» Posts Tagged ‘interview’

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Jack Plotnik at Outfest 2014To follow-up from last week’s 2014 Outfest kickoff, the festival has released a few more interviews from their Meet the Filmmakers series. Outfest asked me to conduct some interviews with some of this year’s filmmakers, allowing a glimpse into the minds of some really interesting directors working today. Including interviews with Marina Rice Bader, Jack Plotnik and Desiree Akhavan, and a compilation video of all their advice for other independent filmmakers. More »

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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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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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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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Outfest 2014Getting your film seen on a big screen seems harder and harder to do, but it’s clear that film festivals still play a major role in the preservation of the theatrical experience. The Los Angeles-based Outfest is one of the most prestigious LGBT film festivals in the world, and to celebrate their 32nd year they are trying something new: a series of interviews with the filmmakers talking about their stories and some of the challenges of making them come to life. 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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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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Adam Epstein

Frequent readers of our site are likely familiar with the work of the Film Unit over at Saturday Night Live. On multiple occasions, we’ve covered the work of the Film Unit DP Alex Buono, most recently as he talked us through his work on the Wes Anderson parody, The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders. As we know from Buono’s posts, the pre-production and production of these pieces are done on extremely tight deadlines due to the fact that SNL is a weekly show with multiple “shorts” per episode. However, for those of you who thought that those processes were as stressful and hectic as it gets, wait until you hear about (and watch) the post production of a few recent SNL shorts.

I recently talked with Saturday Night Live Film Unit editor Adam Epstein about some of his recent work for the storied television show. We chat about everything from how he landed at SNL to the technical aspects of his work as an editor for the show. More »

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A Conversation with Jeff Nichols AFF part twoEarlier this year, I posted excerpts from my conversation with Jeff Nichols at the 20th Austin Film Festival and Conference, thanks to the generosity of AFF. Reading parts of the interview is nice, but I honestly believe you need to hear Jeff Nichols share his thoughts on writing and filmmaking in his own words. Now, thanks to AFF’s OnStory podcast, you get that chance. Using specific examples from his three films Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, and Mud, Jeff Nichols talks about his approach to characters and writing/directing, and he also hints at how his upcoming film Midnight Special will be different from his previous work. 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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Curtains by Tyler T Williams

Budgets are rapidly coming down for music videos, but some directors still manage to execute their visions on a budget. Tyler T. Williams is perhaps one of the best at this, always putting together interesting images with great music. With his latest video for “Curtains!?” by Timber Timbre, Tyler displays a growing confidence in storytelling and a welcome throwback to the film noir grunge of the 40s and 50s. Hit the jump to watch the new video and for our interview with the director. More »

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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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herzog uctv eveningIf Werner Herzog was staying for supper, what would you serve? You couldn’t very well offer Hamburger Helper to the director that’s been dubbed by some the “single most important film director on the planet.” If you were looking to color this fanciful dinner party in your head, or if you just can’t wait for the limited edition of Herzog: The Collection, check out UCTV’s “An Evening with Werner Herzog” below, and get a sense of the influences in Herzog’s life, how it influenced his filmmaking philosophy, and other humorous/infuriating/enlightening conversation. 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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Ryan Koo Visits Steve Weiss at the Zacuto Booth NAB 2014Zacuto are a mainstay of the NAB scene here in Vegas, and this year they’ve focussed their efforts on a new EVF and, for first the first time, a line of professional tripods. Ryan Koo met up with Steve Weiss at the Zacuto booth to play with the new toys and get all the details. Hit the jump to watch the video. More »

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HYSF Still 1

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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Teenage is not your grandma’s movie. Ok, well technically it is, but during the time when your grandma snuck out of the house, lived fast, and might have been part of a secret teenage society that innovated on the cultural norms of the day. Taking a ninety-degree turn from the Ken Burns-ian tradition of history as black and white pans with slow banjo music, this film is a visually poetic, punk-lensed rumination on what it means to be a teenager. Below, check out director Matt Wolf’s before-and-after footage, a short excerpt, and read about anything from finding techniques in old American Cinematographer to coming up with a transformative soundtrack by Deerhunter/Atlas Sound musician Bradford Cox. More »

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Conan DP

Last month, Conan O’Brien dedicated an episode of his show to the return of The Walking DeadIn honor of the widely loved AMC zombie drama, Team Coco put together a comedic Walking Dead-based opening sketch, featuring a decomposing, flesh-eating rendition of Conan. As a cinematography geek, I was blown away by how the production team managed to both emulate and parody the cinematographic style of The Walking Dead. Luckily for you, No Film Schoolers, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dylan Sanford, the talented DP who lensed this cold open. Stick around to hear Dylan explain exactly how it was done, from pre-production all the way through post. More »