What is World Building — Definition, Examples & Techniques

What is world-building? And, more importantly, why does it matter? World-building is an integral element of storytelling that often goes overlooked and underappreciated. Good world-building might be felt rather than explicitly noticed, and a lack of it can leave a book, film, or video game feeling shallow. We’ll get started with a world-building definition, then… Continue reading What is World Building — Definition, Examples & Techniques

What is Exposition — You Can’t Escape It But You Can Conquer It

One of the most basic functions of every film is to communicate information over a length of time to an audience. How this film is communicated often determines how engaged an audience may be. One of the most difficult types of information to weave naturally into a story is exposition. What is exposition? In this… Continue reading What is Exposition — You Can’t Escape It But You Can Conquer It

How to Direct Actors for Film — 12 Tips & Techniques Explained

There are many responsibilities that fall onto the shoulders of a director. One of the most important responsibilities they have is to direct the actors of a film. How do great directors bring out great performances from an actor? What is the relationship between director and actor? How should a director communicate with an actor?… Continue reading How to Direct Actors for Film — 12 Tips & Techniques Explained

What is Foreshadowing — Definition, Examples in Film and Lit.

Have you ever watched a movie with a plot twist that blew your mind and then watched that movie again and noticed signs leading to the twist? You’re not alone. So, what is foreshadowing? Is it just simply dropping clues or is it something more? Implementing foreshadowing techniques into your story can create anticipation that… Continue reading What is Foreshadowing — Definition, Examples in Film and Lit.

How to Storyboard if You Can’t Draw — 4 Alternative Options

What is a StoryboardHow to StoryboardStoryboard ExamplesStoryboard SoftwareStoryboard TemplatesCreate Storyboard  → How can you storyboard if you cannot draw? It might seem like a conundrum at first glance but, luckily, there are a number of alternatives to drawing that you can make use of and still produce high quality storyboards. In this post, we will… Continue reading How to Storyboard if You Can’t Draw — 4 Alternative Options

Best Movie Shootouts of All Time — Locked, Loaded & Ranked

Ever since The Great Train Robbery introduced filmgoers to the joys of a glorious gunfight in 1903, shootouts have become a staple of cinematic spectacles. Throughout movie history, filmmakers have tried to one-up each other by creating the most titillating exchange of gunfire possible. Over a century since its inception, the shootout continues to be… Continue reading Best Movie Shootouts of All Time — Locked, Loaded & Ranked

What is Narrative Film — Overview & History of Narrative Cinema

If you are a filmmaker or even just a movie buff, odds are you’ve heard the term “narrative film.” Although it is a rather vague term thrown around quite often, it can make a lot of people wonder, “What is a narrative film?” In this article, we’ll clarify the key characteristics to narrative movies and… Continue reading What is Narrative Film — Overview & History of Narrative Cinema

Academy Award For Best Film Editing — Top 20 Winners Ranked

There is a saying: the best film editing is the editing that nobody notices. Though there are exceptions, this is pretty widely accepted as truth for the most part. So if good editing purposely avoids standing out, how are the nominees and winners of the Best Film Editing Oscar picked out and decided? The editing style… Continue reading Academy Award For Best Film Editing — Top 20 Winners Ranked

Rodrigo Prieto Style – DP for Scorsese, Iñárritu, Ang Lee & More

The list of directors Rodrigo Prieto has worked with reads like a list of the greatest directors currently working: Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodóvar, Ang Lee, Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, and Alejandro Iñárritu, to name a few. The acclaimed director of photography started in the independent film scene in Mexico, and first gained international attention in… Continue reading Rodrigo Prieto Style – DP for Scorsese, Iñárritu, Ang Lee & More

You Talking to Me? — Breaking Down Taxi Driver’s Iconic Scene

Martin Scorsese is widely considered one of the finest filmmakers of his or any generation. Of his long list of masterpieces, his enduring classic Taxi Driver remains one of the most beloved. One scene in particular has permeated the zeitgeist in a way few scenes manage to do: the iconic and oft-quoted “You talking to… Continue reading You Talking to Me? — Breaking Down Taxi Driver’s Iconic Scene

What is a Sound Bridge in Film — Scene Transition Techniques

Are you having trouble transitioning from one scene to the next? Maybe you feel like there’s something missing in the cut. Or maybe the cut is just far too abrupt and distracting. Sound bridges are an incredible editing technique that can be found in nearly every film you’ve seen. What is a sound bridge in… Continue reading What is a Sound Bridge in Film — Scene Transition Techniques

25 Best Movie Soundtracks That Changed the Game

Music plays an integral role in how a movie communicates tone. When thinking about a movie, we often recall back to a moment when the soundtrack swelled at the perfect moment, how it transported us to other worlds, or interweaved popular culture into the narrative. We can learn a lot from how filmmakers use music… Continue reading 25 Best Movie Soundtracks That Changed the Game

What is a Plot Device? Definitions and Examples for Screenwriters

The term “Plot device” has grown to be taboo in the world of writing. Most screenwriters associate the term with an inherently negative connotation, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Plot devices have existed since the inception of stories, and for good reason. So what is a plot device? In this article, we’re… Continue reading What is a Plot Device? Definitions and Examples for Screenwriters

How to Write a Voice Over Montage in Screenplay Format

Montages can be an incredibly useful filmmaking tool if utilized correctly. They can condense time, intertwine storylines, and be used for comedic or dramatic effect. Some montages are completely visual with no dialogue. Others may utilize voiceover from a narrator or dialogue for the film’s narrative. If your montage is the latter, stick around to… Continue reading How to Write a Voice Over Montage in Screenplay Format

Thelma Schoonmaker Editing Style & Working with Scorsese

Film editing is an underrated art form, and oftentimes under-appreciated. Editing is the backbone of filmmaking — it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to the craft, including developing one’s own unique editing style, and breaking the rules. Let’s examine one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and notable film editors, Thelma Schoonmaker, and discover… Continue reading Thelma Schoonmaker Editing Style & Working with Scorsese

25 Best Opening Scenes in Movies & What Makes Them Great

In psychology, there’s something called the serial position effect. It means people tend to remember what comes first and last, not what occurs in the middle. Filmmakers know this phenomenon all too well. Combine that with today’s stream-ability and countless options… and the opening to a film is as important as ever. Today, we study the best… Continue reading 25 Best Opening Scenes in Movies & What Makes Them Great

15 Movies That Break the Fourth Wall (Besides Deadpool)

For the most part, filmmakers strive to make audiences forget that they are in fact an audience watching a film. They work to make the film completely immersive. But sometimes filmmakers intentionally draw attention to the medium being used by breaking the fourth wall. While not all stories benefit from such interruptions, here are the… Continue reading 15 Movies That Break the Fourth Wall (Besides Deadpool)