All posts filed under: Short Film

Reflections on “Emerson”

It’s my last week of classes at USC before I graduate, which basically means it’s my final week of school ever since I definitely don’t plan on getting my PhD! WOOT. I’m feeling a mix of emotions, but I’m mainly excited. Graduate school has made me a better, smarter person, but I’m certainly ready for the next, non-academic chapter in my life. I never really was a procrastinator before grad school, but these past two years I’ve spent plenty of late nights getting work done at the very last-minute. As someone with a fine arts degree, I think it’s because writing non-stop scholarly work is too strenuous for me. I need to take breaks and make stuff, beyond shaping flowery words into poignant statements on cinema, TV, and culture. I don’t consider myself an artist by any means, but I like working with my hands – putting pictures into thrifted frames, moving furniture, making photo collages – and research and academic writing, as much as I enjoy it, doesn’t satisfy those needs. But making short films does, and I …

LUNAFEST: Supporting Women in Film

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to attend LUNAFEST in Los Angeles, an evening celebrating films made by, for, and about women. The traveling short film festival, which was started by LUNA in 2000, has been championing women filmmakers for 16 years while also raising money for the Breast Cancer Fund. Last night’s screening, which included four short films by Lara Everly, Dr. Patricia Beckmann-Wells, Joey Ally, and Eva Vives, was exciting, invigorating, and super fun. Not only was each short exceptionally well made, but more impressively, they were all bursting with distinct and captivating authorial voices. Following the screening was a Q&A with the filmmakers, moderated by Janelle Riley of Variety. The center of attention for most of the Q&A was the status of women in film, focusing in particular on how each filmmaker has dealt with issues of inequality and what hopes they have for the future. While it was an honest night that could have ended on a bleak note, the commitment that these women have to telling stories that matter and building strong communities of women in the …

Revisiting My Undergraduate Thesis Film

As I enter my last year of graduate school, I’ve found myself reflecting on my undergraduate years, almost longing for that simpler time. I’m only 25, yet I’ve been feeling far older, like my age is a scary number that keeps getting larger and larger and more overwhelming. But that’s a different story – one that I may return to in a separate post. This sentimental reflection on my past has led me to revisit some of my older work, such as my senior thesis film, Fruition. So much has changed since I started making Fruition in 2012, and although I haven’t made a notable short film since, I know that my perspective as a creator has evolved significantly. On the one hand, I’m not as naive and am instead somewhat disillusioned and overwhelmed by how little I understand about life itself. On the other hand, I feel more empowered and able to embrace who I am and my unique perspective. I know that I’m somewhat smarter and more equipped to understand others and the world around me. That being …

VIDEO PROJECT: “Database as Artistic Form”

“Database as Artistic Form” is a video project that I completed this past spring for an interactive media course at USC. The project was inspired by Lev Manovich’s essay “Database as Cultural Form” and city symphonies of the 1920s such as Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929) and Manhatta (Paul Strand & Charles Sheeler, 1921). For the project I created a database of video and sound clips which I then edited together by running three Java programs to determine the order and length of each clip. In his 1999 essay, “Database as Symbolic Form,” Lev Manovich argues that Man with a Movie Camera is possibly the clearest example of database filmmaking. He points specifically to a scene where Elizaveta Svilova, Vertov’s wife and the editor of the film, is seen examining and organizing strips of celluloid. In this especially self-reflexive moment, Svilova is essentially working with a material database. For my video project I was interested in a digitally mediated take on Svilova’s database, where I would compile a catalogue of sound and video clips, which would …

The Best of Broadly

Today I wanted to post some of my favorite videos from Broadly’s YouTube channel. Broadly is a feminist offshoot of Vice, and it’s great source for interesting and informative women-centric content. From an interview with a trans porn star, to a piece on how women will suffer if Britain leaves the European Union – Broadly’s features are as diverse as those who contribute to the site and utilize it. Although I’ve only selected six videos to link below, all of Broadly’s short documentaries are worth watching, so be sure to check out their channel!  Radical Life of The First Lady of New York   This Cult Nail Artist Has the World at Her Fingertips   The Land Where Women Rule: Inside China’s Last Matriarchy   Inside the Weird World of an Islamic ‘Feminist’ Cult   The Land of No Men: Inside Kenya’s Women-Only Village   Virginie Despentes on Killing Rapists

Video of the Day: “Fighting For Flint”

The Flint, Michigan, water crisis is an immense tragedy that is largely underreported on a national level. What has happened in Flint is an abomination – so why haven’t we been hearing about it everyday on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News since the unearthing of this calamity? Why is this community being overlooked? In an interview on The Real, Russell Simmons discussed environmental racism and declared that the same sort of disaster would never happen in a place like Beverly Hills, and he’s absolutely right. Because Flint is largely impoverished, their plight has been systemically ignored. Please watch and share Fighting For Flint from Elite Daily, which features the stories of Flint citizens whose lives have been destroyed by this catastrophe. And if you are in the position to donate, please look into giving to the Flint Water Fund and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Tips on Marketing Your Short Film or Web Series

How To Market Your Short Film or Web Series [ and spread the word about your fundraising campaign ] 1. First things first – consider your audience. Is your short film or web series a comedy? Horror? A horror comedy? Know who would genuinely enjoy your project and who wouldn’t. Make your intended audience as defined as possible. The tendency will be to say that anyone of any age will be interested in your project, but that’s simply not the case. Be honest with yourself. 2. After you’ve pinpointed your audience, create a marketing timeline that coincides with production. For example, during pre-production you will want to start developing a fan base through social media, and by the end of your film you may be looking for distributors and sharing your press kit. Have a marketing strategy for every point of production and beyond. 3. If you are fundraising for your film or web series, be sure to build hype before you launch your campaign. Know that you will essentially be marketing for two entirely …

Video of the Day: Arizona Monsoon

By definition, monsoon refers to a seasonal wind in South and Southeast Asia that brings ample rain, but those of us native to Arizona call our summer rains monsoons too. Last week I was lucky enough to head home to Tucson during spring break, and although it didn’t rain, returning to the desert made me realize just how much I’ve been missing monsoon season. I write about Tucson quite often, but growing up in the Sonoran Desert is a gift that I’ll never take for granted, and I’ll use every opportunity I have to share its character and beauty. I recently came across Monsoon II by Mike Olbinski and couldn’t help but post it. Enjoy, and be sure to check out more of Olbinski’s work on his blog and Vimeo.

Revisiting “Cowtown Keeylocko”

After graduating from The University of Arizona, I landed a dead-end job that I held onto until I found the courage (and opportunity) to move to Los Angeles. One day at work I was feeling especially apathetic, and a charming older man came in to the office and completely brightened my day. His name was Ed Keeylocko, and he had the type of joyful energy that could not be ignored. For business reasons I needed his address, and he told me he lived in Cowtown Keeylocko, AZ. I had never heard of such a place before, so I asked him about it. He said it was his town, and as ridiculous as that may sound coming from someone, I knew he was telling the truth. This guy was special enough to have his own town. After he left the office I decided to do a little research. Where is this Cowtown Keeylocko, and what’s this guys story? I typed his name into Google and found article after article, recounting the story of the man, the myth, the …

Video of the Day: Street Art in Miami

I really have Vimeo to thank for discovering so many stunning, imaginative, and inspiring short films! Checking out Vimeo’s “Staff Picks” is a simple way to catch high quality work, and what I love about a great short film is that it’s so creatively reinvigorating to watch something that’s short and sweet. Walls of Change, by The Cinemart, chronicles the six-year transformation of Wynwood, Miami, as it developed from an industrial area that had seen better days, to one of the world’s most expansive displays of street art. The result is an area of abundant beauty, diversity, eccentricity, and political charge. After watching Walls of Change, be sure to check out Here Comes the Neighborhood, a ten episode series about the Wynwood transformation and the artists and individuals who made it happen.