Category Archives: News

Death Cab For Cutie Screens Innovative “Directions” Anthology

“DIRECTIONS,” the innovative anthology from Death Cab for Cutie, will screen at Marquee (289 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10001) on Thursday, May 4th at 8 p.m. to coincide with the Tribeca Film Festival. The band will be in attendance and the screening will be hosted by Will Arnett of “Arrested Development” and John Krasinski of “The Office.”

The collection includes 13 short films – one for each of the band’s 11 songs from its new “Plans” album and two bonus films – that were created by different directors and artists selected by the band and its label, Atlantic Records. The videos were unveiled one by one on the band’s website, www.deathcabforcutie.com, starting in January, and released on DVD on April 11th. “DIRECTIONS” is also available through iTunes.

All of the directors and artists enlisted to work on the unprecedented collection were given free reign to explore their imaginations. Death Cab for Cutie itself did not appear in the films, but the ultimate goal was to create a series of shorts that worked together as both individual pieces of art and as a unified whole.

For “Summer Skin,” Lightborne proposed the story of childhood lost as told through the lives of white-collar 9-5 working stiffs. Water coolers, data entry, and melancholy complacency are revealed through children acting out the typical American workday and set against idle playgrounds and empty pools. While viewing their interactions, we understand that they have resigned to their inevitable future of being grown ups.

Lightborne handled the project from concept to completion, drawing upon the diverse backgrounds of its directors and designers. www.light-borne.com

Watch: Death Cab For Cutie “Summer Skin”

Among the other filmmakers contributing to “DIRECTIONS” are Director Lance Bangs; Director P.R. Brown; stop-frame animation maestro Ace Norton; acclaimed graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown; longtime Death Cab photographer Autumn de Wilde; writer/director Rob Schrab; music video directors Laurent Briet and Monkmus, as well as Aaron Stewart-Ahn, co-creator of “DIRECTIONS.”


“Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” Maximizes Super 16mm Origination With 2K Digital Intermediate Workflow at Postworks, New York

New York — PostWorks, New York, the east coast’s most comprehensive full-service film and High Definition post facility, today detailed its supporting role in delivering director Michel Gondry’s concert film, “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.” Focus Features debuted the film theatrically on Mar. 3.

Produced by Bob Yari Productions, the concert portions of the film were lensed on location in Brooklyn by acclaimed cinematographer Ellen Kuras, a three-time Sundance Film Festival Cinematography Award winner. The director and DP captured the film’s performances on Super 16mm film stock. Among many critical services provided by PostWorks, colorist Scot Olive worked directly with the filmmakers to color-grade the 2K Digital Intermediate (DI), which became the source for all the film’s picture deliverables.

“PostWorks is a ‘Gold Star’ vendor for us,” said Ben Urquhart, director of post production for Focus Features and Rogue Pictures. “Their client relations and technology are top notch. Ellen, Scot, and the PostWorks crew worked very hard to create the specialized look of the film, and it’s important to me that those efforts are visible to BLOCK PARTY audiences around the world. Often times the color science at the DI facility doesn’t interface well with the photochemical laboratory, but after minimal adjustments, the 35mm prints were very nice. I’ve received compliments on the prints at every screening we’ve had.”

Post-production on the film began at PostWorks in Oct. 2005. PostWorks provided an Avid Media Composer 9000 for the last stage of offline editorial to editors Jeff Buchanan and Sarah Flack. The 2K DI process involved scanning the camera original Super 16mm negative using PostWorks’ new Grass Valley Spirit 2K. George Bunce conformed the 2K data files in Quantel iQ, and Scot Olive then used the Pandora Pogle PiXi system in conjuction with iQ’s 2K playback capability to color grade in real-time on the 16’x9’ screen in PostWorks’ DI Theater. The finished film was recorded to 35mm Kodak Negative Stock via Arri Laser. Custom look-up-tables (LUTs) were built to allow for release printing on Fuji 3513DI stock.

More information on “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” is available on its official website: www.chappellesblockparty.com

PostWorks’ DI capabilities include the editing of picture and sound, color-grading, and handling of visual effects completely within the digital realm. Recent DI clients include Phil Morrison’s “Junebug,” Griffin Dunne’s “Fierce People,” Spike Lee’s contribution to UNICEF’s “All the Invisible Children,” the 2004 Academy Award-nominated films “Asylum,” “Capturing the Friedmans,” “My Architect” and Oscar winner “The Fog of War,” as well as IFC Films’ 2003 Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee “A Decade Under the Influence” and dozens of theatrical spots, trailers and international broadcast campaigns. PostWorks’ team also made major contributions to 2006 Oscar winner “The Moon and the Son,” 2005 Oscar winner “Born Into Brothels,” 2005 Oscar nominee “Tupac: Resurrection,” 2005 Sundance Film Festival American Documentary Grand Jury Prize-winner “Why We Fight,” 2005 Sundance American Documentary Audience Award-winner “Murderball” and 2003 Oscar winner “Bowling for Columbine,” among many other high-profile film, teleision and short-form projects.


“Above The Line: The Search For America’s Next Music Video Director” Partners With Gorilla 3.0 Production Software For Reality Show

Los Angeles, CA – Jungle Software(http://www.junglesoftware.com) and Shrivastava Media Group (http://www.thesmediagroup.com) announced an exclusive partnership today to provide Gorilla 3.0 production software for contestants on the reality show “Above The Line: The Search For America’s Next Music Video Director” (http://www.nextmvdirector.com).

“Above The Line” features two teams of seven potential directors pitted against each other in a series of production related challenges for the ultimate prize of shooting a high-budget music video for a major artist and signing a year-long director representation contract with a well-known music video production company. Each episode will focus around the teams attempting to shoot a music video for an emerging artist on a $30,000 budget. Gorilla 3.0 will be the program the contestants use to plan their production schedules, production budgets, and organize their locations, cast and crew.

A trial download of the Gorilla software is available at JungleSoftware. “Above The Line” is scheduled to start shooting in Los Angeles at the end of May 2006. Contestant submission details can be found at NextMVDirector.


Film and Television Technical Pioneer Joe Beirne Joins PostWorks, New York

New York — PostWorks, New York, the east coast’s most comprehensive full-service film and High Definition post facility, today announced that film and television technical pioneer and producer Joe Beirne has joined the firm in the new position of senior technical advisor. In making the announcement, PostWorks’ chief operating officer Rob DeMartin said that the appointment is effective immediately.

The technical supervisor on Michael Moore’s award-winning “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Martin Scorsese’s “No Direction Home,” and Eugene Jarecki’s 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “Why We Fight,” Beirne has also produced projects ranging from M&Co’s groundbreaking Talking Heads video “(Nothing but) Flowers” to Godfrey Reggio’s “NAQOYQATSI,” the all-digital conclusion to the film trilogy which began with “KOYAANISQATSI.”

“As our volume of DI work expands, our film clients have grown in numbers and in their level of technical knowledge,” DeMartin said. “Joe has been working as a consultant with clients at that level for many years, and as a regular PostWorks client, he has been integral in resolving some of the most challenging issues we’ve faced over the past few years. In his new role for PostWorks, Joe will ensure that we remain at the forefront of technology, and that the latest innovations will benefit our clients.”

“I had come to regard Postworks as one indispensable resource for my film clients, and am genuinely thrilled to be asked to join the company at this point in its history,” Beirne said. “Postworks has developed an enviably balanced capability that combines big-iron film and tape post muscle with an open and flexible, data-focused workflow. I really admire the people and the results-oriented tech culture here: They just get it.”

A New York City native, Beirne was educated at New York’s Cooper Union and is an active member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM/SIGGRAPH).

Post Works, New York


Gregg Simon Directs KIDZ BOP Music Videos

The number one children’s music brand, KIDZ BOP has voted to introduce its innovative collection of popular songs for kids as sung by kids on a DVD collection entitled “Kidz Bop: The Music Videos,” and director Gregg Simon was awarded three of the ten videos for the project.

Music Video Wire: What was the process of being awarded this project?

Gregg Simon: I was contacted by Aaron Brotherton at Razor and Tie. They initially told me about the very successful Kidz Bop project they had been doing for a number of years. They do a CD compilation of popular radio songs with kids performing them, and it’s a really popular, huge selling product for them. In fact, they just recently came out with Kidz Bop Eight.

They had an idea where they wanted to take the greatest hits from all the Kidz Bops – one through ten tracks and make music videos of all of them. They were reaching out to different production companies and asked me if I wanted to submit some ideas. I submitted a bunch of concepts for them and wound up getting three of the ten videos, which was really exciting. We were awarded “Break Away,” “All Star,” and “Skater Boy.” They really liked the concept [for the video], because it was really geared toward a higher-end music video, such as an “MTV” type project, instead of a “little kid’s thing” you might see on “Sesame Street” or something like that. I didn’t want to talk down to kids on this. I wanted to give them something that felt like a real music video that they can aspire and relate to.

MVW: Were all three of the videos shot consecutively?

GS: Pretty much… we shot “Skater Boy” and “All Star” over the course of a weekend, and then we shot the “Break Away” video in Chung King Studios in downtown Manhattan the following Friday.

The other issue was that the first two videos were so well received that I got a call from the record label on Monday asking us to do a behind-the-scenes extra for the DVD (making of the video). We also had to edit all this behind-the-scenes footage from all three videos down to a three-to-five-minute segment on the DVD, so it was a pretty tight schedule.

MVW: How was the working relationship with Michael Huss, the DP?

GS: He was great. When I got out of school, he took me under his wing and shot my first short film, “The Final Resolution.” It was a finalist in Project Green Light. He’s shot a lot of my work. He’s just really a terrific DP and a mentor to me. I really enjoyed working with him on this project, and he really enjoys working with children as well.

MVW: What cameras did you use to shoot these three videos?

GS: The “Skater Boy” and the “All Star” video were both daytime exteriors, so we weren’t concerned with light in terms of exposure. Both videos were shot on the DVX 100a, shooting 24p. We had a dolly, but a lot of it was hand held. We wanted that. We were shooting with a skinny shutter too. You see more of that strobing sharpe effect, and it just creates more energy to the image. That’s what we wanted to do. For example, with “Skater Boy,” there was a lot of skating going on. There was a band performance too, and we really wanted to amp up the energy. With the “All Star” video, there’s no performance, but there’s a basketball game being played as sort of the main piece for the narrative. All the fans were watching and cheering, and that gave us a lot of energy to work with as well. It was definitely a conscious decision to shoot that hand held as much as possible in order to give that amped up energy to the visuals.

The “Break Away” video was totally different. It was a much more intimate piece, where we went back and forth between a sort of intimate stylized band performance and a recording studio, so we used this sort of home video DV camera behind the scenes. We even let the kids shoot some of it themselves. Anyway, we used a hand held on the home video stuff. For the intimate stylized performance, we wanted to use the T&S Technique adapter that allows you to attach 35 mm prime lenses to a mini DV camera because we wanted to create a much more shallow depth of field. We wanted to make the candles in the background softer and put our energy towards either the singer or whatever we were focusing on in that particular shot.

MVW: What was it like working with children?

GS: They were great. Kids are fun, because acting and the film world and all that is all playing, and kids love to play. It’s great directing people that are really excited to come to set, play, and try things out. They don’t have ego issues or worry about how they look. They just want to go out there and have fun. Sometimes artists are very concerned about things like, “Why are you putting the camera there, this side is my best side.” You have to reassure them and tell them you know how to photograph them to look great. You have to tell them to just have a little trust in you, tell them, “That’s why you hired me in the first place.” But kids don’t bring that stuff up to you. You put the camera where ever you want. You shoot them, and they are happy to be there and give their all.