2014 has been upon us for 10 whole days now. With the benefit of such distance, we at MovieMaker think it’s time to take a look back at the year that was, with our 10 favorite articles from 2013!

2013 was a big year for MovieMaker – the magazine’s 20th, in fact, since current publisher and editor-in-chief Timothy Rhys founded the publication in Seattle, 1993. Now based in Los Angeles, this year we moved our offices from Canoga Park to the beautiful Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, said hello to some new faces and goodbye to others, bucked tradition to improve the way we did things (see: Coolest Film Festivals in the World, 2014) and above all tried our damnedest to serve our mission (to publish the best possible writing on “the Art and Business of Making Movies”) with all the intelligence and integrity it called for.   That said, the name of this list is something of a misnomer. We conceived of it not so much as the best of what we did last year on moviemaker.com, per se (note that this doesn’t cover most of the material we published in our print issues, either), but as a representative overview of the range of what happened in 2013, with many of the people who contributed along the way.

1. Top 10 Cities to be a MovieMaker: 2013, by Kyle Rupprecht

We’re counting down our 20 favorite locations of 2014 as we speak (with a new one every day – like today’s Sixth Top Big City, Boston), but take a look at the 10 cities we named a year ago and see if our intuitions paid off (hi, Austin)!

2. Shooting The Kitchen: Trying to Keep a One-Location Indie Visually Interesting, by Josh Silfen


The makers of The Kitchen break down exactly how they turned a single location into the space for a feature-length film.

3. The MovieMaker Manifesto: A Document for an Oppressed Majority, by James Kaelan and Tim Rhys

Our resident visionaries put together their most potent rallying cry for the independent revolution. These tenets are evergreen, so read it and challenge yourself to be better, starting now.

4. Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, 2013, by Kyle Rupprecht with Lara Colocino and Sarah Dahnke

In which we offer our tips to get the most bang for your submission fee buck. Did you enter any of these 50 fests, and if so, was it worth it?

5. Festival Spotlight Friday: Opening Night of New Orleans Film Festival 2013, by Kelly Leow


One surreal night in New Orleans turned into a festival experience to remember for Kelly Leow and Lara Colocino, as they danced the Louisiana night away with the cast and crew of 12 Years a Slave.

6. Wisdom Wednesday: John Sayles’ Golden Rules of Moviemaking, by John Sayles

All 45 (yes!) of Sayles’ Golden Rules can be seen in our Winter 2014 issue, on newsstands January 28th, but we published a teaser of 15, including, “On your second film you should either pay something or get new friends.”

7. DIY Monday: A Guide to Social Media Movie Promotion, Part One, and Two, by Sheri Candler

Our regular DIY columnist, Sheri Candler, wrote a two-part crash course on how to really optimize the reach of your film on social media, covering Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram – an essential skillset for the contemporary artist in this age of self-promotion and branding.

8. The Coolest Film Festivals in the World, 2013, by MM Editors

Months of hard work (shout out to our incredibly dedicated interns) finally came to fruition with our compilation of the 76 Coolest Film Festivals in the World, 2013 edition. This year we asked you to share your own definition of “cool” by nominating and voting for festivals, marking the first time a MovieMaker list was created by the readers instead of the editors. We also divided the selection into festival genres, including Horror/Sci-Fi, Environmental, and Women’s festivals, for a fairer contest.

9. White Reindeer, with a Christmas Ode by Director Zach Clark, by Zach Clark


We snorted through our eggnog at Zach Clark’s poetic masterpiece in honor of his Christmas black comedy, White Reindeer. Featuring such stanzas as “Before we continue, a little preamble,/Going in, I knew that this thing was a gamble./Sad Christmas movies are rare, this is true,/But this one had strippers, cocaine, and an orgy too,” we think this might be the funniest thing we published this year, proving that humor is the best medicine for those low-budget blues.

10. The Crash Reel, with an Interview with Director Lucy Walker, by Kelly Leow

Oscar-nominated director Lucy Walker called this her “favorite interview ever” on Facebook, so we’re a little proud of it, yes.

Readers, what do you want to see on these pages in 2014? Comment with your suggestions: talent to interview, trends to discuss, elements of the moviemaking process you need advice on, equipment you want to learn how to build, and anything else you’d like to see in MovieMaker! Seriously, we want to know, so now’s the chance to help us help you. MM

To subscribe to MovieMaker Magazine, click here.