BIG BRAINS - small budgets: DIY Filmmaking Advice


BIG BRAINS – small budgets
Sharing Hard-learned DIY Filmmaking Lessons

by Andy Siege

The BIG BRAINS – small budgets Series Introduction I had the idea for this series when working on the screenplay for my second DIY Film. My first film BETI AND AMARE was at the beginning of its festival successes and I realized how much easier things had gotten now that I had done it already….


Figure 4-20 Three ways to reverse the screen direction of a subject while maintaining the feeling of forward progress. From shot a (moving screen right); changing direction within a shot (b1); cutting to a neutral shot (b2); or using another character's POV shot (b3 and b4) will allow us to continue the journey toward screen left (c).

Changing Stage Direction – 3 Simple Ways

by Mick Hurbis-Cherrier

Maintaining only one screen direction over the course of a longer traveling sequence can get somewhat monotonous for a viewer. It’s easily possible to change screen direction (i.e., the axis of action) and still maintain the feel of a character’s progress toward the destination. Below shows three simple ways we can change screen direction for…


Actor Dave Annable (“Justin Walker”) with director Bethany Rooney on the set of ABC’s Brothers & Sisters. (Brothers & Sisters trademarks and copyrighted material have been used with the permission of ABC Studios.)

Directing and Shaping a Performance on Set

by Bethany Rooney and Mary Lou Belli

The practical part of directing actors happens on set during rehearsal. This time is when you shape an actor’s performance. It should be a closed rehearsal, that is, no crew members other than the script supervisor, the director of photography, and your 1st AD invited. Your actors will have done their homework, hopefully, and they…

Post Production


A Conversation with Nancy St. John, VFK Producer

by Scott Arundale and Tashi Trieu

Nancy St. John has been in the visual effects business for over 30 years. In 1996 she was the production side visual effects producer for the Academy Award Winner “Babe” and in 2001 for another Academy Award winner, Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator”. She was also a visual effects producer for the Academy Award Nominee “I-Robot” in…



The Role of Costumes and Costume Designers

by Deborah Nadoolman Landis

Congratulations to Deborah Nadoolman Landis, author of Filmcraft: Costume Design who will be presented with the 2015 Edith Head Award for the Advancement and Education of the Art of Costume Design at the Costume Designer Guild Awards in February. For more information: The role of the costume designer is really quite simple: costume designers…



Craft Your Script to Fit the Needs of the Moment – The Blueprint vs. The Sales Document

by Arthur Vincie

SO YOU THINK THE SCRIPT IS READY? You think your script is perfect. It’s wonderful, it’s awesome, you could shoot it tomorrow if someone gave you all the money for it. At least, that’s what I thought after I finished the second draft of Found In Time. However, this is rarely the case. Scripts are…

The Film Business


Filmmakers & Financing – Why Bother with a Business Plan?

by Louise Levison

WHY BOTHER WITH A BUSINESS PLAN? Art Versus Profit Lately, this topic has been in heated discussions on social networking and entertainment industry sites. Such activity is often the result of any film festival or market. At the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival, James Stern, CEO of Endgame, stated three rules when making a film:…

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MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Focal Press authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.