This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Globalization Of Streaming Entertainment Platforms: FRANCE

In France, cinema is highly regarded as an art form and the French take it very seriously.  

They are also extremely proud of their cultural heritage and, with the globalization of pretty much everything, France is fighting to keep their distinct cultural identity intact.

Which is why, as Netflix seeks to conquer Europe with its expansion overseas, the company has been met with skepticism and fear. "Let The Carnage Begin," was the headline in Le Monde.

France has a very specific system in place to ensure that its multi-billion dollar film industry is both nurtured and protected within its own borders.  As reported in the Los Angeles Times today, French law requires that at least "40% of programming on TV and radio be made in France... And there is a strict timetable for releasing films to DVD (four months) and to broadcast TV (up to three years.)" *

Copyright © 2014 by K.Liedle/@cococaffeine

* Los Angeles Times article: Netflix Struggles To Win Over Skeptics
Written by  Chris O'Brien

France Reports On Netflix Expansion

#Frenchcinema #NetflixFrance #LeMonde #NetflixExpansion

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September Issue Stand-Outs: Print Advertising

When fashion magazines publish their annual September Issues, I don't cringe when I see the number of pages devoted to ads and the minuscule amount reserved for editorial content.  The September issues of top-level fashion magazines are their largest of the year.

I've always enjoyed print advertising and fashion editorial when it's creatively well-done, tasteful, innovative, imaginative, and effective.  In fact, I thought I'd end up creating some of the very ads I so admire.  (I got a degree in advertising and journalism, but instead began working in film and tv.)

Here are some of my favorite ads
(Torn from the pages of my ELLE Magazine Sept. 2014 issue) 
(646) 649-5562

This is a simple showcase of selections from their fall/winter collection.  The photograph implies movement with playfulness.   And both the model's pose and expression are timeless.  A classy ad.

Saint Laurent Paris 

Beautiful composition and use of lighting techniques emphasize the shadows and contours of both the model and the fashions.  Just outstanding photography.

Alice and Olivia by Stacey Bendel

Eye-catching, colorful and whimsical, this ad has a storybook quality that reminds me of Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland as well as some of Grace Coddington's highly elaborate fashion editorial spreads for Vogue Magazine.  (**Grace Coddington is the Creative Director of American Vogue Magazine**)

Prada Candy Florale

This is a very simple ad that indulges the senses while capturing a moment of natural beauty-- all cast in the soft tones of pale pink.  It also doesn't hurt that I happen to like the scene.  The best part of perfume ads is that they're scratch n' sniff!

Written material Copyright © 2014 by K.Liedle/@cococaffeine

Friday, September 26, 2014

How To Read A Fashion Magazine Like A Grown-Up Child

(Ad for Saint Laurent Paris)

How To Read A Fashion Magazine Like A Grown-Up Child

1) Flip through the pages quickly and see what images draw your attention. Dog-ear the pages in which these images appear.

2) Sniff all the perfume samples. Flag the ones you like but can't afford. Make note to self to add these to Amazon wish list.

3) Turn to the back pages to read your horoscope.  (Then, read the horoscope of a guy you like. See how the two match up.)

4) Glance at the Masthead.  Read the bios of Contributors.  Show respect.

5) Read the editorial content.  Dog-ear pages of articles to save.

6) Tear out pages of stuff you like (as though you're an 8-year-old who's had too much sugar.)

7) Recycle magazine (or mark it "FREE" and leave  it at the library like it's an abandoned puppy.)

8) Consume sugar in any form available.

Anyhow, this is how I read a fashion magazine, but then again, I am a grown-up child.  Eventually, I'll go through all the magazine images in my files.  At that point, I'll cut images apart, rearrange
them, combine them with snippets of words, and embellish with some of my own artwork and writing.

When it's all over, I will have created a one-of-a-kind handmade card.  I've been doing this for
years and many of closest friends still treasure some of the personalized cards I've created for them.

Some of these cards can be found in the Handmade Card gallery in the pages of this blog.

(c) Copyright 2014 by Kendra Liedle/@cococaffeine
Follow me on Twitter @cococaffeine

The author (as an 8-year-old child)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Television Increasingly Attracting Film Screenwriters

In the world of entertainment, it isn't news to hear that the most promise for Hollywood screenwriters no longer exists in the world of film, but in television. Once the bastard stepchild to cinema, TV is in the midst of trailblazing its own tracks and creating a new frontier for entertainment.

After reality TV took over the airwaves, it was hard to imagine that television would ever make a comeback.  I certainly wasn't a believer.  It only seemed to me that things would get worse.  But like Robert Downey Jr. And Ben Affleck TV has made a momentous comeback in just a few short years. 

Yes, the reality shows keep coming, but they are becoming easier to avoid with increasing number of quality programming that's available.  Television is now where you can find solid writing and multiple shows worthy of binge-watching.  Television is where multi-layered plots and diverse characters can co-exist with great storytelling and roles that traditional "movie stars" want to play.

Now the role's are reversed and it's film I worry about.  Film, most of all.  That's where it all began...

But if there's one thing Hollywood loves more than anything, it's a good comeback.  I hope Hollywood films can stage their own, but that would mean taking risks on financing movies about real people and not comic book characters with super-human powers and franchise appeal.  The writers are still writing and the stories exist, but it's television and cable networks that are snatching up the good stuff and giving writers the opportunities and acclaim that once only came with a "Written by" credit on the big screen.

(c) Copyright 2014 by K.Liedle/@cococaffeine

For more on this topic from the perspective of screenwriters, check out this link from today's Los Angeles Times:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Costume Design

In the early days of filmmaking, costume sketches and fabric swatches generated by the wardrobe departments of Hollywood Studios were deemed unnecessary after the costume itself was created.  Much of these sketches were lost, damaged, or otherwise thrown away before it occurred to anyone that they just might be valuable in their own way... little pieces of artwork and links to Hollywood's past.

Some are mere pencil sketches, like some of Edith Head's designs for Audrey Hepburn in the film, "Sabrina." However, Fashion sketches and illustrations can also be much more colorful and elaborate.  Many contain original fabric and embellishments and are hand-painted, inked, or washed in watercolor.

Few fashion design sketches from those early days remain (especially for well-known films) but luckily we can still appreciate the artistry for what remains of those early days in Hollywood.

(c) Copyright 2014 by K.Liedle/cococaffeine
For more about early fashion illustration :

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Classic Experimental Film From The Silent Era Showcases Modern Editing Techniques

"The Man With A Movie Camera" is a Ukranian film from 1929 that depicts the hum-drum of daily urban life in a revolutionary way.  Known for its innovative, experimental and surprisingly modern use of editing styles, the film is considered to be one of the most influential film pieces of the silent era.  
[ In 2012, Sight & Sound magazine named it one of 8th best movies ever made. ]

Experimental.  Open.  Closed.  Awakening.  Sleeping.  Machinery.  Mechanisms.  Voyeurism.  Movement.  Freeze Frame.  Upbeat music with haunting, creep chimes.  Contrast.  Trains.  Divorce documents.  Woman undressing.  Man's eye reflected in a camera lens.  Funeral.  A woman in bed, delirious.  Rebirth.  Timing.  Town square splitting in half.  Tempo changes.  Extreme close-up of man's eyes.  Movement.  Fast cuts.  Dizzying.  Crowds -- Man capturing it all on camera.

For anyone interested in experimental film, editing techniques or film history in general, "The Man With A Movie Camera" is a classic to behold.

Directed by Dziga Vertov (1929)
Currently available on Netflix and Youtube

Blog content
Copyright © 2014 by K.Liedle/@cococaffeine
#manwithmoviecamera #ukranianfilm #silentfilms #filmhistory

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Henri, Le Chat Noir

I recently started learning French via Duolingo.  It's a terrific FREE app that allows you to learn several different languages in an easy and fun manner.  Every time you practice, you earn points.  You can compete against yourself (like I do) or compete with other people.

Whenever I'm on-set working on a movie or tv show and I see crew members scanning through endless FB newsfeeds on their phones, I always think to myself: "Dude, do something productive.  Maybe learn a language."  Film production is hard work, but it also entails quite a bit of downtime, too.  I'm always  trying to be productive, always trying to learn something new.

On that note, here's a little French short film about a cat named Henri.  I discovered it today when I read an interview with actor Christopher Walken via @the_talks in which he mentioned enjoying Henri's ennui.  May you enjoy it as well:

Henri, Le Chat Noir - Video Tube for YouTube - iPhone/iPad

(c) 2014 by KLiedle @cococaffeine

Monday, September 1, 2014

Evolution Of Hollywood Press And Celebrity

Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Dietrich, and Dimaggio,
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean, on the cover of a magazine...
(from Vogue, lyrics by Madonna)

Most of these names would mean nothing without the advent of motion pictures-- for the motion picture brought with it the modern conceptualization of the movie star. Traditionally, movie historians have credited the public with initially creating the movie star system. Marilyn Monroe herself believed that the public chose its "stars", but it was the studios that "tried to make a system out of it."
However, if the public did indeed create the movie star, the major studios in their heyday perpetuated the system by selecting unknowns from the ranks of the ordinary and carefully grooming them into stars in an assembly-line fashion.

The fields of modern public relations and the cinema industry are both relatively young. Modern public relations first began in the mid-1800s while cinema was invented and developed in the late 1800s. The historic early years of both industries were times of tremendous expansion and growth.
Modern public relations, as discussed in Fraser Seitel's, The Practice Of Public Relations, began with press agentry and was first practiced by the infamous P.T. Barnum.  Barnum staged publicity merely for the sake of publicity for his traveling circus. Likewise, one of the first methods that the film and entertainment industry utilized to publicize its cinematic products (and its stars ), was this press agentry technique borrowed from public relations.
The Historical Background of Motion Pictures
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the motion picture, later affectionately referred to as a "movie," became a primary source of entertainment. As highlighted in the book, American Cinema/American Culture, during the era of 1929 through 1949, an unbelievable 83 million Americans per week went to the movies. A broad array of fascinated fans brought forth the construction of immaculate movie palaces during the 1910s through 1920s. These palaces, according to John Belton, author of American Cinema/American Culture, were widely advertised as "an acre of seats in a garden of dreams", ranged from a modest 500 seats to the extravagant 6,200 seat Roxy Theatre.
By the mid 1920s, four major movie studios had emerged: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, and Warner Brothers. In 1934, MGM was, by far, the most sophisticated with its 117 acres consisting of some twenty-three sound stages, large exterior sets, a lake, a park, a mini jungle, and, of course, as the studio boasted, "more stars than there are in heaven", as noted by Ronald L. Davis, in his book, The Glamour Factory.
While hard to imagine now in the voyeuristic world of celebutantes we now live in, stars were not identified by name in the first movies. As people began to write fan mail to principal actors, however, studios were forced to reveal the star's identity to satisfy the public. It was only with this demand that someone known to audiences solely as the girl with the golden curls suddenly became widely identified as Mary Pickford [circa 1910] With this change, the movie star was born.
#earlyhollywood #hollywoodpress #hollywoodhistory
Copyright © 2014 by Kendra Liedle from Evolution of the Movie Star: Promotion And Publicity in Hollywood's Golden Era