» Posts Tagged ‘behindthescenes’

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SuspectsAh, the 90s. Rollerblades. Bill Clinton. A time when moguls like Harvey Weinstein jetted out to Sundance and handed out fat distribution/production deals to filmmakers who were  barely able to legally buy beer. One of these lucky young tyros was Bryan Singer, whose 1988 short, Lion’s Den, led to a feature that went to Sundance, and that led to The Usual Suspects, which led to everyone losing their mind in 1995. Check out this behind the scenes documentary on that classic crime film, and see how story and filmmaking can trump budget. More »

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SOTLWhen it was released in 1991, director Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs, starring Jodie Foster and featuring an unforgettable performance by Anthony Hopkins, changed the rules of how horror could be presented in mainstream film; the Oscar-winning classic’s reverberations continue today, while the Hannibal Lecter money train keeps on rolling. This 90-minute documentary on the inside story of the Silence of the Lambs shows just how all the right elements came together to create a modern classic. More »

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ScannersScanners, David Cronenberg’s 1981 film that defies explanation (you really have to see it, as any synopsis will sound kind of ridiculous; I’ll give a really half-baked one shortly, though) is justly famous for not only its mind-bending narrative, but its torrent of effects, including one scene where, well, a guy’s head explodes. Check out this video and see how they did it! More »

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OFOTCNVery few films both capture my imagination and speak to my soul the way One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest does. The story of R.P. McMurphy, written originally by Ken Kesey (who’s an absolute legend in my neck of the drum circle) was adapted for the screen in 1975, went on to win a handful of Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Miloš Forman, and continues to be the embodiment of the rebellious spirit of the 60s. From a filmmaking perspective, though, the production of OFOTCN is a true testament to how Murphy’s Law (McMurphy’s Law? “V, stop.”) can actually be beneficial to your film — how sometimes it’s the mistakes, problems, and dead ends that reveal the true potential of not only your project, but you as a filmmaker. More »

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Black Swan BTSWhen Darren Aronofsky gave the cinematic world his very cerebral feature film, Pi (1998), it was an introduction into his career-long examination of the balance between light and dark, beauty and ugliness, and living and suffering. One of his projects that truly encapsulates this balance is Black Swan, a film that overtly and purposefully teeters between simplicity and baroqueness. If you want to dive into the tormented world of Aronofsky, take a look at Niko Tavernise’s Metamorphosis, a beautifully shot, very intimate documentary that takes you behind the scenes of the production, as well as interviews with the director, DP, screenwriter, and many more. More »

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Behind the Scenes from Some of Favourite Movies (1)It’s no secret that we at NFS (primarily me) have an affinity for Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror/ chrisangelmindfreak/ familydrama/ paulruddromcom, The Shining, an adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel and one of the strangest movies ever put out by a major studio in wide release. My second post for NFS was a survey of the exhaustive theories about this movie. Now, for the first time, the major players in the production of the film have come together for an oral history of this masterpiece of modern horror. More »

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godfather-0903-06By the time he made The Godfather, at the age of 33, Francis Ford Coppola had already had a decade’s experience in the movie business, co-earning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the biopic Patton. Even that, though, didn’t make getting the film greenlit an easy or sure proposition. With pressure coming from all sides (several of them armed), Coppola began the first of his epic, career-long battles against everyone and everything that would stand in the way of his vision. Time and again, the director has gambled. Sometimes, he’s won, and very big. Sometimes, not so much. But whatever it is, he gives his all (including property). Now learn some of his tricks of the trade as Coppola, (along with the recently late DP Gordon Willis, Brando, Pacino, Caan, et al.) outwits everyone to make an American classic, his way, in this 1990 doc, The Godfather Family: A Look Inside. More »

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DunkIt’s impossible to get on the internet for any length of time and not be completely engulfed by the newest, funniest, most creative things people all around the world have to offer. Perhaps you remember the rash of single-take pool dunks that began sprouting up on YouTube and Vine — well, Turkish Airlines has come out with a much more polished, sleek, and frankly, badass single-take pool dunk video for their Euroleague commercial — I mean, this is the first such video that has a guy in a water jetpack, right? Continue on to not only check out the commercial, but the behind the scenes video to see how they pulled it all off. More »

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Taxi DriverStudying films, whether they’re poorly or masterfully made, is one of the greatest ways you can educate yourself about how (not) to make a film. Martin Scorsese’s masterfully made Taxi Driver has been studied time and time again by experts, students, and enthusiasts, but in this 1999 documentary about the making of the film, we get to hear from the filmmakers themselves, including Scorsese, screenwriter Paul Schrader, DP Michael Chapman, editor Tom Rolf, the cast, and even legendary makeup artist Dick Smith, who explain in great detail how Taxi Driver came to be. Continue on for a few key takeaways from the doc. More »

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HerOne of the most glorious things that can happen to a filmmaker is to have the world talk about his/her film. But, even more glorious is to have the world talk about the issues is raises. This is exactly what’s happening to Spike Jonze’s Her. Upon the film’s completion, Jonze shared it with friends, filmmakers, musicians, authors, and other creatives, and their reactions form the basis of the short documentary, Her: Love in the Modern Age, directed by Lance Bangs – an intriguing discussion about artists’ personal experiences, the nature of love in today’s world, and how modern technology plays a role.
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Sony Commercial REDSony is no stranger when it comes to making magnificent advertisements. Their new commercial for the recently released A7 and A7R full frame mirrorless cameras, which features some magnificently choreographed skydiving action, is no exception. What’s even more impressive is the fact that none of this was shot on a green screen. In fact, the entirety of the spot was shot practically at an altitude of 15,000 feet, with an overcranked RED EPIC. Read on to watch this glorious commercial and the excellent behind-the-scenes video. More »

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All Is LostTwo years ago, JC Chandor’s first feature film Margin Call did the unthinkable. It humanized the people responsible for the banking disaster of 2008. His second feature, the devastatingly titled All Is Lost, attempts an even more outlandish filmmaking feat. It’s a dialogue-free, yet entirely gripping story of a single character, masterfully played by Robert Redford, who is marooned at sea when his boat is irreparably damaged by a stray shipping container. What’s even more impressive, from a technical filmmaking standpoint, is that most of the effects in this epic survival tale were accomplished practically. Here’s a brief look at how it all came together. More »

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Here at No Film School, we’re massive fans of the fine folks over at Stillmotion. Day in and day out, they’re not only doing what they love (and doing it well) in order to make a living, but they’re also sharing everything they learn along the way on their blog and through their numerous workshops. For the past year or so, Stillmotion has been in the process of producing their first feature-length independent documentary, entitled #standwithme. Not only does the documentary itself look fantastic, but the way that it was funded, produced, and (will be) distributed breaks the mold, and it may very well set a new precedent for how independent films are made in the future. More »

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last-passenger_1The internet is rife with “making-of” videos for just about every major feature film that gets released these days. Unfortunately, a good portion of these videos don’t really show us anything in regards to the filmmaking process. More often than not they’re just behind the scenes interviews with the actors cut together with some poorly shot b-roll. On occasion, however, a video (or series of videos) comes along that shows us the nitty-gritty of the filmmaking process and provides a realistic sense of how films are really made these days. The making-of videos for the UK thriller Last Passenger provide such an experience. More »

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MidnightCoiterieI’m pretty sure that just as this amusing little trailer satirizing the iconic style of director Wes Anderson was made available to the public, filmmakers were asking, “How did they do that?” Many have tried to replicate Anderson’s aesthetic — and many have failed. So, what did the filmmakers of the SNL spoof trailer, The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intrudersdo in order to capture Anderson’s signature cinematic sensibilities? Alex Buono, SNL’s DP, explains just how they did it. More »

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CreepshowIf you’re a big horror fan, especially of the film movement that flooded the US in the 1980s with blood spilt by zombies, machete-wielding maniacs, and tiny Yeti-like creatures, then this might be right up your alley. We’ve come across some rare behind the scenes footage from the set of George A. Romero’s Creepshow, as well as the rare 1st draft of the screenplay, which was written by Stephen King. With nearly 2 hours of Creepshow’s special effects, makeup, and direction, not to mention 142 pages of Stephen King goodness, I’d say you’re set for the rest of the day (or maybe that’s just me.) More »

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The ShiningNow that Halloween is right around the corner, it seems like the perfect time to share some great behind the scenes footage from one of the greatest horror films ever made. Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror flick, The Shining, was the illustrious director’s marketable answer to the “too long, too slow” Barry Lyndon – a film that has caught the attention of moviegoers decades after the film’s initial release, and even inspiring conspiracy theorists about the moon landing. Take a glimpse inside the twisted world of The Shining with a 35-minute behind-the-scenes documentary shot on-set by Kubrick’s daughter. More »

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VideodromeThis film is not for the faint of heart. Originally titled Network of Blood and Zonekiller, Videodrome (1983) was the meta brain child of writer/director David Cronenberg, and strangely enough, taken from the filmmaker’s own life. The film was rejected by Roger Ebert and viewers at test screenings due to its depictions of sex, violence, and gore, yet is now a celebrated “disturbing techno-surrealist” cult classic. Continue on for an in-depth video of the making of Videodrome, which might be able to answer the film’s own question, “Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome?” More »

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The Exorcist BTSIf you’re a true horror movie fan, you’ve no doubt watched The Exorcist (1973) at least a billion times. The making of the film is rife with controversy, mystery, and lore that is almost as captivating as the film itself. Watching its behind the scenes footage is like taking a class on screenwriting, directing, acting, and special effects all at once, and chances are if you’ve seen The Exorcist, you’ve probably seen The Fear of God, the documentary that accompanied the 25 Year Anniversary Edition DVD. However, here’s some rare behind the scenes footage you may have not come across from the set of one of the most terrifying films ever made. More »

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Game of Thrones_vfx dragonsOne of the biggest draws of HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones is its ability to transport its viewers into another world. One way that the show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, manage to do that is by enlisting talented VFX artists to transform Northern Ireland (as well as its other filming locations) into Westeros and Essos, as well as cleverly animating imaginary creatures, like Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons. Focusing on conceptualizing their idea, this short video from fxguide and WIRED reveals how VFX company Pixomondo brought the dragons on Game of Thrones to life. More »