Art of Cinema I
Articles, videos, quotes, and more for those passionate about filmmaking and the art of cinema. (for more, see Art of Cinema II)
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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. Read, Learn, and Absorb…and most importantly, Get Your Filmmaker’s Style On!
In the Age of Digital Disruption, What is a Movie? "As digital disruption continues to remake the media landscape, a new viewing experience will take shape...For makers, the challenge is not simply making a movie--and paying back one’s investors. To do this, one has to make sure as many people see it as possible. This challenge is intensified as movie distribution is undergoing a major technological shift."
I never considered myself anything more than as a craftsman...I create things that are meant to be useful, films or theatrical productions. I’ve never felt the need for…what’s the word?…sub specie aeternitatis. I have never created for the sake of eternity. I was only interested in producing the good work of a fine craftsman. Yes, I am proud to call myself a craftsman who makes chairs and tables that are useful to people. - Ingmar Bergman
The Search for Sanity opens with Ingmar Bergman expressing his constant search for the new by attempting experiments in film with each project. It is a great way to see filmmaking, the heart of Bergman’s reflection being that each film is always the first. The Search for Sanity is a telling and intimate window into Ingmar Bergman and his wonderfully dark film, Hour of the Wolf.
8 Somewhat Unusual Screenwriting Tips That May Help Kickstart & Maintain Your Creativity: 1) Freewrite 2) Get a journal and make it your own 3) Take your characters to lunch 4) Talk to yourself 5) Do bizarre things that make you embarrassed of yourself 6) Become a voyeur 7) Be your characters 8) Take time to just marinate
Misremembering Only God Forgives: "To renounce the natural frame of reference--the natural logic & integrity of an existent reality--is not, as is popularly assumed, an escape from the labor of truth. On the contrary, it places upon the artist the entire responsibility for creating a logic as dynamic, integrated & compelling as those in which nature abounds. To create a form of life is, in the final analysis, much more demanding than to render one which is ready-made."
Nicolas Winding Refn: Violence and Poetry. A contemporary film director whose films are as stylish as they are violent, Nicolas Winding Refn never plays it safe. With each film, he enters new territory and approaches both story and film language in fresh and engaging ways. "[A]rt is expression of emotions, and it has to grab you in a poetic, beautiful, gentle way as well as a violent, aggressive, and frustrating way." - Nicolas Winding Refn
21 (updated: 40) Must-See Documentaries & Interviews on Filmmaking: "Like a career in filmmaking, education is an on-going journey. Whether accomplished at an academic institution or at your home, knowledge makes its availability as long as you seek it. Here are 21 (now 40) filmmaking related documentaries and interviews readily available for both your enjoyment and evolution as a filmmaker."
Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice...the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day...It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time...There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes. - Kevin Ashton
Making a film means, first of all, to tell a story...The next factor is the technique of filmmaking...Technique should enrich the action...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 & movement, the rhythm & the effects—everything must be subordinate to the purpose. - Alfred Hitchcock
It's All About Openness: Nicolas Winding Refn at Film Society Lincoln Center. On July 17, I had the opportunity to attend a special early screening of Only God Forgives, followed by a Q with director Nicolas Winding Refn (who I met before the screening!) & actors Vithaya Pansringarm & Yayaying Rhatha Phongam. An interesting discussion on film & filmmaking proceeded the stylish Only God Forgives that the audience applauded. There is a lot of good stuff to learn from Nicolas Winding Refn.
What drives a filmmaker to do his best? He must have this kind of passion...he wants to make sure everything is right, he is so curious about this world…All of us are actually providing visions & sharing our angles, & some people get picked up because they are appreciated by a lot of people, & some of them, they have less of a following but that doesn’t mean their work is lesser. It’s our job to do something that, first of all, we are convinced & we have to convince people. - Wong Kar-wai
Road to Discovery: The Grandmaster with Wong Kar-wai. A 30 min interview with the renown filmmaker who has established his presence in the filmmaking world as a unique visionary with a taste for accentuating the visual & sound elements of film. For Wong Kar-wai, the essential quality of a filmmaker is passion, & this passion is what influences the director to pursue & discover more.
Watch! Wong Kar-wai: Superimposed Symphony. "Wong Kar-wai is about motion and emotion...he’s about the moment within the moment, the eternal in the now...The camera (usually Chris Doyle’s) doesn’t merely record or represent: it scopes out, insinuates, measures and caresses. All is texture. Physical texture. Emotional texture. What it feels like. What it really is. What you dream it is. What you dream it was."
What EVERY Creative Person with a Product or Service Needs to Know 1) To share your creations with the world: a product that really stands out & provides value to people 2) promotion through connections & friendships 2) To make money from your work: 1) as above 2) people willing to purchase your product 3) means to get paid & to deliver your work 4) understanding of how a business works, with all its various departments
If you’re just a cog in the wheel, you’re replaceable. But if you’re unique, and you’re working on it all day, and you’re engaging with people, then it will go somewhere special and very personal, and people will realize it...the most astonishing thing that I’ve noticed is that you really do feel who is behind the camera, you do really feel the intent of the people who are trying to communicate with you…If it’s something sincere, I think people really connect to it. - Christopher Doyle
In this great interview with Christopher Doyle—whose cinematography work, like in Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love, Days of Being Wild, or Chungking Express, is timeless—we learn what it takes to be an artist. Doyle here continues to support the idea that the artistic process falls under this: you get up in the morning and you do it. Being open ended, the artistic process is about finding yourself and recognizing how your personal understanding of your craft shapes you as an artist.
I really believe…that if you’re sincere, that people will feel that. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the editing is, or how good or bad the visual style is. If there’s an energy there, it will communicate, and that’s where we have to get…The process is to get to a point where you are engaging, where you are open enough. - Christopher Doyle