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Peter Chan

Add Ticking Clocks to Build Drama

Ticking clocks are used so often in movies for a simple reason: they work. Just as deadlines unleash tension, fear, and adrenaline in our everyday lives, a danger with a fixed time of arrival motivates action in movies. Ranker offers a list of 25 classic movies with ticking clocks including “Back to the Future,” “Terminator 2:…

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Sarah Coote

Directing a Child Narrator in a Documentary

While film is primarily a visual medium, the sound track’s contribution can be immense. Think of the haunting themes in movies such as “The Godfather” and “Chariots of Fire.” Or—as an experiment—watch the “Psycho” shower scene with the sound turned off. If you prefer a more current example, here is “Flying With Nature,” which won the top prize…

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Adebayo Okeowo

Intense Drama in a Public Service Announcement

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) often are cerebral. But as human rights lawyer Adebayo Okeowo demonstrates in “Not for Sale,” telling a story can give a message astonishing power. In this case, the short PSA, shot using an iPhone 7, dramatizes the tragedy of migration. In the first half of 2017, more than a thousand migrants perished in the Mediterranean.…

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Mobilefilm Festival BNP

Speaking the Unspeakable in a Silent Movie

Mohsin Hamid’s celebrated novel Exit West deals with societal fragmentation and dehumanization in 230 pages. Simon Powell’s “Murmuring Goodbye” probes the same issue in 60 seconds. While we’re talking apples and oranges—book vs. movie—a case can be made that the emotional impact of Powell’s silent film equals that of the book. The film uses a variety of elements to convey the unspeakable…

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A-list Director Turns to the iPhone

Hits such as “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “King of the Hill,” “Erin Brockovich,” and “Traffic” established Steven Soderbergh  as one of Hollywood’s top directors. Always an innovator, Soderbergh used an iPhone to shoot his latest movie–“Unsane.” He didn’t do so as a gimmick or to save money. In an Indiewire article, Soderbergh expressed enthusiasm for the quality of the phone’s 4k capture, adding…

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Adam Edworthy

Posterizing in a Music Video

Posterized video might be likened to abstract painting. Details and naturalistic lighting are sacrificed in order to emphasize some other aspect of reality. In the music video “Coming Down,” Adam Edworthy uses posterizing to create visuals that sync with the music of the British rock band Buchanan. Posterizing and related effects can be achieved using software programs such as Adobe Premier Pro…

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