ICYMI: The Best of May 2017 on Moviemaker.com

What’s more interesting, summer blockbusters or white house press briefings?

In May 2017, it felt surprisingly close. It seems as if with each passing week, there’s a stronger case to be made that we live in the Matrix. Here’s to repairing our sanity with help from our staff’s top 10 picks of the past month’s indie film and business coverage.


1. Things I’ve Learned as a Moviemaker: James Ivory (by James Ivory)

“Trust your fellow artists. Why would you hire them unless you do?” James Ivory shares words of wisdom for the 30th anniversary of his classic film Maurice.

2. What’s In An Eighth? An Assistant Director Explains How to Break a Screenplay Page and Plan Shots (by Jon C. Scheide)

To break down a script for production, you assign scene numbers and page counts, then break each page into eighths. Easy, right? Not so fast.

3. Total Transparency: My Film Bread and Butter Has Almost Recouped Its Expenses—With These Revenue Streams (by Liz Manashil)

“Our film cost $100,000 to make. We grossed $96,000 a little bit more than a year into our release (and we’re still making deals).” Moviemaker Liz Manashil breaks down her film Bread and Butter‘s numbers for us.

4. Second Time’s Not the Charm: Even If Your First Film Found Success, Making Your Next Won’t Be Easier (by Leah Warshawski)

“I cringe when people say ‘labor of love.’ I love what I do, but I also love vacations, whales and chocolate lava cake. Making a film is running a business,” says sophomore moviemaker Leah Warshawski. Treat it as such!

5. Perfecting Camera Movement, Angles, and Lens Type for VFX: An Excerpt From The Filmmaker’s Guide to Visual Effects (by Eran Dinur)

This VFX supervisor (The Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire) runs through things you need to know when shooting VFX elements.

6. Selling With Soul: Why Make a Spec Commercial? It Could Be the Career Calling Card You’re Looking For (by Robert Nyerges)

The next time you watch an impressive and emotionally arresting 30, 60 or 90-second commercial, think about how you can apply your skills to that moviemaking medium.

7. Fake It to Make It: Watch How Orson Welles’ F For Fake Rewrote the Rules on Editing Structure (by Ryan Williams)

What do Orson Welles’ F for Fake and an episode of South Park have in common? On Welles’ birthday, watch this video essay to find out.

8. Criterion Crash Course: Woman of the Year (by Kyle Turner)

Rom-com gender politics, palpable screen chemistry—George Stevens’ Woman of the Year has much to teach moviemakers about both and more. Let’s break down Criterion’s new edition.

9. She’s Every Woman: In Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto, Cate Blanchett Proves It’s All in Her (Interview) (by Paula Schwartz)

Is Cate Blanchett the most versatile actor of her time? Her new film Manifesto, in which she plays 13 different characters, is a pretty convincing argument.

10. How They Did It: Directing a Film in the Pacific Ocean From 5,000 Miles Away in Losing Sight of Shore (by Sarah Moshman)

For her documentary Losing Sight of Shore, about the all-women, record-setting Coxless Crew, Sarah Moshman had to teach the crew to film themselves while crossing the PacificMM

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