This year, VCAM & RETN are partnering with the Vermont International Film Festival in the screening of the film Four Eyed Monsters. The film will play on the festival’s opening night — Thursday October 11 at 7:00 pm. The film’s after-party will be held here at the VCAM studio. Because Four Eyed Monsters screens on the festival’s opening night, the after-party will double as the opening night party of the whole festival!
VCAM and RETN are thrilled to help bring this film to Burlington. It is a wonderful example of user-generated media-making — our stock-in-trade in the PEG access world. It’s an autobiographical film about two young New Yorkers (Susan Buice and Arin Crumley, the film’s co-directors, who play themselves in the film) who meet and decide to avoid all the trite conventions of courtship — like spoken language. The film is peppered with the actual video and still images the couple took of themselves as they met, dated, broke apart, came back together, and made the film itself. It’s incredibly raw and real and intensely voyeuristic in its tone.
Filmmaker Magazine has called Buice and Crumley part of the “mumblecore” indy film movement, which Wikipedia describes as, “an American independent film movement that arose in the mid-2000’s. It is primarily characterized by ultra-low budget production (often employing digital video cameras), focus on personal relationships between twenty-somethings, improvised scripts, and non-professional actors.”
Four Eyed Monsters was released for free under a Creative Commons license for a limited time on YouTube. It was nominated for two 2007 Independent Spirit Awards and it took home the Special Audience Award at the SXSW film Festival in 2005.
Co-director Susan Buice will attend the screening and (we hope) the after-party here at VCAM. Both events happen on Thursday evening, October 11. The film will screen at the Waterfront Theater downtown at 7:00 pm and the party gets underway immediately afterwards here at VCAM. Hope to see you there!
As we are being treated this week to a string of warmer-than-average weather here in Vermont, VCAMers are brainstorming new ways to enjoy the beautiful outdoors while maintaining our healthy dose of movie watching. With winter steadily galloping over the horizon VCAM is sounding the call: DIY’ers unite!
With just a few tools and a projection-friendly exterior wall anybody can create their own drive-in theater. For a tutorial on how to set up your own drive-in visit MobMov.org.
For a more eco-friendly approach to outdoor movie-going, watch this video on a bike-in theater hosted by Public Access Television in Iowa City. See you in the great outdoors!
One of the hardest editing skills to learn is editing picture to music. Learning to do it well is almost like learning to play a musical instrument.
Here is an example of some excellent music editing that actually matches Swedish lyrics with some totally unrelated film footage of a religious revival. The song is by the Swedish electronic pop band, Familjen…
It’s Constitution Day — the 220th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment Center has released its annual “State of the First Amendment” report. As usual, it’s some scary stuff. You can download the report’s survey tables here (pdf) but here are a few choice bits unceremoniously swiped from Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report (the first three are direct quotes from the report, the rest are from Steve’s blog).
*Sixty-five percent of Americans believe that the nation’s founders intended the U.S. to be a Christian nation and 55% believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation, according to the “State of the First Amendment 2007? national survey released today by the First Amendment Center. […]
*Just 56% believe that the freedom to worship as one chooses extends to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme — down 16 points from 72% in 2000. […]
*25% said “the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees,” well below the 49% recorded in the 2002 survey that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, but up from 18% in 2006.
* Most Americans don’t know what’s in the First Amendment. There are five freedoms — freedom of speech was the only one named by a majority of respondents (64%), followed by religion (19%), press and assembly (each 16%), and petition (3%).
* Asked if newspapers “should be allowed to freely criticize the U.S military about its strategy and performance,” a combined 37% of Americans said they shouldn’t.
* Asked if musicians “should be allowed to sing songs with lyrics that others might find offensive,” a combined 42% of Americans said they shouldn’t.
* Asked if people “should be allowed to say things in public that might be offensive to religious groups,” a combined 39% of Americans said they shouldn’t.
* Asked if people “should be allowed to say things in public that might be offensive to racial groups,” a combined 56% of Americans said they shouldn’t.
* A jaw-dropping 55% of Americans agreed with the statement that the U.S. Constitution “establishes a Christian nation.” (For the record, the Constitution doesn’t mention God, Christianity, or the Bible at all. It’s an entirely secular document.)
* In one of the rare pieces of good news in the survey, a majority of Americans opposed a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning, 59% to 38%. As recently as 2000, the public leaned in the other direction, 51% to 48%.
Pretty scary stuff. As Steve points out, we have a lot of work to do.
UVM has a course this semester called Composing Digital Narratives. It sounds fascinating. Seven Days blogger Cathy Resmer posted about it a couple of weeks ago and I’m linking to it here because you can see some of the work the students are doing online. Check out this amazing piece by student Young-Hae Chang. It’s called “What Now?”
It’s been a crazy-busy time for us here at VCAM, but Art Hop is over and we had a great time. We had hundreds of people through our space on Friday night and Saturday looking at art, eating yummy food, chatting with neighbors and generally having a grand old time. We hope you made it down but if not, most of the art work will remain up through September, so come on down and check it out!
A lot of folks were excited to see Kadina-Dinash’s body paining performance in our studio. That crowd draw, combined with RETN’s presence this year and a concerted effort on the part of the 208 Flynn businesses to get the word out about the south end of the South End Art Hop, resulted in our biggest Art Hop yet in terms of people coming though our space. Congratulations to the artists and to all of the staff members of the businesses involved!
As mentioned in the previous post, VCAM is hosting a panel discussion on Sunday afternoon called Digital Tools for Artists. The panel will be moderated by graphic designer and web guru Gahlord Dewald of ThoughtFaucet. Joining Gahlord on the panel will be filmmaker Art Bell; the director of Champlain College’s new Digital Filmmaking major, Karen Klove; blogger and marketing professor, Elaine Young and filmmaker, Nate Beaman.
Also present at the event will be several members of Last Monday [interactive], a loose consortium of Vermont media artists and professionals, who are co-sponsoring this event.
Things are hopping here at VCAM in anticipation of this weekend’s South End Art Hop. If you’ve been to VCAM for Art Hop in the past, you know we get a lot of foot traffic through the studio, and we’re expecting this to be our biggest year yet. We’re featuring over 20 artists’ work in our space (including two new films by VCAM production manager Bill Simmon) and we’re collaborating with the other 208 Flynn sites to host one big Art Hop extravaganza. The fun begins Friday night at 5pm. We hope to see you here!
Also as part of Art Hop, VCAM is hosting a panel discussion on Sunday afternoon that’s being presented by Last Monday [interactive]. It’s called Digital Tools for Artists. According to the press release…
On Sunday September 9th at 1:00 p.m., Last Monday [interactive], a consortium of digital media artists and professionals, will host “Digital Tools for Artists,” a panel discussion and workshop about many of the free and inexpensive digital tools that are available for artists and small business owners. Topics covered will include blogging, podcasting, video for the web, online social networks and netroots marketing. Specific software applications from Apple and Adobe may also be discussed. The panel, which will be made up of several local digital media experts, is being presented as part of the South End Art Hop and will be held at the Vermont Community Access Media studios at 208 Flynn Avenue.
Last Monday [interactive] was started in 2006 as a monthly get-together of filmmakers, animators, audio engineers, web developers and other artists and professionals who work with digital media in some way. LMi meetings are held on the last Monday of each month (hence the group’s name) and are typically casual, low key events where works-in-progress are shown, and tips, tricks and techniques are shared between members.
The panel is free and open to the public. We’ll also be recording it for future broadcast on the channel.