» Archive for the ‘Featured Content’ Category
When you launch a Kickstarter campaign and track its position on Kickstarter’s Discover page, you quickly realize you have Kickstarter neighbors. These are campaigns that launched around the same time as yours or happen to share the same popularity rating. Of course, I love checking out Kickstarter campaigns for films, and soon my Kickstarter neighbor Norman captivated me. After backing the project to help writer/director Joel Guelzo get funding to finish the film’s VFX, I realized his DIY feature project would resonate with the NFS audience. So, I asked Joel a few questions. Check out our interview below to hear Joel tell us the background of his sci-fi labor of love, Norman. More »
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 »
Last January, I posted 6 things I was going to do to write my best screenplay ever in 2013. I even reviewed my progress midway through the year. Did I achieve my goal? I guess that’s subjective. Am I satisfied? Never. So, this year, I am doing only 1 thing to write my best screenplay ever: I’m going to make my first feature film. Here’s why making my first feature film will help me write my best screenplay ever. More »
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 »
This is part of our behind-the-scenes series on a slow-motion, live-burn fire shoot shot on a Phantom Flex4K.
Nothing in the room above is actually on fire. Nor is there any CGI. Nor was there a big budget or a huge team — just a few filmmakers with a prototype Phantom Flex 4K camera and a goal of filming a tracking shot through a room on fire… without actually setting it on fire. Here’s how director Brendan Bellomo and DP Greg Wilson set a room ablaze virtually using The Foundry Nuke in the Flex4K promo Let Me Know When You See Fire. More »
While many of us chase our own tails pursuing a career in filmmaking for own our immediate benefit, others are focussing on harnessing media to stop wars. They Came at Night is a film that was not made for you; it was made to be screened locally in central Africa to encourage communities to peacefully accept defectors from the Lord’s Resistance Army, led by Joseph Kony. Click through to watch the film and to hear from project creator Lindsay Branham and co-director Alex Mallis as they talk about shooting the narrative film with local non-actors. More »
In the past four years, the Academy Award for best achievement in cinematography has gone to a film with heavy amounts of computer-generated-imagery three times. In 2009, Avatar took the top prize in cinematography, followed by Hugo and Life of Pi in 2011 and 2012 respectively. These films, while visually stunning in every sense of the phrase, don’t necessarily conform to the traditional definition of cinematography because much of the time the lighting, composition, and camera movement are created digitally by a group of compositors. This begs the question, should there be a distinction between traditionally-shot films and digitally crafted ones? Or has the definition of cinematography changed as digital technology has become more prevalent? More »
Today is finally the last day of 2013! So many great moments, memories, and films have been made in independent cinema this year — some of which you might have missed. To celebrate, the NFS staff has shared their top picks for the best 2013 indie films that you might not have seen — or even heard about. Continue on to check them out! More »
Today, we present the second part of the two-part conversation I had with writer/director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter, Shotgun Stories) in front of a live audience at the 20th Austin Film Festival & Conference. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part One of the conversation in which Nichols discussed the origin of his characters, the thematic elements of his films, and lessons learned from directing that impact his writing. In the second part of the conversation, Nichols elaborates on how he chooses his characters’ names, the importance of settings and characters’ professions, his relationship with actor Michael Shannon, and the pacing of his films. More »
Back in October, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with writer/director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter, Shotgun Stories) in front of a live audience at the 20th Austin Film Festival & Conference. During our hour-long conversation, Nichols generously shared many details of his writing and directing processes, including the origins of his characters, the progression of his career as a storyteller, the importance of a story’s setting and a character’s profession, and the deliberate pacing of his films, plus much more. Thanks to the Austin Film Festival, we present this conversation with Jeff Nichols in two parts, the first of four AFF panel discussions we will be sharing over the coming weeks. More »
Screenwriting is a tough gig. We have to wade through creative, narrative, and professional dead ends, accept an existence lived almost entirely apart from the “real” world, and somehow learn to work with our cynical, tired, and troubled minds that often seem to be working against us. As 2013 draws to a close, and I look back on another (good) year, I notice all the more the blinking cursor, the empty pages, and the parts of my imagination I never unfurled and ask myself, “How will I make 2014 my best screenwriting year?” Here are my semi-unusual New Year’s screenwriting resolutions that may help inspire your own. More »
It’s been a good year for Reelhouse as the direct-to-consumer platform continues to find ways to incentivize audiences to click play. Reelhouse announced a partnership with Sundance earlier this year and now it adds select Warner Bros titles to its repertoire. However, this is not a move away from their independent focus, but an attempt to connect some of the virtues of the independent marketing sphere to the studio world. Read on to catch up with Reelhouse CEO Bill Mainguy to talk about their new initiative. More »
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.
I shared my initial thoughts on the camera last week in Part 1, and since then I’ve been able to spend a little more time with the camera. The firmware I had when first shooting with it was slightly more beta than the firmware the camera currently has, but even in that time many more things have improved. I will elaborate on those in future posts, but for now I thought it would be a good idea to post some footage and talk about the image. With help from Adam and Dylan from Rule Boston Camera, we compared the D16 to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and the SI-2K Mini (which is in a housing known as Black Betty). Check out that test below, as well as some of the first footage we’ve shot near the bottom of the post. More »
With a Vimeo Staff Pick under its belt in this the month of making merry, Nick Palmer’s documentary about the charmingly idiosyncratic Bruce Mertz, better known in Concord, California as Mr. Christmas, looks set to rack up views in numbers equal to its subject’s annual display of synchronized festive lights. A working Hollywood screenwriter who, with writing partner Jeremiah Friedman, has penned and sold scripts to studies and has the coveted distinction of being included on the much-lauded Black List, Palmer joins No Film School to discuss his writing career and how he brought the story of Mr. Christmas to screen. Prepared to be dazzled after the jump. More »
We got our 1st taste of Blackmagic Production Camera 4K footage yesterday, and now we’ve got even more — this time some of the most gorgeous stuff that has been shot on any of the pre-production cameras. Hook, who previously shot with prototype Blackmagic cameras, has delivered some spectacular-looking images with his new video. If you’ve been waiting for some real samples to see what the Blackmagic 4K can do, you should really take a look at the video below:
Dream come true!
I’m not sure if it’s possible to look forward to something more than going to the Screenwriters Lab and my first Sundance.
Here was my step-by-step approach to getting selected for the lab: More »
Rock n’ roll is arguably an international language. A new documentary, Hard Rock Havana, currently in post, went to Cuba, a land not usually associated with face-melting solos, to profile Zeus (homepage in español), the country’s longest-running, most popular heavy metal band. No Film School talks to director Nicholas Brennan. Continue on and feel the noize! More »
It’s that time of year again, and if you’re finding yourself pressed for time and at a loss for what to get the filmmaker in your life (or yourself) for the Holidays, we’ve come up with a bunch of ideas to make gift giving a little easier on you. So, whether you’re buying for a screenwriter, cinematographer, or director, we’re sure you’ll find something on the list to fit their needs and your budget. More »
As an indie filmmaker, it can be exceptionally difficult to raise money for your project — to say nothing of finding the proper channels for distribution and the most effective means of marketing what is, for all intents and purposes, your baby. Dogfish Accelerator aims to change all this by connecting filmmakers and their films with investors in a new way, taking the tech startup model and applying it to indie film. Last week they held their first Demo Day, where filmmakers got to showcase their films for investors. Here’s more about Dogfish, the accelerator model, and what it could do for you and your film! More »