DIFF 2017 High School Day
On Friday, March 31, hundreds of students from more than 40 North Texas high schools will participate in engaging workshops and discussions about creating and marketing independent films. A private event of the 2017 Dallas International Film Festival and a production of the Dallas Film Society, High School Day exposes students to many of the exciting venues throughout the Dallas Arts District in Downtown Dallas!
HIGH SCHOOL DAY ACTIVITIES
Sporting their High School Day T-shirts sponsored by SMU, high school students will be split into groups and directed to various Dallas Arts District venues for sessions on:
• ANIMATION – FOR THE LOVE OF STORYTELLING
• THEATER OF THE MIND
• FIVE STEPS TO A MORE POLISHED PRODUCTION
• YOUR CAMERA ACTING CAREER – TAKE 1: ACTION!
• DESIGN AND ATMOSPHERE
HIGH SCHOOL DAY WORKSHOPS
ANIMATION – FOR THE LOVE OF STORYTELLING
Presented by Morgan Strong – Mercury One, Inc.
Some of the most dream-catching, laugh-inducing, and heart-warming stories in recent years have been told through the medium of animation. We’ve grown to love characters like Dory, Ralph, Hiccup, and even Gru, all because thousands of amazingly talented people give their hearts and lives to bringing them to life. “Animation – For the Love of Storytelling” will focus on the modern process of taking a story (big or small) from concept to screen. We’ll also touch on the state of the VFX industry, innovation in technology, job opportunities, and hopefully answer some of those deep questions like, “What’s it like at Pixar / DreamWorks / Blue Sky?” and “Do you really look at every frame?” Questions will be more than welcome, so come ready for a great time!
Morgan Strong is a Software Engineer and Technical Director who has gathered a unique breadth of experience in both feature film and commercial animation in his early career. As a student at Brigham Young University, he produced and supervised Visual Effects on the award-winning short CHASM(2013) (video link). Shortly after graduating, he interned with Blue Sky Studios as a Production Engineer during the production of Rio 2 (2014). After the internship, he accepted a 6-month Software Engineering Residency with Pixar to work on Universal Scene Description, Pixar’s new high-performance 3D data format which was first used fully on FINDING DORY (2016) and is now open-source. Desiring to dive a little deeper into production, he accepted an offer from PDI/DreamWorks as a Technical Director and was tasked with supporting the Image Finaling department. He is credited for his work on PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR (2014) and HOME (2015). He now works for Brazen Animation in Dallas, TX.
THEATER OF THE MIND
Presented by Doc Thompson – Mercury One, Inc.
Audio content is not just part of a video production, it is a successful standalone platform to tell stories. Great audio can trigger imagination in unique ways using “theater of the mind!” You will learn how to entertain with audio as a standalone medium, or to significantly increase the value of a video production!
Doc Thompson is the host of “the Morning Blaze” on The Blaze Radio Network and regular guest host on “The Glenn Beck Program!” Doc has been fired by some of the best radio stations in America! He has worked in Detroit, Cleveland, Richmond, Lincoln, and Las Vegas to name a few. He was instrumental in some of those stations winning 5 Marconi Awards, the equivalent of the Academy Award for radio excellence. Laughing and making people laugh are important to Doc. His medium of choice is, of course, radio.
FIVE STEPS TO A MORE POLISHED PRODUCTION
Presented by Robert J. Castaldo – KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts
Contrary to what most filmgoers think, a film is not made in production. The production phase (the Lights, Camera, Action phase), is the time to collect all the necessary elements to be assembled in the editing phase. This editing phase is where the movie is actually made. To that end, there is a simple five-step process to ensure that the footage you shoot has the greatest opportunity to edit the film you want. In this brief introduction to these five steps, we will discuss and illustrate how these they work, and how you can use these steps to improve your productions.
Robert J. Castaldo is a writer, producer, director and editor. Over his twenty-five-year career in film and video, Bob has worked on hundreds of feature films, documentaries, television shows, commercials, music videos, and corporate/industrial/training programs. He has been involved in every aspect of bringing a script to screen: from writing, directing, and producing, through all aspects of post-production, including picture, sound, and music editing, title design and creation… and even Foley dancing. Currently, Bob is the owner of Original Cine, LLC, a cinematic production company. He also teaches motion picture production at KD Conservatory, College of Film and Dramatic Arts, in Dallas, Texas. Bob has contributed to numerous panel discussions, seminars, and workshops over the years.
YOUR CAMERA ACTING CAREER – TAKE 1: ACTION!
Presented by Reis McCormick & Deborah Stone – KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts
This popular, interactive workshop answers the question, “What does it take to make a successful on-camera audition or performance?” Learn the do’s and don’ts from seasoned pros on both sides of the camera! Hand-outs and resources a-plenty. Bring your questions! Workshop includes an actual mock audition, useful for both directors and actors alike.
Reis McCormick is an award-winning performer who brings a wealth of experience to the subject of ACTING. A thirty-three-year veteran of stage and screen, her resume includes regional theater, summer stock and tours, plus thousands of television and radio commercials, industrial narration and spokesperson roles, video games, as well as indie film and network television from Barney to Breaking Bad.
Deborah Stone works in both the film and television industry as a writer, producer and director. Over the years, she has produced numerous commercials, several music videos, directed two national series, and produced feature films. In 2017, she directed the animated feature film, THE ADVENTURES OF AZZU AND GAZZU. In March of 2017, she was nominated and won the International Film award for directing and producing the documentary, BRUSHSTOKES OF A MAN: The Life of Thomas Kinkade. Currently, she is working on a project that was filmed in Athens, Greece. She is represented by Jeff Witjas, Sr. Vice President of the Agency for the Performing Arts, LA & NY.
DESIGN AND ATMOSPHERE
Presented by Derek Kompare – SMU Division of Film and Media Arts
An effective story, in any form, works largely through atmosphere: how its story is conveyed beyond what is explicitly said. In this session, we’ll consider the role of thoughtful design in generating a compelling atmosphere, and consider some classic and recent examples from film and television.
Derek Kompare is the Chair of the Division of Film and Media Arts in the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. He researches, writes, and teaches about media industries, media history, and media culture, as well as specific topics like 1980s film and TV, comic books, video games, and fandom.
Education & Outreach Coordinator
DALLAS STAR AWARDBILL PAXTON (POSTHUMOUSLY)
Bill Paxton was an award-winning actor and filmmaker from Texas. In 1992, he landed his first leading role in ONE FALSE MOVE. Paxton went on to star in several hit films including ALIENS (1985), APOLLO 13 (1995), TWISTER (1996) and TITANIC (1997)
L.M. KIT CARSON
DAVID GORDON GREEN
This year’s L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Award Honoree is writer/director David Gordon Green. David Gordon Green’s debut feature, GEORGE WASHINGTON (2000) won the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and his second feature, ALL THE REAL GIRLS (2003) received a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
SHINING STAR AWARDZOEY DEUTCH
This year’s Shining Star Award Honoree is Zoey Deutch. Zoey Deutch is an actress known for VAMPIRE ACADEMY (2014), EVERYBODY WANTS SOME! (2016) and WHY HIM? (2016). Most recently, Zoey Deutch starred in two films selected at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, REBEL IN THE RYE and BEFORE I FALL.