» Posts Tagged ‘stevenspielberg’

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ILMEarlier in the week, we talked about how Industrial Light and Magic changed the cinematic world when they developed CGI and used it in Jurassic Park. Those computer generated dinosaurs marked the beginning of a creative revolution where filmmakers could actually take what was in their heads and put them into their films (and with as much or as little realism as they desired). ILM’s contribution to the filmmaking community is huge, and if you’re curious to see how the visual effects company came to be, as well as a view inside how they’ve advanced cinematic technology, then you should check out this documentary directed by Leslie Iwerks, with interviews with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and many, many others. More »

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Jurassic ParkDirector Steven Spielberg is responsible for more than his fair share of cinematic innovations; Jaws proved that a movie could completely dominate at the box office, ushering in the era of the blockbuster. And though that animatronic, man-eating shark was a sight to behold back in 1975, it was nothing compared to what audiences would see coming from the Spielberg effects camp 18 years later with Jurassic Parkthe film whose CGI dinosaurs managed to breathe life into an art form that wasn’t quite catching on. This short Academy Originals video explains how Spielberg’s digital dinos changed the way we make films. More »

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Room 666If you could get a large group of some of cinema’s greatest directors in one room, what would you ask them? Well, director Wim Wenders got that opportunity while at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, and subsequently made a documentary about it. 16 iconic directors, including Jean-Luc Godard, Steven Spielberg, Werner Herzog, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, were asked a series of questions about the future of the film industry, as well as the art form itself, and their answers became an incredible 44-minute video compendium of cinematic knowledge. Check it Wenders’ Room 666 after the break. More »

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Rick Baker alien 2Oscar-winning special effects makeup artist Rick Baker, who, by the way, shares tons of top notch tutorials on his YouTube channel that you should check out immediately, recently tweeted several images of his alien designs for Steven Spielberg’s unrealized sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, entitled Night Skies. The models, all 11 of them, were created by Baker at the direction of Spielberg, who was looking for aliens with distinctive personalities based on a script written by John Sayles (one of which looks just like E.T.). The sequel project might’ve been scrapped, but the models, or photos of them at least, were not. Check them out after the break. More »

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Steven SpielbergWhen you think of the most iconic long takes in cinematic history, what comes to mind? The car bomb scene in Touch of Evil? The Copacabana scene in Goodfellas? The car scene from Children of Men? There are definitely countless ones out there, and some directors have turned the long take into an art form with which to flex their cinematic muscles. One director, however, has quietly made the long take one of his signature moves, so quietly, in fact, that he may have flown under the radar to most — and he just so happens to be one of the most well-known directors of all time: Steven Spielberg. Check out this excellent video essay that studies the subtle way Spielberg approaches his “oners,” and find out how you can implement some of his techniques in your own films. More »

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SpielbergAs he is arguably the most successful Hollywood director of all time, it should surprise no one that, even as a teenager, Steven Spielberg was a prodigy. Like many kids of his generation, he used a Super 8 camera to make short films; unlike most of them, he had a preternatural knack for filmmaking, and, at the age of 17, wrote and directed a 135-minute sci-fi epic, Firelight. Click below to read the story of Spielberg’s first (and extremely indie) foray into feature filmmaking, and watch the surviving footage! More »

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PoltergeistWell, it’s that time of year again, when children come to your door demanding candy, and every other movie on TV is a horror flick. Whether you’re a fan of scary movies or not, horror is one of the most influential and fascinating genres in cinema, and any student of film can benefit from studying its classics (just like they can benefit from watching any movie!)  Tribeca Film is celebrating the month by looking at the influence of classic horror films on more modern ones. Click below to check out the influence the “ghost hunters” from 1982′s classic Poltergeist had on the 2010 screamer Insidious! More »

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raiders lost ark/behind-the-scenesTurns out the director of photography behind the first three Indiana Jones films, Douglas Slocombe, has led a life almost as exciting as Harrison Ford’s adventurer; this master of the moving image, 100 years old as of last February (yup, 100,) started his career as a war photographer in Nazi Germany! Click below to watch a great documentary about the five-decade career of the man behind countless indelible images, featuring Richard Attenborough, Alan Parker, and Slocombe himself!  More »

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Raiders-of-the-Lost-ArkA few weeks ago, we shared a great Austin Film Festival On Story podcast with Lawrence Kasdan, which gave us insights not just into Kasdan’s views on screenwriting, but also little anecdotes about his screenwriting adventures on such classics as The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Listening to AFF’s Kasdan podcast reminded me of the extensive transcripts of the story meetings that George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Kasdan had in 1978 to flesh out the character of Indiana Jones and beat out the story of Raiders. These transcripts provide fascinating and valuable lessons for screenwriters on how much time, thought and energy goes into creating characters and story before a single page of a screenplay is written. More »

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Spielberg and LucasBy now, most of you have heard about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas predicting the “implosion” of the major studios and theatrical releases of films. With the growing popularity of VOD and self-distribution, the two veteran filmmakers explained that the old model is slowly but surely falling apart at the same time that a new one is being built in its place. The question is — will independent film become a casualty to the change, or will it naturally fit into the framework of the new paradigm? More »

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Citizen SteveEver had the pressure of needing to get a really sweet birthday present for a friend? What if that friend was Steven Spielberg? What do you get a guy who is one of the biggest directors in Hollywood? For his 40th birthday in 1987, John Candy and Dan Aykroyd — with appearances by Robert Zemeckis, Frank Marshall, George Lucas, Robin Williams, Michael Jackson, and many more — teamed up for a clever homage to Citizen Kane chronicling Spielberg’s life and career, and his “Amblin Empire.” The title? Citizen Steve. Check it out below. More »

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Stanley Kubrick abandoned Napoleon in the 1970s after Hollywood studios refused to fund it.After the success of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick was planning on shooting a film about Napoleon Bonaparte, but financing fell through and he was forced to make the comparatively low-budget A Clockwork OrangeAn exhaustive book of preproduction materials was published in 2011 for the unfinished epic about Napoleon’s life, but for the curious, the screenplay and an insanely detailed production memo are available online for free, giving the world a glimpse into what might have been. Check out a detailed analysis and read it for yourself below. More »