Friday, April 22, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
After an evening with Elizabeth Avellán, there was an air of hope whistling through the rafters of the film industry. To be in the presence of such a successful woman in film, was truly the best way to celebrate culture, humanity and the love of cinema! The Benson Latin American Collection's 9th annual ¡A Viva Voz! also featured an art showcase with items from various productions that were filmed at Troublemaker Studios, items from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema and Cine las Americas. To top off a fabulous night, guests were provided with delicious refreshments from El Meson. It was a fabulous night!..........
Avellán was introduced by Dr. Charles Ramirez-Berg, a favorite among the students in the School of Communications at the University of Texas. Ramirez-Berg took a few minutes to emphasize the importance of Avellán’s work and her approach to film making. Filmmaking is an intricate mesh of creativity and business, this is not an easy task to balance. Film costs are high, money and time are precious resources, and the mix of these pressures sometimes triggers fears and ignites explosive tempers. He then talked about his experience on her film sets, saying that “There is so much difference on her sets when compared to other sets; people were working hard, happy and content, and there were no shouting matches.” He said that working with Avellán was very organic. Most importantly, he said that “In a business with a bottom line, Avellán treats people with respect, diligence, successfully combining professionalism with humanity.” These aspects of working in the film industry are often overlooked, and Avellán’s work is a new corner stone in a world of business that is dominated by men.
Avellán spoke of other experiences of discrimination that were directed towards her from male co-workers, but in the end she utilized these instances to create a better mode of production. She said that “being a producer is like being a mom.” A producer has to contend with 150 people who have relationships, children, careers, and various other problems. These situations may not be important to the film, but they affect the labor produced by each employee and these problems need to be solved with care. There will always be bad apples in the working world, but Avellán suggested that filmmakers find good people who have values similar to their own, treat them right and they may turn out to be life long allies.
The over all message received was just a lovely reminder of the golden rule, treat people the way you wish to be treated. Avellán has contributed so much to the film industry and she is a shining example of how hard work and perseverance really do pay off. Her attitude, work ethic, and dedication set a beautiful example for women and men alike. It is so good to know that people like her are leading the way to a new future in film! was touched by such a loving introduction, talked with the crowd of her experiences. Her family was raised in the film industry. moved to the United States from Venezuela. She worked hard to learn English, finished high school, and was even accepted to Rice University at 16. As a young adult, she encountered
Monday, April 4, 2011
This Thursday is screening/workshop night. We will be showing two short films and reading two short scripts. These meetings are about sharing and giving caring feedback to fellow filmmakers in our warm, friendly atmosphere. It’s got good energy, people. (And might I add, it’s free entertainment…) Take a break from your studying and come celebrate the fact that, come Thursday, there are only four weeks and one day of classes left.
Not next week, but NEXT next week (4/21):
It’s our Art Department/Production Design meeting with special guests Jeanette Scott and Amy Maner. We’re lucky to have these gals! If you haven’t been to one of our meetings featuring guest speakers, you’re missing out, kids. They’ve got stories that you won’t find in textbooks and invaluable first-person advice. (We will also be celebrating the fact that there are only TWO weeks and one day of classes left.)Jeanette Scott is pretty much the go-to Set Decorator on the big films that come to town “and then some,” as Kat Candler says. Her resume includes “Cedar Rapids,” “Grindhouse,” “Sin City” (also served as Art Director), “Man of the House,” “Spy Kids,” “Double Jeopardy,” “Selena” and most recently, “The Tree of Life,” starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. Scott, a UT psychology grad, has been decorating sets for about 30 years.
Amy Maner wears many hats: actress, writer, director, producer and costumer. She has served as Costume Supervisor on notable feature films such as “8 Seconds,” “Miss Congeniality,” “Stop Loss,” “Push,” “Spy Kids,” “Shorts,” “The Ringer,” and “Fireflies in the Garden.” “Her Lubbock Lights,” Maner’s documentary on her hometown’s rich music heritage, premiered at SXSW in 2003 and has played festivals all over the world, collecting accolades along the way. Currently, Maner is in pre-production as Associate Producer on “The Broken,” slated for release in 2012.
Also, at this meeting we will be discussing more details concerning our Summer Production Camp. Mark your calendars; it’s going to be a good one!