PIFVA Reader

Feeds from Independent Filmmaker blogs with  current issues, topics and information affecting our independent filmmaking world.

In honor of the day when we give thanks over food that sends us into depressive slumbers, we thought it would be nice to talk to those who feed us in the film industry: craft services. I had the pleasure of speaking to two veterans of the industry on both coasts, Dani Miller, the owner and operator of Eat Catering NYC and Mark Ilvedson, long-time crew journeyman who started in craft services and...
Film Independent 11/26/14
Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, a frightening new film that finds the horror in the familial, opens Friday in theaters and on demand, almost a year after its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Focusing on a mother and son terrorized by a lanky, ghost-like creature who originates from a withered pop-up book, Kent’s film does quite a lot with limited resources. Incorporating stop-motion...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/26/14
A year and a half ago the Tribeca Film Institute launched the TFI Sandbox, an online resource for documentary transmedia projects with connections to the New Media Fund and other real-world resources. Since then the Sandbox has helped produce some amazing work, such as Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s Hollow, and last week the site received an upgrade, which you can check out here. The new...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/26/14
Björk has been releasing Biophilia, in one way or another, for over three years now, transforming what could have simply been yet another album into a master class on multi-platform releases and extended community-building endeavors. In October 2011 the album came out–though she had begun working on it as early as 2008 and had released its first single that June–and broke ground for...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/26/14
IFP, Filmmaker and the Museum of Modern Art are pleased to present this year’s slate for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, the annual series that spotlights films currently without theatrical distribution. Screening at MoMA from December 12 – 15, this year’s five films are Approaching the Elephant, Evaporating Borders, The Mend, L for Leisure, and Uncertain Terms....
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/26/14
A newly restored print of Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice wraps its run at BAM tonight, so now’s as good a time as any to take in Directed by Tarkovsky. A compilation of 50+ hours of behind the scenes footage shot by d.p. Arne Carlsson, along with excerpts from Tarkovsky’s book Sculpting in Time, editor Michal Leszczylowski’s documentary is an insightful window into the...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/25/14
Includes a conversation with director Kevin MacDonald Two-time Academy Award nominee Jude Law captains the cast of Black Sea, the suspenseful adventure thriller directed by Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September, The Last King of Scotland). Black Sea centers on a rogue submarine captain (Jude Law) who, after being laid off from a salvage company, pulls together a misfit crew...
Film Independent 11/25/14
The nominations are out for the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards bestowed by Film Independent. As the logo above suggests, the Film Independent Spirit Awards will be celebrating their 30th anniversary with this edition. Leading the nominations count is Birdman with six nominations, followed by five apiece for Selma, Boyhood and Nightcrawler. Note the special awards for Inherent Vice and...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/25/14
Writer/director Francesca Coppola has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for her second short film, Jonny Come Lately. Below, she writes about the short’s themes and issues, her decision to shoot on film and the power of community. Please visit her Kickstarter page and, if you are able to, consider donating. I’m only a few hours away from hitting the launch button on my first Kickstarter...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/25/14
With this morning’s exciting announcement by Rosario Dawson and Diego Luna of the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees, we can officially declare our 30th birthday party started. Big congrats to all the nominees, with special kudos to the Best Feature nominees—Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Boyhood, Love is Strange, Selma and Whiplash—as well as to the 12 Film...
Film Independent 11/25/14
This 1998 interview with Paul Thomas Anderson has been online for a while; credit to The Seventh Art for finally bringing it to my attention. Talking with fellow director Mike Figgis after only two features under his belt, a supremely unfazed Anderson eats pizza while holding forth on Boogie Nights‘ origins as a short film equally inspired by Zelig and This is Spinal Tap, shares a lot of...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/25/14
Deborah Stratman’s bewitching short film Hacked Circuit, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, presents a roving, unbroken look inside the foley post-production process at an LA studio. Along those lines, this featurette with Interstellar‘s Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer, Richard King, provides perspective into the blockbuster’s unusually naturalistic and...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/24/14
Having barely survived Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams when it came out, I was inclined to stay away from his filmography for the rest of my life. But people I respect and trust — Iñárritu haters no less — kept saying that Birdman was actually quite good, so I popped in; two hours later, I felt as if my initial disinterest had been validated the hard way. Praise first for Edward...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/24/14
Last weekend, Film Independent hosted the Sloan Film Summit, a triennial conference for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s film program, which has partnered with Film Independent, among other artist development organizations and film schools, to support films exploring science and technology that are as accurate as they are entertaining. The entire weekend was a celebration of science and the art...
Film Independent 11/24/14
Ted Hope — producer, Good Machine co-founder, and now CEO of Fandor — is no tongue-tied wallflower in the independent film community. Indeed, his passionate commentary, counsel and editorializing on topics ranging from net neutrality to making better films to a “systems reboot” of the independent film economy seem to be everywhere these days. But while his website, Twitter...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/24/14
Kirby Ferguson’s four-part web series, Everything is a Remix, was a brilliant blend of form, content and delivery system. A discussion of not just the legal issues surrounding fair use and appropriated content but also the nature of creativity itself, Ferguson’s work scored hundreds of thousands of views, launched a TED talk and established this savvy director at the forefront of the...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/24/14
After 25 years, the wait is over for Twin Peaks fans. David Lynch and Mark Frost have announced a return to the mythical town coming in 2016 to Showtime. The show is often credited for having paved the way for the golden age of television today, when many TV programs rival cinema for compelling stories. Through the episodic medium of television, Lynch was able to create a multi-layered world full...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/24/14
Over the years Sundance has steadily increased its support for young independent film producers, with the more recently created Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship as loved by producers as the Screenwriting and Directing Labs are loved by writers and directors. (Don’t believe me? Well, here’s producer Gabrielle Nadiq on the program in 2013: “The Sundance Creative Producing...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/21/14
David Lynch can be a tough interview — check out my attempt back in 2001. Patti Smith does a bit better in this joint interview on the BBC2 Newnight’s Encounters series. They both discuss their memories first hearing the song “Blue Velvet,” and Smith’s reflexive lyricism brings out something allied in Lynch. Check it out.
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/21/14
“Last night, we lost one of the greatest directors who ever lived,” Jason Reitman said yesterday to a full house at LACMA’s Bing Theater. “Tonight is for Mike Nichols.” With that dedication, he kicked off this month’s installment of Live Read, part of the Film Independent at LACMA series, with Diner, Barry Levinson’s 1982 debut. As always, the reading was directed by Reitman and the event hosted...
Film Independent 11/21/14