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5 Tough Love Tips For Getting Your Film Into Film Festivals

To the uninitiated, the film festival circuit can be an intimidating thing. Here are 5 quick tips, maybe obvious ones, that will ease the process of festival submission.

Film Festival

As this article we just posted makes clear, it’s just about time for a heavy succession of major film festival submission dates. So we decided to ask a bunch of filmmakers and film festival programmers to wax on their experiences so we could tell you what to do and not do when it comes to trying to get your film into a festival. We know some of it sounds kind of obvious, but from what we’ve been told — there’s a whole lot of filmmakers who don’t abide it. So listen up:

1. Know what your film is, and where it belongs. Not every film is the right fit for SXSW, or Berlin, or Sundance. Yes, for a lucky few they end up in all three festivals (but clearly we don’t all have a “Boyhood” in the can), but for most your film — short or feature — is gonna be extremely lucky to come close to getting into one. So if you aren’t quite at a level of filmmaking that is going to be able to contend with the big guns (yet!), don’t waste your time and money and emotional well being getting in over your head. There’s dozens and dozens of festivals that while, yes, might not give you the level of exposure that Sundance might, they will give your work a showcase and give you an opportunity to grow as a filmmaker through the experience, giving you some internal notes to take forward into your next move.

2. Lower your expectations. Sort of in the same line of thinking, you need to not let the kind of rejection that can easily, easily come with submitting to film festivals get you down. Festivals like Sundance or SXSW often get well over 10,000 submissions — over half of them almost always shorts. They only show a small fraction. The odds are against you, and you have to accept that. Sometimes filmmakers make quite a few films that don’t end up getting shown anywhere, so expecting your going to get in somewhere big on your first try is just setting yourself up for stress, sweat and tears.

IndieWire | Read the Full Article

How they Blew Up the Droid – A VFX Breakdown

This is how-to guide for destroying the droid on Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. This breakdown was presented at DigiPro and SIGGRAPH this year. I will try to post the slides somewhere useful asap.

This work was done at Image Engine in summer 2012 for 3 months. I was responsible for destruction of the droid geometry, as well as overall looking after the FX sequence. Additional work was done by Earl Fast (animation), Simon Lewis (volume FX), Ben Alepko (lighting), Stephen James (Comp). The animation was done in Maya, all FX elements were generated in Houdini, lighting was done 3Delight and Mantra, all comped in Nuke.

Droid Breakdown

Inside a Video Game Voice Over Studio

Take a peak inside the recording studio where the voice over is recorded for Defense Grid 2


Jennifer Hale asks a few questions about the character. That’s less than 30 seconds after she walks in the room.

Her arrival prompts the usual bit of Hollywood hug and kiss, and some hello-how-are-yous, but then it’s down to business.

Who is this character? What is she doing? Why is she here?

And then, just a minute later, she’s in the booth and she’s nailing it.

If you’ve played a video game in the past several years, you’ll probably recognize her voice. Her list of credits is enormous. Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, Metroid Prime, Knights of the Old Republic, Mercenaries, the Metal Gear Solid series, Mass Effect 2 and 3, Gears of War 3, Diablo 3, Halo 4 and 5, Call of Duty: Black Ops, BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us and Broken Age are not even half of the games she’s contributed to.

And now, added to that list, is Defense Grid 2.

Executive Producer Jeff Pobst and Script Co-Writer Sam Ernst are directing, sitting in chairs with wood frames and slung canvas, like you’d expect. Each is holding a script the size of a small phone book. The engineer signals he’s ready to begin. And Hale begins.

Standing in the recording booth, she runs over a couple of lines, trying out different voices. She’s playing a new character, a former scientist who is now part of a computer, and who will help the player.

Hale asks if it’s all right if the character is well-traveled. “She’s moved around a lot, but spent a lot of time in Australia?” she suggests.

Pobst says, “Sure.”

And then Hale drops it, and it’s perfect. A fully realized character, pulled out of the bag like it’s nothing. The result of (and perhaps the cause for) over two decades of successful work in the video game industry.

Polygon | Read the Full Article

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