Phillip Van’s Amazing Post-Sandy Blackout Photos
Filmmaker and former 25 New Face Phillip Van took his camera out during the New York blackout and came away with a beautiful series of long-exposure shots capturing the city’s architecture and workers without their customary nocturnal illumination. Here’s what he had to say via email: I shot the photos on a regular old Canon 5D. One night I had a tripod. Another I went handheld so I could travel more. The city was pitch black and ominous. Buildings felt like mausoleums. But if you stayed out long enough, your eyes adjusted to candles and shadows behind curtains and you… Read more
What if You Could Crowdfund a Filmmaker, Not a Film?
Here’s something I’ve always wondered: why are film investments always focused on the film, not the filmmaker? In other words, why don’t investors taking a chance on a first-time filmmaker get more than just the usually non-existent returns from that debut feature? Often what hits after the debut of a first feature is not the film but the filmmaker. The movie gets bought for a modest amount and usually underperforms, often leaving the investors with some degree of loss. But, after that film, the filmmaker is, well, a filmmaker, and in a position to move on to bigger and more… Read more
When Should You Give Up, a Postscript
Remember “When Should You Give Up?” It was one of our most commented upon posts here at Filmmaker, an extended conversation about the practicalities as well as psychological ramifications of quitting. Quitting a specific project, that is, not filmmaking in general. The post was inspired by a post by author Edan Lepucki over at the Millions titled “Shutting the Drawer: What Happens When a Book Doesn’t Sell?” Lepucki wrote about how, when the novel she had been working on for so long didn’t sell, she simply packed it in and started working on another. No flogging it for years, exploring… Read more
Is Creative Work Only for the Privileged?
J. Maureen Henderson at Forbes asks a question for these times: “Are Creative Careers Now Exclusively Reserved for the Privileged?” She primarily refers to writing and publishing jobs, but her question applies to the film world too. Henderson’s piece quotes from another by writer Alexandra Kimball, who writes at Hazlitt about breaking into publishing… when you can’t afford to be an intern. From Kimball: To be a writer in this market requires not only money, but a concept of “work” that is most easily gained from privilege. It requires a sense of entitlement, the ability to network and self-promote without… Read more
What’s So Controversial About Beasts and the SAG Awards?
I’m a little perplexed by the mini-controversy that has erupted over the Screen Actors Guild determination that the actors in Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild are ineligible to receive Screen Actors Guild Awards because the film was not made under a SAG contract. (In other words, the film did not employ professional actors.) From Scott Feinberg in the Hollywood Reporter: Director Benh Zeitlin, out of financial necessity (he had a budget of just $1.3 million) and a desire for the greatest possible sense of authenticity (his film revolves around eccentric characters who populate a remote part of America’s… Read more
Freeman and Lowe
More New Year’s Resolutions for Filmmakers
In 2011 on New Year’s Day I posted “New Year’s Resolutions for Filmmakers” — 10 items filmmakers could embrace to improve their practice and thought processes for the year ahead. Last year, I thought about revising or updating it but couldn’t think of much to add. This year I looked at it again, and had some new thoughts. It’s still a decent list, and if you want to read something that will prod you in the gentle, empathetic, self-help-y manner of lists of these kind, a post full of to-do items you can file alongside “lose weight” and “be present… Read more