Filmmaking 360

25 Filmmaking Terms that Sound Like Sex Acts (and What They Actually Mean)

Evan Luzi gets down and dirty with 25 terms used on film sets between big sweaty guys humping heavy gear. Well, not that kind of dirty. I’m talking more about getting on your knees in a tight place and doing whatever it takes to pop off a shot… Hmm. Nevermind. This isn’t going well. But as long as your mind is Read MoreRead More

When the Spec Script was King

Margaret Heidenry recounts the history of the spec script in Hollywood: Monday mornings in Hollywood used to mean something. Back in the 1990s—before the weekend box office was entirely dominated by sequels, prequels, movies based on board games, and other pre-sold “franchises”—Monday mornings were when original screenplays hit the auction block, and here’s how it used Read MoreRead More

How to See Photos like Famous Photographers Every Time You Shoot

The art of great cinematography begins with great photography – here are a few ideas to start working your eye when it comes to still photographs. How to simplify a scene The secret of effective composition is to remember that it’s not only what you frame within your viewfinder that’s important. Just as critical is what you Read MoreRead More

Before You Learn To Create, Learn To Steal

Kenneth Goldsmith, the Museum of Modern Art’s first poet laureate forces his writing students to plagiarize. Kenneth Goldsmith is not your typical poet. In 2000, he published Fidget, a catalog of every single movement his body made over a 13-hour period.Traffic, from 2007, was nothing more than unedited transcriptions of traffic reports. And while his latest Read MoreRead More

5 Principles of Creativity

Creative geniuses tend to be less the ones with the quickest answers and more the ones who keep working till they get it right. Back in the 1880’s, Frederick Winslow Taylor was able to make dramatic gains in efficiency by timing workers performing rote tasks.  His efforts spawned the idea and practice of scientific management. Alas, these days Read MoreRead More

Creating Classic Characters

Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack (OUT OF AFRICA, TOOTSIE, THE WAY WE WERE) and NYPD Blue and Deadwood creator David Milch discuss the inspiration behind creating classic film and television characters. Followed by the suspenseful short film THE LAB by writer/director Ryan Scheer, about two young boys whose summer afternoon in the woods goes horribly Read MoreRead More

Study Directing by Doodling Your Favorite Film

It’s almost the reverse form of storyboarding – take a film you like and storyboard it out shot by shot. It doesn’t matter if you can draw or not – the important thing is to  break apart films shot by shot to study how they work. Drawing from films Drawing from films is a ridiculously Read MoreRead More

How to Make a Photo-Realistic Planet from an Old Baking Tray

Here’s a Photoshop tutorial (which can easily be replicated in After Effects) for turning the interesting cracked surface of a baking tray into the surface of a distant planet. Believe it or not, this photo planet was made entirely from a shot of a grubby old roasting tin and a simple but cunning combination of Photoshop Read MoreRead More

The Pulp Fiction Oral History: Filmmakers Retrace the Movie’s Making

Quentin Tarantino, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta look back at how Pulp Fiction became reality. “I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in the movie,” Uma Thurman tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Mark Seal of Pulp Fiction. Thurman explains that it wasn’t just the obscenity, or her character’s drug habit—it was also the rape Read MoreRead More

No Cigarette Burns: Why Film Will Never ‘Die’

The medium isn’t dead, it’s changing. But sensationalistic pundits haven’t figured that out yet. Back in May of 1897, when his cousin fell deathly ill, the press erroneously reported that it was none other than Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) himself who was unwell to the point of expiration. To correct this, Twain responded with Read MoreRead More

7 Tips For Filling Big Creative Shoes from the New “Community” Showrunners

As the fourth season of Community premieres, new showrunners David Guarascio and Moses Port talk about working in the shadow of ousted creator Dan Harmon while steering the Greendale gang into the future. Here’s a fun thought exercise. Imagine starting a new job with these caveats: The person who previously held your position is the Read MoreRead More

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