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Film School in a Box DVDs


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#1 of 29 Kevin Porter

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Posted September 08 2003 - 11:38 AM

I'd like to get the names of some titles that are extremely informative about the filmmaking process and would greatly benefit budding filmmakers. I ask as I am one or trying to be one (Trying to be a budding filmmaker. That really sounds sad doesn't it) and I really want to be well versed in my craft. May it be an excellent commentary track or a really great documentary just something really insightful and informative. I heard that Brazil was a good one though I haven't had experience with it myself yet. Can anyone point me toward some good titles?
Danny Federici, we'll meet you in the land of hope and dreams

#2 of 29 Jeff Kleist

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Posted September 08 2003 - 12:16 PM

Pearl Harbor Vista
LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring (Extended)
Armageddon: Criterion

#3 of 29 MatS

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Posted September 08 2003 - 12:23 PM

Citizen Kane

#4 of 29 MartinTeller

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Posted September 08 2003 - 12:47 PM

El Mariachi and Desperado

#5 of 29 rutger_s

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Posted September 08 2003 - 12:51 PM

No contest: [b]Terminator 2: Judgement Day - The Ultimate Edition}.

But I would not say "Film School in A Box." More like a semester of film school in a box.

Other great DVDs:

The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring - New Line Platinum Series

Fight Club(special edition)

Narc

And if you want one day film lectures on DVD...El Mariachi and Desperado both feature 10 Minute Film School hosted by Robert Rodriguez.

#6 of 29 richardWI

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Posted September 08 2003 - 01:25 PM

I'm not sure why people are listing FOTR as lessons in filmmaking. It's mainly lessons in a specific type of filmmaking where you just happen to be adapting over a 1000 pages of literature with a 150 million dollar budget over an 8 year period! It's good to gawk at, but there's little in the way of useful advice for a budding filmmaker. Few of us are going to be directing Christopher Lee in the near future, or creating CGI armies in a computer.

On the other hand, Bad Taste, along with its documentary, shows what can be done on little money with lots of attitude and energy. Same with the Rodriguez movies with commentaries mentioned above.

Every Werner Herzog movie with his commentary track. This is a guy that "liberated" a 35mm camera from a film school and shot his first three feature films with it! His attitudes and beliefs are inspirational and priceless. "The world is just not made for filmmaking. You have to know that every time you make a film you must be prepared to wrestle it away from the Devil himself. But carry on, dammit! Ignite the fire." -W. Herzog.

Just about any Troma release with a Lloyd Kaufmann commentary. Good for the budget challenged! (and who isn't?) He wrote a good book called "Make Your Own Damn Movie"!

Evil Dead 1 commentaries. More gureilla (sp) filmmaking.

#7 of 29 Scott Kimball

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Posted September 08 2003 - 03:57 PM

No doubt about it:

Citizen Kane

Whether or not you enjoy the film, it is THE movie to study the craft of filmmaking. Welles was ahead of his time. There is an excellent commentary by Roger Ebert... the man really knows the history of this film, and guides you on the fine points of style as delivered by Welles in this film. There are also a myriad of books and articles written about this movie. There isn't a serious film student who has not studied this film.


Casablanca has a commentary track by Ebert, as well as Rudy Behlmer, and is also a fine choice.

LOTR and T2 do an excellent job of documenting the respective films in their extensive bonus material, but they are not instructive in the craft of filmmaking.

You're certainly not going to learn all about filmmaking from a commentary track, though.

Consider checking with your local university or community college for a course in Film Theory and/or Film History.

There are dozens of books on the subject of independent filmmaking. Check them out at Amazon, looking at the rankings. There are so many good ones, it's hard to pick one - but there are a number of stinkers as well.

Finally, with or without commentary tracks, learn from the greats by watching classic films - not just modern cinema.

The mechanics of filmmaking are only a piece of the puzzle. Experiencing the art of the masters is a great first step. You'll only learn the mechanics by DOING, not by listening to a commentary or reading a book. I don't know where you are, geographically - but even most modest-sized cities have a community of independent filmmakers looking for volunteer help. Go out and get your hands dirty.

-Scott

#8 of 29 earl_roberts

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Posted September 08 2003 - 10:19 PM

I'm in the same position!
Do The Right Thing Criterion was very helpful!!!

#9 of 29 oscar_merkx

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Posted September 08 2003 - 11:08 PM

You should watch Following by Memento's Christopher Nolan.

awesome indeed and Memento is the same.

You will be surprised

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#10 of 29 Mark Cappelletty

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Posted September 08 2003 - 11:14 PM

The Limey

#11 of 29 Brian Kidd

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Posted September 09 2003 - 01:19 AM

THE ABYSS
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#12 of 29 Tom Grooms

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Posted September 09 2003 - 05:43 AM

Pulp Fiction

#13 of 29 ShaunS

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Posted September 09 2003 - 05:49 AM

The Criterion release of Traffic has some pretty informative extras. There are a number of short docs showing the numerous steps taken for visual effects, and sound and video editing. You actually see the screen of the programs used to edit sound and video (the name escapes me) and you get commentary by the gents who worked on each aspect. I have yet to listen to the film commentaries by Sodenburgh and the bunch, but I hear they are just as great.

ShaunS

#14 of 29 Lew Crippen

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Posted September 09 2003 - 06:26 AM

In addition to the Citizen Kane and Do the Right Thing DVDs mentioned, I would recommend both Halloween and Carnival of Souls, two movies made on a shoestring budget and with commentaries that should be helpful to anyone interested in how to make a film without much money.

George Washington would be a similar recommendation.
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#15 of 29 Seth Paxton

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Posted September 09 2003 - 07:11 AM

Quote:
The Criterion release of Traffic has some pretty informative extras

Yes, I would 2nd this, simply because you at least get to see the technology of an Avid editing machine and grasp what tools exist and why you would need them.

Even if you will not have access to such equipment, it helps you appreciate what your task will be so that you can create your own work-arounds for your lower budget.

And it helps point to the types of difficulty you will have on the actual shoot. One of the better examples goes over the process of capturing dialog on the set. For Traffic they were able to use sound processing to fix the error which you probably won't be able to, but you will gain the understanding of what REALISTIC type of problems you will run into.


It's also why people are right to mention films like El Mariarchi or Tromo films with commentaries.

#16 of 29 Estevan Lapena

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Posted September 09 2003 - 07:43 AM

Brazil:Criterion (Studio process and editing)
T2: Ultimate (Plethora of features)
Do The Right Thing: Criterion (All around)
Day Of The Dead: 2 Disc (Makeup tricks)
Platoon: SE (3rd one) (Commentaries and Making of are great)
Black Hawk Down: Deluxe (All around)
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (Commentaries, EEEEE!!!!)
All are good DVD's that really bring you into the process of film making.

#17 of 29 Mike Graham

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Posted September 09 2003 - 08:19 AM

The commentary tracks on Christopher Nolan's Following and Insomnia(which runs the scenes in the order of the way they were filmed, while the second commentary track features the production crew talk about a handful each) are very, very helpful.

#18 of 29 Brian_L_Kleis

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Posted September 09 2003 - 09:27 AM

Definately seconding the recommendations of the T2 Ultimate edition - some great stuff there from conception through shooting through release...

Any Ebert commentary is a good commentary, thus far... The Kane and Casablanca ones are both great, and I even surprised myself by learning quite a bit from the Dark City one too...

My recommendation - Rent/Buy the Personal Journey with Martin Scorcese through American Movies, any of the wonderful documentaries on most of the Universal Hitchcock disks, or Criterion's Traffic and Brazil... Myself, I'm into the animation education materials, and the Toy Box and most other Disney Platinum/2Disk SE's are really well done as well....
"...and like that... ...I was gone" Keyser257

#19 of 29 Blu

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Posted September 09 2003 - 01:51 PM

I'm a huge Robert Rodriguez fan when it comes to DVD extras on filmmaking.
His stuff is priceless when it comes to being a efficient filmmaker.

#20 of 29 Stewart Storrar

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Posted September 09 2003 - 04:05 PM

Another vote for Robert Rodriguez, his commentary tracks on El Mariachi, Desperado and From Dusk Til Dawn are excellent for a budding film maker, very practical advice...