The Director’s Chair: Quentin Tarantino

Robert Rodriguez explores the world of cinema with frequent collaborator Quentin Tarantino. The two discuss Tarantino’s film career through the lens of their 20-year friendship, using never-before-seen personal footage to discuss topics from screenwriting and camera placement to Spaghetti Westerns and Kung Fu. Watch them discuss Quentin’s successful directing career ranging from Reservoir Dogs to Kill Bill.


Emma Stone on Birdman – DP/30

She became a movie star with 4 movies in 4 years: Superbad, The House Bunny, Zombieland, and Easy A. The then-22-year-old followed with Crazy. Stupid. Love, The Help, 2 Amazing Spider-Man movies, and The Croods, a surprise international animated smash. And now, her most daring turn, in Birdman. What will Emma Stone do next? She spoke to David Poland in NY, 9 blocks from the Broadway theater where she has taken on the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret, about her career, her helicopter, and living a life.


Romance Isn’t Dead…It’s Just Different

Danny Manus asks, what it takes to fall in love in film of the 21st century?

Silver Liningins Playbook

Here’s a scary thought – 40 years from now, the story many grandparents will be telling their grandkids about how they met and fell in love will include the words “fuckbuddies,” “Tinder,” and “emoji”.

Not exactly Bogey and Bacall, is it?

And I believe this newfound way of finding love, romance or sexual satisfaction is one of the reasons Romantic Comedies have not been working at the box office lately. Because present-day love stories that involve anyone under 45 that doesn’t also involve texting, tend to seem implausible and not genuine. And ones that do seem cold and pandering to youth markets.

Silver Linings Playbook was the only romantic comedy (and it’s a stretch calling it that), that has grossed over $100M since 2011. And Think Like A Man is the only other romcom to gross over $50M since 2012. That is a sad state of affairs for the comedy of love.

Romantic comedies have always been a hard sell because they don’t translate well overseas and they usually require a package (a known actor, director, or producer) to do so. What is romantic and sexual in the U.S., is not necessarily what is romantic and sexual in Europe or South America or China. There are some themes and concepts in romcoms that are universal that can make them easier to adapt to local language films in different territories, but it doesn’t mean the American movie version will sell there.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write them though!

Script Mag | Read the Full Article

Writers built ‘The Lego Movie,’ block by block, on belief


Chris Miller and Phil Lord go into their process used in developing the Lego Movie

Lego Movie

They’ll never let us do this.”

We were proposing to make a major studio movie look like it was made in someone’s basement. The characters wouldn’t have fingers. Or knees. Or noses. Our story involved licensed characters from at least three different movie studios. We would need permission from J.K. Rowling, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan and the NBA. Not to mention the Lego Group, which wasn’t entirely convinced it needed to make a movie in the first place. Not to mention a Third Act twist sequence that we weren’t sure was going to actually work.

“Well, let’s just pitch it fast and maybe they won’t realize how crazy this is.”

So began “The Lego Movie.”

It was an audacious thing to attempt in feature animation. We wanted to use cutting-edge computer technology to make something as rough-hewn and messy as an amateur film. We were making a movie about a toy that inspires creativity. And we thought if we embraced the limitations of the medium, it would inspire creative solutions.

So every frame had to feel like anyone could have made it at home, if that “anyone” had millions of Lego bricks and sophisticated lighting equipment. Knees and elbows had to stay stiff. Explosions and water, even motion blur, had to be made of Lego bricks. Every brick would need computer-generated fingerprints and scratches and hair and (ew) dandruff. We had a two-hour meeting to decide how much dandruff there should be in the movie. The surprising answer: “Some.”

The Hollywood Reporter Roundtables: Actors and Actresses

Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher) and Michael Keaton (Birdman) sit down with The Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Galloway to discuss their craft, their acclaimed performances in 2014 and more.

Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Laura Dern (Wild), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Hilary Swank (The Homesman), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Reese Witherspoon (Wild) and Amy Adams (Big Eyes) discuss their critically acclaimed roles in 2014.

THR Actress Roundtable


If you want to stand out in the filmmaking crowd, focus on the evolution of your CRAFT – not the TOOLS.

In a world where access is universal and affordable – the only thing distinguishing one from another is knowledge and talent. Vincent Laforet lays his thoughts on the continuing progress of technology.


I, like many others, was pulled into the DSLR movement by a magical force called ACCESS.

The DSLRs were affordable, lightweight, and produced amazing quality imagery. These tools for better and for worse (depending on where you stood and now stand) leveled the playing field, at least in terms of access to the high TECHNICAL IMAGE QUALITY creation TOOLS. (Notice that I’m not talking about the quality of the CONTENT or STORY the technology produces.)

Directing any and all MOTION content has always come down to one’s ability to tell a STORY adeptly. That hasn’t changed since the first cave drawings and never will. You need to know what makes a good story, how to tell it best, and what tools to use. They don’t (yet) sell you that in a box, that can be delivered by drone to your doorstep.

Over the past decade or so, we’ve witnessed a revolution in terms of the technical quality of the imagery the average camera produces. Just as importantly, the tools the average person has access to today, are exponentially better than those that a high end professional had access to less than a decade ago: and at a fraction of the price.

On a technical level at least, I can take a significantly better looking image with my iPhone today, than I could with a $22K digital camera in 1999. A teenager can share an image so much more easily with millions of people, for free, and do so so much more quickly, then I could as a photojournalist at The New York Times less than a decade ago… and that’s amazing, and at times of course: scary.

Vincent Laforet | Read the Full Article

Visual storytelling: Is that all?

David Bordwell examines both Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible to see how visual storytelling isn’t just reliant on story but other conventions of story telling.

Rear Window

The phrase “visual storytelling” is a very modern invention. It seems to be unknown before the mid-1940s, and it doesn’t really become common until the 1990s. It applies to film, of course, but it also refers to comic strips and other media. Sometimes it carries a prescriptive edge: In a pictorial medium, you should tell your stories visually—rather than, say, through lots of talk. The motto is sometimes summarized as Show, don’t tell.

Elsewhere on this site, I’ve argued that sometimes that advice should be ignored. A monologue about incidents in the past can sometimes be more powerful than a flashback depicting them. That power often owes something to the actors’ performances—which are, after all, no less visual than the story action being told us.

Similarly, who would attack great films like His Girl Friday for being too talky? An essential pleasure of American cinema from the 1930s on is the way that some scenes let dialogue take the lead. And it’s not just the words but how, and how fast, they are spoken.

Still, I do enjoy scenes that cut the gab and give us a flow of pictures that coax us to follow a story. My pantheon of great filmmakers includes Eisenstein, Keaton, Griffith, Lang, and many other silent masters. But mentioning them reminds me of something else that needs to be said.

Visual storytelling is seldom purely visual. In film, it needs words and concepts and music and noises and even dialogue to work most fully. We can learn a lot, I think, by starting with “purely visual” passages and see how they’re reinforced by other inputs.

David Bordwell | Read the Full Article

The Babadook: The Scarest Film in a Generation

With all the big budget epics and Oscar bait out there during this holiday season, you may want to seek out a small terrifying film by first time Australian director Jennifer Kent. If this is not one of the best films of the year, it is at the very least the most likely to keep you up at night. A film William Friedkin, who directed “The Exorcist,” called the scariest film he has ever seen. As I’m writing this it currently has a 98% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. So if your holiday credit card bills are not scary enough, seek out The Babadook, you won’t be disappointed or be able to sleep.

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