Archive of Cinewords

August 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Julia Kwan interviewed by Ileana Pietrobruno, March 2006
Steve Rosenberg interviewed by Ileana Pietrobruno, November 2005
Kerry Laitala interviewed by Ileana Pietrobruno, September 2005
Jem Noble- The Collapse of Memory and Promise, Cineworks/Signal and Noise May 2010
On Cinematic Cartographies, or, What is Art Good For? by Roger Beebe, 2009
Moveable City- by Vanessa Brown, Sept. 2009
08/08/08: An Interview with Project 8 Founder Julie Sargosa by Amy Lynn Kazymerchyk, 2008
The Enduring, cheyanne turions Critical Essay, April 2009
Cinema + Disjunction, curated by Ben Donahue, April 2009
Who Will Give Up Their Distinctions? cheyanne turions Curatorial Essay, July 2008 
Plaidcolumn’s Reponse to “Who Will Give Up Their Distinctions?”, July 2008
Notes on an Independent Aesthetic of Dance-Film in Canada, by memelab, 2008
Claudia Morgado Interviewed by Ileana Pietrobruno
Karin Lee Interviewed by Ileana Pietrobruno


Q+A With Cineworks Workshop Instructor John Woods

December 14, 2012 § Leave a comment


This afternoon I had to opportunity to ask John a few questions about himself and his upcoming workshops:

CP: Besides teaching workshops at Cineworks, what do you do?
JW: I work in the film industry in town, specializing in sequels and talking dog movies.
CP: If you had a motto, what would it be?
JW: I can do anything you want, all it will take is time and money.
CP: Who is your film role model?
JW: Too many to choose from! But I like how Werner Herzog is able to move between features and documentaries while still being able to make films that are distinctly his own.
CP: What is the movie that made you fall in love with film making?
JW: A lifetime ago a good friend bought a bizarre device called a laserdisc and showed me his then favourite movie, Clerks, which had a commentary track on it. Listening to the commentary I learned that the movie was basically made by a bunch of friends and that sounded like something fun to be a part of. Prior to that I hadn’t really thought that it was possible to make films without a cast and crew of hundreds.
CP: What is your favourite theatre in Vancouver and why?
JW: The Rio is my local theatre and I enjoy their programming and midnight shows but The Ridge is the most beautiful single screen theatre left in the city. The art deco design gives the place atmosphere and makes it feel like I’m really going out for a night on the town rather than visiting a very large living room. Plus its one of the few left in town that still projects 35mm prints.
CP: What made you decide to stick with film?
JW: Partly laziness on my part to keep up to speed with the rapid evolution of digital formats. I certainly like to edit digitally where I feel that you can work with images in a manner similar to how your brain works, but an image on film is more like how memory works. It can be fuzzy, unstable or damaged, but surprisingly sharp and beautiful in way that is better than how it really was.
CP: What exactly is a JK printer?
JW: Its an optical printer that was popular in the 70s and 80s with schools and independent filmmakers for creating optical effects like titles, fades and mattes. They originally cost a few thousand dollars and can fit on a table, prior to this an optical printer needed an entire room and were custom builds costing as much as house. The JK made it possible for people outside of the industry to access effects that required Hollywood level money just to rent the machine.
CP: Besides transferring film to video, what kinds of cool things can the JK do?
JW: The best comparison is that an optical printer does for cine film what a photographic enlarger does for stills. If you’re really dedicated you can do all those old school special effects like they did on Star Wars. What I find more interesting is how it allows you to experiment with alternative processes. You can use oddball lab stocks to create extremely contrasty images, or embrace generational loss by making excessive copies or do extreme blowups that create wild, swirling grain. I feel that today the best reason to work with film is to embrace all the faults inherent with it and create something that looks different. Someone who likes deliberate, methodical work will find this type of process enjoyable. A person that is patient and not be afraid to make a mistake will enjoy this workshop.
CP: Once I take these workshops, what kind of skills will I have?
JW: People short on money but long on time will have a way to get high quality transfers. Filmmakers interested in arcane analog practices, will learn how eliminate the lab from the equation and be able create unique works afford-ably on film.

John Woods has been a Cineworks member since 2003. Currently working with alternative film processes with Super 8 and 16mm film, John’s work has been screened across North America and Europe. He knows no one famous.

There are 2 upcoming workshops with John:

Learn how to setup & maintain the printer, basic principals of digitizing film and how to use the resulting computer files in their digital post-production workflow.

Tuesday, January 22, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Limited Spaces available.

$40 Members, $60 Non-Members.

Introduction to 16mm Optical Printing with a JK Printer

Saturday, January 26, 12 p.m. –  6 p.m. Limited spaces available.

$80 Members, $120 Non-Members

Special rate of $100 if you register for both the digital and analogue workshop for all Cineworks members!

Check for more information.

Thanks to  John Woods for his time!

Q & A with Jon Ornoy

December 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week, our own Facilities and Equipment Manager Jon Ornoy successfully pitched True Love Waits, the winning script of the 2012/13 Motion Picture Production Industry Association Short Film Award at The Whistler Film Festival. Besides prestige, the prize comes with a $15,000 cash prize and up to $100,000 in services to help the director develop the script to premiere at next year’s Whistler Film Festival. I thought it was time to send a few emails back and forth down the hall and get to know Ornoy the filmmaker a little bit better.


Image taken from Brianne Nord-Stewart’s site (Jon is the one in the hat)

CineworksPost: First, Congratulations! How does it feel to know you’ve got a premiere already locked down at next year’s film festival?

Jon Ornoy: Getting into festivals can be tough and sometimes frustrating because of all the competition out there. Ultimately, every filmmaker wants their work to be seen by an audience, and preferably in a theater, so knowing that I’ve got at least one audience lined up is nice. It’s also good to have hard deadlines to help motivate completion!

CwP: Can you briefly tell us what True Love Waits is about?

JO: The film is the story of Judy, a woman in her mid-fifties who has spent her entire career decorating the windows of Wedgely’s for Women, a high end clothing boutique. However, recently she has begun to suspect that Tammy, a new employee at the store has been sabotaging her displays at night in an effort to make her look bad and steal her job. Every morning when she arrives at the store, her work is in more and more of a disarray, in ways that Judy can’t explain, and she begins to slowly crackup as the prospect of losing her job becomes more of a reality.

CwP: I recently caught your first finished work, The Lunar Effect (2008). While that was a documentary and this is a fictive drama, is there a trajectory in how your approach storytelling and filmmaking?

JO: Even though documentaries deal with “real life”, in many ways I find there to be a lot more room for creativity within that genre than dramas because the real world is so much weirder and more diverse. The variety of storytelling coming out of the narrative world has been decreasing a lot in recent years as the films Hollywood fills the multiplex with take fewer risks and prefer to feed audiences the same stories repackaged and rebooted. Even though TLW is scripted, I’d like to shoot it using as many documentary techniques as possible like using handheld cameras and allowing the actors to improvise with each other and the public who will be extras in the film when they unknowingly walk through our downtown sidewalk locations. I’d definitely like to continue working on both sides of the “reality” line and expect that my approach to each genre will be informed by what I’ve learned from doing the other and am very interested in exploring docu-drama hybrids.


This e-mail interview took place on Thursday, December 13, 2012 between Jon Ornoy and Amy Fung.

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