Walt Disney Studios

Anne Zeiser on Star Wars Marketing for HuffPo


Anne Zeiser was on The Huffington Post this week to discuss the runaway success of Transmedia Marketing of the Star Wars brand. They also quoted from Anne Zeiser’s seminal text, Transmedia Marketing: From Film and TV to Games and Digital Media. Many successful digital and viral entertainment marketing campaigns develop content that first, creates mystery around a passion…

Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese in 10 Scenes: Taxi Driver


Excerpt from Martin Scorsese in 10 Scenes by Tim Grierson Focal Press, 2016 TAXI DRIVER, 1976 V. THE SHOOT-OUT The shoot-out scene is memorable not only for its violence, but also for a sense of ambiguity in it. This ambiguity pervades the whole movie, largely due to Schrader’s refusal to shine any solid light on…

Rosemary's Baby

Danny Draven’s Top 5 Horror Trailers of All Time


Just in time for Halloween, Danny Draven, author of The Filmmaker’s Book of the Dead, picked the creepiest Horror film trailers ever to grace the large or small screen. Whether you’ve seen these films or not, they are sure to delight and terrify.   5. THE ENTITY   4. ROSEMARY’S BABY   3. THE CHANGELING  …

shots and composition

Shots and Composition: A Breakdown


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…


Sitcom Structure – Classic 2-act vs. Modern 3-act Structure


THE IMPORTANCE OF STORY STRUCTURE Quite simply, structure is one of the most important elements of your script. It is the glue that holds your story together. Think of structure as how you choose to tell your story. What happens in each scene and what is the order in which it happens? Let me warn…


Tips for Screenwriters – Preparing for an Agent Meeting


Finding the right agent or manager is like dating. You’re hoping to find someone who’s not only a creative and (in a way) spiritual partner, but someone who shares a vision for your work and career. If you see yourself as a genre writer, writing sci-fi and slasher films, but a manager sees you as…

Photo by Rob and Stephanie Levy

The Successful Showrunner Checklist


*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,…

Fig. 3.4 Measuring 1/8th pages; first in inches, then in 1/8ths of a page.

The Mathematics of Your Script


Scene Count Format the cells in the scene count column (at the right of the “Total” block) for plain numbers. This option is found in the Format menu. Go to Cells, then chose the category Number. This will prevent the program from turning your numbers into dates, decimals, etc. Add a 1 in the scene…


Film Grain in Postproduction – Bringing Texture Back


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…


FREE eBook Excerpt – 7 Steps to Busting Writer’s Block


An e-book excerpt from the soon to be published book Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success by Jeff Lyons. 7 Steps to Busting Writer’s Block There are scores of books in the marketplace telling you how to handle writer’s block, but none of them tell you…

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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.