Top 5 Directors of the Future

This list is for director’s who have made two feature films or less whose names alone will get me into a theater.  I don’t want to say directors on the ‘rise’, because someone like Bennett Miller has been nominated for an Oscar and Rupert Wyatt directed a blockbuster.  The two feature limit knocks off someone like Mark Romanek (Static in 1985).  Also not including director’s who have a third movie about to come out in 2012.  Rian Johnson (Looper), John Hillcoat (Lawless)… sorry guys.

Neil Blomkamp                                    District 9, Elysium (in-post)

Debra Granik                                       Down to the Bone, Winter’s Bone

Phil Lord & Chris Miller                        Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street

Rupert Wyatt                                       The Escapist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Andrew Dominick                                Chopper, Assassination of Jesse James

Honorable Mention

Marc Webb                                         (500) Days of Summer, Amazing SpiderMan (coming)

Sean Durkin                                         Martha Marcy May Marlene

Jose Padilha                                       Elite Squad, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within

Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman           Catfish, Paranormal Activity 3

Bennett Miller                                     Capote, Moneyball

Armando Iannucci                              In the Loop

Duncan Jones                                   Moon, Source Code

Andrea Arnold                                   Red Road, Fish Tank

Josh Trank                                        Chronicle

Steve McQueen                                Hunger, Shame

Mike Cahill                                       Another Earth

Orange Life Progress Report

Dmitry (@lemon5ky) has just finished pencilling the first volume of his comic book Orange Life. The full volume will consist of about 270 comic pages (it’s 11 chapters).

So now he has to ink all of these pages. According to him, “It’s ok, I like to draw comic, hah.”

He posted a photo with his comic pages.  270 of them.  Pretty crazy.

*in case you didn’t know, Dmitry is coloring Bulderlyns and Spoke Lane will be releasing Orange Life

Top 5 Overlooked Films

These films did not get the attention they deserved at the box office.  The threshold I set for myself was $10,000,000 at the domestic box office.  It just so happened that the majority of my list was from the last decade.  This is when I started seriously devouring films and taking notice of things like box office.  However, there is one that is almost twenty years old now.

Dazed and Confused               $7,900,000

Easily the best movie, with the best case, that wasn’t a box office sensation.

Never Let Me Go                    $9,400,000

My number one film of 2010, this got lost in the ether.  Somewhere between Carrie Mulligan’s amazing performance and Andrew Garfield playing Spider-Man.

The Proposition                      $1,900,000

The best western since Unforgiven, this film has more texture and grit than even that film. Hillcoat burst onto the scene with this film.  You feel filthy just watching this movie.  The performances are all superb, the cinematography is breathtaking and the production design is Oscar-worthy.  And the story just might be pretty damn good as well.

Auto Focus                              $2,000,000

And this was all based on a true story.  Dafoe and Kinnear are great, and if you haven’t seen this yet – their performances are fun yet tragic.

Interview with the Assassin     $47,000

This is criminal.  This is one of the best found-footage films out there, based on an excellent idea that seems grounded in some semblance of logic (unlike most found footage films).  I’m proud to say that my $8 bucks went towards its almost embarrassing $47,000 take.  It is a wonder Burger got to direct another film after that gross.  I’m glad he did though.

Organizing Files When Writing Out of Order

It amazes me when I get files from people and they don’t follow any sort of rules.  Their hard drive must be a mess.  How do they find files?  How do they organize them?  When I get a file such as:


Which script?  Which year?  You can’t have one project that you’re working on, right?

Naming conventions are something I never thought about in my collegiate career.  That changed when I started producing Battle for Terra.   The animation team was using very strict naming conventions for the files.  Without this, the production would have been a train wreck.  Schedules would have been a mess.  No one would have been able to find a certain file (at least quickly).  And when you have a pipeline and things are getting passed along, this is essential.

So I started to use naming conventions for my personal files and folders.  Every project has their own Pre-fix.  And that project is broken into many categories.  Script, Budget, Schedule, Cast, Legal, etc…  My naming conventions always go:


When I first started, I would date the projects MONTH-DAY-YEAR.  But as projects spill into multiple years, it makes it harder to track.  So now I use YEAR-MONTH-DAY.

I occasionally throw in a few descriptions after the category.  Sometimes I write scenes outside of the main script file.  If I didn’t name them properly, it would be a nightmare.  For a project like Chasing Rabbits, a file might look like this:

CR-Script-Act 1-Alice at Home-2010.05.23.fdr

Then I drop that file into the CR-Script sub-folder, which is in the CR main folder.

You balance your checkbook and you fold your laundry and put them into drawers or the closet – why would you not show the same discipline with the files on your hard drive?

Top 5 Actor-Director Collaborations That Need to Happen

This is pretty self-explanatory. So, without further ado…

  • Jack Nicholson & Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Daniel Day Lewis & Darren Aronofsky
  • Michael Fassbender & Kathryn Bigelow
  • Michelle Williams & Terrence Mallick
  • Mel Brooks & Judd Apatow

Honorable Mention


  • Joseph Gordon Levitt & David Fincher
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman & Wes Anderson
  • John C. Reilly & The Coen Brothers
  • Carrie Mulligan & Stephen Soderbergh