» Posts Tagged ‘features’

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Land Ho

Finding the right producer (or any producer for that matter) for your film can often mean the difference between seeing it blossom or wither away into obscurity. A distinguished player herself, Producer and President of Gamechanger Films Mynette Louie has not only compiled and shared a list of over 100 independent producers that have track records of getting behind successful indie films, but also offers some excellent advice for those in need of guidance as they search for the right person to back their film.

This is a guest post by Mynette Louie. More »

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Carsten Kurpanek Editor of Earth to Echo
Have you ever had that particular project come along that completely turned your career around — a break-out job after lots of hard work, that lead to more projects you loved working on? I FaceTimed recently with editor Carsten Kurpanek, who just edited his first wide-released feature Earth to Echo (in theaters now). Carsten was kind enough to provide some keen perspective from his own career thus far, some insights into the future of NLE technology, and even some recommendations and advice to those new to editing. More »

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A short film can be just that: a short glimpse into a world of the filmmaker’s creation. But then there are those short films that come with a medium-spanning world for audiences to explore far longer than the last frame of the film. One such successful transmedia project is Nathan Punwar’s Loves of a Cyclops, where the viewer can enter a nonsensical world with enough supporting material (film strips, recordings, and photographs) to make you wonder if Cycloptics might just be possible. No Film School sat down with Punwar to talk about anything from the rewards of transmedia to how Pixar just might look into multidimensional cycloptic viewing. More »

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Bastards of Young Taking a break on set

Through film history, there are those films we qualify as good “party movies” (Sixteen Candles and Dazed and Confused come to mind). But on the low-budget end of the spectrum, scenes taking place at a party can sometimes be the surest way for a film to scream “amateur”. Is it the garish lighting that accompanies party scenes, or the awkward clusters of bored friends posing as background actors? Josiah Signor tackled the party genre with much success in Bastards of Young, and in this No Film School interview, he explains how he created his well acted, well paced, nuanced feature debut — a micro budget “party movie” that’s actually pretty damned good. More »

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hellion cat kandler on set

What’s the most important aspect of a film? Acting? Cinematography? Plot? To some, these are all crucial components that lead into the most important expression of a film: tone. However, setting the tone of a film is one of the most difficult things to do. Kat Candler’s Hellion, starring Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, and a handful of emerging young actors, is a film that’s all about tone — the 13-year-old, heavy metal, motocross kind. Read our interview with Kat Candler, where she talks about anything from the dance of shooting handheld on the ALEXA, starting Hellion as a short, and the current heyday of independent film in Texas. More »

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Stripped

Direct distribution platforms have made finding an audience for independent, no budget movies a real possibility. And though much of your effort might be focused on just getting your film online and monetized, there is a whole area of distribution that could provide potential profits that may be slipping past your attention: bonus content. VHX, a direct-to-fan distribution platform, has crunched the numbers on which content options are the most popular for the documentary STRIPPED – a project that has harnessed the power of bonus content to appeal to their fan base, and has put more money into the pockets of the film’s creators.

This is a guest post by VHX. More »

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Layover 1

It’s easy to become despondent when approaching (or thinking about approaching) the uphill battle that is making a film. And although it is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do, it can be done — regardless of how little experience, money, or equipment you have at your disposal. Filmmaker Joshua Caldwell made his feature film Layover for just $6000; he cast his friends, borrowed a Canon 5D, and now it’s competing for the New American Cinema award at SIFF, and he has decided to share what he has learned about maintaining high production value while keeping costs down.

This is a guest post by Joshua Caldwell. More »

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Though it has been made much more doable thanks to crowdfunding platforms, securing funding and navigating the process to maximize your return can be tricky. DP Katie Maul and the team of filmmakers working on the indie doc Trichster, have run a total of 3 successful crowdfunding campaigns for the film, and Maul has shared some tips on how you could approach your next fundraising efforts.

This is a guest post by Katie Maul. More »

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Our festival run is almost complete and we’re preparing for our imminent online launch. Direct distribution is a moving target, and we’re constantly shifting our release strategy and making adaptations we feel are necessary. Our latest adaptation is going to be making the film available on more than one platform when we release. For this post I’ve also put together the first of three videos from hours of interview footage on the cast & crew’s experience of making Menthol. Click through to keep following along and to watch the video. More »

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Heaven Adores You a film about Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith is one of the most prolific and authentic figures in the contemporary singer/songwriter era and is synonymous with intimate, honest folk music. His songs are cinematic in the sense that they are character studies, “little pictures made of words” that capture a certain person, time or place. Many documentaries have tried to have been made over the years, but Nickolas Rossi has succeeded in making the first feature-length Elliott documentary with permission to use his music. Read on for our interview with the director Nickolas Rossi on constructing a portrait of Elliott’s life and work. More »

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MomWe say it all the time. “My film is my baby.” It’s true — our films are our babies; conceived by our creativity, gestated in our imagination, and birthed through the months and years of our greatest filmmaking efforts. Though many of you may not be mothers or fathers of human children, you are, or at least hope to one day be, mothers of cinematic ones. So, let’s celebrate this most glorious of Mother’s Days by having some fun and recognize the maternal qualities that help filmmakers nurture their projects. More »

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DamNation co-director Ben Knight avoids a surveillance helicopter while filming the demolition of Condit Dam on Washington's White Salmon River in a scene from DAMNATION Photo DamNation Collection

Being a director requires a certain persistent stubbornness to get a film made the way you want it. In the case of Ben Knight and Travis Rummel, this meant saving money for six years to buy the RED EPIC, having strict rules about shooting on tripods (even underwater), camouflaging oneself to film unnoticed at demolish sites, and editing every frame of the film in unadulterated 4K. The payoff? A breathtaking film that won the SXSW Audience Award and is opening on the big screen this weekend. In the No Film School interview below, find out how the filmmakers of DamNation made their cinematic doc, and where you can catch it in theaters. More »

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Menthol at 18th Sofia International Film Fest

The process of releasing and distributing my first film has been a challenge, and as we enter the last month or so of pre-release work I will be sharing more a long the way. In the previous two posts in this series I talked about cutting a trailer and shared philosophical ramblings after our world premiere. In this post, I’m gonna talk about our international premiere experience, putting on our own screenings and preparing for the next steps before release. Hit the jump to read more. More »

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Documented poster crop

Have you ever thought of turning the camera around on yourself to tell a personal story? What about a personal story that involved outing yourself as an undocumented immigrant and exploring the relationship with your mother you haven’t seen in about 20 years? That’s what Pulitzer Prize winning author and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas did in his latest film, and it wasn’t easy. In the NFS interview below, Vargas talks about anything from writing first-person narration, to earning the right to be on camera, to achieving that delicate balance needed for a successful first-person story in his film Documented, which opens in theaters this weekend. More »

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How many dimensions do you need to tell a story about the most potentially life-altering breakthroughs of the future — science that might let you live forever? After shooting about a third of production in 3D, the filmmakers behind The Immortalists decided to scrap a stereoscopic shoot and opt instead for the intimacy of DSLR, a cerebral world of animation, and an experimental sound design based on water, clocks, and the internal organs of a fish. Below we interview co-directors David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, along with their sound designer Peter Albrechtsen about their film that premiered at SXSW and is showing next week at HotDocs. Hit the jump to hear about anything from the schizophrenic nature of editing to recording bugs in windowsills. More »

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Kickstarter_tax_1

After months of busting your hump making pitch videos, coming up with rewards, and tweeting like there was no tomorrow, (hopefully) you’ve found yourself celebrating a fully funded crowdfunding campaign. However, before you start reveling in your success, you might want to figure out just how much of those funds will make it into your production’s budget not only after you pay your platform’s fees, but after you pay the taxman as well. Yes, taxes can take a pretty substantial bite out of your funds, but here are a few ideas on how to run your Kickstarter campaign to make the bite less severe come Tax Day next year.

This is a guest post by Ben Henretig. 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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GLEBHOUSE

John Cassavetes once said, “Anyone who can make a film, I already love.” The decision to make any movie is a leap of faith, and more so when you’re a trained physicist who emigrated from the former Soviet Union and gives up a steady paycheck on Wall Street to follow your artistic, cinematic dreams. Such is the case with unlikely filmmaker Gleb Osatinski, whose new short is gaining him a lot of attention for its otherworldly appeal. We talk to him about life and film in the former USSR, the beauty of the open-ending, and risking everything for a dream. More »

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Natalia Dyer in I Believe in Unicorns photo credit: Leah Meyerhoff

Shooting a film on Super 16 is about as rare these days as, I don’t know, spotting a unicorn. So when Fuji shipped out some of the last of their stocks for production of her first film, Leah Meyerhoff  didn’t know it would be one of the last features shot on Super 16. Just after the SXSW Film Festival premiere of I Believe in Unicorns, Meyerhoff sat down along with her two lead actors, Natalia Dyer and Peter Vack, to talk to No Film School about anything from intentionally fogging film green, to the surprising freedom that using a restrictive medium like 16mm can offer. Check out the full interview, as well as a behind-the-scenes clip, below. More »

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ben knight DamNation red epic

Sure, we’re all a bunch of gear junkies, but in some ways we know, a camera is a camera is a camera. It’s just as important for every production to have a good (or at least decent) concept, and therefore, a good reason to use one camera over the other! From scrapping a 3D production to saving up for six years to buy a RED EPIC, the excerpts below from a handful of different, but very talented, SXSW filmmakers are centered around one question: what did you shoot on and why? More »