» Posts Tagged ‘preproduction’
Cinematography is the art of making informed visual decisions in the pursuit of telling a story. After breaking down your script for emotionality, subtext, and character arcs, you can begin making informed visual decisions in the process of building what I call the “cinematographic visual concept”. This document (or series of documents) lays out, in specific terms, your plan for conveying the subtextual and emotional overtones of the story, using the cinematographic tools of lighting and camera. In today’s post, we’ll talk about how to take subtext and turn it into an informed strategy for using the camera to its full storytelling potential: More »
Most people know what the cinematographer does on a set. However, have you ever wondered what exactly cinematographers do during the pre-production process? What about what they do once the production has wrapped? Over the course of the next few months, nofilmschool will put out a series of articles that describe in detail the various steps that a cinematographer and his team must complete in order to take a project from a script to a finely tuned finished product. Today’s post: taking a script and breaking it down for technical, subtextual, and character concerns. More »
Chances are if you look back on the films you’ve created thus far in your career, the first ones were probably an assortment of run and gun guerrilla films. For those who are just starting out, though, the lack of planning, time, money, and resources can decrease the production value of your project fast, so knowing the issues that are sure to arise during production will help you make your film look better as well as maintain your sanity. Film Riot’s Ryan Connolly shares some tips on how to bulletproof your run and gun projects. Check out the video after the break. More »
Storyboarding serves many purposes in filmmaking other than being an illustrated representation of a film. They can help you “see” the film before you even turn on the camera, find storytelling issues, sell your idea, and get everybody working on the project on the same page. If you’re interested in knowing more about the world of storyboarding, who better to learn from than J. Todd Anderson, who has been the Coen Brothers’ go-to storyboard artist from Raising Arizona to Inside Llewyn Davis. More »
In the comments section of my more-contentious-than-I-expected post about making a short that ties into my forthcoming feature MANCHILD, there were a lot of questions about my project, as well as the overall wisdom of making a short in order to fundraise for a feature. Reading through the comments, I realized I could’ve delved deeper into the timeline of what’s happened since my Kickstarter campaign. So, to answer some of the questions posed in the comments — as well as to generally shoot the shit about filmmaking — I sat down (virtually) with NFS editor Joe Marine for an wide-ranging video chat. More »
UPDATE: In response to some of the (heated! opinionated!) questions and comments on this post, we did a long video Q&A as well.
I wrote recently about finishing the screenplay for my feature MANCHILD (for now… ), but it’s been a while since I talked about what else is going on in the trenches of first-time feature filmmaking. The title of the post gives it away: we’re making a short. Why are we doing this? And why do I think this strategy makes a lot of sense for other first-time feature directors? Because there are millions of people with a screenplay, all trying to figure out how to get from here (words on a page) to there (actual finished movie). If your goal seems impossibly far off, that’s when it’s time to bite off a smaller chunk and show what you’re capable of. More »
Thoughtful, artistic lighting is necessary to set your film apart from the competition. Some great planning and pre-production on lighting design can make a $5,000 short film sell a $50,000 look. And the good news is there are many tools that can help you achieve your intended look on an indie budget, from a good book lighting setup to a bit of well-managed haze. As a new iPad owner, I recently stumbled upon Sylights, an app geared at photographers that (like many things DSLR) also has great digital filmmaking applications. Hit the jump for some screen caps and a brief rundown of this handy FREE app/website: More »
This is a guest post by filmmaker William Speruzzi.
1. Use SAG talent (if you can) – If the budget can take the hit, go for people who have experience and know how to conduct themselves on a set, rehearse, etc. It will save you time and aggravation in the end. The last thing you want to do is teach someone how to act while you’re making your film. If you can’t go this way, get non-union but make sure all the talent is non-union. If you have a cast of ten actors and one actor is SAG then you still have to become a SAG signatory. An audience can forgive a scene that’s shot a little too dark but they will never believe a film that has poor acting. More »