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AROUND THE VALLEYS

Independent filmmaker Bryan Michael Stoller will use his 30 years of moviemaking experience as the basis for a one-day seminar on making low budget films. Ever since releasing his book “Filmmaking for Dummies” in 2003 Stoller has been asked when he would be doing a speaking engagement on the topic and time was right to do such an event. The seminar takes place starting at 7:30 p.m. on Aug, 19 at the Universal Hilton in Universal City. Along with advice on using the latest technology, how to enter film festival and general filmmaking from online shorts to feature films, networking opportunities will also be available to attendees. Making contacts at seminars and other industry events is a key way to progress in one’s career, which Stoller has learned on a first-hand basis. “It shows you have to be out there and be visible,” said Stoller, who lives in Studio City. A second edition of his filmmaking book was published earlier this year. The new information deals primarily with new technologies in digital and high definition; updating websites; and how to obtain free software. Inexpensive cameras and easy to use editing software open the doors for more people to make their own films and it is often difficult to tell the different between work made by a professional and that made with a $500 budget, Stoller said. “Anyone can make a movie on their desktop these days,” Stoller added. What hasn’t changed, and probably never will, when it comes to compelling filmmaking is having a good story. Stoller addresses in his book the different genres a filmmaker can pursue, something that other books on the subject don’t tend to do. Stoller’s films have been distributed on DVD and television in the U.S. and theatrically overseas. His latest project is “First Dog,” the story of a foster boy who finds the lost White House dog and takes a cross-country trip to return the pet. Mark R. Madler San Fernando Valley Communicate: Time Warner Cable launched this month a new website for the public and media to view all current information about what is happening with the company in the West Region. The site will give visitors access to current Time Warner Cable news stories, press releases, events, new (and current) products, fact sheets, company policies, and announcements. This site is intended to provide all the latest Time Warner Cable news and multimedia, from throughout the Southern California region, for all forms of today’s diverse media. Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable operator in the U.S., Glendale Utilities: The Verdugo Workforce Investment Board, Glendale Water and Power and Glendale Community College will offer a 16-week training program for people interested in careers in the power industry. The Verdugo Power Academy will focus on training a workforce from the local community by teaching skills for utility workers such as electrical line mechanics, technicians and station electricians. The curriculum combines classroom training with hands-on, practical training in an electric utility operation. The curriculum encompasses electric power principles and codes, safety, overhead line construction and pole climbing, transformers, SMART grids and more. The program begins Sept. 21. For more information visit www.glendale.edu.. Studio City Television: Verizon’s FiOS TV will begin distributing the Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movie Channel in standard definition. FiOS already airs the two cable channels in high definition and the new launch completes the service’s offerings from the Hallmark brands. “The response from our distribution partners over the past year to launch Hallmark Movie Channel has been overwhelming,” said Janice Arouh, Executive Vice President, Network Distribution & Service, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. “The Channel available in both standard and high definition is distinctive because it offers a quality viewing experience for the whole family.” Burbank Speech: Radio Disney was one of three winners of the 2009 Media Awards presented by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Radio Disney was honored for airing independently produced 30-second public service announcements highlighting the association’s Listen To Your Buds campaign, enabling its safe listening message to reach thousands of children, young teenagers, and their parents. “Our media award winners this year used their specific medium , whether the Internet, print, or radio , to educate diverse segments of the public about human communication issues in ways that helped ensure that effective communication, a human right, truly is accessible and achievable by all,” ASHA President Sue Hale said. The other winners were The Chicago Tribune and BrainLine.org. Cars: A collection of vehicles from television and film has been added to the VIP tour at Warner Bros. Studios. The collection cannot be seen any other place than the new 6,300-square-foot museum on the studio lot. Included in the collection are the Tumbler and Batpod from the 2008 blockbuster “The Dark Knight;” the flying Ford Anglia from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets;” the Ford Gran Torino from the acclaimed film “Gran Torino;” and the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine. “We continually look for ways to enhance our guests’ experience on the VIP Tour and are certain they will enjoy the new Picture Car Museum,” said Danny Kahn, director of the Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour. “These vehicles are not only an important part of film and television history but are an exciting part of Warner Bros. history as well.” Plane: Avjet Corp. provided the aircraft that returned two U.S. television journalists following their trial and imprisonment in North Korea. Avjet worked closely with the U.S. State Department to facilitate the travel arrangements aboard the Boeing Business Jet for the two journalists and former President Bill Clinton. “We are honored to have been selected as the global air transportation partner for this historic humanitarian mission,” said Andrew C. Bradley, Avjet Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Acquisitions. “Our selection reflects Avjet’s uncompromising commitment to security and confidentiality for our client base of VIP travelers, as well as our broad global presence.” Avjet has a state-of-the-art green hangar at Bob Hope Airport. Calabasas Games: The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has expanded its D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, and Entertain) Summit to Asia for the first time at the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Center. The summit taking place in September features seven top international game makers. The academy created the summit to be an exclusive forum for the interactive entertainment community’s best minds to share ideas and experiences outside their studios. Chatsworth Viewers: Programming from Image Entertainment Inc. will be made available through DISH Network on pay-per-view and on-demand formats. “We’re very pleased to be working with DISH Network to bring our vast library of entertainment content to their subscribers,” said Steve Saltman, senior vice president of Worldwide Television for Image Entertainment. “This agreement greatly expands our ability to deliver programming into households across the country.” DISH Network has more than 13 million subscribers. Conejo Valley Newbury Park Film: Technology developed by Maxon Computer was used to create a short animated film, “Junior Extraterrestrial.” The film’s creator, Dr. Sassi, documented the entire creative and technical process of animating a short feature. The result will be a contribution of over 200 new tutorials that provide step-by-step instruction as well as various aspects of filmmaking theory to the Maxon Cineversity website to go live towards the end of the year. “Most animators aspire to create their own animated piece. But until now, there has been no reference material for how to accomplish such a massive endeavor,” said Maxon US President and CEO Paul Babb. “Dr. Sassi’s step-by-step documentation of the animated filmmaking process for Cineversity will provide that reference for both animation professionals and visual artists of tomorrow.” Antelope Valley Lancaster Solar: Developer Scott Ehrlich installed solar panels at his senior housing complex Arbor Court with the help of a state incentive program, Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing SolarCity designed and installed the 282-kilowatt system at 80 percent off the retail cost, allowing Ehrlich to pay off the solar investment in five years or less. The solar installation will help Arbor Court to stay in business, Ehrlich said. “Our margins are so thin that if our electrical bills spike and we’re negative for a couple of months, we’re under water,” Ehrlich said. Palmdale Air Supply: About 2,000 people turned out on Aug. 8 for the latest installment of the Starlight Concert Series at the Palmdale Amphitheater in Marie Kerr Park. The event, which featured the soft rock group Air Supply, was put on by the city and sponsored by several local businesses.

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