April 2013 Archives

How to Sound Smart: Film Edition

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Evil Dead: A New Version of a Cult Classic

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The original The Evil Dead directed by Sam Raimi and featuring Bruce Campbell is a well known cult-classic in the horror genre. This was Raimi's directorial debut in 1981 and got the inexperienced director a lot of attention. The acting and low budget filming wasn't received the way it was intended - the audience found it funny and cheesy rather than scary. This ended up benefiting Raimi because he then got to make Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness, which portray Raimi's unique style of slapstick humour. Now, it is another director's turn to make his debut in the film industry- with the same movie title. Fede Alvarez makes his directorial debut with Evil Dead and luckily for Alvarez and his aundience, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell insisted on producing this remake to ensure that it does not flop like many remakes do.

A Movie-Goers Guide to Zombie Films

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Screen shot 2013-11-07 at 4.55.26 AM.pngAny zombie movie lover will tell you there is not simply one kind of zombie and you may have a preference. Firstly, it is important to define what qualifies as a zombie. In many zombie films there word "zombie" is never actually used, but it is safe to say it is a true zombie film. For example, there might be a sickness that causes a huge epidemic where the dead come back to life and are hungry for flesh. These are zombies. The word "zombie" may not ever be said during the film, but they are still the walking dead. Any situation where the dead come back to life can be considered zombies, but that is just one opinion.

Diverse Actor Makes His Way in Montreal

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Photo Credit: Eun Ju Lee

Kyle Gatehouse is a local actor in Montreal that has been building his career and experiences for many years now. He has experience with theatre, television and film working along side actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal and Canada's own Jay Baruchel. Gatehouse has a lot of accomplishments to be proud of already, but his career is just beginning.  He has built the foundation of his career here in Montreal, but now it appears time for this young actor to move onto bigger things.

Instruction Set: Movie Theatre Etiquette

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Interview with local film director: Mariane Laporte

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Interview by Jordano Aguzzi

 

Q: How did you get involved in the film/video industry in Montreal and
what is your current job?

A: I got involved in the cinema industry in Montreal two years ago

through my friend (now boyfriend) Cody Larocque. He had been working

as a gaffer/swing/grip for a year and he referred me to a producer.

I started mostly as a camera intern and a data wrangler. My current

job is freelance second camera assistant and first camera assistant.

Also, I am currently employed at La Cinématèque Québécoise in Film and

Video preservation/cataloguing. Last summer, I archived 16mm NFB films

after analyzing their condition on the Steenbeck.

I am also hoping to direct more music videos and short films in the

future. I recently shot a music video for Diamond Bones Band (Home is

Where). It is featuring a contemporary dancer from New York and a

model from Montreal. We got a good reception and recognition from a

few blogs, which is great and encouraging.

I also just finished directing a 16mm short film named «Beau comme

dans les films» about a 12 year old girl's fantasies. The movie is set

in the 90s and takes place during her birthday party and at school.

 

Q: Did you have to work your way up in the ranks in order to do what you do?

A: Yes and no. I was lucky enough to not have to work as a production

assistant on more than one or two shoots. I hate that position because

the camera department is my main interest and you don't get to hang out

with these guys when you're a newbie.

 

Q: What is your main ambition in the industry, and what goals do you

hope to eventually achieve?

A: My main ambitions are to get my AQTIS and IATSE [Union credit] camera assistant

trainings. Also, I am considering doing a master in film restoration

at the Selznick School of Film Preservation. I would also like to keep

on directing films and videos on the side and maybe push forward «Les

Productions Lost & Found» with my friends and collaborate on wonderful

projects.

 

Q: What are a few recent projects you worked on?

A: I have recently worked on an NFB interactive documentary named

«Insomnie» and a Jimmy Lee web serie screened on LibTv called «Sale

Gueule» as a 1st camera assistant.

 

Q: Who are your main artistic influences for your work?

A: My artistic influences for directing are people like Sofia Coppola,

Todd Solondz, Gus Van Sant and most of the Japanese and Chinese

contemporary filmmakers (Wong Kar Wai, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Zhang Yang,

etc.) For camera assisting, there are some big names who wrote books like

Doug Hart and blogs like Evan Luzi (theblackandblue).

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Breaking Through the Structure

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A Profile on Local Director: Mariane Laporte

By Jordano Aguzzi

Mariane's goal had always been to work as a professional in the camera department. On a professional film set, there are a multitude of roles and departments that involve numerous workers. The camera department, often a male-dominated realm, had always been Mariane's interest. Through determination and sheer reluctance to be swayed by her gender, Laporte made it her goal to break into the camera department.

Mariane Laporte is a young and ambitious motion picture professional based out of Montreal, Quebec. Growing up in Joliette, Quebec, Laporte moved away from her small town to Montreal in order to pursue her profession and passion of filmmaking. Small in stature but not in ambition, Laporte's skills grew exponentially as she was introduced into the local film industry at the early age of 20.

Prior to her work in the industry, Mariane worked on a few independent films and won awards as a member of the Concordia team in the provincial media production tournament, "La Jeux des Communications." Afterwards, she worked as camera operator on the independent short film, "Four Left on the Chessboard," a black and white mockumentary film set in the late 1960's. Her camera work proved to be extraordinary, and the film helped her gain attention amongst colleagues and professionals in the Concordia film community.

Eventually, she worked her way up in the film industry from a Production Assistant, to a 2ndassistant camera operator, until now where she works as a 1st assistant camera operator. The role of 1st assistant camera operator offers many challenges; you are the go-to assistant for the director of photography, in charge of keeping the film in focus, keeping the gear clean and tidy, making sure the camera and accessories function properly, and keeping lenses clean from dust and dirt.

It is a highly technical position reserved often for people who have worked for years and have grown accustom to the tricks in the trade. Mariane was promoted to this role at the age of 21. As not only one of the youngest, but also as one of the few female 1st assistant camera operators, she has worked on numerous medium to large scale productions, including multi-camera shoots in which she was responsible for all cameras.

Furthermore, as if work as an assistant camera operator wasn't enough, Mariane has proved to excel as a director as well. Having been the creative force behind Diamond Bones' hallucinatory music video for "Home is Where," Laporte proves that creative excellence also grows out of hard work and discipline to her practice. The music video portrays two mythical dancers in a dreamscape, trying to touch one another but never coming into contact. The music video gained success in the blogosphere, often praised for its hallucinatory dreamscape which matched perfectly with the band's ambient sound.

Using this music video as the foundation for her future work, Mariane set out to direct and write her own short film. Beau Comme Dans Les Films is a personal story set in the late 90's about a young girl attempting to deal with her big high school crush, the boy who she is convinced will marry her. The film is currently in post-production.

As talented as she is in both the technical and creative elements of film production, Mariane co-founded the production collective, Lost & Found, thus proving to be a triple threat in the industry: production, photography and direction. Though the industry is often criticized for being too hierarchical, Mariane has built a solid foundation for growth. 

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