24th May- Jon’s Friday Filmmaking Creative Tips & Wonders

20 Jon's Friday Filmmaking Creative Tips & Wonders

In this week’s post, we dive into an interview with George Miller, the creative force behind the ‘Mad Max’ series and ‘Happy Feet.’ Miller shares his favourite shots from his films, offering fascinating insights into his filmmaking techniques. David Cronenberg, veteran body-horror director of films like ‘The Fly,’ ‘Videodrome,’ and the recent ‘The Shrouds,’ shares his thoughts on the impact of AI in filmmaking. Additionally, with the conclusion of ‘The Jinx Part 2’ this week, one of the most groundbreaking, shocking, and thought-provoking documentaries of recent years, Slashfilm.com gives us a look at other seminal true crime documentaries.

Exploring Iconic Shots with George Miller: From Mad Max to Happy Feet

 

In a recent interview with IGN, George Miller, the visionary creator and director behind the high-octane ‘Mad Max’ series and the heartwarming ‘Happy Feet,’ shared insights into his favourite shots from his extensive filmography. Miller’s discussion provides fascinating glimpses into the techniques and creativity that have defined his career.

 

Crafting Speed and Energy in ‘Mad Max’

Miller’s ‘Mad Max’ series is celebrated for its intense action sequences and high-speed chases. In the interview, Miller delves into how he created a palpable sense of speed and energy in the original ‘Mad Max’ using a simple yet effective technique: a wide-angle lens and a camera positioned perilously close to the ground. This setup allowed the vehicles to appear faster and more menacing, a hallmark of the film’s gritty aesthetic. Another standout moment Miller discusses is the introduction of the Doof Warrior in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road.’ This character, known for playing a flame-throwing guitar atop a massive mobile sound system, became an instant symbol of the film’s wild and relentless energy. Miller explains how the combination of beautiful framing, incredible editing, and innovative sound design brought this character to life.

 

Contrasting Styles: From Apocalypse to Animation

From the raw, unbridled energy of ‘Mad Max’ to the tender and joyous moments in ‘Happy Feet,’ Miller’s work continues to inspire filmmakers and audiences alike. His use of dynamic camera techniques, innovative sound design, and meticulous framing demonstrates how thoughtful craftsmanship can elevate storytelling in any genre. For a deeper dive into George Miller’s techniques and insights, watch the full interview on IGN’s YouTube channel.

 

The Pros and Cons of AI Filmmaking: Insights from David Cronenbergl

 

At the recent Cannes Film Festival press conference for his latest film, ‘The Shrouds,’ director David Cronenberg shared his thoughts on the burgeoning role of artificial intelligence in filmmaking. Cronenberg acknowledges how technological advancements, particularly in computer-generated imagery (CGI), have simplified many aspects of filmmaking, making it more efficient and flexible. However, Cronenberg quickly shifted to discussing the more profound implications of AI, such as its ability to potentially revolutionise the very act of writing and directing, suggesting a future where the traditional roles of screenwriters, directors, and actors may be dramatically altered or even rendered obsolete.

On one hand, AI offers unprecedented possibilities, streamlining production processes and enabling new forms of creativity. On the other hand, it poses serious questions about the future of human participation in filmmaking. This is not a new argument and is part of the broader conversation within the entertainment industry about the integration of AI. As the industry evolves, it will be crucial to find a balance that leverages the strengths of AI while preserving the human nuances and idiosyncrasies that make storytelling so powerful. Full article here.

 

The Allure of True Crime Documentaries: Why We Can’t Look Away

 

With the conclusion of ‘The Jinx Part 2,’ viewers were reminded once again why true crime documentaries are among the most captivating genres in filmmaking. These documentaries, known for their ability to shock, provoke thought, and often provide a concrete conclusion, have carved out a significant place in modern media. As we’re all hooked on the Jinx here, we also thought we’d share our own perspectives and choices on three of the very best true crime documentaries (and books) out there.  

 

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,’ based on Michelle McNamara’s book, is an exceptional true crime documentary for many reasons. The documentary highlights McNamara’s personal obsession with uncovering the identity of the Golden State Killer, making it not just an investigation but a deeply personal journey. Her dedication adds an emotional depth that resonates with viewers. The documentary’s real-world impact, culminating in the arrest of a suspect, underscores the power of true crime storytelling to drive real change and, much like the Jinx, bring about justice. This tangible outcome (which is often missing from true-crime series) makes it a compelling watch.  

 

In Cold Blood

Not a documentary, but the seminal book that launched the genre. Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’ remains a cornerstone of the true crime genre. Capote’s literary approach to true crime centres on a deep dive into the Clutter family murders and the subsequent trial of suspects Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, providing a comprehensive and engaging narrative. The book’s exploration of these characters, including their backgrounds and motivations, offers profound insights and adds layers of complexity to keep readers engaged. ‘In Cold Blood’ paved the way for future works by demonstrating that true crime stories could be both factually rigorous and literary. This legacy continues to influence true crime media today.  

 

The Act of Killing

‘The Act of Killing’ stands out as a groundbreaking true crime documentary. Instead of traditional interviews or reenactments, the film has the actual perpetrators of the Indonesian mass killings of 1965-66 reenact their crimes in the style of their favourite film genres. This approach on paper seems incredibly distasteful but in fact, the approach provides a chilling insight into the perpetrators’ mindsets and the normalisation of violence. The aftermath of ‘The Act of Killing”s release brought attention back to a largely forgotten atrocity, sparking discussions about human rights and accountability. For further reading, Slashfilm.com has provided their own article looking at other seminal true crime documentaries, which you can read more about here.   

 

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