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Posts Tagged ‘filmmaking’

Today I’m going to the premiere of the doc This Cold Life at the Florida Film Festival. It will be anything but cold today in Maitland/Orlando, Florida as the mid-90 degree temps are some of the hottest in the United States.

Much of This Cold Life was shot in Longyeabyen, Norway, “the world’s northernmost town.” Darren Mann directed the doc and is someone I did camera work for years ago for TV programs he shot in Minnesota and Iowa. I look forward to seeing him at the premiere and seeing a part of the world I don’t recall ever seeing before.

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“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”
Marilyn Monroe

James Gray is a working writer/director who back in 1994 made his first feature film at age 24, and his latest film (The Lost City of Z) is hitting theater this month. But in the recent article Jame Gray and the Struggle of the Middle-Class Filmmaker he lays out the difficulties beyond student loans and getting movies made:

“You know, people assume that because I’m a director, I make tons of money. I am struggling financially. Now, I’m very lucky I get to do what it is I want to do. I’ve made, good or bad, very uncompromising movies, the movies exactly that I wanted to make, and that’s a beautiful gift, so I’m not complaining about that. But I struggle. I have a hard time paying my bills. I’m 47 years old, I live in an apartment, I can’t buy a house. If I were coming of age in 1973, I would be in Bel Air. The whole reason for this is…the middle is gone. So now you have franchises, and you have, ‘I made a movie on my iPhone.’ This is the economic system in a nutshell, right? Five directors make Marvel, and then there’s the rest of us who are trying to scrounge around to find the money to make films.”
Director James Gray (The Immigrant)
Vulture article by Kevin Lincoln (4/14/17)

P.S. The most read post I’ve ever written on this blog over the years is the 2009 post How Much Do Screenwriters Make? It’s not a perfect post, but I think it’s a fair reality check and discussion starter. By the way, if you read that post and would like to clarify how writers (and how much) working writers are paid—from Hollywood to Nollywood—shoot me an email at info@scottwsmith as I’d like to clarify the process and reality as much as I can for others.

Related Posts:
Screenwriting Quote #189 (James Gray)
‘The Immigrant’

Scott W. Smith

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“The advice I give for filmmakers starting out is don’t wait for me. Don’t wait for the industry… It’s a mistake to wait for Hollywood to tell you you have a good idea. If you have a good idea, try to make it on your own as cheaply as possible… on your phone.”
Producer Jason Blum (Whiplash, Get Out, Paranormal Activity)
(His Blumhouse Productions focuses on making films in the $3-4 million range)
IndieWire/SXSW: Low-Budget Producer Jason Blum on the Secret of His Success by Paula Bernstein

Related Posts:
“Don’t try and compete with Hollywood”—Edward Burns
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 10 Days
10 Low-Budget Filmmaking Quotes
Shooting a Feature Film in a Coffin
Aiming for Small Scale Success First

Scott W. Smith

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After film school, filmmaker Brandon Li (@rungunshoot) 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.

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Sound Design (Foley)

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.

Scott W. Smith

 

 

 

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Film Editing

“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.”
Quentin Tarantino

“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.”
Steven Spielberg

Scott W. Smith

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Here’s an overview of cinematography by RocketJump’s Creative Director Mike Symonds:

Scott W. Smith

 

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