How to Create an Epic War Scene with Dirt, a Tarp, and Some VFX Tricks


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


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Can you create high-quality battle sequences with practically no money?


Sometimes beginning filmmakers have ambitious ideas but aren’t sure how to execute them. There’s good news, though—just because you might not have the ideal location or the money for pyrotechnics, insurance, or a big crew, you can still make your visions a reality.



Film Riot recently set out to recreate an epic action/war scene using nothing more than store-bought dirt and an interior set and they show you how they did it in the video below.



Continue reading “How to Create an Epic War Scene with Dirt, a Tarp, and Some VFX Tricks”

Try Not to Cry While Reading This Vintage ‘E.T.’ Review by Roger Ebert


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





What happens when you allow yourself to experience a film with innocent, childlike eyes?


Roger Ebert’s website, in honor of the late film critic’s birthday today, has republished a 1992 review of Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic E.T. the ExtraTerrestrial. The review is written as a letter to his grandchildren, Raven and Emil, and discusses the movie as part of their experience.



Ebert had already seen the film by this time, including at Cannes. But during this screening with much younger viewers (ages 7 and 4 at the time), Continue reading “Try Not to Cry While Reading This Vintage ‘E.T.’ Review by Roger Ebert”

How Sound Design Tricks Your Ears [Video]


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


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Sound design in film is not only about creating a rich foley landscape, it’s also about creating emotion.


In the world of sound design, everything from sound effects, music, and dialogue is added in post-production. And it’s not always about matching exact sounds to whatever is happening on-screen — sometimes sound designers use different sounds that will still work with the images (like sizzling bacon during a rain scene) if it will create a stronger emotional reaction.



Now You See It’s latest video takes viewers on a sonic journey, opening on Continue reading “How Sound Design Tricks Your Ears [Video]”

Does ‘Barry’ Have Better Fight Sequences Than ‘Avengers: Endgame’? [Video]


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


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Do the most epic fight scenes only include muscle-bound superheroes? Can they also have skinny, low-level hitmen?


We’ve seen some amazing action sequences come out of recent film and TV, including Game of Thrones’ Battle of Winterfell and the explosive Avengers: Endgame.



But what Nerdwriter posits in a divisive video is that neither of those two franchises provided the best fight sequences of early May—Barry did, with its season two episode five entry, “ronny/lily.”



Check out their reasons why in the video below.


Continue reading “Does ‘Barry’ Have Better Fight Sequences Than ‘Avengers: Endgame’? [Video]”

This Big Little Lies Clip Demonstrates How TV is Reinventing the Dinner Table Scene


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





You don’t always have to write a dinner scene as a simple sit-down meal.


Sometimes these kinds of scenes can contain the most dramatic or surprising moments of a story, which is something we’re seeing a lot of now, especially in episodic television, where writers are given more opportunities to take risks or think creatively.



Let’s take a look at a few examples.




Big Little Lies


HBO’s drama Big Little Lies returned this week, and the Internet is already buzzing about Meryl Streep’s Continue reading “This Big Little Lies Clip Demonstrates How TV is Reinventing the Dinner Table Scene”

How ‘Moonlight’ Uses Cinematography to Wreck Us Emotionally


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


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How do camera placement, lighting, and eyeline all cooperate to create emotion in a movie?


There might not be a better film to explore these multiple elements than Oscar-winning drama, Moonlight.



In this video from TIFF Originals, director of photography James Laxton takes viewers through a single scene in the movie, specifically the moment where adult Chiron (Trevante Rhodes) reunites with Kevin (André Holland). Laxton explains the choices made to convey the scene’s tone and shares some behind-the-scenes details.



Watch the clip below.



Continue reading “How ‘Moonlight’ Uses Cinematography to Wreck Us Emotionally”

Watch ‘Blade Runner’ Animated with 12,597 Watercolor Paintings


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Interpreting your favorite films in new ways can be a way to showcase your perspective and talent.


This is exactly what artist Anders Ramsell did when he created 12,597 watercolor paintings based on moments from Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi film, Blade Runner. The individual paintings, each smaller than a matchstick, were edited together to create an animated take on the movie.



Ramsell calls this 35-minute reimagining a “paraphrase” of the original film, with scenes abbreviated, out of order, or totally made up, all set against original audio from the movie.

Continue reading “Watch ‘Blade Runner’ Animated with 12,597 Watercolor Paintings”

Why Was DC’s ‘Swamp Thing’ Cancelled After Just One Week on Air?


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


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Fans were shocked this morning when Deadline reported the abrupt cancellation of DC’s “Swamp Thing”.


The show, which found a home on the DC Universe over-the-top streaming service, premiered just a week ago and had been receiving generally favorable reviews.



As Deadline pointed out, the cancellation may have stemmed from AT&T’s recent purchase of DC’s parent company, Time Warner/WarnerMedia. Maybe DC Universe was facing the chopping block during the reorganization, and getting in the way of WarnerMedia’s own plans for a larger streaming platform.



But now it Continue reading “Why Was DC’s ‘Swamp Thing’ Cancelled After Just One Week on Air?”

Chernobyl Mastermind Craig Mazin Breaks Down All His Writing Tips and Techniques [LISTEN]


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Craig Mazin drops some incredible knowledge on listeners in the latest episode of Scriptnotes.


As a podcaster, writer, and producer, Mazin has done some stellar work through the years, including creating and writing this summer’s amazing miniseries, Chernobyl. He has always been a great resource to aspiring writers, and the latest episode of Scriptnotes is no exception.



In this episode, he discusses structure and character, with a overarching goal of tackling how to write a movie.



Dive in!




Screenwriting structure


Continue reading “Chernobyl Mastermind Craig Mazin Breaks Down All His Writing Tips and Techniques [LISTEN]”

Did You Notice the Hidden Meaning of ‘Glass’? [Video]


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





M. Night Shyamalan has made a career out of crafting complex, twist-filled stories, and this year’s Glass was no exception.


[Spoilers for the film will follow, so be warned!]



Glass was marketed as a “comic-book thriller” set in the same universe as Shyamalan’s previous films, Unbreakable and Split. The film brings together Bruce Willis’ invincible David Dunn and James McAvoy’s Beast for a climactic showdown, with Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price orchestrating the whole thing according to the comic book narratives he believes are actual history.



Continue reading “Did You Notice the Hidden Meaning of ‘Glass’? [Video]”

How Bill Hader Drives His Creativity for ‘Barry’ [Video]


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





If you’re not watching HBO’s comedy “Barry”, you’re missing out on some major creative lessons from Bill Hader.


HBO’s Barry follows a burned-out Midwestern hitman who travels to Los Angeles for a job but quickly realizes he’d rather follow the typical Hollywood dream of becoming an actor. It somehow manages to find an amazing balance of comedy, drama, crime, and action, expertly mashing genres and tones in a way that should make any writer jealous.



Now in its second season, the show finds its titular protagonist struggling with his identity as Continue reading “How Bill Hader Drives His Creativity for ‘Barry’ [Video]”

Watch the Interview That Leaves Tarantino Speechless (for a Few Seconds)


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Quentin Tarantino always offers some interesting insight into his inspirations and process.


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had its premiere this month at Cannes, reportedly drawing a six-minute standing ovation. The movie apparently has some big twists that Tarantino does not want spoiled.



In one of the best interviews with the director we’ve ever seen, Augustin Trapenard of CANAL+ sat down with Tarantino during the film festival and asked him questions about his inspirations, cinematic process, and philosophy that left him speechless…multiple times.



Watch the Continue reading “Watch the Interview That Leaves Tarantino Speechless (for a Few Seconds)”

5 Editing Techniques All Video Editors Should Know [Video]


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Do you know how to do important editing techniques like speed ramping and animated text in Adobe Premiere?


Adobe Premiere is an impressive, monstrous piece of editing software that can be daunting for new users, but even seasoned professionals can sometimes use a refresher on some editing basics or learn a new technique for their favorite edit. SonduckFilm has five easy tips for Adobe Premiere users that every editor should know.



Watch the video below, and maybe you’ll learn a new way to work with Premiere.



Continue reading “5 Editing Techniques All Video Editors Should Know [Video]”

What Exactly Does a Script Supervisor Do? [Video]


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Do you know all the elements that a film’s script supervisor has to track?


Managing a movie’s continuity is a huge undertaking. To show how difficult and complex it can be, Vanity Fair sat down with the best of the best, Martha Pinson, an experienced script supervisor who has worked extensively with Martin Scorsese. Her work includes films like Hugo, Shutter Island, The Departed, and The Aviator.



The video shows a quick scene and how easy it can be to make a dozen mistakes, even in a few minutes. Pinson Continue reading “What Exactly Does a Script Supervisor Do? [Video]”

How to Use Lighting to Make Actors Look Older or Younger [Video]


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Did you know you can age your actors up or down, all through the use of strategic lighting?


A few simple light tricks can soften an actor’s face, or make it appear craggy and harsh, changing their entire appearance. A recent video from Aputure features DP Jon Salmon, who tells you how you can achieve those dramatic looks.



Watch their video below.






General tips


Light can be used almost like makeup. If you know how cosmetics work, you can use Continue reading “How to Use Lighting to Make Actors Look Older or Younger [Video]”

Three Easy Hacks to Improve Your Creativity


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Everyone can use a jump-start on their creativity sometimes.


That’s why these tips from Marc Silber might help you.



Silber is a photographer and author, but his ideas about creativity can apply to those of us in the film industry, too! If you’re a director, cinematographer, or even a screenwriter, you’re working in a visual medium and can absolutely put his advice to good use.



Watch his first video about creative hacks below.






1. Use your power of visualization
Continue reading “Three Easy Hacks to Improve Your Creativity”

These Are the Tools Every DIY Filmmaker Should Have


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


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All DIY filmmakers should think about adding these important (and usually affordable) tools to their kits.


There are some basic tools that every filmmaker needs, whether you’re working on a big Hollywood production or a small indie film. And in most cases, you’ll be able to find them in a basic hardware store at a cheap price.



Indy Mogul interviewed their site co-founder and famous do-it-yourselfer Erik Beck to get his top recommendation for tools every filmmaker needs. Watch the video below.






Basic Continue reading “These Are the Tools Every DIY Filmmaker Should Have”

‘Game of Thrones’ Goofs Again, This Time with Water Bottles


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Most of us remember the now-infamous coffee cup that appeared in “The Battle of Winterfell,” but now it’s time for the sequel—water bottles in King’s Landing.


Spoilers ahead for the Game of Thrones series finale.



There were a lot of issues with the series finale of HBO’s fantasy epic, which aired last night, but perhaps most egregious is the appearance of not one, but two water bottles in the scene where Bran is chosen to rule over the remnants of Westeros.

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How to Choose a Style For Your Film


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





You have a lot of choices when you start a film project.


And all of those choices, including how you shoot, light, costume, and design the sets of your project, will contribute to the overall feel and emotion of your movie. This will dictate how the audience feels about the action unfolding onscreen.



Maybe you want a bright, bubbly scene featuring upbeat music and a dancing Leonardo DiCaprio. (Don’t we all?) That’s going to feel a lot different than the DiCaprio featured in the grim, dark Shutter Island.


Continue reading “How to Choose a Style For Your Film”

Why Story and Character Matter in Action Sequences


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Sometimes, there’s nothing better than an impressive action scene.


But to direct action sequences of your own, you’ll need to understand the immense amount of work a scene like this requires. As it should be with all movies, it starts with story. You need to consider elements like the timing and storytelling of the scene, and how characters behave within it.



Film Riot has put together a really great video full of tips on how to approach action scenes. Watch it below.





The Continue reading “Why Story and Character Matter in Action Sequences”