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Entries in films (2)


So What Do You Think? - Canon's Project Imagin8ion

When Canon first announced its Project Imagin8ion photography contest, I was hesitant to give it a plug. My educational hat went on, and the venture seemed a bit too pat and commercial. Grey New York, Canon's advertising firm, launched an ambitious new campaign that kicked off with a consumer photo contest. Photo submissions were requested in 8 different categories - Setting, Time, Character, Mood, Relationship, Goal, Obstacle, the Unknown - and award-winning director Ron Howard chose the winners, and these 8 photos were to provide the basis for a Hollywood short film, directed by Howard's talented actor/director daughter Bryce Dallas Howard.

The video shown above changed my perception of the project, putting me into the consumer-photographer's shoes. The project seems to give photographers a good opportunity to submit their work and potentially inspire a movie with the power of images. The comment made late in the video - about the goal of the project being to take the promotional focus away from the camera and move it onto the creativity of the photographer using the equipment - is very much in keeping with the philosophy of our New York Institute of Photography courses - people think, cameras don't, and it's up to you to add creativity to the combination and produce inspiring photographs. Here's the trailer of the final creation, called "when you find me" - and let us know what you think of this project. Would you submit your work to a future photography-film collaboration? 

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Francesca Woodman, on Film

A new documentary, titled "The Woodmans,"  sets out to explicate, if not explain, the life and early death of one of the 20th-century's most enigmatic and haunting photographers. Francesca Woodman came from a family of artists: her mother is the successful ceramicist Betty Woodman, her father is an abstract painter named George Woodman, and her older brother, George, is a video artist. Francesca grew up in a household where art, it seems, was prized above all else. She picked up a camera early, and was immediately possessed by the need to create photographic images. 



While the documentary shows many of its subject's images, it doesn't look much at her technique or her involvement with the New York art world of the late 1970s and early 1980s---the rejection from which may have contributed to her suicide. Rather it concentrates on her family, her place in it, and the effect of success and failure on an artist. And like any good documentary, it raises more questions than it answers, while providing a glimpse into the work and life of a fascinating artist.

The film, a Lorber Films Release directed by C. Scott Willis, is showing in limited release. In New York City, it's showing at Film Forum.


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