Don Rhrer reports on Avid playing a huge role in the creative process for these young filmmakers and the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
While attending the famed USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, most students dream of one day impressing film buffs with their very own cinematic tour de force.
At the Sundance Film Festival, held in Park City, Utah in January 2017, a group of USC film school graduates actually got to witness the warm audience reception to the films, episodics and docudramas they had worked on as producers, editors or sound mixers.
These USC alums—including Peter LoGreco, Marcello Dubaz, Peter Bawiec, Kari Barber and Evan Schrodek—credit Avid with helping their Sundance entries win both buzz and distribution deals.
Evan Schrodek—Burning Sands
“The reception to our film was wonderful,” says Evan Schrodek, editor of Burning Sands, which now streams as a Netflix original feature. Burning Sands tells the story of five college students who embark on a “Hell Week” of hazing and abuse in order to receive admission into a prestigious black fraternity. The film examines the bonds that are formed by a tightly knit group of men in an incredibly trying set of circumstances.
“Having grown up on the wave of independent films of the early ‘90s, the Eccles Theater at Sundance has always been this mythical place,” Schrodek says. “We got to showcase our first public screening to a packed house at Eccles and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.”
Schrodek also grew up with Avid Media Composer, which he began using as a student in 2003. Ever since, “I’ve been a massive fan,” says Schrodek, who received a MFA in Film and Television Production in 2012 from USC, where Avid technology has a significant presence. “When you get really comfortable with an intuitive piece of software like Media Composer, the tool sort of fades into the background and allows the editor to explore creative ideas as quickly as they come to mind.”
Peter LoGreco—Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On
“Our Sundance screening was a blast, and it was so gratifying to see our work on the big screen in a theater full of people who laughed, gasped and clapped in all the ‘right’ places,” says Peter LoGreco, executive producer of Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.
Shown in the 2017 Sundance DocuSeries Showcase, Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On tells the personal stories of people whose lives have become defined by the ways in which they use the internet to explore, express and/or exploit their sexuality. The show, which was subsequently screened at the Miami Film Festival in March, will begin streaming on Netflix this spring.
Besides rough cutting and online editing the show with Media Composer, UHD resolution media files were stored on Avid shared storage, and the sound was mixed usingAvid Pro Tools.
“My team and I work very collaboratively, and our work tends to be driven by a lot of observational documentary footage and longer, more in-depth interviews,” says LoGreco. “Avid is the only environment that allows the level of creative collaboration necessary to do this well on a TV schedule.”
“Without Avid’s media management and sharing capabilities, this would’ve been a very different series,” Lo Greco adds. “I’ve tried to do long-form with other platforms and ended up spending a great deal more time managing the technology, which was a true obstacle to creative momentum.”
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