The Academy Reaches Out to Sarajevo Talent Campus

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The Academy arranged for five filmmakers to take a virtual trip across the globe to the Sarajevo Talent Campus for an innovative video conference on Monday, July 9, 2012. Appropriately, the topic was the evolving reality of motion picture production, which is well suited to the modern means of bringing together people thousands of miles apart to discuss the future of cinema as we know it.

Academy members Debra Granik (director of “Winter’s Bone”), Suzana Peric (music editor on films ranging from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” to “The Silence of the Lambs”), Celine Rattray (producer of “The Kids Are All Right” and “New York, I Love You”) and Kristi Zea (production designer for “Revolutionary Road” and “The Departed”), joined by Affonso Gonçalves (editor of the independent films “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Winter’s Bone”), gathered for over an hour in a conference room at Sony Pictures in New York City for a panel moderated in Sarajevo by film critic and historian Nebojša Jovanovićwith over 60 young filmmakers from Southeast Europe, including such countries as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia and Serbia. 

The increasingly rapid advances in technology have affected every aspect of film production, ranging from camera models to the tools used for everything from editing to lighting to sound mixing. This means seasoned and new filmmakers alike must adapt to the demands of a profession in a constant state of change, with the benefit of being able to create professional final products with often lower budgets and more user-friendly tools.

Each of the Academy’s guests shared stories about their own experiences adapting to the demands of breakthroughs in their fields, with Rattray explaining how even the definition of a “producer” has evolved in the past decade due to changes in the playing field. Zea shared her own stories about teaching at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, while Peric, Granik and Gonçalves went into detail about the relationship between telling a clear narrative and finding the appropriate current means to bring it to life. 

Formed in 2007, the Sarajevo Talent Campus brings together emerging film talent from countries in Southeastern Europe for training with established filmmakers. Their discussion with the Academy’s guests covered a broad range of topics ranging from raising money to reach a targeted budget, studying a vital related field like music for certain career paths, and establishing control on a set as a director.

Another step forward for the Academy’s Global Outreach initiative, this meeting of dedicated filmmakers from two continents affirmed that while technology remains a major tool in constant transition, it is still people who control the creative process.  

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