Jury Coordination and Notes

Early Stages of Color in Film By Keefer C. Blakeslee

May 2nd, 2015

The evolution of film is a vast subject. Whether it’s the development of technology, writing or performance by actors its growth continues to this day. I want to focus on a aspect of film that we take for granted but is a defining step in today’s modern film. That is the addition of color!

Today, color in films is nothing special but, back in the early 1900s it was revolutionary. Since the history of color in motion pictures has a long but fascinating timeline, I’m going to split this blog into two parts. In this blog I will be tackling the early stages of adding color.

If you asked people what the first movie filmed in color was, people would usually say, The Wizard of Oz. However, that was not the first colored film. That title goes to, Annabelle, Serpentine Dance by legendary film maker George Melies released in 1895. Melies hired people to hand paint his films, frame by frame, and this introduced the world to color. This led to people in the film industry creating different methods of adding color to their films.

Here are several techniques* that film makers have used:

Tinting: One of the earlier and widespread techniques used to apply color to film. The positive print is immersed into a variety of dye baths, scene by scene.

Toning: This is not the simple immersion of a film into a dye bath but involves a chemical reaction converting the silver image. There were two chemical recipes available for toning, either a one-bath or a two-bath process.

Stenciling: This method required manual cutting frame by frame. Usually the number of colors applied ranged from three to six. The process was highly improved by the introduction of a cutting machine. For every color, the stencil print was fed in register with the positive print into a printing machine where the acid dye was applied by a Keefer.2014.5.jpgcontinuous velvet band. Several hundred women performed the exacting task at the Pathé workshop in Vincennes.

These methods created early colored films and worked for some time. However, these methods were done after the film was made. And, they took a lot of time, patients, and money.

How did we move on to filming movies in color? Join me in the next blog and I will tell you.

*information comes from http://zauberklang.ch/filmcolors/ 

Dorothy Jeakins and Barbara Karinska Share the first Oscar® for Costume Design – by Brianna Hope Beaton

April 22nd, 2015

DorothyJeakins.jpgA costume designer is responsible for designing clothes for a movie, stage or television production. They design garments that enhance the actor’s character personality and define the time period they appear from before the actor even opens his or her mouth. They have to consider the durability of the garments, the actor’s ability to comfortably move about in the costumes, the director and actor’s personal ideas for the costumes and how the lighting will affect the look of the fabric once it is filmed or appears on stage.

Both Dorothy Jeakins and Barbara Karinska shared the Oscar® Award for the film Joan of Arc in 1949.

Dorothy Jeakins, born January 11, 1914 was educated at schools in San Diego and Los Angeles. She was abandoned by her parents early in life and helped support her studies by working as a live-in servant with families. As a child, she had a talent for drawing and her love for it won her a State of California Scholarship at the Otis Art Institute. After submitting some very good illustrations to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, she was taken on by the Southern California Arts Project. In 1936, Dorothy held a job in the colour department at the BarbaraKarinska.jpgWalt Disney Studios, painting animated cells of Mickey Mouse for $16.00 a week. Her first work in fashion design was doing layouts for Magnin’s Department Store, which attracted the attention of the 20th Century Fox art director Richard Day. Mr. Day then brought her to the attention of film director, Victor Fleming. Before long, Dorothy was seconded to the studio wardrobe department as an illustrator under Ernest Dryden. Her big break came when she was hired by Mr. Fleming as sketch artist for the film Joan of Arc (1948). She was then promoted to design the costumes for the picture. This American costume designer has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including John Huston, William Wyler, Cecil B. DeMille and Robert Wise.  She was nominated for a total of 12 Academy Awards before she died on November 21, 1995.BriannaHopeBeaton2.jpg

Barbara Karinska, born Varvara Zhmoudsky, October 3, 1886 was the costumer for the New York City Ballet and the first costumer ever to win the Capezio Dance Award. She learned embroidery as a child and, as a young woman, ran a coffee house and embroidery shop in Russia. There is where she enhanced her craft and came to work and live in America, both in New York and California. She had the opportunity to work on a film project and won an Oscar® for Joan of Arc. She joined New York City Ballet in 1949 to make costumes for Mr. Balanchine’s Bourree Fantasque. Since then she was responsible for the execution of almost all the company’s costumes. She would first make them and then later design them. In 1963, the operation of the shop was taken over by the New York City Ballet and she worked exclusively for them. Her major works include designs for the Scotch Symphony, La Valse, Symphony in C and The Nutcracker. Her most lavish work was with Vienna Waltze and was produced in 1977. Barbara Karinska died in 1983 at the age of 97 but she is still known for the finest and most beautiful costumes on stage, Costumes by Karinska. Both of these incredible women have definitely left their mark on costume designs.  Their work is impeccable and will always be remembered.

Violence Against Women, An Interview with Ms. Maria Ignacia Arcaya by Brianna Hope Beaton

April 10th, 2015

BriannaHopeBeaton2.jpgI recently had the opportunity to interview Ms. Maria Ignacia Arcaya, VP and Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Cisneros. She is behind the initiative to promote the elimination of violence again women and girls in Cisneros’ campaign #LasMujeresNoCallamos. I hope you find this as an important cause as I have.
KIDS FIRST! Can you please share with our KIDS FIRST! readers some of your responsibilities at Cisneros?

Ms. Arcaya: My role at Cisneros consists primarily of working hand-in-hand with upper management to identify opportunities to create social value through our business units. An important part of this process includes developing social impact goals, implementing plans and establishing strategic partnerships to optimize efforts.

KIDS FIRST! You are behind the initiative to promote the elimination of violence against women and girls in Cisneros’ brilliant campaign #LasMujeresNoCallamos. Can you please tell our readers more about this campaign?

Ms. Arcaya: The main purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness regarding the different types of behavior patterns in a relationship that are manifestations of violence and that should not be accepted or tolerated. Through their testimonies, women of all ages point out their partner’s actions or attitudes towards them, initially justifying their behaviors, such as extreme jealousy or control, as manifestations of love, and then realizing that these are not acceptable and standing up to demand their rights to live a life free of violence. Each spot shows various levels of violence, which escalate from verbal or psychological abuse to death threats, and ends with a call to action.

KIDS FIRST! What’s the backstory here? What led you to initiate this campaign?

Ms. Arcaya: Cisneros Media, the corporate division that encompasses all of the Cisneros’ media and entertainment companies, set out to develop a core CSR initiative that was transferable to all its communications platforms, identified women’s rights in general as a cause that both our businesses and audiences could relate to, and would have the greatest impact. We believe that men and women have the same rights to enjoy a productive and satisfactory life. Living without violence and free of fear are equal rights for all, and we believe that as a media company, it is our responsibility to contribute to this objective. And to ensure that our messages were aligned with international efforts and strategies, we partnered with UN Women - the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

KIDS FIRST! I believe everyone knows a female that has been physically abused by either their partner, family member or a complete stranger. What is the outcome you hope this campaign accomplishes?

Ms. Arcaya: We hope that women of all ages will become more aware of the different characteristics of an abusive relationship to enable them to identify them and seek help. We also aim at motivating everyone, both men and women, to join us in our efforts to spread the message that all women and girls have the right to a life without violence. Our campaign has a strong social media component as key messages have been communicated through our social media accounts, reaching millions of people who in turn have shared them with others.

KIDS FIRST! This violence against women is a cruel act on females. It doesn’t matter what is your economic status, your age, your race or anything. This is a global situation. In what other countries is this campaign directed? How did you choose those countries?

Ms. Arcaya: We focused on those countries which we reach through our media platforms. The campaign has been aired on Venevision, a Cisneros TV channel and the leading broadcaster in Venezuela, as well as Cisneros’ Pay TV channels in Colombia and the Dominican Republic. We are currently inviting other channels in Spanish-speaking countries throughout Latin America to join our efforts, and we will provide them, for their own broadcast, the TV spots we have produced for the campaign. What’s more, we encourage other media platforms from around the world to develop messages in their own language based on our model.

KIDS FIRST! Violence against women definitely needs to come to an end. And, it appears to be happening more frequently to teenage girls. Do you think that is true and, if so, why do you think it is?

Ms. Arcaya: Studies have shown that abusive behaviors occur in romantic relationships as well as between family members, and it has been proven that violence can happen to anyone at any age. These abusive behaviors can be physical, sexual, verbal and emotional. Often, an abusive partner tries to have power and control over their victim, and teenage girls in particular are vulnerable to suffer this abuse due to their inexperience and lack of information, which prevents them from responding in an appropriate manner to avoid and/or not tolerate the abuse.

KIDS FIRST! What can our mothers and fathers do right now to teach young boys and girls what is acceptable so they don’t grow up to be men who are abusing women and women who allow this to happen to them?

Ms. Arcaya: Preventing violence against women begins by eliminating gender stereotypes that discriminate against women and by building relationships based on mutual respect and gender equality. Thus, parents are key role models for their children.

KIDS FIRST! There are many forms of violence against women - physical, sexual and psychological. What can we, as every day people, do to join the cause to end violence against women?

Ms. Arcaya: Just as parents are role models for their children, we can all become examples in our own relationships with others by recognizing the equal rights of men and women to lead productive lives and to enjoy nurturing relationships based on mutual respect. We can all be a part of this effort through our interactions with others, be it at home, school or in the community. And awareness amongst boys and men and their involvement as positive role models is of the upmost importance to end violence against women.

KIDS FIRST! Students are experiencing this everyday in schools around the nation and across the world. This happens to their parents at home. How are schools offering help to kids with this? What resources are available to them to do more?

Ms. Arcaya: Schools, parents and students should become familiar with such sources of information as the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), as well as the national laws that are related to women’s right to have a life free of fear and violence. In addition, students should have access to such resources as law enforcement and social workers, who can advise them on how to identify and what steps to take in any case of violence and abusive behavior.

KIDS FIRST! What are the laws that protect women against violence?

Ms. Arcaya: As I mentioned, there are international agreements to protect women against violence: the Declaration of Human Rights (1948), CEDAW (1979), the World Conference on Human Rights (1993), the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) and the Convention of Belem Do Para (1994). Over the past twenty years, many countries have also established their own legal frameworks to eradicate violence against women. Nonetheless, the problem persists and there is still much to be done in terms of law enforcement and social awareness.

KIDS FIRST! To get more information on your campaign, can you please share with us contact information for this campaign?

Ms. Arcaya: Please contact Liying Chang lchang@cisneros.com for more information, as well as to request a copy of our TV spots.

Love in Cinema by Keefer Blakeslee

April 3rd, 2015

Keefer.2014.5.jpgRomance has been in the movies ever since 1896 when the first romantic film debut called The Kiss. From then on, movies have portrayed the magic of love in films such as The Notebook, Titanic, and Ghost.

There have been debates on whether or not movies send people the wrong message about love. Let’s face it, they are good points. Films can show audiences that it’s okay to cheat as long as it is love or you can find your soul mate after one intimate night. Also, let’s not forget the magic of Disney and their love at first sight concept.

The thing about romantic films is that they embellish what it means to be in a relationship. Sadly, love is not always what the silver screen portrays it to be. Sure, there are happy moments but, it takes patience, commitment and communication. Sometimes, couples argue and show their worst side to each other. Movies usually do not show this side of love. There are the rare occasions where films can show true love like 50 First Dates or even Julie & Julia.

I am not saying I know everything about love. I am only 14 and still learning about it. My point is that love may not always be what the media says it is but that does not mean we can’t enjoy romantic films. There is a reason why we watch movies in general - to get away from reality. Romantic films offer hope that we can have the type of romance we see on-screen in our real life. Audiences watch The Princess Bride to consider the possibility that one day they can have a romance as passionate as Wesley and Buttercup. The idea of having the girl or guy of your dreams and ride off into the sunset together is a romantic one.

However, it’s good to remember to get your head out of the clouds and back to reality. I may not know much about love but I do know it is not as easy as films tend to portray it. Even though I adore romantic films they are certainly not my measure of how love truly works. But, a boy can dream.

Evolution of Film by Gerry Orz

March 1st, 2015

Cineorama_camera.jpgIn the late 1800s, art took a huge leap, the first films were created. Of course, compared to modern films they were very basic - no color, sound, no steady cam. It looked like a whole bunch of pictures were taken with a cardboard camera. That was the first few films which were, at the most, one minute long. This illusion of moving pictures was what the first films looked like.

In 1910, the first movie camera was made, a film camera. Today, a film camera is part of our every day life. But back then, it was revolutionary. A genius didn’t need a movie camera to make a colored film. A person manually colored the film by making adding red, blue, yellow and so on. Soon enough, sound came into play. However, this was a somewhat dangerous transition and a lot of silent movie actors were out of a job for they didn’t have very good speaking voices.

Today, we have digital, super HD cameras with crystal clear sound and what used to be rolls of tape the size of a head is on a small SD card. It leads us to ask what is next? Well, Cannon, Sony and others are racing to make their cameras better quality. You might ask how? Their $10,000 cameras are already producing videos that look very realistic. Well, apparently not. The D’s aHeadshot.GerrySM.jpgre getting bigger. First we had 2D, then 3D, then 4D / Smellivision. But, what about being inside the film? I mean not with 4D where you feel physical attributes but, actually playing a role in the film? I predict that by 2020, there will be such advanced cameras, that we will see our self in a film and we will be part of  the story.

Time will tell. For now - I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for my favorite industry - movie making.

Oscar Reflections By Keefer C.Blakeslee

March 1st, 2015

Awards3.jpgIt was a wonderful night for Oscar! Oscar, Oscar -  guess who won! Once again, the envelopes have been opened, the Golden and Lego statues given out, and people are already predicting the nominations for next year’s Oscars. The question is, how was this years show? Well let’s analyze it.

The Host: Let’s start by talking about the host, Neil Patrick Harris. If you remember my last blog, I talked about what makes a great host and mentioned my personal favorites. I adore Harris as a host. He has hosted the Tony Awards several times as well as other award shows and he is the best. However this was Harris’ second time hosting the Oscars and, to be honest, the first time his performance was nothing spectacular. He wasn’t bad but, he just didn’t live up to any of the past Oscar hosts. With that said Harris did a much better job his second time around. His opening number, Moving Pictures, along with Anna Kendrick and Jack Black was outstanding . He brought back the over-the-top Broadway style musical number to the Oscars. The choreographed number captured the magic of cinema and it made you fall in love with film all over again. Throughout the show, Harris’ comedy became a bit corny and, at times, edgy. His one-liners were hit and miss. For example, when he introduced Reese Witherspoon, he said “And the next presenter is so cute you could eat her up with a spoon.” (Groan) Altogether, he had more hits than misses. When he came out on stage in his underwear, strangely enough I thought it was hilarious because it went along with one of the nominated films, Birdman. Now, some of his jokes poked fun at the situation with the nominees being compiled of mostly white people. I didn’t have a problem with these comments. I thought they were funny but, I can understand if anyone thought they were inappropriate. Overall he did a phenomenal job as the host.

Performances and presenter: I can only sum up this section in three words, “Everything was Awesome.” I loved the individual performances by the artists. There was a cheerful performance by Tegan and Sara and the Lonely Island for “Everything is Awesome” and a broadening scene from Common and John Legend when they sang “Glory” which won Best Original Song. I gained a whole new respect for Lady Gaga when she performed a medley of songs from the Sound of Music for its 50th anniversary. Her performance was graceful and did justice to the music. Even Julie Andrews personally thanked her as she presented the next category. Speaking of which, I have to mention the adorable duo, John Travolta and Adele Dazeem. Sorry, Idina Menzel. Last year, Travolta mispronounced Idina Menzel’s name when he presented her. This year it was pay back and the two had fun.

The winners and their speeches: The winners this year were plentiful for each film nominated. It wasn’t one of those years where one film took all the awards. Each film got recognition for something. I am overjoyed that Julianne Moore won Best Actress for Still Alice and Alexandre Desplat won for best Original Score for The Grand Budapest Hotel. I didn’t care who won for most of the categories because, each of the nominees were equally deserving. There were so many soap box speeches from the winners, which was not a bad thing. When Patrica Arquette won for Best Supporting Actress, her acceptance speech about equal wages for women was great. Even Meryl Streep gave her a standing ovation and cheered her on. I did too. In fact, quite a few of the speeches turned political in some way. Whether it was equal wageKeefer.2014.5.jpgs for equal work by women, racism or just being different. What made it even more inspiring was that it was not obnoxious. They were done elegantly to a point that they were not preachy. My favorite speech came from Graham Moore who won for best adapted screenplay for The imitation Games. I adore this film and was so happy to see it receive an award for its script. His heartfelt speech brought tears to my eyes because he talked about why it’s okay to be different and that one day you will succeed. For me, Moore and the other’s speeches were the highlight of the evening.

Of course there is still so much to talk about but this was just a taste of what happened at this year’s Academy Awards. It’s funny that an award show could be the biggest event of the year, but the thing is it’s not just an award show. The Oscars honor not just last year’s films but films in general. It is a time for us to be reminded why film, or any form of self expression, is important. That’s why I look forward to it every year.

First Woman to Write a Marvel Film by Brianna Hope Beaton.

February 23rd, 2015

NP.jpgSome companies stick to a certain group of people such as having all men or all female workers, or a certain age group that works best, or even a specific ethnicity that the company works best with. These confinements needed to be broken. Marvel, a company that shows the world’s superheroes on the big screen, has broken the tradition of having all male writers for their films. Nicole Perlman became the first woman to write a Marvel movie, when she was credited as one of the few writers of the film Guardians of the Galaxy.

We all have role models and people who inspire us. Nicole Perlman, raised in Boulder, Colorado in the 90s, said that her hero was Ray Bradbury. Surprisingly, she got to meet him as a surprise for her 12th birthday and he autographed her copy of Dandelion Wine. Around that time she got the courage to enter and win sci-fi writing contests, with the support of her father. Fast forward a few years, Perlman received her film and dramatic writing degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2003. In the summer of 2013, Perlman got the opportunity of a lifetime when she stepped foot on the set of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy. Nicole Perlman spent about two and a half years working and trying to figure out how to assemble the comic that has changed a little bit over the years onto the big screen. Some of the situations and awards that Nicole Perlman has experienced before Guardians of the Galaxy was winning Tribeca Film Festival’s Sloan Grant for science in film for her screenplay “Challenger.” She was also named one of Variety Magazine’s Top Ten Writers to watch and, to add to her accomplishments, she wasBriannaHopeBeaton2.jpg listed in The Playlist’s Ten Screenwriters on the Rise in 2013. Some of the other companies that Nicole Perlman has written for are Fox 2000, Universal Studios, National Geographic Films, Disney Studios, Cirque Du Soleil Films and 20th Century Fox. She’s preparing herself for other opportunities that might present themself to her. This stems from her outstanding Job in Guardians of the Galaxy.

“I think it goes a long way to show that you can do something like this,” she said. “Because there aren’t many female Marvel superhero movie screenwriters out there.” Being the first in a male-dominated craft inspires young actresses and writers like me to succeed. Thank you for paving the way for many more female Marvel writers. I commend you for a job well done and I wish you much success.

The Judges - by Gerry Orz

February 18th, 2015

Awards3.jpgWe had a lot of surprises this year at the Golden Globes. What’s interesting is that it seems as if a lot of actors and movies that won were as much surprised as the audience. It created lots of arguments and discussions in the entertainment world.

This made me think that it may be time for newer, perhaps younger judges. I think that we keep the current judges but add some younger judges, maybe include teens and young adults who love and know films.

Times are changing and less and less we hear people say “Kids don’t know a thing about films and how they are made.” Kids like me and hundreds of others know about films and know what makes a good film. We are living and breathing the world of movies and intuitively feel what’s good and what’s not. I believe that it’s time to have more yoGerry.O.jpguth opinions in choosing the award winners at the Golden Globes and others. Because, if kids had been included, I don’t believe How to Train Your Dragon 2 would have been chosen. The movie is great, don’t get me wrong. But, for many kids, it is the same or very similar to the last one. Kids know what makes a good film and perhaps today’s youth should be looked at as future judges for the Academy Awards as well. Just my opinion. Gerry Orz

Top 5 Oscar Hosts By Keefer C.Blakeslee

January 26th, 2015

Oscar_Awards.jpgIt’s a wonderful night for Oscar! Oscar, Oscar, Who will win?

Ladies and Gentleman, the biggest night in Hollywood is coming up, the Academy Awards. The time to honor the films from the past year. What makes award shows like this amazing? For me it’s the host. The one who sets the tone for the night, keeps the show moving forward, all while having the audience rolling in the aisle. The Academy, throughout the years, have hired the best hosts. In honor of the 87th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, I have compiled a list of the top five best Oscar hosts. These are the hosts that I think are the most memorable, creative and funny.

Note: I am judging the hosts by their opening act. Also, only solo hosts. No groups or duos.

Number 5: Jon Stewart
Kicking off the list is satirical comedy by Stewart. He has hosted two times and is an entertaining host. Stewart is known for poking fun at political affairs. When Stewart hosted in 2008, the Writers strike just ended and the nominated films were No Country for Old Men and There will be Blood. Stewart replied “Does this town need a hug?” He was still able to create a light heated atmosphere.

Number 4: Hugh Jackman
Next on the list is this handsome and talented Australian actor. Hugh has hosted the Oscars only once, but left an impact with his opening musical number. The high energy, choreographed number was stupendous. Plus, as a host, Hugh was charming, classy and had a great sense of humor.

Number 3: Johnny Carson
The king of late night television hosted the Oscars five times and never failed to make the audience laugh. Carson was not only a charismatic person, but he was a born host. Everyone of his opening monologues were welcoming and amusing.

Number 2: Whoopi Goldberg
The first female to host the Oscars and one of the best. Whoopi hosted a total of four times and each one was better than the last. Her first time hosting the Oscars in 1994 was just after Billy Crystal’s three-year run as host. That was a tough act to follow. However, Whoppi managed to be a sassy and witty host.

Honorable Mentions: Steve Martin (Hosted three times), Bob Hope (Hosted 18 times. Mote than any other.)
Number 1: Billy Crystal
What can I say? Crystal hosted nine times. He knows what he is doing. Crystal is known for singing the nominations for Best Picture to the theme of show tunes. For example, when Titanic was nominated, he sang to the style of Gilligan’s Island. The man is the Oscars. He’s experienced, hilarious and the best Oscar host ever!

That was my personal list of the Best Oscar Hosts. Who is your favorite and why? I can’t wait to watch the 87th Academy Awards on February 22nd. I’m eager to see what this year’s host, Neil Patrick Harris has in-store.

First Asian Woman to win an Oscar by Brianna Hope Beaton

January 20th, 2015

miyoshilp.jpgThere are a lot of American females who led other fellow women in the film industry, but we often forget to look and appreciate females outside the United States of America. There is a lot we can learn from other countries, cultures, and people. Representing Japan, as the first Asian to win an acting Oscar, is Miyoshi Umeki for her supporting role in Sayonara.

Miyoshi Umeki was born on May, 8, 1929, in Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan. She was the youngest of nine children and showed signs of interest at an early age in music and performing. She used her passion to learn to play a few instruments, piano being one of them.

Sticking with music, Miyoshi traveled with an U.S. Army G.I. jazz band under the name of Nancy Umeki. Her earlier interest and practice in American pop music, against her parents’ will, paid off when she recorded American songs and landed a job on the show Arthur Godfrey and His Friends. She was a one-season regular from 1955 to1956.  Mercury Records signed with Miyoshi, and she released two albums with the record company.  After that, things started falling into place for Miyoshi. She performed in Sayonara in 1957, Flower Drum Song in 1961, Cry for Happy in 1961, The Horizontal Lieutenant in 1962, and many more. She isBriannaHopeBeaton2.jpg best known for her role as Mrs. Livingston BriannaHopeBeaton2.jpgin the TV Series, Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Though she had dry spots in her career she made the best of her situation and she showed assertiveness.

Ms. Umeki was a long time resident of Hollywood, California and later moved to Missouri where she died of cancer at age 78 on August 28, 2007. To her, we tip our hats and thank her for being the role model she was.

Kid movie news & Free DVDs:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on Pinterest Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook
Loading Search...