- Ten Lists of Ten Tips for Digital Filmakers &
Films Every Filmmaker (or Aspiring Filmmaker) Should
By Edward Boettcher
must be careful when writing a story like this. Serious
cinephiles and cinéastes take these types of
lists seriously! So before we begin please allow me
to give you my criteria and intent for this list.
First, the film doesn't need to be one of the top
10 or even top 100 of all time, but it does need to
offer a nugget of something that we can learn from
as indie filmmakers. Second, my intent here is to
encourage you as a filmmaker or aspiring filmmaker
to create and expand upon a list of films you think
others should watch to learn the craft. By sharing
with others, we strengthen our own understanding.
If you would like to share your list, please send
an e-mail via the link found at the end of the article
and we will share the submissions with the Cinema
Perfecto community in our member Forum in a special
locked sticky thread in the Cinema
Perfecto Forum - Directing & Production forum.
Please include your name, your location, the film
title, year of release, director and any other folks
who worked on the project who deserve mention as well
as what a filmmaker should look for and/or can learn
from the film. Here is my list, in no particular order.
Samurai - Director: Akira Kurosawa, 1954.
In addition to the epic fight sequences, there is
scarcely a frame that isn't deeply considered. The
lighting and use of metaphor in the barn love scene
and subsequent scene is stunning.
Unforgiven - Director: Clint Eastwood, 1992.
It takes a delicate hand to pace a character through
moral ambiguity, but unlike The
Searchers, this characters ends up going to
the dark side
Fiction - Director: Quentin Tarantino, 1994.
A turning point toward realism in film dialog.
Now - Director: Francis Ford Coppola, Cinematographer:
Vittorio Storaro, 1979. Textbook on incorporating
surrealism, creating tension, acting and cinematography.
Also be sure to see the making-of movie Hearts
of Darkness and the Redux
cut (my favorite cut.)
- Director: John Carney, 2006. Shot for $130,000,
this is an excellent example of how to make the most
of the middle step between no budget and big budget.
The making-of included on the DVD is excellent, with
many tips on working with untrained actors and shooting
improvisationally from a sketch script.
Wars - Director: George Lucas, 1977. By
marrying the Joseph
Campbell monomyth, themes from classic cinema,
particularly Akira Kurosawa's The
Hidden Fortress, and the elements of film
serials, the viewer is presented with titillating
spectacle on the surface, but below the surface Lucas
touches deep into our psyche.