InFocus Film School Blog

 

IT: A (RE)MASTER OF ADAPTATION

IT 2017 film adaptation scene original by stephen king

by Henry Kulick

 

After its over 30-year mark on the world of storytelling, IT is no stranger to most of us. Whether it was the original Stephen King novel, the 1990 miniseries, or the newest iteration, the 2017 film adaptation, IT is a pulse-pounding story about facing our greatest fears, no matter how terrifying that may be. And that we could always use a little help from our friends.

 

But for the first time, under the directorial eye of Andy Muschietti, IT breaks out of the horror genre to become something more—a dark fantasy that may be the best Stephen King adaptation to date.

 

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No Project Too Small: Making Your Break with Commercials

commercials by famous directors ridley scott michael bay david fincher

By Christopher McKittrick

 

Like nearly all film school students, you probably dream of helming a multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbuster… except at the moment you’re finding it difficult to come up with those millions to spend on your vision.

 

In the film industry (as in any industry), working your way up to the top is a time-honoured tradition. One way you can build your career is by displaying your talent with some of the shortest narrative films there are: commercials.

 

Many successful filmmakers like David Fincher, Zack Snyder, Michael Bay, and Ridley Scott and entire animation studios like Pixar spent their earliest years making commercials, which soon led to more exposure and greater opportunities. In fact, two of the estimated 2000 commercials that Scott directed – his 1973 spot for Hovis bread and his 1984 Super Bowl spot for Apple – have been cited by many in the industry as two of the most influential television commercials in advertising history.

 

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The Creative Producer: Getting the Best of Both Worlds

production logos creative producing

By Ryan Uytdewilligen

 

For most movie goers, when the credits roll, the producer names are unrecognizable and their overall duty on the picture isn’t quite clear. But their involvement must be integrally important seeing as how they tend to be Hollywood’s richest and take home top prize at the Oscars, right?

 

The stereotypical image for many might be a tightly wound fat man in a suit, chomping down on a cigar and barking orders at frightened malnourished writers. But nothing could be further from the truth.

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How To Get Your Pitch Package Noticed (As Told By A Producer)

Pitch Packaging for Broadcasting

By Ryan Uytdewilligen

 

So you’ve typed the final words of your literary masterpiece and must now embark on the beastly journey that is capturing it on film. As if crafting a scripted masterwork wasn’t enough of a challenge, breaking into the industry by winning over busy producers is a whole other ball game that requires persistence, focus, and a winning pitch package.

 

Many have tried storming the gates of Hollywood and failed at the first rejection, while even the thought of pitching has halted many great projects. Nonetheless, getting your idea out there and presenting a pitch package to the people who can make that dream a reality is a must for aspiring filmmakers.

 

It’s arguably the hardest step, but there are smart ways to go about it.

 

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7 Essential Tips for Wedding Videographers

wedding videography by Renee Sutton  

 

Dearly beloved, in the years following film school, you’ll likely pick up a side hustle or two. Taking on work as a wedding videographer is often viewed as a sweet summer gig, with the potential to make a good living at someone else’s party.

 

On the other hand, the idea of working for bridezilla every weekend all summer long could deter some film school grads from marrying into this type of work.  

 

maik hassel wedding videography nirvana photography studios

Photographer and videographer Maik Hassel (of Nirvana Photography Studios) has been shooting weddings and creating tailored experiences for twenty years.

 

His passion is evident as he speaks about his career.   “It’s really satisfying to build that relationship, to work with somebody and actually build something that is really special to them,” he says. Read more

Dunkirk: Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

War movie Dunkirk Christopher Nolan's directorial masterpiece

by Henry Kulick

 

Dunkirk is Christopher Nolan’s first major motion picture that doesn’t take place deep within the subconscious or far into the reaches of space. There are no superheroes, only real ones. This fictional portrayal of the real evacuation that happened in Dunkirk, France during WWII is Nolan’s most real movie to date, and it’s a modern spectacle. Through all the telltale signs of a Nolan film—musical score, cinematography, and direction—Dunkirk is a film for the ages.

 

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Baby Driver is the Best Movie This Year

Baby Driver review ansel elgort jamie foxx kevin spacey By Henry Kulick

 

Baby Driver’s essence is captured within the first five, heart-pounding moments. While other films need time to capture an audience, Edgar Wright’s newest directorial debut doesn’t waste any time letting you know just what it is: one of the best heist movies to ever exist.

 

Baby Driver isn’t without flaw, but it’s one of the most enjoyable films to be shown on the big screen this year. Read more

Alien: Covenant Offers Nothing But Flash & Bang

alien: covenant review and critique

By Henry Kulick

 

Ridley Scott’s Alien helped define the sci-fi genre in film almost 40 years ago. It’s hard to believe that Xenomorphs have been tearing through ill-equipped crews for that long, but May’s release of Alien: Covenant marks the eighth film to take place in this universe, and the third to be directed by Scott.

 

If anything, this goes to show those story elements that worked back in 1979 can still leave an audience white-knuckled and craving more. But through all that time, the same predictable mistakes are still being made and I’ve got to wonder how much longer it can last.

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Little Budget, Big Impact: Creating An Affordable and Enticing Story

Sex Lies and Videotape low budget independent film

by Johnny Papan

 

When it comes to modern day cinema, there are a few key elements that will make or break the chances of your film getting made. One of the most important: money. With the millions upon millions of dollars it costs to produce a movie, it’s no surprise that dollar signs light up in the eyes of investors for some kind of financial return when considering a screenplay. There seems to be a formula in this day and age that will justify a movie turning profit, a few of them being:

 

  1. It’s based off a work that already exists and therefore has an established fanbase.
  2. There are elements of unworldliness or fantasy.
  3. A well known actor or director is attached to the project.

 

For all the Hollywood big-wigs this is fine and dandy. They’re established professionals who’ve earned the right to unnecessarily blow stuff up on camera for cash. But what about the unknown up-and-comers? With each passing day, it’s getting harder and harder for the average writer to get a producer to even look at their script, much less actually consider putting money into it. There are plenty of tips and tricks any filmmaker can implement to try and get themselves and their work noticed, but the most important element of all is still the story.

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The Forced Evolution of Romance Films

The Notebook kiss with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams by Henry Kulick

 

There’s no genre of film that’s undergone more transformation than the romance genre. From the early days of Hollywood, romance has intertwined its way into almost every story in some way, but the films that were dedicated to the harrowing journey of romance helped make the industry what it is today. Even with such an illustrious past, if you were to scour the charts for the one-hundred highest-grossing box office films of all time, it’s a list that’s almost devoid of romance films.

 

Except for Titanic. We’ll always have Titanic.

 

It may not be completely fair to gauge romance films against summer blockbusters. With the introduction of the money-printing superhero genre and the modernization of the big-budget adventure tale, most romance films shouldn’t be expected to outsell these box-office dominators. Even with that in mind, box office numbers for those specific genres–romantic comedy and romantic drama are still dominated by films that released in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Why is that?

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