And now for a little distraction

This has nothing to do with movies, but it is just too cool not to share. Especially for a geek like me. Check it out: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1k0CXS/htwins.net/scale2/.

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Writing Tips from Joss Whedon

Writing tips from Joss Whedon, writer/director of Serenity (amazing) and Avengers (not for me). He’s also big in TV, having created Firefly, Buffy and others.

I post this specifically because #5 may save one of my features. It may not, since I’m also having problems with #4, but either way I’m excited to try it. Here it is:

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Series that Follow Characters

As I prepare to shoot my next film, a follow up to Don’t Forget… which revisits the characters one year after their previous film, this trailer comes out. It is the ultimate series that follows its characters, every seven years, starting at 7, they are now in their eighth film and are 56 years old. I cannot wait!

Between that film and this one, next year is shaping up to be a great year for series that follow characters; the two biggest ones are releasing films in the same year! And I’ll add mine in too!

PT Anderson, still my favorite director

I thought I’d share this link, about Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, The Master) and his use of long takes, how they’ve evolved over his films. PT Anderson is one of my favorite filmmakers and is a master across the filmmaking spectrum. It never ceases to amaze me how he creates and develops characters and handles the camera. This video essay is a great look at one element of his camerawork.

One of these shots, the one from There Will Be Blood, has been studied even further in the following videos. These videos show the intricacy of PT Anderson’s blocking, staging, camera angles and movement, screen direction, eyelines, all that good stuff that makes him such a great director. This sequence seems so simple when watching it; it is amazing to see how much is actually going on. When people wonder what directors do, this (and working with actors) is it. At least this is what differentiates the great directors from the mediocre ones. This is the filmmaking I love.

From Vimeo: This is an excerpt from There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007). 11 adult viewers were shown the video and their eye movements recorded using an Eyelink 1000 (SR Research) infra-red camera-based eyetracker. Each dot represents the center of one viewer’s gaze. The size of each dot represents the length of time they have held fixation.

From Vimeo: A clip from There Will Be Blood presented as only the locations fixated by 11 viewers. Their gaze was recorded using an Eyelink 1000 and visualised as a “peekthrough” heatmap using CARPE (thediemproject.wordpress.com/).