After film school, filmmaker Brandon Li (@ ) spent eight years working in reality TV before carving his own path making films in unlikely places. Here are a few samples of his work followed a talk about his background and creative process.
Archive for the ‘filmmaking’ Category
The goal is to tell a story for people who don’t have that exact situation in their lives at all. I’m very inspired by people like the Hungarian director István Szábo. He did a film titled Father (1968) and a film titled Lovefilm (1970). I love those films, and I know nothing about growing up in Budapest during World War II. But I can completely relate to them because they’re very concrete and specific about his life.
When you have real, concrete details of human life that don’t feel like tropes or story conventions, and you have characters that don’t feel like film characters but feel like real people, they communicate to an audience in way that can even be commercial. People will relate to it.
I do believe in writing for other people. I’m not trying to do therapy or make a memoir; I’m exploiting personal things to make what is hopefully a unique film. I take from my life to hopefully make a good movie, not a good memoir.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Mike Mills (20th Century Women)
Creative Screenwriting interview with Christopher McKittrick (@)
“My first student film, written/directed shortly after 9/11. A reminder to myself to channel this energy, to create.”
Barry Jenkins (@BandryBarry)
Before Barry Jenkins wrote (with Tarell Alvin McCraney) and directed Moonlight—which won the Oscar last night for Best Picture and for Best Adapted Screenplay—he was a film school student at Florida State University. My Josephine was his first short film. (A good example of Start Small…But Start Somewhere.)
According to The Guardian, while at Florida State his tastes turned toward art house films listing fimmakers from France, China, and Scotland as influences; Claire Denis (Vendredi Soir), Hsiao-Hsien Hou (Three Times), and Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher).
According to Florida State News, a total of seven FSU graduates worked on Moonlight.
Four days after graduating from FSU, Jenkins moved to Los Angeles to pursue a filmmaking career. He spent two years working as a production assistant on various projects, then quit to concentrate on his own movies. His first feature, 2008’s ‘Medicine for Melancholy,’ was shot for $13,000 in San Francisco, where Jenkins was living.”
Rene Rodriguez/Miami Herald
Florida State’s film program has a long legacy of turning out talent. So it’s not a total surprise to have an Oscar-winner emerge from that program. (Not sure if that’s the first or not for FSU.) But where Jenkins was before FSU is a little unusual and we’ll look at that tomorrow.
In continuing a sweeping overview of various people and jobs that help make movies, today I’ve found five videos that explain and demonstrate sound design from the perspective of foley.
While Hollywood feature films will have a team working on sound design, the techniques that are shown here can be scaled down to smaller idependent productions.
P.S. One of my favorite sound design stories was a behind the scenes video or commentary on Cast Away where someone commented that they auditioned 100 photocopiers to find the right sound.
“For a writer, it’s a word. For a composer or a musician, it’s a note. For an editor and a filmmaker, it’s the frames.”
“The sad fact was the shark [in JAWS] would only look real in 36 frames not 38 frames. And that two frame difference was between something really scary and something that looked like a great white floating turd.”
Jacob T. Swinney’s First and Final Frames videos show the collaboration of filmmakers. Unless it’s in the shooting script it’d be almost impossible to know in every film featured when these opening and closing shots came together to complete the arc of the story. I imagine the final results are the credit of either the screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, or editors (or some combination of those).