How to Win at Screenwriting Contests


This post is by Evan Littman from No Film School


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Which contests are worth your time, what do readers want, and how can you jump-start your career.


We’re going to answer all those questions!



There are a lot of aspiring screenwriters out there, which means there are a lot of scripts. One estimate from the WGA claims that about 50,000 new scripts are registered with the guild every year. So how do you stand out from the crowd? A lot of writers have turned to screenwriting contests.



Screenwriting contests can be an effective way to differentiate yourself Continue reading “How to Win at Screenwriting Contests”

Explore The Adventure Genre in Film and TV


This post is by Jason Hellerman from No Film School


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The adventure genre is built for cinema. It ‘transports’ the audience to remote parts of the world and keeps them on the edge of their seats. So how do you create an adventure movie?


By studying the genre! Even if you aren’t planning to shoot the next Indiana Jones, you can take elements of the Adventure genre and apply them to ANY film to make it more dynamic.



Today we’ll show you how!



The adventure genre is built around our desire to search for “more” in our Continue reading “Explore The Adventure Genre in Film and TV”

How to Write, Direct, and Survive Your First Feature Film [Interview]


This post is by Jason Hellerman from No Film School


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We talk with director A.T. White about what he learned from writing and directing his first feature.


Personal inspiration can take you many places, but sometimes it leads to pretty horrific results. Director A.T. White used a personal tragedy to inspire his first feature Starfish. It’s an inspirational story about not letting the worst thing in your life destroy you.



The Starfish logline is “With reality rapidly fraying at the edges, Aubrey (Virginia Gardner) finds herself following a string of clues left by her friend. Clues that will unlock Continue reading “How to Write, Direct, and Survive Your First Feature Film [Interview]”

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”

3 Ways to Use Conflict to Amp Up Your Script


This post is by Evan Littman from No Film School


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Examining the core of what makes a compelling screenplay.


One of the most common notes that new writers receive is “there’s not enough conflict.” But what does that note even mean?



As an executive who has read thousands of scripts, I can attest to lack of conflict as a common problem. Sometimes it feels like screenwriters are so focused on writing the cool stuff, they forget about the fundamentals.



In a new video from Tyler Mowry, learn what conflict is at its core and how you Continue reading “3 Ways to Use Conflict to Amp Up Your Script”

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”

Red Giant Unveils Powerful VFX Toolkit for After Effects


This post is by Charles Haine from No Film School


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“Keying, tracking, cleanup, and visual effects compositing, right inside of After Effects.”


Red Giant has a lot of tools. Between Colorista, Magic Bullet, Trapcode, and Pluraleyes, there’s a lot there to keep track of, and that’s not even mentioning its onset media tools.



Oh, and Universe!



The company make a lot of things.



But Red Giant is taking a step towards simplifying the lineup, announcing today its new VFX Suite—a collection of 9 powerful GPU accelerated tools for use directly within Continue reading “Red Giant Unveils Powerful VFX Toolkit for After Effects”

Read the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Script


This post is by Jason Hellerman from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





The “Raiders of the Lost Ark” script is maybe the greatest adventure movie ever written. It contains amazing set pieces, dialogue, and exposition. So there’s a lot to learn. Let’s read it and examine the lessons.


Screenplays are living documents that change at every level. Today we’re going to look at the script for Raiders of the Lost Ark and discover how it set the blueprint for the modern studio adventure film while subverting the tropes of the genre.



An old draft for Lawrence Kasdan’s Raiders of the Lost Ark script Continue reading “Read the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Script”

ADR 101: How to Do It Like the Pros Do It


This post is by V Renée from No Film School


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Learn to record ADR like an experienced professional.


Sometimes your audio is going to have some problems that need fixing.



Maybe you shot your scene next to a freeway and can’t hear your talent speaking. Maybe you captured a walk-and-talk scene in a long shot and couldn’t mic-up your subjects. Maybe you’re translating your English-language short film into Swahili and need to replace all of the dialogue.



What are you supposed to do about all that mess?



ADR.



To Continue reading “ADR 101: How to Do It Like the Pros Do It”

What Does Magic Sound Like? Exploring the Sound Design of ‘Harry Potter’


This post is by Benjamin Shearn from No Film School


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A breakdown of cinematic sound wizardry.


If there were some sort of cliché police, they’d assign a dedicated task force to the phrase: “Sound is crucial to the movie-going experience.”



Nevertheless, the sentiment endures for a reason: A creative sound design’s contribution to the power of cinema can never be overstated.



In this rundown of the sound design of magic in Harry Potter, The Nerdwriter provides a brisk overview of how igniting wands and bursting spells evolved sonically over a decade of films.


Continue reading “What Does Magic Sound Like? Exploring the Sound Design of ‘Harry Potter’”

Download the ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ Script PDF


This post is by Jason Hellerman from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





At the time, the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade script was the perfect end to a trilogy. Now, download the third script in the series and learn how theme and character dictate an adventure. And deal with your daddy issues.


Cinema is about creating inspiring stories out of universal issues. It’s about welcoming viewers to small and large stories by appealing to the audience’s inner turmoil. Today we’re dissecting a movie that does that all so well…



The Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade script is one of the greatest Continue reading “Download the ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ Script PDF”

Don’t Write For Free — And If You Do, Remember These Rules


This post is by Evan Littman from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Useful screenwriter tips to make sure nobody tries to take advantage of you.


Heads up: this article is aimed at screenwriters who might be a little further along in their careers, but everyone in a creative industry should take note.



Free work. The bane of every screenwriter’s existence. Hollywood has had a problem with free work for a while, and it’s easy to get sucked into the pattern of doing free work for producers and production companies.



The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been campaigning against Continue reading “Don’t Write For Free — And If You Do, Remember These Rules”

Filmmaking Fallacies We All Need to Put to Bed


This post is by V Renée from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





There are a lot of misconceptions about filmmaking that can make life hell when you’re first starting out.


Filmmaking as a newbie looks and feels much different than it does when you have some experience under your belt.



The years of making do with less time, money, and resources…



The surefire plans that crumble right when you arrive on set…



The questionable sums you get after adding A to B and not getting C…



All of these things and Continue reading “Filmmaking Fallacies We All Need to Put to Bed”

Is There a Secret Ingredient Behind Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse’s Success?


This post is by Evan Littman from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Well if there is, it’s a technique called Animated Naturalism. But what is that?


Sony Animation’s INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE was one of the most unexpected delights of last year’s crop of superhero movies. It was fun, funny, heartfelt, and exhilarating.



But how did the production and animation team get so much extra juice out of what could have been a spraypaint-by-numbers superhero flick?



As this video from HoustonProductions1 explains, SPIDER-VERSE broke the mold in a lot of ways, especially when it came to using animated naturalism to Continue reading “Is There a Secret Ingredient Behind Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse’s Success?”

Ignite Digi Helps you Get Bigger Lenses On Your Stabilizer


This post is by Charles Haine from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Running a physically large lens on a Ronin 2 or Freefly Movi is often tricky, but Ignite Digi has a solution that might help.


One of the first things you learn when working with camera stabilizers like the Ronin or the Movi is the importance of a compact camera package that is easier to balance. Why?



Because a large lens out front can make the rig harder to balance, and it’ll drain your batteries faster, because of the physical weight of all that glass. So use smaller lenses. Problem solved.

Continue reading “Ignite Digi Helps you Get Bigger Lenses On Your Stabilizer”

Download the Scream Script PDF to Learn the Fun of Killing Characters


This post is by Jason Hellerman from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





The Scream script rocked the 90s and reinvented the slasher genre for a new generation. So what lessons can you learn from the movie and screenplay?


The Scream movie script was originally titled Scary Movie. It was a slasher movie unlike any that had come before it. A movie that occurred in a world full of characters who love movies. It was able to subvert all the tropes and expectations audiences had about slashers and deliver something new and interesting.



The script put Kevin Williamson on the back and re-entered Wes Continue reading “Download the Scream Script PDF to Learn the Fun of Killing Characters”

What Are the Huge Changes Coming to AVID Media Composer On JUNE 20TH?


This post is by Charles Haine from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





Avid Media Composer is launching a thorough and complete redesign like they never have before, and now you can check it out for yourself.


Among the big four editing platforms currently with large market share (Premiere, Final Cut X, Resolve and Avid’s Media Composer), MC sometimes gets a bad wrap for not innovating as quickly as some of it’s competitors.



That is not true, of course, since there are countless features Avid was the first to roll out (or the first to at least roll it out properly). ScriptSync and PhraseFind Continue reading “What Are the Huge Changes Coming to AVID Media Composer On JUNE 20TH?”

Jim Jarmusch on How to Pick Up on Your Actor’s Needs


This post is by Jon Fusco from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





The legend shares his thoughts on strengthening the director’s relationship with the actor.




It’s safe to say that legendary auteur Jim Jarmusch has a talented roster of actors at his disposal. Bill Murray, Adam Driver, and Tilda Swinton are just a few of the names that would rush to the director’s beck and call if summoned. But this fact is not solely due to the director’s uniquely wry vision and radiant cool, it’s because Jarmusch has never taken the actor for granted.



The relationship between the actor Continue reading “Jim Jarmusch on How to Pick Up on Your Actor’s Needs”

How Sound Design Tricks Your Ears [Video]


This post is by Jo Light from No Film School


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





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


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





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]”