In this video essay, Tony Zhou gets deep into why the Marvel Connected Universe — the highest-grossing franchise of all time — sports not one memorable musical theme that people can recall. The answer involves a crippling dependency on temp tracks bordering on the potentially lawsuit-worthy, making this a good look at the general state of Hollywood musical scores beyond the MCU.
What does a Canadian film look like? This could be construed as a bad joke with limitless punch lines, the film equivalent of “a man walks into a bar…” But this query isn’t meant to drag my own national cinema, which has produced great filmmakers like Alanis Obomsawin, David Cronenberg and Michael Snow. Instead of a set-up to a gag, this line of questioning opens a conversation about the future of Canadian cinema, especially when it comes to funding. This topic was front of mind at the Vancouver International Film Festival this year, which debuted a new program, curated by Adam Cook, that focussed on emerging Canadian talents: The Intestine (Lev Lewis), Lights Above Water (Nicolas Lachapelle and Ariel St-Louis Lamoureux), The… Read more
Just in time for Halloween, Fandor shares the above video essay which analyzes how film can effectively convey fear. Spanning 1920-2014, the video highlights the best reaction shots featuring “the look of fear.” In the accompanying essay, Daniel Mcilwraith explains, “This video asks you to contemplate several questions within these faces of fear. Which gender is most burdened with the look of fear? Which is more effective: paralyzing shock or a piercing scream? I asked myself why the look of fear was so persistent in horror cinema—perhaps it can tell us more about the human face as the most powerful cinematic spectacle.”
The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), Filmmaker‘s parent organization, announced today that the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment will receive a special Appreciation Award at this year’s Gotham Awards ceremony on Monday, November 28th. In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of New York City’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, the IFP and the Gotham Awards are celebrating the Agency’s legacy of supporting storytelling in New York City. Commissioner Julie Menin, of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen will receive the Appreciation Award at the event. Menin and Glen will then honor two outstanding members of NYC’s creative community with “Made in NY” awards at the ceremony: Aziz Ansari, star, writer and director of Master of None, a Netflix… Read more
Walter Murch speaks in this video about his top six considerations while editing, from emotion and story down through the more technical considerations of keeping the audience’s eye moving. Oddly, the video (edited by Max Chatfield) begins with a lengthy montage of opening credits logos from some of the films Murch has worked on and ends with an end credits montage of same; the meat of the comments starts around the 50-second mark.
“You have a story to tell that’s worthy. You have experience to share and you have a valid point of view,” producer Effie T. Brown told the audience during Sunday’s inspirational keynote at the 2016 Film Independent Forum at the Directors Guild in Los Angeles. Brown, who produced films such as Dear White People and Real Women Have Curves, is executive VP, production and development for TV and film at Lee Daniels Entertainment. Brown spoke of the need for diverse creators and told the audience they can make a difference with their wallets. “The next time there is a movie where there is a whitewashed Asian character, you don’t go see it and you tell other people not to see it. When there… Read more
Jacob T. Swinney’s new video essay intercuts the short and feature versions of Whiplash seamlessly, showing how close the first incarnation was to the final feature project. And it’s also probably the only legal way you can see parts of the original short for now.
Thommy Hutson’s new film The Id features a lot of conventions familiar to fans of low-budget horror – limited locations, handheld camerawork, a subjective point of view linked to a protagonist with a fractured psyche – but it stands apart from the crowd thanks to Hutson’s subtle and beautiful approach to color, space, and psychology. The film, which arrives on Blu-ray today, is an eerie character study that follows Meridith (Amanda Wyss), a woman torn between the horrors of caring for an abusive father and the fear of the unknown that comes with escaping the only life she’s ever known. As the possibility of a new future becomes increasingly viable, Meridith’s power struggle with her tyrannical father intensifies and Hutson ratchets… Read more
There are many new distribution options for the independent producer. The old media includes theatrical, broadcast/cable, home video; new media’s alphabet soup includes TVOD, SVOD, AVOD, EST, PPV, streaming and nontraditional theatrical. As new distribution channels develop, new distribution companies emerge. But not all distributors… Read more
Not that long ago, and certainly on my last feature, I would often find myself joking with the gaffer or the key grip: “So if this was a $20 million film, what would we do differently?” Most of the time the answer involved big lighting… Read more
The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP, and Filmmaker‘s publisher) announced today the nominees for its 26th annual Gotham Awards. Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea tops the list with four nominations, including Best Feature and, for Casey Affleck, Best Actor. Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight also placed highly,… Read more
Occasionally a movie has the look and feel of something totally original, immediately allowing one to see the protean leap its maker has taken from novice to master. Someday, when the American movie landscape is no more, simply the purview of art historians who live… Read more