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. 2

Writing Lighting ☛   In my previous piece I discussed how decisions about the location of your screenplay can help bring the budget down. This time I’ll focus on how your general approach to story can save you money on camera and lighting. Time was that picture quality was the first thing that would tell … 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

Looking After the Little Fella

A guide to writing walk-on roles for the screen

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

Coming Soon, part II

How to make an industry trailer ☛ My last piece was about the trailers that show in cinemas, the ones the public gets to see. However, before a movie’s theatrical trailer or even its teaser has hit the big screen, there may have been a couple of promos already cut for that film. Indeed new … Continue reading

Coming Soon…

The art of the trailer ☛ I’ve always been a sucker for trailers. They invite you to experience all the excitement of a feature film in a couple of minutes, and you get to fill in the gaps with your imagination. As a kid I often found them more fulfilling than the film I’d come … Continue reading

Rekindling Old Frames

Deleted Scenes ☛ I’ve recently locked picture on the movie Sparks and Embers and it’s fallen to me to prepare the deleted scenes. As the editor, I work with the audience in mind so, when deciding which scenes to recommend including, I found myself wondering: what do people get from watching deleted scenes? To answer … Continue reading

Unleashing the Titan

A sneak peek at Red’s new super-camera ☛ Following the release of Red’s ground-breaking Epic Dragon camera earlier this month, I decided to talk to someone from the company to see if I could get an insight into what might be coming next from this most revolutionary of camera companies. I pitched up at their … Continue reading

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