July 25, 2011


July 25, 2011




July 25, 2011


Outlets for filmmakers:

Current TV

Educational Video Center (EVC)

Ghetto Film School


NJ Festivals & Resources:

Acme Screening Room, Lambertville, NJ

New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission

Princeton Environmental Film Festival

Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center

– Home of the New Jersey Film Festivals and the U.S. Super 8 Film and Digital Video Festival

& Other Film Reources:

Academic Film Archive of North America

American Film Institute

Current TV — Production Guide

The Documentary Blog



Film Comment

Film Culture (UC Berkeley Film Studies Department)


Great Directors Database

Internet Movie Database



Cool SitesMovie Mistakes links

News & Media Resources:

ACME – Active Coalition for Media Education Resources

Alternative Media

Creative Commons – Share, remix, reuse — leagally.

The Freesound Project – The Freesound Project aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License.

MNN Youth Channel – Youth Channel is an alternative to mass media created to provide equal access to all young people, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or social status.


Mondo Times – Links to more than 14,000 media outlets in 211 countries.

National Association of Broadcasters Media Sites

NewsHour Extra – Stories written for students, media resources and interactive reports based on stories from the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the nightly news broadcast on PBS.

Newslink – links to over 3,400 U.S. newspapers

Paper Paper Tiger Television (PTTV) is an open, non-profit, volunteer video collective. PTTV programs analyze and critique issues involving media, culture and politics.

Rise Up Radio

Who’s Who and What’s What – Weekly Current Events Quiz from the New York Times Learning Network

Youth Outlook– A monthly newspaper by and about young people, which also syndicates articles to newspapers across the U.S.

Youth Channel – YMDI’s mission is to improve the distribution of independent youth created film, video, radio and new media.

animator jonas odell

July 21, 2011

Never Like the First Time!, the latest film by Swedish animator extraordinaire Jonas Odell, re-creates the first sexual experiences of four people. While the first two stories convey relatively common sexual initiation experiences (man gets laid at a party, woman recounts the slow, sensual build up to the eventual let down of the big moment), the last two are at once shocking, sad, beautiful and poignant. In the third segment, told using only black-and-white with rotoscope, a woman suggests that her first time might have been when she blacked out and was possibly raped at a strange man’s house. However, she’s not even sure. She just remembers waking up naked, feeling sore all over. In the film’s final episode, an elderly man recounts his first time. As Odell recreates the man’s vivid memories with a collage of cut-out images taken from vintage advertisements, the man’s voice become increasingly excited and passionate. His words carry him deeper into his memories and to a happier time and place that he had temporarily lost, but clearly not forgotten. In that single moment, the man rediscovers life’s beauty and simplicity.

“The idea for the film,” explains Odell, “came after having made Family and Friends. I thought it was interesting to do that kind of episodic film, where you put several stories on the same subject next to each other. I had the idea that I wanted to let several people tell their story of the same event in their lives, and put these stories next to each other. I think there is something really interesting about putting several stories on the same subject next to each other. You get a result that is more than just the sum of the different parts.”

Odell considered different ideas for the subject of the film, but came back to first sexual experiences “because it is that kind of experience that is sort of a milestone in people’s lives (at least until they’ve done it). Between August and October 2002, Odell’s colleague, Benjamin Wolff, conducted 30 interviews with an assortment of friends and strangers. “I listened to the interviews,” says Odell, “and tried to find a way to tell each story on film, and then had him go back to a number of the people asking questions that were in line with what I had in mind for each story. I then edited the interviews. Each was about 1-2 hours and I edited them down to 3.5 minutes. This was the most interesting part of the process, seeing I haven’t worked with documentary material before. It was a challenge to build a narrative in the edit, and still be true to what I felt they were trying to say.”

As the viewer becomes comfortably and cheerfully settled after the first two light-hearted tales, Odell suddenly jolts us with a dark story of abuse. While the decision to include this somber episode came out of a desire to have a range of different experiences, Odell says that this experience was, surprisingly, not a unique story. “Too many people have had similar experiences,” notes Odell.

The segment also stands out because of the calm, subdued manner in which the woman recounts her story. As she struggles to clearly remember the experience, her controlled and matter-of-fact voice gives the segment an almost comic tone of bewilderment. By the end of the story, she’s not even sure if she did lose her virginity on that alcohol-drenched evening.

“I worked a lot with the tone of that segment to get a balance between taking it seriously as a very dark experience, but still not using it for dramatic effect, but trying to tell the story in a way that reflects her own way of telling the story,” adds Odell. “I think it was important to include this story, and in a way the film is structured around it, leading the viewer down into this darkness and then up into the light again.”

For the film’s touching and spiritual finale, Odell selected the story of a 92-year-old man. “I really wanted to include his story,” says Odell. “He was the only one out of the 30 people interviewed that was totally positive towards the experience of the first time. He turned 95 a few weeks ago, by the way.”

While many animators of late have been drawn to using actual interviews, this is the first time that Odell has worked with documentary material. Odell was excited by the challenges of using a documentary soundtrack: “You have in one sense to think like a writer when you are editing the material, and on the other hand I felt it was important to let them say what I imagined they wanted to say with their stories, and to be true their way of telling the story, even if only three minutes out of a two-hour interview made it into the film.”

As might be expected with a film by Odell, the film uses a rich array of mixed-media techniques that enhance and complement each story. Music, always a strong point in Odell’s films, never overstays its welcome; instead, like a comfortable old friend, the sounds seamlessly harmonizes with the tone and pace of the each speaker.

One thing bothers me about this little piece of tale. What about Odell? Where’s his story? I told Odell that since I had divulged the awesome details of my first fuck it was only fair that he did the same. But Odell wouldn’t fess up. All I could get out him was that “it was a very matter-of-fact thing in a tent….”

Chris Robinson has been with the Ottawa International Animation Festival since 1991. A noted animation critic, curator and historian, he has become a leading expert on Canadian and international independent animation. His acclaimed OIAF programming has been regarded as both thoughtful and provocative. In May 2004, Robinson was the recipient of the President’s Award given by the New York chapter of animators for contributions to the promotion of independent animation.

His books include Between Genius and Utter Illiteracy: A Story of Estonian Animation, Ottawa Senators: Great Stories from the NHL’s First Dynasty, Unsung Heroes of Animation, Great Left Wingers and Stole This From a Hockey Card: A Philosophy of Hockey, Doug Harvey, Identity & Booze.



OK, so how about the production details: How long did it take you to create the short? What kind of technologies did you use and how much did it cost to make?

Odell: Researching and getting the interviews together was the lengthiest part of the process. I think that went on for more than a year while we were working on other projects. The visuals took a bit over four months to complete between shooting the live action and putting the final touches to the animation. The main bulk of the animation was created in After Effects, with a few stop motion and hand drawn line animations thrown in.



















July 19, 2011

Vol. 1-5
download free by clicking album cover


Comic Venture

TV previews.

Vet’s Son Hits Road In Vietnam For Cable Show

April 25, 1995|By Allan Johnson, Tribune Staff Writer.

Tom Rhodes faced a surreal moment a few weeks ago, when he screened his Comedy Central special on Vietnam for a group of veterans, political officials and others.

Rhodes and his father were walking outside after the screening in Washington, D.C., “and there was a protest going on out front, people with signs and marching and stuff,” describes Rhodes, 28. “And I thought, `Ohmigod, my career is over; I’m gonna be bagging groceries again in Oviedo, Fla. (where he grew up).”‘

As it turned out, “they were protesting in front of the Turkish embassy, which was right next door,” laughs Rhodes. “So I was like, `Thank you, God.’

“And it was funny, because their signs said `Go Home, Turkey.’ I thought they could have been talking about me.”

Rhodes’ special, “Viva Vietnam: A White Trash Adventure Tour,” premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday on Comedy Central.

The special features Rhodes taking a comic journey through various cities in that country and is playing on the 20th anniversary of the end of the most controversial war in history.

“I want to have a good time for all the people who came here and didn’t get to have a good time,” Rhodes says in the hour-long special, which is like one of Charles Kuralt’s on-the-road pieces-if it were done by David Letterman.

Rhodes visits Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Da Nang (China Beach) and Hanoi during the course of the show. Along the way, he samples the local cuisine (“Is the bat flown in fresh daily?” he asks); runs into a Hard Rock Cafe without the memorabilia; sits in the shell of a helicopter; walks through an underground tunnel and plays pool in a bar called Apocalypse Now (“Tell me this country doesn’t have a sense of humor,” he jokes).

Among those who could have told Rhodes to “go home, turkey” were his father, David, a helicopter pilot who was shot down in September 1969, while flying a rescue mission over Laos. The elder Rhodes eventually got a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross for that mission.

“Obviously, if it wasn’t for (my dad), I never would have been anywhere near” Vietnam, says Rhodes, a standup comedian who was two years old when his father was shot down, and who wears an MIA bracelet.

Rhodes, who does spot programming features for Comedy Central, originally was to do a pilot for the cable network that had him poking fun at whatever significant event was happening in an assortment of U.S. cities.

First on the list was Las Vegas, but that fell through.

Then Rhodes told director Jerry Kramer about a surfboard company sponsoring a competition at China Beach, and the two became passionate about doing an overall special on Vietnam. The “city” idea and the Vietnam idea merged into the concept that became “Viva Vietnam.”

Rhodes says there might be a lesson in “Viva Vietnam” for some veterans.

“A lot of guys go back, or they want to go back,” Rhodes says. “Maybe not everybody has to go back. I mean, watching this could…Oh, okay, it’s not things exploding everywhere.”

– More on Vietnam: Much more serious than Comedy Central’s venture into Vietnam is the Discovery Channel’s examination of “The Fall of Saigon,” a two-hour special airing at 8 and 11 p.m. Friday. The documentary zeroes in on the final days of the Vietnam conflict, constantly hitting home with the sense of confusion and rage that came with America’s pulling out of that city in 1975, ending its participation in the war.


Comedy Central Cable Network
Comedy Central Productions Production Company
Visualize Studios Production Company


Name Role
David Becky Producer
Michael Bernard Director of Photography
Mark Farrell Producer
Rich Hall Writer
Pat Hanson Sound
Jerry Kramer Executive Producer
Steve Rasch Editor
Steve Rasch Producer
Tom Rhodes Host
Tom Rhodes Writer