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Digital filmmaking hits Hilo!

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Date: Monday, May 2, 2005
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) and the Palace Theater offer UH Hilo students, residents and visitors the opportunity to learn about writing, directing and editing their own digital movies from screenwriter Tristine Rainer, Ph.D. Along with film student Ty Williams, Rainer will offer a six-week “film immersion” class at UH Hilo from June 13 to July 22, 2005. Class participation is limited to 20 students.

Rainer has taught film and writing at UCLA and the University of Southern California and, as writer/producer, has helmed numerous movies for television, including Forbidden Nights, which won best picture from JIMMIE for its non-stereotypical image of Asian men, best picture from the National Commission on Working Women, and best picture from American Women in Radio and Television for her groundbreaking portrayal of a woman corporate executive in Games Mother Never Taught You. Ty Williams, a young filmmaker from New Orleans, has already had his short films screened on the Sundance Channel and on HBO.

The Palace Theater will be screening the breakthrough film Tarnation by Jonathan Couette during the first week of class. The film is 31-year-old Johnathan Couatte’s inspiring autobiographical feature length documentary about growing up in a chaotic Texas family with his mentally ill mother. He began the film when he was 11 years old. Tarnation has been hailed as a revolution in filmmaking in part because it was made for a total budget of $218.32 on IMovie, the home movie editing program that came free on the IMac computer someone gave to Couatte. His film was praised by critics, won numerous awards and was nationally released as a feature film in 2004.

Students enrolling in the UH Hilo class “Screenwriting: The Movie in Your Own Backyard,” and offered for credit through the UH Hilo English Department, will be asked by Rainer to tap their own experiences for inspiration. Rainer published the book Your Life as Story (Tarcher/Penguin) in 1998; Your Life helps people understand story structure so that they can identify the stories in their own lives.

Students will have an opportunity to shoot scenes from their films and learn the basics of digital editing on Adobe Premiere Elements, a PC editing program. The Palace Theater will screen the results at the end of the six-week course using its new 10,000 lumen DVD projector. “This is what thrills us all the most—our next generation of Hilo filmmakers!!” said Cheryl "Quack" Moore, president of the Board of Directors of The Friends of The Palace Theater.

For registration information, please call CCECS at 974-7664.


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