Sunday, February 19, 2012


Tommy and the Tangerines rock the house at the B.A.D. party. [Photo by Peter Wayne]
The first annual BIFF After Dark (B.A.D.) party took place on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Odd Fellows Hall in Boulder. This incredible bash was, by unanimous consent, the best BIFF party ever! Here are some photos and footage from that event (no one was injured or arrested). Thanks so much to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Avery and Boulder Beers, 303 Vodka, Vodka 14, The Vocal Q's, Tommy and the Tangerines, Hippieman (comedian John Novosad), DJ Space Monkey and everyone who helped make it happen!

Wendy Sakol Goldner (left) and Anne Tengler at play. [Photo by Peter Wayne]

FESTIVAL REPORT: "Make a Short Film" Workshop for Students

[Photo by Donna Crain]
By Kristen Daly
BIFF DigiComm Commando

The student workshop was presented Sunday afternoon by Boulder Digital Arts in conjunction with the Boulder Film Festival.  BDA is an amazing resource providing classes, events, technology and space to creators in the digital arts.  The workshop was free to students 13 to 18 and was well-attended by students in a wide age range and various filmmaking goals. 

The instructor, Antony Cooper, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who cut his teeth working for MTV shooting rock stars in London and is now based in Colorado.  He shared a number of Colorado-specific notes such as, don’t leave your eyepiece flipped up to the sun if you don’t want to burn a hole in your camera.  And “wind is your enemy.” 

Cooper’s focus was on the technology and logistics of filmmaking and he started by outlining his five steps:  concept, plan, shoot, edit and show.  The workshop was interactive with students coming up to demonstrate casting sessions, recording dramatic dialogue, what colors and patterns to watch out for on an actor or documentary subject, lighting, and the pitfalls of automatic aperture. 

Cooper did a nice job weaving together general information with individual anecdotes and details and also noting what one would absolutely need versus what you might hope for and what would be ideal in filmmaking in terms of equipment.  It was well-directed to the audience.   

In the sound section he gave examples from his work and stressed that although it may make things more complicated that getting the characters out doing what they do, where they do it will make a documentary or corporate video much more compelling.  He also noted and came back to the need to capture close ups and b-roll and other tricks-of-the-trade to make cutting a documentary possible. 

Cooper's low-key nature made for an inspiring workshop that will encourage students to believe that they really can make a short film and get their work out there.


By Mary Rususky
BIFF DigiComm Commando

Kurt Miller and Greg I. Hamilton both love happy endings.  They recognize that festival films are often calling attention to tragedies, and they were determined to create a film that would be inspiring and give people back something that was lost. Building on a lifetime of high-risk action ski films, Kurt Miller, former head of Warren Miller Entertainment, turns his attention to adaptive sport skiing. This uplifting film shows that even after a disabling tragedy, people can find that their life is not over, they can get something back that they lost, give something back, and go forward.

"The Movement" tells the amazing stories of athletes with disabilities who have regained freedom and brought joy into their life through adaptive sports.  Not being able to do things in the same way, we see a paralyzed athlete build a life again against all odds. When you take away one skill, others compensate and ultimately one becomes whole again. It’s not letting life have the last say and instead saying “this is me now, and I’m excited to be me. I have the last say”. 

“Movies are fun and we will be taking this film in as many directions as possible. The film is not about making money, it’s about giving back.” The film is being shown in sold-out venues at independent film festivals, calling attention to and raising funds for adaptive sport programs throughout the country. It’s being taken to rehab hospitals giving people hope in the midst of their trauma. It’s inspiring adaptive athletes to compete and win against able bodied athletes. And it motivates everyone to be grateful for what we have, our movement, our freedom.
Most of the money raised by the film stays in the community to support local adaptive sports programs. For more information visit

FESTIVAL REPORT: Master Animation Class with Bill Plmypton

Bill Plympton with BCM reporter Kaiti Williamson at the Boulder Public Library. [Photo by Beth Kovacs]
By Mary Rususky
BIFF DigiComm Commando 

One of the great animators, a multiple Oscar nominee and Cannes honoree, Bill Plympton, held a master animation class Saturday during BIFF. He's made his career as an independent filmmaker and spent the morning showing his new films, demoing his drawing techniques, and sharing his personal story.

Bill's wacky, surrealist, goofball humor had him drawing from an early age. "When I realized I wanted to be an animator is the moment when people started laughing at my film en masse. It was the most magical feeling I could think of, I just glowed. I felt like I was at home, and I wondered, why did I wait so long?"

He said it is now an incredibly fortunate time to become an animator and encouraged young people to begin now. We are in a Renaissance, he stated, entering the second Golden Age of animation, with gaming, commercials, television and Internet offering countless opportunities for expression.

Bill shared with the class the Plympton Dogma of animated film success, which is 1) make it short, 2) make it cheap and 3) make it funny. Wacky films that make people laugh are films people want to see and buy. He's used social media to enhance his Oscar-nominated short "Guard Dog," including illustrations from hundreds of fans in the final version.

He's been happy that he's made the decision to remain independent, as he loves doing wacky films on his own terms. "Everything I draw, I want to, that's why I'm here."