David Fincher: A Life In Pictures


The BAFTA-winning director behind Gone Girl, The Social Network, Seven + Fight Club on his craft + career. From the BAFTA Archives.

12 Angry Men- A Lesson in Staging


So, let's say you've got a 90-minute movie that features twelve characters and is all set in one location. How on earth can you shoot it in a way that's unique and exciting, and not just an endless series of mids and closeups? Let's dive into Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men, and study what it has to tell us about scenic density.

Six Ways to Build Scenic Density:

1) Move your characters through the spaces inside the frame
2) Have the background and foreground interract
3) Let characters take over shots
4) Move from one story to the next instead of cutting
5) Allow conversations and reactions to play in the same shot
6) Hold off on closeups for moments of prime emphasis

You can support this channel at Patreon- patreon.com/royalocean

Sources/Further Reading:

Walk the Talk by David Bordwell- http://bit.ly/2vNbqfv
You Are My Density by David Bordwell- http://bit.ly/2tGYGG9
Making Movie by Sidney Lumet- amzn.to/2vbOV7f

You can follow me through:
Twitter- twitter.com/andymsaladino
YouTube- youtube.com/c/theroyaloceanfilmsociety

It's a Jazz Thing by smilingcynic is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.

Top 10 Tensest Movie Moments of All Time


What is it really that makes our stomachs churn in film's most tension filled moments? This week, we're looking at all the different types of cinematic tension and our picks for the best versions of each.

The Picks

10 - Romantic Tension - Before Sunrise
9 - Sexual Tension - Moonlight
8 - Positive Tension - Deliverance
7 - Hopeful Tension - Saving Private Ryan
6 - Dramatic Irony - Rope
5 - Hiding Protagonist - The Raid
4 - Subtextual Aggression - Zodiac
3 - Looming Standoff - Sicario
2 - The Powder-Keg - Boogie Nights
1 - Race Against Time - Back to the Future

Recreating Game Of Thrones' Dragon Battle


might be a spoiler if you are not up to speed on GOT...



Shot By Shot
Film : Jaws
Director : Steven Spielberg

Scene Breakdowns : Brody wakes up and leaves 2:10 - Brody and Cassidy discover Chrissie's remnants 5:25 - Brody at the office 7:55 - Brody goes downtown 9:20 - Shark attacks 11:20 - The Town Meeting16:35 - Brody Hooper and Vaughn 22:40 - Brody Hooper and Quint 27:30- Brody and Ellen say goodbye 31:05

Special Thanks to Mitchell Rose (mitchellrose.com) who kindly corrected the typos

Colour In Storytelling


Editing In Storytelling


Lensing for Character Perspective

From Travis Lee Ratcliff

In this video essay I explore specific examples of how lensing can be used to create subjective perspective. Using lenses strategically is one of the most powerful tools at a filmmaker’s disposal for crafting psychology, imbuing images with richer visual meaning, and creating character perspective. Many new filmmakers struggle with the terminology and differences between various lenses, but overcoming that initial confusion can result in one of the biggest distinctions between the novice filmmaker and the experienced storyteller.

This video follows up on the concept of subjective and objective perspective, which I explain more completely here:vimeo.com/219223876

Visual references: Apocalypse Now, Before Sunset, Big Lebowski, Blue Valentine, Brazil, Citizen Kane, Ex Machina, Fargo, Her, In the Mood for Love, Out of Sight, Requiem for a Dream, The Master, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Patreon: patreon.com/luxessays
Twitter: twitter.com/travratc

1 Brilliant Moment of Tension


Scene from Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, break it down into the tiniest pieces we can and take a look at how it really works. By ratcheting up the tension for nearly 30 minutes, Villeneuve pays it all off with a mere 9 seconds of violence!

Seven Samurai - Drama Through Action


Storytelling With Sound


David Fincher - Invisible Details


A look at the hidden visual effects work of David Fincher's filmography.

Back to the Future - A Lesson in Storytelling


Let's dissect Back to the Future, in addition to being one of the most fun movies out there, it also tells a pretty great story, and in this episode we explore some of the techniques that director/writer Robert Zemeckis bring to the table.

Telling a Story from the Inside Out


What does your character WANT?

What does your character NEED?

Creating a story is often as much of a journey for the writer as it is for the characters. In this video I look at the writing process for Inside Out to examine how the powerful emotions in the film were inspired by the real-life experiences of the writers.

25 greatest CGI movie moments of all time

25 greatest CGI movie moments of all time from creativebloq.com



25. Pearl Harbour (2001)

  • Director: Michael Bay
  • VFX: ILM

Why watch it?

With a laboured script, leaden acting, turgid pace, and insensitive factual inaccuracies... the only reason Pearl Harbour is worth seeing is for the recreation of the infamous 1941 attack. Unbelievably, there are only four shots that are totally CG in the movie, including the two shots of the USS Arizona exploding, with the wide camera angle taking four months of constant effects work to perfect.

ILM used a combination of software for the attack sequence, including AliasStudio, Maya, and Softimage for basic modelling, and employed its proprietary software, Zeno, for the many rigid body simulations. To comply with environmental rules, VFX supervisor Eric Brevig also had to write a new piece of software to create the amount of smoke plumes needed. So while it's a dreadful film, we can't help but applaud the truly brilliant CG effects.

Killer sequence...

A detailed recreation of the chillingly effective surprise attack by the Japanese on a US naval base.

24. Cloverfield (2008)

  • Director: Matt Reeves
  • VFX: Double Negative

Why watch it?

This may be a spin-off of Godzilla, as mysterious and severely peeved creatures attack New York, but what a spin-off it is. Cloverfield is an amazing example of how to mix hand-held live-action with quality CG effects.

The most terrifying sequence happens early on, when the Statue of Liberty's head is catapulted down the road by an unknown and unseen force. Visible for several seconds in full frame, the head itself had to be built as an extremely detailed 3D model with precise texturing.

Production used 4 and 5K stills of the head that were placed online following the landmark's cleaning a few years ago. These detailed the head's panelwork and areas of grime that could be used as reference when texturing the model. The genius of JJ Abrams combined with great effects is clearly a recipe for success.

Killer sequence...

The Statue of Liberty's scratched-up head comes sailing down a New York Street, hinting at the dangers to come.

23. Terminator Salvation (2009)

  • Director: McG
  • VFX: ILM, Asylum, Rising Sun Pictures and Matte World Digital

Why watch it?

You've got to feel sorry for John Connor: his mum was a bit mental and his only real friend was a machine that once tried to kill him and is now dead. To his credit, though, he is very determined and returns in the fourth Terminator instalment, ready to kick more shiny metal ass. Among its 1,500 VFX shots, T4 features an impressive 60ft, headless, biped robot – the aptly named Harvester – on a rampage.

The huge cyborg has one of the film's most intricate rigs. ILM used techniques originally developed for Transformers to provide animators with extra flexibility when choosing which parts to control. ILM also integrated an energy-conserving shader set in RenderMan to achieve more accurate lighting and cope with the extreme contrasts of desert conditions. The ensuing segment with the truck, Moto-terminators and a giant Transporter isn't bad either.

Killer sequence...

The headless Harvester robot smashes up a gas station in its hunt for humans.

22. 10,000 BC (2008)

  • Director: Roland Emmerich
  • VFX: Double Negative (wide shots) MPC (medium and close-up shots)

Why watch it?

If you can ignore the script, the acting, the historical inaccuracies and the bizarre pseudo sci-fi ending, 10,000 BC is a pretty cool film, with some excellent FX work from MPC and Double Negative. The sweeping vistas over the Giza site are largely models built at 1:24 scale by Joachim Grueninger, constructed near the actual film set in Namibia, but they're enhanced with digital doubles, dust, and props.

The best sequence, however, is the stampede, where a pack of mammoths is unleashed to wreak havoc among a building site with 50,000 digital slaves. Fully CG sets integrate seamlessly with live-action and model shots and, all in all, it's a suitably epic climax for a fantastically overblown movie.

Killer sequence...

A frightened pack of 50 captive mammoths is set loose in order to bring a pyramid building site to a grinding halt.

21. The Perfect Storm (2000)

  • Director: Wolfgang Peterson
  • VFX: ILM

Why watch it?

George Clooney may be a looker, but his character in this film isn't very smart. He plays Billy Tyne, a fishing boat captain who ignores weather warnings, in a tale that's based on the true story of the Andrea Gail from 1991. The end sequence is a CGI stonker, featuring a huge 100ft wave that finally capsizes the ship. In total, the film featured 90 completely CG shots, all of which include water elements.

A further 220 shots required CG seas to be composited with live-action footage shot on a huge, moveable fishing boat set. A custom fluid dynamics system was developed to create a realistic ocean and more than 30 plug-ins were written for Maya to achieve the intricate effects.

In addition to this, standalone applications for shaders and particle systems were also written in-house. In what is otherwise a slightly disappointing film, the mammoth VFX are what leave the longest-lasting impression.

Killer sequence...

A fishing boat and its crew run into a spot of bother on stormy seas.


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Guillermo Del Toro's 11 Rules for Becoming a Visionary Filmmaker

Guillermo Del Toro's 11 Rules for Becoming a Visionary Filmmaker

1. Find your mentors
2. Form is content
3. Know your strengths and weaknesses
4. Follow your passion
5. Give 110%
6. Be promiscuous
7. Trust your instincts
8. Make mistakes
9. Be brutal
10. Be patient
11. Be generous

...read more here