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filmmakers

20 Fascinating Filmmaking Facts

1. James Cameron’s contempt for studio executives While shooting “The Abyss,” James Cameron became very irritated when a studio executive showed up in his suit and limousine, expecting to boss James Cameron around. Cameron smoothly slipped a diving helmet on the executive’s head and closed the seal, letting the executive flail around for a bit, […] Continue reading →

6 Great Spielberg Shots

“Munich” (2005) (Dir. S. Spielberg; DP J. Kaminski) The color scheme in this shot is absolutely gorgeous.  The warm/cold combination of color temperatures is nothing new, but the blue hue of the light in the background is particularly beautiful and delicate. The colorist undoubtedly deserves some credit. Classic foreground texture by Steven Spielberg and exquisite […] Continue reading →

6 Awesome Shots from 6 Unforgettable Films

“Terminator 2” (James Cameron, 1991; DP Adam Greenberg) “Hasta la vista, baby!” No kidding. Bold use of two color temperatures (cold and hot). Crucial point: Cameron didn’t just rack focus to the gun — he also tilted down to exclude the eyes, to make the audience focus on the gun. Humans tend to keep looking […] Continue reading →

How to Become a Film Director: a Sharp Reality Check

This topic has been clouded by wishful thinking and pernicious misinformation for too long. Time to clean up! 1. Directors are hired on the strength of their reel A director’s reel is simply a collection of the best work done in the past — the 6-9 best TV spots for a commercial director or a […] Continue reading →

Lessons from my favorite film directors

In this post I will share some skills and lessons that I learned from some of my favorite film directors. Some quick points: 1. None of this should be taken to imply that these films are mandatory material for filmmakers – I enjoy sharing, but you should feel free to follow whoever you admire. 2. […] Continue reading →

Stanley Kubrick’s Legendary Film Techniques

Following my hugely popular post on Steven Spielberg’s film techniques, here are my thoughts on Stanley Kubrick’s film techniques.The same disclaimer applies: one cannot do justice to any decent artist in writing, but at the same time I cannot help spotting trends, and I enjoy writing about them. 1. Slow, protracted scenes One of the […] Continue reading →

Steven Spielberg film techniques – With pretty pictures!

I have been admiring and studying Steven Spielberg’s filmmaking techniques for some years now and in this post I will share some of my findings. No written description can ever do justice to an artist of Steven Spielberg’s magnitude, but I do hope that you will find this post inspiring and instructive. 1. Track-in shots […] Continue reading →

How Steven Spielberg started his Hollywood career

Steven Spielberg started making movies as a young child, using Super 8 equipment. He was extremely ambitious from the outset and made his first feature film at the age of seventeen. The film, Firelight, premiered on the 8th March 1964 in Phoenix, Arizona. The film was, of course, low-budget; Spielberg shot it with a good […] Continue reading →

How James Cameron started his Hollywood career

“Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Shoot it on video if you have to. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.” (James Cameron) After moving […] Continue reading →

James Cameron’s short film “Xenogenesis”

In the late seventies James Cameron was told by a friend that a consortium of investors was interested in financing a movie for tax-shelter purposes. James Cameron shot a quick 16mm teaser and the investors liked it, giving him a further $20,000 to produce a short demo in order to raise money from a group […] Continue reading →