Getting into a film festival is both the most beautiful and most intimidating experience for a filmmaker. Even the simple act of submitting is enough to strike one with anxiety, wondering if their work will be “accepted” in both a physical and emotional sense. Film festivals are the breaking ground for filmmakers, giving them the opportunity to launch a highly successful career. However, you are bestowed the task of outshining hundreds to thousands of talented filmmakers to catch the attention of festival organizers, producers, and an audience.

To maximize your chances of success, we have prepared a quick list of tips to help you navigate your way into the film festival circuit.

 

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Sex, drugs, murder, profanity. You’ll see these elements play a part in films, sometimes all within a few moments. Aside from making points of reference for a drinking game, there are legitimate reasons that filmmakers are attracted to R-rated material. When done correctly, it can demonstrate the competence that comes from successfully navigating a creative challenge.

 

Today we’re going to focus on the sensitive subject of nudity and sex scenes, and how to handle them professionally on set.

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Coffee shops are a hot spot for writers. There is just something about the environment, the atmosphere and the smell that get the creative juices flowing. Ample seating, plentiful outlets, and an exceptional hot brew are all key qualities in choosing the perfect writing cafe. Struggling to resist the constant distractions in your home? Keep reading to discover some of Vancouver’s finest coffee shops. Find your new favourite home-away-from-home in these rain city gems.

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Written by Breanne Pitt

There is no way to guarantee a video will go viral. You may spend hours on end editing, filming, and researching every blog or article about creating viral videos to no avail. Even though we can’t break the YouTube algorithm mystery, there are still several ways to groom your short film for viral infamy. When the YouTube algorithm strikes, your video should be prepared to capitalize on the opportunity. By following these simple techniques, you can optimize your short film’s chance of going viral.

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By Christopher McKittrick

 

Like nearly all film school students, you probably dream of helming a multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbuster… except at the moment you’re finding it difficult to come up with those millions to spend on your vision.

 

In the film industry (as in any industry), working your way up to the top is a time-honoured tradition. However, you can display your talent with some of the shortest narrative films there are: commercials.

 

Many successful filmmakers like David Fincher, Zack Snyder, Michael Bay, and Ridley Scott and entire animation studios like Pixar spent their earliest years making commercials, which soon led to more exposure and greater opportunities. In fact, two of the estimated 2000 commercials that Scott directed – his 1973 spot for Hovis bread and his 1984 Super Bowl spot for Apple – have been cited by many in the industry as two of the most influential television commercials in advertising history.

 

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Written by Mark Shelling

Why don’t we ever care much about the characters in disaster movies? By any estimation, they’re dealing with a conflict that has the absolute highest stakes. Because these characters aren’t always well defined, an audience won’t invest in their survival. This can cause a movie’s sense of conflict to be dead in the water. Characters must make decisions with repercussions and learn from mistakes.

Conflict is anything that will push against your hero, preventing them from getting what they want or need. Just like clearly defined characters, for a story to be successful, it needs a well-identified conflict. Something that will test your character’s limits and ultimately, teach them something at the end of the film.

Conflict can be broken down into two categories: internal and external.

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Written by Breanne Pitt

 

Anyone can make a video. The 21st century smartphone provides nearly everyone with access to high quality video cameras in their pocket. The difference between amateur and artist, however, is the successful use of perspective. Filmmaking is an art. Every shot should be captured with purpose. The real filmmakers are not people on sidewalks filming the statue across the street. The real filmmakers are the people lying on the ground, holding their camera sideways, and waiting for the light hit the statue just right. These artists understand how to capture unique perspective.  Perspective, for the purpose of this article, is capturing “viewpoints that communicate a subject to an audience in a unique way.” If you want to elevate your video skill from beginner to artist, here are suggestions on how to make a good video better with 7 simple techniques.

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How Do You Market A Film?

How Do You Sell Your Film?

Written by Tae Haahr

Marketing is the most underrated aspect of the filmmaking process. It comes from a combination of wanting to get the film right, having a ton of things to consider and the fact that most people don’t know how to put together an impactful campaign.

But in filmmaking, marketing is a crucial component. With hundreds of thousands of films created each year—in all shapes, sizes and genres, if you want to get your film seen, marketing needs to be a priority.

So, when do you need to start thinking about marketing? The answer is simple: during the entire process. But there are five specific times that marketing needs to be in the forefront of your mind.

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How to Work as an Extra In Film

By Julia Courtenay

 

It’s been a blockbuster year for film in Vancouver, providing a slew of opportunities for Background Performers (a.k.a Extras) to be anything from zombies, to German officers, FBI agents, bikers, baristas or nuns—and get paid!

 

Want to get in on the action? Read on to find out how to work as a Background Performer on set.

 

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What is Auteur Theory in Filmmaking?

by Ryan Uytdewilligen

 

In short, an Auteur is an artist who applies a high amount of stylistic control over their craft. In the case of Auture Filmmaking, this would be the director.

 

In the history of cinema, most cinema buffs point to auteur filmmakers as a source of inspiration. Scorsese, Kubrick, Lynch, Burton, Kurosawa, Mallick, the same names pop up over and over again for a reason. They have a cinematic identity that radiates through their work, whether it’s a repetitive setting or a reoccurring theme.

 

It’s easy to identify a Wes Anderson movie because he has his team of regulars (like Owen Wilson and Bill Murray) on display. His wild pallet of bright colours easily identifies it as a wacky, almost surreal, universe only he could create. He’s so good at getting his vision across, people keep coming back for more.

 

That is the sign of the auteur filmmaker: creative control for a personal end product that resonates with the zeitgeist.

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