» Posts Tagged ‘cinema’

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historyShocking as it may seem, there was a time before movies (I know, crazy). But there was; though they dominate our lives today and shape all of the media we consume, narrative motion pictures (I’m talking about movies that, though they may be artful, see themselves as entertainment rather than art”) have only been around for a little more than a century, which, in time terms, is not that long. But now, because you are lucky enough to live in the future, you can watch this video from CineFix that tells the history of the movies (and Hollywood, where many movies live) in ten minutes. So, cool kids, put down your hoverboard, grab some Sunny D, and check it out! More »

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famous movie film poster actor director artist peter stults james dean driveWhat if your favorite film had been made decades before it actually debuted — which famous actors would star? Or if a summer blockbuster had been made way back in cinema history, who might have been the director? And what would the poster look like? Such is the theme around which artist Peter Stults’ series “What If: Movies Re-Imagined” revolves, taking the form of movie posters from alternative-reality Hollywood. Complete with Golden Age stars and artwork to match the re-imagined time period, the results are truly stimulating to the imagination. More »

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Panel 2 at the 15th Annual IFTA Production ConferenceWith a keynote speech from producer-of-the-moment Cassian Elwes (Ain’t Them Body Saints, Dallas Buyer’s Club) and a selection of some of the most successful individuals from producing, financing, sales, marketing and distribution, the sold-out 15th annual IFTA (Independent Film & Television Alliance) production conference was held in Los Angeles on April 25th. No Film School was invited to attend the conference to help extend the conversation to all the independent filmmakers who couldn’t fit in the room, so click through to read some major takeaways from the event. More »

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expanded symphony projectorEver since the Lumiere brothers projected their first film to the public — a train arriving at a station — cinema burst into the world as the newest and most populist art, beating out books, theater, and radio. Today, where is the popular future of movies headed if films become increasingly relegated to a small, elite group of people who get to make and watch them? Jose Carlos Zavarse Pinto and Irene Garibay are setting out to bring movies to a small village in Venezuela. And no, it’s not to show them the latest comic-book-smurfs-street-racing blockbusters, but rather, to have them create their own cinema. Below, Jose talks to No Film School about his project, and how filmmaking can be used to preserve or promote culture across the world. More »

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12 Years a SlaveOf the many excellent films to hit theaters last year, few were as powerful (or as well shot) as the Best Picture Oscar winner, 12 Years A Slave. It’s one of those rare films that transcends its utterly brutal subject matter and makes a powerful statement about the resiliency of the human spirit. Although much of that power is derived from terrific acting and direction, Sean Bobbitt’s masterful cinematography plays a critical role in allowing the emotionality of the story and its characters to emanate from the screen. In a pair of excellent interviews with Cinefii and Time LightBox, Bobbitt explains not only how he managed to craft such a gorgeous film, but also his theories behind portraying violence through film, working with Steve McQueen, and much, much more. Stick with us for a crash course in dramatic cinematography. More »

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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 »

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Richard LinklaterVery few filmmakers manage to capture the very essence of cinema, the definition of which has tortured the minds of so many great classical film theorists. Is it art? Is it reality? Is it expression? Is it impression? To me, its essence is time. BFI’s Sight and Sound beautifully ponders director Richard Linklater’s romance with cinema and time in a short video essay, which reflects on the temporal bond of his films, which are less sequential still images of captured light than poetic soliloquies about existence, about life — about time. More »

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Fleisch_EnergieThe world of experimental or avant-garde (vanguard) cinema has a history just as rich as narrative film (it could be said that the two run on parallel tracks). While usually associated with European filmmakers, America has its own rich tradition of avant-garde and experimental filmmakers. Very loosely defined as any film that doesn’t use narrative cinematic technique to achieve its goals, the avant-garde is worthy of study for any filmmaker or student of film. The Dissolve recently featured two experimental avant-garde shorts — one by the filmmaker who made the amazing credits for Enter The VoidClick below to learn more about the history of the wonderfully strange world of avant-garde and experimental cinema, and watch some of its classics. More »

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Robert TowneThe two screenplays that I had to constantly study while in college were Casablanca and Chinatown, the latter of which was written by masterful screenwriter Robert Towne, who also penned Mission Impossible I II, as well as Without Limits (which was filmed in my hometown of Eugene — no big deal.) The Writer’s Guild Association sat down with Towne for an almost hour-long interview, in which he talks at length about his childhood, how he fell in love with the cinema, and how Roger Corman helped him get his big break. Hit the jump to watch the interview: More »

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Martin Scorsese, Los Angeles, 1986I think the thing that made the greatest impact on me when I was in college was this strange concept, one I’d never heard of before — the concept of visual literacy. Understanding the historical, technical, and cultural significance of the film language is incredibly important, and in an essay by Martin Scorsese, he writes at length about how understanding it is not only imperative to create better films, but also for experiencing the intricate design of a cinematic story, and fully appreciating the auteurs who have managed to become masters of a widely foreign, albeit universal tongue. More »

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Roger EbertOne of the great questions that pervades the understanding of cinema is simply this: What is its purpose? There are countless theories that attempt to answer it. Film theorists, like Rudolf Arnheim believed that film is art, in that it shouldn’t (and doesn’t) represent or replicate real life, whereas André Bazin thought films capture an “objective reality”. Roger Ebert had his theories as well, and in a commentary on Dark City, he suggests that film isn’t the medium to use when trying to express a logical and intellectual argument. Hit the jump to hear Ebert’s thoughts on why cinema is an emotional medium. More »

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Scorsese Coppola from LIFE MagazineEvery once in a while the internet offers us a rare gem from the past, and today is one of those days. Circa 1997, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola sat down with Geoffrey Gilmore, the then-director of the Sundance Film Festival to discuss their careers and their views on the future of filmmaking. Well, the future is here, and it’s cool to see that a couple of the century’s best filmmakers were spot on about the direction things are moving in. After the creative frenzy of the 70′s, described by Scorsese as “an atmosphere of making special movies,” United Artists collapsed. Maverick filmmakers like Scorsese and Coppola had to re-learn how to make movies, and on smaller budgets. Sound familiar? Hit the jump for the full 50-minute interview. More »

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Great Train Robbery ScriptIf you’ve ever wondered why screenplays are formatted in such a strict and precise manner, or thought, “When did the first filmmakers start using scripts,” or wanted a clear rundown of the first decades of the history of cinema — well — you’re in luck. Not only can you learn the origins of the screenplay and the basics of “The History of Film 101″ (arguably 102) for free without buying textbooks, but you can do it all in less than 15 minutes. More »

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The popular Tokina 11-16 F2.8 has now received the royal ‘cinema’ treatment with complete manual control, de-clicked aperture, pitched and calibrated to a T3. In addition, Tokina also introduces some new glass, get all the info directly from the floor at NAB 2013 from FreshDV: More »

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The meaning of the term “cinema” has changed greatly during the history of moving pictures. For a long time, “cinema” was synonymous with “theater,” which implied that both terms were so connected that they became one and the same. Now, with the advent of digital downloads, streaming video, and even DVDs/Blu-rays, cinema, especially independent cinema, is no longer tied to the theater experience. What does this mean for the state of cinema? Producer Christine Vachon (KidsBoys Don’t CryI’m Not There) gave the State of Cinema Address at the 2011 San Francisco International Film Festival and dug into this topic. Check out the video below: More »

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While hand-held shooting has basically been around since there was a camera light enough to do so, it’s safe to say that the Steadicam (which is technically a Tiffen name) constitutes a cinematographical revolution all its own. Hand-holding dates back as early as 1911, but it was a long time before cinema gained the dolly’s fluidity of motion coupled with the hand-held operator’s freedom of travel. Audiences would first meet the ‘Steadicam shot’ in 1976′s Bound for Glory, and the first impressions were enough to earn the film an Academy Award for Cinematography. Larry Wright of Refocused Media recently created a supercut called The Art of Steadicam, paying homage to the ground-breaking invention and the artists who helped reshape the possibilities of cinematic movement — check it out below. More »

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Nowadays, major franchises get the royal treatment upon release. Some video game series are expanded with original novels or comic books between release dates. The opening of many big films occurs with novelizations and video games accompanying them. The problem is, I haven’t seen many video game adaptations I’ve been able to appreciate as good films in their own right, and all the while games seem to be getting more and more realistic. How comparable, or even compatible is storytelling between video games and movies? If anybody could figure it out, it’d be “Star Wars Episode VII director” J.J. Abrams and Valve co-founder/CEO Gabe Newell. Check out their full D.I.C.E. 2013 keynote discussion below. More »

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Ever wondered what format, camera model, lens type, finishing format, lens manufacturer, etc. was used to create a certain film? You may have found yourself punching in IMDb as your default movie trivia database, and you may have found some or all such information in the film’s technical specs page — or you may not have. While IMDb has a lot of other coverage to keep itself occupied logging (particularly cast and crew lists), you may find yourself wanting a more detailed and dedicated technical breakdown — enter ‘ShotOnWhat?More »