Category Archives: Guest Post

Frank’s 10 Favorite Films of 2013

***This week’s guest post is from Frank Cavillo, our go-to guy for all things film appreciation.***


10. Thanks For Sharing

How this tale of three recovering sex addicts passed by everyone’s radar is beyond me. From the writer of The Kids Are All Right, Thanks For Sharing takes a look at various individuals suffering from sex addiction and the effects theirrecovery has on the people in their lives. Admittedly a less probing look into the subject than 2011’s Shame, Thanks For Sharing’s lighter approach helps lay out the fundamentals of such a disease and the different faces of it. Loaded with both comedy and drama, Thanks For Sharing succeeds in ultimately showing how addiction is truly universal, regardless of whatever type one is saddled with.

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Freelancer Diaries: Self-Doubt

Zoe here! Man, it’s been a LONG time since I last blogged – many, many apologies! I wrote a blog that never got posted because I wanted to revisit the idea before putting it up but it’s stumped me ever since. I finally had some time today and was determined to sit down and work through it – so here goes:

A few weeks ago, I was all down in the dumps because I had no gigs on the horizon; and in my mind, that means I’m useless.

This, of course, is an exaggeration of my abilities (of anyone’s, really) but I’m highly critical of myself and couldn’t avoid it in my mind.

As a freelancer, being gig-less has serious financial repercussions; but more importantly, I was stunned by how hard I was struck morale-wise.

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REVIEW: “The Spectacular Now”


***This week’s guest post is from Erica Todd, a film lovin’ New Zealander-Austinite and programming apprentice for the Austin Film Society.***

Included in Austin Film Society’s fantastic August program was a special screening of “The Spectacular Now” attended by director James Ponsoldt. The film’s premiere at Sundance in January and showings at subsequent film festivals created quite a buzz.

The content of the plot is no big secret for viewers familiar with Tim Tharp’s novel, which provided the source material. The trailer, like many others that market contemporary films, also points to some of the major features of the film. “The Spectacular Now” is a coming-of-age story that places emphasis on teenage protagonist Sutter’s relationships using time as a thematic device.

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Freelancing and self-respect by Zoe.D

“I quit the production.”

It was the first time I had ever left a film and the sentence/thought/action/idea felt all so alien to me. It was even more alien once I said it aloud, to my friend. It spilled out like marbles clanking out of a glass jar.

I’ve “toughed it out” on a number of rough sets, ultimately feeling the kind of victory a Spartan feels after winning a war. But I had quit this one and it didn’t feel good.

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REVIEW: In A World…

***This week’s guest post is from Frank Cavillo, our go-to guy for all things film appreciation.***

As an intern at Austin Film Society, there were very few events I was looking forward to more than our advance screening of “In A World…”. Not only did the film star Lake Bell in her feature writing and directing debut, but it also promised to be an interesting look into a side of the film industry so often overlooked by the public.
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“Getting started in freelancing (as a videographer)” by Zoe.D

My advice: don’t quit your day job.

In fact, get a small side job!

I moved to my current residence after studying in college so when I got here, I had ZERO contacts. And having no contacts is the worst possible thing for a videographer. It means no clients, no work/projects, no income. But more importantly, it means no challenges, no growth and development as a freelancer/artist.

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New “series” on Freelancing in the video world (via Zoe.D)

Hey IU fans! We’re starting a new “series” on freelancing in the video production world! Check it out and let us know if it’s something you’d like to see more of. And be sure to comment!

Zoe.D here. New to blogging for IU so I’m pretty excited! I’ve been asked to write on what it’s like being a freelance videographer in the California area. Keep in mind, I’m still pretty new to the business – I graduated not long ago having studied video production – and am still learning the ropes. This series documents some of the things I’ve learned along the way – and am certainly STILL learning. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with freelancing! Let’s dive in:
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Review: Breakup at a Wedding


This week’s guest post is by Kristie Yeung, who rambles a lot as @ktotheyeung.

Okay, I’ll admit it. The primary reason I went to see Breakup at a Wedding was because Zachary Quinto, of Star Trek fame, had produced it and was going to be present at an advanced screening for a Q&A. What was I going to do? Not go? Not an option.

Clearly, I wasn’t the only person with that same thought since I stood in line to get into the screening for over an hour and a half. While waiting, the theater staff informed us that they had to open a second theater to accommodate the amount of people that showed up. Apparently, Trekkies roll deep.

Adoration for that man aside, I was also anticipating the hilarity that I had seen in the teaser clip on their site. Man, I was not disappointed. From the first two seconds with the narrator, Vic James, played by unruly director and writer Victor Quinaz, to the end credits, I was constantly laughing and just surprisingly delighted at the film.

Shot through the lens of the wedding videographer, Vic, the film follows engaged couple, Alison James, played by Alison Fyhrie, and Phil Havemeyer, played by writer Philip Quinaz, on their way to the altar. Overcome with a sense of doom on her “perfect” wedding, Alison decides to call off the wedding but because deposits are nonrefundable and guests have shown up already, Alison convinces a reluctant Phil to go through with a fake ceremony but not have the marriage be legalized. So naturally, nothing goes as planned. Now, I’m not a “wedding” type person but I’ve seen them in movies and TV shows enough to understand the type of characters featured.

The bride-to-be, Alison, is categorized as a people pleaser, a personality defect so ingrained in her and apparently so infamous that a fellow bridesmaid stated: “I once saw you get punched in the boob and you apologized.” Yes, I’m still laughing at this line. This character trait of hers is primarily the reason why the wedding plans go awry and generally, why insanity is usually lurking behind any wedding endeavor.

You know, when you’re watching a train wreck about to happen but there’s nothing you can do to stop it but you still keep watching. That’s this film. There’s a sense of guilty pleasure that derives from watching this film. With the behind-the-scenes format and the detailed in-depth characters, it’s akin to watching your own family and friends and perhaps can explain why we’re so addicted to today’s reality shows. Yes, those people might be crazy and totally messed up but the stories feel familiar, even relatable. In this case, there is the bride that wants everything to be perfect, the cousin who wears too much makeup, the drunk friend that always blackouts and causes a scene, and the arrogant boss who’s also the biggest jerk alive. Fair warning, these characters are standouts.

While familiar, the characters are still refreshing and genuine. During the Q&A, which featured Zachary, Victor, Philip, as well as actor/writer Anna Martemucci, a question on how the writers were able to balance these characters’ genuineness was posed, and it was revealed that the characters were based on real life personalities, mostly inspired by the respective actors. Additionally, the writers explained that the film was an amalgamation of all their wedding fears and reality-based past wedding stories, which gave the plot the successful foundation for it to really take off. Most surprising to learn was that the inspiration came from Paranormal Activity-type storytelling, which became obvious once the filmmakers said it but not so much when I was first viewing the film. I found it surprising mostly because the hilarious wedding antics and characters masked the actual storytelling method. The content was just too damn good.

With all that said, the title of the film could be a little more creative, but if that’s my only complaint,  there really shouldn’t be any excuse not to see this gem.

Breakup at a Wedding was released on Video On Demand and digital platforms like iTunes and Amazon on June 18th.

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Tribeca 2013 Review: “A Case of You”


Since premiering at Tribeca, “A Case of You” has been acquired by IFC Films.

This week’s guest post is from Kristie Yeung, a fellow Ithaca grad based in NYC and one of the coolest kids I know on Twitter (@ktotheyeung).

For as much as we’re surrounded by it, there hasn’t been a lot of entertainment focused on the topic of social media. Sure, actors and musicians use social media to promote their works and themselves. Sure, we use social media to follow our favorite celebrities and find out the latest on upcoming projects. Sure, there has been the occasional song or sitcom episode that mentions Facebook or Twitter. But I haven’t come across anything that is permeated with social media to the extent that we are.

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Emerging Filmmaker Reflects On Screening At Cannes 2012 (Guest Post)

A brief intro: I met filmmaker Michael Daye (based in south-west England) when we were both participating in the Visions Film Festival in North Carolina in March. When he mentioned that he would be attending Cannes later in May, I humbly asked him if he wouldn’t mind sharing the experience on the blog. You can watch the official Shorts Corner selection, “Aldilà” HERE and see more at A big thank you again to Michael for offering this great recap for us all. — Christina B.

As a filmmaker just starting out, one of my ‘bucket list’ checkboxes has been to attend the Cannes Film Festival at some point. When the opportunity presented itself to me a few months back, I just couldn’t bear to say no, even though I was maybe not as ‘ready’ as I would have liked to be. Nonetheless, it was a massively worthy endeavour, and something I would recommend to anyone wanting a leg-up in the film business.

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