The greatest challenge for a non-profit is to get the message out. And often the best way to do that is with a video shared on the social networks and with supporters – with the hope it goes viral. But creating one can cost more than a non-profit budget can spare.
A problem the production company, Public Interest Pictures, solved for eight Los Angeles non-profits with the Non-Profit Short Film Festival. They brought together eight teams of professional filmmakers to create short inspirational videos for each non-profit, and in just 48 hours the results were spectacular.
I attended the film festival in downtown Los Angeles – at the HUB LA - and walked away motivated to learn more about each non-profit. My favorite was the glean club, Food Forward, that organizes volunteer parties to pick fruit in the city. Southern California is a former agricultural powerhouse and the ruins of that empire are everywhere. Every neighborhood has a lemon and orange tree with a sprinkling of avocado, persimmon, grapefruit, and more.
A better explanation is in the video from the film festival:
There are six more videos from the festival each with a great message. They should do wonders for each group when shared on the internet. And for those in attendance the event was great fun, with the crowd hooting and hollering for each non-profit. Plus, many of those filmed in the videos were there – including the latino family from the children’s video below. The little girl was so excited to see herself on the big screen.
It was an inspirational event from Public Interest Pictures - who has made previous social interest films Hacking Democracy and Broadcast Blues - and I hope they continue it next year.
Since its inception 42 years ago, Comic-Con International has been a celebration of fanboy culture. When geek became the new cool, it also worked as a marketing platform for Hollywood and video game makers. Now, it’s the place where the television industry comes to build buzz for new shows and reward the audiences of established ones.
More than 80 television series courted the crowds at Comic-Con last year with premieres, panels and promotional events. This year in San Diego, the numbers are just as high – and the visibility even greater.
“It’s become a tentpole for us,” says Richard Licata, executive vice president, communications, for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television, echoing the sentiments of many network and studio marketing and publicity heads. “It’s the Super Bowl of response.”
Timing has something to do with it; the dates of Comic-Con make it a perfect place to preview fall shows. Corralling the talent is also a breeze - television has no Sundance or Cannes, making Comic-Con one of the few places on the planet where a television writer is treated like a rock star by screaming thousands.
More glimpses of some epic street battle of 100s of people…
“The Dark Knight Rises” in theaters July 20 – Facebook
Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars
Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle
Tom Hardy, as Bane
Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake
Returning to the main cast:
Oscar winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred
Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon
Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.
In the ’80s, when you wanted big hair you whipped out the Aqua Net. But it wasn’t so easy for animators. The Little Mermaid‘s Princess Ariel was meant to sport curls, but the technology just wasn’t there in 1989—rendering that kind of bounce and frizz, cel after hand-drawn cel, was all but impossible. Now, though, animated big hair is finally on the big screen in Disney/Pixar’s Brave.
The movie centers on Merida, a feisty Scottish princess on a quest to save her kingdom from a curse. To illustrate her fiery spirit, filmmakers wanted Merida’s locks to spring off the screen—”Curly hair almost defies gravity,” simulation supervisor Claudia Chung says—but Pixar’s old CG hair simulator (used in 2001′s Monsters, Inc.) wasn’t up to the task.
So in 2009 Chung’s team designed a new simulator named Taz, after the wild Looney Tunes character. It forms individual coils around computer-generated cylinders of varying lengths and diameters. The resulting locks stretch out when Merida runs but snap back into place as soon as she stops. Each strand is also strung through with a flexible “core curve,” like the string of a beaded necklace, that lets the coils bounce and brush against one another without unwinding.
Vimeo has always sought to differentiate itself as a platform for high-quality video content. Now the IAC-owned video platform is now adding features to help creators enhance their videos and make even them more attractive to viewers.
The latest update makes a big push around improving videos by adding soundtracks, and it’s got two main product announcements along those lines:
First, it’s rolling out a cloud-based “Enhancer” tool that will let users make changes to their videos without having to edit them on the desktop and re-upload. The main point of the tool for now is the ability for creators to instantly add music to their videos, straight from the Vimeo web site. In addition to adding music, they can also update audio levels and control the start- and end-point of a song.
Second, is the addition of nearly 4,000 new soundtrack options from new music partner SmartSound. Those options come on top of the 50,000 titles already available through Vimeo’s soundtrack tool, but provide more flexibility than existing options. For $1.99 per song for a personal license and $19.99 for a commercial license, users can create customized soundtracks of SmartSound songs. That includes the ability to control the length, musical arrangement and instrument mix of those 4,000 SmartSound tracks.
Vimeo continues to try to define itself as the place for artsy independent video producers to showcase their goods.
What makes a great story? For legendary filmmaker Ken Burns, the answer is both complicated and personal. In this short documentary about the craft of storytelling, he explains his lifelong mission to wake the dead.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald presents the first authorized portrait of the icon in an attempt to reveal the man behind the myth. Featuring interviews with family members and close associates, Marley is a cinematic elegy paying tribute to the musician’s philosophical convictions and social idealism.
Macdonald chronicles Marley’s life from an impoverished start in a Jamaican shack through his rise to stardom, subsequent political interventions at the triumphant One Love Peace Concert in 1978, conversion to Rastafarianism and tragic denouement in a snowy Bavarian clinic seeking treatment for the melanoma which was to kill him in 1981 at the young age of 36.
Shot predominantly in the verdant Jamaican hills and set to the soundtrack of much-loved Marley classics, Macdonald’s documentary is imbued with a romance befitting the enduring global appeal and overwhelming cultural value of the reggae colossus.