» Archive for the ‘Featured Content’ Category
Most people know what the cinematographer does on a set. However, have you ever wondered what exactly cinematographers do during the pre-production process? What about what they do once the production has wrapped? Over the course of the next few months, nofilmschool will put out a series of articles that describe in detail the various steps that a cinematographer and his team must complete in order to take a project from a script to a finely tuned finished product. Today’s post: taking a script and breaking it down for technical, subtextual, and character concerns. More »
This is part 2 of 3 of our Defining DIT interview series. In part 1 we discussed the biggest misconceptions surrounding the work of the contemporary Digital Imaging Technician. This week we’re talking about getting hired, the DIT’s working relationship with the DP and other insights into the trade. Hit the jump to hear it directly from some of the country’s leading professionals in this field from both L.A. and New York. More »
Since May of this year, BitTorrent has been developing its publishing service Bundles, a platform that provides a way for creators to have all the advantages of the peer-to-peer protocol while also maintaining control over their content. On September 24th they made major steps towards bringing it into the hands of every content creator by moving the platform into a closed Alpha stage. For filmmakers, access to these tools could be a real boon for certain distribution strategies, so hit the jump for nofilmschool’s Q&A with Matt Mason from BitTorrent. More »
Ben Cain performing an iris pull during a take.
It’s easy to put an idea in someone’s mind — yet incredibly difficult to bore it out. Somewhere along the line, perhaps in the film industry’s switch from analog to digital, major misconceptions about the Digital Imaging Technician‘s place on set have arisen. We’re here to set the record straight. A DIT is an agent of the cinematographer, and is served by a video engineering background for image quality control, troubleshooting, on-set color correction, and managing the workflow of a production. Some of the industry’s top working DITs from both New York and L.A. took time out of their schedules to talk with nofilmschool about the state of the DIT and to help clarify the effect they can have on any production — large or small. Read on for part 1 of this 3-part series. More »
If you’re working on a project now, the thought of forming a plan for distribution is probably pretty daunting. There are several avenues to go down, the most popular ones being landing a coveted theater release and self-distributing on a VOD platform. Well, what about putting it up on YouTube for free and asking people to pay what they feel like paying? This is exactly what the filmmakers of Not Waving But Drowning decided to do upon its online release. The film’s Writer/Director Devyn Waitt sat down with NFS to talk about not only the distribution strategy, but what it was like shooting in 3 states, and the goodies you can expect with the DVD — like prescription drugs. More »
IFP Film Week wrapped up Thursday with a keynote by DJ Spooky, marking the end to the Filmmaker Conference, Project Forum and Festival Forum for which worldwide creators converged at the Lincoln Center over the past five days. The week brought together industry veterans with first-time filmmakers in a series of panels densely packed back to back. Though some regretted that the conference frequently seemed to skirt issues dealing with the inequities built into the industry, those able to afford or steal a pass found certain key ideas exchanged worth the several-hundred-dollar ticket price. Read on for our top five takeaways. More »
Whatever you choose to call it: self distribution, direct distribution, or as some prefer ”alternative-distribution” — the tools are out there for filmmakers to publish their work and get paid for it. It’s not a fast track to success and will likely require the full breadth of your attention to make it work, but it is quickly becoming the most viable way for filmmakers to carve out a market for themselves in this industry. Read on to get a roundup of some of the big players, a simple breakdown of what each of them offer and my first impressions.
From a broadcast premiere seen by millions on CNN, to the angry rants of TV personality Ben Stein, director Penny Lane is on a roller coaster ride with her first feature film, Our Nixon. Penny sat down with nofilmschool to talk about everything from the tiered process of funding her project, sorting critics and sales agents, to how she is dealing with the multicolored reality of a film’s success. More »
Art is a funny thing. As a form of personal expression, art, in its many forms, can be tremendously powerful and provide a sense of catharsis unlike anything else. However, when groups of people come together and creatively collaborate, something overwhelmingly powerful happens: a piece of content much larger than the individuals involved is born and takes flight. The product becomes a reflection of not only a time and a place, but an expression of what it means to be a human in that time and place. With this in mind, nofilmschool is proud to exclusively premiere a brand new short documentary from our peeps at stillmotion and Marmoset called Side by Side that celebrates the process of creative collaboration. More »
With thousands of feature films being made each year, helping them connect to an audience has quickly become one of the biggest challenges facing the independent filmmaker today. Nandan Rao, the cinematographer behind The International Sign for Choking, Green, and the director of 2012′s The Men of Dodge City, offers his contribution to the distribution sphere in the form of Simple Machine: an online platform that connects filmmakers directly with venues to screen their films. The kicker? Anyone can list their film and anyone can be a venue. Read on to learn about how it works and why you should give it a try. More »
Here on NFS, I have been fortunate to share screenwriting lessons I have learned from professional screenwriters as well some of my own experiences as I strive to hone my craft. I’m also a regular reader of NFS, learning so much about all areas of filmmaking and the industry from my fellow NFS writers. Today, I’m excited to share with you a recently released teaser for CENTS, which will be my first feature film. The thing is, we haven’t made the film yet. So, in addition to sharing the teaser with you, I’d like to tell you why we shot a teaser before actually shooting the feature film. More »
On a desolate planet a lone mercenary waits stranded, hoping against hope that rescue will come with only his ship’s computer for company, but he soon discovers that he’s not as alone as he initially thought. That’s the basic outline of Australian director Jesse O’Brien’s well received sci-fi short Arrowhead: Signal, but far from the full story of Jesse’s journey along the independent road to completing his debut feature Arrowhead. We talk to Jesse about working outside the tradition production model and the benefits of using a short to build interest in your future feature. More »
When I started playing around with Magic Lantern RAW video, two things came to mind: First, a camera called the “5D” was once again the nucleus of a low-budget cinematographic revolution — this time thanks to the Magic Lantern team; Second, how was I ever going to be able to edit what I’d shot? I’ve learned a lot since then, and it turns out an offline/online, proxy-based workflow is not only possible, but powerful. Check out the process that I’ve been using to round-trip Magic Lantern RAW between Adobe Premiere CC and DaVinci Resolve Lite below. More »
Hollywood’s blockbusters no longer cater towards Americans. That’s fairly old news; overseas markets have ruled the box office since Titanic swept international audiences into movie theaters in record numbers for the time. With the majority of modern moviegoers living abroad — 80% of box office figures, according to veteran producer Lynda Obst — one might think that a more diverse selection of films would emerge as a result. But as some might have noticed by the slate of mega-movies and sequels this summer, just the opposite seems to be happening. Americans and international audiences agree that this summer’s ‘hits’ were mostly misses, producing box office figures that were, in Obst’s words, “pretty catastrophic for the movie business.” Why did it take Hollywood over a billion in losses to realize what most sentient earthlings could have told them from the script? Obst describes “the new abnormal in the movie business,” and why it’s bound to change. More »
If you’re at all curious as to how this site came about, why it exists, and what the early days were like, here’s an interview our friends at Film Courage did with me about the origins of nofilmschool. I suppose this post could be construed as self-serving, but hey — as the guy who started this site and ran it single-handedly for the first two years, I’m proud of what we’ve managed to build. We also talk about how I lied my way into MTV, as well as some strategies for growing a website that will hopefully be of interest to anyone launching a web presence. More »
The Kinect isn’t just for learning how to do the “jerk” on Dance Central anymore. It’s quickly becoming a tool that artists working with all sorts of mediums are harnessing for its marker-less motion capture power. NFS sat down with Private School Entertainment’s Andrew Gant to talk about how they used a Kinect, a DSLR camera, a projector, and the RGBDToolkit for some out-of-this-world filmmaking. Continue reading to find out how to access the cinematic capabilities of the Kinect. More »
The brand new camera design is in the open (You guys are good!). Black Betty is much more than a camera. It’s a complete cinema solution utilizing an Apple Mac Mini computer with a Silicon Imaging SI-2K Mini for the imager. It also happens to be the first single unit camera in existence capable of shooting, editing, and posting footage online, without the need for any other hardware. More »
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.
Okay, so you’ve made your film, now what? The wheels are turning in the world of independent marketing and distribution, and as filmmakers we now have a slew of options that we didn’t just a few years ago. Assemble is one of these options; an independent platform designed to empower the independent filmmaker and to be a partner through the tough marketing decisions. Assemble has been working with filmmakers and building project-specific tools since 2010, and have seen many projects go on to successful distribution paths. For anyone embarking on the daunting task of creating an online presence for your film, Assemble wants to get involved as early on in the process as possible and see you succeed. Assemble V2 recently launched along with a new admin dashboard, so whether you have a short film and you’re trying to make a feature or you’re sitting on a finished film, read on for our in-depth interview with James Franklin, founder of Assemble. [Ed. Note: nofilmschool founder Ryan Koo's site for MANCHILD is powered by Assemble.] More »
Can you answer this question: Who’s the first female film director? Don’t be surprised if you can’t, because it’s not really common knowledge. When speaking of filmmaking pioneers, Alice Guy-Blaché may not come to mind as readily as the Lumière Brothers or Georges Méliès, but her contributions to cinema, as well as the lessons we can learn from her story are as far-reaching as they are profound. NFS sat down with filmmakers Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs, who, along with executive producer Robert Redford, have gathered industry greats like Diablo Cody, Julie Delpy, James Bobin, and Ben Kingsley for the documentary Be Natural, a film that looks to inspire new filmmakers by uncovering the mystery of the first female filmmaker. More »