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Video thumbnail for vimeo video Rethinking Demo Reel Nora De Guest Post - No Film School

If you’re involved with the dark arts of video in any way, there’s a good chance at some point that you’ve created, or at least come across, a demo reel. While traditional demo reels are usually your best video pieces cut to music, how can you really stand out from the crowd in any meaningful way if they’re all pretty much the same? Nora De tackles that very subject and shows off her “remixed” demo reel, talking about how it landed her a job, and how rethinking your reel could help you land your own dream job.

This is a guest post from Nora De. More »

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Prospect Short Film - Zeek Earl Christopher Caldwell - BTS 4

Back in 2012, we covered the Kickstarter for a short film called Prospect, which would eventually go on to premiere at this year’s SXSW film festival. Besides using relatively inexpensive gear to create some fantastic visuals, the directing duo of Zeek Earl & Christopher Caldwell had quite a bit of help from enthusiastic volunteers who found out about the project after the Kickstarter campaign. The short film has finally been released to the public, and you can watch it below, and read about some of the lessons the team learned throughout the entire project. More »

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Like Me

If you’re looking to tell people about your film and get some buzz going, social media is probably your best bet, seeing how Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so many other platforms have helped filmmakers not only find their film’s audience, but get their films made. Filmmaker Robert Mockler shares how he used social media to do just that for his film Like Me, which is currently in the running for Indiewire’s Project of the Year.

This is a guest post by Robert Mockler. More »

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Cannes palais night

One of the biggest reasons why filmmakers go to film festivals, including Cannes, is not just to showcase their films, but to network and make new industry contacts. In the final part of our 3-part series on how to Survive the Cannes Short Film Festival, filmmaker Lit Kilpatrick fills us in on how and where to network, including where to go and who to look out for, at the festival based on his own experience attending last year.

This is a guest post by Lit Kilpatrick. More »

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Cannes Palais1

Preparing yourself for any film festival can be a stressful situation, and for those of you getting ready to go to the Cannes Short Film Corner, the clock is ticking! If you’re finding yourself lost trying to figure out how to start preparing for your stay, filmmaker Lit Kilpatrick is here to share a few lessons he learned from his trip last year. This is Part 2 of his 3-part series on how to survive the Cannes Short Film Corner.

This is a guest post by Lit Kilpatrick. More »

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Cannes Palais
The Cannes International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, but premiering, screening, and awarding the best feature films isn’t all that Cannes has to offer. Cannes Short Film Corner is an event that allows the creators of short films an opportunity to show their projects to a massive audience, pitch future projects, and hopefully make many important connections as well. However, the festivities can seem quite overwhelming, but Brooklyn-based filmmaker Lit Kilpatrick is here to walk you through Cannes and fill you in on how to make the most out of your visit. Lit describes all of the basics for those who aren’t familiar with the short film corner in part 1 of our 3-part series.

This is a guest post by Lit Kilpatrick. More »

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movi combo

Having a two-camera set-up can have many great benefits. It can cut down on your production time/cost, streamline your work and make it more efficient, as well as provide much-needed continuity to the final product, which will ultimately raise your film’s production value. If you’re working with a skeleton crew, a multi-camera rig might be a good solution to having to hire more people, but be forewarned — there can be pitfalls to that set-up (e.g. Tommy Wiseau’s multi-camera/multi-format frankenrig that he used in The Room). Filmmaker Rubidium Wu puts this set-up to the test, mounting a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and a Canon 5D Mark III to a MōVI 10 gimbal stabilizer to see if he can cut down on costs, time, and even permit applications!

This is a guest post by Rubidium Wu. More »

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Old Super8 cam

When many of us first picked up a camera, it was whatever we had lying around. Maybe it was dad’s old Super 8 at home or the Handycam in your high school yearbook class. It was available, affordable, and convenient, so the choice was already made whether you knew it or not. Today, however, there are a lot of cameras out there so naturally beginning filmmakers will ask themselves, “How do I choose a camera?”

This is a guest post by Joyce Tsang of Stillmotion. More »

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Finding money is often one of the toughest tasks many independent film producers face, as well as one of the most critical. You need money to make movies, and you need to make movies to build a successful career. Building relationships with investors is one big, important step you can take to help find money on an ongoing basis for your projects and further your cause.

This is a guest post by Fred Siegel, CPA. More »

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Blue Film Reels

As is customary at the beginning of every new year, we ask ourselves, “How will this year be different? What will change? What will stay the same?” As filmmakers, I’m sure most of us are asking these questions about the film industry, perhaps even making assertions and predictions about what we’ll be seeing in cinema in 2014, and founder of Sub-Genre Media, Brian Newman does the same. Here are his 10 predictions about the 2014 film industry. This is a guest post by Brian Newman. More »

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Apple’s release of the Final Cut Pro X 10.1 update came with a number of new features. From more 4K software and hardware support to better project and media management, FCP X’s new capabilities are many, and here to share his first impressions of the update is a filmmaker who has had extensive experience with the powerful NLE.

This is a guest post by Austin Mace. More »

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sundance film festivalThis week the Sundance Film Festival announced the 118 features that will play this year’s festival, selected from 4,057 submissions. Here at No Film School we are not good at math, but we are pretty sure this means 3,939 filmmakers were rejected from the festival. This short letter is for you guys.

This is a guest post by filmmaker Mitch McCabe. More »

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Director Ryan Lightbourn dropped out of film school and decided to strike out on his own, making films and music videos with gear he bought himself. Having just recently finished his first feature film Sleepwalkers, Ryan decided to let us behind the scenes, explaining his process as he made his film using an array of different types of gear, including the RED SCARLET, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and the 5D Mark III.

This is a guest post by Ryan Lightbourn. More »

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“Do short films have monetary value?” Filmmaker Robin Schmidt, who after many short films and music videos recently completed his first feature film, digs in and offers some intriguing observations in the guest post below, as well as his idea for a solution with the help of Vimeo. After reading the post, we’d also like to know what you think. Do short films have monetary value? If so, what solutions can you come up with that will allow filmmakers to monetize their shorts?

This is a guest post by filmmaker Robin Schmidt. More »

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Joe Rubinstein

Joe Rubinstein and his team at Digital Bolex have been developing a new, fully digital version of the most sought after 16mm camera brand in the world, the Bolex. After some lively debates on their forums, Joe decided to address a topic that he found to be particularly engaging with both fans and naysayers alike: is 4K worth it? Joe delves into what 4K is all about after the jump.

This is a guest post by Joe Rubinstein, founder of Digital Bolex. More »

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Director's Chair

If you’re a director gearing up to go into production on a film, you’re probably fine-tuning the script, selecting your crew, and carefully drawing up a shot list. As a director, it’s easy to let your mind become fully centered on your artistic vision for your project, but LA-based film consultant Seth Hymes reminds us not to forget the managerial side of your directorial responsibilities.

This is a guest post by Seth Hymes. More »

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Conflict vs Resolution

If you’ve ever gone through your 1st, 2nd, or even final draft of your screenplay and felt like it was just falling flat, you’re not alone. Many (all) screenwriters struggle with giving their stories and characters dimension and substance, but much of the time the cause of a stale script is lack of conflict. Independent filmmaker Dylan Tuccillo shares the importance of conflict as well as resolution, and how the two occupy their own very important place in narratives.

This is a guest post by writer and filmmaker Dylan Tuccillo. More »

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Nicolas Alcala board

Independent film has grown and blossomed over the last few decades. Production costs are low and spirits are high, but the question on every indie filmmaker’s mind after wrap is, “How do I get my film out there?” Independent director Nicolás Alcalá and his team at Riot Cinema has rewritten the book on how movies are experienced and distributed with their film The Cosmonautand Alcalá was kind enough to share his thoughts on distribution in contemporary cinema.

This is a guest post by Director Nicolás Alcalá. More »

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Oden Roberts Photo

This is a guest post by Director, Writer, and Cinematographer Oden Roberts.

Mantra: Grant writing is not filmmaking. Once again: Grant writing is not filmmaking. It’s scholarly, tedious and political. Repeat mantra.

A few years back I began the arduous process of submitting my feature script A Fighting Season to the San Francisco Film Society for their prestigious KRF narrative production grant. The process, in a nutshell, parallels the scholarly disciplines guided by the Little, Brown Handbook than the craft I’ve been become familiar with known as “Indie” filmmaking. More »