» Posts Tagged ‘makingof’

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SuspectsAh, the 90s. Rollerblades. Bill Clinton. A time when moguls like Harvey Weinstein jetted out to Sundance and handed out fat distribution/production deals to filmmakers who were  barely able to legally buy beer. One of these lucky young tyros was Bryan Singer, whose 1988 short, Lion’s Den, led to a feature that went to Sundance, and that led to The Usual Suspects, which led to everyone losing their mind in 1995. Check out this behind the scenes documentary on that classic crime film, and see how story and filmmaking can trump budget. More »

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SOTLWhen it was released in 1991, director Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs, starring Jodie Foster and featuring an unforgettable performance by Anthony Hopkins, changed the rules of how horror could be presented in mainstream film; the Oscar-winning classic’s reverberations continue today, while the Hannibal Lecter money train keeps on rolling. This 90-minute documentary on the inside story of the Silence of the Lambs shows just how all the right elements came together to create a modern classic. 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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Black Swan BTSWhen Darren Aronofsky gave the cinematic world his very cerebral feature film, Pi (1998), it was an introduction into his career-long examination of the balance between light and dark, beauty and ugliness, and living and suffering. One of his projects that truly encapsulates this balance is Black Swan, a film that overtly and purposefully teeters between simplicity and baroqueness. If you want to dive into the tormented world of Aronofsky, take a look at Niko Tavernise’s Metamorphosis, a beautifully shot, very intimate documentary that takes you behind the scenes of the production, as well as interviews with the director, DP, screenwriter, and many more. More »

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godfather-0903-06By the time he made The Godfather, at the age of 33, Francis Ford Coppola had already had a decade’s experience in the movie business, co-earning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the biopic Patton. Even that, though, didn’t make getting the film greenlit an easy or sure proposition. With pressure coming from all sides (several of them armed), Coppola began the first of his epic, career-long battles against everyone and everything that would stand in the way of his vision. Time and again, the director has gambled. Sometimes, he’s won, and very big. Sometimes, not so much. But whatever it is, he gives his all (including property). Now learn some of his tricks of the trade as Coppola, (along with the recently late DP Gordon Willis, Brando, Pacino, Caan, et al.) outwits everyone to make an American classic, his way, in this 1990 doc, The Godfather Family: A Look Inside. More »

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Making a SceneJanusz Kaminski is an industry legend. Since 1990, he has DP’d over 30 feature films, and been nominated for 6 cinematography Oscars (two of which he’s won). His most notable work has been with Steven Spielberg, for whom he’s shot just about every film in recent memory. This past month, Kaminski partnered up with The New York Times to direct 11 original short films for the NYT Magazine’s “Movies Issue.” Each film was shot on the RED EPIC MX (which is unusual for Kaminski since he normally shoots film) and features one of Hollywood’s most prominent actors, ranging from Bradley Cooper to Robert Redford, and a single line of dialogue written by one of today’s top screenwriters. Check out a few of the films below, as well as an excellent behind the scenes video showing Kaminski’s filmmaking process: More »

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last-passenger_1The internet is rife with “making-of” videos for just about every major feature film that gets released these days. Unfortunately, a good portion of these videos don’t really show us anything in regards to the filmmaking process. More often than not they’re just behind the scenes interviews with the actors cut together with some poorly shot b-roll. On occasion, however, a video (or series of videos) comes along that shows us the nitty-gritty of the filmmaking process and provides a realistic sense of how films are really made these days. The making-of videos for the UK thriller Last Passenger provide such an experience. More »

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AliensAliens is one of those movies that I can plop down and watch anywhere, any time. It has a classic story structure that always seems to allay even my most stubborn hipster propensities — as aliens are jumping out of people’s chests. In this behemoth of a documentary (3 hours, guys!) we get to see everything that went into making Aliens, from the construction of the APC to the Queen her slobbering self. The doc is packed with great information on the scripting, set building, and shooting of the film, so free up a block of your time and check it out after the jump. More »

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Joshua Oppenheimer Act of Killing Film CourageThe Act of Killing, a documentary about a group of boastful human rights perpetrators, is making some noise after its release in New York and LA last week. Film Courage brings us a fascinating interview with director Joshua Oppenheimer who discusses what he discovered during the process of making his film over a yen year period in Indonesia. Joshua discusses why the film is important, how they avoided the film being banned and the companionship of his crew that made it all possible. Hit the jump to watch the videos and learn more: More »

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Terminator 2 MakeupWatching behind-the-scenes videos of our favorite movies is almost tantamount to sitting in a film school lecture hall — except it’s not as boring and there are no PowerPoint presentations with bad clip art. If you’re a big visual effects enthusiast or professional, or simply a James Cameron or Terminator franchise fan, then take some time to watch these videos of the making of The Terminator and Terminator 2They both offer great information about the goings-on on and off-set, as well as an inside look of some of the VFX and makeup used in the films. Check them out after the jump. More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video Watch the Cast and Crew of The Conjuring in These BTS Videos - nofilmschoolSometimes the best behind the scenes videos are those that give you an unfiltered look at the production without interviews or interruptions. Later last year we saw just that with some great BTS footage from the newest James Bond flick SkyfallNow there is some interesting BTS material for the new film The Conjuring that takes you on set and lets you watch the crew and the cast at work, showing some of the creative on-set effects they used during filming. First, here’s the trailer for the film, followed by the behind the scenes videos: More »

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Martin Scorsese Taxi DriverMartin Scorsese is, without a doubt, one of America’s finest filmmakers. His depictions of realistic and brutal violence as well as his use of themes of greed and guilt have made Scorsese an auteur worth studying. In 1990, PBS aired an American Masters episode on the man to coincide with the release of Goodfellas. Think about that: Scorsese was already an “American Master” 23 years ago, just based on his filmography to that point. Hit the jump to watch the documentary and learn about Scorsese, his childhood, early career, and the filming of Goodfellas. More »

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the last of us naughty dog sony playstation ps3Developer Naughty Dog’s latest outing, The Last of Usis one of this year’s most anticipated gaming titles. After playing it for 5 minutes, I can tell you that it combines elements of Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Children of Men28 Days Later, Hillcoat’s The Road, Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, The Walking Dead, and the recent I Am Legend, all while engaging you emotionally more than any of those pieces could and, dare I say, improving upon them. It’s crazy, but it’s true. Here’s how, and here’s why. More »

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the fountain special visual effects vfx sfx microscopy bts behind the scenes making ofOther than their deep meditation on mortality — and the associated motif of a sacred source of life — Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain (2006) and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011) couldn’t be more different. That is, aside from the way in which the films achieve much of their strikingly beautiful cosmic imagery. In an era of filmmaking in which CGI and space-bound science fiction are far from strangers, these two films opt for a more naturalistic alternative — such as macrophotography and high-speed microscopy — to visualize their explorations of life in the universe. What could be more appropriate effects for films so occupied with the organic? Click through for some details on how VFX allowed the microscopic to ‘double’ for the cosmos. More »

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ridley scott director film cinema movies filmmaking interviewWe are fortunate enough to live in a day and age in which the words of prolific and eclectic filmmaking talents come readily and often. We’ve already heard from working cinematographers such as Roger Deakins and Blue Valentine DP Andrij Parekh, as well as friends of nofilmschool Ryan E. Walters and Timur Civan. We’ve also heard from directors such as Steven Soderberg and Ridley Scott – and all of this is just to name a few. Now, we have a few more valuable words from Sir Ridley — this time discussing everything from his breakthrough into the industry, his experience in learning how to work with actors, and honing a highly sensitive visual eye. Click through to hear these words and more from “the director who uses too much smoke!” More »

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If you’ve ever heard someone play an electric guitar totally unplugged, tasted raw cookie dough, or planted a seed, you know the feeling. There is potential there, but something is clearly missing. This is the exact feeling you get scrolling through the Tumblr blog ‘Before VFX.’ The title just about says it all, along with its brief self-description: “Blockbuster movies without visual effects.” The core or basic element of a shot is there, for certain, but in each case, it’s obvious there’s plenty of additional magic and ingredients that must go into the shot before it can be called complete. Check out a few examples from Before VFX below. More »

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ILM has been at the cutting edge of visual effects in cinema since George Lucas founded it back in 1975. Constructing some of Hollywood’s most memorable moments is an impressive feat, so it’s only natural that Joss Whedon and company tapped the FX house for the much-anticipated The Avengers. Marvel’s recent efforts in film (Iron Man, Thor) built quite the lead-up for Avengers to deliver upon, and needless to say, the film brought the spectacle in spades. Check below to see how ILM built a massive digital ‘stunt’ version of New York City, just to rough a whole bunch of it up — plus some more from ILM on other VFX in The Avengers. More »

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Videos that give insight into how something is made or constructed are absolutely fascinating to me, and I’ve spent countless hours pouring through many that would probably put the average person to sleep. That’s why when I came across Deep Green Sea’s The Art of Making – which details professionals who work with their hands — I couldn’t help but be impressed by the skill involved. Click through to check out the three videos they’ve made so far in the series. More »

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It seems like there have been tons of posts about this movie, but The Creators Project has been slowly releasing their exclusive Behind the Scenes videos over the course of the last few months. We’ve taken a look at the score and other aspects, but now we’ve got a video with Director of Photography Ben Richardson talking about the aesthetic of the film and their choice to shoot on celluloid as opposed to digital. More »

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You may recall when director David M. Reynolds shared a guest post with NoFilmSchool readers, in the midst of what would become a significantly successful Kickstarter campaign — overfunded $40k beyond its $60k goal — for his project The Underwater Realm. Now, a year later, the film is less than two weeks from premiering for free on YouTube. Needless to say, the all-volunteer-multi-talented-hyphenates of Realm Pictures is working tirelessly to get the project finished. On top of this, they’ve shared a seemingly endless amount of insight into their process along the way, via weekly video blogs — including a recent look at their self-implemented render farm-style workflow, the sound design, and a bit earlier, a look at their amazing underwater shooting process. Watch these and a new trailer below. More »