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Using Storytelling in a Video Public Service Announcement

There’s plenty of evidence that facts alone don’t change minds. To motivate people to rethink their positions you need emotion. In the movie business that usually means story. We see this in commercials for selling cars, insurance, medicines, and just about everything else. In “Parametric,” Amila C Kumarasinghe creates a cautionary tale about the last…

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Multiple-Location Commercial

Using multiple locations can add visual interest to a talking-head commercial.

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Smartphone Commercial Using Practical Lights

One of the great virtues of mobile moviemaking is convenience. The camera is always there. But what about aesthetics? What about memorable images found in Hollywood movies and–more recently–in TV series like “Breaking Bad”? Ari Virem answers those questions with his stunning smartphone commercial “Fluorescent Nights.” Virem’s short video, sponsored by Moment Films, is astonishing in the…

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Casey Neistat’s Philosophy of Mobile Moviemaking

During the 2017 Oscars, Samsung ran a commercial–“Do What You Can’t.” Created by and starring Casey Neistat, in 60 seconds the video sums up the YouTube star’s philosophy of mobile moviemaking. Neistat’s words and the images qualify as a rallying cry for grassroots moviemakers around the world. Among other things, Neistat’s proclaims:” It’s not the size of the production…

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How to make a fundraising pitch video

It’s possible to make a movie without much cash. If you’ve got an  original idea, basic filmmaking skills, and friends willing to work for free, you can produce a good–even a memorable–result. Famously, “Paranormal Activity” was shot for $15,000. It earned $193,000,000.Compared to typical Hollywood budgets of $50,000,000, $15,000 is less than a drop in the bucket. But even…

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“The Run”: the art of the chase

This short iPhone movie by  Ettore Nicoletti demonstrates one of key techniques of the classic chase scene: the lead character at first does not know she is being stalked. In a kind of homage to  O. Henry, there’s a comic twist in the end.  

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