Friday, October 9, 2009

An Interview with Kyle Prohaska, Director of Standing Firm.

Some time ago, Kyle Prohaska, an independent filmmaker, who has been following this little blog of mine, contacted me. Kyle has his own website and blog and we got to talking. We’ve kept in contact and Kyle has shared with me some things about the feature film he’s directing, Standing Firm. I’ve seen some scenes from the film and the trailer, and the level of professional achievement is really remarkable. For all of you new filmmakers out there struggling to find your path and for all of my fellow Christians hoping to see some interesting new voices in the filmmaking world, you are in for a treat here. I did a little interview with Kyle.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Christian Cinema ... An Adventure in Missing the Point.

“Are our churches and broadcasts and books and organizations merely creating religious consumers of religious products and programs? ... ”

- Tony Campolo & Brian D. McLaren, Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel

As a film lover and filmmaker, I am ever the student of the craft. As such, I try to invest time in continued education. So, I’ve been reading a particular book: Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics by Michael Rabiger. Let me tell you, it’s a fantastic book loaded with great information about the process of filmmaking and how to go about equipping yourself to best accomplish the work of making a movie. It’s not light reading, but very worthwhile!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Preproduction: A Neglected Art.

One often-underappreciated aspect of filmmaking is what is commonly referred to as preproduction. It really amounts to that planning phase of filmmaking, once the script is finished or selected and before principle photography begins. For those who might have been working in the film industry, this should be nothing new. However, I have noticed a disturbing trend among indie filmmakers. Preproduction often gets very little focus.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Audio for Short Films Part 3: Post-Production Sound

One aspect of filmmaking that has taken me quite a while to get a good grasp of is post-production sound. Great audio is filled with its own subtle challenges. Just as many talented people dedicate their livelihoods to working in cinematography, editing, lighting, set design, visual effects, and any of the many other specific areas of the filmmaking process, there are plenty of reason why individuals do the same with sound editing and mixing. The truth is, you may have a great picture, but if your sound isn’t very good, audiences will quickly become annoyed and either emotionally or literally abandon your film. That’s never a good thing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Short, the Feature, and the Bias

“Regrettably the short film subject is often considered beneath the director with serious intentions.” – Michael Rabiger, Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics.

For those of us working in the filmmaking and media world, it should come as no surprise when I state that there seems to be a sort of bias towards feature films in America. Short films are the things of student filmmakers exercises and film festival aficionados. But for the serious filmgoers, it would seem, feature films are where it is at.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Your First Time on a Film Crew

So you’ve got yourself a job on a film set. That’s great news. Even if it is unpaid, that’s still great news. In fact, most first time film gigs are unpaid production assistant work, or intern work. This is to be expected. It’s a means to get your foot in the door. After all, if you have no experience working on a film set, you have little bargaining power, frankly. That is, unless you possess a specific set of skills (like make-up design, or set design, or costumes, or special effects) that you have acquired in other work—such as the theatre—that makes you a bit of a hot commodity to a given production. Most of us, however, don’t start off that way. And that’s to be expected. So embrace that and get in there. There is a very specific flow to working on most film sets, and being able to be introduced to it without the added stress of being a head of specific department is usually a good way to go.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Audio for Short Films Part 2: ADR and Foley.

So now that you’re in postproduction, your film has all been shot, the crew sent home, what happens if you need more sound? Let me assure you that this is naturally part of the filmmaking process. In fact, as nice as it might be to gather every single extra sound effect you might need for your film during shooting, most of the time the schedule simply does not allow for this (especially on indie films). In fact, in some situations stopping everything just to grab what are called “wild tracks” of sounds during shooting may indeed be irresponsible use of the crew’s and actors’ time. Often, these sounds, referred to as Foley, are something that you or someone else can go off and record on their own once shooting has wrapped.