Fluid Focuses Graphics and Scoring Talents for Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

New York-based Fluid exercised its graphics/editorial skills and original music scoring/sound design chops for a number of creative projects that are part of the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, an internationally renowned festival held each year in Durham, NC.

Last year the Full Frame Institute, an educational arm of the festival, together with the International Affairs Council and the Association of Documentary Filmmakers in Turkey, launched an innovative filmmaker exchange program, which used documentary film to deepen cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, K?¬∫lt?¬∫r/Culture, the Turkish American Exchange Project, allowed filmmakers to examine their rooted-ness in particular cultures through the creation of a dozen short documentaries that explore a theme common to all: Time. The filmmakers ?√Ñ√¨ six from Turkey and six from the United States Рdeveloped new understandings of their own and other cultures, while affording them the opportunity to document their introspective journeys on film.

The result is Time Piece, a film that will have its world premiere this year at the festival. The festival turned to Fluid to create an equally unique solution of sound and visuals that would knit the dozen short films together. Fluid Partner/Design Director Alex Frowein created a graphic opening and a graphic template which weaves the shorts into an omnibus film while Fluid Fred Syzmanski created the sound design for the open and interstitials.

‘The main challenge was how to create a look that would work for a wide variety of styles and themes. With a dozen filmmakers contributing to the anthology, I had to create a title treatment that would, at once, be universal and, at the same time, speak to each of the 12 films and still convey their individuality. The main theme was time ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® specifically, the passage of time ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® which eventually led me to the movement of the sun – a more or less universal understanding of time. I searched for a way to convey the passage of time without the use of clocks or other manmade measurements. Ultimately, I chose to use 12 panels (the number of directors), each reflecting a slightly different moment of the sun’s passage through the sky on any given day. From dawn ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§til dusk, time is represented as a progression of color temperature changes that reflect what we might see on the horizon. This simple transformation serves as a symbol for time as the films themselves tell their individual stories,’ explained Alex Frowein.’

‘For each film title I used the section of the main treatment that represented it’s internal time and blended in an image from the film. This became the unifying technique that tied the dozen shorts together. Sonically, Fred and I were looking for something that would not anchor the piece in any given geographical or cultural style. We decided to create a sound collage instead of a ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§piece of music.’s We hear slivers of moments from all around the world that give the impression of a journey across time and space, stopping only briefly in any one place – as though you were tuning a giant radio to listen in on a world of activity as the day progresses,’ Frowein continued.

‘Fluid inspired graphics, visual design and use of sound elegantly underline and unify the work of the dozen filmmakers whose shorts make up Time Piece’ explained Nancy Buirski, Founder/Executive Director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. ‘This is an important collaboration and, to my knowledge, there has never been a project like this in the history of cinema. Twelve filmmakers express their personal stories through distinct cultural lenses in the framework of a subject that connects all cultures. These filmmakers are breaking new ground, which clearly demonstrates shared interests and concerns while it manifests striking stylistic differences. Fluid graphic template pulls these shorts together into a feature length anthology which we are planning to enter into numerous festivals and eventually show on television or in movie theaters.’

For a Full Frame short trailer, which will be screened before each festival film, Fluid Partner/Lead Composer Andrew Sherman, working with McKinney (Durham, North Carolina), a festival sponsor and its agency of record, composed an original musical underscore.

‘The impressionistic trailer embodies the philosophy of documentary films which record the real world, real life, real happenings. Although evocative of ink blots, human figures peering in on real life can be discerned as the animation morphs into a poster for the festival, followed by a sponsorship scroll. Andrew composed a moody piece of music, a mix of ethereal piano sounds and sound design, that fits the picture perfectly,’ said McKinney Music Producer Anson Burtch.

Lastly, Fluid collaborated with McKinney on Realitywood, a promotional campaign for Full Frame. Created to promote the festival, popular documentaries were re-envisioned as though they had been made by a Hollywood studio. Especially outrageous was the gentle and wondrous nature documentary, March of the Penguins, which is rendered as a :90 action-packed spoof replete with laser battles and is underscored by a gigantic surging Hollywood-style film score created by Fluid Judson Crane. A second spoof sports an over-the-top Broadway musical theme with an explosive orchestral track by Fluid composer Andrew Sherman. The two prove, once and for all, that ‘some stories make better documentaries.’

‘Working with Andrew and Judson is like trying to choose between a Bentley or a Rolls Royce, both are great! Both composers turned in music that matched the pieces dead on. They took the creative direction and ran with it. Whatever the job, these guys give it everything they have and the work is always better as a result,’ added McKinney Music Producer Anson Burtch.

Full Frame is the premier festival of its kind in the United States. Now in its ninth year, the annual four-day event in Durham, NC features more than 100 films from around the world as well as panel discussions, question-and-answer sessions and seminars and this year takes place April 6 ?Äì 9.

FLUID, the New York-based, award-winning music and editorial studio, is headquartered at 532 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10012; phone (212) 431-4342; fax (212) 431-6525. Visit the FLUID website at www.fluidny.com. For more information, or to see a reel, contact Jessica Millington.

Credits For Time Piece:

Fluid (New York, NY):

Graphics/Editorial: Alex Frowein

Editorial Producer: Virginia Galvan

Executive Producer: Marc Schwartz

Sound Designer: Fred Szymanski

America Directors:

Edet Belzberg

Linda Goode Bryant

Alex Gibney

Nathaniel Kahn

Albert Maysles

Sam Pollard

Turkish Directors:

Nurdan Arca

?ñzg?ºr Arik

Ersan Ocak

Murad ?ñzdemir

Sehbal Senyurt

M?ºstafa ?únl?º

Credits the Full Frame short trailer:

Fluid (New York, NY)

Composer: Andrew Sherman

Music Producer: Ian Jeffreys

Executive Producer: David Shapiro

McKinney (Durham, NC)

Senior VP/Exec Creative Director: David Baldwin

Art Director: Wes Whitener

Copywriter: Mitch Bennett

Producer: Regina Brizzolara

Music Producer: Anson Burtch

Credits for Promos:

Composers: Andrew Sherman and Judson Crane

Executive Producer: David Shapiro

Senior VP/Exec Creative Director: David Baldwin

Copywriter: Mitch Bennett

Music Producer: Anson Burtch

Director: Kevin Donovan

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