This weekend marks the return of one of California’s premiere film events for adults and students, the Newport Beach Film Festival! Held every year in Orange County, the festival is a well-known staple for international, documentary and independent filmmakers who are on the rise and ready to demonstrate their talents to the world. 

Relativity partnered with leading camera and equipment maker Panavision to proudly present Variety’s ‘10 Cinematographers to Watch’—a special event showcasing some of the world’s upcoming visual artists and featuring renowned cinematographer Matthew Libatique. Films shot by Libatique include Noah, Cowboys and Aliens, Black Swan, Iron Man 1 & 2, and Requiem For A Dream. The event will take place on Saturday at 3PM, at the Regency Lido Theater. 

Check it out and stop by the Relativity booth for information on our upcoming Summer and Evening Workshops!

Believe it or not, making a movie used to be something of a miracle. The sheer cost of being an early adopter of an original film movie camera was expensive enough to make the shark in Jaws go back underwater. That’s not to mention the mechanical uncertainties of those machines, in addition to getting the perfect lighting (which was often guess-work), and oh yeah, getting the actual performance the way you wanted! Compound all of that stress with the difficulties of keeping everything in focus, getting the angle you wanted and having enough coverage to manually slice and tape those strips of film in a lab. Yuck.

 

Yes, the days of early movie making were rough.  But we have certainly come a long way since.

From major technological advances in camera technology, computers, digital media, (and a heck of a lot more), many of us hold in our pockets arguably the most incredible moviemaking tool ever: your smartphone.

They’re easy to overlook and take for granted, but most cell-phones today can record full HD video, at different frame-rates (allowing for slow motion) and with very high pixel detail. In non-geeky terms, phones are amazing digital movie cameras. In geeky terms: holy !!!%ajkaaflksjdh!**^! these things are amazing.

And it doesn’t stop at filming; there are a variety of ultra-cheap applications that allow you to add graphics, music, and edit your mini-masterpiece with amazing accuracy and control, all with your thumbs on a screen the size of your fist.

 

Simply put, it’s no longer too expensive or difficult to test out your short movie concepts, your experimental dance music videos, your on-camera acting experience by actually filming them. So get out there and create! Grab some friends (the more phones, the more cameras), head to an interesting place and start rolling! No cost, no rigging, no limits to your creativity. Just don’t forget to charge your phone. 

Not sure what make? Click here to get inspired by some incredible work, all created using cell phones. And check out our summer workshops for opportunities to take your skills and creativity to the next level.  

You’ve done the research, picked out the colleges, pictured yourself in each one wearing all the variations of school colors, and at long last you’ve completed the application – well, almost. The only remaining white space occupying your nearly complete college application belongs to the essay section (cue unanimous sighing and groaning).  

To many, the college essay is like a Bridge Troll. You can clearly see the other side (your school of choice) but as your crossing the bridge, a terrifying, ugly essay portion blocks your path, demanding from you perhaps the most important piece of the application: your voice. More specifically, how you respond to the prompt and how your unique experiences in life somehow made you the IDEAL candidate for the school – all in your own words AND within the word limit.

Just breathe. It’s not as bad as you think.

The truth is, a college essay doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence. In fact, when you break it down and understand what the colleges are really looking for, there’s nothing mysterious about it – it’s simply an opportunity to show them what your grades can’t: personality and experience.

Here are some tips to help you take down the Essay Troll and move on.

 1. Just get it on the page.

The worst thing you can do while writing an essay is NOT writing the essay. Obvious yes, but when you’re stumped on how to start your Magna Carta masterpiece of essay-ic proportions, repeatedly hitting the “delete” key gives you nothing to work with. Don’t worry about paragraph order or formatting. Heck, don’t worry about spelling (yet). Just write freely what you’re thinking and feeling in response to the prompt. You’d be surprised at how much easier it is to go back and re-work a rough draft than it is to edit the whole thing in your head.

 2. Do something this summer!

College applicants often worry that their experiences in and out of school aren’t “good enough” or “interesting.” An aspiring actor might worry that she’s never been in a movie or short. There’s an easy fix for that: go do something!  Summer is an ideal time to travel, start a project or attend a workshop. Last summer, Relativity students finished the session with not just completed projects and knowledge of their chosen programs, but with new friends, collaborators, travel stories, surprises, inspirations and more. 

 3. Be you.

At the end of the day, the college essay is really your friend (yes, your BFF the Troll). It’s a tool to help demonstrate who you are, where you’re from, what you believe, who you aspire to be and everything in between. Be honest, be passionate, be you.  

Check out our upcoming summer workshops in Film, Acting, Musical Theatre, Commercial Dance, Electronic Music Production and more here


If there’s no story, there’s no movie

That idea reigns especially true for the this year’s Dallas Buyer Club, fresh off its two Oscar wins for Best Actor (Matthew Mcconaughey) and best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto). The movie swept the nation with it’s incredible performances, historical subject matter and most importantly, it’s unforgettable storytelling. Robbie Brenner, the film’s Producer and President of Production at Relativity Media, played an integral role in the project. She recently sat down with Relativity School to speak about the importance of storytelling across all mediums.  

Welcome to the Relativity School Hollywood Insider Series, where industry titans, breakthrough success stories and entertainment game-changers give their expertise on a variety of topics. Check out the video and stay tuned to Relativity School this week as we focus on all things STORYTELLING!

Relativity Workshops and MSA stopped by Dallas this past weekend, and the southern cuisine wasn’t the only thing leaving them hungry for more!  The Open Call Dance Competition pulled some serious talent from all over the Lone Star State. Nearly every kind of dance style made its way into performances - everything from hip-hop to ballet, solo and group routines. Check out more coverage from the ever at the Open Call Facebook page.

Relativity staffer Marcus Fien left the event feeling overwhelmed with excitement. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned here, it’s that we are going to have a lot of Texans at school this summer with us!” said Fien. 

Big things come in talented packages. See you this summer Dallas!

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We will be in the Big Apple this Saturday, March 1st for a Relativity Workshops open house. Students, parents and educators will have the opportunity to interface with our Admissions team, asking questions about our workshops and getting more information about the student experience. 

Celina Polanco will lead a Q&A about Relativity Workshops as well as a fantastic workshops on Powerful Introductions & Branding, an informative overview for creating digital content! 

We can’t wait to meet everyone in New York (and to maybe catch a slice while we’re at it!). For more information on the open house or if you would like to attend, please send an email to admissions@relativityschool.org

Relativity Workshops' brand new EDM.Lab, a fully immersive course in Electronic Music production & composition, launched this week and we couldn’t be more excited. Eager future producers & DJ’s got acquainted with their new classroom and workspace, “The Dome,” a panoramic audiovisual facility located on campus at Los Angeles Center Studios. While students marveled at the sights and sounds, course teachers and professional DJ’s Daniel Sanchez and Yeuda Ben-atar dove into the first course, introducing everything from professional EDM equipment, industry software and an overview of the development of Electronic Music through history. 

We can’t wait to see (and hear) what the students create throughout the semester! 

WATCH NBA superstars getting into character with Relativity Workshops

The planet is safe once again thanks to the incredible RelativityAvengerables! On Wednesday, Relativity Sports superstars rocked the world with a hilarious spoof trailer from Relativity Digital, showing us what just might be the best fake movie of all time. EVER. 

During the production of the spoof trailer, some of the NBA athletes spent the day with Relativity Workshops, learning the fundamentals of acting for screen and different styles of improvisation. It was a day filled with big laughs and ever bigger applause, as the players performed monologues, played improv games and even participated in a full film scene analysis. Not bad for a day’s work!  

Stay tuned with for a new behind-the-scenes video showing athletes in action. Click here for the original spoof video from Relativity Sports. 

#SummerProgramsLiveMusicGamesAndFoodYesPlease!

Returning from another wildly successful outreach program for SoCal students, the Summer Opportunities Fair, Relativity’s Celina Polanco aptly described her experience with one hefty hashtag!

Celina enjoyed great food, games and live music with both teens and parents interested in Relativity Workshops. One of the absolute highlights for her though, besides the divine baked goods tent, was getting to speak at length with entire groups of excited families looking for a one-of-a-kind experience this summer. 

Mission accomplished.