TIFF kicked off yesterday and the talent behind Borg/McEnroe sat down to discuss how the film is about far more than just a game.
Danish filmmaker Janus Metz, who made his feature debut with the acclaimed 2010 doc Armadillo, is making his first foray into fictional films, though this one is based on a real-life, world-famous rivalry that changed the sports world in the 1980s. Borg/McEnroe chronicles how in the early 1980s, tennis was changed forever by the rivalry between Björn Borg and brash American upstart John McEnroe, who became infamous for his temper (and acted as an indirect inspiration to filmmaker Wes Anderson.)
But the director said that his film, scripted by Ronnie Sandahl (Underdog) was not just the story of a sports rivalry. According to Metz, «it doesn’t make sense to make a sports movie…unless you have a story,» and while the tennis «had to sell» on screen, as a director he approached the film as a «psychological thriller,» albeit one that was played out (at least in part) before millions of people, in this case at Wimbledon in 1980.
Shooting a horror film and need fog that sticks to the floor? Here’s how to make it.
Adding smoke, haze, or atmosphere can give your scenes a lot of much-needed depth when you add lighting, but if you want to turn that stuff into thick, scary movie-style fog for a spooky scene, it’s not going to happen all by itself. Luckily, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens has a simple and inexpensive solution for those wanted to create low-lying fog, and all you’ll need is some ice and a cooler.
The trick to getting smoke that is pillowy, thick, and stays close to the ground is keeping it cool.
Though this is a simple DIY solution, it does take a little elbow grease. Morgan cuts a couple of holes on either side of the cooler and screws dryer vents onto each one. This not only makes it easier to attach stuff to the holes, but it makes it look 1000 times better.
After that, place a small block of wood in each corner of the cooler and then set a metal grate right on top. This will allow you to put your dry ice on top, let the fog from the dry ice fall to the bottom of the cooler, and then exit through the pre-cut hole.
In order to work as a screenwriter in Hollywood, you have to immerse yourself in the world of movies. Based on suggestions from the GITS community, here is a ‘poor’ person’s version of film school, a list of resources in five subject areas you can use to do precisely that.
Emmy-nominated DP Michael Goi says persistence is key.
Michael Goi, ASC has an impressive slate of TV credits to his name, including popular hits like Glee, The Mentalist, and American Horror Story. His track record is in part what led to his service as President of the American Society of Cinematographers from 2009-2012. But the success didn’t come overnight.
In an ASC Masterclass series, Goi reveals his humble beginnings and what he did to move up. The main key, more than talent and creativity? Persistence.
“When you move to Los Angeles, you’re starting over again at the bottom.”
When he first moved to LA, he recalls, “For six months, I lived on the two hot dogs for 99 cents at the A&P…but I refused to leave and I refused to give up.” And this was after he already had 300 commercials and six features under his DP belt. “When you move to Los Angeles, you’re starting over again at the bottom,” he said.
One GITS eBook every month in 2017… all of ’em free!
There are over 22,000 posts on this blog. That’s a boatload of content. I decided to do something to make it easier for readers.
Every month in 2017, I’ll be making public a free Go Into The Story eBook.
Think of it as a kind Go Into The Story Greatest Hits collection.
Download them. Read them. Pass them along.
A very special thanks to Trish Curtin and Clay Mitchell who are stepping up to handle the process turning blog posts into eBooks. I could not be doing this without the efforts of these two fine people.
The collection contains my reflections and takes on basic tenets of the craft. If any of them resonate with you, great. If not, feel free to ignore them. Each writer needs to figure out their own approach to screenwriting. My hope is to help feed that process and provide writers with inspiration along the way.
Stratton trailer turns Dominic Cooper into an action hero
Vertigo Releasing has debuted the first trailer for the action movie Stratton, starring Dominic Cooper (Need for Speed, Captain America: The First Avenger) as the title badass. You can check out the Stratton trailer below!
Cooper stars as the title character, British Special Forces op John Stratton, who is tracking down an international terrorist cell. The film is based on the first in a series of eight novels by pseudonymous author Duncan Falconer, an ex-SBS (Special Boat Service) commando.
In addition to Cooper, the production has lined up the rest of its supporting cast including Austin Stowell (Whiplash), Tom Felton (the Harry Potter films), Gemma Chan (“Humans”), Tyler Hoechlin (“Teen Wolf”), Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Derek Jacobi (The King’s Speech), Connie Nielsen (Gladiator) and noted Shakespearian actor Jake Fairbrother (Skyfall).
Directed by Simon West (Con Air, The Expendables 2), Stratton will be released in the UK on September 1, with no U.S. release date set.
“should budget be considered when you’re an unrepped writer workin on a spec? Or just best poss story?”
The easy thing is simply to say “Write the best story possible.” But screenplays are not just stories. They are movies. And movies cost money to produce. A studio’s production budget is pretty much a zero sum game, they only have so many dollars to go around, so it’s possible you could write a great story, but price yourself out of a deal because what you’ve written is too expensive.
In general, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to wear a producer’s hat along with your screenwriter’s hat, at least be aware of some elements that drive up the cost of a script. To wit:
If you are writing a mainstream, big budget movie, it is what it is, and so you’re probably less concerned with budget. But if you are writing a small indie film, perhaps something you want to direct or act in yourself, you absolutely have to be concerned with budgetary issues. Also you may come up with a contained thriller script like this one:
A down-on-her-luck woman stuck in her apartment must fend off waves of Yakuza assassins sent by her ex, who is a dangerous mob boss.
That recently sold as a spec and as I understand it, the entire movie will be shot in the woman’s apartment. One location. That right there saves a boatload of production dollars. Even major studios will take a bite at a low-budget script like that hoping to strike gold like Paramount did with Paranormal Activity.
So in general, the conventional wisdom still holds true: “Focus on writing the best story possible.” But don’t forget to don that producer’s hat from time to time and at least be cognizant of some pricey script elements. Depending on the project, where you are in your career, and what your goals are, you could benefit from taking into account budgetary concerns.
This is the last in the current round of GITS reader questions. I believe this has been the most questions at any given time (upward to 20). I keep thinking folks will run out of questions to ask, but evidently not.
I will open up another round in a month or so. In the meantime, if you have something you want my two cents on or you think might be a subject the GITS community would benefit from, please feel free to email me with your inquiry. And as always, you can check out the archives: GITS Reader Questions. I believe there over 200 Q&As in there at this point. That’s a lot of content. Worth checking out.
After months of letting Oculus Rift users connect with friends and family in virtual reality, Facebook is opening up the party to the rest of your social network by introducing Live video. The feature will let all Facebook users see what others are seeing in virtual reality, even without a headset.
When Facebook Spaces debuted earlier this year, the only way to let someone without a Rift headset could view your VR avatar was through a one-to-one Messenger video call.
But the new Live component of Spaces will function just like regular Facebook Live video, giving Rift users the ability to broadcast from virtual reality straight to their regular Facebook page. Read more…