Is Film School a Good Idea?

The debate between Film School vs. DIY or Learn-As-You-Go Filmmaking is one of the hottest topics out there. Here's my two cents on the matter.

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If you read my about page, you know that I went to film school. It’s no secret, I’m not ashamed. I actually had a superb experience, where I worked on a multitude of projects and befriended some of the nicest people I know. But, in the spirits of fair discussion, I will try to be […]

Martin Scorsese’s Inspiring Speech and Advice to Filmmakers

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The pursuit of the arts, and specifically filmmaking in our case, is never a pain-free journey. There’s often a lot of confusion, doubt, and struggle along the way. By interviewing professionals of the entertainment industry, I often hear two dreaded words: “Burn out.” If you ask around, it’s not uncommon to meet professionals who are sick and tired of […]

Quentin Tarantino’s Movie Theater, The New Beverly, and His Love for Film Prints Explained

Quentin Tarantino's PULP FUCTION

  The transition to digital has taken the industry by storm. First the cameras, then the  projectors. Nowadays, actually celluloid film is a rare sight. But one old-school advocate vows to keep 35mm projections alive and available to the  interested audience. Quentin Tarantino, who purchased The New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles in 2007, is […]

Coming Soon: Your Hollywood Career (and How You Can Be a Part of It)

I often receive questions about specific careers in the industry. Sometimes these questions are basic enough that I can answer them without missing a beat. Other times, however, I have to investigate, dig around, ask a friend… Call it research, if you will, and I love doing  it! So I’m happy to announce my plans […]

What’s the Difference Between a Screenplay Outline and a Treatment

On my original introductory  post about the principles of screenwriting, I wrote that “in filmmaking, the story is first developed in the screenplay.” That is only half-true. Within the Phases of Film Production, it is true that the film only begins to exist with the screenplay (this “document” is needed for planning, casting, budgeting, scheduling, […]

7 Basic Things All Future Film Directors Should be Doing Right Now

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Last week, Hiba from Lebanon hit me up with the following question: “To become a director, should I read more or watch more?” My immediate response to her was that directing is so complex and multifaceted a career that both reading and watching should be a constant for her. A more interesting question, I proposed, […]

5 Reasons the Three-Act Structure is Stifling Your Creativity and Killing Your Screenplay

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Ah, the movies. Don’t you love how subjective they are? That action flick you love is the same one your significant other hates. That melodramatic scene that brings your mother to tears makes you laugh uncontrollably in its silliness. A field as abstract as screenwriting is an easy target for anyone who fancy themselves an expert to share […]

Canon 5D Mark III Gets Its Ass Kicked… By a Smartphone

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Remember when the Canon 5D Mark III was released and everyone was going crazy! Gosh, has it been two years already? We know that technology is evolving at an ever-so-rapid pace. Those in-the-know simply have to ask about what’s the “flavor of the month,” and everyone knows what they are talking about – cameras! Well, it looks […]

REGARDING REACTIONS: Why are Reaction Shots Important?

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By now, you probably read our article on the different kinds of shots, and stumbled upon reaction shots. In this post, I will explain why reaction shots are so important to the film language. First, a quick definition courtesy of Wikipedia: Reaction shot is a shot which cuts away from the main scene in order […]

CONFLICT: The Stuff Stories are Made of

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Conflicts are the problems and headaches we strive to avoid: a flat tire, a layoff, a break-up, and of course, Killer Klowns from Outer Space (yes, that is a real movie!).  The many instances of conflict have different names: tension,  rivalry, struggle, obstacle, clash, etc. Sadly for humans, society overflows with them.  But for filmmakers, […]