Posts Tagged ‘MovieMaker’

“You need to be very ‘platform agnostic.’ You want to find an audience wherever that audience is. So think about the web, TV, and theaters. Open yourself to as many possibilities as you can imagine. Today you cannot be just a filmmaker; you have to be a marketer, accountant, publicist, writer, and businessman. You have to understand the economics of making a movie and what it takes for you to continue to make movies. Only the jack of all trades are ultimately successful…Do whatever you can to get your film made and to tell the truth. I was in film school with people far more talented than me, and today they’re in the insurance or banking business. I was successful because I refused to give up.”
Producer/director/writer Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold)
Making a Living as a Documentarian
by Oliver W. Tuthill Jr
MovieMaker magazine Issue 103 Vol 20, page 23

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Scott W. Smith

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Melissa Rosenberg started writing TV shows (Party of Five and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) before her first feature (Step Up) was made in 2006. These days she is a writer/producer on Dexter, but is most well known as the screenwriter on the Twilight movies. MovieMaker recently posted her 10 “do’s and don’ts of screenwriting,” here is one of them;

“Don’t give up. You’re going to get kicked in the teeth. A lot. Learn to take a hit, then pick yourself up off the floor. Resilience is the true key to success.”
Melissa Rosenberg
My Golden Rules: The do’s and don’ts of screenwriting

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“Growing up in Ohio was just planning to get out.”
Jim Jarmusch

Have you ever put together a top ten list of films that you’ve walked away from feeling stunned? I haven’t but one film that I think would be on that list is Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger than Paradise. The 1984 film is credited with giving a fresh take on independent filmmaking. The low-budget, black and white film is still the only movie I’ve ever watched where each scene is done in single master shots.

Stranger than Paradise won Camera d’Or for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival. Empire magazine’s The 50 Greatest Independent Films listed the film #14, just ahead of Memento.

I haven’t seen the film is a long time. Actually, because it has a special place in my memory I’m a little hesitant to watch it again for fear it won’t measure up to the fondness I have it. But I’m sure I’ll check out The Criterion Collection version in the near future.

Most filmmakers struggle to one degree or another with a balance between artistic freedom and commercial success.   A look at Jarmusch’s career shows how one filmmaker has walked that balance. Even if you haven’t seen his films (Broken Flowers, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Dead Man, Down by Law) know that any writer/director who can attract the acting talents of Forest Whitaker, Bill Murray, Roberto Benigni, and Johnny Depp, on top of a 25-year career is doing something right.

Born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (just north of Akron)  in 1953 Jarmusch went to New York and received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and worked on an MFA in film at NYU where Spike Lee was a fellow student. He also gained valuable experience working as an assistant for directors Wim Wenders and Nicholas Ray.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.'”
Jim Jarmusch’s Golden Rules
MovieMaker 2004

The Akron-Cleveland has changed a lot since Jarmusch was a kid (and even when he shot part of Stranger in Paradise there in the 80s) and I’d like to think that the next Jim Jarmuschs from the area, like current NBA MVP LeBron James, stay in their hometown and do their thing for the world to see.

Scott W. Smith


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“The idea (for the script Buried) was born out of financial necessity. It had been several years since I directed a feature (2005’s An Uzi at the Alamo), and I wanted to write something I could afford to shoot with almost no budget. This meant cutting back on cast, crew, lighting, locations, props, wardrobe and just about everything else—which basically left me with nothing. And then one day I came up with a very challenging conceit: A guy buried alive for an entire movie. No other actors appearing on screen, no cutting away from this one location.”
Screenwriter Chris Sparling (Buried)
interview with Kyle Rupprecht

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