» Posts Tagged ‘alfredhitchcock’

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MartyWhat is story? What is plot? What is the sound of one hand clapping? Who knows? While story and plot might seem, at first, to be synonymous, in fact they are two different things entirely, and if you’re a beginning screenwriter or filmmaker, it can be tough to sift through all of the contradictory information that’s out there in the ten billion screenwriting books to figure out which is which and why. It’s a tricky question, but never fear, because that cinephile unrivaled, Martin Scorsese, is here to straighten matters out. In this video, he breaks down the difference, and we give some helpful (hopefully) background info to help you create your next masterpiece. More »

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rear-window-12Editing is one of the most mysterious aspects of filmmaking. Through skillful manipulations of still images, it’s possible to create illusions of unity in time and space, and what’s more, make these illusions elicit emotion from an audience, whether tears, laughs, or screams (and sometimes all three at once). Alfred Hitchcock was a master of editing (and everything else in the realm of cinema), and nowhere is his editing skill, as well as that of editor George Tomasini, more on display than in his classic, Rear Window. Watch this video and see Hitch explain (in his inimitable and entertaining way) the key element of film editing that he turned into much more than a technical device in his 1954 classic. More »

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high-and-lowWhile trying to think of something germane, pertinent and well, interesting, to say about the video essay which supplies the ostensible topic for this post, I happened upon a fact, which appears at the end of what I am about to start talking about,  but which I am going to lead with, and bear with me, okay? So this is a video documentary (essay, really) which teases out the connections between Alfred Hitchcock’s work and Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 crime flick, High and Low. The connection I chose to start from (in a roundabout way) is as good a point as any, I think, for a discussion of Hitchcock’s possible influence on Kurosawa (and everyone) without sounding too, too pretentious and/or lame. Hopefully. You’ll be the judge! More »

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William FriedkinOscar-winner William Friedkin, director of The French Connection and the greatest scary movie to ever grace the cinematic world (um — in my opinion), The Exorcist, has quite the reputation in the industry. Friedkin has gone to great, often shocking lengths to capture his vision, including straight up slapping actors across the chops to get a favorable reaction. And though his latest work hasn’t managed to reach the acclaim of his early films, he is still considered to be one of New Hollywood’s big contributors. In this 2012 Fade In Magazine interview, the director draws from his over 50 years of experience in film to share his thoughts on the current state of cinema, as well as the films that influenced him the most. More »

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HitchcockIf you’re looking at your project right now — maybe you’re going over the footage you shot today or are editing all of your raw material — and you’re feeling like it’s falling a bit flat, it might be time to take some notes from the master. Alfred Hitchcock wasn’t just the Master of Suspense; he was the master of capturing and eliciting powerful emotions from his actors and audiences through several cinematic techniques — ones that every filmmaker should learn at some point in their career. This video essay breaks down many of Hitch’s chosen methods of storytelling, from using the MacGuffin to training his camera to the faces of his actors, so continue on to check it out. More »

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North by NorthwestThink about the most iconic scenes in cinematic history. What comes to mind? The “Here’s Johnny” scene from The Shining? The “Trio” scene from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly? There are definitely too many great ones to mention, ones that probably made you want to be a filmmaker because of their masterful storytelling through the cinematography, editing, as well as the actors’ performances. Cinephilia and Beyond has shared some content that breaks down the famous “Crop Duster” scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, including an interview with Hitchcock detailing the scene, as well as a document from the film’s cinematographer that maps out all 61 camera angles. More »

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PsychoIt’s one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history. Almost everybody recognizes it, even if they’ve never seen the movie. It’s the infamous shower scene in Psycho where Marion Crane is repeatedly stabbed by a mysterious individual. With a scene as iconic as that, who would guess that the question of who directed it would ever come up? It was Alfred Hitchcock — right? Well, maybe not. Both Hitchcock and famous graphic artist and title sequence designer Saul Bass claim to have directed the 7-day shoot, but maybe we don’t need to rely on mere hearsay. Vashi Nedomansky of Vashi Visuals sheds a little more light on the situation with a side by side comparison between Bass’ storyboards and the actual footage. More »

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CriterionSince 1984, Criterion has been dedicated to collecting, restoring, and distributing some of the most important pieces of cinema ever created. If you’re a cinephile like I am, collecting these films is not only about the novelty of their stylish covers and menus, but their invaluable behind-the-scenes and educational bonus features as well. Lucky for us, Gizmodo got the opportunity to visit Criterion’s New York headquarters, where they learned what goes into a film’s restoration. Continue on to find out how Criterion goes about acquiring, digitizing, and even designing these important films. More »

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PsychoAlfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is interesting on many levels, namely its narrative structure — for anyone to kill off your star actress halfway through a film meant committing a screenwriting atrocity. Screenwriter Joseph Stefano took several risks while writing the script for Psycho, which ended up paying off big time with audiences (though critical reviews were mixed). Cinephilia and Beyond has shared a great making-of documentary about the film, in which Stefano talks about the development of the screenplay, as well as the changes he pitched that got Hitchcock’s attention. (C&B has also made the original shooting script available online for your studying pleasure.) More »

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Alfred Hitchcock RopeQuite possibly one of the first things learned about editing, whether in a class or on the job, is that “good” editing is invisible. The classical Hollywood style of editing doesn’t call attention to itself, because to do that would take the audience out of the story space and shift their focus onto the techniques used to make the film they’re watching. Of course, you could avoid all of the pitfalls of bad editing by just – not editing your footage (that’s a joke,) which is the illusion Alfred Hitchcock created in his 1948 crime thriller Rope. How did ol’ Hitch pull it off? Vashi Nedomansky of Vashi Visuals shows us how. More »

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Movie Title Saul BassTitle sequences are usually the first things we see when we watch a movie, setting the tone for what’s to come. I’m a huge sucker for a good title sequence — Lars von Trier’s films have some awesomely weird ones. But, I’ve always been drawn to those from the 50s and 60s for their playful, jazzy, minimalist aesthetic — come to find out that many of those title sequences were made by “movie title master” Saul Bass, who frequently worked with filmmaking legends, like Hitchcock and Scorsese. Check out this 55-minute documentary entitled Title Champ, which explores the art, the filmmakers, and the world inside a world that Bass came to know so well. More »

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Alfred HitchcockWhenever Alfred Hitchcock chose to communicate publicly with the outside world, whether through interviews, books, or some other means of mass media, people tended to listen. And not just back then, but now. Hitchcock is still such a pervasive voice in cinema that his words and insight still teach generations of young filmmakers, even after over 30 years since his departure. Check out this video of Alfred Hitchcock being interviewed about a selection of his works, his frustration with method actors, and how he dealt with his celebrity. More »