NOT DOING-IT-ALL

by Michael Chasin   Before you realize your ultimate filmmaking dream of being a screenwriter or director or producer or DP—you will likely first—be a hyphenate: Writer-Director-Producer-Prop Master DP-Editor-Set Designer-Production Assistant Writer-Director-DP-Editor-Producer-Prop Master-Set Designer And possibly even—Actor This is because at the zero or micro budget level—where you will probably start—you will be compelled to…

THE FLEXIBLE FILMMAKER

by Michael Chasin   You are the guiding force—and decision maker—of your film. You have written—or obtained—a masterful screenplay. That screenplay is the reason why a great actor agrees to do your film. And after the actor affirms that the script is powerful—concerns arise: Why must my character do this? Is it really necessary for…

PERFECT PAGES

by Michael Chasin      Screenwriting Mentor, IAFT/Miami   A screenplay can serve many purposes. It can be the entry into a screenwriting contest or festival—that launches a career. It can be the pages that the screenwriter sells—for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It can attract elements—such as actor or director—to green-light the project. It can attract…

REAL WRITING & REAL READERS

by Michael Chasin Screenwriting Mentor, IAFT/Miami   Real screenwriting—is re-writing—because it’s rarely perfect in the first draft. And even if seemingly perfect, the dedicated screenwriter will labor to make it—more perfect. Then, finally, after double-digit drafts—the screenplay is ready—not for submission—but to be read by someone else. Because after months of contemplating the story and…

IN SERVICE OF THE STORY

by Michael Chasin    Screenwriting Mentor, IAFT/Miami   One of the glories of the written word is its ability to span time and countless characters. One of luxuries of the written word is the ability it gives its readers to rest, reflect—and even re-read. Movies’ unrelenting forward motion—and two hour time frame—makes such reflection—impossible. Therefore, sweeping…

OBJECTS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

by Michael Chasin Screenwriting Mentor, IAFT/Miami   Film’s power is the result of that masterful mosaic of many distinct elements—story—acting—voice—visuals—colors—sounds—and music. An equally important element is production design—the overall look of a film. Within production design is set design—covering the space of a specific set. And within set design is set decoration—the objects/props that are…

APPRECIATING SCI-FI

by Michael Chasin Screenwriting Mentor, IAFT/Miami Film—as all art—can be not only about entertainment—but also about exposing its audience to new perspectives and ideas. I tried to keep this in mind when I was invited to serve on the Advisory Board of the new Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival (MiSciFi). While I was greatly…

CRISTIAN MADERO

by Frederick Bailey  IAFT/LA   The young man sits on the couch, looking relaxed and confident. “Hello, my name’s Cristian Madero,” he says.  “I own and operate CMDelux Films, and I’m a graduate of IAFT.” He’s a very enterprising young man.  He founded his video production company in 2013, the same year he graduated with…

Review: ENDER’S GAME

For younger viewers, movies are—the real world. With that responsibility, movies—while being entertaining—should also strive to cause critical thinking—and moral examination—in those young viewers. The film Ender’s Game does just that. Ender’s Game is set in a future where children are selected for high-tech warfare because—as the film posits—they are better able to learn, react,…

On the Loss of an Actor

by Michael Chasin Screenwriting Mentor, IAFT/Miami   The passing of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was a tragic loss to the creative community—and to the public at large. Over a twenty-plus year career Mr. Hoffman masterfully moved us in a wide variety of character portrayals. His very public mourning triggers consideration of how other contributors to…