An Interview with J.K. Simmons – DP/30

You know him, you love him, you can’t remember his name. But that is all changing for J.K. Simmons this year, as he is a leading contender for Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash, the new film from first-timer Damien Chazelle. Meet the man you know so well… but probably don’t know at all. From the theater to singing telegrams to Whiplash.


If you haven’t seen it, here’s his teaser from Whiplash:

Production Tips: 3 Keys to Inspire Better Acting

The EditCellar offers three tips to encourage better performances on set.



For professionals, getting a good Assistant Director (AD) is a no-brainer. But for independent films, this can get buried while looking for a good cast, financing, a DP, and crew. However, for your actor’s sake, this is probably the most important person to have in a production. They run the set, and take care of the cast’s needs. Most importantly, they play the ‘bad guy’ when necessary allowing you to not let that stuff ruin your creative flow with both your cast & crew.

A good AD is essentially the communication bridge between the cast and crew. They are the sounding board for the cast and crew, and the right hand of the director. Having one who can properly run a set, schedule shoots, and play the bad cop when necessary is essential to getting good performances from your cast. They allow the director and the talent to work together solely on the creative. This keeps the relationship fresh on set, and removes any potential distractions caused by dealing with all the other facets of a production.

So even on low budget films, this role is essential to making the most of your talent. Event though they are not directly involved in the performances, they take care of all the external situations allowing you to concentrate on just that.

EditCellar | Read the Full Article

Watch “My Best Friend’s Birthday” – an early Quentin Tarantino Film

Check out Quentin Tarantino’s early work from 1987 which includes an early reference to QT’s foot fetish.

The film was completed, but the final reel was destroyed in a lab fire that broke out during editing. The surviving part of the film was shown in part to a small crowd in early 1987.

Actor Allen Garfield was teaching Quentin Tarantino acting at the time, and that is how he also became involved in the project. Filmed over three years, from 1984-1987.

Some of the dialogue would go on to be used in Quentin’s script “True Romance”


How to Avoid First-Time Director Pitfalls

Joe Aliberti, Luke Taylor & Matthew Helderman tackle the common pitfalls of first time directors.

Set Slate

Bigger film budgets continue to dwindle. Smaller film sets continue to appear. Camera technology and film-centric software continue to evolve.

Through all the change, one aspect of film production has remained the same: difficult directors. As a producer, I understand this. Filmmakers are passionate people by nature. Their work is the ultimate fruit of their labor, and they only want to make quality of the highest caliber they’re capable of.

Of course, there are a few directors in our industry who have a license to demand their perfected vision — David Fincher and James Cameron have proven their artistic credibility, skill set, and commercial viability through consistent quality work and perseverance.

Yet, as an independent producer, I’m often presented low-budget films helmed by first-time directors with an unrealistic approach to execute their vision on a budget — most often due to lack of experience. This serves not to lessen ambition, but to provide guidance for amateur, working or budding professional directors.


The year 2013 saw monumental worldwide numbers — $30 billion in global box office from 622 films released theatrically around the world. Half of this amount, however, stems from films listed in the top 50 releases of the year. Fewer than 160 had budgets greater than $1 million. My point being, as a universal audience we’re more likely to see films with A-listers and high production/distribution budgets, but these films are disproportionate to the majority released per year.

The reality is simple — there are more films made for shoestring budgets than made by studios for tentpole release. So why am I constantly bombarded with directors with shoestring budgets trying to make tentpoles? Or first-time directors demanding their films look like those of Martin Scorsese & Wes Anderson when those films are made by masters with years of experience and higher budgets? It’s definitely not a lack of vision; it’s a lack of a realistic approach to a working & sustainable career as a film director.

Screen Craft | Read the Full Article

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