BestFest Student Films Festival offers two free filmmaking workshops Sun., May 21, and Sun., June 4

BestFest Student Film Festival, a project of Best Video Film & Cultural Center, will offer a series of two unique workshops for local high school student filmmakers. Each workshop covers an important but often misunderstood aspect of capturing a scene, led by a local professional expert from the industry.
 
Under the heading “Lights!” and “Camera! Action!,” the workshops will be held at 3 PM on Sun., May 21 (Lights!), and Sun., June 4 (Camera! Action!).
 
Each workshop will last 60-90 minutes. They are free for high school students and reservations are highly recommended.
 
BestFest Student Film Festival showcases films by area high school students. The festival is open to all high school students from New Haven, Connecticut, and adjacent communities (East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Woodbridge, and Orange). The first BestFest was held on Dec. 10, 2016.
 

Rebecca Abbott, professor of communications and 2010 excellence in teaching honoree. September, 2010.

• “Lights!” (May 21, 3 PM): Rebecca Abbott will cover solving common lighting challenges for a location shoot, from traditional solutions to cheap tricks for fixing lighting problems. Learn about balancing daylight and interior light, filling in shadows, tackling power concerns, and more!

 
Rebecca Abbott is Professor of Communications at Quinnipiac University and an Emmy-award winning independent filmmaker. Abbott’s documentary subjects range from aeromedical rescue from mid-east war zones, to the history of jazz music in New Haven, to the impact of war on Veterans and the role of arts in healing. Ireland’s Great Hunger and The Irish Diaspora, narrated by actor Gabriel Byrne, is her latest film.
 
• “Camera! Action!” (June 4, 3 PM): Jay Miles will detail the traditional (and non-traditional!) strategies for where to place the camera in order to best cover a scene, and address the particular challenges of location shooting. Learn about shot selection, coverage, inserts, wilds and more! Miles will also touch on some of the key elements of directing actors. From rough rehearsal, to the rhythm of calling “rolling, action, cut,” to giving notes and making adjustments. Learn about all of these strategies and more!
 

Jay Miles

Jay Miles has worked in TV, video, film and commercial production for over 20 years, including shows for NBC, ABC, FOX, the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Versus and DirecTV. He has taught media at East Haven High School, as well as at Quinnipiac University, Fairfield University and the CT School of Broadcasting. He has contributed to such magazines/Websites as Film Threat, Moviemaker, Adorama.com and Techsmith.com, as well as on panels at events including iTVFest, the annual UFVA conference and the All American High School Film Festival. His first book, “Conquering YouTube,” combines the professional and practical tips that he has used on major shoots with the approaches that he employs to help numerous beginners reach for the stars with their own successful projects.

 
For more information, call (203) 287-9286 or email BestFest Student Films at bestfeststudentfilms@bestvideo.com. BestFest Student Films can also be contacted through Twitter at @BestFestFilms. Information is also available at
www.bestvideo.com/student-film-festival/.

BestFest Student Films Festival this Saturday, Dec. 10, at 4 PM, FREE

bestfeststudentfilmslogo_bvfcc_webThe 2016 BestFest Student Film Festival screens short films by area high school students this Saturday, Dec. 10, starting at 4 pm. The event—the first in what is planned as an annual event— will be held at Best Video Film & Cultural Center at 1842 Whitney Avenue in Hamden. BestFest Student Films is a project of BVFCC.

The event is free and open to the public.

BestFest Student Films was created to showcase films by area high school students. The festival is open to all high school students from New Haven, Connecticut, and adjacent communities (East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Woodbridge, and Orange).

Among the schools represented in the festival are Wilbur Cross High School and Metropolitan Business Academy in New Haven and East Haven High School.

Local professional documentary filmmaker Brendan Toller will give a keynote address. Toller’s second film was picked up by Magnolia Pictures for worldwide distribution this year and was the inaugural offering of Arthouse Theater Day in September. “Danny Says” documents the life and times of Danny Fields, the first manager of The Ramones and a key figure in the 1960s New York City rock counterculture.

Beyond presenting students’ films, the festival serves as an educational resource for student filmmakers. BestFest Student Films presented workshops for students in June and November covering topics including pre-production, lighting, capturing good audio, and effective storytelling techniques.

For more information, call (203) 287-9286 or email BestFest Student Films at bestfeststudentfilms@bestvideo.com. BestFest Student Films can also be contacted through Twitter at @BestFestFilms. Information is also available at www.bestvideo.com/student-film-festival/.

BVFCC First Anniversary Gala Concert & Benefit Thurs., Nov. 10, at The Ballroom at The Outer Space

anniversary_gala_graphic_webPlease join us on Thursday, November 10, 2016, from 7—10 PM, in celebration of the first anniversary of Best Video Film and Cultural Center (BVFCC), a non-profit created to preserve Best Video’s rich archive and explore new ways to bring people, film, and music together. On November 1, 2016, BVFCC purchased Best Video from founder Hank Paper and began running it as a cultural non-profit. The celebration will take place at The Ballroom at The Outer Space in Hamden.

• A lineup of superb local artists have offered to donate their talent for this event: jazz group Jeff Fuller & Friends, indie rock group Mercy Choir, roots rock trio The Bandidos and swing/blues group The Red Hots.

• We will be showing some locally made short films.

• There will also be munchies—wings, cheese platter, veggies and hummus, bruschetta.

Tickets are $25 but please consider making a donation over and above that amount. Supporters who donate over $100 will receive complimentary admission to the show. Donations in excess of the value of admission are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets.

Or, you can purchase tickets at BVFCC at 1842 Whitney Avenue in Hamden. Tickets will also be available at the door. If you can afford to make a donation over and above the ticket price, it is both tax-deductible and much appreciate. It is support like that which has enabled us to maintain the archive and expand our programming!

In the past year:

• BVFCC was officially recognized as a tax-deductible non-profit by the IRS.

• We have increased our programming with over 120 music events; more film screenings with larger turnouts and great discussions;more lectures on films by Yale Prof. Mark Schenker; and increased use of the Performance Space by community groups.

• We have organized a film festival — BestFest Student Films — to showcase the work of local high school students this fall.

Steve Rodgers, owner of The Space and The Outer Space, has generously donated use of The Ballroom for our inaugural event.

About BVFCC

Best Video Film and Cultural Center (“BVFCC”) was created to preserve Best Video’s rich archive and explore new ways to bring people, film, and music together. On November 1, 2016, BVFCC took over BEST VIDEO, a valued community space serving Greater New Haven with its world class film archive, performance space and coffee bar.

The entire film archive — one of the finest such collections in the country – remains in place and continues to grow with additions of more foreign and domestic films, documentaries, and television series. In addition, the music events, film screenings and other presentations in the performance space have been expanded to reach a broader community audience.

New Membership Options

Our goal is to bring good movies and good people together.  For customers who like the way we do that now, nothing will change. For just a few dollars, you will still be able to rent any movie in our archive. However, we now offer new membership formats that we believe better serve BEST VIDEO’s diverse customers and provide more value and simpler access to our expansive archive.

Our Success Depends on You

We invite the support of every member of the BEST VIDEO family. If you are unable to make it to the concert, please consider making a donation. All amounts are greatly appreciated. We look forward to the participation of all of our existing members and are excited to welcome new members to our family as we continue in our efforts to enrich the cultural wealth of the greater New Haven region.

BestFest Student Films to host free workshop for high school students on importance of strong storytelling Sat., Nov. 5, at 2 PM

best_fest_workshop_story_110516_webBestFest Student Films, a project of Best Video Film & Cultural Center, will offer a free workshop on effective storytelling in movies for high school students on Saturday, November 5, at 2 PM. The event will be held at Best Video Film & Cultural Center at 1842 Whitney Avenue in Hamden.

BestFest Student Films was created to showcase films by area high school students. The festival is open to all high school students from New Haven, Connecticut, and adjacent communities (East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Woodbridge, and Orange). Selected films will be screened at the 2016 BestFest Student Films Festival December 10, 2016. The deadline for submission of films is November 18.

Beyond presenting students’ films, the festival will serve as an educational resource for student filmmakers. The steering committee plans to assemble a group of expert volunteers—including film industry veterans and educators—to offer advice on issues ranging from screenwriting to audio engineering, film financing to editing.

As part of BestFest Student Films’s educational mission, BestFest is offering a free afternoon workshop on November 5 to acquaint aspiring student filmmakers with the techniques of strong storytelling. Among the topics to be covered include creating compelling characters, plot construction, and genre conventions—both how to work within them and how to use the element of surprise to subvert them.

In addition to the discussion of the importance of story as a foundation of effective filmmaking, the group will offer an ask-us-anything panel at the event for students who have questions about other aspects of filmmaking.

To reserve a place at the workshop, call (203) 287-9286 or email BestFest Student Films at bestfeststudentfilms@bestvideo.com. BestFest Student Films can also be contacted through Twitter at @BestFestFilms.

For more information as this festival is developed please visit www.bestvideo.com/student-film-festival/.

New Haven Independent reports on BestFest Student Films workshop “The Nuts & Bolts of How to Make a Movie”

Reporter Tom Breen of the New Haven Independent attended last Tuesday’s free workshop on filmmaking and wrote up a great report for the online journalism site, “Local Filmmakers Prepare Students For Fall Film Festival”:

Now that Best Video has successfully transitioned into its status as a non-profit, the Hamden-based video rental store/cafe/performance venue is looking to bolster its value as a practical and educational resource for young filmmakers in the community. The first major initiative that they’re taking to help realize that mission is through the BestFest Student Film Festival, which will offer a venue for high school students from New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Woodbridge, and Orange to submit and present their work.

Tuesday night’s session, which ran from 7 to just after 9 p.m., was the first step in preparing student filmmakers for that festival, bringing together a handful of experts to share tips, best practices, and a wealth of personal and professional anecdotes.

Thanks to Tom Breen for covering this inaugural event for BestFest Student Films. And thanks to our presenters filmmaker Gorman Bechard, Jay Miles (East Haven High School), Robb Blocker (Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School), Rebecca Abbott (documentarian and professor at Quinnipiac University) and Caden Rodems-Boyd (student filmmaker, Educational Center for the Arts).

Presenters Robb Blocker (Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School) and Caden Rodems-Boyd (a student filmmaker in the visual arts program at Educational Center for the Arts). Tom Breen Photo

Presenters Robb Blocker (Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School) and Caden Rodems-Boyd (a student filmmaker in the visual arts program at Educational Center for the Arts). Tom Breen Photo

Read the complete article here.

BVFCC announces BestFest Student Films festival for fall; workshop for aspiring student filmmakers Tues., June 28, 7—9 PM

BestFest_student_workshop_flyer_WebBest Video Film & Cultural Center (BVFCC), a cultural nonprofit based in Hamden, announces the creation of BestFest Student Films, a new film festival to showcase work by area high school students. The festival will be open to all high school students from New Haven and adjacent communities (East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, North Haven, Woodbridge, and Orange).

“With the widespread availability of video technology and editing software, movie-making has become an accessible option for young people. We want to encourage student creativity by offering a forum for the screening and recognition of their work,” said Hank Hoffman, BVFCC Program Director.

Beyond presenting students’ films, the festival will serve as an educational resource for student filmmakers. The steering committee plans to assemble a group of expert volunteers—including film industry veterans and educators—to mentor and coach students who seek advice on issues ranging from screenwriting to audio engineering, film financing to editing.

As preparation for the festival, BVFCC will host a session titled “The Nuts and Bolts of Making a Movie” on Tuesday, June 28, from 7-9 PM. Experienced filmmakers will be available to explain the step-by-step process of creating a movie. Among the topics covered will be pre-production solutions, the under-appreciated importance of good sound, and how to get a gorgeous shot with just one light. The second half of the session will consist of a hands-on exercise in shooting a scene, based on an existing short film.

Submissions to BestFest Student Films will be accepted through late October with the festival taking place in early November. Entry is free, and students should submit films through withoutabox.com.

“We know you have film ideas—now it’s time to make it,” said Caden Rodems-Boyd, a student filmmaker who attends Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven.

For more information as this festival is developed please visit www.bestvideo.com/student-film-festival/.