omplete QPORIT

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

 

EXTENDED REALITY, THEATER AND THE TRU STREAMING PANEL


Theater Resources Unlimited (or TRU) is one of the two most important groups training potential producers (and writers and other creators) for professions in the theater. (The other is CTI, the Commercial Theater Institute.)

TRU holds regular panel discussions on many issues of importance to theater professionals. Recently, they held a panel on “Live Streaming and Digital Capture: Bringing Theater into the 21st Century”.

This panel, oriented towards producers, concentrated on the producing challenges necessary for capturing theatrical performances, either for live streaming or later presentation.


Moderator and TRU President Bob Ost
And Panelists Kathryn Jones, Stewart F Lane, and Bonnie Comley
AT THE TRU STREAMING PANEL
Photo by Eric Roffman - QPORIT

One panelist, Kathryn Jones, CEO of VirtualArtsTV, discussed designing a show so that it can incorporate modern social media into the show organically. She works largely with independent theater productions and commercial presentations.

Also on the panel were Broadway producers Stewart F. Lane (Tony Award®-winning producer for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, War Horse, Jay Johnson: The Two & Only, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Will Rogers Follies and La Cage Aux Folles) and Bonnie Comley (Tony Award-winning producer for Jay Johnson: The Two and Only, War Horse and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), co-founders of Broadway HD.

Broadway HD is a company they founded specifically to video capture Broadway theater for live streaming presentations, and for later presentations on the web or in movie houses.

In fact, they recently captured the Roundabout Theater Presentation of SHE LOVES ME, with Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi and Jane Krakowski, and, partnered with Fathom Events, will be presenting it in movie theaters on Dec 1(See below & Check your local listings!)

Much of the discussion centered on two basic issues – first, gaining the rights needed to video capture and release the video of the production: unions want to make sure the actors and crew are compensated and the shows’ producers want to be sure this video will not cannibalize their audience. Secondly, the video producers have to recoup their investment, as well as manage the technical and creative details of filming a show with a minimum of time and cost; not disturbing the production if it is still running; and being true both to the nature of the show, and the special requirements of something that will be seen on a screen.

Advocates of video capture of theater believe it can help, rather than hinder, the success of a show; can provide an additional revenue stream to the show; and, of course, provide a lasting record of theatrical performances whose details would otherwise vanish after they close.

There was also some talk about Virtual Reality as the next stage of video presentation of shows. Here is my take on the importance of XR.

EXTENDED REALITY (XR) is my term for all the new ways to extend storytelling with new technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality, spatial sound, and more…

At this point, capturing shows already on Broadway is challenging enough. There is still even more resistance to XR than to videotaping at this time. However, the promise of XR for the future is tremendous!

XR is closely related to immersive theater.

Film, even 3D film, gives you the feeling of watching a story. Proscenium theater is also something you watch from a distance. By contrast, XR can provide the feeling of being right there, where the action is taking place. There can be the impulse to reach out and touch the people (or even the animated characters) that are “living” right next to you.

One consequence, when shooting live action, panoramic, 3D XR content, is that you want the entire space to be accessible to the viewer. So, you have to get the crew & lights & tech stuff out of the way -- out of the picture; and you often want long takes so the viewer has time can look around and feel they are in a real space. To do that, the script, the set design, and the actors all can best treat each scene as if they are living it. In other words, the techniques of creating immersive theater are very valuable in creating XR content.

Similarly, theater – even proscenium theater -- often tries to create real life in each scene (even though the audience is looking in from more or less one single direction and from varying distances). XR can take theatrical stories, and with just a little restaging, present the play to the viewer as if the viewer were actually right there in the space with the actors. It can bring the participant into the presence of a story in a far more intense and intimate way than simple 2D film in a frame, or any other mode of storytelling.

But, as I noted before, there is still resistance. For example… Broadway HD has on their site a video of Julie Taymor’s brilliant production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that opened the TFANA theater in Brooklyn a few years ago. Shortly after the show was filmed, I happened to talk with Julie Taymor and I asked her if she had considered filming it in Virtual Reality. (It was a production that would be perfect for VR.) She screwed up her face just a bit, and mimed putting her hands in front of her eyes, and asked Do you mean that thing you put on… that covers your face?

In fact, several shows, including Sleep No More, Hamilton, and Cirque De Soleil, have experimented with capturing XR. Mostly, however, these and other shows are, so far, just experimenting with short scenes, demos, and promos.

Perhaps the most exciting merging of XR and theater so far occurs now on Broadway in The Encounter. Simon McBurney & Complicite have incorporated spatial sound (using earphones) as an integral and essential part of the performance.

As XR headsets (from Oculus Rift, Gear VR, HoloLens, Daydream and other systems) improve their resolution (and their accommodation to eyeglasses); as cameras for 3D panoramic capture improve and become more affordable and available; and as post-production software for creating and editing 3D panoramic video improve; all, over the next year or two: I believe that the natural symbiosis between immersive theater and XR will become more and more enjoyable, important, and ubiquitous.




LINKS


EXTENDED REALITY
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2015/09/some-variations-on-reality-extended.html

TRU
http://truonline.org/

THE NEXT TRU PANEL
http://truonline.org/events/solo-shows/

BROADWAY HD
https://www.broadwayhd.com/index.php

VIRTUAL ARTS TV
http://www.virtualarts.tv/

SHE LOVES ME
http://www.fathomevents.com/event/she-loves-me

MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2013/11/julie-taymors-exuberant-midsummer.html

THE ENCOUNTER
http://theencounterbroadway.com/

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

 

WED, NOV 30 - DAY OF DECISION: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CHESS MATCH


WEDNESDAY NOV 30, 2016

FINAL RESULT 

The World Chess Campionship was decided in a four game rapid chess tie-break. 

Magnus Carlson won a decisive victory to celebrate his 26th birthday and retain his position as the World Champion and number 1 rated player in the world. 

The first game, with challenger Karjakin as white, ended in a draw.  In the second game, Carlson had white, gained a strong advantage, but Karjakin held a draw.

In the third game, Carlson forged a strong attack and won. Needing only a draw to clinch the title, Carlson, nevertheless, pressed for a win and, finally, concluded the match with a stunning queen sacrifice which forced mate.  A great end to the match!

Congratulations Magnus and Happy Birthday!


BEFORE THE FINAL GAMES

On Wednesday, Nov 30, 2016, the next World Chess Champion will be decided.

After 12 games, the World Championship Chess Match is tied at 6-6. Current World Champion, Magnus Carlson, and challenger, Sergey Karjakin, each won one game. The rest were tied.

On Wednesday, Nov 30, 2016 (coincidentally Magnus Carlson's 26th birthday), they will play a series of mini-matches with increasingly short time controls. The first to win a mini-match will be the new champion. If no-one has won (after 14 mini-match games), there will be one final game. In the final game, White has more time than Black, but White must win. If the game is drawn (or Black wins), Black is declared the champion.


AFTER GAME 10

In the World Championship Chess Match, being held this year in New York, Champion Magnus Carlson, in the tenth game (after losing the eighth), opening with his King's pawn, successfully evened the match. 

Sergey Karjakin defended with the Ruy Lopez defence. While the game stayed roughly equal for many moves, Carlson was able to maneuver freely, creating threats, until Karjakin made a minor error. Carlson was able to win a pawn and press his advantage until Karjakin, missing opportunities to force a draw, finally succumbed.

The score is now 5 all with two games left to play.  If the two players are equal at 6 all, there will be a tie breaking series of games which must be played faster and faster.

The match can be watched live over the web (with live commentary!), and can be watched live from an observation room.

Go to worldchess.com for more information.


AFTER GAME 8

In the World Championship Chess Match, being held this year in New York, after seven straight draws, challenger Sergey Karjakin from Russia won the eighth game.

Playing white, World Champion Magnus Carlson, from Norway, opened with his queens's pawn. After a long game, in which Carlson seemed to have the possibility of gaining a slight edge, Karjakin kept holding him off (with seconds to spare before the time limit for the first 40 moves ran out).  Trying to win, Carlson made a risky move, and again Karjakin defended brilliantly, as he has been doing for the whole match so far. This time, however, he was able, not just to hold a draw, but to capitalize on Carlson's risky move and, threatening to queen a pawn, win a queen, or mate Carlson, he emerged with the win.

The match is 12 games long.   If it is tied at the end of twelve games, there is a tie breaking series of games that must be played faster and faster.

The match can be watched over the web (with commentary!), and can be watched live from an observation room.

Go to worldchess.com for more information.


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Sunday, November 27, 2016

 

Review: RULES DON'T APPLY


RULES DON’T APPLY is an old-fashioned love story, set roughly fifty years ago. Warren Beatty, who also directs and wrote the script, plays Howard Hughes.

The story hits many of the bullet points of Howard Hughes' life story, without being too careful about the details. In fact, the film starts by suggesting that interesting “facts” should not be checked; and closes with the usual disclaimer that any connection to real people and events is purely coincidental.

Hughes was a major figure in the first half of last century, a pioneer in the film industry, a pioneer in the development of flying and the airline industry, a major defense contractor, and a key figure in a series of intense legal and corporate battles. He was also more odd than is suggested, and far more odd than Warren Beatty portrays him in the film. Hughes has been a character in so many films that IMDB not only has a page for the real Howard Hughes, describing the films he made, but also has a full page of Howard Hughes as a character, listing the many actors who have played him and the films in which he has been portrayed.

Alder Ehrenreich and - especially - Lily Collins are excellent as the young people to come into Hughes' orbit.

Lily Collins, 27 (5’ 5” - Mar 18, 1989) is the daughter of Phil Collins, the singer. Her screen debut came when she was 2 years old. In her teens, she wrote for Seventeen, The LA Times, and other publications. She is also a model and a singer. Recently, she played Snow White in Mirror, Mirror with Julia Roberts, and she has three movies currently in post-production, coming soon.

Warren Beatty, 79 (6’ 2” – Mar 30 1937) is well known as the writer, director and actor of many excellent films. Shampoo, Reds, Bonny and Clyde, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Parallax View, and Heaven Can Wait, are some of my favorites of the films he has starred in.

The film includes cameos from many other familiar actors, including Candice Bergen, Paul Sorvino, Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen and Annette Bening.

As in many of Warren Beatty’s films, the characters must find their way in a world which is structured to deny them what they want. Unlike a super-hero movie, in which the characters take aim at a sea of troubles and vanquish them, here the heroes must find a way to navigate (realistically!) through the hazards and find a calm place to achieve their goals.

RULES DON’T APPLY is a well-made, fun film, perfect for the Holidays!




LINKS

RULES DON’T APPLY - WIKIPEDIA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rules_Don%27t_Apply

RULES DON’T APPLY – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1974420


HOWARD HUGHES - WIKIPEDIA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Hughes

HOWARD HUGHES – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0400652/

THE CHARACTER “HOWARD HUGHES” - WIKIPEDIA
http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0030501


WARREN BEATTY - WIKIPEDIA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Beatty

WARREN BEATTY - IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000886/


LILY COLLINS - WIKIPEDIA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_Collins

LILY COLLINS – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2934314/


ALDEN EHRENREICH - IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2403277


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Saturday, November 19, 2016

 

THE HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW AT NYBG


If you've ever loved model trains, or know any kid, the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) is one of the great places to visit this season!

This year's show begins today, Nov 19, 2016 and runs through Jan 16, 2017. It's easy to get to, and absolutely spectacular and magical!

All the information you need is here:

http://www.nybg.org/hts16/

A few years ago I made a little video showing a bit of the train show.  Since then the show has gotten better and better every year!


Preview: THE HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW AT NYBG





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Thursday, October 06, 2016

 

OCULUS CONN3CT KEYNOTE


The Oculus Connect 3 (or CONN3CT) keynote just concluded.

For me, the biggest stories are...

1. Continued solid progress on creating the best possible VR experience (as opposed to mobile VR which is designed not around "best possible," but "most practical").

1a. The progress includes software advances that enable less expensive Oculus Ready Computers, and the possibility of Oculus Ready Laptops soon.

2. Release of the Oculus Touch controller by the end of the year.

3. A lot of money available for indie development, including diversity.

The keynote concluded with a realistic description of what could be accomplished with VR and AR now and in 5 years. Mixed Reality also got a new name: "augmented virtual reality".


(Less positive was that, at least for me, the NextVR live stream as well as the Twitch live stream kept crashing.  I finally found an embedded Twitch live stream on CNET that worked.  YouTube did not have a live stream. We'll have to see if the recorded keynote is posted later on the Oculus YouTube channel.)


There were (of course) also many new applications previewed that will be available by the holidays, and more coming soon after.

It seems to me that anyone seriously interested in developing for VR and augmented VR, as it continues to improve, should be developing first for the Oculus Rift, and then porting to mobile and other platforms. These other platforms will continually catch up to the leading edge, while the leading edge will continue to forge ahead and be, well, the leading edge.

I do believe that using virtual and augmented reality displays will become a major computing platform, following after the Mainframe, Minicomputer, Personal Computer, Laptop, Tablet, and Smart Phone.





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Saturday, October 01, 2016

 

SNL SEASON PREMIERE - Oct 1, 2016 - MARGOT ROBBIE HOST + THE WEEKND


SNL got off to a great start tonight with a hilarious cold open: Kate McKinnon as Hillary and Alec Baldwin as Donald in the first Presidential debate!

First sketch,with host Margot Robbie as a woman who looks as spectacular as Margot Robbie, was terrific.

Two more fine sketches...  Margot Robbie as the un-Margot Robbie and (the always reliable) Family Feud (Election edition).

A sharper than usual Weekend Update!

(wow. so far, every segment has worked brilliantly!)

The NYFF Women's Roundtable presents insights into the Old Hollywood.

(Lots and lots of commercials. Film & TV previews are fun. But too much else. Not even funny commercials this time. But at least the ample commercial time allowed me to keep up with writing this almost in real time.)

Program ended with an interesting take-off from Mr. Robot.

One of the best written SNL's! Consistent quality and very funny from beginning to end.

PS. ... The program that followed SNL was a 1st Look which featured the East End of Long Island, a reminder of the always fantastic Hamptons International Film Festival that starts this week.

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Thursday, September 08, 2016

 

Preview: JAMES GRAY’S "THE LOST CITY OF Z" - NYFF 2016 CLOSING NIGHT


THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
54th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

CLOSING NIGHT - October 15, 2016
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF JAMES GRAY’S

THE LOST CITY OF Z


Image: Lorey Sebastian
The Lost City of Z, written and directed by James Gray (The ImmigrantTwo Lovers), will be the Closing Night selection of the 54th New York Film Festival. The film, based on journalist David Grann’s nonfiction book of the same name, will make its World Premiere at the festival’s final gala screening on Saturday, October 15. 




THE LOST CITY OF Z
OFFICIAL TRAILER

James Gray’s emotionally and visually resplendent epic tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett (a remarkable Charlie Hunnam), the British military-man-turned-explorer whose search for a lost city deep in the Amazon grows into an increasingly feverish, decades-long magnificent obsession that takes a toll on his reputation, his home life with his wife (Sienna Miller) and children, and his very existence. 


Also starring Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland, The Lost City of Z represents a form of epic storytelling that has all but vanished from the landscape of modern cinema, and a rare level of artistry.

Gray and cinematographer Darius Khondji cast quite a spell, exquisitely pitched between rapture and dizzying terror. 
Gray’s previous film, 2014’s The Immigrant, was an official selection of the 51st New York Film Festival.

The Lost City of Z is produced by Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Anthony Katagas, and Dale Armin Johnson, and is executive produced by Brad Pitt and Marc Butan.




TICKETS

Tickets for the 54th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 11. Becoming a Film Society Member at the Film Buff Level or above provides early ticket access to festival screenings and events ahead of the general public, along with the exclusive member ticket discount. Learn more at
For even more access, VIP passes and subscription packages offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival's biggest events including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Nights. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events, including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “An Evening With…” dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. VIP passes and subscription packages are on sale now. Learn more at
NYFF 2016 PREVIEWS FROM QPORIT

Preview: MAIN SLATE, 54TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL - 2016 
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/08/preview-main-slate-54th-new-york-film.html

Preview: AVA DuVERNAY’S "THE 13th" - NYFF 2016 OPENING NIGHT
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/07/preview-ava-duvernays-13th-nyff-2016_31.html

Preview: MIKE MILLS' 20th CENTURY WOMEN - CENTERPIECE NYFF 2016
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/08/preview-mike-mills-20th-century-women.html

Preview: JAMES GRAY’S "THE LOST CITY OF Z" - NYFF 2016 CLOSING NIGHT
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/09/preview-james-grays-lost-city-of-z-nyff.html

Preview: CONVERGENCE - AT THE 54TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL - 2016
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/08/preview-convergence-at-54th-new-york.html

Preview: NYFF 2016 FILMMAKER TALKS
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/09/preview-nyff-2016-filmmaker-talks.html


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Preview: NYFF 2016 FILMMAKER TALKS


THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
54th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL 2016

FILMMAKER TALKS


On Cinema Conversation
Jim Jarmusch

Free Directors Dialogues
Maren Ade, Kenneth Lonergan,
Mike Mills, Paul Verhoeven

Meet the Makers” talks with Convergence innovators


The festival’s annual master class, On Cinema, will feature a conversation with legendary American independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and NYFF Director Kent Jones.

Jarmusch, a NYFF veteran many times over, has two films in the festival this year: Paterson, starring Adam Driver, in the Main Slate section, and documentary Gimme Danger, about iconic punk rock band The Stooges, in the Special Events section.

Supported by film clips, the in-depth discussion will explore Jarmusch’s indelible career, as well as works that have influenced him as an artist. On Cinema with Jim Jarmusch will take place Tuesday, October 4 at 8:30pm in the Howard Gilman Theater.


Mike Mills

Director: Centerpiece selection 20th Century Women
NYFF 2016
Courtesy NYFF


Directors Dialogues, presented free to the public each year, feature notable filmmakers from this year’s festival sitting down for a special Q&A with a NYFF selection committee member to discuss their craft and moviemaking approach, as well as the current state of film. This year’s participating directors include

·        Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann),
·        Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea),
·        Paul Verhoeven (Elle), and
·        Mike Mills (Centerpiece selection 20th Century Women).

All four of these directors’ newest films are screening as part of the NYFF54 Main Slate. This year the Directors Dialogues will take place at both the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center’s Amphitheater and a new venue, the Bruno Walter Theater (located at the Lincoln Center Public Library for Performing Arts).


Additionally, NYFF will present Meet the Makers, a series of talks with creators of projects in the Convergence section. Highlights include

·      Priya’s Mirror innovators Ram Devineni and Dan Goldman on fusing augmented reality and comic books to shatter taboos around the world—with UN Women’s Global Youth Champion Monica Singh in person to share her story, which inspired the project;

·      A panel with filmmakers behind Global Lives Project’s large-scale installation Lives in Transit;

·      Late Shift creators Baptiste Planche and Tobias Weber on choose-your-own-adventure interactive narrative films;

·      Soundhunters app creators François Le Gall and Nicolas Blies on remixing the world of sounds around you into a transmedia experience; and

·      A conversation with the collaborators of the popular returning project Sherlock Holmes & The Internet of Things.


Meet the Makers conversations are free and open to the public.


Alongside On Cinema, Directors Dialogues, and Meet the Makers, the festival’s popular free NYFF Live series will return this year. NYFF Live talks, which are also sponsored by HBO®, will include a combination of clips, trailers, and extended conversations with festival filmmakers and special guests, with questions also taken from the audience. NYFF Live takes place daily in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater.
 

TICKETS

NYFF Directors Dialogues and Meet the Makers talks are free and open to the public.

On Cinema tickets are $15; $10 for Film Society Members and Students.

Tickets for the 54th New York Film Festival, including the On Cinema talk, will go on sale September 11. Tickets are now on sale to Film Society members and patrons at select levels. Learn more about NYFF tickets, including a complete list of on-sale dates, prices, discount options, and rush and standby policies, at


For even more access, VIP passes and subscription packages offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival's biggest events including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Nights. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events, including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “An Evening With…” dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. VIP passes and subscription packages are on sale now. Learn more at



DETAILS


ON CINEMA

On Cinema: Jim Jarmusch (Paterson, Gimme Danger)
In this annual master class, NYFF director Kent Jones sits down with world-renowned filmmakers for an in-depth conversation about films from other directors that have influenced and inspired them, their talk illustrated with film clips. For the 2016 edition, Jones sits down with legendary American independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, who has two films featured in this year's festival.
Tuesday, Oct 4, 8:30pm (Howard Gilman Theater in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street)


DIRECTORS DIALOGUES

Directors Dialogues: Maren Ade
One of the most vivid, electrifying talents in cinema today, German director Maren Ade makes breathtakingly intimate films keyed in to the subtle interactions and sometimes inexplicable grand gestures that make us human. A major highlight of this year’s NYFF, her latest film, Toni Erdmann, is an emotional and hilarious dazzler, unlike anything else you’ve seen.
Sunday, Oct 2, 7pm  (Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street)

Directors Dialogues: Kenneth Lonergan
Refusing to shy away from nearly unutterable emotions, the forceful new film from Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea, follows a troubled Massachusetts handyman (an unforgettable Casey Affleck) who travels to his North Shore hometown after the death of his brother and must confront memories of an earlier tragedy. As proven in You Can Count on Me and Margaret, few American filmmakers today are better at making movies that express how difficult it is to move on from the past.
Sunday, Oct 2, 3pm (Bruno Walter Auditorium, 111 Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets)

Directors Dialogues: Mike Mills
Following his Oscar-winning Beginners, Mike Mills has fashioned a moving, funny film, 20th Century Women, starring Annette Bening as a single mother raising a teenage son in a bohemian house in 1979 Santa Barbara. All of the details are just right in this culturally specific yet widely accessible American comedy, which is the Centerpiece film of this year’s NYFF.
Sunday, Oct 9, 3pm (Bruno Walter Auditorium)

Directors Dialogues: Paul Verhoeven
At first blush, it’s hard to believe the same director responsible for the ultraviolent action masterpiece RoboCop and the blockbuster thriller Basic Instinct is also responsible for Elle, the new film starring the great Isabelle Huppert as a video-game designer who has a surprising and complex response after she is raped by a home invader. But all his provocative films are of a piece: wry, satirical, and knowing takes on culture, movies, and personal fantasy.
Thursday, Oct 13, 7pm (Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater)


CONVERGENCE: MEET THE MAKERS SESSIONS

MEET THE MAKERS: PRIYA’S MIRROR
Ram Devineni, Dan Goldman, Monica Singh
Ram Devineni and Dan Goldman, co-creators of the hugely popular augmented reality comic book series Priya, present the next installment, titled Priya’s Mirror, which concerns acid attacks. Joining Devineni and Goldman is Monica Singh, who shares her resilient story about surviving a brutal acid attack and later becoming UN Women’s Global Youth Champion.
Sunday, Oct 2, 1pm (Howard Gilman Theater in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street)

MEET THE MAKERS: LIVES IN TRANSIT
Global Lives Project
Lives in Transit chronicles 24 hours in the lives of transportation workers from around the world. Join us for a screening of shorts about drivers of boats, buses, trains, motorcycles, cars and horse carts; a traveling circus performer; and a collector of a rare aphrodisiac fungus. A panel of the films’ directors will speak about their experiences collaborating to make this series possible.
Saturday, Oct 1, 5:30pm (Howard Gilman Theater)

MEET THE MAKERS: SOUNDHUNTERS
François Le Gall and Nicolas Blies
Join the creators of the Soundhunters App—a tool that allows people to record and tag sounds via their mobile devices, sample, and remix them into their own unique musical compositions—for an in-depth look at this multifaceted, international transmedia experience.
Saturday, Oct 1, 1pm (Howard Gilman Theater)

MEET THE MAKERS: LATE SHIFT
Baptiste Planche and Tobias Weber
Is the future of feature filmmaking fully interactive, choose-your-own-adventure style storytelling? The creators of Late Shift and CtrlMovie, the interactive film format powering the project, will explore the challenges inherent in creating audience-directed interactive films.
Sunday, Oct 2, 4:30pm (Howard Gilman Theater)

MEET THE MAKERS: SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE INTERNET OF THINGS
Lance Weiler and Nick Fortugno

Two years in development, Sherlock Holmes & The Internet of Things spans the globe with events in dozens of cities powered by over two thousand collaborators actively contributing to this “copyleft” experiment. Lead collaborators Weiler and Fortugno will comment on the state of the project and reflect on what their experiences tell us about the future of shared stories.
Sunday, Oct 2, 1pm (Howard Gilman Theater)


NYFF 2016 PREVIEWS FROM QPORIT

PreviewMAIN SLATE, 54TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL - 2016 
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/08/preview-main-slate-54th-new-york-film.html

Preview: AVA DuVERNAY’S "THE 13th" - NYFF 2016 OPENING NIGHT
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/07/preview-ava-duvernays-13th-nyff-2016_31.html

Preview: MIKE MILLS' 20th CENTURY WOMEN - CENTERPIECE NYFF 2016
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/08/preview-mike-mills-20th-century-women.html

Preview: JAMES GRAY’S "THE LOST CITY OF Z" - NYFF 2016 CLOSING NIGHT
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/09/preview-james-grays-lost-city-of-z-nyff.html

PreviewCONVERGENCE - AT THE 54TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL - 2016
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/08/preview-convergence-at-54th-new-york.html

Preview: NYFF 2016 FILMMAKER TALKS
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/09/preview-nyff-2016-filmmaker-talks.html

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Monday, August 15, 2016

 

Preview: CONVERGENCE - AT THE 54TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL - 2016


THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
54th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

CONVERGENCE

October 1-4, 2016

Nine new works include: two World Premieres, audience-directed narrative films, large-scale installations, virtual and augmented reality projects, and more immersive storytelling innovations

Talks featuring ILMxLAB’s Hilmar Koch & Nick Rasmussen, StoryCode’s Mike Knowlton,
Producer Lindsay Doran on the psychology of storytelling

& a sneak peek of Traveling While Black



The Convergence section of the 54th New York Film Festival will take place October 1–4, 2016  (with one project running through the 16th).
(Note that the NY Film Festival, as it often does, has insensitively scheduled events, including some of these, on Rosh Hashanah, an important Jewish Holiday which begins on the evening of Oct 2 and continues with services and celebrations through October 3 and for many celebrants through the 4th as well.)
The fifth edition of the annual program delves into the world of immersive storytelling via nine interactive experiences, featuring virtual reality, augmented reality, installations, and more—including two World Premieres and one U.S. Premiere.
"The art of immersive storytelling is continually evolving," said NYFF Convergence programmer Matt Bolish. "Our mission has been consistent from our first year to this, our fifth: bringing the best survey of interactive work to the NYFF audience. The core of the program remains an exciting slate of participatory pieces augmented by talks on a wide range of topics related to immersive and interactive art."
Over the course of the weekend, audiences can explore a multitude of non-traditional film experiences, including immersive storytelling experiences Sound Hunters, where users record the sounds of their world via an app, mixing and remixing their own electronic music compositions; thrilling audience-directed heist film Late Shift in its U.S. premiere; and, back by popular demand for a second year, the hyper-collaborative Sherlock Holmes & The Internet of Things, in which participants assume the role of the famed detective to solve mysterious crimes across Lincoln Center.

Virtual reality highlights are the World Premiere of acclaimed Indian work Priya’s Mirror, which fuses comic books and augmented reality to shatter taboos around the subject of violence against women; Giant, which transports the viewer into a family’s bomb shelter in an active war zone; Ricerca VR, which incorporates 2D and stop-motion artistry to create a visually stunning world; and Cardboard City, where participants become artists by adding buildings, memories, and stories to an ever-evolving cityscape. Also featured are two interactive video installations: EKO, a trio of interactive shorts that masterfully balance technical achievement and quality storytelling, and the World Premiere of large-scale Lives in Transit, which chronicles 24 hours in the lives of 10 transportation workers across the globe, and which will run from October 1-16.
Complementing these nine experiential works are various talks and panels. Presentations include
·        ILMxLAB visionaries Hilmar Koch and Nick Rasmussen on collaborative innovations in immersive entertainment;
·        Positive Psychology expert Lindsay Doran on the psychology of storytelling;
·        The State of the (Interactive) Art, a panel for StoryCode’s fifth anniversary, with cofounder Mike Knowlton and special guests;
·        And a special preview event for the much-anticipated project Traveling While Black, highlighted by a sneak peek at its first VR piece and a panel discussion with Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams.
The complete schedule will be announced at a later date.
NYFF filmmaker conversations and panels, including a series of “Meet the Makers” conversations with featured Convergence storytellers, will be announced in the coming weeks.

TICKETS
Convergence experiences and installations are free and open to the public. Special Talks are $15; $10 for Film Society Members and Students. See more and save with a 3+ ticket discount package. Learn more at filmlinc.org/NYFF.
Tickets for the 54th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 11. Becoming a Film Society Member at the Film Buff Level or above provides early ticket access to festival screenings and events ahead of the general public, along with the exclusive member ticket discount. Learn more at filmlinc.org/membership.
For even more access, VIP passes and subscription packages offer the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events including Opening and Closing Nights, and Centerpiece. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events, including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “An Evening With…” dinners, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. VIP passes and subscription packages are on sale now. Learn more at filmlinc.org/NYFF.

NYFF54 CONVERGENCE EVENTS AND DESCRIPTIONS

Experiences and Installations

"Red Coaster CU VR"
CARDBOARD CITY
Courtesy New York Film Festival

Cardboard City
Kiira Benzing, Stina Hamlin
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality, 2016, USA, 3m
Cities are in a constant state of flux, waxing and waning along with their populations. Many consider these cycles of growth and decline part of the appeal of urban living, but change has consequences for those not able to keep up. Such is the case with the subjects of Cardboard City, a community of artists forced out of their Gowanus studios due to skyrocketing rents and runaway development. Blending virtual reality, augmented reality, and user-generated content, the piece is a hands-on interactive installation that uses these artists’ stories as a jumping-off point, before inviting viewers to become creators and add buildings, memories, and stories to an ever evolving cityscape.
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2
EKO
Interlude, Sandeep Parikh, Casey Donahue, Daniel Scheinert, Billy Chew
Interactive Video Installation, 2016, USA
Interactive video projects often weigh mechanics against storytelling, creating an unbalanced final product: it’s a technical achievement or a quality story, but rarely both. EKO, a new video platform that responds to the viewer’s input, may finally have balanced the scales. Audiences are invited to experience a trio of interactive shorts built on this new platform: The Gleam, an interactive documentary about a small town paper; That Moment When, a comedy that asks the viewer to navigate a battery of awkward conversations; and Now/Then, a Rashomon-inspired story focused on the various perspectives swirling around a relationship on the rocks.
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2
Giant
Milica Zec, Winslow Turner Porter III
Virtual Reality, 2016, USA, 10m
Virtual reality has been so central to recent discussions of interactive storytelling that it’s easy to forget that the form is still relatively new. With the ability to drop the viewer into an immersive environment, it’s no wonder that early conversations about VR stories focus on the empathy between audiences and subjects. This is used to startling effect in Giant. Transported to a basement shelter in an active war zone, we watch—and listen—as parents try to distract their daughter from the thunder of bombs. This is more than a film rendered in 360 degrees; it’s a testament to the power of this nascent form of storytelling.
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2
Late Shift
Baptiste Planche, Tobias Weber
Audience-Directed Narrative Feature, 2016, Switzerland, 80m
Are games and films on a collision course? It’s a question asked every time emergent technologies broaden what’s possible with a little code, a story, and the will to blend the two. Yet while cinematic games are commonplace, game-like films are not. The high-octane thriller Late Shift aims to change that. A parking attendant’s world is turned upside down when he’s forced to take part in a brazen heist, and the audience makes choices to shape the story via an app. The branching narrative is flawlessly executed, creating an in-theater experience as enjoyable for the casual viewer as the hardcore “player.” U.S. Premiere
Howard Gilman Theater, Sunday October 2, 5:30pm
Lives in Transit
Global Lives Project
Video Installation, 2015/2016, USA
The San Francisco–based Global Lives Project produces long-form documentaries that capture the rich diversity of human experience and engender cross-cultural dialogue and understanding.  Each 24-hour film provides a window onto a single day in the life of its subject. This latest iteration of the project, Lives in Transit, focuses on ten individuals who in their own ways are responsible for moving people and products throughout the world. Presented as a large-scale video installation, Lives in Transit is more than an exploration of ten unique people—it is a dynamic ground-level examination of our hyper-connected world. World Premiere
Walter Reade Theater’s Furman Gallery, October 1-16
Priya’s Mirror
Ram Devineni, Dan Goldman, Paromita Vohra, Shubra Prakash, Vikas Menon
Augmented Reality Installation, 2016, USA/India
Launched in 2014, Priya’s Shakti was a first-of-its-kind fusion of augmented reality, comic books, and social engagement. The story of Priya, a rape survivor and modern-day superhero, shattered taboos that exist in India on the subject of violence against women. The second volume of this ongoing series, Priya’s Mirror sees the heroine joining forces with acid attack survivors to take on the demon king Ahankar. As with its predecessor, Priya’s Mirror makes use of augmented reality to bring the 2D world of the comic to vivid life and unlock a number of interactive story elements. World Premiere
Walter Reade Theater’s Furman Gallery, October 1-16
Ricerca VR
Yo-Yo Lin, Will Cherry, Steve Dabal, Elle Callahan, Michael Matchen
Virtual Reality, 2016, USA, 15m
It’s no coincidence that we are so moved by stories about quests. The search—for love, for forgiveness, for meaning—is an essential aspect of our humanity. In Ricerca (Italian for “search”), a man scours his memories for something lost, traversing a lush world rendered with a vibrant mix of 2D and stop-motion animation. Originally presented as a large-scale video installation, the reimagined piece employs virtual reality to extend its life beyond the gallery space, raising a compelling question: what will the relationship be between VR and the world of fine art?
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2

Sherlock Holmes & The Internet of Things
Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno
Immersive Storytelling Experience, 2016, USA
While one imagines that real criminal investigators hope for the shortest distance between crime and conviction, readers of detective fiction care more about the journey: the more twists the better. The same could be said for this ever-evolving storytelling experiment. Since its launch, participants from 20 countries have taken part in a project that uses the emergent web of connected digital devices to investigate mysteries with the world’s favorite consulting detective. For the second year, NYFF invites audiences to step into Holmes’s shoes to solve a string of crimes across Lincoln Center’s campus.
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 (1:00pm, 2:30pm, 4:00pm)
Sound Hunters
François Le Gall, Nicolas Blies
Immersive Storytelling Experience, 2015, France
Long before Lawrence Lessig, Austin Kleon, and Malcolm Gladwell each dubbed this the Age of the Remix, T. S. Eliot wrote, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” With Sound Hunters, the audience makes music by recording and remixing the sounds of the world around them. Created by François Le Gall and Nicolas Blies, this multifaceted project does more than make music from the audio of everyday life; each uploaded sound is a window onto its author’s world, and every song created by the Sound Hunter community is as much a remix of distinctive life experiences as of unique audio elements.
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2
SPECIAL TALKS
ILMxLAB
Hilmar Koch and Nick Rasmussen, ILMxLAB
Founded in 2015, ILMxLAB fuses the talents of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic, and Skywalker Sound to create a new, collaborative space to experiment with stories across all visual media platforms—those we know well and those just being established. The lab encourages exploration, and, yes, even failure as a means for discovering new ways to tell and experience stories. Discovery is at the very heart of the lab’s work. Hilmar Koch and Nick Rasmussen will share some of their personal discoveries from their journey so far and reflect on the promise and perils of working at the frontiers of storytelling.
Saturday, October 1, 4:00pm
The Psychology of Storytelling: Lindsay Doran
Oscar-nominated producer and studio executive Lindsay Doran brings more than 30 years of experience in the movie business to bear on this examination of what the field of Positive Psychology can teach us about the secrets of writing a satisfying movie—and how our “deep-seated fear of the saber-tooth tiger” keeps them secret. Doran has served as the President of United Artists and as the President of Sydney Pollack’s Mirage Productions.  Doran’s first film credit was on the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. As a producer, her credits include Dead Again, Sense and Sensibility, Nanny McPhee, and Stranger Than Fiction.
Monday October 3, 2016, 6:30pm
The State of the (Interactive) Art
StoryCode’s Mike Knowlton, interactive theater director Michael Rau, filmmaker Ram Devineni, and more
The NYC Transmedia Meetup was founded as a monthly gathering of creative professionals looking to discuss the emerging field of multi-platform storytelling. By 2011, the group had evolved from a loose confederation of storytellers into a community that would become known as StoryCode. That same year, NYFF launched its Convergence section. On the fifth anniversary of both programs, StoryCode cofounder Mike Knowlton and a panel of key players from the New York interactive scene— Convergence veterans, game designers, immersive theater directors, virtual reality producers, and interactive filmmakers—reflect on where we’ve been and imagine where we’re headed.
Saturday October 1, 2:30pm
Traveling While Black: Special Preview Event
Roger Ross Williams, Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, Lina Srivastava, Yasmin Elayat

Published in 1936, the Green Book became an essential tool for African American travelers. The book consisted of a coast-to-coast listing of bars, hotels, and other businesses that were black-friendly in the age of Jim Crow. Traveling While Black presents a contemporary exploration of the issues related to restricted movement in modern-day America with a suite of experiences including a traveling museum exhibit, virtual reality films, and live events. Academy Award–winning director Roger Ross Williams will present a sneak peek of this compelling project, including a live performance, a teaser of the project’s first VR piece, and a panel discussion. 
Tuesday, October 4, 6:30 pm



NYFF 2016 PREVIEWS FROM QPORIT

PreviewMAIN SLATE, 54TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL - 2016 
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/08/preview-main-slate-54th-new-york-film.html

Preview: AVA DuVERNAY’S "THE 13th" - NYFF 2016 OPENING NIGHT
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/07/preview-ava-duvernays-13th-nyff-2016_31.html

Preview: MIKE MILLS' 20th CENTURY WOMEN - CENTERPIECE NYFF 2016
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/08/preview-mike-mills-20th-century-women.html

Preview: JAMES GRAY’S "THE LOST CITY OF Z" - NYFF 2016 CLOSING NIGHT
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/09/preview-james-grays-lost-city-of-z-nyff.html

PreviewCONVERGENCE - AT THE 54TH NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL - 2016
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/08/preview-convergence-at-54th-new-york.html

Preview: NYFF 2016 FILMMAKER TALKS
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2016/09/preview-nyff-2016-filmmaker-talks.html






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