Cartoons at Second City! Yay!

November 30, 2016

Thank you, Second City, for once again offering Steven Fischer’s guide to Creating Cartoon Stories.

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Sign up here!

Bring your story ideas to life in cartoons. We’ll explore the creative process, cartoon drawing fundamentals, character development, and more! In-class writing and drawing exercises help you discover new possibilities in developing and expressing your ideas and point of view. These exercises help you generate the ideas for your own original, personal story. No experience necessary. If you can make a stick figure, you can get started!

Participants will receive a copy of Steven’s book The Wonderful, Happy, Cartoony World of Steve & Bluey.

3 hours

About the instructor: Steven Fischer is a two-time Emmy® nominated writer/producer/digital cinematographer of fiction, non-fiction, and animated stories. His credits include the films Freedom Dance (2007) featuring Mariska Hargitay and Old School New School (2010) with Brian Cox. His commissioned work includes Martin Scorsese’s NEH Jefferson Lecture, Keep the Promise with Margaret Cho and Tavis Smiley, among various films for Maryland Public Television/PBS, Romanian Television Network, TV Asia, Nextel, DuPont, Nalco/Ecolabs, Department of Defense, AmeriCorps, Hollywood Stars II, and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Fischer is a Fulbright recipient and speaks internationally on storytelling.

Steven Fischer_second city workshop_chicago_april 20_2016_photos by alicia haywood_15

Video Editing, Acting, and Cartoons at Northwestern University!

November 30, 2016

Between January and February 2017 Steven Fischer will present a video editing class, an acting class, and a cartoon storytelling workshop at Northwestern University’s Norris Center. Join the fun!

Digital Video Editing

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Steven Fischer presents Digital Video Editing using Premiere Pro CC at Northwestern University.

6:00-7:30, Mondays, January 23 – February 27

Fee: $101 NU / $111 Public

Learn the basics of video editing from a two-time Emmy nominated filmmaker! This course introduces students to the role of the editor as storyteller, the history of cinema editing, and the fundamentals of editing in effective communication. This course involves hands-on Premiere Pro work. You’ll be editing, a lot!

Acting and Character Creation

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Steven Fischer works with acting students at Northwestern University. Photo by Dywaine Betts

6:00-7:30PM, Thursdays, January 19 – February 23

Fee: $81 NU/ $91 Public

This interactive course is an introduction to acting, taught by a two-time Emmy nominated instructor in film and television! Animation and live action directors will experience the fundamentals of acting to generate performance ideas they can use to help bring on-screen characters to life.

Introduction to Cartoon Storytelling

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Steven Fischer’s popular Cartoon Storytelling workshop. Photo by Alicia Haywood.

Tuesday, February 7, 6:00-9:00PM

Fee: $30

Learn the art of cartoon storytelling, effective communication techniques, and develop personal expression. This workshop will touch upon story breakdown, character development, page layout, and studies from life. Students will begin to create an original story. No previous drawing experience required – if you can create a stick figure, you can succeed!

Freedom Dance at Fulbright Hungary’s 1956 Celebration

October 22, 2016

A big thank you to Karoly Jokay, Fulbright Hungary, and The Consulate General of Hungary in Chicago for including Freedom Dance (our movie with Mariska Hargitay retelling Ed and Judy Hilbert’s escape from Communist Hungary to the US during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution) in Hungary 1956 – Chicago 2016: A Day of Remembrance and Hope.

It was a honor to participate in the commemoration and a treat to meet fellow Fulbright alum!

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Fulbright Hungary Director Karoly Jokay and film director Steven Fischer at 1956 Hungarian Revolution commemoration and Fulbright alum celebration, Chicago, Illinois. October 21, 2016.

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Film director Steven Fischer introduces his movie Freedom Dance featuring Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay at the 1956 Hungarian Revolution commemoration and Fulbright alum celebration, Chicago, Illinois. October 21, 2016.

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Fulbright alum at the 1956 Hungarian Revolution commemoration and Fulbright alum celebration, Chicago, Illinois. October 21, 2016.

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Film producer-director Steven Thomas Fischer with Ambassador Ferenc Szebenyi, Consul General of Hungary, at the 1956 Hungarian Revolution commemoration and Fulbright alum celebration, Chicago, Illinois. October 21, 2016.

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Freedom Dance at The Embassy of Hungary

October 13, 2016

A very special thank you to Ambassador Reka Szemerkenyi, Cultural Attache David Singer and everyone at The Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC, for including Freedom Dance in the Embassy’s 60th Anniversary Commemoration of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

For those who don’t know, Freedom Dance is an animated documentary that retells the adventure of a young couple, Edward and Judy Hilbert, escaping Hungary during the ’56 Revolution. Along the way, Edward kept a journal in cartoon form detailing their dramatic journey (which includes being robbed and nearly killed). The movie features Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay and is produced by Steven Fischer and Craig Herron.

Order your copy of DVD click here: http://www.freedomdancethemovie.com

 

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Ambassador Reka Szemerkenyi and film director Steven Fischer at The Embassy of Hungary, Washington, DC, October 2016.

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Cultural Attache Singer David and film director Steven Fischer at The Embassy of Hungary, Washington, DC, October 2016.

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Director Steven Fischer speaks at the Festival of Film & Culture celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight. (Hosted by the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC.) October 12, 2016

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Director Steven Fischer (left) and Cultural Attache Singer David (right) speak at the Festival of Film & Culture celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight. (Hosted by the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC.) October 12, 2016

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Some of the Freedom Dance team. L-R: Diane Leigh Davison, Steven Fischer, Gregg Landry, Craig Herron, Barbara Herron

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TV Asia

September 23, 2016

One of the perks about shooting for TV Asia is that tea breaks come with the best Masala tea!

Producer Nalini Raja and Director, filmmaker Steven Fischer shooting for TV Asia in Chicago, Illinois in 2016

Tea break with producer Nalini Raja Patel and director Steven Fischer, shooting on location for TV Asia in Elmhurst, Illinois.

 

Click here for a home brew recipe.

A big shout out to Producer and National Correspondent Nalini Raja Patel for being so great to work with! Thanks for 8-years of adventure. Here’s to many more!

Producer Nalini Raja Patel and director Steven Fischer on location for TV Asia in Elmhurst, Illinois.

 

Second City Cartoon Workshop!

September 19, 2016

Many thanks to Tom Rosenak for these photos from my 2D Guide to Creating 3D Characters workshop at The Second City! And thanks so much to all in attendance. Your enthusiasm, openness to new ideas, and all-around-greatness made the day a real pleasure. (And thanks to Andy Eninger and Sheena Laird at Second City for the chance to collaborate on another adventure.)

Cartoonist and filmmaker Steven Fischer presents character creation workshop at Second City, Chicago. Sept. 17, 2016. Photo by Tom Rosenak.

Cartoonist and filmmaker Steven Fischer presents character creation workshop at Second City, Chicago. Sept. 17, 2016. Photo by Tom Rosenak.

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Cartoonist and filmmaker Steven Fischer presents character creation workshop at Second City, Chicago. Sept. 17, 2016. Photo by Tom Rosenak.

 

Helpful Hints: Final Cut Pro: Plays fine in sequence, but out of sync on export

September 4, 2016

I recently came across a frustrating issue while editing. The sequence played fine on the time line, but when I opened the exported video in Quicktime, the video and audio were all mixed up. I found this solution at Michael  Wyszomierski’s blog:

 

If your Final Cut Pro sequence plays fine from the project file, but the audio and video get out of sync or there is a rendering glitch when you export a QuickTime movie, try selecting “Recompress all frames” when you export [File, Export, Quicktime Movie — ‘Recompress all frames’ is an option towards the bottom of the window]. You can also play around with clearing render files, etc., but this one box seems to do the trick.
Thanks, Michael!

 

A 2D Guide to 3D Characters is back at The Second City!

August 31, 2016
Join us at The Second City, Chicago, and bring your story ideas to life in cartoons. Explore creative self-development, character development, narrative structure and more! In-class writing and drawing exercises help you discover new possibilities in developing and expressing your ideas and point of view. These exercises help you generate the ideas for your own original, personal story. No experience necessary. If you can make a stick figure, you can get started!
*****
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 10am  — Sign up here!
*****
About the instructor: Steven Fischer is a two-time Emmy® nominated writer/producerof fiction, non-fiction, and animated stories. His credits include the films Freedom Dance (2007) featuring Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay and Old School New School (2010) with Emmy-winning actor Brian Cox. Fischer is a Fulbright recipient and speaks internationally on storytelling. Check out his cartoon story book: The Wonderful, Happy, Cartoony World of Steve & Bluey, about life in the world of a professional cartoon character.
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Steven Fischer presents A 2D Guide to 3D Characters at The Second City. Photo by Alicia Haywood.

The Return of Cartoons and Creativity at Waubonsee Community College!

August 31, 2016

Try Your Hand at Cartooning With an Emmy Nominated Filmmaker

No drawing experience is necessary for this unique creativity workshop with the multi-talented Steven Fischer. Develop your original, personal story through drawing – using a range of writing and drawing exercises to develop characters, locations and themes. Along the way, explore the philosophy and psychology of inspiration, cartoon art, creativity and storytelling.

Saturday, September 10, 2016
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove Campus 
$19

Sign up here!!

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Copies of Fischer’s book, The Wonderful, Happy, Cartoony World of Steve & Bluey, will be for sale at the workshop.

 

Cartoon Storytelling Is Back at Second City

July 1, 2016

Join me for a full Cartoon Storytelling class at the famed Second City, Chicago Starts Tuesday, July 5.

Bring your story ideas to life in cartoon format, no experience necessary. In Cartoon Storytelling you will explore narrative, character development and format. In-class writing and drawing exercises help you discover new possibilities in expressing your ideas and point of view. You’ll try your hand at several formats (comic book, comic strip, single panel) as you build your own original personal story in cartoon form. If you can make a stick figure, you can get started!

3 hours, 6 weeks

About the instructor: Steven Fischer is a two-time Emmy® nominated writer/producer/digital cinematographer of fiction, non-fiction, and animated stories. His credits include the films Freedom Dance (2007) featuring Mariska Hargitay and Old School New School (2010) with Brian Cox. His commissioned work includes Martin Scorsese’s NEH Jefferson Lecture and Keep the Promise with Margaret Cho and Tavis Smiley among various films for Maryland Public Television/PBS, Romanian Television Network, TV Asia, Nextel, DuPont, Nalco/Ecolabs, Department of Defense, AmeriCorps, Hollywood Stars II, and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.

Fischer is a Fulbright recipient and speaks internationally on storytelling.

Click here to sign up!

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Draw! Draw! Draw! Steven Fischer presents Cartoon Storytelling at The Second City, Chicago, 2016. Photo by Alicia Haywood.