Collective hones film skills weekly

February 26th, 2020

~~~~~

Did you take up my suggestion and attend the Champaign Movie Makers meeting on Monday night? If so, you hopefully left with a smile and a better understanding of what CMM members are capable of putting together in our community after watching their 48-hour film festival. That said, what else is out there for those who want to seriously build their skill set so they can gain a foothold in the entertainment world? A newer group in Champaign, the Workshop Films Collective, is offering next-level instruction that some of our friends and neighbors might be craving if they don’t yet have the chops for professional production or the means to attend film school. It is a service the likes of which is rarely offered here in the private sector or at university and, for today, C-U Blogfidential can share the scoop on this opportunity!

Eager facilitator John Isberg, who segued from a career in special education teaching to a full-time and self-made gig as an independent video creative within the last several years, hosts the meetings of the collective in the modest back studio space of Shatterglass Studios near downtown Champaign. Ready built for his purposes, it is intimate enough for everyone to share face time as they talk projects and strategy while equipped with the appropriate gear to augment their lessons from week to week. One of the collective’s strengths is that it does meet weekly, not monthly, so that individuals can consistently soak up the entirety of what it means to play a vital role on a set and practice hard towards that goal.

“Magnolia” long take from Swede Films on Vimeo.

“We work on developing production skills in camera, grip and electric, sound, directing, and developing professionally as a film crew,” states Isberg in a brief IM conversation with CUBlog. “The collective is guided by the principle that film is a collaborative effort and we work to support and develop each other’s voices through film.” To that end as with CMM, members of the Workshop Films Collective may have one eye on the bigger picture with pet projects in mind as they dig in practicing the technical skills they would like to perfect. Isberg realized that the group itself had to first coalesce into a nucleus that is capable of stepping beyond the comfort zone of the “lab experiments” performed at the Shatterglass confines.

Read the rest of this entry »

CMM to view 48-hour films tonight

February 24th, 2020

~~~~~

Writing my posts far away from Champaign-Urbana as I have been these last three years, it’s easy to feel a weird sense of long-distance vertigo as if everyone else in the hometown scheme is running circles and film loops around me. I’d imagine it’s an opposite sensation and an energetic rush for those who participate in the “weekend warrior” challenges that have been popular in film-friendly cities for some time. Teams receive prompts at the top of the two-day window that will force them to demonstrate creativity, ingenuity, and efficiency on the way to completing and submitting their quickie flicks by the deadline, zipping among the masses to get the job done without upsetting the regular flow of life. It’s marathon fun that should call very little attention to itself until after the dust settles 48 hours later.

Then it becomes a different story, of course. For the fifth year running, Champaign Movie Makers has offered their own such challenge to the locals that began on Friday, February 21, when teams picked up the secretive prompts at Lincoln Square in downtown Urbana. Last night, teams had until 7 p.m. sharp to turn in their work. And now, CMM will take a look at the results during their monthly meeting tonight, Monday, February 24, 7 p.m., in Room B of the Robeson Pavilion at the Champaign Public Library. Exhausted contestants and their friends will learn what each team cooked up, some may win awards or prizes, and all will hear good stories about how and why the teams did what they did! In this context, a challenge serves as a learning experience for those who want to better think on their feet while on live sets, especially when it comes to the collaborative aspect of production.

If you’d like an idea about the types of shorts a 48-hour challenge can inspire, visit the CMM YouTube channel for video collections from prior contests. You can also keep up with CMM doings at the linked Facebook page and Facebook group. They have provided networking opportunities, conversation forums, and shared experiences for members since 2008 that also include scene recreation workshops, club films, and the annual Pens to Lens Screenwriting Competition + Gala in tandem with the C-U Film Society and Champaign-Urbana Design Organization. Meetings take place once a month either at the library or in the broadcast studio of WILL-TV at the University of Illinois’ Campbell Hall for Public Telecommunications in Urbana. Queries and suggestions can be sent to Champaign Movie Makers organizer Thomas Nicol at ChampaignMovieMakers [at] gmail [dot] com. Will CMM see you tonight, C-U?

~ Jason Pankoke

~~~~~

Calendar: February 21-27, 2020

February 22nd, 2020

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

~~~~~

MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

2/21: Eric Benson (faculty adviser, Fresh Press Studio, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL)
2/25: Josh Schafer (publisher, Lunchmeat VHS, Elmer, NJ)
2/26: Troy Michael (publisher, Innocent Words, Oakwood, IL)

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Champaign Movie Makers* meeting, “48hr Screening,” Robeson Pavilion Room B (2/24, 7 p.m., free)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
C-U Cinefile* meeting, Room 223 (2/21, 4 p.m.)

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video* meeting, Room 1022 (2/24, 7 p.m.)

@ Shatterglass Studios, Champaign, IL
Workshop Films Collective* meeting (2/26, 5:30 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BRAHMS: THE BOY II, THE CALL OF THE WILD, IMPRACTICAL JOKERS: THE MOVIE, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, BIRDS OF PREY, DOLITTLE, DOWNHILL, FANTASY ISLAND, JOJO RABBIT, KNIVES OUT, PARASITE, THE PHOTOGRAPH, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG (2/21 on), MY HERO ACADEMIA: HEROES RISING (2/26 on), THE INVISIBLE MAN (2/27 on)

@ Armory Building, UIUC, Champaign-Urbana, IL
“For Art’s Sake” cinema screenings, Armory Building 101, 7 p.m., free: CASABLANCA (2/21), RIO BRAVO (2/28)

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Studio – FROZEN II, KNIVES OUT, JOJO RABBIT; Independent – COLOR OUT OF SPACE, THE CORRUPTED; Documentary – AFTER PARKLAND, WAKING THE SLEEPING GIANT; International – EXTRACURRICULAR, RETABLO, SYNONYMS; Criterion Collection – PARIS IS BURNING, ‘THREE FANTASTIC JOURNEYS BY KARL ZEMAN’ (2/25 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
JOJO RABBIT, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, MIDWAY, 21 BRIDGES, FRANKIE, WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY, THE GREAT WAR, DISTURBING THE PEACE, THE TWILIGHT ZONE (s1), more! (2/18 on)

@ Foellinger Auditorium, UIUC, Urbana, IL
37th annual Insect Fear Film Festival feat. ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS, THE BAY (2/22, 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. films, free)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BRAHMS: THE BOY II, THE CALL OF THE WILD, DOWNHILL, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, BIRDS OF PREY, DOLITTLE, FANTASY ISLAND, THE GENTLEMEN, JOJO RABBIT, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, PARASITE, THE PHOTOGRAPH, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (2/21 on), Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury boxing championship match (2/22, 8 p.m., simulcast), THE GODFATHER (2/23, 2/26), FREE BURMA RANGERS (2/24, 7 p.m.), MY HERO ACADEMIA: HEROES RISING (2/26 on)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP, Pine Lounge (2/21, 7 p.m.; 2/22, 7 & 10 p.m.; free w/i-card), “Throwback Films at the Union” feat. JURASSIC PARK, Courtyard Café (2/27, 8:30 p.m., free w/i-card)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

~~~~~

Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar: February 14-20, 2020

February 15th, 2020

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

~~~~~

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
C-U Cinefile* meeting, Room 223 (2/14, 4 p.m.)

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video* meeting, Room 1022 (2/17, 7 p.m.)

@ Shatterglass Studios, Champaign, IL
Workshop Films Collective* meeting (2/19, 5:30 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
DOWNHILL, FANTASY ISLAND, THE PHOTOGRAPH, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, BIRDS OF PREY, DOLITTLE, THE GENTLEMEN, GRETEL & HANSEL, JOJO RABBIT, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, PARASITE (2/14 on), THE CALL OF THE WILD, IMPRACTICAL JOKERS: THE MOVIE (2/20 on)

@ Armory Building, UIUC, Champaign-Urbana, IL
“For Art’s Sake” cinema screenings, Armory Building 101, 7 p.m., free: D.W. Griffith profile (2/14), CASABLANCA (2/21)

@ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Studio – 21 BRIDGES, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, MIDWAY; Independent – DISTURBING THE PEACE, FEEDBACK, FRANKIE, SNATCHERS; International – TEORAMA (Criterion Collection) (2/18 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
FORD V FERRARI, FIRST LOVE, THE NIGHTINGALE, I SEE YOU, HELL ON THE BORDER, GRAND ISLE, FLEABAG (s1), SWAMP THING (cs), more! (2/11 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
DOWNHILL, FANTASY ISLAND, THE PHOTOGRAPH, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, BIRDS OF PREY, DOLITTLE, THE GENTLEMEN, GRETEL & HANSEL, JOJO RABBIT, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, LITTLE WOMEN, PARASITE, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (2/14 on), HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (2/16, 2/19), PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE: THE RED SEA MIRACLE (2/18, 7 p.m.), RIDE YOUR WAVE (2/19, 7 p.m.), National Theatre Live: Cyrano de Bergerac feat. James McAvoy (2/20, 7 p.m., simulcast)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. QUEEN & SLIM, Pine Lounge (2/14, 7 p.m.; 2/15, 7 & 10 p.m.; free w/i-card), “Throwback Films at the Union” feat. GREASE, Courtyard Café (2/20, 8:30 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ McKinley Foundation, Champaign, IL
THE HATE U GIVE (2/20, 6:30 p.m., free)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Reel Deals: 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (2/18, 2/20, 7 p.m.)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

~~~~~

Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar: February 7-13, 2020

February 7th, 2020

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

~~~~~

MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

2/8: Robin Christian (writer/director, BELOW, Dreamscape Cinema, Champaign, IL)

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
C-U Cinefile* meeting, Room 223 (2/7, 4 p.m.)

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video* meeting, Room 1022 (2/10, 7 p.m.)

@ Shatterglass Studios, Champaign, IL
Workshop Films Collective* meeting (2/12, 5:30 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BIRDS OF PREY, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, THE GENTLEMEN, GRETEL & HANSEL, JOJO RABBIT, JOKER, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, LITTLE WOMEN, THE RHYTHM SECTION, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, THE TURNING, UNCUT GEMS (2/7 on), DOWNHILL, THE PHOTOGRAPH, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG (2/13 on)

ADDED! @ Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL
Studio – FORD V FERRARI, HELL ON THE BORDER, WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY; Independent – ATTACHMENTS, LOVE IS BLIND, GREENER GRASS; Documentary – BACKFIRED: WHEN VW LIED TO AMERICA, MCCARTHY: POWER FEEDS ON FEAR; International – THE TROUBLE WITH YOU, THE VIOLENCE PARADOX, WINTER FLIES; Criterion Collection – ROMA (dir. Alfonso Cuarón) (2/11 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
DOCTOR SLEEP, PLAYING WITH FIRE, LAST CHRISTMAS, THE GOOD LIAR, ARCTIC DOGS, WAVES, TRAUMA CENTER, DRAGONHEART: VENGEANCE, THE GIRL IN THE CRAWLSPACE, WHITE SNAKE, more! (2/4 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BIRDS OF PREY, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, FROZEN II, THE GENTLEMEN, GRETEL & HANSEL, JOJO RABBIT, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, LITTLE WOMEN, PARASITE, THE RHYTHM SECTION, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, THE TURNING, UNCUT GEMS (2/7 on), TITANIC (2/9, 2/12)

@ Gregory Hall/Armory Building, UIUC, Champaign-Urbana, IL
“For Art’s Sake” cinema screenings, Greg Hall 100, 7 p.m., free: KILLER OF SHEEP w/FELICIA (2/7); Armory Building 101, 7 p.m., free: D.W. Griffith profile (2/14)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. HARRIET, Pine Lounge (2/7, 7 p.m.; 2/8, 7 & 10 p.m.; free w/i-card), “Throwback Films at the Union” feat. THE NOTEBOOK, Courtyard Café (2/13, 8:30 p.m., free w/i-card)

@ Spurlock Museum, UIUC, Urbana, IL
AEMS presents AsiaLENS Documentary/Film Series feat. THE MAN WHO BUILT CAMBODIA (2/11, 7 p.m., free)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

~~~~~

Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar: Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2020

February 1st, 2020

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

~~~~~

MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

1/31: Paul Scrabo (video technician, NBC Studios, New York, NY, retired)

 

PASSINGS | You Will Be Missed

1/2: Craig Lindvahl, 62 (producer, Callan Films, Effingham, IL)

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
C-U Cinefile* meeting, Room 223 (1/31, 4 p.m.)

@ Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield, IL
Central Illinois Film Commission* meeting (2/6, 7 p.m.)

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video* meeting, Room 1022 (2/3, 7 p.m.)

@ Shatterglass Studios, Champaign, IL
Workshop Films Collective* meeting (2/5, 5:30 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
GRETEL & HANSEL, THE RHYTHM SECTION, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, THE GENTLEMEN, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, KNIVES OUT, LITTLE WOMEN, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, THE TURNING, WEATHERING WITH YOU (1/31 on), BIRDS OF PREY (2/6 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, PARASITE, HARRIET, MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN, THE SIREN, THE BATTLE OF JANGSARI, APPARITION, THE GREAT ALASKAN RACE, THE KNIGHT OF SHADOWS, BALLERS (s5), more! (1/28 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
GRETEL & HANSEL, THE RHYTHM SECTION, WEATHERING WITH YOU, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, THE GENTLEMEN, JOJO RABBIT, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, LITTLE WOMEN, PARASITE, SPIES IN DISGUISE, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, THE TURNING (1/31 on), The Metropolitan Opera: Porgy and Bess (2/1, 11:55 a.m., simulcast; 2/5, 6:30 p.m., recorded), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (2/2, 2/5), CASHING OUT* (2/3, 2/5, 7 p.m.), BIRDS OF PREY (2/6 on)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
“For Art’s Sake” cinema screenings, Greg Hall 100, 7 p.m., free: WILD STRAWBERRIES (1/31), KILLER OF SHEEP w/FELICIA (2/7)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. DOCTOR SLEEP, Pine Lounge (1/31, 7 p.m.; 2/1, 7 & 10 p.m.; free w/i-card), “Throwback Films at the Union” feat. MOONLIGHT, Courtyard Café (2/6, 8:30 p.m, free w/i-card)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
The News-Gazette Film Series: THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (2/2, 1 & 7 p.m.), Rewind 92.5 Film Series: MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2/3, 7 p.m.)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

~~~~~

Read the rest of this entry »

WILL-TV to run topical indie docs

January 30th, 2020

~~~~~

WILL Channel 12 and Illinois Public Media will briefly resume their self-branded documentary show REEL MIDWEST later tonight, Thursday, January 30, at 7 p.m. with a presentation of STATEVILLE CALLING. Director Ben Kolak and producer Yana Kunichoff of Scrappers Film Group spoke to with The 21st on WILL-AM 580 earlier today about the project, which looks at incarceration in Illinois and how octogenarian activist Bill Ryan is urging reform of an overtaxed criminal justice system and a progressive stance on senior-age prisoners who would do no harm in society if granted clemency or parole. Individuals profiled in the story live in facilities such as the all-men Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet and the all-women Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln. This is considered the second episode from the second season of REEL MIDWEST, which began in earnest back in November with a one-off airing of ALL THE QUEEN’S HORSES, and no future episodes are listed on the WILL programming schedule. However, more independently-produced content will appear as part of other syndicated showcases during the next few days. WILL is set to broadcast the next episode of the long-running INDEPENDENT LENS on Monday, February 3, 9 p.m., in which LEFTOVER WOMEN follows the lives of three successful young women in China who are stigmatized for not being married; it is directed by Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia. The Urbana-based PBS affiliate will also play the most recent episode of the South Florida PBS show FILM-MAKER on Sunday, February 2, 11:30 p.m., in which segment director Christopher Ahrendt depicts in AGAINST THE GRAIN how a retrospective movie house in Coral Gables, Florida, keeps the art and technique of film projection alive; the staff is gearing up to present a freshly-struck 70mm print of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY for its community at the time of taping. Always watch those listings, dearest viewers!

~ Jason Pankoke

~~~~~

Calendar: January 24-30, 2020

January 25th, 2020

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

~~~~~

MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

1/26: Mike Watt (publisher, Exploitation Nation , Happy Cloud Media, Pittsburgh, PA)
1/30: Eric Watkins (composer/engineer, Studio E, Decatur, IL)

 

CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

10 Years AgoTuesday, December 1, 2009: On the occasion of World AIDS Day, a locally-made dramatic featurette called THIS LIFE AIN’T PRETTY has its world premiere at Brookens Auditorium on the University of Illinois campus in Springfield. It features Danielle Ward as the main character, Brittney, a heterosexual and seemingly healthy young woman and mother who is diagnosed with the virus that ultimately kills her, hitting her family and community hard with anguish and a test of their faith. A cautionary tale about the health concerns and stigma faced by African-American individuals who contract HIV, THIS LIFE AIN’T PRETTY is the first film release from Predestined Arts & Entertainment, an independent company that was established by sisters and Champaign natives Candice and Kimberly D Conner to develop creative media by and for women and people of color. Kimberly, now a resident of the capital city, wore several hats as director, writer, editor, and a producer on the half-hour-long project, which also stars Kevin Craig West, Dingani Beza, Cheyenne Smith-Youngblood, Shirley Crawford, Irma Norris, and James Johnson in the supporting roles. THIS LIFE AIN’T PRETTY would soon play numerous festivals and educational events around the world, winning awards and leading to larger feature-length stories for Conner such as JUMP IN and BEFORE ‘I DO’. As reported on 12/1/09 at CUBlog.

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
C-U Cinefile* meeting, Room 223 (1/24, 4 p.m.)

@ Lincoln Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Film & Video* meeting, Room 1022 (1/27, 7 p.m.)

@ Shatterglass Studios, Champaign, IL
Workshop Films Collective* meeting (1/29, 5:30 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
THE GENTLEMEN, THE TURNING, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, FROZEN II, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, LIKE A BOSS, LITTLE WOMEN, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNDERWATER, WEATHERING WITH YOU (1/24 on), GRETEL AND HANSEL, THE RHYTHM SECTION (1/30 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
THE ADDAMS FAMILY, ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP, BLACK AND BLUE, JAY & SILENT BOB REBOOT, PAIN AND GLORY, IMPRISONED, COUNTDOWN, AGE OUT, THE COURIER, more! (1/21 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
THE GENTLEMEN, THE TURNING, 1917, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, JOJO RABBIT, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, LIKE A BOSS, LITTLE WOMEN, SPIES IN DISGUISE, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNDERWATER (1/24 on), GONE WITH THE WIND (1/26, 1/29), CASHING OUT (1/27, 7 p.m.)

@ Gregory Hall, UIUC, Urbana, IL
“For Art’s Sake” cinema screenings, Greg Hall 100, 7 p.m., free: RASHAMON (1/24), WILD STRAWBERRIES (1/31)

@ Illini Union, UIUC, Urbana, IL
Illini Union Board presents “Weekend Films at the Union” feat. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, Pine Lounge (1/24, 7 p.m.; 1/25, 7 & 10 p.m.; free w/i-card), “Throwback Films at the Union” feat. THE SHINING, Courtyard Café (1/30, 8:30 p.m, free w/i-card)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Reel Deals: FORREST GUMP (1/28, 1/30, 7 p.m.)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

~~~~~

Read the rest of this entry »

MWP reviews begin with ‘Writing’

January 22nd, 2020

~~~~~

It’s a good day to flip the script, dearest readers and studious associates! In the first of a series, we turn our attention to Michael Wiese Productions of Studio City, California, a premier publisher since 1976 of trade books that cover various aspects of motion picture development, production, and distribution. The imprint’s founder, Michael Wiese, is a native of Urbana and contributes to the company from his home in Cornwall, England, while long-time vice president Ken Lee keeps the business humming in the United States. We are in the early stages of planning a feature for the next C-U Confidential issue to celebrate their legacy in a way that addresses the human sense of discovery that lies behind the movie-making process. As for the nuts and bolts of what the process itself requires from its participants on any given show, we will defer to the expert authors at MWP through their work. Once a month for the next few months, leading up to the hoped-for street date of CUZine #11, we will share with you a brand-new review of a choice title from their catalog to demonstrate the breadth of subject matter that can be covered under the category of “film book.” This will also give the doers in our midst a few starting points that will encourage them to investigate all that MWP offers including seminars and instructional videos.

We are grateful to have our own guest writers on board who will split the reviews with your humble editor in this series. His entries will appear in full here at C-U Blogfidential while the others’ work will appear on their own internet spaces to which we’ll direct you. Condensed versions of the set will then be collected in the CUZine feature spread. Our first title is Writing for the Cut: Shaping Your Script for Cinema by Greg Loftin, released by MWP in June 2019. “Loftin does not present his ideas as ‘A Formula for Guaranteed Success,’” confirms Daniel Tice in his review, “but rather a new perspective on the art and craft of screenwriting that bridges the Alpha and Omega of the filmmaking process.” Sounds pretty intriguing to us! Click on this link to check out further thoughts on Writing for the Cut by Tice, who lives in Gibson City and is a screenwriter, craftsman, and producer at Hepp Katt Productions. You can learn more about Writing for the Cut on the MWP website or purchase it through Amazon, while you can listen to an audio interview with Loftin here at Apple Podcasts. Please keep an eye out for our next entry in the series!

~ Jason Pankoke

~~~~~

Calendar: January 17-23, 2020

January 18th, 2020

Our movie and media Calendar appears every Friday/Saturday on C-U Blogfidential and caters to the downstate region anchored by Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA.

~~~~~

MILESTONES | Happy Birthday to You!

1/18: Michelle Kaffko Ebner (owner, Organic Headshots, Chicago, IL)
1/20: Thomas Polk (video production specialist, Office of Public Affairs, UIUC, Champaign, IL)
1/23: Ashlea Thomsen (production manager, L37 Creative, Chicago, IL)

 

MFHQ MEMO | From Chambana Mendota with Love

Since we fell short of composing all the pieces that we had intended to post last year, we’re going to make good on the better ideas in the first half of this year. The effort will include the historic capsules for the Confidential Almanac, of course, so don’t be weirded out if the timing of their belated appearances seem off. It’s by design at this point. We’ll be happy to scratch them out for your continuing film education du C-U so we can cross them off the list. Our one-of-a-kind composite version will also be updated in the near future; its scope will become much more apparent once it’s at full strength. Keep reading!

 

CONFIDENTIAL ALMANAC | Dates in Film Culture History

55 Years AgoSaturday, December 19, 1964: The Castle Theater in downtown Bloomington, Illinois, delights the children of the community with a special premiere of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND HER FRIENDS attended by one of the stars, Stinky the Skunk, and its distributor, K. Gordon Murray. An English-language version of CAPERUCITA Y SUS TRES AMIGOS, the second of three similar movies from Mexico about Red’s adventures in faraway lands with various fantasy companions, this “kiddie matinee” is typical of the product imported and released by Murray’s eponymous K. Gordon Murray Productions, Inc., of Miami, Florida. Between the colorful marketing materials, easily catching the eyes of young theater goers, and the cheery ballyhoo at locations like the Castle, creating excitement for low-budget fairy tales wild with imagination, it is clear that Bloomington native Murray has successfully applied the entrepreneurial lessons he learned while growing up adjacent to a world of carnivals, fairs, and circuses. For today’s event, Robert Powers wears the replica skunk outfit in a more benign twist on the shambling horror costumes and gnarly props foisted on unsuspecting audiences by the likes of William Castle. Rafael Aldrete, known as “El Enano Santanón,” played the diminutive Stinky in the film series as well as Puss n’ Boots in a standalone Murray offering, all directed and produced by Roberto Rodríguez between 1960 and 1962 at the famous Churubusco-Azteca Studios in Mexico City.

 

LOCAL FILMS, ETC. | Support Your Media Storytellers

@ Shatterglass Studios, Champaign, IL
Workshop Films Collective* meeting (1/22, 5:30 p.m.)

 

NOW PLAYING | Champaign-Urbana Area

@ AMC Champaign 13, Champaign, IL
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, WEATHERING WITH YOU, 1917, FROZEN II, THE GRUDGE, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, LIKE A BOSS, LITTLE WOMEN, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNDERWATER (1/17 on), THE GENTLEMEN, THE TURNING (1/23 on)

@ Family Video, Champaign-Urbana, IL
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL, GEMINI MAN, JEXI, BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE, MINE 9, BEYOND THE LAW, THE DEATH & LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN, GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR, more! (1/14 on)

@ Goodrich Savoy 16, Savoy, IL
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, DOLITTLE, 1917, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, BOMBSHELL, FORD V FERRARI, FROZEN II, JOJO RABBIT, JOKER, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, JUST MERCY, KNIVES OUT, LIKE A BOSS, LITTLE WOMEN, SPIES IN DISGUISE, STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, UNCUT GEMS, UNDERWATER (1/17 on), ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (1/17-1/18, 1/20-1/21), HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (1/19, 1/22), BLIND EYES OPENED (1/23, 7 p.m.)

@ The Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Reel Deals: HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE (1/21, 1/23, 7 p.m.)

Events featuring locally produced movies are marked with an asterisk (*). Additional “Now Playing” and “Coming Soon” listings appear after the jump!

~~~~~

Read the rest of this entry »