“Are Superhero Movies Cinema?”: A Q&A series hosted by ASU’s Film Spark

ASU Film Spark, Arizona State University’s industry relations program in Hollywood, is hosting a series of free online Q&A sessions with respected Hollywood professionals on Mondays throughout the month of April on the Film Spark YouTube channel. ASU Film Spark welcomes anyone who is interested in hearing from some of the people who help create your favorite films to join them at 7:30PM PST for the live-streamed events.

This series features conversations with cinematographers, producers, and other Hollywood professionals who aim to answer the question, Are Superhero Movies Cinema? Speakers include:

  • April 6: Scott Derrickson, director, “Doctor Strange” – Watch his session here
  • April 13: Larry Sher, cinematographer, “Joker” and “The Hangover” – Watch his session here
  • April 20: Chris Edwards, founder/CEO of visualization studio THE THIRD FLOOR, “Avengers: Endgame”; “The Mandalorian”; “Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker”
  • April 27: Matt Tolmach, producer and executive producer, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” ”Venom,” “Jumanji” and “Future Man”

“Martin Scorsese’s claim that superhero movies aren’t cinema gives aspiring filmmakers the chance to think hard about the definition of ‘cinema,’” said Adam Collis, founding director of ASU Film Spark. “And who better to explore this question than some of the best filmmakers working today. ASU Film Spark has been sharing this special class with our friends at Santa Monica College, and, during these stay-at-home times, we are honored and excited to now share the class with anyone who loves movies, cinema or both.”

Arizona State University, which has been ranked as the most innovative school in the nation for the last five years in a row, is also the nation’s largest university and built on a charter that puts inclusivity in its very first sentence. In this spirit, ASU Film Spark is thrilled to include film students, cinephiles, comic fans, aspiring moviemakers, and movie-lovers of all stripes in conversation.

 

“I’m proud to have been the first industry guest Adam connected to ASU back in 2009, when we did a video conference with his students,” said Lawrence Sher, cinematographer for “Joker” and “The Hangover” series. “Since then, I’ve seen Film Spark and the film program grow in astonishing ways. ASU really is the most innovative school in the nation, and their students are spectacular. Our exploration of the superhero genre and the definition of cinema was a blast and one of the more thought-provoking conversations I’ve had on the subject.”

 

“Are Superhero Movies CINEMA?” is the latest example of innovative Film Spark classes and programming. Their Feature Film Internship Initiative gave 85 ASU students and 15 recent alumni the chance to learn filmmaking on an actual feature film set from an Oscar-winning cast and crew including Octavia Spencer, George Lopez and Nia Vardalos. Other examples include their Women in Film Zoom Q&A class featuring producer/former studio chief Nina Jacobson, director/co-chair of the DGA diversity committee Bethany Rooney and others; a semester-long class with Lionsgate in which students case-studied the film “Wonder” just before it was released; and a two-day symposium with producer Walter Parkes called “Inventing the Future All Over Again,” for which Film Spark reassembled the team of futurists Parkes gathered in 1999 to help Steven Spielberg create the futuristic world of Minority Report. Film Spark has also brought Spike Lee, Patricia Cardoso, Fanny Grande, Salvador Carrasco and Boots Riley to campus for special events and screenings at Sun Devil Stadium.

 

Guests who would like to receive an email reminder on the day of the event as well as updates about future events may RSVP here. RSVPs are not required and you may view each live session by visiting the Film Spark YouTube channel at 7:30PM MST on Mondays in April.

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