Friday, August 21, 2009

Marching to a Different Drummer

An Ethiopian filmmaker, Haile Gerima, directed the movie Sankofa in 1993.

It was an incredibly unflinching look at the conditions of slavery at a pre-Civil War plantation, which also means that it was widely considered unreleasable. Since no distributor would touch it, Gerima took the four-wall route and proceeded to travel through the major urban markets, renting theaters and presenting the movie himself (often in collaboration with various African-American organizations in the various cities he toured).

I am bringing this up because four-walling is back, but in various new ways.

READ MORE By Dennis Toth -

©Copyright 2009 R&R Consulting

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Why is it O.K. to do a film version of the SIN CITY graphic novel, but not a graphic novel of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD…that moves?

This is the question posed by Christopher Panzner, director at Re:Naissance.



Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


How does any low-budget filmmaker get started making his great independent horror movie? The answer is rather simple.

Growing up, my mother used to tell me about the scene in the original B&W silent “Phantom of the Opera” where the audience gasped as Lon Chaney’s mutilated face was first exposed. It's still O.K. to startle your viewers but that's a one shot. Horror has to build in the mind of the audience and that calls for a skillful director.

Yes, the classic formula contains a horrible, ugly monster or a scarred masked man and a beautiful woman, but times have changed. Today, we know the elements of horror can exist with any two actors, real or imagined.

You start with an isolated location (preferably a strange place with lots of rooms) and someone stalking someone else. The audience immediately understands the plight of anyone “lost” in an unfamiliar setting.

A most important element is to have poor lighting and extreme contrast to enhance the drama in the location you choose (think of the dark and dimly lit interior of the Nostromo in the film “Alien”). You want the audience (like the frightened actor in the film) not to be able to see things clearly. The viewers will then empathize with the actor on the screen and feel some of what he must be feeling.

Even more important than the visual element (which is shot first) is the sound design (which normally is constructed when you edit). Great sound can make or break any mood a director wants to create. Great sound design is a like a symphony-it is a string of connected sounds that add up to a lot more than each individual note.

Properly orchestrated, sound design can scare an audience with a sudden jolt or it can put your audience to sleep. If you’re good at editing, you can make an horror trailer that will grab the audience’s attention and make it beg to see more…

CLICK HERE to see the trailer-

©2008, Stanley Lozowski. All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Animoto is a new web application that produces MTV-style videos using your images and your music. Produced in a widescreen format, Animoto videos have the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer. And best of all, no two videos are ever the same. Ever.

Sharing these videos is easy too. You can easily embed them into your website or blog or onto social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. You can also e-mail them to friends and download them to your computer.

The guys at Animoto used to produce shows for MTV, Comedy Central & ABC, study classical music in London, play in rock bands in Seattle and develop software in Japan. They developed ANIMOTO, a patent-pending, Cinematic Artificial Intelligence that thinks like an actual editor and director. This A.I. makes the same sophisticated editing techniques used in television and in film available to everyone.


Labels: , , , , , , , ,