Canadian Editing Magician David Guthrie

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Canadian editor David Guthrie

 

Whether it’s a film, television series or commercial, the amount of time and labor that goes into a production is astronomical. There’s writing, funding, planning, casting, costuming, filming, scoring, post-production, marketing and finally distribution, and it takes a massive and cohesive team to pull it all off. Every production is like a massive machine, and at the heart of it all is the editor.

A skilled editor will work closely with the director to achieve the perfect cuts, and nobody is more skilled than Toronto native David Guthrie. As an editor, Guthrie is responsible for setting the rhythm of the end product, in a sense giving a cadence – a heartbeat – to the final arrangement that will be presented to the audience.

Before working on high-profile and award-winning productions such as “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” “Cold Water Captains” and “Room and Bored,” Guthrie took his first steps into film editing when he was a musician. It was while creating music videos for his band that he discovered the power that video and audio can have when edited together perfectly.

“I love the challenge of crafting a story from seemingly unrelated footage, finding a story thread. I love when you find the perfect shot that helps tell that story, or the right piece of music that just works,” Guthrie said, describing the rewarding feeling of his work. “I love that feeling, it’s a rush… Because then you know how to pace the scene correctly and how the audience will feel.”

After realizing his passion for film editing, he began working at the Toronto-based Rhombus Media production company. There, he quickly worked his way up and learned his trade from the company’s highly-experienced team of editors. After getting his feet wet in the editing world at Rhombus, he landed a role as an editor on the feature film “Billy Bishop Goes to War,” which screened at TIFF and CBC.

Before long he had proven to be such a natural that he was trusted with the enormous responsibility of working on David Gelb’s incredbley ambitious projects, one of which was the feature documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”

Centered on the man often called the best sushi chef in the world, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” initially sets out to document Jiro Ono’s daily routine running his world-renowned restaurant in Tokyo. However, the film ultimately tells two much deeper stories about the human condition. One of these is the story of a man who spends his entire life pursuing perfection, constantly coming closer but never reaching the unattainable goal. The other story centers on Jiro’s son and future heir to the restaurant, who works under his father and has spent his entire life in the shadow of a giant, knowing that no matter what he does neither he nor anybody else can fill his father’s shoes.

The film was widely praised by critics and festival-goers. “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” won the 2012 Denver Film Critics Society Award for Best Documentary Film, the Detroit Film Critic Society Award for Best

Documentary, and was nominated for 11 other awards internationally. A global success, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” was an incredibly valuable and rewarding experience for Guthrie. The countless hours he spent working on the film paid off, and shortly after the film’s success Guthrie found he had established a reputation for himself as one of the most reliable and talented editors in the industry.

After leaving the “assistant” prefix behind, Guthrie’s first project as a full-fledged editor was the first season of the Canadian reality series “Cold Water Captains.” The action-packed series follows three fishing boats in the dangerous waters off the coast of Newfoundland. Guthrie had to pore through hundreds of hours of footage to decide which of it would be turned into the final TV-ready series. After carefully selecting which scenes would make it into the show, he then had to painstakingly cut and arrange it into a compelling and cohesive story to be told over the course of the season’s 10 episodes.

“This show is a monster when it comes to post production… The amount of footage can be overwhelming. That is the biggest challenge of the show by far – trying to cut compelling scenes out of hours of monotonous footage,” Guthrie said, describing the intense process of not only determining which scenes to use, but also of maintaining organization of the scenes and their place in the series. “That was a challenge too, trying to keep track of where I was in each story and how each scene developed the overall story arc.”

Guthrie’s hard work once again paid off when the first season of “Cold Water Captains” was nominated for the prestigious 2015 Canadian Screen Award for Best Factual Series. Guthrie called the nomination a “rewarding” experience after all the hours he and his team spent creating the series. Following the success of the first season, he again worked as an editor for the second season, and in the third season of “Cold Water Captains” Guthrie’s skill and dedication earned him a promotion to a lead editor position.

“I was one of the lead editors on the show and responsible for bringing episodes to delivery to the network,” Guthrie said of the new position. “It is a lot of fun getting to polish the scenes and really make them come alive.”

In addition to his work as an editor Guthrie has also written and directed two projects for television. The first, “Room and Bored,” was a TV movie which Guthrie not only wrote, directed and edited, but also acted in. “Room and Bored” was a hit with both critics and audiences, and was named an Official Selection at the 2013 New York Television Festival. The second and more recent of the two is “Beck and Call,” a pilot which Guthrie calls his favorite project to date. “Beck and Call” follows the hilarious ups and downs of two talent agents as they struggle to make it big in New York.

“Along with editing [“Beck and Call”], I am writing and directing it as well,” Guthrie said. “It has been so much fun working with really talented people, and just making stuff that we want to make… And I love working in the comedy world.”

Few people have a track record that can compare to David Guthrie’s when it comes to producing consistently stellar work while balancing so many irons in the fire. His experience and talent as a writer and director give him a comprehensive understanding of every element of the production process, and serve to strengthen Guthrie’s exceptional talent as an editor. Audiences on the hunt for the next great feature film, narrative documentary or cinematic triumph should be sure to keep Guthrie’s name in mind.

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Creating Realities in Film that Effectively Transport Viewers: Art Director Haisu Wang

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Art Director Haisu Wang shot by Tian-ran Qin

 

As the art director of the films “Is That A Gun in Your Pocket?,” “Contrapelo” and “Day One,” ABC’s hit television series “The Muppets,” the Asian television series “My Sunshine,” and commercials for major global clients including Kia, Chinese native Haisu Wang has carved out an indelible place for himself in the international entertainment industry as someone who’s skill effectively transports audiences into the world of the stories on screen, no matter how far fetched they may be.

While it is no secret that the film industry is full of oversized egos often competing for the glitz and glory, what makes Wang so special, besides his adept technical skill and unparalleled creativity, is the fact that he always lets the director’s vision for a project guide his work.

Never failing to design an atmosphere that creates the perfect environment for a story, the versatile nature of his creative vision compounded by his intuitive approach has allowed him to nail the mark every time.

“My passion is always creating environments to help storytelling,” admits Wang.

It is no coincidence that practically every project that Wang has art directed to date has received coveted accolades. As the art director of the film “Day One,” which earned a nomination for an Oscar Award at the 2016 Academy Awards, in addition to winning two Emmy Awards at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences College Television Awards in 2015, one of which earned director Henry Hughes the award for Best Director, Wang’s work garnered worldwide attention.

About Wang’s invaluable work on the film Hughes explains, “Haisu’s vision and rare skill using digital software to create some of the most challenging sets for ‘Day One’ was invaluable to our production, especially considering the geographic challenges of the location. Without his contributions it would have been nearly impossible to construct these sets in the amount of time and within the allotted budget. He is definitely a huge asset to the film industry.”

Whether he is working on a film, television series or commercial, Wang’s attention to detail combined with his logical and budget conscious approach to outfitting each set with the right props has been imperative in setting the tone and creating believable environments for each and every production he’s contributed to.

As the art director of Kia’s “Extraordinary Day” commercial, also known as “When an Ordinary Day Turns Extraordinary,” which currently has over 900,000 views on YouTube and was produced by BuzzFeed, Wang turned the sets of a simple car commercial into a project that plays visually on screen like a narrative story. From the minor knick knacks of a local garage sale, to colorful balloons falling from the ceiling after one of the character’s wins a raffle in a convenient store—Wang’s work manages to keep viewers engaged as we watch a love connection sparked between two Kia Soul drivers all started from the fact that they share the same kind of car.

For Wang, who also spent time as a visual effects artist for three-time Emmy Award winning VFX and animation company, Base FX, based in Beijing, China, art has been a major part of his life since childhood.

“I practiced Chinese calligraphy with my grandpa since I was a kid and also learned how to make shadow play puppetry with him, and I think that set the foundation of my path in art,” admits Wang.

Wang recently wrapped production as the art director of multi-award winning director Ryan Velásquez’s (“Ojalá,” “Record Breaker”) film “Drowning,” which is slated for release later this year. The film follows Gabe, played by Jovan Armand (“The Middle,” “Shameless,” “Parenthood”), an overweight teen who finally starts feeling good about himself after he musters up the courage to talk to Sarah, the girl of his dreams, and an unexpected friendship forms. However, when the high school bully and bane of Gabe’s existence makes Sarah his newest target, Gabe is forced to decide between remaining a coward in his comfort zone or standing up to the bully and fighting against injustice.

As the lead art director on “Drowning,” Wang had the difficult task of arranging a set to depict Gabe falling onto the ground combined with a montage in water. He was able to build a vertical wall on a track and dress it to appear as the floor so that the actor was able to pretend to hit the ground without hurting himself. On “Drowning,” as he has done on many of his past productions, Wang utilized his excellent CGI skills to create a revisualization animation to rehearse the timing of the scene; this assisted the director greatly in explaining how the scene could work for the actor.

Through his work on screen it is easy to see that Wang is passionate about the worlds he creates for the characters in a story; and, as all of the worlds from film to film are completely different, the versatility he’s shown across projects is just another testament to his seasoned skill in creating the perfect environment for each project on an individual level.

With “Drowning” on the verge of release, and Wang set to begin production as the digital asset art director on the highly anticipated sequel “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” later this year, audiences can look forward to seeing more of art director Haisu Wang’s ingenious work on screen very soon.

Tom Stevens brings ‘A Reckoning’ to Fox’s hit psychological thriller ‘Wayward Pines’

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Tom Stevens

Canadian actor Tom Stevens has risen to the pinnacle of film and TV for his many critical roles in titles such as the WWE’s feature action movie, “12 Rounds 2: Reloaded,” Hallmark’s drama series, “Cedar Cove” and Fox’s family comedy, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.”

His achievements in TV are marked by occupying role after role in many leading, acclaimed shows including “Smallville,” “Psych,” “Supernatural,” “Arrow,” “Falling Skies,” “Motive” and more.

Continuing in the same coveted direction, Stevens debuted toward the end of Season 1 in Fox’s breakout hit series, “Wayward Pines.” His acting in the role of Jason Higgins punctuated again his place among today’s top working actors and evidenced the reason why his name is rolling off the lips of many industry-leading decision makers and audiences everywhere.

The psychological thriller series, based on the “Wayward Pines” novels by Blake Crouch, was developed for TV by Chad Hodge. It follows the story of a Secret Service agent Ethan Burked (Matt Dillon) who goes to Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two agents who have gone missing.

In no time, Ethan learns it’s himself too who may not survive the seemingly idyllic rural town. Its inhabitants are trapped in Wayward Pines and governed by authoritarian Sheriff Arnold Pope (Terrence Howard). Those who try to escape are sentenced to a public execution called a reckoning.

Stevens unleashed Jason on “Wayward Pines” in Season 1 Episode 9, “A Reckoning.” The episode centers on Ethan’s interrogation of Harold Bollinger (Reed Diamond) and on three young men from the “Class One of the Academy.” Leading the Class One trio is Jason, and they storm a jail in an effort to reckon Harold and his wife, Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino), Franklin Dobbs (Ian Tracey) and two others.

“It’s the kind of character I always want to play,” Stevens said. “On the outside, he looks clean and proper, but on the inside, he’s an animal.”

The “Class One of the Academy” operated under the leadership of David Pilcher (Toby Jones), a scientist who founded Wayward Pines. “In this episode,” Stevens said, “Jason represented all the teachings that Pilcher has implemented on these kids. It’s a totalitarian regime implemented on small town American perfection.”

Of Jason’s characterization, Stevens explained, “I don’t want this guy to have taken a breath until he pulls the trigger for the first time. Being suffocated by society, until you get to kill, that was the sociopath I wanted to play.”

In the episode, Jason executes all of his targets except Kate, as she survives thanks to Ethan. “He saves the day at the last second,” Stevens said. “Ethan ends up coming in and shooting me.”

The role called for Stevens to act alongside Gugino for the first time, and to execute the peaking climax where he shoots her husband. Gugino starred last year in “San Andreas” and has acted in many other blockbusters such as the “Spy Kids” trilogy, “Night at the Museum,” “Watchmen” and “Sin City.”

Stevens said of Gugino, “She was a consummate professional. She was there to make the best thing possible. In every single take, she was fantastic. I had to step my game up and I felt so blessed to be around those guys.”

Filmed in Vancouver and broadcast July 16, 2015, “A Reckoning” was directed by the award-winning Nimród Antal, who directed such films as “Kontroll,” “Vacancy” and “Predators.”

“He was a rock star,” Stevens said. “It felt like being on stage at a rock show. He would come in and have so much fire in him. He would get everyone involved and everyone gets infused with passion.”

Stevens reprised Jason as he wound up surviving and appeared again in Episode 10 – “Cycle.”

“Wayward Pines” premiered last May, finished its smash debut season by July and was ordered by Fox for a second season that’s to premiere this summer.

The series has also starred Oscar winner Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) and Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis (“Cape Fear”).

The “Wayward Pines” pilot was directed by M. Knight Shyamalan, a two-time Oscar nominee known best for “The Sixth Sense.” Shyamalan also executive produces the series. The show’s first 10 episodes have reached nearly 63 million viewers in more than 126 countries.

Model Bautista Zorio Munoz and Photographer Diego Fierce Deliver for Fashion Editorial Features

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Spanish model Bautista Zorio Munoz and Mexican photographer Diego Fierce teamed up to create a heavy-hitting one-two punch for fashion editorial features. The collaboration brought together two extraordinary talents – who are both atop their crafts and industries – and who deliver awe-inspiring photographic brilliance.

“I always take a strong personal interest in the models I work with, and I have been very gratified to see Bautista’s career take off over the past several years,” said Fierce.

Munoz says, “Diego is certainly a go-to photographer in the business and I’ve always come away impressed and elated in working with him. He’s a photographer who knows how to get the best out of his shooting subjects and we’ve completed some incredible work together.”

A native of Valencia, Spain, Munoz has firmly supplanted himself as a debonair male model of international commendation. He has graced the covers of Minus10 Magazine and Fantastics, modeled for campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger and Abercrombie & Fitch, and been featured as a leading model for editorials published in fashion magazines such as GQ Mexico, Caleo (Germany), Rocket, Coast, Agenda, Adon and more.

The widely achieved and celebrated Fierce has shot cover images and editorials for premium lifestyle magazines such as Ene (Mexico), HUF (U.K.) Minus10 (U.S.) and others.

Munoz and Fierce worked together on an editorial feature for Rocket magazine, a prominent men’s fashion publication headquartered in Barcelona. The feature concentrated on an athletic theme that immersed Muñoz in a modeling portrayal of a schoolboy soccer player.

“In the editorial, Bautista provided a knockout performance that was sensual, confident and very memorable,” Fierce said. “He was a natural at delivering strong poses and expressions that suggested everything from a cocky playboy attitude to that of a moody, passionate lover. He also did a brilliant job of modeling the nautical-style shirts and shorts selected for the feature, making them all look quite stylish.”

Munoz said, “The shoot was exciting and fun. The soccer theme was something that came together really well and I think we did a nice job in bringing this feature to life in a very intriguing way for the magazine.”

Munoz’ breathtaking appearance was pronounced by his muscular torso and raw, handsome physical features. But the remarkable work came together too because of Munoz’ refined ability to create exhilarating drama within the imagery.

“Bautista absolutely embodies these qualities, and infused every photo with a strong sense of emotion that set him and his work far above many of his peers,” said Fierce.

The dynamic duo again collaborated on a cover editorial feature called “Perfect Confidence” for Minus10 magazine.

“He excelled at transitioning through the many distinct outfits and looks we had prepared for him, which ranged from underwear to sports jerseys to stylish suit jackets and leather boots,” said Fierce. “Bautista always knew how to model each item of clothing in order to draw out its most attractive qualities, and played the part of a classy urban gentleman just as easily as that of a sporty athlete.”

Of Munoz’ visual presence, Fierce said, “Bautista’s rich black hair and dark smoldering features were especially vital to the look we wanted for the projected, as they contrasted beautifully with the array of light and dark pieces we chose for him.”

Represented by TWO Management (Los Angeles), NEVS (London), Paragon Models (Mexico City) and Francina Models (Spain), Munoz’ portfolio can be seen here: http://www.twomanagement.com/portfolio.aspx?nav=&subid=11653&mainsubid=11653&modelid=714762&sexid=1&a=7

Follow Bautista on Instagram:
@bautistazorio

UK Artist Katie Bright’s “Pre-Love Past Loves”Lights Up New York’s Melrose Ballroom

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Katie Bright in one of her hand made wolf garments in “Showgirls” shot by Kaliisa Conlon

 

There is an “art” that comes with fashion, be it style or design, which is why the transition from fashion to art was a smooth one for creative mastermind and performer Katie Bright, also known by her artist name, Miss BrightSide. The extraordinary artist recently held a runway performance exhibiting her art pieces at New York’s Melrose Ballroom entitled “Pre-loved Past Loves.”

The show consisted of 7 models, starring Miss Brightside herself, all dolled up and sporting unique dresses each constructed with various soft, plush fur-like, wolf mask designs, all hand sewn and crafted by the artist. Each unique mask represents Miss Brightside’s previous lovers and conveys her love for fantasy, play and storytelling.

The British born, 36 year old artist originally graduated with a B.A. in Fashion, and designed for major Italian fashion brand United Colors of Benetton, as well as celebrated Australian fashion designer Akira Isogawa, whose fashion designs are displayed at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.

“Over the years most of the fashion collections I have created have been transmuted from work seen in galleries. Whether it was a colour palette from a painting or clothing informed by a sculpture,” says Bright regarding her designs, which were inspired by other art works.

Bright’s fixation and zeal for art led to her evolution as a visual artist and performer. In 2012, she decided to put together her first solo exhibit “My Fairytale Perspective on Love” with aMBUSH gallery, which was a sensation with over 1,000 supporters. Bright’s phenomenal success confirmed her footprint in the art world and allowed her to pursue her Masters in Fine Art at the esteemed Central Saint Martins in London. The renowned art and design school is known for such distinguished alumni as designer and “Project Runway” judge Zac Posen, singer -songwriter PJ Harvey, rapper MIA, artist Lee Wagstaff, and the illustrious designer Alexander McQueen.

Reminiscent of prominent artists such as Andy Warhol and Banksy, Brightside utilizes iconography and visual imagery to express her message in her art work. She says, “I would describe myself as a performance and installation artist interested in iconography, Hollywood, fairytales and feminine representation.”

However, for Brightside, it’s the subject matter of scopophilia (the pleasure or love of looking) that is near and dear to her heart as scopophilia is the driving force behind most of her art pieces, with the female, in this case iconic Disney characters such as Minnie Mouse, Aerial the mermaid, and Jessica Rabbit, as the objects of desire that are being gazed upon.

Throughout her first exhibit, Brightside used a screen printing technique, applying her prints onto a mirror, to reflect her enchanted, fairytale theme. The artist’s explanation was that, “I would hope the audience could entertain the position of a voyeur or scopophiliac. There is also the view that through my journey the observer could interpret their position of being a woman.”

The visual artist continues to play with iconic imagery and the topic of scopophilia by pushing the subject to new boundaries as Miss Brightside opened her latest New York art performance by coming out to the classic song “I Want to Be Loved by You” by Marilyn Monroe (from the Oscar nominated picture Some Like It Hot), wearing a white wedding dress, along with a blonde short wig, to personify the Hollywood legend.

Check out the live performance below:

“I believe Marilyn Monroe developed a formula. Famous for the bleach blonde hair, Nike ‘swoosh’ eyebrows, a full red lip pout and that iconic mole. Monroe’s ‘perfecting oneself’ beauty regime has been reproduced over the decades; whether blonde or brunette, we all accentuate what God gave us, and for some, to the point of becoming unrecognizable to our own mothers, ” says Bright, who intends to develop a full series of work on the voluptuous icon.

Aside from taking the art world by storm, Miss Brightside also has her designs set to premier this summer at the Surftides Lincoln City Hotel in Oregon, and at Tart Restaurant and Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in Los Angeles. She’s also currently organizing her third art exhibit entitled “Preloved II,” and if her show is anything like her first exhibit Miss Brightside will be sure to make room for new art, and fashion, enthusiasts alike.