How to Perfect Your Script & Why Docs Are the New Blockbusters [PODCAST]

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, summer box offices have a new superhero. Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss how theatrical documentaries are taking over the summer box office, give a fall festival preview, and mull over a newly announced Oscar category. In gear news, we reveal two new mobile audio solutions and an affordable ultra-wide zoom. Jon answers an Ask No Film School question about how to make sure your film script is properly formatted—and the right length. As always, the Continue reading "How to Perfect Your Script & Why Docs Are the New Blockbusters [PODCAST]"

Make Your Awesome VR or AR Idea a Reality with This New Competition

The XR Alliance wants to help connect storytellers with technologists to make the best immersive stories come to life. Some stories—some of your stories, in fact—are just meant to live beyond the screen. With the new possibilities of Extended Reality (XR), we have more ways to imagine and tell our stories than ever before. (XR is an umbrella term for all the other “Rs”: virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality). Here’s the catch: many of us may have played with a VR headset or two, seen something cool in AR at a film festival, Continue reading "Make Your Awesome VR or AR Idea a Reality with This New Competition"

What to Know Before You Drone & The Best Way to Get Your Short Seen [PODCAST]

This episode of Indie Film Weekly reveals how to get off the ground with drone cinematography. Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss the union negotiations that might have the Hollywood film industry gearing up for a strike, and ponder what the heck is going on with Moviepass. Jon also shares wisdom from Short of the Week about how to develop a distribution strategy for your short film. In gear news, Liz reviews the Freefly Movi smartphone stabilizer. Aerial cinematographer Randall Esulto from BerCo Aerial joins us to Continue reading "What to Know Before You Drone & The Best Way to Get Your Short Seen [PODCAST]"

What it Takes to Be a Top TV Editor

Two Emmy-nominated editors break down how to make it in the TV business.

The "Age of Peak TV" is a phrase thrown around so much it’s starting to feel like a cliché, but the fact is that there's more programming being created for more platforms than ever before, which means that there's more work for people in the film and TV business, particularly in one crucial part of the process: post-production. But just how do you break into post-production for TV, what can you expect once you do, and what does Continue reading "What it Takes to Be a Top TV Editor"

Nikon Teases a Full Frame Mirrorless & What Should We Make of the James Gunn Firing? [PODCAST]

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, it looks like Nikon is edging in on Sony’s mirrorless camera dominance. Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss what we should make of James Gunn being fired from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise over controversial tweets. We also reveal an industry trend worth watching from this year’s massive Comic-Con. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, joins us for gear news including confirmed rumors of Nikon's new mirrorless camera. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School question about Continue reading "Nikon Teases a Full Frame Mirrorless & What Should We Make of the James Gunn Firing? [PODCAST]"

Why the Ultimate Hustler Bobbito Garcia’s Story is a Lesson for Every Indie Filmmaker

In 'Rock Rubber 45s', the influential radio host, DJ, and author-turned-filmmaker makes his life story into an object lesson for freelance creatives. If there’s one thing Bobbito Garcia knows how to do, it’s hustle. From his early days in New York City, he was making things happen in the world of hip-hop and beyond with a truly D.I.Y. spirit. You might recognize his name from the '90s radio show Stretch and Bobbito that broke artists like Biggie Smalls and the Wu-Tang Clan, or from his notorious underground APT parties. Or perhaps from his Continue reading "Why the Ultimate Hustler Bobbito Garcia’s Story is a Lesson for Every Indie Filmmaker"

How to Start Your Own Netflix & Why You Should Buy a Still Camera Over Video [PODCAST]

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, why put your film on Netflix when you could launch your own streaming service? Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, Charles Haine, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss why you might be able to skip having your film on Netflix in favor of launching your own streaming service. We also discuss a new study on film critics and what it means for production funding, and say a sad goodbye to Blockbuster Video. In gear news, the MacBook Pro sort of wins us back. Charles also answers Continue reading "How to Start Your Own Netflix & Why You Should Buy a Still Camera Over Video [PODCAST]"

Are You an Arty Weirdo Making Weird Art? There’s a Fund for Your Films Now

The innovative producers behind ‘The Eyeslicer’ invite your submission to their Radical Film Fund. Dan Schoenbrun’s career trajectory has shown that he is a man on a mission to shake up the filmmaking world, from funding to production to distribution. After serving as one of the initial funding gamechangers as Head of Film Outreach at Kickstarter, he went on to produce innovative films like the SXSW-premiering omnibus collective:unconscious that was then released unorthodoxically online via BitTorrent bundles, and a feature-length doc made entirely out of YouTube clips. “We want Continue reading "Are You an Arty Weirdo Making Weird Art? There’s a Fund for Your Films Now"

Rian Johnson of ‘The Last Jedi’ Shares ‘The Only Advice That Matters’ for Aspiring Directors

Having gone from a $500K feature to 'Star Wars', Rian Johnson knows a thing or two about the hero’s journey. No matter what you think of Rian Johnson’s take on the Star Wars franchise, most filmmakers can likely agree that his filmmaking path is an enviable one. With only three features under his belt, he was brought on to helm one of the highest budget films in one of the most beloved film sagas of all time, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi. But the filmmaker's journey had hardly Continue reading "Rian Johnson of ‘The Last Jedi’ Shares ‘The Only Advice That Matters’ for Aspiring Directors"

How Working Within Extreme Constraints Actually Benefits Your Film

The team who shot two films simultaneously inside an active maximum security prison can teach us something about working within constraints.

My guests on this episode pulled off one of the most amazing behind-the-scenes production stories I've ever heard. Their narrative feature O.G. and documentary It's a Hard Truth Ain't It were both shot simultaneously in an active maximum-security prison. The documentary is co-directed by 13 incarcerated men and the feature was cast with more than 90% real inmates as extras and even as one of the leads.

Continue reading "How Working Within Extreme Constraints Actually Benefits Your Film"

RIP Claude Lanzmann, Director of Genre-Defining ‘SHOAH’

French documentarian and journalist Claude Lanzmann has died at age 92. It has been a sad week for the global filmmaking community. On the heels of the announcement of beloved Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller’s passing, we learned of the loss of French documentary filmmaker Claude Lanzmann at the age of 92. Lanzmann built his career as a journalist and eventually editor-in-chief of the French publication Les Temps Modernes founded by influential left-wing intellectuals Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, a post he held for his entire working life. Lanzmann’s first documentary Continue reading "RIP Claude Lanzmann, Director of Genre-Defining ‘SHOAH’"

How to Spend Your Camera Budget & Is it Time to Move to L.A.? [PODCAST]

This episode of Indie Film Weekly recommends how to find your perfect camera. Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, Charles Haine, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss how the extension of California’s Production Tax Credits is affecting the film and TV business, and the fate of Supersize Me 2 in the wake of director Morgan Spurlock’s sexual assault accusations. We also say a sad goodbye to the journalists killed last week at the Capital Gazette newspaper. In gear news, we geek out about 10Gb ethernet. Charles answers an Ask No Film School question Continue reading "How to Spend Your Camera Budget & Is it Time to Move to L.A.? [PODCAST]"

‘Leave No Trace’: The Secret Ingredient to Great Casting

Debra Granik cast and directed Jennifer Lawrence's breakout role. Her latest film 'Leave No Trace' is poised to make the next big impact. Director Debra Granik’s films are known for their visceral intimacy and gravitating performances, particularly from young talent. The most well-known example is her direction of Jennifer Lawrence’s Breakout role in Winter's Bone, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture in 2011. Another thing Granik’s films have in common is they seem made with exceptional love for both the complexity of her characters and the details Continue reading "‘Leave No Trace’: The Secret Ingredient to Great Casting"

How YouTube and Instagram Are Competing For Your Videos [PODCAST]

This episode of Indie Film Weekly also welcomes the Academy's biggest and broadest new class in history. Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, Charles Haine, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss how Instagram’s new IGTV service prompted YouTube to give more benefits to video creators, and other news from the massive VidCon event. We also cover the largest addition to the Academy of Motion Pictures ever, and yet another new addition to the movie theater subscription service arena. In gear news, Charles shares some exciting news in the post-production space. We also answers Continue reading "How YouTube and Instagram Are Competing For Your Videos [PODCAST]"

6 Networking Tips for People Who Hate Networking

Networking is one of the best ways to get a job in the film business. Here's how to make it less painful. One of the most frequent questions we get around here is some flavor of: How do I get a job in film? And one of our most frequent answers often catches people by surprise. Yes, you have to do the expected stuff: work hard, make stuff, build a reel, get yourself onto sets when possible. But in some ways, the most important thing you can do to build your film career is to Continue reading "6 Networking Tips for People Who Hate Networking"

Instagram Series Are a Thing Now—Meet One of the First Creators

Hannah Lehmann’s Original Instagram Series ‘The Out There’ got over a million impressions in its first season. Instagram just officially announced its IGTV app for longform video yesterday, but Australian-based filmmaker Hannah Lehmann was ahead of the curve. She’s already launched Season 2 of The Out There, a series created exclusively for the visuals-heavy platform. A mystery that takes place between here and purgatory and featuring an amnesiac ghost and millennial soul-searcher, the surprisingly addictive series takes advantage of all of Instagram’s storytelling tools including stills, image stacks, graphics, and one-minute videos. Continue reading "Instagram Series Are a Thing Now—Meet One of the First Creators"

Our First Impressions of ProRes RAW & The Movie Ticket Subscription Race Heats Up [PODCAST]

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, we wonder if MoviePass has gone too far this time. Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss why a recent marketing stunt by MoviePass smells rotten, and what a major theater chain is doing to compete with the ticket subscription service. We also examine where development execs are looking (or listening) for projects today. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, including the results of our ProRes RAW testing. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School Continue reading "Our First Impressions of ProRes RAW & The Movie Ticket Subscription Race Heats Up [PODCAST]"

We Can’t All Be David Lynch, But At Least Now We Can Wear His Art

Yes, David Lynch is selling t-shirts now. David Lynch has inspired more articles on this site than almost any other filmmaker. His uncompromising vision and twisted cinematic tales have had us breaking down his aesthetic choices, eagerly anticipating the return of Twin Peaks, and, of course, obsessively theorizing about Mullholland Drive. But it wasn't until last year's documentary David Lynch: The Art Life that we really started to get to know Lynch as a person, and understand where those dark fantasies emerged from. Read More

Why Renting Gear Just Got Easier & How to Overcome Your Creative Block [PODCAST]

Also in this episode of Indie Film Weekly, why Anthony Bourdain was "one of us." Jon Fusco, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss the absurd reality that pits a film star against a TV star on the geopolitical stage, and why we will miss Anthony Bourdain. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, including a move from ShareGrid that could change the gear rental market for the much, much better. Charles and Liz also answer an Ask No Film School question about what to do if you’re feeling stuck and having Continue reading "Why Renting Gear Just Got Easier & How to Overcome Your Creative Block [PODCAST]"