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To Live and Write in LA

LA Film Fest: Kiernan Shipka of ‘Mad Men’ and Meg Ryan make ‘Fan Girl’ Fun

'Fan Girl', by director Paul Jarrett and screenwriter Gina O'Brien, was a total trip when it premiered at the LA Film Festival. A “trip”? Dude, that’s so last century. If there is anything this movie isn’t, it’s last century. Fan Girl is a winner of a movie because of the writing, the casting, and the acting. If all that works together, the director deserves credit as well. On the surface Fan Girl is a story of teenager Telulah Farrow, played by Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men, Flowers in the Attic), who adulates the punk band All Time Low. She thinks she needs to connect with the band and create a music video for her filmmaking class to launch her movie career. What she really needs, and the story beneath the surface, is to learn what is really important in human relationships.

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LA Film Fest: Tying People Up for Laughs and Revenge

I’m making sure the windows are locked tonight. Three consecutive films I viewed at the Los Angeles Film Festival, June 10-18, dealt with tying people up. Not in a nice way, but at least in two cases, a funny way. 'Caught' tells the tale of a teen having an affair with a married man who is kidnapped by the man’s wife and, among other things, tied up. In 'Shevenge', three BFFs fantasize about how to punish men, which involves tying them up. In 'Old Tricks', a burglar learns that you should never try to steal from a retired magician and escape artist. They’re kind of hard to tie up.

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DWF: Three Shorts – Fantasy, Love and Our Fragile Grasp on Reality

Why do filmmakers create short films? Sometimes they are truly motivated to tell a story which only fits in a short format. Other times, it is to show off their skills in order to establish their credentials. Once in a while, they may make a short version of a film that they ultimately want to turn into a feature length production. At this year’s Dances With Films (DWF) festival, held in Hollywood in June, the selection of short films was impressive and contained examples which both fit into and transcended the above reasons. Three films I found impressive all dealt with our perception of what is real: 'Funny Love,' 'Waste Paper,' and 'Waiting for You.'

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DWF Movie Review: ‘Wildlike’ – A Journey through Loss and Abuse to Redemption

Wildlike, a film by writer/director Frank Hall Green, was shown during the eighteenth Dances With Films (DWF) indie-film festival in Hollywood. Dances With Films promotes itself as relying on “innovation, talent, creativity and sweat equity” rather than celebrity. All those good qualities are evident in Wildlike. The film has an intriguing story, great characters and an interesting production history.

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Movie Review: ‘Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World’ – ‘Alien’ and a Ticket for a Tat

If you were at the NuArt Theater in Los Angeles on May 15 or 16, you could have gotten a ticket for a tat. If that tattoo was based on the work of H.R. Giger, that is, and you wanted to see the premiere of 'Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World.' H.R. Giger was a relatively obscure surrealist artist until 1979 when the world saw his design work in Ridley Scott’s 'Alien'. From that moment, the world of science fiction and horror, rock music album covers, punk and goth culture, and tattoos and fetish art was changed forever.

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NAB 2015: A Producer’s Guide to Story, Budget, Strategy and Brand with Amy DeLouise

At this year’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, the annual Las Vegas conclave of television, radio, internet and supporting industries, video expert Amy DeLouise set an aggressive goal for her presentation titled: "A Producer's Guide to Everything That Matters."

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