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September 14, 2012, 1:31 pm
Some thoughts on audition technique ? Casting can make or kill your film. Get the wrong actors for the roles and your audience will be watching the lighting. Even if you get the right actors for each part, but they don't gel with each other: the audience will start planning their weekend shop. It's vital...
June 12, 2018, 10:32 am
…and When You Should Stop. One question that I’m often asked when interviewing for a low-budget feature is: “how long do you think you’ll need?” The answer is… it’s complicated. The used to be a rule of thumb for feature films: 1.5 times the length of the shoot. This was based on the assumption … Continue reading →
March 13, 2018, 6:18 am
“You and I know that basically the audience is stupid” these were the words of a client I once worked with. It was not the only time I’d heard this sentiment; I don’t get to hear it much, but when I do it usually comes from someone who’s been in the film industry for thirty … Continue reading →
December 13, 2017, 12:51 pm
When is a good actor not a good actor? A weird thing sometimes happens when two or more people sit down in a cutting room and look through takes. They will agree on which take has the smoothest camera move or focus pull, there’ll be little disagreement about whether the shoot looks better with … Continue reading →
October 20, 2017, 5:28 am
How Did Harvey Happen? It should go without saying that I deplore those incidents of abuse against women that Harvey Weinstein’s admitted to, and those of which he’s been accused, but it’s gone without saying by too many people for too long, so I feel the need to add my voice. What does it say … Continue reading →
October 17, 2017, 10:22 am
Invisible vs. high-profile editing I started in the cutting room at an exciting time for editing. The high-octane style popularised by music videos shown on MTV and made possible by editing on computer rather than on celluloid, was starting to filter through to feature films. In some cases it led to the sort of … Continue reading →
May 16, 2017, 9:32 am
How to Make your Protagonist Engaging I don’t think I’m the only screenwriter to be frustrated when I’m given the note “Couldn’t the main character be… just a bit more likeable?” My frustration comes partly from the fact that a lot of my protagonists are intentionally not conventionally likeable, and partly from the note having … Continue reading →
June 8, 2016, 4:28 am
Apart From, y’know, Edit ☛ I’ve written much in the past about the art and craft of narrative editing, so I thought I’d focus for a change on the parts of the job that aren’t putting shots together. What follows applies specifically to drama feature film editors. I’m also assuming that the feature film editor … Continue reading →
August 4, 2015, 8:07 am
An Editor’s Guide to Working with a Director ☛ Last time I wrote about how directors should approach working with an editor, this time the shoe is on the other foot. A lot is written online about how editors should work with their editing software – hints and tips. Books on editing have much to … Continue reading →
July 14, 2015, 5:38 am
How to Work with an Editor ☛ I wrote some time back encouraging directors to work with editors, rather than cutting their own material. My colleagues in the cutting room report that they are working with an increasing number of the directors who are using an editor for the first time. Many of those directors … Continue reading →
June 2, 2015, 9:24 am
The importance of theme ☛ I wrote a piece a little time back about the essential elements of any cinematic story, where I claimed that one of the basic building blocks is ‘theme’. At the time discussion of theme got drowned out by arguments about act structure, but I think that there’s more to say … Continue reading →
Gordon sits down with Joe Walker to discuss Steve McQueen's new film Widows.
Gordon sits down with Barry Brown to discuss his work on editing BLACKkKLANSMAN, Spike Lee's latest film.
Gordon Burkell sits down to discuss Selina MacArthur's Emmy nominated work on Black Mirror's USS Callister.
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