g The Film Panel Notetaker: Buffalo Movie-Video Makers November 2007 Meeting

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Buffalo Movie-Video Makers November 2007 Meeting

The Buffalo Movie-Video Makers has been around for nearly three quarters of a century. It may be the oldest movie making club in the country. I was a member of this club back in 2000 when I was living in the Buffalo area. Since moving to New York City, I have kept in touch with the current BMVM President Phil Utech. Phil and I worked on a short fantasy/horror film about a mythical banshee during my short tenure at BMVM. It was a much larger undertaking then we imagined at the time, so our project was never completed. Somewhere in Western New York, footage from this unfinished work lurks, perhaps someday to be resurrected for all to see. Luckily, there’s a website devoted to stills and behind-the-scenes images from the film here to whet your appetite. I now welcome you to partake in some notes I took at the November BMVM meeting, the first meeting I’ve attended in nearly seven years.

(L to R) BMVM Tech Tips Presenter Fred Calandrelli and BMVM President Phil Utech

Buffalo Movie-Video Makers
November Meeting
November 11, 2007
The Screening RoomAmherst, NY

Special Focus on the 2007 48 Hour Film Project

Filmmakers who participated in the 48 Hour Film Project held in Buffalo earlier this year presented their winning short films. The filmmakers were required to comply with specific rules laid out by the 48 Hour Film Project in order to qualify. Each filmmaker was given his or her own genre or category, but the general rules applied to everyone. For a complete list of rules, click here.

Life’s Elixir by Emil J. Novak (Ollagnod Productions)
WINNER: Best Use of Character & Best Musical Score

Dan Gallo, who produced, wrote and acted in Life’s Elixir as the scientist said his team was lucky enough to pull the silent film category. They wrote an outline of the story and shot the film at his house, just a few blocks away from the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site on Delaware Avenue. One of the rules in their category was that they could only play piano music. They went to Phil Utech for the score. Phil gave them 10 pieces of piano music from which to choose. The editor put the music to the film. The film was shot pretty much in continuity. The assignment started at 7pm on Friday and ended at 7pm on Sunday. They had to make decisions really quickly. By the time they submitted the film, they only had 15 minutes to spare. Emil Novak, the film’s director, said that if there was more time, they would have included some great cutaway shots. They went for the classic, silent movements.

Final Cut by Matthew Lorentz (Idle Entertainment)
WINNER: Best Editing

Matthew Lorentz said they pulled the horror/comedy category. They didn’t have a lot to work with. It was shot like a documentary. What happens in the film is really what happens. All the dialogue was ad-libbed. They shot it entirely on Saturday. Lorentz also edited the film.

The Signal by Reed Rankin (RPM)
WINNER: Best Use of Prop

Reed Rankin said they pulled the detective genre. They had a six-person team. They spent three to four hours brainstorming on Friday night. They came up with an idea that the invention would have something to do with a signal. By 11pm, they had their idea fleshed out. Reed sat up writing the script until 4am. The next morning, they started shooting in a warehouse on Seneca Street. They shot the roof scene first because they needed the daylight. Reed said there was a lot he would have done differently. Certain shots were covered up with cutaways.

Tech Tips by Fred Calandrelli

BMVM member Fred Calandrelli, who has worked in commercial film production for many years, presented a comparison of film and video. Fred said the reason he made this presentation was to show the radical changes in technology and the way we do production. He discussed several factors that differentiate the film from the video process. Those factors include cost, sound, exposure, preparation, and editing. He then showed a commercial he made a while back for Adelphia cable called Sprockets: The Making of ‘Cable Theft’ & The Film Experience.

Shorty Contest Winners

Amongst the honorable mention winners of The Shorty Contest (which was presented at the October meeting) were John Weiksnar’s Heli-o-Rama, Emil Novak’s Universal Monsters and Phil Utech’s Lens Filter Demo, and the winner of the Shorty Contest was Rebecca Utech’s Something New.



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