Monday, November 24, 2014

The threshold produced by Siham Alaoui

By Ali Karama

Siham Alaoui was was born in Salé-Rabat in 1993 and has studied management and Hotel front office in Casablanca .She has created a film company in 2010 called Cinema And Movies with her father in Kenitra,a modest town near to her home .Siham Has produced two films ; Pants Of Blood in 2014 and The Threshold in 2015.Both are shortfilms.

Although,she finds producing movies in Morocco very hard, she is still keen to produce  feature films and now she is trying to find more associate producers in order to make a new movie called 'The Sentinel' which is  about Moroccan soldiers especially those who have died in Sahara.

The 7-Step Film Directing Formula

The 7-Step Film Directing Formula

by Peter D. Marshall 

I’ve been working professionally in the film and TV business
 for 37 years. During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to
 work on industrial films, educational films, documentaries,
 commercials, music videos, episodic TV shows, TV movies, Indie
 films and Hollywood features.

I’ve worked with dozens of good, mediocre and bad directors -
 as well as hundred’s of good, mediocre and bad actors.

I’ve read 100′s of film scripts before they were produced:
 some which were so terrible I couldn’t get past the first 10
 pages, to scripts which went on to win Academy Awards.

I’ve also had the opportunity to spend months at a time
 teaching and mentoring film students as they write, prep and
 shoot their own short films.

I believe my years in the “film production trenches” has
 given me a unique insight into finding the answer to the
 question: “Is there a formula, or guide, that film directors
 (anywhere in the world) can follow, that will help them make
 successful and compelling films?”

Well, I believe the answer is Yes!

And by the way, my definition of a good film (a documentary or
 drama) is “the art of visually telling a compelling story with
 believable characters.”

In my opinion, most inexperienced (or experienced, but lazy)
 film directors spend the majority of their time figuring out
 how to shoot the film first (cool shots and creative camera
 angles) before understanding what the story is about and
 knowing what the characters really want.

I’m going to be bold here and state publicly that this is the
 wrong way to direct a good film!


Because I strongly believe that to successfully direct a
 “visually compelling story with believable characters”,
 you need to follow this 7-step formula:


What do I mean by the study of human behavior?

“Human nature is the concept that there is a set of inherent
 distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking,
 feeling and acting, that humans tend to have.”

In other words, the study of human behavior is about:

a. What makes us tick?

b. Why do we do things?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you will have a
 better idea of how the characters in your script should
 interact with each other, as well as having the proper
 “psychological tools” to direct actors on the set.

The good thing about human behavior is that it is observable,
 and as storytellers, we must first observe the way people
 react to different situations and circumstances in order to
 understand How and Why their behavior changes.

As a film director, you must be a “witness” to human behavior.
 You need to get into the habit of observing people going about
 their daily lives, so you can find out what motivates them to
 take action.

Once you know what motivates a person to achieve their daily
 needs, you will have the knowledge to better understand the
 story you are telling, and you will feel more confident
 helping your actors achieve believable performances.


There are many facets of a Director’s prep on any film or TV
 show, but the first, and most important part of your job, is
 to understand every detail about the story: where it takes
 place; who the characters are; and what happens to them.

When you first read a script, here are just some of the many
 questions you will need to answer to help identify and solve
 potential script problems:

a. What is the story about?

b. Does the story make sense?

c. What problem is to be resolved?

d. What event hooks the audience?

e. What is the plot? (the action)

f. What is the subplot? (the theme)

Understanding the story requires a lot of work on your part
 because you then need to take dig deeper into the story and
 it’s structure by analyzing each individual scene in the
 script to find out what it is about, what works and what
 doesn’t by asking questions like:

a. What is the intention of the scene?

b. What are the story points?

c. Where are the scene beats?

d. Where is the climax?

e. What is the resolution?

f. What are the important lines of dialogue?

Your script breakdown will be a never-ending process. Each
 time you read the script, you will find something else you
 didn’t know about the story or the characters.

And the script will also constantly evolve. It will change
 because of your creative notes, writer changes, actor changes,
 producer changes, studio changes and location availability.

But as long as you know what the story is about, and where the
 story is going, you will be able to adjust to all the changes.


I believe that almost everything you need to know about
 directing actors is explained in these three words:


When we break these words down, we see that:

MOTIVE (our inner world)
 DETERMINES (controls)
 BEHAVIOR (our outer world)

And if we break them down even further, we see that:

What our needs are (MOTIVE)
 Will decide (DETERMINES)
 What actions we will take (BEHAVIOR)

One of the main responsibilities of a Director is to help
 actors achieve a realistic performance, and a good director
 does this by “listening for the truth” and by always asking:

a. Do I believe them?

b. Do the words make sense?

c. Are the characters believable?

And the key to getting a realistic performance from an actor,
 is by first understanding a character’s objectives.

a. There should be one main objective per character per scene:
 What do they want in the scene?

b. Objectives should be clear, concise and stated in one
 simple sentence: “To discover where the gun is hidden.”

How to choose objectives:

a. Ask yourself “What does the character want in this

b. A character’s objective should create obstacles for the

c. Look at what the character does (his behavior) rather than
 what he says.

d. Look at what happens in the scene, and how it ends.

e. Look at what people want out of life: what are the things
 we will sacrifice everything for?

On the set, actors want to work with directors who understand
 their vulnerability, so it’s incredibly important to create a
 good relationship with every actor on your film.

And what do actors want more than anything from this
 relationship with the director? TRUST!

If actors feel they cannot trust the director to know a good
 performance from a bad performance, they will begin to monitor
 their own performances and  begin to direct themselves: they
 will become “Director Proof!”

Remember, to find the character they are playing, actors must
 surrender completely to feelings and impulses, and a good
 director understands an actor’s vulnerability and creates a
 safe place for them to perform.


One of the key elements of being a good director, is to
 understand the “principles of montage” – the juxtaposition of
 images to tell a story.

In 1918, a Russian filmmaker called Lev Kuleshov conducted an
 experiment where he shot and edited a short film in which the
 face of a famous Russian matinee idol was intercut with three
 other shots: a plate of soup; a girl playing ball; an old
 woman in a coffin.

And Kuleshov made sure that the shot of the actor was
 identical (and expressionless) every time he cut back to him.

The film was then shown to audiences who totally believed that
 the expression on the actor’s face was different each time he
 appeared – depending on whether he was “looking at” the plate
 of soup, the little girl, or the old woman’s coffin; showing
 an expression of hunger, happiness or grief respectively.

So what does this experiment tell us?

By carefully using the juxtaposition of images, filmmakers
 were able to produce certain emotions from the audience by
 manipulating an actor’s performance.

As a film director, understanding the principles of montage
 will help you to: create a more visual script; to decide your
 camera placement; to block your scenes; and to get layered
 performances from actors.


What I mean by the Psychology of the Camera are the visual
 meanings of shots and angles. In other words, where you put
 the camera can either enhance or detract the audience’s
 understanding of what the scene is really about, and what the
 characters are feeling. For example:

There are three angles of view for the camera:

a. Objective: The audience point of view. (The camera is
 placed outside the action.)

b. Subjective: The camera acts as the viewer’s eyes. (The
 camera is placed inside the action.)

c. Point of View: What the character is seeing. (The camera is
 the action.)

Audiences will assume that every shot or word of dialogue in a
 film is there to further the central idea, therefore, each
 shot you use should contribute to the story or the idea you
 are trying to convey.

Since viewer emotion is the ultimate goal of each scene, where
 you place the camera involves knowing what emotion you want
 the audience to experience, at any given moment in the scene.


Very simply, blocking is the relationship of the actors to the
 camera. Blocking is not about getting the dialogue correct or
 discussing an actor’s motivation – unless it directly involves
 the movement of an actor.

I suggest you start thinking of blocking as the choreography
 of a dance or ballet: all the elements on the set (actors,
 extras, vehicles, crew, equipment) should move in perfect
 harmony with each other.

Before you start to figure out your blocking plan, you must
 know these five things:

a. When, and where, were the characters last seen?

b. What is the last shot of the previous scene?

c. What is the first shot of the scene you are working on?

d. What is the last shot of the scene you are working on?

e. What is the first shot of the next scene?

Your blocking plan will also be determined by:

a. Whose POV is being expressed at the time? (Is it the
 writer’s, the character or the director?)

b. What distance are you from the subject? (What is the size
 of shot: close or far?)

c. What is your relationship to the subject? (What is the
 angle of view – your choice of lenses?)

When you first start directing, blocking a scene can be one of
 the hardest parts of your job. But like anything else in life,
 blocking takes practice, and the more times you do it, the
 more comfortable you will become.


By technical, I mean everything else it takes to make a movie!
 (Locations, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Costumes, Stunts…)

Yes, I know I’m putting the majority of the filmmaking process
 into one category, but without understanding the first 6 steps
 of this formula, you are setting yourself up for “filmmaker
 mediocrity” – which is writing unimaginative scripts with
 unbelievable characters that create boring and dull films.

Which leads into my favorite filmmaking quote from the
 legendary director Frank Capra: “There are no rules in
 filmmaking. Only sins! And the cardinal sin is dullness.”

From what I have witnessed over the past 37 years, I believe
 that if you follow this 7-step film directing formula, you
 will see how any director, even someone with very little
 experience, can create a visually, compelling movie with
 believable characters.

And if you have a story that has Universal themes, and the
 passion to tell this story, you can make a movie, in your own
 language, and audiences around the world will watch it.

It’s your choice!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Moroccan cinema against Moroccan cinema


From the blog of Mohamed Eddahane

                       The "world" of Moroccan cinema is particularly disappointing. I'm not talking about works produced and directed since independence but the film industry in the sense that Bourdieu gave the field term that is to say, those working in a field of activity at a given time and reports they maintain among themselves or with other fields.

                       In this sense the field of cinema includes filmmakers, producers, actors, technicians, writers, administrators, operators and distributors as well as critics and film journalists. This field does exist, even if no sociological study has looked so far on the study of scientific and documented manner. The rest of the sociology of culture and cultural agents is lacking in our country and cultural studies are in their infancy apart from some work on the music world.

                        I do not mean to remedy these shortcomings in this short article but draw attention to conflicting relationships that oppose each other agents of the Moroccan cinematographic field and the negative effects that these personal conflicts (rivalries, will power effects megalomania and paranoia) end up on the production and filmmaking itself. These conflicts often due to technical reasons and to say bluntly financial reasons. Players complain of being exploited and poorly paid by producers and filmmakers (who are often the same person) unscrupulous compliance with international standards. 

                      The filmmakers want CCM to favoritism and accuse members of the production aid commission, to be orders and encourage each and marginalize others. Filmmakers are jealous and are clans: the pioneers and young wolves, those here and those elsewhere, and for some time "Islamists" and the laity. And then there are the filmmakers of the old regime, who were pampered at the time Basri and their traditional enemies who intend to avenge the humiliation. As former director of the CCM is persona grata as distributor and producer and former star is banned from CCM activities. And then there are the new ruling authorities designated by the PJD who wish to impose their vision in a business area they are unfamiliar and where they have few customers .

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

«Face à Bilal Marmid» by Damir Yaqouti

Images Selfie type flood Facebook pages and other social networking sites seem to reflect an intention to produce, on "Public lace", information about yourself and to appear in the foreground, facing the audience by stating "look who, how, where, and with whom I am ..." ... the selfies here are a showcase office suggesting that personal values, themselves, reflect the values of a segment of society ... And if all people have the freedom and legitimacy to expose their selfies and values on spaces that are both personal and public, there is, however, untenable to see the "phenomenon" contaminate returning to radio in the field public institutional diffusion ... the new issue of Radio Medi1 on behalf of his journalist-author "Face Bilal Marmid" door symptoms of emission Selfie guy ... Let, with analytical mind, to advance the debate as love always tell the journalist in question ...
No longer content with his short program "Cinema Bilal Marmid" on Radio Medi1 where the "I (u)" the journalist appeared in every sentence he holds forth, this time he has seen more by installing a second issue concerning it also has its own name "Facing Bilal Marmid" ... Of course, we have long seen enough in the Western media, rare Radio or TV programs bearing the names of the journalists and presenters, but we must know that the success of these emissions is by no means inhabited by egocentric thoughts ... first, it is an original concept, documented preparation of each issue of the issue and a copy of the guest listening to the reporter to bounce on the basis of 'arguments and exposed to further develop the question and the answer ... starting from the title of the show "Face to Bilal Marmid" self-proclamation of the facilitator as "journalist dreaded by the film industry there is already "... He confirmed that he had" self "by retorting awkwardly on his show expressions like" here is giving me time "this image; "In this issue, it will happen something!"; "This confrontation will weigh heavily" ... By reproducing this monologue and by publicizing this second issue, especially through its post-broadcast video version on the net, He managed one thing: to capture the interest of some professional and a search of public information film ... and at a time when the controversy is in full swing in the area ... a "success" by rushing some professionals to sit in front of the "brave" Bilal, of which Meanwhile in fact parts of his list of conquests.

The content analysis of the questions and the manner in which the pose shows well that the host is an insufferable narcissism and superficiality "skin" ... His awkward questions "! "Would affect, it seems, the unspoken relating to the itinerary and the formation of the guest with respect to its position, the legal side of the practice of his profession, to his contribution in the field of activity and other questions including antiphrasis: formula free freestyle.

Narcissism "assumed" puts him in a warrior armor to attack everything that exists ... It never ceases to suggest that in Morocco, criticism is hypocritical that the Federation of Film Societies is dead, that Moroccan films nil, technicians CCM lack training ... Do not recognize is another way of saying "I am the revolutionary journalist" ... It is precisely because it is not actually spent by film clubs that could not break free of his shell and develop the spirit of sharing the art of debate and synthesis skills that could prevent him from stamping his accuser and tasteless monologue.

Professionals and moviegoers really versed in the culture of film know that the image of the development of our society, the film field, such as Information Radio, grows with its successes, disappointments and hopes ... Criticism Moroccan film, such as the Federation of Film Societies, artistic creation ... exist and move in relations within and between conflicting, reflecting a rare vitality to Africa ... the problems inherent to the field are known in their smallest details, ... talk for 18 minutes remaining to guest on the show is to go straight to the trivial.

The Selfie journalist BM stresses the only Moroccan journalist to cover the Cannes Film Festival since 2006, and twice the Oscars; he interviewed great directors and they are the professionals who will make a request to be invited to his home ... These insidious information not play here that the function of the Stooges ... The film that brings information through these opportunities, is useful but not relevant ... When quoted in the formulation of questions, the names of Tarkovsky, Bergman, Godard, Lynch, Loach, Dolan ... he uses so pedantic as Flytrap ... in fact, it seeks to intimidate and belittle Moroccan directors, in a logic of unfounded comparison ... In the history of cinema, it is always critical that showed the festival organizers and film lovers across the talent mentioned but not the other way ... the proven by the host as part of a mid-journalistic mission mid-tourism in Cannes or elsewhere can not, by itself, establish a cinematic fascination repository ... should extract and subject impressions "good child "in a lucid questioning and rigorous methodology.

It is also important to note obscures the struggles and contributions of activists of the Moroccan culture in its diversity, and turn their backs on the struggle Sembene Cheriaa, Sail, Reggab ... or ignore the talent of Cisse, Bouanani, Gerima Bouzid, Chadi Abdessalam ... it's also a cultural validate assignment ... an assignment against which the Moroccan and African intellectuals, and continue to fight for half a century ... What helped sit in our country for example, and between other inputs, spaces for information and training, not only information haloed by provocation. This was the case of TV and radio broadcasts of Sail, Ali Hassan, Bakrim, Salaki, Dahan, Sijilmassi Guiroum, Labouiri ... National Federation of Film Societies; Critics Association; trade journals, the African Film Festivals, Mediterranean ...

Art is not just a matter for artistic face a single evaluator. The laws of the art market, especially in the film industry, pressure groups, political and linguistic interests have an important part in consecrations some require, necessarily, to recognize talent from the Third World, even the the West itself ... For example, the Great Krzystoff Kieslowski is a country in the heart of Europe, was discovered by critics and festivals very late ... and this is his trilogy white, Blue, Red produced and promoted by France, which has allowed the world to rediscover his long and varied filmography ... in addition to the role of the critic, the work of producer promoter is central to the conquest of festivals.

When the host insinuates Lakhmari he plagiarized a scene from Bergman, he has neither named the scene in question or its contents ... worse, it made her question poorly, "people saw you in a scene they have already seen in Bergman ... ". And even if Lakhmari played the game in general meeting, the reporter could not continue the debate on this point ... Flirting with the criticism does not advance further ... Between adaptation, Inspiration, adopting a style homage and plagiarism there are important nuances to lightly ... in describing "A film" Achaouar of success, the reporter falls into complacency. The same one that is repugnant in others ... that stigmatizes its diatribes. "A film" of Achaouar commands respect by his scriptwriting and intellectual issues and the exercise of style he has, but this feature was never a success, either in distribution or in its relationship with the public a few days he stayed in room or at festivals and journals Arab or Western ... This does not diminish its artistic merits. About the Film Achaouar may be deeper and more synthetic on cinema in Morocco emissions BM, stuffed certainties and dogmas.

Trying to apostrophize Abdessalam Laglaîi on the age of the artist, journalist confuses biological age with professional age ... And when he asks the director spiritual father of his films is that it seeks to remove him another denial vis-à-vis the Moroccan films or intimidate his favorite field, it claims that directors know ... This theme emphasizes the cliché platitude of his questions ... He knows that the process of artistic creation is very complex where the unconscious has something to say ... A director is impacted by everything he encounters in his life, not just the movies ... the Japanese director Takeshi Kitano was interested no film and therefore did not know the great directors and their works ... the Iranian cinema after the Islamic revolution had long disconnected from the international cinema. Soviet revolution broke with everything that existed before to create something else ... The idea of the spiritual father or role model is for informational fast food.

A final example to show the non-mastery of the subject by the moderator ... it is effrontery exhibited face Ahed Bensouda attacking, end to end and without any tact, his profile, his film and main actress who plays ... He knows that even if "behind closed doors" does not seem to artistic issues, it remains as other films of the 'Moroccan box office, "an important film in the economic equation these movies ... movies that sustain life cinema loyalty and a large section of the formatted television and films "Action" public ... It ignores also a part of the ticket price of these films supplies the background support domestic production, "auteur cinema" including.

Reputation Médi1 Radio and TV is no longer defend in the Moroccan media field. Freedom given to its journalists to create and innovate programs that are equal in overflowing with populist programs and alienating media scene is an example to follow ... In this context, freedom of the journalist in question is a capital to invest in program development that develops and presents. The problem is not in the degree of openness that fills his pride, but in the inward-certainties about the dogmatism of hostility and it shows. The media is infested field emission based on indicators audiometry pride ... If viewing figures of the show is going to populism and platitud