The Editor's Blog

Contemplations and digressions from Filmmaker's Editor-in-Chief by Scott Macaulay

  • R.I.P. James Garner

    Good is the man who inspires the words “persuasively ambivalent” in a New York Times obituary. Actor James Garner died last night in his California home of natural causes. Long before I’d discover as a suburban teenager Elmore Leonard or Altman’s The Long Goodbye there was Jim Rockford, the Malibu p.i. with his trailer home on the beach, troublemaking ex-con pal, on-again, off-again lawyer girlfriend. It seemed like a way to live. From the Times: “Maverick” had been in part a send-up of the conventional western drama, and “The Rockford Files” similarly made fun of the standard television detective, the…  Read more

    On Jul 20, 2014
    By on Jul 20, 2014Columns
  • The Rumpus Launches Manual Typewriter iPad App, Typing Writer

    I grew up on a manual typewriter, the same one my mom used to write articles for Life Magazine in the ’50s and ’60s. It was a small portable in a beat-up canvas case, and you had to hit the keys hard. Later, my dad outfitted his basement home office with an IBM Selectric. I loved that typewriter. It was a brick, a giant slab of molded something, and once you gave the keys a little push the thing would explode. The violence of it was kind of thrilling. Still, I don’t fetishize old-school typewriters, manual or electric. I can’t…  Read more

    On Jul 10, 2014
    By on Jul 10, 2014Columns
  • Paid Friends, Empathy, Inequality, True Detective, Garry Winogrand and the Impossible Stairwell: Sunday Morning Links

    Here’s some of what I’ve been reading this week for your Sunday perusing pleasure. At Vulture, producer Gavin Polone has developed into an excellent essayist. Here he is discussing the emotional complexities of a particularly Hollywood-type of relationship, the paid friendship: While I’m sure that paid friends exist in many walks of life, I doubt they are as common anywhere else as they are in the entertainment industry. I’ve encountered many big-deal stars and directors with an entourage of assistants and development executives who have crossed the business-­personal line. Some were friends before they were employees. Others drifted the other…  Read more

    On May 11, 2014
    By on May 11, 2014Columns
  • A Japanese Sideways, Virginia Woolf, Beth Gibbons Sings Black Sabbath and Denis Johnson’s Artful Sentences: Sunday Morning Links

    For your Sunday morning, here’s some of what I’ve been reading this past week. At the Rumpus, filmmaker (and 25 New Face) Astra Taylor is interviewed about her book The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, which I can’t wait to read. An excerpt: Also, after Examined Life was finished I found myself thinking about the way creative opportunities and distribution channels were shifting. Should I be showing my films in theaters or just think about getting them out online? There were other issues, too. For example, instead of being asked to write an article,…  Read more

    On Apr 27, 2014
    By on Apr 27, 2014Columns
  • Why We Are Discontinuing our Apple Newsstand Edition

    After almost two years of experimenting with an iPad-only edition in Apple’s Newsstand, we have decided to discontinue this version of Filmmaker. The reason? Relatively few of you are reading it compared to our print magazine and website, and the cost of its production runs us a substantial loss. And that’s money we’ve decided would be better spent on additional editorial content as well as new digital properties serving a platform-agnostic audience. (Meaning, something that can be read by you Android and Kindle readers too.) With this announcement we want to make clear that all Filmmaker content is still available…  Read more

    On Apr 24, 2014
    By on Apr 24, 2014Columns
  • Welcoming Vadim Rizov as Managing Editor

    I’d like to welcome to our Filmmaker staff our new Managing Editor, Vadim Rizov. After an exhaustive job search — thanks to the over 200 of you who applied — we hired Vadim, who previously covered the True/False Film Festival for us. Many of you know Vadim’s bylines from Sight and Sound, Little White Lies and Indiewire, not to mention his posts last year at The Dissolve. Vadim also posts his reviews at Letterboxd and other stuff at his personal blog, Infinite Philistinism. Vadim’s a very smart writer whose interest in culture extends beyond independent film to music and literature.…  Read more

    On Apr 14, 2014
    By on Apr 14, 2014Columns
  • Advice for Producers, Crowdfunding, the Wu-Tang Clan, Dirty Old New York and More: Sunday Links

    Here are some of the articles I’ve read this week that I recommend for your Sunday afternoon reading. “Whose Brooklyn Is It Anyway?” wonders A.O. Scott at the New York Times as he considers Spike Lee’s recent comments on the borough’s gentrification: Every city is simultaneously a seedbed of novelty and a hothouse of nostalgia, and modern New York presents a daily dialectic of progress and loss. As Colson Whitehead notes in “The Colossus of New York,” you become a New Yorker — or perhaps a true resident of any place, whether you were born there or not — when…  Read more

    On Mar 30, 2014
    By on Mar 30, 2014Columns
  • Novelist and Screenwriter James Salter Ponders Flight 370

    In addition to being a novelist (All That Is) and screenwriter (Downhill Racer, The Appointment), James Salter is also a pilot. Over at The New Yorker he, like the rest of the world, is pondering the fate of Flight 370. In particular, he imagines the moment at which sleeping passengers may away during their overseas flight to realize that something is astray…. But the Malaysian airliner was not lost. It was on course on a long, late-night flight to Beijing. I am identifying now with the passengers. An hour after takeoff, some are already asleep. The plane is flying smoothly…  Read more

    On Mar 19, 2014
    By on Mar 19, 2014Columns
  • Filmmaker is Seeking a Managing Editor

    Filmmaker is seeking a Managing Editor. This full-time, New York-based position oversees the production of Filmmaker‘s print issue and provides administrative and managerial support to the operations of our daily website. Our ideal candidate will have strong writing skills, superior administrative and copyediting abilities as well as a sincere interest in the world of independent film. Nick Dawson, who has been our fantastic Managing Editor for the last two years, is leaving to pursue an exciting new opportunity, which I will let him tell you about shortly. (Congrats, Nick!) If you think you or someone you know would be interested,…  Read more

    On Feb 12, 2014
    By on Feb 12, 2014Columns
  • Filmmaker’s Top Ten Posts of January, 2014

    Here are our most-read posts of January, 2014. 1. Why Your Film Needs a Good Gaffer: How Lighting Changes a Face. This hypnotic video featuring a pretty model whose face morphs from seductive to menacing to funny based on the lights that hit it went viral. It’s a great watch that prompted a lengthy dialogue about the relationship between D.P and gaffer on our Facebook page. 2. The Women of Sundance 2014. There has been a lot written about the underrepresentation of women directors, but I think filmmaker Danielle Lurie knocked it out of the park with this 5,000-word piece…  Read more

    On Jan 31, 2014
    By on Jan 31, 2014Columns
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