» Posts Tagged ‘directing’

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Thelma SchoonmakerLegendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker has collaborated with Martin Scorsese for essentially the entire length of both of their careers, starting with Scorsese’s feature Who’s That Knocking at My Door?. Needless to say, this 3-time Oscar winner, with nearly a half a century of filmmaking experience, has insight into the craft that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, and fortunately for us, Schoonmaker has shared 8 Golden Rules of filmmaking with MovieMaker Magazine, and we’ve selected a few to share with you. More »

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Vincent Laforet Directing Motion

The Directing Motion Tour workshop, hosted by award-winning commercial director Vincent Laforet, goes in-depth with some of the most famous films in history, analyzing why and when the camera was moved or placed in a certain way, and how sequences are constructed from those shots. Not only that, but attendees actually get to work on a scene themselves where they put all of this theory into practice. I recently attended the DM tour, and I was able to sit down with Vincent and ask a few questions about camera movement, being a director, and what really matters when it comes to storytelling. More »

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Steven SpielbergWhen you think of the most iconic long takes in cinematic history, what comes to mind? The car bomb scene in Touch of Evil? The Copacabana scene in Goodfellas? The car scene from Children of Men? There are definitely countless ones out there, and some directors have turned the long take into an art form with which to flex their cinematic muscles. One director, however, has quietly made the long take one of his signature moves, so quietly, in fact, that he may have flown under the radar to most — and he just so happens to be one of the most well-known directors of all time: Steven Spielberg. Check out this excellent video essay that studies the subtle way Spielberg approaches his “oners,” and find out how you can implement some of his techniques in your own films. 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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Directing Motion Tour 2014 Vincent LaforetAs a director or cinematographer, knowing how and when to move the camera is an extremely important skill, and it’s something that takes a lot of practice to get better at. One way to get a better sense of how camera movement can affect a scene is to dissect what the greatest directors and directors of photography have done with their films. That’s partly what commercial director Vincent Laforet is doing with his Directing Motion Tour, which starts on May 6th. He’s uploaded a snippet of some of the things he’ll be covering during the workshop — here is a coverage breakdown of a scene from Empire of the Sun, directed by Steven Spielberg and shot by Allen Daviau: More »

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Godzilla Director Gareth Edwards AdviceGareth Edwards, who you might know from his very DIY film Monsters, is back with another monster film, Godzilla. While he’s got quite a bit more money to spend on this project than the last ($160 million versus Monsters which was made for under $1 million), the basic aspects of filmmaking are no different, and regardless of budget, it still takes the same discipline. Gareth, who has been in VFX most of his career, has been working towards his goal of becoming a director from a very early age, and shares some fantastic advice to all filmmakers: More »

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RonHowardDirectingAt the Tribeca film festival, movies weren’t the only thing on offer. From Thelma Schoonmaker breaking down the editing process behind Raging Bull to The Wire’s David Simon on big data’s possible effects on storytelling, the festival had far more than just films, including a discussion between newscaster Brian Williams and legendary filmmaker Ron Howard. Howard shared his opinions on many topics, and  thanks to Indiewire, we’re able to find out exactly what those were! Continue on to check a few important takeaways from Howard’s panel. More »

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LockeI was in 8th grade when Cast Away came out, and I remember thinking, “How can you make a movie with only one character?” “One-man” shows can be supremely engrossing pieces of cinema, full of rich explorations into the human condition, as well as debilitating human struggle. However, from a filmmaking standpoint, there are plenty of pitfalls that a director must navigate and maneuver around in order to avoid a flat, undecipherable, and ultimately uninteresting film. Directors Steven Knight (Locke) and Rodrigo Cortés (Buried) offer some insight into how they approached their one-man films, as well as some excellent advice on how you can approach yours. More »

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ScorseseWe all have filmmakers that we admire — ones that exemplify the artistry of the craft and speak to us on a deep, personal level. Well, Martin Scorsese took some time to discuss the directors whose careers he admires, namely for their boldness in taking risks narratively and cinematically. Billy Wilder, John Cassavetes, and Orson Welles, just to name a few, receive the Scorsese treatment in their own (very) short video analysis. Continue on to check them all out! More »

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Richard LinkaterRichard Linklater is a DIY filmmaker hero for many reasons. He’s self-taught, completely obsessed with cinema and making films, and his approach to telling stories is one that I think many can relate to. And if you were just thinking about what an experience it would be to actually be able to sit in a room and pick his brain about all of this, you’re in luck. Linklater answers a bunch of questions from a small group of folks for one of Fox Searchlight’s Searchlab lectures, which gives us an inside look into how the director goes about writing screenplays, rehearsing with actors, and working on-set. More »

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Paul GreengrassAt first glance, this BAFTA lecture from Captain Phillips director, Paul Greengrass on iconic director David Lean, might seem like a simple nod to an individual career — a legendary one, but individual nonetheless. However, as Greengrass’ speech goes on, it becomes a more of a soliloquy about the life of a director —  the choices that ones has to make in order to be and continue to be one. It’s really a beautiful and powerful lecture with plenty of helpful information about the craft of filmmaking (and David Lean, too!), so continue on to check it out. More »

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I don’t know about you, but I’m always frustrated when I get excited about a good movie at a festival, only to see the film descend into the bowels of obscurity after distribution dead-ends. Why is it so hard for anyone but a handful of good independent films to make their way onto my screen at home? After a year of hard work, I am excited to see the atmospheric, underdog film Hide Your Smiling Faces finally making it somewhere. Around this time last year, director Daniel Patrick Carbone sat down with No Film School over Skype. Checkout our original interview below, and find out where you can download the film now! More »

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David O Russell American Hustle DirectingWhile David O. Russell and American Hustle were nominated for 10 Academy Awards, they came home empty-handed on Oscar night. Most of those involved with the film are no stranger to nominations, but it’s the work involved that gets them even remotely near the statuettes in the first place. In this terrific behind the scenes video for American Hustle, learn how David O. Russell and the rest of the crew approached their work on the film, and what it takes to put together a movie of this caliber. More »

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Akira Kurosawa(Answer: Everything!) Akira Kurosawa is in a league of his own. To master filmmakers, like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Oliver Stone, he was the teacher, and often shared his knowledge with those who asked. Flavorwire has published a few pieces of said knowledge in the form of Kurosawa’s greatest filmmaking quotes — ones that beautifully answer questions about the craft, advise us on storytelling, and remind us why we fell in love with cinema in the first place. More »

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Alfonso Cuaron BAFTABAFTA LA recently sat down with director Alfonso Cuarón for their Behind Closed Doors series, in which he answered questions surrounding everything from his childhood love of classic cinema to the motivation behind the choices he made on Gravity. It’s a rare look into not only an Academy Award-winning director’s life, but into a career that is marked with great boldness, mastery — and an expulsion from film school. Listen to Cuarón  share about his childhood discovery of films, turbulent years in film school, and his current approach to filmmaking after the jump. More »

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SpielbergAs he is arguably the most successful Hollywood director of all time, it should surprise no one that, even as a teenager, Steven Spielberg was a prodigy. Like many kids of his generation, he used a Super 8 camera to make short films; unlike most of them, he had a preternatural knack for filmmaking, and, at the age of 17, wrote and directed a 135-minute sci-fi epic, Firelight. Click below to read the story of Spielberg’s first (and extremely indie) foray into feature filmmaking, and watch the surviving footage! More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video Steven Soderbergh Dissing his Own Movie - No Film SchoolSteven Soderbergh, who has “retired from directing,” has produced a number of films inside and outside the studio system, but regardless of the way any of them are funded, he is usually trying to challenge himself in some way with each movie he makes — except when he didn’t early on in his career. In a new interview with Criterion about the release of his film King of the Hill, Soderbergh disses one of his earlier films, The Underneath, and takes full responsibility for being mentally absent during the making of that movie. Check out the clip below (NSFW language): More »

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Sam MendesSam Mendes, director of films like American Beauty and Skyfall, has made it a habit of working with some of the best people in the industry, and has turned out some truly memorable films. He has also heavily invested himself in theater, and continues working in that medium to this day. Mendes was honored at the spring gala for the Roundabout Theatre Company, and at the end of the ceremonies, gave some advice to current and aspiring directors. 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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Barry LyndonIt has been fifteen years to the day since one of the greatest filmmakers to ever walk the planet unfortunately departed from it. Stanley Kubrick, who demonstrated his impeccable storytelling abilities in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and many others, died on this day back in 1999, and what better way to acknowledge the empty place the legendary auteur left in the cinematic world after his death than with a celebration of how he managed to give his films such presence during his life. Continue on to watch a video tribute to the late director that shines a light on his brilliant signature themes and cinematic techniques. More »