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Toronto, Ontario
Canada

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The portfolio of Adam Schoales, Toronto based video editor, geek, and tea drinker.

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Adam Schoales : : Blog

Thoughts, process, and other ramblings.

 

Ten Albums for Christmas

Adam Schoales

Ten years ago I started putting out an annual mix CD, dubbed the “December 24th Mix”, because I was very terrible at finishing things on time and usually ended up posting it on December 24th, just in time for Christmas morning. When I started the project the goal was simple: I wanted to make something different from the Christmas music we heard every year as kids growing up. All those radio hits, and classics that drove you nuts while shopping at the mall were out, replaced with original songs from artists you might not be familiar with, or fresh takes on the classics.

Every year this means I have to scour through a sea of newly released Christmas albums (and let me tell you, there’s a lot more than you might expect, and they’re only getting worse), along with scanning the depths of the internet for stuff people might not have heard before (thank goodness for Bandcamp). While usually the best tracks are one-off singles, once and a while there’s an album that stands out and becomes an instant favourite. So in honour of the tenth anniversary of the December 24th Mix, here’s a list of ten Christmas albums that have become staples in our house, and end up in constant rotation every year.

Keep reading for the complete list.

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Bergman 100: The Ingmar Bergman Centenary

Adam Schoales

Bergman 100: The Ingmar Bergman Centenary Trailer

A smash hit in London and New York, this centenary celebration of the revered Swedish master is packed with classics, rarities, and recent restorations.

Our marketing team tasked me with creating a trailer for our Berman 100 retrospective. The programming team was a huge fan of the trailer created by the BFI for their Bergman retrospective, and so I began digging into Bergmans films to create a trailer that reflected the beautiful imagery of his films, as well as the more haunting elements that prevailed across his filmography.

Client: Toronto International Film Festival
Producer/Editor: Adam Schoales

October 2018


Social Ad

The marketing team also needed a shorter social ad which they could run on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The maximum running time was 15 seconds, so I wasn’t going to be able to tell a story like I could with the trailer.

Taking inspiration from the opening title sequence for Bergman’s Persona, I created a short ad that replicated the quick cutting of Bergman’s film, while also giving a quick breakdown of what the retrospective would contain.


Cell Phone PSA

Finally, for some time our Cinematheque programmers had been wanting some sort of Public Service Announcement reminding guests to turn of their cell phones and other noise-making devices before the screening. This prompted me to create a short PSA featuring footage from Bergman’s iconic The Seventh Seal in which a rather intense moment between The Knight and Death is interrupted by a ringing phone.

In Praise of Visual Effects

Adam Schoales

Look, I’ll be the first to complain about the over-use of visual effects in today’s cinema, as well as the first to jump on “bad CGI”, but the truth is there’s so much more invisible visual effects going on than we ever realize.

Case in point, David Fincher’s masterful thriller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I recently held my annual re-watch of the film, and decided to dig back into the special features on the blu-ray (which is outstanding by the way). That’s when I came across the visual effects breakdown and, to put it mildly, had my brain explode. Take a few minutes to watch it through, and I think you’ll see what I mean.

I have watched this film countless times, and I can safely say I never once spotted any of these bits of trickery (and I like to think I have a pretty good eye for this sort of thing). I remember when Fincher’s Zodiac came out, there was a lot of hullabaloo about the use of visual effects in that film, in particular the use of CGI blood. I also remember hating this CGI blood, because it looked fake, and really pulled me out of the film. Now flash forward a few years to …Dragon Tattoo and it turns out Fincher once again used CGI blood, and I literally had no idea. And that’s exactly the point; great visual effects should be invisible, to the point that you never even realize that you’re seeing an effect. And Fincher is an absolute master of this. He’s notoriously details oriented, and its clear he uses VFX in order to subtly adjust his images until they are absolutely perfect. Even if it’s something no one in their right mind would ever notice until it was pointed out to them in a VFX breakdown.

So the next time you are complaining about bad CGI in a movie, you might want to stop yourself and think for a second; just how much good CGI went unnoticed?

One more thing: if you haven’t yet checked out Art of the Title’s incredible piece on the opening title sequence for the film, you absolutely need to do that.

Extra credit: This outstanding piece from KaptainKristian who actually was the one who first brought all this to my attention. Turns out Fincher has been doing this for years.

TIFF 2018 Festival Highlight Trailer

Adam Schoales

Over 70 hours of footage from the first 7 days of festival condensed into one minute and forty five seconds to perfectly encapsulate everything that was the forty-third annual Toronto International Film Festival.

Client: Toronto International Film Festival
Producer: Department 30
Editor: Adam Schoales

September 2018

A Tribute to Piers Handling

Adam Schoales

A Tribute to Piers Handling

Client: Toronto International Film Festival
Producer: Adam Schoales, Tessa Lai, and Aaron Van Domelen for Department 30
Director: Adam Schoales
Director of Photography: Aaron Van Domelen
Editor: Adam Schoales
Assistant Editor: Lee Cochran

September 2018