The Editor's Blog

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

  • Remembering Roger Ebert, 1942 – 2013

    “Most of our childhood is stored not in photos, but in certain biscuits, lights of day, smells, textures of carpet…” — Alain De Botton I hadn’t recalled my dank childhood basement in quite some time, but the room, with its wicker furniture, orange-ish carpet and large, wood-panelled Sony TV, came flooding back last week upon reading of the sad passing of film critic Roger Ebert, just one day after he posted a “leave of presence,” a slowing-down that was still more active than the combined work of two men these days. It was in that basement that I’d faithfully watch…  Read more

    On Apr 11, 2013
    By on Apr 11, 2013Columns
  • What’s In My Instapaper: Game of Thrones, Bitcoin, Video Game Death, Chloe Sevigny and More

    Here are my weekly Sunday morning links. A sophisticated discussion of videogames and violence is contained in Adi Robertson’s “Death is Dead: How Modern Videogame Designers Killed Danger” at the Verge. The article quotes David Cage, whose Beyond: Two Souls is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, proclaiming, “If the character doesn’t hold a gun, designers don’t even know what to do.” That leads to a discussion about the relationship of death to videogame narrative: But unlike Cage, most of the writers giving talks at GDC don’t come into a game with complete control. They’re brought on to…  Read more

    On Mar 31, 2013
    By on Mar 31, 2013Columns
  • What’s In My Instapaper: Jason Molina, Google Reader, Female Road Narratives and More

    I discover the links for these weekly columns through one source: Google Reader. Well, last week, Google sent the beloved Google Reader to its graveyard. I didn’t initially understand how difficult it will be to replace Google Reader until listening to last week’s Accidental Tech Podcast, even as the show’s Marco Arment believes that Google’s departure from the RSS space will be a good thing in the long run. Still, the shutdown has prompted a lot of press, and not all in the tech field, questioning our dependence on Google given their penchant for launching and shuttering services. For Google…  Read more

    On Mar 24, 2013
    By on Mar 24, 2013Columns
  • What’s In My Instapaper: Veronica Mars, Bollywood, and More

    Jon Taplin is in India, where he attended the Big Bollywood Conference and thought about filmmakers, their content and the country’s class and religious divisions: Mumbai is a big confident city with some of the wealthiest men in India building houses that would have embarrassed the Maharajas for their opulence. I heard that there are more than 100 members of Parliament worth over $1 billion. This may of course be an urban myth,but the perception that the powerful live in a different world seems well founded. Of course this is no different than the U.S., but what does stand out…  Read more

    On Mar 17, 2013
    By on Mar 17, 2013Columns
  • Filmmaker Announces Collaboration with MIT Open Documentary Lab

    Should filmmakers learn to code? That’s the question posed by MIT Open Documentary Lab’s Sarah Wolozin in her introduction to a 12-part series beginning today at Filmmaker. And, amidst all of our discussion in our pages about DSLR cameras and crowdfunding and audience engagement strategies, it’s a question that we’ve contemplated too. We wouldn’t think of telling a director he or she doesn’t need to know anything about lenses, or sound design or dramatic lighting. So, as filmmaking begins to embrace transmedia — extending story beyond the film frame — why shouldn’t producers and directors know something about the tools…  Read more

    On Mar 7, 2013
    By on Mar 7, 2013Columns
  • Music Video: David Bowie’s The Stars Are Out Tonight, Directed by Floria Sigismondi

    David Bowie and Tilda Swinton star as a retiring couple assaulted — literally — by vampiric celebrity culture in the latest from David Bowie. It’s directed by Floria Sigismondi, who is in fine form with this electrifyingly creepy clip. With the new Bowie album due out in a few weeks, you may have seen its wildposting campaign, in which its title, “The Next Day” is superimposed over a variety of advertising images. On its blog, CPH:DOX, which has paid homage to Bowie by naming an entire section after one of his songs (“Sound and Vision”), notes their own use of the same…  Read more

    On Feb 27, 2013
    By on Feb 27, 2013Columns
  • Conversations with Blocked Filmmakers

    Independent films get made, and we cover them here at Filmmaker. But what about all the films that don’t get made? They have their own stories, and their stories can be as useful to other filmmakers as those of films that do actually hit the screen. After a brief Twitter poll, I’ve decided to invite several filmmakers who have been struggling, so far unsuccessfully, to make their films to discuss those projects here on the site. I’ll be interested in the films, the length of the development process, the avenues tried, and the possible reasons for the projects’ failure to…  Read more

    On Feb 12, 2013
    By on Feb 12, 2013Filmmaking
  • House of Cards, the Netflix Algorithms and Me

    As I learned from a piece by Andrew Leonard at Salon, at 12:22 AM last night a Netflix event was created in my household when I switched off Episode Four of the streaming video giant’s new series, House of Cards, and went to bed. Leonard’s event was caused when he stopped midway into the show’s first episode, but I watched the first two back to back before a digital datapoint was created. That event was triggered by me pausing the show to make dinner, a moment presumably reduced in significance by my subsequent reengagement with the series. If I do…  Read more

    On Feb 3, 2013
    By on Feb 3, 2013Columns
  • My Bloody Valentine Crashes the Internet with New Album

    Keeping true to founder Kevin Shields’ word a couple of days ago, the new, 22-years-in-the-making My Bloody Valentine album has dropped. Well, at least I think it has. After posting word on their Facebook page, the band’s website has gone dark, delivering a “403 — Forbidden: Access Denied” warning. We know the name of the album (MBV), the tracklist (below), and the price ($16 in multiple digital formats, including MP3 and .WAV.) Vinyl and CD versions will soon be available. Spoof reviews are already up on the Facebook page, with some posters claiming to be bewildered by the Christian rock,…  Read more

    On Feb 2, 2013
    By on Feb 2, 2013Columns
  • Kourtney Roy’s Cinematic Portraits

    At the Telegraph, Anne Billson explores the work of Canadian artist and fashion photographer Kourtney Roy, who draws from Guy Bourdin, Cindy Sherman, William Eggleston but also various film directors in her ravishing, psychologically mysterious, yet bordering on kitsch portraits. From Billson: Where does [Roy] get her ideas? “I’m always struck by images in films. I love Douglas Sirk.” Sirk is the Hollywood film director best known for sumptuous 1950s melodramas such as Written on the Wind and Imitation of Life. “I love the colours and the décor. I really like Hitchcock, too, but he’s been referenced so many times…  Read more

    On Jan 2, 2013
    By on Jan 2, 2013Columns
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