PIFVA Reader

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

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
Whoever said an indie movie has to be a quiet and understated character study? If you’re an independent filmmaker and bloody violence is more your style, then by all means, go for it. But if you plan to use weaponry in your film, you had better plan on hiring an armorer. We spoke to armory services professional Gerry Wright about how to let your characters get violent while keeping your cast and...
Film Independent 10/16/14
Charmingly crude and equipped with the gift of gab, filmmaker and painter Onur Tukel’s Summer of Blood is a Brooklyn-set vampire comedy with a love for witty banter. The film’s writer, director, and editor, Tukel also stars as the pugnacious Erik, a fast-talking pessimist who shoots down a marriage proposal from his longtime girlfriend. Now a solitary bachelor with a dead-end job, Erik takes to...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/16/14
The following is a sponsored editorial post from LG. For editors looking to limit the number of screens they’re looking at, LG’s 21:9 ratio 34UC97 monitor is an exciting new option. At 34 inches wide with QHD resolution of 3440×1440, the 34UC97 provides 2.4 times more pixel power than a 16:9 monitor with full HD resolution. Editors worried about the color shift that can occur on...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/16/14
Filmmaker Adam Bhala Lough is in the final days of an Indiegogo campaign for his skater doc, The Motivation 2.0: The Chris Cole Story, currently featured on our partner page. Below, he writes about his use of GoPro cameras for his independent films. Visit the Indiegogo page for more information on his project and please consider donating. GoPro cameras have long been popular in the action sports...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/16/14
“I’m interested in what people do, not what they say.” In her latest documentary, CITIZENFOUR, which had its West Coast premiere at Film Independent at LACMA last night, Laura Poitras trains her camera on what one idealistic 29-year-old did when he learned that the US government was conducting a covert campaign of tapping into the personal phone and internet records of millions of Americans...
Film Independent 10/15/14
For many years one of the public faces of Los Angeles’ New Beverly Cinema, today Julia Marchese posted an unnerving account of her experience since Quentin Tarantino became the theater’s owner and programmer. It’s worth reading in full, but the gist is that Tarantino’s team put inexplicably tight social media muzzles on all staff and effectively fired (“demoted...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/15/14
They’re a tricky thing, voiceovers, and arguably no one utilizes them as frequently and as effectively as Terrence Malick. Where many filmmakers deploy them as an expository device, Malick allows voiceovers to deepen his characters’ perspectives through literal and abstract observations. This video essay from Kevin B. Lee and Scott Tobias at the Dissolve analyzes the evolution of...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/15/14
With Jessica Oreck’s The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga opening today at MoMA in New York for a week-long run, we are rerunning Howard Feinstein’s review from the New Directors New Films festival. Running the length of this labor-intensive doc about man’s late-developing historical estrangement from nature are excellent hand-painted animated panels depicting a composite Slavic...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/15/14
Although it is a ’90s-set story dealing with an ‘80s political cover-up, Michael Cuesta’s Kill the Messenger, the true story of journalist Gary Webb, couldn’t be more of the moment. When filmmaker Laura Poitras is documenting the work of a new breed of crusading journalists, it’s enlightening to revisit the work of a writer like Webb and to remember the opposition he faced from not only the...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/15/14
This video has been up for a while, but it serves well as a primer for the inexperienced on how to conceal lavalier microphones. With the opening warning that you’re better off not doing that at all, video expert/enthusiast Izzy Hyman demonstrates seven ways to conceal a lavalier microphone on your person while keeping it from making distracting crackling sounds when it brushes against...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/15/14
The video’s issued by Adobe itself, so take the endorsements contained therein with more than a few grains of salt. Still, for those interested in David Fincher’s ever-evolving post-production process, here’s a little over five minutes of his Gone Girl post-production team talking about their all-Adobe workflow. The big takeaway is how this integrated workflow has made it easier...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 10/14/14