Watch: Three Extremely Human Tactics Taika Waititi Uses to Make His Stories Relatable

The ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ director revels in humanity.

Sometimes the only road to true realism goes right through the imagination. Take, for instance, the work of Taika Waititi. His films show like slice-of-life dramas someone wrote in an unconscious state, dropping elements and storytelling techniques into them that could only be found in dreams. In so doing, Waititi has made himself one of the world’s most popular directors. How you get from the dark, dark humor of Things We Do in the Shadows, which he co-directed, to Thor: Ragnarok, his latest, a blockbuster, is probably best left his secret. And yet there are a few elements we can observe that help tell the story, and this video from YouTube channel We Need to Talk About Film helps sort them out elegantly and gracefully.

Read More

No Film School

Newscaster uses Taylor Swift lyrics to deliver her traffic report


Taylor Swift’s latest album is touching everybody, including your local traffic reporter.

Laura Hettiger provides traffic coverage for KMOV St. Louis. On Friday, Hettiger decided she would spice up her coverage by sprinkling in lyrics from Taylor Swift’s newest album, Reputation.

No matter how you feel about Taylor Swift, you’ve got to stand behind this wordplay.

Swift was so touched she even retweeted the broadcast.

My cousins in St. Louis sent this to me. I LOVE YOU @LauraKHettiger

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 11, 2017 Read more…

More about Watercooler, Entertainment, Taylor Swift, Culture, and Web Culture

3 Ways David Fincher Uses Color to Completely Mess with Your Head

The color palettes David Fincher uses in his films are just as powerful as his dark, unstable characters.

There are a lot of words to describe David Fincher’s films but “subtle” isn’t really one of them. The worlds he creates have a characteristic normalcy, albeit dark and slightly off, but as their stories progress we’re always brought to the nightmarish carnival that is Fincher’s creativity—peeking past the curtain to see a fight club, a missing woman stabbing a man to death mid-coitus, and a mummified man barely alive laying in a room full of pine tree air fresheners.

However, there are areas in which Fincher uses some restraint and finesse in order to carefully lay the groundwork for his more over-the-top sequences, one of which is color. In this video essay by StudioBinder, we get to see how the director employs different color palettes to communicate important themes and character traits to his audience, as well as to ramp up the anticipation in suspenseful scenes.

Read More

No Film School

Watch: How ‘Wonder Woman’ Uses Color to Tell a More Dynamic Story

The changing color palette of ‘Wonder Woman’ isn’t just for looks—it’s for story.

Critics and fans alike have spoken; Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is not only a box office smash, but it also offers DC fans more to get excited about with its epic fight sequences, entertaining dialogue, and one hell of a superheroine. But one less discussed aspect of the film that is particularly intriguing is its clever use of color to add depth and dimension to the story.

In this short video essay, Patrick Willems discusses how Wonder Woman’s color palette paints two very different pictures of the the idyllic paradise in which Diana was raised, and the hellish reality where Wonder Woman is born.

The experience of watching Wonder Woman is similar to that of watching Wizard of Oz, only reversed. Instead of opening to Dorothy’s sepia-toned Kansas farm and closing on the kaleidoscopic Land of Oz, we open to Diana’s verdant, all-female utopia and close on several war-embroiled countries, which are given a liberal dusting of muted cyan.

Read More

No Film School

This Video Uses Thousands of NASA Photos to Bring the Apollo Moon Landing to Life

530 million people watched the the first humans walk on the surface of the moon, but no one has seen the moon landing quite like this before.

NASA’s 1969 moon landing was an epic event all on its own, but it’s made all the more monumental and awe-inspiring in the incredible short film Lunar. Motion designer Christian Stangl and his brother, composer Wolfgang Stangl gathered thousands of photos from NASA’s Project Apollo Archive and decided to stitch them together and use stop motion to bring the moon landing to life, allowing people to watch the historic mission unfold in a way they never have before.

Stangl decided to embark on the project after being impressed by the quality of the images in the Project Apollo Archive. The high-resolution images, as you might recall, were captured using the famous Hasselblad-Moon cameras, which were build using a Hasselblad 500EL body and a whole lot of rocket science to make the process of exposing and image capture easy for astronauts operating in 1.) space suits, and 2.) 83.3% less gravity than on Earth.

Read More

No Film School

Watch: 3 Editing Techniques That ‘Star Wars’ Uses to Communicate Emotions

Editing doesn’t just turn images into stories, it also helps capture emotions.

Movies do so many things. They entertain us, inform us, and give us a nice distraction from reality when we need one. However, one of the most important things they do is make us feel. There are several techniques filmmakers use to get audiences to feel different emotions, not the least of which is editing. In this video from Studio Binder we get to see three ways Star Wars uses editing to heighten certain emotions to get viewers more engaged in the story. Check it out below:

According to the video, here are the three ways Star Wars uses editing to capture emotion.

Read More

No Film School

4 Cinematic Techniques Alfred Hitchcock Uses in ‘Rear Window’ to Turn You into a Voyeur

This is how the Master of Suspense made audiences become voyeurs whether they wanted to be one or not.

Watching Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 thriller Rear Window is an interesting and somewhat unusual experience. On one hand you’re a passive spectator watching a film about a recently-incapacitated photographer spying on his neighbors out of boredom, but on the other you are an extension of good ol’ Jimmy Stewart’s intrusive gaze. In essence, you become another person confined to that stuffy old apartment with nothing more than a pair of binoculars and a morbid curiosity that goes a little too far. But how does Hitchcock put you into that voyeuristic role? That’s a question that Matt Draper answers in this interesting video essay.

For all intents and purposes, Rear Window is a film about voyeurism, so it makes sense that Hitchcock’s approach to the film would be to force audiences to become voyeurs. And there are a lot of cinematic elements at play in Rear Window that help put audiences into the role.

Read More

No Film School

Emma Stone uses awards speech to praise kids’ party food ‘fairy bread’


In Australia, most kids can’t go to a party without encountering a snack called fairy bread

It’s white bread, topped with margarine and colourful hundreds and thousands (A.K.A. sprinkles.) 

The kids Down Under are wild for it. So too is actress Emma Stone, it turns out. 

Having only recently been deemed trendy by a U.S. publication (much to the horror of average Australians), Stone spoke of her love of the snack while accepting the award for Best Actress for her role in La La Land during the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) International Awards in L.A. Friday.  Read more…

More about Aactas, Emma Stone, Food, Fairy Bread, and Australia