Rina's blog

CutTime - HypnoLoveWheel, "I Dream Of Jeannie" (10 of 11)

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We are nearing the end of CutTime but we're not done just yet!  Meet the latest band, HypnoLoveWheel, an American Indie rock-band from Long Island. Guitarist Dave Ramirez, who later played with Dump also played occasionally with CutTime's King Missile.

According to allmusic.com, Hypnolovewheel issued several albums in the late '80s and early '90s that offered a distinctive blend of power pop, dreamy psychedelia, noisy '60s-style garage rock, and tense, nervy post-punk. Consisting of guitarists Steve Hunking and Dave Ramirez, bassist Dan Cuddy, and drummer Peter Walsh, Hypnolovewheel debuted in 1988 with Turn! Turn! Burn!, which was released on the small Fabian Aural Products label; the same was true of its 1990 follow-up, Candy Mantra. The group got a bit more exposure after moving to the somewhat higher-profile indie Alias Records, for whom they debuted with 1991's well-received Space Mountain which includes this single, "I Dream of Jeannie".

Current bands featuring members of Hypnolovewheel include The Special Pillow, Dew-Claw, and Electrostim.  Read up more info on the band here!

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"Schrödinger's Documentary" by Kurt Engfehr

This week we have a fantastic new article by Kurt Engfehr, "Schrödinger's Documentary".

Illustration by Orah Lemer.


"Life wants to be messy, our job is to tidy it up"
                                                           - Mark Twain

There is a scientific law that goes something like this: The act of observing an object changes the actions of the observed object even if that object is unaware that it is being observed. 

Interestingly, this law has nothing to do with documentary filmmaking.  And yet, it has everything to do with it.  Originally, the law was formulated as a result of experiments in quantum physics.  But, it could just as easily be applied to the aforementioned documentary filmmaking process because a basic tenent of making a documentary is observation, and the subjects of the film?  Nothing more than human-sized petri dishes. 

There’s a thought experiment that’s used to illustrate some of the complexity of the observation law.  In a laboratory, a box sits on a table.  Inside the box is a cat.  However, due to bunch of factors that are just way too complicated to go into here, the cat may or may not be alive.  The whole live cat/dead cat thing is determined by the actions of an observer lifting the lid to the box and looking into it.  Until the observer looks into the box the cat exists in, for the cat, a very uncomfortable state, neither living nor dead.  Zombie-like, if you will.  But without the whole eating brains thing.

To some people, science-types I suppose you’d call them, the question of cat viability is the point of this experiment.  Countless books, unknown numbers of studies, thousands of manhours have gone into solving this question, with only the vaguely unsatisfying answer of, “Could go either way” being the result.

CutTime - The Gamma Rays, "Safe Life" (9 of 11)

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In the latest from CutTime, meet The Gamma Rays!  A girl group, they played around New York City in the early and mid-'90s, but only ever released a couple of singles. "Lovely" was one of them -- girl-group harmonies.  In this video they perform their song "Safe Life" and share their views on rock and roll!

Sari Rubinstein, the singer, is now better known as one of the masterminds behind Rubulad, the greatest floating party spot in New York; she also fronts a very different sort of band called Music From the Mood Expansion Chamber who are well worth seeing. Concetta Kirschner, the bass player is now better known as Princess Superstar.

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Slammin' - Cheryl B - "Fat Girls Don't Wear Spandex"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

We at DevlinPix are very saddened to learn of the passing of poet Cheryl B (Cheryl Burke). More info about her life and work here.

This piece is one of two appearances she made in the pilot “Slammin’”  I am honored to have worked with her on this and my condolences go out to her family and friends.

SlamNation DVD 
Slammin' Trailer

CutTime - The Reverb Motherfuckers (8 of 11)

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In this next excerpt from CutTime, meet The Reverb Motherfuckers  who came together in 1986, pioneering a ramshackle “sonic fudge” sound that would influence the grunge and alternative rock movements. Lead man Roy Endroso and guitarist 'Big' John founded the band after being forcibly ejected from an AA meeting, a fitting birth to a band plagued by substance abuse its entire career. RM were best known in the New York scum-rock scene for their hard-partying onstage antics - It was not unusual for intoxicated band members to swap instruments or clothing midway through a set, lapse into expletives or (infamously) douse the crowd in BBQ sauce. This reputation would cost the band support from radio stations or record companies. RM struggled to find commercial success despite playing alongside such headlining groups as Unsane, Jesus Lizard and White Zombie.

The Widow's Tea

Guest post by Nishell Falcone:

The Widow's Tea is an experimental short film shot in 2009. Original vision by cinematographer Nishell Falcone and director Sydney Del Monte, it was inspired in part by Japanese and American folklore. The film follows the story of an curious and innocent girl drawn to the Widow's lair by a seemingly innocuous picnic among the dead. Be careful to not become ensnared by the Widow's web.

The Widow's Tea was edited by Rina Svet while studying at SVA.

CutTime - Woodpecker, "Hillbilly Song"" (7 of 11)

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Woodpecker perform their song "Hillbilly Song" as part of the movie CutTime. "Junk Song" was the first of the two songs we showcased in CutTime.  The other song, "Junk Song", can be found here!

Check out Woodpecker's album"Bang the Drum Hardly"!

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Independent Lens Host, Susan Sarandon, on Power Trip

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Power Trip had a great run – critical acclaim, awards, festivals and broadcasts all over the world.  But perhaps more importantly, it also had real impact on international privatization policy with special screenings at institutions like the World Bank and the U.S. State Department. That ride culminated in the PBS Broadcast on Independent Lens

This intro from host by Susan Sarandon was very gratifying for all of us.  For me and producer Claire Missanelli these moments made all the hard work worthwhile.

Power Trip DVD
Power Trip Trailer

CutTime - Woodpecker, "Junk Song"" (6 of 11)

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Woodpecker perform their song "Junk Song" as part of the movie CutTime. "Junk Song" was the first of the two songs we showcased in CutTime, the second being "Hillbilly Song" which will be available next week, so keep an eye out!

Check out Woodpecker's album"Bang the Drum Hardly"!

Buy or Rent Digitally through VHX!
Buy the Home DVD!

"Create A Time-Lapse Video" by Amon Focus

Check out this fantastic article by filmmaker Amon Focus on how-to create a time-lapse video on DPMag.com.


Create A Time-Lapse Video
It’s easier than ever to do with the latest digital cameras and basic software

Using time-lapse photography, you can produce videos that are able to show the world in a way in which the human eye doesn't ordinarily see. Plants can grow in mere seconds, a sun can rise above a city in moments, and you can see a complete day unfold in less than a minute.

Because of one of the more extraordinary advancements in camera technology—the ever increasing speed of image burst rates—creating a time-lapse video can be as simple as holding down the shutter and editing the images into a short video. Making a skilled time-lapse project that's able to engage an audience and stand out above the crowd, however, can take some patience, some planning and a bit of know-how. But there has never been a better time to learn, especially since so many of the best time-lapse videos are ending up as popular viral videos that have been seen by thousands of viewers.

Creating a time-lapse video requires that you scout and plan, and then be ready to adapt. Focus says he has "learned to always have a Plan B," in case he finds that his chosen location won't work due to weather conditions or other circumstances beyond his control.

I'm always looking for compositions that are full of action, color and visual drama. With experience, it becomes intuitive. If something moves me enough to pull out my phone and capture it, then I'll probably return to that spot for a time-lapse.

Sometimes I want to shoot places that are out of my reach. I may be at an event or restaurant that has a view that can be accessed only with the owner's permission. I've been known to chat up a waitress—not for her number, but to get a boss' name to look up. Or, I'll find a business card or brochure and email the company. In the email, I include links to examples of time-lapse photography and offer to provide HD copies of what I shoot at their site. I was ignored a lot in the beginning, but over time, I got more and more green lights. Pretty soon, I had enough time-lapses to create a promo that I now use as a skeleton key. It has opened many doors.

When preparing for a time-lapse, I format my memory cards, set my camera to manual, turn off the autofocus on the lens and set the image size to medium JPEG. There have been times when I've forgotten to do this and used up a sizable chunk of space because I shot the time-lapse in RAW. I shoot in medium JPEG because the image size is big enough to export a 1080p HD file without losing quality. If I were shooting for film or a high-end production, I'd choose RAW for a higher-quality video. Otherwise, RAW takes up too much space....


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