Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shooting Under Fire: Running and Gunning with the Renaud Brothers

From NYC drug addicts to Mexican drug cartels, from today’s soldiers to yesterday’s civil rights pioneers, from Chicago gang members to Afghan warlords, Craig and Brent Renaud have made a career of covering conflict both around the world and in their own backyard. When not trotting the globe the brothers – both are feature filmmakers and television producers whose work has aired across numerous outlets, including the Discovery Channel (Off to War, Taking the Hill), HBO (Dope Sick Love, Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later) and currently Al Jazeera America (the Fight for Chicago series) – divide their time between NYC and Little Rock, Arkansas. (The busy siblings are also the co-founders of the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute, and serve as the executive and artistic directors, respectively, of the Little Rock Film Festival.) In addition, the Emmy and DGA Award nominees have been honored by the International Documentary Association and received an Edward R. Murrow Award, won two Columbia Duponts and two Overseas Press Club Awards. But perhaps their most astonishing accomplishment is just staying alive. Soon after they returned to the States from Egypt – where Brent barely escaped a mob attack while filming a segment for Al Jazeera America – the duo spoke with Filmmaker about the strategies for their success.

To read my article visit Filmmaker magazine.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gravity and the 21st Century Hollywood Universe

The planets have realigned and America is no longer at the center of the Hollywood universe. Imaginative outsiders are heading west to mine California gold, and in true Invasion of the Body Snatchers style, foreigners now pull the artistic strings inside the behemoth studio system. Take for example that feat of spectacular special effects and cinematography prowess known as Gravity, an Avatar-rivaling blockbuster helmed by the Mexican director Alfonso CuarĂ³n, which draws a line in the sand, giving us a glimpse into what the future marriage of art and commerce will look like.

To read my review visit Global Comment.