Watch: ‘Not Directed by Terrence Malick’ Shows Filmmaker’s Massive Influence

14 films that bear the unmistakable mark of a master.

Since the release of Badlands in 1973, Terrence Malick has been recognized as one of Hollywood's most lyrical and uniquely visual storytellers. And after a two-decade-long filmmaking sabbatical, Malick returned with The Thin Red Line in 1998, providing moviegoers with a World War II story unlike any they'd ever seen.

His influence remains strong. As evidenced in the video below by Jacob T. Swinney, Malick's aesthetic has had a profound influence on a generation of filmmakers, and Not Directed by Terrence Malick provides clips from 14 films that show off "Malick-esque shots," though they were, as the title says, not the product of the visionary director himself.

As Swinney notes, "Malick's influence on certain filmmakers is undeniable." Clips from, among others, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Ex Machina, and even Man of Steel are used as examples illustrating the wide variety of films featuring "one of the most copied" styles in cinema (indie, as well as mainstream.)

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The Playback

Top headlines and news across the digital video industry, curated each week by JW Player

Happy New Year! Now that we’ve covered our predictions for video in 2018, let’s look at some more 2018 forecasts from the media/video world in this special edition of the Playback:


  • Programmatic Faces a Turning Point in 2018 (Ad Exchanger) “Issues such as transparency, fraud and nascent mobile adoption will be addressed in a meaningful way. Other issues like consolidation and attribution, or lack thereof, will continue to permeate.”


  • What Will 2018 Bring For Online Video? (MediaPost) “One common thread: 2018 will be the year data and targeting in the OTT space will mature, coming close to rivaling the data-rich environments of desktop and mobile. As more consumers embrace streaming video in their homes, more targeted ads can and will follow.”



  • China emerges as a hotbed for artificial intelligence (Digiday)“‘We saw lots of interest in AI in China, and the sector is moving so fast in the country,’ said Nicholson, CEO of Skymind. ‘Beijing supports AI, while Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are all getting into AI. The U.S. still has the best AI talent, but there are many good engineers and AI researchers in China as well.’”


The post The Playback appeared first on JW Player.

How DP Phedon Papamichael Created the Cinematic Language of Humor in Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing’

The Academy Award-nominated cinematographer reveals how he shot small on a large scale.

Hailing from Greece, Phedon Papamichael first moved to the United States as a photojournalist hungry for work. He learned filmmaking by shooting for Roger Corman and watching classics at The Vista in East Hollywood. Today, he’s one of the most prolific cinematographers in American cinema, including lensing the last four features by Alexander Payne.

Papamichael met Payne when he auditioned him to DP his thesis film at UCLA, around 1986. “He didn’t hire me!” said Papamichael to No Film School. “Then almost 20 years after, out of the blue, he called me for Sideways,” said Papamichael. “He said, ‘Do you want to shoot my film?’ I said, ‘Sure. Even back on Sideways, he brought up two movies that he wanted to do. One was this small black and white movie, Nebraska. The other was Downsizing.”

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5 Pointers for Better Drone Storytelling

Drones aren't just for establishing shots anymore.

You may not think that a drone is an effective storytelling tool by itself, but the Drone Film Festival and many of its entrants are out to prove differently. The winner of the Narrative category in the most recent L.A. version of the fest, Cardboard Cadet, is a charming example of a film shot almost entirely from the air. In fact, all entries in the festival have to include at least 50% of their shots created by drones.

In this video, Cardboard Cadet's director Chris Castor shares some tips with Drone Film Festival founder Randy Scott Slavin on what helped him successfully execute his vision and tell his fest-winning story. According to Castor, these are five things he kept in mind while making his film that proved successful. As Slavin points out, telling stories in any medium is difficult and many of these tips make great advice for all filmmakers and storytellers—not just those shooting with drones. Check out the video and read our top takeaways below.

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Watch: These Deleted Scenes Will Change the Way You Think About ‘Eternal Sunshine’

Crucial edits made Joel and Clementine's relationship come across as far less romantic.

Did you know that Michel Gondry cut an entire character from Charlie Kaufman's original vision of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Joel's ex-girlfriend Naomi didn't make it into the final cut, and if she had, it would be easy to view the film as entirely different.

Had the scenes with Naomi remained intact, there would have been a complete shift in the audience's perception of Joel. You see, since Joel had his memory altered to remove the past two years of his life, he would have been under the impression that he had just broken up with Naomi, his ex. And it turns out, things got pretty lonely for the guy after getting his mind wiped.

Following his experimental procedure, a deleted scene shows Joel returning to Naomi for a date, and later breaking it off to pursue Clementine when fate brings them together a second time. We can really see the power of the edit below.

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The Best Under-the-Radar Tech & Gear You Missed in 2017

A look at some of the best gear that fills in the workflow gaps of production.

There's a slew of gear and tech that's pretty awesome in its own right and may not necessarily fit into a traditional "Best Of" list. Instead of ignoring them, we strung together a potpourri of stand-outs in our own "Under the Radar" category.

To be clear, these are our opinions and they shouldn't be considered as fact (but the items are, we do believe, pretty darn great). Listed in the order of pre-production, production, and post-producton usage, each of these items will help you through a particular stage of your project's journey.

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How ‘In the Fade’ DP Rainer Klaussman Filmed the Heart of Human Tragedy

The cinematographer knew the only way to capture challenging subject matter was to work with a team he trusted.

If you had to diagram Turkish director Fatih Akin's new film In the Fade, you might draw an inverse triangle gradually narrowing to a very sharp point. Katja (Diane Kruger) has a seemingly happy life with her husband and child in Hamburg. When the film opens, she has left their son at her husband's workplace, planning to meet up later. When she returns, she finds her family has been killed in a bombing, and the suspects are neo-Nazis.

This harrowing film traces Katje's process of dealing with her loss from a courtroom trial to her final resolution of the wrongdoing. Throughout the film, Rainer Klaussman's dynamic, alive, intense cinematography pushes us along, moving toward a radical conclusion that never loses sight of the film's heroine. We view her plight excruciatingly clear, and our visual experience of the film makes it easy, even compulsory, to feel for her as she takes judgment into her own hands.

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7 Criminally Underseen Indies From 2017

You may have missed these movies, but they deserve your attention.

In a market over-saturated with content, great films fall through the cracks every year. That doesn't make it any less of a crime.

For our part, we've compiled a list of must-see films from 2017. Some of these are simply underrated; others garnered critical attention but were ultimately lost in the fray due to limited theatrical runs, small marketing budgets, or any number of unlucky circumstances that can befall a film in the modern age. All of these films, however, deserve your attention.

Read our 2016 underrated must-see list.

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The 8 Most Provocative Trailers of 2017

The year's best trailers were all-inclusive to dogs, replicants, musical performers, and clowns.

If a movie trailer's job is to hype a film, then the eight trailers represented below make a strong case for running to your computer and signing up for MoviePass. A great trailer evokes excitement and buzz, and there was quite a bit of that to go around this year.

Beyond its purpose as an organic marketing tool, however, a trailer should stand alone independent of anything else, posing a profusion of intriguing questions along the way. Mystery sells. One misconception is that an overabundance of plot-recapping is necessary for a trailer to be successful. The more information, the better, right? No! Please allow your audience to put the story together for themselves and don't hold their hands through all facets of your film's marketing campaign. In fact, it's encouraging when a trailer leaves us a little disoriented and scratching our head.

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8 Somewhat Unusual New Year’s Screenwriting Resolutions for 2018

It's hours before 2018. Where is YOUR screenplay?

I don't know about you guys, but I definitely made good on my New Year's resolution from last year which, of course, was to not resolve to do anything because life is hard enough as it is. However, after experiencing the dumpster fire that was 2017, I figured my current state of complete cynicism and unflinching wide-eyed hope for the future will act as the perfect fuel to write screenplays in the new year.

So, here are my 8 New Year's resolutions for 2018, which are, predictably, somewhat unusual.

I will tell my kid to get the hell out of my office

Oh, am I a mean mama? Yes!!! Okay, no. I'm not, and I'm not going to tell my darling kid to get the hell out of my office—at least not using those words. I will, however, politely and lovingly (probably) tell her that mama needs some time to work and curse and hold her head in her hands in complete frustration and hopelessness all by herself. Having a kid in the mix will only distract me from the edge of sanity I will definitely be teetering on.

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