Archive for Movie Industry

Summary: A productive rehearsal can keep pacing on set fast and ready for shooting.

When you’re filming a production, it’s important for actors to have some time to work together on their scenes and run lines. Rehearsing helps everyone get acquainted with the space, and for other actors to build some camaraderie and anticipation on set. Rehearsal time tends to be more limited on film or television, but it’s an important part of stage acting and direction.


Script Time

Actors need to know lines, but they should have a keen sense of flow for the scene too. While you’re preparing the camera or setting the stage, actors should be on their feet and blocking scenes. This should happen naturally, even if they are sitting and running through lines with each other.

If an actor under reads, meaning they have not studied the script enough, then blocking and rehearsing will give them some much needed prompts before stepping in front of the camera. However, this might be unacceptable to you as a director. Actors like to approach the story with fresh eyes, but that’s not always the most professional decision to make. As director, you need to make yourself responsible for actors learning lines, and a table read or blocking session can be a good time to make sure that’s getting done.

Table reads are to hear the tone of the scenes, not a time to hash out specifics. Try to keep in mind that actors are like tools to get the job done. You should also have a feel for what you want.


Bio: Charles Matthau is a director, producer and storyteller who runs The Charles Matthau Company in Los Angeles. Charles Matthau is best known for his adaptations, which include “The Grass Harp” and “Freaky Deaky.”

Post production is in demand, especially as CGI becomes cheaper than creating real set pieces. CGI has come a long way from the 90s, and digital effects can add significant depth to a scene. Today’s actors are even becoming familiar with green screen acting. That makes editors and effects people some of the most highly sought after talent in the industry, but breaking in can seem difficult. Here are some thoughts on how you can get your skills noticed.


Make Something

The first step in showing off your talent is to make something yourself. If you don’t have a decent camera, ask your friends and look for someone who does. Rentals are also inexpensive and easy to find. Film a fake product ad, a short film or just something interesting going on outside. Once you’ve compiled some raw footage, edit it into something interesting. Try shooting from different angles, and look for opportunities to add dramatic effects.

Send Something Off

The recent Super Bowl featured an amateur filmmaking contest, and Doritos is not the only company offering money for talent. Lots of festivals and contests exist for short films, especially commercial ideas. If you’re an aspiring editor, there is no better way to get yourself started and compete for some financial compensation.


Who you know pays off, so get out there and make some friends. Start talking to people about your aspirations and see what comes back to you. Don’t think yourself too proud for certain projects and focus on meeting people who need the services you provide.


Bio: Charles Matthau is the head of the Matthau Company, producing television shows and feature-length films. For information about the upcoming work of Charles Matthau, visit the Charles Matthau Company website.

Written by: Charles Matthau

Summary: Think a book is un-filmable? These tips might make you reconsider.

As a first-time director, or even someone with a movie or two on their demo reel, you will find yourself in a position where you take whatever project comes your way. One of the trends you’ll find is that many of these are, or were, books and short stories. Studios purchase rights to these projects all the time, but they end up sitting “on the shelf” waiting to get made. Watchmen, the film based on Alan Moore’s comic book of the same name, is a great example.


The rights to Watchmen were purchased in 1986, but the film didn’t see the light of day until 2009. All sorts of problems cropped up related to production. Alan Moore didn’t want to write the script, but a rewritten script completely changed the iconic and poignant ending. Terry Gilliam was attached to direct at one point, but dropped the project because he stated the comic was ultimately “un-filmable.”

The film “Watchmen” was eventually made, and it was made using this important tip.

Change the Source Material

Any hardcore fan is probably conjuring expletives and counter arguments, but don’t be afraid to change elements of the plot to suit your needs. This is not license to completely alter the plot, the theme or the characters (although it’s certainly been done before). Both Watchmen and Blade Runner made significant changes from the source material, but did so because the film version demanded that level of insight.

When the director investigates source material, he or she should be looking for key elements that make the story pop. Distill those beats into the barebones of your script, then begin writing for the screen. Always remember that books give us insight that movies cannot. You have to be willing to pull the essence of your subject matter into the script.


Bio: The Matthau Company is a production company that recently released “Freaky Deaky,” an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s story starring Christian Slater and Crispin Glover. The Charles Matthau Company is best known for the adaptation of Capotes “The Grass Harp” Starring Walter Matthau and directed by Charlie Matthau.

There are certain elements that make a good indie film great. Indie films are passion productions that frequently feature engaging scripts and excellent camera work. Talent is another crucial component, but securing great talent can be quite the challenge. You can devote long stretches of time to searching for an actor that is just right, or you can use some of these tips to try and get ahead of the game.


Have a Distribution Strategy

When you’re seeking funding, you have to talk about the full scope of your project and include details about what you hope the film will do. If you’re approaching bigger talent, you may want to talk about some of your plans for the film, where you intend on releasing and how you plan to distribute. This show’s you’re serious about the business side of filmmaking, and that you have a vision for the completed project.

Have Someone Important Attached

There will inevitably come a moment when you’re asked “who” is involved with the project. The “who” in question should be someone recognizable, even if they are a b-list actor. Plenty of talent that doesn’t get mainstream attention still draw fans. Have a vision for this person and a convincing way to sell them on a picture. Some actors, for instance, are highly motivated by interesting characters or challenging roles. Knowing your actor or the partners you want to work with is just as important as getting everything else right.

Casting on Your Own

If you plan to go the solo route, save yourself the trouble and ditch Craigslist. Start your recruiting at local playhouses and universities. You’d be surprised at the up and coming talent studios haven’t dug up yet.


Bio: Charles Matthau is the owner and operator of Charles Matthau Company. Matthau Company is based out of Los Angeles, and is the source for productions involving the Matthau family.

The movie of Christopher Nolan and Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio “Inception” bagged the number one spot at the close of the weekend box office, opening with $60.4 million as estimated last Sunday. The sci-fi movie offering of Warner Bros is Leonardo’s biggest weekend opening which beat his previous best opening in the movie “Shutter Island” which topped $41.1 million last winter. But for director Christopher Nolan, it fell short for his best movie, the Batman hit “The Dark Knight”.

The said blockbuster movie grossed $158.4 million when it opened with the same number of days about a couple of years ago. A lot of positive reviews have helped the movie “Inception” bag the number one spot which stars Leonardo DiCaprio who plays a leader of a group of individuals that get inside dreams of other people and steal their thoughts and secrets. Later on, the team has been assigned to do the exact opposite, which is to give an idea to the subconscious mind of a wealthy heir. Coming off in the number two spot is the former number one movie – Steve Carell’s movie “Despicable Me”. The movie released by Universal Studios has grossed a total of $118.4 million in its 10 days of showing.Meanwhile, the movie “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, the latest offering of Walt Disney Pictures ended the week landing at the number three spot grossing only $24.5 million.

    Leonardo Dicaprio got asked to be moved from his seats twice during movie date with his girlfriend Bar Rafaeli.  The pair were attending a movie showing of the Iron Man 2 and where seating in the wrong seats. They were asked to move twice, once during his own move preview of Inception.

    Dicaprio kept his cool and obliged to move both times. Most other celebrities would have lost their temper and been upset with the incident.

    A witness stated: “They were gracious and Leo was smiling at the irony of it. He clearly didn’t realise you could reserve seats.”

    Five Directors to watch for in 2010

    This year could be a breakout year for some directors, and the following have the best chance to do so.

    J Blakeson – His debut “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” is a kidnap thriller shot on a shoestring budget. The plot is very twisty but the story will keep you engaged. The movie was screened at the London Film Festival in 2009.

    Scott Cooper – “Crazy Heart” opened in mid-December and has had a decent reception from critics. Written, directed and produced by Cooper, the movie is based on a novel by Thomas Cobb. The plot revolves around a washed up country music singer trying to turn his life around.

    Rodrigo Cortes – His first big movie is a daring attempt, which features one actor in one location. The plot of “Buried” is about a civilian contractor buried alive in a coffin with nothing but a cell phone, a knife and a Zippo. Surprisingly, the movie cost $3 million to make.

    Tom Ford – “A Single Man” is a fascinating look at the last day of one man’s life. The movie is loosely based on a novel set in the 1960’s about a gay professor, written by Christopher Isherwood. The main feature of the movie is the changing color and environment, which constantly match the chief character’s mood swings.

    Luca Guadagnino – He is a self-taught director with a point to prove. The third offering from him is titled “I am love” and is about a reserved woman in society who breaks out of a loveless marriage. The movie has so far been met with moderate approval.

    Avatar Overtakes Titanic in All Time Worldwide Box Office

    Avatar is now the highest grossing movie of all time, pushing aside Titanic, which previously held the top spot.

    Figures from 20th Century Fox indicate that Avatar’s global rakings in six weeks were recorded at $1.859 billion compared to Titanic’s $1.843 billion. Keep in mind though that these figures are as is, and are not adjusted to take into account, factors such as inflation or the more expensive 3D movie tickets.

    The fight for top spot however, keeps James Cameron still in top spot, but even better, making him the director of both the world’s top grossing movies.

    Starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic established a new box office record when it was released in 1997-1998. The movie also secured an Oscar for Cameron, earning him the title of Best Director.

    With inflation taken into account, the biggest movie in North America is ‘Gone with the Wind’, a 1939 production starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. The movie brought in $1.5 billion worth of ticket sales, based on statistics by Box Office Mojo, a tracking firm. If the same inflationary adjustments are made for Avatar, then the movie stands at the 26th spot.

    At the Golden Globes in January 2010, Avatar won two awards, and expectations are that it would bring in an Oscar nomination as well. This month, Avatar also won the title of being the fastest movie to earn $1 billion in ticket sales in the world. The movie has also proved to be widely popular across the world, with Avatar proving to be a success in even countries such as China and Russia.
    Avatar is also the most expensive film to be produced with a reported budget of approximately $300 million.