Articles Tagged Making Films

Mix Master

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Marcelo Zarvos is scoring big in the independent film world these days. The thirty-five-year old Brazilian-born Zarvos, who has made New York his home for the past twelve years, has composed music for a handful of independent films, including Tully (2000), Kissing Jessica Stein (2001), and this year’s The Door in the Floor—all award-winning and… Read more »

Can I do without professional sound editing?

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Dear Doc Doctor: Many people suggested that I add more narration and music to my documentary, which I did, but now other people are saying there is too much of both. How do I achieve the right balance between image and sound in documentary film? Before you figure out where others want you to be,… Read more »

The Sound of Gowns

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I knew Mira Nair’s Vanity Fair was going to be an interesting and challenging project. It was filmed with lots of attention to the visual details, and the sound of the Foley effects—naturalistic sounds recorded to match the action in a scene tracks—would need to be as audibly clean and meticulous as the film is… Read more »

Honolulu, Hawai’i

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Although the cinematic possibilities of Hawai’i—those that lay beyond the tropical tropes of tourism and military patriotism— have always been clear to local residents of the island, only recently has there been notable validation of that truth. The sudden abundance of studio work, a new school for multimedia, and the proliferation of local film festivals,… Read more »

The Talented Tenth

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While so many of Hollywood’s high-paid actors spend their paychecks on the kind of luxury items the rest of the world only comes in contact with on trashy celebrity television shows, some are emptying their bank accounts and charging up their credit cards like the rest of us—making movies. A rising group of thespians are… Read more »

Filming Fahrenheit 9/11

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Whoever said you have to be based out of New York or Los Angeles to be associated with the Palm d’Or-winning film at the Cannes Film Festival? Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, I started a video production company fifteen years ago. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be the DP… Read more »

Shadowing a Sibling

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Sometimes you think you don’t need any help, that you can do it on your own. That’s exactly what I was thinking before I started shooting my new feature, Ur4Given. I should have known better. I had a Sony PD-150 given to me by my brother Spike (yes, Spike Lee) and some tape stock. I… Read more »

Where Are We Going?

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The question on everyone’s mind is, Will it last? Documentaries are the hot cultural phenomenon at the moment, and in a society where change is tantamount to breathing, one cannot help wondering if the next “it” thing will simply overtake their sudden and ubiquitous popularity. This is a discouraging thought, as documentaries have a value… Read more »

Mind the Gap

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Although “development hell” is the norm for most independent filmmakers, the experience of Jonathan Caouette stands apart. The thirty-two-year old Caouette spent almost twenty years making Tarnation, his first feature-length documentary, which went from being a $218.32 home video project edited on iMovie, to a $400,000 theatrical release that will open this fall. Tarnation first… Read more »

You Are Here

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Jonas Mekas used his camera to survive. When Mekas, the founder of the Film-Maker’s Co-Op, emigrated from Lithuania to New York City in 1949 after having endured the brutality of the concentration camps, he immediately began to make home movies. In Lost, Lost, Lost, Mekas’s home movie diaries from 1949 to 1963, his voice hovers… Read more »