Film News

Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 by Jim Norrena

Rob Fatal's "La Bamba 2" premieres April 13 at the Victoria Theatre

Fewer than six months ago we reported alumnus Rob Fatal (MFA 2012) had completed his first feature film, La Bamba 2: Hell Is a Drag, which came to fruition as his Graduate Program in Fine Arts thesis. (Look for the CCA all-star crew listed in the credits!)

Fatal was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Berkeley FILM Foundation, which was instrumental in finishing post-production on the film.

Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 by Jim Norrena

The Tribeca Film Institute Filmmaker Programming Team has chosen CCA faculty member Cheryl Dunye as one of 10 finalists for its newest initiative -- the Heineken Affinity Award.

Dunye, a native of Liberia, has directed such feature films as My Baby's Daddy (Miramax), Stranger Inside (HBO Films), and The Watermelon Woman, which was awarded the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1996.

Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 by Allison Byers

Such was the controversial life of Linda Boreman, AKA Linda Lovelace, the acceptable face of 70s porno chic, that the most recent frontrunner for the role was another troubled alliterative star, Lindsay Lohan. To the uninitiated, Lovelace became briefly notorious as the star of the 1972 breakout adult movie Deep Throat, in which she played a woman whose clitoris, for reasons never really explained by her bubble-blowing "doctor", was located near her larynx, meaning that the only sexual pleasure she could get was from practising a very advanced form of fellatio.

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 by Jim Norrena

"Lovelace" and "The Battle of amfAR," directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman of Telling Pictures.

Editor's note: RADiUS - TWC reportedly purchased the distribution rights for "Lovelace" for three million dollars following its Sundance debut! Read source »

Posted on Monday, January 7, 2013 by Jim Norrena

It was announced in December by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington that Film chair and MFA in Film cochair Rob Epstein's 1984 Academy Award-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

A character concept for Fergus from the Pixar film Brave, by Steve Purcell

Steve Purcell (Interdisciplinary Fine Arts 1982) is a cartoonist, animator, director, game designer, and Eisner Award recipient. He works at Pixar, and was a writer and codirector of the 2012 feature film Brave.

While at CCA he contributed comic strips to the college newspaper, Spectrum, and these were the first public appearances of his characters known as Sam & Max Freelance Police, a duo of anthropomorphic animal vigilantes and private investigators who have subsequently enjoyed great success in comic, TV show, and game formats.

One of Purcell's friends and fellow students at CCA was Mike Mignola (Illustration 1982), who went on to become the creator of Hellboy. They both studied under Vince Perez and Gary Ruddell. After graduation Purcell freelanced for Marvel Comics and spent some years at LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic before landing his current job at Pixar.

Purcell shared some insights about his career in the latest issue of CCA's Glance magazine:

Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 by Clay Walsh

CCA Graphic Design student Tyson Wischerath is the first-place winner of CCA’s 2012 R.A.W. Video (real artists at work) student contest for his video, Boundless City, which best upheld this year’s “No Boundaries” theme.

Wischerath’s winning video depicts skateboarding, exploring, and gathering inspiration on a sunny day in San Francisco. Based on the voting results, the video was a clear favorite among judges and students alike!

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

The Cast of La Bamba 2: Hell Is a Drag

"I wrote a sequel to From Dusk Till Dawn when I was in seventh grade."

So began the filmmaking career of Rob Fatal (MFA 2012). His obsession with film proceeded apace, but it took him a surprisingly long time, he says, to realize that there was a person called a director -- that movies didn't just spring into existence like Athena from Zeus's head.

Inspired by Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks, and Robert Rodriguez, Fatal began writing screenplays at age 12. "I loved camp and sci-fi films before I even knew they were genres." At 19 he borrowed his father's camcorder and made a 30-minute film about DJs with magical turntables. "It was accidentally campy. It was accidentally bad. But it had a lot of sincerity." Much to his surprise, it did well, even getting into a couple of festivals.

Film Maker, Filmmaker, or Artist?

Fast forward a few years. Fatal was still working in film and experimenting with video art, but not quite to the point of considering himself a filmmaker, and certainly not an "artist," whatever that meant. But one day, in the midst of editing a video documenting an experimental opera by Fatal's collaborator/mentor Juliana Snapper, he recomposed portions of the footage into a new composition and showed it to CCA faculty member Cheryl Dunye. Dunye delivered the unexpected news that what he was doing was art, and urged him to apply to CCA's MFA program. The faculty there, she said, were pushing the boundaries of genres, and dealing with gender politics and racial identity -- fields of study Fatal had been researching for years in his graduate program at Sacramento State University. CCA presented Fatal with a place to finally bridge his dual love of film theory and practice.

Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 by Allison Byers

Thinking about getting a masters degree but haven’t found the right field? California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco just made it easier, announcing three new graduate programs beginning in 2013, bringing the total number of post-professional offerings to eleven. The trio of curricula includes: a Master of Architecture in Urban Design and Landscape (MAUDL), a MFA in Comics, and a MFA in Film.

Visit source »

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Art of Nonfiction Movie Making
Praeger, 2012
Hardcover, 248 pages, $48

The past few years have featured such blockbusters as Super-Size Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, March of the Penguins, and An Inconvenient Truth. And as news articles proclaim a new era in the history of documentary films, more and more new directors are making their first film a nonfiction one. But in addition to posing all of the usual challenges inherent to more standard filmmaking, documentaries also present unique problems that need to be understood from the outset. Where does the idea come from? How do you raise the money? How much money do you need? What visual style is best suited to the story? What are the legal issues involved? And how can a film reach that all-important milestone and find a willing distributor?

Film Program chair Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (co-founders of Telling Pictures Inc. and Academy Award-winning documentary filmmakers) tackle all of these important questions with examples and anecdotes from their own careers.

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