NO FILM SCHOOL

If you are in anyway associated with the film industry, you know without a doubt: making a movie is hard. Besides money, ideas and resources, one of the most important ingredients to have to be successful is creativity. And if you have no confidence in your creative abilities? Well, get ready to make a hard task even more impossible. Need a confidence boost? Check out No Film School’s list of ways to get your creative mojo back. From owning your failures to joining a community, there’s always a way to get your groove back!

Since last year (and specifically in this case, last year’s Sundance Film Festival), virtual reality has exploded. 2016 really was the year that the technology was truly pushed on the consumer level and filmmakers/artists started experimenting with the possibilities even more. But could 2017 be the year of an audience breakthrough for VR? And could it happen at the Sundance Film Festival this upcoming week? Senior Programmer and Chief Curator of Sundance’s New Frontier, Shari Frilot, sat down with No Film School and gave them a sneak peak into some of the highlights from this year’s New Frontier VR program. From a VR palace, narrative and documentary experiences to even augmented reality, this year’s festival is poised to be an exciting one for the new technology. Check out the highlights over at No Film School!

“Maria’s Pick” may have taken the month off but that doesn’t mean the music should stop on Indie Street! As we near the end of 2016, why not revisit some of Maria’s best picks from the year, including Jamie XX’s “Gosh”, directed by Romain Gavras, Makeunder’s “Great Headless Blank”, directed by Carine Khalife, and last month’s “Unreceived”, directed by Jordan Bruner, with music by Nelly Kate. While you’re in the musical mood, why not check out No Film School’s list of the top 8 music videos from 2016 - ones that blur the line between music and filmmaking. Get introduced to new artists/filmmakers ready to take over the scene in 2017 as well as familiar legends still busting out top quality work!

Virtual reality. It’s here. It’s prominent. It’s already playing a role in the way we look at creating within the medium of the moving image in the immediate future, so why not embrace it? That’s what filmmakers James Spinney and Peter Middleton did with their award-winning feature film and virtual reality experience, “Notes on Blindness”. The story follows the life of British theologian John Hull, a man who kept extensive audio diaries chronicling the emotional, mental and psychological experience of becoming blind. As the filmmakers explored Hull’s detailed collection, they found a vast goldmine that offered so much material that their creation couldn’t be confined to just one medium. The result? A film that plays as half documentary/half narrative. When virtual reality became an option, the missing bit of the full experience was complete. It become whole. Without the film component or without the VR component, the emotional pull of the story wouldn't be the same. It’s cinema. It’s the experience. It’s all about transcending what we know and discovering something beyond. Read more about the award-winning experience via No Film School!

The release of movie trailers and teasers are sometimes as anticipated as the actual film itself. They are considered a sacred art form to some movie-goers, just as worthy of popcorns and “shhh”. Another element of films that have their own contingent of fans? Title sequences! A bad or flat title sequence may not totally break a film but a great one will truly elevate it. A new video essay by CineFix gives insightful info on the design of some of the best title sequences in cinema history. Five integral elements are discussed, including typography, graphic design, cinematic imagery, foreshadowing, and animation/CGI. Watch the video below to learn why a film’s title sequence should never be an afterthought and read more about the techniques studied over on No Film School

What happens when you take a dash of Werner Herzog, a sprinkle of Cuba, a batch of 50 eager creative types, mix it altogether, and give it a shake? You’ll come out with one amazing and delicious opportunity being offered to filmmakers by Black Factory Cinema! They are now accepting applications for a ten day workshop in Cuba led by the one and only Werner Herzog. Filmmakers will be offered help in developing a project under his guidance. The workshop will take place next March at the Intenational School of Cinema and Television in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. Think you got what it takes to learn and work under a true legend? Head over to No Film School to get the full scoop on what qualifications you'll need. Fit the mold? Send in your PDF and start filling in the registration form today! Deadline is December 20th, 2016.

It has been a long week in post-election America. Need a little something to help you escape and remind you of the majesty and beauty of this world we live in? Well, if you've been living under a rock or have been totally consumed in politics (and hey, we don't blame you), then you probably haven't gotten the chance to read up on the recent "Planet Earth 2" UK release. BBC has just released two behind the scenes videos from the film, with one shot in 360°, no less. Fancy getting up close and personal with a snake and iguana chase on the Galapagos Islands? Seems like it's your lucky day! Head over to No Film School to get in on the BTS action.

IFP Film Week just wrapped up with a run from September 17 to 22 of this year. Though it has been around for a few years, you may be asking yourself, what exactly is IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) Film Week anyways?? According to their website, they describe themselves as a “place where filmmakers, artists, and storytellers cross paths with people who help move their projects forward. Creators get funding, advice, and opportunities. Industry insiders get to discover new talent and ideas. The public gets to screen cutting-edge work. It’s a space where doors open, info is exchanged, and everybody gets creative.” One of their panels this year saw moderated discussion on the future of cinematic storytelling in the upcoming age of virtual reality. A variety of industry professionals, from Michael Deathless, Jump Into the Light VR gallery owner, to VR filmmakers, Lily Baldwin and Benjamin Dickinson, pondered the topic and offered their insight and thoughts on the future of film. From major shifts in storytelling rules and performance, click here to read about some of the takeaways from the panel discussion.

Shorts films are “it” right now but that doesn’t mean they are easy to navigate out in this big scary world. In a way, it’s all like a game. So what exactly are the right moves in this game of short films? Industry experts Amotz Zakai, Benoit Blanchard, Anna Trzebiaowska, Inga Diev, Martin Edralin and others sat down at a 2016 TIFF panel last week to discuss what the best strategies are for getting your short to be successful in its journey. Their six tips include playing the festival circuit, signing with a manager before an agent, fully developing your vision, having a festival strategy in place at the beginning, gaining awards, and having a feature length screenplay ready to go. Read more about their tips and tricks over at No Film School now!

Spike Jonze & His Cinematic Fragrance Experience

Ever wonder what would happen if you gave one of the most well known modern day film directors the reins to something that should be as straight forward as a fragrance ad? Well, Japanese perfume company, Kenzo, has found out. With Spike Jonze behind the camera of their latest branding, the end result is anything but ordinary. Gone are the sultry, sexual looks we've come to associate with these types of advertisements (such as from the likes of a Ralph Lauren fragrance ad) and here are the hysterics, hypnotic choreography and off the wall antics you didn't expect. Jonze's ad for Kenzo is almost 4 minutes of crazy - in a good way. Featuring actress Margaret Qualley escaping the stuffy atmosphere of a high society gala and letting loose and going berserk in the hallway, she moves to the tunes of "Mutant Brain" by Sam Spiegel. The stamp behind her erratic, feral dance contortions are brought to us by none other than Ryan Heffington (the choreographer behind Sia's "Chandelier" music video). This ad is just another exciting example of the line blurring between advertising/branded commercial content and a truly cinematic experience. You can check out the commercial and more info here, via No Film School. 

 

The distribution landscape has changed so much within the past few years that it’s now easy to see that there is no solid, clear cut path that is just going to fall into the laps of every independent filmmaker as they start to think about putting their film out there. It seems that more and more distribution strategies are having to be hyper-individualized, keeping in mind a million different things regarding content, audience, marketing, budget and the VOD field. With dozens of ways to make (and lose) money once you put your passion project out into the world, would it ever make sense to just do it for free? Well the creators behind “collective:unconscious”, a new anthology feature film that showcases 5 filmmakers producing short films pertaining to each other’s dreams, are doing just that. But what’s in it for them? A lot actually. BitTorrent just awarded the first installment of its Discovery Fund initiative to the film. This means, free BitTorrent bundles, featuring the film, are now available for download. There is even a Deluxe Bundle available for the small price of an email that gets you even more goodies. With BitTorrent knowing quite a lot about audience building, it can actually pay off to focus on gaining eyes before making money. The right eyes on a film can equal the right opportunities, and with a film that features 5 talented and promising filmmakers, it seems a smart move towards the future. Read more about the exciting “collective:unconscious” and BitTorrent venture here.