What is Public Domain and How is it Used? A Guide for Creators

Does it seem like every story imaginable has already been told? Instead of looking toward the future for your next project, why not delve into the past? Your next film could be a remix of something that’s come before. And before you get worried about Johnny Law, you’ll find many works exist within the public… Continue reading What is Public Domain and How is it Used? A Guide for Creators

What is a Narrative — Definition, Examples in Literature and Film

Narrative is a term that pops up everywhere, not only in relation to film and literature, but also in news stories, in college curriculums, to describe a style of podcasts, even to specify a form of psychotherapy. But what is a narrative? And why is the term used so often to describe so many seemingly… Continue reading What is a Narrative — Definition, Examples in Literature and Film

What is a Wipe Transition in Film — Editing Transitions Explained

Transitions can be an incredibly effective storytelling device that filmmakers use to visually communicate to the audience. One of the earliest transitions is the wipe transition. What is a wipe transition? First used in 1901 in Robert Paul’s Scrooge, the wipe was used from the top of the frame to the bottom, emulating the visuals… Continue reading What is a Wipe Transition in Film — Editing Transitions Explained

What is Lens Flare? How to Get It & How to Avoid It

What is lens flare? It’s probably appeared on some of your photos or footage. Sometimes it ruins images, and sometimes it surprises you and makes you feel like you are the greatest photographer in all the land. If you’re an aspiring photographer or filmmaker, though, you’ll probably want and need more control over your images.… Continue reading What is Lens Flare? How to Get It & How to Avoid It

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

What is VistaVision — A History of Widescreen in Hollywood

Before the 1950s, nearly every single movie was in the same 4:3 aspect ratio. But then CinemaScope from 20th Century Fox changed the landscape with widescreen imagery to get people into theaters nationwide. Pretty soon, other studios were making their own widescreen movies, including Paramount Pictures with VistaVision. What is VistaVision, you ask? Well, it… Continue reading What is VistaVision — A History of Widescreen in Hollywood

What is an Animatic? Bring Your Storyboard to Life

Whether you’re making an animated commercial, a live-action short, or a feature film, animatics will help ensure a solid finished product. You’ve probably heard of storyboards and might have seen animatics before, even if you didn’t know that’s what they’re called. So, what is an animatic and what makes them so useful? In this post, we’re going… Continue reading What is an Animatic? Bring Your Storyboard to Life

What is a Character Arc — Definition & Types of Character Arcs

What is a character arc and why are they so important in storytelling? A character arc is an essential part of writing a fully-fledged character. As much as we like seeing goals being achieved, it is the internal, positive change in characters that we really gravitate towards. We’re going to answer those questions with a… Continue reading What is a Character Arc — Definition & Types of Character Arcs

Academy Award for Best Production Design — Winners Ranked

Production design is everything that goes into making the world of a film – sets, props and more. But despite its importance, production design is a facet of filmmaking that I think many people take for granted. We often ascribe credit to the writers, directors and stars of a picture rather than the artists working… Continue reading Academy Award for Best Production Design — Winners Ranked

Screenwriting Terms — Abbreviations, Definitions & Vocab

There are a lot of intricacies in scripts that present challenges to even the most veteran of screenwriters. The process of writing a script is difficult enough but the vocabulary, abbreviations, and defintions related to the job can be a bit elusive. But don’t worry, we’re going to cover a variety of screenwriting terms that… Continue reading Screenwriting Terms — Abbreviations, Definitions & Vocab

Academy Award for Best Original Score: Top Winners Ranked

The Academy Award for Best Original Score is one of the most prestigious honors a composer can be given. Over the years, some of the world’s most acclaimed composers, like John Williams and Max Steiner, have won the award. We’re going to list every Academy Award for Best Original Score winner, then rank some of… Continue reading Academy Award for Best Original Score: Top Winners Ranked

20 Mise en Scène Elements Every Filmmaker Needs to Know

Mise en scène can seem foreign, even to filmmakers, film critics, and movie buffs. Why is it important? How do you pronounce it? And what is mise en scène anyway. Grasping mise en scène is critical for anyone who makes or seriously watches any kind of visual content. For directors and producers, mise en scène… Continue reading 20 Mise en Scène Elements Every Filmmaker Needs to Know

What is the Wilhelm Scream? Origins and Iconic Examples

What are some of the most iconic sounds in cinema history? Sure two lightsabers clashing or even the suspenseful score of Jaws make that list. However, one sound effect has been used throughout movies of all genres for over fifty years. It is none other than the iconic Wilhelm Scream. You may have heard it… Continue reading What is the Wilhelm Scream? Origins and Iconic Examples

Types of Editing Transitions in Film — The Ultimate Guide

Video transitions are used in just about every film and video – and they play an enormous role in the subliminal or liminal effects of moving from shot to shot. As such, knowing when and how to use specific types of editing transitions in film – like wipes, fades and pans – can make your… Continue reading Types of Editing Transitions in Film — The Ultimate Guide

Best Kids Movies of All Time — Classics Every Kid Should See

There are a lot of great kids movies to watch, whether you’re looking for something to show your children, niece/nephews, classroom, etc. – or you’re just looking to reconnect with your childhood. We’re going to rank the best kids movies of all time based on three criteria: visuals, creativity, and moral/insightful message.  Note: we tried to… Continue reading Best Kids Movies of All Time — Classics Every Kid Should See

What Happened to Every Frame a Painting? — A Eulogy

In April 2014, a YouTube channel named Every Frame a Painting was created and it changed the course of film criticism forever. Over the course of three years, Every Frame a Painting founders Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou released 28 video essays addressing everything in film from the style of Akira Kurosawa to the editing… Continue reading What Happened to Every Frame a Painting? — A Eulogy

The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now (January 2021)

Amazon Prime Video is chock-full of great movies but it’s a nightmare trying to find them. Unlike Netflix which offers strong curated playlists, Prime Video does a poor job of highlighting all the amazing movies on its service. Don’t fret though, we’ve scoured the depths of Prime’s film catalogue to deliver our list of the… Continue reading The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now (January 2021)