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Annual Careers in Film Summit Presented by The Academy

October 25, 2017 | By

MY1_6246On Saturday, October 14, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, Oscar®-winning and nominated filmmakers joined industry professionals for an all-day series of panel discussions at the annual Careers in Film Summit. Attended by film students and other enthusiasts, six separate panels covered acting, writing, directing, songwriting and composing, sound design, editing, visual effects, makeup, costume design, production design and animation.

After three morning sessions, including “Working Above the Line,” “Lights, Camera, Action! Production,” and “Get It in the Can!” a lunch break was followed by “Music in Film: Evoking Emotion.” On that panel, Jordan Corngold, music editor on the recent film Bridge of Spies joined Germaine Franco, composer-songwriter of the upcoming animated project Coco, Justin Hurwitz, composer-songwriter for last year’s La La Land, Trent Reznor, composer-songwriter for the Facebook expose, The Social Network, Morgan Rhodes, music supervisor on the lauded Selma, and Taura Stinson, songwriter for the animated Rio 2.

MY1_6271Moderated by Mike Muse, the music panel provided many revelatory methodologies and creative choices which inform the composition and recording of music for cinematic presentations. Of particular distinction, Hurwitz discussed conceptualizing the score and songs for La La Land. Working organically, Hurwitz developed music and songs for the film, giving it a jazz slant to reflect the main character played by Ryan Gosling. Additionally, Trent Reznor noted his initial hesitation to compose and perform music for The Social Network but showed a before-and-after example of the opening credits sequence to the film. Originally, a song (ostensibly a temporary track) was played with the sequence. Next, Reznor showed the same scene accompanied by music he created with co-composer Atticus Ross. Even objectively viewed, Reznor’s music added a new component to the project, giving it a techno vibe and hint of the tragedy which unfolded throughout The Social Network’s story.MY1_6567

In “The Reps: The Dream Team,” Sonya Ede-Williams, a public relations consultant from SYE Publicity, joined Scott J. Karol, Esq., an attorney for his own company, KarolWilliams PC, plus Gabriel Mena, an agent at the Paradigm Talent Agency, Cameron Mitchell, an agent at Creative Artists Agency, and Jewerl Keats Ross, a talent manager for his own Silent R Management company. The panel illuminated what agents and managers are looking for in representing clients. Many conveyed that a screenplay which absolutely demands to be made is a ticket to attracting an agent, manager, or entertainment lawyer—it was noted that one is all it takes. Then, panelists such as Ross added that unconventional approaches to the industry should not be considered off-limits, especially in the era of YouTube and web-based social media.

MY1_6642Lastly, in “All Things Animation,” Randy Haberkamp, the Academy’s Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs, moderated a panel with Dale Baer, an animator from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Neysa Bové, a visual development artist for Moana, Everett Downing Jr., an animator/story artist on Boss Baby, Jorge Gutiérrez, the director and character designer on The Book of Life, Vanessa Morrison, the president of 20th Century Fox Animation, and Simon Otto the head of character animation on How to Train Your Dragon. Many clips from the aforementioned animated films were screened, with Haberkamp asking pertinent questions about the world of feature animation, now bigger than ever before. In the final segment of the seminar, the skilled artists involved discussed the intricate and time-consuming process of assembling an animated project from start to finish. With Disney, DreamWorks, Illumination, Blue Sky Studios, Reel FX and many others currently immersed in producing animated films, the industry is in high demand for all manner of artists for work in the field. In one stirring segment, Gutierrez provided a rich description of his journey from being an animation fan in his native Mexico to directing The Book of Life which took many years to fully develop and execute. Refreshingly, animated work is now regarded in as high esteem as its live-action counterparts, and the Academy has thus far done an admirable job of honoring the laudable artists who toil in the medium.MY2_4302

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