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May 23, 2017

‘District 9’ Director Neill Blomkamp to Release Experimental Short Films On Gaming Site Steam

District 9” director Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios will experiment with selling short films on gaming website Stream as a way to develop feature film ideas. Many shorts will also be available on the Oats Studios YouTube channel, but a few will be exclusive for purchase as a way to see if the ecosystem works for film, Blomkamp said.

READ MORE: ‘Kill Switch’ Teaser Trailer: Dan Stevens Stars in Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Thriller — Watch

The director, also known for “Elysium” and “Chappie,” floated the idea on twitter: “If I sold experimental short films on [Steam Games] as tests for potential full feature films, would people watch them?” He added that concept art, 3-D assets, and Maya scene files would be available for download through Steam. “I want to have direct open dialogue with audience going forward,” said Blomkamp, before debuting this teaser from a short called “RAKKA.”

Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Blomkamp is best known for the dystopian sci-fi film “District 9,” which he co-wrote with his wife, Terri Tatchell, and was produced by Peter Jackson. “District 9” received widespread critical acclaim and box office success for its creative use of fictional found footage and political allegory to apartheid. It was based on a short film, “Alive in Joburg.” Steam is a popular online gaming platform developed by Valve, the video game developer behind “Half-Life” and “Left 4 Dead.”

READ MORE: ‘Alien’ Day: Neill Blomkamp Celebrates 4/26 by Releasing Newt Concept Art From Upcoming Film

The Oats Studios YouTube is still pretty sparse, but it’s clearly a place for Blomkamp to test out short ideas, like this presidential motorcade that looks like something out of “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Check it out:

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Source: IndieWire Digital TV

May 22, 2017

What Software Gets The Best (And Worst) Feedback From Users?

Thhis article originally appeared on Priceonomics.

Using software can be a harrowing experience or it can be a delightful one.

For any given need you may have, there are likely dozens of software companies offering competing products. How do you know if the software is any good? One straightforward way is to find someone that uses the software and ask them if they recommend it or not.

We analyzed data from Priceonomics customer Wise Buyer, a company that analyzes customer feedback from 5,000 real-life users of various software programs. The data set contains responses from users as to whether they recommend the software product or not. The analysis covers 6 types of software: landing page builders, form builders, portfolio builders, live chat, email marketing, and ecommerce.

In each sector, how do various software stack up against one another? Which receive the best and worst customer satisfaction ratings? And what are the best and worst overall?


First, let’s average out the overall customer satisfaction rates of each type of software to get an idea of how they compare. The figures below represent the percentage of users who we talked to that recommended the product. For each overall category below, we talked to between 450 and 1,450 total users.

Data source: Wise Buyer

Looking at this data, it’s clear that some categories seem to enjoy higher average customer ratings than others.

Overall, the average satisfaction rating across the board is 85%. Live chat software (90%) is a healthy 5% above this, followed by email marketing software (89%), and form builders (88%). Portfolio builders (83%), landing page builders (82%), and ecommerce software (79%) all fall below the average.

With these averages in mind, let’s break down each of these categories and took a closer look at the companies we reviewed in each one, beginning with landing page builders.

Landing page builders are software that allow a user to create a webpage—particularly, one that is promotion-specific, or represents a business.

Data source: Wise Buyer

Overall, the nine landing page builders we reviewed averaged an 82% customer satisfaction rate. Five products fell above that figure, and four below. Thrive Landing Pages came out on top, with a 93% satisfaction rate, followed by OptimizePress and Instapage. Wishpond, at 65%, came in last.

Form builders—software that assist in the creation of online forms of any kind (lead generation, payments, etc.)—fared slightly better overall, with an average satisfaction rating of 88%.

Data source: Wise Buyer

In this category, Cognito took the cake, with 95% of customers favoring it. Even the three products which fell below the average (JotFrom, Wufoo, and FormStack) still received scores of over 80%.

Next, let’s turn to portfolio builders, software used by photographers, visual designers, artists, and models to create online portfolios of work. This arena had a few more competing products.

Data source: Wise Buyer

There was a bit more variance in ratings here than in previous categories.

Format topped the list with a 95% rating, followed by 22Slides (92%), AllYou (90%), and SmugMug (90%). Nearly 30 percentage points behind—and more than 10 points off the average—Zenfolio (70%) and Viewbook (69%) did not fair as well.

Live chat software, used mainly to build real-time customer service communications, also had quite a wide range.

Data source: Wise Buyer

In this category, four products—Intercom, Tawk.to, MyLiveChat, and My Chat—scored an impressive 98% satisfaction rating. Nine other products scored the average (90%) or higher, while 10 fell below that mark.

Email marketing software (used to create mailing lists) turned out an equal number of high performers: 9 at or above the 89% average.

Data source: Wise Buyer

Interestingly, four companies—Mailerlite (97%), ConvertKit (96%), Constant Contact (96%), and Robly (94%)— outpaced the industry favorite (at least among connoisseurs of podcast advertising), Mailchimp (93%).

Lastly, ecommerce software (used for commercial transactions on the Internet) featured a clear winner in Shopify (98%)—a whopping four percent above the competition.

Data source: Wise Buyer

Shopify, an industry leader, came out on top with a stunning 98% recommendation rate. The familiar faces of Squarespace (94%) and GoDaddy (83%) fell above the average (79%), while UberCart (78%), Wix Commerce (77%), and Weebly Commerce (76%) fell below it. 


Across all categories, which individual software companies are consumer favorites? The list below is color-coded by software type so you can see which categories tend to rank higher or lower.

Data source: Wise Buyer

Looking at the data in aggregate, software programs that deal with direct communication (live chat, email marketing) perform the best – the software does what it’s supposed to do. On the other hand software more on the service back-end (ecommerce) and are potentially more complex, rank less well.

Source: Visual News

May 21, 2017

Hong Sang-soo Reveals How He’s Made 21 Features in 21 Years: ‘I Start with Almost Nothing’

At just 55, Hong Sang-soo has already made 21 soju-soaked features. South Korea’s most prolific auteur is back at Cannes with his two newest projects, “The Day After” and “Claire’s Camera,” and took some time out of his busy schedule to explain his unconventional process to the Hollywood Reporter: “I’ve come to the point where I start with almost nothing,” he says.

READ MORE: ‘The Day After’ Trailer and Photos: Hong Sang-soo Remains as Prolific as Ever With Latest Cannes Drama

By “almost nothing,” Hong means that he no longer even bothers writing traditional screenplays. “As time went on, the treatments became shorter, to the point where I’d start production with only a few pages of notes.” That’s one way to run a railroad.

READ MORE: Hong Sang-soo Addresses His Marriage Scandal With a Movie in ‘On the Beach at Night Alone’ — Berlinale 2017

As for his actors — including Isabelle Huppert and Kim Min-hee — they have no more than half an hour to rehearse and “don’t have much time to memorize.”

“I make use of the things that come to me while shooting as I incorporate them into an evolving whole,” he says. “I don’t even know what I know about a given actor. And I don’t try to organize or explain what I know. But on the day of shooting, the particular situation and the conditions of the film come together to create a kind of pressure. That pressure allows a few things among the many thoughts and feelings I have about this actor to come out. I write them down.” Read the full interview here.

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Source: IndieWire film

May 21, 2017

‘Redoubtable’: How Michel Hazanavicius and His Cast Found the Human in Often ‘Ridiculous’ Jean-Luc Godard — Cannes

With his “Redoubtable,” Oscar-winning “The Artist” writer-director Michel Hazanavicius delivers another homage to period cinema, this time channeling Jean-Luc Godard’s moviemaking techniques as he portrays the cinema god during his late ’60s transition from groundbreaking film iconoclast to actual radical revolutionary. (Read Eric Kohn’s review here.)

American buyers are already sniffing around the feature film, one that could play well for older cinephiles who love Godard, an admittedly narrow niche.

French star Louis Garrel, who also appears in Arnaud Desplechin’s festival opener “Ismael’s Ghosts,” is superb as Godard and could land an acting prize. At the beginning, we get a glimpse of the director audiences are clearly expecting to see: confident, playful, and adoring his 19-year-old leading lady Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin), gazing straight at her (and us) as the camera tracks by during the filming of “La Chinoise.”

READ MORE: The 2017 IndieWire Cannes Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival

We move from the young newlyweds to the challenges that the tumultuous rebellion of the ’60s in France placed on the couple, as Godard passionately embraces radical rhetoric, keeps smashing his glasses at protest marches, and successfully fights to keep the Cannes Film Festival from going forward as planned.

He criticizes everything and everyone, including his spouse, who tends to keep her mouth shut. Surely, she should have more to say as a French philosophy student of the period, but Hazanavicius, while not approving of Godard’s patriarchal behavior toward his wife, doesn’t give her much to say. He does lovingly photograph her in the nude (luckily, Garrel does show up tout nu in one witty scene, as well as some male actors in another director’s movie he doesn’t want his wife to make).



Cannes Film Festival

At the film’s Cannes press conference, Hazanavicius describes the movie as a comedy, but mostly we see many people divided by constant arguing. “There are many different viewpoints,” said Garrel. “We love that they all end up quarreling. Without it we’d probably be bored. He was constantly creating conflict. And it was conflict that was joyful.”

The actor said he was well aware that at this phase in his life, Godard — whom he admires — dismissed actors as absurd believers in the suspension of disbelief: “That I had to appear as him in a film brought huge pressure but was exhilarating at the same time.”

Martin admitted that finding the right way to play his young actress wife was difficult, as the director who inspired her was changing along with France. Wiazemsky “calls herself into question, her choices and decisions,” Martin said. “It was a constant challenge and we talked about it at length. He’s such a wonderful actor, we worked a lot out as we went.”

“I wasn’t always very nice,” said Garrel, who shouts at his wife in many scenes.

Godard was “paradoxical in many ways,” said Hazanavicious, “with his bourgeois reactions and ideas about how women should behave. But he had very sincere attitudes and his revolutionary approach to making films that were not sentimental did not extend to his personal life.”

READ MORE: ‘Redoubtable’ Teaser: ‘The Artist’ Director Michel Hazanavicius Returns With a Salute to Jean-Luc Godard — Watch

He added, “As to breaking down a myth, why not? When you make a film about someone you enhance the mystique. Although Jean-Luc Godard is a cultural messiah, he’s also fun. There’s humor in Godard.”

“He was ridiculous,” said Garrel. “But I had fun making him human. He stirs up trouble. That’s what he enjoys doing. The span of his life work is huge, but he’s sometimes quite funny and says stupid dumb things.”

While Hazanavicius rediscovered the great artist Godard during his research, he also does not worship Godard. “I am agnostic,” he said. “He’s one of the most important directors in the history of cinema, an iconic figure, but he’s a person as well.”

“Redoubtable” premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. It is currently seeking U.S. distribution.

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Source: IndieWire film

May 21, 2017

Michael Shannon ‘Lays on the Floor Like a Vampire’ During Long Shoots, to the Surprise of No One

Michael Shannon makes a lot of movies. He appeared in eight of them just last year, earning an Academy Award nod for “Nocturnal Animals” (clearly an act of penance for his “Night Before” snub the previous year), and is slated for several more before 2018 rolls around. Still, he doesn’t necessarily like being on film sets: “They basically are like a petri dish for boredom and silliness,” Shannon said during Vulture Festival yesterday.

READ MORE: ‘Salt and Fire’ Exclusive Clip: Michael Shannon and Gael Garcia Bernal Unite to Save the World in Werner Herzog’s Thriller

With that in mind, he apparently prefers to do his work and mind his own business. “I try to not say much,” the actor continued. “People think, Oh, you’re in character or whatever. It’s like, ‘No. I don’t come here to talk.’ I just want to say what’s written and go home.” Sometimes that includes lines like “we both know Miley was flawless,” as in his severely underrated “The Night Before” performance, so it’s understandable that Shannon likes to work distraction-free.

READ MORE: Michael Shannon Tells It Like It Is: How the Actor Played a ‘Broken Down Angel’ in ‘Nocturnal Animals’ — Consider This

“You go on a film set, it’s like, ‘You’re going to say five lines today, and it’s going to take 12 hours,’” he said. So what does he do to stave off boredom? “I go into my little room in the trailer and I turn all the lights out and I just lay on the floor like a vampire. And then they knock. I’m like, Okay, I’ll go. What am I going to do — knit?” Amid all these answers, a question: Why has Michael Shannon never actually played a vampire?

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Source: IndieWire film

May 21, 2017

‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ Hits Yet Another Snag as Production Company Deems It ‘Patently Illegal’

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” has had so much trouble getting made that it would almost be a letdown if the long-gestating project ever sees the light of day. Terry Gilliam has been tilting at windmills for nearly 20 years at this point, and now the film has hit a new snag: Alfama Films released a statement on Friday deeming it “patently illegal.”

READ MORE: Terry Gilliam Has Begun Shooting ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,’ For Real This Time

Alfama’s Paulo Branco spoke to the Hollywood Reporter at Cannes, accusing Gilliam of “clandestinely” working on the film behind his back and even “pursuing the production with other partners.” Whether true or not, such a strange state of affairs is certainly apropos of the Cervantes’ charmingly (and tragically) out-of-his-depth knight errant.

“The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” first entered pre-production in 1998 and, at one point or another, everyone from Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp to Robert Duvall and Ewan McGregor has been attached to it. A documentary about these troubles, “Lost in La Mancha,” was released in 2005. Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver star in the current iteration, which was announced at Cannes last year.

READ MORE: Terry Gilliam’s Passion Project ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ Delayed Just Days Before Production

The film’s producers released a statement of their own, claiming that Branco has “no rights whatsoever to ‘Don Quixote’” and that his accusations are “preposterous”; they’re also suing him in four different countries. (Perhaps it’s actually Branco, not Gilliam, who’s the most quixotic character in this story?) “Senhor Branco’s interpretation of the law borders on the picaresque,” added Peter Watson. “If he really wants to kill the venerable don, I suggest he takes up jousting.”

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Source: IndieWire film

May 21, 2017

Clint Eastwood Promises to Return to Acting At Packed Cannes Masterclass

The toughest ticket at this year’s Cannes Film Festival? A masterclass with Clint Eastwood, which unfolded on Sunday afternoon to a packed auditorium and a crowd that warmly received the veteran actor and director with a three-minute standing ovation.

While the two-hour chat, led by Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, surveyed the full scope of Eastwood’s career with a particular eye on his directorial efforts, Eastwood admitted the he missed acting in front of the camera and promised to return to it.

READ MORE: Cannes 2017 Unveils Official Schedule, Adds Masterclasses With Clint Eastwood and Alfonso Cuarón

Eastwood’s last major on-screen performance was in 2012’s “The Trouble With the Curve” (which, quite notably, came after a four-year acting hiatus). Per Variety’s report, he told Turan that he missed acting “once in a while but not often,” and added that he will return when he is ready.

“I did a lot of it for a long time. I’ll visit it again someday,” he said.

While the often outspoken Eastwood didn’t directly address the current U.S. political situation, he did allude to it when discussing the first “Dirty Harry,” which was billed by many as being politically incorrect, kicking off an era of P.C.-leaning behavior that he’s clearly not a fan of.

“We’re killing ourselves by doing that, we’ve lost our sense of humor,” he said.

READ MORE: Tom Hanks Found Clint Eastwood ‘Intimidating as Hell’ and Says He ‘Treats His Actors Like Horses’

On Saturday, the festival screened Eastwood’s 1992 Western classic, “Unforgiven” as part of their Cannes Classics section. Eastwood is a long-time Cannes regular, screening films such as “Changeling,” “Pale Rider,” “Bird,” “Absolute Power,” and “Mystic River” at the festival over the years.

In 1994, he served as President of the Official Selection jury, which ultimately picked Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” as their Palme d’Or winner.

Eastwood is currently in preproduction on “The 15:17 to Paris,” a terrorist drama penned by Dorothy Blyskal.

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Source: IndieWire film

May 20, 2017

Cannes Virtual Reality Review: Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s ‘Carne y Arena’

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s extraordinary festival installation plants you right in the middle of an immigrant border odyssey. It’s the VR revolution …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed

May 20, 2017

Video Editing: Cutting Mixed Media Projects with Various Formats and Resolutions

Video editors cutting projects like documentaries will find a variety of video formats, file types, codecs, frame rates, and resolutions in any given …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed

May 19, 2017

Watch Alien Covenant in Theaters Now [Video]

“In 1979 I took you all on a terrifying journey with seven members of the Nostromo. Tonight you are going on that journey again, and remember in space, no one can hear you scream,” said Director Sir Ridley Scott.

During SXSW 2017, 20th Century Fox took us back to the 1979 film to re-experience the original terror. Director Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender, Danny McBride,and Kathrine Waterston were in attendance to discuss Alien, as well as, show footage from the newest film in the anthology, Alien: Covenant, now playing in theaters.

Sir Ridley Scott, one of the world’s foremost directors and producers, is most known for his work on films such as Thelma & Louise, Alien, Black Hawk Down, Blade Runner and Gladiator. Throughout his illustrious career, Scott has been lauded by the Emmy Awards, the PGA Awards and the DGA Awards. Scott serves as head of RSA and Scott Free Productions.

Explore More Content From SXSW 2017

Get inspired by a multitude of diverse visionaries at SXSW – browse more 2017 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.

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Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

The post Watch Alien Covenant in Theaters Now [Video] appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film