This Quiz Will Predict the Best Camera For Your Next Documentary

You could spend countless hours staring at the ceiling at night asking yourself those burning questions...or you could take this quiz and find out what camera you should buy!

Ok, we’re not exactly at the level of AI in all of those commercials with Common, but Desktop Documentaries has created a fun way to take some of the guesswork out about picking the right camera for your next video production.

After a short no-strings-attached quiz "What Camera Should I Buy?" you will get their best suggestion. You break down your personal shooting style, gear preferences, and type of film you're working on next, and you'll get their best guess.

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‘Keep Shooting and Be Humble’: ‘BLAZE’ DP Steve Cosens on Advice for Young Cinematographers

"When you first start your career, it's inevitable that you're going to try to emulate films that you've seen."

It may be about Outlaw Country music, but DP Steve Cosens was tasked to lens Ethan Hawke’s latest film with the philosophy of an improvisational jazz musician. Cosens was more than up to that task. “I was game to work that way, and it was exciting and wonderful from day one,” he told No Film School about working on the film about largely unknown Texas legend Blaze Foley who inspired the careers of Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.

BLAZE, which opened in Texas last month and is playing in NYC and Los Angeles this week, is a film that would test any Director of Photography, from maintaining a fluid approach during production while pulling off lighting extremes that reflect the dichotomies of the artist in the film. Watch some selects of Cosens's cinematography in the film here, and check out the trailer below:

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How the New ‘Atari’ Movie Could Revolutionize Film Finance by Tokenization on the Blockchain

“The main promise of doing this is so that independent filmmakers can be empowered…”

The budget for the upcoming Atari movie, set around $40-$50 million, is being financed entirely through tokenization on the Blockchain. What happens could pave the way for a brand new way to fund films.

“I’m passionate about blockchain and want to demonstrate with [Atari] that this is a viable way for filmmakers to do this,” said Atari producer J.D. Seraphine, Vision Tree Media, on the TIFF 2018 panel below. “One of the great frustrations of being a filmmaker is that you constantly feel like there are obstacles in front of you that keep you from just creating your vision. My hope is that there are new models and systems that will be built so filmmakers will be able to focus on expressing the creative vision.” Can tokenizing your film can remove the middleman from financing? Wel, yes, as long as you don’t spend too much on the new middleman who will help you understand tokenizing!

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How to Sensitively Work with Non-Professional Actors: ‘Twin Flower’ Brings Truth to the Screen

One left Ukraine as a child and the other escaped the Ivory Coast by foot (and then migrant boat) just months before they both became the leads in Laura Luchetti’s new film.

Laura Luchetti wanted real people to bring truth to the roles of two displaced teenagers on the run on the island of Sardinia, and first-time actors Anastasyia Bogach and Kalill Kone brought an incredibly real set of life experiences to the film.

The essential story of Twin Flower revolves around two people from worlds apart: they don't speak the same language, they don’t share a religion, they come from very different backgrounds, etc. They’ve both, however, had their innocence stolen from them in some way when their paths align. "And all the differences I just told you don't exist anymore," explained Luchetti to No Film School. Who better to understand that uncommon bond than two people who had both experienced the dramatic event of leaving one's home country?

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How to Visualize the Earth’s Natural Elements: Edoardo de Angelis on ‘The Vice of Hope’

“In one shot, we calculated that we moved, actors and the camera, 1.5 kilometers from the beginning to the end of the shot.”

An acclaimed new voice in Italian cinema, Edoardo De Angelis (Indivisible) started out with the idea to tell a story about a lawless world next to the river Volturno in Italy. He's now made a film where the camera flows ceaselessly around the characters, just like that river. The Vice of Hope follows the protagonist Maria as she trafficks surrogate mothers, women down and out on their luck, and often immigrants, along the Volturno river.

“This area to me is the emblem of Italy today…it’s a land that's mixed, like our blood," described de Angelis in the Q&A following the TIFF premiere, "Those want to prevent others from having the desire to arrive here have to accept it, because you can’t stop other people’s desire to move." In addition to the setting of the film being used as a symbol of the modern face of Italy in a shifting world, the film revolves around the symbolism of birth, and to play the protagonist, he cast the mother of his own child: the talented Italian actress Pina Turco.

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4 Tips From Werner Herzog on Conducting a Successful Interview for Your Doc

“I understood this was big,” said the usually unfazed Werner Herzog about speaking with the infamous former president of the USSR in his new documentary, 'Meeting Gorbachev.'

In a conversation with Thom Powers at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, Werner Herzog explained not only why his latest film was important, but also how he handled the difficulties that Mikhail Gorbachev threw his way. As longtime NFS readers remember, Herzog told us he is not a filmmaker who sits down with a prepared list of questions to systematically check off (he likes to have a conversation that can and usually will go anywhere he likes).

With Gorbachev, Herzog explained that he "had to follow the flow" in order to make a film about the man who triggered the biggest arms reduction in world history and so adequately captured "the Russian soul." How did Herzog work his way through? Check out the full conversation, ripe with iconic Wernerisms, as well as our takeaways below.

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How One Filmmaker Documented the Hero Journey of the World’s Most Successful Female Artist

Does the idea of filming someone’s life story for three years without their permission sound utterly terrifying? For filmmaker Heather Lenz, big risks came with big rewards.

Yayoi Kusama is now the most top-selling female artist in history. While you may know her from the explosion of Instagrammable infinity rooms and polka dots in recent years, her journey began decades ago, trying to storm the art world...unsuccessfully. Kusama just happened to be way ahead of her time.

Evidently, so was filmmaker Heather Lenz. As an art student in the 1990s, Lenz became interested in Kusama when she had a rare are show in New York City. Lenz decided she had to tell Kusama’s story. She started out, 17 years ago, writing a biopic. She eventually realized she should make a doc that would show Kusama herself. The only problem? Heather Lenz had yet to meet Kusama. “It was 2004 when we started shooting, and it was 2007 before we met her,” explained Lenz to No Film School. “This is what not to do!”

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A Massive List of Fall 2018 Grants All Filmmakers Should Know About

While the leaves are turning brown and the sky is grey, the money's still green if you nab one of these film opportunities!

Leave mourning over summer's end to the Mamas and the Papas: you have work to do if you want to submit to any of these grants, initiative, contests, and opportunities coming up this fall! As always, the following opportunities are organized by deadline—from late August through early December—and by category: documentaries, narratives, screenwriting, and new media.

If you're looking for a head-start on a different granting season, check out our most recent spring grants, summer grants, and winter grants roundups.

Note: An asterisk next to the grant title means there is an equivalent grant for both doc and narrative.

As always, use your best judgment when deciding to apply.

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‘If You Have a Vision, Try to Keep It ’: Mastering 1970s Crime Cinema in ‘Let the Corpses Tan’

“We want to be sensational.”

Filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani have a growing reputation as the biggest and boldest purveyors of pastiche. Their latest film, Let the Corpses Tan, does not disappoint. This time exploring the erotic violence of the Spaghetti Western and psychedelic experiments of the 1960s and 1970s, the filmmakers are nothing short of visual masterminds.

Adapted from a 1971 novel by Jean Patrick Manchette, the film follows a cadre of criminals who hole up in a crumbling Mediterranean village with a has-been writer and his exquisitely destructive muse, Luce. In this cascade of genre fetishism, no shot is wasted.

Cattet and Forzani sat down with No Film School on the eve of the film’s theatrical release to talk about storyboarding in the script, creating meaningful mise-en-scène, and never surrendering your vision.

No Film School: How did you adapt the novel into the script, knowing that the imagery would be absolutely everything in this film?

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A Marriage (and a Divorce) Through Pre-Production: The Unusual Collaboration Behind ‘Loveling’

Gustavo Pizzi and Karine Teles wrote the script for 'Loveling' in the throes of divorce; they didn't know their bittersweet lessons on love would make the film so beautiful.

Loveling (known as Benzinho in Brazil) is the tale of a mother preparing to say goodbye to her oldest son leaving home at the end of the summer. The lead actress, Karine Teles, and the director, Gustavo Pizzi, were married when they started to write the script. Through divorce, they discovered the highs and lows of love and family breakdown, and these hard-learned lessons wove themselves into the film.

From impressionistic visuals that use color and framing to explore the characters' inner emotions to an extensive dedication to the naturalism of the cast, their collaboration creates a poignant rumination on letting go.

Pizzi and Teles first sat down with No Film School on the eve of their film's premiere at Sundance to talk about writing separately post-divorce, rehearsing to prepare for the distracting experience on set, and how through thick and thin, they never gave up on the film.

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