» Posts Tagged ‘independentfilmmaking’

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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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Ryan_Connolly_Guerrila_Filmmaking_WEB_1600x900In the past two months, we’ve covered several courses from the good folks over at CreativeLive, an outstanding online educational resource for creatives of all types. First was Larry Jordan’s comprehensive FCPX masterclass. Then there was an epic 2-day course on aerial photography. This coming Monday, August 11th to be exact, another course is beginning that should definitely be of interest to independent and low-budget filmmakers. It’s called Guerilla Filmmaking, and it’s being taught by Ryan Connolly of Film Riot fame. So, if you’ve got any spare time this coming Monday through Wednesday, tuning into Connolly’s course will provide an educational alternative to the cat videos that you would probably be watching otherwise. More »

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Anomaly Kickstarter w jts

Here at No Film School, we focus a whole lot on the process of making feature films. However, long-form storytelling like television narratives and web series are entering a golden age in which in-depth character development is key and content and structure can be as creative as ever. For independent and low-budget filmmakers looking to take advantage of the creative freedoms of long-form storytelling, while simultaneously working on honing their craft, web series are definitely a great way to go (just ask our fearless leader, Ryan Koo, whose series The West Side won critical acclaim). But how does one go about getting started with creating a dramatic web series? It’s certainly not easy, but today’s interviewee, Terrell Lamont, has some answers. 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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netflix-originalsIt’s safe to say that Netflix took the world by storm with its first original series, House of Cards. Not only was the show immaculately produced, shot, and acted, but it also may have planted the seeds for an entertainment revolution in that it signaled the beginning of a shift away from traditional media outlets towards online streaming services. Today we got word that original series might just be the tip of the iceberg for Netflix, whose content boss said that original movies could be a reality for the company very soon. If this is the case, and Netflix starts taking on a studio-like role in the film world, what would the implications be for independent filmmakers? Let’s take a look: More »

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Kentucker Audley NoBudge Films

In the shifting sands of independent marketing and distribution, NoBudge Films (as the title would suggest) “releases and compiles true indie films” through a non-exclusive, hand-picked catalogue of features, shorts and trailers curated by filmmaker and actor Kentucker Audley. Building on his humble beginnings as a Tumblr blog, Audley is releasing a new version of the site on August 5th, and with it opens the doors for more voices to be heard. Read on for our interview with Audley as he discusses the approach to his platform, his thoughts on truly independent cinema and what to do when people say your film is “not a movie.” More »

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Richard LinklaterUnlike a lot of other professions, filmmakers aren’t required to go to film school and graduate with a degree in filmmaking in order to find work in their field. In fact, many of the greatest filmmakers either dropped out or never attended college/film school, like Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, and Stanley Kubrick. Self-taught filmmaker Richard Linklater, in less an interview than a private soliloquy, expresses some very inspirational thoughts not only on filmmaking, but on life as a creative person, being a lifelong learner, and living day-to-day as a person who is obsessed with cinema. More »

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Tim RothNow that the most recent murmurings regarding our industry indicate that, despite some of our big screen dreams, VOD is slowly becoming the future of film distribution. With VOD gaining popularity among low-budget filmmakers and being sold as a “good alternative” to a theatrical release, let’s be honest — VOD is kind of considered, quite literally, the “poor man’s theater.” But Oscar-Nominated actor Tim Roth says that this platform is something to be embraced, and actors that are reluctant to take roles in films that go straight to VOD are “dumb.” Hit the jump for more. More »

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The Ningyo_hallwayrmy

Last year, senior visual effects artists Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma demonstrated what they could achieve in off hours, having given over their living room to a green screen and some decking, in Halloween short The Green Ruby Pumpkin. Expanding that successful home studio production methodology to a set which has taken over every inch of their living space, the pair have now embarked on the first leg of The Ningyo, a 1909 set action adventure series focused on the hunt for mythological creatures. NFS caught up with Miguel in his role as Director/Creator for a chat about the project. Read on after the jump: More »

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Jim JarmuschThe last person I’d ever expect to give a list of golden rules of moviemaking would be independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. It isn’t because he’s not brilliant — I’m sure we’ve all seen Broken Flowers and Dead Man – it’s because he’s a maverick — a non-conformist. His narratives deviate from the traditional form, instead following a more experimental approach. So, it sounds insane for, and so unlike Jim Jarmusch to have compiled a handful of rules on moviemaking, but once you read them, you’ll realize they’re not so much rules as they are — anti-rules. Check them out after the jump More »

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This is a guest post by filmmaker Ryan Gielen.

Ryan Gielen - Filmmarketing on The Web

In 2009, the digital options for film releasing were exploding, theatrical attendance was dipping, alternate screening venues were popping up everywhere, and audiences were just starting to explore and develop their new viewing habits — watching content when and where they wanted, on demand. My first feature, The Graduates, played in a few festivals and won a couple of awards, but we didn’t receive a single distribution offer. This is not unique. A tiny percentage of the thousands of feature films that are made every year receive distribution. My producers and I believed in the film, however, and were determined to see it both in theaters, and on the major digital platforms. More »

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Lily & Kat Still 1

Director Micael Preysler had a unique set of circumstances for making his debut feature film, going from the creation of a simple teaser to the now nearly completed film. Hurricane Sandy proved to be a challenging obstacle, hitting the film’s 16 day shoot right in the middle, destroying key locations and making transportation impossible. Read on to get the full scoop, see how they rose to the challenges, and watch the new theatrical trailer for Lily & Kat: More »

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Some awesome relics from the past continue to float to the internet’s surface, and this series of videos goes behind the scenes on Spike Lee’s 1989 breakout film Do the Right Thing, which constitutes a day (the hottest day) in the life of a community in Brooklyn. Spike brought a small camera along to document the development of the actors, and provides a candid look into the heart of the independent filmmaking process. Hit the jump to watch all three videos: More »

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In between their 9-5 jobs, filmmakers Ryan C. Glover and Krista Dzialoszynski have been working diligently on their feature film debut Hills Green, and after several years are proud to say it’s finally complete. It’s a story about two friends’ escape to the country to discover what their relationship is made of, and is brought to life with the power of real-life nostalgia. The duo is now set for the film’s Canadian premiere at the ReelHeART International Film Festival on June 24th in Toronto. Hit the jump for the trailer and our interview with the first-time feature filmmakers: More »

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Filmmaking is a logistical nightmare. This much we know to be true. Every department has to be on top of its game and meeting its deadlines, and the entire cast and crew has to be in-sync for a set to work properly. With so many independent, yet crucial variables that have to come together in seamless fashion, it’s amazing that people are as successful as they are making films. But that’s not to say that things don’t occasionally go terribly and utterly wrong, and that’s just what happened today to a production that I’m DP’ing. Read on for both the story, and what my production team and me are doing about it. More »

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Think about that for a second. Just a few years ago everyone was talking about how the bottom had fallen out of independent film funding. While that may be true to a certain extent, Kickstarter has completely changed the way smaller films are funded, and they’ve created a new golden age of film funding. Who knows if the funding on Kickstarter will ever dry up, but for now, it’s one of the best places to go if you’re trying to make a movie or web series. Check out some of the incredible statistics below: More »

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You’ve probably seen at least one of them if you’ve ever been to a film festival. Some of them are long, some are boring, some are downright brilliant, but one thing the biggest ones have in common is that they can launch an indie career. Suzanne Ballantyne, the Head of Programming over at the Raindance Film Festival, has put together some tips for budding amateurs from her experience watching over 500 potential festival feature films per year — and hopefully by the end you’ll have the knowledge to fake being an “Indie Auteur.” More »

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I once edited for an entire weekend. I’m not exaggerating — I went into the media lab on a Friday afternoon, and left on a Sunday night after my girlfriend and some friends dragged me out. I was obsessing about the latest episode of our sketch comedy show, and completely missed one of the best homecomings my college had seen. When I came to my senses, this caused a sense of regret. It was an important lesson on getting out, having a life, and generally not letting creative pursuits ruin my life.  More »

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Whatever your opinion of Joe Swanberg, and his contributions to the “mumblecore” indie movement, the guy is prolific, having directed over a dozen feature films in less than 10 years, and a total of six in 2011 alone. While he’s got his defenders, there are many detractors, and he got the chance to fight it out in a boxing ring at this year’s Fantastic Fest with one of his strongest critics, Devin Faraci, who is the “Badass-In-Chief” at Badass Digest. Swanberg’s argument against the harsh criticism is certainly food for thought, but first, check out him pummeling Faraci. More »

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[Update: Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass have responded.] For too long now independent and low-budget films have been taking attention away from more important Hollywood films. While most of us work more hours on our films than we would ever think possible, highly paid actors and producers are slaving away trying to produce quality, fun-filled, and family-friendly (albeit violent) entertainment. It’s time now to boycott these heartfelt and powerful independent films because they are taking away dozens, maybe even hundreds of screens away from more deserving spectacle films, especially a little film called Sleepwalk with Me, a partially true story from the mind of Mike Birbiglia. If your sense of humor is broken, it’s probably best to look away now… More »