Art Calendar To Do in L.A.

Levi's: Community Outreach

photo credit John Barton

After the recent success of the Levi’s® Print Workshop in San Francisco and the Levi’s® Photo Workshop in New York City, Levi’s®, the original, definitive jeans brand, announces the opening of its third Levi’s® Workshop on April 17 in Los Angeles.

The Levi’s® Film Workshop will live at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) within Art in the Streets, the first comprehensive U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art.  The story of graffiti and street art, as well as other cultural forms that have emerged from the underground subculture, will come to life in the Levi’s® Film Workshop through a series of collaborative film and video projects, robust educational programming and a city-wide screening series.

Key elements of the Levi’s® Film Workshop include:

  • Collaborations with artists from the Art in the Streets exhibition and pioneers from the worlds of street art and graffiti, skateboarding, food and music.
  • Weekly Educational Workshops taught by experts and special guests that cover topics including everything from found footage and direct animation to stunts and 3D.
  • A series of film screenings related to art, skate, music and food and presented in partnership with LA-based curators and theaters
  • An array of tools and resources available to filmmakers of varying levels of expertise, including latest generation computer and editing tools, equipment rental, a film library and digital collaboration facilitation.

Levi’s® Brand Global President, Robert Hanson said, “We are proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Art in the Streets exhibition at MOCA. The brand commends the museum and its organizers for its longstanding leadership in the art world and celebrates its daring approach to cataloguing street art and graffiti, an artform that has had a significant cultural impact on pioneering communities around the world.”

As part of its additional support for the museum and the show, the Levi’s® brand has also collaborated with MOCA to create a limited-edition collection of Levi’s® Trucker Jackets featuring artwork by Art in the Streets artists including Shepard Fairey, Lady Pink, Chaz Bojorquez and KR.  All proceeds from the Trucker Jacket sales will benefit MOCA.

photo credit John Barton


Pioneer Collaborators

The Levi’s® Film Workshop will collaborate with artists from the Art in the Streets exhibition and pioneers from the worlds of street art and graffiti, skateboarding, food and music, including:

  • Filmmaker Cat Solen (Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie) and Art in the Streets featured artist Swoon will collaborate to create a three-minute animated film incorporating light play and Swoon’s paper-cut miniatures. The Levi’s® Workshop will also facilitate the creation of three other “Artist Shorts” bringing the work of exhibiting street and graffiti artists to life through film.
  • Documentary filmmaker Alex Stapleton is best known for her feature debut “Corman’s World” which premiered at Sundance 2011 and features Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Martin Scorsese. She also received great acclaim for her sneaker/hip-hop documentary “Just for Kicks” which stars Futura, Grandmaster Caz and Adam Horowitz. Continuing her exploration in film, Stapleton will interview key players, artists and curators from Art in the Streets to unravel the full story behind the pioneering exhibition. This film will premiere in Los Angeles in May and will be digitally distributed around the world.
  • Girl Skateboards was founded in 1993 by Oscar-nominated director and skate culture enthusiast Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation”) along with Rick Howard, Mike Carroll and Megan Baltimore. As part of the Workshop’s sports programming, Girl Skateboards will partner with a renowned filmmaker to craft a skate film that uses the most cutting edge filmmaking technology.  The Levi’s® Film Workshop will host a premiere screening as part of a ‘Best of’ Girl Skateboards films retrospective.
  • The Levi’s® Film Workshop will pair celebrated food trucks like Los Angeles’ own Kogi BBQ with respected filmmakers to create short films celebrating the food truck trade.  Each film will feature a cinematic technique such as 3D, slow motion or visual effects to tell the story of these street cooks.

Educational Workshops

The weekly Educational Workshops are free of charge and open on a first-come, first-served basis. Hands-on classes will cover topics from found footage and direct animation to stunts and 3D.  Echo Park Film Center (EPFC), a local non-profit media arts center, will be on site every Sunday and Monday to teach the general public Super8, 16mm and other film techniques. At the close of the Workshop, select equipment and supplies will be donated to EPFC to support their ongoing programs that offer affordable media arts education.  In addition to classes, the Workshop staff will be on hand to provide guidance and instruction on camera operation, editing and other key skills.  To reach communities beyond Los Angeles, Levi’s® will stream all educational workshops through Facebook in partnership with  Viewers can interact with the class through live chat and all classes will be archived as podcasts.

Screening Series

In partnership with LA-based curators and theaters including Cinefamily, Flux, Downtown Independent, The Natural History Museum and The Vista, the Levi’s® Workshop will present a series of film screenings related to art, skate, music and food.  During the Art in the Streets exhibition opening, the Levi’s® Workshop will sponsor Cinefamily’s week of street art and graffiti documentaries, panel discussions and Q&As with director Charlie Ahearn and co-stars Busy Bee, Fab 5 Freddy and Patti AstorWerner Herzog’s 3D documentary “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” will premiere during the series’ closing night party at the National History Museum.  Later in the month, the Workshop will host “An Evening of Skate Videos” at the Vista Theater with photographer and producer Patrick O’Dell (Epicly Later’d). The Workshop and O’Dell will present a compilation of skateboard videos from the 1980s to today. The screening will be followed by a conversation with legendary skateboarders and filmmakers Spike Jonze, Lance Mountain, Ty Evans and other surprise guests.  Additional film screenings will be announced in the coming months.

Public Resources

  • At the heart of the Levi’s® Film Workshop is an array of tools and resources that will be available to filmmakers of varying levels of expertise. In addition to the latest generation computers and edit suites provided by Intel® Corporation, the Workshop will house:

o   a green screen “cyc” provided by Quixote Studios

o   a slow-motion video booth

o   stop motion and multiplane animation stations with Dragon Stop Motion software

o   professional video, animation, compositing, audio, and design software provided by Adobe®

o   Magic Bullet Suite for color correction and visual effects plug-ins from Red Giant Software

o   a Phonotrope as well as a hand painted film table

  • The Workshop Equipment Rental will offer a selection of:

o   vintage and modern cameras including Super8, Flips and DSLR’s

o   sound equipment from RØDE

o   grip and lighting gear from Quixote

o   tripods and accessories from Manfrotto

o   a host of devices for duplicating and transferring

o   a screening facility for filmmakers to share their creations

  • A curated library will feature materials spanning all genres, mediums and topics from books on theory and production to secondhand scripts and DVDs curated by Workshop Pioneers and Collaborators. Guests will be able to borrow library materials and return them at select Levi’s® Store locations around Los Angeles.
  • Levi’s® Workshop resources are not limited to the physical space at MOCA or even the greater Los Angeles area. The Workshop’s innovative digital partnerships will allow creative people from around the world to interact with the Workshop.  All public educational workshops and live events will be live streamed and interactive.  New work created in the Workshop can be instantly shared on Facebook and Vimeo via a custom application on all Workshop installations.  A variety of “social programs” will be launched exclusively through the Levi’s® Facebook community, allowing community members to influence what actually happens in the Workshop. As a follow-up to last year’s popular collaboration with Hipstamatic, the Levi’s® Film Workshop will be partnering with a few notable application and online developers to create fun film-based tools for mobile and other devices. A full list of programming will be available at beginning April 17, 2011 and will aggregate content from the Levi’s® Workshops’ community pages including Facebook (live event steams, exclusive promotions), Twitter (daily updates from the Workshop), Vimeo (archive of videos created in the Workshop), podcast archives of educational workshops and YouTube.

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