» Posts Tagged ‘filmmaking’

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Lila
There are short films, really good short films, which within hours of opening their online doors flit from inboxes, to tweets to posts to blogs racking up 100s of 1000s of views as they reach meme velocity, and while that’s a status any of us would be happy to achieve, there are those truly great shorts such as Carlos Lascano’s A Short Love Story In Stop Motion which are so popular they become instantly recognisable by anyone who’s even flirted with the idea of watching a short film. In what surly must be an unfair monopolization of the collective consciousness, Carlos looks set to once again have a film which will remain a topic of conversation for years to come with his latest short Lila. We interview Carlos about closing out his unofficial trilogy of viral hits and his move from animation back to live action filmmaking. More »

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TruffautHitchcockIn 1962, French filmmaker, critic, and so-called “Father of the New Wave,” François Truffaut, carried out a series of interviews with Alfred Hitchcock at the latter’s Universal Studios’ office. At the time, The Birds was in post-production, and Truffaut, who had kick-started the French New Wave movement with his debut feature The 400 Blows, had just directed his third film, Jules et Jim. A key founder and proponent of the so-called auteur theory, which stated, very roughly, that the best films could be viewed as the work of one sensibility, Truffaut saw Hitchcock as a prime example of this theory in action. Their approximately 12 hours of discussions served as the basis of his influential study of the director, HitchcockNow you can listen to their conversations for free online, as well as peruse the book, with its hundreds of amazing stills and transcripts of their discussions.  More »

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Robert RodriguezWe all know Robert Rodriguez. Not only did he make his first feature for less than $8,000 and share every step of that process in his book Rebel Without A Crew, but he’s gone on to shoot countless other features and even found his own television network. For anybody wanting to make their first film, but is not sure where to start and what steps to take, a video of one of Rodriguez’s famous 10-minute film schools has been making its way around the web, and it has the answers that you’re looking for in a way that only Rodriguez can provide. So if you’ve got a few minutes, here’s Robert Rodriguez, the man himself, to tell you exactly how to make your first film. More »

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lightbulb_headThere is a common fallacy regarding creativity, mostly to be found among those who fancy themselves creative but never seem to complete any work. It goes back all the way to Plato, who said, and I’m really paraphrasing here, that unless you were a little touched in the head, you had no hope of real artistic genius. The idea that one must have a little madness in their soul to be truly creative is, in a sense, true, but if it’s not bulwarked and protected by an effective process, routine, and work ethic, your work is unlikely to live up to its potential. Check out this video, where filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain shares her 10 steps to creativity, and learn how routine can make you more creative. More »

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There are many ways for filmmakers to use their skills to generate income. You can move to a major filmmaking hub like New York, Los Angles, or Atlanta and cut your teeth in the world of features and television. You can shoot commercials and web videos for local businesses. You can shoot and edit weddings. You can even use your own short films and features and generate income through various online distribution outlets. And last but not least, you can sell stock footage. The only problem with the latter option is that most stock footage houses these days aren’t built with filmmakers in mind. Today marks the launch of Story & Heart, a new story-driven stock footage licensing hub and filmmaking community that tackles many of the issues with modern footage licensing head on. The result is a stock footage service that is unlike any other to come before it. More »

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Walter Murch - Movies in Your Brain- The Science of Cinematic PerceptionEditor and sound designer Walter Murch has some incredibly fascinating ideas on films and editing, most of which he outlines in his book In the Blink of an Eye. In it he proposes the idea that human blinks are actually a very natural cut point, and he goes on to discuss the theory of editing and the importance of certain elements in relation to the entire cut of the movie. Murch and actor/director Jon Favreau recently got together to discuss these ideas and the real science that happens during filmmaking at an event called “Movies in Your Brain: The Science of Cinematic Perception.” More »

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Video thumbnail for vimeo video You Are Not a Storyteller - No Film SchoolA video has been making the rounds that seems to have quite a few people riled up. FITC Events, a company that puts together conferences and seminars around topics like technology, business, and design, sat down with designer Stefan Sagmeister to discuss his thoughts on the idea of storytelling. Essentially he said that if you’re not in the business of telling actual stories, you shouldn’t be calling yourself a storyteller, and that those people who do tell stories, don’t necessarily see themselves that way — though he uses a bit more colorful language in his response in the video: More »

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CropperCapture[77]There are many jobs in the filmmaking process. It all starts with a script, a story waiting to be told. Then there’s the director, the visionary, the person with the plan. But we all know that filmmaking is highly collaborative, so a team begins to emerge, with a group of like-minded artists all striving towards the same goal. You’ve got your art directors and production designers, and new worlds are created. You’ve got your editors, who lovingly craft the footage into the final piece of art. You’ve got your makeup artists and VFX artists and loads of other craftspeople who ultimately shape the film in some unique way. And then there’s the cinematographer, the person behind the lens. But what exactly does a cinematographer do, and what does it mean to be a cinematographer? The following short video from the EFTI School of Cinematography in Spain has the answer. More »

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Ingmar BergmanIngmar Bergman is one of the giants of cinema, to the point that some images from his films have become so iconic as to make up a visual shorthand, possessing an allusive quality (the Knight playing chess with Death comes to mind.) The Swedish filmmaker directed over 40 narrative features and documentaries, both for film and TV, in his 61-year career, and was also a prolific theater director. In 1975, he sat down with students from the American Film Institute, and now a 40-minute audio recording of their conversation is available online. It’s a remarkably open and candid talk from a master director, and required listening for any fan, student of cinema, or lover of movies. 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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CropperCapture[30]The basics of the film language are just that, basics. You’ve got your wides and mediums and close-ups, and all sorts of variances in between. You’ve got OTS shots and 2-shots, and of course some cutaways. Then you’ve got the insert, the simple, lowly insert. Usually inserts are used to provide a closer look at some detail in a scene. However, when the insert shot becomes an instrumental part of a film’s individual language, some interesting things can happen. For instance, David Fincher’s masterful and suspenseful thriller Zodiac makes extensive use of the insert shot, and it has a profound and meaningful impact on how the film’s language interacts with and supports the characters and story.  More »

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Film Director

The other day, I overheard someone say that Steve McQueen’s cinematography in 12 Years A Slave was brilliant. As a huge fan of Sean Bobbitt (the actual cinematographer of that film), I wanted to say something, but held my tongue because avoiding the argument that would have ensued seemed like a better option. Despite my inaction, this instance got me thinking about our shared cultural view of film directors, and about whether or not that view needs to change. More »

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no film school summer films grants deadlines screenwriting documentary narrative

Our massive list of grants is back, and for summer it’s bigger than ever — more grants, more markets, and more opportunities for both US-based and International filmmakers to get funding! Looking to finance your next 3D feature? Develop your humanities documentary? Get your script picked up by a top agency? Yup, there’s an app for that. If granting puns don’t get you excited, this list of relevant opportunities with deadlines this summer just might. More »

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Steadicam-FS700-Haiti

Leaving your home to shoot a movie in different country is certainly not for the faint of heart, something cinematographer Richard Patterson knows all too well. When he traveled to Haiti from the U.S. to shoot a short documentary entitled Papa Machete about the slowly vanishing martial art of Haitian Machete Fencing, he was met with many different types of issues concerning gear, media management, you name it. Thankfully, Patterson decided to share what he learned with all of us.

This is a guest post by Richard Patterson. More »

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Edgar-WrightWhat’s the single greatest distinguishing characteristic of comedies? That they’re meant to be funny, right? However, some of you might’ve felt as though the comedies of the last several years have been a bit lacking in laughs, perhaps due to a lethargic approach to comedic filmmaking. No, I’m not talking about the writing. I’m talking about an aspect of filmmaking that seems to be one of the most ignored in comedies: cinematography. Tony Zhou, who brought us that great video on the “Spielberg Oner”, talks all about this in a fun and informative video essay, which not only celebrates the work of director Edgar Wright, but explores how he uses cinematography to take advantage of as many comedic opportunities to as possible. If you’re working on a comedy right now, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this! More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video Kevin Smith Talks About the Things You Can't Learn in Film School - No Film SchoolWhile this website might be called No Film School, we have always acknowledged that there are positives and negatives for attending or not attending film school. The mission that hasn’t changed since the site was created is to provide as much daily inspiration, knowledge, and news as possible on all sorts of topics related to filmmaking and shooting video, and this next clip is no different. Writer/director Kevin Smith, a film school dropout himself, talked during a Q&A about whether going to film school is worth it, and the skills that really can’t be taught in school. More »

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Fight SceneShooting a high octane, action-packed fight scene can really have an impact on your audience, but really only if it looks realistic and — well — truly painful. Tuts+ offers some excellent tips and tricks on how to achieve a believable brawl between your characters, including which lenses to use, tried and true blocking and choreography, as well as an editing trick that will speed up your strikes, making them more impactful. Check out the video after the jump. More »

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Cheap ThrillsFilmmaking is a lot like being in a serious relationship: it requires all of your time, focus, and love, it requires an insane amount of patience, and you’ll probably spend most of your time pulling your hair out and crying. For those approaching their first films and are looking for a little guidance before jumping headlong into it all, the director of the black comedy Cheap ThrillsE.L. Katz, offers first-time filmmakers 12 pieces of advice in this great article from Indiewire. We’ve shared a few tips from the list, so continue on to check them out! More »

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Catch Light marbleThere are many factors to consider when you’re planning an outdoor shoot, one of the major ones being how you’re going to deal with natural light. One of the issues that’s bound to come up while dealing with that big key light in the sky is how to find out which direction the light is coming from, which is especially important if you’re planning on using it as a catch light. In this video from photographer Frank Donnino, we’re shown how to use an everyday marble to determine where a light source will hit your subjects’ eyes, so you can put them in the position that will give you optimal results. More »

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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 »