Reprinted by permission from the Boston 48 Hour Film Project and Scott Lebeda. Scott is a WIFVNE member. And WIFVNE is a proud supporter of the 48Hour Film Project in cities such as Boston, New Haven, and Providence.
The 48 Hour Film Project recently spoke with Scott Lebeda, Camera Operator on the Academy Award Best Film “CODA”. Scott is a filmmaker from the Boston area. Since 2011, he has taken part in twenty 48 Hour Film Projects—mostly in Boston, but also in Providence and New Haven. (Below: cast and crew of CODA, photo by Seacia Pavao)
48: How did you get started with the 48 and what roles have you taken on?
Scott: The first one I did was in 2011 when I answered a Facebook post looking for crew. I have mostly been Director of Photography, Directing and sound mixing on the 48hrs that I have been a part of. I tend to lean heavily towards DP on most although I have directed 3 and mixed one. I’ve also contributed as a writer on quite a few.
48: What was your favorite 48 you made?
Scott: My favorite 48 was the one that we did in New Haven, “Past Poets Now”, back in 2014. We won New Haven that year and got to screen in Hollywood at Filmapalooza. I was Director of Photography on that one and like a lot of the 48s that we did over the years really had a fun time making that movie.
48: What was the worst thing that happened during a 48?
Scott: We had a director on one of the 48s we did in Rhode Island pass out from heat exhaustion. Outside of that nothing too terrible happened on the 48s we did. The most stressful part is always exporting to thumb drive while someone drove you into the city to submit the film.
48: You’ve been in the industry for a while, what is your primary job?
Scott: I’ve been working in camera departments on films and television for the last 15 years. I started as an AC on reality TV and quickly changed over to 2nd AC for features. I bumped up to a Focus Puller for many years. I now work primarily as a Camera Operator on feature films, but still do some commercial work here and there. I also do some consulting and teaching from time to time.
48: Tell us about being on the crew that made CODA.
Scott: Being a part of the Coda crew has been such an amazing experience. The filming of Coda was one of the best on set experiences of my career and everything since then has been awesome! I mean we won Best Picture at the Oscars! What’s better than that?
I was one of 2 camera operators on the film Coda. Most movies that we do we have two cameras on the entire job, A and B camera, and on Coda I was the B Camera Operator. Our A Camera Operator was a very talented Steadicam Op named Alec Jarnagin.
48: Did you have any idea the movie would be so popular?
Scott: We always knew that Coda was something special while we were filming it. There were just so many aspects of this film that stood out. The cast was so incredible, they had this chemistry together that you don’t see that often. They really did feel like a family on set. Emilia Jones who played Ruby in the movie was amazing to watch work. She learned to sign for Coda, did all her own singing and is British so had to maintain the American teenager accent the whole time. There were times during filming that we all felt that we were getting to see the beginning of a legendary career! When I first read the script, I was really impressed with how beautiful the story was. Sian Heder really did an amazing job adapting the French movie that Coda was based on. Then on top of the cast and the amazing story there was all the crew that we got to make this movie with. People who I have been making movies with for the last 15 years here in New England and have been a part of building the amazing film community. My 2nd AC on Coda was a fellow 48hr Film Project Alum, Felix Giuffrida.
48: What advice do you have for people looking to get into the film/video industry?
Scott: Get out there and make something. Take part in the 48hr Film Projects, make your own shorts, make your own music videos, commercials, etc. Just get out there and make something. Also, get on to features and work. Start as a Production Assistant and learn how to be on a set. Learn what each department does and then decide what department you want to end up in. Make sure to let those working in that department know you’re interested in working in their department. Try to get into specific departments as a PA and move your way up from there. If you spend a long time being an undecided PA then you’ll end up PA’ing for longer then you want to.
48: What were some of the things you found valuable in doing the 48 Hour Film Project?
Scott: Getting to know others who work in the film industry already is a very valuable part of the 48 Hour Film Project. I made a lot of strong connections and friends on the 48hr Film Projects that I did. I met Felix Giuffrida on a 48hr Film Project 10 years ago and now he and I work on features all the time together. He was my 2nd AC on Coda. Along with Felix there are several other crew that I met on 48hr Film Projects that I still work with professionally today. Those connections that I made during the 48hr Film Projects have been invaluable.
I was lucky enough to be able to go to film school and obtain a degree in Film and Television, but I know plenty of people that were not able to. A lot of them learned film by working on 48hrs and making connections with crews that had already established in the business. I cannot stress enough how valuable the 48hr Film Project is to up and coming filmmakers.
President Sharon Contillo and RI Co-Chair Hannah Eaton attended the 2022 Alliance for Community Media conference and trade show. The event was held in person March 31-April 1 at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel in Providence, RI.
The Alliance for Community Media Northeast Region (ACM - NE) holds an annual conference and trade show each year targeting our members in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.
Community media professionals, board members, and producers attend our event each year. This event provides a unique opportunity for exhibitors and sponsors to engage with those who seek products, services, and resources to assist them in their work; and to connect with current customers and identify new ones.
WIFVNE Shares: WIFVNE member Scott Lebeda was one of the two camera operators on CODA, which won three Academy Awards including Best Picture. See Scott (center) on set in the picture below, and read the article from WCAI.
Five WIFVNE members were part of the New England cast and crew for the shoot of the psychological horror film Penny, written and directed by WIFVNE Board Member Rachel S. Thomas-Medwid.
The three-day shoot took place in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, in September with Lynn Weissman as Director of Photography, Maddie Staszak as First AC, Alyson Muzila in the role of Mae (with her 8-year-old daughter, Ava, playing a young Penny), and Diana Vicol doing behind the scenes photography.
Penny—about a hard-core female chef fighting off primitive impulses during a series of dates as memories of her mentally ill mother bleed into current-day life—is being released in March 2022.
Captions: 1) Rachel, Lynn, Maddie 2) Rachel, Lynn, Maddie, and Ava Muzila 3) Alyson Muzila and crew
Send WIFVNE your photos and on-set experiences with other WIFVNE members so we can share the news! Email email@example.com
(h/t Film Industry Marketing Newsletter aka the WIFT Marketing Circle)
Across the country, the film from Ukraine, The Guide (see trailer here) will be playing and raising money for the film industry in Ukraine, which by the way, was booming before the invasion. Check out links below to get involved, see the film if you are near one of the showings, and generally connect with what is happening in the industry in conjunction with current events. And, if you don’t have a showing near you, maybe you ask others in the area to set one up with you.
You never know who you might meet. You must get outside your own watering hole to expand the horizons wide enough that you create opportunities. And most important, you are helping at a time when there is such a need. - Christine Merser, Managing Partner, Blue Shoe Content
Read entire article here… LOS ANGELES, March 15, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- On Friday, March 18, many leading U.S. movie exhibitors will begin to play Oles Sanin's acclaimed feature film THE GUIDE, subtitled, in their theaters with box-office proceeds to be donated to Ukrainian Relief Efforts. The film's director and producer, Sanin, is currently locked down in Kyiv, but has just provided a moving introduction now attached to the movie. It conveys the urgency of the situation and the need for assistance.
Ukraine has a rich history of filmmaking that reaches back more than a century. For much of that time, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, but in the last 30 years Ukraine's film industry has stood on its own. Indeed, before Russia's 2022 invasion, Ukraine was a vibrant center of film production.
In the 1930s, the Soviet regime pursued agricultural and other policies that led to the deaths of millions of Ukrainians. This "Terror Famine" represented a genocide aimed at Ukraine. In 2014; Ukrainian filmmakers produced and released THE GUIDE, a drama set in the 1930s depicting this Soviet oppression. The drama was selected as the Ukrainian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards. The film also won the Best Actor and Cinematography awards that year at the Odessa International Film Festival. In addition, Oles Sanin's film was nominated for the grand prize at both the Odessa and the Warsaw International Film Festival.
To support the effort, the Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition will be delivering the film by satellite, while PaperAirplane Media will provide the marketing assets and necessary support materials. Distribution will be handled by Falling Forward Films. All parties are working free of charge to ensure as much money as possible is delivered to the Ukrainian people.
Audiences are advised to find the closest theater in your city, BUY TICKETS
or DONATE at
(Not Rated-Some graphic wartime violence-127 Minutes)
Watch the Trailer
Amy Prenner, "Stand With Ukraine: The Guide", +1 (310) 709-1101, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Devine, "Stand With Ukraine: The Guide", email@example.com
On March 12, 2022, Sharon Contillo, President of WIFVNE, spoke to RI School of Design (RISD) students about careers in film, TV, animation, and improving employment opportunities in the industry.
Sharon was one of a number of special guest speakers for RISD's in-person event on internships, careers, and post-grad life.
Every year, just after the end of the Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance Institute teams up with Adobe to host the Sundance Ignite x Adobe Short Film Challenge. Submissions are officially open for the 2022 challenge, and emerging filmmakers ages 18 to 25 are invited to submit a short film that showcases their artistic vision.
You have until March 14 to submit your short — once the contest closes, the diverse team of judges will sort through the submissions and select 10 finalists to take part in the 2022 Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellowship.
Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellows represent the next generation of independent storytellers, and receive a year of mentorship, unique resources, and the chance to attend the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Entry is free.
Learn more here: https://collab.sundance.org/catalog/ignite-2022
Sundance Collab is a free-to-join global learning and storytelling community for creators, featuring opportunities to get expert advice, personalized feedback, and curated resources while forging new connections with other artists. It also offers the opportunity to go deeper into your learning through online courses in writing, directing, producing and more. The following programs have applications open, or will open soon. Learn more at: https://www.sundance.org/apply
2022 Episodic Lab
Deadline: March 9, 2022
The Sundance Institute Episodic Lab is a six-day program at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah that offers writers the opportunity to workshop a pilot script, while developing their writing and pitching skills.
2022 Ignite Challenge
Deadline: March 14, 2022
The Sundance Institute and Adobe are teaming up to find the next 10 Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellows—emerging filmmakers (ages 18 to 25) who are creating stories that bring their passion, voice, and perspective to life. To choose this year’s fellows, we’re holding a short film challenge, asking filmmakers to submit a one- to 15-minute short that shows us their artistic vision and unique voice.
2022 Full Circle Fellowship
Application Opens: March 7, 2022
The Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program aims to support the next generation of Indigenous American storytellers through the Full Circle Fellowship, which provides various opportunities to explore a career as a filmmaker.
Women in Film and Video New England is proud to announce a new President of the non-profit organization. Sharon Contillo has begun her term as President, formerly serving as Vice President to President Alecia Orsini. Alecia Orsini will now serve as President Emeritus.
Sharon Contillo is the founder of Middle Center Productions, LLC, a Rhode Island-based production company with a focus on female-led and family productions. In this role, she highlights the under-represented, giving them a platform to be seen and heard.
“When you pour your time and love into a project, sometimes it can be hard to hand over. I am happy to say, that hasn't been the case for me,” says Alecia Orsini. “After 6 years at the helm of WIFVNE, my amazing Vice President Sharon Contillo enthusiastically took over the reins as President. I am excited for the future of WIFVNE with Sharon steering the ship, and her visionary team of Nerissa Williams Scott (Vice President) JoAnn Cox (Director of Operations) Alison Cupples (Treasurer), Grace-Mary Burega (Secretary) and, of course, the rest of the amazing Board! This organization has brought me so much joy in the years I spent as President. It's a whole new joy I have knowing that Sharon is making big plans for WIFVNE. She has the same gusto and drive for securing a bright future for the women storytellers across New England, and I am honored to be among them!”
Sharon is an award-winning filmmaker. Her recent awards include Best Shorts Award 2020, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Grant winner 2019, and IBM Master Storyteller Award 2019. In addition, Sharon has won awards for her feature scripts, Madam President and Sandwitched. Sharon wrote, produced and starred in four IBM commercials made for trade shows and conferences around the world. She won first place at the IBM WebSphere Technical Conference for her short film, Sign.
Sharon’s feature-length original animation script, Ornaments, is currently in pre-production. The story is based on Sharon’s youth chapter book The Little Christmas Ornament.
Sharon has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rhode Island. She studied filmmaking and writing at the New York Film Academy and ScreenwritingU.
In addition to serving as President of WIFVNE, Sharon serves as a Board member of Women in Film & Television - US (WIFT-US).
Women in Film & Video New England (WIFVNE) works to “Widen the Lens” for New England filmmakers by advancing female storytellers in their craft through networking, community, mentorship, and education.
Founded in 1981, WIFVNE is a non-nprofit membership organization dedicated to supporting the accomplishments of women working in the film, video and new media industries. WIFVNE provides an educational forum for media professionals and a valuable network for exchange of ideas and resources. WIFVNE works to promote proactive images of women to the public and to empower all women in film and video to achieve their professional potential.
WIFVNE is a founding charter member of Women in Film & Television - US (WIFT-US), a national network of Women in Film organizations with the goal of information sharing, as well as to promote the positive images of women in all media, empower their members to achieve their highest professional/creative potential, and help create more job opportunities throughout the United States.
Through the generosity of Loreen Arbus, New York Women in Film and Television has established the Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant. The film completion grant for $7,500 will be awarded to a woman filmmaker for a film on physical or developmental disability issues. Directors and producers are eligible to apply. Application deadline is November 26. Apply here.
Films may be of any length or genre. The Grant will be awarded to help complete a work-in-progress. Films must have completed principle photography to be eligible. Finished films are not eligible. Filmmakers must be US-based.
Recipients of the Grant will also receive production support and voicing of the audio description for their film courtesy of Michele Spitz, Woman of Her Word. Her generous donation will allow for the film to be accessible for blind or visually impaired audiences.
ReelAbilities Film Festival, the largest disabilities film festival in North America, will provide captioning service for the selected film as well as support of the film’s outreach and distribution, through the ReelAbilities North American network of festivals and beyond.
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