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.
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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
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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.
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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 producers. They want some kind of financial return when investing in 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:
It’s based on a work that already exists and has an established fanbase.
There are elements of unworldliness or fantasy.
A well-known actor or director is attached to the project.
For all the Hollywood big-wigs this is fine and dandy. They’ve earned the right to blow stuff up on camera for cash. But what about the unknown up-and-comers? With each passing day, it’s getting harder for the average writer to get a producer to look at their script. There are plenty of tips and tricks filmmakers can implement to try and get their work noticed, but the most important element of all is still the story.
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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?
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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:
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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.
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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.
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If you’ve made the decision to pursue a career in the film industry, you have a lot of interesting years ahead of you. But before you can jump into award-winning positions on set, you need to start with a film school.
Choosing the best film school for you can be a daunting process, but if you can find one that gives you the most experience and education for your dollar and time, then it’s worth the investment in your future as a filmmaker.
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Drones, aka Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), are an increasingly integral part of film. Filmmakers are exploring the possibilities of this new, game changing technology and shooting scenes in ways never done before.
As film gear has gotten lighter, more compact, and more sophisticated, filming with drones has become, not only feasible, but often the right tool for the job. More than that, the tech has become more accessible to filmmakers of all levels, breeding new perspectives and dynamism from diverse sources.
This is a huge deal for the indie film community, where money and resources are often tight. Even our own InFocus Film School students have used drones in their student films!
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