MovieMaker Magazine

The Art & Business of Making Movies

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Survival Skills Director Quinn Armstrong Ruined 40 VCRs Creating Authentic Analog Video Effects. Here’s How to Do It Yourself (Video)

Quinn Armstrong is the writer-director of Survival Skills, a film which takes place entirely within the analog video world of a VHS police training video. In this feature, he explains how he created the organic effects, destroying 40 VCRs in the process.  When I began pitching my feature Survival Skills to production companies around Los Angeles, I...

How Quarantine Inspired Keith Dennie to Make The Moment: ‘You Can Only Watch Netflix and Play Video Games for So Long’

Every week on the Low Key podcast, Keith Dennie talks about TV shows and movies. It took quarantine for him to decide to finally make a film of his own. Dennie, who lives in the Dallas area and is the rare person who genuinely likes his 9-to-5 job, has thought about directing since he made short films in college. But it took the quarantine to finally...

The Rundown: Mank Interpreted; Make Your Movie; ‘Cancel Everything’

In today’s Movie News Rundown: An interpretation of David Fincher’s Mank; how COVID-19 sparked Keith Dennie to finally make a movie; and more on our favorite movie ever, Godfather III. Mank: It took me a couple of watches of David Fincher’s excellent Mank to understand what it’s really about. It’s the story of how Herman (“Mank”) Mankiewicz wrote Citizen...

Mank: When Conservatives Ruled Hollywood

Mank, the new David Fincher film about how Herman “Mank” Mankiewicz wrote Citizen Kane, takes us back to an era it’s almost impossible to imagine now — one when conservatives ruled Hollywood. The film industry loves to proclaim its progressivism and commitment to social justice, often opening itself up to accusations of hypocrisy in the process. But...

The Rundown: The Good Crash; Sofia Coppola on Godfather III; Corruption is Lethal

In today’s Rundown: What Sofia Coppola learned from the Godfather III pile-on; how a nightclub fire exposed corruption and inspired a fight for change; and an invitation to make a cheap, fun remake. Plus: We highly recommended the Criterion essay on Crash — the good Crash that was once denounced as obscene.  The Best Writing I’ve Seen Today: Is Jessica...

Sofia Coppola Says Godfather III Criticism Made Her Stronger

Sofia Coppola was doing her father a favor when she stepped in to replace Winona Ryder in The Godfather III — a favor that were later earn her nasty criticisms at the time of the film’s release, and she’s addressing now that Francis Ford Coppola has re-edited the film as Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. Her character, Mary Corleone, is...

NFMLA Spotlights Asian Filmmakers With Stories of God, Cats and Teleportation

A young actor decides to turn into a cat after being mistreated by the world, a man bumps into his ex while auditioning for a role, and a polyamorous relationship reveals truths about love during turbulent times: These are just a few of the stories highlighted at a recent New Filmmakers Los Angeles film festival that celebrated emerging Asian and Asian-American...

Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone Makes a Surprising Change to the End of Godfather III

With The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, Francis Ford Coppola makes a significant change to the end of The Godfather Part III. When Coppola announced his 30th anniversary re-edit and re-release of the 1990 film a few weeks ago, he promised it would contain both a new beginning and new ending. The new title, he said, was actually the...

The Rundown: Godfather III, Re-Edited; Peter Dinklage, Toxic Avenger; Zappa; Zapped

In today’s Movie News Rundown: Does a new edit improve Godfather Part III?; Peter Dinklage IS the Toxic Avenger; and imposing order on mixed-legacy wildman Frank Zappa. Also, it turns out some elements of The Crown are make-believe. Pulling You Back IN: Francis Ford Coppola’s 30-years-later re-edit of The Godfather Part III is a fascinating look at what...

Godfather Coda, the New Godfather III Re-Edit, Shows the Limits of Editing

Francis Ford Coppola is marking the 30th anniversary of The Godfather Part III by re-editing and re-releasing it as The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. He didn’t need to. The flaws of The Godfather Part III can’t be fixed with editing, and the attempts to smooth it out make the film harder to criticize — but also harder to love. Spend...

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