PIFVA Reader

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

Not five months after the mammoth festival wraps, SXSW opens up their PanelPicker site, an online forum which aggregates all industry and filmmaker programming pitches for their next conference. Last year, I went through the offerings and highlighted 15 that piqued my interest; this year, the stakes are higher, and I’m down to 12 from the 183 listed. You have till September 5 to vote on...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/29/14
The 1st Assistant Director is one of the most important crew members on set. But what, exactly, is he/she responsible for? In the first of an occasional series focussing on key below-the-line positions, we welcome 1st A.D. Chris DeBenedetto (Earth to Echo, Family Weekend, TV’s The Fosters). He will explain his job as 1st AD; his responsibilities scheduling a project during pre-production;...
Film Independent 08/28/14
Great opening titles don’t need to be flashy and expensive; well-designed titles can set the mood and give the audience a taste of what’s to come, at any budget level. Film Independent is pleased to welcome title designers Gareth Smith and Jenny Lee of Smith Lee Design, whose credits include the opening titles for Juno, Up In The Air, and Jeff, Who Lives At Home. They will explain...
Film Independent 08/28/14
Do not go gentle into that good night, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas If you’re anywhere near North Adams in the northwest corner of Massachusetts, close by the New York and Vermont borders, anytime between now and February 1, 2015, do yourself a favor and drop by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art to contemplate their exhibition marking the last days of...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/28/14
Behind the scenes of David Fincher’s new Gap ad campaign, the logistics of growing the beef industry in Kazakhstan, a look at illegal logging in Indonesia and more in this week’s links round-up: • Yesterday the Gap released four new ads directed by David Fincher. Mashable’s Todd Wasserman has the videos and quotes from Gap Global CMO Seth Farbman on Fincher’s typically...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/28/14
Remember We Think Alone? Miranda July’s investigatory aggregate into the emails of famous people? July is again re-examining how people communicate in the age of information with a new app/messaging service entitled Somebody. Some sort of sick combination of texting and Tinder, Somebody ensures human contact upon receiving a message because that message is not your own — it belongs to...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/28/14
I was flat out floored when I saw The Overnighters a few months back. It’s a documentary that unravels with the jagged edges of a thriller, while managing to be both an individual character study and comprehensive portrait of blue collar middle America and the nation’s economic and environmental crises. Still, it is somewhat unsurprising that many critics are calling out the film...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/28/14
Maidentrip When: Now Playing Where: Netflix Director: Jillian Schlesinger Starring: Laura Dekker Why We’re Excited: This fascinating and adventurous documentary introduces audiences to the determination of Laura Dekker, a 14-year girl who ventured out to sea on a two-year journey in hopes of becoming the youngest person ever to sail around the world… alone! Film Independent Fellows Jillian...
Film Independent 08/28/14
Director Timothy Woodward Jr. is currently in post-production on Checkmate, an action thriller with supernatural undertones shot using the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. The movie is expected to be completed by October, and is one of the first features shot with this camera. We spoke to Woodward about shooting with the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, as well as about shooting action sequences...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/28/14
On August 13 the disruptive Australian company Blackmagic Design took over the Grand Ballroom at the historic New Yorker Hotel at 8th & 34th to showcase their growing stable of switchers, signal converters, encoders, routers, and test equipment along with their latest unorthodox production products: cameras, monitors, disk recorders, and grading/NLE software. Plus a new scanner for film...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/27/14
Amazon Studio’s ongoing experiment in populist programming goes into full swing again tomorrow night when the pilot of Hand of God debuts on the streaming service. We’re excited to see how it all plays out, partly because the innovative approach puts the power in the hands of the people; the shows that draw a big, engaged audience are likely to get made. But we’re also amped up to see the latest...
Film Independent 08/27/14
“Confounding in a good way” is probably a cop-out way to describe a film, but I can think of few other ways to succinctly sum up Pascale Ferran’s Bird People. As you may have deduced from the title, this binary portrait features a supporting character of the avian persuasion, who turns in some of the most seamless VFX work this side of The Wolf of Wall Street. The above video...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/27/14
In a move that says a lot about the unrelenting pressure to move to 4K, ARRI has announced that they will release a 4K UHD upgrade for the AMIRA by the end of the year. This upgrade will provide in-camera recording of 3840 x 2160 UHD video at up to 60 fps to CFast cards in ProRes, as well as live uncompressed UHD output through 6G-SDI. For the past year, ARRI has been discouraging the move to 4K...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/27/14
David Lynch’s broad sense of humor has always been a bit of an acquired taste, especially when he’s the one on-screen delivering it (recall all those deafness/earhorn jokes in Twin Peaks). This minute-ish video gets the much-discussed ice bucket challenge right, as Lynch is drenched by two buckets — one with coffee added to it for Laura Dern, one straight-up for Justin Theroux — while...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/27/14
Ten years ago, Film Independent decided that the best way to help up-and-coming filmmakers learn how to navigate the business would be to convene a forum of people who had done it expertly and let them do the talking. We invited some of the savviest independent film people we could find: bold filmmakers (including Mario Van Peebles, who had just made Baaadasssss!, Catherine Hardwicke, fresh off...
Film Independent 08/26/14
Ricky D’Ambrose consistently runs some of the most revealing, worthwhile video interviews over at MUBI Notebook, and his latest is no exception. This go around, Ambrose converses with Gina Telaroli, one of our brand new 25 New Faces, about her process, the “classic Hollywood system,” and the potential drawbacks of having your hand in too many of the industry’s depleted...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/26/14
Filmmaker regularly offers crowdfunding filmmakers on our curated Kickstarter page the opportunity to write a guest essay about their campaign. Here’s Sasha Solodukhina on the struggles of funding a first-time work, How to Disappear Completely. To learn more about her 30-minute film, visit its Kickstarter page, where the campaign is in its final three days. Unlike Spike Lee, or Charlie...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/26/14
Netflix’s ever-shifting catalog is subject to sudden deletions and additions, the latter skewed far more to recent fare than a balanced sampling of all film history. Still, careful mining reveals a decent selection of titles to catch up on if you’re one of the company’s 35 million+ U.S. subscribers, including some relatively slept-on films. I cleared away the underwhelming...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/26/14
Last week, Sundance Film Festival programmers Lisa Ogdie and Kim Yutani stopped by Film Independent to do a Q&A with our members, offering insight into the selection process as well as helpful hints for filmmakers submitting their work. The deadlines for Sundance 2015 are fast approaching (official deadlines are Monday, August 25 for shorts and Friday, August 29 for features; late deadlines...
Film Independent 08/25/14
It’s a widely recognized fact that today’s low-budget independent filmmaker can no longer delight in the luxury of simply getting from development through post. She may be the writer-director, but chances are, she also has a hand in the film’s grassroots publicity efforts and even its release. In the case of documentary film, some are tacking ‘public advocate’ onto...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 08/25/14