5 Huge Mistakes You’ll Make in the Film and TV Business (and How to Avoid Them)

Dean and Tyler Silvers break down five big mistakes every filmmaker makes going into the business.


Your Cast is Ordinary

Audiences aren’t always sure about things like sound, lighting, and other filmmaking essentials, but everyone thinks they know actors. And we mean everyone — from my cab driver this afternoon, to my niece’s 7th grade math teacher, to that guy muttering to himself on the subway. Novice filmmakers often make a huge mistake in the casting process. The actors they choose aren’t per say terrible, but are often not memorable or just look like bad carbon copies of famous actors.

Casting is not about who’s attractive, and sometimes it’s not even about who’s the best actor. It’s about finding those actors who stand out, the actors the audience will care for and remember. Seth Rogan has his voice, Emma Stone her eyes, Nicholas Cage has…well, he has a lot of things.

Don’t cast based on fancy acting degrees, cast based on what you see and hear. Years ago I was casting a film, and a young girl came in for the lead role. She immediately stood out to Marlen (my wife/co-producer/co-director) and me. She had a memorable look, voice, and a real presence for such a young girl. Her voice was unusual for a girl her age, somewhat raspy, and wise beyond her years. She wasn’t your normal 11-year-old breakfast cereal commercial actress, but we loved her. And although she had never starred in a movie, we knew she was different, and we cast her for the lead role in the film. The film was Manny & Lo which became a hit at the Sundance Film Festival.

The actress?

Scarlett Johansson.

Be different and bold with your casting. If your casting stands out, there’s a very good chance that your film with stand out as well.

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Interview with Arrested Development Creator: Mitch Hurwitz

In the first part of Pretentious Film Majors’ 2-part interview with Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz, Mitch discusses some of his earliest influences, starting out on the Golden girls, and face stamping the Sandrabot.

Find out what the creator of one of the funniest shows ever has to say about how he came up with Arrested Development and what’s happening with Season 5!


The Unexpected Math Behind Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”

Physicist Werner Heisenberg said, “When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first.” As difficult as turbulence is to understand mathematically, we can use art to depict the way it looks. Natalya St. Clair illustrates how Van Gogh captured this deep mystery of movement, fluid and light in his work.


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