Articles Tagged Making Films

The Nuances of Film Editing

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The word “edit” has a bad reputation. To lay folk, the word brings to mind overindulgence, censorship, and the property neighbored by “File” and “View.” But people in film know better. Walter Murch, the editing savant behind Apocalypse Now and The English Patient, once compared film editing to translation in that the challenge is not… Read more »

Story Is As Story Does

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In 1997, I had a decent career as a freelance magazine writer when at the beach one day I told a friend, a production executive at a major studio, about a book I’d recently reviewed. She said she thought it would make an interesting movie. A year later, I moved to LA with the option… Read more »

Money Matters

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Ed Pressman and I started ContentFilm two years ago, and we have produced eight films in that time with more on the way. My last job was co-president of October Films, where we acquired or produced over sixty films before the sale to USA Films, and before that I was the CFO of Miramax from… Read more »

Final Cut Pro 4

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Digital non-linear video editing has crept into the life of nearly every filmmaker. From independents on shoestring budgets to high school students making video reports, editing with computers is the norm. Much of the credit for the popularity of non-linear editing goes to Apple’s Final Cut Pro (FCP). Apple’s savvy marketing and pricing of FCP… Read more »

Building a Killer Press Kit

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The press kit is the most important tool for any filmmaker seeking media coverage, but many independent film press kits are either overstuffed with irrelevant information or seriously lacking vital data. The killer press kit does not have to be elaborate, nor does it require fancy packaging and gimmicks. All it needs is basic, clear… Read more »

Getting Coverage

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One of the great truths of media is that there is no such thing as bad press, but how to get even bad press can be a mysterious process for filmmakers without giant, studio publicity machines behind them. There are filmmakers who seem to produce very little work, but are constantly finding their way into… Read more »

High-Tech Homebrew

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The past few years have seen significant advances in the tools for creating visual effects with desktop computers. Yet these tools cost at least a few hundred dollars and can quickly move into the thousands with the addition of plug-ins and ancillary tools. For the independent filmmaker interested in creating the illusions of visual effects… Read more »

The Strange and Wonderful World of "American Splendor"

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From American Splendor’s first shots, you know you are watching something unusual: It’s Halloween, 1950, and the neighborhood runts are trick-or-treating, all done up as their favorite superheroes—except for one rebellious runt, who has stubbornly donned his street clothes. “I’m Harvey Pekar,” he tells a curious neighbor. “I ain’t no superhero, lady. I’m just a… Read more »

Site Seeing

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While cleaning out my attic in 1998 I had an idea for a short film. I found a box of notes I had passed back and forth with my high school friends. Aside from bringing back a flood of memories, I found many to be extremely intimate, present-day windows into the lives of adolescent girls,… Read more »