Learning the Art of Film from Visual Essays

Studying in Film School gives you insight into the cinema’s masterpieces and its hidden interpretations. The lectures on film history are usually boring, if not illustrated with curated clips. But we live in a digital century and you can appreciate the masterpieces instantly. Waiting in the shopping queue, sitting in the subway or maybe even between the shots – you can explore variety of topics on-line on the smartphone (though High-Res screen is recommended). Let's take a look on Stanley Kubrick’s One-Point Perspective:

X-plore Berlinale Talents on-line | The Guerilla-way!

Berlinale Talents is the annual summit and networking platform of the Berlin International Film Festival for 300 outstanding creatives from the fields of film and drama series. The idea behind Berlinale Talents lies in elevating young filmmakers careers. It offers the possibility of learning from masters such as Darren Aronofsky, Wim Wenders or Ken Loach. There are also panels and special workshops dedicated to cross-media or film editing. For example, Susan Korda with her "Kill your darlings" will be the guest this year for the third time. And if you are not enlisted as a 'Talent' you can still watch some of them on-line.

Robert Rodriguez: Directing the Directors

The icon of independent filmmaking doesn't slow down efforts for popularizing the craft. Maverick director Robert Rodriguez always shared his knowledge with others. And he is a keen student too. The newest example of this approach is his "Director's Chair" on El Rey Network - interviews with the most rebellious filmmakers on the planet.

Beside producing a fistful of 10-Minute-Film-School videos Rodriguez penned two books in the early nineties. These were the famed "Rebel without a Crew" - his journal from the time of filming "El Mariachi", which catapulted him to Hollywood. The second book titled "Roadracers: The Making of a Degenerate Hot Rod Flick" dealt with his less known first Hollywood picture starring Salma Hayek and David Arquette.


Film Festivals for Filmmakers - Introduction

Festivals are about relations within the industry, with the press, getting to know the trends (current language), and of course the audience. You can get some prestige, hang out on the parties and maybe even win some cash awards. But there’s a lot of festivals around the world and their number is still growing. Top festivals should be your main concern, however.

Googling is the common practice not only for doing the research. You shouldn’t wait with building your own brand, but don’t be fooled with Facebook. The most important presence you can have is on your own website. And it’s not a problem to build it by yourself. Once you put there your bio and info about the films (preferably with pictures and clips) you could try to build your presence in global databases.

Always going forward – interview with Kathleen McInnis

Kathleen McInnis is a Film Festival Strategist and Publicity Consultant, specializing in World Cinema, Documentary and Short Films. She offers flexible fee structures, personalized service and expert guidance to films using the festival circuit as their launch. McInnis is currently the Film Curator and Director of Industry Programming at Palm Springs ShortFest. In 2014 she attended Off Camera Festival in Cracow where she gave a lecture on festival strategies.

I’ve heard what you said about the festival strategies on your workshop, but what kind of strategy would you recommend for an emerging filmmaker actually? For instance: I have done the film, it’s in the can, or on the disc, and now I’m looking for the right festivals to present the work.
This is a very good question and it’s complex too. The thing I suggest first for a filmmaker: Process it in three months chance. You finished the film, you made a list of what you want from you festival experience for yourself. And how you think your film will help you to achieve it. You look at the calendar. You seek for what are the best festivals, the greatest chance to give you what you want.
So – as for a filmmaker - my list of priorities is: I really want a coverage in trade publications on my film. I really need a trade review. I need to sell my film. I look at calendar and what deadlines I have to fulfill. Where the trade industry attend and they review from that screening. Where I have the chance to be in competition. Where is the festival I have the chances to have it. This is how I would narrow the number of 5 thousand festivals.