» Posts Tagged ‘advice’

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TypewriterA screenplay is a puzzle made up of pieces you cut yourself that you fit together to form a picture you make up as you go. And if a screenplay is a puzzle, think of genre as the box it came in. It has to be accommodating and accurate to the structure and picture of the story, otherwise, you make it hard on your audience. In an enlightening article, Raindance lists 10 techniques that sell scripts, 8 of which has something to do with genre. So, let’s take a look at genre from the perspective of both a buyer and a screenwriter, figure out how it can help or hinder your story, and finally, ways to add or change characteristics of your chosen genre in order to not only write a story that is fresh and original, but one that works well with audiences. More »

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Boy AGetting your start in cinematography may feel like getting dropped in the middle of nowhere without a compass, which is why advice from those who have found their way out is so invaluable. DP Rob Hardy, who has worked on films like Boy A and Red Riding: In the year of Our Lord 1974 offers some great advice, as well as some valuable words of encouragement, to beginning cinematographers in this BAFTA video. Continue on to check it out.

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Lol CrawleyCinematographer Lol Crawley, who has shot such films as Ballast, which won for Best Cinematography at Sundance in 2008, and last year’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, has a true knack for capturing painfully personal and intimate images. He took some time to share some cinematography advice back in 2012 for his BAFTA Cinematography Masterclass in Bristol, and Anna Hoghton highlights and paraphrases the key ideas he shared, including how to light and finding your voice as a DP. (And we’ve taken a few of our favorites to share with you!) More »

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Lena DunhamSXSW saw tons of great minds — filmmakers, executives, and creatives — come through and participate in panel discussions (some of which we had the pleasure of attending). Indiewire has compiled some great filmmaking advice shared at several of these panels by some incredibly talented and influential industry professionals, including producer (now Fandor CEO) Ted Hope and filmmaker Lena Dunham. Continue on to check out what they said. More »

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Darius KhondjiAfter one glance at Darius Khondji’s IMDb page it’s easy to see that the famed French cinematographer is a living legend. From his work with David Fincher (Se7ven, Panic Room), to Michael Haneke (Funny Games, Amour), to Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris, To Rome With Love), and my personal favorite, Jean Pierre Jeunet/Marc Caro (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children), it’s safe to say the Khondji has had a storied career as a cinematographer. IndieWire recently talked with Khodji about his advice for low-budget cinematographers who are shooting on location, and needless to say, the man had some invaluable tips. Here are a few of my favorites. More »

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Terminator SalvationDirector McG (3 Days to Kill) has lent his filmmaking talents to virtually ever major area in entertainment media. He has helmed high grossing films like Charlie’s Angels, produced wildly popular TV shows like Chuck, and made music videos for some of the biggest names in music. If you’re asking yourself how he does it, this article from MovieMaker Magazine might help to explain. Pulling from his nearly 20 years of filmmaking experience, McG has shared six “golden rules of moviemaking“. Check them out after the jump. More »

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Sundance CinematographersIt’s safe to say that there’s absolutely no shortage of advice floating around when it comes to the various aspects of the filmmaking. From writing and directing to shooting and editing, the internet is rife with advice from everyone and their mother. However, not all advice is good advice. The folks at Indiewire know this, and in their extensive interviewing of the cinematographers of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, they managed to dig up both the best and worst advice that these excellent DP’s had ever received. The results are borderline enlightening. Read on to see what these cinematographers had to say. More »

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Akira KurosawaAkira Kurosawa is one of the most influential, as well as celebrated directors in all of cinematic history, especially when it comes to Japanese filmmaking. He was heavily involved in nearly ever aspect of his films’ production process, from co-writing scripts to editing (many considered editing the director’s greatest strength as a filmmaker). In this 90-minute documentary, A Message from Akira Kurosawa: For Beautiful Movies (2000), Kurosawa shares his unique insight in ten interviews that were conducted towards the end of his life, discussing screenwriting, shooting, cinematography, directing, and his “quest for making the perfect — ‘beautiful’ movie,” — definitely a masterclass in filmmaking from a filmmaking master. More »

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Crane SunsetHere at No Film School, we’re massive fans of Evan Luzi’s website, The Black and Blue. If you’re an aspiring camera assistant, or if you’re aspiring to any camera department position, then the B&B is the single best resource on the entirety of the internet (not to mention that the newly re-designed site is absolutely gorgeous). Evan recently posted an article featuring advice from 88 of the world’s best cinematographers, and seeing so much great advice in one place can only be described as astounding. More »

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Right now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “That’s a pretty bold title for an article, Mr. Hardy. There couldn’t possibly be one single thing that’s SO important that it could make or break your career as a filmmaker.” Well No Film Schoolers, there is, in fact, one thing that is more important than all of the skills that you’ve put together over the years, the gear that you own, or even your sparkling production resume. It’s such an important facet of your success, yet we rarely, if ever, think or talk about it. And now that the suspense has been adequately built, the single most valuable thing that people can do for building a career in the filmmaking industry is… More »

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Hunger GamesWhen writing a script, there is absolutely nothing worse than staring at an empty page. For some, the blank screen blues come from a terrible case of writer’s block, but more often than not, it has more to do with struggling to maintain a firm grasp of the direction of your story. Screenwriter Billy Ray, who wrote films such as The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips, has shared a few screenwriting tips, covered by Film Independent, that may help you solidify your narrative and get that blinking cursor moving steadily down the page. More »

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MysteryExec_marqueeEvery once in a while you come across a piece of advice that just kicks you right in the crotch and leaves you weak and heaving in the middle of a crowded mall or desolate highway — in a good way. This is what @MysteryExec does for filmmakers daily. If you’re an avid Twitter user, you might’ve come across this mysterious individual who dispenses sardonic wisdom 140 very honest words at a time, but recently Tribeca gave him/her the opportunity to not only expound on his/her “kick someone in the crotch” message, but also how taking the anonymity route brings back some of what he/she thinks cinema has lost. More »

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Mike NewellWith nearly 50 years of experience in the entertainment industry, director Mike Newell surely has plenty to say and plenty to share in terms of how to make and keep making films. Newell has helmed a variety of different genres, from Donnie Brasco to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fireand one of the most important lessons he shares in an article for MovieMaker Magazine is how to obtain an unwavering resolve when times get tough while making your film — no matter what the genre. More »

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GilderLong before I became intertwined with filmmaking, I was an aspiring musician and audio engineer. Just like there are a few websites that we visit for our daily dose of filmmaking news (hopefully NFS is one of them,) there are equivalent sites for audio production and engineering. One of the absolute best of these sites is Home Studio Corner, which is run by a super cool dude named Joe Gilder. He’s one of those guys that has been able to turn his creative passion into full-time employment. He recently wrote a post about how to land your next audio production job, and as it turns out, all of his advice is equally applicable to filmmakers. Check it out: More »

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Wim WendersOne of the first films I ever saw in college that truly blew me away was Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire.  The aesthetic, the contrasting B&W to color, everything about this film solidified to a very young, very trepidatious me the path on which I had already embarked upon. This German-born director opened up a world of poetic and lyrical filmmaking, and shared 50 “Golden Rules” with MovieMaker Magazine that are almost as beautifully and enigmatically communicated as his films. Continue on to read a selection. More »

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Guinevere Turner

Writer/director/actress, and one of the most influential proponents of LGBT cinema, Guinevere Turner, sat down with NFS to talk about her work as a screenwriter for such films as Go FishAmerican Psychoand The Notorious Bettie Page. While sharing about how she got started, her process, and techniques that made her a better writer (yes, including writing bad scenes,) she also discusses her feature directorial debut for her upcoming project Creeps. More »

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The ExorcistHorror is frequently celebrated as the movie genre that young, unexperienced filmmakers can cut their teeth on, because what’s a horror movie if not a sex and alcohol-fueled party with a bloodbath at the end, right? Well, horror is much more complicated than that, and scaring an audience that is only becoming more and more desensitized to gore and violence means we as filmmakers have to do our homework. Filmmaker Magazine shares some incredibly important aspects of horror, as well as a mental checklist of what filmmakers should be sure to include as they film their scary movies. More »

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Tarantino & SmithWhen thinking about the filmmakers that carried the torch for independent cinema in the 90s, the names that immediately come to mind are Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith (and Robert Rodriguez, of course.) Both directors offer great insight into what it means to man the helm of a film project, including the importance of communicating your vision, and what the job of a director is really all about. Continue on for this incredibly important video from filmschoolthrucommentaries. More »

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ScriptReally, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to write a screenplay, but there definitely are more sellable ways to write one. One issue that comes to mind specifically is how to ensure  an effective, moving, and entertaining reading experience. Some schools of thought insist on leaving out as much detail as possible, still others insist on being very, very precise. So, should you include adjectives and adverbs aplenty in your descriptions, or leave it up to the filmmakers to make those decisions? How exactly should your screenplay read, anyway? More »

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yasujiro-ozuYasujirō Ozu was a singular figure in Japanese (and world) cinema. In a career that spanned five decades, he turned out 54 films, bridging the history of cinema from silent films, to comedies, and the style he is best known for, Japanese family dramas. His long takes and camera angles were unique for being low to the ground, mimicking the visual perceptions of his characters. He died young in the early 1960s, but his reputation has continued to grow and he is now considered one of the most influential directors of all time. Click below to learn what this master of cinema had to say about the art of filmmaking! More »