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Doc Short Contenders Announced by Academy

Multicam editing at Casual Dog Productions, LLC

Multicam editing at Casual Dog Productions, LLC

I was supposed to be editing…  I had been fighting gremlins for weeks – some of my own making, many that appear to be bugs idiosyncrasies features in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.  You know, Adobe – the company who got themselves hacked, meaning my credit card number stolen, so that I had to update every other utility and such that had that number.  Maybe those folks are onto something, when they advise that your editing machine not be connected to the internet.  But, honest, I was only looking at documentary film related news!

I just saw the list, via the Below the Line newsletter, of the short-form documentary films that will be vying for an Oscar this year.  This is the short list, later to be winnowed to five or so before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences votes.   Hopefully, a DVD will be produced that gathers them all for our viewing pleasure.  The whole slate looks intriguing, as usual.  Here are a couple that caught my eye…

Jujitsu-ing Reality from Chad Mann on Vimeo.

I was most intrigued by the trailer for Jujitsu-ing Reality, a short doc directed and edited by Chetin Chabuk and lensed by Chad Mann.  It tells the story of Scott Lew, a screenwriter (most recently Sexy Evil Genius) who continues to write, using adaptive technologies and help from others, while suffering from advanced ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).  I don’t think it looks at what is possible for less privileged people facing such disabilities, but it sounds inspiring.

Another intriguing entry is Cave Digger by Jeffrey Karoff and filmed by DP Anghel Decca, edited by Erin Nordstrom  The film is about Ra Paulette and his ‘art caves’ dug into the sandstone cliffs of Northern New Mexico.  An iconoclast, he is embarked on a decade-long project.  How does he pay for it?

None of these films seem very daring, let alone experimental. But it is the Academy, after all…