What makes a scene work?

Does it lie in the carefully executed plans of a film’s cast and crew? Or does the magic rest upon fortuitous mistakes, spontaneity and improvisation? What steps must be taken to convey your vision and intent? Watch our new video series, Frame of Mind, to get answers to these questions and more from commentators working in a wide variety of areas in production who’ll guide you through clips from their films, in their own words. Moviemakers and film fans: Grab your notepads, popcorn, or both, and press play.

Indie horror workhorse Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw IIIII and IVRepo! The Genetic OperaThe Devil’s Carnival) first built the hyper-stylized universe of his latest film Abattoir in 2010 as a six-issue comic book. Spanning multiple time periods and embracing the trappings of old school, hard-boiled noir, Bousman’s filmic adaptation of that source material delves into his mythology surrounding the people behind the murder of an investigative reporter’s (Jessica Lowndes) family.

In these commentaries, Bousman walks you through the process of building his story around his locations, tailoring the film’s aesthetic via production design and cinematography, editing the film’s talky long takes down to size and teasing his film’s enigmatic villains each time they’re introduced.

Enter Bousman’s frame of mind in these videos, and let us know what you take away in the comments below. MM