VIDEO: JONATHAN AIBEL & GLENN BERGER ON WRITING & TROLLS

We sat down with Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger to talk about how they wrote the screenplay for Trolls. Happiness is the central theme of this 3D animated film. How did they write the screenplay and create a universe for trolls?  Tune in to find out.

A long time ago in a far away city where the Charles river flowed Aibel and Berger worked as management consultants. While they made some moolah they realized they were not cut out to be consultants. Their gut instincts proved to be true. One fine morning Providence intervened in their life when one of them spotted a TV script lying on a colleague’s table. That script was their stairway to discovering a whole new life in the world of entertainment.The rest is history as they say. The duo packed their bags and went west to Los Angeles and started writing scripts for TV and eventually films.

Aibel and Berger wrote the script for the Kung Fu Panda trilogy and many other films. Their films have raked in a couple of billion dollars in revenue. They are Unicorns to use that term from Silicon Valley.

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VIDEO: A CONVERSTATION WITH DANIELLE APPLESTONE OF OTHER MACHINE CO.

Danielle Applestone is CEO of Other Machine Co., a hardware company that makes desktop milling machine called Other Mill. The company is based in Berkeley and manufactures its desktop milling machines locally in San Francisco Bay area.

We sat down to speak to Applestone on how she developed in interest in math and science from an early age. Her parents encouraged her interest in math and science and she learnt to fix things around the house as a young girl says Applestone. She went to a magnet school in Arkansas and decided to study chemical engineering.

We also spoke about her journey from Arkansas to Boston where she studied chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Turns out she really did not want to study chemical engineering, and her interest was in material science. She then headed south to Texas to get her PhD in Material Science from University of Texas at Austin.

She was interviewing for a job at Tesla in Silicon Valley, when she switched her plans and went to work at Other Machine Co. She has helped raise money for the company and is focussed on building and expanding Other Machine’s footprint.

What advice does Applestone have for young girls? Tune in to find out Applestone’s very practical advice on how to hack the system and become an effective player.

This TV interview was sponsored by Zoho and is part of our Women in Science and Tech series.

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PODCAST: FILMMAKER BARRY JENKINS ON THE MAKING OF “MOONLIGHT”

Barry Jenkins @kamlashow.comFilmmaker Barry Jenkins Moonlight is an elegant and brilliantly evocative film about coming-of-age and love.This is one of the best films I have seen so far this year. There is an aura of quiet grace about Moonlight that makes  you think long after the end credits have rolled. You go away wondering what is that little act of help and love you can do today to help someone.

Moonlight is set in 3 acts and takes you through the journey of Chiron, a young  fatherless African-American boy, who is bullied and roughed up by neighborhood kids and is confused about his sexuality. Chiron learns to fend for himself since his mother is a drug addict and is dealing with her own set of challenges. We watch Chiron or Little as he is known shape up from a shy young boy  to a diffident teenager and a confident adult. What rescues Chiron is love. I thought the film was how a little bit of love can go a long way in helping people.

The film is based on Tyrell Alvin McCraney’s book In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. The book is based on McCraney’s life. Ironically, both McCraney and Jenkins grew up in the same part of Miami, but did not know each other then.

We caught up with Jenkins in San Francisco when he was here for the 39th Mill Valley Film Festival. We spoke to him about the making of Moonlight and what drew him to make this film. How did he get to choose the actors, who played the central character Chiron? How did he get Naomi Harris known for her role as Money Penny in James Bond films to act in Moonlight? Tune in to find out the answers to this and other questions with Jenkins.

LISTEN: BARRY JENKINS ON THE MAKING OF “MOONLIGHT”

Moonlight stars Mahershala Ali, Naomi Harris, Trevante Rhodes, Janelle Monae, Andre Holland and Alex Hibbert. The film opens on Friday, Oct  28, 2016 in San Francisco Bay area.

Here are a couple of reviews of Moonlight from The New York Times and The Altantic,

  • Title: MOONLIGHT
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Status: Film Releases on Oct 28, 2016 in SF Bay area
  • Country: USA
  • GENRE: DRAMA

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NAPA FILM FESTIVAL NOV 9 -13, 2016

Napa FIlm Festival

Like films, food and wine? Then the 6th Annual Napa Film Festival (NVFF) is the place to be from November 9-13, 2016. For 5 days you get to see feature films, shorts and documentaries and listen to panel discussions on food. And a big bonus of attendig a film festival in the  wine country means you get to taste wines in different wineries and attend cooking demos. If you are an aspiring film writer then the Pitch Competition is your ticket to meet filmmakers and film executives.

Oh! did I mention that there will be filmmakers, and actors at the festival? Mathew McConaughey, Matt Ross, Viggo Mortenson, Dev Patel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Aaron Eckhart are some of the guests expected to attend this year’s festival.

There are 2 films on the opening night: Lion and Bleed For This. Lion stars Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and Dev Patel, who will be at the festival.

Bleed For This stars Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhardt, who is expected to be at the festival.

Stephen Gaghan’s new film Gold will have a special screening at NVFF. Gold stars Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez and Michael Landes. McConaughey is expected to attend the film festival.

Filmmaker Matt Ross’s film Captain Fantastic will have a special screening at the festival. Viggo Mortensen is expected to be at the festival along with Berkeley-based Ross.

About 120 films will screen at the festival including Gleason, Miss Sloane, Mr. Church and Burn Your Maps.

Visit NVFF’s website to build  your itinerary, buy tickets or browse the festival’s schedule.

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VIDEO: MIKE MITCHELL & WALT DROHN ON “TROLLS”

Mike Mitchell and Walt Drohn are the directors of Trolls, a new 3D animation film from Dreamworks. Relentlessly happy is the phrase that comes to mind when I watched the film a few days ago. I wondered if the directors themselves were relentlessly happy folks. Tune into to find out.

Happiness is the central theme of Trolls. The film has Anna Kendricks, Justin Timberlake, James Corden and others. The film has a nice collection of old and original songs.

Stay tuned for a longer video and audio interview with Mitchell and Drohn, where we talk to them about the making of film and their local San Francisco Bay area connection.

Trolls releases on November 4, 2016 in San Francisco Bay area.

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PODCASAT: EWAN McGREGOR ON THE MAKING OF “AMERICAN PASTORAL”

Ewan McGregorFilmmaker Ewan McGregor makes his directorial debut with American Pastoral that is based on a Philip Roth novel by the same name. Roth won a Pulitzer prize for his novel.

American Pastoral stars McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, Dakokta Fanning, David StrathairnUzo AdubaRupert Evans and Valorie Curry.

We caught up with McGregor in San Francisco to talk about the making of American Pastoral, his experience directing a feature film and how he got into acting and how his parents supported his decision to become an actor. We also spoke about Danny Boyle with whom McGregor has worked in a handful of films like Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and the upcoming sequel to Trainspotting that releases in 2017.  What did he learn from Boyle’s style of directing?

 LISTEN: EWAN McGREGOR ON THE MAKING OF “AMERICAN PASTORAL”

American Pastoral releases on Oct 21, 2016 in San Francisco Bay area.

  • Title: AMERICAN PASTORAL
  • Running Time: 108 minutes
  • Status: Film Releases on Oct 21, 2016 in SF Bay area
  • Country: USA

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UNAFF DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA OCT 20 -20, 2016

The annual United National Association Film Festival (UNAFF) is back this year with an interesting mix of documentaries and shorts from the US, Ethiopia, Spain, India, Canada, Guatemala and other countries.

The theme for this year’s festival is Compass For A Better World. “We went through 600 screeners to select the films for this year’s festival,” said Jasmina Bojic, who founded the film festival 19 years ago. Bojic is a film critic, who teaches at Stanford University.

The 19th UNAFF starts today Oct 2oth and runs till Oct 30th, 2016. Palo Alto. Film screenings and panel discussions will be held in 4 different locations in SF Bay area: San Francisco, Stanford, East Palo Alto and Palo Alto.

For information on tickets and the film festival please check UNAFF’s website.

Here are a couple of films from this year’s festival that caught my eyes.

 

 

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HIGHLIGHT OF AN UPCOMING INTERVIEW WITH BARRY JENKINS ON “MOONLIGHT”

This is a highlight from an upcoming interview with filmmaker Barry Jenkins on the making of his new film Moonlight. The film is based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s novel In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. Jenkins explains why he chose to shorten the title to Moonlight.

Moonlight is an elegant and emotionally charged film. This is a coming-of-age story of an African-American teenager in Miami, Florida. Both Jenkins and McCraney grew up in Miami in the same neighborhood. However, their paths never crossed when they lived in Miami.

Moonlight releases on Oct 28, 2016 in San Francisco Bay area.

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PODCAST: CURATOR CHRIS GARCIA OF COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM ON SILICON VALLEY’S HISTORY & CULTURE

Chris GarciaWe sat down with Chris Garcia, curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to find out about the evolution of technology and the  history and legacy of Silicon Valley.

The Computer History Museum is the place to see those huge computers that used punch cards to the advent of personal computers and smart phones. This is the place to see how technology evolved. What were the inflection points that helped shape this technical revolution and ushered in the Age of Information.

The museum has a treasure trove of artifacts and houses quite a few unusual objects including a 1960s Kitchen Computer, robots, Cray Supercomputers and early versions of Apple computers. We were also curious to find out how Garcia curates artifacts at the museum. What is that process like?

LISTEN: CURATOR CHRIS GARCIA OF COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM ON SILICON VALLEY’S HISTORY & CULTURE

Garcia grew up in Silicon Valley and remembers using Apple’s computers as a kid. He shares some fascinating backstories about Silicon Valley’s startup culture. For example, Nolan Bushenell’s Atari Inc helped shaped the startup culture of Silicon Valley like free food and a casual working atmosphere, which is now followed by many startups around the world.

The Computer History Museum is located at 1401 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043.

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EWAN McGREGOR ON ACTING, HIS PARENTS AND “AMERICAN PASTORAL”

Ewan McGreogor talks about how he got into acting and how his parents helped him with his decision to become an actor. He also talks about his new film American Pastoral, which marks his debut as a director.

American Pastoral is based on Philip Roth’s novel by the same name and stars McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning, Valorie CurryUzo Aduba and David Strathairn.

We have a longer interview with McGregor that we will publish next week. American Pastoral releases on October 21, 2016 in San Francisco Bay area.

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