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Friday, July 20, 2007

Peter Hawley (Flashpoint Film Co-Chair) Interviews Danny Boyle

Flashpoint's own Peter Hawley (Film Department Co-Chair) interviewed film director Danny Boyle about his new film "Sunshine" which opens in the US today, as well as asking him some non-specific filmmaking related questions of interest to all. Great job Peter! You can
go to Peter's blog to read all about how the interview went here and you can watch the whole 9 and a half minute interview here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hollywood Midwest?

Chicago is, more often than not, becoming a place for major features to be shot, screened
and premiered. It's an easy trip for both the California and Texas film communities, as well
as the New York based community. People in the media arts, who live in Chicago, are
at the start of something great. The more connected that the world gets, the faster that
the internet connections get, the better we are positioned to not only host the live action
component of a film, but also the post production aspect. Is Hollywood going to go out and totally abandon the post community out there in favor of one here? Not by a longshot. However, the more affordable and talented that Chicago area houses become, and the more efficient and
cost-effective the post work becomes, the more that studios shooting here will choose
to off-load some of the post work here. It makes sense. We, as a post production community, need to be ready to go after this work and handle it with care, creativity and efficiency. If we do, then more and more work will gladly come from out of state, even if, believe it or not, there isn't live action being shot here. Think about it: more work is being done in Canada than
anyone ever thought would go there. Why? Only one answer: IT'S A LOT CHEAPER. Studios
are businesses. They will sell your grandmother to save some money (maybe even their own grandmother!). We need to be honest about pricing, competitive, at the top of our game,
but not unrealistic about how much work is valued. If we go too far in the direction of reducing cost, than all we do is wipe out our post production community so that the studios save some money. It's a delicate balance. What are your thoughts on how to walk that tightrope?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Danny Boyle: As much Energy as the Sun!

Two nights ago a bunch of us from Flashpoint Academy went to a screening (a week before
the film's release) of Director Danny Boyle's new film "Sunshine". Attending the screening
were myself, Simeon Peebler who is Chair of Game Development, Paula Froehle who is the Academic Dean, Peter Hawley who is Co-Chair of the Film Department and a student of his
by the name of Dan.

The film "Sunshine" is about a time, 50 or so years in the future, when our sun is dying. Our world
(which we never see until the very last shot of the film) is a cold and doomed planet.
A group (the second group, actually) of pioneering astronauts are heading to the sun
to deliver a warhead that will blow up the sun, causing a chain-reaction, that they hope
will give it new life and energy.

The film screening was held by Capone, AKA Steve Prokopy, from Aint It Cool News.

Steve asked some brilliant questions and made some fantastic observations, including the
one he opened with. This comment was about the fact that it seemed that there were only
"brainiacs" on the space ship. He (and the audience in attendance) seemed to think that
this was the most accurate way to depict the story, since a trip as important as this one
would only work, if at all, with the world's best minds at the helm.

The film was fantastic, and actually made you care about all the characters, even the ones
who are "bad". The visual effects, by London's The Moving Picture Company (MPC), are very
well done, totally believable, and serve to give tension and drama to the film that relies,
at it's core (excuse the pun), on something that doesn't exist anywhere except in computers
at MPC.

We had a great time, and very much look forward to watching Danny Boyle's next film.