23 Best Documentaries of All Time, Ranked for Filmmakers (2021)

The first films ever made were documentaries. Originally demonstrations of the magic of filmmaking technology, these short, seemingly insignificant projects have since served as historical records of everyday life at the turn of the 19th century. 125 years later, documentary filmmaking is still one of the most powerful ways of educating and influencing audiences, for… Continue reading 23 Best Documentaries of All Time, Ranked for Filmmakers (2021)

What is Queer Theory? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

Queer theory is a complex, multi-faceted subject that’s difficult to cover in a single post. So we’re going to try to break it down into more digestible pieces. We’ll give you a basic overview of Queer Theory, but mainly we’ll provide some examples from films and TV shows that have been groundbreaking in terms of… Continue reading What is Queer Theory? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

Joker Costume Design: How to Break Down a Script for Wardrobe

In filmmaking, we’re often told that the screenplay is the blueprint, but hand-in-hand with that is the script breakdown. Every show, no matter how big or small, starts with the script breakdown. Not only does the breakdown give us the first sense of what the world of the story will look like, it also informs each… Continue reading Joker Costume Design: How to Break Down a Script for Wardrobe

Who is This Person? Finding a Character Using the Script Breakdown

There’s an old film school thought experiment that asks about a character, “What does he have in his refrigerator?” In this post, we’re going to practice that experiment.We can learn plenty about who a character is from the things they say, as well as the things others say about them. But we also learn who… Continue reading Who is This Person? Finding a Character Using the Script Breakdown

What’s in Your Shot List: How to Design and Communicate Your Vision

You’ve thoroughly read and re-read the script, and you can perfectly visualize what your finished movie is going to look like. But how can you make sure that what audiences will see on the screen will be the same as what’s in your mind’s eye? Easy peasy! You just need a Shot List. Continue reading What’s in… Continue reading What’s in Your Shot List: How to Design and Communicate Your Vision

Cinéma Vérité — Filmmaking Style That Keeps It Real

Cinéma vérité – literally “cinema of truth” – is a style of filmmaking you’ve probably seen more than you realize. You may even have studied it as part of your film education. As a technique, cinéma vérité has been a valuable tool for independent filmmakers for decades, not only for recording events as they happened,… Continue reading Cinéma Vérité — Filmmaking Style That Keeps It Real

Stereotypes in Movies and How Filmmakers Can Avoid Them

Over the last century, we made some extraordinary advances in storytelling technology. We can shoot in complete darkness. We can create environments and characters from nothing more than pixels ⏤ even live, in real-time. And we can literally make an entire feature film using our phones! And, yet, stereotypes in movies still exist.  The progress needle… Continue reading Stereotypes in Movies and How Filmmakers Can Avoid Them

The Clapperboard Explained — How to Use a Film Slate

The humble film slate, scuffed and scratched and tossed casually aside between setups, is actually a very important piece of equipment that no film set should ever be without.In this post we’re going to give you the insider’s tour of the slate. We’ll show you how to use a film slate on set, including how… Continue reading The Clapperboard Explained — How to Use a Film Slate

12 Secrets to Great Exposition in Screenwriting (w/ Examples)

Exposition in film or screenwriting is one of the most difficult aspects to master. It’s necessary for our audience to understand our characters and plot, but we don’t really want the audience to be aware of exposition, in and of itself.  When that happens, it can jar the audience right out of our story. And… Continue reading 12 Secrets to Great Exposition in Screenwriting (w/ Examples)

The Ultimate Guide to Production Reports

Nobody likes doing paperwork, but sometimes it’s just part of your job. On a film shoot, production reports are how the production office communicates with each department, and vice-versa. Fortunately, StudioBinder makes creating reports easy so you have more time to rest and recharge before the next shooting day. Continue reading The Ultimate Guide to Production… Continue reading The Ultimate Guide to Production Reports

Breaking Down the Wedding Scene from Crazy Rich Asians

Every production starts with the script breakdown. Whether you’re working on an effects-heavy mega-budget project like Age of Ultron or a micro-budget indie like Paranormal Activity, you won’t really know what bringing that story to life is going to require until you get into the script and take it apart element by element. So, let’s… Continue reading Breaking Down the Wedding Scene from Crazy Rich Asians

Breaking Down the Contemporary Western: Westworld

As the lovechild of the Costume Drama and the Fantasy Adventure, the Western might have more considerations that go into producing it than any other genre. When shooting a western, you’ve got costumes, animals, and stunt work to contend with. You’ve got locations and dirt and weather…And that’s just on an ordinary shoot day.  In… Continue reading Breaking Down the Contemporary Western: Westworld