ActionVFX's new 5K explosion elements were shot on a blue background to give you both fire and smoke. Explosions are some of the most popular elements used in visual effects, but they usually leave a lot to be desired in terms of quality and realism. However, with its newest effects Collection, ActionVFX has not only made some of the most realistic explosion stock footage by retaining smoke in elements but has also fixed many of the more pervasive (and annoying) problems that come with stock effects in general. Adding to its Continue reading "Get the Most Realistic Explosion Stock Footage at 50% Off"
Some say "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a Halloween movie. Others say it's a Christmas movie. This video essay says it's neither. Okay, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Damn, V's trying to ruin my holiday." I'm not. Promise. I bear no ill will against you, your turkey, or your family that just flew in from Chicago. All I'm saying, and call it heresy if you want, is that maybe The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Thanksgiving movie. And I know what you're thinking now. You're thinking, "Hey idiot, Continue reading "Wait…Is ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Actually a Thanksgiving Movie?"
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to add some sweet glitch effects to your footage in Adobe Premiere Pro. Whether you're working on a feature film or music video, glitch effects can add tons of style to your projects. There are many ways to go about it, some of which are long and tedious, but if you're editing inside Adobe Premiere Pro, its native tools will allow you to get the job done faster and easier than you might think. In this tutorial, Austin Newman shows you a technique that will Continue reading "How to Create a Glitch Effect in Premiere Pro in Under 2 Minutes"
This episode of Indie Film Weekly laments the doomed fate of Net Neutrality and the 600mhz band. Jon Fusco, Charles Haine and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss what the FCC's recent actions on Net Neutrality and the 600mhz band mean for filmmakers, along with the most bizarre and heartbreaking turns in the avalanche of sexual misconduct stories and how they're affecting productions everywhere. In gear news, we reveal some of the best Black Friday discounts for filmmakers. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School question about color grading for different Continue reading "How the FCC is Screwing Filmmakers & Your Best Black Friday Deals [PODCAST]"
Forget the over-cooked turkey. What you need this holiday is a dose of creativity from some of the coolest indigenous filmmakers in North America. In the United States, it’s that time of year where we reenact the original harvest dinner between the Pilgrims and the Indians of the ‘New World.’ Wait, which Indians are we talking about? Maybe you’ve forgotten that the tribe is the Wampanoag; they have not. (Anne Makepeace’s documentary We Still Live Here would be a good refresher on that topic.) Also, the world wasn’t new. Comprised of over 15 Continue reading "11 Brilliant Native American Films to Watch This Thanksgiving"
Blanking on what to shoot next? Don't panic! Here are 10 shots that will get you what you need. Has this happened to you? You're out there on set—maybe you're shooting a documentary or some important event—and things are getting chaotic and busy and the sounds of traffic, music, and people's voices have become a cacophonous cloud that won't let you think and then—you completely blank on what to shoot next. It's a terrifying experience, especially when you know reshoots are not an option, but in this video, Sareesh Sudhakaran of wolfcrow shares ten shots Continue reading "10 Go-To Camera Shots for When You Blank on What to Shoot Next"
Principal photography may be the foundation and framing of your film, but b-roll is the glue that holds it all together. Supplementary footage, or b-roll, may not be something that's in the forefront of your mind when heading into production, but it really should be. Lots of novice filmmakers make the mistake of phoning in the style and design of these shots, thinking they can easily grab a camera and get a few quickies before they head for the door, but b-roll plays an integral role in making any film or video look polished and Continue reading "How to Shoot B-Roll That Doesn’t Suck"
With a little planning, you can take your cinematography, editing, and storytelling to the next level. We all know filmmaking takes a lot of planning and preparation, including coming up with a shot list to make principal photography less confusing. But even if you're a run-and-gun shooter who doesn't have a whole lot of time to carefully plan every shot before you shoot it, you can still not only keep your production on the right track but also get the shots you need to make your final edit more dynamic and entertaining. Jordy Vandeput of Continue reading "Shooting for the Edit: How to Give Your Film Style Before You Ever Hit Record"
Two filmmakers launch a crowdfunding campaign on the same day; one starts raking in backers, while the other goes nowhere. Why? If one crowdfunding campaign is more successful than another, it’s not an indicator that one film is going to be better than the other, but rather, that one team didn’t take the necessary steps before launching. That’s the case Richard Botto, the founder of Stage 32, makes in his newly released book Crowdsourcing for Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd. “You think crowdfunding is about money when Continue reading "Three Critical Steps to Take Before Launching Your Next Crowdfunding Campaign"
For under $10K—including the drone—indie filmmakers can now create truly cinematic aerial images. The Zenmuse X7, the latest camera from drone market leader DJI, puts cinema-quality image making capability into the hands of aerial cinematographers and filmmakers at more indie-friendly prices than previously available. The Zenmuse X7 is a 6K, Super 35mm camera designed and optimized for drone use (specifically the Inspire 2 platform). Boasting a 6016x3200 resolution (when shooting Adobe Cinema DNG RAW), 14 stops of dynamic range, and a set of four proprietary, DL-Mount lenses (16mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm), the Zenmuse X7 Continue reading "REVIEW: DJI’s Zenmuse X7 is Hands Down the Best Camera for Aerial Cinematography Under $10K"
What you need to know before you film outside of your comfort zone. DOC NYC saved the best panel for last: four veteran documentarians—including two Oscar nominees and an Emmy award-winner—took the stage to talk about “Filming Outside Your Home Turf.” Despite occupying the very last time-slot of the festival’s industry conference program, the event drew a big crowd and provided plenty of solid advice. Maybe there’s some overseas story that truly compels you. Maybe you’ve wanted to make a film about it for years, but it always felt too Continue reading "6 Pro Tips for Shooting Beyond Your Borders"
Every filmmaker wants to find perfect locations to shoot their film, but many are unsure how exactly to go about it. At the beginning of your filmmaking career, scouting locations might've consisted of asking your buddy if you could crash his apartment for a few days. As time goes on, however, you begin to grow and mature as a budding creative and eventually graduate to more sophisticated methods of procuring locations for your project. I'm talking about in-depth, boots on the ground location scouting, which can, in all honesty, be pretty intimidating at first, but Continue reading "8 Scouting Tips from a Veteran Location Manager"
Here are some lessons learned in our bold attempt is to create profitable documentary films. A year ago, my business partner Maria Springer and I wanted to do something revolutionary: we wanted to turn non-fiction filmmaking into a profitable business that can compete against any other business without subsidies. Of course, when you are attempting to create something that hasn't been done before, there should be reasons why one doesn't exist already. Despite the odds, we remained bullish that the time was right for profitable documentaries to be born: with Netflix Continue reading "Can Documentary Films Ever Be Viable for Financiers?"
Films from A24 snatch up the lion's share of Spirit Award nominations. Moments ago, actors Lily Collins and Tessa Thompson announced the nominees for the 33rd Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, and similar to last year, the most highly anticipated and well-received films of 2017 were given top honors, including Get Out and Lady Bird. Indie distributor A24 racked up a whopping 17 nominations, four of which went to Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, five to Benny and Josh Safdie's Good Time, with the rest divvied up to Sean Baker's Continue reading "‘The Florida Project’, ‘Lady Bird’ Top 2018 Film Independent Spirit Award Noms"
Powerful yet easy-to-use, Klick is a good starter gimbal for beginners. If you're in the market for a good handheld smartphone gimbal stabilizer that won't break the bank, you might want to take a look at Klick. This thing offers some features that both casual and professional users will be pleased about. This thing is weatherproof, has pan and tilt capabilities, portrait and landscape modes, action tracking, and tripod mountable. It also comes with a dedicated app that gives you more control over your smartphone, like changing image resolution, face-tracking, and time-lapse and panorama modes. Continue reading "Meet Klick, a Robust Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer with Multiple Shooting Modes"
Find the natural moral or ethical conflict in your community that you can apply to your character's situation. Deadpool's morbid sense of humor conquered audience's hearts in 2016. We sympathized with a man who took drastic measures to try and cure his cancer and who frequently broke the fourth wall to let us know what was on his mind. Character-driven movies can be more impactful than plot driven stories, and Deadpool's raw and genuine character traits are likely what made the movie such a huge success. So how can you create such a character in Continue reading "What the ‘Deadpool’ Co-Creator Thinks is the Best Starting Point for Creating Characters"
With 'Mosaic,' the prolific director has now taken on apps. Steven Soderbergh is no stranger to experimentation and breaking convention, from when he ushered in a new era of low budget filmmaking with sex, lies, and videotape in 1992, to when he shot a secret feature on an iPhone, to when he tried to break the studio system by transparently sharing revenue on Logan Lucky. Still, these experiments have had more to do with production and distribution than the form itself. His latest project, Mosaic, an interactive miniseries created for Continue reading "Will Steven Soderbergh Be the One Who Finally Gets Interactive Storytelling Right?"
Distribution & marketing is less predictable—but more important—than ever. Distribution & Marketing: the life or death moment where your film finds its audience…or an early grave. You’ve all heard the horror stories: a festival hit never gets past cult-classic or, even worse, never gets seen at all once the festival’s over. So how can you make sure that your film actually reaches the public? Is there any hope of making a profit or, at the very least, breaking even? Several of the industry’s leading distributors showed up at DOC NYC 2017 to give you the Continue reading "A No-Bullshit Guide to Getting Your Film Seen in 2018"
Have you hugged your colorist today? After watching this video, you might want to. Every role in a film production is important to the success of the project, from the director to the cinematographer to the PA getting your coffee, but there are plenty of professionals that don't get enough recognition for the tremendous amount of work they do. In this video, Sareesh Sudhakaran of wolfcrow highlights the oftentimes overlooked job done by talented colorists, exploring the many ways these talented artists can add to a film's visual aesthetic, make a narrative more dynamic, and Continue reading "Watch: An Ode to Colorists and Their Often Underappreciated Art Form"