Daily Podcast: Should Our Feelings About The Filmmaker Taint The Movie? Justice League, Tom Cruise, LotR & More

justice league trailer

On the November 15, 2017 episode of /Film Daily, Peter Sciretta is joined by /Film senior writer Ben Pearson and writer Hoai-Tran Bui to discuss the latest news, including the Rotten Tomatoes score and box office tracking for Justice League, Quentin Tarantino wants to cast Tom Cruise in his next film, what Christopher Tolkien resigning from the Tolkien Estate means for the future of Lord of the Rings, and Mel Gibson is up for the Joe Carnahan time-loop film Boss Level. In The Mailbag, we’ll be questioning our abilities to separate the art from the artist.

You can subscribe to /Film Daily on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast and all the popular podcast apps (here is the RSS URL if you need it).

In the News:

In The Mailbag:  Mark S from Phoenix writes in “after all the allegations against many heavyweights in Hollywood, is it acceptable to separate a person from their art. Can I still laugh at Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”, can I still be in awe at Roman Polanski’s “The Pianist”, can I still be mesmerized by Brett Ratner’s “Red Dragon”? And not solely the filmmakers; “Manchester by the Sea” was one of my favorite films last year, but the more I heard about Casey Affleck and his allegations, the more I felt guilty for praising a man who has committed such atrocities.   We all make mistakes, but for those whose actions are unforgivable, do you think we should still celebrate their cinematic achievements?  Love the podcast, keep it up guys!”

To submit questions to the mailbag, send them to peter@slashfilm.com. Please mention your name and general geographical location in case we mention the question on the air.
You can find more about all the stories we mentioned on today’s show at slashfilm.com. /Film Daily is published every weekday, bringing you the most exciting news from the world of movies and television as well as deeper dives into the great features from slashfilm.com. You can subscribe to /Film Daily on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast and all the popular podcast apps (RSS). We’re still very much experimenting with this podcast, please feel free to send your feedback to us at peter@slashfilm.com. Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and spread the word! Thanks to Sam Hume for our logo.

The post Daily Podcast: Should Our Feelings About The Filmmaker Taint The Movie? Justice League, Tom Cruise, LotR & More appeared first on /Film.


Interview: Swiss Filmmaker Petra Volpe on Making ‘The Divine Order’

Petra Volpe - Filmmaker

“Sometimes you need luck as a director. We always think it’s all about control and it is a lot about control when you direct a movie, but it’s also about things that you can’t foresee.” There’s a film now playing in theaters titled The Divine Order, from Swiss writer/director Petra Volpe. The film is Switzerland’s entry in the Oscars this year and it’s obvious why when you see it. This very entertaining, exciting, engaging film tells the story of a woman in a mountain town in Switzerland who rallies other women to join in the fight for the right to vote. Swiss women only passed a law in 1971. I had a chance to talk with writer & director Petra Volpe and I’m so happy I did – she’s a joy to talk with and had much to say about making empowering films. ›››

Continue reading Interview: Swiss Filmmaker Petra Volpe on Making ‘The Divine Order’


4 Strategies for A Disruptive Filmmaker


adjective: causing or tending to cause disruption; innovative or groundbreaking
synonyms: troublesome, unruly, disorderly

A generation ago, being ‘disruptive’ was interpreted as being either a miscreant criminal, or the lazy dude sitting in the back row of class making fun of the teacher.

Today, disrupters run companies or become taste makers in their field. Disrupters are especially important in the creative industry. Art by definition is disruptive as its function is to provide us with a new way to view the world; but the new technological means of making media content today (digital, cost-efficient, distributive) also offers disruption to the traditional processes of making movies.

The assumption is that disruption is a monumental change, resulting in a paradigm shift. But for every ‘tipping point’ of innovation, there are dozens of subtler disruptions occurring, thought-by-thought, decision-by-decision, while developing film and media projects. Disruption today is really just a way of thinking. That means you can be disruptive in almost any thought or choice you make in the filmmaking process, in less obvious ways, but these thoughts and decisions can culminate in a fresh, innovative approach.

Speak to any filmmaker today who is attempting to make films independently in an environment of constraint and you are likely to find a reluctant or unwitting disrupter in the making. When producer/co-director of When They Awake, P.J. Marcellino, set out to make his award-winning first feature documentary, it was the challenges in his path that both inspired and necessitated a subtler, disruptive set of decisions.

On his way to the Calgary International Film Festival where his first feature documentary was selected for the opening night gala, Marcellino offers these 4 disruptive strategies driving their decision-making and filmmaking process.

1) Find partners early on who believe in you.

Don’t work in a vacuum unless you want less than 50 people to ever see your film. Being a disrupter or a maverick definitely does not mean working alone. Find an industry mentor, a champion for your idea or like-minded organization to put wind in your sail, gain early momentum and build a network of advice, credibility or resources. These are people who don’t stare at you, stunned or disapproving, when you pitch them new ideas or ask for help with not-yet-tested approaches. They help you figure out how to do it.

When Marcellino pitched his project to travel to the Northwest Territories (NWT) to explore music, culture, and a new generation of indigenous creators, he found some early supporters:

Raindance Toronto immediately saw potential and offered brand support and a creative approach to developing a sponsored pathway, side-stepping traditional Canadian funders which could have slowed down early momentum. The Raindance connection also helped solidify the director’s relationship once he arrived in NWT with WAMP (Western Arctic Moving Pictures) a local NWT filmmaker group, and the NWT Film Commission, which became instrumental in helping this documentary project along. The director also found a mentor, a creative executive at 90th Parallel Productions with an industry track record. All together this early gathering of steam helped fuel the documentary project and added credibility from the beginning.

Contact a Raindance organization near you

2) Become a creative problem-solver in real time, every single day.

This may be the very definition of independent filmmaking. In the present moment and decision-by-decision of making a film, it may be less about executing artistic choices and genius talent than it is about problem solving, wondering, questioning, reflecting, pitching, adapting, pivoting, testing, trying and blue-skying your way through the myriad challenges, problems, obstacles and constraints in development and production. In fact, the ‘creative genius’ in making independent films today lies in ‘creative problem-solving’ and ‘creative producing.’ For example:

You’ll never have enough money. Get over it, and get creative about it. Lack of money is not a reason to not make a film. For the filmmakers of When They Awake, they creatively worked around it by getting a sponsor. Northern travel became the most insurmountable challenge and travelling across the north became an immense financial roadblock to getting their film made. So with nothing to lose they reached out to all the northern airlines and said, “hey, let’s be friends.” They got various responses but in the end creatively found their solution: “Our pitch to Canadian North was simple: this documentary is a travel narrative; there will be airplanes on screen; your airplanes are so beautiful, it’ll be easy to show them – easier than showing your competitors’ airplanes. Let’s talk.” And an airline responded.

Marcellino says “to their credit, the airline believed in us when we were a tiny project, and grew with us as we became a 4-year production in the range of half a million dollars and numerous flights. Suddenly, we’re showing the film at the Opening Gala of the Calgary Film Festival – their corporate headquarters – and they are over the moon. So, get a sponsor, and treat them well. Make them feel like you’re worth investing in.”

Check out our producing courses or Elliot’s Lo-to-No budget Filmmaking course in London.

3) Know when to go with the flow.

This doesn’t sound so disruptive, but it is. It’s important to occasionally take your oars out of the water and let it carry you downstream. Constant efforting and pushing can lock you into a rigid mindset and choke off the energy of a film project. Constant efforting directs all your blood into fight or flight mode, into your hands and feet as it were, and leaves nothing in the heart or the belly where creative energy lives. You can miss the muse or the solution standing right in front of you unless you relax your gaze, reduce effort and know when to let go now and then. It might feel like slowing down your process, but it’s really about disrupting it.

Marcellino suggests: “Don’t think you have to have your story all figured out. Let it reveal itself to you, and know that this takes time. It can be unsettling to wait. But if you do, the reward will come eventually. Rushing a story doesn’t help anyone…”

“But if you feel like you’re being pulled in a direction you dislike, get your muscle behind those oars and row like your life depends on it.“

Chill out and listen to this!

4) Have old and new disruptive role models to inspire you along the way.

How about Shane Caruth (Upstream Colour) for busting up traditional indie distribution? Sean Baker (Tangerine) for digital iPhone innovation? Or Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) for pushing the story world envelop over a cliff? Or Jill Soloway (Transparent; I Love Dick) for seismic shifts in character, identity and sexual politics?

We think we’re the first one with an original approach, but filmmakers stand on the shoulders of giants, and though counter intuitive, look to great practitioners of the past to inspire your own disruptive future.

Marcellino says he and his Co-Director like Werner Herzog and what they call his “Herzogisms”, like this one: “Making a film is like going to the depth of Hell every day. And every day you need to be willing to wrestle your film from the claws of the Devil himself, and then start all over in the morning… if you are not ready for that, then you have no business being a filmmaker.“

Check out our online Postgraduate Film Degree or join a free info session

Choose your inspiration, start accumulating your own process, decision-by-decision, and you’ll be well on your way to your own disruptive brand of filmmaking.

The post 4 Strategies for A Disruptive Filmmaker appeared first on Raindance.


On Being a Disruptive Filmmaker

The film and TV industry is changing as we speak. Traditional institutions, financiers, broadcasters, sales agents and distributors are rethinking their models of developing, resourcing, buying and screening films, but changes can be slower than some creative innovators can tolerate.

In this Disruptive Filmmaking article series, we look at new ways independent filmmakers and creative entrepreneurs are simply doing things differently, bucking the system, blazing a maverick trail or creating their own self-directed masterclass to get their media and film projects made and noticed. This isn’t film school. It’s film bootcamp.

We’ll break open recent projects by Raindance members and our postgraduate students, and ask disruptors who’ve made When They Awake produced in association with Raindance Toronto and Western Arctic Movie Pictures, and We Still Risea film documenting the Womens’ March in London, why and how they did it differently. We want to inspire and provoke your complacency about why you make film and media content, how you make it, and who you make it for.

CAVEAT: Not for the feint of heart, those with weak convictions or poor stamina, disruptive filmmaking occasionally involves blood. But speak to any independent film and media creator out there making consistent content year over year on their own terms, and you will meet reflective, confident, energized, creative problem-solvers with a style, purpose and urgency, willing to work within constraints but not willing to compromise on why or how they get there.

No surprise these outliers find Raindance, which has been screening and promoting unique stories through its annual Raindance Film Festival; or they find the Raindance Online Postgraduate Film Degree, where they design their own accredited MA around media projects, build international connections and carve a 21st century career path; or they stumble upon Raindance Hubs in cities around the world like Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles or Berlin. At these training and networking centres filmmakers new and used find their souls, their genre and a fresh local network of support.

If you are an outlier, square peg, disruptor, iconoclast, non-traditionalist or non-represented, no need to explain yourself. Raindance probably has you covered, because you had us at hello.

Making a film within the system is perfectly legitimate, but not immediately accessible to everyone. It’s particularly a tricky first step for those emerging creators just trying to ‘break into the system.’ (How many people did you bump into at TIFF or Cannes this year still applying and waiting and pitching and waiting and trying and waiting…to get their project into production after several years of…well, trying and waiting?)

What are you waiting for?

Traditional systems and funders are by definition, not risk-takers. It’s not their job to take risks. So you or someone else needs to take the first risk on yourself and on your project. If you execute it and it works, no matter how you go about it, guaranteed those funders will be all over you. So think of risk-taking as your own responsibility as a filmmaker, and your risk-strategy, whether it’s how you approach your genre, how you raise finance or build an audience for it,  becomes your own industry audition, de-risking you for future investment by funders.

Access to public funding entails compromises that may or may not be acceptable or synergistic to what you plan to do or how you plan to do it in your maverick film project. So you might want to take a risk and do things in a less structured way.

Stubbornness and a person’s innate desire to do things on one’s own terms is what characterizes innovators. Most of us want it our own way but few of us choose an outlier path.

Recent press for Raindance’s disruptors and independent trailblazers:

When They Awake – Opening Gala Announced; Filmmakers Cross Canada to Celebrate Indiginous Musicians

We Still Rise, Vice; A Documentary in the Works

The post On Being a Disruptive Filmmaker appeared first on Raindance.


HOLY SHIT!!! The New Filmmaker IQ is FINALLY HERE!!!

*WARNING – The announcement below is unnecessarily long, overdramatic, mis-speled and the critical information, regarding your account, is way down towards the bottom. Greetings People of Earth (and The Kardashians). Those of you who have stalked Filmmaker IQ may have thought we had died (and not just because of the smell). I certainly don’t blame […]

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A Tragic Loss At Filmmaker IQ

Hi, John Hess from Filmmaker IQ.com Late last week I received some devastating news – the co-founder of Filmmaker IQ and my friend Dennis Hartwig had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Whenever I’m asked to give advice to an up and coming filmmaker – it usually comes out as this: Get yourself a Dennis – […]

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Filmmaker Quotes: Scorsese, del Toro, Disney, Capra, Godard & Woody Allen

A collection of inspiring and thought provoking quotes from great filmmakers of the past and present. Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out. Martin Scorsese The saddest journey in the world is the one that follows a precise itinerary. Then you’re not a traveler. You’re a fucking tourist. Guillermo del […]

The post Filmmaker Quotes: Scorsese, del Toro, Disney, Capra, Godard & Woody Allen appeared first on FilmmakerIQ.com.


8 Essential Video Tutorials for the DIY Filmmaker

Whether you’re strapped for cash or just like to tinker with stuff, these tutorials will help you create some really cool filmmaking tools.

Filmmaker and YouTube personality knoptop has a motto that all of us can appreciate: “Go make something,” and his latest video is probably going to inspire you to do just that. From a “crappy” homemade boom pole to a shoulder rig turned audio gear holder, knoptop lists eight of his favorite DIY builds and gear hacks that will not only help you get the job done on set, but help you save some money as well. Check out his video below:

There’s a good variety of DIY builds and gear hacks on knoptop’s list. Some are new, some are old, some are super labor intensive, while others only require you to pull out a lens cloth and use it as a slider, but the thing they all have in common is that they’re all pretty damn good at fixing common problems filmmakers tend to have. Here are a few of my favorites from his list:

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Watch: The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker

How much do you know about the history of women in film?

Cinema has a rich history of visionaries, dreamers, and movers and shakers, from Eadweard Muybridge who basically invented it by accident to Industrial Light and Magic who ushered in the age of CGI. Countless filmmakers have influenced, changed, and evolved our beloved art form with their brilliant innovations, but more often than not the contributions we talk about belong to male creatives.

If you’re interested in boning up on some film history to give you a more well-rounded understanding of how cinema went from novelties captured with bulky Kinetoscopes to grand pieces of art captured in UHD with an ARRI Alexa, filmmaker Kelly Gallagher’s short The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker is an excellent place to start.

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