New Social Media Allow for Online Dating, Collaboration

[Originally posted on Dec. 12, 2013 at my Journalism II Blog]

As she attempts to negotiate the rules of online relationships, Towson University student Katie Palmer, 22, prepares for an entirely different kind of dating game.

“One guy I was talking to I thought was 23, who was really 46. I found that out by cyberstalking,” Palmer said.

The recently divorced father was using his son’s Facebook account to talk to younger women, Palmer said. That was when she realized that online dating was something you couldn’t just “jump into.”

Palmer said that she spent time googling what someone should do when they meet someone online for the first time. She has since had two successful relationships develop from social media networks.

Palmer said that the perceived shame surrounding online dating is beginning to fall away as more and more people use social networks to meet and communicate online.

Continue reading New Social Media Allow for Online Dating, Collaboration

Towson EMF alumnus premieres latest film

[Originally posted on Oct. 22, 2013 at my Journalism II Blog]
Between rushing to premiere his found footage horror film and slaving at the editing bay on his most recent productions, Towson University Electronic Media and Film alumnus Chris LaMartina, 28, is tired.

On top of his 40 hour workweek at 15four Video Strategy, LaMartina has committed an additional 20 to 30 hours per week on his own productions. It’s 9 p.m., and sitting alone in the dark at 15four’s office, he reviews footage that a colleague edited earlier that day.

LaMartina works as a editor and producer for 15four. But on his own feature films, he wears many hats, including writer, director, producer, composer and editor.

“I’ve always sort of joked and called editing the dark night of the soul, because you’re forced to look at your mistakes and you regret some of the decisions you’ve made and you only see the negative because it’s a very judgmental phase,” LaMartina said.

Chris LaMartina
Chris LaMartina reviews a colleague’s edited footage at 15four Video Strategy. (Photo By: Mark Burchick/TU Student).

As a 2007 graduate of Towson University, LaMartina and his producing partner Jimmy George, 33, have produced seven feature length horror films, all of which have received DVD and Video On Demand distribution.

With the premiere of WNUF Halloween Special, his latest found footage work, LaMartina will once again share with the world one of the few things that makes him happy. Continue reading Towson EMF alumnus premieres latest film

Preparation for the “WNUF Halloween Special” Premiere at the Creative Alliance

[Originally posted on Oct. 8th, 2013 at]

On Oct 18th, The Creative Alliance will screen a “re-discovered” Halloween TV special from the late 1980’s. WNUF Halloween Special is a television broadcast which captured an investigation of the haunting of the Webber household, as told by WNUF TV reporters. The gentlemen who discovered the VHS recording of the broadcast and brought it to light will be introducing the film for its first public premiere.

What may come as a surprise to those who have seen the broadcast is how authentically 80’s it feels. So authentic, in fact, that reviewers have been stupefied to find that the film was made by former Towson University students early last year. I was fortunate enough to speak with Jimmy George, 33, the producer on this “literally found footage” film over the phone this week, as he and Director Chris LaMartina, 28, prepare for their Creative Alliance premiere.

Continue reading Preparation for the “WNUF Halloween Special” Premiere at the Creative Alliance

Frederick’s 72 Fest 2013

[Originally posted on Oct. 2nd at]

This weekend is Frederick’s annual 72 Hour Film Fest, a timed competition in which participants have three days to make a film. Unlike Baltimore’s 48 Hour Festival, in which participants are given a line of dialogue, prop, genre, or location, 72 Fest tends to have much more unique criteria, such as adapting stories or basing films around pictures given to participants. Throughout the summer, the marketing committee behind 72 has been posting video clues online, hinting at what this year’s theme may be. In each video, a children’s toy block with a letter could be seen.

Earlier this week, in preparation for Thursday night’s criteria launch, the festival announced, by spelling out the block letters seen in previous videos, that the theme will focus on “Science.”

Continue reading Frederick’s 72 Fest 2013

It’s That Time of the Year Horror Fans!

[Originally posted on Sept. 27, 2013 at]

October is for horror fans.

Cable channels will soon begin to play their month long horror movie marathons. AMC hosts their Fear Fest marathon, while TCM plays some retro flicks on Wednesday nights. Netflix, Redbox, and the few remaining video rental stores will be advertising horror classics and new releases that audiences should check up on.

If you don’t consider yourself a fan of scary movies, it’s fairly difficult to avoid them this time of year. I know that I don’t particularly enjoy them, but there is something about October that seems to put me in the mood for a good scary movie. However, because I’m not a huge fan of the genre, I have a hard time picking out what I would want to watch this time of year!

That’s why I have always enjoyed Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness, a month long movie review session that is now celebrating its seventh year. Hosted by James Rolfe, Monster Madness delves into all manner of horror films, from the cult monster movies and the b-grade sci-fi’s, to the gory slashers and the psychological thrillers. It acts as a perfect primer for the inexperienced horror watcher, covering the full spectrum of film history.
Continue reading It’s That Time of the Year Horror Fans!

Hosting a Film Series

[Originally posted on Sept. 18, 2013 at]

As the co-president of a coed media production fraternity, Lambda Kappa Tau, I find myself constantly planning social events in the back of my mind. As we head into our Fall rush period, I wanted to insure that my fraternity brothers and sisters would have a relaxing and fun opportunity to hang out together before having to meet dozens of new recruits. This thought occurred to me at our semester’s first meeting. In that moment, looking around the room at all of my friends and colleagues, I decided that I was going to host a Fall film series.

I’ve gradually come to decide that my screening series would be focused on movies that either are about making movies, or offer an opportunity to talk about the filmmaking process. For example, I intend to screen American Movie, a documentary about a Wisconsin-based filmmaker attempting to make an independent horror film with his family and friends, later in the semester. The film has so much rich content to talk about for an audience of media producers, including the passion with which Mark Borchardt, the filmmaker, approaches the project and how he gathers his resources. In addition, beyond the horror film that Borchardt intends to make, the documentary itself is an incredibly moving story told in a very objective way. Continue reading Hosting a Film Series

A Visit to Video Americain, Baltimore’s Last Great Video Store

[Originally posted on Sept. 13, 2013 on]

About three week ago, I came back to my apartment to hear my roommates raving about Video Americain, a video rental store they had discovered through Towson University EMF faculty. My roommate Devin, described the roadside attraction as, “a candy store for film nerds.” Their enthusiasm for what seemed to be a mom-and-pop video shop befuddled me at first, until he began to describe the rows of shelves organized, not by genre, but by directors.

My mouth began to water as he talked about the previous Maryland Film Fest entries having their own section, featuring the works of local filmmakers I haven’t been able to find elsewhere. I was convinced this place was heaven on Earth and that I needed to stop by as soon as I saw an opportunity.

Video Americain's storefront on Cold Spring Lane.
Video Americain’s storefront on Cold Spring Lane.

So I was devastated to read that the store, a fixture of Roland Park for almost 25 years, will be closing early next year . I spoke with another friend of mine, a Towson alumnus named Zach Mullen, who made a stop into the store as soon as he heard the news. Speaking with the owner of the store, Zach enquired as to how he could help mobilize Towson’s film department to assist in saving the collection of 35,000 rare and obscure movie titles. Continue reading A Visit to Video Americain, Baltimore’s Last Great Video Store