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FIVE QUESTIONS WITH “FIRST WINTER” DIRECTOR BEN DICKENSON

To properly evoke the apocalyptic landscape and tone of his directorial debut, filmmaker Benjamin Dickinson lived like he filmed – amidst the chilling rural winter that his characters find themselves trapped within. Opting to forgo electricity and even food while filming the movie’s most desperate sequences, Dickinson and his crew lend what should prove to be a hard won authenticity to First Winter.
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DAMON RUSSELL, “SNOW ON THA BLUFF”

The line separating documentary and narrative film aesthetics has never been more porous than it is now, but Damon Russell’s revelatory Snow on tha Bluff lives comfortably on that line. An incredible combination of found footage, no-budget narrative ingenuity and pulled-from-the-streets doc immediacy, it discovers in its incredibly charismatic and troubled protagonist, Curtis Snow, an American life many of us would probably rather forget about.
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THE ‘BLUE VELVET’ PROJECT, #104

Second #4888, 81:28 The red, terrifying beauty of the bridge truss as Frank and his gang take Dorothy and Jeffrey on a joy ride “out to the fuckin’ country.” These shots of the truss underside, bathed in light that may as well emanate from hell, are a sort of reverse-universe visual analogy of the earlier nighttime shots of the underside of trees as Jeffrey walks down his street. In Robert Bolaño’s novel 2666, in the section “The Part about the Critics,” each of the three main characters has a different and disturbing dream on the same night: Espinoza dreamed about the painting of the desert.
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COULD YOU BE LOVED: KEVIN MACDONALD’S “MARLEY”

At first it seems curious that the starting point of this brilliant, definitive documentary about the late Jamaican reggae sensation Bob Marley is archival footage of Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, the facility from which 60 million Africans were crammed through the Door of No Return to commence lives of total servitude in the West.  Marley was the offspring of a black Jamaican mother and a white English father (who posed as a captain), whom he met only a handful of times. In the film there is no mention of slavery in the family history.
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YOUTUBE ALLOWS DIRECT KICKSTARTER, INDIEGOGO LINKING

Big news for crowdfunders — Google announced today that YouTube videos can now be directly linked to projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Actually, in Google speak, that’s “Using annotations to help fund your creative projects.”) Given the expansive reach of the user-generated video giant, this means that many more eyeballs will land on projects seeking coin on these platforms. From Google’s announcement: Over the past year, crowdsourced fundraising has exploded as great way to raise money for creative projects.
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BRAVE NEW WORLDS: ON TRANSMEDIA WORLDBUILDING

A linear story had a linear workflow, but now we’re in a nonlinear immersive space,” explained production designer Alex McDowell at a recent Flux 5D event titled “Digital Design and World-building in the Narrative Media Landscape” held at the University of Southern California March 13, 14 and 15, 2012.