International REMIX

Susan Gerhard April 19, 2006

If you haven’t yet found your repurpose in life, the San Francisco International Fim Festival’s International Remix site might be of use. There, a worldwide cast of filmmakers from the SFIFF have donated clips from their films, 20 or so of them, from Mark Decena’s “The Light” to Karl L. Reid’s “The Pretty Boy Project,” for you to mess with, mash up, recontextualize, and otherwise entertain your friends with, in the comfort of your own home. Music is supplied by Marc Capelle and Monte Vallier. The technology comes from the brainwaves at Yahoo! Research Berkeley. The project as a whole arrives courtesy SF Film Society, SF State’s Institute for Next Generation Internet, and MOD Films. The best of the remixed-movie lot will be screened free at the Edinburgh Castle Monday, April 24, at 10 p.m. For a blow-by-blow on the process, watch Remix developer Ryan Shaw gives a demo at the Apple Store on Powell, Saturday, April 22, at 4 p.m.

When asked for a favorite so far, Shaw — a PhD student at the UC Berkeley School of Information and a part-time researcher at YRB — said he couldn’t narrow it down to one. Shaw explained his research looks at “how models and methods of large-scale distributed collaboration might be applied to audiovisual media production and organization.”

When pressed, however, he can also serve as a film critic. He chose “Synth Sync,” by soleil, and “Walk This Way,” by jlp2005. Why? Said Shaw, “I’ve actually been really impressed with what has been created, given the admittedly primitive nature of the remix tool when compared to things like Final Cut Pro. A lot of the best remixes feature cuts synched to music — something that’s pretty tough to do considering that the tool we developed has absolutely no support for that. Both of these remixes are built around the music, but they use it in totally different ways. ‘Synth Sync’ uses a mellow synth track to tie together segments from five very different sources. I just love the way it flows — it’s visual poetry. ‘Walk This Way,’ on the other hand, uses just a single shot as its source material, stretching it out for a minute. I find it entrancing.”