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Bermuda Film Blog

Monthly Archives: June 2011

BIFF Summer Camps

Applications for our Film Academy Summer Camp 2011, which will run in August at Warwick Camp on South Road, Warwick is now open.

The BIFF Film Academy offers opportunities for students in Bermuda to learn more about the world outside Bermuda and develop the basic filmmaking skills necessary to tell our stories too.

This year BIFF will offer four camps: an animation, a film production and an acting for film camp for 10-13 year olds, along with an acting camp for 7-9 year olds.

Animation Camp (1-5 August)

* This week-long seminar is designed to introduce students to the techniques and methods used in the making of animated movies. Students will learn the difference between each of the techniques by inventing their own unique stories. From Storyboarding, to creating the sets and characters, they will be animating and having a very fulfilling and fun learning experience. The instructor for this camp is Erik Goulet. Erik studied stop motion animation at Concordia University in Montreal and since 2001 he has been teaching animation workshops in schools, at film festivals and at Concordia.

Film Production Camp (8-19 August)

* Production Camp is for those budding young storytellers interested in practicing the various hands-on roles of the filmmaker. This in-depth two-week camp begins by familiarising students with the tools of the trade and the key creative positions that make up a film production team. Emphasis is placed on collaboration, communication and identifying the strengths and interests of each student, in order to work towards a common goal. During the first week, students will complete exercises in various disciplines, from writing and storyboarding to cinematography and directing. All instruction will serve to work towards week two, when production camp students will combine forces with the acting camp to shoot their own short films. This camp will be instructed by Bayard Outerbridge. Bayard obtained his BFA in Film Production at Concordia University. He has worked on over 50 productions, including Gillian Armstrong’s “Death Defying Acts” in London and episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance Canada?” in Montreal.

Acting for Film (8-19 August)

* This intensive two week camp, instructed by Lana Young, teaches life skills through acting for film. Lana is a Bermudian born actress with 18 years of professional acting experience on the stage and in front of the camera. Lana trained in London at the Arts Educational Schools of London, where she received her M.A. in Acting. Lana will use fun acting games to teach children how to focus, listen, solve problems and empathise with their given situation, in order to ultimately build self-esteem and confidence. They will spend the first week working on a script, being taught acting techniques to help them learn lines, build their character and explore their relationships within the script. Knowing how to behave on set is also very important and young people will learn what happens behind the scenes and how they fit in. A skill they will put to the test in the second week of camp when we merge with the production camp to shoot a short film.

Acting Camp (22-26 August)

* In this introductory one-week camp, children will explore and shape their imagination in a safe and positive environment. Each morning will begin with warm ups, theatre games and acting technique followed by rehearsals and blocking for the end of week filming of their scenes. We purposely keep the camps small so students will receive individual attention and all get a chance to truly shine. Their scenes will be taped and a movie montage will be edited and emailed to all the parents at the end of the camp. This acting camp will also be instructed by Lana Young.

All camps are priced $315 per week for BIFF non-members and $295 per week for BIFF members (the two week camps are $630 and $590, respectively). All camps will run from 9.00am to 3.00pm, Monday through Friday. After-camp care is available until 5.00pm for $15 per child each day.

To register your child for the BIFF Film Academy, application forms are available here and should be completed and mailed with a cheque covering the full cost of the camp to BIFF, P.O. Box HM 2963, Hamilton, HM MX or sent by fax to 293 7769, or scanned and emailed to with your credit card information. Alternatively sign-up online here. Camps are strictly limited to 16 students to ensure all participants a high-quality learning experience.

Six Word Story: Winner

The April winner is Toby Butterfield who wrote “Brake cable cut with child scissors.” Congrats, Toby!

Future bermudian filmmaker

Aspiring Bermudian filmmaker Charles Butterfield a graduate of Cedarbridge Academy is one of the first Bermudians to be awarded the India Film School Scholarship Bermuda. Charles will be traveling to Mumbai India to study at The Whistling Woods Film Academy which has been deemed the largest film school in Asia. Charles will be pursuing his associate degree in film and broadcast studies. The second recipient is Jason Jackson, the pair leave next month to begin their studies abroad. BIFF would like to wish them both the best of luck as they begin their journey to becoming filmmakers. The Royal Gazette’s Jessie Moniz sits down for a more in-depth conversation with Charles Butterfield read the full interview here.

Mr. Happy Man Now on DVD

Matt Morris’s short film Mr. Happy Man featuring Bermuda’s very own Johnny Barnes is now available to purchase on DVD. The short film enjoyed its world premiere at the 14th annual Bermuda International Film Festival. Since then Mr. Happy Man has found success on the festival circuit screening at many other prestigious festivals such as; Aspen Shorts Fest, Florida Film Festival, Palms Spring Shorts Fest, Independent Film Festival Boston, Telluride Film Festival, Maine International Film Festival to name just a few. It even picked up an honorable mention at the Nashville Film Festival.

If you didn’t get a chance to catch this charming short documentary at BIFF 2011 fear not for the Mr. Happy Man DVD’s are now available at the Bermuda Book Store in Hamilton. The DVD contains the full documentary with special features including interviews, deleted scenes and a film festival Q&A. all for the reasonable price of $15.

Check out the trailer below.

Lana Young on her role in the indie film Beginners

Bermudian actress and BIFF acting camp instructor Lana Young shares her experiences about working on the set of “Beginners” along side big name talent such as Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor. The film which is being distributed by indie giant Focus Features just received a limited release last week in NYC and LA. Royal Gazette’s Jesse Moniz sits down with Lana and gets the scoop. Article

“Cameron” director, Lara Smith speaks out

The challenges of being a female director are highlighted in this profile of Lara Smith, director of Cameron: A Portrait, which screened at BIFF 2011, by Royal Gazette’s Jesse Moniz. Article

Books to Film (or Aideen’s irreverent musings)

As always, filmmakers look to bestseller lists for inspiration and 2011 is no exception. In this post I highlight some films to look out for, either on DVD or on a big screen near you (for Bermudians that means when you’re visiting NYC!). First, the upcoming DVD releases include Jane Eyre, The Lincoln Lawyer and Water for Elephants.

Generally, the critics gave a “thumbs up” to Jane Eyre, adapted from the novel by Charlotte Bronte and with lead performances by Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. Not being a huge fan of the Bronte sisters (true confession: I once failed an English test on Jane Eyre because I never finished the book), I will leave it to you to seek out the DVD and draw your own conclusions regarding the faithfulness of the adaptation. USA box office of $10.3M may disappoint but it is a period piece without the ‘brand names’ American audiences seem to prefer.

The Lincoln Lawyer is adapted from the book of the same name by Michael Connelly and stars Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillipe and Marisa Tomei. I did finish this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. A fast-paced thriller, I look forward to the DVD release sometime in July. Matthew McConaughey has starred in some lamentable, though box office gold, movies, so it will be good to see him in something more worthy of his talents. The critics liked him in this and, with a USA box office of $56.5M, it seems audiences did too…although they could have liked him much more.

Water for Elephants, adapted from the bestseller by Sara Gruen, stars Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christopher Waltz. Critics were underwhelmed with this film adaptation. I must admit I have picked up the book several times but just cannot get excited about a sad love story set in a circus (admittedly, a far too brief and unfair synopsis of the book). However, I will make a commitment to read the book and check out the DVD to see for myself whether the critics were right or wrong.

Turning to the books to film adaptations that are not yet released, I am keeping an eye on One Day, The Help, Moneyball, We Need To Talk About Kevin and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

One Day, book by David Nicholls and film starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, is a story of love and friendship over the course of 20 years. Naturally, I’m curious as to whether Anne Hathaway can hold an English accent for that long (in the book her character, Emma, is actually from Yorkshire). Sharp dialogue from the book should end up in the movie and, hopefully, the chemistry between Hathaway and Sturgess works. Let’s wait and see for the movie release set for August 19.

In The Help (book by Kathryn Stockett and film leads including Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer), we are in the world of the southern USA during the nascent days of the civil rights movement. As we now know it is a strange history and the film adaptation, done well, will be strong and stirring. The movie’s release is due August 12 and, given the book, it will be well worth the effort to seek it out.

Moneyball, authored by Michael Lewis and starring Brad Pitt, is about baseball; specifically, the Oakland A’s in 2002, who are trying to play with the big boys but without big boy money. I include this in my list, not because I am that much of a baseball fan (or a Brad Pitt fan) but because I am a Michael Lewis fan. He writes good books. You learn things from his books. (For me, author John Feinstein is similar in that respect.) I’m not sure how this will play as a movie but baseball enthusiasts should check it out; it’s release date is September 23.

We Need To Talk About Kevin fascinates me. It is adapted from the book by Lionel Shriver, directed by Lynne Ramsey and stars Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller. A compelling story of a mother coping with her sociopath teenage son’s actions, the film premiered at Cannes to a less than stellar reception. That will not stop me (although I will need to pop over to the UK as there doesn’t appear to be a USA release date set yet). Viewpoints are key in the book, so the film adaptation will be interesting and challenging.

Finally, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. What is left to say? We all know Stieg Larsson wrote a brilliant book and, now, the story is being made over – without subtitles – for a western audience. The film will star Daniel Craig, Stellan Skarsgard, Rooney Mara and Robin Wright and is due for release in December. Can you name another movie where the original language was not English and an English language version was made?

Anyway, I have my homework: read and watch Water for Elephants. (No, I will not read Jane Eyre.)

Your homework: read the eight books mentioned above and see as many of the movies as you can!

June BIFFlix: Ceremony

June 16: Ceremony is the BIFFlix romcom selection. “The story is an exploration of love; the reality and the fantasy of it. But it’s also a fun film to watch, with plenty of witty repartee and situational comedy…[writer/director] Winkler gets kudos for striking a good balance between the romantic and comedic elements,” says We Got This Covered Read more.