Filmmaker

Articles from Vol. 20, No. 1, Fall

Below-the-Line Blues
If savvy indie auteurs are discovering new ways to beat the old ways of filmmaking, Grafting engaging films for less cost and more potential upside, it's tougher for the crews on those films to make a living.Producers and financiers might be impressed...
Collision COURSE
Though Lars von Trier's mouth gets him. into trouble, the Dane's incredible storytelling talents are well under control. MELANCHOLIA, his latest, is a masterfully beguiling tale of sisters, depression and the end of the world.You've got to hand it to...
Conflict of Interest
Already receiving acclaim at festivals all over the world, including at this year's Berlinale where it won the Golden Bear, Asghar Farhadi's A SEPARATION is a moving tale about politics, family, religion and class."A Separation?" said the Persian cabbie...
Cutting Ahead
A LOOK AT THE LATEST TRENDS IN POST PRODUCTION. BY RANDY ASTLE"Once more I repeat that editing is the creative force of filmic reality, and that nature provides only the raw material with which it works. That, precisely, is the relationship between editing...
Editor's Letter
I was talking to someone about moderating panels and events, and I said the only secret is this: you have to assume the role of the audience member. You have to assume that if you're bored by what the panelists are saying, your audience is probably bored...
Eight Things That Will Keep You in the Know
1 HITRECORD'S RECOLLECTION "Who knows, maybe in three years we'll have hitRECord cinema!" This was Joseph Gordon-Levitt's hope when we talked to him about his opencollaborative site hitRECord.org in 2009. Well RegularJOE, you did it in less than three!...
From the Rubble
I arrived in Kabul in late May of 2011 with seven weeks to realize two objectives-shoot a new video in the ruined Darul Aman Palace on the outskirts of the city and teach a one-month video workshop at the Center for Contemporary Art Afghanistan (CCAA)....
Hard to Kick
Let's start with the rats.You've probably heard of the famous behavioral psychologist, B.F. Skinner. For our purposes here, know that Skinner invented the operant conditioning chamber, or Skinner box, where he experimented on rats and pigeons to determine...
Home Cooking
CORBIN BERNSEN - YES, CORBIN BERNSEN - SHOWS THAT COMMUNITY BUILDING CAN NOT ONLY HELP MOVIES GET MADE BUT STRENGTHEN LOCAL ECONOMIES. BY TODD LONGWELLCorbin Bernsen believes he's on to something."I think our economic recovery is going to come directly...
Impulses
If Steve McQueen's critically-acclaimed debut, HUNGER, portrayed a man in frightening control of his own body, his follow-up, SHAME, shows the opposite - a man unable to curb his addiction to sex.How do you tell the story of addiction? So many tales...
Jessica Chastain Q&A
When considering Take Shelter, Michael Shannon's transfixing performance as Curtis, a struggling working-class man battered by apocalyptic visions, may be the first thing you talk about. As a man battling what he fears is the onslaught of hereditary...
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 1-9) is in its 46th year, but as the premiere cinematic gathering in the Czech Republic it feels even older. The fest takes place in a tiny historic town nestled inside a country that's seen both Nazism...
Networking Frenzy
This year the Independent Filmmaker Project, the nation's oldest and largest advocacy program for independent filmmaking, moved it on up, transferring its signature event, Independent Film Week, uptown to the sparklingly new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film...
New Age Viewing
Now in its 42nd year, the Film Society of Lincoln Center has been a hallmark of the New York exhibition scene and one of the world's most esteemed presenters of international and independent cinema. With its annual New York Film Festival and New Directors/New...
Once upon a Time
As the late '60s wore on, African and African-American filmmakers began to descend on UCLA's campus, recruited as part of a concerted effort by the university's School of Theater, Film and Television to include more students of color. Among them were...
On the Hustle
IN TODAY'S ECONOMY, HOW ARE INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS MONETIZING THEMSELVES? BY SCOTT MACAULAYA poet writes an acclaimed collection of work. It sells in the hundreds, but the recognition leads to a tenure-track job at a prestigious university. A family man...
Out IN THE Neighborhood
For her debut feature, PARIAH, Dee Rees expands on her award-winning short to further explore the challenges a teenage girl faces from her friends and family as she searches for her sexual identity. By Brandon Harris | Photograph by Henny GarfunkelWith...
Points
SO WHO GETS PAID (AND HOW MUCH) AFTER YOUR MOVIE MAKES A PROFIT? BY ALICIA VAN COUVERINGMost independent films don't make money. We all know that. But what happens when they do? "Backend" is the industry parlance for a profit pool that flows to cast...
Reboot
HOLLY WILLIS EXPLAINS WHAT FILM SCHOOLS NEED TO EXPLORE TO STAY RELEVANT IN THE FUTURE.Look around. Films are moving steadily from theaters and DVD players onto computers and cell phones. While they continue to infiltrate galleries and museums as what...
The Storm Within
For his sophomore film TAKE SHELTER, writer-director Jeff Nichols teams with Michael Shannon once more, this time looking at mental illness from the perspective of a father who's convinced the day of reckoning is upon us.As I write this introduction...
The Vocation of the STORYTELLER
Is independent filmmaking a calling, like a religion? The Rev. Megan Hollaway looks at the religious impulse in Todd Rohal's priest comedy, THE CATECHISM CATACLYSM.Todd Rohal's The Catechism Cataclysm, released by IFC Midnight, is a metaphor for filmmaking...
Toronto International Film Festival
Toronto multitasks. It has to. The North American launching pad for second- or third-tier commercial releases with stars from lists A through C, the festival includes a rather high proportion of Galas and Special Presentations - a majority of them apparently...
Trust Issues
A dark character study of a girl escaping a cult, Sean Durkin's feature MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE is an impressive debut that also highlights the talents of this year's Sundance breakout actress, Elizabeth Olsen.Though Martha Marcy May Marlene is his...
What If 5th Graders Ruled Your Storyworld?
What does it take to tell a story in the 21st century? That's a question I've been wrestling with. As I watch the concept of authorship shift due to the democratization of the tools, my views on storytelling are changing. What was formally known as "the...
What Lies BENEATH
Assisted by screenwriter and playwright Christopher Hampton, David Cronenberg's A DANGEROUS METHOD delves into the birth of psychoanalysis with an obsessive attention to detail and stellar performances by Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen and Keira...