Aaron Schneider’s Directing advice from film Greyhound

In a recent podcast with Film Riot, Aaron Schneider discussed the things we were forced to learn while shooting Greyhound. Most of the films set was composed of green screens, which had its challenges.

Schneider’s main advice is to come up with a detailed and set plan when working with extensive green screens and technology on set to try to minimize everything that could go wrong during filming. It’s always a good idea to do test runs of everything before the camera even begins rolling. Once you have all the structure completed for a scene, then you know you are ready to roll the camera.

According to Schneider, the idea for the film came from a book Tom Hanks read and then wrote a script from. In terms of creating a movie that’s been inspired from a book, Aaron stated that everything that you need story wise comes from the narrative. For Greyhound he said the complete structure for the film came from Tom Hanks script, which was inspired straight from the novel. His final piece of advice about the story is to make your main goal as a filmmaker to bring the story to life not to change it.


Listen to Arron Schneider’s full podcast with Film Riot Here


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FireFly lane (2021) review

Synopsis: Tully and Kate meet as young girls on Firefly Lane and become inseparable friends throughout 30 years of ups and downs. First episode date: February 3, 2021 Network: Netflix Program creator: Maggie Friedman Executive producers: Maggie Friedman, Stephanie Germain, Katherine Heigl, Lee Rose, Shawn Williamson, Peter O’Fallon My Review: After watching the first few episodes of this series, I was not sucked into …

Alien(s) (1986) Review

Synopsis After floating in space for 57 years, Lt. Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) shuttle is found by a deep space salvage team. Upon arriving at LV-426, the marines find only one survivor, a nine year old girl named Newt (Carrie Henn). But even these battle-hardened marines with all the latest weaponry are no match for the hundreds …

Alien (1979) Review

Synopsis In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and …

Toy Story 4 (2019) Review

Synopsis

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy named Forky. The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep. As Woody and Bo discuss the old days, they soon start to realize that they’re worlds apart when it comes to what they want from life as a toy.

Release date: June 21, 2019

(USA)DirectorJosh Cooley

Featured songYou’ve Got a Friend in Me

Initial DVD release: October 8, 2019 (USA)

Box office: 1.073 billion USD

My Review

Pixar did it again with this film. I reached for a tissue several times throughout this movie, and I throughly enjoyed every second. I had low expectations before watching this film, because I felt like Toy Story 3 ended perfectly. However, Toy Story 4 really surprised me and I would now consider it one of my favorite Toy Stroy movies.

I love the direction the filmmakers took with Bo Peep. I enjoyed seeing what happened with her between the film, and her character growth made sense. I wasn’t aware that a reunion scene between Woody and Bo Peep was much needed until after watching it on the screen. Overall, Pixar did a phenomenal job re creating everyone’s favorite Toy Stroy characters. However, my one main issue with this movie was the way Buzz Lightyear.

In the original Toy Story film, Buzz thinks he is a legitimate space ranger and not a toy. As the movies go on Buzz comes to terms knowing that he is in fact a toy, and the audience sees him mature and grow from the first film. In Toy Story 4, Buzz believes his “inner voice” comprises the buttons attached to him. While this added an element of comedic relief to the film I felt that it was backyard progress in Buzz’s maturity.

One issue I had with Toy Stroy 2 and 3 was that the villain in both these films seemed similar to me. However, the villain of Toy Story 4 was endearing and new. To me Gabby Gabby was such an interesting villain becuase as an audience member I truly sympathized with her. While the audience may not agree with what she’s doing, it’s easy to understand and grasp why she’s doing it. I found myself rooting for her to find her own child to love and treasure.

After watching the ending scene of Toy Story 4, I felt the character’s stories truly came to a final resolution. There were no more loose ends left at the end of the film, and I truly felt it was a perfect ending to the Toy Story series. The characters and story within this film captured my attention the entire time. I was completely emotionally invested into this film, and I appreciate how much it had me equally laughing and crying.

My Rating

8.4 out of 10


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Saving Private Ryan (1998) Film Review

Synopsis

Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realties of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.
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Release dateJuly 24, 1998 (USA)
Budget70 million USD

My Review 

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By far this is one of the best war movies of all time. It’s hard and tear jerking to watch because of how accurate and life like the war scenes are. Something that really adds to the uncomfortable realistic feel of the film is the lack of music. It’s hard to notice when first watching the movie because as an audience member you are so sucked into the action. But if you pay attention during any battle scene, there is absolutely no music playing in the background. In fact, music is used sparingly and only when it adds to the overall emotional impact on the audience. During the bloody war scenes all the audience hears are bullets shooting, men screaming, blood gushing, and orders being given. This makes the audience feel as if they themselves are on the front lines with all the actor’s.

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Another powerful element of this film is the camera work. The cinematography is innovative and creative. However, it’s kept subtle to where you don’t remember your watching a movie on a screen. It feels as if your watching war history in person. A lot of the camera angles are kept eye level, or close to the ground, which adds to this effect. There are very little bird eye shots or hero shots in this film. Which would have only lost the audience’s personal connection into the film. This was a really impactful decision made by the cinematographer of this film.

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This film showcases the darker side of humanity. It allows audience members who have never been on a battle front a chance to experience the realistic horror and intense action. It allows us a look into a world not all of us are familiar with. That makes watching this film such a memorable experience.

My Rating

4.8 out of 5

I recommend everybody watch this film at least once in their life.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Film Review

Summary

Lloyd Vogel is an investigative journalist who receives an assignment to profile Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers. He approaches the interview with skepticism, as he finds it hard to believe that anyone can have such a good nature. But Roger’s empathy, kindness and decency soon chips away at Vogel’s jaded outlook on life, forcing the reporter to reconcile with his own painful past.
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Release date: October 10, 2019 (USA)
Box office: 64.1 million USD
Budget: 25 million USD

My Review

I definitely had different expectations for this film. I knew that Fred Rogers would not be the focus of the film, since Tom Hanks was the supporting actor. However, I did not expect the film to intertwine two worlds by transitions related to Mr. Rogers show. This was one of the most confusing elements of the film. While it was very creative and looked amazing from a visual standpoint. It was hard to tell if the film was taking place in real time or was just another episode of Mr. Rogers show.

The show starts off with Mr. Rogers on set for his show talking about a man named Lloyd. And the movie cuts between the show and Lloyds’s life until finally the two intertwine. Image result for a beautiful day in the neighborhoodThis got even more confusing toward the end of the film when the audience ended back on Mr. Rogers show. The mixing and cutting between the two worlds was unique and interesting, but very confusing in terms of time and space.

The strongest thing about this film was the acting. Tom Hanks did not disappoint, and he fully became the essence of Mr. Rogers. In fact, it was hard to remember that it was an actor portraying Fred Rogers instead of the real deal. I was pleasantly surprised by the other actors of the film. Especially Matthew Rhys and Chris Cooper. I have not seen a lot of movies with either of these actors in it, and they did a fantastic job. However, compared to the scenes with them on screen alongside Tom Hanks, their performance was weak in comparison and less believable.

Overall, I enjoyed the feel of this movie. The color grading, music, and camera style was kept very similar to how an actual show of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Growing up watching the television show, this was very nostalgic for me and helped as an audience member to peak my interest further into the world of the film. Image result for a beautiful day in the neighborhoodHowever, the transitions got confusing as times since as I stated it was hard to tell if the film was in real time or all flashbacks. This is a main reason I would not watch this film again. I enjoyed it, however, for me once is enough.

My Rating

2.5 out of 5

Oscar Winner Predictions 2020

Actor in Leading Role:

Antonio Banderas- Pain and Glory

Leonardo DiCaprio- Once upon a time… in Hollywood

Adam Driver- Marriage Story

Joaquin Phoenix- Joker

Jonathan Pryce- The Two Popes

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Joaquin’s performance in Joker was chilling and memorizing. From watching the movie, it is easy to tell he completely poured himself into the role and became the Joker. In face, it was easy to forget that you were watching Joaquin on the screen and instead it felt like watching the Joker. His performance in this role really impressed me and stayed with me long after watching the movie.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Tom Hanks- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony Hopkins- The Two Popes

Al Pacino The Irishman

Joe Pesci- The Irishman

Brad Pitt- Once upon a Time… in Hollywood

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Movies about well-known star figures have been a huge trend recently, and Tom Hanks did not disappoint in his portrayal of the infamous Mr. Rogers. Tom Hanks completely stepped into the role and became Mr. Rogers.

Actress in a Leading Role

Cynthia Erivo- Harriet

Scarlett Johansson- Marriage Story

Saoirse Ronan- Little Women

Charlize Theron- Bombshell

Renée Zellweger- Judy

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This is one of the most difficult categories to pick a winner. I would say it’s a close tie between Johansson, Ronan, and Zellweger. However, Scarlett Johansson really stepped up to the plate in this movie. She did an incredible job realistically portraying a mother and wife going through a divorce. Her performance was tear jerking and believable.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Kathy Bates- Richard Jewell

Laura Dern- Marriage Stroy

Scarlett Johansson- Jojo Rabbit

Florence Pugh- Little Women

Margot Robbie- Bombshell

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This is one of the best roles I have seen Laura Dern preform in a very long time. She does such an outstanding job playing a cut throat lawyer while still adding lots of complexions and dimensions to her character. She was lifelike and came to life on screen.

Animated Feature Film

How To Train Your Dragon- DeBlois, Lewis, and Arnold

I Lost My Body- Clapin and Marc du Pontavice

Klaus- Pablos, Gotoh, and Román

Missing Link- Butler, Sutner, and Knight

Toy Story 4- Cooley, Nielson, and Rivera

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Klaus was a very heartfelt and well put together movie. It is the kind of movie you can watch repeatedly and not grow sick of it. The animation and musical score was also extremely impressive.

Best Cinematography

The Irshman- Rodrigo Prieto

Joker- Lawrence Sher

The Lighthouse- Jarin Blaschke

1917- Roger Deakins

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood- Robert Richardson

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Every shot in Joker was jaw-dropping. To the point where I didn’t want to look away. It’s easy to tell each shot was given great care and attention. If you pay attention, there is deep symbolism and a deeper meaning in almost every camera setup.

Best Costume Design

The Irshman- Powell and Peterson

Jojo Rabbit- Mayes C. Rubeo

Joker- Mark Bridges

Little Women- Jacqueline Durran

Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood-Arianne Phillips

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Everything about the world in this movie created a very realistic and believable environment. However, the costumes were particularly impressive and added a lot to this movies viewing experience.

Best Director

The Irishman- Martin Scorsese

Joker- Todd Phillips

1917- Sam Mendes

Once Upon A Time.. In Hollywood- Quentin Tarantino

Parasite- BongJoon Ho

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1917, is one of the best war movies ever made. This movie stood out from so many other war movies because it had so many unique directorial decisions. The creative vision behind this film is truly what makes it such an incredible film.

Best Film Editing

Ford V Ferrari- McCusker and Buckland

The Irishman- Schoonmaker

Jojo Rabbit- Engles

Joker- Groth

Parasite- Jinmo

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The editing in this film was seamless and was extrmelly smooth. There were some very clever transitions, and I did not notice any issues with contnuity or match shots either.

Best Music (Original Score)

Joker- Gudnadottir

Little Women- Desplat

Marriage Story- Newman

1917- Newman

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker- Williams

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The music of Joker was one of my favoroite things about the film. The music was so creative and helped to establish a sense of emotion within the film. There were times the music made me tear up, uncomortable, etc. Which in total added to my experience watching the film.

Best Picture

Ford V Ferrari

The Irshman

JoJo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

1917

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Parasite

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As you can tell from my top picks for categories, Joker was by far one of my favorite films of 2019. It’s one of my best films I have seen in a very long time and blew me in a way that most films do not accomplish.