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NAACP Cinematic Shorts Competition

Call for Submissions

Deadline June 17, 2022, at 6:00 PM (PT.)/9:00 PM EST

CALLING ALL SOCIAL JUSTICE ACTIVISTS & FILMMAKERS!

The NAACP presents the 2022 “Cinematic Shorts Competition” during the 113th NAACP Convention in Atlantic City, NJ from July 13- July 20th.

This exciting competition will give SIX filmmakers/activists the opportunity to tell their stories of Social Justice.

Paired in teams of two, the filmmakers will receive video equipment and work under the guidance of a professional mentor to produce a 5-7 minute short documentary film.

Participating filmmakers will present their finished short films during the 113th NAACP Convention and attendees will vote for their favorite film. The team with the most votes will receive a full expense paid trip to Los Angeles to attend the 54th NAACP Image Awards. In addition, the winning filmmakers will receive one-on-one meetings with several high-level industry executives to help them take the next step in their careers.

This dynamic competition supports the ongoing work of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau and Social Justice programs within the NAACP.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

●      Must be between the ages of 18-29

●      Must submit one creative sample (video/pictures/artwork) that demonstrates your skill set and interests

●      Must submit one written statement between 250-300 words answering the following, ‘How can power be created in the black community? And why is empowering the black community important to you?’

●      Must provide your own transportation to and from Atlantic City for the competition. (Local hotel accommodations will be provided for selected filmmakers/activists based on double occupancy).

Please complete and submit this form by June 17, 2022 6 PM PST/9 PM EST

EVENT LOCATION

Atlantic City Convention Center

1 Convention Boulevard

Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Helpful Premiere Pro Shortcuts

So we all love editing, that’s why we chose this major, but sometimes we are in a hurry and need to export a video asa fast as we can. Although hanging in Axinn basement until 4AM may just be your “thing”, I want to make sure that you can get out of there quicker if it isn’t. So with that in mind here are some helpful Premiere Pro keyboard shortcuts. I’ll link a list of all possible shortcuts here, but I don’t want to overwhelm you all, so for now here are the ones I use most frequently.

CTRL+Z

Most of you have probably used this one already or have figured out that it is the same as Microsoft Word and many other programs, but I want to be safe. This may be the single most used command for me. It is an all purpose undo command that will revert all actions you have taken for up to roughly 50 actions. So if you thought you were deleting one clip and accidentally deleted multiple, do not panic. Ctrl + Z will get you out of many sticky situations.

Up/Down on the Arrow Keys

Up will take your playhead to the next cut and down will take your playhead to the previous cut. Sounds super simple, but most people don’t discover this until using Premiere Pro for a few months. It’s a great way to move through your timeline and check your work. Also just great for helping you start playing from a specific moment like the start of a scene.

Alt

If you press on its own, it moves the playhead to the start of the timeline. It’s a very simple and intuitive shortcut that is often overlooked in tutorials. Dragging your playhead through all the way back through a laggy timeline can waste a lot of time over the course of a project.

Shift Delete

If you don’t know this yet, it’s a game changer. This does what’s called a “ripple delete”. Essentially if you delete a clip that is sandwiched in-between two other clips, this command will bridge that gap and bring close the black space that you would create had you simply deleted the clip. The time I spent editing projects decreased dramatically after finding out about this command and its cousin, Ripple Trim (Ctrl+drag), which does the same thing when you shorten existing clips.

Alt + Arrow Keys

Use this when selecting a clip to move it one frame at a time. This is super handy when you want to get your audio just right in relation your footage. It also saves you from having to zoom in and painstakingly move your mouse to just the right spot.

G

Hitting “G” allows you to adjust the gain (volume) of an audio clip. It even preselects the box, so you can simply enter how many decibels you want the clip to increase/reduce by. All in all very hand for quicker editing.

CTRL + R

Allows you to adjust a clip’s speed to create an over-cranking/under-cranking effect. This saves you a good bit of time scrolling through a drop down menu or the effects tab.

There are many more shortcuts out there that I encourage you to explore, but if you are new to using Premiere Pro, this is a good start. I kid you not when I say that if you implement these commands as a beginner, you can cut down your editing time by a third. If you intend to edit for a client, a big selling point can often be the speed with which you can turn around a high quality video. I know it’s a lot to remember when all your attention is on editing, but try and time yourself when editing projects. Note the time, try to implement more shortcuts or a better workflow on the next project and see what can help you save time without compromising on quality.

Camera Operators for Water Polo Tournament

Middlebury College is the host site of the upcoming Women’s Division III National Collegiate Club Championship for Water Polo. The Collegiate Water Polo Association operates a live stream of the event, and we are looking for camera operators. 

Tournament Dates – April 30- May 1 (setup and test day April 29)

We provide all equipment including camera, tripod, zoom controller, encoder, and cables.

We are operating this as a single camera stream with a remote announcer/producer. 

Schedule – 5 games on Saturday April 30 – call time 10:30am – game times 11am, 2pm, 3:30pm, 5pm, 8pm

                 – 3 games on Sunday May 1 – call time 8:30am – game times 9am, 10:15am, 11:30pm

(each game approximately 1hr).

Pay is $25/game (check mailed after completion of event). If interested, please email: Justin Cypert – video@collegiatewaterpolo.org

NFT (???)

After months of vigilant observation from behind the corner, laughing and ridiculing, ruminating while anxiously walking around the room, waking up all covered in sweat, crying, and veiling, I have finally decided to look into the hottest (and probably most controversial) phenomenon in the digital art market, ***NFTs***.

As I begin to compose this entry I have no idea what NFTs are and how they function. Nonetheless, I will try not to get astray in the forest of technicalities, labyrinths of art theory, or mazes of the art dealership.

So let’s begin! First of all, what is an NFT? No, I mean, what does that word even mean? As you could have already figured out NFT is an acronym that stands for Non-Fungible Token. ‘Non-Fungible’ is practically used to describe something one of the kind, unique and irreproducible. 

The history of NFTs has begun around the year 2014. Since then the digital phenomenon has gained immense notoriety. So let’s go way back and try to figure out what NFTs actually are. We are used to thinking about NFTs as images, however, that is not always true. An NFT can take shape of a song, a video, and practically any form of media that can be digitized (even Tweets that were sold by the founder of Twitter as NFTs for hundreds of thousands of dollars).

In this regard, NFTs are like trading collectible cards: there are many individual cards, but each one is unique and nonidentical. Initially, it seems confusing. How on Earth can NFTs be unique if anyone can right-click and save any piece of media on the Internet, and if that doesn’t work, you can always just screenshot an image or record a piece of music with your phone? That is true. However, NFTs are not just unique images or songs, they come with rights for a piece of media that belongs uniquely to the buyer. A good analogy would be owning the original work of Matisse, and not just a print (there is probably one decorating your college dorm but that does not mean, you own any works by Matisse from the Louvre).

In reality, NFTs are similar to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or dogecoin which are additionally linked to a token with a blockchain. Initially, NFTs were launched by Etherium, however, now many other blockchains also offer NFTs. So when one decides to purchase an NFT, the blockchain registers the transaction and stores it, legitimizing the buyer’s ownership. 

Since the future of NFTs is highly uncertain, no one can really tell what is going to happen to the pieces acquired by Internet buyers. Leading experts in the field of blockchains and cryptocurrencies recommend being careful with investing in NFTs. Whilst it presents an alluring prospect of potentially successful investment, no one can guarantee that it will pay off in the future. Potential buyers should also consider that just like tangible artworks, digital media deteriorates with time: the quality of images drops, old formats stop being supported, and files get corrupted.

Meanwhile, for artists, NFTs presents an amazing way to monetize their art that would, otherwise, have a pretty limited market. The miracle of NFTs is that artists can avoid galleries and agents selling their arts. Many even say that NFTs constitute the new way of collecting art. 

After this brief but, hopefully, accessible explanation of what NFTs are and how they actually work, I would want to present to you a small gallery of the most notoriously known NFTs (isn’t it ironic that I can just freely put it on here even though someone spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on these images previously?):

  1. CROSSROAD by beeple

2. CryptoPunk #7804

3. Everydays: the First 5000 Days by beeple

Is it about the time to buy or sell your first NFT? (don’t forget that they are taxable)

Films That Made Me Think Critically About My Cinematography

I’ve somewhat accepted that at this point, I will do just about every one of these entries as a David Letterman-style list. It helps to give my writing structure and it seems as if more people are willing to read something in this style. So for this week’s installment of FMMC Buzzfeed, I’d like to talk about some movies that helped me to get inspired behind the camera. This is not a list of the best shot films, but it is a list of ones that I think the average person can find enjoyable while also noticing and appreciating their cinematic uniqueness. I’ve managed to tame my inner snob and have avoided adding films like Stalker and 8 1/12. I would still recommend them, but I want to keep this list accessible to a wider audience. I’ve chosen these films for a variety of different reasons, but the one connecting thread is that they have accomplished something unique behind the camera that I have wanted to emulate in my own filmmaking.

Waves (2019) DP: Drew Daniels

For starters this is basically two films in terms of style. In the first half, the cinematography is extremely kinetic. The camera literally does not stop moving until a tragic turning point in the story. After an hour of that whirlwind style, the emotional blow of the story’s midpoint hits you as an audience member. I felt my heat drop when I first saw the film in theaters. The second half is much more traditional in terms of cinematography, but retains some of the slight graceful movements of the first half. Almost as if a depression has blanketed across the characters and the camera itself, making it harder for them to move as freely. There are a great many documentaries, skate films, and high-octane action films with a similar amount of movement, but never this controlled. The handful of slight shakey-cam accents are extremely intentional. I am frankly still unaware of how a film can contain this much movement without feeling like an amusement park ride. Speaking of which…

City of God (2002) DP: César Charlone

City of God feels like a fly on the wall style documentary in so many ways. The staging is done so impeccably that you feel as if you might not witness what’s in the next shot. The characters do not feel bound by the frame at all and yet everything is still captured. The effect of this shooting style is an extremely raw and emotionally charged atmosphere that imbues the plot with so much more of an emotional punch.

Mid90s (2018) DP: Chris Blauvelt

When it comes to capturing the atmosphere of an era, look no further than Mid90s. The set decoration and wardrobe are doing some heavy lifting, but it is the cinematography that makes you feel as if you are watching a product of the 1990s. The choice to shoot on 16mm with a relatively high ISO made the film feel like a prolonged skate flick. Other hallmarks of skater films from that era like fish-eye lenses, and the lesser used 1.37:1 aspect ratio make the final product ooze cultural ambience.

Portrait of a Woman on Fire (2019) DP: Claire Mathon

Ok, so I know I said I would avoid pretentious films, but I just couldn’t help myself on this one. It may not be the most exhilarating film, but it will still easily keep viewers attention, which is strange because it breaks from so many modern conventions. The norm nowadays is snappy dialogue and quick cuts, but Portrait of a Woman on Fire intentionally avoids that altogether. The dialogue alone doesn’t even tell a complete story of the complex relationship that emerges between the two leads. Portrait of a Woman on Fire is a prime example of a visually driven story. So much character development and plot comes from the shots. I would like to say more, but I’m afraid to give away what makes this film so special.

There Will Be Blood (2007) DP: Robert Elswit

I could really go on here, but to put it simply, this is a film without a wasted shot. Every shot here aids in developing a character, progressing the story, or both. It’s all so painfully intentional and methodically planned that it would be hard to recreate if given all the time in the world.

Her (2013) DP: Hoyte van Hoytema

Oftentimes when people think of cinematographic styles they gravitate towards something like Wes Anderson and Robert Yeoman’s iconic look. This is all well and good, but most style in cinematography is far more subtle. Additionally, I’m of the opinion that your style should add to the story. When styles like Yeoman’s are on display, I find myself extremely distracted by the spectacle of this look and less involved in the story. Her, stands out to me in this way. Its style so thoroughly compliments the story that the two feel inseparable. The way Joaquin Phoenix sits in the frame is so out of place. Hoytema uses depth of field artfully to emphasize the separation between Phoenix’s character and the rest of the world. Furthermore the color palette, lenses, camera, exposure, and color correction all blend in a mesmerizing way. The end product is visual poetry.

Hero (2002) DP: Christopher Doyle

I could go on with this list for an annoying amount of time, but for now I would like to leave you with the film that first opened my eyes to the art of filmmaking. Hero has every right to be an over-the-top action film with zero imagination behind its camerawork. It could’ve made a lot of money doing just that. But instead, it is a truly innovative masterpiece. In the film, few trusted individuals are allowed within 100-paces of the Chinese emperor. Therefore, spacial relations are played with in a number of unique ways to denote trust, status, importance, etc. The film also utilizes a unique form of storytelling that sees the colors black, white, red, green, and blue used to represent the subjective perspectives of individual characters who witnessed the same events. The transitions between these perspectives/colors is masterful and a delight to watch.

Websites for FMMC Majors

Filmmaking and getting acquainted with film can be intimidating in a variety of different ways, but luckily we now have the internet to answer the questions we’re too afraid to ask. I’ve compiled a short list of websites that I have used over the years that have helped me in one way or the other helped me better my understanding of filmmaking. There’s a wide range of sites here, so even if you are not much of a shooter, there are still numerous resources for you.

Vimeo

Alright, you definitely know this one, but if you haven’t created an account already, I would highly recommend doing so. If you are a filmmaker, this is the cheapest way to allow future employers or clients to view your work in a high quality. And even if you aren’t a shooter, there is a wide array of films here for your viewing pleasure. Check out “Staff Picks” tab to discover what has been catching people’s attention recently. Some films on here tend to straddle that line between amateur and professional, making it interesting to see what other filmmakers are achieving with limited resources.

No Film School

The premise is in the title, this website should give you enough information so that you will need “no film school”. The articles here are range on everything from equipment reviews to film history essays. If you are at all interested in film, there is something here for you. The tone and style of these articles also tends to be much more digestible and friendly towards beginners. I was intimidated by film theory for some time because of the dense academic language, but articles on this website helped me get a better grasp of the subject matter.

Letterboxd

Letterboxd is an open source film/TV review site and tracker that helps viewers catalog the media they’ve watched. This allows you to track what movies you have seen, create lists of similar movies, and leave reviews. These reviews are all available to other users. This means that you can search for others lists, so if you are looking for movies similar to a niche title or want movies in a sub-genre that isn’t easily google-able, then you will likely find something on Letterboxd. Users can also leave ratings on a five star scale, and all scores are compiled from users for each film. I enjoy these ratings because Letterboxd users tend to be film geeks, but not as pretentious as critics. Oftentimes if there is a large discrepancy between a critic score and an audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, I check Letterboxd for clarity. If the score is high, it’s likely an under appreciated gem, but if not then it is likely something critics are hyping up.

FilmFreeway

If you want to submit any of your work to a festival, this is pretty much your one stop shop. Festivals as big as Sundance and as small as new regional fests use FilmFreeway to collect submissions. If you are considering submitting work in the future, you might want to create your account now to save yourself some time.

Free Sound

Free Sound is an open source and free to use database for sound effects. If you want to heighten your film’s overall production value by adding in authentic sound effects, this is a good place to begin your search. The site has numerous regular contributors with varying levels of experience in audio production, so there is some variation in quality. However, with a little effort, you can find some real gems that will help bring your film to life. Most importantly, all sounds here are in the public domain without attribution, making it very attractive for films without much of a budget.

Keh.com

Keh.com is a used camera exchange where amateur and professional videographers sell their used gear at discounted prices. This is the most widely used of a genre of websites. If you search “video gear exchange website” you will find many just like it. If you are looking to beef up your personal equipment to work on your own productions during the summer or after college, this is a good place to hunt for affordable gear.

Jimmy Wong ‘09.5 – Career Conversation & Industry Discussion

Join us for a career conversation with Jimmy Wong ‘09.5. He will discuss his career journey and various aspects of the media industry. Jimmy Wong is an actor, director, producer, and musician who has been pioneering digital content for over a decade. He has starred in hit shows online (Video Game High School, Game Knights, Feast of Fiction) and has acted in major motion pictures (Mulan, Wish Dragon, John Dies at the End). His work in gaming and entertainment has helped bridge the gap between digital and traditional Hollywood.

Date: Wednesday, April 6

Time: 4:30pm-5:30pm

Click here to register in handshake!

Ukrainian animation

In my previous post, I was talking about the mysterious and crude Ukrainian cinema. This time, I decided to give you a short insight into the history of Ukrainian animation. 

Animation as a separate art appeared in Ukraine in the early 20-s. The first animators draw substantial inspiration from folk culture. No surprise that the first reported cartoon (1927) revolved around the plot of a very well-known Ukrainian folk tale, “The Tale of The Straw Bull.” Unfortunately, the film didn’t survive, but judging by the surviving sketches, this masterpiece by Viacheslav Lewandowski was a vivid and expressive iteration of the traditional narrative. 

Despite the initial advancements of the media, it was abandoned due to WWII and Holodomor, a mass famine in Ukraine. After the tragic events, during the time of relative stability, in 1934, Ukrainian animators produced the first fully graphic animated film. Around the same time, the first attempts to make an animated show with numerous episodes were made. The artists’ efforts culminated in the show titled “Tuk Tuk and Zhuk”. 

Most of these early cartoons were created in studios based in Kyivnauchfilm, a studio specializing in making animations for science films and other educational materials. Even though Ukrainian animation was developing fast, it could not compete with the Moscow school of animators, also known as Soyuzmultfilm. Understanding their technical and financial scrutinies, the Ukrainian animators invested more time and thought in developing cartoons’ aesthetics and concept, rendering them more conceptual and experimental, playing with style and various modes of representation. Meanwhile, Soyuzmultfilm focused on realism and the ‘industry standard’ defined by Disney decades before. Parting with the Disney canon, Ukrainian animators learned from Avant-Garde European animation schools which culminated in the production of numerous animated masterpieces incorporating approaches like combining live-action and animation, transfer technique, as well as conceptually innovative works criticizing religion, and even satirizing the Soviet society.

The true rebirth of the art form happened in 1950 when the renowned Ukrainian animator, Ipolyt Lazarchuk, created his most famous animated show titled “The Cossacks.” A show with a cult following among children, as well as adults, “The Cossacks” depicts the adventures of three cossacks named Grai, Tur, and Oko. They partake in numerous ventures when among many others they enter a football championship, trade salt, and even cook borsht. 

The three Cossack characters: Our, Grai, and Oko

The rapid development of the art alarmed the Soviet authorities. Fearing the progressive originality and collaboration with ‘disgraced’ artists and dissidents (such as Tagan’ka Theater, whose actors voiced characters in Ukrainian cartoons), the Soviet censors began banning Ukrainian projects from being financed. They only chose so-called ‘grey’ works that aligned with the interests of the party. Some particularly revolutionary films doomed their artists to home arrests and even internal displacement. Even the legendary “Cossacks” were targeted by the Communist Party, who wanted to portray them as Red Army soldiers instead of cossacks (name the social para-military quasi-state entity on the territory of Ukraine in XIV-XIX c.

After the collapse of the USSR in the 1990-s, many of the Kyivnauchfilm’s archives were destroyed, and many of the complete films were lost surviving only through scarce frames or sketches. 

Contemporary Ukrainian animation is experiencing a steady development. Even though severely underfunded, contemporary animators produce rare but high-quality work echoing the strive of early Ukrainian animators for experimentation and originality. Experimenting with animation has been a powerful voice of the Ukrainian people expressing its rich culture and creative originality.

Useful links and resources:

  • to watch “The Cossacks” franchise: https://popkult.org/cossacks/
  • a detailed article on the history of Ukrainian animation and why it should be celebrated: https://animationobsessive.substack.com/p/ukrainian-animation-is-worth-celebrating?s=r
  • an IMDb list of popular Ukrainian animations worth watching: https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?genres=animation&countries=UA

Lessons I Learned the Hard Way at FMMC…

It’s my last semester here at Middlebury and looking back on it all, I’ve had a lot of fun. I learned a lot in the FMMC department, but much of it I learned by failing spectacularly. I’m talking corrupted files, lost locations, getting threatened with trespassing for using other locations, actors who didn’t show, etc. Each time one of these tragedies befalls me, I learn my lesson and never repeat myself. Some of these lessons I needed to experience firsthand to internalize and others I really just wish I had been told. So this is me telling you the things I’ve learned after four years of making student films.

Put More Time into Preproduction

I swear, 90% of the truly disastrous mistakes you can make on a set could be prevented if more time and care was out into preproduction. I skimped on preproduction for maybe the first year I made films. After deciding to put more time into it than an hour-long brain storming session, I immediately saw the quality of my films go up. It is time consuming for sure, but do the storyboards, do the table-reads, make the schedules, and practice your camera movements. I promise you, you will see the difference. It’s also really a good idea to familiarize yourself with equipment inside and out. At the bare minimum, make sure you are confident that you can use your equipment to do everything you want to do on set. If you have more time learn how to use it in varying conditions or in more complex ways that you might want to experiment with later on. Also if you think “you’ve got an alright handle on it” go back and use that equipment more anyways. You may be able to do a crazy camera move using a friend as a stand-in in your dorm, but you need to be able to repeat that movement when you are tired, on a deadline, and under pressure from all the other cast and crew on set.

Charge Your Batteries and Make Space on Your SD Cards

This one is short, but it deserves its own bullet point. These two mistakes have ruined so many shoots. Even if you got the equipment straight from the gear room, check the batteries and storage. Bring more than you need of both if possible.

Give Yourself More Time Than You Need

We’re all awful judges of how much time shots take because we don’t like to admit to ourselves that we might have to spend hours getting a handful of shots. If you are planning a shoot, especially if you need to change locations midday, always a lot more time than you think. You will probably use that time and more in the end. Also if you can, get yourself an assistant director to manage the schedule and be a hardo about time. You and most of your crew will want to stay on a shot until it’s perfect, but you need someone to be the voice of reason. It’s not a glamorous job, but the good news is that the skills required aren’t necessarily film related so you can recruit just about any friend. I recommend getting someone you have a good rapport with and who is not afraid to say “you’re wrong” to your face.

Work in Certainties

There may be an actor who says should be able to get there by 4:00pm as long as their class wraps up on time. You may think you can shoot there without permit or permission from the owner. There’s like a 95% chance that I can borrow that piece of equipment from another FMMC major. Stop it, don’t do it. Go the extra mile, confirm everything, and adjust to be safe if you have to.

Call Actors Long Before You Need Them

Since I am still (barely) a college student, I can say without judgement that we are not the most reliable people. Even when you have an actors who loves the script and is dedicated to the project, they’re still often liable to show up 15 minutes late. They’ve got a full course load too and sadly your film might not be their top priority. So always make sure to leave wiggle room in the schedule to allow for this. Your crew will generally be better since they have also been in your position before, but never plan to start at the exact call time. Things come up, people underestimate how long it takes to walk places, and sometimes mistakes are made. Just be aware of it and be ready. Also make sure to set dates for shoots with your cast and crew long in advance so you can plan accordingly if someone bails.

Sound is More Important Than You Think

I often find myself getting obsessed with my film’s visuals and devoting a fraction of my time to sound. I’ve found that this is pretty commonplace among student films, which means that you can stand out by taking that extra step. Always have a dedicated sound-person who is listening to the recorder on set. It’s tempting to just set up a boom on a C-Stand and use what limited crew you have elsewhere, but that has gotten me in trouble more times than I care to mention. Some easy ways to increase your sound quality include asking people to be quiet if you’re shooting in public, unplugging refrigerators or other appliances with a motor, pointing the mic away from a major road, and always getting room tone at the time of the shoot.

Check the Weather if Shooting Outside

Have a rain-date too. That’s it, it’s another short one.

Get a Camera Operator Who Isn’t Yourself and a Monitor

I wouldn’t recommend this for newer filmmakers, but if you are doing Filmmaking II, senior work, or any other advanced production course, then this is for you. You may be tempted to work behind the camera and grab your production by the horns, but you probably are trying to do too much. You need to work with actors, double check everyone else’s work, help implement a vision, and give loads of directions. Adding camera operation on top of that is tough. Having someone who is solely focusing on the shot composition and movement is a great way to enhance your film. It is uncomfortable surrendering that direct control, but if you trust your DP/camera operator’s abilities, then it’s the best course of action. Also get yourself an external monitor so you can watch the shot in real time and in detail. I have often missed mistakes while shooting and looking at the tiny FS5 screen. It’s tough: you’re focusing on keeping people in frame, where to put your feet if there’s movement, maintaining good composition, etc. Let the camera operator do the physical work so you can impartially observe.

Make Everyone on Camera Sign a Release Form

Your work is probably going on the internet and if it happens to gain some traction, you want to make sure the original cut stays in tact. If you don’t get someone to sign a release, then you legally have to obey their wishes about where the film appears. People’s attitudes can change so it is always good to get a signature at the time of the shoot. This is especially important if you are making a documentary. People might get cold feet because they don’t like the way you decide to portray them or they are afraid of saying something publicly. When someone agrees to be in your film, get their signature right then and there.

Now sadly, there is a downside to all of these tips. All of them require more effort, forethought, and time. You can make a film without obeying any of these rules, but I promise you, your films will be worse if you don’t. I also won’t lie and tell you that I haven’t strategically broken these rules when under a time crunch. Life here at Middlebury is busy. You might not be able to all these things for your film, but it is important to know how you can do better and keep trying to do more.