August 8, 2007

Reel Talent

New DVD Compilation To Benefit The School of Cinematic Arts

By James Tella

Reel Talent retails for $19.98  with all proceeds from the sale benefiting the School of Cinematic Arts.
On August 21, a new DVD from Fox Home Entertainment will treat film enthusiasts to a rare glimpse into the formative early works of nine directors who, in addition to having made unique and indelible impressions upon the industry and the movie-going public, can all trace their roots to the School of Cinematic Arts.

Reel Talent: First Films by Legendary Directors features the collective works of Richard Bare (Green Acres, The Twilight Zone); James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross, Who’s That Girl); Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales); Shawn Levy (Night At The Museum, Cheaper By The Dozen); George Lucas (American Graffiti, Star Wars); Kevin Reynolds (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Count Of Monte Cristo); Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, Van Helsing); Jon Turteltaub (Cool Runnings, National Treasure); and Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future, Forrest Gump). All proceeds from sales will benefit the school.

“This is a fantastic compilation of work from visionary directors whose creative spirit have left an indelible imprint on our pop-culture consciousness,” said Associate Dean Larry Auerbach, who first thought of the unique fundraising idea over three years ago and credits alumnus and former CEO and Chairman of Fox Studios Bill Mechanic ’79 and Director of Festivals and Distribution Sandrine Cassidy with a pivotal role in producing the DVD.

Auerbach added, “Together, these films are not only representative of the school, but also independently appeal to film buffs, aficionados and students alike.”

Reel Talent, which will retail for $19.98 includes films that showcase the raw themes, motifs and visual flair that would later establish each of the nine filmmakers as cultural trendsetters—making them legends, luminaries, hit-makers and household names. Audiences will also be able to access bonus interviews with Bare and Zemeckis as well as an exclusive interview with Lucas recalling his USC experience.
A scene from Field of Honor by Robert Zemeckis.

Honored to have his student film Proof included on the collection, Reynolds still remembers his short about a timid young man who makes the skydiving jump of his life as the “most liberating experience I ever had making a movie.” 

“My student film is dear to my heart, not only because it literally gave birth to my career, but—in all its raw, gritty glory—it evinces the beginnings of a sensibility and skill set that still gets me through the day,” added Levy about Broken Record, his comic love story about a teenage boy and girl who are willing to do whatever it takes to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.

It’s a sentiment shared by Oscar winner Zemeckis, whose 1975 Student Academy Award winning film about a Vietnam veteran released from a mental institution only to be barraged by the violent nature of civilian life Field of Honor, is one of two featured shorts. 

“When I look back, I can still feel the excitement and thrill that comes with being a filmmaker,” he said. “The process of making movies may have changed, but that feeling is something that remains constant.”

A special screening of Reel Talent featuring a Q&A with some of the compilation’s directors will be held on August 22 in Norris Theater.
Reel Talent: First Films by Legendary Directors

1:42:08 A Man and His Car; Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB; and Freiheit Directed by George Lucas

Broken Record Directed by Shawn Levy
Field of Honor; The Lift Directed by Robert Zemeckis

The Goodbye Place Directed by Richard Kelly

The Oval Portrait Directed by Richard L. Bare

Perfect Alibi Directed by Stephen Sommers

Proof Directed by Kevin Reynolds

Whatever It Takes
Directed by Jon Turtletaub 

Silent Night Directed by James Foley