» Posts Tagged ‘tips’

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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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TypewriterA screenplay is a puzzle made up of pieces you cut yourself that you fit together to form a picture you make up as you go. And if a screenplay is a puzzle, think of genre as the box it came in. It has to be accommodating and accurate to the structure and picture of the story, otherwise, you make it hard on your audience. In an enlightening article, Raindance lists 10 techniques that sell scripts, 8 of which has something to do with genre. So, let’s take a look at genre from the perspective of both a buyer and a screenwriter, figure out how it can help or hinder your story, and finally, ways to add or change characteristics of your chosen genre in order to not only write a story that is fresh and original, but one that works well with audiences. More »

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Boy AGetting your start in cinematography may feel like getting dropped in the middle of nowhere without a compass, which is why advice from those who have found their way out is so invaluable. DP Rob Hardy, who has worked on films like Boy A and Red Riding: In the year of Our Lord 1974 offers some great advice, as well as some valuable words of encouragement, to beginning cinematographers in this BAFTA video. Continue on to check it out.

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Lol CrawleyCinematographer Lol Crawley, who has shot such films as Ballast, which won for Best Cinematography at Sundance in 2008, and last year’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, has a true knack for capturing painfully personal and intimate images. He took some time to share some cinematography advice back in 2012 for his BAFTA Cinematography Masterclass in Bristol, and Anna Hoghton highlights and paraphrases the key ideas he shared, including how to light and finding your voice as a DP. (And we’ve taken a few of our favorites to share with you!) More »

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Lena DunhamSXSW saw tons of great minds — filmmakers, executives, and creatives — come through and participate in panel discussions (some of which we had the pleasure of attending). Indiewire has compiled some great filmmaking advice shared at several of these panels by some incredibly talented and influential industry professionals, including producer (now Fandor CEO) Ted Hope and filmmaker Lena Dunham. Continue on to check out what they said. More »

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BooksIf you have ever written a screenplay before, or are in the process of writing one, chances are you’ve put in your fair share of research into the world you’re reproducing on the page. Research — is no joke. More often than not, a screenplay is going to require many weeks, if not months of fact-wrangling and study to turn you into the pseudo-expert you need to be to aptly tell your story. Lucky for us, Raindance has shared a bunch of tips on how to approach this sometimes tedious, but vital step in the screenwriting process. More »

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Darius KhondjiAfter one glance at Darius Khondji’s IMDb page it’s easy to see that the famed French cinematographer is a living legend. From his work with David Fincher (Se7ven, Panic Room), to Michael Haneke (Funny Games, Amour), to Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris, To Rome With Love), and my personal favorite, Jean Pierre Jeunet/Marc Caro (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children), it’s safe to say the Khondji has had a storied career as a cinematographer. IndieWire recently talked with Khodji about his advice for low-budget cinematographers who are shooting on location, and needless to say, the man had some invaluable tips. Here are a few of my favorites. More »

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GoPro tipWhether you’re shooting on a large cinema camera, DSLR, or even your smartphone, there is no shortage of stabilization tools out there that are built to help you keep your footage steady. If you’re shooting on an action camera, there are a bunch of options for you, too, like the EasyGimbal, STABiLGO, Morpheus, and a host of others, but YouTube user MicBergsma offers a super simple stabilization trick that quite honestly made me say, “Man, why didn’t I think of that?” Continue on to check out the video. More »

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Terminator SalvationDirector McG (3 Days to Kill) has lent his filmmaking talents to virtually ever major area in entertainment media. He has helmed high grossing films like Charlie’s Angels, produced wildly popular TV shows like Chuck, and made music videos for some of the biggest names in music. If you’re asking yourself how he does it, this article from MovieMaker Magazine might help to explain. Pulling from his nearly 20 years of filmmaking experience, McG has shared six “golden rules of moviemaking“. Check them out after the jump. More »

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Typewriter

Screenwriting is a tough gig. We have to wade through creative, narrative, and professional dead ends, accept an existence lived almost entirely apart from the “real” world, and somehow learn to work with our cynical, tired, and troubled minds that often seem to be working against us. As 2013 draws to a close, and I look back on another (good) year, I notice all the more the blinking cursor, the empty pages, and the parts of my imagination I never unfurled and ask myself, “How will I make 2014 my best screenwriting year?” Here are my semi-unusual New Year’s screenwriting resolutions that may help inspire your own. More »

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Single Light With ModifiersLighting is hard. Lighting with limited resources is even harder. Therefore, using a single light to create multiple sources in order to light a subject and the background in one fell swoop should be impossible, right? Wrong. Through a combination of careful light placement and using various types of bounces, mirrors, and other light modifiers, you can create some absolutely stunning results with just a few tools and on a shoestring budget. Here are the fine folks at The Slanted Lens to show you how: More »

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Crane SunsetHere at No Film School, we’re massive fans of Evan Luzi’s website, The Black and Blue. If you’re an aspiring camera assistant, or if you’re aspiring to any camera department position, then the B&B is the single best resource on the entirety of the internet (not to mention that the newly re-designed site is absolutely gorgeous). Evan recently posted an article featuring advice from 88 of the world’s best cinematographers, and seeing so much great advice in one place can only be described as astounding. More »

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Film Set
Right now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “That’s a pretty bold title for an article, Mr. Hardy. There couldn’t possibly be one single thing that’s SO important that it could make or break your career as a filmmaker.” Well No Film Schoolers, there is, in fact, one thing that is more important than all of the skills that you’ve put together over the years, the gear that you own, or even your sparkling production resume. It’s such an important facet of your success, yet we rarely, if ever, think or talk about it. And now that the suspense has been adequately built, the single most valuable thing that people can do for building a career in the filmmaking industry is… More »

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Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 1.39.03 PMLast month, we shared a some tips for strengthening your production resume from Robyn Coburn. While having a solid resume is crucial to landing a job, it’s only half of the package that you send out to potential employers. The other, and arguably more important half is the cover letter. If you want employers to even glance at your awesome resume, your cover letter has to shine. What are some of the cover letter mistakes that get applications tossed out? And more importantly, how can you avoid these mistakes? More »

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Mike NewellWith nearly 50 years of experience in the entertainment industry, director Mike Newell surely has plenty to say and plenty to share in terms of how to make and keep making films. Newell has helmed a variety of different genres, from Donnie Brasco to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fireand one of the most important lessons he shares in an article for MovieMaker Magazine is how to obtain an unwavering resolve when times get tough while making your film — no matter what the genre. More »

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GilderLong before I became intertwined with filmmaking, I was an aspiring musician and audio engineer. Just like there are a few websites that we visit for our daily dose of filmmaking news (hopefully NFS is one of them,) there are equivalent sites for audio production and engineering. One of the absolute best of these sites is Home Studio Corner, which is run by a super cool dude named Joe Gilder. He’s one of those guys that has been able to turn his creative passion into full-time employment. He recently wrote a post about how to land your next audio production job, and as it turns out, all of his advice is equally applicable to filmmakers. Check it out: More »

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Stillmotion Lighting OutsideIt’s one of the clear-cut signs of amateur filmmaking: daytime exteriors that look terrible. This usually manifests itself in the form of harsh, blown out areas on the face of your talent, or as overly flat images in which there’s no separation of foreground from background. Avoiding these exterior lighting maladies doesn’t require an immaculate understanding of light, however. It just takes a basic understanding of a few simple concepts that are easy to put into practice. Read on to find out what these concepts are and how to start incorporating them into your work. More »

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Wim WendersOne of the first films I ever saw in college that truly blew me away was Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire.  The aesthetic, the contrasting B&W to color, everything about this film solidified to a very young, very trepidatious me the path on which I had already embarked upon. This German-born director opened up a world of poetic and lyrical filmmaking, and shared 50 “Golden Rules” with MovieMaker Magazine that are almost as beautifully and enigmatically communicated as his films. Continue on to read a selection. More »

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Lights Film School SoundUnderstanding the limits of what you can do when recording sound will help inform your decisions from the very beginning — making your job easier and your work better in the end. Lights Online Film School is currently open for enrollment in their online film courses, and they’ve shared some material to give filmmakers a taste of what the coursework looks like in the form of several sound tutorials. Check them out after the jump. More »

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Jason HortonHere at No Film School we’re massive fans of the folks at Film Courage, and we share their fantastic videos frequently. Recently, our fearless leader, Ryan Koo, sat down with them to discuss various filmmaking tools and how he grew this site into what it is today. This time we’ve got comedian Jason Horton, who bills himself as the “world’s only white male comedian.” In the video, Horton talks about a subject that many of us have on our minds these days: how to quit your day job and make a living doing what you love. Check out what he had to say below. More »