Author: John Ott

John Ott

John Ott is a writer, filmmaker and founder of the website Making the Movie


Posts by John Ott:


How to Reorganize Your Life Around Filmmaking


If only there was a magic formula that let you do twice the movie-making in half the time. Sadly — and I hope this doesn’t shatter your worldview — there is no such thing as a magic formula. The good news: there are perfectly ordinary tips and tricks that work just as well. Eliminate Distractions…

modeling what works

The PIXAR Method: Tricks of the Hit Machine


At the time of writing, PIXAR has released its 12th number one box office film, Cars 2. In an industry that expects one out of ten releases to be hit films, their critical and box office track record is unprecedented. Not even the early Disney studio had such a run of success. You could credit…

film storytelling

The Five Flavors: Proven Movie Story Elements


Making a movie is like cooking a big meal.  You want something to tickle the whole palette — dishes that range from savory to spicy to sweet.  You want the audience to leave with the same feeling of satisfaction they’d get from a delicious dinner.  Great chefs may seem to have no limits — some…

Photo by MHJohnston

Which Camera Should I Buy For My Movie?


  The most frequent question I get asked by filmmakers on Making the Movie is: What camera should I buy? Film vs. HD? DSLR vs. XDCam? RED vs. Viper? I know it can be dizzying to wade through all the information out there. And once you’ve mastered the details, you can’t rest, because new camera…

Distribute your movie

Going Alternative: Five Ways to Distribute Your Own Damn Movie


Nobody wants to be the boy or girl at the prom with no one to dance with. But that’s exactly how some filmmakers feel after doing the festival circuit and still finding themselves without a distributor. Thankfully, filmmaking is not like a high-school dance. It’s more like Weird Science, where you can use smarts to…

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MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Routledge 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.