InFocus Film School Blog

 

wedding videography

Photo credit: Tom Pumford

by Renee Sutton

 

Dearly beloved, in the years following film school, you’ll likely pick up a side hustle or two. Taking on work as a wedding videographer is often viewed as a sweet summer gig, with the potential to make a good living at someone else’s party.

 

On the other hand, the idea of working for bridezilla every weekend all summer long could deter some film school grads from marrying into this type of work.

 

maik hassel wedding videography nirvana photography studios

Photographer and videographer Maik Hassel (of Nirvana Photography Studios) has been shooting weddings and creating tailored experiences for twenty years.

 

His passion is evident as he speaks about his career.   “It’s really satisfying to build that relationship, to work with somebody and actually build something that is really special to them,” he says. Read more

War movie Dunkirk Christopher Nolan's directorial masterpiece

by Henry Kulick

 

Dunkirk is Christopher Nolan’s first major motion picture that doesn’t take place deep within the subconscious or far into the reaches of space. There are no superheroes, only real ones. This fictional portrayal of the real evacuation that happened in Dunkirk, France during WWII is Nolan’s most real movie to date, and it’s a modern spectacle. Through all the telltale signs of a Nolan film—musical score, cinematography, and direction—Dunkirk is a film for the ages.

 

Read more

Baby Driver review ansel elgort jamie foxx kevin spacey By Henry Kulick

 

Baby Driver’s essence is captured within the first five, heart-pounding moments. While other films need time to capture an audience, Edgar Wright’s newest directorial debut doesn’t waste any time letting you know just what it is: one of the best heist movies to ever exist.

 

Baby Driver isn’t without flaw, but it’s one of the most enjoyable films to be shown on the big screen this year. Read more

alien: covenant review and critique

By Henry Kulick

 

Ridley Scott’s Alien helped define the sci-fi genre in film almost 40 years ago. It’s hard to believe that Xenomorphs have been tearing through ill-equipped crews for that long, but May’s release of Alien: Covenant marks the eighth film to take place in this universe, and the third to be directed by Scott.

 

If anything, this goes to show those story elements that worked back in 1979 can still leave an audience white-knuckled and craving more. But through all that time, the same predictable mistakes are still being made and I’ve got to wonder how much longer it can last.

Read more

Sex Lies and Videotape low budget independent film

by Johnny Papan

 

When it comes to modern day cinema, there are a few key elements that will make or break the chances of your film getting made. One of the most important: money. With the millions upon millions of dollars it costs to produce a movie, it’s no surprise that dollar signs light up in the eyes of investors for some kind of financial return when considering a screenplay. There seems to be a formula in this day and age that will justify a movie turning profit, a few of them being:

 

  1. It’s based off a work that already exists and therefore has an established fanbase.
  2. There are elements of unworldliness or fantasy.
  3. A well known actor or director is attached to the project.

 

For all the Hollywood big-wigs this is fine and dandy. They’re established professionals who’ve earned the right to unnecessarily blow stuff up on camera for cash. But what about the unknown up-and-comers? With each passing day, it’s getting harder and harder for the average writer to get a producer to even look at their script, much less actually consider putting money into it. There are plenty of tips and tricks any filmmaker can implement to try and get themselves and their work noticed, but the most important element of all is still the story.

Read more

The Notebook kiss with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams by Henry Kulick

 

There’s no genre of film that’s undergone more transformation than the romance genre. From the early days of Hollywood, romance has intertwined its way into almost every story in some way, but the films that were dedicated to the harrowing journey of romance helped make the industry what it is today. Even with such an illustrious past, if you were to scour the charts for the one-hundred highest-grossing box office films of all time, it’s a list that’s almost devoid of romance films.

 

Except for Titanic. We’ll always have Titanic.

 

It may not be completely fair to gauge romance films against summer blockbusters. With the introduction of the money-printing superhero genre and the modernization of the big-budget adventure tale, most romance films shouldn’t be expected to outsell these box-office dominators. Even with that in mind, box office numbers for those specific genres–romantic comedy and romantic drama are still dominated by films that released in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Why is that?

Read more

Student Academy Awards

By Christopher McKittrick

 

Academy Awards aren’t just for established, working filmmakers — why not win one while still in film school?

The Student Academy Awards (originally named the Student Film Awards) is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award ceremony recognizing excellence in student films.

Though there’s an extensive list of rules to apply for the competition, students should consider submitting their work to the Student Academy Awards because the field is only open to film school students – unlike festivals, which are open to the general public. Also unlike festivals, there is no entry fee to submit. Most importantly, many winners have had subsequent professional success in film and television. As a result, the Student Academy Awards are closely watched by the industry for upcoming talent.

The number of awards and their specific names have changed significantly over the years. Today there are four main categories: Narrative (named “Dramatic” until 1999), Animation, Documentary, and Alternative. There are also International Awards for the Narrative, Animation, and Documentary categories.

Here’s how three of the most notable winners in each of the Narrative/Dramatic, Animation, and Documentary categories went from their earlier success to acclaimed careers in entertainment:

Read more

Director Stanley Kubrick grew out of the Auteur Theory

by Ryan Uytdewilligen

 

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

 

You know when you’re watching a Wes Anderson movie because he has his team of regulars (like Owen Wilson and Bill Murray) on display while his wild pallet of bright colours easily identifies it as a wacky, almost surreal, universe only he could create. Because 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.

Read more

the fifth movie of the Transformers franchise - Transformers 5 The Last KnightBy Henry Kulick

 

The reboot “boom” is headed towards a crash but original scripts aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

 

As Hollywood sinks its teeth into the early weeks of the 2017 summer box-office barrage, they do so with some apprehension. Insiders in the industry predict that this summer’s ticket sales (bookending around Labor Day) could be the lowest it’s been in a decade.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to many. Looking back, and then ahead, 2017 is filled with instalments to franchises that have existed for decades. In April, we saw the release of the eighth Fast and the Furious movie, which claimed to be the final title in the series but only time will tell.

With nothing but adaptations and sequels taking center stage and garnering less than years past, it seems that trusted franchises, once capable of driving people to the theatre, may beginning to go a bit stale.

Read more

Assistant Director / Assistant Directors on a film production set

By Johnny Papan

 

If films were the human body, you could deliberate that producers are the brains, writers and directors are the heart, cinematographers are the eyes, sound designers are the ears, and production designers are the lips that tell a story with decoration. These key creatives are the head of the anatomy that is a film crew.

 

But every well-functioning anatomy needs that core piece that connects and communicates with the entire nervous system. When it comes to filmmaking, this piece is the Assistant Director (A.D.), the spine of the production team.

 

“Without a good first A.D., your movie falls to pieces. I feel like you could
probably run a set better with a good first A.D. and no director
than a good director and no A.D.”

Natalie Portman, indiewire.com

Read more