Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bend & Bow at HotDocs

Our film "Bend & Bow" will have its world premiere at HotDocs Canadian International Film Festival on Saturday, April 26th at 9:30 p.m. It will screen with 13 other International Documentary Challenge finalists, and the winning films will be announced.

It looks like all six members of Profluence will be attending, so come say hello. Get your tickets early, though -- last year's event was sold out.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Doc Challenge Finalists

Here are the finalists for the International Documentary Challenge. (We are team number 5 on the list.) I'm really looking forward to the screening -- last year's event was sold-out.

1. All The Eights, 88
Team: Sholi
City/Country: Sydney, Australia
Genre: Biography/Character Study

2. Ars Magna
Team Juicebox
City/Country: Seattle, WA, USA
Genre: Biography/Character Study

3. The Art of Balance
Team: Surge Media
City/Country: New York, NY, USA
Genre: Sports

4. Beholder
Team: Boss and Coder 34
City/Country: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Genre: First Person

5. Bend & Bow
Team: Profluence Productions
City/Country: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Genre: Experimental

6. Click Whoosh
Team: Reel Grrrls
City/Country: Seattle, WA, USA
Genre: Historical

7. Ghost Bike
Team: Go!
City/Country: Toronto, ON, Canada
Genre: Art

8. I=me2
Team: Year of the Rooster
City/Country: Sherman Oaks, CA, USA
Genre: Experimental

9. Ice Fishing
Team: Rotating Planet
City/Country: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genre: Sports

10. Jetty
Team: Fly On The Wall
City/Country: Portland, OR, USA
Genre: Social Issue/Political

11. Meet The Freegans
Team: Shields Films
City/Country: Portland, OR, USA
Genre: Social Issue/Political

12. Pennywise: The Changing Face of Change
Team: Lucky Shot
City/Country: Silver Spring, MD, USA
Genre: Social Issue/Political

13. Red Light Blues
Team: Abrahami-Netz Productions
City/Country: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Genre: Social Issue/Political

14. Stick and Pound
Team: It Donned On Me
City/Country: Foster City, CA, USA
Genre: Art

These 14 finalists will screen on the evening of Saturday, April 26 at 9:30pm at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto where the Grand Prize Winner will be announced.


It has been a tough and unusual week. A little good news showed up this afternoon. So I say: Toronto Here We Come.

Breaking News

This just in: our short film made it into the finals of The International Documentary Challenge, so we'll be screening at HotDocs on April 26th. Details later tonight....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

No, Thank You

They seem to be filming a piece about the "junk shop" on First Avenue near my apartment. Which I'm all for. Good luck. I hope it goes well.

Perhaps they could put some identification on this flyer, though? A contact phone number? A company name? They've left these signs up for days, also, not just during the hours when I've seen the camera there. Are they shooting out the window onto the sidewalk? Is the camera hidden? Someone has scrawled "Is this legal?" on it. It would be nice if there was someone to ask.

Don't do stupid things that make the public suspicious of documentary filmmakers. Bring out your camera, and if you point it at someone and they say "no" then stop taping them. Have some respect. Don't just post flyers that make people think documentarians are out to pull a fast one.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

IDC Shoot

Over on my other blog -- New York Portraits -- I have a short account of what it was like to work on this year's International Documentary Challenge.

The amazing thing, of course, is that we had all six members of Profluence Productions again. Anthony Weeks flew in from across the country, and everyone moved their schedules around to make this work. I expect if we do it again next year, it might not be possible to have everyone here. Maybe the team will split in two. Maybe it will split into six. Or maybe we'll feel we've gotten all we can out of the process of making something for the Challenge.

If we do try once more, though, I think I should leave a few notes for next year while they are fresh in my mind:

First, since making a documentary in five days is crazy on the face of it, you've got to maximize editing time. We should choose projects that can be shot completely on Thursday night. Starting the edit Friday would be much better.

Second, a few days before the event we should have some technical practice. Everyone on the team knows how to work with cameras and audio, but we were overconfident. We used a camera that a few of us hadn't used much -- and had problems with a few basics. Once we got everything working, it was fine -- but it would be best to show up with everything dialed in.

Third, we need better lighting gear. We made it work fine -- I think our interview shots look great -- but being able to set up a softbox or shoot-through umbrella and a big white reflector would have been the way to go. We were saved by taking a long time and not settling until the shot looked good, but could have been much faster with the right equipment.

Above: Dana Bartle, somewhere in the NYC subway system.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

IDC Yet More

Haikugirl and Rackle also completed a film for the International Doc Challenge. Tons of respect to them -- that's not easy and it sounds like they were a two-person team.

I'll be curious to see how the numbers work out -- I believe 122 teams entered the competition, and some number can't complete their films in that time. It's a huge challenge, and anything from weather to any bad luck can stop a film in its tracks. I would guess over 100 will qualify, though, so I think the competition will be very tough....


Girl With a Movie Camera has a post about the process of making our little film. I'll have a few notes here (and on my other blog) and maybe a picture or two very soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


We finished our film. I think you'll like it.

Details soon....