Here's why horror films demand to be taken seriously by the Academy.
[Editor's Note: This video essay is part of our "Everything You Need to Know" series created exclusively for No Film School by Senior Post.]
In looking over the film awards season of the past few months, it isn't too much of a stretch to deem Jordan Peele's socially-conscious horror filmGet Out, as one of the biggest surprise success stories of the year. From a completely objective standpoint, a politically(nail)biting horror movie like this—nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Original Screenplay—isn't supposed to be nominated for an Oscar! It's a horror movie with extremely dark humor, and those usually don't fly too well with the older members of the Academy.
The new LAUNCH competition offers one million dollars for your million dollar idea.
Film school can be an all-consuming experience (and an expensive one at that), so you'd be forgiven for fretting what the steps are to actually getting a feature screenplay into production. After all, a feature is such a monumental writing challenge in-and-of-itself that its life beyond the page can be hard to predict.
Enter The LAUNCH, a brand new million dollar screenplay competition for college students created "with the mission to inspire the next generation of great screenwriters." Founded by producers Jason Shuman and Zachary Green, the competition aims to provide the financial lift necessary to encourage and strengthen the prospects of college-enrolled screenwriters. Note that you must be enrolled in an accredited two-year, four-year college/university or graduate program anywhere in the world to submit. Open for submissions beginning next Thursday, March 1st, the competition is spreading the wealth far and wide.
The first prize-winning screenplay will be be produced as a feature film with a budget of at least $1,000,000.
Staying on top of the trailer circuit is a full-time job in and of itself. We're here to help.
Happy Presidents' Day! With the holiday comes five new trailers ranging from the silver screen return of a famous dog to the big-screen debut of a current NBA superstar (not to mention new turns by Michelle Pfeiffer and Burt Reynolds).
Benji (dir. Brandon Camp)
Helmers of the 'The Florida Project' and 'Strong Island' call attention to the need for artist support at annual gala event.
Taking place on the evening after St. Valentine's Day, the second annual Rooftop Films Gala, held in midtown Manhattan on a rare but welcomed warm winter night, continued the week's theme of adoration and love: in this case, for one's fellow artist. In keeping with the organization's 22-year mission to both financially support and provide filmmakers with lively, outside-of-the-box venues in which to showcase their work, Rooftop Films' good will was consistently felt and reciprocated over the course of the ceremony. It wouldn't be wrong to label it a holy experience: At 105 years young, St. Bart's Episcopalian Church served as an unexpectedly appropriate venue for an evening of food, drinks, live music, passionate dedications, and impassioned speeches.
The annual celebration of the best in VFX awarded computer-crafted apes, soldiers, guardians, and ghosts.
As we're still very much in the thick of awards season, honoring every aspect of the most accomplished motion pictures of 2017, one ceremony that shouldn't slip by unheralded is the Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards, honoring the very best in photo real and animated features, real-time projects, commercials, video games, and live events.
A focus on sound design helped Reed Van Dyk make 'Dekalb Elementary' into a visceral experience.
Some filmmakers find inspiration for future projects via the real-life events they view on the news, but only a few find a potential story in one they hear. Based on a 911 call made during a 2013 school-shooting attempt that, due to the strong-willed and caring demeanor of a school office attendant, avoided disaster (and human casualties), Reed Van Dyk's Dekalb Elementary is an equally frightening and tearjerking short about human negotiation and connection.
Take your shot: A new tutorial by Videomaker breaks down the essential traits of enhancing your frame.
In a new tutorial published this week by the good folks at Videomaker, Multimedia Editor Chris Monlux breaks down and explains the essential factors involved in composing a professional camera shot. While many of these terms may appear familiar to you, there's always a need to repolish your understanding by seeing new examples of the technique in practice. And although the video is steadfast in describing the rules of shot composition, it makes sure to note that each rule was made to be broken (if a filmmaker can find the right justification for it). An awareness toward classic examples of how cinematographers make these choices can influence your work for the greater good.
SXSW's additional programming announcements reveal something for literally everyone.
Last week, SXSW announced their first wave of programming for the 25th edition of the SXSW Film Festival, taking place March 9th through March 18th in Austin, Texas. If that merely whet your appetite for what's in store at next month's premier festival in the Lone Star state, today's announcement of additional features, shorts, episodic content, and Virtual Cinema projects will surely make you salivate.
Some highlights include Together, the VR debut of one cinema's greatest masters (and local Texan) Terrence Malick, Isle of Dogs, the North American premiere of Wes Anderson's latest exercise in stop-motion animation, the world premiere of Glass Eye Pix's The Ranger by first-time feature director Jenn Wexler, Upgrade, a new genre-bender from Saw and Insidious co-creator Leigh Whanell, and a festive opening night party where badgeholders can visit Robert Rodriguez 's Troublemaker Studios in anticipation for the summer debut of Rodriguez's latest feature, Alita: Battle Angel.
With the pilot debut of 'Halfway There' at Sundance,
veteran filmmaker Rick Rosenthal finds a new way to work outside the system.
A career highlighted by two recent Emmy nominations for serving as Supervising Producer on Amazon's hit seriesTransparent, Rick Rosenthal has spent the last five decades working in every position of the film and TV industry. If you're a fan of horror films, perhaps you recall his name as the director of the hospital-set Halloween II (1981) and Halloween: Resurrection (2002), the eighth installment in the series spearheaded by John Carpenter? If you prefer your narratives serialized, there's a good chance you've noticed his directorial credit on select episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, and Smallville. Due to his willingness and deft ability at working across multiple genres and platforms, Rosenthal has built a storied career being the "right person for the job," and with the creation of his production company WhiteWater Films in 2004, he's intent on finding the right person for each new one.
A filmmaker's search for a lost film gives way to an invigorating new one.
An investigative, pop-infused doc about a stolen film that was never completed, Sandi Tan's Shirkers is a film onto itself. It's important to note that there are two movie titled Shirkers: 1.) the 1992, first-ever Singaporean road-trip flick directed by a teenage Sani Tan and Georges Cardona (an enigmatic American mentor twice her age) and 2.) the 2018 documentary focusing on the original film that was never completed due to Georges running off with the footage and robbing Tan of her most personal work. All she was left with were analog memories of a celluloid dream.
The documentary seeks less to question why the footage was stolen—Georges' motives aren't entirely clear nor sane— than to shift the power back to the young filmmaking team, now living across the globe, who made it. While the subject matter sounds dire, the documentary embodies the voice and outlook of Tan; it's surprisingly good-humored and optimistic.