BIG BRAINS - small budgets


BIG BRAINS – small budgets: Heather Donnell (Mom, Murder & Me)

by Andy Siege (Series Editor)

Heather Donnell wrote, directed, and produced the murder mystery comedy, MOM, MURDER & ME (, which was an official selection of several film festivals, including the California Independent Film Festival, Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival and the Bahamas International Film Festival. At the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema in January 2015, the film was…


Film Coverage

Cover Your Scene (and Your Butt)

by Anthony Q Artis

The term “coverage” refers to the variety of shots you use to visually tell your story. Think of it not just as covering your scene, but covering your butt in editing. Apart from just breaking up the monotony of a single, long camera shot, getting more shots or additional coverage will provide plenty of opportunities…



Guiding Your Audience Through A Scene Without Distraction

by Jim Owens

As each shot appears on the screen, the audience sees and hears it for the first time. In an instant, they have to interpret what the director has selected to put there. It is not surprising that viewers can occasionally become confused. Unless the director is careful, the audience may “look at the wrong thing”—that…

Post Production


Film Grain in Postproduction – Bringing Texture Back

by Kurt Lancaster

A form of postproduction that can be applied to CinemaDNG files is film grain. For some, the idea of shooting in raw reflects in some ways an approach to filmmaking that harkens back to the days of working on film. What is lost in digital filmmaking involves the loss of texture. Film grain is one…


sound design

Sound Rules To Live By

by Anthony Q Artis

Rule #1: Get the Mic as Close as Possible The most basic rule for recording dialogue is to get the mic as close to the action as possible without being in the shot. The closer the mic, the better the quality of the recording. This is why boom mics so often end up creeping into…


Photo by Rob and Stephanie Levy

The Successful Showrunner Checklist

by Neil Landau

*Remarks quoted are excerpts from the showrunner roundtable discussions sponsored by Variety and Hollywood Reporter (2013). According to my informal showrunner poll, the following are the most essential qualities and skills for the successful management of a scripted, episodic TV series: Staying on time and on budget: According to veteran showrunner, Jeff Melvoin (Early Edition,…

The Film Business

Atonement (2007), adapted from Ian McEwan’s novel by the same name and directed by Joe Wright

Interview with Tim Bevan of Working Title Films: What a film producer does

by Geoffrey Macnab and Sharon Swart

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Tim Bevan featured in FilmCraft:Producing. In commercial terms, Working Title Films, the production company that Tim Bevan helped found and co-chairs, is the most successful UK outfit of its generation. From Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) to Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Notting Hill (1999), and…

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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.