A nice camera and talent is great, but if you really want to take your filmmaking career to the next level you’ll need a few other things.
When you first start out in filmmaking, the skills that you decide to hone first are—what—the essentials: how to shoot a film, how to use different pieces of gear, how to edit, and hopefully how to write a decent story. The skills you’ll need beyond that point are things you typically don’t know about until you’ve experienced years and years of mistakes and failure. In hopes of helping you avoid countless missed opportunities and a lifetime of regret, Darious Britt of D4Darious lists eight essential skills you’ll want to develop if you want to have a successful filmmaking career. Check out his video below:
The world is a big, beautiful place that is full of opportunities to discover, grow, and completely crash and burn until you’re a heaping pile of ash and broken dreams. This is why it’s nice when those who have experienced the pang of failure, or at least narrowly escaped it, share with you want to expect and what to avoid while on your journey.
There are a lot of skills that all good editors seem to have, but here are 5 you can focus on.
What does it take to be a good editor? It’s difficult to determine simply by observing their work, because 1.) edits are largely supposed to be invisible, and 2.) the brilliance is in what’s not there as opposed to what is. So, if you’re just starting out and aren’t really sure which skills you need to work on to get to the next level of your career, editor Justin Odisho names five in this informative video that you can get started on right away.
The job of an editor is rough. Not only do you have to hole up in a tiny room and stare at a timeline for days, weeks, or months, but you also have to have proficiency in both creative and technical skills. You have to know how to tell a story visually and know how to set keyframes in an NLE. You have to know how different edits affect audiences psychologically and know how to establish an efficient workflow.
Can Star-Lord beat Boba Fett in a fight? Want to see the entire unaired episode of Powerless that features Adam West as a guest star? Did you notice Kevin Feige‘s real time reaction to Amy Pascal‘s Spider-Man universe revelation from last weekend? Is Supergirl going to enter the DC Extended Universe? Will Thor‘s roommate Daryl appear in Thor: Ragnarok? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.
Star-Lord faces off with the most notorious bounty hunter in the Star Wars galaxy in the latest Super Power Beatdown.
The actor, who died at 88 from complications from leukemia, kept busy up until the end, as he was almost as famous for his career’s second act poking fun of and referencing the persona he created with his most famous role — but his final TV appearance, a cameo on NBC’s Powerless, never aired after the show was cancelled before it finished its first season. Read more…
There’s a reason why Pixar characters stay with you long after the end credits roll.
We all have a favorite Pixar character. You’re probably thinking of them right now, hearing their best lines and replaying the scene in your head that made you an instant fan. And how could you not be? Pixar’s characters, from Woody to Sadness Mike Wazowski have a unique way of sticking with you, whether it’s due to their hilarious banter or heartbreaking humanity. But what is it that Pixar does to make them so memorable? Well, StudioBinder offers up an explanation in this interesting video.
We could all make reasonable arguments as to how Pixar manages to develop such memorable, multi-dimensional characters, but here are the ones StudioBinder comes up, some of which are based on what Pixar alums have said about the process.
They all have spines
According to Pixar screenwriter Andrew Stanto, all well-drawn characters «have a spine,» and that their «inner motor,» whether it’s Marlin’s desire to prevent harm or Wall-E’s desire to find beauty, is the goal that subconsciously drives them throughout their entire journey.
«He’s doing this because he wants to bring Gawker down.» Netflix has premiered the official trailer for the documentary Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, of the docs We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists and The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. Knappenberger is one of my favorite doc filmmakers, as he understands the internet better than most people, and always sheds a light on the truth no matter how hard it is to find. Nobody Speak dives deep into the case of Hulk Hogan (aka Terry Bollea) vs Gawker. Unfortunately, Gawker lost the trial and they had to shut down because of this defeat. The film looks at how the idea of a free press is fading away, and the most powerful people with the most money are taking control over everything. This premiered at Sundance and it’s a riveting, frightening, remarkable doc that you should take time to watch. ›››
«Sometimes it was 8 cans in a day. It was way, way too much.» Stop drinking soda! It’s very bad for your health. How many of you are addiction to pop/soda? In America, it’s a very common thing, as we all grow up drinking it and enjoy it so much that we can’t help but enjoy soda all the time. This animated short film, titled Coke Habit, tells the story of one man named Mike explaining how his addiction to soda became a major problem when he was in high school. This is indeed a very important health PSA, but it’s also a very creative and unique short film with some impressive animation. I love the color palette, and I love how it all flows. It’s short, sweet (no pun intended) and good work I want to share as filmmaking that impressed me. ›››
This is one of the first and most important fundamentals you learn in film school. Why not learn it from this 2-minute video, tuition free?
If your professor isn’t too tired/frazzled/hungover to just toss a syllabus on your desk and call it good, your first day of film school is most likely going to include a lesson on the 180-degree rule. This filmmaking fundamental is key in keeping the spacial continuity of your film clear and concise, which will in turn keep your audience from being confused about what’s happening on-screen. In this short video from Fandor, you get to learn all the basics of the 180-degree rule, how to follow it, and how to break it for dramatic effect.
The thing about the 180-degree rule is that it’s pretty simple in theory: draw an imaginary line down the center of the action and then only shoot from one side. Bam! Easy! However, in practice it’s a little more difficult than that, because it’s easy for things to get confusing once all of the cameras, tripods, lights, actors, and crew members are buzzing around on set.
Shortly after its release in England, Planet Earth II came under fire when dedicated viewers drew attention to the series’ extensive use of artificially created sound effects. Indeed, the BBC admitted to using classic foley tricks, which some viewers termed «fake sound effects,» as they weren’t captured in the wild.
But as Simon Cade from DSLRGuide notes in a new video essay, sound effects are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways in which nature documentaries manipulate reality.
Of course, the fact that nature docs are extensively edited is not a revolutionary concept. As Cade notes, editing is done in the service of storytelling; otherwise, Planet Earth II might simply be a live feed of one spot in the barren Sahara desert. Like narrative editors, nature doc editors cherry-pick moments from many hours of footage in order to anthropomorphize, or «humanize,» the animals. As with any type of documentary, editors make us care by constructing a narrative.