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Film Review: Avengers: Infinity War

Film Review: Avengers: Infinity War

May 16/ 18

Ok…my review of Avenger’s: Infinity War is here, but I decided to do this another way. In video form. I hope to do this in the near future. Bare with me though, the lighting is not good and all that jazz, but I’m trying. Over time it will get better. Forgive me for rambling, but this is a spoiler free review because you still have people who have not seen it yet!

What did you think? Leave your comments and we’ll talk! Enjoy the rest of your Hump Wednesday, be blessed!

 

 

Image source: Cosmos Magazine & BGR.com
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Shadow Spotlight: Women Filmmakers

Shadow Spotlight: Women Filmmakers

March 20 / 18

Hey! The weekend came and went by. Time to start a new week and this week is pretty busy. I’m continuing with women who are making creativity in every art form since this is Women’s History Month. Today’s Spotlight focuses on women in the film industry. With these directors, screenwriters, and producers like Patty Jenkins, Ava DuVernay, and newcomers like Reed Morano, Hollywood is trying to make room for women behind the camera.

Ava DuVernay – 

This Long Beach, California native is already having a great year for 2018. She started in film publicity, by 2006, DuVernay directed a short film, Saturday Night Life. A few years later she directed documentaries like This is the Life (2008) and My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women in Hip Hop (2010). In 2010, DuVernay made her debut not only as a director but also a screenwriter for I Will FollowIt was this film that people started to take notice.

In 2012, her second feature film, Middle of Nowhere, the film earned her a Sundance Film Award for director, making her the first African-American woman to do so. From then on DuVernay directed films such as Selma (2014), which she rewrote the script, and she became the first African-American woman to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director for the historical drama, the documentary 13th, and the recently released fantasy film, A Wrinkle in Time. DuVernay is now tapped to direct DC’s New Gods. She’s also the creator, executive producer, and director of the television series, Queen Sugar. Yes, Ms. DuVernay is making big waves!

 

 

 

 

Patty Jenkins –

If you don’t recognize this lady here, you really must be living under a rock. Jenkins received her undergraduate degree from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1993 and in 2000 she attended the American Film Insitute’s AFI Conservatory for her masters in directing. She made the 2001 short film, Velocity Rules. In 2003, Jenkins directed Monster, about the serial killer and former prostitute Aileen Wuornos. Jenkins won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for Monster, received the Franklin J. Schaffner medal from the American Film Institute and an Emmy nomination for her work in The Killing. She spent the next several years directing television episodes of Arrested Development, Entourage, and The Killing. She was supposed to direct the second Thor film, but due to creative differences, the deal fell through. In 2015, Jenkins signed on to direct Wonder Woman, which was released in June 2017, giving the film the biggest domestic opening of all-time for a female director. She’s now ready to direct Wonder Woman 2 and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for our Amazonian hero.

 

 

 

Sofia Coppola – 

You should be familiar with the last name. Her father is none other than Francis Ford Coppola, director of such films as The Godfather trilogies, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and The Outsiders. Sophia starting acting when she was a baby. Her first role was in The Godfather as baby Michael Francis Rizzi. Coppola has appeared in The Outsiders and Peggy Sue Got Married, but it was her performance in The Godfather III that drew harsh criticism.

Afterward, Coppola has followed in the footsteps of her father to direct, write, and produce films such as The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, Marie Antionette, and The Bling Ring. Coppola’s efforts paid off with nominations for an Academy Award, BAFTA, and several others. She did win Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation. She made history to become the first American and youngest woman with her nomination for Best Director. She was the second woman (and first American) to win Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for The Beguiled. It was reported that Coppola will be making her debut as an opera director. She has built a successful path but on her own terms.

Kathryn Bigelow-

She has been around the Hollywood radar for a long time. Bigelow acted in a few films during the 1980s like Born in Flames, modeled for an advertisement for Gap. This California native is no stranger to working not only behind the camera but also writing and producing. With films such as Near Dark, Blue Steel, and Point Break, Bigelow is pretty much a veteran Hollywood insider. It was the 2008 film The Hurt Locker that catapulted Bigelow’s career into high gear. The film won numerous awards. Bigelow earned a Golden Globe nomination, a British Academy Film Awards for Best Director, became the first woman to receive an Academy Award for Best Director, making her the fourth woman in history to be nominated for the award, and only the second woman.

The same goes for Zero Dark Thirty (2012). Bigelow won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director for the film, which she won twice, which makes her the first woman to reach that feat. She was also the first woman to win the National Board of Review Award for Best Director for Zero Dark Thirty. Bigelow’s next film was Detroit, which was set during riots of Detroit in 1967. Bigelow shows no signs of slowing down, she still has some more stories to tell.

 

 

Stella Meghie –

A newbie to the film industry, but Canadian Stella Meghie will soon be a name you won’t forget. Meghie started as a public relations in the fashion industry in New York City. She received her degree in screenwriting. In 2016, her debut film Jean of the Jones premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, which received Two Canadian Screen Award nominations, one was Best Original Screenplay. In 2017, she directed romantic drama Everything, Everything, which was an adaptation of the novel Everything, Everything. Hope to see more of Meghie in the future.

 

 

Reed Morano –

Morano is master behind the camera not only as a director, but a skilled cinematographer to boot. She is a graduate of  Tisch School of the Arts. Her cinematography in television and film work includes Off the Grid: Life on the Messa, Frozen River, Kill Your Darlings, an episode of Halt and Catch Fire, and The Handmaid’s Tale, which she’s also executive producer.

She directed Beyonce’s Sandcastles and did work in commercials for Apple, Citibank, and 1800Contacts. In 2013, Morano became the youngest member of the American Society of Cinematographers. She was featured in Ioncinema.com’s “American New Wave 25″.  Morano has won awards such as Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and a Directors Guild of American award for directing for the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale and several others. Quite a feat isn’t it?

There are more women in who are making their moves in film and they have many stories to tell. Enjoy your day be blessed!

 

 

Image source: Makers, Well+Good, Indiewire, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Hollywood's Black Renaissance, and Reed Morano shot by Celeste Sloman in NY on July 28 2017 for Variety EE 080917

 

 

Film Review: Black Panter

Film Review: Black Panter

February 20 / 18

Hello everyone! It’s time for a film review. Not Fifty Shades Free…who cares about that film. I’m talking about the newest superhero film from Marvel, Black Panther. This review will be short, very short. Here are my thoughts on the film…

 

Awesome

Inspirational

It’s not your average superhero film. It’s a film for everyone. For me, as a Black woman, it’s good to see Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Guria, Angela Bassett, and Letitia Wright as strong, capable women able to take care of business. Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and the rest of the cast were great. Boseman brought wisdom and strength to his role as T’Challa. Director Ryan Coogler did an awesome job with his first foray to bring the story of the Wakandan king. It brought the action, drama, and everything else in between. What time to bring this film in the month of Black History.

 

 

Ryan Meindering

That’s it. I said that it was going to be short. If you haven’t seen Black Panther, it’s a must that you see it. Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, be blessed.

 

 

Image source: Forbes, the Wrap, & bilkulonline.com

Wednz Scene: Film Workshops 2018

Wednz Scene: Film Workshops 2018

February 14 / 18

Hello again…It’s been some time that I posted for the film department. It’s like I said this sentence before right? Well, it’s true. It’s been a long while and now I’m making up for it.  Maine Media Workshops & College is an international non-profit educational organization, that offers year-round workshops for photographers, filmmakers, and media artists. They have plenty of workshops in photography, writing, book arts and design, filmmaking, and more. We are focusing on filmmaking.


Credit source: Maine Media

 

Hone your skills in the development of compelling long and short-form documentaries.

Date:  Mar 4-10, 2018
Levels:  Intermediate, Advanced
Workshop Fee:  $1250
Class Size: 14

Additional Dates Offered:
Aug 26-Sep 1, 2018

This one-week workshop is for independent filmmakers, PBS, cable, business and network producers, historians and researchers, who want to improve their skill in developing and making professional long and short documentaries for television, the web and business. The class includes hands-on experience in interviewing, lighting, pitching, editing, backdrops, locations and more.  We screen and critique a diverse variety of documentary work for style, content, point-of-view, and production values.

The workshop covers funding, producing, directing, editing, copyright, archives, rights, research methods, budgets, story structure, interviewing, music, distribution, and how to position a project for national broadcast, foreign sales, and internet distribution. Students have the opportunity to research local stories, shoot interviews, and edit a short segment for presentation and critique.  Students may also bring their previously produced work for review.

Winter/Spring lodging and meal package available for $475. Includes breakfast and lunch Monday – Friday. Dinner services are not available during our Winter/Spring session. Meal plan (mandatory) without lodging is $125.

Instructor: Lawrence Hott

 

 

An introduction to the premier software for motion graphics.

Date: Mar 11-17, 2018
Levels:  Beginner
Workshop Fee:  $1125
Max Class Size: 14

Additional Dates Offered:
Jun 24-30, 2018
Sep 9-15, 2018

Adobe After Effects continues to be the industry standard for creating motion graphics. Students create dynamic content for logo treatments and commercials and understand visual effects features such as keying and compositing for film, video or multimedia. Through daily hands-on assignments, the class explores the tools of After Effects including layers, blending modes, masks and alpha channels. Core animation concepts such as keyframes and parenting are covered in-depth, as well as kinetic typography. Students also learn how 3D cameras and lights are used to create natural, organic animations. Students gain a solid understanding of After Effects and an appreciation for the possibilities of creating motion graphics.

Winter/Spring lodging and meal package available for $475. Includes breakfast and lunch Monday – Friday. Dinner services are not available during our Winter/Spring session.

Instructor: Neil Shelley

 

 

Produce the highest level of excellence and superiority in post-production audio.

Date:  Mar 17-18, 2018
Levels:  Beginner, Intermediate
Workshop Fee:  $545
Class Size: 14

Continuing the exploration of the audio impact on visual images, this two-day workshop concentrates on the foundation and principles of post-production sound and the effective manipulation of dialogue, music, and sound effects to create a unified soundtrack. A basic and straightforward approach will equip students with a practical and beneficial knowledge of audio uses.

Upon completion of this course, students will have learned the post-production practices involved in bringing audio from the set to the screen, as well as the basic approaches to sound design. Overview of production and post-production sound, the relationship between them, the elements that make up a soundtrack and the various elements at work, good and bad, will be explored to determine how the quality of sound elements affect the overall experience.

Lunch is included for both days, other meals are on your own.  Lodging is available for $75 per night.

Instructor: Walter Clissen

 

 

Gain the fundamental skills to capture quality video using DSLR Cameras.

Date:  Mar 17-18, 2018
Levels:  Beginner
Workshop Fee:  $475
Class Size: 14

Additional Dates Offered:
Apr 28-29, 2018                                                                                                                                             Jun 2-3, 2018

This 2-day class is ideal for anyone interested in working with DSLRs to capture high-quality video and audio.

This workshop will include lessons on choosing camera settings for the desired look of video using ISO, aperture, color temperature, shutter speed, frame rate, and lens selection. Tripods and hand-held camera systems will be demonstrated.  Students will use various methods to record high-quality audio while capturing video and learn how to prepare files for post-production. Students receive hands-on training using cameras like the Canon EOS 7D and 5D Mark III and will leave the workshop equipped with the fundamental skills to work proficiently with DSLR cameras in the field.

Lunch is included for both days, other meals are on your own. Lodging is available on campus, private room & bath.  $75/night.

Instructor: Tom Ryan

 

 

Spend the weekend learning the basics of lighting for film and video production.

Date:  Mar 17-18, 2018
Levels:  Beginner, Intermediate
Workshop Fee:  $475
Class Size: 10

Additional Dates Offered:
Oct 13-14, 2018

Learning how to properly light spaces and subjects is an essential part of the creation of any film or video project. Through lectures on lighting theory, and demonstrations of different techniques, students will learn how to best use natural and artificial light to tell their story. This 2-day workshop is extremely useful for many facets of film and video production including, shooting interviews, corporate work, documentary, and narrative.

Topics Covered:

  • Quality of light

  • Types of light sources

  • Color Temperature

  • Flagging

  • Diffusing

  • Styling

  • Coloring

  • Reflecting

  • Balancing

Lunch is included for both days, other meals are on your own.  Lodging is available for $75 per night.

Instructor: David Martinez

 

Want to know more about Maine Media Workshops & College? Go to this link www.mainemedia.edu for more information.

 

 

Image source: Glassdoor & Popular Photo

Weeknd Scene: Super Digital

Weeknd Scene: Super Digital

February 3 / 18

Hello everyone! Short, but simple post. I mentioned that two films are coming to digital this month, right? Something to do with a dude with a hammer and a group of superheroes creating a team? One Marvel, the other DC…Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League are coming to digital.

 

THOR: RAGNAROK / February 20 DVD/Blu-Ray: March 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE / February 13  DVD/Blu-Ray: March 13

 

 

Both will be available on iTunes and VUDU. As of right now, you can pre-order one or both films. That was short but simple and to the point. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, be blessed.

 

 

Image source: AppleInsider, The HD Room, Cosmic Book News, Batman-News.com, & Geeks of Color

Creative Close-Up: DC Extended Universe is Not Dead

Creative Close-Up: DC Extended Universe is Not Dead

January 29 / 18

Question…Is the DC Extended Universe Dead? For some or most people yes, but for those like me, no. Not even. We eagerly waited for Justice League to hit theaters. We were giving the latest superhero film high hopes, but alas, that wasn’t’ the case.

I for one like the film. Don’t get me wrong, it had its share of great and funny moments. There were some scenes that we saw in the trailers didn’t make it to the film. Let’s not forget about Henry Cavill‘s CGI disastrous upper lip. My only complaint is how rushed the film was. Zack Snyder had to leave due to a personal tragedy, so Joss Wheadon finished where Snyder left off. Wheadon wrote the screenplay (along with Chris Terrio) for the film. With both director’s visions put together, what we got was a mess.

 

 

Justice League grossed $655 million worldwide, while domestically the total was $227 million. These figures are low. I would’ve expected more from both markets, but again, that’s not the case. According to Wikipedia, the film’s tone met a polarized reception. While some appreciated the lighter tone than previous DC films, others found it inconsistent. I felt the performances of all the cast were great. Then again, as I said before in my review of the film, Ben Affleck, although gave his best, I have a feeling he may not want to play the Dark Knight anytime soon.

According to another report I read by Chaim Gartenberg for The Verge, Warner Bros., and DC will minimize the interconnected DC Extended Universe for future films. Meaning that they will probably focus on stand-alone films. Wonder Woman was proof of that, but DC can do even more.

AS THE SAYING GOES…HASTE MAKES WASTE

Problem is that DC is playing catchup with Marvel. Marvel has been successful with how they handled their films. They took the time and energy to really build a roster of films that required a great deal of writing and character development. Meanwhile, DC rushed to get themselves noticed. Yes, it’s good to see what your competition is doing, but what worked for them, may not work for you. DC needs to stop worrying about Marvel is doing and focus on what they need to do. When I say focus, I mean they need to figure out what will work for them. How to create a franchise that will work for all is the task they need to focus on.

 

After the box office failure of Justice League, what’s next for DC?

 

DC’S NEXT STRATEGY

Wonder Woman is the only film that did well. Insanely well. What made the film successful? For one thing Patty Jenkins in the director’s chair, screenwriter Allen Heinberg, with Synder, Heinberg, and Jason Fuchs with writing the story, plus the strong and vulnerable performance from Gal Gadot, the film became a box office hit in all the right places. It gave a fresh direction to a heroine icon. I was really happy when Diana was introduced in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Gadot has said, 

“for a long time, people didn’t know how to approach the story. When Patty and I had our creative conversations about the character, we realized that Diana can still be a normal woman, one with very high values, but still a woman. She can be sensitive. She is smart and independent and emotional. She can be confused. She can lose her confidence. She can have confidence. She is everything. She has a human heart.” Need I say more?

I think its’ safe to say that DC’s chances of getting this right are to focus on stand-alone films. Of course, they still have a few things to iron out. For example, The Flash. Loved Ezra Miller‘s take on Barry Allen. We now know that the film will be titled as Flashpoint. The script is ready, but there have been some hiccups, trying to find the right director for the project seemed almost impossible.  Seth Grahame-Smith was the first pick, then came Rick Famuiwa, but due to creative differences with the studio, both left the project. Just recently John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are in negotiations to direct. Let’s hope this turns out well. I can only hope the studio can step back and let these two guys, along with the screenwriters and story writer’s visions come to the screen. I can also hope that the film will come soon. If not 2019, maybe 2020. Maybe it’s time for Synder to remove himself from directing and focus more on storytelling and producing. That will be the best thing for the franchise.

Warner Bros. is slowly and surely setting their roster of more films to come. I really do think that standalone films can pull DC out of its funk make the franchise successful. The extended universe is not dead. They just need to fully put their time, focus, and effort on what they are doing.

Release dates for upcoming DC films:

Aquaman: December 21, 2018

Shazam: April 5, 2019

Wonder Woman: November 1, 2019

Cyborg: April 3, 2020

Image source: Flickering Myth, Nerdist, & Inverse

 

90th Academy Award Nominations 2018 the Full List

90th Academy Award Nominations 2018  the Full List

January 24 / 18

It’s that time again…the 90th Academy Awards is on the rise. Some of you may have already read or heard about the Academy Award nominations. Here is the full list.


Credit source: Oscar.go.com

 

 

BEST PICTURE

Call Me by Your Name

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

 

 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

 

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Meryl Streep, The Post

 

 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janney, I, Tonya,

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan

Get Out, Jordan Peele

Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig

Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson

The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro

 

 

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

The Boss Baby

Breadwinner

Coco

Ferdinand

Loving Vincent

 

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Faces Places

Icarus

Last Men In Aleppo

Strong Island

 

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Edith+Eddie

Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405

Heroin(e)

Knife Skills

Traffic Stop

 

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

A Fantastic Woman, Chile

The Insult, Lebanon

Loveless, Russia

On Body and Soul, Hungary

The Square, Sweden

 

 

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Call Me by Your Name

The Disaster Artist

Logan

Molly’s Game

Mudbound

 

 

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

The Big Sick

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

 

ORIGINAL SONG

“Mighty River,” Mudbound

“Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name

“Remember Me,” Coco

“Stand Up for Something,” Marshall

“This is Me,” The Greatest Showman

 

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Beauty and the Beast

Blade Runner 2049

The Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

 

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Blade Runner 2049

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Mudbound

The Shape of Water

 

 

COSTUME DESIGN

Beauty and the Beast

Darkest Hour

Phantom Thread

The Shape of Water

Victoria & Abdul

 

 

SOUND EDITING

Baby Driver

Blade Runner 2049

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

 

 

SOUND MIXING

Baby Driver

Blade Runner 2049

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

 

 

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Dunkirk

Phantom Thread

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

 

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Dear Basketball

Garden Party

Negative Space

Lou

Revolting Rhymes

 

 

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

DeKalb Elementary

The Eleven O’Clock

The Silent Child

All of Us

My Nephew Emmett

 

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

Blade Runner 2049

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Kong: Skull Island

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

War for the Planet of the Apes

 

 

FILM EDITING

Baby Driver

Dunkirk

I, Tonya

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

 

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Darkest Hour

Victoria & Abdul

Wonder

That’s it! Catch the 90th Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel will host. Set the date!

 

 

Image source: LA Times & Heroic Hollywood

Best of 2017: Film

Best of 2017: Film

December 23 / 17

Hello! Best of 2017 has come to a close and what better way to close it with the Best of Film. 2017 gave us what we needed in this department. The big blockbusters and the small indie hits. Here is the top ten…

 

 

Wonder Woman

 

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t seen it, including me!)

 

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

 

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok

 

 

 

Kong: Skull Island

 

 

 

It

 

 

 

Annabell: Creation

 

 

 

Wind River

 

 

 

Justice League

 

 

 

Murder on the Orient Express

 

Spiderman: Homecoming and Alien Covenant are not on the list, but both these films did well for this year. Can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring.

 

 

Image source: Cinema Blend & Variety