- Friday, Oct. 27, 2000
- 0 Comments
In its 20th year, the Asbury Short Film Show of New York continues its mission to provide exposure for independent filmmakers. Part of that pursuit translated into a new event last year, the Ad Show, which exposed short filmmakers and their films to an audience consisting largely of members from the spot community. The second annual Ad Show is now fast approaching, set for Nov. 9, at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, located on the downtown campus of Manhattan Community College.
Slated to host the event is TV and commercial director Phil Joanou, who is repped for spots by bicoastal Villains. The Ad Show will, like the main Asbury Short Film Show, screen grand prize- and audience award-winning shorts selected from various stateside film festivals.
The Asbury organizers also encourage the directors of the featured shorts to attend the Ad Show. "It's a good chance for the filmmakers to be seen, and for the industry to make a connection with them," said Joanou. "So often in the ad world you meet people over the phone. These events are really useful, because you can make human contact."
Joanou, whose recent spot work includes "Horror," from Nike's "Why Sport?" campaign via Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Ore., wanted to get involved with Asbury to celebrate both the short film format and its potential. Speaking from personal experience, he stressed, "Short films can work miracles." A University of Southern California film school grad, Joanou got his first directing gig, shortly after his graduation in 1985, because Steven Spielberg had seen Last Chance Dance, Joanou's student film. After cutting his teeth on two episodes of Amazing Stories ("Santa 85" and "The Doll"), which Spielberg executive-produced, Joanou went on to direct numerous features (U2: Rattle and Hum, Final Analysis, Entropy), as well as TV series (3rd Rock from the Sun) and miniseries (Wild Palms).
"The short film is even more exciting now than ever before, because of the Internet," observed Joanou. "There is a real venue for shorts to be viewed and distributed, and careers can be launched. For better or worse, I'm proof of that."
The Ad Show is the brainchild of Asbury Film Show director Doug LeClaire, who has a second life as a freelance line producer of commercials and cable programs. "The main thrust is to get the indie filmmaker seen by the ad world," he pointed out, "so that a director might be approached to do some commercial work." Asbury made some progress towards that goal with the first Ad Show, in '99, which was hosted by Tom Mooney, partner/head of sales at bicoastal Headquarters (SHOOT, 10/1/99, p. 7).
The dozen or so films being shown this year include work not only from short filmmakers, but also from a few directors who, coincidentally, have a spot pedigree. Among the films to be screened are: The Transformation, the directorial debut of screenwriter Barry Strugatz (Married to the Mob), which won the audience award at this year's Newport Film Festival in Rhode Island; Girl Go Boom, by commercial helmer Mark Tiedemann of Celsius Films, New York, which screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival; and Synchronicity, by Hans Uhlig of Industrial Light+Magic (ILM), San Rafael, Calif. Uhlig, who served as technical director on The Perfect Storm, unveiled his CG animated film at SIGGRAPH 2000. He's repped as a spot director by Industrial Light+Magic Commercial Productions, San Rafael and Los Angeles.
The Asbury Short Film Show began on Long Island in 1980 as a screening of student films from metropolitan-area colleges. Since then it has introduced Oscar-winning shorts such as Tin Toy, by John Lasseter; Balance, by Christoph Lauenstein and Wolfgang Lauenstein; Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase, by Joan C. Gratz; and The Lunch Date, by Adam Davidson. Organized several times a year in various locations, The Asbury Show held its first international screening in London in 1996. That same year The Asbury Film Scholarship was established at the New York Institute of Technology during a special show produced on the Long Island Campus.