COVID-19

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From the Filmmaker Newsletter: The Role of Insurance in Restarting Production Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

Each Friday, Filmmaker sends out a free newsletter containing an original Editor’s Letter as well as news of film openings, events, etc. (the latter mostly streaming and online, these days). The Editor’s Letters usually aren’t posted online, but here’s last week’s, which deals with the uncertainty around obtaining production insurance in this pandemic environment. It’s been passed around quite a bit, so I’m posting it here for easier reference. If you’d like to receive the Filmmaker newsletter, you can subscribe for free here. — SM “It’s what we call ‘a hard market,’” said the insurance broker on the phone. I didn’t need […]

Senator Adam Schiff Discusses Unemployment Provisions and Worker Protections for Entertainment Industry

In a virtual town hall today organized by IATSE and SAG-AFTRA, Senator Adam Schiff (D-CA) addressed questions from union members regarding federal government support for entertainment industry workers during the novel coronavirus shutdowns. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and IATSE International President Matt Loeb led the hour-long conversation and touched on several topics of interest to Filmmaker readers. Unemployment benefits for gig workers. The first question asked came from a SAG member who complained that her state unemployment benefits were not calculated based on a combination of her previous year’s W2 salaried income and her 1099 independent contractor income. Schiff stated […]

“I’m Going For, ‘Capture It Now, Use It Later’”: DP Danna Krinsky on Shooting Drone Stock Footage in a Pandemic

Based in Los Angeles, Danna Kinsky has worked in a wide range of genres and formats, from independent features and documentaries to music videos, concerts, commercials and aerial cinematography. She is affiliated with several groups: The International Female Collective of Cinematographers (ICFC), The American Society of Cinematographers’ Motion Imagine Technology Committee, and Women in Media. Since the COVID-19 lockdown, Kinsky has been shooting drone footage of a deserted Los Angeles. Filmmaker: How have you been coping with the lockdown? Kinsky: Generally, as a filmmaker, I always strive to keep costs low. Finances are a problem, just like they are for […]

“It’s Very Interesting to Live Without This Adrenaline…”: DP Łukasz Żal on Slowing Down While in Quarantine

Cinematographer Łukasz Żal received an Oscar nomination for his first feature, Ida, and well as for his second collaboration with director Paweł Pawlikowski, Cold War. Last year he worked on his first US production, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, written and directed by Charlie Kaufman and based on the novel by Iain Reid. Żal spoke with Filmmaker by phone from Poland. Filmmaker: How are you? Łukasz Żal: I’m good, I’m staying in my parents’ house by a lake. I don’t feel comfortable because the whole world is suffering. Hopefully it will end well. But this time honestly is not so […]

“There is a Lot of Necessary Nurturing to Be Found in the ‘Not Doing’”: DP Natasha Brauer On Productivity Culture During Lockdown

Natasha Braier has worked on a wide variety of films, from Claudia Llosa’s intense 2009 drama The Milk of Sorrow / La Teta Asustada to Nicolas Winding Refn’s ice-cold 2016 feature The Neon Demon. In 2018 she shot Gloria Bell, Sebastián Lelio’s English-language remake of his earlier movie Gloria. Last year she was director of cinematography on Alma Har’el’s feature debut Honey Boy. Braier’s work is distinguished not only by her vivid imagery but also by her acute psychological insight into characters and narrative. Braier was in preproduction on Don’t Worry Darling, director Olivia Wilde’s follow-up to Booksmart, when the […]

“This is the Headline: ‘You Can’t Do It Alone. So Do It With People You Love’”: DP and Director Christopher Doyle on

Scheduled for this year’s Cannes Film Festival was a 20th-anniversary screening of Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love. Along with awards for actor Tony Leung Chui-wai and editor, costume designer, and production designer William Chang Suk-ping, the film received the Grand Prize of the Superior Technical Commission for directors of photography Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping-bing. Doyle had hoped to present his latest films, including Love After Love, at the festival before it was postponed on April 14. Directed by Ann Hui, Love After Love is a period romance adapted from a work by writer Eileen Chang. […]

From the Filmmaker Newsletter: When Do We All Go Back to Work?

Each Friday, Filmmaker sends out a free newsletter containing an original Editor’s Letter as well as news of film openings, events, etc. (the latter mostly streaming and online, these days). The Editor’s Letters usually aren’t posted online, but here’s the April 17 edition, which links to a Deadline piece and considers the question everyone in film production is asking at the moment. If you’d like to receive the Filmmaker newsletter, you can subscribe for free here. — SM When do we all go back to work? While provisional answers to this question are suggested every day in the newspapers and […]

Watch: Don’t Touch Your Face, Directed by Leah Shore, Music by Gina Volpe

It’s hard not to touch your face — something I, and many of you, have undoubtedly learned in recent weeks. As much as I now better understand epidemiological chains of transmission, I still sometimes slip up. So, I’m going to try to keep this punk earworm by the Lunachick’s Gina Volpe — here visualized in a brashly impactful video by Leah Shore, a 2013 25 New Face — in my head as I (only very occasionally and necessarily) venture out into the world.

Field of Vision and Topic Announce COVID-19 Relief Fund for Documentary Freelancers

Field of Vision and Topic Studios announced today a relief fund for documentary freelancers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and corresponding economic shutdown. The $250,000 fund is financed from the two organizations’s current operating budgets, and the funds, intended to alleviate economic hardship due to loss of income or opportunity, will be dispensed in two tranches and in amounts up to $2,000 per freelancer. Rent, healthcare, utilities, groceries and other life expenses can be covered by the funds. In a press release, co-founder and executive producer of Field of Vision, Charlotte Cook, said, “This is an incredibly hard time for […]