For the moviemakers featured in our slate of content throughout March 2017, resourcefulness was the name of the game.
Whether it’s the cast and crew of We Make Movies, who made their feature for an exceptionally lean amount of green ($1,000, to be exact); the producer of Ascent to Hell, who made her film’s minimal location space look way bigger than it actually was; or the writer-director-star of Prevenge, who made her dark comedic slasher in under two months time while pregnant, (!) the work showcased in these articles is a testament to the power of a “by any means necessary” production mantra.
Other dynamos behind and in front of the camera we heard from this past month included Song to Song star Michael Fassbender, who spoke with us at length about shooting that experimental drama under the direction of Terrence Malick, and cinematographer Toby Oliver, who provided some wonderfully practical commentary on lensing, staging, lighting and shooting two key scenes from the instantly iconic horror-comedy Get Out.
All of that, plus a buffet of scene breakdowns, video content and more awaits discovery on this round-up list of our March 2017 highlights. Dig in!
A $20 trailer rental, a $15 reflector and other pint-sized investments were portions of the budget for this moviemaker’s self-described “minor motion picture.”
2. 100 Seconds of Greatness: Analyzing the First Scene of John Ford’s The Searchers (by Scott A. McConnell)
The first and last shots of The Searchers are two of the most iconic in history. On its 61st anniversary, explore the first scene of John Ford’s film to learn how the director says so much with mere implications.
“It’s one source of light. It’s a very guerrilla style of filmmaking. You could be driving to a location, and you get off somewhere [to shoot],” says Michael Fassbender of Song to Song.
Prepare to go deep—like, “sink into the floor” deep—with DP Toby Oliver’s commentary on staging, lighting and shooting the “sunken place” sequence and another spooky scene from Get Out.
Alice Lowe had a theory: “Motherhood does not have to turn you into a Stepford zombie.” She proved it correct by writing, directing and starring in Prevenge while pregnant in two months’ time.
Smart camerawork turned a modestly sized office into a huge abandoned (and haunted) factory in Ascent to Hell.
7. Criterion Crash Course: Moviemaking Lessons From Criterion’s 45 Years (by Kyle Turner)
Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years just received the Criterion treatment. Let’s look at how the film’s long takes, music and realist techniques convey the subtleties of a decades-old marriage.
Did you know that California offers an additional tax incentive for productions outside L.A. County? Here’s a strong case for shooting in San Diego.
Even someone with as much creative freedom as Stanley Kubrick had limits of control. Watch these supercuts to discover what they were and how he exploited them to create unique visual motifs.
10. How They Did It: Breaking Down Two Key Flashback Transitions in the Thriller Dig Two Graves (by Hunter Adams)
Pondering how to pull off effective flashbacks? Watch how this director found creative ways to transition from the 1970s to the 1940s in Dig Two Graves. MM