World Journal: Hollywood Filmmaking Camp - The Most Rewarding Graduation
July 24, 2016, 6:29 am
由聯合報系與洛杉磯世界日報共同主辦的2016好萊塢電影夏令營，23日在好萊塢Los Feliz 3劇院熱鬧閉幕，來自台灣的16位小電影人，以三周時間精心製作電影短片登台亮相，多位同學更榮獲最佳劇本、攝影、音響、剪輯、導演、最佳表演及最佳影片等七個獎項，滿載而歸。
在個人作品一一亮相之後，由學員們分組合作、原創劇本，表演、拍攝、剪輯、配音、製作全部獨立完成的三部短片相繼登台。「Hide and See」、「Pay Debt」、「Post It」，一個是構思巧妙的殺人遊戲，一個是充滿娛樂情節的愛情故事，一個則是職場歧視的折射，個個凝聚了同學們過去三周的心血。
七項大獎在專家們的評定後出爐。其中最佳攝影（Best Cinematography）由朱沛慈獲得；最佳聲音編輯（Best Sound Editing）李亭樸；最佳導演（Best Directing）陳敬宇；最佳劇本寫作（Best Writing）黃佑喨、鍾荷衣、李亭樸、黃安禹、鄭文鈞；最佳電影剪輯（Best Film Editing）余竑賢；最佳短片（Best Short Film）陳敬宇、黃一珊、江怡璇、李庭安、陳以琳；最佳表演（Best Performance）徐珊珊。
World Journal: Rock Chang - Making Movie Dreams Into Reality
July 24, 2016, 6:28 am
World Journal: Hollywood Filmmaking Camp - Eye Opening Experience
July 20, 2016, 6:00 am
由聯合報系與世界日報共同主辦的2016美國好萊塢電影夏令營，課程規劃十分精彩。在大師講座部份，分別邀請到八位影視界知名前輩：奧斯卡評委和最佳音效獎得主Richard L. Anderson談「創造力與自我表達」、前美國聯邦教育部雙語司副司長張曼君教授談「英語文化與創造力」、洛杉磯亞太影展主辦人兼美國電影藝術與科學學會成員David Magdael談16年電影公關行銷經驗、為電影注入中國二胡元素的韓華奇談「東方配樂對好萊塢的影響」、好萊塢記者馬雲分享「媒體與文化藝術」的寶貴經驗，還有索尼動畫美術指導柯金祥、「美國隊長：內戰」和「蟻人」的視覺特效創意美術總監潘民生、和學生奧斯卡入圍的導演兼編劇李守仁等，獨家為電影營學員授課，分享電影從幕後到幕前每一環節的製作秘辛。
主辦單位也安排學員參訪南加州大學新聞多媒體中心、美國電影學會AFI及好萊塢電影工作室，並讓學員實際參加著名電視節目錄影作業，同時也帶學員到環球影城新開幕的哈利波特館、迪士尼與多部MV拍攝地點Grove、The Board博物館遊覽，並讓學員體驗號稱世界上最大的棕櫚泉高空旋轉纜車，參觀棕櫚泉The Broad博物館。
World Journal: Hollywood Filmmaking Camp - Rich and Fulfilling Film Shoot
July 13, 2016, 6:38 am
Indyred Film Review "Power Play"
The imagination of a child is astounding. Most of us simply dismiss it as a diversion of youth but I believe that the stronger it is when one is young, the more creative the person as an adult. It really is a shame many of us are taught to let go as we get older; the possibilities of keeping it would be endless. "Power Play" allows us to enter the creative minds of three children, locked in an imaginary battle using their toys as the action heroes. We, the viewers, get a peek into their fantasy world as the action pushes on. Not a bad way to spend three minutes I can safely say. Director Rock Chang, with the help of some professional martial artists, pack a lot of excitement into a very short time frame, breaking up the action via flashes into the "real" world. The resulting short film is both cute, fun and even, at times, quite exciting! Anyone who loves the lighter side of the superhero genre will really get a kick out of this... pun intended.
As I've come to expect from productions involving Rock Chang, "Power Play" is quite nice to look at. Featuring some good camera work and in this case, excellent audio, this particular production has no problems telling it's story. The bulk of the short film consists of comic book styled action sequences that look great, but can, at times, feel a little forced or awkward. Those strange but brief moments are really hard to put a finger on, as I try and explain them, but I personally believe it comes down to the edit itself. Piecing together martial arts sequences are tough simply because it's not justabout the flow of the narrative; it's also about the angles. Still, for an indie martial arts film "Power Play" handles the sequences well enough that most people won't give the action a second thought, simply enjoying the sequences for what they are.
The wrap-around cuts to the kid scenes, and content itself is a great tactic both for comedic effect and for the story as a whole. Of course, as with the action sequences, all this is handled in an excellent way.
Long story short? "Power Play" is a fun little three minutes with a little added bonus. Once you watch the short film, you can skip over and check out the behind the scenes segment; also clocking in at around three minutes. Although not truly informative, it's a fun little piece that leaves you feeling like you actually know the cast and crew. Maybe using the term "know" is a little over the top, but I'll go with it all the same. "Power Play" is also a freebie, you really have no reason not to watch! While you're doing that why not be a star yourself and send them a vote by clicking the following link. http://www.rode.com/myrodereel/watch/entry/2591
"Power Play" Interview with Halo Halo
Rogue Cinema Review "Not a Love Story"
Pretty first-grader Zoé (Oceane Bucaille) is always prepared for school. She always has her homework done and organizes her desk perfectly. Zoé loves to learn and is ready for anything – except for her classmate Alexandre (Sasha Susini). It seem that Alexandre has a developed a crush on Zoé and he’s determined to tell the entire class about his love for her! Mortified by the youth’s attention, Zoé tries her best to ignore his proclamations. But this only causes Alexandre to declare his feelings for her all the louder. So every day brings a new embarrassment and the poor girl is at a loss for what to do about it. But Zoé’s even more horrified when she asks her parents where babies come from and they tell her that babies come after a boy tells a girl that he loves her!
“Not a Love Story” is a delightful 15 minute short film from director Rock Chang and writer Fabienne Maurer. It’s a sweet and innocent look at first time crushes and how truly awkward those can be. Alexandre only knows that he loves Zoé and he clearly doesn’t understand how much embarrassment he is causing her. To him, his love can only be an absolute good. Zoé, however, is horrified by Alexandre’s constant attention and only understands the negative connotation of the youth’s infatuation with her.
Even though this is a light and frothy comedy, director Chang successfully infuses the film with a darker undercurrent. It’s hard not to watch the antics of Alexandre and not think about how unwanted attention in adulthood can be a frightening experience and can sometimes lead to obsession and stalking.
Chang has a gift for working with children and he coaxes wonderful naturalistic performances from his cast. Oceane Bucaille is pitch perfect as Zoé and she captures the girl’s befuddlement at her situation wonderfully. Sasha Susini is a ball of energy as Alexandre. His performance really helps you understand the youth’s stubbornness and determination.
“Not a Love Story” is about unrequited love and its potential unwanted consequences. Its central theme is universally appealing and the script, direction and acting are all first-rate. This is a charming movie short that should appeal to both adults and children alike. Look for it at a film festival near you this spring and summer.
- by Philip Smolen
"Not a Love Story" Chinese Interview with Midday Buzz
"Not a Love Story" Interview with Halo Halo
Indyred Film Review "Not a Love Story"
To sum up "Not A Love Story" very quickly, one must only acknowledge that it's damn cute. There really is no denying it. I'm not claiming that this short tale, penned by Fabienne Maurer would be my first pick of films to watch; that's only because it's geared more to children however, or adults who will appreciate the subtle comedy (or not so subtle) thrown in to give them something to chuckle about. To write that "Not A Love Story" was made to entertain adults would be the same as saying that Polka Dot Door was written that way as well. What we do have is a cute, well made short film that although seemingly not made for the older generations, does have enough style and humor to make it entertaining. I did kind of miss any reference to the "Stork" however, that would have made things perfect.
Rock Chang helms the school desk and manages to pull some pretty convincing and funny performances from the young cast, all the time keeping the "cuteness" dripping from the lens of the camera. The characters are just as bright as the grading of the film itself, making it easy to keep that "knowing" smile as you watch the film. Come to think of it, everything about this production screams experience and professionalism, not really leaving me much to comment on in the technical department. About half-way into the film I began physically looking for some technical flaw to write about, and came up empty. In every respect, Rock Chang and his crew end up schooling a lot of adult indie filmmakers, with all the technical elements of this production being close to perfection. An excellent job all around.
Oceane Bucaille portrays her character perfectly, showing off the ability of a much more seasoned actress. She may not be a complete stranger to the industry, but that doesn't always translate to a good performance. She really shines in her role here, keeping us smiling as she flows across our screens. To be honest, for a production featuring mainly children, I would be hard-pressed to find any of the performances offin any way. The kids all came across as... well... cute. The adult performances were not lost on me either. With just the right glances and smirks, the adult cast kept this short film real, and I hate to keep saying it... but cute.
No denying the amount of talent involved in this small production, and although itseems like it may, from what I've written, be for children, this won't just entertain the young ones. I can't help but feel that "Not A Love Story" was meant to be geared more to adults, but with the stellar performances from the cast, and the way this film plays out, I still would rather say it's a kids film. Was it entertaining? Yes. Was it done well? Oh yeah. In the end there's really no reason for anyone to miss out on this one. Check out the trailer and keep your ears open... when you get the chance, find out for yourself what I've been writing about.
The Daily Bruin "Alum’s short film ‘Exhale’ to compete at Cannes Film Festival"
BY EILEEN LI Posted: April 6, 2015
Director Rock Chang looked over his shoulder as he filmed the last scene of “Exhale” and knew no other takes would be needed. Many of his crew members had tears in their eyes.
“This is kind of sadistic, I guess,” Chang said, “But to be able to see the audience cry is an accomplishment for me, as director.”
“Exhale” is the fourth film by Chang’s production company, CUBED Productions, to be accepted to compete in the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Competition. The official selections for this year’s Short Film Competition will be released on April 16.
The company developed the drama film based on a story UCLA alumna and co-founder Fabienne Maurer had heard from her friend, a nurse. One of the nurse’s young patients, a 6-year-old girl with cancer, was taken off of life support when her parents could no longer afford treatment.
“The parents had to sell their house and were worried about their future and their second daughter’s future,” Maurer said. “Little by little the hospital even suggested … they pull the life-support machines.”
The film centers around Dawn, a terminally ill young girl, who stays alive with help from life support and treatment. Played by Sarah Bazler, Dawn has been confined to a hospital room for most of her life, taking joy from interactions with her younger sister, Sophie. When her parents can no longer afford medical expenses, they consider the alternative.
When the mother, played by Maurer, and the father, played by CUBED Productions producer Bill Mendieta, tell Dawn about their decision, she begs them to let her live.
“I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it,” Maurer said. “What does a 6-year-old know about life or death?”
The title, “Exhale,” refers to a human’s last breath, Chang said.
“(If) you pull off life support, you’re going to see this little child gasping for breath,” Chang said.
Several audience members have refused to believe that stories like Dawn’s occur in reality, Maurer said. Mendieta was appalled when Chang and Maurer first introduced the story idea to him. He said he thought the story would be difficult to create because it wasextremely sad. He also said he disagreed with the parents’ idea of ending life support.
“The daughter wasn’t unconscious in this case,” Mendieta said. “I think (the parents’ decision) was a mistake … and (they) didn’t fight enough.”
Chang said he told Mendieta that because the film’s premise was able to create such a response in him, it was likely to inspire conversation.
He also said that, like Mendieta, many people have told him they hoped for a different ending while watching the film.
“I always tell them a miracle won’t happen,” Chang said. “It’s not that simple.”
While taking a conscious patient off of life support is illegal in Europe, it is legal in some U.S. states. In “Exhale,” Chang said, the doctor character is symbolic of the way he views the American medical system.
“He’s very aloof and business-like … He doesn’t really have any emotional element in him,” Chang said.
Maurer said, the creators of “Exhale” want to remind people to embrace life instead of thinking about death. She said Dawn’s character is full of life and curiosity, accepting her condition without blame.
Mendieta said the bond between Dawn and Sophie creates a more positive side to the film. Chang said Sophie is an important character because she connects the film to its audience.
“We felt the best way to draw empathy from the audience was to introduce the close bond (between the sisters),” Chang said.
The cinematography in “Exhale” reflects its changing mood, Chang said. It begins with a warm tone, as the two sisters interact by Dawn’s hospital bed. When her parents consider the decision to stop paying for her life support, it turns to a colder tone that emphasizes blue colors.
Robben Fenderson, the film’s composer, said he incorporated the bittersweet mood of the film’s premise into his score. He chose the piano as the score’s core instrument, alternating between major chords, which are more uplifting, and minor chords, which are more somber.
For some of the scenes in “Exhale,” however, Fenderson said audiences’ minds are most likely busy enough without the added emotion that comes with music.
“My job is to serve the film, whether music is involved or not,” Fenderson said. “Sometimes, emotions are already conveyed through what’s happening on screen.”
The film ends on a warm visual tone. Its final scene, which plays after the credits, focuses on Sophie, who Mendieta said represents the part of life that continues despite tragedy.
Mendieta said tragedy stories should have purpose beyond sadness, to add depth. He said combining hope with tragedy adds layers to the story, so that viewers will be able to learn different things each time they watch the film.
“Five minutes afterwards you can see people wiping tears,” Maurer said. “It’s only the next day when they can actually voice their feelings about it.”
Mendieta also said he hopes the anger the film inspires will lead to more awareness and action in its audience.
“If people start talking about change in the system, so this kind of thing can’t happen anymore, then we did our job.” Mendieta said.
“to be able to see the audience cry is an accomplishment for me, as director.”
Cubed Interview with Halo Halo
Rock Chang Interview with LA18 Midday Buzz
Indyred Film Review "Exhale"
I was a little surprised by this most recent offering by Director Rock Chang. Of all the things I expected, an emotional response from an Indie short film was not one of them. I'm by no means saying all Indie films are emotionless flecks in the world of filmmaking, quite the opposite really. They can be funny, exciting and very nice to look at visually, since the length of a short film can allow more attention to detail. What short films are not known for is creating touching, but sad moments in cinematic time. Usually, because the films are so short, there is no bonding time with the characters. In the case of Exhale? None of the above applies. This is a touching piece of Indie magic that I was both glad and sad to have watched.
As far as the writing and pacing goes, Exhale is nothing fancy or over the top. It's straight up "Meat and potatoes" styled delivery. We get our plot and back story very quickly, with the rest falling into place at the right times and in good measure. The story itself is based on real events, so that helps with the delivery of the emotional content. Camera work is well above average and at times, not only beautiful, but composed in a real yet grounded way that compliments the story, rather than try to extend or expand it. We've also got some great audio that never sounds far away or hollow, and the overall post mix was done expertly.
The cast deliver great performances that really hit a nerve at times, this helped pull Exhale well past the average short film. A special note should be made that even the children actors did a stand up job in this production. We all love children but sometimes finding the right young actor can be a difficult task. In the case of Exhale? Well done all around.
Stories of this nature always have the potential to be emotional powerhouses. Exhale is no different, except the fact that this was all pulled off as a short film. Emotions are key to any production and Exhale shines brilliantly... even as a sad story.