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Michael Goi, ASC and John Simmons, ASC Filmmaking Insights
Release Your Unlimited Creativity
Michael Goi, ASC, ISCWhen Everything Goes Right

"Words on Bathroom Walls"
By Michael Goi, ASC, ISC

The movie, "Words on Bathroom Walls," based on the best-selling novel by Julia Walton, is about a teenaged boy diagnosed with schizophrenia during his senior year in high school, and his efforts to keep his condition a secret while pursuing a relationship with a brilliant girl in his class. It's the kind of film that presents many possibilities to visually depict the world the way the main character experiences it.

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Azden's Ni-Go-MaruAzden's Ni-Go-Maru (250) Series Shotgun Microphones

Affectionately known in Japan as "Ni-Go-Maru" (Japanese for "250"), the Azden 250 Series Professional Shotgun Microphones deliver professional-grade performance and world-class build quality at an affordable price. With four different models to choose from, filmmakers can find the perfect microphone for their application. Each microphone comes with an incredible 10-year warranty so you can rest assured that your Azden "Ni-Go-Maru" Shotgun Microphone will produce great sound for your film projects for years to come.

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Final Draft 11Save 30% on
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Final Draft is the industry standard in screenwriting software. Used by such industry giants as J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and Aaron Sorkin, Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards, allowing writers to focus on what they do best - writing scripts. 

For a limited time, save 30% on Final Draft 11. Visit to learn more.
Offer expires 9/30/20.

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Behind the Scenes of MFA Thesis,
"Rear View"

By John Klein

When writer-director Steve Kniss approached me about shooting his MFA thesis film, Rear View, it was probably one of the easiest decisions I've ever made saying yes to a project. Steve and I had already worked together on numerous films - he served as 1st AD on my film, Cry It Out, and on the film, Limerence, which I also produced - and I feel like we've been kindred spirits throughout our creative journey, having both been through the cinema program at DePaul University. So, I was crazy excited to work with him in a new capacity...

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Mick Hurbis-CherrierA Film Director's Bird’s Eye View

Exclusive Interview with
Mick Hurbis-Cherrier

"Change, evolution, and transformation are the norm with filmmaking - it's an art form that is sensitive to the moment; technologically, conceptually, aesthetically, and ideologically. Changes are constant, from small details (like recent advances in drone cinematography) to the total overhaul of technologies (when I was a student digital media making didn't exist for anyone but NASA). But if I think specifically about the larger changes occurring in the last decade or so, here's what comes to mind first..."

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Shane StanleyLooking Through a Different Lens

By Shane Stanley

If you're like many of us and have stayed in isolation since mid-March, you're probably more than antsy to return to class or get back on set. It's safe to say we've all grown a bit stir crazy and of course need to make a living. I understand and share personally with you in those concerns but before diving back in without checking the temperature or the depth of the water, encourage you to slow your roll and think about what else you can offer to a production outside of your normal skill set or comfort zone...

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Film Script by SJ HermannS.J. Hermann Adapts Morium Trilogy Book Series into New Film Series

"Writing supernatural allows your mind to run amok with the wildest things you can imagine. It doesn't hold you to the boundaries of real life and opens your mind to be as creative as you want to be. It can be a powerful tool for storytelling. At its core, "Morium" is not about the supernatural, but about bullying and the psychological effects it has on teens. The supernatural aspect adds a layer of questioning of what one would do if they had the power to strike back..."

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NetworkingNetworking in the Time of Covid

By Amy DeLouise

If you've just graduated from college or grad school, or if you've been downsized or furloughed, looking for work can be daunting. And now that physical networking events have been replaced with Zoom happy hours, and many companies are restructuring, it can be even harder to find your next gig. Don't worry, there's good news: networking hasn't really changed. It's still about building relationships. Just some of the platforms and practices have changed. Here are some tips to help you find that next project or position.

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Discuss Filmmaking Topics in the Filmmakers Forums Online

John Simmons, ASCShed Some Light

Exclusive Interview with
John Simmons, ASC

"Family Reunion" is very conscious of our historical and present experience as Black people. When they were on the escape and having the wedding ceremony in the woods, I chose to desaturate color and shoot on longer lenses to help the actors stand out from the background. When the baby is in the crib, I used nice warm light that wraps softly around the baby and embraces everything. I felt that the lighting helped a moment of relief from the oppression actors were subjected to...

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Snehal PatelShooting Super 8

By Snehal Patel

Hello StudentFilmmakers Readers. Are you stuck at home and thinking about making a short film? Have you considered using a Super8 camera? Many people have vintage cameras sitting around and gathering dust. Some rental houses also have higher-quality professional cameras that are quite affordable to rent for a weekend. I recently made a "Pandemic" short film with an old Canon Super8 from the 1970s that has been in my family for a while. It was quite an experience,...

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Simona Migliotti AuerbachSimona Migliotti Auerbach Creates Film Worlds Using the Tools of Production Design

"One of my most favorite movies that I designed was the beautiful period movie, "Incantato" aka "Il Cuore Altrove" by Director Avati. Using Rome as an evocative city location, through soundstage sets and real locations, we intended to show how people lived in the past and dreamt about the future. The story took place in Italy in the 1930's, but the first thing the director told me was that he likes to represent settings that were stuck in time from a previous period – in this instance, at the beginning of the 20th century..."

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Film Composer TipsFor Composers Only: Breaking In

By Kristen Baum

There's this joke in New York City in which someone asks a local, "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" only to be met with the answer, " Practice."  Many young composers ask a similar question: " How do I get to Hollywood?" Aspiring film composers want to know how to find film composing work...

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PodcastingHow To Podcast During Covid Times

By Bart Weiss

Because of the current COVID-19 situation, shooting video is much more difficult than it has ever been. One way to move forward with creative digital storytelling is moving to the world of podcasting. Here are some tips and pointers.

There are several types of podcasts. For those of you interested in dramatic film, you could create a narrative podcast. You could have your actors record from home. With your imagination and good sound effects, you can bring up the production value of your podcast without spending a lot of money.

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"Set Roaring War," Filmed During Covid-19 Pandemic

Al Carretta's New Indie Feature

"Firstly, have 'eyes like cameras' and see the shots you can practically achieve in your film with the resources available. Don't expect to shoot "Inception" in your bedroom but always be ready to film. Stock footage you capture randomly might be the scene bridge that helps glue your film together..."

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Jared IshamUse Camera Angles to Increase Production Value

By Jared Isham

If you haven't noticed, there are a whole lot of movies being made and released, and this is even during the middle of a worldwide pandemic. If that's not enough of an indication that as a filmmaker you need to make something that stands out, then I don't know what is. For indie films, especially those being produced in Los Angeles, it is a whole lot more difficult to follow the production guidelines that have been put in place due to COVID restrictions...

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Best Selling Book &
Editors' Pick of the Week

The Camera Assistant's Manual, 7th Edition

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