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“Shootable” Shows: 6 High-Quality, Low Budget Projects To Inspire Indie Filmmakers

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – Recently, I re-listened to the 2015 South By Southwest Keynote address given by Mark Duplass, in which he laid out what may still be the greatest way for filmmakers to jumpstart their careers. He advocated for low budget solutions, reliable resources, and simple sets. And for those of us just beginning on this lifelong journey …

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Deadwood: A Case Study on How to Execute a Masterful Opening Scene

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – On May 31st, in a mere few hours, HBO’s critically acclaimed Deadwood will revive itself for one final shootout, in its culminating feature film of the same name. One final time, we viewers will set foot on the muddy thoroughfare of that the seedy mining town, seeking our fortune with the unfortunates. Though universally praised …

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Putting the Lion Before the Horse: Screenwriting Lessons From “The Long Night”

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – Spoilers Below for Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 The battle is over. Melisandre sheds her necklace. Drained, worn, haggered, she walks out into the bitter snow… and dies. CUT TO BLACK. First, extreme gratitude to the cast and crew of Game of Thrones. They probably felt like Melisandre after all was said and …

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7 Overlooked (But Excellent!) Christmas Movies

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – We all have them, those films we watch this time of year, every year. It’s A Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, Die Hard… (insert your own personal or family favorites). But, because the Christmas season lasts until the Feast of the Baptism …

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4 Ways to Make Prydain Great Again

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – In case you missed it, like most of humanity, Disney (somewhat) recently reacquired the film rights to the award winning children fantasy series, Chronicles of Prydain. Written by Lloyd Alexander from 1964 to 1968, the Chronicles of Prydain is a wonderful coming of age story, concerning a humble peasant boy with dreams of being a …