Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Episode 5 - Actors

Sometimes when I write a film script, I have certain actors in mind. These are people that I know and have worked with before. So my story is built around my cast.

Other times, the story comes first and I don't think about the actors at all. But sooner or later, I will have to deal with casting.

If you are paying actors, then you could have auditions and can be more selective. But if your actors are volunteers, then you have other issues to deal with. Volunteers have commitments, such as jobs and families, so you have to work around their schedules. You will have to be flexible on days you can film. If they aren't professional, you may have to work with them on learning their lines, etc.

Here are some tips about working with actors on your short film:

Communication. Let the actors know what the story is about and what motivates their characters. Knowledge is a good thing. It also inspires them to think of ideas to enhance the story and their roles. Film is a collaborative effort after all.

Be flexible. Some actors like to go over a scene several times with different ways of performing the scene. You never know what can come from this - it could be truly magical.

Listen to the actors. They may have good ideas for shooting a scene or saying their lines.

Bring food. Feed them, water them, and watch them flourish. This is especially important if the actors are volunteers. It's a great way to show your thanks.

Be mindful of their personalities. Some actors need a lot of detailed direction. Others can fly by the seat of their pants with amazing results.

Be respectful.

Be thankful. Afterward, send them a card of thanks or a token of appreciation.

Build relationships. Having a group of actors that you have worked with before makes the process more efficient because you know what to expect. They are more relaxed because they know what to expect from you.

If you are not an actor yourself, take some acting classes. It will help you as a director and a filmmaker. 

Next time - Post Production

Friday, October 28, 2016

Episode 4 - Location

Location! Location! Location!

As a filmmaker, I am continually inspired by my surroundings. Often, a location will give me an idea for a film. 

Location itself is a story waiting to be told. If I'm walking on a trail in the woods, I might imagine a paranormal creature lurking in the dark. Or I'm sitting in a coffee shop and imagine a woman telling her friend about her new job as caretaker of Alcatraz.  

Here are a few tips for filmmakers regarding location.

1. Do a drive by or a walk through - Look at places that are visually interesting and capture the mood of your film. Look at color, light and space. Visit the location at the time you would shoot that scene, whether day or night, or both. 

2. Interiors - A suburban home? Haunted house? Apartment? Office? Restaurant kitchen? Supermarket? Elevator?

3. Exteriors - Grave yard? Football field? Park? Playground? City street? Swimming pool? Farm?

4. The shorter the film, the fewer locations should be used.

5. Get permission to use privately owned businesses or property. A location release is a document that states the terms of use. 

6. When scouting your location, keep in mind the equipment you will need. Lights, camera, sound, etc. For example, a room with no windows will need special lighting. If you're outdoors, the wind may cause a problem with sound. 

7. If it's a public place, keep in mind the time and day of the shoot to account for crowds. For example, there might be more people in the park on a Sunday afternoon, than during a week day. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Episode 3 - The Screenplay (Part 2)

Welcome to Episode 3 of Making a Short Film. This segment is part 2 of writing the screenplay. 

For me, writing the screenplay is the best part of filmmaking. I enjoy creating a story and imagining what it will look like as a film. The following guidelines should get you thinking about the nuts and bolts of screenwriting. 

Format: You need to format your screenplay according to industry standards. This is easy, just get a book or look online to read about proper screenplay formatting.

Write for the Camera. When writing a screenplay, you should spend more time writing down what the viewer is seeing rather than what the characters are saying. MORE action, LESS words.  
Action. The screenplay is written using present tense and action words. For examples:

DO NOT WRITE THIS: Gertrude was sitting on the couch eating a ham sandwich.
WRITE THIS: Getrudes sits on the couch and eats a ham sandwich.

DO NOT WRITE THIS: Andy picked up a rock and threw it at the dog.
WRITE THIS: Andy picks up a rock and throws it at the dog.

Length. Your screenplay will average about 1 minute per page. This is calculated using 12-point Courier font, which is the industry standard.

Read. During the process, get some friends together and read scenes out loud. This will let you know how the dialog sounds so that you can make adjustments. 

Resources: My favorite screenplay writing resources are Blake Snyder's "Save the Cat" books. 

Next time we'll discuss the Location

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Episode 2 - The Screenplay (Part 1)

If you've never written a screenplay, my first suggestion is to watch one of your favorite films and take notes on the following: 

What is the mood or genre of the film? Comedy, Horror, Romance, Adventure, War?

What is the opening scene? What happens?

How does this scene connect to the next scene?

Note the tension in every scene. Tension is not necessarily "conflict" but it can be. 

Who is the Main Character and how does the writer/filmmaker get you (the viewer) to like him? What makes you want to root for this character?

What does the Main Character want? What is her goal? What is the thing that drives her to action? 
In Jaws - Brody wants to kill the shark
In Rocky - Rocky wants to go the distance with the champ
In North by Northwest - Thornhill wants to find out who's after him and why

What is the inciting incident? This is the incident that begins the story and there is no turning back for the Main Character. In The Wizard of Oz, the inciting incident was the tornado that lifted Dorothy's house and landed in Oz. Now the story begins - she must get back home (which is her goal). She must find the Wizard of Oz and then she must kill the Wicked Witch of the West (the story/the journey).

How do the supporting characters and events help move the story forward?

Next episode: The Screenplay (Part 2)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Making Short Films - Episode 1 - The Story

As a short filmmaker (well, not really that short - I'm 5 foot 5 inches tall) - I thought I'd post a blog series on what I've learned firsthand about making short films. 

First you need a story.

Where do story ideas come from? Everywhere! 

A book, a movie, a trip, a walk, a conversation, an article, a TV show or commercial, a dream, a child, a pet, an image, a word. 

Just be open to ideas. Grab one that interests you and then ask yourself "what if" questions. Follow the trail to it's logical (or illogical) conclusion:

What if a kangaroo could talk?

What if a doll was alive?

What if a boy found out he was from a different time?

What if a scientist discovered an invisibility formula?

What if a girl found magic shoes?

What if a man was buried alive?

What if you were locked in a jail cell in a ghost town?

Once you have an idea, see where it goes and  create a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.

Next post: Episode 2 - The Screenplay

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Searching for "5 Flights Up"

Recently my lifelong pal, Alison, and I were looking for a DVD of the movie "5 Flights Up" starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton. 

We are avid fans of both actors. We had watched the film a few months ago and loved it. It's the story of an older couple in NYC who are selling their apartment because it's five flights up and has no stairs. The problem is, they've lived there over 40 years and it's home. The husband is an artist and the wife is a retired teacher. They have no children so they lavish their affection on their little dog, Dorothy, who is sick and needs surgery. The story takes place over a couple of days as they deal with a realtor and open houses. In the middle of all this, an alleged "terrorist' is creating havoc in the city and the authorities believe he has a bomb on the Brooklyn Bridge. 

This is not an action film. It's a smart, clever comedy with a meaningful message about love and relationships. 

Needless to say, we both wanted this film for our collections to watch on those quiet afternoons as we escape the chaos of the world while we drink our coffee and eat our chocolate. It's one of those movies you can watch over and over (like "You've Got Mail," "The Proposal" or "The Devil Wears Prada").

Soon after watching it, I bought the DVD on amazon, but Alison wanted to buy it here in town. So the journey began. 

We started at Target. No luck.
The mall. Not there either. 
Kmart. Nope.
Walmart. Zip.

We called it a day. Alison later told me she went to Sam's Club and struck out. She finally had to order it online. 

The funny part was, when we asked the sales people at all these stores if they had the movie in stock, none of these 20 to 30 somethings had ever heard of it. They looked at us like we were aliens from outer space. 

You would think Morgan Freeman (Batman's right hand man) and Diane Keaton (comic actress extraordinaire) would be on the Hollywood radar. I suppose a well-told story with witty dialog and interesting characters is not enough.

I'm not surprised. The world is changing. It's faster and more furious than ever. But I am grateful that filmmakers are still creating simple, beautiful films.

In the words of Meryl Streep from "The Devil Wears Prada": That's all.  

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Film Club Project

Ever since we won the Cheyenne Shoot-Out Filmmaking Festival in 2011, Susan V. and I have been tossing around the idea of organizing a film club in Cheyenne. 

The purpose would be to encourage local and regional filmmakers and share resources and knowledge about the amazing world of filmmaking. 

This week I was inspired to give this idea serious consideration. First of all, is there interest in something like this in the community? 

I have a cadre of actor friends who are involved in community theatre and who have also volunteered their time and talents in my own films. But they are not necessarily filmmakers. 

What would the club entail?

Support and encouragement for filmmakers by providing resources to help with their projects, whether they need help providing actors, production assistants, information on upcoming film festivals, workshops on lighting, directing, sounds, location scouting, legal issues, fundraising, and more.

It would also be fun to have get-togethers like movie-watching parties or field trips to film festivals.

I would appreciate your comments and suggestions about starting a club/group like this. What worked? What didn't? What would you do differently? 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Novel and Screenplay

I had an interesting conversation with my son yesterday about writing screenplays. Lucas is a husband, father and genius software developer. He's also a gifted blues/jazz pianist.

Like me, he enjoys learning new things and tapping into his creative side. He's been interested in learning to write screenplays and asked me for wisdom and guidance. (That's the cool thing about being a mom and a writer. Just sayin'.)

We discussed the differences between the novel and the screenplay formats. He thought it would be helpful to read a novel and then read the screenplay adaptation of the story. 

At first I thought he should read an original screenplay and not an adaptation, but the more I thought about it, I agreed that he was right. I suggested he read Peter Benchley's novel "Jaws" - and then tackle the screenplay, also written by Benchley along with Carl Gottlieb. This film is a perfect example of excellent storytelling. 

The novel is captivating. The first chapter thrusts you into the world of this shark. The reader experiences everything the shark experiences and we become one with it. We share its view of life in the deep and what it needs to survive, which is its primary purpose.

The story tells of three characters and their personal relationship to the shark - Brody, the police chief who escaped the stress of being a big city cop to live in a peaceful island community. Ironically, he fears the water. Hooper, the scientist who is obsessed with sharks and goes after the shark for glory and fame. And Quint, the rugged fisherman who sees this shark as an enemy he must defeat, exacting vengeance on his fellow soldiers who were killed by sharks in World War II on the USS Indiana. The relationships among the three men and with the shark is what makes this story so compelling. 

The screenplay shows that Benchley kept key elements of the story, and with Gottlieb's screenwriting skill, they transformed the novel into the perfect blueprint for Spielberg's film.

Whether you're writing a novel, a short story, a screenplay or a stage play, its ALL ABOUT THE STORY! If you don't have a good story, you don't have anything.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Lucas comes up with for a story idea for his screenplay. We always have fun brainstorming story ideas together.   

Thursday, June 16, 2016

TV Dads

In honor of Father's Day, I would like to give a "shout out" to all the wonderful TV Dads from my childhood.  These dads were pretty amazing. They dealt with problems big and small. But most of all, these dads loved their kids, no matter what.

Happy Father's Day!

Jim and Kathy
Father Knows Best (1954-1960)
Jim Anderson played by Robert Young
KIDS: Betty, Bud and Kathy

Ward and Wally
Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963)
Ward Cleaver played by Hugh Beaumont 
KIDS: Wally and Theodore "Beaver"

Mark and Lucas
The Rifleman (1958-1963)
Lucas McCain played by Chuck Connors 
Lucas's job: Rancher
KID: Mark

Little Joe and Ben
Bonanza (1959-1973)
Ben Cartwright played by Lorne Greene
Ben's job: Rancher
KIDS: Adam, Hoss and Little Joe

Andy and Opie
The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968)
Andy Taylor played by Andy Griffith
Andy's job: Sheriff
KID: Opie

Steve and Chip
My Three Sons (1960-1972)
Steve Douglas played by Fred MacMurray 1960-1972
Steve's job: Aeronautical Engineer
KIDS: Mike, Robbie, Chip and Ernie

Mike with kids 
The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)
Mike's job: Architect
Mike Brady played by Robert Reed
KIDS Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy

Who are you favorite TV dads?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Rifleman and Books

I was visiting my dad on his acreage in Oklahoma last week. He lives in the country and doesn't have a satellite or cable TV. He uses an antenna to get TV reception.

One of his favorite shows is "The Rifleman" so we watched the show everyday day while we were there. I remember watching it on TV when I was a kid. It's about a widower in the Old West named Lucas McCain and his son, Mark. Lucas is handy with a rifle and he and Mark work the ranch.  

On one episode, the school hired a new teacher from "back east." The teacher was a prim and proper gentleman and wasn't used to the ways of the West. He and Mark did not get along. Mark's friend ruined the teacher's book by putting blue berries in it and slamming the book closed. Mark was blamed for the prank and his father found out.

Lucas told Mark that it was wrong to ruin a book. Books are precious and hard to come by. He also told him that everything you learn from a book you will be able to use sometime in your life.

I have found this to be true. I have always valued books. They have enriched my life. 

If only all kids had a dad like Lucas McCain. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Luana Krause - Dramatist

Check out my new logo. I'm getting ready to market my plays, sketches, monologues and reader's theatre scripts. I'm also writing a book about how to direct, act and write for drama ministry.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tale of the Three Brothers

Stunning animation from "The Tale of the Three Brothers" sequence in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Who says there aren't any good modern-day fairy tales? This has everything a good tale needs: A family setting, a villain, a hero, longing, desire and magic.

The animation is the perfect vessel for this dark fairy tale by J.K. Rowling.

When I saw the film the first time, this sequence ignited my imagination more than anything else. There's something about a tale within a tale that is truly profound. Shakespeare did this often. It's one of my favorite story-telling techniques.

I used in my latest film "The Book of Simon."

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Madam Secretary

Last week I was browsing through Netflix looking for something to watch and came across a show called Madam Secretary. I'd seen bits of it on TV over the last couple of years, but because I was already committed to Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance, Food Network Star, Cupcake Wars, The Voice and American Idol and Blue Bloods, I didn't see how I could squeeze in another show.

My shows were over for the season so I figured I'd get around to checking out Madam Secretary. And I'm glad I did.

The story grabbed me at the pilot episode and now I'm binge watching the entire two seasons.

It's the story of an ex-CIA operative and university professor who is asked to step in as Secretary of State after the death of the current Secretary. The death is quite suspicous and we learn that it wasn't an accident nor a suicide.

Tea Leoni is Madam Secretary. I'd seen her in supporting roles in several movies. She is wonderful in this role. But what grabbed me the most about this series is the brilliant writing! As a writer myself, I am always impressed with a great story and great writing, and this series has it Big Time.

Not to mention the excellent performances, production design, editing and cinematography.

If you watch it, look for the funny lines. They are delightful. Because it's a drama, the humor is needed to lighten the tension, and the writers of this show strike that perfect balance.

Friday, May 13, 2016

John's Wisdom

John Keating from The Dead Poets Society (1989):

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

April's Wisdom

April Wheeler from Revolutionary Road (2008):

And you know what's so good about the truth? Everyone knows what it is, no matter how long they've lived without it.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Vincent's Wisdom

Vincent Freeman from Gattaca (1997):

It's funny, you work so hard, you do everything you can to get away from a place, and when you finally get your chance to leave, you find a reason to stay.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Leia's Wisdom

If money is all you love, that is what you'll receive.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zoptic Special Effects

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge!
This year my theme is film terms.

Zoptic special effects is a revolutionary special effects, 3-D process invented by cameraman Zorian Perisic, incorporating a camera system and a projector with synchronized zoom lenses to create the illusion of movement in depth. One example is Superman (1978) in which a projected background scene remains constant while the camera zooms in on the foreground subject to give the appearance of Superman flying.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Yawner

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge!
This year my theme is film terms.

A yawner is a slang term, meaning a boring film. I like to give every film a chance, but sometimes a film just doesn't grab me and I have to chalk it up to being a yawner. However, one man's yawner is another man's masterpiece. I asked some friends on Facebook what some of their yawners were and then posted my opinions:

Jekyll and Hyde (2015)
I haven't seen it, but the odds are that a stage musical film adapatation is subpar.

Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)
Agreed. But beautiful cinematography.

August: Osage County (2013)
Agreed. I tried to like it because the play is brilliant. Such a disappointment.

The Artist (2011)
Not a yawner for me, but definitely over-rated. Didn't deserve Best Picture.

The Tamarind Seed (1974)
Not a yawner for me. I am never bored with Omar Sharif. Just sayin.

The Black Hole (1979)
Agreed. Actually, one of the worst films ever on all levels.

Waterworld (1995)
Agreed. Such a horrible following to Costner's magnificent Dances with Wolves.

The English Patient (1996)
Agreed. Strangely, I now consider it a comedy because of the Seinfeld episode.

My Yawner: Far and Away (1992)

Ironically, for a romance there was no chemistry between the leads. The script is terrible. Acting terrible. I could not watch the whole film.

What are your yawners?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for eXtras

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge!
This year my theme is film terms.

An extra is a person who appears in a movie in a non-specific, non-speaking, unnoticed, or unrecognized character role, such as part of a crowd or background.

They are often used in restaurant scenes, battles scenes and city street scenes.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Groundhog Day (1993)

Forrest Gump (1994)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for War Films

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year my theme is film terms.

War films have been part of American cinema since its beginnings. From the American Revolution to the War on Terror, war films capture the times in which we live.

The Patriot (2000)

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

Glory (1989)

Sergeant York (1941)

The Longest Day (1962)

M.A.S.H. (1970)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

American Sniper (2014)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Voice Over

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year my theme is film terms.

Voice Over refers to recorded dialogue, usually narration, that comes from an unseen, off-screen voice, character or narrator that can be heard by the audience but not by the film characters themselves.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Yes, this is Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. It’s about five o’clock in the morning. That’s the Homicide Squad, complete with detectives and newspaper men. A murder has been reported from one of those great big houses in the ten thousand block. You’ll read all about it in the late editions, I’m sure.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Based on the short story by Stephen King "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption," this film portrays the life of Andy Dufresne, a man wrongly imprisoned for his wife's murder. The judge gives him a life sentence at Shawshank. When Andy manages to acquire a record album of Italian opera, he plays the music over the loudspeaker so the men in the yard can hear it. Andy gets caught and ends up in solitary, but for him it was worth it. Red tells the story.

RED (V.O.)
I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.

Ethan Hawke in Gattaca (1997)
Gattaca is a futuristic story of a genetically inferior man who assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

It's funny, you work so hard, you do everything you can to get away from a place, and when you finally get your chance to leave, you find a reason to stay.

Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for Underacting

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year my theme is film terms.

Underacting refers to an understated, neutral and muted acting performance.

Bruce Willis in Unbreakable (2000).

Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter (1973)

Can you think of performances in which the actor plays an understated or even stoic role?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Tribute To Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Three Little Swine
By Luana Krause

Once upon a time there were three little swine, Aragon, Barnardo and Caesar. They set out to seek their fortunes and after journeying for many a day, became weary from their travels, so each determined to build a house.

Aragon, remembering the comfortable barn of his youth, built a house of straw. His brothers mocked him and attempted in vain to dissuade him from this foolhardy endeavor. Aragon resisted their arguments forthwith, saying, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”

“O, what swine dare to do!” exclaimed Barnardo to Caesar as they continued on their way.

Barnardo built a house of sticks, certain the jewel of the tree wouldst serve him well. Caesar scoffed at his brother’s efforts, snorting with disdain, “What light through yonder window breaks? Thou shalt catch thy death before the morrow.”

Barnardo’s anger burned in his breast, “Is this a dagger I see before me?” he threatened.

“Cowards die many times before their deaths,” said Caesar, and left Barnardo to his own devices.

Caesar built a house of bricks. And though it was difficult work that required much patience, to Caesar it was a labor of love. After many days, the house was finished and the pig made merry with a feast of apples and pomegranates. But he had too much wine, and in a drunken stupor, climbed to the roof, raised his cloven hoof in arrogance, and shouted, “A plague on both your houses!”

On the morn, Aragon heard a rapping at his door.

“Who is’t?” he asked.

“It is I, Sir Beowulf, Lord of Gretel, Knight of the Red Hood and Duke of Earl. Open this door and let me in!”

“Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!”

“Then I’ll huffeth and I’ll puffeth and I’ll bloweth your house in!”

Aragon anxiously paced back and forth, “Now is the winter of our discontent!” he moaned. And before he could say “Beware the ides of March,” Sir Beowulf had blown down the door and gobbled him up.

Barnardo heard a rapping at his door anon.

“Who is’t?” he asked.

“It is I, Sir Beowulf, Lord of Gretel, Knight of the Red Hood and Duke of Earl. Open this door and let me in!”

“Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!”

“Then I’ll huffeth and I’ll puffeth and I’ll bloweth your house in!”

Barnardo fell to his knees to beseech his God, “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; words without thoughts never to heaven go.” And before he could say “Out, out, brief candle,” Sir Beowulf had blown down the door and gobbled him up.

Ere long, Caesar heard a rapping at his door.

“Who is’t?” he asked.

“It is I, Sir Beowulf, Lord of Gretel, Knight of the Red Hood and Duke of Earl. Open this door and let me in!”

“Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!”

“Then I’ll huffeth and I’ll puffeth and I’ll bloweth your house in!”

“Wherefore, thou roguish knave?”

“I’ve come to eat Caesar, not to praise him.”

And with that, Sir Beowulf huffed and puffed … and puffed and huffed … blowing with all his might, but he could not topple the swine’s abode. He thus devised a plot, “Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie.”

Inside the house, Caesar heard noises on the roof. Sir Beowulf must be trying to gain entrance through the chimney. So Caesar prepared a fire in the hearth and placed a large kettle on the heat, chanting as he stirred, “Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

With a loud splash, Sir Beowulf fell into the steaming kettle, screaming in agony, “This was the unkindest cut of all!” And before Caesar could say “He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf,” the villain was cooked and ready for the dinner table.

It was a bittersweet feast as Caesar recalled the fate of his brothers and wondered, “When shall we three meet again?” Nevertheless, the swine lifted his golden goblet and proclaimed, “All’s well that ends well.”

T is for Time Travel

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year my theme is film terms.

I am a huge fan of time travel stories. There's something magical about traveling to a different time. Some of my favorites:

The Terminator (1984)

Back to the Future (1985)

Kate & Leopold (2001)

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Do you have a favorite time travel movie?

Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Sequence

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge!
This year my theme is film terms.

A sequence is a scene, or connected series of related scenes that are edited together and comprise a single, unified event, setting, or story within a film's narrative. It also refers to scenes that structurally fit together in the plot.

Dead Poets Society (1989) "O' Captain, My Captain!" sequence.

This is one of my favorite films of all time. A teacher at an elite private school uses unorthodox methods to teach his students the beauty, purpose and passion of poetry. In this scene, John Keating (Robin Williams) has been blamed for a student's suicide and fired from his teaching position. In this scene, his students show their admiration and love for him.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

R is for Reaction Shot

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year my theme is film terms.

A reaction shot is a quick shot that records a character's or group's response to another character or some on-screen action or event. It is often accompanied with a point of view (POV) shot. Reaction shots are usually cutaways.

The Birds (1963)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q is for "Quiet on the Set!"

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year my theme is film terms.

When filmming, the words "Quiet on the set!" will be heard just before the 
camera rolls. The scene is being performed and everyone needs to be quiet. 
All attention is focused on the scene. Between scenes there is a lot of commotion. 
Setting up cameras, costumes and makeup being checked, questions 
being asked, direction being given, food being eaten.

Director Kathryn Bigelow on the set of Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P is for Production Design

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year my theme is film terms.

Production design refers to a film's overall design, continuity, visual look and composition and include such elements as color, sets, costumes, scenery, props and locations. Take a look at some amazing production designs:

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Gone With the Wind (1939) 

Pillow Talk (1959)

Star Wars (1977)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Sea Biscuit (2003)