Shootout Shooters—Organizers of the Duke City Shootout Digital Filmmaking Festival, have anounced their 2007 script winners. The winning scripts will be produced and premiered in Albuquerque from July 20-28. The selected filmmakers will be given a cast, high-definition digital camera and lighting equipment, a production crew, post-production facilities, transportation and even a professional mentor - everything they will need to bring their short script to life in just seven days. This year’s winners are: Lisa Marks from Marina del Rey, Calif., for the black comedy “Maconie’s List;” Scott and Paula Merrow from Albuquerque, N. M., for the family film “The Spider Experience;” Dina Chapman from West Hollywood, Calif., for the sci-fi comedy “So Five Minutes Ago;” Jason Kendall from Spring Hill, Fla., for the comedy “Young Gun;” Richard Dargan from Albuquerque, N.M., for the comedy “The Pitch;” and Joachim Jung from Los Angeles, Calif., for the comedy “The Dream Girl.” Best of luck to all this year’s Shootout participants and a special congratulations to our local fimmakers. A full schedule of events for the 2007 Shootout will be available soon. For more information and updates, visit www.dukecityshootout.org.
Most folks (mostly male, mostly in their 30s) will remember the Transformers as a massively popular toy line put out by Hasbro in the ’80s. A hit cartoon series followed, ushering in the Toyetic Era of popular culture, when TV shows and toys (“He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” “G.I. Joe,” “My Little Pony,” “Smurfs,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Transformers”) were synonymous with one another. Well, all those toy-collecting kids have grown up now and are demanding nostalgic entertainment in the form of big-budget, live-action movies based on their childhood obsessions. Paramount and DreamWorks Pictures have gratefully acquiesced, at least in the case of Transformers, delivering a $150 million summer tentpole release based on the franchise.
A lot of Americans (not all of them, but a lot of them) still have hang-ups about comic books and cartoons. “They’re for kids” is the prevailing argument, and no amount of evidence to the contrary seems to sway them. In other countries, however, graphic novels and animation run the gamut from all-ages to adults-only with little problem.
American television is a dominant force worldwide, sending reruns of “Dallas”, to the far-flung reaches of the globe. But the United States isn’t the only source of entertainment over the airwaves here in North America. We can’t simply forget the televised contributions of our neighbors to the north. Without the CBC, CTV and other Canadian-born corporations of which I have no actual knowledge, the world would never have had access to such classic TV shows as “SCTV” or “Degrassi Junior High” or ... um, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”.