Max Fleischer’s 1917 patent application for the Rotoscope

VFX: How long can you stand before the wheel of pain?

How long can you stand before the wheel of pain? is the title of a cartoon from Vee Eff Vex, “a collection of frustration and — sometimes — humor in black and white by Jesse Mesa Toves,” lampooning the business of creating visual effects (VFX) for motion pictures.

“What is good in life?” coaxes the slave-driver, who wields a whip. “Crush your deadlines, see long lines at the movies, and hear the applause of the audience,” recites the slave (presumably, a visual-effects artist).


  If the embedded cartoon does not show above, see  the source status update on Twitter or  source Facebook post

 @zeustoves—Jesse Mesa Toves on Twitter

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WANDER MY FRIENDS publicity poster

WANDER MY FRIENDS, comedy feature by Raz Cunningham

WANDER MY FRIENDS ensemble as comic book art

BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Boston-based filmmaker Robert Angelo “Raz” Cunningham has written and directed a feature, WANDER MY FRIENDS. Billed as “a comedy about comics and their creators,” it chronicles the principals of an independent comic-book publisher as they cope with the challenges which accompany success, including the unexpected arrival of a new and eccentric artistic partner, and the encroachments of a business partner which threatens their independence.

The cast includes Milo MacPhail, Josh Krebs, Melanie Hardy, Raz Cunningham, and Charles Lafond.

The movie was produced for Small Giant Media by Melanie Hardy, on a budget of US$30,000.

WANDER MY FRIENDS is Cunningham’s first feature. Previously, he had worked as production assistant on several pictures, including THE MESSENGERS, WEST 32ND, and MOONRISE KINGDOM. A native of Rhode Island, he was educated in New York, at Marymount Manhattan College.

Raz Cunningham online


 @razcunningham follows @cinemaminima on Twitter

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Erwin Blom copyright Maurice/Haags Uitburo

Dutch media entrepreneur Erwin Blom

De Realtime Revolutie; Hoe Twitter (bijna) alles verandert

BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Erwin Blom is a Dutch media entrepreneur and journalist. His most recent book is The Realtime Revolution: How Twitter (Almost) Changes Everything | De Realtime Revolutie; Hoe Twitter (bijna) alles verandert. In 2008 he co-founded The Crowds, a social media consultancy, after a career as a journalist in print, radio, TV, and online. In 2011 his firm started the publisher–cum–media-platform Fast Moving Targets, which covers trends in media, technology, and communications. He lives and works in Amsterdam.

Note—Everything cited here is in Dutch; to browse these links, English speakers will need a translation tool, such as Google Translate, Bing Translator, &c.


Erwin Blom online

Fast Moving Targets

 Erwin Blom tweets from @erwblo — and I am delighted to report that he follows @cinemaminima!

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Max Fleischer’s 1917 patent application for the Rotoscope

Visual-effects makers: How’s that ramen tasting?

Hollywood bosses gloat over exorbitant movie profits while visual-effects makers subsist on cheap instant noodles, in the latest, tart comment on the state of the visual-effects business from the mordant-loaded brush of artist Jesse Mesa Toves, whose robust revival of the editorial cartoon delivers its satirical punch with dramatic visual storytelling.

Eleven billion polygons? I can’t count that high,” says a boss, standing over a harried visual-effects artist, who is eating at his workstation, trying to slurp up a cup of instant noodles. In the foreground, a chart shows projected boxoffice for 2014 rocketing past eleven billion dollars, to twelve. “Wait. Actually I think I can.” Toves adds: “Congratulations Hollywood, that $12-billion year looks like a given … ?”

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photo of Joan Hughes

Joan Hughes 1976 ✠ 2014 “The Movie Maven”: podcaster delighted fans of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy

BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Joan Hughes, whose Twitter status updates and podcast had delighted fans of horror, science fiction, and fantasy movies, died unexpectedly Thursday morning, March 13, 2014, in Mobile, Alabama. On Monday three days before, she had gone to an Emergency Room for treatment of pneumonia. On Wednesday, she posted a picture of herself from her sickbed to Twitter, remarking, “Can’t show the full picture, but u get the idea. I’m in the hospital with pneumonia, but I fight back.”

Photo of Joan Hughes

“Movies have always been a part of who I am,” she said, “a constant in my life, and a big part of my world.” Although she loved all kinds of movies, her focus was on horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories. She shared her enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, the genres with other fans via her Twitter account @Writer1976.

She was a beloved figure in the #HorrorFamily community of horror-movie fans on Twitter, as the outpouring of heartfelt tributes to her at #RIPJoan attest.


Her podcast, The Movie Maven, is a genial and engaging half-hour to one-hour entertainment. Hughes shared her passion with listeners in a tone that was easy, and conversational; she put interviewees at ease with a style that was gracious and informal. The podcast debuted in July, 2013, and delivered 26 episodes, including an interview with producer Sandy King Carpenter.



Joan Hughes was a Special Education teacher: “I love it so much,” but, she added, “It’s hard work, and is a bit draining at times. However, I am always happy when I have done something to help another child.” She was an alumna of Bowie State University in Maryland, where she studied psychology. Her hometown was Hyattsville, Maryland. She lived in Eight Mile, Alabama, with her husband, Larry Hughes, Jr.

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Picture of Vera Chytilova beside movie camera

Věra Chytilová 1929 ✠ 2014 filmmaker of the Czechoslovak New Wave; director of exuberant 1966 satire DAISIES | SEDMIKRÁSKY

BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Filmmaker Věra Chytilová 1929 ✠ 2014 directed the exuberant satire DAISIES | SEDMIKRÁSKY (1966), a high-water mark of the Czechoslovak New Wave of the 1960s. The film’s insouciant contempt for authority; its feminist mirth, and bold treatment of sexual politics — not to mention its radical disregard for cinematic convention — outraged Czechoslovakia’s Communist overlords; they banned the film, and blacklisted her, preventing her from working as a filmmaker for six years.

She resumed feature filmmaking with the charming and numinous FRUIT OF PARADISE | OVOCE STROMŮ RAJSKÝCH JÍME, which was among the official selection in competition at the 1970 Cannes film festival. Among her later features are THE APPLE GAME | HRA O JABLKO (1977), THE INHERITANCE, OR FUCKOFFGUYSGOODDAY | DEDICTVÍ ANEB KURVAHOSIGUTNTAG (1993), and her final film, PLEASANT MOMENTS | HEZKÉ CHVILKY BEZ ZÁRUKY (2006).

Animated GIF clip: Eve from Vera Chytilova's FRUIT OF PARADISE


Věra Chytilová’s career was singular: She graduated from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague at the age of forty-three, the only woman in the class. She elected to remain in her country after the Soviet Union invaded it in 1968, unlike many of her colleagues, such as Miloš Forman, Ján Kadár, and Ivan Passer, who fled to the West. Her contribution to cinema is exceptional. Viewing her films will continue to be essential to the formation of filmmakers for as long as cinema exists. REQUIESCAT IN PACE

Věra Chytilová



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Peter Sellers, Peter O’Toole in WHAT’S NEW, PUSSYCAT?

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