Summer 2017

Film Schools in a Time of Disruption

At YouVisit Studios in midtown Manhattan, Ben Leonberg, Scott Riehs and Alice Shindelar, three recent graduates of the film MFA program at Columbia, bring their education to bear in rather unexpected ways. They are still, in a sense, filmmakers — Leonberg a creative director, Shindelar a writer/director and Riehs a creative producer, each aspiring to one day make a feature. But as their day job they practice filmmaking of a very different type: together they conceive, write and shoot commercial content that YouVisit calls “interactive virtual experiences.” They work in 360-degree video and with virtual-reality headsets. They experiment with new […]



All Day and a Night: Josh and Benny Safdie on Good Time

I’m in the Safdie brothers’ office in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, looking at a giant Japanese King of New York poster, and we’re talking about fired FBI director James Comey, whose awkward dinner with Donald Trump has just hit the news. “The guy is 6 foot, 8 inches,” Benny says. Or maybe it’s Josh. My tape recorder isn’t turned on yet, and the two talk rapid-fire, trading sentence fragments and out-exclaiming each other. “And he refused to play basketball with Obama! The one president who played basketball, Comey would be the tallest guy on the court, and he didn’t want […]

  • A New Kind of Magic: Douglas Trumbull on Magi, HFR and Dynamic Frame Rates

    With the passing of Douglas Trumbull, the great visual effects pioneer, we’re reposting Sam May’s 2017 article from Filmmaker’s Summer, 2017 print edition on his innovative late-career work on high-frame-rate cinema. –Editor You might not recognize the name Douglas Trumbull, but you will certainly recognize his work. He is the man behind the special effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and also the director of Silent Running and Brainstorm. In recent years, he has dedicated himself to “figuring out the future of cinema.” The result: Magi cinema, a means of shooting […]

  • Commercials: Acting School for the Rest of Us

    I didn’t work in the ad world for a long time. I remember always being a bit jealous of my DP friends who somehow found their way on that path early on, usually through music videos. I dabbled in music videos but kept coming back to to narrative shorts and crewing on features instead. Years later I was shooting features of my own. Meanwhile those DPs had really gained ground in commercials, shooting for Mercedes, Nike, Adidas. Anytime we’d catch up, the grass was always greener: “I want to shoot ads!” I’d say. “I want to shoot movies!” they’d say. […]

  • Time Waits For No One: David Lowery on A Ghost Story

    Most readers of this magazine will recognize David Lowery as the director of the breakout picture Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, a Malickian, modern-day Western containing a beautifully spare, elliptical romance between Casey Affleck’s Bob and Rooney Mara’s Ruth. More mainstream moviegoers will recall Lowery from last summer’s multiplex, where his fantasy drama Pete’s Dragon, a remake in name only, pulsed with both wide-eyed innocence and emotional heart — two qualities often lacking in blockbuster entertainment. But more perspicacious viewers will go back further and remember two earlier works. The first is Lowery’s micro-budget 2009 debut feature St. Nick, a tale […]


Other articles

Also: Spirit of a Startup: Brooklyn’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema Dispatches from San Francisco, Visions du Réel and Big Ears Parting Shot: Naomi Ackie Editor’s Letter

© 2024 Filmmaker Magazine. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of The Gotham