Industry Pro calls “Presque Isle” Enchanting
“That was a very watchable, enchanting film, and its imagery lingered in my mind for several days afterward. My compliments to you and your crew for coming through with a soulful creation and a powerful example of cinematic storytelling.”
Director of Photography
“Presque Isle” World Premiere at the Mill Walley film festival
We are proud to announce that the World Premiere of PRESQUE ISLE, our first feature film, has been given a prime time Friday night slot at the Cine Arts Sequoia Theatre in Mill Valley. Rob Nilsson’s long time association with the festival began in 1979 when, NORTHERN LIGHTS which had just won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, had it’s North American Premiere at Mill Valley. Since that time Mill Valley has featured all of Nilsson’s films including his nine feature film 9 @ Night Film Cycle, produced with the Tenderloin Group his ensemble of street players and professional actors from the San Francisco Tenderloin.
Also featured at Mill Valley this year are World Premieres of the last two of Nilsson’s 9 @ Night Films, USED and GO TOGETHER. The completed series will now go on to play at the Harvard Film Archive, Nov. 17-19. This will be the first time that all nine films will play together in their intended order, three films a night for three nights, a total of 14 hours of film. Following that the films will open in the Bay Area at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center and other selected cinemas.
This will be an historic night for PRESQUE ISLE and a kick- off for an upcoming distribution campaign which we hope will reach all corners of the world. Come and see what a little school with big dreams can accomplish. We’ll see you there.
Clips of FilmschoolSF’s first feature film “Presque Isle” shown at the San Francisco international film festival with presentation from writer / director Rob Nilsson
FilmschoolSF Instructor, Milena Grozeva-Levy and Writer/Director, Rob Nilsson are wrapping up the final edit on the FilmschoolSF produced Feature Film, “Presque Isle”. Clips of the film were shown at an evening featuring Rob’s work on Saturday, April 28th at the San Francisco International Film Festival, held at the Sundance Cinemas Kabuki.
The program, entitled “Carved from Pavement: The Work of Rob Nilsson” included a Nilsson interview by Festival Director, Graham Leggat, scenes from former films and the four films currently in post production, introduction of long time Nilsson collaborators and a discussion session about the ideas behind Nilsson’s “Direct Action” work.
FilmschoolSF collaborates with Bay Area legendary filmmaker Rob Nilsson on feature film!
FilmschoolSF is currently in post-production on its first feature-length motion picture,Presque Isle. Written and directed by Bay Area independent filmmaker Rob Nilsson, Presque Isle was crewed by a combination of Bay Area movie professionals and FilmschoolSF students. The film was shot using the latest HD digital filmmaking equipment.
About the collaboration Nilsson says, “I like to take artistic risks and FilmschoolSF is promoting visions and verges or they wouldn’t be working with me. I also like doing better than talking. This is a hands-on action oriented group. I never believed in film school, until now.”
FilmschoolSF’s active production company, Fog City Pictures, produces two feature films per year. These production provide a rare opportunity for digital filmmaking students to learn their craft from working professionals in a real world environment. FilmschoolSF students were involved in all aspects of the Presque Isle production. They worked as Associate Producers, Assistant Camera, Grips and Electrics, Set Decorators, Props, Wardrobe, Boom Operators and Assistant Editors.
Pixel Corps, the Bay Area-based “guild for digital craftsmen,” will provide many of the Compositing and Special FX shots.
Fog City Pictures is currently in pre-production on its next project, a love story to be shot in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. The film, Around June, is scheduled to begin production in January 2007.
Rob Nilsson, an award-winning director since the 1970s, was the first American director to win both the Camera d’Or at Cannes (for his 1978 film Northern Lights) and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival (for Heat and Sunlight, 1987). He has in recent years been working with the Tenderloin Action Group (now the Tenderloin yGroup), a San Francisco inner-city acting workshop, on a series of nine “street-level” digital features, cast from the group, about the lives of inner city characters.
Presque Isle is set in Nilsson’s childhood home of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He describes the story as “touching on themes of memory, human suffering, family reconciliation, and also a portrait of a land much neglected by American cinema.” The film will be shot on location in the Santa Cruz Mountains and using the school’s green screen for special effects and compositing.
Filmmakers speak about student professionalism
Willingness, strong motivation, attentiveness. Add to that… talent. We had students heading departments, learning as they worked. To me this sort of passion will out- perform an efficient, but cold professionalism any day. This was a very difficult shoot by any standard but the students worked as if they didn’t know that. Nothing seemed beyond them. I hope it never will be.
Bay Area Filmmaker & Presque Isle
Writer & Director
Spending a month of both creative and physical challenges with these inspired students was truly memorable. They were always eager and ready to learn, putting 110 % of their effort. Sound recording tends to get less attention than cinematography and acting. We often pay the price for it when we get to the post-production. The students knew about this from their own experience. I edit too, and that’s why I know how important the sound is. Much experience in various circumstances helps, but most importantly good preparation and attention to details always pay off. Each project comes with a different set of challenges and provides us something new to learn. Remember to be vocal and pushy when trying to get the best sound for yourself and for the project. I’m looking forward to working with these students/great people again in near future.
Presque Isle Sound
FilmschoolSFFilmschoolSF student Aaron Stough speaks about his experience as a key grip on “Presque Isle”
Prior to the start of Presque Isle, I had interest in possibly doing editing on the movie. As the start date drew closer and I did more work on other student movies, I realized that I’d like to find what I want to do for a profession on this movie, and editing wasn’t it. So with the permission of the teachers, I dove head first into doing lighting/grip work for the full month. It was a very physically taxing position, but that was definitely counter weighed by the amount of fun it was.
I had the privilege to work with Ernie Kunze, Professional Gaffer and Key Grip. He not only taught me industry terms for equipment, but also tips and tricks to make work go faster and easier. I heard stories of his own experience in the industry, and how those situations could be applied to my own future as a Grip. While I went into the project fairly confident from what I learned from Stephen Kopels (FilmschoolSF Founder and Director of Education), with what I learned from Ernie added I had no fears about being able to perform in the Grip position on any set.
What was a bonus was being promoted to Key Grip. Jeremiah Birnbaum (FilmschoolSF Founder, Director of Productions and Executive Producer of Presque Isle) and James Savoca (FilmschoolSF Instructor and Producer of Presque Isle) both felt that with the work I did and time I was putting in, that I was deserving of the title. And thankfully by the end I hadn’t disappointed them! All in all it was a very eye opening and educational experience.Prior to the start of Presque Isle, I had interest in possibly doing editing on the movie. As the start date drew closer and I did more work on other student movies, I realized that I’d like to find what I want to do for a profession on this movie, and editing wasn’t it. So with the permission of the teachers, I dove head first into doing lighting/grip work for the full month. It was a very physically taxing position, but that was definitely counter weighed by the amount of fun it was.
Digital Filmmaking Program
Key Grip, Presque Isle