post production

Good Video Editing Techniques to Consider

by Jim Owens

Editing is an unobtrusive skill. If it is done well, the audience does not notice it, but is absorbed in its effect. During an exciting scene, for example, when the duration of shots is made shorter and shorter as the tension grows, the audience is only conscious of growing agitation, and fast-moving action. There are…


BIG BRAIN – small budget: Amir Motlagh (Still Lover, Khoobi, 35 Year Old Man)

by Andy Siege (Series Editor)

Amir Motlagh strives for an increasingly interdisciplinary approach to creating media and telling stories. He is a filmmaker by trade and practice, having written and directed over 15 narrative and non-fiction projects that have screened all over the world, and experienced every form of distribution with. He’s also experienced first-hand the power of the internet…


The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing an Original TV Pilot

by Martie Cook

In the coming months, TV execs will read hundreds of pilot scripts and hear at least that many ideas for new shows.  If you are an aspiring television writer, now more than ever, it’s important to have an original script in your portfolio.  Be it comedy or drama, a good pilot can jumpstart your career…

Photo by Kevin Dooley

Can I have a dollar…or $50,000?

by Barbara Freedman Doyle

When you approach someone to invest in your film, you are really asking them to invest in you. Of course they should feel great about the project, and they will note that you somehow persuaded a known actor to play your lead, but ultimately it’s about whether they are convinced that you are the one…


Composition – The Golden Mean

by Kurt Lancaster

Your three-dimensional subjects and the scene they’re in are composed through your lens. This composition relies on many factors, including lenses and shot sizes, as well as camera angles. But one underlying principle can’t be understated: the golden mean appearing in nature, a ratio studied by mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras (whom you might recall from…


VIDEO: My Documentary Sound Kit

by Dean Miles

Dean Miles, author of Location Audio Simplified walks through what equipment he carries when on location, shooting a documentary. Check out more videos and online resources at! Save 20% when ordering Location Audio Simplified from Use discount code FOC20 at check out. Also available on and


BIG BRAIN – small budget: Gregory Bayne (Person of Interest, Jens Pulver: Driven, Bloodsworth – An Innocent Man)

by Andy Siege (Series Editor)

Gregory Bayne is a veteran filmmaker, cinematographer and editor best known for his 2011 film, JENS PULVER | DRIVEN, an intimate feature documentary about the legendary mixed-martial arts fighter. An early adopter of using the internet to finance, build audience for, and distribute his work, Bayne has successfully crowd-funded over $140,000 since 2010 to produce,…

montage editing

A Guide to Montage Editing

by Russell Evans

Montage is so interesting because it’s the editing style itself that is telling a lot of the meaning of the movie, as much as the actual stuff you shot. It’s what music has been doing for decades, since sampling and hip-hop kicked off. In old-school sampled hip-hop (Grandmaster Flash, et al.) it was the way…


Deciding What to Write – 5 Factors that Make a Script Attractive to Buyers

by Chad Gervich

As writers, we like to think a well-written and compelling story should be enough to sell a script. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. In fact, it’s rarely true. Sure, selling a script requires a well-told story, but there are other, equally important factors that make a script attractive to buyers. Perhaps the five most important…


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

by Andy Siege (Series Editor)

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….

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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.