The Editor's Blog

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

  • 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
  • Werner Herzog on Tom Cruise and Harmony Korine

    Last year I interviewed Werner Herzog about his Into the Abyss, and before our talk I quickly re-introduced myself, reminding him that we had worked together when I produced julien donkey-boy over a decade ago. “Ah, yes, I remember,” he said. “You know, I have your film to thank for being cast as the villain in this new Tom Cruise movie.” It was the first I had heard of Jack Reacher, and I expressed a tiny bit of doubt that Harmony Korine’s Dogme ’95 feature was what really secured Herzog a role in a mega-budget action film. “Paramount Pictures is…  Read more

    On Dec 21, 2012
    By on Dec 21, 2012Columns
  • Where Are the New Independent Film Superstars?

    I was reading this interview in Vice about the Blu-ray reissue of Richard Kern’s short films from the ‘80s, and the names came flooding back to me. “Back in the day, Richard, along with buddies like Lydia Lunch, David Wojnarowicz, Lung Leg, Sonic Youth, and Henry Rollins, made some of the most bloody, sexually deviant, and generally fucked up short films ever,” writes Christian Storm in his intro. Lung Leg – I haven’t heard that name in a while. She was on the cover of Sonic Youth’s album Sister. I wonder what she’s up to. Lydia, of course, is still…  Read more

    On Dec 14, 2012
    By on Dec 14, 2012Columns
  • Can Independent Film Be an Addiction?

    Addiction. It’s a bad thing, right? Except that a lot of businesses are based around it. I’m not just talking about the illegal business of selling narcotics, but about other things. Junk food is certainly an addiction, but so are things like video games. In our Fall, 2011 issue, Game Engine columnist Heather Chaplin wrote that understanding addiction — the system of challenges, rewards and dopamaine delivery — is key to any successful game designer. She quoted Dr. Bennett Fody, fellow and deputy director of The Institute of Science and Ethics at Oxford University, who said, “The design of video…  Read more

    On Dec 12, 2012
    By on Dec 12, 2012Columns
  • The Shameless Satire of Lana Del Rey

    “The cleverest piece of cultural criticism” to appear in 2012 is from none other than media-made pop singer Lana Del Rey, argues n+1‘s Christopher Glazek in the year-end edition of Artforum. Indeed, Rey’s two recent videos, which have an outsized, ’80s ambition to them, are fascinating jaw-droppers. Here, Glazek gets at why: Men hardly ever speak in Del Rey’s videos. Their silence also permeates Ride. This more recent video follows the life of a streetwalking saloon singer in Big Sky Country who spends her days and nights among the motorcycle-gang members she picks up and services on the road. Although…  Read more

    On Dec 2, 2012
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