Watch: Spike Lee Teams Up with Uber to Celebrate Brooklyn in These Short Films

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker reps his borough in these five-short nonfiction profiles produced by the popular ride-sharing service.

Spike Lee's Da Republic of Brooklyn, a short-form series documenting five passionate Uber drivers based in Brooklyn, is a charming take on working within the realms of branded content. That may sound advertorial in nature, and while it undoubtedly is—each short piece concludes with the prominent Uber logo front and center—Lee grounds the material in the personal stories of its subjects.

"That’s how we do it in Brooklyn—that’s the Brooklyn hustle."

The five men and women showcased below each have a few things in common, being current residents of Brooklyn and using Uber as a source of income (or in the case of the bicycle-riding Sunny Shen, Uber Eats). Beyond that, each of the interviewees sits in a very large, plush chair to discuss their diverse backgrounds with Mr. Lee. Some are single parents, some are struggling actors, some are dog-lovers, and each has relied on Uber to help pay their ever-escalating bills; you may have heard that Brooklyn is rather expensive these days.

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Media Composer Gets a Live Timeline and 16K Support

While 16K is the more impressive spec, it's the live timeline that has longtime Media Composer users excited about the latest update.

The venerable editing platform Media Composer has been aggressively improving this year, especially with pricing. The new price point of fully fledged Media Composer is $20/month, and Media Composer Ultimate (which comes with the Symphony color correction tools, Phrase Find and Script Sync all in one package is $50/month. Thus, Avid has positioned Media Composer not just to remain competitive with the high-end clients who love it, but also with independent filmmakers and students who want to take advantage of its robust stability and great shared editing platforms.

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You Can Now Launch Your Own Version of Netflix—Here’s How

Why wait for a gatekeeper when you can sell your own VOD content online?

[Editor's Note: No Film School invited Amir Shahzeidi to contribute this post due to his area expertise from working at Uscreen. The views herein belong to the author.]

Even as recently as a decade ago, if you were a filmmaker that wanted to get your work out to the widest possible audience, you essentially had one option available to you: Hollywood. You had an idea for a movie. You had the script, the talent, the passion and the resources necessary to get it done. Maybe you even had the money. But the actual mechanism required to get your work to audiences was something you had absolutely no control over. You essentially had to wait for a big corporation to buy your film (or hire you to make one of theirs), which ultimately meant that you also had to concede control over the vision you had in the first place.

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Short of the Week’s Andrew Allen on How to Make the Most of Your Short Film

Here's some indispensable advice for navigating a shifting festival landscape.

Short of the Week has long been known as an authority on short films. One could even say that it's thanks to platforms like this one that film festivals were ultimately scared into having a "must be premiering at our show" attitude. That's because they had been getting a glimpse at the future.

That future has arrived and festivals, whether the programmers like it or not, have been forced to accept it. The internet is far too valuable a tool for filmmakers who, above all else, rightfully seek exposure. Why should we limit ourselves as we murk our way through an environment that is already incredibly difficult to break into?

"A big mistake that we see from some promising filmmakers is they cash in that ticket too soon to make a few quick bucks at the expense of their long-term prospects."

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How a Filmmaker Used ‘Radical Directing’ to Turn Realism into an Unbearable Horror-Thriller

Xavier Legrand's 'Custody' slowly reveals the horror of domestic violence.

There isn't a quiet moment Xavier Legrand's Custody. On paper, that doesn't make sense—many of the scenes are punctuated with long silences, and there is no musical score. But the silence is a loaded weapon. The film pulsates with the imminent threat of violence; writ large in the characters' body language is evidence of past physical abuse and psychological control.

Custody opens with a nearly 15-minute scene depicting a mediation hearing. Miriam (Léa Drucker) and Antoine (Denis Ménochet) are separated and vying for custody of their child, 11-year-old Julien (Thomas Gioria). The cold, clinical precision with which their respective lawyers present their cases belies the gravity of the situation: Mariam is accusing Antoine of domestic violence and considers him a danger to the child. Antoine, meanwhile, maintains that his history of spousal abuse has no bearing on his ability to parent. They are granted joint custody.

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3 Things to Remember When Creating Foley Footsteps

Need to create some foley footsteps? Grab a kiddie pool and get started.

Foley is amazing. It's always a thrill to watch a foley artist create familiar sounds out of unfamiliar things, like pulling on a button-up shirt to recreate the sound of a heartbeat. But what about something simple, like footsteps? Those things will make up the lion's share of your foley anyway, so it might be a good idea to learn a few tricks on how to get it just right. In this video, Robbie Janney of Shutterstock shows you how to create three different types of foley footsteps using cheap materials you can buy at any hardware or grocery store. Check it out below:

Materials

The first step in creating footstep sound effects is putting together a decent foley pit. Professional foley artists build large frames which can either be portable or dug into the ground, but if you're just starting out, a kiddie pool will do just fine. Once you have your pit, you'll need to select the materials you'll need to create the specific textures your project calls for.

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“Filmmakers Know ESPN Better Than Cinema”: DP Sean Price Williams on Shooting The Great Pretender With a DSLR and Today’s Film Climate

While shooting a commercial in Thailand cinematographer Sean Price Williams (Good Time, Golden Exits, Marjorie Prime) contracted an ear infection. He let me rattle questions into his ear canals despite it. Two months prior The Great Pretender, the second feature film he had shot with writer/director Nathan Silver (Thirst Street, Stinking Heaven, Exit Elena), premiered in the Viewpoints section of Tribeca. Following the screening, Sean revealed that the film had been shot on a DLSR camera that could fit in one hand, with plastic, sparkle filters taped over the lens, completely eschewing a matte box.   He managed to photograph Brooklyn […]

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Why a Filmmaker Turned The Camera on Her Family for Her Latest Narrative Feature

Director Britni West continues to push the doc/narrative hybrid form forward with the subject for her next feature: her family.

After winning the Narrative Grand Jury Award at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival for her poetic and soft-spoken study in naturalism, Tired Moonlight, filmmaker Britni West, a former entrant on the 25 New Faces of Independent Film, is looking to continue her exploration of her home state of Montana and, more closely, the people in it.

Boldly titled By Now I've Lived A Thousand Lives and None of Them Are Mine, West's new feature, currently in production, is a narrative feature about a nonfiction parallel occurrence: the filmmaker and her friend both returned to two different hometowns in Big Sky Country—true stories which are fictionalized in the film. The project's logline may sum it up best: Britni is in the midst of returning back home to her parent's house after finding herself lost and alone in the world, and Hillary moves to Bozeman to try and carve out a new life for herself in a new place.

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Are You an Arty Weirdo Making Weird Art? There’s a Fund for Your Films Now

The innovative producers behind ‘The Eyeslicer’ invite your submission to their Radical Film Fund.

Dan Schoenbrun’s career trajectory has shown that he is a man on a mission to shake up the filmmaking world, from funding to production to distribution. After serving as one of the initial funding gamechangers as Head of Film Outreach at Kickstarter, he went on to produce innovative films like the SXSW-premiering omnibus collective:unconscious that was then released unorthodoxically online via BitTorrent bundles, and a feature-length doc made entirely out of YouTube clips.

“We want to be kind of like Robin Hood if he was really into surrealism and late Tarkovsky.”

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Joan Micklin Silver on Casting Crossing Delancey and Steven Spielberg’s Role in Getting the Film Made

Joan Micklin Silver’s Crossing Delancey, her studio romantic comedy about a thirtysomething trying to escape her Lower East Side roots, is the epitome of the New York Woman series the Quad has been running all month. After a difficult experience at United Artists with her 1979 masterpiece Chilly Scenes of Winter, Silver took on her biggest production yet, an adaptation of Susan Sandler’s stage play, Crossing Delancey. The Nebraska native returned to examining Jewish identity in New York, as she did in her first film Hester Street, but instead of immigrants at the turn of the century, her focus was […]

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