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…


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:…


The Art of Going Boom:
The Proper Use of Boom Mics

by Jay Rose

No matter what kind of mic and pole you use, the basic concept is simple. Hold things so the mic is above the actor, slightly in front of and pointed towards the mouth. Make it as close as physically possible without being in the frame. Thirty inches from the actor can be too far away,…


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…

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…


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…


Dialogue Editing – Where to Edit

by John Purcell

By necessity, editing dialogue involves making splices. You must get from this shot to the next—where do you jump? By far the most common place to move between clips is in the space between them. This allows for a natural transfer of energy from one source to another (see below), and it usually works. Longer…


The Practical Differences Between Film and Digital Sensors

by David Stump

The single best piece of advice that I can offer with regard to the difference between exposing film and exposing digital is this: It’s OK and sometimes desirable to slightly overexpose film, but it is not OK or advisable to overexpose digital unless that overexposure is exactly what you want! Cinematographers have widely varying methodologies…


What Does a TV Producer Really Do?

by Cathrine Kellison, Dustin Morrow & Kacey Morrow

The definition of a producer: An idealist, a realist, a practical dreamer, a sophisticated gambler, and a stage-struck child. – Oscar Hammerstein THE PRODUCER’S DOMAIN Television has affected—and reflected—the culture of global communications for over a half-century. And now, the explosion of new media is demonstrating a similar impact, as it bursts onto the scene…

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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.