At a recent press conference, expo officials extolled the benefits. “It should be an intellectually stimulating week,” promised Theodore Cateforis, a professor with Syracuse University’s Department of Art and Music Histories. Cateforis coordinated the upcoming program with film fest honcho and fellow SU professor Owen Shapiro. The latter also teased the press that cinematographer Garrett Brown, inventor of the now much-employed Steadicam, would bring in a pair of new gizmos to Syracuse that are not scheduled to make their public debuts until January.
Also at the press conference, Syracuse Film Office director Dennis Brogan cited that professionals and students would witness the new cutting-edge technology to see “where the industry is going.” Yet there’s also some financial upside for Central New York businesses. “We’ve currently got six different films in production,” Brogan said. “Outside of New York City, Syracuse in No. 1 in New York state’s film production.” The movie money thus far, pegged by Brogan as $1.5 million in production costs, could lead to a ripple effect-turned-economic tsunami when more newbie filmmakers arrive at the expo and start thinking about our hometown as a possible shooting location.
After all, that’s what happened to Israeli director Haim Bouzaglo, who was feted at an earlier Syracuse International Film Festival event, then became so taken with the city that he shot the psychological thriller Session here in 2008. The drama, which features script input from Shapiro, stars Scarface actor Steven Bauer, hotsy swimsuit model Bar Refaeli (recently freed from Leonardo Di Caprio’s romantic clutches) and, in what’s reportedly a key role, Syracuse New Times publisher Art Zimmer. (At least that’s what Art keeps telling us.) Session is still in the stages of post-production as soundtrack music is currently being mixed, with hopes for a 2010 premiere in Syracuse.
Like the annual Syracuse International Film Festival, which reshuffles on next year’s calendar to October from its longtime spring berth, the expo will mix confabs with cinema screenings. On Tuesday, Oct. 13, a previous festival hit, Red Like the Sky, will receive a free 7 p.m. showing at SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Ave. The movie is based on the childhood of sound designer Mirco Mencacci, who will hold two separate master classes at Newhouse II on the SU campus on Wednesday, Oct. 14, and Thursday, Oct. 15, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the expo hosts daylong presentations at the Renaissance Syracuse Hotel Conference Center, 701 E. Genesee St., from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the hotel’s Fayetteville, Manlius and Pompey Rooms. Amid the displays by Kodak, Microdolly, Tiffen and others, Jon Fauer, the editor of Film and Digital Times, will present his movie Cinematographer Style at 9:30 a.m. on both days, and Garrett Brown will demonstrate his Steadicam at 2 p.m. Thursday. Seating is limited to 30 people in the rooms, however. Registration is $25 at the door; for information, call 426-8741.
On Wednesday, Oct. 14, director Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent sci-fi classic Metropolis will be screened at 8 p.m. at Newhouse III’s Hergenhan Auditorium, also on the SU campus. Sixteen members of the Society for New Music will perform a score by Argentinean composer Martin Matalon, who will travel from Paris for this concert. Admission is $15, with students and seniors paying $12. For details, call 446-5733.
Also at Hergenhan Auditorium on Thursday, Oct. 15, Richard Dyer from King’s College in London will hold a 7:30 p.m. symposium on “Darken Our Lightness: The Italian Horror Film.” Movie mavens who know what giallo means in Italian cinema are encouraged to attend this free lecture. The noted professor will also discuss “The Place of Subjective Music,” also for free, on Friday, Oct. 16, 1:30 p.m., at the Comstock Room of the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center, 801 University Ave.
Back at Hergenan later on Friday, Oct. 16, two Italian films featuring sound design by Mirco Mencacci will be presented: Puccini e la Fanciulla (Puccini and the Girl) and the late Michelangelo Antonioni’s Lo Sguardo di
Michelangelo (Michelangelo Eye to Eye). The free movies begin at 7:45 p.m.
More free seminars take place on Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Sheraton, including Rhode Island College’s Kathryn Kalinak on “Musical Accompaniment in the Silent Era: A Global Perspective” at 10 a.m., and University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Jeff Smith asking the deathless question “What Can Cue Sheets Tell Us About Film Music of the 1930s?” at 2:15 p.m.
The expo draws to a close later on Oct. 17 with a screen adaptation of the Verdi opera La Traviata at 6:15 p.m. at the Hotel Syracuse’s Persian Terrace, 500 S. Warren St. Garrett Brown will again be on hand to answer more queries about his Steadicam device and how it was employed in the film. Admission at the door is $15, which includes coffee and dessert. For reservations, call 443-8826.
And for those who want to let it all hang out after a week of academics and techies, a dance party takes place at 9:30 p.m., also at the Persian Terrace, with coffee, dessert and music by La Familia de la Salsa. Maybe Owen “Bust-a-Move” Shapiro can samba just like Tom DeLay! Admission is $40 at the door; call 443-8826 for information. She, robot: Brigitte Helm in 1927’s Metropolis, screening Wednesday, Oct. 14, with a score performed by the Society For New Music.
She, robot: Brigitte Helm in 1927’s Metropolis, screening Wednesday, Oct. 14, with a score performed by the Society For New Music.