At a time when high-school students are making feature films and digital projection can turn any warehouse into a screening room, the impulse to come up with a story, pick up a camera, hit the streets, and start shooting can be overwhelming. Before you do, check out this free workshop/discussion at the Northwest Film Forum: Filmmaking Through the Eyes of a Location Manager: The Do's and Don'ts of Filming on the Streets (Sat June 25, 1 pm).
Over the last few years, the state and local film offices have been working to make shooting on location both fast and easy. Depending on your camera setup and the size of your crew, you may not need a permit to shoot in certain locations—and how embarrassing would it be to think you're "stealing" a shot that you have every right to take? Even if you want to make a movie "under the radar," you can learn a lot from this professional panel, and you will no doubt find out about some locations you may never have thought of shooting in before.
Another quick note about the Northwest Film Forum: It's running a couple of more specialized workshops that you can pay to attend. On Sunday the 26th you can learn how to use their Oxberry animation stand, and on Tuesday the 28th you can get trained on their Panasonic AG-DVX100, which is the 24P camera that so many indie filmmakers are using right now.
Saturday is also the night where the Central Cinema really comes into its own with the type of programming I hope they continue. Director Jill Freidberg will be attending two screenings of her new documentary, Granito de Arena (Grain of Sand). She made the WTO doc This Is What Democracy Looks Like in 2000, and since then has shifted her attention to the plight of public schools in Mexico in the face of privatization. During two years in Southern Mexico, she explores the relationship between economic globalization and the worldwide public-education crisis. She will host a Q&A after each screening.
On Sunday afternoon, you'll want to head over to the Frye Art Museum for another of their "Magic Lantern" talks. This month it starts with a screening of the feature-length documentary Predictions of Fire, which is about the art-rock band Laibach and the acclaimed and controversial Slovene art collective NSK. Afterward, film critic Robert Horton will be joined by the Frye's chief curator, Robin Held, to talk about the movie, the collective, and how it fits in with the current exhibition of NSK work at the museum. Plus, those looking for cinematic bargains should note that it's free.
Also this week is the Monday-evening appearance of the great and witty character actor Bruce Campbell in the University District. He's got a new book out there, Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, and if you want him to sign it you have to buy the book at the University Bookstore and get a "signing ticket." He'll be signing books starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Neptune Theater. If you don't want to jump through those hoops but still want to meet him, then stop by the Neptune for the 10:00 p.m. showing of The Man with the Screaming Brain, a new movie that he wrote, directed, and stars in. Set in a former Soviet state now torn between communist roots and capitalist greed, this is actually a good follow-up to the NSK event. Plus, it's hard to go wrong with Bruce Campbell. ■