Cinema Perfecto Magazine - Issue 1

10/10's - Ten Lists of Ten Tips for Digital Filmakers & Professional Videographers

10 Films Every Filmmaker (or Aspiring Filmmaker) Should Watch
By Edward Boettcher

One 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.

1. Seven 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.

2. The 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…or not?

3. Pulp Fiction - Director: Quentin Tarantino, 1994. A turning point toward realism in film dialog.

4. Apocalypse 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.)

5. Once - 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.

6. Star 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.

List Continued >>>


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