Filmmaker IQ

[Filmmaker IQ][] (on Vimeo) has a great collection of short videos that are a perfect length for either bringing yourself up to speed not only on the techniques of filmmaking but the history of those techniques, especially as they are used in American cinema (*viz* Hollywood). With over 40 entries from which to choose, there’s a variety of content. My favorites so far are, naturally, the one on [“the Hollywood formula”][] and [“The Changing Shape of Cinema”][] (it uses clips from _North by Northwest_).

[Filmmaker IQ]: http://vimeo.com/user696868
[“the Hollywood formula”]: http://vimeo.com/67418669
[“The Changing Shape of Cinema”]: http://vimeo.com/68830569

“My Old Man and the Sea”

The new media horizon is at its best when people make beautiful films about things they know and love. “My Old Man and the Sea” is a perfect example of just what can be done: the video and audio are quite good; the editing keeps thing moving along; and the subject matter is allowed to shine in, this case, his full glory, which includes the occasional rough edge of a word or two.

Bond Business

Luck Laboratories has an interactive chart that compares the budget and box office receipts for all the Bond movies (Connery, Lazerby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, Craig). Be sure especially to toggle to see inflation-adjusted numbers. The top grossing Bond film? _Thunderball_ (1965). The next two? _Goldfinger_ (1964) and _Live and Let Die_ (1973). (Good to see Roger Moore get some love: his early Bond films are, I think, as good as any but Connery’s best. I blame the campiness that everyone complains about in the Moore films on the era and the producers.

Errol Morris’ “Interrotron”

Tag this with: “kind of cool, kind of creepy.” I had to study the diagram for a while to make sure my first impression was correct: this is simply a revision of the teleprompter allowing the interviewer to ask questions but making it possible for the person being interviewed to look directly into the camera. It used to be that directors or interviewers sat right next to the camera lens, but this still led the subjects of an interview to look slightly off camera. I guess this works on the direct eye contact level but I wonder if it doesn’t drain a bit of the human warmth out of the interview process.

That is, this may lead to better television but poorer documentation. Individual filmmakers, and audiences, will have to decide which they prefer — and the usual caveat should be added here that this has to be on a project by project basis or otherwise it becomes yet another technology in the long string of technologies that amount to “realistic” within a given era.

Interrotron web page