Top 5 Movie Set Designs of All Time

There is scarcely a person that doesn’t like going to the theater for a good movie. American’s and people all around the globe are entertained by the creative minds of movie makers and their undeniable talents. From the stars that line the casts to the unbelievable set designs, movies are a great part of history. Here are some of the best movie sets of all times.

Lord Of The Rings:

Many say the Lord of the Rings set the bar high when it comes to movie sets. The fantasy land they created was nothing short of a genius mastermind. The film was shot in New Zealand. This area is known for having breathtaking views, mountain ranges, rivers, plenty of lakes, green rolling hills, wilderness areas and numerous scenic landscapes. It is the perfect place for a fictional story such as this. Not only did they use one of the most beautiful places on earth to film, but their large $280 million budget did nothing but give them the resources to create bigger and better. [Read more...]

Our Favorite Film Directors of All Time

Film directors take different roles during the making of a movie, some remain hands on in all aspects of the production and others take a more collaborative approach to production. When considering the top role models amongst directors the choices are almost endless, with most directors enjoying periods of rich success and bitter failures.

Alfred HitchcockThe career of English film director Alfred Hitchcock stands as a signpost for reinvention and acceptance of modern trends in storytelling and movie making. Beginning his career as a director in 1922, Hitchcock won acclaim as a director in the UK before moving to Hollywood to create a career as one of the most acclaimed directors in film history. Always keeping his finger on the pulse of the latest trends, Hitchcock also risked his career with experimental techniques and storytelling phases. From the long takes of Rope through to destroying the crime drama genre in Psycho, Hitchcock is known for constant reinvention. [Read more...]

The Historical Role of Art in Cinema

For just over a century the cinema has played an important role in moving art into new directions, in the 21st century film has developed to be an important part of the art world. In the modern world, artists often transfer across different media, but in the early years of the cinema the idea of art cinema developed in Europe as an opposition to the mainstream movies of Hollywood.

Luis Bunuel and Film:

Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel is often seen as the father of surrealist cinema, largely because of the reputation he developed after filming his first short film in 1929. The 16 minute Un Chien Andalou was created with surrealist artist Salvador Dali, various images are shown that are based on the work of psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. Including the famous eye cutting scene, Un Chien Andalou has remained the standard for surrealist cinema almost 100 years after it was filmed.

[Read more...]

Top 10 Film Education Schools in the United States

There hundreds upon millions of dollars that are being invested in the film industry, and along with that there are tons of people that are striving to further their education with the knowledge of running the business; Someone has to do it, right? There are also many schools that offer education to people that are interested in making the film industry a life long career. In this article, you will learn about the top ten highest rated performing schools that educate people in the art of film in America.

1. USC School of Cinematic Arts, Los Angeles, CA

Founded in 1929, this school is know for producing some America’s of the most talented students.

Famous Alumni

Why You Should Hire a Film Consultant

If your film or TV special is to be taken seriously, your medical procedures, treatments and jargon must be spot-on. It is money well spent to hire a medical film consultant to help your production team for your film.

Why Hire a Medical Consultant?
Your head writers may not have the expertise needed to bring the medical details of your film to life. Much technical work goes on in any medical setting. A medical consultant can review your script, to make the dialogue and scenes seem more true to life. Bringing in a consultant lends credibility to your project.

The consultant you hire may come from any one of a number of specialty backgrounds. It depends on what your film is portraying. While legal shows need attorneys and judges, medical shows need physicians to consult with on their scenes. Experts who have graduate degrees, along with years of experience in the field, are in high demand to consult on film projects.

Is It Standard Practice?
Hiring medical specialists has been done for decades. The practice has increased in more recent years, since audiences demand more sophistication in their movies. In the 1980s, people didn’t have computers with which they could Google any medical procedure or comment, to see if it was accurate. Now, perceptive audience members can easily check anything that is not believable.

Legal shows and medical shows are among those who have the most director interest in hiring professional consultants. Forensic shows and medical shows are among the most watched on TV.

Even in the best medical shows, there may be things that slip by, or are not brought up with consultants. One loud example of this oversight is on House. Dr. House carries his cane in the wrong hand. If your right leg is injured (which his is), you need to carry the cane in your left hand, to support the limb. Yet Gregory House uses his cane in the right hand. This wouldn’t be quite as obvious if it didn’t occur on a medical show.

Of course, House is eccentric, so perhaps the character simply found it was easier to use the cane in his right hand. He certainly made it work for years.

As far as plots are concerned, though, medical shows must have believable developments. Medical consultants assist with developments, treatments and dialogue that includes medical jargon.

Every Medical Area Demands Experts
If the words spoken in your show are inaccurate, that show may receive poor reviews. It may even cost it viewers and rankings. That’s why directors and producers hire medical consultants in so many fields. For example, if you were including cosmetic surgery in a script, you might consult with someone in the same position as Dr. Vito Quatela, MD, FACS, who specializes in procedures like this. Each area of expertise demands another expert consultant.

Getting high-end values in production is the goal of directors of TV shows and films alike. A larger audience means higher ratings and more dollars spent on advertising. There are many resources available online as well, but for hands-on perfection, it pays to bring a professional to your shooting location.

Tips to Make Your Script Sound Professional

Virtually every moviegoer knows what it is like to be a hospital patient, but many also know the medical aspects involved in practicing medicine, or in studying it. The medical experience allows for complete patient care, and it can also allow medical professionals to work with a passion for telling stories, by helping movies and TV shows remain true to medical practices.

Physicians Have the Inside Information
Medical doctors and other staff members understand the need of films and TV shows to show realistic medical situations. This is not served by excluding medical professionals from having valid input into scripts and scenes.

Any film or feature has the goal of showing itself to be accurate in its portrayal of medical procedures or maladies, and the experience of medical consultants can help your script to sound more professional.

What Do Film Crews Hope to Achieve?
Documentaries and fictitious works alike start with some goals and a vision of the story. By the end of filming, it will tell the viewer what it was trying to present. Protecting the accuracy of the medical aspects of the movie is the work of medical film consultants. Young and old physicians alike have expectations of films, and once they become involved, they can help movies to become more accurate and believable.

Some older medical centers do not have the same high-tech equipment available in newer hospitals. The period in which your movie or TV show is set will in part dictate the type of equipment you may be using. This in turn dictates what level of medical consultant you will need.

Emergency rooms don’t look like battlefields just in the movies – some older facilities look that way in real life, as well. As newer facilities are opened, the equipment is more advanced, but in older clinics, you may still see trauma, chaos and disease or injury that do not look like what you think of as modern American healthcare.

Bringing a Professional on the Set
When you incorporate a medical professional into your film, you will have the benefit of being able to ask questions and utilize the expertise of the consultant. Medical doctors with important information will validate your film’s story. At Sanctuary Plastic Surgery, you will find Dr. Pozner, a doctor specializing in reversing menopause, although you can seek out professionals with experience that will be most useful to you. Physicians who practice in the same fields will be able to offer you important information about your script and your scenes.

An alternative to bringing medical staff to your filming site is filming on-location in hospitals. This is usually contra-indicated, since it would interfere with the daily patient care of important facilities.

This is why medical consultants are happy to come on set. They can explain anything you may have questions about, when it comes to the medical validity of your film. Moviegoers will appreciate your attention to detail when all of the medical procedures, treatments and jargon are properly used. They will view your work with something akin to gratitude and awe, if they work in the medical field, since the scenes are so realistic.

Where to Find Medical Film Consultants

The believability of a script can be directly impacted by a lack of medical knowledge. Your audience will know that you have not done your research, if they spot a mistake in a film physician’s diagnosis or treatment. The best way to avoid this is to hire medical consulting firms, and sometimes to have a physician visit your set to check the script and the setting.

Get Answers from the Experts
Qualified medical professionals are available to act as film consultants on your TV or movie project. The companies are founded by teams of expert doctors who have great interest in delivering proper medicine to TV shows and films. If a patient in a movie is not provided with the right treatment, the patient should be dead, even though the script may have him living.

This is hard for filmgoers with even a rudimentary understanding of medicine to believe, and it affects the way they look at the entire project. In fact, if the right treatment is not given, the film may actually die, due to watchers being unable to suspend disbelief.

The men and women who work as consultants to the film industry have years of experience in medicine. For instance, you may turn to practitioners like Dr. Max L. Polo, for expert information on areas like this or other fields in plastic surgery. These people can make your dialogue accurate and keep your scenes looking real.

Medical Film Consulting Services
There are various services provided by a medical consulting firm. They include:

  • Sending a physician to the set, to train and guide your actors, so that the scenes appear real
  • Offering expert medical advice on a procedure or dialogue, so that the film writing is accurate
  • Providing exciting topics for any area in medicine

Hiring a Medial Film Consultant
Film consulting firms consist of multiple specialty groups with doctors and other qualified professionals. They are experts in their field, affiliated with major medical centers and hospitals. Many consultants also serve on the faculties of prestigious universities.

They will offer you just what you need for your film, giving you people who are solidly proficient in their areas of expertise. This allows them to give you recommendations that have the highest degree of precision and accuracy. If you can get a consultant to work with you on the set, this is ideal. They can follow every step of shooting, to make sure everything is correct.

Script Doctors
Script doctors can polish your TV or film script so that it rings true in all medical treatments and dialogue. They work in their individual areas of expertise, including plot advice that requires medical jargon or knowledge. Their mission is ensuring the authenticity of medical science in the arts. They do this without adversely affecting your creativity.

Medical consultants work on all types of media, including novels, video games, theatre, television and film. They also work within many disciplines, including engineering, medical science, physics, genetics, biochemistry, chemistry and biology. Their job is to find scientific, imaginative solutions to make the script come alive in a real way. Medical consultants work alongside writers, directors and actors, to add in details that are scientifically conceivable. This makes your film authentic and believable.

How to Put Together a Good Movie Script

You have heard this hundreds of times, but it is still worth repeating it at every opportunity; the script is the deciding factor of what success your movie will receive.

Whether you have a team of writers or you are writing the movie script by yourself, the following things should be in place before you start looking for a cast for your movie.

Develop A Detailed Script.
You can never put too much detail into a script. The more you put in, the better it will be for the actors to know what exactly you want, and to bring in their adaptations so that you achieve the desired effect.

It may take you a few weeks or some months but whatever length of time it takes, it will be time well spent. Don’t be afraid to delve into your subject matter and even conduct interviews to make sure you get the details correct. A good friend recently interviewed Dr Todd Christopher Hobgood about a procedure like you see here to make sure his script was accurate.

Avoid Having Many Colors In The Script.
However visually expressive you may be, resist the temptation to have several colors in the script as that will make it very difficult to read.

It is best to stick to the standard colors of writing that everyone is used to so that there is not much to detract from the actual contents of the script.

Have A Detailed Table Of Contents.
No one will know that script in and out like you do so make it easy for them to find a scene that they are looking for.

You can do that by creating a very detailed table of contents that spells out in very clear terms where scenes, character descriptions and any other information can be found in the script.

When you do that, actors will not have any trouble locating their parts and auditions, shooting and all else will go on smoothly.

Don’t Forget Page Numbers.
This little detail is very easy to forget, especially if you are writing the script yourself. If this mistake is made, it can become extremely difficult to locate scenes or particular portions of the text when one wants to quickly refer to it.

It may look like you are being too detailed in the layout of the script but that is what it takes if you want the movie making process to go on smoothly.

Summing it up…
All the attention that goes into making a perfect script is an investment towards smooth sailing when it comes to the subsequent stages in the filmmaking process.

If for some reason you are unable to carry out a certain step in making your script flawless in its layout, by all means hire someone to handle that aspect for you. That money will be much less than you would have to spend on shooting delays, frustrated actors leaving and so on. The script is king so treat it as such!

4 Steps to a Great Film

After you have been at it for some time, filmmaking can become a breeze. Not so for the person that is just starting out. They have to slowly learn the ropes through trial and error (mostly error) and if they don’t have a more experienced person to guide them, their career may be stuck at the take-off stage.

In reality, there are essentially four things that you have to look into if you are to be a great filmmaker. They are discussed below.

1. First Complete The Script
This is where the power of focus comes in. The script can make or destroy your movie so you need to wait until it is complete before you even start thinking of who will star in the movie.
There are many benefits to taking this approach. You will have chance to choose actors that can bring script characters to life and you can only choose actors well when you have a complete script.

It is also easy to choose the right actors when you let them go through a complete script so that at the auditions you can judge them by how well they bring it to life.

2. Take Time Auditioning
It is never a good idea to rush through auditions. Some potentially good actors may not show up in those few days you allow for auditioning and you will not fully evaluate each actor because you have very little time for this.

Make the auditions span over as many days as you can manage and it will pay off. I have a colleague that had a blockbuster just on the strength of lengthy auditions. He wanted to make a movie about plastic surgery and two days to the end of a three-week long audition, in walked an actress that had undergone a procedure like you see here carried out by Dr. Christopher Davidson, a plastic surgeon, who agreed to be a consultant for the film.

That personal experience made her the ideal person to play the role of the patient and the resultant movie got rave reviews from opening night onwards.

3. Shoot At Leisure
Have ample time to shoot the movie. The schedule should be flexible enough to accommodate shocks like an actor being taken ill or getting injured. It should also be possible to replace an actor and still complete the shoot in time.

All that is possible if you are flexible in the time you allocate to shooting. When the schedule is too tight, a single mishap will derail the entire movie so take the hint and build in some wiggle room.

4. Editing Is Key
A lot of time should go into editing your movie because there is a lot to do at this stage. Sound, light, scenes and so many other things need to be touched up and that can only be done well when ample time is provided. Never rush through the editing phase.

In Summary…
In all the above, one thing comes out strongly. How you plan your time as a movie maker will make or break your career. Learn how to correctly plan your time and success will follow you like you have the Midas touch.

Unexpected Expenses That Can Shoot Down Your Movie

When filmmakers are planning a project, they normally try as much as is logically possible to budget for all aspects of the movie making process. They will apportion money for paying the cast, hiring equipment, plan for meals and refreshments during a shoot, etc.

The real problem comes from matters that have not been budgeted for which end up demanding for a huge chunk of the money available for making the film. The following are some of those unexpected costs.

Late Return Fees.
When you rent equipment, the fees are computed basing on how long you are going to use that equipment. If for some reason you exceed the time limit that you had agreed upon with the owners of the equipment, you will be charged as much as 100% more for the extra time.

Such a huge surcharge can seriously dent your finances and even threaten the continuity of the project.

Venue Hire Fees.
Some people assume that they will not need to pay for the venues where they will be shooting the movie from so they neglect to budget for this cost.

When they haul their equipment to the location and find their way blocked by security demanding to see their permit for using the location, they quickly scramble some money and pay so that shooting can begin.

It is only when they fall short on meeting their other obligations that they realize how much their oversight is costing the progress of the movie.

Costs of Actor Absences.
It isn’t good to be too rigid about how many days you will need to shoot the movie as you draw your budget. Things can go wrong and require that the period be extended so your budget should leave some wiggle room for such eventualities.

A colleague learned this the hard way when his lead actress failed to show up for several days because she decided to get cosmetic surgery before the shoot without telling anyone. Apparently, the actress saw Dr. Quatela’s reviews online and had the work done a week before she was scheduled to start shooting, underestimating the time she would need for liposuction recovery. As a result, the budget went up by close to 20% to accommodate the delay caused by the no-show of the lead actress.

Damage Charges.
No one expects to damage equipment that they are using, or the furniture and fittings at a location, do they? But it does happen, and with regular frequency. Obviously, the cost of repair or replacing the damaged equipment has to be met by you the filmmaker. This can lead to your budget spiraling out of control.

Final Comments.
What is the way forward regarding such unforeseen expenses? Since it is not possible to wish them away, it is important to create a robust item in your budget for unforeseen costs. The bigger the budget you have, the larger the segment for contingencies should be.

The provision for unexpected expenses doesn’t mean you should be sloppy in the planning of your movie or that you should be careless in handling equipment. The contingency fund should just provide a cushion so that your project doesn’t stutter to a halt due to unforeseen expenses eating up most of the budget.

When Should You Release Your Film?

Especially for first timers, there are a lot of jitters associated with when they should release their movie to the world. For some, it is a wince about the criticism that will follow once the viewing public gets hold of the film. They therefore dread that moment when the attacks will start coming in.
Others look at the movie as a personal thing so releasing it will be sending out a portion of themselves. “Getting naked” is how they see the release of their movie. As you have this internal debate, distance yourself from the film and base your decision on the following factors.

Are There Legal Impediments?
Sometimes, a movie may attract copyright infringement issues when someone deems it too closely based on their material. Characters in it may also resemble someone so closely that they will sue you for making a film about them without their consent.

Whatever the case, if there are legal challenges to your movie, it may be wise to hold off its release until those matters have been resolved.

That is what happened to a director I know who made a short movie on dermatology procedures after he found Dr. Walder on Yelp. The movie featured pictures of actual patients and that was clearly a violation of privacy laws as he did not get permission ahead of time, and the release of the movie was delayed while these issues were sorted out.

Is The Sound Quality Good?
You also want to make sure that the quality of the sound effects in your movie is the right one before you send it out to the public. If there are any segments that are not clear, have the editing team sort out those kinks and then you will be good to go.

Is The Picture Quality Okay?
Nothing can kill a movie like poor quality pictures. You must therefore ensure that you go over the entire movie just to be sure that all scenes are clearly visible and that hazy or shaky pictures are eliminated.

Once all matters of the picture quality are satisfactory, then there is nothing more to be done. The movie is perfect and needs no more tinkering.

It’s Nothing Personal…
As you steel your nerves before the movie goes public, remember that it’s not personal. Whichever way the public takes it, don’t take it personal. That means that if stinging criticism comes your way, take it in good faith and try to judge if any of the comments made warrant your attention by way of guiding how you handle future projects.

In the same way, when praise comes your way, let it not go to your head. Treat it as a thank you for things you did right and make a mental note of those particular things that attracted kudos.

Summing up…
Follow your time line and release your movie when you feel it is ready. It is normal to have some doubts and jitters regarding the readiness of your movie but that is fine. A true work of art is never really finished but is just passed on for others to make their additions to it so go ahead and let it go.

How Can You Tell That Your “Boob Job” Didn’t Go Well?

In the film industry today, it is so common to find actors and actresses who have undergone plastic surgery that the real question now is who hasn’t had some enhancement carried out.

As for the ladies, very many have had breast augmentation procedures done. Some go well, some not so well. Without extremes that land you in an emergency room, what are the tell-tale signs that your “boob job” did not go so well? Watch for the following signs.

Very Tight Or Bulging Boobs.
If you have had implants, they should feel and look as natural as is possible. When the implants you have make your boobs look very tight on your chest, then the procedure was not the resounding success that you could have wished for.

That also goes for augmentation that leaves your breasts bulging out in a way that is clearly unnatural. The moment it is possible to tell from a long distance off that you have had plastic surgery to enhance your breasts then it wasn’t a good job. Jodie Marsh is an example of a celeb that appears to have flotation gadgets strapped to her chest.

Your body weight and frame should dictate the size of implants that you can pick. Small or low weight women shouldn’t be at risk of falling over from what is on their chest, if you get the drift.

Your Breasts Look Dried Out And Sunken.
Once more, a good breast augmentation procedure should leave you looking as natural as can be despite the addition to your breasts. When your skin looks dried out and sunken to the extent that the implants in there are almost visible, then something is not right.

The skin should look supple, in tandem with the size of your breasts so anything less than that points to something having gone wrong as is the case for Tori Spelling.

Uneven Breasts.
Now, this is possibly the worst nightmare that you can ever wake up to. When you look in the mirror and it is clearly visible that one breast is bigger than the other, then you are in major trouble. How will you look in your outfits? What figure do you strike before those looking at your asymmetrical structure? How do you balance your body weight if one side of your chest is dragging you to one side?

Such an outcome can only mean the implants used were of different sizes, or excess tissue was removed from one breast as compared to the other.

Wrapping it up…
Many of the mishaps above can be corrected by scheduling a secondary procedure but a requisite amount of time must pass after the first surgery before the corrective one. This is very important, as obvious or badly done breast augmentation can destroy your career before it even gets off the ground.

A good example of this is found on Dr. Christopher Davidson’s Facebook page, which shows how Coco Austin’s breast augmentation went, and how obvious the work is. You can also visit the surgeon’s website ( to learn more about how the procedure should go, and what your results should look like.

Can a Facelift Help Actresses Stay Relevant in Hollywood?

Actors in Hollywood have a limited “shelf life”, in many cases. Some actors, though, are able to transcend time and remain active in filming for many years. There are few more treasured compliments than being told that you look younger than you are. It means that your skin glows and you are rested and relaxed.

Being rested and relaxed is easier said than done in Hollywood. It seems that everyone moves in hyper-speed, eager to meet the next deadline or get the best shots. That’s the business.

Healthy Habits
A natural glow comes from healthy habits followed daily. These include getting sufficient sleep (that doesn’t happen often) and snacking on fruits and vegetables, rather than gummy bears. It is also helpful to learn to handle pressure, because that is a mainstay in film-making.

Stress will quickly get rid of your youthful glow. It stimulates the production of cortisol and causes inflammation, according to dermatologists. Still, if you care for your skin and eat healthy foods, your trips to plastic surgeons can be fewer.

Take Care of Your Skin
You have probably noticed how children’s faces can light up. That doesn’t often happen to adults’ faces. There is a reason for that. Skin that is younger looks radiant since is has more reflectivity in its surface area. That’s what a study in Skin Research and Technology Journal found. Plump, smooth skin reflects light in a uniform way. That glimmer can be reclaimed with exfoliation and hydration – at least for a while.

Moisturizers that contain humectants, like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, help your skin to retain water, which gives it a plumper look. A bedside humidifier can add water to the air while you sleep.

To remove debris, which can dull your skin, dermatologists recommend skipping grainy scrubs, since they buff the skin. Instead, use exfoliating products with a chemical base, since they dissolve dead skin cells. These products remove the dead skin layer, lighten any abnormal pigment and also induce the production of collagen. Alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids work well, as does Retinol.

Surgical Options
Facial products can only do so much. Some celebrities use the services of a plastic surgeon to slow down the look of aging. Where genetics and other factors may make actors appear older, dermatologists and plastic surgeons can help them to look younger – and actually, to feel younger.

I know one actor personally, who works in smaller films. She is well into her 40′s – that is as specific as I could get – and she felt that she had been losing good roles because she looked older than the characters the studios wanted. She decided to see Nathan E. Nachlas, MD for facelift surgery and shortly afterward, she landed the part of a 30-year-old.

Plastic surgery is not always that dramatically successful, but studies show that most patients are pleased with their outcomes, and they feel better about the way they look. Women – and men, actually – who have had facelifts experience improved self worth and self esteem. Getting more roles in quality films certainly doesn’t hurt their self-confidence, either.

Why Actors Need Insurance

Two things got me thinking about this matter. The first concerned Lindsay Lohan. Five years ago, it was reported that she was finding it hard to get work as an actor because no insurance company would give her a policy. She was considered too high risk.

The other thing that had me thinking was stumbling upon this page and then reading more about how doctors are taking professional liability insurance to insulate them against the endless malpractice suits that seem to be hitting them from all sides.

Do actors need professional insurance? I have put together some thoughts on the matter as I am convinced that all working people need liability cover.

Protection of the Actor.
When it emerged that “J-Lo” had insured her butt for a million bucks, there was an uproar in the media. The simple thing is that she was protecting her “asset” and that is a wise business move!

Think about it; if an actor is out there on set and breaks a leg, they will be unable to work for the entire duration when their leg is in a cast. How are they to pay their bills if they were not insured?

Insurance is therefore good for the actor because it helps them smooth out the nasty effects of unfortunate events that may occur while they are at work.

Protection of the Movie Maker.
When a movie director begins assembling a cast to start shooting a movie, a lot of resources have already gone into that project even before shooting begins.

Shooting the movie is also very expensive in terms of all the equipment that has to be put together, the actors that have to be paid, the venues that have been paid for so that scenes can be filmed there, and so on and so forth.

Imagine how costs can spiral out of hand if shooting has to be halted for an extended period because an actor has been injured and can’t work until they heal. Someone has to meet all those costs and if the studio backing that movie was to foot all those bills, there would be nothing but losses for them.

Insurance firms come in and cover different actors so that when nasty events like the one above happen, the additional costs are met by the insurance company, leaving the backers of the movie to have a chance of making a profit from the project they have heavily invested in.

Summing it up…
Whether the industry dictates that you have certain insurance policies or not, every actor needs to buy insurance for himself over and above what is required of them by their employers. It may be hard for you to know the value of insurance while things are good, but wait until a problem occurs then you will be glad you took the decision to get that cover.

For those that are just getting into acting, now is the time to make insurance a must. Protect yourself or you will be sorry you neglected to do so.