Shaw is currently the lead writer on PBS Kids' WordGirl, and has previously written for SpongeBob SquarePants and several other children's shows.
From CC's release, here are more details:
... Shaw, a resident of Colorado Springs, taught Beginning Screenwriting during Block 4 last year. He enjoys teaching new writers because “it's what we can offer to other writers: read their work, critique them, and give a great set of notes. It’s an obligation that, all too often, isn't fulfilled,” he says. Shaw also has ... guest lectured at universities around the world, from UCLA to the New York Institute of Technology to the United Kingdom.
The nomination “really means a lot to me because I feel a special connection to the series, the people I worked with, and to where we produced the show: Watertown, Massachusetts,” he said.
“WordGirl” is a children’s animated television series for children ages 6 to 11, designed to teach about the expansive English language and its vocabulary. Produced by Soup2Nuts, the animation unit of Scholastic Entertainment for PBS Kids, the show began as a series of shorts and was spun off into a 30-minute episodic series in September 2007.
“WordGirl, ” which also is nominated for “Outstanding Children’s Animated Program,” is up against Nickelodeon series such as “Penguins of Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Robot and Monster,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be presented on June 16.
You might recall the name Tom Shepard from J. Adrian Stanley's feature on Scout's Honor this past February.
The Colorado Springs native turned successful San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker has earned Sundance Film Festival awards for his works that screened nationally on PBS.
Beginning May 1, and running six Wednesdays, 6 to 9 p.m., through June 15, Shepard will return to the Springs to teach "Introduction to Documentary Film" at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Bemis School of Art.
The class will cost $254 ($239 members) and here's its synopsis:
This six-week seminar taught by the Sundance Award-Winning PBS filmmaker Tom Shepard introduces students to the history of and current trends in documentary as well as all stages of documentary filmmaking: from conceiving and shaping ideas, pitching and story treatment, production and post-production, and distribution and outreach, including lectures on the business and fundraising of documentaries. In addition to a weekly one-hour lecture, we will screen and discuss one new documentary film each week, highlighting specific techniques and approaches used by different filmmakers. Discussion will focus on questions of narrative strategies, access, ethics and filmmaker/subject rapport. Finally, students can, by appointment, schedule a private consultation with the instructor to discuss their own ideas for making a documentary, advice in creating a strong film treatment and proposal and concrete tips for further development and funding of their projects.
"I'm glad to be bringing this program to Colorado Springs as I think there is a renewed interest in documentary filmmaking these days," Shepard wrote in an email.
"I'm hoping if this is a successful venture, I could make it a regular feature of my visits back to Colorado Springs every Summer. And perhaps it could eventually lead to a larger class/workshop and perhaps even a regular documentary screening series or festival."
"This movie is literally where paranormal thrillers meet stoner comedies."
And should the Kickstarter campaign lock down a requested $200,000, the filmmakers plan to shoot the majority of Out There... between Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Woodland Park.
Here's the pitch video if you care for the visual overview first:
As writer/director Bonné Bartron explains in that pitch, she's got some respectable Hollywood names on board for both sides of the camera, and she claims it has already been slated for international distribution.
The Kickstarter page elaborates that the project had already been funded by two previous producers, "but we've hit a couple of bumps along the way." One of those being a desire by those producers to shoot the film in California instead of Colorado, which was a deal-breaker for Bartron.
Anyway, by now, perhaps via our earlier foray into crowdfunding wins and woes, you're familiar with this whole Kickstarter saga for hopeful filmmakers.
If you find Out There... worthy of a few of your dollars — be it for your affinity for the lore of area cattle mutilations, UFO stories or simply stoner culture or a desire to see more Colorado-based filmmaking — then send some monetary love its way.
In this week's Indy, you'll find this brutal criticism of the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's nationally cherished On the Road.
The review, by MaryAnn Johanson, doesn't stray far from that of many other critics, considering the film ranks in the 40s among by critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
Recently, I heard from one other person greatly dissatisfied with the bludgeoning of the American classic: Trinidad-based film scout Joe Tarabino, who has created the website On (and off) the Road (again).
Tarabino had worked on pre-production scouting efforts for this film several years ago, as this background explains, and he certainly had a vision for a film more faithful to the original text(s).
If you're a big Kerouac fan and care to read the review offered on Tarabino's site, click this document: slow_boat_to_china_.pdf
Otherwise, spend some time on his site for much more beating around the Beats.
A film title can't get much more explicit and damning: Greedy Lying Bastards.
It's clear upfront that environmental activist and executive producer Daryl Hannah isn't out to play nice in her documentary exposé on "the efforts of Big Oil to undermine the scientific consensus on global warming."
Take a look at the trailer here:
Perhaps you think you already know or can guess the storyline. But before you write it off as just another An Inconvenient Truth seeking to sway you with disaster photos paired with filthy-rich white guys protecting their business interests, consider one localized reason to give the doc a chance.
And that reason would be the featuring of three families affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire.
If you know any fire victims personally, you'll likely be able to spot their names on this cast list:
Otherwise, head to Tinseltown the week of March 8 to 14 (and possibly the following week or two, depending on ticket sales and demand) to meet and hear your fellow citizens' stories on the big screen.
Showings are at: 11 a.m., 1:15, 3:30, 5:45, 8 and 10:20.
For more on the film, you can view a full synopsis here:
That's how much Kimball Bayles and crew say they've saved by patiently picking their right moment to move from 35 mm film to digital projection at Kimball's Peak Three.
As we reported back in November, theaters nationwide have been under pressure to "convert or die" in the face of a rapidly transitioning industry.
Theater manager Matt Stevens says that the theater will close from next Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, March 13, and barring any unforeseen delays, reopen on Thursday for regular business.
Regarding that significant savings of money by waiting, Stevens says that many theaters had aimed to convert by the turn of 2013, which kept projector prices steady into late fall and early winter. But after the new year, after many theaters' conversion, prices fell significantly.
As of last November, Bayles had estimated that the conversion could cost him upward of $200,000 for three new screens and a new sound system. But by holding tight, his final bill should come in closer to $150,000.
Recently, the theater has been struggling to get timely 35 mm prints if any were available at all from certain distribution companies.
The move to digital — which is actually small, many-terabyte hard drives shipped via snail mail just like the former 35 mm film prints — should give Kimball's a greater access to films and Stevens projects (no pun intended) that they will screen more films in the future closer to actual release dates (versus waiting for prints to become available after screening in larger markets).
As our former article noted, there is no immediate return on investment for Kimball's and other small theaters (they won't necessarily sell more seats), but patrons should enjoy the improved picture and sound quality and greater film selection.
Stevens does note that some labor cost will be saved as staff will no longer have to assemble the 35 mm prints, freeing up manpower for other tasks. The new files will take roughly half a day to upload to the house system, for those interested in how it all works.
And on that note, if you want to keep an eye on the actual tear-down and build up, Stevens says he'll be posting photo updates on Kimball's Facebook page.
Girl Rising has tipped, meaning it will screen on Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Carmike 10.
As of this update, some 167 seats have been sold and only 33 remain available.
Now would be a good time to snag one of the open seats, as the organizers are confident the showing will sell out.
—— ORIGINAL POST, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 7:45 P.M. ——
As per Gathr's format, the film will only screen with 100 commitments from audience members.
So, why should you care to go?
Let's let the trailer speak to that question first:
And from further 10x10 info on the film:
From Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, Girl Rising is an innovative feature film that spotlights the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances. Journeying around the globe to witness the strength of the human spirit, Girl Rising demonstrates the power of education to change a girl — and the world.
Each girl’s story is written by a renowned writer from her native country: Marie Arana, Edwidge Danticat, Mona Eltahawy, Aminatta Forna, Zarghuna Kargar, Maaza Mengiste, Sooni Taraporevala, Manjushree Thapa, and Loung Ung.
These stories are narrated by celebrated actresses: Cate Blanchett, Priyanka Chopra, Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, Chloë Moretz, Freida Pinto, Meryl Streep, and Kerry Washington. Girl Rising also features Freida Pinto and Liam Neeson, as well as original music from Academy Award-winner Rachel Portman and Lorne Balfe.
Girl Rising previewed at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, during an event hosted by strategic partner, Intel, with special guests Freida Pinto and Edwidge Danticat. The film makes its theatrical debut on March 7, 2013 — the eve of International Women’s Day.
Girl Rising will be distributed traditionally in New York and Los Angeles, and on demand in hundreds of cities across the country.
Lastly, as if you needed more, the film has one connection to Colorado Springs via 10x10 staffer Justin Reeves:
Reeves' sister Jessica, also a Springs resident, is organizing this event attempt. She notes that Justin "has been working on this film with 10x10 in New York City and has done a TED talk in Brazil in order to bring awareness to the issue of girls education throughout the world."
Jessica also notes that "a portion of Girl Rising ticket sales will help fund programs for girls, so seeing the film literally makes an impact on girls’ lives."
Update, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 10:30 a.m.: If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's "dream small." Unlike its predecessor, Adam Leech's second Kickstarter campaign to fund A Nickel and a Nail: The Original Hobo Nickel Story met its $5,000 goal in just over two days.
On this go-round, Leech set his sights much lower than the $38,013 he tried to raise through the crowdfunding website in 2011. But as he pointed out in a Facebook post this morning, that doesn't mean he won't find good use for more in the 24 fundraising days remaining:
"Thank you, thank you, thank you... We are really chugging away at our second goal of $10,000... still less then the catering carts on most movie productions, but we need YOUR HELP!!! Please pledge today!"
With 72 backers and $6,120 as of this morning, professional editing services for the documentary are fully funded. Next up:
$1500-$3000 Physical Production Costs- DVD's and Backer Rewards
$500-$1000- Advertising, Web Development, and Promotions
$500-$1000- Film Festival Application Fees
Budding patrons of the numismatic and indie-cinematic arts can find more information on the project here.
You’ve got to relish the irony when your documentary film about a small, relatively unknown art subculture whose product fetches five-figure prices at auction fails to raise the cash to pay for post-production.
Then, apparently, you've got to try again.
Local business owner, coin artist and former Indy columnist Adam Leech’s documentary A Nickel and a Nail: The Original Hobo Nickel Story got its start in 2010, but jumped the rails in 2011, coming in at $22,877 under budget — which, on Kickstarter, means you’ll never see a dime (or a film about defaced nickels).
The real kicker, says Leech, is that the exposure his film promises to bring to the creators and collectors of hobo nickels would send their already heady asking prices through the roof.
“It’s probably cheaper to get addicted to heroin,” notes one collector in the film trailer, which premiered Jan. 12 thanks to the pro bono editing services of Denver cineaste Nick Walker.
Yesterday, Leech launched his second gamble on Kickstarter, hoping the polished appeal of the trailer will entice the film’s subjects to put off buying this month's snowball and supply the comparatively modest $5,000 he needs to pay Walker to finish the job.
“$13,038.05 would be rather fantastic,” Leech notes on the donation site, “but the $5,000 is the bare minimum needed to get the job done.”
Meanwhile, the film’s soundtrack is well on its way to glory, with the call for submissions (still open, by the way) eliciting responses from national acts like Kimya Dawson, Mini Mansions and Nathen Maxwell and the Original Bunny Gang as well as a bevy of local favorites. You’ll hear the Haunted Windchimes in the trailer, and the Flumps, El Toro de la Muerte and Broken Spoke are all on board for the film itself.
The Kickstarter campaign ends Feb. 23. If donors meet the $5,000 goal, they'll see the premiere of A Nickel and a Nail by late summer.
The crowdfunding continues on the local film front.
As the video pitch mentioned, filmmaker Aaron Hartshorn will be working with many of the same folks who assisted on Creep!, including Pete Schuermann, who'll offer project supervision.
The film will also be shot on Schuermann's same Scarlett RED camera.
For this initial round of fundraising, it's only seeking $1,500, with another more formal round coming sometime around March, says Hartshorn.
Here's the quick summary, current budget explanation and some poster art:
Hardcosts is a dark comedy about Dustin. Dustin is a timid young man who just found the love of his life. The only problem is her psychopath of a father. Struggling with this, Dustin has to ask him how far he really will go for love ...
In order to get this film off the ground we need initial funding to secure talent, locations and equipment. Every penny raised from this first fundraiser will go towards these costs. And any left over funds will go straight to other costs of the film (wardrobe, food and transportation costs).
If you contribute to the film, you will be able to be apart of the rapidly growing film community in Colorado springs. Any contribution you make will truly have a huge impact — for this is only the first of many projects. That said, it's so important that this project succeeds for that reason.
Almost two weeks' heads-up on this one, people.
It's the Hootenanny for the Arts, which has nothing to do with bluegrass (as the name might lead you to believe) and everything to do with raising money for both COPPeR and the post-production of Creep!
Taking place from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25, at The Mansion, tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, though folks who donated to Creep!'s Kickstarter initiative can get in for free, and Peak Arts Card-holders can get two tickets for the price of one.
Admission includes three drink tickets plus appetizers; a sneak peek at the film's full-length trailer; and performances by Ormao Dance Company, the Taiko Society Drummers, Peaks and Pasties and other local artists.
And — yes, there's more — Langdon Foss has produced a Creep! tribute poster (limited to 100) printed by LastLeaf Custom Print & Design that will be sold for $20, with all proceeds going to the film effort.
Here's a look at that poster:
Leechpit overlord Adam Leech first told you about his A Nickel and a Nail film project here back in late 2010.
It's centered around the history of hobo nickels and Leech's own creation of them today.
As I mentioned here this past November, Leech failed to make his initial Kickstarter campaign goal to finish funding the film.
But now, a couple years since his documentary voyage to the Florida United Numismatists show in Orlando, Fla., Leech says he's back on track to produce the film thanks to "a generous benefactor."
And on that note, he's set to release an Internet trailer premiere for the film Saturday, Jan. 12.
Check his leechpit.com/hobos site for the trailer and also keep an eye out for a new Kickstarter campaign "to help pay for the remaining editing, physical reproduction, and promotion/distribution of the film."
Given that we've been reporting on Creep! consistently for the past 2 1/2 years, I'm going to skip the lengthy introduction here and assume you're up to speed.
If I've correctly assumed, just click below on the fun new teaser trailer just released by Pete Schuermann and crew, and enlarge it to a full-screen preview.
Halcyon, an adjective describing something peaceful or tranquil, is the title of a film that seems the opposite. In the trailer, things crash, blood spurts, emotions run high, and you can feel the claustrophobia as you’re taken inside the underwater research center where the film unfolds.
“We like the contrast between calm and idyllic,” says producer and screenwriter Ashley Haglund. “Kind of the turbulence in a calm sea.”
Halcyon, a Colorado-made film, will screen at Cinemark 16 on Friday, Dec. 7. It’s a story of two men who have been assigned to work underwater, and who encounter obstacles that leave them trapped there. One of the men is wounded, and it becomes a fight against time to both keep him alive and to maintain emotional sanity.
The concept for the film originated back in December 2010, when Haglund was taking a drive with one of the film’s other writers, Jim Muckian. The two were brainstorming ideas for a low-budget film that didn’t require too many sets, but would still make for a compelling story. Having it take place in an underwater submersive was the perfect fix.
From there the pieces seemed to fall into place: Haglund met her lead actor, Courtney Gains, as he was signing autographs at a haunted house, and she kept his contact information. Gains is pretty well-known, having been in films like Back to the Future (he was a bully in 1955) and Sweet Home Alabama.
He was perfect for a lead role, as was Pepper Binkley, who a immediately after Haglund saw her performance in the film Stone, contacted her agent.
The other male lead, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, she found by chance when the actor who was supposed to play his character, Daniel, dropped out at the last minute. He was on the roster an agency sent over of interested actors.
Ashley was hoping she wouldn’t have to direct the film, and unexpectedly, all she had to do was look to her family: McKenzie Haglund, Ashley’s sister, ended up as the director.
After sending out the script to family for feedback, McKenzie ended up rewriting much of the screenplay and really “made the script what it is,” says Ashley. McKenzie, unlike her sister, had never worked in film before: “She’s probably the only crew member that didn’t do this for a living,” says Ashley.
And besides the surprises in the crew, there were also (good) surprises in the budget. Ashley originally thought she was going to be producing a film with just $20,000, much of this coming from her own savings. The number would become more than 12 times the size: All it took was a vacation and car ride with her parents for them to realize the potential in the project and provide the rest of the funding, Ashley says.
Because of the budget increase, they were able to build a more intricate set, hire better actors, a “kickass crew” made up of mostly Colorado Springs locals, and shoot the movie on RED digital cameras — the same technology used to shoot upcoming movie, The Hobbit.
With all the shooting and editing completed, the next step is shopping it around to film festivals: ranging from the world-renowned Cannes and Sundance to smaller Colorado ones like the Vail Film Festival and the Breckenridge Festival of Film.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed on some of that stuff,” says Ashley.
So the future looks bright for Halcyon, even if the trailer feels like an end of the world.
Halcyon will play at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7. After the film, there will be a Q&A with Courtney Gains and other members of the crew. Admission is free, and for tickets you can email email@example.com no later than tomorrow, Dec. 5.
This weekend, the New York Times published an opinion piece by James Atlas about the future of global warming, and what New York City could look like if only minimal efforts are made to curb our contributions to a hotter world.
The picture was grim. The article postulates that oceans could potentially rise 12 feet by 2300 if we continue to make only "moderate pollution cuts." For the Big Apple, that means La Guardia and John F. Kennedy airports "are permanently submerged, as are Coney Island, the Rockaways and neighborhoods along Jamaica Bay."
The results are similarly disastrous in Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, and, of course, New Orleans. (You can see the whole thing in a nifty interactive sidebar here.)
At least there are folks like Atlas, and James Balog, whom we interviewed back in 2010, out watching our melting glaciers and spreading the word on this concern. Balog, a photographer and the head of the research project, Extreme Ice Survey, has charted global glacial recession for years now in a fascinating way, with years-long time-lapse videos. The effect of the videos are not only scientific, but strangely beautiful.
Balog and the ice are also the subjects of a film documentary, Chasing Ice, which is making the rounds of theaters today. The film is directed by Jeff Orlowski, edited by Davis Coombe (who shared an Oscar for Saving Face) and co-produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Jerry Aronson (DuPré Pesmen received Academy Awards for The Cove, Aronson a nomination for The Divided Trail: A Native American Odyssey.)
Per such a talented group, Chasing Ice has taken awards across the film festival circuit, from Best Documentary at the Big Sky Film Festival to Excellence in Cinematography for a U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. It grabbed audience awards at fests such as the South by Southwest Film Festival and the Palo Alto Film Festival and bagged a the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award at MountainFilm in Telluride and Best Adventure Film at the Boulder Film Festival.
One of our current interns, Celine Wright, obtained an early screener of the film from Kimball's manager Matt Stevens, and wrote the following review.
All words are hers, not mine.
If you care to view the film's trailer first, click below:
“Yoga is an ancient tradition ... To bring peace and enlightenment to men,” says narrator Annette Bening, with incredible emphasis on that last word.
Yoga and men.
It’s not what first comes to mind, especially when the modern, stereotypical yoga-doer seems to be a woman. And that opening line is the stepping-off point for the new documentary Yogawoman, a look at how yoga has positively influenced women of all backgrounds and ages, written, directed and produced by Kate Clere McIntyre and Saraswati Clere.
First, they frame the problem. Modern society has left us overworked, overstressed, overbusy and generally unhealthy. Cue the factoids: One in five women will be depressed over their lifetime, 90 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance. Yoga is framed as the ultimate escape for women, “looking to find peace and balance in their ordinary lives.” Through yoga, you can overcome these menial, society-instilled problems and can discover who you really are.
The film talks about the emergence of yoga in modern society, starting in the 1970s when yoga “workouts” were broadcast on TV. Now, more than 20 million people in the United States practice. And Yogawoman focuses on how women use yoga, as most of us know it today, to positively impact their lives.
They introduce us to a few big names in the yoga world, each bringing to light a different aspect of yoga and its importance in the lives of women.
Teacher Sean Corne, who has her own yoga DVD’s, and has been featured in countless magazines, started a nonprofit called Off The Mat, Into the World, where she uses her public acclaim to help promote awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis. She takes what she “learned on the mat” (values like strength, focus and compassion) and “applies it in the world, where it really counts.” During her film segment, we are taken to a village in Uganda where Corne and her foundation have raised the funds to build a new birthing center in a town where all the women are HIV-positive.
We’re introduced to Tari Prinster, a New York yoga teacher, who used the practice to help get through her breast cancer treatments. Now in remission, she says yoga provided a way to, “feel good in spite of chemo,” she says. Yoga increases lymphatic flow and therefore strengthens the immune system, which helps cancer patients feel better, despite brutal treatments. Prinster teaches classes to other women undergoing treatment, as a way to both combat the illness, and be surrounded by other survivors.
As the stories are told, you get the sense that filmmakers must have gathered hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage — so much that the finished product suffers a bit from attention-deficit disorder. Back and forth we jump from story to story; you just want to say, "Stop! Can't we stay here for a little while?" Besides that, there are parts of the film that are cheesy: shots of sunsets, and beach walks, breaks where words like “empowerment” and “strength” are superimposed along the contours of a woman’s body as she does yoga.
But it's hard to be too critical of a film that ultimately frames yoga as a way for women to come together, and feel better about themselves. In California, we see a yoga class for overweight women who may have given up doing other physical activities; the class gives them comfort and reassurance. And even if those things fall a bit short of full spiritual enlightenment, as sought in the ancient Hindu tradition of yoga practice (and all but ignored in this film), they're valuable nonetheless.
The women in the film seem like normal people who live in today’s high-paced society, and simply want to share what helps them cope with life’s daily stresses. It's a nice message, regardless of the more technically annoying aspects of Yogawoman.