We asked Cannes directors: how would you like your films to be seen?
[Editor’s note: some answers have been edited for clarity and condensed.]
The current debate around Netflix and Cannes, on the surface, is about how we watch films and if there is an “ideal” way to experience them. Though it takes some good faith to assume that this discussion is really about art and the love of cinema rather than commerce, we might as well play along, ride the waves and use this new channel to deepen the dialogue that is relevant nonetheless.
Having just a few strong voices can easily seem like they represent all the possible versions of the debate. It is tempting to oversimplify the situation as having two extreme poles (Netflix vs. Cannes!, tradition vs. innovation!, sacred vs. profane!, etc.). To broaden the discussion and move it a bit away from the "decision makers", we find it useful to hear a more diverse range of voices and opinions for the filmmaking community itself.
A new Netflix documentary from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering shines a light on the perils of the medical device industry.
"When it comes to medical devices, we created a system that doesn’t work," says former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler in Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering's Netflix documentary The Bleeding Edge. That's a bold statement to make about a $400 billion healthcare industry, particularly coming from its former gatekeeper. But to the patients whose lives have been irrevocably—and often traumatically—harmed due to complications from devices that were not tested on humans, it's an understatement.
Following the game-changing success of their controversial documentaries about sexual assault—The Hunting Ground and The Invisible War— Dick and Ziering have created a searing exposé filled with testimonies from top experts in the field and well-researched facts from dozens medical studies and legal documents. This investigative research yields systematic corporate cover-ups, profit-driven incentives, and insufficient regulations that jeopardize doctors' ability to uphold the Hippocratic Oath.
From silent films being live-scored to watching 'Jaws'
from an inner tube, the summer is for cinephiles.
Often free and always fun, cinema hits the summer ether like the smell of fresh cut grass and barbecues. That’s because there’s nothing quite like a balmy July evening on a blanket under the stars to experience that collective joy of watching a movie. While many summer screenings are oriented towards families and kids, there are organizers dedicated to screening great films from new indie filmmakers and older, forgotten gems. No self-respecting filmmaker should go without at least one of these summer screenings!
No Film School has compiled a great list of events for unusual films old and new in classic theaters, art museums, and outdoorpop-upss. Take a look at this list for a screening near you!
Duplicate copies of files on a single drive do nothing but waste space.
Perhaps you want multiple copies of your source media. You only want a certain number—usually three copies—and it's a bummer to waste space (and money; hard drives aren't free) accidentally making more duplicates than you intended. Be careful: with the hectic nature of a film set, and the multilayer file structure, you might copy over media multiple times, wasting storage.
The most common scenario that creates multiple copies of the same file is when the camera crew hasn't reformatted a card. You get the card back but don't have the time to check the files one at a time, and so, not wanting to risk it, you download the entire card again, even if 80% of it is duplicated from a previous transfer.
You might think you know how versatile GorillaPods are but you have no idea.
That is so much damn equipment required to make a film, so any tool that allows you to do a bunch of different things on set is pure gold. One of those delicious tools is the GorillaPod. These things have been around since 2006, and if you have one, you probably love it, but if you don't have one, you might need to be sold on just how versatile it is. In this video, Kellan Reck demonstrates six configurations you can bend and twist a GorillaPod into, some of which are oldies but goodies, while others may be completely new to you. Check it out below:
The greatest thing about the GorillaPod is the fact that you can bend it and twist it into pretty much any shape you want, but sometimes it's difficult to come up with new useful ways to position the arms so you can capture footage from interesting perspectives. Luckily, Reck provides several that will not only come in handy quite often on set but will allow you to capture images in ways you may have never thought were possible with a GorillaPod.
"Gandhi" DP Billy Williams shares some keen insight on what it means to be a successful cinematographer.
Though he's been retired from cinematography for over two decades, Oscar-winning DP Billy Williams (Gandhi, Women in Love, On Golden Pond ) still puts his cinematic expertise to good use by instilling it in the next generations of aspiring cinematographers. In this video from Cooke Optics TV, Williams goes over several of the key lessons he teaches young film students in his highly-regarded workshops. Check it out below:
Becoming a successful cinematographer means different things to different people. While some aspire to win Oscars for their work, others aspire to lens films with total artistic freedom. (Or both!) However, Williams shares wisdom that applies to every DP in the industry regardless of where they're headed. Here are five little nuggets that I found particularly important and valuable.
Netflix's multi-part documentary from Barbara Schroeder and Trey Borzillieri features a story so crazy it could only, unfortunately, be true.
What kind of novelist would you have to be to come up with this particular opening: A man, explaining that he is being held hostage, walks into a bank with a bomb strapped to his neck and says that if he doesn't receive $25,000, the bomb will go off.
The man has a collection of papers with some very intricate instructions written on them. Some for the bank and some for the hostage, a series of steps must be completed in order to prevent the explosion. The bank, as it turns out, doesn't have enough money; the man leaves, and a few hours later, during a tense standoff with local police, the bomb explodes.
Cinemartin is not the company that most people assumed would deliver the first 8K global shutter cinema camera to the market.
Cinemartin is probably best known as a small Spanish company that makes accessories. We did a review of its sub-$200 4K monitor a few years back and found the combination of price and performance compelling, but of course, price is a hard battle to fight and there are now many entrants competing for the "very affordable monitor" space. Cinemartin fought hard, rolling out a $99 monitor not long after, but hasn't stuck with just accessories, also making a standalone Denoiser application, live streaming solutions, and a motorized slider.
On top of all that, the company has just announced a product so far out of left field it feels like a pivot; it is rolling out an 8K Global Shutter Digital Cinema Camera, shipping this fall this fall. Named Fran.
If you're looking to create the next Dothraki or Shivaisith, this video looks at how some of the most famous fictional movie languages were created.
According to The Economist, the number of people who've heard Dothraki or Valyrian, the two constructed languages (or conlangs) on Game of Thrones, is more than the number of speakers of Welsh, Irish Gaelic, and Scots Gaelic, combined.
From Game of Thrones to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, conlangs are bigger than ever, and audiences have come to expect further attention to detail. Check out this video from Academy Originals for some tips from the minds behind the words of Thor, Avatar, Game of Thrones (and more).
The filmmakers behind ‘Landing Up’ share how to get the most out of your New York production.
[Editor’s Note: No Film School asked Producer Stacey Maltin and Director Dani Tenenbaum to write about filming in New York based on their experience shooting ‘Landing Up’.]
Making our first feature film Landing Up has been the most exciting, nerve-wracking, thrilling, emotional journey. Landing Up tells the story of Chrissie, a girl with nothing to lose and everything to hide. When she finds herself living life on the streets she learns the art of manipulating strangers to put a roof over her head. But when she meets the guy of her dreams, her secret threatens to ruin their perfect relationship.
As independent filmmakers working on a micro-budget we had to learn every part of the filmmaking process. Between the highest highs and the most desperate struggles we found a filmmaking community in New York City that became an integral part of making the film come to life. Check out our filmmaking tips for making your first feature in New York and then check out the film.