Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E star in biopic, Straight Outta Compton

We like Dre’s style: dominate every avenue without forgetting the city that made you. What’s the most potent way to deliver exciting news? Twitter of course. The former N.W.A. member took to this account to share news that the actors who will play Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E for the biopic, Straight Outta Compton, are set and ready to go. He even released a cast photo to give fans just a taste of things to come. LA on the brim, standard LA mean-mug pose, and Dickies with a crease is exactly what we’d want and expect from the legend himself.

The film will be released August 14, 2015 with F. Gary Gary (The Negotiator, Friday) as director. We’ll be here waiting patiently for 2015 to roll around, but until then, here’s something to hold you down…

TRADING PLACES: ALEX PRAGER’S “FACE IN THE CROWD” EXPLORES THE INDIVIDUAL WITHIN THE MASSES

face2

In what may be a normal day-to-day occurrence, Alex Prager sees stories to be told. Her newest exhibit at M+B Gallery, “Face in the Crowd” explores the notion that as crowds and masses may seemingly be just seas of people, there are actually millions of individual stories and experiences “silently colliding.” Photographing hundreds of actors in specific settings in both stills and a film starring Elizabeth Banks, Prager’s photo exhibit also touches upon narratives of private and public revelation, repulsion, fear, personal safety and the need for basic human interaction. The exhibit opened last Saturday, January 25, and will be on display at the until March 8.

face1

face4

A LOVE LETTER TO LA: COLIN RICH’S CITY LIGHTS

1450843_10102426413853989_1092138706_n

Filmmaker Colin Rich has written a love letter to L.A. in the form of a haunting visual poem that captures what is scenically mesmerizing about our often-overlooked city of lights. The short time-lapse video is a disorienting montage of glimmering landscape images of our tinsel town fittingly set to the grandiose score of M83’s “Outro.” Colin’s video is a disagreement to the cliché that L.A. is a lonesome place – it’s a reminder that within the intricacies of freeways, buildings, and our own hectic lives, we’re all in this city collectively. And whether you live in it as if it’s your own long-stay playground or just a temporary place while you coast – seeing the city breath so vividly in such unison will leave any Angeleno awestricken to call this place what it is, their home.

The video had originally been made for M83 to use as their visual for a Hollywood performance. However, that was a slightly different version. Seeing how impressive the official and final video is, LAC had to ask Colin a few questions about the making of it.

LA CANVAS: How long did it take to shoot?

COLIN RICH: I had been shooting on and off for about a year but really began to ramp up shooting in the past couple of months. I was asked by the band M83 to create some visuals for their Hollywood Bowl show where they were accompanied by the LA phil. It blew my mind that they wanted me to be a part of the experience especially for the song Outro, which in my mind is an emotionally tuned euphony that literally gave me goosebumps when I first heard it. I really wanted to create an homage to LA (and also a final piece in my trilogy of light,and the song fit so perfectly). Anthony truly is one of the most talented musicians out there. Unfortunately I was in the North Pole working on my next project when they asked me to cut the piece together (I’ll get to that in a bit) so I literally had like 3 days to put something together and upload it (the interweb is so amazing).

LAC: Most difficult shot to take?

CR: They’re all equally challenging. I would say the crown shot of LA was especially difficult to do because the the lens was such a long focal length (1200mm) that any slight vibrations (wind or impact) would greatly affect the shot. Couple this with the long exposure time needed to bring out the rich colors of the city… I was 27 miles away from downtown LA and needed to wait for the perfect night to get the clarity I required. I ended up going up into the Angeles National Forest when it was about 27 degrees out so the air was ideal for shooting. When the shot came out, I was pretty happy with it but it took about 3 attempts to get it perfect.

1480649_10102431079139719_1719749448_n

LAC: Your personal favorite location?

CR: Its hard to say because each one offers their own perspective on the city. I think getting to the spots are the best experiences. Its all about the journey.

LAC: Are you staying in LA?

CR: I am staying in LA! I love my city. But I do travel a lot for work and pleasure.

1460291_10102485878426509_1696588343_n

LAC: What’s next?  

CR: I recently came back from a five week excursion from Svalbard, an archipelago located above the arctic circle (near the north pole) where I was working on my first documentary about energy policy in the 21st century and how it will affect the Arctic. The place is amazing but is also ground zero when it comes to global warming. The first day in, I was required to get a polar bear rifle to protect myself from said creatures so it was one of the more interesting shoots. We spent time with Russian and Norwegian miners and folks who live up there regarding the changes they are seeing and exploring what the 21st century will bring to the arctic (changing sea routes due to melting ice, pollution, energy exploration in the Barents Sea). I’m currently looking to raise some money and return to Svalbard to finish the piece.

RECAP: LOVE NAIL TREE’S 6TH EDITION COLLECTION RELEASE

Last Thursday, September 12, LOVE NAIL TREE and LA CANVAS joined forces to celebrate the unveiling of LOVE NAIL TREE’S 6th Edition Collection of hand-crafted jewelry and printed apparel.  Fashion followers, film enthusiasts, and creatives came together at the LOVE NAIL TREE Warehaas in Downtown LA to peep the new collection.

In-between snacks from The Bun Truck and The Grilled Cheese Truck, attendees caught their breath at the Beyond Vape vaporizer lounge, and enjoyed sweet dessert from Fluff Ice.  All legal guests were provided with a complimentary drink from the house bar, hosted by Stack Wines and Deep Eddy Vodka, and many went home with a free piece of jewelry or clothing of their choice, along with a LOVE NAIL TREE tote.

The collection included collaborative designs with artist Emma Ferreira and the non-profit Hollywood HEART, promising all wearers that, “we will change the world with the stories we tell,” as each piece in the collection contained its own tale of inspiration.

Attendees also got a chance to share their own stories after viewing an early screening of the short film, “Intent,” produced by Wendel and directed by Cynical Smile. The film embodied the 6th Edition’s vision of using conversation as a means of bringing people together. After viewing, party-goers gathered to express their own life goals on a communal “Intent” board.

From fashion to film, all who attended LOVE NAIL TREE’s 6th Edition Release left with new stories to tell; and for some, an intent to change the world with them.

 

Photos Courtesy of Wendel

 

FILM’S FUTURE: RYAN MICHAEL’S SHORT FILM DEBUT

Not much is known about the mysterious criminal, Sawyer – Los Angeles Film School’s grad student, Ryan Michael’s, leading protagonist in his upcoming short film, The Burden of the Shepard. Sawyer’s struggle with maintaining a rugged outlaw life tries reconnecting with his conscience while struggling to subtract himself from his disturbing past of evil associates.

1239921_10151876972244559_1840509674_n

As one of the leading gateways into just about every facet of the entertainment industry, Los Angeles Film School continues to push boundaries and be kickass at everything they get their hands on. Whether it’s giving upcoming filmmakers their debut, giving animators the opportunity to communicate their passions, or giving engineers the push to becoming unique innovators, LAFS knows how to communicate with their students and their passion, ultimately recognizing every aspect of their talent.

431939_465203560227802_527876839_n

Now back to the film. Witness a LAFS student at work. Michael’s film, The Burden of the Shepard premiers Friday night, 7pm at 6363 Sunset Blvd.

RSVP:  Here

RECAP: LA FILM SCHOOL EVO INT’L FILM FESTIVAL

This past weekend the Los Angeles Film School hosted the Evolution International Film Festival (EIFF), red carpet style. Founded by film alum Sandra Seeling, the festival lives up to its global reputation, garnering over 300 submissions this year from 26 countries and in 22 different languages.

934642_642713412407115_902102911_n

Festival director Sandra Seeling during her opening speech.

“The overall theme of the projects submitted this year was Revolution and Freedom – movies and documentaries about every day life in war-zones and conflict-stricken areas of the world,” said Seeling. “Filmmakers capture how people not only survive during crisis, but how they transform their lives, bridge cultures, embrace different perspectives and form new kinds of relationships.”

 

xingu

Xingu by Cao Hamburger (Brazil)

The final selection included 23 US, North America and International films in 10 different languages. Brazilian film Xingu, which was directed by the Emmy-nominated Cao Hamburger and selected for the 2013 Berlin Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival, made its premiere as the opening night movie.

 

424443_291051647618590_1291967444_n

Barzan by Cassidy Dimon (USA)

The winners were hand-picked by a selection of jury members, which included Elvi Cano, Executive Director EGEDA USA and Elliot Kotek, editor-in-chief for Beyond Cinema, who presented the awards with festival director Seeling. The prize for the top winners of the second Evolution International Film Festival was software from Final Draft and from Directors Notebook.

Festival Winners:

Best Narrative Feature: Xingu
Best Narrative Short: That Wasn’t Me
Best Feature Documentary: Barzan
Best Short Documentary: Not Anymore: A Story of a Revolution
Best Student Short Film: Try Outs
Best Male Actor in a Feature Film: Xingu, Joao Miguel
Best Female Actor in a Feature Film: Coyote, Jan Broberg
Best Male Actor in a Short Film: Buzkashi Boys, Fawad Mohammadi and Jawanmard Paiz (Tie)
Best Female Actor in a Short Film: Robyn O. (14), Zoë Thielemans
Best Screenplay: She Was Left Alone, Bela Wolf
Best Ensemble Cast: Coyote

 

FILM CRUSH: THIS CIGARETTE

This Cigarette from LG on Vimeo.

 

You know that friend of yours who is insanely creative, clever, driven and gorgeous? The one who only wears ripped black jeans and puts her her modeling contract on the back burner cause she’s too busy documenting bands on tour? And there’s no way you can’t  want to be her friend cause all she does with her free time is stay in, get high and talk about life/ her cat?

That’s my personal favorite multi-hyphenate ingenue,  Lauren Graham.  Take a peek at her first short film, This Cigarette, starring another magnetic lady, Model/Blogger/Stylist/Actress/Girl Crush Jenny Parry. If you’re a gal living in LA, this one hits home #struggles.

LG took a break from Final Cut Pro to late night email us, here’s the proof…

So, what’s up?

Not much.

 

Can we get you something to drink?

Sure. I kinda want a skinny mocha. Feeling those lately.

 

What are you wearing?

Unfortunately, SpongeBob Squarepants shorts.

 

Are you single/taken/bummed/indifferent/hopeful?

Taken.

 

Are you interested in anyone right now?

Always.

 

How late did you stay up last night?

Like 3am

 

Meals or snacks?

Before I went out? I made pizza and tricked my brother into eating veggie pepperoni. There was also a tomato salad involved.

 

How often do you consume alcohol?

Depends what I’m doing in my life. I’ll go for weeks or months without drinking. If I’m on vacation or touring with a band making a doc, that’s another story…

 

You kissed a girl and liked it?

Saving that for the memoirs.

 

Please don’t touch that

My camera gear?

 

What’s on your feet?

Nothing.

 

Blue or black ink?

Black.

 

Ever sit down in the shower?

Only if its a fancy one with a shelf.

 

When was the last time you really froke out at someone?

Not for awhile. I kinda wish I could freak on people more.

 

What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?

Probably “Monkey” that’s what I call my cat.

 

Are you listening to music right now?

Yes.

 

Will you text the person you like today?

Like 1000 times.

 

If we gave you $50, what would you buy?

Weed.

 

Last 3 google searches?

They were all editing questions for final cut pro. I know all my friends that have recently switched to adobe are going to judge me.

 

What are you doing later?

Editing a video

 

Can we come?

Sure if you want to be bored.

 

Photo: Danielle DeFoe 

FASHION FILM: LIZZY CAPLAN’S SATIRICAL COMMERCIAL

Viva Vena!, little sister to line Vena Cava, has just received a breath of fresh air in the form of a satirical sartorial commercial. Director Matthew Frost and actress Lizzy Caplan tap into the psyche of an ethereal 20-something as she explores her wanderlust through a faux-fashion film. Hit a little too close to home?

BEHIND THE VIDEO: DIRECTOR GRANT JAMES ON HIS CLIP FOR ALBERTA CROSS

AC_CrateOfGold_Video_Image

Last year we caught up with director Grant James and predicted that he would be producing some phenomenal videos, and that he has. In his newest collaboration with Alberta Cross for their music video “Crate of Gold,” James enlisted the help of Drea de Matteo (Sons of Anarchy and The Sopranos) to play the bad ass villianess.  We asked James a few questions about this latest venture, his favorite horror movies, and what we can look forward to seeing from him next.

GJ_Photo

1. How did you and Alberta Cross decide to collaborate for “Crate of Gold”?

Petter, the lead singer, and I are good mates and we have been wanting to collaborate on a project together for some time. Petter wanted the theme to be based on paranoia within your dreams and our only goal was to create something that was a thrilling to watch from beginning to end.

2. What in their music inspired you to create the video?

There is something about their sound that I am drawn to. Between their albums and live performance, they represent a dynamic range that doesn’t sway from what the idea of Rock N’ Roll is. I was a fan of the band long before I met them – so to be able to collaborate with them a couple years down the road is a big pay off for me personally.

3. You tend to have a horror movie vibe to your music videos (i.e. cut off fingers in the Father John Misty video, mad scientist in the Del The Funky Homosapien) and now the crushed crate of gold in your newest venture. Do you have any favorite horror movies that inspire you?

I never considered my work leaning towards that genre but I always aim to do everything in production and incorporate unique physical elements—no matter how obscure or graphic they are. I want these attributes to encompass what the project is about and if you walk away remembering one thing – I want it to be those fingers, the crushing, etc… The fun part is experimenting with large scale ideas to pull off in production vs. adding it in post.

But to answer your question… my favorite horror flicks are The Devils Rejects, Let the Right One In, Videodrome, and the original Dracula (1931 Spanish Version).

4. What made you choose Drea de Matteo for the part of the villain in this video?

I am big fan of Sons of Anarchy and knew that the band has had music on the show a couple times, so knowing that we needed to cast a vixen who meant business, Drea felt like a match worth pursuing.

While we were shooting, Drea mentioned that this role was funny for her whereas she is usually on the other end of the stick—getting tortured or strangled. So it’s a nice payback video for all of the other roles she usually plays.

5. What projects are you currently working on?
Beyond some commercial work – I’m in the pre-production stage on a couple different projects. First up will be a video for Jonathan Wilson’s new album – which is going to be purely experimental and incorporate a variety of ‘worlds colliding’ visuals. I’m interested in playing with shapes and optical illusions, so I’m sure that will play a huge part.

Then I’m going to focus on narrative and making a short film…which will hopefully be shot on 35mm if I can scrounge up enough funds for it. I’m fairly new to this world since my background is documentary so I’m excited to work further with dialogue and actors. My only other experience is a skit I did for comedian Nick Thune; it features Matt Jones, who plays “Badger” on Breaking Bad.

6. Who is someone that you still dream of collaborating with on a project?

Not sure if I have a specific someone but my dream would be to make an absurd action-based film. I thrive on capturing moments live so putting together the best crew possible to achieve these types of story sequences would probably be my ideal collaboration.

BEHIND THE SCENES: THE WITCHING HOUR

fashion

Witches, pilgrims and polaroids? Ok, word. Photographer/Stylist duo Raymond Molinar and Marissa Peden took some time out of their busy magic-making schedules to chat with us about the production of their latest editorial, which you can peep in the January/February issue of LA CANVAS.

 

LAC: Tell us a little bit about the concept for this shoot. How and where was it shot? 

RAYMOND: Well, the concept came from Marissa when looking at some of my older work when I was using expired Polaroid film. I was so intrigued by the light leaks, burned boarders, and just how the photos had a look of its own.  So she mentioned one day that we should do a shoot with a “witch/amish” vibe using expired Polaroid film.

We shot some digital just in case and came out with some stunning images.  The locations we chose were places that we’ve been before.  Runyon and Train town in Griffith Park.  I felt those locations had the spooky vibe that we were looking for.  We had to guerilla-style shoot at the train location because there was no photography allowed, but we managed to get some good shots.

MARISSA:  I am a big fan of Ray’s photographs.  I always thought they were super creepy.  Does that make me a creep? Ha. The blurs and double exposures lend themselves towards a sort of deathly/spirit vibe.  It seemed like a no-brainer to use period and costume pieces to tell an old sad story. I kept thinking about a short story called “The Lottery,” which essentially was about a small American town that had an annual ritual where a townsperson’s name was drawn and they were stoned to death.  When we saw the train I wanted the story to be about two girls who were being sent to their death and then eventually travel somewhere beyond death.  One of my favorite shots is one that Ray took on a hill in Runyon, literally hiked his huge nerdy camera up this hill, and waited for a dude to finish meditating in that circle. Anywho, it was a super steep birds-eye shot of the girls in witches cloaks like they were looking up from Hell.  I think that photo is my favorite moment.

LA8

How does the styling effect the mood of this editorial? How do the clothes tell the story? 

MARISSA: This is really the first shoot I’ve done where the clothes were based off of the photographer’s style.  Everything came from Ray’s photography.  I wanted the first look on the train to be sort of Amish and a nod back to a time where everything was seemingly innocent and pure. But as the story progressed, I wanted to show through the transformation to the witches clothes that every time has a dark and evil side.  There’s not a period in history where humanity hasn’t been evil.  When we scouted the train spot the inside of that car is top to bottom this beautiful blond wood that sort of glows in the sun.  That juxtaposed with the black trains and tracks outside really fit the story and I wanted the clothes to be in that same palette.

How important is the relationship between a stylist and photographer? How did you work together for this collaboration? 

RAYMOND: We both contributed 50/50 on this shoot, so it was pretty important that we communicated, and got the shots that we needed.  We both knew exactly what we wanted.  It made the shoot go smoothly, and it was really fun.

MARISSA: That was the best part.  Putting so much into a shoot that was purely for own enjoyment.  It was so self gratifying!  If every job were collaborating with friends and having pure artistic freedom, I’d probably never sleep.