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Paul Newman: 1925-2008

Paul NewmanBeloved actor and humanitarian Paul Newman has died of cancer in his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 83.

Newman, whose stunning blue eyes and immense capacity for generosity made him one of the most cherished personalities of his era, was an extremely private man and was rumored to have been seriously ill for several months. He had canceled some planned appearances in the summer.

Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1925, Newman first made his mark on the stage and TV but his startling good looks and undeniable presence destined him to appear on the screen. Newman often played troubled characters with streaks of nobility such as “Fast” Eddie Felson in The Hustler, and the eponymous, irrepressible roles of Hud Bannon in Hud and the imprisoned rebel, Cool Hand Luke.

But it was his role as Butch in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, opposite Robert Redford, that thrust him into the realm of superstardom. He followed it with other classic films including The Sting, The Towering Inferno, Slap Shot, and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.

Newman was a star right out of the gate, however, being nominated for an Oscar for his third major role as Brick Pollitt, the drunken husband locked in a loveless marriage with Elizabeth Taylor’s smoldering “Maggie the Cat” in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Newman’s real-life relationship was exactly the opposite. He was married to actress Joanne Woodward for 50 years. The two worked together in 1958’s The Long Hot Summer. It was the same year they were wed and that Woodward won an Oscar for her work in 1957’s The Three Faces of Eve.

It was not the end of their professional collaborations. Newman also directed her to another Oscar nomination in Rachel, Rachel (the film picked up four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay by their lifelong friend, Stewart Stern). Newman also directed Woodward in The Glass Managerie and starred with her in Mr. & Mrs. Bridge.

Nominated for seven Oscars (including Best Actor nods for Absence of Malice and The Verdict), Newman finally won on his eighth nomination for his reprisal role of Fast Eddie in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money (he would be nominated two more times afterward, for Best Actor in Nobody’s Fool and Best Supporting Actor in Road to Perdition).

But of all the trophies Newman won or was awarded in his life, none seem more appropriate than his honorary 1994 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Newman’s charitable giving, from his Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, a camp for seriously ill children or his proceeds from Newman’s Own, are legendary. As was the man. As will be his legacy.

Newman is survived by Woodward, his five daughters and several grandchildren. A son, Scott Newman, died of an accidental drug overdose in 1978.

News Source - IMDb

Posted in Cinema, Entertainment, Film, Films, Golden Age, Hollywood, Movie, Movie Studios, Movies, Paul Newman by KeyserSoze : September 29, 2008 - 6:45pm


Movie Stars That Died Before Their Time

With the success of the Dark Knight and in particular The excellent performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker, Mytvtalk.com decided to take a look back at some of Hollywood’s finest young actors and actresses who died before their time.

Heath ledger

Born Heath Andrew Ledger on the 4th of April 1979 and sadly passed away on the 22nd of January 2008. Heath was 28 at the time of passing. Rumour has it that Ledger only started to act because he was made to choose either to take cooking classes or acting classes, Ledger couldn’t see his self cooking so he tried his hand at acting. At the age of 17 Ledger and one of his friends finished school and set off to Sydney Australia with a reported 69 cents in his pocket. Ledger would take many minor roles to try and get noticed from a gay cyclist to a small role in the television series home and away. Ledgers big break came when he appeared in an Australian crime thriller called Two Hands which got him noticed and also the part in 10 things I hate about you. However Ledger wasn’t happy in being type cast as a Hollywood heart throb so Ledger would go on to take more serious roles in the future. In 2005 all of Ledger’s hard work paid off, as his work in Brokeback Mountain earned him both an Oscar and Bafta nomination. Ledger who will go down as one of the best portrayals of a superhero arch enemy passed away of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs that included, sleeping pills, anti anxiety and pain killers.

Brad Renfro

Just a week before Heath Ledgers death, Brad Renfro also passed away. Renfro who made is acting debut at the young age of 11 in the movie ‘The Client’ which he starred alongside Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones. In December 2005 Renfro was charged and arrested for the possession of heroin and was sentenced to 3 years probation. Renfro broke this probation in 2007 by not enrolling in a long term drug treatment program. Renfro was found dead on the 15th of January 2008 after a night of partying; however official cause of death hasn’t been determined. Renfro was 25 at the time of dying.

River Phoenix

The older brother of Joaquin Phoenix, and one time Oscar nominee died on the 31st of October 1993 after a drug overdose of Heroin and Cocaine. The 23 year old actor fell to the ground outside the Viper Room night club that was partly owned by Jonny Depp at the time. His brother Joaquin, sister Rain and girl friend Samantha were at the scene at the time and were unable to tell if River was still breathing when they phoned 911. River passed away at 1:51am on the morning of October 31st.

James Dean

The two time Oscar nominated actor also known as James Byron Dean was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and remains the only person to have two posthumous acting nominations. James shot to stardom with movies such as Rebel without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant. James other passion rather than acting was racing cars, James came 2nd in the Palm Springs road races in March 1955 and 3rd at Bakersfield in May of the same year.
On September the 30th 1955 Dean and his Mechanic Rolf set off to enter in another race in California, Deans Porsche that was nicknamed ‘Little Bastard’ was supposed to have been put on a trailer that day, but a last minute decision which would be fatal to drive the car changed James fate forever. James Dean and his mechanic Rolf were hit head on by a 1950 Ford Custom Tudor coupe, in which the mechanic would survive but James wouldn’t be so lucky. James Dean was pronounced dead at 5.59PM on the afternoon of September the 30th. Rolf the mechanic would live till 1981 where he would eventually die in a car accident. James Dean’s famous last words would be ‘That guy’s gotta stop… He’ll see us.’ Dean died at the young age of 24.

John Candy

The comedy legend that first got noticed on the Canadian comedy show SCTV, which opened doors for the comedian/actor. Candy would star in the romantic comedy Splash along side Tom Hanks, from this point Candy mostly played lovable losers and characters with bad luck but big hearts in movies such as Uncle Buck and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Candy died of a heart attack in 1994.

Bruce and Brandon Lee

Bruce Lee the star of Enter the dragon was already a household name when he died of a cerebral edema at the young age of 32. Many years after the passing of Bruce in 1973 rumours still persisted that Bruce Lee had faked his own death.

Brandon lee the son of Bruce wasn’t lucky enough to have even lived to the age of 32. Just like his dad a martial arts expert he also turned to acting. With Brandon’s first major role in the movie the Crow (1993) things were looking up for Brandon, however a faulty prop gun on set led to the young actors death. Brandon died at the young age of 28.

Sharon Tate

Sharon Marie Tate was eight and half months pregnant when she was murdered in her home, along with four others, by followers of Charles Manson. Tate who in the 1960’s played small roles in TV shows later went on to star in several films such as Valley of the Dolls in which she was nominated for a Golden Globe was regarded as one of Hollywood’s up and coming stars. Her life was cut short when she was murdered along with 4 others at the age of 26.

Author: Ricky Michael

Posted in Brad Renfro, Cinema, Entertainment, Film, Films, Heath ledger, Hollywood, James Dean, Movie, Movies, River Phoenix, The Dark Knight by KeyserSoze : September 26, 2008 - 9:04pm


The Dark Knight - Don’t You Dare Miss It!

The Dark KnightIn the making of the film The Dark Knight, the brilliant construction of the plot, the careful assignment of the character roles, the designing of the costumes, and the care in filming and production of the movie carry this film to it’s rightful place-at the top of the charts.

The plot of this heavily dramatic work of art places the idolized comic book superhero, Batman, in a compromising position that draws him away from the superhero genre-an interestingly different approach that fives the viewers a second opinion of what goes on in the mind of a superhero. Is anyone really squeaky clean in the world of crime?

The chosen actors in The Dark Knight really submerge themselves deeply into the personalities of the characters. Christian Bale, who plays Batman, is totally dedicated in his portrayal. The Joker is always an outstanding character in the Batman movies-they say the villain “makes the movie”. Heath Ledger who simply becomes The Joker prepared himself for this role by hibernating in a hotel room for an entire month in order to lose his own identity and replace it with that of The Joker for the duration of the filming-intense drama is generated from such a commitment.

Aaron Eckhart is the DA, Harvey Dent. His character was changed from a “white hat” guy to a “black hat” guy after The Joker causes his disfiguration and his girlfriend is killed-he becomes the villain, Two Face, a cold hearted killer and vengeance seeker. These are only a few of the characters who carry out the intriguing plot of The Dark Knight.

The filming of this movie took place in various locations-many of them in Chicago. Jour of the main scenes of The Dark Knight were shot in IMAX in order for its showing in IMAX theatres.

The critic, Roger Elbert states that this movie lends an entire new definition to what a comic book story can be transformed into. This film is an outstanding box office hit and has a rate of approval of 90%. The Dark Knight is a must see film. I’m sure the theaters will be packed with fans and newcomers. Buy your ticket and hold on for the ride.

Author: Matt Murren

Posted in Batman, Christian Bale, Cinema, Entertainment, Film, Films, Hollywood, IMAX, Movie, Movies, The Dark Knight by KeyserSoze : September 25, 2008 - 7:58pm


Cloverfield and Philosophy

The upcoming movie Cloverfield might seem like a blockbuster, but does it have a philosophical angle to it?

Title

Clover field, many speculation has raised over the name of the movie. Some believe, that the meaning of Cloverfield is a code that a military gave to the tape they found. Some think J.J. named it Cloverfield since his Production company is on Cloverfield street! Some argue that Cloverfield means, that the tape was found in an area on Central Park which had clovers. Many see some connection to his long series, Lost.

In a more meaningful way, clover is a person and field is New York. Imagine yourself walking in a clover field, you can see how small and insignificant the clovers are. The clovers are like people to the monster that attacks the field (New York City).

New York

People love to see New York getting trashed. There is only one New York, it is one of the most amazing cities in the entire Universe. It is the most interesting city in the entire Universe.

The fact is, that people like to see rich and powerful people dying, because they always feel they patronize them. To see a rich person die, might make some people happy, simply because, they believe those rich and powerful people are like their bosses and employees.

The people of New York love to see their city getting destroyed in movies since they live in this city. They feel identifying with the characters. They know the city and love to see it on the big screen even if it’s totally crashed by the big monster or aliens or whatever it is that comes to blow the city.

Monsters

Monsters are creatures from our imagination. From Godzilla to Monster Inc and even the Muffits, the authors of those, shows, movies, books, imagined those creatures. Why? Mostly because people want to believe there is more into life then this.

People want aliens to come, because they need something more interesting in their lives. One of the reasons that kids create imaginary friends are because, they have too much imagination and want to see something new. They like older people, want something extrodenry to happen. That is why people are willing to go to the moon, that is way people jump a banji jumping.

Monsters in some way are more friendly. In most of American movies, there is a relationship between the gigantic creature and the main character. Some of it comes in order to infest some humanity into the monster but, in a psychological way it is simply because in a twisted way, the main character wanted this monster to be real. He probably was sort of his imaginary friend back in his school days.

God, where is he in all this Monster fliks? Is it possible that the authers of those movies or books do not believe in God? How can God let this happen they might ask? In some philosophy, people claim that we are Gods… is it possible that we brought this Monster upon us? Possible. Human being in those kind of hard situations seek answers from God. Hollywood loves people who are praying to save the Universe.

But what if God decided to kill some people in the Universe? Can we change his mind? Cloverfield is a movie where God might protect the people in the movie (so we could have a movie…). But in some way, it is too late to pray to God, he made his decision since the monster is already here. It is really possible that most of the personal’s death is already written (On script or in God’s mind).

Philosophy of thinking

Many people believe that we are along in the world. Hollywood tries to show us that we are wrong  But are we? Or maybe should be? People nowadays are so into themselves they can’t see anything that happens couple of inches from them. Is Cloverfield a movie that might change this? I doubt it, Cloverfield tries like every Hollywood movie to pure a perfect world that the characters had with love being saved thanks to running around the city from a huge Monster.

The people who saw National Treasure can see what I mean. Nicolas Cage’s character grows apart from his girlfriend, Diane Kruger. But thanks to their brave quest they return back together although they shouldn’t. Why should she take him back? Just because he found a treasure? Don’t worry it doesn’t sounds stupid only to you. It’s nice to see the hero get the girl, but we all know how their days after the great adventure will look like.

Experience - adventure

We live inside a box. Some boxes are bigger, some are smaller. But being inside our square, we have a lot of trouble to get out of it and experience something new. Those guys in Cloverfield, experience something beyond our wildest dreams  They have a huge monster in their back yard. What we you do? Run? Hide?

The answer to this question is in your head whether you know it or not. Instinctively people tend to run away from the danger, unless they need to save someone. But mostly it is lock in you subconsciences. People are afraid of small bugs but can run trough fire to save their love ones.

Author: Amir Ragporker

Posted in Blockbuster, Cinema, Cloverfield, Entertainment, Film, Films, Hollywood, Monster, Movie, Movies, New York, Philosophy by KeyserSoze : May 20, 2008 - 5:54pm


A Brief History Of Hollywood Movies

In the 1880s, the American stage was dominated by ‘Vaudeville shows’, which were cherished by the residents of North America. Being the primitive genre of variety entertainment, these shows differed from burlesque. As entrepreneurs started experimenting with their movie-making skills, these shows lost all of their glory. Here, achievement of the film, ‘The Great Train Robbery’ is noteworthy.

In 1910, director D.W.Griffith, with his troop, started filming in downtown Los Angeles. While searching for a more apt location, they found it in a village that was miles northward — ‘Hollywood’. The first movie shot by Griffith in Hollywood was ‘In Old California’, a melodrama of California. Thorough research work identifies a number of points that ushered the beginning of Hollywood movies. But, it was Griffith’s ‘Birth Of A Nation’, which was the pioneering endeavor that whistled a never-ending journey of American cinema.

Gradually, with the growth of Hollywood industry, films were exhibited in Nicholodeon halls. Ambitious people on the production side emerged as the controlling heads of movie studios. They aided the internationalization of films to reduce America-centric provincialism. At the zenith of its popularity, the industry produced about 400 movies a year, with an audience of 90,000,000 Americans per week.

The American studios, however, confronted major difficulties when their sound productions were rejected in various foreign language markets. Also, the synchronization technique was too primitive. Around the 1930s, parallel language versions of films were produced to provide a befitting solution to the problem. With rapid advancement of synchronization, dubbing also became more realistic.

During the Golden Age of Hollywood (1920-1950), the film industry was at the peak of its success. Adherence to the formula of western slapstick comedy, musical animated cartoons contributed to it. The same creative team worked on films made by the same studio. The most renowned studios were Warner Bros., MGM, RKO, etc. Each studio had its own specialized characteristics, a trait not seen today.  Each film was unique in its own flavor, since the moviemakers were all artists and creative people. The release of classics that enriched the industry, were ‘WUTHERING HEIGHTS’, ‘GONE WITH THE WIND’, ‘CASABLANCA’ and such other timeless masterpieces. In the late 1940’s, the separation of the production of films from their exhibition and the advent of television led to the decline of the studio system.

The postclassical cinema gave birth to directors from a new school of thought. They introduced new filming techniques and strategies and developed upon the prevailing ones. Films like ‘JAWS’, ‘GODFATHER’, ‘PSYCHO’, and other modern blockbusters’ have no doubt added a new dimension to Hollywood. With independent films, another new generation of moviemakers became focused as they made films that were often innovative, critical, unconventional, and contradictory. However, for their considerable financial success and crossover into popular culture, they have become a very influential part of Hollywood mainstream films.

With the passage of generations, directors with their exclusive style and innovations have come up with intellectually stimulating and thought provoking creations, making the history of Hollywood movies interesting as well as amazing.

Author: Victor Epand

Posted in Cinema, Director, Entertainment, Film, Films, Golden Age, Hollywood, Movie, Movie Studios, Movies by KeyserSoze : May 19, 2008 - 5:48pm


Top 5 Ways to Become a Pretentious Auteur Filmmaker

Ever wondered what it takes to become a truly pretentious, so-far-up-yourself-you-could-cry, auteur filmmaker? You’ve seen them; either in Hollywood or the independent sector - film directors who think they’re God. Film directors who think they’re conducting work that will change the world as we know it. Danny De Vito once quoted an often heard saying in the industry, “the reason why you become a director is because the position of God has already been filled!”

Today, I’m here to share with you my experience with an absolute insane auteur film director simply called ‘Sputnik’. Filmmakers with one name are always strange enigmas worthy of report somewhere; especially ones named after a Russian space probe. Sputnik has managed to drive everyone he’s worked with totally mad despite his ‘artistic’ achievements. The legend began with his first masterpiece, the five minute opus simply titled “SHORT FILM”.

I had the chance to catch up with Sputnik recently and he provided me with some tips for what he thought would make a great film director like him. And rather than paraphrase, I’ve decided to list his top 5 tips in his own words:

1. “It really is all about the film” – And by extension, it’s about my vision. Every film has to have a vision and everyone who works on the film is serving the director’s vision. If you want to make it in this industry, you have to be prepared to serve the director’s vision. If not, you can go back to your garage with your little handheld camera making movies and distributing them on some cheap internet site. Being a director is not a popularity contest. Some times you have to push people to get the best, and if that means stepping on a few toes along the way, so be it. As long as the results are up there on the screen. I don’t care if they don’t like me! Neither should you!

2. “Actors are window dressing” – Actors have this misconception that they are important to film. What they don’t realise is that they’re just providing elements of a performance to be manipulated later in the editing room. That’s why when you hear famous actors talk about quitting film, it means that they’ve learnt that they’re not the centre of the universe, which is a disturbing thought for most actors leaving their fragile egos crushed in a frenzy of sobbing. Remember, it’s all about the film not all about the actors. Better still, when any actor says a director is a self-absorbed, egotistical wannabe, it means that the director has changed the actor’s performance in editing despite what they discussed on set, and they feel violated. Too bad. It’s not the end of the world. They can always go back to the theatre.

3. “Pick a good title” – The title must encapsulate everything to do with the film. Take my first masterpiece; it really was all about the film. So my first thought was to simply call it, “FILM”. Works well, yes? But then I realised it was only five minutes long, so I decided to call it, “SHORT FILM”. Make sense?

4. “Be dedicated” – You know, most people can’t get off their sorry asses for even two seconds to concentrate and do something worthwhile. When I made “SHORT FILM”, I concentrated for four days to make that film. FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT! And sometimes, I even worked up to seven hours in a day! It was intense, but I was up to it. And that’s why I’m such a brilliant director.

5. “Digital is evil” – I’m stating the word ‘digital’ on this one occasion only because I want filmmakers to understand; ‘digital’ is the tool of the devil. Films are made on film! All these pathetic little upstarts with their whiz-bang digital amateur cameras and their supposedly powerful computers thinking they can break through in to the industry with their backyard prowess. Let me tell you something now: you’re setting yourself up to fail. If you haven’t listened to anything I’ve told you, make sure you listen to this: Films are made on Film. Look at Spielberg, he knows what I’m talking about. Not like his buddy Lucas. Those ‘Star Wars’ films were just great weren’t they?

There you have it. In Sputnik’s own words, what it takes to get yourself to the top of the industry. Sputnik is currently working on a number of projects including his debut feature masterpiece, “Feature Film”. If my experience with him is anything to go by, the behind the scenes footage from the making of that film could potentially be as fascinating as the film itself. Only time will tell!

Author: Todd Murphy

Posted in Auteur, Cinema, Director, Entertainment, Film, Film Maker, Film Making, Filmmaker, Filmmaking, Films, Hollywood, Movie, Movies by KeyserSoze : May 16, 2008 - 9:01pm


The Home Of Movies - Universal Studios

Universal studio was founded by Carl Laemmle, a German Jewish and is the second oldest studio in Hollywood. He realized the potential of the moving pictures and the success of Universal Studio has proved him right.

Hollywood has been credited with many successful and memorable movies over the years. The movie industry began in the early 1900s and as of now, there are many famous studios involved in the production of movies and their brand names and logos have become familiar among people.

Of these studios, Universal studio is credited with some of the biggest hits that Hollywood has seen. It goes to the credit of Universal studio that they have been successfully able to tide over the hard times that the movie industry had to face from time to time. It started with the switch from the era of silent movies to the talkies and Universal Studio was able to manage the transition successfully.

The next issue that faced the movie industry was the breaking away of movie stars from the production houses in an effort to be more independent. This happened in the 1950s and Universal Studio again managed to pull up act together by channeling its energy into making of TV shows and movies made especially for television.

In the initial years, Hollywood was churning out low budget westerns and serials. Over time, the standards of scripts and production also improved. In the 1930s, Universal Studio released All Quiet on the Western Front, a movie based on World War I. It went on to win the Academy Award for the Best picture.

Subsequently, Universal Studios became synonymous with horror movies after they produced successful movies like Frankenstein and The Mummy and Dracula. Some of their lighthearted movies have featured memorable performances from Mae West, Deanna Durbin and WC Fields. In the 1950s, many stars including the heartthrob Cary Grant were on contract with Universal Studio. Other stars like Doris Day and Rock Hudson helped create magic with the romantic comedy Pillow Talk whereas James Stewart helped create another sensation by talking to a giant rabbit in the movie Harvey.

Universal Studio has taken risks to produce movies that had difficult subjects. These movies like the depiction of Nazi Germany through the holocaust movie The Schindlers List was not supposed to appeal to a larger audience. But its success took everyone by surprise. Similarly, Twelve Monkeys, a movie dealing with the subject of mental illness also received critical acclaim. And who can forget the blockbusters like the Jurassic Park and ET. It is surprising to note that Universal Studio has had hits to its credit in every decade.

Author: Kenneth Scott

Posted in Blockbuster, Cinema, Entertainment, Film, Films, Hollywood, Movie, Movies, Universal Studios by KeyserSoze : May 14, 2008 - 6:31pm


Robert Rodriguez’s 10 minute film school

Good Morning Class!

Now a famous film-maker a while back said something about ‘Everything you need to know about film you can learn in a week.’ He was being generous. You can learn it in 10 minutes.

Set your watches we will be out of here in ten kids.

Okay, so you wanna be a film-maker?
(Class choruses ‘YES’)
Wrong! You ARE a film-maker. The moment you think about that you want to be a fillm-maker you’re that. Make yourself a business card that says you’re a film-maker, pass them out to your friends, soon as you get that over with and you’ve got it in your mind that you’re one you’ll be one, you’ll start thinking like one. Don’t dream about being a film-maker, you are a film-maker. Now let’s get down to business.

Let’s Play!!

What you need to learn is that being creative is not enough in this business. You have to become techinical. Creative people are born creative - you’re lucky. Technical people however can never be creative. Its something they’ll never get. You can’t buy it, find it, study it - you’re born with it. Too many creative people don’t want to learn how to be technical, so what happens? they become dependent on technical people. Become technical, you can learn that. If you’re creative and technical, you’re unstoppable.

Experience - Do you have experience in movies? You do, right - you WATCH movies. Now you need to have movie experience - you’re not going to learn from just watching movies, you’re learn some things, you’ll learn more picking up a camera, making your own films, your own mistakes - mistakes don’t have to be mistakes, everything is subjective - a mistake to one person is actually a piece of art to someone else. Hide behind that, tell everyone its art, you can get away a lot.

Start with a screenplay. Does anybody here know how to write? No - good. Everyone else writes the same way. Start writing your way. That makes you unique. You can take writing classes, that’s good, but don’t bother to go to film school or you’ll be making films like everybody else. We want to see your film.

How do you write a script? Well, you obviously don’t have a lot of money or you wouldn’t be in my class. So you wanna make a movie but you don’t want to spend a lot. You’re gonna come up with problems everyday on your set. You can get rid of the problem one of two ways - you can do it creatively or you can wash it away with the money hose. You got no money, you got no hose. So let’s make a screenplay for a movie you can actually make without having to make your parents poor. Let’s make a cheap movie.

How do you make a cheap movie? - Look around you, what do you have around you? Take stock in what you have. Your father owns a liquor store - make a movie about a liquor store. Do you have a dog? Make a movie about your dog. Your mom works in a nursing home, make a movie about a nursing home. When I did El Mariachi I had a turtle, I had a guitar case, I had a small town and I said I’ll make a movie around that.

How do you visualise a movie? With storyboards, you can do that. You can previsualise your movie and draw them out, but what you should really do is make a blank screen for yourself and watch your movie. Close your eyes and stare at this. Imagine a screen, imagine your movie. Shot for shot, cut for cut. Sit there, close your eyes and get rid of everybody, get rid of all your thoughts in your head except your movie and watch your movie. Is it too slow? Is it too fast? Is it funny? Does it make sense? Watch it and then write down what you see. Write down the shots that you see. And then just go get those shots.

The man and his 16mm cameraEquipment. OK let’s go over the equipment. The worse the better. You don’t want anything too fancy, remember this is your first movie - you’re not Spielberg yet. I used this one for El Mariachi, almost the same one, I used a 16M this is a 16S, this is exactly what I had. It helped me move fast because it was light, it was very noisy so I could do the sound in a wacky way, but this thing here would cost you about $2000. Don’t spend that kind of money, find some monkey that own’s one. I found somone who had one of these sitting around, he wasn’t using it. I borrowed it from him, I shot my movie.

(Points at what look’s like a damn heavy tripod) Look at it, this is a nice stand, its a very solid stand, y’know what’s gonna happen? The camera is gonna stay on the stand, you’re just gonna keep it there, ‘cos its so nice, meaning your movie’s gonna look…stiff. Take it off of there, sit in a wheelchair, push yourself around, get some energy in your film. That’s the great thing about first films is that they have so much life and so much energy. Big productions can’t even duplicate that energy, because they’ve got too good a stand and too much crew and everything is really smooth and polished and its lifeless. Add life to your film by getting rid of the fancy stuff. (Points at the tripods) Too good, too heavy, too good - just use your hands.

Here’s a lightmeter, this isn’t the write one, I broke my other one. This is a spotmeter, that’s OK but it’s too fancy. You just need one with a little white dome on it, point it to your subject, read the light, look at the number on your lightmeter - remember your lightmeter is your friend - feed that into lens and the iris, and then you’re set. Start shooting.

Don’t overlight. On Mariachi I had two lights, regular lightbulbs, they were balanced for indoor film, so look fine. In fact everyone said the lighting looked moody because there was very little light . Your mistakes, your shortcomings suddenly becomes artistic expression.

Finally, postproduction. When you’ve finished shooting your movie what do you do? (Picks up video mixer) These are your friends my friends. Video editing systems, computer editing systems, anything like that, its immediate, its easy, its cheap. Do not cut on film. Film is your enemy. You may be shooting on film but don’t cut on film. If any of you want to cut on film get out of my class right now. Go spend $20,000 on a real film school and do that. You’ll never get a job though - believe me.

Everything is on computers or video these days. Film is slow, film is expensive, film is not creative - film take’s too long. Cut on tape that’s what I do. I shot Mariachi for nothing. I edited on video. I had a three-quarter inch master that looked beautiful because the negative was transferred right to tape. There was no middleman so it looked like 35mm - clean, pristine. I made VHS copies of this, sent them out all over Hollywood. I never made a film print. (Picks up film strip) Waste of money. You have to string them up, they get worn out. They’re expensive. They’re copies of your negative. You don’t want that, you don’t want copies of your negative, you want your negative…on tape. Where people can duplicate it and watch it and get you work.

OK so you’ve made your movie, you’ve cut it, you’ve got it out, people want you. What do you do? The first thing you want to do is get an agent - right away. Hollywood is full of sharks, you need a shark working for you. These guys go and get you the best deals, they get you the best prices, they get you the best movies.

What you’ve learnt is what no one else has. How to make a movie dirt cheap. No one else in Hollywwod knows how to do that. You guys can make them cheap, you guys can make them better, don’t get swallowed in the system, take advantage of your position.

Now I make movies that are still low budget but they look like big budget movies because I learnt the techniques that I just showed you today.

…and this is an e-flat - twang ! All right I’ve got to go back and do my own films so I hope you guys learnt something today, I hope you grab some of these cameras and go shoot something of your own, I hope you write down the ideas that you have, the dreams that you have.

Stop aspiring, start doing.

See you in Hollywood - be scary!

Posted in Entertainment, Film, Film Making, Film School, Filmmaking, Films, Hollywood, Movie, Movies, Robert Rodriguez, Video by KeyserSoze : May 13, 2008 - 11:50pm


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