From Orson Welles to Steven Spielberg, the fraternity of successful filmmakers is a select one indeed. And while it's safe to assume that the many intricacies required to bring an idea to the big screen are most likely cultivated over the course of a lifetime, a weekend crash course as both cast and crew may just light a spark underneath your inner Oscar winner.
Get ready for your close-up at Reel World Film Camp, Friday, June 27, through Sunday, June 29, at Scottsdale's Entertainment Alley, 2200 North Scottsdale Road. Working with industry experts in a hands-on capacity, campers will dive headlong into a 48-hour cinematic boot camp with the ultimate goal of executing a small script from start to finish. From scriptwriting, casting (couch not included), budgeting and marketing to pre- and post-production, soundtrack and editing techniques, no stone in the cinematic rock pile will be left unturned. And with great extras including guest speakers and Reel World's "10 Steps to Indie Filmmaking," your masterwork is but a weekend away.
To honor an inspiring milestone -- African American emancipation -- Chandler's 13th Annual Juneteenth Celebration honors inspiring individuals. At 7 p.m. Friday, June 20, the South Chandler Self-Help Foundation hosts a Miss Juneteenth Scholarship Pageant at the Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue; a talent showcase follows at 5 p.m. Saturday at Zora Folley Memorial Park, 601 East Frye in Chandler. Call 480-899-3022 for details. – Jill Koch
Hops, Skip and a Jump
Progressive beer dinner is a trolley good time
Hit the ale trail this Thursday, June 19, when Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery toasts the town -- all over town -- with a Progressive Brewer's Dinner. At 7:30 p.m., Bottom feeders board a trolley at the restaurant's Scottsdale location, 8668 East Shea, and -- en route to Rock Bottom Ahwatukee -- treat their taste buds to cold suds and "unusual munchies." The brew crew savors more handcrafted ales and a trio of satays in Ahwatukee before shuttling back to Point A for Caribbean cuisine: grilled Jamaican pork loin and smoked corn on the cob. "Beer-amisu" -- porter-soaked ladyfingers with sweetened mascarpone -- and Roadrunner Stout floats with caramel ice cream finish off the feast. Call 480-998-7777 to reserve a spot, $40 per person.
Urban on the Rocks
Prof discusses city renewal
Whether you work downtown, live downtown, or just show up for the monthly Artlink gallery walk, chances are you have an interest in the direction Phoenix is taking. After all, when faced with the choice between an inner city dotted with empty plots of land and pedestrian-unfriendly thoroughfares or an attractive, prosperous, walkable urban landscape, we think most folks would choose the latter. The process of creating such an environment takes a careful blend of art and science, and few people are more knowledgeable about the subject than Dr. Nan Ellin, an associate professor in Arizona State University's College of Architecture and Urban Design. Dr. Ellin discusses urban design trends, the social phenomena that support them, and possibilities for our own downtown renaissance on Wednesday, June 25, from noon to 1 p.m. The presentation, "Slash City: Downtown Phoenix Revitalization," is part of the free summer lecture series offered at ASU Downtown. Call 480-965-3046 to R.S.V.P. - Michele Laudig
Strictly the best of the sport
Catch Saturday-night fever -- with more passion, less polyester -- when the World Champion Ballroom Dance Latin Showcase spins into town Saturday, June 21. After Louis Van Amstel and Katorzyna Kozak -- four-time U.S. champions and internationally ranked Latin dancers -- strut their finely honed stuff, spectators can hit the floor for a big band dance and revel in their own rhythmic inadequacy. Doors open at 8 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton, 2401 East Camelback. Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the door; see TicketWeb.com or call 602-286-6990 to order. - Jill Koch
Rush is on for new Potter book
Not many books warrant a countdown in Times Square and a $4 million marketing campaign. But Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth book in the series, is setting records already -- and it hasn't even been released yet. Amazon.com reports more than one million pre-orders online, and predicts that distribution will become the largest of any single item in e-commerce history. In related news, a fork-lift driver for a printing firm in England was recently sentenced to community service for stealing pages of the book and attempting to sell them to a local newspaper.
Frenzy aside, author J.K. Rowling chose Saturday, June 21, as the release date for the book, perhaps to thumb her nose at critics who claim the books are pagan guidebooks (June 21 happens to be the summer solstice).
Bookstores all over Phoenix are planning celebrations for the release, helping to make this one of the biggest publishing events in history. See www.changinghands.com or your local Waldenbooks for details. - Maidi Terry
Hip-hop night makes some NOYZ
In the mid-'90s, Phoenix was about as well-known for its hip-hop scene as for its cool summer days. Sensing a void, entrepreneur Tyree Michael Carter's TMC Productions gave us The Vibe, a club that became a touchstone for the Valley's hip-hop community for the length of its four-year run. Fast forward to 2003, and Carter is at it again with the grand opening of The Back Door at NOYZ, 4224 North Craftsman Court in Scottsdale. On Wednesday, June 25, and every Wednesday thereafter, Carter promises to deliver elements of the New York club scene, as well as a healthy dose of old- and new-school classics that fit into a positive genre he calls "vintage Vibe" hip-hop.
For details call 480-941-9333 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.- Craig Wallach