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THE CUTTING EDGE

PREVIEWS : Will There Be Virtual Schmoozing?

August 19, 1996

Los Angeles will play host to a different kind of film festival this week. There won't be limos, movie stars or Armani-clad moguls, but there will be plenty of filmmakers who know a thing or two about digital technology.

Hollywood studios might use digital tools to create 3-D animated toys or special effects, or in some kinds of editing, but hard-core enthusiasts toil away creating entire low- or no-budget films on their PCs. And now they're sharing the fruits of their labor at the Low Res Film and Video Festival this Friday at the Directors Guild of America.

The festival was launched early this year by a pair of amateur filmmakers from San Francisco to show off the ways in which desktop computers and off-the-shelf software are opening up new ways to create films and videos. After sold-out showings in New York, the Bay Area and Rotterdam, Netherlands, the festival's 22 films will be screened in Hollywood's backyard.

Cult favorites like "Slacker Cop 3," "Golden Shoes" and " . . . And Then I Woke Up" demonstrate how much can be done from a dorm room or by using office equipment after-hours. Leading digital video and technology companies will also be on hand to make their case to any who are still skeptical after the screenings.

The Low Res Film and Video Festival will be held at 7920 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling (213) 660-TKTS. For more information, visit http://www.lowres.com

THIS WEEK

* Today, 3 p.m.: Congressman Newt Gingrich takes questions from his campaign headquarters in Roswell, Ga. America Online. Keyword: CENTERSTAGE

* Tuesday, 6 p.m.: Michael Murphy, editor of the California Technology Stock Letter, reveals his secrets for picking the best high-technology stocks. CompuServe. Go CONFERENCE

* Thursday, 7 p.m.: Former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield talks about his career. Prodigy. Jump: CHAT

ON THE NET

* Computer fans will revel in the newly redesigned site from the Computer Museum in Boston (http://www.tcm.org). Visitors can browse an interactive timeline to trace the rise of computers over the last 50 years, design their own robots using a Shockwave application and learn how computer networks work. If you're really hooked, check out the section on careers spawned by computers.

* If you're turned off by real-life politics, see what would happen if you were making the decisions in Washington. President '96 (http:/.www.pres96.com) is an elaborate simulation game of a presidential election. Players become campaign advisors for the make-believe candidate (based on real politicians) of their choice. Along the way, read up on issues ranging from the environment to Social Security reform to affirmative action.

* The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse shares information on how you can protect your privacy in the digital age at http://www.acusd.edu/~prc. You'll find fact sheets on the privacy implications of wireless communications, junk mail, employee monitoring in the workplace, caller ID and more.

* The War Times Journal (http://www.wtj.com) contains articles and archives of military campaigns throughout history. Scroll through Napoleon's correspondence from his military headquarters, read biographies of warriors and battles, and browse a picture gallery of 1945 photos of war-ravaged France, Germany and the Philippines.

* Follow hiker Erik Weihenmayer as he strives to become the first blind person to climb the sheer, vertical face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Go to http://www.terraquest.com for the climbing team's daily diary, background on how it prepared for the climb, a history of El Capitan and information on the American Foundation for the Blind.

Site suggestions can be sent to cutting.edge@latimes.com

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