Category: The Grad Student Filmmaker

Film Journal: Week 5- Done Production

Alert readers may have noticed that I skipped Week 4 of this production journal. This isn’t entirely by accident. I attempted to sit down and write a journal entry last Monday after a weekend of shooting only to discover that I hadn’t had enough time to digest everything that had happened. This sometimes happens to... Read more »

Film Journal: Week 3- Cast, Crashed and Crushing It

Last week didn’t feel like a week. It felt more like a month. And not an ordinary month of boring daily routines and structured monotony, but a month of compressed manic-depression. In one moment I would be giddy with joy. In the next moment I would be on the verge of a hypoglycemic nervous breakdown.... Read more »

Film Journal: Week 2- Sleep and Safety

One of the most common pieces of advice given to students about to embark on the particular semester of the Production program that I am about to embark on is this: “Get a lot of sleep over break- because you won’t be getting any sleep once the semester begins.” The frequency of this piece of... Read more »

Influences: Comedy and Ken Levine

A little over a year ago I decided that I wanted to begin making comedies. I had tried making experimental films, artistic films, mumblecore films, absurdist/surreal films and even a straight-up dramatic film. All of these projects were interesting and valuable experiences, but the resulting films weren’t exactly the kind of thing I would want... Read more »

Film Journal: Week 1- Went to Jail

This time next week the term break will be over and I will be back in classes for the spring semester. Upon reading over the syllabus for my production class I discovered that one of the requirements is that every Monday I will be required to turn in a journal entry chronicling my trials and... Read more »

Fresh Eyes

On Friday the graduate film production students held an informal screening of our “P1” films. (P1= Project 1) These were the very first films that we produced as part of the program. They were limited to five minutes in length and we had to record production sound, but we were not allowed to incorporate dialogue.... Read more »

Dailies Storm and Strife

There’s this thing that filmmakers do called “watching dailies”. This consists of sitting down and watching all the footage that you shot on a previous day and comes from the days when productions were shot on actual film and would be sent to a lab to be developed overnight. For a director or an editor... Read more »

Filmmaker Challenge: Comedy in one Take

We were discussing the concept of the “long take”- a scene in a movie in which the action plays out in a scene without any cuts. The effect of this is one of realism: the scene has to take place in real time and the camera follows the character through an emotional arc without interruption.... Read more »

Others Demand Proof: Proof I Once Handled "Real" Film

Even though I call myself a “filmmaker” I’ve never actually worked with film. At least, I’ve never worked with motion picture film- I took a film photography class back when I was in High school which was in the last millennium so I’m not sure that counts. I’m not alone in this: the industry has... Read more »