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ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival


ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of the very best independent films from around the world. We are a festival who believes in our independent filmmakers and their artistic talents. ÉCU proudly provides a unique platform that brings together diverse audiences who are hungry for something other than major studio productions and original and innovative filmmakers. 

 
The 16th edition of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival will take place on 9th-11th April 2021. Now open for submissions!

 

 

 

For more details regarding the festival, please visit our website at www.ecufilmfestival.com

 

 


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The Horror in Music Videos

by Marc Rickenbach

I was thinking recently about where we might see a crossover between
music videos and films. There’s the obvious: some form of a narrative,
maybe an experimental/auteur edge and some music videos even directly
allude to films. But for the most part music videos stand as their own
‘genre’ of cinematic form. Then, not so long ago, a friend of mine sent
me a video that could have been pulled directly from the young mind of Wes Craven.
Or Satan. It was like a very short story version of a horror novel or
film, a single scene which could stand alone as it is, raising the same
sort of questions and concerns for characters as a longer version might.
It got me looking for some other videos of a similar nature. This time
around I’ve found a few videos that directly take their cues from the
cult horror film genre. If I’ve missed any essentials go ahead and throw
them into the comments below.

The Classic:
There’s no need for a prolonged introduction to this one. If you haven’t
seen this or don’t know about it… well that’s almost impossible. Michael Jackson’s Thriller
is both film and music video. It follows the classic Vincent
Price-esque horror films and even has the old man narrating it himself.
It was directed by John Landis who was responsible for An American
Werewolf in London and The Twilight Zone movie (which created its own horror on-set)
before taking the reigns on this one. It’s much longer than any music
video we see now, and perhaps being Michael Jackson allowed him to not
only produce this but to get away with the whole thing. It was hugely
successful, even on the date of its premiere, and really set the bar
high for the following decades.

The Shocking:
Health’s video for We Are Water
was directed by Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric fame. No, this video is
not quite in line with his comedic career, although there is something
sick and/or twisted happening in both. And as disturbing as this video
is, despite its violence and gore, there is an underlying hilarity to
it. Maybe for its audacity? Either way, the music and video synch up
well in every way, complimenting each other in ways that other directors
and artists could learn from. And as Wes Craven once warned his
audience: If you feel like fainting, keep repeating It’s only a movie. .
. only a movie. . . There are some nasty bits in this one, so if you’re
squeamish, consider yourself warned.

The Hip:
Kanye West’s video for the track Monster from
his new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, also takes cues from
the horror genre. The song and video includes the likes of Rick Ross,
Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver, and features hanging and/or decapitated
women and detached limbs littering a mansion. Minaj holds herself
hostage in the basement, playing the part of a wicked voodoo-like
mistress as well as the goodie two shoes in a pink wig. Although lacking
in narrative like the story above, this one is pretty interesting
nonetheless.

The New-Retro:
Californians Scissors for Lefty released a video a few years back for their track Ghetto Ways
in which the band, with the help of a green screen and some great
decorating, were transported into classic B-movie horror. There they
join a party taking place inside a mansion, there must be something
inherently horrific about mansions! The song is great. The video is
great. And, if I may refer to a previous posting I made, a good example of what can be done with CC licensed material. Have at it!

///

Je me demandais récemment où est ce qu’on verrait un mélange entre
les films et les clips. Voici le plus évident : une sorte de narration,
avec un certain coté expérimental, quelques clips font directement
allusion à des films. Mais la plupart des clips font partie de leur
propre « genre » cinématographique. Et puis, il n’y a pas si longtemps,
un ami m’a envoyé une vidéo qui aurait pu être extraite directement du
jeune esprit de Wes Craven.
Ou de Satan. C’était comme une version très abrégée d’un roman ou d’un
film d’horreur, une seule scène qui pourrait tout a fait tenir par elle
même, posant aux personnages les même problèmes ou questions que ce
qu’aurait pu faire une version plus longue. Cela m’a donner envie de
chercher d’autres vidéos du même genre. Ce coup-ci, j’ai trouvé
plusieurs clips qui ont des repères directs avec le genre de films
d’horreur cultes. Si j’ai en loupé des essentiels, n’hésitez pas à en
faire part dans vos commentaires.

Le Classique :
Il n’y a pas besoin d’introduction prolongée pour celui-ci. Si vous ne
l’avez pas vue ou ne le connaissez pas… c’est presque impossible.
Thriller de Michael Jackson et
aussi bien un film qu’un clip. Il suit les films d’horreur classiques
avec une ambiance très Vincent Price, et a en plus le patriarche lui
même en tant que narrateur. Il a été mis en scène par John Landis,
responsable pour An American Werewolf in London et The Twilight Zone (qui créa sa propre horreur sur le plateau)
avant de diriger celui-là. C’est un clip bien plus long que la moyenne
de ceux que l’on voit de nos jours, et peut être qu’être Michael Jackson
lui a permis non seulement de produire cela mais aussi de réussir à
faire tenir le tout debout. Le clip a eu énormément de succès dés sa
sortie et a mis la barre très haute pour les années à venir.

Celui qui choque :
Le clip We Are Water de Health
fut mis en scène par Eric Wareheim de Tim & Eric fame. Non, ce clip
ne suit pas vraiment la lignée de sa carrière comique, bien qu’il se
passe quelque chose de tordu ou même malsain dans les deux. Et aussi
dérangeant qu’il soit, malgré sa violence et son aspect gore, il y reste
une hilarité de base. Peut être à cause de son audace ? Quoi qu’il en
soit, la musique et les images se synchronisent bien, se complètent
d’une manière qui pourrait en apprendre à d’autres metteurs en scène et
artistes. Et comme Wes Craven a un jour dit a son public : si vous
pensez que vous allez vous évanouir, répétez vous « Ce n’est qu’un film…
Ce n’est qu’un film… » . Il y a des moments désagréables dans celui-ci,
âmes sensibles s’abstenir.

Le « Hip » :
Le clip de la chanson Monster de
Kanye West, de son nouvel album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,
prend lui aussi des repères sur le genre de l’horreur. La chanson et son
clip font apparaitre des pointes tels que Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj
et Bon Iver, et nous montre des femmes pendues et/ou décapitées et des
membres détachés salissant un manoir. Minaj se prend en otage dans la
cave, en jouant le rôle de la méchante maîtresse aux traits vaudous et
en même temps celui de la gentille petite fille avec une perruque rose.
Même si il manque une narration comme dans l’histoire ci-dessus, ce clip
est quand même intéressant.

Le « Néo-Retro » :
Les Californiens Scissors for Lefty ont sorti un clip il y a quelques années pour leur chanson Ghetto Ways,
dans lequel les membres du groupe, avec l’aide d’écrans verts et une
super décoration, se firent transporter dans un univers typique d’un
film d’horreur classique. Ils se joignent alors à une fête dans un
manoir, il doit y avoir une épouvante innée associée aux manoirs ! La
chanson est géniale. Le clip est génial. Et, si je puis me permettre une
référence a un autre post que j’ai écrit, un bon exemple de ce qu’il peut être fait avec du matériel sous licence CC. Regardez-le !

 

 

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About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

Hillier Scott
(ECU)

 

 

Scott Hillier, Founder and President of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival
 
Scott Hillier is a director, cinematographer, and screenwriter, based in Paris, France. In the last 20 years, Hillier has gained international recognition from his strong and incredible cinematography, editing, writing, producing and directing portfolio in both the television and film industries.  
 
Scott began his career in the television industry in Australia. In 1988, he moved to London getting a job with the BBC who then set him to Baghdad. This opportunity led him to 10 years of traveling around world for the BBC, mainly in war zones like Somalia, Bosnia, Tchetcheynia, Kashmir, and Lebanon. After a near fatal encounter with a Russian bomber in Tchechnyia, Hillier gave up his war coverage and began in a new direction. 
 

He moved to New York City in 1998.  He directed and photographed eight one-hour documentaries for National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. Based on his war knowledge and experience, Hillier wrote and directed a short film titled, “Behind the Eyes of War!" The film was awarded “Best Short Dramatic Film” at the New York Independent Film and TV Festival in 1999. From that he served as Supervising Producer and Director for the critically acclaimed CBS 42 part reality series, "The Bravest” in 2002 and wrote and directed a stage play called, "Deadman’s Mai l," which ran at Le Théâtre du Moulin de la Galette in Paris during the summer of 2004. He then became the Director of Photography on a documentary titled, “Twin Towers." This was yet another life changing experience for Hillier. The riveting documentary won an Academy Award for "Best Documentary Short Subject" in 2003. In 2004, Hillier changed continents again, spending three months in Ethiopia. He produced “Worlds Apart,” a pilot for ABC America / True Entertainment / Endemol. As you can see, Hillier was and is always in constant movement and enjoys working in a number of diverse creative areas including documentaries, music videos, commercials, feature and short films.

 
Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television School. He also studied literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. Hillier's regular clients include the BBC, Microsoft, ABC, PBS and National Geographic. Between filming assignments, he used to teach film, a Masters Degree course in Screenwriting at the Eicar International Film School in Paris, France and journalism at the Formation des Journalistes Français in Paris, France. 
 

 


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