, who I'll be interviewing next week at the Film Annex studios. I'm also going to talk to Mrinalini about women's role in the film industry, the challenges, the advantages, etc.</p> <p>I am also in the process of contacting a list of influential TV writers and producers this week who are behind the most popular TV shows today, such as Diablo Cody, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, and others. I'm excited to see how everything is coming together, from new contacts and interviews to blogs and guest articles about Women's Annex and women's empowerment through <strong>online film distribution</strong>. Stay tuned for more news next week.</p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">EREN</a></p> 02 2013 18:10:35 +0000WACKY TUESDAYS - TALKING HEADS by Dominique Palombo<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/palombo6988.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="97259" data-galleryid="1025" /><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/palombo2.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="97257" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>How do we fight? How do we talk it out? Communicate? This week's <strong>WACKY TUESDAYS</strong> video, TALKING HEADS by <a href="" target="_blank">Dominique Palombo</a>, uses dance as a tool for communicating our anger with the intent to reach a resolution. But whether we win or lose the argument, we feel better at the end of it all, take a deep breath, and start over.</p> <p>Choreographed and performed by contemporary dancers, Lucie Augeai and David Gernez, also known as <a href="">Compagnie Adequate</a>,TALKING HEADS is an incredibly creative and wacky video that amuses and entertains. Moreover, it makes you think about the fights you had and how ridiculous you (probably) look when you're yelling at someone. I also enjoyed the fact that Palombo portrayed anger in a non-violent, comical way, almost like a skit from a slapstick comedy. But, you can't deny the modern aura the video gives off, the cool attitude of the dancers, their clothes, and haircuts!</p> <p>Dominique Palombo is known as the "<strong>master of movement</strong>," and every video you watch by him makes you want to get up and silly dance. There's a lot of flexibility and freedom in his work, but the end product looks nicely polished, crisp, and clean-cut in a way. The music is in the video is composed by Anthony Rouchier aka A.P.P.A.R.T. Enjoy!</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="96139" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>More about the <strong>short filmmaker</strong> (his words):</p> <p>"The current push in the industry towards motion is one that has thoroughly fascinated me. Directing, DP, are not so unfamiliar from the still world, but it is the ability to edit that has proved to be my most powerful and surprising tool. It sounds boring, but you learn that it shapes the viewing experience to such an extent that it has more to do with my films being great or terrible, than most people realize. </p> <p>Along with that, I have had the opportunity to work with dancers in my recent projects and it has opened my mind to new ways seeing movement and discovering how riveting it can be. <br /> <br /> You quickly find that originality of movement can make someone beautiful and compelling, and the opposite is true as well&hellip;.<br /> <br /> Although born in France I have spent most of my life in the US. I currently base myself between Paris and New York."</p> <p>More wackiness to come on Film Annex'sonline film distribution platform. Till next WACKY TUESDAY,</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">EREN</a></p> 01 2013 18:25:41 +0000Eren's Recap: New Tests on Examer, Film Annex Industry News, Female Role Models<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: right;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/window-resized-6002783.jpg" alt="" width="224" height="240" data-imageid="96710" data-galleryid="1025" />This week, I added three new tests on <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Examer</strong></a>:</p> <ol> <li>How to Use a Canon 5D Mark II by <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Andy Parker</strong></a></li> <li>The Basics of Screenwriting by <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Lisa Stock</strong></a></li> <li>Afghan Proverbs: Friendship by <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Captain Edward Zellem</strong></a></li> </ol> <p>I also received new questions from <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Sorcha Anglim</strong></a> about pre-production aka how to prep for a movie. Sorcha said she'd be interested in teaching the students about producing, and I think it's a wonderful idea. There are a lot of female producers out there, and it's the kind of job that gives you a lot of power as well as creativity. Sorcha and I talked about giving the Afghan students a script that they can "break down" and analyze and then asking them questions like:</p> <ol> <li>How many actors will you need?</li> <li>How many props will you need and what are they?</li> <li>Which locations do you need to find?</li> </ol> <p>I love this backwards puzzle mentality Sorcha proposed, because it will give the students the opportunity to identify the props, the cast members, and the locations in the script, which are key to the film!</p> <p>In addition to the above, I am working with <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Alex Nakone</strong></a> on some questions about How to Use Adobe Premiere Pro! So now, in addition to Final Cut, students will also be able to use Adobe if needed. This new test will be up shortly when we put together more questions.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/festival-promo-premium.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="96708" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Earlier this week, my colleague Jennifer and I started our new Film Annex Industry News blog. My first entry was about <strong>Sundance Film Festival</strong>, which is coming to an end in 2 days, and the female talents in it. I talked about several young female directors, such as <span><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Hannah Fidell</strong></a></span> and <span><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Eliza Hittman</strong></a></span></span> who are making their debut at this year's festival. I also talked about a great new documentary Girl Rising<span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;">, which chronicles the lives of young girls in countries such as Afghanistan, India, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Haiti by looking at issues like the lack of education, underage marriage, and sexual assault. </span></span></p> <p><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;">I continued the week contacting several organizations about our Women's Annex initiative, including <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Women Make Movies</strong></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Hoshyar Foundation</strong></a>, a secular, non-profit, U.S.-based organization whose purpose is to raise and distribute funds in support of human empowerment through female education.</span></span></p> <p><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Screen_Shot_2013-01-25_at_4.16.06_PM.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="96707" data-galleryid="1025" /></span></span></p> <p><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><em>Mari Lyn Henry</em><br /></span></span></p> <p><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;">I also edited two interview videos of <strong>Mari Lyn Henry</strong> with our editor, Semyon, We cut the 40 minute conversations into two parts, and after many edits, created two separate videos, one on theater, acting, and working women, the other on women's empowerment and Afghanistan, 12 and 7 minutes respectively. I think Mari Lyn is a great role model for women all over the world, and my goal is to invite more women like her to our studio to inspire others. </span></span></p> <p><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;">The rest of my week consisted of adding new films to <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Eren's Picks</strong></a> and contacting filmmakers about including them in the featured filmmaker list. I'm also in talks with <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Jeff Chiba Stearns</strong></a>, an animator on Film Annex, about teaching Afghan kids how to animate with tutorials, specifically designed and created with his distinct style. </span></span></p> <p><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;"><span class="expand_details" style="display: inline;">Lastly, I got my moment of fame by being interviewed by Fereshteh Forough about the filmmaking curriculum we are building for Afghan kids, as well as my thoughts about replacing the war and the military presence in Afghanistan with <strong>entertaining movies</strong>, fun, and creativity after the <strong>NATO withdrawal</strong>.<br /></span></span></p> <p>-- <a href="" target="_blank">Eren</a></p> 01 2013 16:53:58 +0000This Week: Guest Lecturing at NYU, Mari Lyn Henri, Larry Clark, Women's Empowerment, and Online Film Distribution<p>It's always nice to finish off a week with good news and new connections. A few days, ago I was offered to guest lecture at an NYU Continuing Education class taught by <strong>John Ovrutsky</strong>. I immediately said yes as I was thrilled about the opportunity. The class is mainly about video production, marketing, and distribution for businesses. And hey, that's exactly what we do at Film Annex, so I believe I have a lot to say! The class is on February 20th, and I'm going to start prepping for it soon. Especially looking forward to the Q&amp;A session with the students...</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px; float: right;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Henry_Mari-Lyn_731_xret.jpg" alt="" width="183" height="228" data-imageid="95497" data-galleryid="1025" />On Wednesday, we had Mari Lyn Henry, the Vice President of Programming at the <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>League of Professional Theater Women</strong></a> and the author of <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>How To Be A Working Actor</strong></a>, <strong>The Insider's Guide to Finding Jobs in Theater, Film, and Television</strong>. Mari Lyn Henry is an inspiring woman and probably one of the most well-spoken and articulate people I had the pleasure of meeting. We had an extensive conversation about women in the entertainment industry, women's empowerment, Film Annex's new <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Women's Annex</strong></a> initiative, her book, and so much more. The interview will be up next week for everyone to see. It was great to get Mari Lyn's feedback on the topics we're exploring, and I think she would be a great mentor for Afghan women. Here are the questions I asked her during our interview.</p> <ol> <li>Can you tell us about the mission of League of Professional Theater Women and its influence on female playwrights, directors, and actors since its emergence?</li> <li>How and when did you get involved with this organization and what are some of your duties within this community?</li> <li>You are also the author of the book, <em>How To Be A Working Actor</em>, which has been in publication for the past 25 years. Can you tell us about this book, what made you write it initially, and the success behind it?</li> <li>What are the top 3 suggestions you would give to a young female actor who is trying to break into/excel in the entertainment industry?</li> <li>In your opinion, what are some of the ways to empower women who work in film, TV, and theater? What kind of initiatives and projects can bring about empowerment and equality?</li> <li>What do you think might be the main challenge for female filmmakers, writers, actors in developing countries like Afghanistan and Central/South Asia?</li> <li type="_moz">What do you think of the Film Annex initiative, Women's Annex, and its operation in Afghanistan and Central/South Asia?</li> </ol> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Jeff-Chiba-Stearns.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="95496" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>This week, I added a new filmmaker to <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Eren's Picks</strong></a>. Documentary and <strong>animation filmmaker</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Jeff Chiba Stearns</strong> </a>is now at number 9 on the featured filmmaker list on our homepage with a BuzzScore of 57. I sent Jeff some tips on how to increase his score, move up in the list, be more social, and generate more revenues. <strong>In fact, Jeff's revenues have increased by 100% in the past 3 days</strong>. His animated film, <a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>Yellow Sticky Notes</strong></em></a>, which was featured in my <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>WACKY TUESDAYS blog</strong></a> this week, was a favorite amongst the Film Annex team, and Francesco suggested that his animation style would be a great fit for students in Afghanistan. So, I'm in talks with Jeff about this and a possible collaboration on our <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Examer</strong></a> project to educate Afghan students in filmmaking and social media.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/Larry-Clark3.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="95495" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Larry Clark (looking a bit like Ringo Starr in this picture?!) Photo by Richard Blanshard/Getty Image</em></p> <p>I also contacted what some people might call "a cult filmmaker" this week - <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Larry Clark</strong></a>, who is best known for his Harmony Korine-scripted film <em><a href="" target="_blank">Kids</a></em> and his photography book, Tulsa. Clark is famous for his visual narratives documenting the American youth and especially the subculture that celebrates punk, surfing, and skateboarding. After watching <a href="" target="_blank">an interview with him on Nowness</a>, where he talks about his new film, <a href="" target="_blank">Marfa Girl</a>, I decided to contact him. In his interview, Clark mentioned that his film will only be available online, because he knows that people will end up watch it on their computers anyway. I liked the 69-year-old director's attitude and reached out to him to see if we can promote Marfa Girl on Film Annex's&nbsp;<strong>online film distribution platform</strong> as well. Will keep you posted about the (good) news!</p> <p>Till next week,</p> <p>EREN</p> 01 2013 12:39:43 +0000 Judo Team Championship, Showdown with six teams from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, USA - New York Open Team Judo Ch<p>NEW YORK, NY, January 13, 2013 &ndash; Film Annex is proud to be sponsoring <strong>The</strong> <strong>New York Open Team Judo Championship</strong>, a showdown of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Russia and USA, on Sunday, March 3, 2013, in NYC at the New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, New York, New York.&nbsp; The teams in the Judo tournament include some of the strongest players in the world, featuring World Champions and London 2012 Olympians. The tournament is sponsored by <strong>Film Annex, United Water</strong> and the <strong>New York Athletic Club</strong>.</p> <p>The event begins at 10 am, followed by a Sambo demonstration by top Russian Sambo masters and a judo rules demonstration by two-time Olympian <strong>Taraje Murray</strong>.</p> <p>At the event, US Olympian <strong>Kayla Harrison</strong>, London Gold medalist; US Olympian <strong>Travis Stevens</strong>; and four-time Olympian <strong>Jimmy Pedro</strong>, Bronze medalist and 2012 Olympic coach will be honored.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/judo1.jpg6113.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="95254" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>Each team consists of five athletes in the following weight divisions: 66 kg, 73 kg, 81 kg, 90 kg and over 90 kg.&nbsp; Total prize money of $10,000 and a coveted champion's plaque is at stake: the winning team will receive $7,000 and the champion&rsquo;s plaque to proudly bring back to their native country. Second place team will win $3,000.</p> <p>Germany, the New York Open Team Champion for 2011 and 2012, is returning to defend its hard fought title. Team USA will be fighting to take revenge over their narrow loss in the final against Germany. Team France, the 2012 New York Open Bronze medal winner, is competing for the second time in the team event. Team Canada is always a tough challenger, and Team Brazil and Team Russia are power-packed and strong contenders in the quest for the championship plaque. The five-man team competition will utilize a round robin format.</p> <p>The coach of Team USA is <strong>Jimmy Pedro</strong>, two-time Olympic medalist and 2012 US Olympic Judo team coach, and the coach of Team Canada is <strong>Nico Gill</strong>, four-time Olympian and 2012 Canada Olympic Judo team coach. The coach of team Brazil is <a href=""><strong>Ney Wilson Pereira da Silva</strong></a><span style="text-decoration: underline;">,</span> 2012 Brazil Olympic Judo team coach, and the coach of Team Germany is international champion <strong>Toni Lettner</strong>. The coach of Team France is international coach <strong>Maxime Nouchy</strong>, and the coach of Team Russia is Olympic medalist <strong>Alexsei Bud&otilde;lin</strong>.</p> <p>Team Judo is the most exciting Judo competition in the world to watch, and cheering for your favorite country is encouraged. Fans wave country flags and root for players, rocking the room with energy and good-natured rivalry, and at this event a live commentator calling the action on the mat and a DJ all add to the spirited atmosphere.</p> <p>The judo tournament will be held at the New York Athletic Club, located at 180 Central Park South on the 6<sup>th</sup> floor.&nbsp; All spectators are welcome, and tickets can be purchased for $25 at the door for general seating, $85 for VIP seating. The tournament action will begin at 10 am, semi-finals at 2 pm and the finals after 4 pm.</p> <p>For more information about the New York Open Team<strong> </strong>Judo Championship, visit <a href=""></a> or <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/judo2.jpg.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="95253" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><strong>About Judo</strong></p> <p>Judo debuted as an official Olympic sport in 1964 and is practiced by millions of people throughout the world today. Kayla Harrison won the first gold medal in judo for the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games. The discipline of Judo is a Japanese martial art and combat sport that originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century. Best known for stunning throws, Judo also involves much grappling on the ground like wrestling, but adds submission chokes and arm locks to the mix.</p> <p>Judo, translated as "gentle way," teaches balance, leverage and flexibility in performing throws and other skills, and helps to develop complete body control and fast reflexive action. Skill, technique and timing, rather than brute strength, are the essential ingredients for success in this sport. Worldwide, over 20 million people practice judo, with all age groups, both sexes and disabled persons all able to participate in learning and practicing in the sport.</p> <p>Judo develops self-discipline and respect for oneself and others, and helps teach self-confidence, concentration and leadership skills.&nbsp; It's no coincidence that several world leaders have also studied Judo, including Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, former Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau, former U.S. Senator of Colorado, Olympian Ben Campbell, and former President Theodore Roosevelt, as well as many celebrity judo practitioners, including director Guy Ritchie, actors Chuck Norris, James Cagney and Peter Sellers.</p> <p><strong>Watching a Judo Competition</strong></p> <p>After a ceremonial bow, each judo match begins with each opponent grabbing each other by collars and sleeve of the judo uniform, the <em>judogi</em>. The object of the match is to score an "<em>ippon</em>," which wins the match &ndash; this is akin to a knockout in boxing or a pin in wrestling. Scoring an <em>ippon</em> can occur from a) throwing the opponent to the ground so he lands on his shoulder or back; b) pinning him to the ground on his back for a length of time; or c) forcing him to submit to a choke or armlock. Any of these score <em>ippon</em> and wins the match. Although an <em>ippon</em> is the objective, there are also partial points scored during the match. Points can be awarded when a variety of throws or blocks are successfully accomplished. At the end of the match, the highest quality score wins.</p> <p><strong>About Film Annex</strong></p> <p>Film Annex, an official sponsor of the event, is an online film distribution platform and Web TV Network with over 40 million monthly unique visitors and 220,000+ registered users.&nbsp; The company creates free Web TV channels for content providers and supports them financially through an ad-revenue sharing model.&nbsp; A meeting point for filmmakers, film festivals, film enthusiasts, companies, and organizations, Film Annex educates and entertains audiences by making meaningful, diverse, and high-quality films available to a global audience.&nbsp; Film Annex also supports athletes and Olympic sports like Judo and Fencing.&nbsp; For more information about Film Annex, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><strong>About the New York Athletic Club</strong></p> <p>Founded in 1868, the New York Athletic Club boasts a unique history.&nbsp; The NYAC organized the first US championships in boxing, wrestling and outdoor track and field and has supported amateur athletics since its founding. From a silver medal won by a NYAC member in the first modern Olympics (1896) to Kayla Harrison's gold medal in London, NYAC members have won over 250 Olympic medals.</p> <p><strong>About United Water</strong></p> <p>United water is a division of Suez Environment.&nbsp; The company focuses on protecting our environment and serving the community, Today and tomorrow.<strong> </strong>We know the two go hand in hand. That&rsquo;s why everything we do is focused on what you need today while we plan and prepare for what the world might need tomorrow. Clean water. A healthy Earth. For your small corner of the world and for the global community.<strong> </strong>Every day we&rsquo;re your vital resource, providing stewardship of our most vital<strong> </strong>natural resources. For more information, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Contact</span></p> <p>Carrie Gray</p> <p>New York Open Judo</p> <p>(516) 967-4729</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p></p> <p><br /> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Contact<br /> </span></p> <p>Eren Gulfidan</p> <p>Film Annex</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p align="center">&nbsp;</p> <p align="center">###</p> 01 2013 16:47:54 +0000Wacky Tuesdays - Yellow Sticky Notes by Jeff Chiba Stearns <p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/JeffChibaStearns.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="95003" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p><em>Jeff and his Post-it notes</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Jeff Chiba Stearns</a> is a super prolific, <span>Emmy&reg; nominated and Webby award winning documentary and</span>&nbsp;<strong>animation filmmaker</strong>&nbsp;on Film Annex's <strong>online film distribution platform</strong>. Even though he joined us recently, Jeff has 20 videos on <a href="" target="_blank">his Web TV</a>. One of these films is called&nbsp;<em>Yellow Stick Notes</em>, an extremely creative, imaginative, and fun short, hand-drawn animated film. The winner of over 12 awards, <em>Yellow Stick Notes&nbsp;</em>screened at over 80 film festivals! I was initially going to say "countless" film festivals, but then I actually counted them, and yes, the number is literally over 80.</p> <p>We always talk about shorts (or features) that do extremely well at festivals but fail when it comes to distribution, as part of our usual business conversations. With shorts, it's especially difficult to find distribution. The upside is that they can bring you a lot of recognition and open new doors. I feel like at Film Annex, in addition to giving <strong>short filmmakers</strong> exposure and helping them gain recognition, we're doing something else - helping them earn revenues via advertising dollars and <strong>get paid for blogs</strong> on a regular basis. And this takes us one step ahead of the game.</p> <p>For my weekly&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Wacky Tuesdays series</strong></a>,<strong>&nbsp;</strong>I chose to highlight&nbsp;<em>Yellow Sticky Notes</em>, because even though it's not necessarily bizarre like my previous choices, the idea and the concept behind it is crazy. Jeff Chiba Stearns went ahead and made an animation based on 9 years of his life. Plus, "<strong>t</strong><span><strong>he entire film was animated directly onto 4x6 inch yellow sticky notes with only a black Staedtler Permanent fine tipped marker</strong>. 2300 yellow stick notes were used to complete the film and the process took 9 months to complete. Animation was captured using a digital Canon SLR camera and camera stand. The final digital cells were color corrected in Photoshop and then compiled in Final Cut Pro." This entire process, my dear readers, sounds a little wacky to me and requires extreme diligence and Buddha's patience.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Jeff and his Web TV is now part of <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Eren's Picks</strong></a>! So you'll be definitely seeing more of him. He's already very active on our platform with his films and blogs and doesn't hesitate to take his audience behind the scenes with his making-of videos. A great filmmaker to keep an eye on! Watch the video below:</span></p> <p><span><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="91198" data-videosource="fa" /></span></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">EREN</a></p> 01 2013 17:51:29 +0000Interview with Nilu Sherpa, Female Director from Nepal - Empowering Women Through Film<p><strong><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/NiluDolmaSherpa.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="94540" data-galleryid="1025" /></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: medium;">"I have always believed that film has no language, no country, no border. A film is just a film. With quicker and easier access to the Internet, the world has become smaller, and one voice can reach a million voices in no time. Films are like fuel to fire. A voice to the masses. Women can talk about their issues and come up with solutions that can be brought about only by the medium of films. So I think films can be a major tool for women to empower themselves and each other. "<br /></span></strong></p> <p><strong></strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Nilu Doma Sherpa</strong></a> is a <strong>female filmmaker</strong> from Kathmandu, <strong>Nepal</strong>, who has recently joined Film Annex with her film, KAGAJ (Paper). A recognized figure in the <strong>Nepalese film industry</strong>, Sherpa is now opening up to the rest of the world and promoting her films globally. In our interview, Sherpa and I discussed many things, including what it is like to be a <strong>female director</strong> in Nepal, how she funds her projects, the role of education in films, and <strong>empowering women through film</strong>. Read our interview to find out more, but first, watch her short film KAGAJ below.</p> <p><strong><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="92381" data-videosource="fa" /></strong></p> <p><strong>How did you come up with the concept for your film, "Kagaj"? Were you intending to make a film about the importance of education all along?</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kagaj, which means &ldquo;paper&rdquo; in English, was a concept I thought about for awhile, but I never really had anything that pushed me to do it. I have always believed that emotions are the core of any action, and if an action leads to the stirring of an emotion, then it&rsquo;s an action well executed. When I saw street kids, I always knew that education would make a difference in their lives, and how they got this education was the question. That is how the concept of &ldquo;Kagaj&rdquo; was born. I want to make meaningful films. I would like to be able to use any genre to make a film that makes sense. I wanted to make this film all along, but had to wait till I put my team together, and I think it was definitely worth the wait.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>How did you fund this project and what was the process of casting like?</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>The funding of this project was from home. My mother gave me the money to make this film. It&rsquo;s always difficult to convince people to invest in a project, and it&rsquo;s the same here in Nepal. Short films have no market and people don&rsquo;t invest in them unless it&rsquo;s to advertise a product or organization. Social videos are not really invested in because there is no remuneration for it. We had long discussions about the cast. At one point, we wanted to take real street kids and shoot the film over a period of time. That was not feasible due to the lack of finances. On the other hand, we wanted to work with professionals to save time, but then again their fee was something we could not afford. We had a friend running an orphanage and shelter, Khusbu Oli, and she allowed us to use the children in her orphanage for the film. We went and talked to the children and told them the story. They were very enthusiastic about it and related to the story, because these were children who were once street kids. They pulled off the expressions fantastically.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>How would you describe the state of the film industry in Nepal right now?</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>I think we are at a morphing stage in Nepal. The film industry is at a point where new and old filmmakers are at loggerheads. New wave cinema is taking over. Small budget experimental films are really breaking through the market. But at the same time we are losing the quality in films. Everyone is in a rush to make films and release them, so I think for a small country like Nepal, there are too many films but not enough screens to screen them. The state of the film industry in Nepal is right at the edge. Make or Break.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>How long have you been involved in making movies and what made you want to pursue a career in film?</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Films have always been a passion. In my early days, I was an avid movie watcher, but when the time came to picking a career &ndash; and trust me, I have tried many things &ndash; nothing settled, calmed, excited, and satisfied me as much as making movies. It has now been almost 10 years that I have been actively involved in making films, but it is the first time I stepped outside my shell to finally make the movies that I want to make.</p> <p><strong>What is it like to be a female filmmaker in Nepal today? Any challenges? Advantages? Disadvantages?</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>There aren&rsquo;t many female filmmakers in Nepal. As a child, I always wanted to be the first woman to direct a movie here, but with time I realized that it is not as easy. This is a field dominated by men. Many a times, I find myself to be the only female on set. I strive everyday to prove my ideas when my work is at par with, if not better than, my male counterparts. Also, finding funding for a film to be directed by a female director is close to impossible so I fund my films by myself.</p> <p>As a filmmaker, the advantage of being a female filmmaker in Nepal is that I am a known face in the film circuit because there are very few filmmakers. So I know that everyone is talking about me and watching my next move closely, which makes me cautious of what I do next, because I have yet to prove myself. The main disadvantage&nbsp; would have to be the fact that I have to struggle for everything that I do. I have to convince people 5 times more than other filmmakers to be part of my film.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Do you think film can be a tool for women to empower themselves and each other? If yes, how so?</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Absolutely. Not just for women, but all of mankind. If there is a subject or an issue that one feels strongly about and believes in, then there is no better medium than film to make people understand the issue. I have always believed that film has no language, no country, no border. A film is just a film. With quicker and easier access to the Internet, the world has become smaller, and one voice can reach a million voices in no time. Films are like fuel to fire. A voice to the masses. Women can talk about their issues and come up with solutions that can be brought about only by the medium of films. So I think films can be a major tool for women to empower themselves and each other.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Can you talk about some of the new current/new projects that you're pursuing?</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>I am currently planning a feature about the coming of age story of a teenager. A boy who has a big imagination and what happens when his imagination and real life clash. It is a dark comedy about how life can still be full without having to be the coolest or the best looking person in class.</p> <p>Interview by <a href="" target="_blank">Eren Gulfidan</a></p> 01 2013 17:31:18 +0000Wacky Tuesdays - BE MY YOKO ONO by Reptile Youth (Dir. Lucy McRae)<p><img style="max-height: 582px; max-width: 582px;" src="../../users_files/gallery_files/821/yokoono.jpg" alt="" data-imageid="94435" data-galleryid="1025" /></p> <p>This video will have lovers and haters just like Yoko Ono has lovers and haters. The official music video for <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Reptile Youth</a></strong>'s <em>Be My Yoko Ono&nbsp;</em>is filled with creative motion graphics, clever animation, and most importantly crazy wackiness. "Be my, my Yoko Ono/For you I'll break up my band" sings the&nbsp;Danish post pop/punk duo as their faces get printed onto the pages of an interactive pop-up book, a block puzzle game, Quicktime player, and other multimedia screens. Moreover, the handsome-ish faces of these young gentlemen get re-constructed on jello and are worn as masks by a group of strange people. Lots of bizarre behaviour to make your Tuesday so much better!</p> <p>The music video was directed by Lucy McRae in collaboration with Hyper Island Motion Graphics 13 in Stockholm. The&nbsp;Scandinavian influence is definitely visible in the pale colors and the blue tones present throughout the video. There is a coldness to it that makes you feel like you're inside a laboratory the whole time. And who doesn't want to hang out in a laboratory? Boring people.&nbsp;</p> <p>Many thanks go to <strong>Film Annex Music TV</strong>'s curator <a href="" target="_blank">Fred Kurzh</a> for uploading this video. Without further ado, here's BE MY YOKO ONO by Reptile Youth.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="../../images/embedplayer_ph.png" alt="" data-videoid="93943" data-videosource="fa" /></p> <p>Watch more <strong>online music videos</strong> on <strong><a href="" target="_blank">FA Music TV</a>&nbsp;</strong>and discover the <strong>latest independent films</strong> on Film Annex's <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>online video platform</strong></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Till the next <strong>Wacky Tuesday</strong>,&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">EREN</a></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 01 2013 17:11:21 +0000