InFocus Film School Blog

 

How to Work with Animals in Film

Animals in Film Leo the MGM Lion

Leo the MGM Lion

 

Who doesn’t love animals in film? Whether to delight or to scare, animals have played some of the most iconic roles. Where would we be without Lassie or Airbud? Or the nameless horde in Birds?

 

So let’s say your script includes animals. You can’t expect them to act like your human actors and likewise can’t expect to treat them as such. The rules surrounding animal performers can seem daunting at first, but this guide will break filming with animals down into a manageable process.

 

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The Top 5 Must-Know Women Filmmakers

women in film female filmmakers

by Petar Petrov

 

When people think of successful women in the film industry, the first image that comes to mind is probably something along the lines of a talented actress which is like a robust tool in the hands of a master director. And even though that’s a vocation many would kill for, women filmmakers have long shown women are not only capable of being a film’s driving force, but in fact, they can drive it to places many men would have a hard time reaching.

 

Here is our selection of the top 5 women filmmakers:

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OSCARS 2018: Comparing The Top 3 Writer-Directors Nominated This Season

Oscars 2018 Nominees Director great gerwig guillermo del toro jordan peele

By Johnny Papan

 

The Academy Awards were created to recognize excellence in the hard-working world of cinema. Embarking on its record 90th ceremony this year, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California will be hosting the movie industry’s brightest stars as they walk the red carpet in hopes of capturing that illustrious golden Oscar-statue. The Oscars bring attention to every aspect of film—from story to technical and creative execution—and give everyone from the director to the (usually under-recognized) sound editor a chance for well-deserved recognition.

 

This year features an eclectic mixture of cinematic stylings from directors, writers, actors, cinematographers and film crews from all walks of life. Hollywood blockbusters are in competition with indie-darlings, creating intrigue for those who want to know whom the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences deems the most deserving of the Oscar.

 

Three filmmakers are in a special spotlight this year, as their visions as both writer and director have also put each of their films in contention for best picture, each completely unique from one another. Guillermo del Toro, Greta Gerwig, and Jordan Peele have captained three of the most talked about films of the last year. It’s no surprise they’re all up for the same three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director. Here is a comparison of the trio.

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Write a Successful Romance in 5 Simple Steps

how to write romance romantic film titanic

by Johnny Papan

 

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. A time dedicated to all the lovers out there, making things special for “just us.” Moments are filled with candle-lit dinners, flowers, chocolate gifts, and, for the last few years, watching the newest installment of the Fifty Shades series, leading to a sales boost in adult shops across the country.

 

Watching a romantic film is one of the most popular choices among young couples for a Valentine’s Day date. They fulfill the fantasies we often can only dream of experiencing, which is why romance has become an integral part of cinema. Main focus or subplot, the element of love has found a place in almost every movie of any genre.

 

So what makes a romantic film? Is it merely a tale of two beings looking into each others eyes and falling into an embrace? If it’s not that easy in reality, it certainly can’t be that easy in film.

 

Most lovey-dovies follow similar structures that help us as an audience connect and fall into the journey of our heartfelt characters. In order for a romance film to work, we need a simple ingredient: characters that we want to be together in the end.

 

Here’s how you can write a romance that pulls on the heartstrings.

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How To Work With Child Actors On Set

stranger things child actor on set

by Julia Courtenay

 

Child actors deliver some of the most riveting and moving performances on screen, as we’ve seen from Harry Potter to Matilda. Currently, the young cast of Stranger Things has charmed millions of viewers with their performances on the hit show.

 

But movie sets are difficult, complex work environments even for adults. Because children are particularly vulnerable to being taken advantage of, there are rules to protect children in TV and Film in BC. Producers must be aware of these rules when hiring child actors in BC.

 

The following covers most of the basic considerations but should not be taken as legal advice.

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The Invisible World of the Foley Artist

foley sound effects performance rowing boat on water

by Julia Courtenay

 

Foley—the addition of sound effects in post-production—is probably one of the most under-appreciated arts in film production.

 

The sound effects designed by Foley Artists are often as mundane as footsteps, keyboards, kettles etc. but they can stretch to the gory sounds of tearing flesh and crunching bones, to the sound of alien life forms and futuristic technology.

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My 30 Favourite Films of 2017

+ WORST FILM and MOST ANTICIPATED OF 2018

By Kryshan Randel

30 Favourite Films of 2017

 

For most of the year, no film came close to the best that television had to offer. Brilliantly conceived shows such as THE HANDMAID’S TALE, LEGION and parts of TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN outdid anything on the big screen, especially in the script department, and it seemed like television was the new cinema. But then fall arrived, along with the majority of this list, and great films made a swift comeback. As usual, my preferred taste for dark comedies and thrillers/horror films is apparent, but my documentary favourites (except for HONDROS) are safe for everyone. Here are my top films of 2017.

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Filming With Green Screen: Everything You Need To Know

superman green screen compositing David James. From the film “Superman Returns”. Courtesy of Warner Bros., 2006.

By Julia Courtenay

 

These days, we all know the fantastical backgrounds in big blockbuster movies look underwhelming on set. But with green screen (and major help from visual effects artists and compositors), filmmakers are creating worlds with an unbelievable sense of authenticity.

 

The technique behind green screen actually dates back to the early 1900s. Blue screen was more popular at first because it worked better with celluloid film. Green screen is more common and practical now with the rise of digital filmmaking. And you, dear filmmaker, can take advantage of its increasing accessibility.

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Tips & Tricks for Setting Background

The Deer Hunter background performers

By Julia Courtenay

 

Part of the job of the Assistant Directors is setting Background (the non-speaking performers who create the atmosphere, a.k.a. “extras”). Background is as essential to the scene as any other element. A badly set background can be distracting and suck the life out of the scene. Done well, the Background enriches and creates a sense of authenticity.

 

Last week, we talked about how to start working as a Background Performer. This time, let’s look at what Background means for ADs!

 

Setting Background is as much an art form as lighting or dressing a set. But you often only have a few minutes to put the Background in place, so you need to be prepared.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Working as an Extra

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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