10 free (or cheap) ways to instantly improve your films!

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10 free (or cheap) ways to instantly improve your films!

Creating great-looking, cinematic films isn't always about having a big budget or expensive gear--do these 10 things to make your films look and sound better without breaking the bank.

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Treat yourself to the smell of Horror

Thanks to the A24 Films online shop, you can now treat yourself to the smell of Horror…and Adventure, Western, Thriller, Noir, and Musical.
The movie distributor that brought you films like Hereditary and Lady Bird is now bringing you…movie genre scented candles!
Yep, this is actually a thing.
A24 has partnered up with the fragrance studio Joya to develop a series of candles that are supposed to waft all the smells of your favorite film genres. The set of six candles is $48 and each one is inspired by a different movie genre.
According to the website, Horror is a combination of mandarin, clove leaf, cypress, suede, and cinnamon bark, and is inspired by fangs, glowing eyes, remote lakeside cabins, foreboding shadows on walls, bloody knives, low-angle staircase shots, dilapidated houses silhouetted on a hill, and black cats.The Musical candle smells like fig leaf, muskmelon, pink pepper, rainwater, magnolia, and lily of the valley and is inspired by lamp posts, top hats, pianos, snapping fingers, women dancing in concentric circles, tuxedoed men moving in sync, tap shoes, a black cane with a white tip, and giggling around a telephone.
I think the idea is to burn the appropriate scented candle while you’re watching that genre of film to further enhance the experience.

What the Netflix / Paramount deal means for film

Netflix and Paramount Pictures are partnering up on a multi-picture deal that bring a whole slate of new movies to Netflix.
Read more about the deal on Slashfilm: www.slashfilm.com/paramount-netflix-deal/ ( el2.convertkit-mail2.com/c/wvupzzlgwntgh3p553/58hvh8uqz60ne/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuc2xhc2hmaWxtLmNvbS9wYXJhbW91bnQtbmV0ZmxpeC1kZWFsLw== )
What does this mean for the film industry?
A whole lot of really great things.
Basically, this is a move towards upending the traditional movie studio model of making films that was based on producing a handful of mediocre-to-good films, dumping a boatload of cash into marketing them for a theatrical release, and hoping that one or two of these films might make enough money to pay for the losses or low profits on the rest of their slate of films.
In other words, the “let’s throw a bunch of turds on the wall, and hope that one turd sticks” model of filmmaking.
And that’s why we keep seeing the same old stories with the same stars year after year.
Studios have been stuck in this way of thinking because they are afraid to take a chance on some of the newer, more creative film ideas coming from independent studios, because they have to have one or two films in their lineup every year that they know will be a certain amount of money.

What Bernardo Bertolucci taught us about cinematography

Filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci passed away today at the age of 77.
Bertolucci was a master Italian filmmaker who directed Last Tango in Paris, The Conformist, and the 9 time Academy Award winning The Last Emperor.
He was well known for his visual style, which was inspired by his background in art. What was happening in the cinematography was not only very expressionistic and sometimes painterly, it often reflected bits and pieces of the psychology of the characters in the scene.
Taste of Cinema did a good breakdown of his style in The Conformist, which you can read here: www.tasteofcinema.com/2012/the-conformist-a-visual-master-class/ ( el2.convertkit-mail2.com/c/68uv99lmn8a8hdenpz/6qhehoux3oxzm/aHR0cDovL3d3dy50YXN0ZW9mY2luZW1hLmNvbS8yMDEyL3RoZS1jb25mb3JtaXN0LWEtdmlzdWFsLW1hc3Rlci1jbGFzcy8= )
You might not be so much into Italian Expressionism in your film choices, and that’s OK.
But it’s important to recognize and honor Bertolucci for what he taught us–how to draw inspiration from art and how to use those visual choices to show us more about the psyches of the characters.
Bertolucci is definitely someone to watch if you’re looking for more of an advanced level of lighting, cinematography, and directing.
If you’re looking for something a little more basic, then you may want to check out this Saturday’s workshop.

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How to audition for a TV commercial

LA talent manager Tammy Hunt wrote a short article for Backstage with some good advice to keep in mind when auditioning for a TV commercial, which you can read here: www.backstage.com/magazine/article/how-to-audition-for-a-tv-commercial-65872/ ( el2.convertkit-mail2.com/c/zluwll8p5einh8xke6/owhkhwuxv72gr/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmFja3N0YWdlLmNvbS9tYWdhemluZS9hcnRpY2xlL2hvdy10by1hdWRpdGlvbi1mb3ItYS10di1jb21tZXJjaWFsLTY1ODcyLw== )
Hunt does a good job of going through some of the basics in this article.
* who makes the casting decision for commercials * what to wear * what casting directors are looking for * do’s & don’ts when you’re in the audition room
But there’s only so much you can cover in a 500 word article.
Which, of course, is why people like me go into things a little more indepth in some of the emails and blog posts ( el2.convertkit-mail2.com/c/zluwll8p5einh8xke6/p9uehqur0lng4/aHR0cDovL2dvcmlsbGFmaWxtc2Nob29sLmNvbS9hY3Rpbmc= ) we write.
And when it comes down to it, there’s no substitute for a really great workshop on how to audition.
I run workshops every so often, when I have the time and if there are enough people interested.
Last year I ran one called the ‘Make Money Acting Bootcamp ( el2.convertkit-mail2.com/c/zluwll8p5einh8xke6/6xiehouxgdmnn/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5nb3JpbGxhZmlsbXNjaG9vbC5jb20vbWFrZS1tb25leS1hY3RpbmctYm9vdGNhbXAtMi8= ).’
It was a one day workshop where we covered things like how to audition for a TV commercial,

Why shorty Cruise is no longer Reach(er)ing

The height of Tom Cruise has been a running joke in Hollywood for many years now.
At only 5′ 7″, he’s at least a head shorter than most of the other leading man/action hero actors out there today.
I mean, when he acted in films with his former wife Nicole Kidman, they used to have to put him on an applebox when they stood next to each other in scenes.
So some Lee Child fans were understandably upset when it was announced that Cruise would be the title character in the Jack Reacher films.
Because in the books, Reacher’s size is a big part of who the character is. He’s described as a 6′ 5″ powerhouse of a man, that could kill a person with one well-placed punch.
Well apparently Lee Childs is siding with his loyal readers, because they just announced that Cruise will no longer play Reacher, and that there will be hunt for someone more closely resembling the character’s physical characteristics for the upcoming Reacher television series.
So, despite being a good fit for the role personality-wise, and being kind of a badass in general, Cruise is out of the picture.

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