Friday, June 19, 2009

Outdoor Movie Screenings in NYC

Eventually the giant rain clouds hovering above NYC are going to shuffle onto their next destination. And when they do, you can take your poor pale self and head out to any number of the free/cheap outdoor film screenings taking place in NYC throughout the summer. For your own enjoyment, a compendium of some of these outdoor screenings follows.

1. Brooklyn Bridge Park Movies with a View
Where: Brooklyn Bridge Park
When: Thursdays in July and August, from 6pm-11pm
Event: Before the main feature, listen to a DJ, snack on food by RICE, and watch a short film.
Movies start at sunset.
Cost: FREE!
Screenings: Everything from cult classics like Raising Arizona and Edward Scissorhands, to classics like The Maltese Falcon.

2. Rooftop Films: Underground Movies Outdoors
Where: All over Manhattan
When: Every weekend, through September 20, 9:00pm.
Event: Independent film screenings from NYC and around the world. Doors open at 8pm, DJ spins at 8:30pm, and films start at 9:00pm. Many screenings are followed by a filmmaker Q&A.
Cost: $9 at door or online.
Screenings: Not your Blockbuster stuff. Heavy focus on foreign film and documentaries.

3. River to River Festival Film Screenings
Where: The Elevated Acre at 55 Water St., Manhattan
When: Mondays in July, 8pm.
Event: Part of the larger arts festival, these screenings are preceded by short films.
Cost: FREE!
Screenings: The Seven Year Itch, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), West Side Story, and Sweet Smell of Success.

4. HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Where: Bryant Park, Manhattan
When: Mondays, ongoing through August 17th, films begin at dusk.
Event: The park opens at 5pm for blankets and picnicking. Films begin typically between 8pm and 9pm.
Cost: FREE!
Screenings: Classics like How Green Was My Valley and The Defiant Ones, and a few new classics like Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

5. SummerScreen
Where: Ball Fields at McCarren Park, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
When: Wednesdays in July and August, dusk.
Event: Sit in the stands, eat park food ($), and watch a feature.
Cost: FREE!
Screenings: Cult classics like Reality Bites, Evil Dead 2, and Fame.

6. Films on the Green
Where: Parks across Manhattan
When: Fridays in June and July, dusk.
Event: A French film festival, focused on the environment.
Cost: FREE!
Screenings: The Big Blue, Love is in the Air, Works, and Claire's Knees.

7. River Flicks for Grown-Ups
Where: Hudson River Park, Pier 54 at 14th St.
When: Wednesdays in July and August, dusk.
Event: Free popcorn and a 2008 Blockbuster.
Cost: FREE!
Screenings: Hits from last year, including Iron Man, The Dark Knight, and Tropic Thunder.

8. River Flicks for Kids
Where: Pier 46 at Charles St.
When: Fridays in July and August, dusk.
Event: Free popcorn and a kids movie.
Cost: FREE!
Screenings: Embrace the kid in you. Features movies like Wizard of Oz, Ghostbusters, and Curious George.

9. Outdoor Cinema 2009
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
When: Wednesdays from July 15 to August 19, dusk.
Event: Pre-screening performances and local food vendors spice things up before the screening of an International film.
Cost: FREE!
Screenings: A film snobs dream, with films like Contempt, Waltz with Bashir, and Gomorrah.

LoiLoScope Editing Software

A company out of Japan just released new movie editing software geared at editing newbies. Crazy name aside, "Super LoiLoScope MARS" looks like a pretty cool editing interface. The company calls the interface "game-like" and it certainly looks that way--it has got nifty tricks like a giant "magnet" you can use to organize your video clips.

Check out the video below for a sample of LoiLoScope's capabilities. I'm a fan of its toolbar, which lets you add and adjust visual effects to a clip while you're watching it. I also like the fact that users can save their work in formats for everything from iPods to YouTube. The major drawback? It only runs on Windows.

If you're intrigued you can download a free trial at the LoiLoScope website here, or purchase it for 69 good ole American dollars. Not too shabby, eh?

If you're looking for more info you can check out this article from The New York Times.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Color Theory for Cinematographers

Alright, all you DPs out there--check this blog out if you wanna learn the importance of utilizing your color palette on film.

A couple months back Isaac Botkin wrote an interesting blog examining the use of color as a "storytelling tool" onscreen. In "Color Theory for Cinematographers" Botkin provides an in-depth analysis of color in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down, illustrating how the film artfully conveys emotion through alterations in its color palette.

Botkin also provides a link to Brendan Dawes' fascinating "color charts." Dawes ran his favorite films through a Java program, which "sample[d] a movie every second and generate[d] an 8 x 6 pixel image of the frame at that moment in time." These "Cinema Reduxes", as he calls them, provide a "unique fingerprint" for each film, illustrating the changes in color and lighting that occur throughout the film. It's an interesting way to look at the entirety of a film in one image--and a great way to study its use of color, lighting, and rhythm.

While Dawes created only 8 Reduxes (two of which were featured in a MoMA exhibit), his work has inspired copycat work. For more Reduxes check out Matthew Merkovich's website here.

--Joanna Chlebus

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Nuts and Bolts of Running a Production Tonight on the Double Down

On the next Double Down Film Show we’re gonna get down to the nuts and bolts of production coordinating a feature film. What are the day-to-day considerations of running a feature film set? How do you get and keep two dozen people on the same page day-after-day? What are the most important aspects of the job? How can you hire a good production coordinator for your film?

We’ll discuss all this and more with our special guest Production Coordinator / Producer, Lynn Appelle, who has worked on the producing teams of such films as Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Empire and was one of the producers of co-host Pete Chatmon's Premium. Most notably, Lynn also won an Academy Award for co=producing the documentary short Thoth.

The Double Down Film Show...Filmmaking
Reality Starts Here!

Listen Live Every Wednesday 9pm-10pm E.S.T.

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*PS - If you can't tune in live, you can still stream the show or save the podcast to your iPod later at the site above.