Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Report from Amsterdam - IDFA

Here's a snip from Danny Schechter's News Dissector blog, a very worthy piece of journalism in the real sense of the word.

Take a good look at the IDFA (Independent Documentary Film Amsterdam) site, too. Very well done and extremely informative.



Kookie Habtegaber, an Eritrean student studying in Holland is covering the annual IDFA documentary festival for us:

”It is in the middle of November and 18 degrees here in Amsterdam. The good thing about this: I can walk with my coat and enjoy this typical ‘early summer weather’, only now the scenery looks different. The worrying part: it brings climate change so close to home. It is in this context I went to see the green documentary The Planet.

“The effect of global warming and the ensuing climate change has been an important issue in the past 20 years or so. What is has surprised me is the fact that Al Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, has been able to move the complacency of the average citizen to the ‘recognition/realization’ state. Why did this elicit more action from politicians and the public whilst many environmental activists and experts have been trying to put it on top the agenda for many years? I was thus curious to see what new information this documentary was going to show.

The film does not contain so much new information if one has been following the topic; rather it links up other political issues with environmental issues.

One such point highlighted by George Monbiot is the role of television in manipulating nature films and giving the impression that there are vast areas around the globe where animals and plants live in isolation and without the intrusion of humans in their habitat. But to my utter amazement, I discovered some zebras have the same horizon as I do when I look out of my urban window: factories, cars, and concrete walls. Similarly, the film showed the power of close ups and framing; animals in the zoo could be depicted as if they are filmed in the wilderness, nor are humans present in these footages, giving the wrong impression on the state of affairs; unrealistic view.

Another point that I picked up was made by Professor Daly, professor of Economics at Maryland University. He emphasized the role of economics in fostering consumption by ever emphasizing economic growth as the bloodline of survival of mankind, but without posing the question on how far this growth can be taken as a positive factor. How do we factor in the negative effect of economic growth, which has become synonymous with more consumption?

Unfortunately the film does not interview and in any way bring the business community into the picture, whilst I believe this is the group that needs to be engaged if there is to any real change.

Finally most of experts that were interviewed and who gave their opinion were all western scholars while the countries and regions that are directly being affected non-western countries. It would be have been useful and interesting to know what and how local experts see the situation and also in what way indigenous conservation methods could help in mitigating further degradation.

One thing that was very obvious however, is the global environmental interdependence that has become apparent. This message is never repeated enough.

:End Quote
from News Dissector

Monday, November 27, 2006

Video Publishing Online

Let's say you have your blog up and running, and have a clip you want to post. You'll need a video hosting solution for that.

Robin Good's "Video Publishing Online: Where To Share Your Video Clips On The Web" is an excellent place to see all the venues for video publishing along with a description of each.

Take a good look. There's plenty of choice. I like Blip.tv. They have great support.

I assume you all know how to edit your clip, but to compress it to web size and bit rate, the easiest tool to use is Apple's QuickTime Pro. There are plenty of encoders out there, and I can get into those if there is enough interest, but QuickTime Pro is easy and fast, both for editing and encoding. After all, you want to get that clip up quickly, don't you?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

2007 Open Call


PLYMOUTH, MA - The Plymouth Independent Film Festival, entering its third year, is a compelling success story. If you are a filmmaker this is your opportunity to get your film out there and seen. Attendance has reached nearly 5,000 in each of PIFF’s first two seasons. This year the festival expects the number to grow. Previous festival attendees included award winning filmmakers, Oscar nominated animators and international documentarians as well as film producers, production staff, actors and the media.

Last year 110 films were shown and six films won in the categories of Best Feature, Best Short, Best Environmental, Best Diversity, Best Student (long) and Best Student (short). The Plymouth Independent Film Festival also awards a yearly Spirit Award and an Honorary Award.

Your film could take home one of the coveted PIFF Awards.

If you’ve been thinking of creating a film or are in production now is the time to mark these dates on your calendar. Early submissions will be accepted by April 20th with an early entry discount for films submitted by April 2nd. A $20 fee will be charged for PIFF ‘07s late deadline of May 11th.

PIFF’07 will again accept works in progress from regional, national and international filmmakers. Foreign language films without subtitles will only be eligible to be screened as works in progress. All genres will be considered including cultural diversity and the environment.

From July 19th through July 22nd there will again be opportunities to study the filmmaking process during workshops and master classes led by professionals, attend discussion groups and panels, Q&A sessions following screenings and chances to network with filmmakers and film buffs.

Visit www.plyfilmfest.org to download your submission form. For more information contact Lisa Mattei, Festival Director at lisa@plyfilmfest.org.

CONTACT: Lisa Mattei, Director

Plymouth Independent Film Festival
P. O. Box 1265
Plymouth, MA 02362


Grace Rudolph, PR Director


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Video Blogging - Just say, "Yes".

Have you set up your Blogger account yet?

I went to a presentation of the Filmmakers Workshop, generously hosted by the Bernard Toale Gallery, in the South End tonight. Two expert video bloggers, Steve Garfield and Ravi Jain, creator of the DriveTime vlog, showed us how it's done.

Whatever blog type you have, Blogger, Wordpress, etc., you can make it into a vlog, easily.

Looking for distribution channels for your next film? Want to tease your established audience with your new, not-yet-completed project? Want to create buzz for your new project but you're afraid nobody knows who you are? Want to sync with the immediate pulse of the web? Video blog.

Want to see how it's done? First take a complete tour of Steve Garfield's website. It may take a while, but you will emerge refreshed and rejuvenated, popping with new ideas.

Next time, I'll show you how to set it up. ; o)


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Solution #1 - The Blogosphere

Trust yourself. You can write. And publish. This afternoon. It doesn't get any easier.

To learn the ins and outs of blog publishing in a very simple read, go get Andy Wibbels' book, Blogwild!. You'll learn the importance of links and trackbacks, and why you should be blogging now.

Two free, quick-start blogging solutions are Blogger and WordPress. If you want to embed mini movies, you may need inexpensive software solutions like Sandvox, Rapidweaver, or iBlog. Check back soon. I'll have some answers on that.

Start building your community, today.