Watch: Matt Brown’s DIY Set-Building Tutorial on Making Flats


Via our friends at No Film School, here’s an instructional tutorial from Matt Brown on how to make flats when constructing your own DIY film sets. Brown decided building his own elevator set was more practical and economical than finding a real one to shoot in; the flats are the fake walls necessary to build a set. For those not intuitively comfortable with tools or even navigating a Home Depot, Brown walks you through the necessary purchases, choosing the right sizes of wood, and the construction process, complete with detailed on-screen written instructions for pausable reference.


The Death of Mr. Tarelkin: Edward Snowden on the Multi-Media Russian Stage

(Credit: Marina Ragozina) (Credit: Marina Ragozina)

Volunteers welcome you into the theater, guiding you towards your allotted place. The lights are going off slowly. As you sit down on your chair, you look ahead at the stage. It’s unlike any other stage. I was at the Culture Center ZIL in Moscow, attending a performance of The Death of Mr. Tarelkin, staged by the Manege/MediaArtLab Open School, Ballet Moscow Theatre and the International Centre for Dance and Performance TsEKh. This was a sidebar event at the 36th Moscow International Film Festival (June 19 – 28), described on the website as “a performance where Russian classics, contemporary dance, contemporary art and new technologies meet.” This logline doesn’t prepare me for the stage, which doesn’t have a single set.…  Read more


Abel Ferrara Talks His Venice and Toronto-Bound Pasolini

Willem Dafoe in Pasolini Willem Dafoe in Pasolini

At 1985, Evan Louison sits down in Rome with Abel Ferrara, learning more about the director’s Pasolini, starring Willem Dafoe as the murdered Italian director. Below Ferrara talks about the film’s relationship to fiction, non-fiction, imagination and the subconscious. Read the complete interview at the link. AF: He was a part of a tradition, a movement — Rosselini, Antonioni, & Bertolucci after that. I’m sure if you’re hard pressed you could call it all the same style. These guys are working with the same DPs, & a lot of the same actors. He wasn’t the only one using guys right off the street. In some ways, you get a real powerful performance when you utilize non-actors. At the same time,…  Read more


Crowdf@*%ing 2014

Bethany Orr Bethany Orr

The following is a guest post from director, writer and actress Bethany Orr, whose untitled Iceland-set, psychosexual drama is currently raising funds on Indiegogo in a campaign titled “Iceland or Bust.” Click here at the link to learn more and to support the project. Okay, so you’re not Zach Braff. The market is saturated with projects competing for attention and the hard-earned dollars of YOUR potential supporters. So why crowdfund in 2014? Hasn’t that train left the station? I mean, it’s a huge risk, what if you embarrass yourself? Crowdfunding is, after all, the quickest new way to get unfollowed and unfriended, right?! WHEN DID ‘CROWDFUND’ BECOME A FOUR-LETTER WORD? Crowdfunding. It’s not for everyone. Many were on the bandwagon…  Read more


Lucy: The Hyena Montage Theory

Lucy Lucy

In a statement published in the Nov. 24, 1962 Film Culture, Pier Paolo Pasolini thought about how a simple metaphor can be conveyed onscreen, starting from one solution he rejected as overall unsound: “Let us consider the following written or spoken statement: ‘Gennarino looked like a hyena.’ … The attempt has been made to juxtapose a hyena with Gennarino by joining two frames: one showing Gennarino grinding his teeth and the other showing an actual hyena with its teeth bared. Now, I won’t say that something like this could never be done legitimately. But it would be inconceivable to think of a film proceding along these lines for a period of two solid hours.” Luc Besson doesn’t go to that…  Read more


Last Call for Heroes

Hal Ashby Hal Ashby

I had a dream the other night, and all my filmmaking heroes were there. Young, full of vision, light in their eyes. A party at a swanky bar. Then last call was called. And the lights came up. And Orson Welles was drunk, huge, exhausted. And Nicholas Ray, with an eye patch, was chain smoking. And Hal Ashby was haggard, mumbling to himself in the corner about someone taking away his final cut. The horror stories of my heroes haunt me. What is it that happened to them? Did they bring it on themselves with youthful hubris and defiance? Were their movies too unique, too original? Were they really so difficult and impossible? Was it just the drugs and booze?…  Read more


Reviewing the ProAm Taurus Jr. Crane


With all the attention on brushless gimbals it’s easy to overlook cranes — pieces of equipment that can add cinematic motion to any shot. Cranes can also be large, difficult to move and hard to operate. The ProAm Taurus Jr is a small crane that solves most of those problems; its only limitation is that its range of motion may not meet every need. The Taurus Jr is 50” long and 5 ¾” wide and constructed primarily of two parallel rectangular tubes that are 2” x 1”. It is primarily constructed of powder coated and anodized aluminum. The only item that felt at all lightweight was the manual tilt handle, which the manufacturer says is rated for 10 lbs. Movement of…  Read more


Watch: “From Paper to Screen,” Two Minutes about On-screen Typography


A hat-tip, as usual, to David Hudson at Keyframe Daily for directing us to this graduate student short from Thibault de Fournas. In a brisk two-plus minutes, Thibault first explains the art of typography on the printed page — size, style, type, forms — then concisely summarizes the history of type’s on-screen presence, from its introduction as static intertitles to the opening credits innovations of Saul Bass. The short summons memories of a century of movies through letters that copy source fonts exactly: “Every single movie got one,” says a sentence about opening credits, each word in the style of a different title. It starts with “Every” as Brazil; have fun pinning down the reference point for each subsequent word…  Read more


Festivals & Events

The Humbling The Humbling

First Batch of 2014 TIFF Titles Announced

In a press conference this morning, Cameron Bailey and Co. released the Special Presentation and Gala selections for the upcoming edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Lots to parse through as the slate boasts world premieres from Christian Petzold, Mia Hansen-Løve, Noah Baumbach, David Gordon Green,…  Read more

on Jul 22, 2014

VOD Picks

  • life-itself-poster1
    Life Itself Documentary
    Magnolia Pictures
    Official site
    7/4/14 iTunes MOD
  • ping-pong-summer-134400-poster-xlarge-resized
    Ping Pong Summer Comedy
    Gravitas Ventures
    Official site
    6/6/2014 MOD VOD


Stoker Stoker

Interview Avoidance and Bollywood Rip-offs: Park Chan-wook on Vengeance, End Titles and Medium Cool

“Mr. Park Chan-wook is not giving any interviews. Sorry.” The Korean auteur was one of the biggest names present at the recently concluded 31st Jerusalem Film Festival, second only perhaps to Spike Jonze (who doesn’t really make for charming interviews). The problem with big names…  Read more

on Jul 22, 2014