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‘The Art Of Making It’ Takes On An Art World Ecosystem “On The Verge Of Collapse” – For The Love Of Docs

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In one of his most famous songs, Stephen Sondheim wrote about the challenge of creating art: “Having just a vision’s no solution/Everything depends on execution/The art of making art, is putting it together.”

But what if, as an aspiring talent, you’ve got the vision, the execution, you put it together just so and yet still can’t make it in the art world? That is, in some respects, the dilemma explored in the documentary The Art of Making It, which played as part of Deadline’s For the Love of Docs virtual event series. It examines an art ecosystem “on the verge of collapse,” as the filmmakers put it, one that serves extremely wealthy gallery owners, super-rich collectors, museum board grandees, a few “name” artists, but leaves young creators struggling to launch and sustain careers.

“I realized how challenging it is and also how at the highest levels of the art world, it seems like art is typically dialogued about more as a commodity and less as a place to exchange ideas,” director Kelcey Edwards observed during a panel discussion after the screening. “I started to kind of become concerned that these artists who were trying to express themselves and foster important cultural dialogue about some of the most pressing issues of our time were running against the unsustainability of what they were trying to do and so many barriers to entry.”

One of the only tickets to success for gifted but unknown artists is to pursue an MFA degree from a place like Yale University, which charges hefty tuition fees. Despite the prohibitive costs, what grads actually wind up with is a lottery ticket, with low odds of paying off.

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“We were hoping to shine a light on people crazy enough to take on all this debt and receive all this education. And even with a terminal degree from a school like Yale, the chances of making It — which in our minds was being able to support yourself, doing what you’re trained to do — was less than 5 percent,” noted producer Debi Wisch. “I think you’d be hard pressed to find any other… nonlinear profession where the chances of making it are sort of so serendipitous and risky.”

The filmmakers interviewed an array of artists, art critics, professors, curators, gallery owners, art dealers, collectors, and museum directors to paint a portrait of a world that is insular by design. The film explores many themes, including the purpose of museums (an 18th century idea that perhaps doesn’t serve contemporary society, the documentary suggests), the lack of public funding for the arts, wealthy collectors buying art and squirreling it away from public view, and gallery owners joining museum boards, which perhaps constitutes a conflict of interest because they man the gates at two entry points to success.

The range of voices created a storytelling challenge for editor Nyneve Laura Minnear.

“It was 38 interviews, something like that, this daunting task of weaving together,” Minnear explained. “I came into this not so familiar with the art world — other than being an art lover and visiting museums — but learning about the issues through the interviewers themselves is sort of this process that, editors, we like to talk about it as an archeological process, an excavation of ideas, and how do you start to see connections and patterns and start to see how the footage speaks for itself?”

Minnear said the creative team behind the documentary set themselves a difficult task (as Sondheim wrote) “putting it together.”

“[We came] up with this method where each scene had to do three things: It had to help us fall in love with the art and artists, surprise us and be something new you didn’t necessarily know about the art world, and be entertaining,” Minnear said. “The pace of finding this way to make it entertaining while you’re also digesting a lot of information was very, very challenging.”

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Edwards came to the film with an ideal background. Her father was a museum curator and in her 20s she started a nonprofit art gallery herself in Austin, Texas. Over time, she has seen some positive change in the art world, but not enough.

“There is more accountability and transparency than there has been, theoretically,” Edwards commented. “Just the fact that a film like this is getting made and seen is important… One of the biggest things I noticed in my interviews was how relieved everyone was to be talking about these things. It was palpable… People were dying to lift this veil. I think the art world, in a funny way, is sick of itself in the ways that it is problematic and contradictory and unjust and unfair.”

Edwards added, “I think the people engaging in the superficial kind of layers of [the art world] are trying to figure out themselves, how can we do a better job, where did we fall in love with all of this in the first place? There’s a long way to go.”

The Art of Making It comes from Wischful Thinking Productions, in association with Artemis Rising Foundation, Be Forward Productions and Iron Gate East Productions. Watch the full conversation with the filmmakers above.

For the Love of Docs screens a new documentary every Tuesday night into December. Our virtual event series is presented by National Geographic.

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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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