Filmmaker

Articles from Vol. 18, No. 2, Winter

Art after Death
Don Argott's latest documentary, The Art of the Steal, depicts the fight to control Philadelphia's Barnes Collection, a private collector's museum of Impressionist and early Modern art, as the heist of the century. By Scott MacaulayFrom its title to...
Carnivalesque
With The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Terry Gilliam returns to the fantastical circus-show storytelling of his hits Brazil, Time Bandits and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Nonetheless, for Gilliam making a movie is never easy... By Jason Guerrasio...
Confronting the Plight of the Mainstream Indie
LINE ITEMSLet's get this out of the way right now: Most coming-of-age comedies are gag-filled, empty, cynical products designed to drive 16 year olds into the theaters in droves where they can chortle for 90 minutes at the words "dick" and "fuck." Probably...
Continuing Dilemma
If you've decided to take on the arduous task of releasing your film through a DIY model you've probably already read in the pages of Filmmaker within the last year what lies ahead. But your work doesn't end after a theatrical release, television sales,...
Criminal Acts
Beware the Red Riding Trilogy. This three-part neo-noir produced by Revolution Films and being released through IFC should come with a warning label - it's so highly addictive it's impossible to watch just one. Screenwriter Tony Grisoni did a knockout...
Diy Nuts and Bolts: Choosing a Fulfillment Company
LINE ITEMSAs you may know I recently released a book, Think Outside the Box Office, a practical guide to distributing and marketing a film in today's economically challenging marketplace. Because of the similar state of the publishing industry, and because...
Editor's Letter
If cinema is dreaming (or truth or lying, depending on who you quote) at 24 frames a second, then cinephilia is the memory of those dreams.I've been thinking about the relationship of film to memory after tabulating the results of two "Decade's End"...
Eight Things That Will Keep You in the Know
1 WHO SHOT ROCK & ROLL Through January, The Brooklyn Museum has on display an incredible array of photographs of rock musicians that capture them at their most candid and most revealing. Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the...
Hard Questions
We asked SUNDANCE feature filmmakers to tell us the most difficult decision they had to make to get their films completed.Life 2.0 (director, Jason Spingarn-Koff)Do I need permission to film that person? In my previous documentaries, the answer was always...
Here to Help
With The Collaborative (thefilmcollaborative.org), Orly Ravid and Jeffrey Fabian Winter have set out on a singular mission: "To be part of the solution, not part of the problem." The Collaborative will launch this January as a full-service, nonprofit...
Internal Combustion
Ramin Barhani sits down with The Exploding Girl's writer-drector Bradley Rust Gray to talk about his intimate yet mysterious portrait of a college girl at an emotional crossroads. Photograph by Richard KoekIf one focuses solely on its plot, there would...
No-Budget Cookbook
A recipe for no-budget filmmaking might go something like this: Gather no more than a baker's dozen of crew members, a half dozen actors, a large helping of friends and family, and a lighting/camera/sound equipment package smaller than half the size...
Now Playing at the Quad. You!
"There are thousands of exceptional films that just die on the shelf," laments Elliott Kanbar, the president of the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village. "I decided to give people without a distributor a shot at playing at the Quad." Opened in 1972, the...
Poetry in Pixels
This fall the New York Times Magazine ran an article on the birth of an indie games movement. For the Times, that's not so bad; maybe three years too late? True, if you're a hardcore indie gamer, you've probably been passing around games on disks for...
Reports from Doha and Thessaloniki
Doha Tribeca Film FestivalBY SCOTT MACAULAY"Some people thought this would be the Tribeca Film Festival transplanted to the Middle East, but nothing could be further from the truth," said Tribeca Chief Creative Officer Geoffrey Gilmore at an outdoor...
Rewind
LINE ITEMSTHE TRENDS AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS OF INDEPENDENT FILM IN '09. BY SCOTT MACAULAY, ILLUSTRATIONS BY TZE CHUNFilms are about storytelling, say the script doctors and development executives. So too, then, the business of independent film. And...
Running out of Air
Hell can be many things - being buried alive in the Iraqi desert, for example, or perhaps just watching your screenplay slowly disintegrate on the shelf during never-end-ing studio "development." The opposite of most screenwriters, Chris Sparling knows...
Script Supervising Goes Digital
LINE ITEMSWhen I started out script supervising almost 20 years ago, the tools of the trade were a stopwatch, a pen or pencil, paper, a Polaroid camera and that all important bible, the script. Each script supervisor had his or her own idiosyncratic...
Security Deposit
With her features growing alongside her characters, Nicole Holofcener looks at the linkage between mortality and real estate in her insightful and moving fourth film, Please Give.In a New York Times piece written last month on the commercial success...
Shirin Neshat, from Gallery to Garden
REPORTS"It's very flattering to be interviewed by a film magazine as opposed to an art publication," said Shirin Neshat. "I am very flattered anybody would think it's worth talking to me." Widely acknowledged as one of the most influential contemporary...
Slumpdays
LINE ITEMSFIVE FUNDRAISING SUCCESS STORIES FROM TODAY'S DOWN ECONOMY BY ALICIA VAN COUVERINGIt is a very, very hard time to raise money for independent films. A recent Time Magazine article estimated that of the 38 indie film financing firms that existed...
Theatrical Launch
LINE ITEMSPAUL DEVLIN CHRONICLES THE CHALLENGING JOURNEY OF HIS FILM BLAST! TO THE BIG SCREEN.A big theatrical premiere. Showing your film before an appreciative audience. Reviews, press, interviews, people standing in line to see your movie. Box office....
The Big Art/little Debt Plan
LINE ITEMSBALANCING RISK AND RESPONSIBILITY WHILE MAKING GREAT FILMS. BY ESTHER B. ROBINSONRisk. It's part and parcel of the heroic filmmaker narrative: pulling that boat over the mountain. Chasing the dubious lead that results in narrative gold. Putting...
The Mourning After
Leaving Gucci five years ago to pursue filmmaking aspirations, famous fashion designer Tom Ford revealed his labor of love, an adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man, at this past year's Venice Film Festival to high praise - and a Best Actor...
This Decade Is about the Filter
More than a decade ago it was "search" that was driving innovation and large investments in both infrastructure and talent. When Google first started indexing unique URLs in 1998 there were already 26 million. Two years later the amount of indexed pages...
Unlike Her
Zoe Kazan on the difference between her and Ivy. By Scott MacaulayIn Bradley Rust Gray's The Exploding Girl, Zoe Kazan plays Ivy, a sensitive, sweetly unformed preadult with such naturalness and intuitiveness that one would swear that Gray had created...
When Does Plan B Become Plan A?
FEW SUNDANCE FILMMAKERS BRAVE ALTERNATIVE DISTRIBUTION PATHSOld distribution models die hard.Everyone knows about the passing of that once-established indie film paradigm: Make a movie, show it at a festival, sell it to a distributor, get it booked in...
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