April 17, 2010

"A Brighter Tomorrow"

Sometimes all you need is the sun, a camera, and a small group of dedicated nature lovers all in one beautiful place.

A couple of Sundays ago, by 3 am we were all up, and by 4 am we were carpooling together to the badlands just outside of Los Angeles, California. Why? Because the wildflowers were in full spring bloom, and we wanted to catch the sunrise. With a camera. And 2 wonderful actors.

It was the chance to do something special for SunChips by making an ad for Current TV. Oh, and Al Gore would see it. In other words, it was an opportunity we couldn't resist.

We wanted to film a story about a young couple taking...well, never mind. It's all backstory anyway. Come check out the spot and see what a small group of dedicated film and nature lovers came up with.

And here's a pic of us. We were surrounded by wildflowers in every direction. Mother Nature was definitely in full effect.

If Al Gore calls, we're ready.

:: bogna ::

April 1, 2010

4 More! "Sparkly Count"

Speaking of sparklies, here's some more fun news:

Beauty World, the commercial for Almay Pure Blends directed by Arlene Bogna & produced by Vista Point Pictures, has won an Aurora Award, a Davey Award, an Accolade Award, and a Remi Award.

A Big Congrats to Cast & Crew!

For more information & credits click here, or you can watch the winning spot here.

:: bogna ::

February 11, 2010

"Sex Change: The Rise of the Female-Driven Blockbuster"

I love that title. And it's the title of a new article in The Wrap. I didn't realize that since November "every number-one movie not called "Avatar" has been a chick flick." But I think what's also happening here is that the "chick flick" is being redefined. For example, the upcoming action thriller SALT starring Angelina Jolie in the lead, which looks like a cross between The Fugitive and The Bourne Identity but starring a chick (finally!), that's the new chick flick.

Here is an excerpt:

Indeed, the lightly regarded chick flick seems to have given way to a new box-office force: the female-driven tentpole.
And it's not that there is some big new trend of more women going to the movies. Rather, said Vinny Bruzzese, executive vice president of the motion-picture group for research firm OTX, the over-performance among women for certain films shows that “studios are catching on that you have to make the movie for someone. Movies that are for a specific audience tend to overperform.”

Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, concurred. “Women are just as likely to go to the movies as men,” she told CNN, right after the huge premiere of “The Blind Side.” Instead, she noted, studios are making more movies now that accurately reflect women’s experiences and interests.

Ever since I saw Thelma and Louise, I had hoped to be part of something in Hollywood where more quality films with complex female roles, roles I could relate to, would exist. Is it finally happening before my very eyes?

:: bogna ::

January 31, 2010

"Stunned, Honored and Proud"

According to Variety, the DGA just honored Director Kathryn Bigelow. Here is an excerpt:

"Adding another wrinkle to awards season, Kathryn Bigelow has won the Directors Guild of America trophy for helming the gritty drama, "The Hurt Locker" -- the first woman to take the DGA kudo in the 62 years of the awards.

Bigelow said she was "stunned, honored and proud" in her acceptance speech at the end of the awards show on Saturday night at the Century Plaza."

Like I said, 2010 is going to be a great year. Or wait, maybe it already is?

:: bogna ::

January 23, 2010

"If female viewers decided the fate of movies, who better to make movies than females? "

Believe it or not, that is a quote from the recent article "Alice's Wonderlands" in The Nation about the women in the early years of filmmaking. Apparently, women had a prominent role in the early 1900's in the nascent film industry.

Today, organizations like the Alliance of Women Directors and Women In Film compile statistics to see how many women filmmakers are actively working in the film industry each year.

This is always an interesting discussion with tons and tons of viewpoints. But the reason I'm posting it is to remind us how many lady filmmakers rock! Right now Kathryn Bigelow's 'Hurt Locker' is taking the critical world by storm, while female audiences for the 'Twilight' franchise and "The Blind Side" are making a permanent place in Box Office history.

All I'm saying is that 2010 seems like it will be a very good year.

:: bogna ::

December 10, 2009

Women Behind the Camera

And now a little something from the New York Times:
Women in the Seats but Not Behind the Camera
by Manohla Dargis

Certainly women have been a considerable force this year, whether flocking to “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” in record numbers or helping to turn “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” from an unknown quantity into the most passionately debated women’s picture in memory. Meryl Streep (in “Julie & Julia”) and Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) have scooped up loads of critical love. And Sandra Bullock, at 45, has hit gold with “The Proposal” and, more recently, “The Blind Side,” in which she plays a sexy Christian mother who, from her faith to her high heels and gun, is right out of the Sarah Palin playbook.

“New Moon” and “The Blind Side” might not make a lot of critics’ Top 10 lists, but their popularity with audiences is good for women in film — and might be too great for even Hollywood to ignore.

Manohla Dargis goes on to explore the presence of women directors in the industry, and she does a brilliant piece on one of our most talented action directors Kathryn Bigelow. A must read to say the least.

:: bogna ::

December 6, 2009

Ladies at the Box Office

And now a little something from CNN's article "Yes, Hollywood, women do go to movies"

"There's no difference in movie-going by gender; women are just as likely to go to the movies as men," says Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

If you give women movies reflecting their experience and interests, Lauzen says, they will go -- even on opening weekend."


"Women are a dramatically underserved segment of the moviegoing population, and if the industry would produce films that are not, by the way, just about shoes and clothes, but really had multidimensional female characters doing interesting things, women will go to see these movies in droves," Lauzen says.

Well, I know what I think about this gamechanger. What do you think?

:: bogna ::

November 30, 2009

Fan Girls Are the Future

So, there a few things are going on. First of all, the episode of "One Tree Hill" I shadow directed is airing tonight. I can't wait to see it on the small screen... with the commercials and everything. When I was out in Wilmington, North Carolina during production, I noticed something every time we shot a scene on location outside of the soundstage: Fan Girls. Out by the river at the basketball court? Fan Girls. At the remote beach house? Fan Girls. Downtown? Fan Girls. Rainy weather? Fan Girls with umbrellas. Devoted, disciplined, patient, keeping the series going seven seasons strong and counting.

And what's been going on this past week or so, making box office records with the release of New Moon, part of the Twilight franchise? Fan Girls. Everywhere. In line. Spending money. Making movie history. They seem to be a newly discovered, unstoppable force. And as I was watching the movie, noticing the carefully crafted money shots, I thought to myself, how cool that the filmmakers are going to such lengths, from the sweet main title opening to the elaborate visual effects action sequences, for the Fan Girls. It was all for them. And it's working.

So I'm thinking to myself, what if this catches on? I mean, if it really catches on? What if more stories need to be told and everyone wants to make something for the Fan Girls. What if more and more projects with awesome female characters get greenlit? What if production companies, studios, and networks realize that they need more qualified filmmaker Fan Girls to make stories for other Fan Girls?

You see what I'm getting at? Me likey.

:: bogna ::

UPDATE: It appears that CNN is onto this phenomenon as well! "Hey, Hollyood, the fangirls are calling"

November 4, 2009

Speaking of Sparklies...

Wasn't I just talking about sparklies? Here's some fun news:
Beauty World, the commercial for Almay Pure Blends directed by Arlene Bogna & produced by Vista Point Pictures, has won a 2009 Davey Award. A Big Congrats to Cast & Crew!

For more information & credits click here, or you can watch the winning spot here.

The annual International Davey Awards honors the achievements of the "Creative Davids" who derive their strength from big ideas, rather than stratospheric budgets. The Davey is sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a "Who's Who" of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms. IAVA members include executives from organizations such as Alloy, Coach, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Estee Lauder, Fry Hammond Barr, HBO, iNDELIBLE, Wunderman, MTV, Polo Ralph Lauren, Refinery, Sotheby's Institute of Art, Victoria's Secret, Wired, Yahoo! and many more.
Award: Silver Davey Award

Arlene Bogna is an award winning writer/director. She won a Davey Award for "Beauty World", and the Platinum Aurora Award for Best of Show, a Telly Award, and a Davey Award for the PSA "Canvas". Her feature screenplay "Earth Kids", which she co-wrote with Nicole Schubert, won 1st Place Best Screenplay at the 2007 KIDS FIRST! Film Festival as well as the Sponsor Award. Currently she is developing an untitled action feature to direct.


A Big Thanks to all who supported this project!!!

:: bogna ::

October 30, 2009

Word of the Day: Sparklies

Sparklies. (spar-klees) noun, plural.

A cooler term for "awards" than the word "awards." Usually a shiny statuette that says your work doesn't suck. Sparklies give you cred and make your work legitimafied.


"Check out the sparklies on my mantle."


"I'm not sayin' my work is better than yours, I'm just sayin' I have a ton of sparklies."


True story: I heard someone brought their Oscars to a bank to help get a loan approved.

:: bogna ::

September 28, 2009

Have miles, will travel

If opportunity knocked on your door, would you open it? Would you step outside and join it?

I don't know about you, but apparently I would. And I just did. I am so excited to be traveling to Wilmington, North Carolina on a moment's notice to do so because a new adventure awaits. It's an opportunity to learn from the best. Stay tuned...

:: bogna ::

September 2, 2009

What is going on in LA?

For a few days I actually got used to waking up to a smoky mushroom cloud looming over the city. Like a moth to a flame I had to drive towards it, just looking at it, hypnotized. I had never seen anything like it. Then a couple of days ago the cloud turned into a thick haze weighing over the city tinting our sun orange and thickening our air, and I knew an online interactive fire map was just not going to do it for me anymore. I headed to Tujunga.

What I saw was an impressive display of firefighting. Helicopters methodically dropping water over the flames. Plumes of smoke turning black then white then black again. The mountains I had hiked were unrecognizable, charred and bald, but the sight of destruction was offset by the feeling of community I felt with the locals and onlookers. There was a feeling of gratitude for the firefighters. They are true rockstar heroes if you ask me.

And it's still going on. 220 square miles and counting, the Station Fire of 2009 is the biggest fire in LA history since 1897.

LA Firefighters are the best

I do realize there were many firefighters collaborating on this. I saw trucks from Los Angeles, Ventura, even Sonoma.

Sun Reflection

This is the reflection of the hazy orange sun on my ash-covered black car door.

Smoke Cloud over LA

This was what greeted Angelenos during the first few days of the fire.

And here's a bit of odd movie trivia: E.T.'s house almost burned down too.

:: bogna ::

August 9, 2009

Inglourious Basterds: Now That's a Movie!

Okay, I'm no film critic, I just love movies. I mean, I really love movies. I could live in my own private film festival (and have for specific stretches of time). I'll see anything from an arthouse indie specialty film to the tentpole CG blitzkreig popcorn movie event, and I'll enjoy it. Even if it's not perfect. But when I feel the hand of a master filmmaker in every nuance, I enjoy it even more.

This weekend, thanks to a lovely and talented thespian friend of mine, I got to see an advance screening of Quentin Tarantino's INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. I was eager to go, since I'm a fan of his work and - I'll admit it - I was intrigued by the mixed reviews he got in Cannes. But within the first few seconds I felt the unmistakable deft skills of a master filmmaker. And that was something that continued throughout the entire movie. Every spot-on performance, every gorgeous shot, every moment telling a story (and the story-within-the-story). In its essence, this film is made by someone who loves movies for other people who love movies.

And it seems like only yesterday Quentin broke out as a writer with TRUE ROMANCE, or announced his presence on the director scene with RESERVOIR DOGS, or won an Oscar for PULP FICTION. Okay, he's no newbie, but still, his craft feels ripe now. It's pretty cool actually. And it's nice we have a real American Auteur in our times!

So forget the haters and run out to get some cinema when Inglourious Basterds comes out.

:: bogna ::

June 16, 2009

Word of the Day: Costa Rica-itis

"Costa Rica-itis," from the words 'Costa Rica' plus the suffix '-itis,' is the condition in which all you can think about is your upcoming trip to Costa Rica. Kind of like "senioritis," but specific to travel in Costa Rica.

:: bogna ::

June 1, 2009

Word of the Day: Faux-portunity

I think I coined a new term: "faux-portunity."

It's the word 'faux' plus the word 'opportunity.' It's something frequently presented to emerging writers / artists / filmmakers. It's presented kinda like an opportunity, but there's always a catch, which is usually a demand for something you're not really comfortable doing, which would usually require great effort and commitment on your part, and would really only serve to make the other person look good (and probably momentarily at that). Oh, and you can't get the opportunity part unless you agree to the catch, so it's basically a hustle. Usually a faux-portunity is followed by a hyped-up promise that can never be delivered. In other words, it's a complete waste of your time, and time is the most valuable thing you have as an artist. My theory is that a real opportunity will not have a catch. And of course there are great opportunities out there that are disguised as modest, under-hyped experiences that yield great rewards. And you may have to work really really hard for them. But just keep your eyes open for the real, and for the faux.

That's it, I'm calling Merriam-Webster, or at least Urban Dictionary.

UPDATE: I did it! Check out faux-portunity in the Urban Dictionary!

:: bogna ::

May 30, 2009

"Beauty World" - the TV version

It's here! The television version of "Beauty World" is now airing nationwide on Current TV.

And if you are near a TV today (Saturday, May 30th), you can catch it @ 10:05 am, 12:52 pm, and 8:15 pm PST (I think) on Current TV. (I posted more info here, including credits and channels)

Thanks for taking a look!

:: bogna ::

May 29, 2009

Keeping up with Kathryn Jaroneski: New Work, New Studio

Kathryn Jaroneski is an abstract painter who lives in Los Angeles. I really enjoyed her solo show "Looking for something and maybe almost finding it" in Silverlake. Since then she's shown some more, and she was accepted into Roland Reiss' Painting's Edge, the advanced painting residency in Idyllwild, California.

Now she's got a new studio, and she's doing new things. Her sharp instinct for color and composition threads through her work as she explores brighter shades and experiments with technique.

:: bogna ::

May 22, 2009

"Beauty World" to air on television

I am very excited to say that "Beauty World" was selected by Almay Pure Blends to air on Current TV! We were #1 with the popular vote, and we are absolutely THRILLED Almay Pure Blends chose our work. And because so many talented peeps worked so hard on this, I am glad it will have a new audience now that it's going national.
Beauty World
:30 commercial for Almay Pure Blends
Directed by Arlene Bogna
Written and Produced by Arlene Bogna & Tony Ferranti
Starring Karyn Nesbit, Jason Fedusenko, & Grant Tanguma
Cinematography by Nathan Levine-Heaney
Production Design by Jem Elsner
Key Makeup and Hair by Meredith Scott
Camera: Nick Militello
Boom Op: Ben Hunter
Edited by Michael Thibault
Music Supervision by Brian Saur
Sound Design by Brett Coleman
Sound Engineering by Mike Boeltl
GFX & VFX: Vista Point Pictures

And a big thanks to everyone who supported this project, and thank you Current for this wonderful opportunity!

Current TV can be found on:

+ DirecTV 358
+ Comcast Nationwide 107
+ Dish Network 196
+ Time Warner
New York 103
Los Angeles 142
Nationwide Check your local listings
+ Verizon FiOS 192
+ AT&T U-verse 189

+ Sky 193
+ Virgin Media 155

+ Sky Italia 130

:: bogna ::

May 15, 2009

Yay! We won a Telly Award!

More info on this soon, but I just found out we won a Telly Award! Vista Point Pictures has done some cool projects for some fun clients (or is that the other way around?), and it looks like we've been rewarded. I'm ready to celebrate. Just in time for the weekend...
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

May 2, 2009

"Beauty World" is online

I got to work with some very talented people on a fun project. Enjoy "Beauty World" (my take on a cosmetics ad)

"Beauty World" on current

What is Beauty World? Ladies, if you think it's a magical place where we look fantastic, feel great, have the wind in our hair, you're right. But if you think it's free of Dudes and Chili-Dogs, well, maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Almay has launched an exciting new natural product line. Here is our take at what it means to be beautiful without compromise. I give you "Beauty World."

:: bogna ::

April 27, 2009

"A Really Fun Ride" is up!

Here is the ad that Vista Point Pictures wrote, produced, designed, and edited for the Nissan Cube. We had a lot of fun doing this one. It is in competition on the CurrentTV website, so please visit it and vote for it!

A Really Fun Ride (Nissan VCAM)

Did you know the CUBE was "perfect for hormone-crazed teens?" Yeah, I didn't either, but according to CAR AND DRIVER, it is. Irresponsible car journalism, or just good clean fun? You decide. Check this out.

:: bogna ::

April 26, 2009

Sneak Peek at "Beauty World"

Here's a little sneak peak about a project I'm very excited about. A 30 second commercial called "Beauty World."

Part narrative, part beauty ad, with a touch of humor, it's my take on cosmetics and, well, life.

I got to work with some very talented people, and I've already learned a lot (like about the precarious relationship between electric fans and hair).

I can't wait until it's finished. I will post a link soon! (update: you can check it out here)

Meanwhile, here is a look at the wonderful and talented actress Karyn Nesbit on set.

:: bogna ::

April 15, 2009

The World Is Now Ready For Strong Heroines

One of my favorite directors/visionaries Chris Cunningham has directed a beautiful commercial for Gucci's Flora with Australian model Abbey Lee.

I'm totally inspired by this, and coincidentally since I just shot a Beauty Ad (more on that later) I've definitely been thinking about the notions of capturing the beauty and the power of the feminine on camera.

I love this quote from Riccardo Ruini, who developed the concept with Frida Giannini and Chris Cunningham:

“Foremost in our minds was a desire to avoid the heroine being perceived as passive or dreamy. We wanted to portray the female as an active character who brings to life in an active way the Flora personality by controlling the nature around her. We also felt it was important to demonstrate a movement of the female from mademoiselle to empowered woman; a woman initially delicate and feminine transforming into someone stronger and more powerful. “

See? It's time. Gucci is never wrong.

More on this at Dazed Digital.

:: bogna ::

March 28, 2009

Who is turning off on Earth Hour?

Later today is EARTH HOUR
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Time to Turn Off at 8:30 pm

And here is PSA starring Alanis Morissette. It's quite funny, for anyone who was wondering what a universal turn-off would be.
Earth Hour: The Huge Turn Off- Alanis Morissette PSA

:: bogna ::

March 14, 2009

Is something hitting the fan?

An article just came out called "Cracking Hollywood's celluloid ceiling" in which Charlize Theron is interviewed as a female filmmaker. I found out about it on a message board from the Alliance of Women Directors, and the timing is perfect, because the industry stats for 2008 are coming out. It seems like no one really wants to address this issue or even knows how to talk about it yet without yelling or whispering. Everything is still so reactionary. You're either a hardcore scary feminist if you find those statistics even a little disappointing, or you are automatically an Uncle Tom if you don't want to rock the boat, bite the hand that feeds you, or if you just choose not to focus on stats. In other words, you can't win, can you?
But I do think it's actually a fascinating aspect of our modern culture. Storytelling itself is a universal impulse, free of gender or race considerations. In other words, it is a totally human impulse. Translating that into a profession is another thing entirely of course, but the impulse itself is pure and available to everybody. Staying connected to that I think is the most important thing in modern times, especially as the coming tech boom engulfs us. And the more screens we have, the more good stories we are going to need in order to feel human.

:: bogna ::

February 3, 2009

An Actress Walks Into An Audition...

But not just any actress. Giselle Tongi.
Recently I was interviewed for a piece about Giselle. I met her when she came to an audition with her baby. Here is the link to the article in BACKSTAGE.

:: bogna ::

February 2, 2009

I have officially been podcast'd...

How cool! It's an audio version of the ArtScene review of my solo show Safari Americana: Scenes of Delight. Here is a link to the whole podcast on ArtScene:

:: bogna ::

November 18, 2008

What's up @ Holy Land (and by 'Holy Land' I mean Panavision)

I could have looked at the camera tests at Panavision all night. Yes, show me desert badlands on 2-perf 35 mm film. Go ahead, show me the Genesis Test of cars on windy road, I can take it. I can't get enough.

I love how Panavision embraces both worlds of digital and film, making the artistic process a priority. Thanks to the Alliance of Women Directors for making an evening @ Panavision happen!

:: bogna ::

November 12, 2008

Having fun with vinyl

Lately I've been working with vinyl. Yes, vinyl. The stuff of non-plasma billboards, outdoor signage, and rockstar underpants. I've been working with it, and I have to say there is something special about it. It is, in essence, an exhibitionist, intended for public consumption, yet it seems to yearn for meaning or relevance, beyond what an ad campaign could ever give it. Thank goodness I'm working with vinyl, otherwise vinyl would be depressed, or just go crazy and tear up our landfills in a fit of rage.

A fun thing I got to do recently was create an individual cover for Crystal Allen Cook's forthcoming book Bombardirovka. And since anything went, it went vinyl. In working with it I found it to be pliable, vibrant, and amiable. So a little collage was born. Oh, and I added a small giraffe using a silver sharpie - as an ode to that crazy SNL video that has been making me laugh for a week.

So why would Crystal encourage me to deface one of her book covers? It's all part of her Art Knows No Borders event in downtown LA next week, an "art, literary, and music event to have fun and raise awareness of the work of Doctors Without Borders." Personally, I am a fan of the charity and am very happy to participate. I've got a couple of small pieces in the auction as well. It should be a good event.

And again, how great is Downtown LA getting? Even Urth Cafe will be setting up shop in the art district soon.

:: bogna ::

October 22, 2008

Bailout THIS! Gamers Celebrate Doomsday

Last week I went to the best office party ever. It was on a crisp clear evening in Downtown LA, with geeks, rockers, and beauties all together in one big kumbaya. There was a nuclear wasteland, an open bar, and a game lounge. It could only mean one thing: the Fallout 3 launch party.

As I walked through a field of oil drums peppered with empty martini glasses, the smell of clove cigarettes in the air, I remember thinking that this is proof that we can heal from any terror. I mean, does anyone even remember when the thought of nuclear annihilation was actually terrifying, and not just a gaming environment? One of the reasons all this fascinates me is because one of my favorite directors did a movie called eXistenZ (totally ahead of its time) in which our emotional attachment to a synthesized world was explored. And now, with 3d animation technology where it is today, the synthetic worlds are getting more complex, therefore more beautiful, as more and more nuances are artfully rendered. I can definitely appreciate the level of production and concept design of the Fallout world. All I can say is: zeitgest. Plus, Fallout pokes fun at the ridiculous mentality of the 1950's - so what's not to love?

And to the people who are against video games because they are too violent, think about why we need them. In fact, our need is so great that video gaming formed a huge entertainment industry of its own, rivaling and surpassing hollywood blockbusters while possibly being recession-proof. Video games quench our society's thirst for gladiator tournaments in a virtual coliseum. The technology may be new, but the collective need is as old as a dusty fossil.

One of my favorite highlights of the evening was seeing the Foo Fighters live. Dave Grohl is funny. In between rock anthems, he would say things like "We've never played an office party before. This is heaven: you get to play video games and drink beer. Kudos. It's the American Dream." and "See you at the next office party. Are you having a Christmas party? Cause we'll f*@#in' do that one too."

And by the way, how cool is downtown LA getting? No matter how many penthouse lofts go up, you can still quadron off a couple of city blocks, have a rock concert, and spray your logo in light all over the sides of the adjacent skyscrapers, which is exactly what the Fallout peeps did. That's why a video game launch party makes my blog, another moment that is rockstar friggin' awesome.

:: bogna ::