Monday, March 31, 2008

Toolbox speaks, Judging Jackson & Judging Shorts

On Tuesday, April 8, 2008, 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM, Nick and Brian will be speaking for the American Institutes of Graphic Artists (AIGA) about their uncompromising style of creativity, and how to exist happily as a creative professional within all the bullshit bureaucracy in DC.

• Nick Pimentel and Brian Liu of ToolboxDC will rant about their uncompromising approach and the inspiration for their eclectic creative experiences, and will mix it up afterwards as the evening's DJs, Yellow Fever.
• Moderator Philippa Hughes of the Pinkline Project will give you the “in” on D.C.’s independent art scene
• David Fogel of Eighty Eight D.C. will let you in on how he brings art to life
• Jayme McLellan of Civilian Art Projects has got the lowdown on what it takes to start a gallery.

click here to pay money to have us lecture you to get off your asses!

Following Disarm's Best Global Insight award at Jackson Hole Film Festival in 2006, Brian has been asked again to be a judge at the 2008 Jackson Hole Film Festival for the 2nd year in a row. Brian will also be DJing the Festival's best parties!

Have you heard of the 48 Hour Film Fest? Well, our good friend Doug Whyte created the International Documentary Challenge in the same spirit, where documentary filmmakers all over the world have 5 days to complete a film short. This year, Brian was honored to be a judge.

Monday, March 24, 2008

This week in New York: Indiepix Cinema Eye Awards & former ToolboxDC designer/studio manager Paul Weil

This week I attended the FIRST Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking, annual awards recognizing the craft of nonfiction or documentary filmmaking. The awards ceremony, packed with documentary world heavyweights, was held on March 18, 2008 at the IFC Center in New York City.

Danielle DiGiacomo, my recent partner-in-crime, and Cinema Eye Honors producer from IndiePix, invited me to attend the awards ceremony. How could i not go? Even when i arrived at the IFC Center, I hadn't yet quite realized the magnitude of what i was attending, but it quickly became obvious to me that I was witnessing history in the making. With documentaries having such a rich history and effect on our society, it's sad and mindboggling that to this point there had not been any other organized recognition for docs other than a single Oscar award for Best Documentary. How can that be?

Started by filmmaker and reknown blogger AJ Schnack ("Kurt Cobain, About A Son"), the Cinema Eye Honors filled a much needed hole in filmmaking recognition. Can you believe that before this award, there was no award for best documentary cinematography, or best production, or best director? ...only the single general Oscar for Best Doc. Pretty disgraceful of the Academy, actually....

Check out all the winners here! By the way, I haven't seen either Manda Bala (Send A Bullet) or The Monastery yet, but im definitely dying to now!

In any case, it was an honor to be a guest, be surrounded by such great energy and inspirations, and to be a witness to this historical moment. Cheers to my friends Danielle, Pamela Cohn, Jason & Jordan from IndiePix, DJ/Composer Ionic Furjanic, AJ, and everyone else involved in organizing this great event and creating A NEW INDUSTRY STANDARD!

Finally, as a side note, the next day, Danielle and I had the pleasure of relaxing in Brooklyn for an entire rainy day with former ToolboxDC designer and studio manager Paul Weil, his wife stylist Johanna Methusalemsdottir, and their 13 month old baby Lola (and our pal Vinnie Angel, who makes his legendary Tampon Cases). Lola is without a doubt the most beautiful baby I've ever seen, and makes me tear up each time i see her. We're very proud of Paul, but he is also sorely missed here in DC and at Toolbox.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Marvin art timelapse video

on vimeo: on youtube:

You may have now been to or heard of Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation’s amazing new DC restaurant/lounge in tribute to Marvin Gaye at 14th/U Street, NW called Marvin. Eric commissioned ToolboxDC to design and build an installation piece for Marvin in the form of a large mixed media mural of Marvin Gaye, now prominently displayed as the restaurant's centerpiece. The beautiful piece measures 6 ft by 10 ft, and is actually even for sale (please contact us at if interested).

This is a timelapse film documenting the lengthy installation process as done by Brian Liu and Nick Pimentel of ToolboxDC in 10/07.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

True False Doc Film Fest in Columbia, Missouri

Last week at Big Sky Film Fest, I was more than happy to be persuaded by my co-juror, Danielle from Indiepix, to come to David Wilson's True False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri. Im coming to the end of my film festival run both as film director ( and as juror now, and i have to say that this was my best film festival experience yet. Hyped for years by everyone i've encountered at other festivals, somehow, this relatively new (5 years) non-juried documentary film festival attracts the best in films, industry, and attendees.

The first day was snowing a bit, but it cleared up to be a GREAT warm weekend here as a hotel-room crashing guest of Indiepix. All the hype is true. This festival is amazing, from the programming side (all with Q&As), panels, the hospitality, the variety of great venues and fun parties, the town itself (great food and thrifting), musicians before each film, as well as the late late late night hotel slaying filmmaker after after after parties and incredibly generous booze and food sponsors!

Columbia is essentially overtaken by the festival during these days. The amazing thing is, in addition to the midwestern charm and small-town hospitality, this particular town embraces the festival so wholeheartedly in such an ernest way that is not forced or contrived or financially driven in any way. Also the people in town are TOTALLY UP FOR IT! Sold out films at venues all over town were packed, but were still fairly lenient with opening up standing-room seats. Even at the promo viewing of Guy Maddin's new film, an abstract, expressionistic art piece blurring the lines between doc and narrative, the large venue was filled with an open minded audience of all ages that completely "got" the film and stayed for the Q&A. I dont even see this in art theaterhouses in large cities.

"American Teen," "Man On Wire", and "Forbidden Lies" win my personal awards for mindblowing documentaries of the festival.
Some other awards:
  • "An Audience Of One" director Michael Jacobs = dancefloor masher
  • A&E's Ryan Harrington = hotel room slayer
  • Aussie "Forbidden Lies" director Anne Broinowski = creepy "Kaiser Soze" award
  • insane marching band from Chicago = best party band ever
Some more blogging on True False:
  • IndiePix True False blog reports: here and here.
  • AJ Schnack's True False blog reports: here and here
  • Pamela Cohn's blog: here and here.
Much love to my True False crew!:
IndiePix Documentary Guru/my Big Sky co-juror/new best road buddy Danielle DiGiacomo and her twin sister Alana, Indiepixer Jordan, Indiepixer Jason Tyrrell, Ionic Furjanic (composer: "Manda Bala" and "Jesus Camp"), Ryan Harrington of the Tribeca Gucci Doc Fund, Docurama’s Liz Ogilvie, doc blogger Pamela Cohn, Michael Jacobs (director: "An Audience of One"), Daniel Robin (director: 2008 best Sundance short "My Olympic Summer"), Missoula animator Andy Smetanka representing Guy Maddin's new film, UK doc short director Xanthe Hamilton, David & Ashley (directors: "Mardi Gras Made In China"), AJ Schnack (director: "Kurt Cobain, About A Son"), and Kasia & Sarah from Current TV...

now.... need... coffee... immediately...