Video: “‘Blood Simple’ – Storyboards”

September 20th, 2016 by

What a beautiful thing. Criterion has just released a DVD of the first Coen brothers movie Blood Simple. This film is like a fine wine, it ages really well. And what’s amazing is how much of who the Coens are as filmmakers is in evidence in their initial cinematic offering.

To wit, one of the Criterion commentary tracks delves into how the Coen brothers do extensive storyboarding on their movies and through the marvel which is the Internet, we can see that track here.

I’ve read almost all of the screenplays written by the Coens for the movies they’ve directed and it has always amazed me how closely the final product is to their written words. The storyboarding helps explain that. They think through every shot before production, indeed, as they write their scripts. As Joel suggests in the above video, this approach is not the only way to go about the filmmaking process, however it works for them.

To check out Blood Simple on the Criterion Collection, go here.

Video: If Rey is a Skywalker

September 8th, 2016 by

Jenny Nicholson = Harmonic Convergence of wit, smarts, and a solid narrative concept. She does short videos in which she plays two characters and critiques contemporary movies. Here’s her latest: “If Rey is a Skywalker”:

Here she is with her Suicide Squad Sales Pitch:

And this: How to Make Up Star Wars Names:

YouTube Channel.

Video: “When Words Fail in Movies”

August 18th, 2016 by

A video essay from Fandor about the use of silence in movies:

Reminder: Movies are primarily a visual medium. Yes, dialogue is important, but sometimes the best dialogue is no dialogue. Silence can speak volumes.

HT Indiewire.

Video: Mark Duplass keynote address at 2015 SXSW Festival

August 17th, 2016 by

This just crossed my path:

Mark Duplass, a director, actor, writer, and producer, discusses the migration of filmmakers to television, to the emergence of VOD and its impact on micro-budget film. Duplass has eight pieces of advice for those who want to start a career in filmmaking. He also talks on the changing models of film and television distribution/production, how those changes affect those in the independent sphere, and why carving out your particular corner of the sandbox is going to be the key to maintaining creative control in the future.

The video:

Duplass writing credits include Baghead, Cyrus, and the TV series “Togetherness”.

For more SXSW videos, go here.

Video: “The Directors Series – The Coen Brothers” (Part 4)

July 17th, 2016 by

Here is Part 4 of “The Directors Series” on Joel and Ethan Coen, focusing on O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001).

If you are a fan of the Coens, as I am, you will enjoy this series:

Part 1: Blood Simple (1984) and Raising Arizona (1987).

Part 2: Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), and The Hudsucker Proxy (1994).

Part 3: Fargo (1996) and The Big Lebowski (1998).

For The Directors Series Vimeo site, go here.

Video: “The Directors Series – The Coen Brothers” (Part 3)

July 9th, 2016 by

Here is Part 3 of “The Directors Series” on Joel and Ethan Coen, focusing on Fargo (1996) and The Big Lebowski (1998).

If you are a fan of the Coens, as I am, you will enjoy this series:

Part 1: Blood Simple (1984) and Raising Arizona (1987).

Part 2: Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), and The Hudsucker Proxy (1994).

For The Directors Series Vimeo site, go here.

Video: Coen Brothers proof-of-concept trailer for “Blood Simple”

June 25th, 2016 by

For Coen brothers fans, this is wondrous! Via One Perfect Shot:

What you’re about to see is a slice of cinema history never before available to your unworthy eyes. This is a proof-of-concept trailer shot for BLOOD SIMPLE, the Coen Brothers’ first feature, starring family friend and cult icon all on his own, the one and only Bruce Campbell. I’ll wait for you to start breathing again before I continue.

The video will be a part of the bonus features when The Criterion Collection answers every cinephile’s dream by releasing BLOOD SIMPLE this September. Vanity Fair had the early score.

As the story goes, the brothers were having a little trouble raising the money they needed to shoot their western neo-noir when their friend and fellow up-and-coming filmmaker Sam Raimi – you know him, right? – suggested they shoot a short video to show to investors.

They did and used it to raise $750K to start filming their first – and one of their best – movies Blood Simple. Here is that trailer:

Watch this on The Scene.

For the rest of the One Perfect Shot article, go here.

Video: “The Evolution of Pixar”

June 22nd, 2016 by

With Finding Dory now in theaters to a record-breaking box office performance, this video hit online a few days ago: “The Evolution of Pixar”:

I love Pixar for many reasons, but primarily because they are 100% committed to Story. If you don’t believe it, check out my March 2012 interview with Mary Coleman, Senior Development Executive at the studio in which Mary goes into detail about the comprehensive process Pixar uses to develop and craft their scripts.

For some of the gazillion posts I’ve done on Pixar over the years, go here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Two recent videos on writing dialogue

June 19th, 2016 by

Two videos about the craft of writing dialogue hit online in the last week:

Now You See It

Channel Chriswell Extra

Both worth watching. Movies are primarily a visual medium, but great dialogue is a major plus in creating a good script read.

Video: “The Directors Series – The Coen Brothers” (Part 2)

June 16th, 2016 by

Here is Part 2 of “The Directors Series” on Joel and Ethan Coen, focusing on three movies: Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), and The Hudsucker Proxy (1994).

If you are a fan of the Coens, as I am, you will enjoy this video as well as Part 1.

For The Directors Series Vimeo site, go here.