PIFVA Reader

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

Film Independent Members are invited to attend this year’s Forum Opening Night Screening of Nightcrawler, which will be followed by a Q&A with writer/director Dan Gilroy and producer Jennifer Fox, and a reception hosted by FilmL.A., Inc. Nightcrawler is a pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven...
Film Independent 10/21/14
Scott previously wrote about and interviewed Bond/360’s CEO Marc Schiller on his decision to bundle and sell their movies via a pay-what-you-wish “Radiohead-esque” model. What began with the “Creativity Bundle,” the packaging of four titles that all dealt with making and creation, now looks to be a recurring initiative, with the company’s introduction of...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/21/14
It’s now or never, people. There are just a few days left to grab passes for this weekend’s Film Independent Forum, the two-day conference that brings together dozens of artists and producers, execs and experts–from hot shows like Black-ish to acclaimed films like Nebraska—to share their insights on what’s up at the front lines of the industry and what it takes for emerging artists and producers...
Film Independent 10/21/14
The match cut, “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” HAL — it’s all here, along with praise from Christopher Nolan and Alfonso Cuaron, in this brand new trailer for Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001. Here’s the Hollywood Reporter: Ahead of the digitally restored film’s special limited U.K. release on Nov. 28 as part of the British Film Institute’s “Sci-Fi: Days...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/21/14
It’s March 2012. I’m standing outside a warehouse with 18 people. We’re about to watch a pig die. Three cameras are ready to roll: two for the movie and one for legal purposes. My actors have the morning off; because of my agreement with SAG, they’re not allowed to be on set for this particular scene. Rory Royston, the operator of an independent slaughterhouse, as well as his assistant, stand in...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/21/14
“An iPad app for explorers,” the just-launched Humanity dubs itself as a “new kind of travel show that places authenticity and storytelling above all else.” Notably, Humanity avoids star ratings, food porn and shopping tips in favor of immersive looks into the landscape and the people of a particular place of interest. From the press release: Humanity is an app that allows...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/21/14
How precisely does one go about building an entire beach on a soundstage? That’s one of the many challenges posed by master Swedish director Roy Andersson’s regular working method, which involves constructing meticulous sets to stage his mordant tableaux and droll takes on despair and death. This brief video shows his crew building a beach from the ground up — not a photo-realistic...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/21/14
Among the events at the upcoming Film Independent Forum is a sneak peek at the exciting projects developed in the 2014 Film Independent Documentary Lab. This diverse group of filmmakers will share scenes from their films and discuss their experiences getting these projects made in an interactive session that will explore the specific opportunities and challenges of making a documentary today....
Film Independent 10/20/14
Activist, hacker and computer security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, a subject in Laura Poitras’s riveting and important CITIZENFOUR, shot Filmmaker‘s Fall issue cover — an eerie portrait of Poitras at home in Berlin, filmed on discontinued Kodak Color Infrared (EIR) film. Here, via email, is Appelbaum on the photograph: I have been shooting with Kodak Color Infrared (EIR) film...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/20/14
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Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/20/14
Noir is a “challenge to dominant values,” according to critic Peter Labuza in this concise visual essay on one of cinephiles’ favorite “modes.” Bridging The Classical Hollywood Cinema with the writings of Linda Williams, Labuza considers film noir as a method of subverting the building blocks of melodrama, thus imbuing its viewers with a “feeling of...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/20/14
Action cinematographer Lawrence Ribeiro forwards this short video of an afternoon’s work — literally. Below, he explains how, with a camera and two top stuntmen, he can mock-up a dynamic fight scene. From Ribeiro: Here’s a chase and fight sequence we shot, in five hours, using two top stunt professionals and one camera. In 2nd unit, we’d consider this type of shooting a...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/19/14
Film Independent joins the film community in mourning the death of Elizabeth Peña. Elizabeth was a gifted actress who won a Spirit Award in 1996 for her role in John Sayles’ Lone Star, and had notable roles in films such as Neil Jimenez and Michael Steinberg’s The Waterdance, Rodrigo García’s Ten Tiny Love Stories, Maria Ripoll’s Tortilla Soup, and Allison Anders’ Things Behind the Sun, not to...
Film Independent 10/17/14
In the upcoming issue of Filmmaker, Esther Robinson writes about directors who work in pairs. Robinson’s focus is on how two directors is better than one when it comes to navigating the development and financial aspects of being a director, and she surveys a number of them on how they structure their work. But then there’s the also the basic question: how do they actually do it? Is...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/17/14
“It’s so good to be back. It’s just so much more fun than directing movies,” Jason Reitman pronounced as he took his seat on stage last night for the Live Read of the Sam Mendes 1999 film American Beauty at Film Independent at LACMA— the first Live Read of the season. “I can’t even begin to tell you.” “This is not recorded tonight,” Jason explained for the Live Read newbies in the sold-out house...
Film Independent 10/17/14
With his debut feature, St. Vincent, Ted Melfi may seem like one of those out-of-nowhere independent sensations that pops on the scene a few times a year. But as he explains in the interview below, he has actually been behind the camera for years — shooting all styles of commercials and music videos — and has been producing independent films for even longer. (And, as he further...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/17/14
Distance from Camera x Scale of Model=Distance between Foregrounded Model and Background. That simple bit of arithmetic, as illustrated in the latest Shanks FX episode, is all you need to achieve an accurate “forced perspective.” The technique, recognizable from Back to the Future and myriad 80’s blockbusters, allows for the manipulation of objects to appear larger/smaller or...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/17/14
Its title threatens a sudden loud blast, but Two Shots Fired wrongfoots viewers when its first sound isn’t from a gun but the jolting bass in a club where young Mariano (Rafael Federman) is dancing. He leaves, goes home, mows the lawn, finds a gun in the shed and fires twice — once at his head, once at his stomach, an action taken with the same blankfaced lack of passion as all the ones ...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/17/14
Where’s the Money? That’s the most common question asked by indie producers. Film Independent may not have the definitive answer but hopefully we can help point you in the right direction. Private Equity is the most common source of indie film financing, but who are these mysterious investors and how do you locate them? Producer Stu Pollard’s business plans have raised over $7 million for...
Film Independent 10/16/14
Film Independent, home of the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, is a distinct organization that has celebrated artist-driven filmmaking since 1980. Our members are filmmakers, film industry leaders and film lovers. Whether you are looking into membership for the first time or you’ve been a member for years, we’ll cover the benefits, resources and events that make Film...
Film Independent 10/16/14