PIFVA Reader

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

4K — a spec, or perhaps an aesthetic? Plenty of us are shooting in older, lower-resolution cameras, but others are buying new units that offer double — or more — the resolution we shot just a few years ago. Our images are finer, more detailed… but how else are they different? Sharp, along with RED and THX, are for the second year presenting “The Art of Amazing 4K...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/29/14
The following is a guest post from director, writer and actress Bethany Orr, whose untitled Iceland-set, psychosexual drama is currently raising funds on Indiegogo in a campaign titled “Iceland or Bust.” Click here at the link to learn more and to support the project. Okay, so you’re not Zach Braff. The market is saturated with projects competing for attention and the hard-earned...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/29/14
With the release of Zach Braff’s Kickstarter-funded sophomore feature Wish I Was Here and, of course, the successful fundraising of over $50,000 for what is evidently a much-needed bowl of potato salad, we’ve got crowdfunding on the brain this month. Two weeks ago, Film Independent hosted an education event with Emily Best, the founder and CEO of crowdfunding platform Seed & Spark, during...
Film Independent 07/29/14
Following the announcement of its Special Presentation and Gala selections last week, this morning TIFF released the Documentaries, Masters, Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for the upcoming festival. That just leaves Mavericks, Discovery, Wavelengths, Contemporary World and several others to go. 17 world premieres have been added, along with Cannes (Godard, Sissako, Zvyagintsev, Polsky,...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/29/14
With all the attention on brushless gimbals it’s easy to overlook cranes — pieces of equipment that can add cinematic motion to any shot. Cranes can also be large, difficult to move and hard to operate. The ProAm Taurus Jr is a small crane that solves most of those problems; its only limitation is that its range of motion may not meet every need. The Taurus Jr is 50” long and 5 ¾” wide and...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/29/14
I had a dream the other night, and all my filmmaking heroes were there. Young, full of vision, light in their eyes. A party at a swanky bar. Then last call was called. And the lights came up. And Orson Welles was drunk, huge, exhausted. And Nicholas Ray, with an eye patch, was chain smoking. And Hal Ashby was haggard, mumbling to himself in the corner about someone taking away his final cut. The...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/29/14
In a statement published in the Nov. 24, 1962 Film Culture, Pier Paolo Pasolini thought about how a simple metaphor can be conveyed onscreen, starting from one solution he rejected as overall unsound: “Let us consider the following written or spoken statement: ‘Gennarino looked like a hyena.’ … The attempt has been made to juxtapose a hyena with Gennarino by joining two...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/28/14
A hat-tip, as usual, to David Hudson at Keyframe Daily for directing us to this graduate student short from Thibault de Fournas. In a brisk two-plus minutes, Thibault first explains the art of typography on the printed page — size, style, type, forms — then concisely summarizes the history of type’s on-screen presence, from its introduction as static intertitles to the opening credits...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/28/14
Noa Regev, the new director of the Jerusalem International Film Festival, had a difficult task for her first edition. Walking a fine line between continuing with the film screenings while acknowledging “the situation,” as it is called here, wasn’t easy but she handled it with grace and intelligence. “The situation”: Israel is bombing Gaza to smithereens while sirens wail over Israel, warning of...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/28/14
Earlier this year, we released an exclusive stream to former “25 New Face” Ian Clark’s MMXIII, which functioned as an experimental self-portrait, partially related through Clark’s Oregon environs. From the celestial-driven imagery of said film, Clark devised a sci-fi alien abduction follow-up, A Morning Light, that’s now sourcing funds on Kickstarter. Produced by...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/28/14
Matthew Weiner and Laura Ramsey “Cinema is exquisite at recreating a sense of loneliness that I assume most people feel but don’t want to think about.” It’s not surprising that Mad Man creator Matthew Weiner—a man known for creating some of the most compelling lost souls television has ever seen—brought his penchant for existentialists to his feature film debut, Are You Here, which screened last...
Film Independent 07/28/14
After Cat Chaser, Abel Ferrera was reluctant to give up final cut again, not without a fight anyways. The erotic thriller’s 1989 theatrical release, complete with a clunky voiceover ghosted by another actor because leading hunk Peter Weller refused, has a fundamentally different character from Ferrera’s director’s cut currently housed in the basement at Anthology Film Archives....
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/28/14
As someone old enough to remember the visceral theater experience of Road Warrior as well as the kitschy letdown of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, count me intrigued and hopeful after this first trailer for George Miller’s franchise reboot, Mad Max: Fury Road. There’s plenty that’s familiar from the series here, but replacing the dusty grain of the original films are DI-enhanced...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/27/14
“Transparency benefits everybody.” That’s Joe Swanberg, whose recommended Happy Christmas opens today, talking about distribution dealmaking, but he might just as well have been talking about all aspects of his career and financial life. Indeed, Swanberg is nothing but transparent in this long interview with producer, director and ArtHome founder Esther Robinson focused...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/25/14
We recently spotlighted Tony Zhou’s video essay on Michael Bay’s editing techniques, and now he’s come up with another fascinating editorial analysis. “Satoshi Kon — Editing Space & Time” examines the work of the late anime legend (Paprika, Perfect Blue) purely from an editor’s perspective, finding analogical techniques in Wes Anderson’s work while...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/25/14
I love being on set. Mine, yours, whomever’s. I like eating exorbitant amounts of food. I like idle conversation. I like the feeling you get when sleep deprivation kicks in and the dullest minutiae is suddenly hilarious. But mostly I like being around a group of people who have cast aside their better judgement to create something together. So when Nathan Silver asked if I wanted to come to...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/25/14
Starting this week, I’ll be posting a round-up of stray news items and articles — mostly film, though not all — that caught my eye. Let’s get started: • The great Michael Almereyda’s short film Skinningrove won the short film jury award at Sundance this year, and now you can watch it at the New York Review of Books. It’s about 15 minutes of photographer Chris Killip...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/25/14
Last year, I did a lengthly profile on Dogfish Pictures’ inaugural Accelerator program, which adapts a start up financing model to the independent film landscape. Dogfish equips each of its selected participants with seed financing and an office space where they’ll develop their product(s) over the course of nine-weeks, with added input from mentors. The program is capped off by a ...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/24/14
Exciting news! Film Independent Fellow Sheldon Candis is nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Video with a Social Message, for the video he directed of J. Cole’s “Crooked Smile.” “I really don’t see it as a music video… I call it a ‘musical mini-movie,” said Candis of his transition from narrative features to making a music video. The story was one of the most important aspects...
Film Independent 07/24/14
“I don’t do romance. My tastes are very…singular.” The keenly anticipated, much-hyped first full trailer for 50 Shades of Grey is now here, having debuted during the Today show earlier today (corporate synergy at its finest: distributor Universal also owns NBC). Jamie Dornan glowers impassively, Dakota Johnson stares into his eyes, and eventually the whips come out....
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 07/24/14