Tag Archives: student filmmakers

Best Blogs For Women Working In Film and Television

Wonder Woman, Warner Brothers new action-adventure blockbuster based on the DC Comics superhero,  earned over $100 million in its opening weekend in the US and Canada.  Worldwide sales totaled over $225 million.  The movie is getting a lot of attention. Not only does it feature a strong female lead role, a rarity in an action adventure movie, the weekend box office totals set a record for a female-directed feature film.

Director, Patty Jenkins’ success with Wonder Woman has renewed conversation about how few female directors get hired in Hollywood.

Not only do women struggle to be taken seriously as would-be directors of male-driven pictures, they aren’t even considered reasonable picks for female-driven dramas, comedies and fantasies. Both Sex and the City movies, all three Divergent films, all four Hunger Games movies and the majority of female-driven comedies you can think of offhand (The Other Woman, The Ugly Truth, etc.) were directed by men. Men are offered the presumption of competence regardless of experience. Women are considered a risk regardless of experience.

When they do get hired, their work is often measured by different standards than men.  This has led directors like Ava DuVernay to hire female directors exclusively for her TV show Queen Sugar.  Netflix’s hit show, Jessica Jones, will do the same, with a different woman director for each episode in its second season.

The number of women making films and working in all facets of the movie industry is growing steadily.  Organizations have appeared to help the women at various stages of their careers.  Here is a listing of the best blogs offering a boost to women working in the film business.

New York Women in Film & Television

The preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT brings together over 2,200 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 40 Women In Film chapters worldwide, representing more than 10,000 members.

Women in Film and Video of Washington D.C.

Located in one of the country’s leading non-fiction film production centers and at the center of federal, non-profit and non-governmental agencies, WIFV is uniquely positioned to offer its members unsurpassed continuing education offerings and connect them to professional opportunities across the globe.

Women In Film – Toronto

Women In Film & Television – Toronto accepts members who have made a commitment to work in the industry. WIFT-Toronto welcomes women of every race, ethnicity and ability and at every stage of work and life. Programs and activities are designed to meet the needs of women at every stage of their careers. Member events are entertaining, engaging, purposeful and rewarding.

Women in Film – Los Angeles ]

I couldn’t find a blog here but WIF Los Angeles seems to be the home site for the Women In Film organization.  This page has a listing of the WIF chapters in the US, Canada and around the world.  Women In Film is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting equal opportunities for women, encouraging creative projects by women, and expanding and enhancing portrayals of women in all forms of global media.

Women And Hollywood

Hollywood is broken.  Especially for women.   Women and Hollywood blogs in a unique proactive style to engage filmgoers and filmmakers with news and information highlighting women filmmakers and agitates for increased opportunities for women.  On a daily basis, Women and Hollywood sets the standard, defines the conversation, fuels coverage and reinforces messages throughout the specialized and mainstream media to call for gender parity.

Shit People Say to Women Directors

Often laugh-out-loud funny, this Tumblr site is an anonymous open blog for all individuals identifying as women who work in film & television. It’s a crazy business, especially for women. Until now, we haven’t had a platform to share some of the let’s call them “unusual” things people have said to us while working. This is for catharsis and to expose some of the absurd barriers women face in the entertainment business. Open to all women in film. Please feel free to submit stories via the anonymous submission box. We’d love to share your story.

Women’s Film Institute

Since it’s founding in 2004 the Women’s Film Institute (WFI) has a long history of amplifying the voices of women and girls. WFI is proud to support, promote, and celebrate women’s voices. WFI is a powerful global network dedicated to women’s leadership in the media and 21st-century storytelling. Subscribe to the WFI podcast and listen to informative, compelling and up close and personal conversations from a diverse selection of writers, directors, producers and content creators.

On October 21, 2016, the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Wonder Woman, that character was designated by the United Nations as its Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls, a gesture intended to promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. In attendance to mark the occasion was director Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman actresses Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson, and U.N. Under-Secretary-General Cristina Gallach.


Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, past credits include the crime drama Monster (2003), which she wrote and directed.  Monster starred Charlize Theron in the role of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a former prostitute executed in 2002 for killing six men.


Studentfilms.com – The online student film festival

Studentfilms.com is an online filmmaking resource for film students and aspiring filmmakers from around the world.

The site features:

  • internet broadcasting of your film (upload it to their site) – viewers of your film can write a review, you can post contact information for those interested in your work.
  • forum discussions – discuss films on the site, introduce yourself to the studentfilm.com community, discuss filmmaking tips and techniques, ask questions about screenwriting, pre-production and post-production, ask questions about which film school to attend at the unversity level
  • Filmmaking Articles – Online Avid Tutorials, Tools for writers, HD product reviews

Active topics on the forum right now include, requests for iMovie help, Making a movie from a book and a vigorous discussion of NY vs LA, which discusses which media center is best for a young filmmaker to begin their career in. There is also a discussion of universities which have exemplary film schools, like New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts.

The main element and greatest strength of the site is its abiltiy to broadcast films over the internet and enable peer discussion of each film. Studentfilms.com now has a database of over 800 films which is searchable by genre, popularity on the site, film title, and by film school. There is also this cool randomizer feature which will bring you to any film in the database. All the reviews and comments I saw where mature and honest attempts to be helpful. Everyone is in the same boat and the community really does try to share knowledge and creative ideas. The forum section is also very strong. There is a good deal of filmmaking information shared in the forum questions.

If you are considering a career as a filmmaker or are an educator with a media-production curriculum, I think that studentfilms.com will become an excellent resource for you.

Student Filmmakers Reference CD-ROM

Just wanted to wrap up this series of posts about student film with a link to the Cyber Film School “Movie Encyclopedia” CD-ROM that is published by Northwest Film School (in Bellingham, WA).

This product looks to be very well organized and packed with a lot of fresh and useful information about getting your first film finished.

Contributors to the encyclopedia include heavy hitters like:

Ron Bass
Screenwriter of Snow Falling on Cedars, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Rain Man.

Lawrence Bender
Producer of Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs.

Anne V Coates
Editor of Erin Brockovich, Lawrence of Arabia.

Mark Irwin, ASC
Director of Photography of Something About Mary, Scream.

Norman Jewison
Director of The Hurricane, Moonstruck, In the Heat of The Night.

There’s a short video blurb by Ron Bass talking about screenwriting right on the site that is great advice and shows the quality of the information in the encyclopedia cd-rom.

A listing of student film festivals

From the Director in the Classroom Film Festival Resource.

Up-to-date and detailed, this site has an ever growing list of student film festivals. The festivals are sorted by region, with contact info, guidelines and links to each festival page. A great resource for high school and college-age filmmakers, there are even some listings for middle school students.

The list is presented by The Director in the Classroom…

Director in the Classroom examines how filmmaking engages learners. The program gives students the tools, skills and confidence to take creative control of their research and presentation projects and to engage learning using video production.

Student Filmmaking Portal

StudentFilmmakers.com – I really like the idea of this site and I think they bring off their mandate very well. StudentFilmmakers.com is a portal for students who are beginnning to make films. There are listings and links for film festivals, workshops and film schools. There is a forum to discuss with peers plus an online store that has a very good selection of motion picture handbooks and manuals.

MOST IMPORTANTLY however, is the ability to post your film on the site so it can be viewed by fellow filmmakers (and the general public). There is also the ability to write reviews of the movies that have been uploaded.

Check out the Student Filmmakers Summer Shorts Contest currently running.

Videography for Educators

Apple Computer and Apple Learning Interchange has a very informative, course-like, web showcase entitled Videography for Educators. This exhibit features tips and techniques to assist in the creation of quality video products. The concepts, skills and examples are presented in a manner relevant to classroom teachers. The showcase assumes that you are somewhat familiar with digital editing software ie. iMovie or Final Cut.

Though this showcase is aimed primarily at teachers, it makes a great “Intro to Videography” for anyone. The showcase starts with the basics and moves through the video creation process.

Topics include:
Video Style
Production Decisions
Pre-Production Scouting
Equipment Setup
Effective Lighting
Effective Audio
Capturing the Video
The Art of Editing
And more

The best way to find stock music

Finding stock music in the jungleToo often choosing the right track from a stock music library is like hacking your way through an overgrown jungle with no map and no sense of direction. It’s a time-intensive, hit-or-miss process that requires listening to multitudes of the wrong selections.

After a while your brain becomes numb and everything blends together and sounds the same. To further complicate things, you’re often searching for soundtrack right at the project deadline so there is pressure to find tracks fast.

The fastest way to find the right background music for your work is to first identify the underlying feeling – the emotional thrust – of your production. Many project creators only think about what STYLE of music they want (i.e. Rock, Techno). A better way to proceed is to look for background music based on the emotional character of your work. When you know your project’s emotional themes, you will cut an incredible amount of time from your search.


This is what film composers do. After meeting with the director to discuss the film’s meaning and concept, the composer immerses him/herself into the film and begins to investigate its emotional essence.You can do the same thing. Here is a simple exercise to try with your own work.

  1. See yourself in each scene as an eyewitness to what is happening
  2. Become emotionally open to the events that occur.
  3. Freewrite your reactions. (Freewriting is writing that’s done quickly without any self-editing – you just want to get your ideas on paper in a way that you’ll remember)
  4. After the production is over, take your freewriting and look for 1-5 keyword phrases that best describe the emotion(s) of what you’ve experienced. This technique will work just as well for a 15 second Flash animation as an hour-length video documentary. In each case, you want to understand the emotion at the heart of your project so you can choose music that elevates your viewer’s experience.

Here’s an example of the process…

Let’s say you’re giving a 2 hour talk on “Better Time Management” and you want some background music to use in your PowerPoint at the beginning, end, and during the break.

You do the exercise above and here is a sample of your freewriting…


…better time management = organization,

productivity, structure…getting things done

a sense of being in control,- order – stress-free

living, flow, mind like water…


To derive your emotional keywords from this, look at the benefits of features like productivity and organization.

Benefit of productivity – accomplishment

Getting things done – satisfaction, freedom, liberation

Benefit of Organization/Order – peace, harmony, well-being

Now begin searching the stock music libraries listening for background music that highlights feelings of satisfaction, freedom, that gives a sense of peace, harmony, accomplishment. Remember, you’re still not locked into any specific musical style, you’re searching for music that will adequately speak to the emotional content of your work.

On the UniqueTracks Production Music Library website, we have sorted every track in our library by its corresponding emotional keywords. If you need a track to underscore the feeling of “satisfaction” or “peace”, all you have to do is click a link and you’ll be presented with a listing of all the tracks in our music library that correspond to those feelings.

Once you know the feeling you are looking for, finding the right background music track becomes much easier because, through the process of drilling down to the emotional core of your work, you have already filtered out most of the music choices that don’t apply. You have narrowed your search, created a map, and a way to avoid getting lost in the production music jungle.