Tag Archives: AMPAS

AMPAS and BAFTA Get On The Tribute Poster Bandwagon

Lincoln Tribute Poster

Ever since they first started appearing back in the mid-2000′s, I’ve been a big fan of what has come to be known as “tribute posters”. The trend seems to have been started by the Mondo Gallery in Austin Texas, a subsidiary of Alamo Drafthouse, the independent spirited cinema chain based in the same city.

Mondo commissions graphic artists and illustrators to create posters for movies both old and new film releases. Artists such as Martin Ansin, Shepard Fairy, Tyler Stout and my favorite Olly Moss create highly stylized one sheets for classics such as “Repo Man“, “Back to the Future” and “Psycho”, as well as new releases such as “The Cabin in the Woods” (done in an Escher style), “Looper” and “The Dark Knight Rises“.

Mondo came up with the idea of re-crafting movie posters back in 2005 when Alamo Drafthouse needed artwork to promote its “Rolling Roadshow“, one-off screenings of movies in the locations where they are actually set. For instance, “Escape From Alcatraz” was shown on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco.

From those beginnings the business has grown to such an extent that Mondo now has the rights from LucasFilm to re-imagine all the “Star Wars” posters. When their limited edition posters go on sale they usually sell out within minutes. (It’s easier to score tickets to a Justin Bieber concert via Ticketmaster). Then in 2011 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences partnered with Mondo to archive the company’s artwork in the Margaret Herrick Library.

Now the Academy is taking a page out of Mondo’s book and producing their own batch of tribute posters for this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees. They’ve hired a bunch of up-and-coming artists from around the world to create each poster; Matt Owen (“Amour”), Anthony Petrie (“Argo”), Rich Kelly (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Mark Englert (“Django Unchained”), Phantom City Creative (“Les Misérables”), Tom Whalen (“Life of Pi”), Jeff Boyes (“Lincoln”), Joshua Budich (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Godmachine (“Zero Dark Thirty”).

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Digital Faces Critical (Archiving) Dilemma

digital_dilemma_cover1

“The Digital Dilemma”—a 2007 report from AMPAS’ SciTech Council that examines the challenges of archiving and accessing digital motion picture materials—was the subject of the SMPTE’s Hollywood Section May meeting, held at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood.

The report concludes that there is no long-term strategy for archiving and preserving digital assets that doesn’t require large capital investment.

Andy Maltz, director of the SciTech Council, reported that in 2008 the worldwide box office reached $20 billion, but he estimated that only 0.0015% of that amount was spent on addressing this dilemma. He emphasized that much more needs to be done.

During the evening, Maltz presented an overview of the report and an update on its impact since its release. He generated applause and laughter from an audience that has been inundated with 3D format talk when—in outlining the discussion objectives—he quipped “there will be nothing about stereoscopic movies tonight.”

Actually, he wasn’t entirely correct. He addressed AMPAS’ need to preserve digital content, citing as an example the increasing number of 3D titles that originate from and are/will be released in the digital realm. He also cited the ASC/DCI Standard Evaluation Material (Stem) and all Oscar-nominated films, which are archived by the Academy.

“Current technologies and practices are inadequate,” he said. “Periodically you will need to copy the digital media. Storage technology and operating technology will become obsolete.”

As to current investment, the report suggested that it costs $1,059 to preserve one film archival master for one year. In contrast, it estimated that annual cost of preserving a 4K digital master to be $12,514.

The SciTech Council is now working on what it calls a Digital Motion Picture Archival Framework, which would include the development and standardization of a file format, directed research, education and a follow up report on “The Digital Dilemma” for indie filmmakers and executives at public archives.

A very worthwhile read, “The Digital Dilemma” report can be downloaded from the AMPAS web site (here).