Tag Archive for 'film'

Who By Fire at Quartiers Danses

Who By Fire has its Canadian premiere this weekend as part of the Quartiers Danses festival in Montréal. I’ll be around for both screenings.

Showtimes:

Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

Saturday, September 14
11am

Cinéma Beaubien

Monday, September 16
7pm

Click here for more info or to buy tickets!

Who By Fire



Who By Fire premiered February 4th 2013 as part of the 2013 Dance On Camera Film Festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Full info is here.

Behind-the-scenes / Concept Videos

Study #1
Study #2
Study #3
Study #4
Study #WellThatMostlyWorkedLetsGoForIt

Production Credits

Director & Choregrapher: Jacob Niedzwiecki
Director of Photography: James Sainthill
Music: ‘Who By Fire’, performed by Buck 65 ft. Jenn Grant, written by Leonard Cohen, used with the kind permission of Warner Music and Sony/ATV.

Cast

Gerald Situ, Adrian Anh Nguyen, Mateo Galindo Torres, Bradley Powell, Marissa Parzei, Tyler Gledhill, Sarah Koekkoek, Luke Garwood, Michael Caldwell, Shannon Litzenberger, Jones Henry, Louis Laberge-Côté, Martine Lusignan, John Ottmann, Johanna Bergfelt.

Swings

Simon Jackson, Jenna Savella, Ji Hong Sayo.

Crew

Production Manager: Pamela Steele
Production Designer: Yannik Larivée
Camera Operators: Rafael Giuliano, Ian McConachie, Simon Jackson Still Photographers: Dean Buscher, Holly Thomas
Hair: Alex Creighton
Makeup: Molly Adey
Production Assistants: Michael Brathwaite, Thaba Niedzwiecki, Margie Niedzwiecki

Sponsors

Witz Education
Vistek
i-technique
Canada’s National Ballet School
The National Ballet of Canada
MediaFontaine
John McLaughlin and Kate Arthur.

Beta testers

Ryan Booth, Krista Dowson, Robert Stephen, James Leja, Sonia Rodriguez, Dylan Tedaldi, Aarik Wells.

Special Thanks

Mentors, advisors, and all-round generous people: Rich Terfry, Phil Strong & John Oswald, Danny Hui, Craig McKay, Brad Copeland, Nick Blasko, Shan Du, Melissa Luu, Khoa Nguyen, Emma Niedzwiecki, Linnea Swan, Aeschylus Poulos, Jeff Morris, and Marc Kirschner.

Who By Fire was made with the generous assistance of MuchFACT.

Chorus and the Ring Fundraising Drive

Jenna Savella

Chorus and the Ring is the working title for the short film I’m currently working on. It brings me back together together with a few artists I’ve worked with before — National Ballet of Canada soloist Jenna Savella, Toronto Dance Theatre alumnus Luke Garwood, and Director of Photography James Sainthill — and features a few new collaborations, with an original score by Jamie Drake and the TorQ Percussion Quartet, costumes by Krista Dowson, and amazing, sculptural 3D-captured forms designed by painter and VFX artist Matt Crookshank.

We’re heading into the final stages of post-production, and we’re asking for a little help to get this project across the finish line. Your donation will allow us to get the most out of our 3D rendering, sound mix, and colour grading — putting the best final polish possible on the film and supporting Luke and Jenna’s amazing performances. We welcome donations of any amount; even ten or twenty dollars will help. All our supporters will receive a “Special Thanks” credit and an exclusive animated GIF of one of the dancers’ 3D forms, as rendered by Matt Crookshank. Donors of $75 or over will receive a framed and signed production still. So hit that button and give what you can!

Donate

We’re really excited to get this project out into the world. Thanks for your help! As a treat, there’s a few more stills below the jump. Continue reading ‘Chorus and the Ring Fundraising Drive’

Spike Solutions #3 – Diptych

Spike Solutions #3 from Jacob Niedzwiecki on Vimeo.

This is the third in an ongoing series of short, focused screen tests of generative compositing techniques. In this diptych, the left and right halves use the same video material and grid; the left crops each instance of the source to a grid square, while the right shrinks it.

In other words, the video in any given zone of the left half is sampled (from that same zone) from the video in the corresponding location on the right half. In this screen test, each clip begins almost in sync, with a slight offset, so you can see movements in the grid ripple from bottom right to top left. A stochastic (fancy word for ‘random’) process occasionally jumps individual clips forward, out of sync. The perspective slowly fractures from a hard grid to shifting shards.

Spike Solutions #2 (Diptych)

Spike Solutions #2 from Jacob Niedzwiecki on Vimeo.

This is the second in an ongoing series of short, focused screen tests of generative compositing techniques. In this diptych, the left and right halves use the same video material and grid; the left crops each instance of the source to a grid square, while the right shrinks it.

In other words, the video in any given zone of the left half is sampled (from that same zone) from the video in the corresponding location on the right half. In this screen test, each clip begins almost in sync, with a slight offset, so you can see movements in the grid ripple from bottom right to top left. A stochastic (fancy word for ‘random’) process occasionally jumps individual clips forward, out of sync.

Spike Solutions #1 (Diptych)

Spike Solutions #1 (Diptych) from Jacob Niedzwiecki on Vimeo.

This is the first in an ongoing series of short, focused screen tests of generative compositing techniques. In this diptych, the left and right halves use the same video material and grid; the left crops each instance of the source to a grid square, while the right shrinks it. The video in any given zone of the left half is sampled (from that same zone) from the video in the corresponding location on the right half. In this screen test, each zone of video begins at a random point partway through the source footage.

The Video, It Moves

I don’t often post about freelance work on this site — it’s more focused on my own projects. But once in a while I get to do some pretty cool stuff, and this is one of those times.

Over the winter, I had the chance to work with actor and producer Martha Burns to design and create a website for her short film anthology Little Films About Big Moments. I’m really happy with how the project turned out — I got to combine a couple of my obsessions into one piece of work, and the site feels like a really natural extension of the films.

I want to thank my friend Khoa Nguyen for acting as technical mentor on the project, and Martha and her production team for their support and great ideas throughout the process.

I hope you check it out: www.littlefilms.ca!

Eye For Film Reviews Helioscape

The UK website Eye For Film offers a review of Helioscape’s premiere at DANCE:FILM 09 in Edinburgh.

This is a beautifully composed work. Beautifully danced. Beautifully photographed. But what I particularly liked was there was neither an absence of cinematic technical innovation nor an excess of it.

Thanks to Chris for the thoughtful review.

Film Festival Bingo — Print It Out And Play

Click for high-res version

 

Update: blogTO highlighted TIFF Bingo in their annual TIFF Film Schedule post.

Instructions: use with your film festival program guide’s film synopses or descriptions. Click for high-res print version. Inspired by yesterday’s release of the Toronto International Film Festival program book. Designed (hastily) by me, written by Pam Steele, Margie Niedzwiecki, and me. I’m going to see if the boys at TIFF will offer any prizes…

Love in Vain (TBA:48)

Entry for the Dance Films Association “What Moves You” 48-Hour Challenge. Link changed to higher-quality version uploaded Sunday morning; the original is here.

Cast: Robert Stephen and Cristina Tucciarone. Special thanks to Pat and Cathie Dwyer, Aryon Elmers, Barbara Lane, Simon MacIntyre, Bev Peat, Jenn Stephen, John and Jane Stephen, Teri Worthington, and all our other donors.

Love in Vain: The Exclusive Making-Of Post

So my entry for the Dance Films Association’s 48 Hour Challenge got in on time and on budget. I owe a huge thank-you to everybody who contributed to said budget; I will be contacting everyone who made a donation to check if I can include their name in this post.

The film was made possible by the incredible team of people who jumped onboard this particular crazy train. Robert Stephen and Cristina Tucciarone were fantastic in the studio and in performance; I have to thank Robert—who has just been deservedly promoted to second soloist at the National Ballet of Canada—especially for putting attractive flesh on the bones of a very quickly-set piece of choreography. Elena Lobsanova (also now a second soloist) acted as rehearsal director and did wonders clarifying character in the choreography as the paint dried. Jeff Morris acted as my technical Yoda, and managed to remind me of various applicable laws of physics in time for me to figure out how to bend rather than break them. Pam Steele combined Stalin’s logistical talents with the grace and kindness of…well, not Josef Stalin. The miraculous John Webster got me thinking about the blues and shared much of his incredible collection of music. None of my work would be possible without Ryan Fontaine.

Two days is forty-eight hours. That’s a six-day work week, if you don’t sleep. And I didn’t, much. Friday night from midnight to three I bought and read newspapers, blogs, and tabloids; I came across the Sheela Ward Friendship Club, a syndicated classified column, in the Sun and the Globe and it hooked me immediately.

NY. 112-089. Correctional Institute Inmate. Tall, handsome Black gentleman. Romantic, compassionate, understanding, soon released. In search of a special lady for LTR. Age 40-60, race not important, a warm heart is.

TX. 112-088. Gentleman, financially secure looking for poor woman for wife. 50-55, very healthy, 5′ tall, under 140lbs, non-smoker.

IL. 112-094. Correctional institute inmate. I’m lonely, 28, handsome. Seeking a nice lady to write. Prefer if your over weight, unattractive, and older than I. Non greedy of course. Smile.

OH. 112-091. Correctional Institute Inmate. Smile. Promise, honesty, a lot of mail and smiles, a real friend, someone you can believe in. Implicitly on your time, allow me to earn your trust.

FL. 112-098. Correctional Institute Inmate. SWM 32. Good-hearted badboy. Been in twelve years. Shed a thousand tears. Love play, lots to say. Enjoy writing, studying, thinking, and laughing. Please respond.

The connection to the blues and specifically to Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain” (the recording of which is in the public domain) happened almost automatically when I read the above ads. I slept for two hours and then literally shot from dawn to midnight (with some rehearsal time in the middle in a studio donated by the National Ballet of Canada). Saturday, I got a couple hours sleep and then hunkered down and edited.

The one disappointing part of the experience was the upload near midnight Saturday to dancemedia.com. I don’t know if their site was getting hammered with other entries, but it was sluggish and kept dropping the upstream connection. I’m sure there are promotional considerations involved, but I would suggest that the DFA use proven infrastructure like YouTube in future events.

I’m very happy with the finished film. Good music goes a long way, and this was: as Robert said, none of us got even remotely tired of it despite it playing on repeat for about twelve hours. Much of the tone emerged during editing as I watched Robert’s performance. I storyboarded the piece pretty carefully (if illegibly) and ended up sticking pretty closely to the plan in the editing.

Crucifixion Checklist

This is one of the many lists I scrawled before the shoot. You might think I was heading out to crucify someone; if you can’t read the chicken-scratch, it reads, “BRING: staple gun, hammer/driver, screws, dance stuff, advil, hacksaw, cell numbers, MUSIC.” I think that says it all.

Help Us Do Something Crazy

More information about the contest.

48 Hours — Let’s Do A Thing

Entered the DFA’s Choreograph/Shoot/Edit in 48 Hours contest. Video is online.(0)