Up and running with Apple Motion…in 20 minutes

For a lot of editors, After Effects is overkill but the rudimentary motion graphics tools in their NLE of choice just don’t cut it. Apple’s Motion fits nicely in between the two extremes, but its alien workflow catches many a digital artist off-guard. Well, moviola.com comes to the rescue again with its “Apple Motion Survival Guide.” The completely free guide takes you through the fundamental principles of Apple Motion in a little over 20 minutes. How much can you learn in that amount of time? Well, that’s the great thing about Motion: while the UX may be a
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Editing Action: a new course on moviola.com

While editing dialogue is a vital skill in filmmaking, it can be argued that editing action is even more important. After all, what separates a movie from a radio play is its visuals. It’s the responsibility of the editor to drive the story forward with every image, often working at odds with the dialog to produce irony. In this introduction to the concepts of editing action we focus on the six essential questions of clarity, the art of good pacing, and cause and effect. As with all of moviola.com’s content the training is completely free. Watch the introduction below, Continue reading "Editing Action: a new course on moviola.com"

Basic Structure of a Screenplay – free course

Good story is vital to filmmaking, regardless of whether you’re creating a documentary, reality TV, or a screenplay for a dramatic scripted show. So many content creators fall into the industry from other disciplines and very few ever get formal training in story composition. This week’s featured fundamental from moviola.com is a great introduction to the required structure for a compelling story. In the usual, concise moviola.com style, it covers the primary ideas in the two leading books on screenwriting theory: Robert McKee’s Story and Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat. If you’ve never done a screenwriting course, this Continue reading "Basic Structure of a Screenplay – free course"

Compression: the editor’s secret weapon for taming audio

Far too many editors are afraid to touch audio tools like parametric EQ and compression. It’s unfortunate, since the fundamentals are easy to grasp and the payoff is immediate. This month we’re highlighting moviola.com’s free course on using a compressor to control the dynamics of a soundtrack. It can make the difference between a lackluster voiceover and one that punches through the mix. It can also keep an overenthusiastic performance from jarring your viewers. Compression in itself is a very simple concept: when sounds get too loud the compressor kicks in, reducing the level of the signal. Somewhat
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Gripology 101: The beautiful ugly of grip production work

Ever been confused by the mysterious names and ways of grip hardware (like turning a “pancake” into a “pigeon plate”)? More than any other part of the production crew, grips have shrouded their craft in a vast duvetyne of obscure terms. Well, it’s time to pull back the curtain and reveal the truth behind the secret society of Hollywood grips. This week we’re featuring moviola.com’s Gripology 101 video. Grip equipment covers the gamut from the industry specific (cheese plates and scissor clamps) to the everyday (C47’s). Why the strange names? Well some of them make a lot
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Fade In Pro: Screenwriting’s best kept secret

If you’ve ever done any kind of screenwriting—be it for dramatic works or even documentary post-scripting—you’ll no doubt have resorted to one of two things: wrestling with Microsoft Word templates to get the formatting correct or handing over a hefty bit of cash for Final Draft, the industry standard software package for screenwriting. But did you know that there are alternatives? Alternatives like Fade In Pro. For many years starved writers turned to Celtx as the free, open source alternative to Final Draft. Only problem: it wasn’t actually open source and it didn’t stay free. At time of writing
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New series: Stickman Straightens Out

The modern entertainment industry is a confusing mix of technology and creativity. How is one person supposed to absorb all the requisite information? Well of course no one person can, but we all need to have at least enough understanding to prevent other sections of the production team from pulling a fast one on us (Three days to light a green screen? Please.) So how can you absorb the important information without doing a joint degree in engineering and film studies? Talk to the Stickman. Moviola.com’s new series, “Stickman straightens out…” is designed specifically to deliver the meat
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Surviving the software jungle

One of the greatest dangers to modern digital artists is getting locked into a single software package. The fortunes of software companies—even large ones—vacillate with the phases of the moon and there’s no guarantee that your favorite package will be around even three years from now. (Don’t believe us? Just go and have a chat to a former Softimage artist, Avid DS artist, Shake artist, Stingray, Fabric Engine, the list goes on.) And what if the studio you’re working with doesn’t use your favorite application? Moviola.com created its free Survival Guide series for these very reasons. How many
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Framing: Moving beyond the rule of thirds

Most of us have heard of the rule of thirds. If you’ve been around long enough you’ve probably also heard a cinematographer dismiss it as “too restrictive and by-the-book” for modern camera framing. The truth is somewhere in between of course. The rule of thirds is a great starting point, but where do you go from there? In the “Jack of all trades” world of modern content creation, digital post professionals—be they editors, animators or motion graphics artists—frequently find themselves with a physical camera in their hands but without years of production experience under their belt. It can be incredibly
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The truth about green screen

We’ve all seen them: green screen plugin videos where the demo artist clicks a button and all the green disappears, replaced by a perfectly composited background. But in the real world where most of us live, pulling a green screen is ugly, sweaty work.  The happy news is that there’s always a solution. But the sad truth: no one wants to show you how to work with a tough green screen shot. For good reason: tutorials that show too much real world workflow are messy, unwieldy things. So most training focuses on the basics and hopes you’ll somehow get
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Moviola Fundamentals: The art of shaping light

One of the biggest mistakes a filmmaker can make is to throw more light at a problem. Seasoned cinematographers understand that subtraction is often the better solution. As digital cameras dramatically improve their low light performance, it’s time filmmakers rediscover the art of shaping light. Set illumination is really about contrast rather than intensity. As long as your scene isn’t so dim that the noise levels are crazy or so bright that your actors are squinting awkwardly (or sneezing), the camera and associated software can pretty much peg exposure anywhere desired. However the relative brightness of items in the
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moviola.com now free

Moviola’s extensive library of training for filmmakers is now completely free. Gain access to the entire moviola.com catalog of comprehensive film studies training videos covering the gamut from screenwriting through preproduction, production, post and delivery. For those new to moviola.com the acclaimed video-based training focuses on delivering the most important information in the shortest possible time. It’s perfect for working professionals without a minute to waste, along those of us afflicted with a YouTube-sized attention span. Why is it free? Straight from the mouth of Moviola CEO, Randy Paskal:
We at Moviola are so excited to be celebrating
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Term of the week: Dutch

When your camera goes dutch wither something’s gone horribly awry on the screen…or just with your camera rig. Find out more in this week’s visual glossary term from moviola.com.
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Nuke to Fusion Quick Transition Guide

Blackmagic Design’s Fusion is a compelling offer at only $299 for the full Studio version. Its feature list checks all the boxes: 3D tracking, keying, rotoscoping, node-based compositing. And it’s very similar to the current industry-standard package, Nuke. And yet it’s different enough to throw a Nuke artist for a loop as they try to make the transition. What to do? Well, here at moviola.com–provideocoalition.com’s partner site for learning–we’ve put together a Nuke to Fusion transition guide, weighing in at just over 20 minutes. So you can spend countless frustrating hours wondering why your color looks
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Term of the week: Lunch Box

Trust us: this is a real thing. And not what gaffers bring when there’s no craft services on set. Discover the meaning in this week’s term from moviola.com.
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Term of the week: Tungsten Balanced

Understanding this term is essential to working with lights and color balance. Discover the meaning in this week’s glossary term from moviola.com.
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Term of the week: Vectorscope

This ancient relic of the age of analog video production still has a role to play in modern color correction. Find out more in this week’s glossary term at moviola.com.
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Term of the week: Cardellini clamps

These may have been used in medieval torture practices, but they’re actually extremely versatile tools in the hands of a grip. Look it up in this week’s free glossary term from moviola.com.
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Term of the week: Ducking

Strangely this has nothing to do with hunting. It’s an audio term and you’ll unravel it in this week’s visual glossary term from moviola.com.
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