Saturday, April 18, 2015

Comments on the excellent SF WebFest entries

Hi all,

I was one of the judges for the inaugural San Francisco Web Film Festival happening June 5-7 at the New People Cinema in San Francisco, CA. We have completed our judging and the Official Selections have been announced!


A few comments about some of the excellent submissions, and my thoughts on the quality of web series in general.

I judged across 7 different categories for SF WebFest and categories particularly impressive to me were "Emotions" (Drama), "Facts" (Documentaries), and "Kids" (Children's Shows). The quality and production value of the entries were astounding. I found most Dramatic entries had interesting shooting techniques, intriguing storylines, and stellar cinematography. "Whatever, Linda", "The Banks" and "Status" all blew me away.

The Documentaries had a lot of heart and soul, particularly "Street Cuts" and "Dress Up! with George B. Style". George's enthusiasm and dedication made his show a pleasure to watch. "Street Cuts" is a brilliantly executed concept, skillfully edited, and a perfectly structured webisode. This series, in particular, is a shining example of what the democratization of filmmaking and distribution has done -- increasing the ability for artist genius like this to be unleashed in a powerful, moving, and high-quality, bite-size package.

The Children's Programming was also of specific note. The international entries from Canada were easily TV-quality already -- from hilariously intriguing and silly scripts to a comedy series for kids aiming to encourage cooking and baking at home with their parents, entries like "Ruby Skye P.I." and "Ty the Pie Guy" demonstrated how the platform of internet distribution is going to completely alter the landscape of children's programming going forwards.

Thank you to all the organizers of SF Web Fest, and I hope attendees of the festival in June enjoy the entries as much as I did.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"BATKID BEGINS Is An Awesome Display of Human Decency"

Thank you Screen Invasion for another epic Batkid Begins review!
http://screeninvasion.com/2015/04/batkid-begins-awesome-display-human-decency-diff-2015-movie-review/

Really exciting when people "get it", you can hear the theme "click" at a certain point in some of the reviews like this great one:
"As the film begins to mine this tremendous outpouring of support it takes on an air of poignancy I wasn’t expecting.  Why did this strike a chord with so many people? What about this wish brought so many people together? More importantly, what meaning does this day have for those that participated in it?"
It's so satisfying that people are feeling the meaning of the day, and thinking more deeply about what it represents. This is so cool.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

'Batkid Begins' June 26, 2015 Theatrical Release Date!!!!!

Just heard from our EP that this is for reals!!!!!!!!! Holy moly.

As The Hollywood Reporter writes: "'Batkid Begins' Doc Gets Prime Summer Release Date" -- couldn't agree more! This is incredible. What a great time for the release and I hope this means lots of families are able to see this brilliantly-crafted Documentary.

I am soooo excited for more folks to get to enjoy Dana and Kurt's truly beautiful film, and to see a whole bunch of behind-the-scenes of many, many, many hardworking people in San Francisco and well beyond putting their heads and hearts together to make a difference in a young boy's life.

The film so perfectly captures the spirit of the "Batkid Day" in San Francisco. It's so epic that more people will experience firsthand how we all felt that day: how much damn fun it is to donate your time and energy to making your local community shine... and how those kinds of selfless community service projects can be a truly powerful inspirational and world-changing force for good.

Kapow!

Press:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

You need a "side hustle"

My buddy Andrea just posted this article, and I thought I'd re-post it here. This rocks:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danny-rubin/9-reasons-why-every-twent_b_3605590.html

This is a cool little concept which I love: a "side hustle". It's promoting the importance of having projects "on the side" from your job, things like volunteering, working on an iPhone app, writing a blog... (hey, or why not all of those things?!)

As a man who loves the side projects, I really like the phrase "side hustle" -- it rocks. It's something that really helps inspire me and push me to challenge myself outside of my day-to-day job. Even with a demanding job and an inspiring job (like I am so lucky to get to do every day), it's still super epic to come up with something that matters and cruuusssh it on the (late late) weekday nights, or on random weekends... I love it. Do all the things!

This also sortof reminds me of a shirt my buddy Jahkeeli posted once:

So, like that, but minus the sleep part.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

From TED 2015: T-1000 does it again!

A great TED Talk was just posted to TED.com from the TED 2015 conference happening now in Vancouver, BC. Check it out: http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_desimone_what_if_3d_printing_was_25x_faster

This is a 3D Printing company who were inspired by the T-1000 robot in Terminator 2, and have made a 3D printer that is 25-100x faster than those currently on the market.

Looks like the T-1000 didn't just inspire my career... seems like this brilliant visual effect is still hard at work, changing the world for for the better :) 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Batkid Begins: Opening Night at CINEQUEST 25

It's been a few busy weeks since the opening night of CINEQUEST 25, and I've just now had a moment to download my iPhone photos and drum up a few fun links to share from our crazy evening opening the Cinquest Film Festival in San Jose, California.

What an EPIC time. Sweet damn, was it ever epic.

We started the evening standing in the beautiful February air in San Jose, basking in the glow of the Marquee: "Cinequest 25 Film Festival", ready to head in and open the festival with Batkid Begins.

Here we gooooo!!! Batkid Begins kicking off the 25th CINEQUEST Film Festival!
Bling
Ted (who owns "the" Batmobile from the Batkid Day), arrived in style :)
Welp, this is exciting
M'lady
After a short wait, we all headed inside and began to crowd around the Red Carpet. We took some photos and a few of us did some interviews. That rocked. This documentary is such an excellent platform to further spread the message of banding together with other determined people to make your community a better place... I gladly took the opportunity to continue spreading our message!

Me, Rob (Animation), Jake (Cinematography), about to walk the red carpet
Dana knocking interviews out of the park
CINEQUEST Red Carpet
Let the games begin!
Me, talking animatedly about... something :)
"Rock and Roll": Ted, Patricia and Me
Patricia showing off the Bat-Clutch
You know, doing our thing!
I don't have the CBS 5 KPIX interview, but here's some video from The Daily Quirk of Patricia and I chatting about the Batkid day: http://thedailyquirk.com/2015/03/02/video-an-exclusive-interview-with-patricia-wilson-and-mike-jutan-of-batkid-begins-at-cinequest/

After some photos and chatting with some interviewers, we headed into the wondrous and beautiful California Theatre just in time for CINEQUEST founder Halfdan Hussey to introduce the 25th Season and our Opening Night Film: Batkid Begins.

The opening night of CINEQUEST 25
OMMMGGGGG
The sold-out 1200-person screening was an amazing success and it was just a pleasure to watch it with such a large crowd -- a crowd much larger than anyone I'd seen it with prior (including Slamdance). People were incredibly gracious and kind afterwards and it was a really great experience.

After the screening, Cast and Crew all went up on stage and answered some questions.

Cast and Crew on stage after the screening
Sold out crowd!
Woo!
Cast and Crew
Laughing with Patricia and Don
And of course, back to the red carpet to fool around and have fun with the cameras, but also to do some more serious chats and take some more photos.

CBS 5 KPIX interview with Patricia
Looking on in awe at the living legend, Patricia Wilson :)
A little blurry, but good :)
Ommmggggg
Selection of Batkid Cast and Crew: Dave, Dana, Me, Kurt, Naomi
And that was that! An amazing opening night and a really stellar crowd of filmgoers. From there, we all headed over to the After Party at The Farmers Union. It was incredibly well organized, the food was glorious, the drinks were flowing... and most excitingly, the people were just SO jazzed about the message in the movie. That, to me, was the most exciting part. Lots of folks came up and were keen to chat, but not just to take selfies... but to actually chat about what the Batkid day means, if other cities could follow San Francisco's lead, how community service has been changed by social media. I had a stack of wonderfully inspiring conversations with inspired, smart, passionate people. Isn't that just exactly what the Bay Area is ALL about?!!

And... time for a beer
Batkid Begins Cinequest Opening Night After Party
 And then, of course, the After-After Party...

...and then Joe and I took a Lyft to a Jack In The Box drive-through for 2am dinner. Dave very psyched about the curly fries.
What an incredible evening and I am so grateful that CINEQUEST chose the film to open the festival. It was a real joy and a pleasure to be there and to take part, and the audience really was top-notch, as evidenced by all the conversations with folks afterwards. CINEQUEST, take a bow!

Sal Pizarro from San Jose Mercury News posted an awesome article following the evening (where he introduces me as "an exuberant engineer at Lucasfilm" -- haha): http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_27597364/pizarro-batkid-begins-makes-cinequest-opening-night-wish?source=infinite

IndieWire also mentions the film: http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/cinequest-at-25-from-batkid-begins-to-barco-escape-20150227

And perhaps my favourite article was this review by Artsalot: https://artsalot.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/review-batkid-begins-cinequest/, showing just how much people in the Bay Area "get it", and understand exactly the message I think the movie portrays so powerfully. I love this city!

​What an amazing and truly crazy time. I was so honoured to have been there with the (majority of the) cast and crew. What an experience to all have together as we continue to share this beautifully captured moment-in-time with the world. :)

This was my third time seeing the movie in a theatre and I'm still overwhelmed with feelings of "being there"-- it really does transport me back to the big day and the visuals and editing and music and sound effects and animation all play so perfectly together. I can't imagine any possibility of anyone telling this story more eloquently than Dana and Kurt did.

Thanks again to CINEQUEST and to Dana, Liza, Kurt and Ian and the rest of the cast and crew for making this a night to remember!

To tie a bow on an already perfect gift... on  March 10th, CINEQUEST announced some more epic news...
The votes are finally tabulated…and the AUDIENCE WINNERS for Cinequest 25 are:

AUDIENCE AWARD: NARRATIVE FEATURE
Traces of Sandalwood
Director: Maria Ripoll

AUDIENCE AWARD: DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World
Director: Dana Nachman
Wahoo!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The rise of the driverless car

Absolutely fascinating. Didn't make the leap to this completely changing the parking lot industry too... Totally nuts. This is really a huge, huge, huge cultural and social change we are on the precipice of! http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/01/27/how-ubers-autonomous-cars-will-destroy-10-million-jobs-and-reshape-the-economy-by-2025-lyft-google-zack-kanter/