» Archive for the ‘Featured Content’ Category

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The Congress House Studio Austin TX — The ShopKeeper A documentary about Mark Hallman

Folk-rock artist Rain Perry has some important questions about the music industry, so she’s chosen celebrated music producer Mark Hallman to be the subject of a new documentary. The Shopkeeper takes us to Austin TX, where, after 35+ years in the business, Mark Hallman is still making music in his studio, The Congress House. How can Mark’s life path (a songwriter turned producer) help answer questions about the state of things now? How can artists make a living in the age of Spotify? How has technology influenced artists and audiences alike? Rain sits down with No Film School to discuss being a “noob” to filmmaking, how it compares to creating music, and important lessons she’s learned so far. More »

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As curation becomes more important, it becomes about how we carve out small pockets of culture online for audiences who are hungry for unique, uncompromising and refreshing work. Vyer Films is a new subscription service that not only selects a robust catalogue of independent movies, but also strives to coax their audiences deeper into the culture of their movies. I see what Vyer Films is doing with the curatorial streaming model as pretty representative of where things are headed, so I asked founder K.C. McLeod to chat with No Film School about their commitment to sharing great films, their take on the streaming subscription model and where it all fits in the future of film distribution. More »

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Inside the Edit Paddy Bird

A few months ago, we shared an excellent short animation that detailed the ins and outs of what exactly an experienced editor does. Although we only briefly mentioned it at the time, that video was an advertisement for Inside the Edit, a soon-to-be-released online creative editing course. Yesterday marked the official release of Inside the Edit, and we here at No Film School couldn’t be more excited about the tremendous potential value that this course offers to aspiring editors wishing to break into the industry. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Paddy Bird, the founder of Inside the Edit, about what sets this course apart from any other editing course on the market today. More »

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Oakley Anderson-Moore Royal Robbins Interview

You’ve got a great idea for film, and it just so happens to be a true story. Best of all, the main character is fantastic and you can’t wait to get him or her on camera! But once you start rolling, and sit back and wait for the magic to happen — pfft. Your interview is a dud. What went wrong? Getting a person’s story on camera is an elusive process, and since I just spent over five years working on a short and a feature in which I conducted over 40 interviews, I thought I’d share a list of things that I picked up along the way that might help you. More »

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Lila
There are short films, really good short films, which within hours of opening their online doors flit from inboxes, to tweets to posts to blogs racking up 100s of 1000s of views as they reach meme velocity, and while that’s a status any of us would be happy to achieve, there are those truly great shorts such as Carlos Lascano’s A Short Love Story In Stop Motion which are so popular they become instantly recognisable by anyone who’s even flirted with the idea of watching a short film. In what surly must be an unfair monopolization of the collective consciousness, Carlos looks set to once again have a film which will remain a topic of conversation for years to come with his latest short Lila. We interview Carlos about closing out his unofficial trilogy of viral hits and his move from animation back to live action filmmaking. More »

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Menthol on Vimeo on Demand

Now that Menthol was finally released online last week, let’s check in with the release status and watch the 3rd part of our interview series with the makers of the film. This post will complete my 6-part series on releasing the film with a $0 marketing budget. With direct distribution I’ve learned that what appears to be the end of a long road usually leads to be the beginning of a new one, but for this post I’ve selected some big takeaways and put them together in a Direct-Distribution Lesson Roundup. Read on. More »

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“What do you want to see in the next version of this website?” We asked in 2011. We asked again in 2012. We heard you loud and clear, and we were hoping to launch the new version in 2013. We could’ve simply added a few things — a better search function, improved commenting – but it turned out, as with everything I do, “good enough” was not, in fact, good enough. It had to be great. More »

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Making Sense of CENTS Lessons Learned on Set of My First Feature Film 1
Here at No Film School, my posts focus on screenwriting. I can honestly say searching for lessons from professional screenwriters, sharing those lessons with NFS readers and adding my own take on those lessons has made me a better screenwriter since I started writing for this site back in May 2012. But, by far, my biggest learning experience as a screenwriter to date happened this summer when I had the privilege of shooting my first feature film, thanks in no small part to many NFS readers who supported our CENTS Kickstarter campaign. Now that principal photography is complete and we’re heading into post production, I’m excited to get back to NFS to share with you 5 lessons I learned on the set of my first feature film as writer, director and one of the producers. More »

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EditReady

Earlier in the summer, Divergent Media, a software company whose tools need no introduction in the video production world, released EditReady, a Mac transcoding app with a tremendous claim, that it was supposedly the world’s fastest transcoder for Quicktime conversion. In a market that is fairly saturated with transcoding solutions for filmmakers, that is definitely a bold claim, to say the least. However, after reading about what sets EditReady apart from its competitors, then testing the app for myself, I’m ready to say that the claim is indeed a valid one. I also talked briefly with Mike Woodworth, the CEO of Divergent Media, who’s also the lead developer of EditReady, and learned more about how the software was designed, what it can and cannot do, and where it is headed in the future. More »

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There are many ways for filmmakers to use their skills to generate income. You can move to a major filmmaking hub like New York, Los Angles, or Atlanta and cut your teeth in the world of features and television. You can shoot commercials and web videos for local businesses. You can shoot and edit weddings. You can even use your own short films and features and generate income through various online distribution outlets. And last but not least, you can sell stock footage. The only problem with the latter option is that most stock footage houses these days aren’t built with filmmakers in mind. Today marks the launch of Story & Heart, a new story-driven stock footage licensing hub and filmmaking community that tackles many of the issues with modern footage licensing head on. The result is a stock footage service that is unlike any other to come before it. More »

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Financing is an important (and often dreaded) aspect of the making of any movie. Without money, films can’t exist, but it’s often the topic with the least amount of information floating around. If you’re considering funding a movie or producing a film, Matthew Helderman has come up with a handy guide to get you started understanding all of the different ways you can get financing for a movie.

This is a guest post by Matthew Helderman of Buffalo8 and BondIt. More »

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Menthol Release on August 4th

Menthol is finally done playing film festivals and we’re in the clear to release online. It’s been a long road getting to this point, navigating various distribution strategies and seeing what we can implement with a $0 marketing spend. Menthol will finally enjoy its online release today, August 4th through Vimeo on Demand and Reelhouse. To whet your appetite for the film, here’s the next installment in the Behind the Story interview series and some words on what we’ve learned. More »

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Shooting something entirely from a first person POV may not be new, but every once in a while an exceptionally well-done shot or scene (or even an entire short) makes you step back and appreciate what can be done with the technique and how difficult it is to pull off, especially when you need to cleverly hide cuts. That’s the case with Random Stop, a short film based on the tragic real-life shooting of Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Dinkheller after a routine traffic stop. We’ve also got a behind the scenes video that is launching first on No Film School, so be sure to check that out after watching the short. More »

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Anomaly Kickstarter w jts

Here at No Film School, we focus a whole lot on the process of making feature films. However, long-form storytelling like television narratives and web series are entering a golden age in which in-depth character development is key and content and structure can be as creative as ever. For independent and low-budget filmmakers looking to take advantage of the creative freedoms of long-form storytelling, while simultaneously working on honing their craft, web series are definitely a great way to go (just ask our fearless leader, Ryan Koo, whose series The West Side won critical acclaim). But how does one go about getting started with creating a dramatic web series? It’s certainly not easy, but today’s interviewee, Terrell Lamont, has some answers. More »

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Carsten Kurpanek Editor of Earth to Echo
Have you ever had that particular project come along that completely turned your career around — a break-out job after lots of hard work, that lead to more projects you loved working on? I FaceTimed recently with editor Carsten Kurpanek, who just edited his first wide-released feature Earth to Echo (in theaters now). Carsten was kind enough to provide some keen perspective from his own career thus far, some insights into the future of NLE technology, and even some recommendations and advice to those new to editing. More »

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A short film can be just that: a short glimpse into a world of the filmmaker’s creation. But then there are those short films that come with a medium-spanning world for audiences to explore far longer than the last frame of the film. One such successful transmedia project is Nathan Punwar’s Loves of a Cyclops, where the viewer can enter a nonsensical world with enough supporting material (film strips, recordings, and photographs) to make you wonder if Cycloptics might just be possible. No Film School sat down with Punwar to talk about anything from the rewards of transmedia to how Pixar just might look into multidimensional cycloptic viewing. More »

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It’s clear that cinematography is changing, both from technological and aesthetic perspectives. Images are being created in new, oftentimes fascinating ways, and the role of the cinematographer is evolving at a rapid pace. Cinematographers are now being included in the extensive visual effects processes that dominate contemporary Hollywood — although the extent to which some cinematographers are actually involved is hotly debated. All of this means that the future of cinematography as we know it today is an exciting, albeit uncertain one. However, there’s one area that might provide a new outlet for the cinematographers of tomorrow: video games. More »

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ciff pitch points north

Some film projects seem like they effortlessly raise budgets from grants and funding agencies, while others get quagmired in development hell when the people with the money decide to pass. What’s the difference? Well, it could be how you are pitching your film! No Film School sat down with Camden International Film Festival’s Sean Flynn to talk about important aspects of pitches, ten years of CIFF, and how to apply for the brand new Points North Fellowship — which not only helps you perfect your pitch, but has you deliver it in front of the Industry’s top funders! More »

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Rian Johnson Brick Script to Screen Austin Film Festival
If you saw the Internet in passing last week, you just might have caught wind of a small story about Rian Johnson joining a modestly successful sci-fi franchise to write and direct a future episode. For his sake, I certainly hope the first movie in the announced trilogy doesn’t tank, or Johnson may be out of a job. As I read that story, I was reminded of the Austin Film Festival Script-to-Screen panel I moderated with Johnson this past October to discuss his first feature film, the high school film noir Brick. Now only days away from principal photography on my first feature film, this feels like the perfect time to revisit our conversation to learn from Johnson and his experiences making this original take on the film noir genre. More »

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Blackmagic URSA 4K with PL MountA little over two years ago, Blackmagic Design completely disrupted the cinema camera market, and changed expectations about how much we should be paying for excellent image quality. Their goal with the first 2.5K Cinema Camera was to make something with as much flexibility in post as possible, and would be a companion to cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II — which is why they chose the Canon EF mount. They haven’t stopped with just one camera model, as they have since introduced the Pocket Cinema Camera, Production Camera 4K, and the URSA 4K Digital Cinema Camera, which features interchangeable sensors. At the recent NAB show, I interviewed Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty and asked him all sorts of questions about their camera line, firmware updates, and what he thought about the image issues some people have experienced with the Production Camera 4K. More »