To adapt a book to the screen is not an easy task, some screen writers fail miserably while others succeed garnering accolades from their peers and critics translating the written word to the captivating nuances of the cinematic language.

Moreover, to adapt a visceral descriptive erotic novel into a feature film without falling into the distastes of cheap quasi-pornographic movie making is truly not an easy task to accomplish.

Enter, THE KEY (2014) a  feature film adaptation to the screen on the erotic Japanese novel KAGI (1955) by Junichiro Tanizaki, about a middle-aged painter (David Arquette as Jack) who is deeply in love with his younger wife (Bai Ling as Ida) and in spite of that love, they have grown physically and emotionally apart.

As time goes by and to cope with the inadequacies on their ailing marriage, Jack decides to keep a very graphic and erotic journal with daily entries of all kind of sex games he demands from his much younger wife, who complies with her husband's desires without letting him know she is aware of his plans

 In order to maintain creative integrity with Tanizaki’s narrative style of sexuality and destructive erotic obsessions, writer/director Jefrey Levy developed the storyline into a juxtaposition of voiceovers and colored moving pictures vignettes, instead of a direct dialogue between characters, alternating between the entries of their private journals.

THE KEY has the flair and flavor of an experimental film by the lengthy use of cinematic techniques like extreme close ups, unusual actors blocking and camera position and lighting schemes. Notably, the post-production displays a “Sergei Eisenstein montage style” editing, recurrent piano chords musical track and many other visual effects like digital compositing, time passage compression, rotoscoping and frame tinting to represent the mood and pace of the story and in particular to this film, the emotional state of the characters.

At times, it seems as a modern version of the tinting and special effects adopted in early classic films, used to describe mood and intention of the narrative. But beyond than that, the film proves to be more experiential than experimental, immersing the audience in the voyeuristic colored world of the protagonists.

The lengthy use of captivating visual effects seems deliberate, but not in any way to showcase CGI/VXF prowess or just to be plainly gimmicky, but to evocate the poetic sensibility underlying the nature of the human condition as described in the context of the storyline.  Obviously, director/writer Jefery Levy conjured this obsessive-self destructive-erotic tale adaptation (about Jack) into a moving redemptive tale of lessons learned (about Ida).

There are two other iterations of The Key produced by earlier filmmakers, namely, Odd Obsession, directed by Kon Ichikawa, a culturally repressed Japanese dramatic adaption of the erotic novel and La Chiave by Tinto Brass, released in 1983, an overly sexual adaptation of the novel in fascist Italy. Kon Ichikawa won the Jury Prize in Cannes in 1960 and La Chiave achieved domestic financial success in Italy but was considered very scandalous by audiences at large.

THE KEY is Jefery Levy cinematic tour de force, a visually stunning and immersive erotic tale with stellar performances by David Arquette and Bai Ling. The film premiered at the Real Experiment Film Festival on November 21 at the Laemmle Music Hall Theater in Beverly Hills.
David Arquette Jack
Bai Ling Ida
Nathan Keyes Kim
Nathalie Love Mia

Written, Directed, and Produced by Jefery Levy
Producer – Susan Traylor
Executive Producer – John Scheide
Executive Producer – Mark Urman
Co-Producer – Tom Sanford
Cinematographer – William MacCollum
Edited – Jefery Levy
Edited – Pablo Espada
Edited – Scott Roon
Casting Director – Johanna Ray
Production Designer – Jessee Clarkson
Costume Designer – Patrick Milani
Co-Costume Designer – Paige Basham
Hair and Make-Up – Gina Nicole Maceri
Visual Effects – Scott Roon
Sound Designer – Jamie Scott


 For the last five years a new but very influential film festival has climbed to dominate the fashion industry scene as the leading international marketplace for fashion films.

La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival has all the attributes of a high profile film festival, not only because is the world’s largest gathering of fashion filmmakers but also because is held in the venerable San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art/La Jolla, nested in the picturesque coastal village of La Jolla and surrounded by collectible curated art, fine restaurants, designers boutiques, five stars hotels, lush foliage, balmy weather, Spanish and avant-garde architecture and of course, is uniquely framed by the magnificent visual bounty the Pacific Ocean could offer. 

In a nutshell, La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival is "suburban sunny California meets cosmopolitan Paris, London and Milan in a creative rendezvous of cinematic narrative full of style and glamorous fashion".

 BEST PICTURE  Kiss of a Siren  Victorija Pashuta & Miguel Gauthier

 BEST ACTRESS  The Purgatory of Monotony  Somja Kinski

 BEST CREATIVE CONCEPT.  The Purgatory of Monotony  Ace Norton

La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival empowers, support, and recognizes the individual creative professionals who make up the fashion film community worldwide. Known as the Cannes of fashion film, La Jolla IFFF was once again was the market center for distribution deals, director representation, and fashion film production houses showcase.

 BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY  The Old Road  Manuel Portillo
BEST FASHION  Honor Spring 2014  Giovanna Randall

Among the attendees supporting the filmmakers are fashion designers, fashionistas, fashion bloggers, industry executives, socialites and photographers from around the world packing the Museum of Contemporary Art/La Jolla theater of 500 seats enthralled by the top 1% of fashion films produced worldwide.

The Festival offers a varied program to all attendees and filmmakers for networking, making deals, attending  seminars and panels, screening films, attending to press receptions and after parties, and to those who deserve it, to win any category of he prestigious LJIFFF awards.

 BEST MUSIC  Snake  Vinilla Von Bismark

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS  Honor Spring 2014   Tim Regan and Fred Kim

BEST EDITING  Today, Tonight  Billy Mead

Festival Producer Fred Sweet, a veteran of the fashion industry adds “From now on the brilliant work done by makeup artists, hairstylists, art directors, editors, musicians, wardrobe stylists, writers, and others will have the opportunity to win awards. These awards are for the best in the world and cut across national boundaries and cultures. Thanks to the global reach of LJIFFF everyone is included no matter where on earth they live or work stated.”

 BEST ACTOR  206 David Oyelowo

 BEST MESSAGE  Around the World with Stella 
Jean Simone Cipriani

BEST ART DIRECTION   KWoman  Hunterand Gatti

LJFFF boasts a diverse line-up of films in competion and special Awards from the classic to the cutting edge, featuring such luminaries as Karl rgerfeld, Bruce Weber, Luca Finotti, Bruno Aveillan, Jonas Akerlund, Frank Funke, Matthew Frost, Jens Hallmann, Naqia Lee, and Zoe Hitchen, Ellen Von Unwerth, Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri, Marcus K. Jones, Karen Bystedt, producers Matthew Tucker, Joe Lombardo, Peter Isacksen, Marius Troy and Indira Cesarine among many others.

 BEST HAIRSTYLING  Crystals and the Postman 
are Girls Best Friends  Tracie Cant
BEST MAKEUP Mercado De Lagrimas. 
Tony Heredia,  Madgalena Sandoval and Alejandro Catalina

 BEST DIRECTOR We are all Mad Here Bruno Miotto
BEST COSTUME DESIGN  Kiss of a Siren  
Tiffany Chinel, Eric Ducharme Caley,

George Leon, Inna Zobova, Fred Sweet, Bruno Aveillan at La Jolla Fashion Film Festival, Filmcastlive
A re-post from La Jolla Fashion Film Festival FB page: We decided we liked this picture better than the previous one, so here it is! From left, cinematographer George Leon, Inna Zobova, Fred Sweet, and Bruno Aveillan. This year's LJIFFF will long be remembered for the enchanting imagery from one of the world's top film directors - Paris based Bruno Aveillan. Bruno and his lovely graceful wife, Russian actress Inna Zobova were one of the highlights of our Festival. From Bruno's film retrospective to Inna's stunning Red Carpet outfits, their presence added a special dimension to our worldwide gathering. Thank you Bruno and Inna!...


The Making of a Legendary Film Spot: "The Legend of Shalimar" directed by Bruno Aveillan.

Once  upon a time in India, a love story unraveled  between a Mughal emperor and his beloved wife.  In the 17th century, the troubadours playing their sitars exalted the amours of  Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The gardens around the ornated palace are known as the "Shalimar Gardens." It is a true story that has become a legend. Shalimar, it is also the signature perfume created by Jack Guerlain in the 1920s. He took inspiration  from the love story of the Indian emperor and his beloved wife to create this refined oriental fragrance. 

To promote its iconic fragrance, Guerlain released a new epic television spot, 5:45 long, featuring the Russian top model Natalia Vodianova who has been representing the brand since 2009. The short film is called, The Legend of Shalimar.

Guerlain tapped director Bruno Aveillan and Quad to bring this timeless romance to life. The epic  project required a crew of over 100 creative technical  people and the film was shot on locations all over India, from Jaipur for the Jaigarh Fort and Mawtaw Lake, to Upaipur for Badi Lake and its mountains with white marble dust that conjure the illusion of snow, to the Himalayas, and of  course, to the Taj Mahal in Agra.

The stunning visuals were captured by cinematographer Patrick Duroux, AFC using the Phantom camera for special effects plates and the live beauty sequences film were shot in 35mm using anamorphic lenses to capture the sweeping vistas and exotic locations These techniques allowed Bruno to retain his keen aesthetic sensibility and blend seamlessly with the visual effects by Digital District. 

 This mix of techniques is seen on full display in the breathtaking final scene of the Taj Mahal, which was filmed in Agra and then integrated with images from a lake in Rajasthan. The evocative score "Chevaliers de Sangreal" was composed by legendary Hans Zimmer. Yiqing Yin, the Beijing-born costume designer who designed Audrey Tautou’s 2013 Cannes Film Festival dress, also took part in the film’s production. The long formTV spot premiered in Paris and was shown throughout internationaly on TV and in cinemas garnering many awards and accolades.

La Jolla Fashion Film Festival, the global marketplace of fashion film production and distribution, will present a Bruno Aveillan restrospective on July 25, 2014. La Jolla Film Festival will be hosting the premiere film retrospective of one of the most sought after luxury commercial film directors in the world – Paris based Bruno Aveillan. From his ground breaking work with his Louis Vuitton “Journey” series to his globally acclaimed films for Cartier and Guerlain, Bruno Aveillan is truly at the pinnacle of fashion film production.


"4k-technology is becoming established although some important issues remain". These are some of the topics at the core of discussions in the Cine Congress seminars at the tenth anniversary of CINEC (The International Trade Fair for Cine Equipment and Technology) that will take place from 21st to 23rd of September in Munich, Germany.
 The novelty of 4k has slowly abated as almost every camera manufacturer now offers such equipment. This recent innovation is becoming commonplace even though the full advantage to the users remains somewhat unclear. In addition to the question of Resolution, other issues such as Contrast, Dynamics, Colour rendering and Frame Rates also remain. These issues will play a significant role at this year’s trade show cinec and its accompanying cineCongress.

 At this year’s NAB 2014 in Las Vegas, the exhibitors presented more 4k-equipment. This equipment is standardized in accordance with the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) Consortium at a resolution of 4096 pixels per line x 2160 lines, thus doubling the specifications of its predecessor, DCI 2k.

 DCI 4k has 8 847 360 pixels (each one consisting of a red, a green and a blue fraction) but this differs from the ultra HD TV format, which has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and displays only 8 294 400 pixels. To further add to the confusion other systems of high-resolution equipment for cinema and TV technology exist but they all share a characteristic with DCI 4k, namely that you can only benefit from a better resolution if you are the right distance from the screen or display. The human eye can hardly differentiate between Ultra HD and current HDTV (resolution: 1920 x 1080) on a 40 inch display if further than one metre away. "If we enlarge this example, this probably means that only the front rows of a cinema audience will benefit from the sharper image of a 4k movie”, asserts cinec manager Angelika Albrecht. Hollywood feels however that a cinema fills up from the back and therefore rejects 4k technology although for new 3D movies, 4k would seem to be a must.

Canon NABShow 2014 george leon/filmcastive
Higher resolution is also raising financial issues; it is estimated that the costs to print 4k to film are 10% to 20% higher than for a 2k resolution. The substantial additional Memory requirements also has an impact on the distribution; a 90 minute movie in HD resolution occupies about 70 GB and fits a Blu-Ray disk but for a similar 4k movie, the disk’s capacity is not sufficient. The industry is already working on the development of a new disk with a 300 GB memory capacity which should be available at the end of 2015.

4k technology also needs a better network system as there is more data to be transferred. Gordon Smith, NAB President and CEO, referred to the connection between transmitter and wire in his opening speech in Las Vegas: "Throughout the marketplace, we are beginning to see the incredible power of the convergence between broadcasting and broadband.” For Smith broadband is nothing less than a “Game-changer”. It is in the nick of time that the German government has attached importance to this topic and wants to provide Broadband access nationwide or in at least 75 % of the households.

But the fundamental and compelling question is when are there going to be enough original content in adequate quality to make appropriate investments profitable?

The German industry leader ARRI has already been involved in this issue for some time and is focusing efforts on the digital distribution of movies. In 2012 ARRI entered a cooperative arrangement with DELUXE Digital Cinema covering the commercialization of digital cinema movies on hard disks. This has resulted in a marketing concept developed by Deluxe and Hewlett-Packard called „Deluxe Connect”  (Deluxe Connect plans 8,000 cinema roll-out) involving a point-to-point connection likely to be offered by ARRI as part of a package to German cinemas.

 The world of cinema is changing and we need to set the course for the way ahead. The specialized trade fair “cinec”, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary provides the framework for this. In addition to the cineCongress which will include exciting seminars and discussions for professionals of the industry, the glamorous ceremony of the cinecAward will form the social highlight of this Septembers’ event. The association Cine Technik Bayern e.V. (CTB) will once again award the prize for pioneering and innovative achievements in the different areas of film and television technology.
The exhibition brochure and additional information as well as a short presentation about the development of the fair can be found at


A very sharp looking camera, ergonomically designed to go up easy in your shoulder and to be configured as a studio camera. CION, is the new 4K/UHD and 2K/HD production camera from AJA Video Systems. It records directly to Apple ProRes 422 and 444 at up to 4K 60fps or output AJA Raw at up to 4K 120fps. CION features a 4K APS-C sized CMOS sensor with an electronic global shutter and 12 stops of dynamic range. Lenses designed for Super 35mm cover the sensor imaging area and the global shutter eliminates the undesirable qualities associated with rolling shutter-based sensors.

CION can record at 4K (4096x2160), UltraHD (3840x2160), 2K (2048x1080) and HD (1920x1080). 2K and HD are hardware scaled from the full 4K sensor, resulting in beautiful over-sampled images, which also retain your lens’ focal length at any desired resolution. Frame rates up to 50 and 60p are supported - even at full 4K resolution.

CION uses AJA’s proven SSD-based Pak storage. The robust high speed compact storage mounts directly in-camera and allows recording of 4K/UHD and 2K/HD as ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 (HQ), ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (LT) and ProRes (Proxy). Choose from generous 256GB or 512GB capacities and by utilizing the AJA Pak Dock (sold separately) you can transfer your footage over high-speed Thunderbolt™or USB3.

CION is also fully capable of outputting frame rates up to 120 fps as either 4K or UHD from its 4 x 3G-SDI outputs as AJA Raw. AJA’s Corvid Ultra in conjunction with TruZoom™ software can take the AJA Raw output and replay it at up to 60 fps. Output up to 30fps AJA Raw via the Thunderbolt™ connector. CION can also record HFR 4K 50 and 60p to Pak media, as Apple ProRes 422. The AJA Cion will be available in summer of 2014 and sell for $8,995 (~£5,413).

For more information, CION AJA Video Systems


On my visit to NAB Show last week, I was eager to see the unveling of two brand new cameras, the newly developed Blackmagic Design Studio Camera and the ENG/Film style URSA. As I walked down to the enormous Blackmagic Design booth  at the entrance of the massive C Hall of Las Vegas Convention Center, I almost could not have a glimpse of  the cameras due the to inmense crowd packing the booth, all of them thirsty for everything Blackmagic.
 As all camera manufacturers have done up to now, a shooting gallery-studio- style was set up for a hands-on experience so you could press every new button or peek thru their latest viewfiinder (if any..!!!) or ascertain its egonomical design with a test-ride around the floor while barraging the manufacturer's representative with your "norm" technical questions and then translated them into the aesthetic reasoning of your artistic self. 

 Right under their limelight, I got familiar with the new Broadcast Studio Camera, which at first sight seemed just like a pocket camera fused to a large hooded monitor (10 inches) and capable to record HD video, but after a closer look and handling, the advantages of this revolutionary EFP/Studio configuration were obvious. Blackmagic call this camera "The world’s smallest broadcast camera with the world’s largest viewfinder!

 Blackmagic Design defines it as the world’s most advanced broadcast camera for live  production. Inside its incredibly tough, lightweight magnesium alloy body you get a massive 10” viewfinder, the New Ultra HD display delivers a picture that has 4 times the resolution of 1080 HD, a massive 3840 x 2160 pixels, 4 hour battery, talkback, tally indicators, phantom powered microphone connections and built in optical fiber and SDI connections that let you connect to your switcher with a single cable.

The Blackmagic Studio Camera is available in HD and Ultra HD models, and is packed with all the advanced features you need for multi camera production and broadcast. The camera comes in two resolution flavors to suit your production needs and pocket (even shallow ones!), the Blackmagic Studio Camera HD, an advanced broadcast camera for live HD production at $1,995 and the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K, the world’s first 12G-SDI broadcast camera for live Ultra HD production with 10” viewfinder, 12G- SDI, MFT lens mount, supporting for up to 2160p60, 4 hour battery, talkback, tally indicators, phantom powered microphone connections and built in optical fiber and SDI connections that let you connect to your switcher with a single cable at $2,995

I think both cameras are very economic next to what it was the cost of any regular broadcast EFP /studio camera in recent past. Let's take in consideration that the price of both cameras was approximately the cost of a power supply for an older generation Thomson, Grass Valley, Sony or Ikegami..Blackmagic is really delivering us tools to make brodcast video and digital cinematography affordable to all.

Ursa is Blackmagic's flagship camera. Ursa's design and body is a total departure of their past models, here we have a truly "put it in shoulder" camera designed egonomical to meet the requirements of the camera operator. No more, are any needs of cumbersome bracketry or aftermarket handling components, from the box to your shoulder or tripod..or gimbal.

 At first sight, URSA is most impresive, it is a "real ENG/digital film" camera but curiosly, without an eyepiece viewfinder, (EVF conector available) and having instead a massive folding monitor/viewfinder 10.1” 1920 x 1200 and a 2 TFT-LCD5” -Integrated LCD capacitive touchscreens for menu control, one operator side and other on assistant side. It comes with large user upgradeable Super 35 global shutter 4K image sensor with an incredible 12 stops of dynamic range, 12G-SDI and internal dual RAW and ProRes recorders.

URSA is world’s first user upgradable 4K digital film camera. It comes in four models and prices, according to their lens mount, EF Mount, PL Mount and Video (B4) Mount (2). The camera is integrated with dual CFast card up to 350 MB/s recorders and all HD-SDi/BNC/Lanc/XLR and 12v power connectors to allow the operator to configure the camera to his/her needs. Ursa EF and Ursa PL are shipping out in July at $5,995 and $6,495 respectively.


French director Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco is to open the next Festival de Cannes. The world preview will take place on Wednesday 14 May, 2014, in the Grand Théâtre Lumière of the Palais des Festivals, in the Official Selection category, Out of Competition.

The film portrays a period in the life of American Actress Grace Kelly (played by Nicole Kidman) who became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth) in 1956, in what was dubbed “the marriage of the century”. An Oscar winner, she was already a huge film star, having worked with the very greatest (John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Fred Zinnemann) and acclaimed the world over. Six years later, amid occasional difficulties in fulfilling her role, she was invited back to Hollywood by Alfred Hitchcock, to play in his new film Marnie. At the time, France was threatening to tax and even annex Monaco, the tiny Principality whose monarch Kelly had become. Was she still an actress? Was she really Princess of Monaco?

Produced by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, Uday Chopra and Arash Amel, who also wrote the screenplay, Grace de Monaco sees Nicole Kidman play the role of Grace, with Tim Roth as Prince Rainier. Their co-stars include Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Jeanne Balibar, Sir Derek Jacobi and Paz Vega, who plays Maria Callas.

 Eric Gautier, AFC with Julian Schnabel on set
while shooting Miral with an Aaton Penelope

 The film was shot in Scope 2.35 using Kodak 35mm film. The Director of Photography was France’s Eric Gautier and the 16-weeks shoot took place in Monaco, South of France, Paris, Vintimille, Gand and Bruxelles.

Oliver Dahan & Nicole Kidman

Born in 1967 in La Ciotat, Olivier Dahan previously directed La Vie en Rose (2007) which garnered Marion Cotillard the Oscar for Best Actress in 2008. Grace of Monaco will be released on the opening day of the Festival, Wednesday 14 May, in France and in several cities around the world. The opening ceremony will be broadcast to participating cinemas, with the kind cooperation of Canal+. Grace of Monaco (2014).

 A Stone Angels and YRF Entertainment production. Co-production by TF1 Films Productions, Gaumont, Lucky Red, OD Shots, Ufilm, in association with Silver Reel - Ufund. Distribution in France: Gaumont. Internationales Sales: Lotus Entertainment.


Coming this April Super 8 film will celebrate its 50th anniversary and my friends at Pro8mm decided to celebrate it in style. It was April 1965 when the Eastman Kodak Company introduced a revolutionary new format called Super 8mm film that adapted traditional regular 8mm home movies to an improved cartridge system that we still use today in a variety of applications. 

At the same time in France, a French manufacturer of motion picture cameras called Beaulieu introduced their first Super 8mm film camera to work with the new Eastman Kodak system. The Beaulieu 4008 series introduced in 1965 quickly established a reputation as one of the high quality Super 8 cameras on the market because of its interchangeable lens system with a reflex type viewfinder. Although thousands of Super 8 cameras made by hundreds of manufactures were introduced over the next 30 years, the Beaulieu 4008 continues to be one of the best Super 8 camera models ever made. 

This year Pro8mm begins to celebrate 50 years of analog love and motion picture technology. While the format continues to be used by amateurs, professionals, film fanatics and some of the world most famous cinematographers, we celebrate this milestone year with a limited edition 50th Anniversary Super 8 camera.

The first celebration in the anniversary series is a Classic camera is a classic color. The Candy Red Classic Pro Super 8mm camera (rebuilt from a Beaulieu 4008) has been customized with Max 8 widescreen 16x9 formatting and a legendary 8-64mm Angenieux lens, the finest lens ever made for a Super 8mm film camera.

The anniversary editions will be limited production, making them special and unique. Only 10 cameras in the classic candy red finish have been manufactured! 

 For camera details and to celebrate 50 years of Super 8 film, visit Pro8mm

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