This video gives just a small taste of the production of Wagner's "Siegfried"  presented in Ciudad de las Ciencias y Artes, Valencia-Spain in June 2008. Urano Films created 5 hours of video. 14 simultaneous projectors were used on stage!! Can you tell that I am salivating?


How to torture children!!

Two hidden cameras. A bunch of kids. One marshmallow!




The Incredible Mireille Delunsch. 


Coming Soon to a Screen Near You

So, finally, I have got a version of my film Evirati that I can stream via the internet. I'm just putting the finishing touches to the page on my site that will host the film. I'm going to also put up artwork, the shooting script, storyboards and other Evirati related items that you might find interesting.

Evirati is a 25-minute drama set in 1734 about Angiola Calori, a young woman who masquerades as a castrato so that she can sing in the opera houses of Italy at a time when women are forbidden from performing on stage. I made this little film for the arts channel BRAVO, it subsequently went on to win a bunch of awards and has shown at festivals and on television all over the world.

The film was groundbreaking in it's use of digital technology. We shot the film on NTSC, 4:2:2 digital video. NTSC is the North American TV standard and runs at 30 frames a second. We then transferred the video to film for both aesthetic reasons and so that we could screen the movie in theatres. Film runs at 24 frames a second. When we did this, around 2000, we were the first to successfully transfer 30 frames per second video to 24 frame film; a method perfected by James Tocher, my DP for the movie. The reason we shot this way was so that we could put as much money from our limited budget (about $20,000) on screen rather than into film stock. Remember this was the time of The Blair Witch Project and dogma movies like Riding the Waves and The Idiots. We also wanted to show that a beautiful period drama could be shot using standard definition digital video, that you could do more with DV than just the shaky handheld stuff. The end result has a really great look, which is partly due to the fact that DV enabled us to shoot in low light situations that we could never have considered with film. You'll see one scene, between Angiola and her mother, that was shot using three candles!! The actresses hold one between them, there is another on the back wall for depth and a third defining the staircase. It was so creatively freeing to be able to play with lighting in this way.

I think that I can have everything up on this site the end of next week so the web-premiere of Evirati will take place on Friday August 14th at noon (EST)



Yesterday turned out to be very emotional. I am in Vancouver visiting my buddy, the insanely talented cinematographer and digital film making genius, James Tocher. James and I became friends back when we made the film Evirati together. At the same time we were shooting the film James was starting his digital media to film transfer company, Digital Film Group, in cramped and rather utilitarian digs on the east side of Vancovuer. DFG was started with the goal of providing the independent filmmaker with an affordable way of transferring their digital movies to 35mm for theatrical release. To this day the movies you see in the theatres are using film prints for projection.

James, and his team have worked incredibly hard for almost a decade now, refining their services, developing new software and consistently pulling the technical rug from under the feet of the "big" guys. Well, yesterday I got the tour of James' new facilities (new to me anyway). Digital Film Group is now Digital Film Central and is based on West 7th Avenue, right in the very hub of Vancouver's post-production district. Their offices are spacious and filled with natural light. One side of the building has a wonderful view of the city and the mountains. The decor I would say is very European; clean, minimal, current.

It was so fantastic to walk through these facilities and see all the things that James had talked about, dreamed of, planned and worked so hard for in place, a reality and a well earned success. Way to go, James. I know how much toil, sweat and tears it has taken to get to this point but what a lesson in the importance of sticking to your dreams.