Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingnmar Bergman - A Filmmaker Lost

Legendary film-maker Ingmar Bergman, one of the key figures in modern cinema, has died at the age of 89.

His 60-year career spanned intense classics like Cries & Whispers, The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries. He was personally nominated for nine Oscars between 1960 and 1984, while three of his productions won Oscars for best foreign film. Bergman died at his home in Faro, Sweden. No details about the cause of death have been released.

For most cinemagoers, Ingmar Bergman is Swedish cinema. Certainly, few other directors have assumed Bergman's burden of representing an entire nation for international audiences. His austere appraisals of familial strife and spiritual angst may have worked against the grain of the Swedish Tourist Board, but Bergman has nevertheless single-handedly put his homeland on the cinematic map. His sombre canon, encompassing more than 40 feature films shot with complete artistic control, has earned him auteurship and helped raise cinema's stature to that enjoyed by other art forms.

As a director, Bergman favored intuition over intellect, and chose to be unaggressive in dealing with actors. Bergman saw himself as having a great responsibility toward them, viewing them as collaborators often in a psychologically vulnerable position. He stated that a director must be both honest and supportive in order to allow others their best work.

His films usually deal with existential questions of mortality, loneliness, and faith; they also tend to be direct and not overtly stylized. Persona, one of Bergman's most famous films, is unusual among Bergman's work in being both existentialist and avant-garde.

While his themes could be cerebral, sexual desire found its way to the foreground of most of his movies, whether the setting was the era of the plague ("The Seventh Seal"), upper-class family life in early 20th century Uppsala ("Fanny and Alexander") or contemporary times in a strange city ("The Silence"). The female characters were usually more in touch with their sexuality than their men. In an interview with Playboy magazine in 1964, he said: "...the manifestation of sex is very important, and particularly to me, for above all, I don't want to make merely intellectual films. I want audiences to feel, to sense my films. This to me is much more important than their understanding them." Film, Bergman said, was his demanding mistress. Some of his major actresses became his real-life mistresses.

Bergman usually wrote his own scripts, thinking about them for months or years before starting the actual process of writing, which he viewed as somewhat tedious. His earlier films are carefully structured, and are either based on his plays or written in collabortion with other authors. Bergman stated that in his later works, when on occasion his actors would want to do things differently from his own intentions, he would let them, noting that the results were often "disastrous" when he did not do so. As his career progressed, Bergman increasingly let his actors improvise their dialogue. In his latest films, he wrote just the ideas informing the scene and allowed his actors to determine exact dialogue.

Bergman died at his home in Sweden. No details about the cause of death have been released.

According to the TT news agency, Bergman died peacefully on Faro Island - or Sheep Island - in the Baltic Sea. The director had settled there after using it as a location for several films.

Source: BBC, Wikipedia

Thursday, July 19, 2007

CBBC Filmmaking Workshop For Kids

Are you aged 8-14 and interested in film-making? If the answer is yes the ‘CBBC me and my movie’ summer roadshow is just for you!

CBBC are offering budding young film-makers the opportunity to take part in a fun and practical based filmmaking workshop run by Cinemagic from 8th-10 August, in Craigavon and Belfast. From scriptwriting and storyboarding, to filming and editing, participants will learn all the skills needed to make a short film in a day!

As well as participating in the workshop, young people will be in with the chance to win the ‘CBBC me and my movie award’, - in association with BAFTA’- which is a special new award for films made by children at the annual Children’s BAFTAs.

The workshops which are taking place in Northern Ireland are part of a unique children’s film-making initiative- ‘CBBC me and my movie’ which inspires and enables children to make their own films and tell their own stories. ‘CBBC me and my movie’ is also providing an original 3D online space ( where children can engage with the experience of film-making.


Filmmaking Workshop at University Of Missisippi


DATES: July 23-26, 2007

LOCATION: Ole Miss - Oxford Depot

WORKSHOP OVERVIEW: The intensive Advanced Filmmaking Workshop will be held at the Ole miss -Oxford Depot and other supporting locations on the University of Mississippi campus. The workshop is designed to take high school and college students, teachers and other filmmaking enthusiasts to an advanced level of understanding and training in filmmaking. At the time of registration, a detailed schedule will be sent to registrants.

ENROLLMENT ELGIBILITY: Registration is open to anyone (high school to adult) who is already equipped with a basic understanding of filmmaking and is ideal for those who have previously completed the Ole Miss "introductory level" Filmmaking Workshop.


* Provide advanced level editing training
* Provide advanced level camera training
* Provide advanced level directing training


Monday, July 16, 2007

15 Must Have Softwares for Filmmakers

With all the pricey cameras and equipment, filmmaking isn't exactly a hobby that screams "cheap." Lucky for all you free stuff-loving geeks, there are some options available that can help you make the most of your creative impulses. Many shareware and freeware programs for film editing, screenwriting, sound editing and storyboarding are available for minimal or no cost on the Internet as alternatives to more expensive programs that might do damage to your budget. Here are a few freeware and shareware programs to help you save a few bucks and still make a film that can "wow".

Pre Production

1. ScreenPro [66KB | Shareware $10 |Win All] So you've got a great idea for a screenplay but aren't sure how to begin writing? ScreenPro is a formatting template for Microsoft Word that can help you with some of the finer points for organizing your screenplay, freeing your mind to concentrate on creating the next big thing. The actual program is free to download; but a registered version free of guilt-trip inducing reminders is available for only $10, and comes with script analysis tools to help you create a better, tighter, and hopefully more successful script.

2. ScreenForge [174KB |Shareware $45 |Win All/Mac] ScreenForge is another screenplay template for Word. ScreenForge differs in that it not only has templates for the main screenplay, but also for the cover page and the title/fly page. The formatting rules by which it has been laid out are taken from a number of respected books on the subject, so you know you're getting a good layout for your ideas and one that will make you look professional.

Read the full list here

Monday, July 02, 2007

Components of Soundtrack

Filmmakers can include spoken words, sound effects, music and silence in the soundtrack. Each may be used in the usual manner, but each may also be used in surprising ways.

Dialogue is usually dominant and intellectual, music is usually supportive and emotional, sound effects are usually information. Their uses however, are not inflexible. Sometimes, dialogue is non-intellectual and aesthetic, sometimes music is symbolic, and on occasion sound effects may serve any of these functions. Any of these elements may be dominant or recessive according to the sharpness or softness of the sound and the relationship of the sound to the image.
(Murch, "Sound Designer", 298)

Possible Soundtrack Components

  • Dialogues and monologues, including vocals that convey meaning. For example, "hmmm" = "I dont know", "Let me think about that", or some other meaning depending on context.
  • Narration = spoken comments on subjects on screen or off.
  • Sounds made by objects. Example: a falling tree crashing into an asphalt pavement.
  • Sounds made by people (other than spoken words). Example: a person walking on gravel.
  • Ambient sound = typically, usually unnoticed sounds of a place. Examples: the wind blowing through bckyard bushes, indistinct conversations at a party.
  • Instrumental sounds
- Electronic. Examples: Moog synthesizer, Theremin, computer-generated music.
- Non-electronic materials. Examples: wood, plastic, glass, a combination of materials.
- Electronic and non-electronic combinations. Example: selective use of the Theremin and elsewhere orchestral music in The Day and Earth Stood Still (1951)
  • Vocals. Examples: singing, chanting, humming, rhythmic grunting, rhythmic forced laughing, whistling, yodeling, the throat singing heard in the documentary Ghengis Blues (1999).
  • Instrumental sounds and vocal combinations.
No Sound. Example: an astronaut tumbling lifelessly through space in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)