May 24, 2017

DV Way Back Wednesday: “Cowboy Dreams”




It’s a Digital Video flashback this week! Take a not so big step in the wayback machine to the summer of 2008 when Professor Paul DeNigris and an all-star crew of DV students and alumni got to work with not one but TWO Hollywood stars: Blue Collar Comedy staple Bill Engvall and Machete himself Danny Trejo! Together they made the Western comedy “Cowboy Dreams,” one of DV’s most memorable movies. (Slightly NSFW, by the way.) The film was penned by frequent UATDV collaborator Steve Briscoe (seen in Ouroboros, Borderlands: Change of Hart, and CrossRealm to name but a few), who also…

DV Students Win Big in IFP 48-Hour Challenge

The "Limelight" Team




UATDV’s entry into the 2016 IFP Phoenix “Beat the Clock” 48-Hour Film Challenge took home THREE awards at the screening on August 4th at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theaters! The film “Limelight” took home awards for Best Poster Design, Best Editing (student Andrew Aguirre was the editor) and Best Picture (student Killian Davies directed). By virtue of winning Best Picture at the challenge, “Limelight” becomes the first Official Selection of the 2017 Phoenix Film Festival, next April! And it will be eligible for more awards there! You can read more about the making of the film and watch a trailer…

w00tstock 8.0 videos online!




For the fifth year in a row, UAT Digital Video was on hand to record the Comic-Con adjacent geek cabaret “w00tstock” at San Diego’s Balboa Theater. Created by Mythbuster Adam Savage, geek icon Wil Wheaton, and comedy music duo Paul and Storm, w00tstock is a little bit of spoken word, a little bit of music, and a lot of nerdiness. This year’s theme was “TEDtalks” and there are a bunch of ridiculous spoof talks that at times are indistinguishable from the real thing. And there’s plenty of music from Paul and Storm and guests like Marian Call and Oscar-winning composer…

DV Students’ New Motion Graphics!

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Students in Professor DeNigris’ DVA254 Motion Graphics class are tasked with re-creating an existing title sequence from a film or TV show as one of their semester projects. The exercise is meant to stretch the students by asking them to look at work done by professional title designers, and figure out how to meet the high bar they set. It’s a hands-on way of forcing students to expand their thought processes and also to better learn their software (in this case Adobe After Effects). Here’s a selection of this semester’s best title sequence re-creations, including Fringe, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Wayward Pines, Parks and…

DV Students’ Short Film “The Composer” Now on YouTube

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Having completed its film festival run, the DV Program’s animated/live action film “The Composer” is now available publicly on YouTube. Written and directed by the student duo of Gwyneth Christoffel and Darien Marion, the film tells the story of an emotionally troubled composer who has lost his motivation to write music until he is transported to a magical realm between the pages of his composition book where a friendly 8th note takes him on an adventure to get his motivation back. You can watch the full film here, or in the embed below. The film combines live action scenes (including some shot…

Digital Video Students Compete in IFP 48-Hour Film Challenge




Last weekend, a team of Digital Video students competed in the IFP Phoenix “Beat the Clock” 48-Hour Film Challenge – something DV students have done every summer since 2005. Two days is all they get to produce a 5-minute film from concept to completion. As in every 48-hour challenge, there were some parameters given by IFP to ensure that the films were actually completed in the allotted time, and not filmed beforehand. Two possible lines of dialogue and two possible props were given; the UATDV team chose “That gives me a tingly feeling” as the line and a plant as…

UAT Alumni Abraham Stopani Publishes First Novel

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Abraham Stopani (class of 2004) has hit the Young Adult fantasy literature scene today with his debut novel Terra Soul, under his pen name S.J. Abraham. The book focuses on Ayla, a gawky, photophobic comic book geek who abruptly discovers that the reason she doesn’t fit in on Earth is because she’s not from here. She gets transported to her homeworld of Karanik through a fold in space and she soon discovers that she’s meant to be the heir to a noble house that is embroiled in a war with an alien force and in intrigue with the other noble houses…

Behind the Scenes of UATDV’s “Toppled”




Back in February the UAT Tech Blog reported that the Digital Video Program had cast veteran film and TV actor Tony Amendola in their latest short film “Toppled.” While the film is still being tweaked in post-production and is awaiting its film festival debut, some behind the scenes videos have been released showcasing different aspects of the production. The video above gives the student perspective on the experience of working on the film, which was UAT’s first to be shot on our brand new Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K camera. Working at the “Ultra HD” resolution of 3840 pixels by 2160 pixels…

Digital Video Students Produce Documentary for Valley Leadership




As part of UAT’s ongoing relationship with Valley Leadership, Digital Video student Andrew Aguirre recently headed up a team of DV students to produce a short documentary about one of VL’s community outreach projects, “Experiences of a Lifetime.” The project was a collaboration between Valley Leadership and the Foundation for Senior Living and was designed to grant wishes to senior citizens, ranging from makeovers to outdoor adventures. Aguirre and his team from DVA323 DV Production Studio class shot the documentary on location at CityScape in Phoenix, using Canon 5D Mark II and 7D digital SLR cameras, Tascam and Zoom audio…

Help UATDV Get to w00tstock 2016!




Every Summer since 2012, UAT Digital Video faculty and students have made a road trip to San Diego to film w00tstock, “a night of geeks + music” hosted by Mythbuster Adam Savage, geek icon Wil Wheaton, and comedy music duo Paul and Storm. Our coverage of w00tstock every year is the best on the web, and we’ve been on hand to capture amazing moments like George R.R. Martin smashing a guitar, LeVar Burton leading the audience in the “Reading Rainbow” song, Adam Savage singing “I Will Survive” as Gollum, and veteran voice actor Rob Paulsen singing “Yakko’s World” from memory –…