Hey Mr. Nieves or Edwin or ummm :/ I'm an aspiring screenwriter/filmmaker I recently just graduated from high school and i've been writing alot of scripts to really craft my skills and all but I honestly don't really know what do next or what my next step is. I try to get as much information as possible from youtube and books and blogs like yours but I don't know, I just don't want to sell out and settle for something "stable" instead of what I'm passionate about, any insight would be great
Congratulations on graduating! And that’s great that you have been writing and fine tuning your approach and ideas. Sometimes it’s good to give yourself a challenge or work in situations like these, especially when you feel your creativity being negatively affected. If there’s a particular story you favor or an idea that seems to have potential, try to make it into a film. If you don’t have a big budget, focus on how you can use the resources available to you in creative and efficient ways without losing the heart of your story. Still, even a fun task like a montage of Drive, Le Samouraï, and A Bittersweet Life can lead to something. Letting your mind be at play can be an effective way to spark your creativity. What’s important is bringing what your passionate about into action, experiencing the process. With the additional interest of being well-informed, the more time you spend on your art and craft, the more opportunities you are creating for yourself in the future. Stability can also come from learning your craft well and getting work in film and video productions. Working on sets can be a great way to connect with future collaborators and friends, and you may very well dig the experience of being a part of production. Pursue your passion but be determined and patient, and remember that it takes time but better work happens with more work.
The image of the struggling artist is common to general audiences. Just as common to the public is the image of the genius artist. Delve presents a two-part series titled The Long Game in which the latter image is broken down, revealing that genius more than often grows from patience and the will to struggle through periods of difficulty. The difficult times in creative careers divide artists into two groups: there are those who persevere and others who give in. The ones who continue despite difficulties also more than often bring to light the reality of the struggling artist and genius artist concept.
History loves winners…the stories of great achievements by brilliant people but actually almost all of these stories are missing their most important detail.
The Long Game offers a fascinating telling of Leonardo da Vinci’s artistic career, illustrating that the most important detail in all of those stories including da Vinci’s own is that these brilliant people undergo stretches of time in their creative careers without meeting success and our modern desire for the immediate and overnight success misleads us to approach creativity with misguided expectations. Prior to 1498 and the masterpiece The Last Supper, da Vinci entered his 30s with an unsuccessful career and spent 17 years of fruitless work but constant practice with his art and ideas to get his big break at 46, elderly according to the life expectancy standards of his time. Mesmerizingly, The Long Game portrays how the time da Vinci spent pursuing his passion and collecting experience came together to drive him towards the creation of The Last Supper and how the modern world’s constant projection of “immediate gratification” gives the wrong impression of what it takes to be creative and successful.
This celebration of youth coupled with technology has distorted our perception of time. The world moves faster and so do our expectations. Today, we want success in 17 levels, or 17 minutes, 17 seconds, and when the promise of something new and better is just a click away, who wants to wait 17 years? But that’s the thing that connects all of these great people: they played the long game. All of us have the brain, and the talent, and the creativity to join them. But now, right when it matters, do any of us have the patience?
All Aboard: The Filmmaker’s Journey also echoes the message of The Long Game as relating to the filmmaker and hopefully inspires cinematic storytellers to continue exploring the art of cinema:
Orson Welles directed three short films before making his debut feature film, the celebrated Citizen Kane. The first short film was The Hearts of Age, made in 1934; the second was Too Much Johnson, made in 1938; and the third was The Green Goddess, made in 1939. Citizen Kane was made in 1941. It was after seven years of work that Orson Welles found himself to be opening the doors into the film industry.
Thirty-six years later, David Lynch released his first feature film, Eraserhead. It took him six years to make the film. Three years later he was approached to direct The Elephant Man.
Most great things take time. On this journey in filmmaking, remember that and especially highlight it when times are filled with doubt. Further, an important thing to stress during this time is that by being on the path you are already succeeding.
Deakins: Shadows in the Valley
Roger Deakins is a master filmmaker whose work in cinematography further pushes the art of cinema. He is a perfect example of a filmmaker striving for artistic excellence while being aware that it is all in the service of the film. Beauty and utility should meet in perfect harmony, and one needs only to watch the works of this cinematographer to see these elements in union. From The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford to No Country for Old Men, enjoy this video presentation by Plot Point Productions and journey through the visually breathtaking cinematography of Roger Deakins.
The Cinematography of Roger Deakins
Dive further into the masterful cinematographer’s world with Filmmaking Wisdom from Roger Deakins: I genuinely feel that cinematography, like photography in general, is not something that can be learned but, pretentious as it may sound, can only be discovered.
Thanks for letting me know about this. It’s unfortunate that the YouTube video is no longer available, but I’ve embedded another video in its place so you can enjoy 17 minutes of Joachim Trier loveliness (here’s the link).
Mark of Darkness is a psychological thriller presented by IconiVision Cinema. Fortunate to work as writer/director of photography/co-editor with brother and fantastic director/producer E. Jesus Nieves, we’re excited to see the film being released soon. Get your thrills with the new trailer for Mark of Darkness!
If the camera offered people a new tool for creative adventures through the capturing of space and time, then editing allowed these adventurers to further evolve the art of storytelling through the art of cinema. Some of these adventurers, such as Edwin S. Porter and D.W. Griffith, were at the origins of the cinematic language, while others, such as Lev Kuleshov and Sergei Eisentstein, further evolved the cinematic language through sophisticated theories on editing. An essential look into the art of cinema, FilmmakerIQ.com presents The History of Cutting, a voyage through the historical importance of editing and the revelation of cinema as language.
Learn about the early discovery of editing devices and the evolution of cinema as an artistic means of expression. See how Georges Méliès comes across the use of “jump cuts” or how Edwin S. Porter and D.W. Griffith reveal the impact of shot arrangement and Continuity Editing. Watch how Soviet filmmakers such as Lev Kuleshov and Sergei Eisenstein affirm that the meaning of a film is found in its arrangement, that the film is born in the edit, through innovations in film editing with the Kuleshov Effect and the Theory of Montage (the theory explained by FilmmakerIQ's John P. Hess in the most wonderful of ways).
A must-see presentation on the art of cinema, enjoy The History of Cutting!
Cinema began as a novelty—projecting dancing shadows on a screen of simple every day scenes. But through the contributions of talented artists, a new cinematic language of editing emerged. Trace the development of editing from the Lumière Brothers through Georges Méliès, Edwin S. Porter, and D.W Griffith.
Building on the works of D.W. Griffith and the development of “continuity editing” in early film history, Soviet silent filmmakers would pioneer new innovative ideas about editing that moved film from an extension of theater into a mature and powerful artistic medium.
The foundation of film art is editing…The expression that the film is “shot” is entirely false, and should disappear from the language. The film is not shot, but built, built up from the separate strips of celluloid that are its raw material…Every object must, by editing, be brought upon the screen so that it shall have not photographic but cinematographic essence. One thus perceives that the meaning of editing and the problems it presents to the director are by no means exhausted by the logical time-succession inherent in the shots, or by the arrangement of a rhythm. Editing is the basic creative force, by power of which the soulless photographs (the separate shots) are engineered into living, cinematographic form.
V.I. Pudovkin, from Film Techniques and Film Acting: The Cinema Writings of V.I. Pudovkin
There’s an inequality of opportunities among people. Some people do have more opportunities than others. But there’s also an inequality of readiness. Some people are more ready to make use of the opportunities that come up than others.
The IYL Showcase is a new yearly photography competition aimed at uncovering and promoting new, talented photographers. The focus of the Showcase is on a single image, as opposed to a series or a body of work…Check out the works in competition and follow the Showcase here!
- Andrei Tarkovsky
The power of a film rests in its approach to storytelling. The way in which a film communicates its story to the audience and how it engages that audience with its arrangement of images and sounds is of the utmost importance to the filmmaker. Thus, editing or “the invisible art” becomes the foundation of a film’s narration. Being unique to the art of cinema, all the layers of the film meet in the edit to hopefully create a cinematic work that captures audiences.
Cinefix’s Most Memorable Editing Moments of All Time presents a list of ten films that portray the function and power of the invisible art. From The Godfather to 2001: A Space Odyssey, the list of films shows how editing can captivate audiences and glorify films as timeless works of art. “Skilled editing is as effective in the creation of a good film as a writer, director, or performer. Though often overlooked, editing brings shots together to make a whole greater than the sum of its parts. These ten movies are a fantastic illustration of just how important editing can be.”
Learn, explore, and discover the art of editing! Watch Inside The Edit’s The Editor, a short video that beautifully explains the role of the editor. While showing the complexity of the process, it too emphasizes how with editors and editing, “The less you notice our work, the more successful we have been.” Follow the video with the essential documentary on editing The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing and more!
And don’t forget V.I. Pudovkin’s Film Technique and Film Acting: the Cinema Writings of V.I. Pudovkin, an obligatory read for all filmmakers and one that Stanley Kubrick described as, “The most instructive book on film aesthetics I came across…”
The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing explores the one thing that filmmakers from Andrei Tarkovsky to Orson Welles all agree on: what distinguishes cinema from the other art forms is editing. The documentary explores the history of film editing, the process, and the manner in which it evokes emotions in the viewer. Filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese along with editors like the aforementioned’s own Sally Menke and Thelma Schoonmaker illustrate the innovations in editing that began with D.W. Griffith while investigating the reasons behind a cut and the importance of the relationship between each image.
Akira Kurosawa possessed a masterful awareness of the filmmaking process, and those working close to him considered editing to be among his greatest talents. The renowned director even declared that he would shoot a film simply to edit, because for him editing was the foundation of a film and the most creative and interesting part of the process. The following words on editing and Phil Baumhardt’s Profiles in Editing: Akira Kurosawa exemplify the filmmaker’s profound understanding of “the invisible art” while the latter closely studies Kurosawa’s editing style and techniques in Seven Samurai.
In Constructive Editing in Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket, David Bordwell explores two forms of the invisible art: analytical editing and constructive editing. Each resolves the issue of space within the image. Citing the works of filmmakers such as David Fincher, Sergei Eisenstein, and Wes Anderson among others, Bordwell shows how in analytical editing the filmmaker orients the viewer into the scene by breaking space into several shots, starting with a master shot and moving into tighter ones while always respecting the 180 rule, whereas in constructive editing the filmmaker builds up the scene or “narrates” with a series of shots that act on the viewer as “impressions.”
You have a cut in a film, from one thing to another, what makes it work? In an ideal sense, what would be the perfect cut?
Walter Murch answers his question with The Rule of Six and explains them in-depth. The Rule of Six are as follows, with the first three being of the utmost importance and latter three seeing a diminishment in importance: 1) Is it emotional or is it true to the emotion of the scene? 2) Does it tell a story or advance the story? 3) Does it fit with the overall rhythm of what is being established? 4) Do we know where the audience is looking—eye trace? 5) Does it consider the problems of 3-dimensional objects in a 2-dimensional world—2D Plane? 6) Are the people and objects in the space moving coherently?
Always reflect on Walter Murch’s Rule of Six while editing your films!
Vsevolod Illarionovich Pudovkin was an influential Soviet director who developed theories in film technique. For Pudovkin, the film is directly related to what the eye sees and so the camera lens becomes the mechanical eye of the viewer, the eye to the film’s story.
He writes, The lens of the camera replaces the eye of the observer, and the changes of angle of the camera—directed now on one person, now on another, now on one detail, now on another—must be subject to the same conditions as those of the eyes of the observer.
Thus, the story rests in the cinematic narrative of the film, its language, and here comes what could be his greatest influence on cinema: his theories on editing. Evan Richards presents V.I. Pudovkin’s 5 influential editing techniques in this greatly informative short video. You will find these techniques in all films, making this video a must-see.