Graphic Novels for February

For some time I’ve had suspicions that there’s a lot I can learn about storytelling from graphic novels. It’s the perfect tug-of-war between words and pictures, which has always been my dilemma as a writer and director. But I’ve been unsure how exactly to dive in and start a serious study of this art form. That is, until now.

Over at The Atlantic website, February is ‘Graphic Novel Month’ and they’ve put together a short curriculum of four books chosen by popular vote. First up is Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. I read this today in one sitting which says something about how much I enjoyed it. You can read my short review and how I think filmmakers would benefit from it over in my reading room.

I’ll be using this as a reference as I dive into the three remaining classics for the month:

If you decide to pursue the same curriculum, you can follow the group discussion all month-long on Twitter with the corresponding hashtags:

  1. February 6-12: Discuss Understanding Comics using hashtag #1b140_1
  2. February 13-19: Discuss The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale using hashtag #1b140_2
  3. February 20-26: Discuss V for Vendetta using hashtag #1b140_3
  4. February 27-March 4: Discuss Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes using hashtag #1b140_4

‘New Technologies & Opportunities’ Presentation –

This is a presentation I recently did on ‘New Technologies and Opportunities for Filmmakers in the Middle East’.

It offered me an opportunity to explore some new possibilities of storytelling with tools like PC tablets and dSLR cameras that I’d like to use for my own filmmaking in the coming months. If you’re interested in things like crossmedia, the iPad, and independent distribution then I think you’ll enjoy this.

One of the themes of this presentation is the idea that we as filmmakers need to provide our stories or messages in various forms to our audience.

With that in mind, you have TWO WAYS of enjoying this presentation depending on your preference:

FIRST OPTION, you can download a PDF of the slides and written narration.

SECOND OPTION is to simply read the post below, where I’ve embed the slides and some delicious videos and useful hyperlinks.

Enjoy . . . and tell me what you think:


New Technologies & Opportunities
for Filmmakers in the Middle East

1. Introduction:

In order for us to use new technologies we have be ready to conquer a learning curve and the feeling of being disorientated.  Despite this, as filmmakers we must embrace the new opportunities these developments provide.

We will be talking specifically about the Middle Eastern region but much of what I’ll say is applicable to most of the world especially if you live in an underdeveloped region and you’re trying to communicate a story for your local and global audience.

This short presentation isn’t meant to be a sermon – rather the beginning of a conversation. I really want to hear your opinions about how we as filmmakers can leverage technology.

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