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Award-winning filmmaker & sound engineer give tips on April 16

Aspiring filmmakers — professionals and weekenders – should come out to the next "Third Tuesday" workshop from the Capital Film Arts Alliance. It’s on April 16 at The Art Institute at 7p.m. and will feature director Chris King and sound engineer Jimmy Bell. These guys know what they’re doing with camera and sound, they’ve won awards and accolades galore, and are more than willing to share their "best tips" with others.

This particular workshop is part of The Poe Project, a creative filmmaking, writing and literature project from the Capital Film Arts Alliance, the Sacramento Public Library, and a host of other arts groups and businesses. "The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe" has been named as the work for the Sacramento Public Library’s "Read One" program for 2013, and The Poe Project film/video competition is part of a coordinated effort to bring the "Read One" program into different artistic, social and creative parts of the local community.

Some of the basic tenants of The Poe Project: local filmmakers will be asked to create short films no longer than 13 minutes long, submissions will be screened at a major Sacramento venue (most likely the Crest Theatre) in the fall and then be available online, and there will be prize money available in different categories, including for student films (both high school and college). In addition, a full-length screenwriting competition of an adaptation of Poe’s work will also be part of The Poe Project. Filmmakers and writers who sign up now will have the entry fee waived (no obligation). 

About Chris King and Jimmy Bell

The Capital Film Arts Alliance – of which I’m a board member – is very excited about to have King and Bell speak. The board pondered how best to give the aspiring Poe Project filmmakers the best advice and information as they work toward their shoot days. We wanted our series speakers (our "Third Tuesday" event because … well, it’s on the third Tuesday each month) to have speakers who could help filmmakers on set. How can a filmmaker make sure he or she gets all the different shots, angles and images for the editing process? How can you get the best sound on set?

King and Bell are the ideal experts to answer these questions.

I’ve worked with both of them. They are two of the nicest, friendliest, most talented and intense people I know, and they are both completely dedicated to their craft. King has won award after award for his shorts, including "The Killing of Mary Surratt," where – full disclosure! – I played the title character about the true story of the fate of an accused Lincoln-assassination conspirator. King understands how to plan a shoot, sketch out what shots are needed and how much time it should take, and how best to provide enough material for the editing process — and make an amazing film.

Bell started out as a musician and migrated to the film/video world because of his knowledge of sound and sound equipment. He created his own sound studio business, cut his teeth by teaming up with local filmmakers on creative projects, and now regularly works for a variety of cable shows on DiY, HGTV, National Geographic and Country Music Television (CMT). He was also nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for work on Sutter Health Television.

About the Capital Film Arts Alliance

The Sacramento filmmaking world is an interesting one, in the best of ways. There’s a sense of camaraderie among the folks here, and an incredible amount of talent. I’ve lived in San Francisco and New York, and know a lot about the filmmaking world in Los Angeles. Sacramento’s best talent – including and especially Chris and Jimmy – rival the folks from the more stereotypical filmmaking centers in terms of talent and accomplishment.

The Capital Film Arts Alliance (or CFAA) is a member-based nonprofit established by and for local filmmakers of all levels to further the community. We started out as a handful of aspiring filmmakers who met every once in a while to share ideas and best practices. This evolved over time to a regular monthly meeting and occassional creative competition in conjunction with film festivals like the Sacramento Film and Music Festival’s creative programming and Access Sacramento’s "Place Called Sacramento" program. Now we’re an official nonprofit.

Filmmaking (or really "video production," since few people actually work in film these days) is a constantly evolving art form, craft and business, and the CFAA was established to bring both professionals and aspiring filmmakers together to share ideas, tips, best practices, and "war stories." We outreached to the Library for The Poe Project to inspire the local community to stretch their creative muscles … and possibly learn new crafts in the process. And we always welcome film fans who want to learn about what’s being made locally.

So come out to the CFAA’s next Third Tuesday at The Art Institute at 7pm and listen to Chris and Jimmy and meet other creative types. Or keep your eye on the Capital Film Arts Alliance facebook page for other upcoming events, especially ones related to The Poe Project. It’s free to members ($35/year; $15/year for students), or just $5 at the door as a guest.

Editor’s note: Every Thursday we deliver a local event guide straight to your inbox, right on time to make your weekend plans. Sign me up.

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