The Future Was Wide Open

As I gear up for my second and final year of film school, I am already fearful of not being able to find a job. In the meantime, I'm trying to stay up on this industry that's changing as quickly as the technology that makes it all possible. 

I just came across a darling six-part short film series that was created by an ad agency to market laptops for Intel and Toshiba. (My anti-consumer stance and desire to get paid to tell visual stories are having a stand off.) 

"The Beauty Inside" featured the company's laptops but it was more than an ad. It starred actors Topher Grace, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Matthew Gray Gubler, and had a social media component with auditions held on Facebook. The episodes vary in length, from 4:45 to 9:38 minutes. 

Last month the series won a Daytime Emmy for "Outstanding New Approach to Original Daytime Program or Series," the first to beat out a televised program. It also garnered three Grand Prix Awards at 2013 Cannes Lions, a prestigious festival that celebrates creative works in the field of advertising and communications.  

This week "House of Cards" was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards, which the Washington Post reported as "a watershed moment for video content," in terms of how awards have been handled in the past. The article mentions that in 1999, it was a big deal when "HBO's "The Sopranos" became the first series not carried on broadcast television to be nominated for best drama." 

But with the ever-consolidating media, I take this as a good sign. New companies, new opportunities for innovation and outlets for creativity. 



Horror Movies as Social Commentary: an interview with Lonnie Martin

Women's Studies is an independently-produced horror/satire about feminist ideals gone wrong that Lonnie Martin made in 2010. It was his first feature film.  

Co-produced by and starring his wife Cindy Marie MartinWomen's Studies got a decent amount of press back when the video was released.

But nothing like the amount of hits their website and Youtube pages got a couple of months ago when Jezebel posted the trailer and a barbed blurb, which set off ridiculous internet insult-slinging. They didn't even reach out to him for comment. 


Had I not known Lonnie personally, I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it all. Just another white dude making movies with chicks making out.  

However, since befriending Lonnie in a film theory class at American University earlier this year, I already knew him to be a thoughtful feminist and talented storyteller. 
So I wanted to give him a voice here. We had a long audio interview a couple of weeks ago. Here's the first set: 

In the first part, Lonnie talks about his screenplays leading up to Women's Studies, and introduces his dream project, Maynard Comes Back, a horror anthology. 

In the second part, Lonnie discusses the old school horror of George A. Romero and connects the "torture porn" of Saw to the social anxiety of real life torture uncovered in the Abu Ghraib scandal.