MovieMaker Magazine

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Persistence of Vision: Inside the Making of The Witch, a Horror Classic for the Ages

Growing up amidst the dilapidated colonial farmhouses and graveyards that lined his neck of New Hampshire, Robert Eggers was plagued with nightmares …

Horror

Post Magic Made Possible: What Miracle Fixes Can Happen in Your Editing Suite?

One of the most disheartening moments in an editor’s day is when he or she sits down to screen footage for an important scene, only to find it is …

Online Life

Shtumi in the Spotlight: How to Turn an Info-Heavy Story into Riveting Drama

“That first draft must have been 300 pages.”<p>If I had a nickel for every time someone’s said this to <i>Spotlight</i> director—and my co-writer—Tom McCarthy …

50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, 2015

Was it worth it?<p>Indie film, by definition, resides on the margins. It’s a medium of miracles, of squeezing so much from so little, of maximizing …

Film Festivals

"Your Query Sucks:" 10 Reasons Why Your Screenplay is Being Ignored by Readers

The query is often the only way unrepresented, and under-represented, writers are able to attract attention to their script.<p>Via email, a query is an …

Writing

Against the Mass Production of Cinema: an Interview with Cinematographer Christopher Doyle

Christopher Doyle is both reverential and contrary.<p>After three decades, Doyle’s body of work is famously distinct, characterized by images that are …

Cinematography

First Draft: The Ten Commandments of Writing a Great Sequel

In partnership with the blog ScreenCraft, we’re publishing “First Draft,” a fortnightly series on everything to do with screenwriting. New articles, …

Film Industry

Anatomy of a Call Sheet: Watch a 1st Assistant Director Describe Her Checklist

Call sheets: You know they’re important for keeping your production in order every day. But before you distribute them to your entire crew, are you …

Extreme Sports

How to Perform a Camera Test: Narrow Your Focus to Three Simple Things

“Why would I need a camera test? I’ve shot with this camera so many times before!”<p>This is something I have heard more frequently than I care to …

Eye Piece: Colombian Stunner Embrace of the Serpent Renders the Amazon in Ghostly Silver

When director Ciro Guerra and producer Cristina Gallego gave me the script for <i>Embrace of the Serpent</i>, I took my time reading it, knowing in advance …

The Case for Donations: Why I am Distributing My Next Film, Tex Montana Will Survive!, Via Creative Commons

It <i>is</i> possible to make a living as a filmmaker.<p>You would be wise, however, to read that sentence as the reluctant acknowledgement of an improbable …

Resurrecting the Romantic Comedy: Why Tumbledown's Director Believes Onscreen Romance is Immortal

Have you noticed how it’s become a tradition right around Valentine’s Day for film lovers to make a pilgrimage to the Cemetery of Cinema to visit the …

Flash Forward: In A War, Danish Thespian Pilou Asbæk Blows Up

“We hated each other,” says Danish actor Johan Phlip “Pilou” Asbæk of director Tobias Lindholm.<p>Why? “Because he was a bastard.”<p>On the set of 2010 …

Box-Office Prophets: The Rise of the Faith-Based Film Industry

Call them what you will. “Christian,” or “faith-based” or “inspirational/spiritual/ministry” films are good business in 2016.<p>Major studios and …

First Draft: Five Tips for Better World-Building in Your Film

In partnership with the blog ScreenCraft, we’re publishing “First Draft,” a fortnightly series on everything to do with screenwriting. New articles, …

Harnessing the Hydra: How to Be a Better Collaborator, by Southbound Director Roxanne Benjamin

Good collaboration happens when a film’s creative heads move in unison.<p>We hear over and over that film is a collaborative art form. At the same time, …

Embracing the Single Location: How the Room Team Made a 10-by-10-Foot Box Anything But Boring

In my latest feature, <i>Room</i>, based on Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel, I faced one of the most exciting and daunting challenges of my filmmaking …

Cinematography

No More Excuses: Adam Rifkin on Why You Should Grab Your Film by the Horns, Now

Movies are my life. Literally.<p>Making movies is the only job I’ve ever had, and dreaming about making movies consumed my entire childhood prior. I’ve …

Slate Up: The Foundational Requirements for Memorable Characters

In partnership with <i>Film Slate</i> <i>Magazine</i>, we’re publishing “Slate Up,” a fortnightly series with practical filmmaking advice and musings. New articles, …

Sundance 2016: See Indie Film's Movers and Shakers in Jeff Vespa's Beautiful @Portraits

Jeff Vespa has been the Sundance Film Festival’s official photographer since 2003, a post that gives him the unusual privilege of capturing his …

Max Incentives: Five Best Practice Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Tax Incentives

So you’ve read our Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2016 lists (Big Cities and Small Cities and Towns), and your bags are already …

Slamdance 2016: Watch Interviews with Adam Rifkin, Penn and Teller from Director's Cut

<i>Director’s Cut</i>, Adam Rifkin and Penn Jillette’s warped comedy about obsession and moviemaking, opened the 22nd Slamdance Film Festival on Friday, …

Numerous 
Projects in 
Various Stages of 
Development: Winter 2016 Edition

A few of you may remember that in <i>MovieMaker</i>’s early days we ran a popular department called “East-West Indies.”<p>In it, producers had an opportunity to …

First Draft: Seven Things to Check Off Before Submitting a Screenplay

In partnership with the blog ScreenCraft, we’re publishing “First Draft,” a fortnightly series on everything to do with screenwriting. New articles, …

Rules of the Remake: Martyrs Directors Kevin and Michael Goetz Fight for Their Cause

Yes, we are the directors who are crazy, stupid, talented, brave, cowardly and American enough to remake <i>Martyrs</i>, the classic, inspiring cult …

Slamdance 2016 Preview: Stories from the Competition Features

The best thing about the Slamdance Film Festival, January 22-28, 2016 in Park City, might be its variety, shown off in this moviemaker survey.<p>Going …

“Let There Be 70mm:” The Real-life Cinematic Saga Behind Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight

When Quentin Tarantino announced that he was going to film <i>The Hateful Eight</i> in Ultra Panavision, a format last used in 1966, words like …

Cinematography

Cinema Law: Is Working For Exposure Ever Worth It?

Q: I was just asked by a producer to work for free on an indie film, but he promised that I would get great exposure from the gig. Is that a …

"This Camera Thinks Exactly Like Me:" Cinematographer Yves Bélanger at the Peak of His Career

Yves Bélanger belongs to a coterie of French-Canadian filmmakers who’ve caught Hollywood’s attention in recent years.<p>Joined by directors Jean-Marc …

Cinematography

First Draft: Is Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey Dead in Screenwriting Today?

In partnership with the blog ScreenCraft, we’re publishing “First Draft,” a fortnightly series on everything to do with screenwriting. New articles, …