» Archive for the ‘Featured Content’ Category
A few months ago I finished the screenplay for my feature MANCHILD (for now, at least, until we move to the next stage and start making changes for talent/locations/budget/etc). I’ll have more updates on the project soon, but suffice to say there’s been a long rewriting process since I ran my Kickstarter campaign over a year ago. And while this wasn’t the first screenplay I’ve written, it’s certainly the best, and the one on which I’ve worked the longest and hardest. Over the past two years, here are the things that have helped my screenwriting process. More »
At the beginning of 2012, I made a New Year’s resolution. Mind you, I never make New Year’s resolutions, but last year I did because I was so annoyed at my lack of progress with my screenwriting. I decided I was going to wake up at 5:30 am every morning to write my best screenplay ever and that screenplay would get noticed. With the exception of some weekends and family trips, I managed to drag myself out of bed and focus on my screenwriting every day. The result? I rewrote a screenplay that made it to the semifinal round of the 2012 Nicholl Fellowships and got the interest of a few producers and managers, I finally hammered out a long-gestating comedy spec that I posted online when it suddenly became DOA during the rewrite process because the exact same movie came out this fall, and I outlined my next screenplay similar in tone and style to my Nicholl script. Am I happy with the results? Yes. Am I satisfied? Not even close. So, since I’m not keen on giving out my own advice on screenwriting since I’m not a professional screenwriter, I’ll share with you how I plan to write my best screenplay ever this year, and maybe you can too. More »
This is a guest post by Cinematographer Ryan E. Walters.
One of the most challenging aspects with any creative endeavor is trying to figure out how to price and charge for your services. This is especially true when you are first starting out. Price yourself too low and you will not have a sustainable business model, and price yourself too high and people may laugh at the rate you are charging in comparison to your experience level and skill. The good news is that as you progress in your experience, you will get a more accurate sense of what it takes to render your services, and how to charge for them. But where and how do you begin? That’s what I want to help you figure out… More »
It may be 2013 in many places around the world already, but it probably feels like a whole bunch of holidays wrapped into one over at RED. The company has been somewhat quiet about their Dragon sensor over the last few months, but thanks to the CEO Jim Jannard we’ve been getting details here and there throughout 2012 about the sensor. It’s claimed that it will be able to achieve over 15 stops of dynamic range, and they are trying to back up that claim with a dynamic range chart showing what appears to be that, and possibly more. More »
Exercising micromanagement and fine-tune control over the minutia of scenery is a must in filmmaking for all but the most hardcore run-and-gun-style productions. It’s not very often, however, that you see production-level set design and construction, prop manipulation down to the inch, or cinema lighting used to illuminate deep lived-in landscapes in still photography. Gregory Crewdson does just this, implementing an unheard-of degree of visionary control upon the constituents of his still frames — the image at left, for one, is no incidental happenstance. Filmmaker Ben Shapiro has documented Crewdson’s decade-spanning pursuit of creating true-to-life vignettes by fictitious articulation in Brief Encounters — screenings are limited, but the doc looks to be a must-see. Watch the trailer and some clips from the film below. More »
Most cinephiles would argue that the best way to see a movie is on the big screen in a crowded theatre. Yet, many independent films and documentaries that tour the festival circuit only get limited theatrical releases if at all. Digital distribution has certainly broadened the reach of a number of films, but the magic of seeing a movie on the big screen with a crowd is lost. When you watch a movie alone in your living room or on a portable device of choice, the jokes aren’t quite as funny, the thrills aren’t quite as thrilling, and the tearjerkers aren’t quite as jerking. We as the moviegoing audience can actually do something about this. We can demand that movies we want to see are screened at our local theatres. How? With the launches of OpenIndie, Gathr Films and Tugg, several notable films from recent festival circuits plus older catalog titles are now available for one-night only screenings at your local theatre through new theatrical-on-demand services. More »
UPDATE: applications are now closed. We’ll be responding this month (in
January February), but give us some time to review them all. Thanks for your interest!
Want to write about something you love, and help build one of the fastest-growing filmmaking sites at the same time? We’ve got a few part-time jobs (with a lot of room to grow) available. We’re looking for General Film/Video writers, a Distribution/Marketing/Industry writer, and a Social Media/Traffic specialist. You can do any of these things from anywhere in the world. You can do them in your underwear. You don’t have to deal with the expense or hassle of commuting. You don’t have to stare at cubicle walls that are probably (and depressingly) beige. And you’ll hopefully learn a lot along the way, while building up your own abilities (as well as garnering name recognition for yourself). Read on if you’re interested! More »
Each year, The Black List surveys approximately 300 film executives and asks them to name up to ten of their favorite screenplays from the current calendar year that have yet to begin principal photography. The votes are tallied and published in order of screenplays with the most votes in, well, The Black List. As Franklin Leonard and his team at The Black List put it: “The Black List is not a ‘best of’ list. It is, at best, a ‘most liked’ list.” So, why should we care? Well, if you’re a screenwriter fortunate enough to have a screenplay on The Black List 2012, your stock just went up in Hollywood. If you’re a screenwriter outside of the system, The Black List can provide insights into what storylines, concepts and genres have recently made the rounds, picked up producers and found financing. In addition to the list itself (link below), here are five lessons screenwriters can learn from The Black List 2012: More »
Not only do these cameras exist, as I pointed out before, but I, as a person, actually exist (believe it or not). I’ve written a lot of posts so far for NoFilmSchool, but the only video I have participated in up until now is the NextWaveDV Blogger’s Breakfast which was during NAB 2012. Now, there is one more. Thanks to Rule Boston Camera, I was able to get a hold of the camera, and I also participated in one of their Learning Labs with Adam Van Voorhis, specifically on the BMCC. The entire video is embedded below, but if you want a sneak peak, here is a quick preview of what you’ll find in the presentation: More »
Despite the recently reduced price of RED cameras, each model still requires a lot of (pricey) accessories. We’ve pointed this out from the very beginning, but now we’ve gone further and compiled some realistic shooting packages at three different levels: a “cheapest possible ONE MX” list by Aaron Rich, an “owner/operator SCARLET” package by myself, and a “full professional EPIC” package by Timur Civan. Our overall goal with this post is not just to introduce (potential) RED shooters to some accessory options and needs for the RED ONE MX, SCARLET, and EPIC, but to hopefully create a post wherein users can share what has worked best for them. Let’s get started, this is going to be a long one! More »
You may have seen their films in the past, and it’s certainly possible you’ve seen the films they’ve made this year (or will), but it’s a rare sight to have so many great directors together in one room talking about the craft and some of the real things that affect them not only as artists, but as human beings. The Hollywood Reporter got Gus Van Sant (Promised Land), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), Ben Affleck (Argo), and David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) together to discuss their roles as directors and how it affects their work and the people around them. There is plenty of practical info, so it’s certainly worth checking out the entire hour-long interview below. More »
We’ve talked about a number of success stories involving self-distribution on this site, from Louie C.K. to Aziz Ansari (who both also happen to already be famous and successful). What if you’re not famous, however, and your name isn’t already plastered on billboards? That’s exactly the case with a film we’ve featured on this site before, Indie Game: The Movie. The filmmakers, Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, self-distributed their film and chronicled their success in a case study (part of which we’re featuring below), wherein they discuss what it takes to get yourself and your movie out there.
It’s been a frustrating few months for everyone involved, but it seems like Blackmagic and their suppliers may have finally ironed out the issues that have been plaguing them and the production of the Cinema Camera since shipping was first delayed over the summer. The supplier that Blackmagic is using for sensors has not had proper testing in place to catch some contamination that has been getting under the glass that is bonded to the sensor, so it took for Blackmagic to actually get in there with engineers for the this problem to be resolved. It’s all a bit technical, but Grant Petty, the CEO, has posted a new message that should be encouraging to anyone who still has not received a camera (which I’m guessing is just about all of you). More »
One NoFilmSchool writer happens to own a RED SCARLET. Now there are two. Ryan already discussed his purchase back in November last year, so if you came here from Twitter or somewhere else and you’re confused why this post is happening a year after he bought one…well…this is your answer. Back when RED had their one-time-only Battle-Tested SCARLET deal, I pulled the trigger, and have not looked back since. This post isn’t an attempt to enrage DSLR users or DIYers, or encourage RED-haters — because I’ve used and owned every brand that exists (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, etc.) and I can find positives and negatives about all of them. As a writer for a website with a very diverse audience, however, I thought I had an obligation to explain why I made such a major monetary decision. More »
As artists, we know that to some extent all our creative ventures are based on what has come before. Although, much like the biological evolution, the utilization of creativity recombines and mutates what has been established, ultimately resulting in work that is uniquely yours. The same can be said about the wisdom of veteran filmmakers. It’s helpful to have a framework on how to approach the filmmaking process based on years of collective experience to build on and incorporate into your own approach to filmmaking. Here I’ve put together a list of videos from 10 well-known directors to help you do just that: More »
A global pandemic breaks out just in time for Halloween… and election season. More »
This is a guest post by Cinematographer Ryan E. Walters.
I’ll be the first to admit nothing replaces a professionally built sound stage or studio. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot on a wide variety of stages and I appreciate what they bring to a production. However, I have also needed a space where I could shoot some of my stock footage, as well as record my training videos. And I need that space to be affordable and accessible to me at any time. So I converted my garage into a mini “studio.” To learn how I got this done for under $500, continue reading … More »
Apple OS X Mountain Lion came out this summer and it supports the latest Intel Ivy Bridge processors — which means it’s time to update our guide to building a Mac out of high-performance, inexpensive PC components. It also happens that you can get a PC motherboard with Thunderbolt ports that work in OS X — and you can’t even get a Thunderbolt Mac Pro! Our old machine (the Hackintosh I built in October 2010) is still running great, but this new machine is much faster than a Mac Pro and is still less than half the price — with the latest nVidia graphics cards also getting native support for great video/3D/pro performance. With Apple CEO Tim Cook noting there’s something new in the works for later next year (2013), it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting a new Mac Pro anytime soon (and when it does come out it’ll likely be much more expensive than this machine) — so here’s a step-by-step guide to building the latest, greatest (fake) Mac money can buy.
It’s been almost three years since I launched this site in its present form; the design as it is now is the same as it was then. Aesthetically I don’t mind it, but there are a lot of functions and features we could have that we don’t. A year ago I ran a poll about what should be in the next version, but I never ended up having the bandwidth to design it myself (I’m trying to make my first feature at the same time, after all), and so we’ll be working with a design firm to take the site to the next level. I’ve been preparing a design spec, and I have a good idea of what I want to see in the next iteration (and the next, and the next). However, above all else this site is here for you guys — so please let us know what you’d like to see in the relaunch and we will consider everything! More »
It’s hard to really explain to some people the advantages of one camera system over another. There are many people who just glaze over when you start talking about 12-bit RAW and ProRes 4:2:2 HQ. If you are one of those people, then we’ve got a comparison for you, which gives you pretty pictures and hard evidence to compare two similarly priced cameras: the Blackmagic Cinema Cinema at $3,000 and the Canon 5D Mark III at around $3,500. The test was conducted by OneRiver Media, who also recently took the camera for a go in this short film. Click through for the test video. More »