8 Steps for Making Documentaries


The art of making documentaries is a challenging but fulfilling endeavor. Phases of the process include searching for ideas, honing scriptwriting skills, seeking videography tips and soliciting lighting suggestions. However, the best advice for making a documentary is to jump right in and begin the filmmaking journey. In the past, short films were pitched in theaters before they became feature presentations. Because the market for short movies waned, advertisements and trailers became their replacements, making finding investors nearly impossible. Conversely, with the emergence of the internet, festivals and crowdfunding, filmmakers have more options than ever for producing their stories.

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The Art of Fashion


There is no fashion without art. Major fashion labels and designers have therefore embraced art direction to create looks and theater that go beyond imagination. The industry has often been unfairly judged in the art world, despite the fact that fashion brings together everything synonymous with art: visuals, imagination, design and opinion. We are therefore looking at some of the greatest influencers in the industry who strive to bring art and fashion together in harmony.

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Blu Tuesday: Deepwater Horizon and The Accountant

Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art to purchase the Blu-ray from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on social media with your friends.

“Deepwater Horizon”

WHAT: On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, located just off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, explodes after BP executives bypass an important safety measure due to the project falling behind schedule. Stranded on the platform as it becomes engulfed in flames, chief electronics technician Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) and his fellow crew members must fight their way through the chaos in order to survive.

WHY: Everyone remembers the images of the BP oil spill that dominated the TV news cycle back in 2010, but not many people know the details of what actually happened. It remains one of the largest man-made disasters in U.S. history, and director Peter Berg recreates the tragic event with stunning authenticity. If there’s one thing that Berg clearly prides himself on, it’s the remarkable attention to detail in his films, and “Deepwater Horizon” is no different, from the technical jargon that drives the first half of the story to the brutally realistic action sequences that make up the latter half. Unfortunately, while “Deepwater Horizon” is an effective disaster movie with some decent thrills, solid performances and enough explosions to make even Michael Bay jealous, it doesn’t seem to have a purpose, forgoing the opportunity to examine the aftermath of the spill in greater detail. The film works just fine as a dramatic reenactment of corporate greed gone horribly wrong, but unlike the real-life incident, it will quickly be forgotten.

EXTRAS: In addition to a series of interviews focusing on the five main cast members (Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez and Dylan O’Brien), there’s a behind-the-scenes look at designing and building the rig, a profile on director Peter Berg, on-set footage of production and more.


“The Accountant”

WHAT: Small-town accountant Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) has always been better with numbers than people, moonlighting as a freelancer for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. Determined to stay one step ahead of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes division, Christian accepts a seemingly innocuous job auditing a high-profile robotics company after an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) discovers a discrepancy in the finances. But as Christian gets closer to exposing the truth, he’s targeted by a contract killer (Jon Bernthal) who’s been hired by someone within the company to contain the leak.

WHY: What if Jason Bourne wasn’t an amnesiac super-soldier but rather a high-functioning autistic man with comparable fighting skills? That’s the general idea behind Gavin O’Connor’s “The Accountant,” a film suffering from such an identity crisis that it’s unclear what kind of movie he was trying to make. Though it starts out as both a generic crime procedural and a zen-like character study about an on-the-spectrum math genius struggling to lead a normal life, it completely changes gears midway through and transforms into a straight-up action thriller. The problem is that “The Accountant” never stops being those other films either, resulting in a convoluted and tonally unbalanced mess that is occasionally entertaining but feels like it’s a few drafts away from a finished product. Though “The Accountant” thrives when it embraces its B-movie roots, the film is so desperate not to be reduced to a silly genre flick that it’s unwilling to let go of the stuff that’s dragging it down. This could have been the next Bourne franchise, but sadly, it doesn’t quite add up to the sum of its parts.

EXTRAS: There’s a trio of featurettes on the characters, the movie’s portrayal of autism and filming the action sequences.



How to move around Europe with ease


Europe is an incredible place to visit or live. There is such a mix of culture, people and scenery that with only half an hour of driving, you could change from seeing beaches outside of your window to seeing snowy mountains. The only way to get the most out of your European experience is to travel all over and see what this amazingly diverse place has to offer. There are a few ways to get the full experience of Europe and make the most of your travels.

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Drink of the Week: Barbary Coast or Bishop

Barbary Coast or Biship.If my first selection of 2017 sounds to you like it should have a question mark after it’s name, you’re not far off. This drink is another selection from David Embury’s cocktail masterwork, “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” and the sometimes cranky ur-cocktailian apparently wasn’t sure of the correct name, as he simply called it “Barbary Coast or Bishop.” Indeed, in a footnote he refers to a much better known and sweeter concoction called “The Barbary Coast,” a relative of last week’s Brandy Alexander. There is also a drink out there called “The Bishop,” though I think this drink name refers to the Southern California high desert town, and the other one refers to a cleric.

Still, this indecisively named drink isn’t bad at all. It’s a very moderately sweet blend of classic cocktail ingredients that comes together reasonably well. Not what I’d personally call a home run, but it’s worth a try if you dig the ingredients. Let’s get started.

Barbary Coast or Bishop

2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
1 dash Yellow Chartreuse
1 orange twist (desirable garnish)

Combine the various liquids in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the orange twist and ponder whether you’d rather spend time in the notorious Wild West-era San Francisco red light district and gambling center, or the sleepy, modern day desert town of Bishop

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