Quentin Tarantino: A Bloody Filmography

With a love for cinema, Quentin Tarantino has proven that passion takes you a long way. His films show how a filmmaker’s style is essential in engaging audiences and maintaining interest. With a gritty style that features a command of dialogue and visuals, Tarantino’s influence stretches even beyond the craft. Working as a production assistant and video store clerk while fine-tuning his scripts and exploring his directorial style, he immersed himself in whatever way possible into the world of filmmaking. Tarantino’s journey as a filmmaker is inspiration for all emerging filmmakers.

Enter Quentin Tarantino’s world of cinema with Jaume R. Lloret’s Quentin Tarantino // Every Death, a four minute supercut presenting every death in Tarantino’s films. From Reservoir Dogs to Django Unchained, Tarantino exemplifies a cool grasp of cinematic violence, making this supercut a must-see. Follow the grittiness with the very beginnings of Quentin Tarantino’s film career as presented in Quentin Tarantino: Hollywood’s Boy Wonder.

Quentin Tarantino: Hollywood’s Boy Wonder takes you into the world of the filmmaker who went from working at a video rental store to becoming a Sundance favorite with Reservoir Dogs and then a Palme d’Or winner with Pulp Fiction. The documentary is comprised by telling interviews with Terry Gilliam, Samuel L. Jackson, and others, though much of the screen time is spent with Quentin Tarantino himself, who shares his thoughts on his past, his then early film career, and his approach to filmmaking. An important lesson to take from the documentary is that success does not happen overnight. From his first attempt at film with My Best Friend’s Birthday to Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino struggled to get his film career started. When speaking of Hollywood, he says, In this town you can die of encouragement, and explains how for 3 years, he was always two weeks away from having a budget. As the documentary shows, even when an additional 2 years passed by, Tarantino kept working at it, which is the crucial lesson to take from his film career…Good filmmaking is Passion, Patience, and Perseverance.

If you get the passion to do it and you do it and it doesn’t work out, I worked for three years on a 16mm film that ended becoming nothing but guitar picks. I was very disappointed when I realized it wasn’t any good, but it was my film school and I actually got away really cheap. When it was all over, I knew how to make a movie. I didn’t want to show anybody that but I had the experience.

Quentin Tarantino

Lessons Visual Storytellers Should Follow: Sundance Panels on Audience Building and Filmmaking

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Whether furthering your passion for cinema through films or content touching upon filmmaking, it is essential for the filmmaker and artist to be open to refreshing ideas and experiences. We are an amalgam of all we encounter, fluid and yet fixed in our humanity. The same applies to creatives. All that we face has the potential to artistically lead us somewhere or bring something out of us. Thus, this collection of Sundance panels by Candy Factory Productions on various subjects pertaining to filmmaking is essential for every filmmaker facing the ever-changing landscape of the art form.

The first panel in the collection is particularly special for independent filmmakers and is also highlighted by the fantastic filmmaking resource Mentorless in The Art (and Importance) of Building Your Audience: building your audience [is] a topic that should be the main concern of [every] storymaker/creative/filmmaker planning to produce work and share it until they die (boom. drama.) and wishing to cut through the noise to reach straight to their public. Producer and distributor with Candy Factory Productions Jason Ward, producers and co-founders of Big Vision Empty Wallet Dani Faith Leonard and Alex CirilloBrian Parsons of Tugg, filmmaker Ryan Koo of No Film School and Exit Strategy, and filmmaker Zack Lieberman of Exit Strategy present an in-depth discussion on the do’s and how’s of creative audience building for filmmakers of all levels.

For those pursuing a career in filmmaking, it is important to understand the power of audience building as it is the filmmaker’s key to engaging audiences with his or her works. This signifies a long term relationship with the spectator rather than a one-time digestion of a single work. In addition, crowdfunding and screening events can be tools for audience building. Aside from raising funds for your film, a crowdfunding campaign raises more awareness of the project. In regards to screening events, the more creative they are the more thrills they will deliver and, hence, the more you as a filmmaker engage with your audience.

Still, one element present throughout this collection of panels on audience building, entrepreneurs, film festivals, and more is the impact of being faithful to yourself as a filmmaker. One’s own filmmaker’s style and voice creates a wonderful opportunity to engage with spectators on intimate and personal levels. Add to that a knowledge of the industry and an understanding of both the artistic and business spheres of filmmaking, as a filmmaker you will be on the right path to a promising career. Discover more and evolve as a filmmaker today with these Sundance panels presented by Candy Factory Productions!

In this ever-evolving industry filmmakers need to consistently build audiences for their projects cheaply and effectively. This panel covers audience building methods including interactive marketing campaigns, live events and tours, free and cheap publicity, engaging blogs, the benefit of multi-platform projects, and more.

A panel of filmmakers and post-production professionals looks into the current state of technological advances to discuss how to make the most of today’s shrinking budgets. Starting with deliverables and working backwards through the production process, the panel will explore the following topics:
* The importance of defining post workflow and delivery requirements during prepro.
* The genre impact (narrative vs documentary) on deliverables and workflows.
* Schedule allocation and the use of technology to maximize available hours while diminishing potential headaches.
* Hindsight - examining past case studies as a way to forecast potential future problems.

Crowdfunding and tax incentives help producers finance their projects. On this panel, film industry experts will address and explore traditional and emerging avenues to finance independent film projects in New York and beyond.

The New York Visual Effects community is booming in 2014. Filmmakers of all shapes and sizes have more options than ever before in when it comes to choosing a NY based visual effects partner. Our panel will highlight: the new companies that have opened in NY, the new facilities that have been built in NY and the new visual effects tax incentives that have been passed in NY.

Producing independent films is an evolving art form. Successful production requires collaboration with experienced and problem-solving professionals. Our panel features some of New York’s most successful producers who will share their practical insights. The panel will highlight NY’s vast reservoir of resources, cast, crew and production facilities.

In response to the challenges posed by unprecedented, rapid change in the entertainment industry, we say that in order to survive, filmmakers need to become entrepreneurs. But what does this really mean? Join representatives from the Inaugural Dogfish Accelerator program as they dive into what it means to be an entrepreneur working at the forefront of content creation and monetization. They are prepared to share the tools, best practices, and insights they’ve discovered while launching their companies.

Players from both the traditional and emerging worlds of distribution will address the wide and expanding distribution options for Filmmakers to create integrated platforms tailored to achieve their unique goals.

Tools to attract the right festivals for your project, network with the best, make the right business deals, and make your time there matter. Find out the new ways film feativals should factor into your distribution, marketing and networking plans.

The spectator always ends up by understanding when you are sincere in what you are telling him. I don’t invent any language to appear simpler, stupider, or smarter. A lack of honesty would destroy the dialogue. Time has worked for me. When people understood that I was speaking a natural language, that I wasn’t pretending, that I didn’t take them for imbeciles, that I only say what I think, then they became interested in what I was doing.

Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Tarkovsky: Creating a New Universe →

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For 25 years, he’d been one of the most controversial and misunderstood figures of Soviet cinema. He had made only seven films, all distinguished by their poetic, visionary style and by their intensely personal subject matter…Tarkovsky himself often protested that his films should simply be experienced like a piece of music and not interpreted literally.

BBC’s Arena, a TV series praised by Werner Herzog as “the oasis in the sea of insanity that is television,” presents a memorable personal portrait of film director Andrei Tarkovsky. The 52 minute documentary offers a rare glimpse into his history and each of his works while shedding light on his ideas on the art of cinema and his philosophical thoughts on life and humanity. Tarkovsky once noted, For me, cinema is simply an original way to create a new universe. Explore the cinematic universe of Andrei Tarkovsky with this unforgettable window into one of the most influential and renowned filmmakers.

Discover more Andrei Tarkovsky on A-BitterSweet-Life and fuel your artistic passion with Andrei Tarkovsky: A Filmmaker’s Message to Inspire Creativity.

There is not a single true work of art that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known and loved it.
Albert Camus

There is not a single true work of art that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known and loved it.

Albert Camus

The Birth of Soviet Cinema

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Soviet filmmakers further elevated the use of film towards its natural potential of being an artistic medium capable of communicating with spectators in touching, intimate, and even poetic ways. Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky's unwavering presence on A-BitterSweet-Life emphasizes an admiration for the pioneers of the cinematic art, and the illuminating documentary The Birth of Soviet Cinema presents more of those filmmaking trailblazers from the Soviet Union. Discover the evolution of cinema through the masterworks of Sergei Eisenstein, V.I. Pudovkin, and Alexander Dovzhenko.

The Birth of Soviet Cinema offers a look into Russia’s golden age of cinema in the 1920s. A period of time in which filmmaking evolved drastically, the 20s saw filmmakers like Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and Dovhenko utilize films as propaganda vehicles for the Revolution. In doing so, they were committed to exploring the communicative powers of cinema and, thus, advanced the medium as an artistic means of expression with its own unique language. For example, elaborating on the power of the edit and its influence on the viewer as seen in The History of Cutting: Cinema as Language, these filmmakers became aware that the meaning of a film is found in its arrangement. With this understanding, they were able to center their works on “the heroism of the people, the cruelty of the upper classes, the joys of communal action and service to Mother Russia.”

Journey through The Birth of Soviet Cinema and explore the compelling works of Eisenstein (Strike, Battleship Potemkin, and October: Ten Days That Shook the World), Pudovkin (Mother, The End of St. Petersburg, and Storm Over Asia) and Dovzhenko (Arsenal and Earth)!

The production of this documentary was a significant feature of the Khrushchev cultural thaw. Russians were able to see the work of the Soviet experimental filmmakers for the first time since they were suppressed by Stalin. The quality of the film is poor, but the selection of excerpts is extraordinary.

Official Poster for Mark of Darkness. Watch the trailer to the silent psychological thriller, coming out this Fall. (via iconivisioncinema)

Filmmakers and film lovers, take a look at this trailer for a project I worked on and the poster made by yours truly and Germaine Persinger!

Day Schedules of Brilliant Minds

As creatives and innovators, it is important to seek inspiration and further awareness of one’s field but just as important is to realize and always apply influence according to one’s own personality. There is no specific path to success, only the determination and perseverance of “your own way.” From the long-working hours of Honoré de Balzac to the more spread out schedule of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, let these great minds (and others found here) inspire you!

Dive into the IYL Showcase, a competition aimed at uncovering and promoting new and talented photographers. Follow the Showcase here!

Do Whatever It Takes: Filmmaking and Blue Valentine with Derek Cianfrance

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Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine examines the nature of love and the weight of commitment while illustrating modern attitudes about marriage, family, and gender roles. A genuine and sincere portrayal of a love story, Cianfrance also portrays through the film the nature of filmmaking and proves how the process of creation is as essential as the final result. The beauty of Blue Valentine rests in these spheres, in how the universal and timeless story of intimate love is handled by a filmmaker who respects and cares for cinema as much as he loves to make films.

Must See Films presents an analysis of Blue Valentine (others to be explored soon: Blue Velvet, The Shining, The Master, and more!) that plays like an essential film lesson for filmmakers. Derek Cianfrance approached the making of Blue Valentine with stylistic and formal filmmaking choices to support the narrative and performances in the film. With 67 drafts of the screenplay, over a thousand storyboards, and a manifesto that set up rules for the process of making the film, Cianfrance still placed importance on the intuitive approach to filmmaking. It is a harmonious integration of controlling your tools, material, and vision and allowing the unforeseeable to unravel that makes for great filmmaking, and this analysis of Blue Valentine will highlight these aspects of Cianfrance’s filmmaking.

DP/30's interview with Derek Cianfrance is also a must-see in the making of Blue Valentine and the insight filmmakers can obtain from its director. Cianfrance encourages one to study films and to learn from and absorb the content surrounding us. Most important for the filmmaker is the experience of filmmaking itself. “Make what you can” is at the heart of many filmmakers’ advice to those venturing into the art of cinema. Traces of Stanley Kubrick’s fundamental advice to filmmakers is present in Cianfrance’s words. As Kubrick declared, The best education in film is to make one, Cianfrance relates, It was a great experience for me to learn how to make more with limitations and to just tell stories, to just express yourself, to be vulnerable, to put yourself up on the screen, and risk total embarrassment and total failure. More gems on filmmaking abound in this interview with Derek Cianfrance, a filmmaker for whom it is important to see how true and alive a film is on screen.

I want to be surprised as a filmmaker. I was an audience member long before I was ever a director. And so as an audience member I know what I respond to: I like being surprised, I like being respected, I like being challenged, I like being instigated, I like movies that live for me on the screen, that are like friends of mine, and as I go back to them over the course of my life they actually seem to change, and I know that they’re not changing, I know I am changing, but the movies are made open enough that they let me participate in the imagination of the characters in the story.

Derek Cianfrance