The National Academy of Sciences provides a free ‘science hotline’ for filmmakers in order to encourage more scientifically accurate movies. The service is free to both professional and amateur films, as well as TV and video game projects. 

Most of the Avengers films have used it, as well as Thor, TRON: Legacy, Prometheus, Green Lantern, Ant-Man, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and more.


Wide Awake

I was working on a student film as a Boom Operator. After shooting all day, we got to a scene with only male actors.

These actors spent the shoot undermining the female director. At one point, out of seemingly nowhere, one of the actors (who I wasn’t even introduced to) said to me, “you need your butt squeezed.”

After I sternly told him I didn’t he said to another actor, "I’m not going to joke with her, she’s tired.”

Film Production Acronyms

Thank you for putting together this blog.  I am not in film, but am a woman who feels that shedding light on your industry will help the conversation in all industries. That said, there are a lot of acronyms used on the blog that I don’t know or understand. Could you please put up a page with what some of those acronyms mean for reference?  It would help contextualize the experiences that much more. Totally get it if it’s not possible.  The blog is super strong and stands on its own. For example: DP, AC, DoP (assuming the same as DP, but still can’t figure it out), PA (this one I know but I’m guessing others don’t), ICM, G&E. Thanks. 

Thank you for the suggestion. The IMDB has a great reference guide of film terminology HERE. We have added it to our FAQ.

Oysters are always scripted into scenes because they’re very sensual, but many actors don’t want to slurp those down on camera,” she says. “So I tend to make a lot of fake oysters, which I make out of flan — a custard — which I then color and air brush, and I shape it. It perfectly slides out of the oyster shell.

Hollywood Food Stylists Know: You Can’t Film Styrofoam Cake And Eat It, Too | NPR 

All about food in movies. Obviously I am obsessed with this article.

10 Things Ideal Film Students Do Before Coming to USC

Congratulations on getting accepted into USC’s cinema school! You must be very excited to move into the safe neighborhood around the university. But you still gotta wait for a few more months and eat food that isn’t top ramen at your parents’ house. So if you don’t have anything better to do, here’s a bunch of things that can keep you busy before classes begin. Consider this as the cinema school’s version of summer reading.

1. Watch as many classic movies as you can

To start off, go down AFI’s list of 100 best American movies ( Watch every second of each film, get inspired, remember the filmmakers’ names, and then google them.

“What?! You haven’t seen Citizen Kane?! It’s like the best movie ever!” Yeah. Okay.

2. Watch tutorials for Avid Media Composer and ProTools

Your instructors will teach you how to be good at editing, but they won’t give you an extensive training on Avid. USC students get free access to videos. Take advantage! Also, get on that cmd+s habit. Once you start using Avid, you’ll see the spinning wheel of death more often than you’re used to.

3. Know your filmmakers

You saw a movie last night and you loved the cinematography. Now, look up the name of the DP and remember her face. You can personally praise her work if you see her on campus, which is not at all unlikely.

4. Donate $25 to the SCA Network

Your $45K tuition fee does not include access to special industry events, sorry. But if you give the school more money, they will send you invites to advanced screenings, cast/crew Q&A’s, or a chance to be in the same room as George Lucas.

5. Add other new film school admits on Facebook

Plan your first get-together even before you meet them in person because once classes begin, you’ll hardly see the people who aren’t in the same program as you. The different divisions within the cinema school are not well-integrated, unfortunately.

6. Save money

Hooray! You’ll be funding your own film projects! So fun.

7. Review your basic film terms

Half of what you’ll do in class is critique other people’s work. Brush up on your film lingo, especially if you have never taken a film class before.

8. Volunteer for shoots

Guerrilla filmmaking is a big no-no at USC. Get some experience as a PA on a professional set so that you’ll at least know what to do with that damn c-stand.

9. Read scripts

Doesn’t matter what your major is, you’re gonna have to take some screenwriting classes and write a few shorts. Read the screenplay of your favorite films, see how they’re different from the theatrical release, observe the format. You can find many screenplays for free online.

10. Read The Hollywood Reporter

Or any other entertainment news websites like Variety, Deadline, etc. If you wanna be successful in the film industry, you also gotta know the business side of it.

That’s a lot to do within three months, right? So maybe just spend some quality time with your family and friends before you move away from home. That’s what I did.