A. Michael Baldwin's film career began as a teenager when he had starring roles in films such as Kenny & Company and Phantasm. Now an adult, he's stepped behind the camera at My First Music Video, where he yields the spotlight to the next generation of young talent.
Each session begins in the recording studio, where singers lay down vocals on a track of their choice while Michael's team captures candid behind-the-scenes footage.
Once the song is ready to go, video stars film a performance inside My First Music Video's studio, which is furnished with a choice of backdrops. Next, the singer and Michael's crew film scenes at up to four indoor or outdoor locations. Approximately 10 days after the four-hour shoot, Michael sends a final cut of the high-definition clip, rather than projecting the video into the night sky to summon all talent agents.
At Red Rogue Studio, photographers Julian Humphries and Amber McConnell unite old and new technology. They don't rely solely on digital cameras, also shooting with 35 mm and Polaroid instant film, which lends their photos an authentically vintage look. However, after their shoots, they retouch their images—which range in style from senior portraits to family photos to sultry boudoir shots—with high-end software, perfecting the photos by editing out any stray hairs, which were only fashionable in the 1980s.
It’s sometimes incredible to fathom just how many people are behind one movie: you need a group to write a script, draw up storyboards, direct, act, hold the camera, do makeup...the list goes on. Casting all these roles is a familiar task to Suezean Matarazzo and Nicholle Walton-Durban, both veterans of the film industry. At Austin Film and Arts Academy, they teach elementary- through high school-aged students how to collaborate on a short movie of their own.
In the academy's main digital filmmaking course, students go from developing their ideas to shooting and lighting each scene on location. While they focus on the bigger picture, other participants refine more specialized skills, such as choreographing stunts, creating horror makeup, or keeping the crew away from craft service before lunch.
Classes stay small, so the academy's roster of instructors and guest speakers—such as casting agents and stuntmen—can grant each student personalized attention. Every session culminates in a final project, such as auditioning on camera or, in the case of digital filmmaking, receiving a DVD of your movie along with a customized poster.
Photo shoots should be fun, breezy, and most of all, depict subjects as they truly are. With that goal in mind, the photographers of Atxpics take their cameras into the field to shoot families, couples, and solo models with an emphasis on personal comfort and ease. The team regularly brings focus to weddings and other important life moments, capturing them in vivid color and sharp black and white. That also extends to prints, which the team meticulously edits before producing each copy as an individual shot, as part of a calendar, or as a T-shirt that reminds your parents what you look like whenever they look down.
Filling a chamber with music is as pleasing to the senses as filling a bathtub with warm pudding. Fully grasp this truism by checking out today's side deal: for $12, you get one ticket to one concert (a $25 value) during the Austin Chamber Music Festival, organized by the Austin Chamber Music Center. The festival's eclectic lineup of talent spans the musical divide, tickling the tonal reaches by way of piano trios, string quartets, and tango-inspired quintets. Depending on your flavor of chambered love, choose one or more of the following concerts:
Cavani String Quartet on Friday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m., Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
The Bad Plus on Saturday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m., Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
Brentano String Quartet on Sunday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m., Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
Raul Jaurena and The Texas Tango Five on Friday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Claremont Piano Trio on Saturday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Der Golem performed by Carpe Diem String Quartet and clarinetist Paul Green on Sunday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Escher String Quartet on Friday, July 30, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Festival Finale with Kelly Willis on Saturday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m., Brentwood Christian School, 11908 N. Lamar Boulevard
Tickets for all performances are uniformly priced. Guests who would like to sit together are encouraged to purchase multiple Groupons under the same name.
The Austin Chamber Music Center's performances have been featured in the Austin Chronicle and on the Austin American-Statesman blog, Austin360.com. The center has won several awards, including the award for Best Chamber Performance at the 2007–2008 Austin Critics' Table Awards.