PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Monday Morning Mixer - 9.23.13

Many years ago, two great films opened today, Berlin Symphony of the City (1927) and The Silence (1963).  What makes the two films equally memorable are how the directors expanded the language of cinema by focusing on a little-considered aspect of a subject (Ruttman) or doing something different from their past work (Bergman).  These works have became a source of inspiration and style for many filmmakers ever since.

"Walther Ruttman’s unfurled Berlin: Symphony of a Great City on 23 September 1927 in the city for which it is named. Having entered film from the fields of architecture and design, Ruttmann saw form and shape where so many others perceived character and story. And while the film employed documentary strategies, it’s aim was more aesthetic than journalistic, trying to capture––as the musical title suggests––the rhythm of the city and the masses who inhabit it. Influenced by Soviet theories of montage, Ruttman divided his piece into five acts, a nod to symphonic rather than theatrical division, with each exploring a different mood and emotional tone."

"With The Silence, which opened in his native Sweden on September 23, 1963, director Ingmar Bergman completed his “religious chamber trilogy,” a bracing, austere and emotionally challenging set of films that saw the director exploring the human condition with dark hues that will be shocking to viewers who only know him from later works like Fanny and Alexander. The trilogy, which is also comprised of Through a Glass Darkly (1961) and Winter Light (1963), features pared-down casts trapped in painful, isolated circumstances, and when God is invoked, it’s mostly to question his absence."~~Focus Features
Maybe now you'll absorb some of Ruttman's and Bergman's stylistic and thematic touches for your future productions... along with the following tips:

WRITING: What are 5 keys to making your screenwriting career a lasting one?
  PRODUCING: What can you learn by studying Roger Corman, the B-movie producer who linked the Old Hollywood to the New Hollywood?

FINANCING: Learn how Hollywood accounting works by taking a peek at the numbers for Tom Cruise's Valkyrie.

DIRECTING: What are some things to learn from Kyle Patrick Alvarez (director of Easier With Practice), about adapting a writen work (an article, short story or novel) for indie film?

SHOOTING: How do you hire a DP?

LIGHTING: Here's a good overview of video lighting techniques.

SOUND: What are 8 things top sound designers and execs can tell you about making your film great?

STUNTS & FX: Want to learn how to do DIY special FX? Of course, you do.

EDITING: What are 6 keyboard shortcuts you can use to speed up your editing on Premiere Pro?

MARKETING: What are 10 commandments for connecting with people (audiences, consumers) through stories?

DISTRIBUTING: Have you heard about the Film Collaborative?

LEGAL: Do you have to share screenwriting credit with someone who gave you a broad idea if you wrote the whole script (creating the characters, dialogue, story and scenes)?


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