TIFF

On Land and Sea: How Aquatic and Grounded DPs Seamlessly Collaborated on Simon Baker’s ‘Breath’

By Dylan Dempsey

Established actor Simon Baker relied on collaborations with two experienced shooters for his feature directorial debut.

One director, two DPs, and a beautiful film. Breath is an adaptation of Tim Winton’s award-winning and internationally bestselling novel, a bildungsroman about two young surfers on the Australian coastline, set in the mid 70’s. It’s not just a great surf movie; it’s a compelling, visually radiant story with deeply realized characters. Breath premiered to critical acclaim at TIFF 2017 last week.

Even if you aren’t familiar with Simon Baker–the Australian, Golden Globe-nominated actor-turned-director who made the film, both as actor and director–you’d probably recognize him. As an actor, he has performed in The Devil Wears Prada, The Ring, LA Confidential, to name just a few, as well as in TV series including The Guardian and The Mentalist–both of which he has also directed. Breath is his debut as a feature film director.

“Each film is its own journey. If you pay attention, you can learn a lot.”

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From:: No Film School

Louis C.K. Whips Out the Story Behind His Polarizing, DIY Film ‘I Love You Daddy’

By Justin Morrow

Louis C.K. shares his own words on the movie everyone is talking about.

I Love You, Daddy would be a controversial film no matter how it came about. The story of a successful TV writer whose teenage daughter is seduced by a legendary filmmaker is edgy enough on its own, but given that the self-financed, black and white film was directed (and edited) in secret by one of the most famous and controversial comedians around, it’s no wonder everyone is looking to talk to Louie, including the TIFF Long Take podcast. Here’s a few things we learned about C.K.’s career and the motivations behind I Love You, Daddy during a live recording of a conversation with C.K. during TIFF 2017.

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From:: No Film School

ARRI, Sony, and iPhones Dominate TIFF 2017 Cameras

By Oakley Anderson-Moore

“Like somebody said: give a shoe to Roger Deakins and he makes a beautiful picture.”

An ARRI used by Ingmar Bergman, an iPhone 7 with a DJI Osmo Mobile, and 10,000 hours of public surveillance footage. What do they have common? They were all ways that this year’s TIFF filmmakers told their stories. Take a look at the diverse assortment of cameras used in this year’s films, along with reasons from their directors, cinematographers, and producers on why each was the perfect tool for the job.

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From:: No Film School

Angelina Jolie, Aaron Sorkin, Gael Garcia Bernal and Mary Harron Talk at TIFF

By Tiffany Pritchard

The Toronto Film Festival closed out its 42nd year with another impressive round of masterclasses and “TIFF talks.” On the industry side, while not as heavily programmed as other festivals, there was an engaging round of panels that tackled on-topic discussions such as diversity and alternative distribution. “In Conversation With” Typical to other years, a robust line-up of filmmakers and writers made up the festival’s one-to-one talks, with Aaron Sorkin’s candid conversation being one of my highlights. He openly discussed his ten year-dependence on drugs, of which Carrie Fisher sent him a letter assuring him he could write even better […] → continue…

From:: Filmmaker Magazine

‘These Girls Were Disposable’: 3 Lessons from ‘Alias Grace’ Director Mary Harron’s TIFF Master Class

By Justin Morrow

The maverick director of American Psycho delves into why her provocative stories work so well.

Canadian director Mary Harron has brought her distinctive, indie sensibilities to five feature films. With the premiere of the first two episodes of Alias Grace, Harron’s new miniseries for CBC and Netflix, adapted from the novel by Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), the director sat down at TIFF on Wednesday for a master class, in which she discussed everything from punk rock to feminism and her approach to casting and directing.

Here are three highlights from the hour-long conversation with this fiercely intelligent, maverick filmmaker.

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From:: No Film School

TIFF Critic’s Notebook 7: The Nothing Factory, Wavelengths Shorts

By Vadim Rizov

The very first thing I saw after arriving at TIFF was Pedro Pinho’s The Nothing Factory: a three-hour film is tough to slot into any festival schedule for practical reasons even before you start factoring in day-wearing-on exhaustion, and seeing it as a stand-alone entry point to the fest seemed like the right move. After some establishing facts of a squat silo being torn down and a factory in action, Pinho cuts to a couple having a sex scene. A phone call letting Ze (José Smith Vargas), the male half, know there’s trouble at the workplace intrudes: capitalism as coitus interruptus. […] → continue…

From:: Filmmaker Magazine

All Things Apple & Panasonic’s Surprisingly Affordable New Camera [PODCAST]

By Liz Nord

This episode of Indie Film Weekly brings a fall gear preview with news from IBC, Apple, Panasonic, Resolve, and more.

Jon Fusco, Charles Haine, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss all the latest gear news coming out of Amsterdam’s IBC expo, including more details of Panasonic’s EVA-1 and major Resolve upgrades, plus the multiple Apple announcements made at the company’s annual launch event and how they affect indie filmmakers. We also cover a bevy of indie acquisition news out of TIFF, Louis CK’s top-secret DIY movie, the Creative Arts Emmys, and Disney’s latest Star Wars shakeup.

As always, the show also brings Ask No Film School, plus news you can use about upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.

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From:: No Film School

Guillermo Del Toro Dazzles With ‘The Shape of Water’: ‘Inspiration is a Mystery for Everyone’

By Dylan Dempsey

The visionary filmmaker returns to form with a story decades in the making.

In the back of the theater, the Mexican auteur Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim) was reliving first love alongside his audience at the screening The Shape of Water at TIFF 2017. Del Toro’s latest film wowed at Telluride, took home the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival, and earned an equally glowing response just now in Toronto. Safe to say, this sexually-charged monster flick won’t stop turning heads for some time.

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From:: No Film School

“Nazareth is a Violent City… But It’s also Hilarious”: Director Annemarie Jacir on Wajib

By Kaleem Aftab

Annemarie Jacir’s third film, Wajib, a wry comedy set in the run up to Christmas in Nazareth, premiered in competition at the Locarno Film Festival before heading to, this week TIFF. The film pairs legendary Arabic actors Mohammed and Saleh Bakri together in a movie for the first time. Naturally, the father and son play father and son. Saleh, who has appeared in all three films directed by Jacir, plays Rome-based Shadi, who is returning to Nazareth after a period away for the wedding of his sister Amal (Maria Zreik). In keeping with Palestinian tradition, Shadi, alongside his divorced father, […] → continue…

From:: Filmmaker Magazine

Three Powerful Films, Three Writers, and Three Rules for Your Screenplay

By Dylan Dempsey

Three TIFF screenwriters share their successful creative strategies.

In an insight-packed thirty minutes, the TIFF 2017 screenwriting panel focused on three films: each of them has been well-received, each is a powerful story, and each one happens to have a narrative grounded in childhood. On the stage were three writer/filmmakers, all equally passionate, each one there to discuss the most crucial–and arguably the most difficult–part of the filmmaking process: turning a blank page into something worth filming.

The result? Three creative strategies, each one shaped by a different approach…and each one an essential piece of advice.

“Because this wasn’t a studio picture, I had the liberty of playing around with the story even in the edit.”

1. Sean Baker: Keep re-writing through post

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From:: No Film School

Indie Film Giant Cassian Elwes to Filmmakers: ‘Make the Movie the Way You Want to Make It’

By Justin Morrow

Veteran film producer Cassian Elwes of ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ and ‘Mudbound’ dropped some knowledge at TIFF 2017.

Cassian Elwes is no stranger to the indie film business. In addition to producing over 50 films, he also spent fifteen years as head of William Morris Independent putting together financing deals for independent films. When Elwes began his producing career in 1983 with his first film, Oxford Blues, the theatrical box office was very much alive and well (and for more than just blockbusters).

But it’s 2017, and today, making films is very different than it was 34 years ago (for one thing, film itself is becoming an increasingly rare feature of filmmaking). Still, Elwes is confident in the future of film, and especially indie film, while acknowledging that these movies will take different routes to the audience than they did before. Here are some of Elwes’ most interesting thoughts on the independent film industry and his predictions for its future from his recent presentation at TIFF 2017.

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From:: No Film School

Everything We Know About Darren Aronofsky’s ‘mother!’ Right Now

By Sophia Harvey

Finally, we can talk about mother!

After months of secrecy—and some intriguing marketing campaigns—we’re finally learning more about Darren Aronofsky’s latest film, mother! The movie made its North American premiere at Toronto Film Festival this past weekend, surrounded by much buzz and confusion. And the following press conference did little to clarify. The running adage seems to be: it’s just an experience you have to have for yourself.

Well, since the rest of us can’t see mother! until its theatrical release September 15th, here’s as much as we could learn from the TIFF conference with Aronofsky, the film’s star Jennifer Lawrence, and its two producers Ari Handel and Scott Franklin. The panel was moderated by Indiewire’s Eric Kohn. Below are the key takeaways we could glean about mother! from the reticent filmmaker and his accomplices. You can view the entire press conference here.

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From:: No Film School

Aronofsky’s ‘mother!’ Gives Birth to This Crazy New ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ Trailer

By Christopher Boone

We’re trapped in a hellish circle of horror influences.

Even before the unveiling of mother! at the Venice Film Festival, the influence of Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby on Darren Aronofsky’s latest film was apparent simply from the poster design. It certainly helps when Paramount owns the distribution rights to both films. With little to no details released about the film until just a few weeks ago, the Rosemary’s Baby-influenced poster led pundits and fans alike to wonder if mother! may even be a remake of Polanski’s horror classic. After the Venice screening last week followed by a screening at TIFF yesterday, reviews quickly alluded to influence of Polanski’s film on Aronofsky’s project (or did they just follow the marketing bread crumbs?).

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From:: No Film School

3 Lessons We Learned From Aaron Sorkin’s Master Class at TIFF

By Justin Morrow

If Sorkin hadn’t been broke, alone and stuck in an apartment with no entertainment besides a typewriter, we may never have experienced some of the greatest scenes of stage and screen.

Aaron Sorkin’s track record on TV and in the movies speaks for itself, and so when he joined Kerri Craddock, TIFF’s Director of Programming, for an hour-long master class about his long career, there was a full house in Toronto. Here are three of the most interesting and useful points he shared.

1. Do away with unnecessary stuff

Before A Few Good Men was a movie, it was a Sorkin’s first play. The rights were acquired quickly, and he was brought on to adapt the work into a screenplay, though, as he recounted, “I’d never written a screenplay, I’d never read a screenplay.” Though he loved movies, he was ignorant of screenplays and so, “I went to…a book shop and I found a screenplay formatting book…after about three days, I threw it out the window because I was thinking, this just can’t be right.”

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From:: No Film School

TIFF 2017: Here Are the Cameras Used To Shoot 40 of This Year’s Best Films

By Chris O’Falt The world’s best DPs explain how they created looks for Guillermo del Toro’s “Shape of Water,” Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!,” and many more. → continue…

From:: Indie WIRE Filmmaker Toolkit