Sure, we’ve made a lot of television. Yes, we’ve had a few (small) films in theaters. But there’s always more to learn. And when it comes to pure, unadulterated, guerrilla filmmaking awesomeness, there’s no one better to learn from, more helpful, or just plain cool than Stu Maschwitz. Affectionately known to legions of Twitter fans as @5tu, he’s had a real impact on our careers. Today, we’ll share a few ways Mr. Maschwitz’s advice helped make us successful Hollywood producers. More importantly, we’ll show how @5tu can jumpstart your filmmaking success.
Who Is Stu?
Stu describes himself as a “a filmmaker, photographer, and writer, with a passion for kinetic storytelling” and “a champion of accessible filmmaking.” That’s putting it mildly. A brief glance a Stu’s IMDB page will tell you he’s worked on some of the biggest movies of the last 20 years.
It’s the kind of experience that seems far beyond anything that could be helpful to your average, indie filmmaker. And yet, somehow, Stu manages to convert that knowledge into inspirational DIY filmmaking tips and tricks. You can find this priceless info freely available on his blog and densely packed into his ultimate rebel guide on filmmaking (see below.)
Additionally, Stu serves as creative director for Red Giant Software’s Magic Bullet product line, which we own and use regularly (more on that in the podcast today.)
Please know this: Stu, the free advice he shares on his blog, and the apps he creates for filmmakers are priceless resources for anyone who thinks of themselves as a visual storyteller. That’s why we’ve dedicated this, our 75th podcast episode, to exploring how Stu can help you make better film and TV.
Just some of what we cover today:
- How Stu’s DV Rebel’s Guide shaped our career and can still shape yours
- Stu’s philosophy that took us from one-bedroom apartment to 7000 square foot facility
- How we used a chapter from Stu’s book on our A&E reality TV show
- Software Stu created that we own and use, plus how and why we count on it
- The one color correction tool we recommend for unscripted film & TV producers
- Is there a color grading magic bullet?
- What the heck is a 5TU?
For all this and more, hit that giant red button above to play now. Read on for more Stu Maschwitz awesomeness.
Stu Maschwitz: The Man Who Wrote Our Favorite Filmmaking Book
It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a decade since Stu Maschwitz released The DV Rebel’s Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap.
Even more amazing is that, specific tech aside, the book still holds up. Stu’s philosophy of ignoring naysayers, embracing the impossible, and using creativity to solve any problem has always spoken to us. Before each new TV series we produce we still go back to the book for inspiration and ideas.
In fact, Stu’s write up on using forced perspective photography to pull off in-camera effects inspired us on our A&E TV show Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne. Have a look at this video to see how the book helped us, and for tips on how to use forced perspective yourself:
For those who weren’t lucky enough to pick it up in bookstores, you might have a hard time getting the cool physical copy of The Rebel’s Guide with it’s bullet holes and curved edges. But fear not — the pure gold in those pages is still available. Stu wrote this blog post about how you can still read the Rebel’s guide.
Of course, the book was written in 2007. So don’t pick it up hoping to learn what camera you should buy or to learn the latest filmmaking tech (that’s what Stu’s blog is for.) Read the book for its inspiration, can-do attitude, and incredible take on the craft of filmmaking — that will never go out of date.
Your Magic Bullet – And More
Stu also has a hand in creating many apps and plugins that are crazy useful for filmmakers. We personally use his Magic Bullet Suite (Stu blogs about it here) on all of our development projects, and added some of his plugins to our latest TV show, season two of She Made Me Do It.
Our award-winning documentary film Dying to do Letterman was also graded with Magic Bullet. Seeing it play on the big screen in theaters across the country we can tell you Magic Bullet held up great.
Check out today’s podcast for specific ways we use different parts of the Magic Bullet suite, and for suggestions on which plugins might be of most use to you.
So hit that giant red PLAY button at the top of this post to listen now!
Helpful and Related Links
- Stu Maschwitz keeps a great blog, Prolost. Stu says it’s the living, evolving sequel to his book The DV Rebel’s Guide.
- Stu’s Magic Bullet Suite tutorials.
- Slugline is a screenwriting app Stu is involved with.
- Stu also has a store at his blog where you can get cool tools for many visual applications.
- Read our free guide How to Pitch a Reality Show – our own rebel guide on making it in reality TV.
Transcript Coming Soon!
Ready to Make Some TV, You Rebel?
Looking to break into unscripted TV, reality television, or documentary series? Want to pitch to our company? Here’s how:
Sign up for our newsletter and you'll learn how to submit your unscripted concepts to us. You'll also learn how to develop, pitch, and sell reality TV shows and documentary series, and improve your filmmaking skills. From time to time we'll even tell you exactly what kind of shows we're looking for: