Episode Ninety-Eight: Film Music

January 25, 2012 by cindy  
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Background Image: Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We return to the topic of music in film once again with London based composer Ram Khatabakhsh. Ram discusses his passion for composing music for film and working as a composer for independent film. We also spend a fair amount of time talking about his beloved Casio keyboard.

Ram Khatabakhsh- Composer

Ram started playing the keyboard at the age of six – just to figure out the melody of his favourite songs and themes. His parents bought him a small Casio keyboard at the time. He continued to play on his keyboard as a hobby after school hours and learned to play his favourite songs by ear. By age of 11, he was attending private piano and music lessons and exploring multiple musical genres. At the age of 15, Ram began to compose his own music and was instantly captivated by this. His passion for film music was apparent from the early days. He attended Kingston University in London where he obtained his degree in music composition. In November 2008 Ram was commissioned to write orchestral music and had his music performed by Kingston Chamber Orchestra in public concert.  In June 2008 Ram had his music played and work shopped at Royal Academy of Music in London where he worked along side the conductor Christopher Austin and composer Philip Cashian. In November 2007 Ram’s music was performed in the South Bank Centre as part of the PLG Group season. Ram’s music is highly motivated by film music, as this is the greatest goal in his career. He has been working as a freelance composer for several feature film projects and has written music for number of online advertisements and commercials and short films.

Ram currently directs a music production company (Motion Sound Production) based at Pinewood Studios (UK) where he collaborates with directors and producers and works with a number of talented musicians and engineers.

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Episode Ninety-Six: Producing Animation

January 11, 2012 by cindy  
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Abstract Block Background Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Producing animated content is a much different process than producing live action. The concept of creating a whole world is the same, but in CG animation, every aspect of the production is created in a computer. The process is vast and very fascinating. Join us as we speak to animation producer, Ellen Coss about her experience in the world of CG art and animation.

Ellen Coss- Producer

Ellen Coss is a 25 year veteran in computer generated imagery, starting her career at the seminal Digital Productions.

In the 1980s feature films were not using computer imagery, but theme park attractions were.  Ellen spent 2 years at Universal Studios as the production manager of the film for Florida’s Universal Park Attraction “The Funtastic World of Hanna Barbera”. The film, a motion based race through three of Hanna Barbera’s cartoon worlds employed computer backgrounds and 2D characters, optically composited.  This was one of the first projects to combine 2D and 3D animation.

Ellen then joined Rhythm & Hues as a producer for theme park attraction films such as Seafari, which won first place at Imagina that year.  She later became the Executive Producer of the theme park division and was responsible for bringing in multi-million dollar projects to the studio.

As many of the projects she worked on became creative milestones in the industry, Disney Feature Animation brought her in to produce their theme park attraction films.  Magic Lamp, employed exaggerated squash and stretch techniques common in 2D but not common in cg, and Mickey’s Philharmagic, a stereoscopic film which took nine of Disney’s beloved 2D characters and created them in 3D.  It is currently playing at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando and is the number one audience rated attraction.

Ellen then joined Dreamworks, as a Production Executive, where she worked for a year on various studio initiatives.  Subsequently she was the Associate Producer on the feature film Over the Hedge, released in 2006.  Hedge was heralded by Jeffrey Katzenberg as the smoothest running production ever at Dreamworks Animation.  During a second stint at Dreamworks, Ellen produced the Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special, which aired on NBC and Secrets of the Masters, which was the companion DVD to Kung Fu Panda 2.

Seeing that overseas production was the wave of the future Ellen headed to Prana Studios, a 325 person animation studio with offices in Mumbai India and Los Angeles. As Head of Production Ellen contributed with her years of production pipeline experience as well as her new role as a voice in the process of the company developing their own I.P.  Prana is currently producing, as a 1/3 ownership partner, three direct to DVD features entitled Unstable Fables being distributed in 2008 by TWC.  Under Ellen’s direction all pre-production including script writing, storyboarding and visual development occurred in Los Angeles, with physical production currently taking place in India.

Ellen then got a call to produce The Tortoise and the Hippo at Walden Media with John Dykstra directing.  She developed the project for 7 months until it was put on hold because of the writer’s strike.

Ellen then provided producing consulting services for the animated feature Arthur Christmas an Aardman Animation film to be distributed by Sony.

Ellen’s reputation in the industry is one of an excellent executer, and a nurturing manager, as well as a supporter and contributor to the creative vision of all projects.  Her goal on every project is to produce an excellent creative product, on time and on budget and to have the people associated with the project feel that it was one of the best working experiences in their career.

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Episode Ninety-Four: Editing Film

November 23, 2011 by cindy  
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There’s a saying that when you make a movie you actually make three movies by 1) writing the screenplay 2) shooting the movie and 3) editing the film. The editor of a film can serve as one of the primary storytellers of your movie and therefore is a critical role to cast when hiring your crew. Editor Karl Hirsch joins us to talk about workflow, the technical aspects of editing, and collaboration.

Karl Hirsch- Editor

Karl Hirsch is an award-winning picture editor, post-production supervisor, and trailer producer/editor. His boutique post-production company, HirschFilm, opened in 2003.

Karl has worked on films such as For the Love of Money (James Caan, Oded Fehr, Edward Furlong, Delphine Chaneac), Officer Down (Sherilyn Fenn, Casper Van Dien), Fist of the Warrior (Ho-Sung Pak, Peter Greene, Michael Dorn), The Third Wish (Betty White, Jenna Mattison, Armand Assante), Frame of Mind (Chris Noth, Tony LoBianco, Barbara Barrie).  His films have been released by Lionsgate, Echo Bridge Entertainment, Phase-4 Films, Freestyle Media, Lifetime Television, Movieola, FunnyOrDie.com, Mini-Movie Channel, and Warner Brothers Video-On-Demand.

Other editing and post-production credits include Stuart Gordon’s King of the Ants, starring Daniel Baldwin and Kari Wuhrer; Paul Carafotes’ Club Soda, starring James Gandolfini, Joe Mantegna and Louis Gossett Jr.; bio-fuel documentary feature Gashole: Killer Movie, starring Kaley Cuoco and Paul Walker; The Tub, starring Melora Hardin and Dedee Pfeiffer; and HBO Films’ If These Walls Could Talk 2.

Karl has also produced and edited hundreds of trailers, promos and sizzle reels.  Recent work includes Lasse Hallström’s Hachi: A Dog’s Story, starring Richard Gere; 2nd Take, starring Sarah Jones and Tom Everett Scott; theatrical advertisements for the documentary screening series Something to Talk About; Smother (Liv Tyler & Diane Keaton) for Inferno and Variance Films; Jim Isaac’s action/thriller Pig Hunt; and promotional material for The Grammy Awards.  He has also produced sizzle reels for musical acts Il Divo, Bowling For Soup, and Good Charlotte.  Karl was nominated for a Golden Trailer Award in 2002, and was a Telly Award winner in 2008 and 2010.  The short thriller Clown was awarded “Best Editing” by the International Sci-Fi and Horror Film Festival in October 2005.

Karl is also a producer of English dubs of foreign-language features.  Credits include Gen (Turkey), Wolfhound (Russia), and the animated features Goat Story (Czech Republic) and Space Dogs 3D (Russia). Karl’s client roster includes Inferno Entertainment, Epic Pictures, The Recording Academy (The Grammys), Yahoo!, KidZania, Octagon Worldwide, Brainstorm Media, Siegel+Gale, Helio/Virgin Mobile, Future Engine, THINKFilm, VMI Worldwide, and Cutler Enterprises.  He was featured in Paul Osborne’s documentary feature Official Rejection, and in Kim Adelman’s book The Ultimate Filmmaker’s Guide to Making Short Films. He has guest-lectured at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, Film Independent in Los Angeles, and has spoken on film festival panels in Victoria BC, Austin, and Phoenix.

Karl and his wife Lauren have written three monster movies together, made a short film about hiccups, and are currently producing a series of childrens radio plays.

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Episode Eighty-Nine: The Sound Edit

October 19, 2011 by cindy  
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You may have heard it said that sound can make or break a film and wondering how that could be possible. More than likely you’ve seen a low budget movie and known that something wasn’t quite right, but you couldn’t put your finger on it. Chances are, the sound was shotty. Shaun Burdick joins us to discuss the different jobs of a sound editor on small and large scale movies.


Shaun Burdick- Sound Editor

Shaun Burdick is a Los Angeles based Sound Designer. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design’s MFA program, he got his start working on Jamil Walker Smith’s directorial debut Make a Movie Like Spike… as the film’s Dialogue Editor. For the past ten years he has leant his talents as a designer and mixer to various theatrical productions and independent films around the country.  His most recent credits have included Re-recording Mixer on the independent documentary Empty Hand: The Real Karate Kids, Sound Designer for The Night Shift, TV pilot Jalama Beach, Mother’s Red Dress, Of Silence and additional audio design on the video game Supremacy MMA. In February 2011 he was nominated for the MPSE Verna Field Award for his sound design work on the short film En Route. Currently Shaun is serving as the Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer for the independent feature 29000 Wishes. 1 Regret.

www.burdicksound.com

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Episode Eighty-Eight: Selling Your Film

October 12, 2011 by cindy  
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Many people have lofty dreams of making their own film “masterpiece”. It’s a nobel pursuit to throw caution to the wind, forget all the naysayers, and make your movie the way you want to do it. That is of course unless you have investors that are expecting to be paid back. Join us as we talk to ex-sales agent and founder of The Film Collaborative, Orly Ravid, to hear about her experience that led her to create this fabulous organization whose tag line is “Filmmakers First”.

Orly Ravid- Founder of The Film Collaborative (TFC)

Orly is a 12-year industry veteran whose experience in film ranges from festival programming to acquisitions &  domestic licensing and distribution, as well as business affairs, foreign sales, and digital distribution. In 1998, Orly joined veteran boutique foreign sales company Amazing Movies & Highland Crest Pictures and launched the company’s Art House domestic distribution label.

Orly then joined Maxmedia, producers of Chen Kaige’s Cannes Selection Emperor and the Assassin and the Miramax/Dimension release The Others starring Nicole Kidman. At Maxmedia Ravid worked in production and development and created FilmFixx, the company’s domestic distribution arm that launched with the highly controversial film Baise Moi. Orly subsequently consulted for various independent distributors and filmmakers under her own label, Ravid Film Consulting. In 2004 Orly launched Wolfe Releasing’s foreign sales, theatrical, and digital distribution arms and handled its acquisitions and business affairs.

In 2010 Orly founded The Film Collaborative (TFC), the first non-profit organization devoted to the distribution-education and the distribution of art house and documentary cinema. The Film Collaborative since its launch has worked with over 100 filmmakers.  It has consulted on distribution for films such as Sundance Winners GasLand and Contracorriente (Undertow), Revenge of the Electric Car (Tribeca), SXSW Winner Weekend, to name just a few.  TFC specializes in splitting rights and helping filmmakers navigate digital distribution, and it created the first ever Digital Distribution Guide (TM) utilized by filmmakers and industry alike.  TFC was commissioned to write a report on the topic for uniFRANCE to help its sales agents to navigate new media and has advised Sundance on its new “artists services” digital distribution initiative. TFC is releasing a book about distribution entitled Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul that will be available in multiple digital formats and in paperback as of September 19, 2011.

From 2007 -2009 Orly served as VP of Acquisitions and Distribution of publicly traded Berlin-based Senator Entertainment. Orly regularly moderates or speaks on panels at Sundance and other film festivals regarding new technology and digital distribution. Orly served as a Programming Associate for documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival and as Programming Consultant for Palm Springs International. Orly has served on the Board of Directors of Outfest Los Angeles Film Festival. Orly earned a B.A in English Literature and Film Studies at Columbia University and graduated with honors.

The Film Collaborative Website

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Episode Eighty-Six: Wrapping Up Production

September 28, 2011 by cindy  
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For our last episode of our season about production we bring back the lovely and talented producer and author Eve Light Honthaner. Eve has worked in numerous production offices in the span of multiple years that she’s worked in this industry. We discuss the end of principal photography and transitioning into post-production.

Eve Light Honthaner- Producer/Author/Teacher

Eve’s career in the entertainment industry spans many years, primarily in the field of production management.  She’s worked in every capacity from PA to line producer and as a staff production executive, most recently for DreamWorks.  She’s worked on shows budgeted anywhere from $1 – $250 million and on projects that have been shot throughout the U.S. and internationally, including Titanic, Just Married and Tropic Thunder.

Eve is the author of The Complete Film Production Handbook and HOLLYWOOD DRIVE: What it Takes to Break in, Hang in & Make it in the Entertainment Industry.  And since 1998, she’s combined her many years of practical experience with a love of teaching to help others succeed in this fiercely competitive business.

In addition to the six-week course she teaches at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts each summer, schedule permitting, she does one- and two-day workshops throughout the country.

Eve’s Website- http://evehonthaner.com

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Film Method Extravaganza!

September 7, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under news

September 7, 2011

This is an exciting week for Film Method! We’ve got tons of new stuff for you including a new episode with director Varda Hardy, new photos from our latest photo shoot, contests and more! A new feature, Writing Method with Aydrea Walden starts this week as well. Poke around the website- we’ve got some new images and new features that you won’t want to miss!

Film Method’s Support from Start to Finish feature focuses on Varda Hardy’s Kickstarter campaign for her musical documentary Big Voice this month.

The contest to win Eve Light Honthaner’s book The Complete Film Production Handbook starts this week as well as the race to get 1,000 Facebook followers. The 1,000th follower will win a 2 hour consult with co-host and producing advisor Jenna Edwards!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and tell your friends about us, too!

Episode Eighty-One: Writing with Todd Berger

July 27, 2011 by cindy  
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We wrap up our month of writing with writer Todd Berger. Todd has been a working writer in Los Angeles for ten years. He talks about everything from writing original scripts to pitching ideas to executives and working through multi-hour note sessions with producers. Writer Aydrea Walden joins the discussion as well.

Todd Berger- Writer/Director

Todd is an experienced writer/director who has been making films since he was a teenager. He received a film degree from The University of Texas at Austin where he wrote and directed the nationally syndicated television show The Campus Loop. He recently wrote and directed the the feature film The Scenesters, which played over 30 film festivals and took home Most Interesting Film from The Slamdance Film Festival, Best Screenplay from The Phoenix Film Festival, and Best Director from The Edmonton International Film Festival.  His feature-length documentary Don’t Eat The Baby: Adventures at post-Katrina Mardi Gras was chosen as the closing night film of the 2007 New Orleans Film Festival. He works as a screenwriter and actor in Los Angeles, with scripts currently in development at DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures, Jim Henson Productions, and The Disney Channel. In 2006, his script Chasing Christmas was turned into an ABC Family original movie starring Tom Arnold.  On screen, Todd has appeared in many recent commercials as well as an episode of the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation.

The Scenesters Movie
Todd’s Website

Aydrea Walden- Writer

Aydrea has written for The Seattle Times, the Now Write! Screenwriting book series, The Second City Los Angeles, iO West, Hawaii Film Partners, NBC/Universal, Highlander Films, Nickelodeon, and Disney. She also runs the satirical blog, The Oreo Experience–My Life and Times as a Super White Black Person. For more information about Aydrea or to contact her please visit her website at www.theoreoexperience.com

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page. To contact Jenna you can email her at info@film-method.com

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit www.hands.org

Episode Seventy-Nine: Writing with Barri Evins

July 13, 2011 by cindy  
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Our month on writing continues with producer and screenwriting teacher Barri Evins. Barri approaches writing from the producers standpoint: what stories work and what will ultimately sell. Barri discusses having that “big idea” and gives 7 helpful pointers on pitching your idea. Writer Aydrea Walden joins us for the month as well!

Barri Evins- Producer/Screenwriting Teacher

Barri Evins is a successful film producer and a sought after screenwriting teacher.  As a producer, she has sold pitches and specs to Warner Bros., Universal, Fox, Nickelodeon, New Line and HBO.  Barri created BIG IDEAS to give new screenwriters what it takes to achieve their dreams by teaching them techniques she uses with highly paid professionals on big league projects.  The Big Ideas Screenwriting Seminar teaches writers to create ideas that ignite industry interest and gives writers revolutionary tools for completing a successful screenplay faster than ever before.  The seminar also includes Barri’s mentorship for a year.  Learn about upcoming seminars, bringing the Big Ideas Seminar to your hometown or get a free thumbs up or down on your next idea at www.bigbigideas.com.  Find tips and updates at BIG IDEAS for Screenwriters on Facebook.  A BIG IDEAS books is in the works.

Barri’s Website-www.bigbigideas.com

Big Ideas for Screenwriters Facebook Page

Aydrea Walden- Writer

Aydrea has written for The Seattle Times, the Now Write! Screenwriting book series, The Second City Los Angeles, iO West, Hawaii Film Partners, NBC/Universal, Highlander Films, Nickelodeon, and Disney. She also runs the satirical blog, The Oreo Experience–My Life and Times as a Super White Black Person. For more information about Aydrea or to contact her please visit her website at www.theoreoexperience.com

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page. To contact Jenna you can email her at info@film-method.com

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit www.hands.org

Episode Seventy-Five: Eve Light Honthaner

June 8, 2011 by cindy  
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Since the time the Film Method podcast began we have been talking about Eve Light Honthaner and her amazing book The Complete Film Production Handbook! Eve has worked on many films including Titanic, Just Married and Tropic Thunder. She joins us to give some helpful tips for producers for the day that your film finally reaches principal photography. We briefly touch on many topics including working with animals, working with children, using purchase orders and hiring the right people for the job.

Eve Light Honthaner- Producer/Author/Teacher

Eve’s career in the entertainment industry spans many years, primarily in the field of production management.  She’s worked in every capacity from PA to line producer and as a staff production executive, most recently for DreamWorks.  She’s worked on shows budgeted anywhere from $1 – $250 million and on projects that have been shot throughout the U.S. and internationally, including Titanic, Just Married and Tropic Thunder.

She’s the author of The Complete Film Production Handbook and HOLLYWOOD DRIVE: What it Takes to Break in, Hang in & Make it in the Entertainment Industry.  And since 1998, she’s combined her many years of practical experience with a love of teaching to help others succeed in this fiercely competitive business.

In addition to the six-week course she teaches at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts each summer, schedule permitting, she does one- and two-day workshops throughout the country.

Eve’s Website- http://evehonthaner.com

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page.

Producing Sunflowers Website
Burbank International Film Fest

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit Film Method’s Facebook page.

For more information on All Hands Volunteers visit their website at http://hands.org/

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