DPP Home Profiles Maria Burns: 7th Annual Emerging Pro Winner

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Maria Burns: 7th Annual Emerging Pro Winner

With an eye for creating austere projects, Maria Burns shows that you can make a tremendous impact with the simplest of ideas


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FILMMAKER: Maria Burns
PROJECT: Tendance Brute

Simplicity seems to be the guiding principle behind Maria Burns' conceptual filmmaking style. Simple doesn't mean plain or dull. She uses the full frame to create tension where it's warranted, and the occasional superimposition of two images is the most elaborate her VFX work seems to be. New filmmakers should take note of the way Burns crafted her compelling two films, Tendance Brute and Onus, each of which was just a few minutes in length and that took place on single sets.



FILMMAKER: Maria Burns
PROJECT: Onus
Thanks to generous prizes from RED, Zeiss and Adobe, our 7th Annual Emerging Pro Contest was a huge success. The contest was groundbreaking. It was the first time we've run the Emerging Pro with our sister publication HDVideoPro magazine, and it was the first time we've invited participants to submit either a series of still photographs or a short film. As more DPP readers experiment with motion capture, we were particularly excited to see such a strong group of motion submissions.

The contest was conducted in two phases. First, we had an open call for submissions. From that group, we selected the top projects, both still and motion, to create our group of 10 Finalists. Each of them received a RED camera outfit with which they were tasked with shooting a new project. The timeline was very tight, so the Finalists had to be efficient and work under an inflexible deadline. From the 10 Finalists' projects, Maria Burns' film, Onus, was chosen as the winner.

Burns' submission to the contest's first phase was Tendance Brute, a stark short film that explores a human transformation as the subject evolves into a determined, elegant woman. Onus is an examination of the female psyche and the inner contradictions the protagonist confronts. Both are austere films, featuring dynamic movement, jarring jump cuts and a well-matched soundtrack. Burns' distinctive style and use of the simplest of sets let the performances come through in both films.

PROJECT: Onus PROJECT: Tendance Brute
Simplicity seems to be the guiding principle behind Maria Burns' conceptual filmmaking style. Simple doesn't mean plain or dull. She uses the full frame to create tension where it's warranted, and the occasional superimposition of two images is the most elaborate her VFX work seems to be. New filmmakers should take note of the way Burns crafted her compelling two films, Tendance Brute and Onus, each of which was just a few minutes in length and that took place on single sets.


 

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