Blog Update

The Story of Ferguson through the Eyes of the People Who Lived it

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By the time we wrapped our last shooting day, we had collected over 300 hours of footage. Lungs shouted for justice and moments later filled with teargas. A father baked cookies during a moment of peace. A police chief and a mayor cited lack of data. Our creative team quickly realized we had several possible…

“Communication Is Where a Film Lives and Dies”: Director Zoe Lister-Jones

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Communication is where a film lives and dies. It is essential for efficacy, for performance, and ultimately for translating a director’s vision to the screen. To me communication is less about the art of talking than it is about the art of listening. I hired an all-female crew on Band Aid, which was deliberate on…

Profound Communication Only Happens When There Is Persistence

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I often ask myself, how does each of us weave our own responsibilities into the pattern of history? How can I tell stories about human rights and the quest for justice yet engage people who are uninterested or apathetic? And the answer has always brought me back to this idea of the persistence of vision….

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities

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“The Challenge Is Balancing Tone”: Director Mark Pellington

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The communication challenge in executing The Last Word was thematic. With issues of aging or mortality, the challenge is balancing tone. That is achieved by communicating to everyone (cast, crew and, in turn, the audience) the specific tone. We tried keeping the story human and offbeat, making it emotionally inclusive, and earning the emotional payoff…

“We Are Living through a Divisive Time”: Director Barbara Kopple

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Obviously we are living through a very divisive time, and transgender issues are among the most controversial of what people call “the culture wars.” That was something I was aware of while making this movie, and its something we are aware of as we release it. That said, every film I make involves going as…

I Stopped Talking and Started Making the True Great Film

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The first time I mentioned I was making a film about Winnie Mandela, it happened to be to a novelist, in a bar in Amsterdam. He screwed up his face and said: “What? That murderer!” His response was echoed on numerous occasions around the world. Nelson Mandela was still perceived as a saint and his…

“We Don’t Use Words to Tell a Story”: Directors Lily Baldwin

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We don’t use words to tell a story. We use bodies, gestures, dance, color, music and sound as tools. Inherently with this, there is room for interpretation about what the work IS ABOUT. This is the beauty and of course the challenge around non-traditional narratives. Meaning its fluid. VR is perfect for this. In Through…

“Communicating with Respect and Openness”: Director José María Cabral

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Communication was the key for writing, shooting and making the movie, particularly this one. Woodpeckers explores communication and language in a very specific level. First of all the writing process was about making contact and understanding the prisoners, getting to create relationships, not only for the script but also because I wanted them as actors…

I Want the Viewer to Feel Totally Immersed in My World

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For me God’s Own Country is an investigation into authenticity of emotion and landscape. Having grown up on the same hillside where the film is set, it was critically important to me to communicate what this very specific landscape not only looks like but how it feels, sounds, tastes, smells. The wind, the cold, the…

Cate Outstripped Us All with Her Immeasurable Enthusiasm

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Manifesto was originally planned as a 13-screen installation for the art context. And so it is touring museums and art festivals now. But I also got some funding from a German TV channel and I needed to consider how to bring that multi-screen-concept later into a linear version. Given the fact that we only had…

Hiring All Women Isn’t a Gimmick; It’s Progress and Prospect

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Bela Lugosi once famously said, “It is women who love horror. Gloat over it. Feed on it. Are nourished by it. Shudder and cling and cry out — and come back for more.” He was as right then as he is now. Women love horror. And yet here we are in 2017, and even though…

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