Memphis Film Prize Top Ten Announcement

We are excited to announce that our latest film, Truth Lies Upstream, has been officially selected as a Top Ten Finalist in the Memphis Film Prize! Our crew consisted of students and adults that ranged from 13 to 60+ years of age. This is DAI’s fourth year in a row at the Memphis Film Prize

The top ten finalist films are shown on Friday August 2nd and Saturday August 3rd. Each ticket holder sees all ten films in a block then is allowed to vote for their favorite three films. Five judges account for 50% of the vote and the audience accounts for the other 50%. So we need everyone to come vote. Get your tickets here and come out to Memphis Film Prize to support DAI and independent local film.

You can also check out our trailer on our project page for Truth Lies Upstream!

Desoto Arts Institute Film Summer Camps

Rise and shine campers! Desoto Arts Institute is staying busy this summer with two, week long filmmaker’s workshops. Students will learn from DAI Founder, Robb Rokk, to craft great stories with excellence and professionalism while learning to be safe, knowledgeable, and valuable on set. These summer camps are a hands-on educational experience using pro gear in a working film set environment.

Starting June 17 to June 21, Desoto Arts Institue partners with Desoto County Schools and Horn Lake First Regional Library to teach a week long Filmmaker’s Workshop Camp at Career Tech West. Age restrictions apply, click here for details.

On July 8 – July 12, we will be partnering with Oxford Film Festival to teach a Beginner Filmmaker’s Workshop for ages 7 to 12 and an Advanced Filmmaker’s Workshop for ages 12-17. To enroll or for more information, go here.

As always, we will also be holding free Filmmaker’s Workshops every Thursday night. Just check out our calendar and register. It’s going to be a fun summer and we hope to see you all!

Directing Actors by Judith Weston

If you read only one of these books, make it this one. She shares the do’s and don’ts of dealing with sensitive actors who pour their souls out in front of staring crew members as well as script analysis to understand the subtext and undertones of each line and each character’s action. She reminds us to only use actable direction; never tell a performer how to do it but give them business and actions that support and motivate the actor to reach the moment they are chasing. I will re-read this book annually as a reminder of what is most important when directing talent. I suggest you do so as well.

Get the book (Amazon Search)

Dialogue by Robert McKee

Is it any wonder after finishing Story that I immediately bought Dialogue? Answer: No. It’s the next logical step. Except that in this case I actually read Dialogue first, then Story. See… I am an enigma. Which of the two books should you read first? You pick. But read them both.

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Story by Robert McKee

Buy it. Read it. Read it again. Study it. Dog ear the pages. It’s a veritable treasure trove of story knowledge. McKee is a genius and a master when it comes to story. I put off reading it because so many people have said it’s a difficult read. Wrong. Ignore those voices, whether your own or others’. Thank me later. Actually, thank Mr. McKee. He wrote it. He is the genius.

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Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics by Michael Rabiger

Honestly, I am currently struggling to read through this one. But that’s only because so much of it is beginner level and quite basic. But every now and then it shocks me to run across something I haven’t thought through on my own. So I will definitely finish it. We will likely require this as coursework reading for our film students.

Get the book (Amazon Search)