DVD Format

For my final project, I explored DVD magazines and other aspects of the DVD format. I briefly mentioned some films I watched from DVD magazines earlier, but I will now look more in depth at the magazines themselves as opposed to the films on them. With the decline of short film in the United States, new ways of packaging and distributing short film have been created.

A DVD magazine is a series of pieces that are tied together on a DVD. These pieces can be short films, interview or news pieces or instructional. DVD’s have also come to be useful in distributing short film with the special feature disk. Disney is notable for using their special feature disk and adding short films to them.

Also exploring a similar concept, my classmate Lori Dalrymple studies anthology film, which is another way that short films are brought together on a DVD for distribution, Cinema 16, which I spoke about in earlier posts, is an example of a series of anthologies.

DVD Magazines

In my journey of learning about DVD magazines I found multiple that I will speak briefly about. This semester I also created a DVD magazine as my senior thesis.

Aspect


Aspect is a DVD Magazine that is distributed biannually. It focuses on experimental and new media and art. The website describes new media as “anything, better documented with a video camera but always in flux.” The DVD is always accepting submissions from students and other experimental artists and is meant to keep those involved in new media in touch with their peers. A single copy of Aspect runs for $25.

Wholphin

Wholphin is a DVD magazine that is distributed quarterly. It is a collection of various types of film, that in the words of its creators “[are] worth seeing on an expensive TV”. These pieces have more flexibility than those on Aspect, and unlike Aspect, they post films online that can be watched for free. One film that I viewed was, The Adventures of Ledo and IX which uses 8bit video game animation. It was created with Photoshop by Emily Jane Carmichael. This film follows a pair on an adventure, and is much like a video game. Beneath each film featured online there is a brief interview with the director. This DVD magazine also accepts submissions and must be obtained through subscription.

Film Movement


Film Movement is a DVD collection that is distributed monthly. For this reason, Film Movement functions more like a magazine than the other two DVD magazines discussed. Unlike the previous two DVD magazines discussed, Film Movement only features the works of award winning short films. All of the films are foreign or independent.

Stash


Stash is a DVD magazine that only features only animated films. This DVD magazine differs because it is available online as well as through a subscription.

Other DVD Magazines

There are also DVD magazines that are simply DVD versions of print magazines. One example of these is XXL a Hip Hop magazine, which has a DVD version. There is also, Guitar World which features interviews with guitarists and reviews on different acts.

The Sparkle Experiment


For my senior thesis I created my own DVD magazine called Sparkle. When creating Sparkle, I played on the word magazine and modeled all of the short pieces after sections of a popular women’s magazine (Cosmopolitan and Glamour for example). There were some copies available on campus in DVD format and the pieces are available electronically.

Disney Pictures


Most people are familiar with Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. They are both series’ of short films that are set to famous classical pieces. The films are named after the classical compositions, but each has a special take on them that is different from any original show they were featured in. The Nutcracker Suite is one example, where a ballet of nature and the seasons is portrayed rather than a Christmas story.

Fantasia is important to the DVD format, because since the creation of the film, Disney has added similar short films to the special features disks on popular Disney films. They have also taken many short pieces that were not added to Fantasia, and distributed them elsewhere.  My favorite example is “The Little Match Girl”, which is on the special features disk of “The Little Mermaid”. Both “The Little Mermaid” and “The Little Match Girl” were fairytales written by Hans Christian Andersen. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and expertly blends “Nocturne for String Quartet” by Alexander Borodin  with this heartbreaking film.

All of these examples show that the DVD format is important and growing. DVDs have become one of the major vessels for the distribution of short film.

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10 Minuta (2002)

So good, that we watched it twice (we watched in twice in class and I watched in once on my own, yeah that good), 10 Minuta is another short film that contrasts life in different parts of Europe. It was directed by  Ahmed Imamovic and has powerful visual effects as well as an excellent score. The piece starts showing a tourist in Rome, smoking a cigarette and waiting for his pictures to be developed. The scene quickly switches to a war torn Sarajevo where people cannot leave their house to get a loaf of bread without being terrified, let alone develop pictures and smoke a cigarette. This is a great portrait of how unconcerned people are with tragedies happening in their own countries. It is also a point of interest that we do not need to see what is happening in Rome to be aware of what is happening to him. Both of these things happening simultaneously, send the message that we can live our lives the same and still have time for compassion for our fellow humans.

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Jan Villa (2010)

via natashamendonca.com

Our Short Film class had the pleasure of award winning short film director, Natasha Mendonca, visiting our class to show her piece Jan Villa. During Mendonca’s visit, we earned that she has her roots in still photography and creates installment and experimental pieces. She describes Jan Villa as a montage of “layers of thoughts and sight.” After a major flood in her city, she returns to film the effects it has had on the city and the people. Mendonca states that this piece was like “an improv jam session” where she filmed each scene on one reel and did multiple in-camera edits. When asked about the intimacy of filming a naked body, Mendonca replied that she believes bodies to be like buildings or structures, “weathering with history and time.” It is apparent that the conditions of these people are as important to Mendonca and what her piece is trying to convey as places and objects. Mendonca also gave the class brilliant advice concerning their own artistic endeavors. One bit of advice was “never create works to please your critics. Make something that makes you happy. This was very inspiring and has kept me from crying in my room during finals week.

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25 Films, 25 Visions of Europe (2004)

25 Films, 25 Visions of Europe is an Anthology of films about how people from different countries view Europe. In 2004 a prominent director from each country in the European Union was asked to depict their feelings on the current state of Europe. These were some of the pieces.

European Shower Bath by Peter Greenaway


This piece after being taken for what it is (a ton of Europeans in a shower bath), it becomes easier to see the deeper meaning of this piece. It is a commentary by Greenaway on the privilege of the larger countries in the union. they are bigger players, so they are allowed to shower first and the smaller coutries in the union are left without any water in the end. This calls to question wether or not the union is fair or actually a united at all, because the “Have’s” get priority and the “Have-nots” remain in their social position.

Evropa by Damjan Kozole

This was a more humorous piece in the anthology, where the message is the cliche, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” It was directed by Damjan Kozole of Sovenia. The short film shows interaction between men from two different countries. On one side they are members of the European Union and on the other, they have won a National Football championship. The men from each side express interest in what the other has. This piece depicts how a sport can unite the people of a country and of the continent about as well as members of the European Union believe the Union can.

Invisible State by Aisling Walsh

Invisible State is a statement on human trafficking in Ireland. It is powerful in it’s simplicity. Walsh refers to them as the invisible people. The message comes across in an unbelievable way, with no sounds except for the explanation of what happens when other Europeans attempting to immigrate are trafficked and brief flashes of pictures and sounds of screams, moans and terror. The idea that this piece is a simple retelling from a man who is unharmed by these injustices, but is outraged by these injustices make it that much more powerful.

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George Lucas in Love (1999)

via starwars.wika.com

George Lucas in Love is a satire created by Joe Nussbaum of USC. Nussbaum used this film as a calling card for jobs and it eventually gained great popularity. Very often, short films are used as calling cards for filmmakers who want to make longer pieces. they make a short piece that broadcasts their different skills and talents and distribute it so that people in the film industry can watch it in one shot. The film is fictional and follows George Lucas, the creator, of Star Wars on a journey to complete his final script in order to graduate. This is a creative, entertaining, and funny film. Aside from being entertaining, it shows an important function of short film in media today, to open opportunities for larger jobs. It can be viewed online in multiple places, but I have posted a link here.

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A Girl’s Own Story (1984)

“A Girl’s Own Story” much like, “Boy and Bicycle” and Academy Award Winning, “God of Love” is a document of transitions. It follows girls who attend a private school and are coming into their sexuality. This piece is successful in showing how difficult it is to be not a girl and not yet a woman. It was directed by Jane Campion, of New Zeland and is another Cinema 16 film. This movie is great because it explores even the taboos that are inevitable to be happening in the lives of young girls, showing the depth and importance of puberty. This film, along with Boy and Bicycle by Ridley Scott are filmed in black and white. Black and white film is an excellent way to convey the idea of coming of age and puberty because it implies a jump from one extreme to another. The film is available to view on Google Video.

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Boy and Bicycle (1962)

Boy and Bicycle is the first film ever directed by Ridley Scott. It follows a boy throughout a typical day for 27 minutes. This is one of the films that Dr. Deshpande refers to as a “document of transitions”. The boy is obviously  torn between whether he prefers adulthood or childhood. He is seen in a candy store window smoking a cigarette and he loves riding around on a bike, but loves the freedom of escape. At the end of the film we find that the boy is Tony Scott, Ridley’s brother and the director of Top Gun. This revelation shows that Ridley has some persona connection with this story and the boy going through these changes.

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