Vol. 6 No. 4 - Winter 2012
2012 Holiday Party, Interview with Mike Connors and
Sean Mullin, Event Recaps, Alumni Updates and More!
Hello fellow alumni, and welcome to the Winter edition of the CUE newsletter! This
quarter, we’ve got an interview with independent filmmakers Michael Connors and
Sean Mullin, who collaborated on the military thriller Allegiance, which will be
available on demand December 6th and in theaters January. We speak to them about
how they financed this film and the challenges they faced.
We also have details about CUE’s 6th Annual Holiday Party and report back on our
first Navigating the Industry Roundtable event with Beth Schacter.
This is our last newsletter of 2012! Thanks for reading. If you have any requests
for what you’d like to see more of or people you think we should feature, please
shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season and a creative new year!
Kate and Austen
CUE Newsletter Editors
Stay connected via the CUE Facebook page , our
website and for those who are graduates of the School of the Arts, the
of the Arts Alumni Facebook group.
It's the most wonderful time of the year again! The 6th Annual Holiday Party
is on the books for Wednesday, December 12, 2012.
This year we're getting back to our roots and making the festivities highlight what's
important to us - networking with our core group of industry professionals! On that
note, we are hosting an intimate gathering exclusive to Columbia alumni and their
guests. Take this opportunity to seize the night and have fun, insightful, and candid
conversations with connections new and old!
For this night of merriment we've reserved St. Felix/Hollywood.
St. Felix is the spacious new Hollywood counterpart of the rated Best of LA Weekly
West Hollywood bar/lounge/bistro.
...Read more and RSVP HERE
Recaps of recent events.
LA Food Bank Volunteering Event - Nov. 3, 2012
Some of CUE’s members met at the Los Angeles Food Bank bright and early on a Saturday
morning to get to know each other while giving back. As expected, a few hours of
sorting produce together led to much laughter and easy conversation. We understand
there were some technical snafus with the charity’s registration website, so our
apologies to anyone who ran into frustration there. We’ll try to handle the sign-up
process ourselves in the future. We hope to tackle an outdoor activity for our next
volunteering/networking event in 2013 - stay tuned for more information.
SoCal Mixer - Nov. 13, 2012
Columbia alumni groups Columbia SoCal and CUE got together for an informal mixer
on November 13th atop the rooftop deck at the Standard Downtown. Alumni chatted
over glorious views and champagne specials. New friends were made and old connections
rekindled at this high-end and trendy hotel bar. We hope to offer more mixers with
SoCal and other fellow alum groups in the new year.
Navigating the Industry: Roundtable with Beth Schacter - Nov. 15, 2012
CUE’s brand new programming endeavor - a series of Roundtables on Navigating the
Industry - launched to a hugely successful start on November 15th. Writer/director
and Columbia SOA alum Beth Schacter sat down with a group of enthusiastic alums
for a candid and humorous account of her experience navigating the entertainment
industry post-Columbia. Schacter, writer/director of the indie film Normal Adolescent
Behavior, is currently working as a writer on the ABC Family series Bunheads
. Over snacks and sodas, she shared insight and advice on a broad range of topics
with the lucky attendees. Attendance to the roundtable events are strictly limited
to ensure a casual, conversational environment, and the guest list for this one
filled within a day, so keep an eye out for information on future roundtables.
INTERVIEW WITH ALLEGIANCE FILMMAKERS, Mike Connors
and Sean Mullin
Writer/director Michael Connors (FILM ‘06) and producer Sean Mullin (FILM ‘06) recently
collaborated on their debut feature film, Allegiance an independently produced
military thriller starring Seth Gabel, Pablo Schreiber, Shad "Bow Wow" Moss and
Connors and Mullin are both graduates of the MFA Film program and longtime collaborators.
Both have military backgrounds, which connected them to the material and to a network
of veterans and ex-military who helped the project get off the ground. Allegiance
was acquired by XLrator Media and will be released On Demand in December and theaters
in January. You can view the trailer
CUE: Congrats on gaining distribution for Allegiance, which is also
just beginning its festival run. Can you tell us the plan for the film’s release?
Sean Mullin: Our film was picked up for distribution after we premiered at the Seattle
International Film Festival in June. Our distributors have found that the best way
to release an independent film these days is to compress the three major platforms
– Theatrical, VOD and DVD – into one tight window. This not only maximizes awareness
for our film, but it also allows us to keep our P&A costs at a reasonable level.
Our premium VOD release is scheduled for December 7th, our limited theatrical is
planned for December 28th through January 4th and our DVD will follow on January
15th. We’ve also just partnered with an International Sales Agent and – assuming
our projections for both domestic and international sales hold – we’re on pace to
return all of our investors’ equity, along with a solid profit.
You two have been working together on this project for a long time. When did
you start collaborating? Was it your common military backgrounds that first brought
you together, or your approaches to filmmaking and storytelling? How has the collaborating
process worked over multiple projects?
SM: Our similar Army backgrounds definitely helped bring us together, but we also
have a very close mutual friend – Brian Reidy – who introduced us right around the
time we were beginning the MFA program at Columbia. We weren’t in the same class,
but we worked on all of our major projects together. I produced Mike’s thesis film
(Recalled) and Mike was the cinematographer for the three films I wrote
and directed, including my thesis (Sadiq). Our creative sensibilities aren’t
completely the same, but there’s enough overlap that we’re really able to help push
each of our projects in the right direction.
Read the full interview here...
MICHAEL LOUIS HILL (FILM ‘09)
Since graduating from Columbia, Michael Louis Hill has edited an indie feature,
reality TV, commercials, and music videos, but he caught his big break this spring
editing the webseries Halo 4: Forward unto Dawn, the largest budget webseries Microsoft
has ever produced. Below, Mike tells us about how he got the job, what his typical
day was like, and how his Columbia education has helped him become the successful
editor he is today.
"After Graduating from Columbia I moved back home to California but quickly
joined up with a few classmates to make a feature film. We traveled from Kansas
City to Vegas shooting along the way. I spent a few months on the east coast cutting
the film with director Joe Saunders (FILM ‘10) and then moved to Los Angeles. After
learning A TON working in the reality TV world for about 6 months I caught a huge
break when a friend of mine put my name forward to be an editor on Bryan Singer's
web series- H+: The Digital Series. The director of that show, Stewart Hendler,
then got hired to make the live action web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and
hired me as his editor..."
Read the full article here....
Know someone who deserves to be in the spotlight? Send us an email and tell us!
CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER:
Gimme the Loot produced by Jamund Washington (FILM ‘10)
and edited by Morgan Faust (FILM ‘11) was nominated for Best First
Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards! You can read our interview with Jamund
about his experiences producing Gimme the Loot in our Spring Newsletter
James Ponsoldt’s next movie The Spectacular Now starring
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler, and Brie Larson is premiering in competition
at Sundance. You can read our interview with James about his previous movie Smashed,
which premiered at Sundance in 2012 in our Fall Newsletter
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