Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trek 03 Screenings

Now that we are done with the individual crits, we move on to the final stages of Trek 03 and the final four class meetings for this semester.

Starting on Monday, December 3, we will begin screening your final Trek 03 clips, so make sure they are as complete as possible. Because we will draw names at random, you will not know when your video will be screened, so your attendance is mandatory for all sessions, even if your work has already been shown. It is as important that you see the work of your peers as it is to have your work seen by your peers.

If your final clip is not available on your blog when your name comes up, we will screen one of your rough clips, and you will be docked 5 points for not having your final video ready.

We will not grade your Trek 03 project, however, until after December 12, our final class meeting. So you will have some time to make last-minute adjustments to your final video and to your blog as a whole.

The grading criteria for Trek 03 is here:

Some of you are experiencing technical problems with your recorders, Audacity, Avid, and/or other aspects of your projects, so please remember to use the Technical Forum to search for possible solutions or to post your question if you can't find an answer. That way we can better help you troubleshoot the issue.

Remember that we meet Monday in MUS 180.

Good luck, and have a productive weekend.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Trek 03 Rough Cut Deadline Clarification

Just a quick update on the first due date for Trek 03: your rough cut sketches must be posted by the time you meet with your Lab instructor(s) for your one-on-one appointments.

For those who have yet to pick your appointment slot, the sign-up sheets are posted on my office door, B-60.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Trek 03 Individual Critiques

Hello all.

I hope all is going well in your Research Groups.

As we progress through Trek 03, we will be having three days of one-on-one critiques of your Trek 03 drafts, beginning Wednesday, November 21. The sign-up sheets are posted on my office door (B-60). Find the sheet for your Lab section and pick a slot (first-come, first-served). If the sheet is full, additional crits can be made individually with your lab instructor during office hours, or with me during my hours (MW 10-11AM), or during class time.

Remember that you can find your lab section in the Course Directory.

Make sure your three rough-cut sketches of sound/image relationships you are considering for your final sound video are posted to your Trek 03 blog by Wednesday, November 21, 3 PM.

I added the examples of Ten Questions from my lecture to the Trek 03 page.

I also added links to some freeware image/graphics editors (as alternatives to Photoshop or iPhoto) on the main syllabus page.

Good luck on your Trek 03 adventures, stay safe and warm, and have a great weekend.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Course for Spring 2008

Hello, all.

Here is a brief description for an interesting new course being offered this Spring: "Action! Determining the Actor: Video, Performance and Installation." I'm including the announcement from the instructor, Kimberly Miller, as well as a link to a PDF flyer.


I'm writing to you as an adjunct new to UWM in spring
2008 to pass along my class info entitled 'Action!
Determining the Actor: Video, Performance and
Installation', FILM 203, LEC 303, Wed. 6-9.50pm. We
will examine how the forms of video & film,
performance art and installation determine the
subject, and how subject, language, action and public
are constructed and construct these genre. Artists
studied range from William Pope.L to Yvonne Rainer to
Yoko Ono to Bertoldt Brecht. There will also be a
final project due, as well as readings throughout the

No previous film or video class is required, nor is
the class limited to film students. I'd be happy to
share the syllabus with you, and if you'd be so kind,
please pass along this email or the attached course
description to anyone you may think would be

Thank you,
Kimberly Miller

Flyer PDF

Friday, November 9, 2007

2008 Wisconsin Film Festival

Madison, Wisconsin, USA
3 to 6 April 2008
the tenth year

Deadline for all submitted material is December 31, 2007.


Please help us reach out to filmmakers around the world by sharing this call for entries with others.

This four-day festival is set in ten downtown theaters, all within walking distance, in the heart of Madison, Wisconsin, the state’s capitol city. The Festival presents the best new American independent and world cinema (feature, documentary, experimental), restored films, and the work of Wisconsin filmmakers through juried competitions. Over 175 carefully selected films and an attendance of nearly 30,000 make this an extremely popular, lively event in a city known for its friendliness and eclectic culture.

Everyone in this business likes to show their flattering press quotes, and we’re no different. Here are a few comments that we’ve added to our web site:

“The festival is programmed very intelligently, not just to carbon-copy every other festival, but to have some very interesting choices.”
— Roger Ebert, film critic

“I’ve learned about how films are made by listening to directors… I’ve also learned about catching fish with bare hands, keeping chickens, and that it is possible to eat a shoe.”
— S.M.O., audience member

“The Wisconsin Film Festival…has a way of turning all of us into cinephiles, intrepid explorers of the cinematic medium.”
— Kent Williams, film critic

“A festival that has not lost its wonderment in the medium of film in all its shapes and sizes.”
— Jonathan Kable, filmmaker

“The Wisconsin Film Festival highlights the value—indeed, the necessity—of an actual living, breathing, laughing, and crying audience to the act of artistic creation.”
— G.G., audience member

“It has quickly grown into a destination event for fans looking for foreign films, independent dramas, shorts and restored classics that rarely, if ever, see the inside of a cineplex.”
— The Capital Times

“The weekend of the Wisconsin Film Festival is a real highlight for our entire extended family and friends. We fit in as many films as is physically and emotionally possible.”
— P.L., audience member

“You will discover independent films by visionary filmmakers telling stories in original and profoundly personal ways. You will leave the theater deeply affected by the movies.”
— Shepherd Express

Read full press coverage of the 2007 Wisconsin Film Festival online.

The Wisconsin Film Festival welcomes narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated films or videos of any length.

There are three categories:

* Open Reel (general submissions of any length, open to all)
* Wisconsin’s Own (films of any length from filmmakers with “Wisconsin ties”)
* Wisconsin Student Shorts (films under 60 minutes by Wisconsin college students or Wisconsin residents attending college in another state)

Is this festival right for my film?

We talk about whether films are “a good fit” for the Wisconsin Film Festival, because it’s hard to define or predict whether something will work in the program.

We present quality work that may not otherwise be seen in commercial theaters, and projects outside the mainstream film industry. We are looking for competence in the filmmaking craft; work that has vision and spirit; original subjects and well-told stories; and diverse voices.

The audience is terrific. Attendance in 2007 was 28,700 over just four days. Many folks have been coming since the beginning, and many make the Festival a priority on their spring calendar. We look for films that represent different facets of filmmaking, from polished productions to no-budget gems. Each year’s selection of films is a blend of significant pictures scouted from around the world, combined with smaller, under-the-radar works that illustrate a variety of filmmaking styles.

If your film is selected — that unpredictable “good fit” — we’ll work hard to ensure that your film is always safely cared for, that your screening is promoted equally in the Festival program, that we build a good audience, and that the screening is on time with the best possible picture and sound quality.

See last year’s complete film list for a sense of what makes up the Wisconsin Film Festival program.

How is the Wisconsin Film Festival different?

There are many festivals that share our same interest in sustaining what’s good about motion pictures. We’re not unique. But the Wisconsin Film Festival is frequently described as having a relaxed, informal atmosphere, which is certainly true.

We don’t do red carpets, gala events, or have VIP access. Why? Because the audience knows that what matters is what’s on screen. This Festival is about bringing great motion pictures — large and small — to Madison for well-organized screenings in front of enthusiastic (and usually sold-out) crowds. It’s not about celebrity culture or people paying to get special access. Ticket prices are low ($7, or $4 for students) and are available to all.

The theaters are all legit auditoriums, ranging from 155 seats to 1500+. We don’t use make-shift screening locations in places not suited for film. Whenever possible, films are screened on 35mm or 16mm (in 2007 there were seven film venues). Theaters dedicated to video are equipped for the Festival with high-quality professional projectors and decks that show clear, bright images (no HD, though). And all these theaters are close enough to easily walk between.

Some festivals rely entirely on submissions for their titles. Others barely bother. A portion of the Wisconsin Film Festival program always comes from this submission process, as part of our commitment to showcasing emerging talent.

There is no specific quota to be met in any category, nor in feature-length vs. short films. Each work is judged solely on its individual merit. Films shown in other festivals or in limited noncommercial exhibition are eligible. Preference is given to films without significant exposure in Wisconsin markets prior to the Festival.

We watch everything that is submitted. We do not farm out “prescreening” to others (for the Wisconsin categories there is a prescreening process by Festival staff before films are seen by the jury; see the downloadable guidelines for more info).

And we write original descriptions of each film for the program guide, because the audience wants to know what we like about yourmovie.

If your film is selected, a certain number of tickets to your film’s screening(s) will be reserved along with a ticket package for other films. We of course encourage anyone connected to the production to attend, but the Festival can only set aside a small number of tickets for each filmmaker. The Wisconsin Film Festival regrets that it is not able to financially support the travel expenses of all filmmakers. Acceptance of your film into the Festival program should not be interpreted as also including travel costs or other expenses.

More about the Wisconsin Film Festival.

A few details

Your film must have been completed after January 1, 2006.

You can submit more than one film, as long as each work meets the applicable criteria. Each film must have its own submission form, entry fee, and DVD/VHS tape.

The Festival will not consider:

1. Commercials or advertisements. Music videos. Educational, industrial, medical, or institutional films. Video games. Stand-alone trailers. Films with prior significant theatrical exhibition, commercial TV broadcast or webcast, or commercial video distribution.
2. Films submitted to the Wisconsin Film Festival in past years.
3. Films completed before January 1, 2006.
4. Work that will not be completed by February 15, 2008. The Festival does not include “works in progress” in its final program.

entry fees ($US):
Feature films (60 min. or more): $30
Short films (less than 60 min.): $20
Student films (any length): $10 (with photocopy of valid student ID)

Student status is counted when your film was created. If you made your film when you were a student, and have now graduated, you may still submit that film as a student.

Deadline for all submitted material is December 31, 2007.


Everyone will be notified of their film’s status (accepted or not accepted into the Festival) no later than February 15, 2008. At that time we’ll also notify any Wisconsin filmmakers who are receiving awards for their work.

Feel free to call (+1 877-963-3456 or +1 608-262-9009) or email if you have questions — we look forward to seeing your work.

Trek 03 Clarifications

A few quick clarifications on Trek 03. Pick a promising area you discovered on your previous walks to focus on for your material gathering sessions for Trek 03. This could be a particular site, a series of connected sites, a particular corridor/stage of your walk, or whatever. It must be specific, rich in possibility, and related in some way to your previous walks. What you do there and the types of footage/sounds you gather will depend on your answers to the Trek Assessments, your ten questions, and your Production Strategy.

You will then pull together three rough-cut sketches of image/sound experiments you are considering for development into your final sound video. Post them to your Trek 03 blog. Pick one (or blend two or more) of the ideas and refine into a well-considered piece.

Remember that this assignment is worth 350 points, so make it the best you possibly can. This means gathering LOTS of really FANTASTIC footage. Don't settle for trying to make the best out of only a few clips of somewhat boring material because that is all you had time to collect. Record much more than you think you will need.
(Imagine you are submitting this to a contest, say, the Wisconsin Film Festival, and the jurors are interested in seeing only your best work.)

Remember to backup your material. If you are using Avid, remember your OMFI folders.

Good luck on your Trek 03 walks. Stay warm and stay aware of your surroundings.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lecture Sound/Image B-91

Hello, all.

Remember that we are meeting tomorrow in B-91 for Lilly's lecture on image/sound relationships and editing. This will be a key element to launching Trek 03, so don't miss it.

Update on the Research Groups: Steve's Advanced Editing group and David's Video Technology group are full, so, for those who have yet to pick a group, choose among the remaining four. A clarification on the Moving Image Meditations group: maybe some of you were scared off by the "paper" assignments--they are actually more like short "book reports" for films. Not full-blown research essays, just personal meditations on what you saw that day.

The sign-up sheets are still on my door, and I'll bring them to class tomorrow.

Here is the link to the Research Groups.

By now your PantherFile allotments should have been increased. So, if you dumped files in an attempt to clear up room for your Trek 02 clips, please go back and re-upload your Trek 01 files so that the links on your blogs are complete and working. Even though you've already received your grades for Trek 01, we will be looking at all of the assignments throughout the semester, so please make sure all of your blogs are up-to-date.

Just a few words about deadlines: I'm happy to say that far more of you made the Trek 02 deadline than Trek 01. But some of you are still experiencing some fairly dramatic technical problems, and trying to troubleshoot these problems days or hours before deadline. While we urge you to try to fix things at home as best you can, at some point you need to go to Plan B, which could mean switching from Avid to Quicktime Pro, for example, or going to a computer in 353 or B18 (and posting your questions in the appropriate category on the Technical Forum).

What is most important is that you get the work done. That may involve using an alternative app or approach with which you are unfamiliar or one you dislike. As media artists, you will always be negotiating technology, for good or bad, and your success or failure depends on your ability to improvise and adjust to the situation at hand.

We talked about this a bit in class yesterday, but it's worth mentioning again how crucial it is to get a jump on your Trek 03 files as early as possible so that you will have time to troubleshoot well before any approaching deadlines.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Trek 02 Blogs due, Prep for Trek 03

Hello all.

I hope that your Trek 02 blogs are coming along, and I look forward to viewing all the final clips. Remember to make sure your Trek 02 blog exactly matches what is listed on the Course Directory.

We will meet Monday, November 5 in MUS 180 for an overview of Trek 03 and the Research Groups.

See you then.