Author Archives: jen

Top Gifts for Media Savvy Friends

Photo Credit: Christmas at Mom's House by Jen Gallardo

Photo Credit: Christmas at Mom’s House by Jen Gallardo

If you are anything like me, chances are you are trying to work your way through a list of folks you need to shop for this holiday season. While some friends and family are easy to shop for, others are a little bit more challenging. Personally, I find my media savvy friends the most challenging to shop for as they have all the latest and greatest gadgets and a ton of accessories for them, to boot. However, I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge! Here are some unconventional gift ideas for the photographers, filmmakers and media-lovers in your lives.

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

For your comedy-television-loving friend, consider purchasing Amy Poehler’s biography Yes, Please. In this hilarious read, Poehler shares stories that ultimately help us understand how she went from Upright Citizens Brigade to television star and frequent host of the Golden Globes. For a great one-two comedic punch, you may also want to include Tina Fey’s biography Bossypants or comedy legend Martin Short’s latest I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend. Continue reading

White Christmas in Los Angeles

© 1954 Paramount HE. All rights reserved.

© 1954 Paramount HE. All rights reserved.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and baby it’s cold outside, so why not curl up indoors with a movie? Christmas songs aside, the spirit of the season — riddled with gift giving stress — often shines through in classic movies. While most of us are well aware of films like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story there are several other old flicks that deserve a watch during the holidays.  Continue reading

Video Didn’t Necessarily Kill the Radio Star

Serial Podcast Logo via Time.com

Serial Podcast Logo via Time.com

More often that not, we hear that a certain medium has been declared dead. It’s not uncommon to hear people give radio the death knell. Traditional radio stations for music lost their monopoly over the airwaves to satellite radio and online streaming services like Pandora. However, even those newcomers are struggling to consistently turn a profit in a business where many mouths need to be fed. That said, I contend that while radio struggles with music, it provides opportunity for other content creators to grow audiences with limited investment in resources via podcasting.

In case you are unfamiliar, podcasting is essentially Internet radio. You can record your podcast and very easily broadcast it through a number of different services. While you can do video podcasts, traditionally it has been audio only. This eases the barrier to entry as most people have a means of recording themselves such as on their mobile device or on a laptop computer with a built in microphone. Plus, you don’t need to worry about hair and makeup when all that gets recorded is your voice.

Recently, I learned that podcasting is so easy that even aging comedians can do it (I kid!)! Continue reading

John Huston Retrospective at Film Society

Scene from Key Largo; Credit: The Kobal Collection / Warner Bros

Scene from Key Largo; Credit: The Kobal Collection / Warner Bros

During the months of December and January, New York City’s Film Society of Lincoln Center will be doing a retrospective featuring the work of filmmaker John Huston. Let There Be Light: The Films of John Huston will feature an exhaustive collection of over forty films where Huston was involved as director, screenwriter or actor. For the majority of these films, he both directed and wrote the screenplays. Continue reading

Crowdsourcing and You

Photo by Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP - © 2014 - Focus Features - Wish I Was Here

Photo by Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP – © 2014 – Focus Features – from Wish I Was Here

What do you, Zosia Mamet, Lavar Burton and Zach Braff have in common? You all can create a crowdfunded fundraising campaign! In the absence of public funding for the arts, many people are turning to the same methods marathon runners have been using for years — tapping into their social networks to raise money for a cause.  Continue reading

Post Turkey Day Movie Brunch

Production Still from Pretty in Pink via indiewire.com

Production Still from Pretty in Pink via indiewire.com

While we’ve talked about the fact that Thanksgiving is actually about giving thanks, the reality is that there’s going to be food. Lots of food. Lots of delicious food. And, after the cornucopia of delicousness, you might not be interested in your usual brunch spots. However, if you are in New York City, there’s a different kind of brunch worth checking out.  Continue reading

Top 4 Things Filmmakers Should Be Thankful For

Image still copyright Peanuts Worldwide

Image still copyright Peanuts Worldwide

As we approach Thanksgiving, there is a huge pull towards consumption. We want to eat all the stuffing and all the dessert and then get ALL the best Black Friday sales. However, the holiday, per its name, is about truly reflecting and giving thanks for the things that make us fortunate. Instead of consuming, we should be creating; creating food to share with out families and making lifelong memories, even if they are about how crazy the trip to get home was (thanks, Winter Storm Cato)!

That said, in the spirit of the holiday, here’s a reflection on the top 4 things filmmakers should be thankful for in this day and age.  Continue reading

Chuck Jones at the Museum of the Moving Image

Photograph and drawings courtesy Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Film stills courtesy Warner Bros.™ Looney Tunes Characters © & TM Warner Bros.

Photograph and drawings courtesy Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Film stills courtesy Warner Bros.™ Looney Tunes Characters © & TM Warner Bros.

Now through January 2015, the Museum of the Moving Image here in New York City is presenting an exhibition featuring the art of animator Chuck Jones. If the name Chuck Jones is unfamiliar, then the names of the characters he animated will probably ring a bell. He is most well known for bringing classic Warner Brothers characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck to life. And for the much younger generations, he created the Road Runner character — which has been the mascot of the Time Warner Cable company’s internet services — among many other beloved animated creatures. Continue reading

Mobile Phone Filmmaking

Film Still from short film Tom & Issy

Film Still from short film Tom & Issy

Filmmaking has become more and more accessible in recent years. We all know that you no longer need to carry around a large film-eating camera, whose film then needs to get specially developed, to get some decent footage. But what you might not know is that you most likely have its equivalent in your pocket right now. Mobile phones, while ubiquitous for vertical video of pets and babies alike, have become a vehicle for independent filmmakers looking to explore the medium on a budget. Continue reading

Celebrate at the MoMA

Postcard of Heckscher Building (where MoMA originally rented space), with The Plaza Hotel (right), 1923 via MoMA.org

Postcard of Heckscher Building (where MoMA originally rented space), with The Plaza Hotel (right), 1923 via MoMA.org

If you are in NYC this weekend, you might want to stop by the MoMA and wish it a happy birthday! The Museum of Modern Art is hosting an event the evening of November 15th in honor of its 85th anniversary.

The MoMA was born in the shadow of the infamous Wall Street Crash of 1929. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and her friends opened the museum which was the first of its kind in Manhattan. The museum quickly expanded under the leadership of president A. Conger Goodyear, eventually outgrowing the several rooms it occupied on the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue. Continue reading