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 ::