Can movies cause political change?

Covering how to found a country and the devastating power of the ordinary. In the light of recent and possible future events I have been doing some soul-searching about my filmmaking. The not-so-gradual rise of the far right, both in Europe and America, has lead me to question whether there’s more I could be doing … Continue reading

What a Feature Film Editor Does

Apart From, y’know, Edit  ☛ I’ve written much in the past about the art and craft of narrative editing, so I thought I’d focus for a change on the parts of the job that aren’t putting shots together. What follows applies specifically to drama feature film editors. I’m also assuming that the feature film editor … Continue reading

Does your lens policy need renewing?

Which lens to use? The internet is full of advice about which lens is the sharpest or the fastest or the best value for money. Less is said, however, about which focal length to use and when; most people simply adjust the zoom until the shot feels right. A valid approach if time is tight … Continue reading

Conversations with the Invisible Man

Writing Movies Within Your Means, pt. 3 ☛ Previously I’ve looked at how locations can bring down your budget and how to justify shooting on cheaper cameras, but you can also save money through clever use of writing itself. Dialogue When asked why his movies were so dialogue–heavy, indie auteur Hal Hartley quipped “Talk’s cheap”. … Continue reading

Writing Movies Within Your Means, pt. 1

Forget Set and Go ☛ Film is one of the most expensive art-forms, which means getting films made is hard. One way for screenwriters to get their scripts noticed, and for writer/directors to get their first feature made, is to build affordability into the script. The challenge is that with each element you remove from … Continue reading

Inspiring Belief

An Editor’s Guide to Working with a Director ☛ Last time I wrote about how directors should approach working with an editor, this time the shoe is on the other foot. A lot is written online about how editors should work with their editing software – hints and tips. Books on editing have much to … Continue reading

The Way of the Scissor People

How to Work with an Editor ☛ I wrote some time back encouraging directors to work with editors, rather than cutting their own material. My colleagues in the cutting room report that they are working with an increasing number of directors who are using an editor for the first time. Needless to say these first … Continue reading

Why we Need to Write Weaker Female Characters

Why we Struggle to Write Good Parts for Women ☛ I had a discussion online the other day with actress Alice Lowe about the portrayal of women on screen. The place of women in the film industry, on-screen and off, is something of a hot topic following the woeful under-representation of women at this year’s … Continue reading

PRODUCT REVIEW: ‘FilmConvert’ Film Emulation Software

Can Digital Really Look Like Film? ☛   Journalistic convention dictates that you review products when they’re brand new, but I’m taking the liberty of reviewing something that’s been around for a time. What can I say? It’s new to me. Be aware: this may get a little technical. FilmConvert is a bundle of software … Continue reading

Has a Line Been Crossed?

Directing tip # 1: Crossing the Line The first rule of filmmaking most students learn in film school is ‘don’t cross the line’. I’ve met those who see this rule as one of the few inviolable principles of directing for the edit, and others who think that movie grammar has outgrown this quaint prohibition. I’m … Continue reading

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