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Branton brings stamp of Hollywood via film directing workshop

A renowned tutor of film directors and actors in Hollywood is in the country to mentor Filipino directors who may find his powerful techniques critical in creating their own artistic vision for the screen. Director and screenwriter John Milton Branton, who started out as an actor then became a film director in Los Angeles, brings his expertise to our shores, along with two production associates -- one, an Emmy-award winning cinematographer, and the other, a Hollywood specialist in post-production editing.

"I'm working with cinematographer Rick Robinson and Andrew Durbin (a post production director). We're setting up a film school for directors in Cebu called the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT)," Branton said.

What Branton refers to as the IAFT is actually a vast estate on Mactan Island in Cebu, which is being developed into a "mini-Universal Studios" with state-of-the-art equipment capable of producing full-length movies in Spielberg quality and style.

Asked why the "Philippines", Branton replied back with a trivia: "Don't you know that the Philippines was, for a long time, the biggest producer of films in the world after India and the United States?" He continues, "You guys did 250 films a year!"

For years, Branton spent professional time teaching film and acting with the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG gives out one of the most coveted film awards in the US) conservatory in Las Vegas and set up courses at the prestigious Rockport cinema camp in Maine, where international film directors are trained.

His formula in international film direction and his stamp of experience are squeezed out at the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT), whose campus is now under construction on historic Mactan Island.

At present, the IAFT offers intensive hands-on programs in Cinematography, Directing, Writing, Producing, Editing, Computer Animation and Graphics via workshops conducted at Bigfoot Center on F. Ramos Street in Cebu City.

"In film direction, what I'm here to say, is that there are some systems that work. We're going to teach them that at IAFT," he said.

In the course outline he teaches at the IAFT, there is emphasis on imparting some powerful techniques and tested structures followed by the best known filmmakers in the international scene.

Branton, who rewrote screenplays and put actors into the characters, is dedicated to involving directors in the pre-production and post-production process of filmmaking. He said directors must be able to rewrite scripts, deal eloquently with actors and weave their hand at digital editing, apart from bringing forth a "mastershot."

He does find promise and respect for local filmdom's directors. "What I find about the handful of Filipino directors I've met, so far, is their incredible passion to tell the Filipino experience; their portrayal of real life with a particular focus on poverty, injustice and corruption," Branton added. "They already have the gift of creativity. What we aim to do is help them structure their artistic _expression so that it is fine-tuned into the artistic vision they want to share."

Branton will be in Manila for a two-day intensive film directing workshop organized by IAFT at the AIM Conference Center on July 24 & 25, 9am-5pm. For inquiries on this workshop, text or call the Marketing Director Mr. Caesar Ditan at 0927-482-5501 or log on to www.study-film.com to know more about the International Academy of Film and Television.

Reference: Ms. Redge Jimenez, {0917-7342163/ moistcom@lycos.com}

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