Cinematography

shots and composition

Shots and Composition: A Breakdown

by David E. Elkins

A film is made up of a series of photographic images and each image in the film is commonly referred to as a frame. Each frame contains objects and shapes arranged in a composition. A sequence of frames together is commonly referred to as a shot. Visual productions, whether they are movies, television shows, music…

Directing

Photo by Danielle A. Davey

Directing: The Similarities and Differences between Film and Theatre

by Lenore DeKoven

The general misconception held by most laypeople and some professionals seems to be that there must be a difference between the crafts of directing and acting in theatre and those in film. The belief is that there are stage actors and screen actors, film directors and theatre directors. I don’t agree with this. It is…

Post Production

Mary Cybulski

How to Think About Grammar

by Mary Cybulski

Directors and editors generally like unobtrusive cuts. The less attention the mechanics of film production take, the more attention goes to the story. The basic rules of film grammar are designed to further this goal. Following the basic rules will provide smooth transitions and a neutral flavor to the craftsmanship of your story. This general…

Screenwriting

Photo by Loren Kerns

It’s All in the Family

by Neil Landau

Defining Character by Familial Role Family dynamics are especially useful when assembling an ensemble cast. It’s not that you’ll need to cover every gender, age, or familial role. But it is helpful to determine how each character might relate to one another in both positive and negative ways. Police detective partners, even if both heterosexual…

The Film Business

1

Four Common Budgeting Mistakes for Your Documentary

by Anthony Q Artis

When it comes right down to it, budgeting is an exercise in guesswork. But there is a difference between blind guessing, as in the lottery, and educated guessing, as in the stock market. Nobody knows what lottery ball will pop up, but with stocks you can see certain things coming if you know what to…

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about MasteringFilm

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.