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Mobile-shot Footage Included in Refugee Documentary

Celebrated artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei shot part of “Human Flow” using smartphone and drone footage. The monumental documentary, about the current worldwide refugee crisis, was filmed in 23 countries. Here’s the trailer. David Ehrlich provides a detailed analysis of this important movie in Indirewire.  The film, which covers the plight of millions of people…

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A Scary Movie Trailer for a Scary Horror Short

A movie trailer has just one purpose: to make viewers want to see the film. Over the years, moviemakers have used many techniques to accomplish that goal. They’ve included verbal messages like “Unforgettable.” They’ve focused on the stars. They’ve even had the director speak to the audience, a favorite Hitchcock gimmick. And then there’s the…

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The Art of No-budget Filmmaking

Elliott Maguire is a Manchester-based filmmaker who has just completed “The Ferryman,” a horror feature shot on an iPhone 7. In the following interview, he tells what led him into the often-scary world of no-budget filmmaking. MMM: How did you get into filmmaking? MAGUIRE: I’d love to give the typical “shooting movies as a child…

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Judging a Movie Trailer

As with any film, movie trailers need to have good production values. But the most important issue when judging a trailer is simple: Does it make you want to see the movie that the trailer represents?

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An Ancient Pocket Video Artifact

Documentary filmmakers often  say that the best camera is the one that you have with you. This insight has propelled the popularity of mobile video. When you have a camera in your pocket at all times, you have the chance of capturing events that otherwise might go unreported. Just today–June 23, 2016–news programs broadcast Periscope clips of…

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Theme as the Key to Movie Storytelling

Movies are the most complex art. They combine actions, characters, places, talk,, things, plot, sounds, and light. The challenge arising from this richness is finding coherence. In his classic book The Art of Dramatic Writing Lajos Egri advises that writers start with the theme. By theme, Egri means the one big idea that audiences will remember. While Egri’s focus…

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