PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Midweek Morning Mixer - 10.9.13

Oct. 9, 1964 - Guillermo Del Toro born.
Guillermo Del Toro, the Oscar-nominated writer-director of Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies, today celebrates his 49th birthday. Del Toro is, in some senses, the ultimate fanboy filmmaker, a lifelong lover of movies and comic books who moved from aficionado to auteur, bringing an uncommon artistry, intelligence and sophistication to the horror and fantasy film genres. A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, del Toro was first drawn to horror movies – from the more cheap and cheesy 50s monster flicks and Hammer Horror movies to James Whale, Mario Bava and George A. Romero films – when he still extremely young. However, as he tells it, horror was all around him anyway. In interviews, he’s talked about seeing monsters in his bedroom as a toddler, and then being haunted by the ghost of his uncle – ironically, the man who had first introduced him to horror movies and novels. He began to draw his own monsters, and the fantastical world of horror he created became an escape from the world around him. (His grandmother, however, “went in with a vial of holy water and tried to exorcise me for the shit I was drawing. I started laughing and she got so scared that she threw more at me.") Also, says del Toro, being Mexican means that death is ever-present in his work: “I worked for months next to a morgue that I had to go through to get to work. I've seen people being shot; I've had guns put to my head; I've seen people burnt alive, stabbed, decapitated ... because Mexico is still a very violent place.” Del Toro first got into movies working in makeup and effects (he studied under the legendary Dick Smith), and later co-founded the Guadalajara Film Festival. In 1992, he directed his first feature, the inventive and macabre Cronos, and has not looked back since. ~~ Focus Features 

Now after paying a proper homage through that glorious Simpsons intro, let's get cracking with some filmmaking questions...

WRITING: Want an inside look into writing for the Michael J. Fox show?

PRODUCING: What can the makers of "You're Next" teach you about making an independent horror movie?

FINANCING: Why should studios act like indies?

DIRECTING: How did Wes Anderson make the Royal Tenenbaums?

SHOOTING: What are the signature shooting styles of 5 contemporary directors?

LIGHTING: What are some horror film lighting tips?

SOUND: Read an abridged history of the creative use of sound in film.

STUNTS & FX: How can you create practical sci-fi special fx on a budget?

EDITING: Which one of these 20 amazing movie title sequences will inspire you?

MARKETING: What are 10 key steps to creating an effective movie marketing strategy?

DISTRIBUTION: As you prepare for the AFM (American Film Market) what can you learn from Yahoo and the AFM itself?  

LEGAL: What are 2 questions you want answered before you pitch or shoot your film?


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