Posts Tagged "Orson Welles"

Art of Cinema issues are making a comeback! Spark your filmmaking passion and enjoy past editions of Art of Cinema, each issue with a lucky 7 sources of inspiration for all things cinematic presented by A-BitterSweet-Life.

The Long Game: The Secret to Creativity Meeting Success

image

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.

For me, the strip of celluloid is put together like a musical score, and this execution is determined by the editing; just like a conductor interprets a piece of music in rubato, another will play it in a very dry and academic manner…The images themselves are not sufficient: they are very important, but are only images. The essential is the length of each image, what follows each image: it is the very eloquence of the cinema that is constructed in the editing room.
Orson Welles

For me, the strip of celluloid is put together like a musical score, and this execution is determined by the editing; just like a conductor interprets a piece of music in rubato, another will play it in a very dry and academic manner…The images themselves are not sufficient: they are very important, but are only images. The essential is the length of each image, what follows each image: it is the very eloquence of the cinema that is constructed in the editing room.

Orson Welles

On Filmmaking and Style

From Welles, Godard, and Melville, to Tarkovsky and Bresson, On Filmmaking and Style shares a collection of insight from filmmakers who emphasize an essential quality of film, the filmmaker’s style. Vision, imagination, and an awareness of cinema’s audio-visual language are at the heart of the filmmaker’s style, proving that the greatest cinematic tool lies within the filmmaker him/herself.

Successful Creativity and Storytelling with Ira Glass

image

Stories cross all art forms to reach and stir the audience, whether through television, radio, or film, and though these different forms express stories with their own unique mediums, the importance of the story rests in how it is communicated, in how it is translated from an idea to a realized work.

Ira Glass has hosted and produced the award-winning radio show This American Life since 1995, and in this interview on storytelling, he offers the elements that have made his work successful. He explains the two basic building blocks of stories: the anecdote and the moment of reflection. In its purest form, the story is a sequence of actions (anecdote) that is then elevated to a higher form with a central message (moment of reflection) that reveals why the audience is engaging with the story. Good stories bring “anecdote” and “moment of reflection” into harmony.

There are other gems of wisdom presented in the interview. Another confirms: Finding the story takes time! Often the amount of time finding the decent story is more than the amount of time it takes to produce the story, and that if someone wants to do the creative work, you actually have to set aside just as much time for the looking for stories. The storyteller knows that the story dictates its own time of discovery and revelation. Honesty to this understanding shows itself in the final product.

An all important idea for all creatives is also found here: Failure is a big part of success. Much of artmaking is problem solving, which only entails moments of failure that the creative mind must solve by adapting itself to the situation at hand. All things that become memorable adhere to this molding of the self for the sake of the work.

This reflects an inspiration declaration from Ira Glass: What nobody tells people who are beginners—and I really wish someone had told this to me—is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

Watch, learn, and absorb! Successful creativity takes time since art in its essence is a journey, and with that journey comes hard work. Remember: it was after seven years of work and three short films that Orson Welles had the opportunity to direct the now timeless Citizen Kane. For every creative discipline, it is all about the doing.

All Aboard: The Filmmaker’s Journey

image

How does one become a filmmaker? All Aboard: The Filmmaker’s Journey is a post I wrote for Stage32, a global network for film, television, and theater creatives. Since its launch in September of 2011, Stage32 has grown with 110,000+ members spanning 180+ countries. It is a great community that has opened doors for filmmakers and others working in film and video production.

In All Aboard: The Filmmaker’s Journey, I write about the importance of a filmmaker’s style, how to take your passion for film to become a filmmaker, and the struggles that filmmakers face among tips that can keep your wheels rolling on this filmmaking journey.

Here are some excerpts, and if you enjoy what you’re reading make sure to follow the link to the post and sign up for Stage32. I promise you it’s a decision you won’t regret!

I believe that a filmmaker’s style is the foundation of a good film. Andrei Tarkovsky encompassed this when he said, “In our profession, everything depends on the extent of how interesting you make your narration.” A good story is essential, but the truth of it is that stories take on infinite forms. At the heart of it, a story is a reflection of human experience. Thus, for film, it is how this reflection of human experience is expressed that is important. A director provides a visual-audio landscape upon which the viewer witnesses a story.

This means that the intentions of the filmmaker must be felt throughout the film. Necessity then overtakes tastes and preferences.

With this in mind, we ask, “How does one become a filmmaker?” Breaking into the industry comes second to the very essential step of learning to express oneself through film. The dream of directing films that will reach the masses is ideal. As with most things, the ideal manifests itself into reality through one course of action: work.

Going through the stages in the making of a film will teach you the most about what it takes to become a filmmaker. The process is complex, demanding, and asks much of yourself as both a film director and an individual. You will struggle, and you will have to make sacrifices, but it is only by being immersed in the work that a revelation will be made: you are a filmmaker.

The most heartrending part of it will be the amount of time that it takes for you to “succeed.” There is an idea that it takes, more or less, ten years to make it. Ten years is a good number.

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.

Now let us return to that question, “How does one become a filmmaker?”

Lose yourself in the history of cinema.

Engage yourself in filmmaking.

Pursue the vast knowledge that is available to you.

Read more: All Aboard: The Filmmaker’s Journey.

Filmmakers on the Filmmaking Process

From an idea to its release, a film is a constantly evolving entity. It takes its first form in the words of a screenplay that is then molded during the production shoots and finally takes its concrete shape in the editing room.

As David Lynch says, For me a film exists somewhere before you do it. It’s sitting in some abstract world, complete, and you’re just listening to it talk to you, telling you the way it’s supposed to be. But not until all the sound and music and editing has been done do you truly know what it is. Then it’s finished. It feels right, the way it’s supposed to be, or as right as it can. And when it’s finished, you’re back in a world where you don’t control anything. You just do the best you can, then say farewell.

A collection of filmmakers share their insight on the different aspects of the filmmaking process. From screenwriting to acting, from cinematography to editing, and finally directing, these filmmakers are here to inspire you, filmmaker, on your filmmaking journey!

Read, Learn, and Absorb.

image

The way that I work is that I write everything in index cards, all scenes, and then I write a sentence for each scene, and then I put it up on a wall in terms of how the film plays out, and I just sit and stare at it, to see if I could find any problems in the structure. Nothing to do with dialogue, because that’s secondary, that always comes later for me. It’s all about the structure of the story, and it gives me the ability to just basically play the movie in my head.

Nicolas Winding Refn

image

I’m never going to be shy about anything, what I write about is what I know; it’s more about my version of the truth as I know it. That’s part of my talent, really—putting the way people really speak into the things I write. My only obligation is to my characters. And they came from where I have been.

Quentin Tarantino

image

Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you—the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.

William Goldman

image

I try as hard as I can to not do the writing, to let the character do the writing. And what I mean by that is that for a long time you’ll be imposing your own will or maybe your own ideas on something that you love to do. Perhaps you think, “I’d love to do a car chase,” you know. So you can create some cockamamie story, you know, to get this character into a car chase but inevitably, hopefully, the character will just sort of like talk back at you and say, “I don’t want to be in this car chase. I never would’ve made a choice to begin with that would’ve gotten me into this car chase.” So hopefully you’re getting into a state of kind of autohypnosis, where the characters are kind of doing, making choices, and things are happening to them that can eventually formulate a story.

Paul Thomas Anderson

image

Given the choice between trivial material brilliantly told versus profound material badly told, an audience will always choose the trivial told brilliantly. Master storytellers know how to squeeze life out of the least of things, while poor storytellers reduce the profound to the banal. You may have the insight of a Buddha, but if you cannot tell story, your ideas turn dry as chalk.

Robert McKee

image

It was his idea that once he had written the script, he’d pick what he considered the perfect people for the parts. Then it was theirs. And they were to come in prepared from their point of view, not to worry about the script as a whole, which…not many people work that way, most people say, “Work for the good of the script.” He’d say, “Work for the good of your character, do your character. Don’t worry, the script will take care of itself.”

Gena Rowlands on John Cassavetes

image

Good directors can bring certain things out of you, with their intensity or gentleness or sensitivity or understanding. They can make an actor feel he can do no wrong.

Robert De Niro

image

I think acting is like sculpture. In other words, it’s what you take away from yourself to reveal the truth of what you are doing that makes a performance. A performance, what it is, what it deserves to be considered great or important, is always entirely made up of the actor himself and entirely achieved by what he has left in the dressing room before he came out in front of the camera. There is no such thing as becoming another character by putting on a lot of makeup. You may need to put the makeup, but what you are really doing is undressing yourself and even tearing yourself apart and presenting to the public that part of you which corresponds to what you are playing. And there is a villain in each of us, a murderer in each of us, a fascist in each of us, a saint in each of us, and the actor is the man or woman who can eliminate from himself those things which will interfere with that truth.

Orson Welles

image

My heroes are no more neurotic than the audience. Unless you can feel that a hero is just as fucked up as you are, that you would make the same mistakes that he would make, you can have no satisfaction when he does commit a heroic act. Because then you can say, “Hell, I could have done that too.” And that’s the obligation of the filmmaker…to give a heightened sense of experience to the people who pay to come see his work.

Nicholas Ray

image

I think the point of cinematography, of what we do, is intimacy. Is intent, is the balance between the familiar and the dream, it is being subjective and objective, it is being engaged and yet standing back and noticing something that perhaps other people didn’t notice before, or celebrating something that you feel is beautiful or valid, or true or engaging in some way.

Christopher Doyle

image

The camera is the director’s pencil. It should have the greatest possible mobility in order to record the most fleeting harmony of atmosphere. It is important that the mechanical factor should not stand between the spectator and the film.

F.W. Murnau

image

To me, when cinematography is at its best, it is very close to the state of dreaming. You know, in any other art you can’t create a situation that is as close to dreaming. Think only of the time gap. You can make things as long as you want, exactly as in a dream. You can make things as short as you want, exactly as in a dream. As a director, a creator of the picture, you are like a dreamer. You can make what you want. You can construct everything. I think that is one of the most fascinating things that exists.

Ingmar Bergman

image

For me, the strip of celluloid is put together like a musical score, & this execution is determined by the editing; just like a conductor interprets a piece of music in rubato, another will play it in a very dry & academic manner…The images themselves are not sufficient: they are very important, but are only images. The essential is the length of each image, what follows each image: it is the very eloquence of the cinema that is constructed in the editing room.

Orson Welles

image

Just like a painter who does not use colours, but their correlation; blue is blue in itself, but next to green, red or yellow, it is not the same blue anymore: it changes. The aim is for the film to be made of such a correlation of images, you take two images; they are neutral, but all of a sudden, next to each other, they vibrate, life enters them: and it is not really the life of the story or of the characters, it’s the life of the film.

Robert Bresson

image

“Movie first, scene second, moment third.” That is the order of importance for everything.

Sam O’Steen

image

The profession of film director can and should be such a high and precious one that no man aspiring to it can disregard any knowledge that will make him a better film director or human being.

Sergei Eisenstein

image

I like the beauty of images, I like spatial treatments, I like light, I like to choose interesting locations, but that must not be in opposition to character study and keeping the mise-en-scène close to the skin. Making something sensitive is what I’m interested in; something sensuous, and sensing the world in the surroundings somehow, and also creating characters that have a psychological depth. After the Dogma movement in Scandinavia, a lot of directors seem to kind of do a lot of films with handheld video cameras and close-ups, melodrama, with no space and beauty, it’s just about the character and acting. I think both of those things should come together ideally. I think that’s my ideal as a filmmaker. To make a real movie you need to care about it all.

Joachim Trier

image

The director’s task is to recreate life, its movement, its contradictions, its dynamic and conflicts. It is his duty to reveal every iota of the truth he has seen, even if not everyone finds that truth acceptable. Of course an artist can lose his way, but even his mistakes are interesting provided they are sincere. For they represent the reality of his inner life, of the peregrinations and struggle into which the external world has thrown him.

Andrei Tarkovsky

Filmmakers on the Filmmaker’s Style

A filmmaker’s style is the foundation of a good film. Sixteen filmmakers from different parts of the world and different time periods share their insight on this essential element of cinema. Their words are both revealing and encouraging, and they embody the late Roger Ebert’s message about the director’s role in the making of a film.

When we watch a film, the director is essentially standing behind us and saying, “Look here,” and “Look there,” “Hear this,” and “Hear that,” and “Feel this,” and “Feel the way I want you to feel.” - Roger Ebert

Read, Learn, and Absorb…and most importantly, Get Your Filmmaker’s Style On!

image

I think the enemy of [film] is of course reality, and films are best when they manage poetry by reducing the element of reality and introducing something which is the invention of the filmmaker.

Orson Welles

image

There is a certain resemblance between a work of art and a person. Just as one can talk about a person’s soul, one can also talk about the work of art’s soul, its personality.

The soul is shown through the style, which is the artist’s way of giving expression to his perception of the material. The style is important in attaching inspiration to artistic form. Through the style, the artist molds the many details that make it whole. Through style, he gets others to see the material through his eyes.

Carl Theodor Dreyer

image

I don’t want to film a “slice of life” because people can get that at home, in the street, or even in front of the movie theater. They don’t have to pay money to see a slice of life. And I avoid out-and-out fantasy because people should be able to identify with the characters. Making a film means, first of all, to tell a story. That story can be an improbable one, but it should never be banal. It must be dramatic and human. What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out. The next factor is the technique of filmmaking, and in this connection I am against virtuosity for its own sake. Technique should enrich the action. One doesn’t set the camera at a certain angle just because the cameraman happens to be enthusiastic about that spot. The only thing that matters is whether the installation of the camera at a given angle is going to give the scene its maximum impact. The beauty of the image and movement, the rhythm and the effects—everything must be subordinate to the purpose.

Alfred Hitchcock

image

Filmmaking isn’t if you can just strap on a camera onto an actor, and steadicam, and point it at their face, and follow them through the movie, that is not what moviemaking is, that is not what it’s about. It’s not just about getting a performance. It’s also about the psychology of the cinematic moment, and the psychology of the presentation of that, of that window.

David Fincher

image

One day I said, “Cinema is the art of showing nothing." I want to express things with a minimum of means, showing nothing that is not absolutely essential…

My style is natural to me. You see, I want to make things so concentrated and so unified that the spectator feels as if he has seen one single moment. I control all speech and gesture so as to produce an object that is indivisible. Because I believe that one moves an audience only through rhythm, concentration, and unity.

Robert Bresson

image

When we talk about framing, it is about the choice of directors: what are the things that you want the audience to see and what are the things that you want to exclude. And to exclude them doesn’t mean it is not working, but it will give you a sense of expectations.

Wong Kar-wai

image

I’m not interested in a realistic look—not at all, not ever. Every film should look the way I feel.

Martin Scorsese

image

Everything is there for a purpose and a reason, and if I’ve done my job well, the meaning of everything will be veiled, but there should be one possible conclusion or solution that would make it all balance out. I’m certainly not throwing up random things and expecting an audience to decide what it means. But at the same time, if you’re telling a story, at all metaphorical, then you’re purposefully being a bit veiled, a bit obtuse, a bit puzzling. If it wasn’t, then it would just be a story, a straight thesis of “here’s what I think of the world and how it works and what I’m interested in.” That would be dry and boring and no one should have to listen to that.

Shane Carruth

image

Artistic freedom means that the amateur filmmaker is never forced to sacrifice visual drama and beauty to a stream of words…to the relentless activity and explanations of a plot…nor is the amateur production expected to return profit on a huge investment by holding the attention of a massive and motley audience for 90 minutes…Instead of trying to invent a plot that moves, use the movement of wind, or water, children, people, elevators, balls, etc. as a poem might celebrate these. And use your freedom to experiment with visual ideas; your mistakes will not get you fired.

Maya Deren

image

Slowly, I realized realism in cinema is not the same as realism in real life. Cinema has its own realism. The world in cinema is not the real world. It has been crafted. That makes cinema interesting. It’s not real. It’s closer to dreams. If you treat life as a dream, you can understand this.

Tsai Ming-liang

image

It is necessary to recreate a world that conforms to one’s interior image and to make a system of it. My personal universe is a real universe into which enters an element of spectacle.

Jean-Pierre Melville

image

Cinema is a specificity of vision. It’s an approach in which everything matters. It’s the polar opposite of generic or arbitrary and the result is as unique as a signature or a fingerprint. It isn’t made by a committee, and it isn’t made by a company, and it isn’t made by the audience. It means that if this filmmaker didn’t do it, it either wouldn’t exist at all, or it wouldn’t exist in anything like this form.

Steven Soderbergh

image

Be true to the ideas, and let them talk to you, and worry about every little frame that you’re making, and if you don’t have the money, you can find another way to get that exact same thing, so you don’t have to compromise in that way, for the final thing. You can find a way.

David Lynch

image

I’ve noticed, from my experience, if the external, emotional construction of images in a film are based on the filmmaker’s own memory, on the kinship of one’s personal experience with the fabric of the film, then the film will have the power to affect those who see it.

Andrei Tarkovsky

image

I discovered that what’s really important for a creator isn’t what we vaguely define as inspiration or even what it is we want to say, recall, regret, or rebel against. No, what’s important is the way we say it. Art is all about craftsmanship. Others can interpret craftsmanship as style if they wish. Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that. It’s not what we say but how we say it that matters.

Federico Fellini

image

I think that it is very important that in this moment in time to remember that dramaturgy and how you structure a story is something very personal, and it is not something that you can really learn from a book or you can abide to any of the rules that you hear. I think the way you tell it, the way that you pace a story, the way that you choose to represent it through very particular scenes that is a lot about your personality, and you should allow it to be rather than to make something with the correct turning points and the expected structure. I think really what movies need today are people that try to do something. It could be catchy, even though it’s original. There is not a dichotomy where you either you apply the right rules and it’s exciting or you don’t and it’s boring and it’s difficult. I think there is stuff to be explored there, to push films further. And I also think the most personal thing you do as a filmmaker is where you put your camera, how you perceive things, how you see them. And I would say mise-en-scène is the most important aspect of it. It’s the choosing of the characters in casting, how you portray them, how you approach them visually. I hear a lot of young filmmakers talking about “I’m all about performance, the camera can just be around them.” That worries me. There is a great possibility for thematic treatment and emotion in where you place the camera and what lens you use, your lighting.  All that stuff that is more sensuous, more tactile. I think those are important things to sustain in filmmaking at the moment; even though we’re shooting digitally, there are wonderful possibilities of doing something beautiful still.

Joachim Trier

Make movies for yourself. Never compromise, because those compromises are going to haunt you for the rest of your life.

Orson Welles

(via phetheringtonnz)

Art of Cinema: Issue III

image

Every week, A-BitterSweet-Life presents Art of Cinema, one issue with a lucky 7 sources of inspiration to spark your filmmaking passion.

Orson Welles Speaking Truths at the Cinémathèque

The Most Important Thing in a Movie is the Actor, and Everything Which is in Front of the Camera - “In this rare speech at the Cinémathèque in Paris, France, Orson Welles shares his beliefs on the problems faced by filmmakers and responds to such dilemmas with intriguing ideas that will circle the head for a good time…There are too many gems to miss out on, from working with the same actors and forming a filmmaking family to his luck of being completely ignorant as a director when he made Citizen Kane.”

The 7-Step Film Directing Formula

A Formula, or Guide, that Film Directors (Anywhere in the World) Can Follow, that Will Help Them Make Successful and Compelling Films - “Step 1: The Study of Human Behavior. Step 2: Story. Step 3: Performance. Step 4: The Principles of Montage. Step 5: The Psychology of the Camera. Step 6: Basic Blocking & Staging Techniques. Step 7: Technical.”

Joachim Trier: Filming the More Sensuous, the More Tactile

The Most Personal Thing You Do as a Filmmaker is Where You Put Your Camera, How You Perceive Things, How You See Them - “Essential advice for filmmaking from Oslo, August 31 director Joachim Trier. Film is visual storytelling, and thus, there lies inside the image the essence of the story, and although sound plays an important part in the making of a great film, without the visual there is nothing. For all filmmakers, it is your visual style that will grab the audience and maintain it, your sense of approaching a cinematic story. Another tip, watch movies, all kinds…it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants that you will see further.”

Directing Tools – The Actors Language

What Do Actors Want More than Anything from a Director? Trust! - “To find a character they are playing, actors must surrender completely to feelings and impulses—they must allow themselves to be vulnerable. As a result, actors want to work with Directors who can create a safe place for them to perform and who understand their vulnerabilities. Actors also want to work with directors who understand their specific working language.”

Storytelling Through Composition: Part 1 & Part 2

I Think This Will Help All of You Find Your Compositional Voice…Remember that the Best Creative Inspiration Can Come from Not Always Following the Rules - “Part 1: 1) Wide Shot aka Doinker 2) The Head to Toe 3) The Cowboy 4) The Two Shot 5) Breaking the Rules…Part 2: 1) The Dirty OTS (Over the Shoulder) 2) Being Obsessed with the Subtlety of Shot Design 3) The Waister 4) Collar Bone 5) John Fording Into a Close Up 6) The Choker”

Tips to Generate Interest from Film Agents for Filmmakers

What Agents and Managers Look for in New Directors: Originality, Passion, Craftsman, Artisan, Professionalism - “Breaking a new director takes time. If your agent or manager has a track record of launching new filmmakers, that’s a plus. You want a rep who is enthusiastic about your work and shares your vision regarding your career. An agent or manager should offer career guidance and provide a market overview. You want to feel at ease when you call your rep so choose an executive with a communication style and rapport that works for you. Lastly, you want representatives on your team who have the access and the stature to expose you to wide circle of people.”

Lev Kuleshov on the Filmmaker’s Style

Do Not Think About Your Style Ahead of Time, Work Hard, and Your Individual Directorial Style Will Come by Itself - “The nature of a frame, the style of images in a film depends largely on the choice of angles. Light and tone of an image is of great importance also. A correctly found iconic nature of the frame helps the director to properly convey to the audience the content. At the same time, every director and cameraman, in selecting the shots, has a ‘signature’—a favorite style in finding and establishing shots and angles.”

For More, Visit the Pinterest Board Art of Cinema: Articles, videos, quotes, and more for those passionate about filmmaking and the art of cinema.

I think the enemy of [film] is of course reality, and films are best when they manage poetry by reducing the element of reality and introducing something which is the invention of the filmmaker.
Orson Welles

I think the enemy of [film] is of course reality, and films are best when they manage poetry by reducing the element of reality and introducing something which is the invention of the filmmaker.

Orson Welles

Edge of Outside: A History of Independent Cinema

image

Watch, Learn, and Absorb! Edge of Outside: A History of Independent Cinema is a fascinating documentary that presents a historical view of Independent Cinema through the stories of various filmmakers who embody the independent film spirit. It opens with author Peter Biskind defining the independent filmmaker: Classically, an independent filmmaker is a starving, cadaverous, pale guy who hasn’t seen the sun in, you know, ten years. Sleeps in his clothes, never bathes, and will do absolutely anything to get his film made, including staging car accidents, giving blood, selling semen, you know, anything. The truth of it is that the independent filmmaker is someone who is determined enough to see his or her vision become reality, and Edge of Outside exemplifies this through brief but concise portrayals of filmmakers like Nicholas Ray, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick.

Independent attitudes actually made Hollywood. I mean I think Griffith was in a sense the first great independent filmmaker in that he said, “No I’m not going to do it the standard way,” and boom it changed everything, states David Thomson in the documentary. This is where Edge of Outside gives a more defined sense of Independent Cinema. Independent films are not defined by low-budget films but by filmmakers who convey a unique vision through a creative approach that transcends technical limitations and interferences from higher authority.

The always fantastic cinephilearchive writes:

Edge of Outside (2006). An hour-long documentary designed to celebrate the spirit of the independent filmmaker from D.W. Griffith to Quentin Tarantino. Interview footage and film clips are blended together to form a chronological approach to the subject matter. Profiles of important figures within the independent film industry include John Cassavetes, Stanley Kubrick, John Sayles, Woody Allen, Roger Corman, Samuel Fuller, Martin Scorsese, Orson Welles, Arthur Penn, Spike Lee, Peter Bogdanovich, Sam Peckinpah, Nicholas Ray, and Henry Jaglom. The documentary compiles new and stock interviews with important filmmakers including Cassavetes, Corman, Bogdanovich, Fuller, Scorsese, Welles, Penn, Sayles, Ray, Peckinpah, Lee, and Jaglom. The program also covers important movements in the history of independent cinema such as the Italian neorealism and the French New Wave. The documentary makes it clear in the emphasis that an independent film is not simply a low-budget film, but instead, accurately defines the genre.

After time-travelling through film history with Edge of Outside, watch John Cassavetes: The Art of Feeling, the father of Independent Cinema!

[T]he cinema must not depend on the director. People always answer that by saying, “Yes, what is important is the story, the script.” They are absolutely wrong. The story—and the script—is the third most important thing, because you can make a wonderful film about nothing. Look at Fellini. The most important thing in a movie is the actor, and everything which is in front of the camera.

Orson Welles

Orson Welles Speaking Truths at the Cinémathèque

image

In this rare speech at the Cinémathèque in Paris, France, Orson Welles shares his beliefs on the problems faced by filmmakers and responds to such dilemmas with intriguing ideas that will circle the head for a good time.

He celebrates France’s respect for the authorship that belongs to a director of a film, however, he believes the difficulty that French films undergo when reaching out to an international public comes from the fact that “You all want to be directors,” and he continues to say, “If only more of you wanted to be actors, we might have some vedettes, and if we had vedettes we would be able to sell French movies facilement around the world.” Despite saying he hates them, Welles claims only two directors have succeeded in reaching this level of vedette/entertainer—Cecil B. DeMille and Alfred Hitchcock.

What Orson Welles discusses is the possibility of the filmmaker to carry the same presence that we find in movie stars, that presence that emphasizes a unique signature by the filmmaker. Still, and very important, is that Welles makes sure to acknowledge that: [T]he cinema must not depend on the director. People always answer that by saying, “Yes, what is important is the story, the script.” They are absolutely wrong. The story—and the script—is the third most important thing, because you can make a wonderful film about nothing. Look at Fellini. The most important thing in a movie is the actor, and everything which is in front of the camera.

Much of what we discuss here is the importance of the filmmaker’s style, and Orson Welles makes sure to communicate that essential quality of filmmaking to the attendants of his lecture. A filmmaker’s style is a subtle establishing of a film director’s presence through his or her arrangement of the elements within the screen, and this occurs not by imposing oneself on those elements but by serving them.

Make sure to watch both parts! There are too many gems to miss out on, from working with the same actors and forming a filmmaking family to his luck of being completely ignorant as a director when he made Citizen Kane.