To rhyme with the year, I've expanded this year's summary of our most popular posts as determined by Google Analytics from 10 to 20. It contains both the expected entries – our 25 new faces score high every year – and a few surprises. It also shows the dominance of television and streaming, or perhaps the theatrical exhibition's decline by 20. So many of the items on this list – that aren't "the best of the year" when there are actually many – were the ones that got on best Search analyzes overlapped, virus waves intercepted or drove along with films that captured viewers this pandemic year. And these films found their viewers on streaming platforms. That said, the mix here – pieces about filmmaking itself, cinematography, pandemic responses, racial justice, and festivals – isn't a bad pick of what we regularly cover here at Filmmaker.
20. “We had to create something permanent and yet real”: DP Quyen Tran on Palm Springs.
The first of two entries here on Max Barbakow's Hulu premiere feature, our 20th place, goes to DP Quyen Trans's response to our annual questionnaire sent out to the Sundance cameramen.
19. Black and Blue: The 35mm colors of uncut gems and Star Wars.
Jessica Dunn Rovinelli, both filmmaker and colorist, found nostalgic impulses in 35mm format in her 35-year-old piece about Mank and The Mandolorian, an ongoing series on historical signifiers and emotional resonances expressed by film and video color spaces looks like two very different films.
18. “We're only expanding this show! We don't downsize! "DP Jody Lee Lipes on I know this much is true and shooting 600 hours of 35mm.
Another trend on this list: 35mm film. In the first interview Matt Mulcahey conducted after the lockdown orders began, our Shutter Angles columnist spoke to the DP of Derek Cianfrance's HBO Limited series about the complex shoot and its huge amounts of 35mm two-perf footage.
17. Why I am not putting my film online: A filmmaker's answer to COVID-19.
"I will only show my film to a live audience." Given all of the articles on festivals going virtual during the pandemic and the need for filmmakers to meet viewers where they are (i.e., at home), it goes without saying that a counter-argument here at Filmmaker would be well read becomes. Noel Lawrence was one of the lucky ones when he premiered his feature film Sammy-Gate in Rotterdam in January. But when the pandemic hit, he decided not to continue his festival run and explains in this piece why.
16. Going virtual in the pandemic: CPHDOX 2020, The Digital Edition.
A step in popularity is the other view, this time expressed by the organizers of CPH: DOX, who have quickly – and successfully – turned to a virtual approach. Lauren Wissot learned how and why they did it.
15. "This is the heading:" You cannot do it alone. So do it with people you love ”: DP and director Christopher Doyle on filmmaking amid the pandemic.
During the first month of quarantine, Daniel Eagan reached out to six cameramen to discuss their lives in lockdown. The entire package was well read, but Chris Doyle's signature Brio, which intertwined thoughts on filmmaking in China, censorship, and the future of film, was the standout. And it even worked in a Justin Timberlake joke.
14. The imperative to hire black and POC filmmakers in the documentary community: A conversation with Iyabo Boyd, founder of Doc Mafia, Brown Girls.
The dialogue on racial justice within the film world that took place after the protests against Black Lives Matter and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others was brought to life by the documentary curator in this interview with filmmaker and Brown Girls Doc Mafia founder Iyabo Boyd really fleshed out and impact producer Denae Peters.
13. The Low Down: Is Microbudgeting in Response to Industry Devaluing Dramatic Fiction?
Our spring issue featured a number of articles on microbudget filmmaking in 2020, and its producer Mike Ryan editorial was also well read online. In it he argues that the profitability of the streaming business makes the production of microbudgets the necessary vehicle for truly cinematic visions. But it's not all theory and analysis. The article also provides a handy breakdown of how low the micro-budget can be under minimum wage laws.
12. "It had to show how we tear ourselves apart": Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia on his vertical class struggle Netflix dystopia The Platform
The Platform was released by Netflix on March 20 right at the start of the lockdown and was an early pandemic. Carlos Aguilar got director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia to dig deep and even coaxed some behind-the-scenes footage from the streamer that explains the picture's ingenious production design.
11. "A sequel to a film that doesn't exist": Max Barbakow on Palm Springs
With his skilful presentation of a Groundhogs Day scenario, Max Barbakow's Sundance hit hit the quarantine zeitgeist. In this interview with Erik Luers, Barbakov is thoughtful, generous, and humble in his breakdown of the film's development process and the way in which he acknowledges its influences. And an anecdote at the end with Steve McQueen offers one of the best directorial descriptions I have ever read.
10. The Village Voice survey 2019 has been reconstructed.
With the Village Voice rebooting, albeit under worrying new management, the upcoming 2021 edition of Mike D & # 39; Angelo's forensic reconstruction of the week's critically acclaimed poll could be our last. We will see. In the meantime, our “Village Voice” survey was the tenth most read piece of the year.
9. New York State tax incentive cut, many low-budget indices no longer eligible.
One would think that a policy change that would affect the significant number of film productions in New York State would generate some industry press. Not so with New York's cut in its generous film tax credit, and maybe that's because the even bigger change – a new budget requirement – disproportionately affects the type of independent production that we cover more here at Filmmaker. In any case, my article about changes was the first and ninth most popular articles of the year.
8. "I don't have the prosthetic team that Sacha Baron Cohen has": John Wilson on his HBO show, How To with John Wilson
The success of John Wilson's truly original HBO Max series How To with John Wilson was a ray of hope on the cable this fall. Vadim Rizov's interview with Wilson, in which Wilson explains his show's organizational principles, was a traffic driver, as was our 25 New Face profile of Wilson from 2016.
7. “The Concept of Solitude”: Writer, director and star James Sweeney on his romantic comedy Straight Up.
James Sweeney's indie romantic comedy was released by Strand on February 28 – before the actual quarantine, but just as we were starting to paint and wipe the menus as we were sitting in restaurants. The box office gross was modest, but when it hit Netflix a few months later, my Q&A with the emotionally honest Sweeney drew readers in. Significantly, Straight Up wears its micro-budget status with pride, making it the second item on this list that specifically deals with criminal production.
6. Live streaming with the Atem Mini Pro.
We don't make as much equipment as we did before and I want to correct that in 2020. (If you're interested in writing about equipment for us, drop me a line.) Joey Daoud provided a very thorough review of Blackmagic's ATEM Mini Pro, telling readers everything they know about this new device that enables live streaming.
5. "Hundred days of shooting and almost a hundred script locations": Mick Garris on Stephen King's The Stand from 1994.
A new adaptation of Stephen King's epidemic horror, The Stand, is currently streamed on CBS All Access, but for his Focal Points column, Jim Hemphill spoke to Mick Garris about his 1994 four-day, six-hour version for ABC. Garris talked at length about how to manage a long shoot, directing the actors, his reporting choices, and more.
4. 25 new faces in 2020.
As this year, our annual survey of new talent is always very successful.
3. 26 films shot on 35mm in 2019.
Another annual feature that scores well is Vadim Rizov's recap of theatrical releases taken from 35mm films. A trend here too. While this magazine earlier attracted readers by covering the MiniDV recordings of the late 90s and then the DSLR revolution and finally the world of cameras with larger sensors like the ALEXA, we now seem like a go-to place for those who rediscover the beauty of celluloid origins.
2. Back to One, Episode 113: Paul Mescal.
Peter Rinaldi's podcast, where he speaks directly and honestly to actors about "the work", has really turned into a beautiful groove, especially as the actors appearing on the show turn out to be listeners of the show and are ready to talk about craft to speak. There have been so many great listeners this year – Justine Lupe, Aubrey Plaza, and Ruth Wilson were three of my recent favorites – but the episode with one of the stars of Hulus Normal People is off to a full start.
1. Jennifer Lyon Bell and Stoya talk about Blue Artichoke Films Presents: Adventure in Intimacy (and Sex Positivity).
Sex and online go together, and Filmmaker this year this interview was a hit about “a celebration of the sexually positive, porn-positive, queer-friendly culture used by porn performers, academics and sex educators in theirs Area explored was own work. "The surge in traffic landing on this piece was obviously compounded by the smart approaches as well as the wise and persistent search engine optimization of the two women – Jennifer Lyon Bell and Stoya – who spoke to Lauren Wissot about an event in Amsterdam that was also seen online and organized by Bell & # 39; s Blue Artichoke Films About Adult Entertainment in the Cinema. (A topic that is an unexpected Twitter debate when I write these words in late 2020)
Thank you to all authors, interview topics and readers of 2020!