A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...

Posts tagged "filmmaking"

Feb 24, 2014

Bill Murray narrating his “Cinderella Story” in Caddyshack

Here’s Harold Ramis on the scene from And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft:

Pretty much everything [Bill] did in the movie was improvised, except for the big speech he gave on the Dalai Lama. But almost everything else—I would say 95 percent of his work—was improvised. The speech he performs as he cuts off the heads of the flowers with a garden tool was completely improvised. Only the action is indicated in the script: “The greenskeeper, Carl, lops the heads off tulips as he practices his golf swing…”

With that particular speech, the “Cinderella story” speech, I had been out jogging one day, and one way I kept up my spirits was to be the announcer at the Olympics: “It’s the end of the last lap of the marathon; let’s see who’s entering the stadium…oh, it’s Harold Ramis!” So I said to Bill on the set, “You know when you’re pretending that you’re a sports announcer and calling the play-by-play…” He said, “Don’t say anymore.” I got it.” He started talking and improvising, and that speech was the result.

Nov 08, 2013

Strange, Beautiful Images from Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’

In the new book Cabinet of Curiosities (out now via Harper), visionary Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro presents — according to the volume’s subtitle — “My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions.” In other words, the books offers the rare opportunity for an all-access peek into the working methods of the acclaimed moviemaker. The lavishly illustrated coffee-table book pulls from Del Toro’s notebooks, drawings, journals, behind-the-scenes photos, and more. Preview a few of its remarkable pages below.

Chapter four of Show Your Work!: “Open up your cabinet of curiosities.”


Oct 21, 2013

How Wes Anderson transforms stolen shots

An excellent point from Matt Zoller Seitz’s videos on Wes Anderson: often, when he’s stealing a shot from one of his favorite directors, he’ll flip or reverse the shot, so it’s a little harder to recognize. Reminds me of this quote:

Steal! to be sure they may; and, egad, serve your best thoughts as gypsies do stolen children,—disfigure them to make ’em pass for their own.

Bill Murray has talked about this, too.

Filed under: steal like an artist

Oct 20, 2013




"She’s my Rushmore, Max."

These Wes Anderson Collection videos by Matt Zoller Seitz are really great. (You might remember his “The Substance of Style” videos analyzing Anderson’s influences.) Zoller Seitz has a new book out on Anderson’s books that looks terrific.

Sep 28, 2013

Aug 04, 2013
Every story now has to involve a threat to the entire globe. This is meant to raise the stakes, but it actually lowers them.
— Heather Havrilesky, “Stop Blaming ‘Jaws’!”

Jul 31, 2013

Part of the job of the artist is to help people discover other great art.

Piece by Ted Hope aimed at filmmakers, but true for all artists, especially authors:

If you make films, it is your responsibility to help others discover what is good to watch. If you love films — or a particular type of film — it is your responsibility to help others learn to appreciate those films too. ”Discovery” is not something you can expect others to EVER do unless you yourself embrace the practice first. ”Spreading the word” is part of a filmmaker’s job description, albeit sincerely & authentically.

Independent filmmaking must be a community activity if it is to survive. You can’t leave good films alone. You have to make it your battle to get those movies seen.

Blogging is a great way to contribute:

I launched this blog and maintain it in hopes that a process of sharing, of collective thinking, transparent effort and experimentation may bring us back to a sustainable enterprise. Through it I have been able to meet many new filmmakers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and just generally interesting people. They have helped elevate my work, and I am excited when I can also help them. I like to think that this community effort somehow pushes our rock a bit more up the hill. Filmmaking though is only part of the equation. Film consumption is equally important. Are we helping the good movies get discovered and appreciated?

cf. If you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader.

Jun 28, 2013

British album cover artist Roger Dean sues James Cameron over ‘Avatar’

A pretty ridiculous lawsuit:

Dean alleged that some Avatar production workers had studied and referenced Dean’s art as they worked on the movie. The lawsuit claimed the film copied “floating mountains,” “stone arches” and the antennae and markings on flying creatures.

With an equally ridiculous statement by Cameron’s lawyer:

Cameron lawyer Bert Fields called Cameron the “most original and creative person in the motion picture business today” and said he doesn’t need to copy from anyone.

Oh really? Here’s a big list of potential influences on Avatar. i09 has a gallery of Dean art that looks similar, along with an article about how many of the design elements were taken from cars, the ocean floor, and real-life mechanics.

(thx @nczeitgeist)

May 23, 2013
I need to sort of tear down everything I’ve done and rebuild from scratch. And that’s a process that I think is not incremental…. I just need to just destroy everything that’s come before and see if I can kind of become a primitive again. I’m not even sure it’s possible. I don’t know if it’s something you could do…It means just throwing away everything that you’ve learned and thought and trying to become in essence a completely different filmmaker, because I’ve hit a wall of what I feel I’m able to do at this point - not because I’ve figured everything out, I’ve just figured out what I can’t figure out and I need to tear it down and start over again.

May 15, 2013
Whenever you work with someone who you idolize, you realize … he’s just a person trying to make a movie as best he knows how and that doesn’t look so different from other people trying to do the same thing. And he’s wildly smart and brilliant and funny, but it’s moviemaking and there’s something kind of democratic about how difficult it is because everybody — whether you’re Woody Allen or Noah or P.T. Anderson — it’s hard. Making movies is a hard thing and it’s slow. So you can glorify the product, but the process is difficult no matter who you are.
— Greta Gerwig on working with Woody Allen

(Source: nprfreshair)

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