Big fan of the BM URSA 12K, for all the reasons listed and the bit depth, sample rate, color rendition and more. Would not have guess it would come in at No. 1 as it takes a lot of guff (which seems unnecessary in my mind — no camera is ideal or perfect). Love shooting it... and posting it even more.
I am sorry (and I know the sacrilegious ground on which I tread), but no. No, no, no. Quentin Tarantino, for all his commercial success and occasional flashes of brilliance and auteurism (confined mostly to his earliest films), has no standing being mentioned in the same discussion as John Ford. Or Kurosawa for that matter. (I am willing to call Bogdanovich-adjacent references a draw.) Mr. Tarantino's comments on the black and white photography of early-Ford is but one, albeit glaring, example as to why.
One key difference that is the irreparable fork in the road for me is that John Ford never saw himself or his work as part of some sacred, Mount Olympus-set pantheon of filmic art, and as such, his work product routinely worked to glorify the characters and story therein, rather than the auteur. That is the proper place for an auteur. Mr. Tarantio's films, however, consistently have as a purpose, typically front and center, the presentation of the self-anointed majesty of Mr. Tarantino's skills. (I have had the opportunity to be in a room where Mr. Tarantino was talking film and his own work, and little was said that could be seen as refutation of my assertions here).
Mr. Ford (and Mr. Kurosawa) felt that the work — their films — were the connective tissue between audience and artist. Mr. Tarantino feels that the artist — the auteur — is the connection between audience and the work. I will favor the former, each and every time, over the latter.
Over-simplified, devoid of nuance rubbish.
No, no, no. Dear God, no. Please, do not get a whole new group / generation of filmmakers locked in to the wide-medium-tight progression. When they read / watch articles like this, they are too apt to take it as law, and we all end up watching the same boring coverage, scene after scene, film after film.
One does not need to be wide to inform as to the geographical location information needed by the audience. If I frame a close up on a plate of half- or mostly-eaten food (let’s say dim sum, for the sake of example) sitting on a Formica table with a garish neon sign in soft focus, hanging in or above the window in the background, the audience will know we’re in a Chinese restaurant, after a meal. We do not need the go-to establishing shot of the restaurant’s exterior (unless required story elements exist in the facade). Settings can be established in a variety of ways. To tell filmmakers that there is only one way — the wide, establishing shot way — to convey setting information is artificially limiting.
In the simplistic example I started above, I could cut from the CU on the plate out to a medium shot of two men in business suits, sitting in the booth with the dishes of their finished meal laid out before them. With that new framing, I accomplish the “who,” but I could also do it with another CU on some identifying gang tattoo or a briefcase chained to a wrist or whatever. Anyway, to continue the point, I could then cut to a long shot to include the restaurant door where three assassins charge in and kill one or both of the men in the booth, and that shot will have conveyed the what.
Does information need to be conveyed in a clear, systematic method? Yes, without question. But if you give nascent filmmakers formulaic recipes, we all end up having to sit through formulaic films. The focus should be on tying shots to the delivery of story elements in a proper sequence that ensures audience comprehension and enjoyment. I designed a film for a 2018 shoot where the progression of information dissemination via composition and framing is specific to different characters within the story — protagonist scenes progress visually one way; antagonist-dominant scenes another.
Shots are building blocks or components of an equation. When one fully understands the story needing to be told, one appreciates and utilizeds that while 1 + 2 + 4 = 7, so does 4 + 2 + 1, as well as all the other mathematic iterations.
Let’s encourage filmmakers to know their stories to the very core and work to find the most interesting and compelling ways to tell them. The multiplexes already have enough “by the book” filmmaking numbing us into staying home.
I am, generally speaking, not a fan of short films. Story components of plot, action, character development and arc and other ingredients typically need a certain amount of real estate to exist, play and properly resolve -- it is tough to build a mansion on a 1,000 square-foot lot, if you will.
That being said, I would be more of a fan if more of them delivered to the extent that Rod's do here (this is my first exposure to Rod's work). Every short film (or features, for that matter) should be this damn good.
I will be looking for HERE ALONE.
There is truth and fact in each of the ten points excerpted in the article. What film school gives you could also probably be enumerated to ten or even more, but the two that I find the most valuable about film school are  you will be pushed to do the foundational stuff. It's a wonderful fantasy to think that erstwhile, budding filmmakers will have the discipline to push themselves into even the shallow end of the pool with regard to gaining what is to be learned (and needs to be learned) of film history and film theory. No self-respecting fine arts approach to painting would say, "just learn the brush strokes and mixing your paints and how to work on canvas -- don't bother with studying the masters." Yet, I know that without a directed push from an instructor and the threat of an exam over their heads, few filmmakers would sit down and take in "Ivan the Terrible" or "M" or "Birth of a Nation" or about a thousand others that have so much to impart. And even if they did decide to sit down and read treatises by Bazin or Fassbinder (the filmmaker, not the actor), who will be there as a professor would to help digest and interpret the material?
And  there is an immense amount to be learned and gained from other students in the classes when in film school. Not just in a "networking" sense, but in craft, skill and aesthetic senses. Learning from choices and mistakes made by others at the same stage in their progressions as artists and storytellers is an often unspoken or unacknowledged benefit of structured learning.
I know the author has a take on things and is more trying to sell books than create a class war (no pun intended), and I don't fault the author for any of that. In the end though, we (as filmmakers, and as audiences) end up with the films we deserve. Just because Quentin self-taught himself over long nights at the video store counter (or so the legend would have us believe), it doesn't mean it would work for everyone or that it should be recommended or seen as an excusal. Who among us has not complained about the dearth of well-crafted films on multiplex screens these days? Well, if you give permission to the new creators to skip the classical study of the art / entertainment form in which they work, then you end up with films that feel as if no one was at the wheel when they needed to be.
Yes, it's true -- if you can make great films without going to film school, then you don't need to go. Unfortunately, that is no more than marginally more likely than a great tax attorney who never went to law school or a great orthopedist who never formally studied the human form. And yes, equipment is cheaper and more available to new filmmakers than ever before -- and that is a good thing -- but thinking you're a filmmaker because you own a camera would be akin to thinking that owning a car makes you a Formula 1 driver.
While I will likely not avail myself of the new book, I do love this site and its purpose. I read articles from it almost daily. And I easily grant that film school as a concept is indeed overrated and overpriced. It has been from the 70s onward when NYU, USC, UCLA, AFI and others were churning out superstars. However, I have never heard Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas (George or Marcia), Di Palma or any of the others out of those schools say that they would have made films just as good had they not gone to film school.
If I could just watch more contemporary films where there was someone at the wheel, I wouldn't care a whit what it took (or didn't) to turn the creators into those kinds of filmmaker.