Top Filmmakers Who Started Late in Life

Top Filmmakers Who Started Late in Life

Do you dream of becoming a filmmaker but fear that Hollywood is exclusively a young person’s world? If so, that’s a hesitancy you should immediately throw away. It’s never too late to pursue your dreams, especially if you want to make films. The filmmaking industry hosts countless examples of mature filmmakers.

Some directors, actors, and cinematographers enter the industry far later than their counterparts. Yet they’ve managed to find massive success. If you want to learn more about famous filmmakers that started later in life, you’re in the right place. Hopefully, their stories will inspire you to pick up a camera and start filming. Keep reading to discover the top filmmakers who began late in life.

Gus Van Sant

A pioneering director of arthouse cinema, Gus Van Sant rose to international fame with Good Will Hunting. His true breakout film was My Own Private Idaho in 1992. So, what’s the catch? He was already over 40 by the time his film came out.

He also directed classics such as Milk and Elephant. He’s living proof that it’s never too late to find success in the film industry.

Ridley Scott

The chances are high that you’re well-acquainted with the films Gladiator and Alien. They’re two of the most recognizable movies in Hollywood history. Ridley Scott often makes lists of the greatest directors of all time. On top of his status as an award-winning filmmaker, he was also a “late bloomer.” Scott didn’t release a feature film until he was 40.

Manoel de Oliveira

While Oliveira started making films at age 19, he didn’t find success until he turned 73, earning him a rightful place among the top filmmakers who started late in life. His age didn’t stop him from going on to enjoy a lucrative film career after his first success, either. He would win numerous awards from prestigious film festivals.

While his career started at 73, Oliveira would go on to enjoy 33 more years of moviemaking. He continued making movies until he turned 106 years old.

That’s our list of late bloomer filmmakers to inspire you never to give up on your career goals. If you have passion in your heart for cinema, then it’s never too late to find success. Simply set yourself up with the filmmaking gear you need, develop connections, and start exploring the visual medium of film!

The Four Types of Camera Shots Every Filmmaker Should Know

The Four Types of Camera Shots Every Filmmaker Should Know

Filmmaking is a gratifying and rewarding investment of your time and effort. But it can be challenging to know where to start. Let us help you out with this introduction to the four types of camera shots every filmmaker should know. 

Angle Shots

Angle shots are some of the most crucial in filmmaking. The angles you use in each image dramatically affect the tone, mood, and overall look of each scene. For instance, the off-center tilt of the Dutch angle provides viewers with a disorienting and jarring feel that’s great for thriller and horror movies. So, it’s wise to get acquainted with the wide variety of these shots and how they can help you achieve the tone and aesthetic you’re seeking for each of your projects.

Framing Shots

Framing shots are another one of the four types of shots every filmmaker should know. Framing shots are also there to add a more life-like dimension to a scene, but they do so by using certain aspects of a scene to create a more intimate setting. There are two basic types of framing shots every filmmaker should get familiar with.

  • Dirty Frame – There is something between the camera and your subject (like a giant line of trees in front of a displeased T-rex).
  • Clean Frame – There is nothing in between your camera and the focus of your shot (the shot is clean, clear, and uninterrupted).

Of course, once you start to explore these shots, you’ll find that there are numerous framing techniques you can use, such as over-the-shoulder or single and two-shots. That said, it’s always best to start with the basics first.

Shot Size

When you set off to film anything, the shot size is one of the first and most crucial things you need to consider. The size of your shot will act as a foundation for how you’ll address the other aspects of your camera work, so it’s crucial to understand your options.

For instance, maybe you’re looking to bring your subject into full focus. However, you don’t want them to fill the screen entirely. In this case, you’d like to use a wide shot, as it will focus on your subject while also giving the viewer a pretty extensive look at the rest of your scene. So, be sure to always explore what you hope to achieve with each scene and what shot size will best accommodate your goals.

Movement Shots

There should be a variety of movement shots in every filmmaker’s wheelhouse because the movement of a scene affects the pace and flow of the film and drastically impacts the tone and tension of the scene. For instance, if your sensibilities lie with disorienting thrillers or suspense, learning how the famous dolly shot works can help you to achieve the tension you’re seeking. Just the same, if you’re looking to make a “one-shot” film, you’ll want to have an extensive understanding of tracking shots, which continuously follow the subject of a shot.

So, the best thing to do is grab your camera, explore the basics, and expand on your craft as you go. We certainly hope you’ll use this intro to camera shots when you’re ready to start shooting!

Where To Visit Real-Life Movie Locations

Where To Visit Real-Life Movie Locations

Believe it or not, you can go and see some of the most famous locations in cinematic history for no money at all. Want to know where to visit real-life movie locations? The answers are here!

Harry Potter

Though Hogwarts Castle doesn’t exist, you can still head to London to see King’s Cross Station. In the station concourse, King’s Cross has even dedicated an area to Platform 9 ¾ (although it should be between platforms nine and ten).

You can also see some familiar sets if you take a trip to Oxford University after taking a peek at King’s Cross. Oxford is home to Hogwarts’ library as well as the hospital wing.

Ghostbusters

Who ya gonna call? 8 Hook and Ladder! Maybe it doesn’t work as well in the song, but you can find the Ghostbusters HQ at 14 North Moore Street in Tribeca, New York. The New York Public Library is an important site, as well. Browse the shelves and see if you can spot where Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler saw their first ghost.

Forrest Gump

Though many locations are shown throughout Forrest Gump, including the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and The University of Alabama, the most recognizable is the bench where Forrest waits for his bus. That bench was only used for the film, but you can make your way to Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia, to see the famous garden square backdrop of Forrest’s tales.

The Rock

Alcatraz appears in several Hollywood hits, including Escape from Alcatraz and Birdman of Alcatraz, but thanks to Michael Bay, none are nearly as explosive as The Rock. You can take a ferry to the island-turned-penitentiary and have a look at the most famous prison in history.

The Shining and Doctor Sleep

You can see the façade of the Overlook Hotel at Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon, but you won’t find the famous interior there. The Shining built a massive set to serve as the interior of the terrifying hotel, but you can see the inspiration at Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, California.

If you enjoyed The Shining’s sequel, Doctor Sleep, make your way to Boulder, Colorado. The Stand and Misery also have connections to Boulder, for all you Stephen King fans. While you’re visiting Colorado, check out these other great cities! Telluride hosts a world-famous film festival every year, so give that a try if you like movies.

Now that you know where to visit real-life movie locations, you can head out and see the world with a new perspective.

3 Tips To Help You Nail Your Next Short Film Project

3 Tips To Help You Nail Your Next Short Film Project

Hollywood observers have surely noticed that the film industry has simultaneously become bigger and smaller than ever. It’s bigger in the sense that year after year, we seem to see new releases shatter box-office records with ease. At the same time, it’s smaller insofar as it feels as if the only movies that come out anymore are the franchise favorites that shatter records. Gone are the small and middle-budget pictures; it’s go big or go home.

The big studios’ concentration on tentpole features may be a downer for movie lovers, but leaving so much bandwidth open has unintentionally kicked off a renaissance for aspiring, independent, and alternative filmmakers—which can include you. But before you tackle a full-length feature, start small with a short story put to film. Here are three tips to help you nail your next short film project so that in the long shadow of comic book movies, your own film can bloom.

1. Emphasize the Fundamentals of Storytelling

To begin, let’s look at the written word—the foundation of cinematic storytelling. Short stories can be more challenging than novels for some authors because the form requires them to develop and resolve a conflict in a compressed timespan. Nonetheless, all the elements of storytelling, from plot to conflict to theme, occur in a short story. The same must be true for your film. Experimental forms may deviate from the established rules of storytelling, but remember that you can’t break the rules until you learn them—consider that the works of Jackson Pollock hang in art museums but a third-grader’s splatter paintings don’t.

2. Special Effects Shouldn’t Be Too Special Yet

Just as you should start off sticking to the fundamentals of a story, you should do the same with visual effects. Before you begin to dream up eye-popping visuals, make sure that you have a skilled and well-appointed cinematographer on the crew. If this is a fellow film-loving friend, make sure they have the right tools and skills for the job, from lenses and lights to a keen eye. Aspiring to do too much too soon but ultimately falling short will do more harm than good in a visual medium such as film. Instead, show restraint and master the hallmarks of good composition.

3. You Can’t Call Every Shot

Sitting in a director’s chair for the first time can be a magical feeling—especially if you spring for one with your name on it. Our advice: don’t. In fact, our most important tip for making your own short film for the first time is not to take a dictatorial approach to filmmaking. While you are the final authority on set as the director, it’s important to take a collaborative approach to as many respects of the filmmaking process as you can. Have good relationships with your cinematographer, your cast, and the rest of your crew in order to keep everyone feeling involved in a positive process. With this in mind, you should have a finished product that everyone can be proud of.

Top 4 Female Superheroes You Should Know About

Top 4 Female Superheroes You Should Know About

Whether you’re a fan of the MCU or DCEU, the love for superheroes is all the same. When we think of the iconic heroes from these comics, we often shout out popular names like Batman, Iron Man, Superman, Spider-Man… all names ending in “man.” The truth is, though, that while these guys are saving the world, there are several female counterparts who are also taking names. Let’s shed some light on these marvelous women—we share the top four female superheroes you should know about.

Storm

An indispensable member of the X-Men team, Storm’s mutant abilities allow her to control the weather and atmosphere with ease. As the first major female character of African descent, she is a favorite among Marvel fans. Her unique background and special abilities make her an important player in the fight to establish peace and equal rights between mutants and humans. She’s truly a force to be reckoned with.

Batgirl

We guarantee that there are a ton of awesome things you don’t know about Batgirl. An ally of Batman, she’s taken on several personas over the years. An assassin, genius computer hacker, vigilante, information broker, and expert in martial arts—Batgirl holds a strong presence in Gotham and the Batman family. At the end of the day, she’s a fierce survivor and loyal protector.

Black Widow

Before she became a founding member of the Avengers, Black Widow (whose real name is Natalia Alianovna “Natasha” Romanoff) was a KGB operative. A master of martial arts, she was recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. and established herself as one of their top agents. However, it wasn’t until she was sent undercover to watch Tony Stark that she began her journey to becoming one of the first female avengers. Armed with her Widow’s Bite, you do not want to mess with her.

Captain Marvel

Known by her real name, Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel is another female superhero you should know about. She was a test pilot for the United States Air Force until she was exposed to a special kind of energy from a light-speed engine. This gave her cosmic powers she would later use to team up with other Marvel superheroes, including the Avengers, and help save the universe. Although her journey wasn’t an easy one, she developed a tough skin that makes her stand out from the crowd.

How To Make a Good Quality Low-Budget Film

How To Make a Good Quality Low-Budget Film

If your dreams of becoming a famous Hollywood filmmaker are slipping away as fast as the money in your bank account, reimagine your passion. Many documentaries and art films use low-budget equipment, scarce crews, and limited casts. Work your way to the top by figuring out how to make a good quality low-budget film.

Fix Your Script

When you make a film, you’ll create a script. Ensure the script you use—or write—is realistic for a low-budget movie. Choose a script with simple elements, like a low-key location you won’t have to pay to use, and which won’t require any CG. You should be able to film your movie without the need for much editing, and the fewer cast and crew members required means the fewer people you’ll need to pay.

Find a Cast

While some actors will work for low-budget films, you’re better off finding actors just starting their careers. Search on social media, Craigslist, and other job sites. Post a listing for your project and take your time screening for the right people.

Pro Tip: Have your actors use their own clothes for the wardrobe to help you save money. They can also bring their own items from home for various props.

Hire a Crew

If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family who will help you make your film, you might get away with paying them less money or nothing at all. Otherwise, you must pay people to help you film your movie. Offer perks like food to your crew, especially when things get tough.

Budget for Your Camera Equipment

Consider the camera equipment you already have and whether you can use it to make your movie. If needed, you can film on your smartphone. Some filmmakers rent camera equipment, though making a purchase may be a better decision if you plan to continue making films. Depending on the type of film you make, you may prefer to use a cinema lens, but it will eat into your budget. Many people film documentaries on photo lenses. It’s important to understand the difference between cine vs photo lenses and which is better for your project.

Edit Your Film

You will save the most money when making your film if you edit the footage yourself. If you aren’t confident in your ability, find someone to help you. You want to get the job done quickly and correctly to avoid a long and costly process. A good film editor will not only cut the film, but also fix the color contrast. At this stage, you can also add the music or score and any other audio.

Even if your budget is only $5,000, you can produce a fabulous movie with all the elements of a full-length film. You don’t have to be an expert or film school graduate to know how to make a good quality low-budget film. With the right equipment and a solid cast and crew, your movie can stand out among the best.

Interesting Dinosaur Facts That the Movies Got Wrong

Interesting Dinosaur Facts That the Movies Got Wrong

Cinema has given us a lot of imagery to visualize what dinosaurs may have looked and acted like. The only issue is that as you continue to learn about these creatures, you may find many inconsistencies between reality and the movies. Filmmakers create fierce and unforgettable depictions of dinosaurs for many reasons—namely, movies full of more bird-like creatures fail to send the same shiver down our spines. When you start to identify the interesting dinosaur facts that the movies got wrong, you’ll find it difficult to think about those classic films the same way.

Coexistence

Unlike what you see in Jurassic Park, the myriad of great beasts whose remains we’ve discovered could never coexist in a dedicated habitat now, just as they didn’t then. When you’re examining facts about dinosaurs, it’s important to realize the incredible number of variations within each species. For example, you may know of the triceratops, but there were at least forty different species types within the ceratopsian family, and their existence was staggered through the course of millions of years.

Behaviors

It’s difficult for anyone to know how dinosaurs actually behaved. Extensive studies of fossils, diets, and regions suggest different things. In movies, you may see a variety of dinosaurs holding their arms close to their sides with bent elbows, similar to the way of kangaroos. Paleontologists argue this was probably not the case for all species; bipedal creatures most likely held their clawed hands in front of their bodies.

Cloning Possibilities

What you see in the Jurassic Park series probably couldn’t happen in real life. Though we’ve cloned other animals, cloning dinosaurs is not possible. Palaeontologists state that after just over a million years, the nucleotide bonds that make up DNA are no long enough to able to provide useful data.

Appearance

Many dinosaurs’ physical characteristics in the movies fail to identify the more bird-like features that were possible with beasts such as the velociraptor. Fossil remains with quill knobs have led researchers to believe these animals more resembled turkeys with feathers covering the majority of their bodies. Scientists have also found through the testing of melanosomes (where melanin or pigment is stored in the skin, the hair, and the eye’s iris) that the true color of dinosaurs differs greatly from its on-screen representation. Studying the remains of the infamous Tyrannosaurus rex has left some researchers wondering if some areas of this beast’s body also contained feathers. Imagine the difference in appearance. Would you find a T. rex to be as scary if it weren’t covered in scales?

Similarly, the iconic dilophosaurus—you may remember it as the one in Jurassic Park with the fan on its neck and the poisonous venom—shows no evidence of having either the fan or venom in real life. These creatures’ remains, like the others, point to a more feathered appearance. Its motion picture portrayal was based on a tooth found at the time that resembled that of venomous snakes, which implied venom secretion was a possibility.

There are so many discrepancies and false depictions of dinosaurs throughout movie history. Do some digging, and you’ll realize the list of interesting dinosaur facts that the movies got wrong goes on and on. We must hand it to the moviemakers, though: the way they choose to characterize these prehistoric creatures did give us noteworthy chills.

Futuristic Technology in Old Movies That Exists Now

Futuristic Technology in Old Movies That Exists Now

When old sci-fi movies like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” first came out, the advanced technology featured in the films seemed like things that would only exist in a very distant future. Well, it turns out that the future is now. As technology has advanced at a rapid pace, many high-tech gadgets and appliances featured in the films currently exist today. Here is a list of futuristic technology in old movies that exists now.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are one of the most widely used types of technology in existence. Many people today can’t imagine their lives without being able to reach into their pocket and make a call or find the answer to a question. Prior to 1973, however, mobile phones only existed in prophetic sci-fi films such as “Star Trek”—which featured a device that had an eerily similar design to a modern-day flip-phone.

Video Calls

Many years before Skype or FaceTime existed, video calls were featured in movies such as “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which came out in 1968, or “Back to the Future,” which came out in 1985. Today, it is common to simply take out one’s phone, press a button, and immediately have a face-to-face conversation with someone hundreds or thousands of miles away. When these movies were made, however, video calls were merely an outlandish futuristic concept.

Robot Security Guards

If it’s always been your dream to befriend a droid, now is your chance. Currently, advanced security measures in the form of unmanned robot security guards are being implemented in a wide variety of industries. These mobile surveillance machines often act as a replacement for human guards in areas that would be unfit or unsafe. While these robots aren’t quite as conversational as droids in sci-fi movies, Uber’s new K5 security robot does bear an uncanny resemblance to R2D2 from the “Star Wars” movie franchise.

Home Automation

Another example of futuristic technology in old movies that exists now is smart homes. Home automation, in which a house is equipped with automated intelligence, has been featured in several films—from Disney’s “Smart House,” which came out in 1999, to the film “Demon Seed,” which premiered in 1977. Today, smart homes are more than just a figment of a screenwriter’s imaginations. Now, it is becoming increasingly common to equip one’s home with automation systems that monitor or control various aspects of the household such as lighting, appliances, or security.

A Guide To Cord-Cutting for College Students

A Guide To Cord-Cutting for College Students

Subscriptions to streaming services can quickly add up, and that can be tough for a college student who is trying to budget their expenses. With the COVID-19 pandemic, staying in and binge-watching a show has become a standard Friday night for many after a long week of classes. Instead of spending an insane amount of money finding entertainment during this time, here’s a guide to cord-cutting for college students.

Take Advantage of College Deals

Some college students might not realize how many discounts are out there for them. Some streaming services offer student discounts that lower the monthly price if you let them know that you are currently attending college. Some universities also offer a free account for streaming that can give you access to HBO and more. While it might only be a few extra dollars off, this can save you a ton of money long-term and allow you to get the entertainment you need.

Use the Right Device

A subscription isn’t the only thing college students need to worry about—they also need to find a way to get the shows they want on your TV. If you already own a laptop and an HDTV, the most affordable option is to get an HDMI cord. However, you can also find a Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick, or Amazon Fire TV Stick for less than $50 if you don’t own a smart TV. You can also stream off your gaming console if you have one.

Buy a TV Antenna

The biggest problem college students face when it comes to cord-cutting is missing out on live TV. This is where a TV antenna comes in handy. You can find TV antennas in the $30 price range that will allow you access to a variety of free channels. Many modern TV antennas also come in HD, so you don’t have to sacrifice display quality either!

Bundle Up, Save Money

Many streaming services also have different bundles you can choose from that can help save you money in the long run. For example, you can bundle Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus for $13 a month. Students can also get Hulu and Showtime with a Spotify Premium account for only $5 a month. Instead of subscribing to one streaming service, look for bundles first!

Don’t Forget Your Login-Ins From Home

The last part of our guide to cord-cutting for college students is to not forget about your log-ins from home. If your parents have streaming accounts that you typically use at home, take them with you to college, so you don’t have to pay for it on your own. However, you might want to ask before you run off with their account passwords.

6 Ways To Have the Best Drive-in Movie Experience

6 Ways To Have the Best Drive-in Movie Experience

With movies theaters closed due to COVID-19, in states like California, the only way you can catch a flick new and old, is by heading to a drive-in movie. With the renaissance of drive-in movie theaters, you might be tempted to make your first return trip since childhood or pack up the car for the first time ever. Here are some ways to have the best drive-in movie experience!

Pack Your Own Food, Snacks, and Beverages

The great thing about going to a drive-in movie theater is that you no longer have to sneak in snacks to save money. Many drive-in movie theaters allow you to bring your own food, snacks, and beverages, so you could have a full dine-in experience if you wanted to. Prior to arriving at the drive-in, make sure to double-check and see if any items are prohibited, such as alcohol.

Be Comfortable

Sometimes, you might be heading to a drive-in movie theater for a double feature, so you will want to be comfortable for the hours you will spend there. Wearing comfortable clothes and bringing pillows and blankets is a great way to have the best drive-in movie experience possible.

Arrive Early

The next thing you will want to do is arrive early to get a good view. Parking spots can fill up fast, and the further back you are, the harder it can be to follow the show. Try to get to the drive-in theater at least 30 minutes before the show begins, or if possible, guarantee your spot online beforehand. Arriving early will also allow you enough time to set up your area before the show begins, since it can sometimes take a few minutes to get situated.

Put the Top Down

A drive-in movie experience is not only a safe alternative to seeing a movie in a theater, but it also allows you to enjoy the pleasant weather at night. If you own a vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler, what better way to enjoy the night than taking the top down on your car and watching a movie? Removing the top of your vehicle can also improve your view of the movie screen.

Bring Chairs

If you don’t feel like sitting in your car the entire time or if you don’t have enough space to get comfortable, bring some chairs. With foldable chairs at your disposal, you can set up a spot right in front of your vehicle and get an even better view of the screen. Plus, you’ll be more comfortable in the process.

Don’t Kill Your Car’s Battery

One thing to keep in mind that can hurt your drive-in moviegoing experience is a dead car battery. When you see a movie at a drive-in, you will have to rely on your radio to catch the film’s sound. The problem with this is that you could potentially drain your battery if you keep your car on for a long period of time. Some things you can do to try to avoid a dead battery include: