Jeff Rosica is the new CEO and President of Avid Technology. He brings with him extensive experience in sales and marketing with a knowledge of technology application. Mr. Rosica has additional background in operations and in the mergers and acquisitions fields. He has over thirty years of experience
in his industry and holds four patents as well as an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for Camera.
Jeff speaks with passion about Avid and its future. “It’s an amazing company, a New England Company that Bill Warner started back in 1987. The footprint that we have is not just for the creatives in Hollywood, but for the industry as a whole.” Avid provides collaborative solutions for the entire production team whether it be film, television or music production. Jeff affirms, “Avid is a unique technology firm. We obviously have a lot of tools that we use to help the creative community with their storytelling and what they are trying to do.”
Avid will shine in Las Vegas at Avid Connect, a function of the Avid Customer Association (ACA) that precedes NAB). He calls it the NAB primer. In five years, the ACA has grown to over 25,000 participants who provide feedback on how the technology Avid provides can work for them in the future. They vote and Avid listens.
Adaptive Studios, which recently rebooted HBO’s Project Greenlight with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, has acquired the rights to Astral, a dramatic thriller digital series created by Canadian filmmaker and actress Sonja O’Hara.
O’Hara (Amazon’s Creative Control) is also set to act and direct in the short-form series, a rare inclusion for indie episodic acquisitions. O’Hara, who is a speaker this week on the Indie TV panel at SXSW, said, “This is the time to be a female filmmaker and I’m excited to collaborate with Adaptive Studios to bring this provocative, inclusive, feminist story to life.”
ASTRAL is a provocative digital series that follows three unfulfilled millennial girls who share an out-of-body experience in a packed subway car and are scouted to attend an exclusive academy of Astral Projection.
About Sonja O’Hara:
O’Hara landed the overall deal by meeting Adaptive‘s VP of Development, Digital at ITVFest (the Independent Television Festival) in Manchester, Vermont, a boutique festival for the world’s best indie creators and executives, where O’Hara’s previous series Doomsday won “Best Series”.O’Hara previously created and starred in Doomsday, a critically acclaimed web series she made independently (see the first two episodes on Amazon Prime). Her pilot was awarded “Best Series” at ITVFest, HollyWeb Fest and Brooklyn WebFest and was nominated for the 2017 Streamy Award and the 2018 Indie Series Award. She also won “Best Director” at the prestigious New York Television Festival and was chosen as one of the “Ten Filmmakers To Watch” by Independent Magazine.
Adaptive Studios, the studios behind Coin Heist (Netflix), has made a push into digital content with the launch of The Runner for Verizon’s go90. The upstart studio that has put an emphasis on short-form content for digital platforms, has closed a $16.5 million Series B round of funding, led by AMC Networks with participation from Atwater Capital. Adaptive’s partners to date have included HBO, Netflix, Verizon, Miramax, FX Networks, YouTube Red, Fox Animation, 21 Laps, Lionsgate, Gunpowder & Sky, Bona Fide Production and Blackpills. The series will be executive produced by Perrin Chiles, TJ Barrack, Marc Joubert, Stephen Christensen and Kate Grady.
Boston MA – Nominations for the 24th annual Chlotrudis Awards were finalized by the film group’s nominating committee this past weekend.
Luca Guadagnino’s lush coming of age CALL ME BY YOUR NAME was dominant among the 36 films nominated, winning 9 nods, including Director, Production Design and Best Actor. Placing second was I, TONYA, starring Margot Robbie, which earned 7 nominations including Best Actress and Editing.
Both films were also among the Best Movie nominations. The other films rounding out that category were Japanese legend Koreeda’s AFTER THE STORM; LITTLE BOXES, starring Nelsan Ellis in his last role; and Jim Jarmusch’s PATERSON, which was the 3rd most nominated film, garnering 6 nods.
More than 20% of the nominated films this year were helmed by women, including BEACH RATS’ Eliza Hittman, who earned a spot in the Best Director category. Other films with female directors that got nominated were MUDBOUND, Dee Rees’ stunning sophomore effort; FACES PLACES, legendary filmmaker Agnes Vardas’ likely last film; and the charming feline doc KEDI, Ceyda Korun’s debut feature film.
In the Society’s most prestigious category, the Buried Treasure, the nominees are: DAVE MADE A MAZE, a unique adventure film about a frustrated artist and his creation; the compelling documentary THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON, about an icon of the queer and trans movements; Dee Rees’ MUDBOUND, a story of 2 families working the same land in 40s Mississippi; PATTI CAKE$, whose eponymous white lead dreams of being a rapper; the latest from the Dardennes brothers, psychological drama THE UNKNOWN GIRL; and WINDOW HORSES, an animiated film based on a graphic novel written by its Asian-Canadian director.
The Buried Treasure is the only category with eligibility requirements:
nominated films must have earned less than $250,000 in its U.S. theatrical run. Members submit 1 film they feel strongly was given distributional short shrift and deserve a wider audience. Once the final ballot is set, all members voting in the category must verify that they have watched at least 5 of the nominated films.
The Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film highlights its commitment to independent and foreign film in style, holding its CHLOTRUDIS AWARDS ceremony in early spring. This latest edition will be an intimate dinner held Sunday March 18th at a venue to be announced later in the month, and the public is invited to join Chlotrudis and members of Boston’s film community.
The Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film is a Boston-based non-profit group that teaches people to view film actively and experience the world through independent film, and encourages discussion. The group works with film festivals, local art-houses and theatres, production companies, directors and actors to bring creative, quality films to the attention of audiences and film-lovers.
Here follows the complete list of the nominations for the 24th Annual Chlotrudis Awards:
After the Storm
Call Me By Your Name
Dave Made a Maze
The Death & Life of Marsha P. Johnson
The Unknown Girl
Hirokazu Koreeda for After the Storm
Eliza Hittman for Beach Rats
Luca Guadagnino for Call Me By Your Name
Kogonada for Columbus
Brett Haley for The Hero
Jim Jarmusch for Paterson
Timothee Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name
Sam Elliott for The Hero
Nelsan Ellis for Little Boxes
Harry Dean Stanton for Lucky
Ethan Hawke for Maudie
Adam Driver for Paterson
Brooklynn Prince for The Florida Project
Margot Robbie for I, Tonya
Aubrey Plaza for Ingrid Goes West
Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water
Holly Hunter for Strange Weather
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me By Your Name
Willem Dafoe for The Florida Project
Barry Keoghan for The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Bill Paton for Mean Dreams
Richard Jenkins for The Shape of Water
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kirin Kiki for After the Storm
Bria Vinaite for The Florida Project
Laura Prepon for The Hero
Allison Janney for I, Tonya
Golshifteh Farahani for Paterson
Carrie Coon for Strange Weather
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE CAST
Call Me By Your Name
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
The Little Hours
The Shape of Water
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Call Me By Your Name
Dave Made a Maze
The Shape of Water
Samuel DeShors for Call Me By Your Name
Elisha Christian for Columbus
Pascal Marti for Frantz
Andrew Droz Palermo for A Ghost Story
Dan Laustsen for The Shape of Water
A Ghost Story
I Am Not Your Negro
BEST USE OF MUSIC IN A FILM
Call Me By Your Name
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Call Me By Your Name
The Girl With All the Gifts
The Little Hours
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
After the Storm
Abacus: Small Enough to Fail
City of Ghosts
I Am Not Your Negro
While 2017 definitely had its ups and downs, we are very happy to be promoting 2018 as the Year of the Woman in the New England region as well as on the national stage! To kick off this new era in the industry, Imagine News is throwing its annual Imaginnaires Gala TOMORROW night. January 9th, from 7pm to 10pm at the beautiful Venezia restaurant just south of Boston. Imagine, stunning views of the Boston skyline over the water, amazing food, great drinks, and one of the local industry’s top annual networking opportunities New England’s film & television movers and shakers converge to celebrate those who have made a strong impact over the past year.
We have been sending out regular announcements about honorees and presenters and, in case you missed it, would like to offer an overview of them all here. Read on!
Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante mega-supporter of
Film Tax Credits.
Casey Sherman, author of “The Finest Hours” and “Boston Strong” will be presenting to Massachusetts Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester, an articulate and significant supporter of MA Film Tax Credits.
Rhode Island Film Office Assistant/Director Carol Conley supports Independent Filmmakers.
Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office is presenting to Carol Conley – Carol is a constant in that office supporting major studio and independent filmmakers who develop and bring their work to the Ocean State. She also directed and produced the award winning short film PENTITENCE.
Casting Director Lisa Lobel consistently casts Boston’s best performers.
Angela Peri, Boston Casting Founder and Casting Director will present to Boston Casting’s Lisa Lobel. Lisa is the driving force behind the Performance Institute at Boston Casting bringing major learning opportunities to performers in New England.
WIFV/NE’s Juliet Schneider who went the extra mile to save WIFV/NE in New England.
Alecia Orsini, President of Women in Film and Video in New England presents to Juliet Schneider, a freelance animator and owner of Iridium Productions. Juliet has served on the WIFVNE Board since 2011, and is the Immediate Past President and she always goes the extra mile for its membership.
Our “Shooting Star” is Ava Fratus, a very young woman born to perform.
Ava always knew she wanted to be a performer; that she was born to do it. And lucky for this little girl from Boston, the people around her knew it, too. And now, thanks to her performance in the film SNOWFLAKE, we all know it now.
Producer Kristen Lucas, Goldilocks Productions, will introduce Ava and present her with her “Shooting Star” Award. Lucas discovered Ava when judging a talent contest. She knew at once she had found her “Snowflake,” a script she had in development for some time. SNOWFLAKE won an award at the Boston International Film Festival and Ava won Best Actress at the Shawn Shea Memorial Film Festival.
In our Women Who Work in the Industry Special Edition, IMAGINE has never had so many women
from a single workplace on the cover or in the pages in an article together.
The Nine Women Who Fuel ELEMENT Productions is the biggest ever! Until I called Eran Lobel, ELEMENTS Founder and CEO, even he didn’t realize that he had more women working for him than men. He says, “Women run this company,” and I believe him.
On our cover left to right are Producer Margaux Stunzi, Director/Photographer Kim Lowe, Editor Kat Baker, Senior Post Producer Kim DeRosa, Office Manager Sydney Charvat, Executive Producer Kristen Kearns, Account Coordinator Julia Keefe, Creative Manager Jessica Wade and Production Manager Kaitlyn Medeiros.
Executive Producer Kristen Kearns is definitely the boss. Eran says, “she is an amazing leader and has built a strong team of men and women around her. For the past seven years Kristen has led the company to be a powerhouse resource for internal and external agencies. She and I have also produced dozens of TV shows and films together as well as embarked on new media and new media initiatives that have
allowed us to continue to grow and learn in our careers.”
Read what each woman on this remarkable team had to say about working for Kristen at ELEMENT Productions. There are great lessons to be learned here. IMAGINE spent the better part of the day with this strong and talented group of women and we see they “click.” They are happy, know their jobs and love to come to work every day.
Eran added, “I’m honored to be working with such an amazing group of women.”
This Special Edition is filled with stories about Women Who Work in our Industry.
Our cover photo was captured by Carolyn Ross of Carolyn Ross Photography, and our cover design in by IMAGINE Design Editor Monique Walton.
Beverly. Massachusetts video production company Ted Reed TV is working with the US Attorney’s Office Massachusetts District to create the pilot videos for the multi-platform public information campaign titled “#Resist The Risk.” The goal of the campaign is to inform the public and spur new conversations about the dangers and consequences of abusing, selling and sharing prescription opioids that has had a devastating impact on families and communities in Massachusetts.
The segments have been filmed primarily in the North Shore area, and professional actors from TV commercials, stage and film were cast along side student actors from Emerson College, Endicott College, Salem State University and Gloucester High School. Producer/Director and Gloucester resident Ted Reed says, “We want to make each one of these messages have the ring of true life to them. Using actual locations where the opioid crisis has hit hardest in Massachusetts was part of the plan to depict the actual consequences of addiction, whether they be illegal sales, theft, overly trusting parents or babies born addicted to opioid-dependent mothers. Each member of the crew and cast had a story to tell about their own experience of a loved one or an acquaintance who suffered from addiction to either prescription or illegal pain-killers.”
Reed worked with members of the US Attorney’s office developing the scripts for the videos which will be distributed on social media, web sites and other avenues. He and Director of Photography Craig Kimberley developed the look and style of the video campaign to be rolled out by the end of this year. Casting was executed by Joanne Randazza of JMedia of Gloucester.
The campaign was officially launched Wednesday, November 29. Ted Reed can be reached at email@example.com or at (978) 578-2834
From Peter Balakian’s book, script written by Scott Thompson
LOGLINE: During a whistle blowing effort with 60 Minutes, Peter Balakian scours the killing fields of Syria, triggering memories of his childhood as he pieces together his grandmother’s mysterious life as a survivor of the Armenian Genocide….
I‘m what some folks call an “ABC” – an “Armenian By Choice”. This honorary title is, in part, because I keep showing up at any event connected to Armenia. I’ll admit, the cooking is a big draw, but I mostly show up at these events because I’ve become obsessed with Pulitzer Prize winner Peter Balakian’s award-
winning memoir, Black Dog of Fate.
Two years ago, I was asked to see if this piece had potential as a film. I was in Europe when I read it, stunned by the horrific events Balakian details, such as Turkish soldiers stuffing thousands of deported Armenians into caves, then lighting brushfires over the exits, essentially asphyxiating everyone inside. The next day, I remember visiting the concentration camp in Dachau and hearing that those caves inspired Hitler to develop the gas chamber.
Although the book gave me chills, I regretfully told HarborSide Producer Paul Boghosian that I didn’t think an adaptation would work. I just didn’t see the spine of a film. Nevertheless, he asked me to meet with Balakian and explain why I couldn’t wrap my mind around a screenplay. I thought that would be the end of my Armenian experience.
Days later, it hit me… This could work as a “fractured narrative” or “mosaic film” – much like CRASH, BABEL or TRAFFIC. I envisioned three different story threads, woven together, essentially allowing us to cherry pick the most dramatic moments and organize them in a way that provided a narrative spine. I did a fine job convincing myself this would make an amazing movie. If I could only get Balakian and Boghosian to embrace my hair-brained idea…
I wish I could say the pitch was articulate and they weren’t skeptical, but I can say their reception was humbling. Nevertheless, they signed me on for an outline, vetted by actor Ed Harris and Director Atom Egoyan. A request for sample scripts followed and I fi red four screenplays back within twenty minutes. Then waited, for three weeks, convinced my work had scared everyone away. And then it came… I got the greenlight to spend my entire summer locked indoors, hashing out the first pass. A writer’s dream.
Eighteen months and three drafts later, we have a script with, yes, three story threads. One of which is the Armenian Genocide of 1915, where we follow a teen named Dovey, after she witnesses women in her home town being set on fire by Turkish soldiers. Although she’s able to escape, her father is carted off for questioning. The next day, his body is left on their front step, decapitated. Soon after, Dovey’s family is ripped from their home and marched out to the desert to die.
Ninety-five years later, in the same desert, where no one dare even utter the word “genocide”, we follow the whistle blowing effort of Peter Balakian, Bob Simon and a 60 Minutes TV crew, playing cat and mouse with Syrian Secret Police, as they scour the killing fields, digging up the bones of Balakian’s ancestors and secretly recording footage to end the near century old denial.
The shock of these discoveries triggers Balakian back to his own childhood in 1960s, New Jersey, where he grew up incredibly close to his grandmother – a genocide survivor who never spoke a word about her past, only sharing cryptic stories that left young Peter confused. As Balakian and the 60 Minutes crew piece together the forensics, the collision between these three perspectives uncovers the truth about his grandmother and the nearly million-and-a-half Armenian victims.
So… we’re ready to hit the American Film Market and bring this project to the next level. We hope to participate in the pitch conference, take meetings, maybe even talk shop over some good old-fashioned Armenian cooking. As a screenwriter, I sincerely believe we have the makings of a great film. As an “Armenian By Choice,” I’m honored to take part in a pursuit to end the denial.
Scott J. Thompson is Director of the Graduate Screenwriting Program at Boston University where he also received his Graduate Screenwriting MFA.
For more information contact Paul T. Boghosian at firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott J. Thompson at email@example.com. Since this article was first published, they attended the AFM in early November where their pitch was featured at the “Pitch” Conference before an audience of 500 and a panel that agreed BLACK DOG OF FATE is a film that needs to be made.
Andrew’s new project is a feature length thriller called STRANGE BIRD. The story is about a teenage drone enthusiast who, with the help of his outcast classmate, reluctantly embarks on a mission to rescue three friends who’ve been kidnapped by the deranged caretaker of an abandoned insane asylum.
The idea of STRANGE BIRD came to Andrew in 2015 when he was flying his quadcopter drone past the boarded up windows of the abandoned Medfield State hospital. The idea that struck him was simple: what if I saw something horrifying through those windows, and then crashed my drone on the roof, and had to figure out a way to get it back?
The Logline: A teenage drone enthusiast, with the help of an unlikely love interest, reluctantly embarks on a mission to rescue three friends who’ve been kidnapped by the deranged caretaker of a long-abandoned insane asylum.
The Synopsis: Kenny Pitts, president of his high school’s remote control drone club, accidentally crashes his quadcopter on the roof of a derelict insane asylum, just moments after the camera captures a few frames of a mysterious and sadistic ritual occurring within a top floor window. After his heedless friends vanish while trying to investigate the peculiar happenings, a terrified Kenny begins to receive hostage videos that seem to reveal the scheme of a deranged night watchman. With the help of a misanthropic yet alluring girl named Neera, and her lethally customized drone, Kenny finally musters the courage to return to the scene of the crime and bring down the lunatic kidnapper.
Writer/Director’s Statement: A few years ago I purchased a quadcopter drone, the Phantom 2, and went looking for a place to practice flying it. I found myself at the abandoned Medfield State Hospital in Massachusetts, its eerie campus sprawling with overgrown lawns and vast empty parking lots. Watching the drone first lift off the ground, with its feverish vibration, and hearing the incessant whine from its propellers, I was struck by something: what an unnerving little robot this was!
Diabolical, you might even say. A character that belonged in a movie. Strange Bird, I thought.
Later, while I was flying the drone alongside one of the buildings, and looking at the camera feed in my monitor, I was struck with a thought that sent a chill down my spine. What if this drone allowed me to see something horrific — truly nightmarish — through one of the top floor windows. And what if, moments later, I crashed the drone on the roof, and I had to go inside that building to get it back…
I envision STRANGE BIRD with a PG-13 rating, with an intended audience of primarily teenagers and young adults. First and foremost, it’s supposed to be fun. In this regard, it fi ts the comedy/horror model in the purest form. But while many films of this genre balance the scary with screwball (SCARY MOVIE, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, GHOSTBUSTERS), STRANGE BIRD’s comedy is darker, more situational. It exploits the minefields of teen angst in a John Hughes/Stephen King sort of way. As in Stephen King’s IT, the innocence of our young protagonists is ruptured by The Boogeyman. Adults don’t help much (Kenny’s parents are never on screen). The kids must face the demons head on. Their ultimate triumph over evil parallels a coming-of-age theme that is reminiscent of such classic films as NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and THE GOONIES, or more recently, Netflix’s STRANGER THINGS. (However it should be noted that STRANGE BIRD’s characters are older than the aforementioned examples).
At the same time, STRANGE BIRD plays with a contemporary cultural ill; society’s obsessions with social media and the measuring of our value by our accumulation of likes, views, shares, and tags. The subplot stabs at this undercurrent playfully; balancing horror with comedy in a tone similar to BLACK MIRROR and GET OUT. There are also traces of FARGO in this movie, best exemplified by a pair of eccentric middle-aged men who own the local drone repair shop. On some levels, STRANGE BIRD might be what would result if the Coen brothers worked in the horror genre.
STRANGE BIRD will scare the hell out of you. Yet, at the same time, it winks at you with a certain nostalgia surrounding its ghost-story-told-around-the-campfi re premise — a demented groundskeeper at the local abandoned insane asylum who digs up corpses.
When Kenny mentions this to people, nobody believes him, a nod to the audience that we’re playing with clichés here. And yet when violence happens, we don’t hold back. As if to say, don’t get too cozy with this, we’re about to show you what a man’s face getting chopped up by drone propellers looks like.
Medfield State Hospital (Massachusetts)
The Medfield State Hospital is the precise location Andrew Mudge had in mind as he wrote the script. It has an ideal three story building with a flat roof. The location also has large, cracked-asphalt parking lots and a sprawling, dilapidated campus.
The abandoned Windsor Insane Asylum is so prominently featured in STRANGE BIRD, it could be considered one of the main characters.
Shooting in Massachusetts brings the added advantage of its Film Incentive Program: A Film Tax Credit that is both transferable and refundable and includes production spend above and below the line with a minimum spend of $50,000. That’s hard to beat. Having said that the writer/director has also scouted other locations in the Commonwealth as well as in Connecticut, New York, Georgia and Kentucky where he has identified abandoned hospitals that could be suitable.
Andrew Mudge is a Massachusetts native (grew up in Sherborn), whose student short fi lm, CHICKEN POX PAL played at the Sundance Film Festival. He went on to make other shorts, including THE PERFECT GOOSEYS, which was shot in Fairhaven and Ipswich and features actor Will Lyman. The film won top awards at the Hamptons Film Festival and the Los Angeles Short Film Festival, and was later sold to HBO. It can be seen here.
Andrew’s debut feature film, THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM, was filmed in South Africa and Lesotho. It won awards at over a dozen international film festivals (including Woods Hole, where it won the audience award), as well as three awards at the African Movies Academy Awards. The film’s trailer can be seen here.
Andrew Mudge has created a STRANGE BIRD Look Book where he has additionally outlined the characters along with their relationships to one another. It’s spooky. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.