Archive for July, 2007

Ingmar Bergman (1918 – 2007)

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Ingmar Bergman, one of the great filmmakers of the 20th century passed away today at his home in Sweden. His work influenced many contemporary filmmakers including Woody Allen who described Bergman as “probably the greatest film artist … since the invention of the motion picture camera.” Many of his films [IMDB info] dealt with existentialism, faith and death.

His earliest memories, he [Bergman] once said, were of light and death: “I remember how the sunlight hit the edge of my dish when I was eating spinach and, by moving the dish slightly from side to side, I was able to make different figures out of the light. I also remember sitting with my brother, in the backyard of my flat, aiming with slingshots at enormous black rats scurrying around. And I also remember being forced to sit in church, listening to a very boring sermon, but it was a very beautiful church, and I loved the music and the light streaming through the windows. I used to sit up in the loft beside the organ, and when there were funerals, I had this marvelous long-shot view of the proceedings, with the coffin and the black drapes, and then later at the graveyard, watching the coffin lowered into the ground. I was never frightened by these sights. I was fascinated.” [Excerpt from the NY Times article by Mervyn Rothstein]

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DVD Commentary for Filmmakers (Series) – The Machinist

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

My producing partner and I have been watching a lot of indie psychological thrillers lately because it relates to our current project. First, we want to make sure that their story is not too similar to ours. Secondly, we want to see if we can get some useful production information from their film’s DVD Commentary. You know – the essential information that every indie producer wants to know: how they got financing, their budget, how they attracted the actors to the roles without any money (especially if they have a star) that kind of thing. You’d be surprised at what you can learn from this info. This is going to be a regular series on this blog. I realize that this isn’t exactly a new release, but I’m going to start with The Machinist. [IMDB info]

The Machinist (a.k.a. El Maquinista) (2004)

Directed by Brad Anderson [IMDB info] – Written by Scott Kosar [IMDB info] – Produced by Julio Fernández [IMDB info]

The story is about Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) [IMDB info] – an industrial machinist who hasn’t slept in a year. As a result of his extreme insomnia, he’s paranoid, hallucinates, and freaks out. Good movie.

Here are the DVD commentary highlights that I feel are useful and interesting to filmmakers:

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Great Screenwriting Resource Links

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Since this is the beginning of this blog, I will start with the beginning of a film’s process. I will highlight the first category in filmmaking and list useful resources available for it on the Net. I will list a few samples with a brief description – the first being an obvious and well known site and then move to more obscure/less known sites.

SCREENWRITING – the first element of narrative filmmaking. I cannot say enough for the importance of this category, so I won’t. I’ll just begin with what I think is the best site for screenwriters and the process of screenwriting: johnaugust.com. John August [IMDB Info] gives great advice by answering reader-submitted questions and archives all the info. He also does this for IMDB in a column called “Ask A Filmmaker” along with director Penelope Spheeris [IMDB Info] and cinematographer Oliver Stapleton [IMDB Info]. Mr. August has written some big films like Go, Charlie’s Angels, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and just directed his first, The Nines. Johnaugust.com covers a lot about structure along with general rants. The site also has the quintessential screenwriting glossary.

Another great site for answering reader’s questions is “Hollywhooped” by David H. Steinberg [IMDB Info]. It’s part of the Done Deal Pro website, but it’s a free column available outside their subscriber membership. David answers more about the business of screenwriting and often applies a tough-love approach to his responses. So, if you’re thin-skinned and/or don’t spell-check your e-mails, be warned. If you really like getting abused, try “Ask Dick Hollywood” in Fade In Magazine.

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The Links Directory Is Up (Over 3,000 Filmmaking Links)

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

In the process of producing my first feature film, “Nothing Without You,”  I have compiled thousands of useful links to filmmaking resources. Here are the links in Filmlinker’s Links Directory – broken down into the following categories & sub-categories:

+ SCREENWRITING – The start of it all. Every screenwriting website that I could find is here. It includes educational information, software, professional screenwriter’s blogs, online magazines, articles, etc.

Writing & Reference – This is a natural sub- category to Screenwriting. It includes many reference sites, info on writing structure, all around multiple sources of information on various fields that will help writers fill in the blanks of their work.

+ PRE-PRODUCTION – The plan starts here. This is such a multifaceted category; I’ve included several elements which contain all the film directories, manuals, and general resource sites that I think can be useful to all filmmakers. Plus, budgeting resources, film analysis sites (that can help with your business plan), pre-pro software sites, etc.

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