If you've seen a few independent films that have come out of the festival circuit from the past year or two, odds are you've seen the work of Sam Daley, Nat Jencks, or Seth Ricart. They are three talented colorists who have graded films like The Florida Project, City of Ghosts, and Beach Rats. They sat down with No Film School at this past Sundance Film Festival where they Continue reading "How Post-Production Makes or Breaks a Film, Part 2: Secret World of Colorists"
DP Mike Eley breaks down Gordon Willis's cinematography in 'The Godfather Part II.' In a new video essay from Cooke Optics, Mike Eley, cinematographer of Jane Eyre, Touching the Void, and, most recently, Woman Walks Ahead, walks us through the game-changing cinematography of The Godfather Part II. To shoot the film, the legendary "Prince of Darkness" Gordon Willis expanded upon the shadowy, underlit aesthetic he employed on The Godfather, but there were some notable changes to his method. For one, the Eley explains, The Godfather Part II Continue reading "Watch: How Minimalistic Cinematography Brought ‘The Godfather Part II’ to Life"
The RED DSMC2 will come in three simple flavors. It all started out so simple. There was just the RED ONE, a 4K digital cinema camera (back when nobody really knew what the term meant). It would make obsolescence obsolete. But the company soon released the Mysterium-X sensor, meaning that, every time you rented a RED, you had to ask if it had gotten the MX upgrade yet. Then came the Epic, the Weapon, the Scarlett, the Raven, the Dragon, the Helium, and the Monstro. Oh, and don't forget the Gemini. Some of those terms Continue reading "RED’s Big Price Cut and Simplified Product Line Make Your Camera Choices Easier"
Resolve's user sharing tools take some getting used to but can add a lot of speed to your workflow. If you tried to set up a shared workflow when Resolve 14 Beta came out last May, or even when the stable release arrived last September, only to find using the terminal for command line control was a bit much, it might be time to take another look. While the biggest Resolve news lately has been the features coming with Fusion Integration (we'll be taking a deep dive into that this summer), and native DCP authoring Continue reading "5 Ways to Get Faster with Resolve Shared Workflow"
Mistakes are common when you're first starting out, but not all of them have to be. Ah...first-year filmmaking, or as I like to call it "Making mistakes nonstop until you somehow poop out a movie." As beginners, we were all a little extra, weren't we? We thought too much about unimportant stuff and thought too little about important stuff, leaving behind a stinky trail of misfortune and poorly planned creativity as we clutched our super shitty but super finished film in our trembling paw. And it was glorious! However, if we had to Continue reading "5 Weird Beginner Mistakes That You Will Probably Want to Avoid Making"
There are certainly challenges involved in color grading the most popular show on television. It's been a long road for colorist Shane Harris. From a cold-calling marketing gig straight out of college to being a Color Assist and "graduating" to Encore Hollywood's Senior Colorist, Harris has now landed a gig on one of television's most coveted projects: being the colorist on HBO’s highly acclaimed Westworld. Whether you’re an aspiring colorist or an emerging cinematographer (or simply curious about the visually stunning, cinematic look of Westworld's second season), you will find Continue reading "How ‘Westworld’ Colorist Shane Harris Developed the Look of Shogun World"
How do you translate your first indie feature into directing a superhero blockbuster? According to 'Dead Pigs' director, Cathy Yan, you have to direct from the gut. Cathy Yan's debut feature, Dead Pigs, is a kaleidoscopic, satirical film about the modernization of China. It premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival in the International Drama section and won a special jury award for Ensemble Acting. And quite the ensemble story it is, converging a pig farmer, a salon owner, a busboy, an expat architect, and a rich girl against the backdrop Continue reading "How Cathy Yan’s Eccentric First Feature Caught the Eye of the DC Universe"
Is there finally a viable option for true medium format cinema cameras? Alpa has gone and done it: a PL mount on a Hasselblad. Before we get too excited, let's start with all the caveats. First off, the Alpa Platon PL Mount we tested is a prototype, so this is still purely a thought experiment, a design study. Yes, many design studies show the next steps coming from a company, but sometimes they turn out to just be the concept car that never arrives, like VW releasing designs for a new Bus every few years Continue reading "Demo Test: Alpa PL Mount for Hasselblad Opens Possibilities for Medium Format"
The Hydrogen One is more than a cell phone–it's an ecosystem. On Saturday, May 19 RED opened its studio doors in Hollywood to give people a sneak peek of Hydrogen One, a smartphone packed with future-thinking tech including a holographic display that can show 3D images without the use of special glasses. Walking in, our initial intrigue was set on seeing how the display looked, but we quickly realized Hydrogen One is intended to be more than just a smartphone. Or as company founder Jim Jannard stated during a short speech, "Hydrogen One is the Continue reading "Everything We Learned at the RED Hydrogen One Sneak Peek"
How do you become a colorist, and how do you work with one? Delve into this conversation to find out.
Not being knowledgeable about the TSA's rules on flying with batteries could lead to some real trouble. Look at you, you little travelin' filmmaker, with your gear packed up all nice and tight and your eyes beaming with excitement! It'd be a shame if you got to airport security and had to ditch your expensive batteries because you didn't know the TSA's restrictions and regulations regarding lithium ion. In this helpful video, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens shares a few tips on flying with batteries commonly used by filmmakers like yourself, including which Continue reading "Traveling with Batteries? Don’t Fly Without Knowing the TSA Restrictions First"
From "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" to "Arrival", DP Bradford Young has shown the world what cinematic beauty is all about. Despite him being a talented, seasoned, Oscar-nominated DP, some might call Bradford Young a cinematography star on the rise. He has worked with some of today's most exciting directors, including David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints), Ava DuVernay (Selma), and Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), and even lensed Ron Howard's much-hyped Star Wars spin-off, Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is set to hit theaters in the next few days. Continue reading "Pretty as a Picture: A Study of the Mesmerizing Visual Style of DP Bradford Young"
Learn how to diffuse light cheaply and effectively. Knowing how to diffuse light is an important skill to master when shooting a film because it allows you to soften hard shadows to give your subjects a nice, even spread of light. However, many new filmmakers 1.) don't know how, 2.) think they know how, but didn't learn correct information, and 3.) think that diffusers are well outside of their price range. To help with all three of those issues, Todd Blankenship of Shutterstock Tutorials shares a few tips on working with diffusers, Continue reading "3 Ways to Diffuse Light Without Breaking the Bank"
Today's magic word is "triangulation." Car mounts for your camera rig aren't always expensive—you can usually buy a single suction cup system for, like, 20 bucks. The problem with them, though, is that, while they take care of the issue of actually mounting a camera to your car, they don't take care of the issue of making your footage as stable as possible. This is where triangulation comes in. More expensive car mounts use additional rods to add support to your camera rig on multiple sides so it doesn't sway, a formation that looks like, Continue reading "Learn How to Use Magnets, Gear Ties, and Suction Cups to Create This DIY Car Mount"
Staying on top of the trailer circuit is a full-time job in and of itself. We're here to help. Rest assured that the summer movie season doesn't only include Hollywood blockbusters and overly test-marketed entertainment designed for mass consumption. There are a number of festival favorites set to hit theaters very soon, as well as daring new works from celebrated American auteurs and first-time feature filmmakers. It should be a strong season, especially, as you will notice below, a particularly compelling string of weeks in mid-August. Let's dive in. Sorry to Continue reading "‘BlacKkKlansman’, Raunchy Puppets, Queen Biopic, & More Trailers You May Have Missed"
Applications for NBCUniversal's Writers on the Verge program are open now. NBCUniversal is on a roll. As home to both This Is Us, broadcast TV’s current number one drama, and the recent Winter Olympics, the network has now taken the lead in total primetime viewers for the first time in almost 20 years. In its quest to find diverse writers to work on its increasingly popular dramas and comedies, the company is offering an incredible opportunity to aspiring TV penners: Writers on the Verge. Writers on the Verge is a Continue reading "Aspiring TV Writer? This NBC Program Will Prep You for the Writers’ Room"
During a panel at Cannes, four talent agents discussed their evolving role in an increasingly diverse industry. For those filmmakers and other creatives who are on the outside and looking to get in, talent agents have traditionally been thought of as the gatekeepers to the kingdom, the ones who, with a word, can deliver a career. Of course, it's not that simple, and while they're becoming increasingly more influential in the film business, many people still don't have a great idea of what an agent's role actually is. During a panel Continue reading "What Exactly Does an Agent Do For You?"
With one week to go before 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' hits theaters, these are the players behind the camera. While it may be hard to believe, we're just one week out from another film in the Star Wars canon hitting theaters. The second "Star Wars Story" entry (ie. a film that exists in the Star Wars universe but does not directly intersect with episodes one through nine), Solo tells the origin story of one Han Solo, the guns-blazing, Millenium Falcon-owning, Wookie-befriending pilot originally played by Harrison Ford and now brought to youthful life by Continue reading "Get to Know the Creative Team Behind ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’"
Will it be a cruel, cruel summer for you? Not if you get your hands on some funding for your next project! Bananarama had it right with the burning pavements and blazing overalls, but if you check out our latest summer grants list, you might find something here that's not too hot to handle. As always, the following opportunities are organized by deadline—from late May through early September—and by category: documentaries, narratives, screenwriting, and new media. If you're looking for a head-start on a different granting season, check out our most Continue reading "A Massive List of Summer 2018 Grants All Filmmakers Should Know About"
How do screenwriters bookend the first and final lines of dialogue? By now, we should all be very familiar with Jacob T. Swinney's popular "First and Final Frames," a video essay series that explores how filmmakers visually bookend their films and how some even use the opportunity to say something deeper about the story or characters. Video essayist Daniel Whidden takes Swinney's idea and rewrites it with screenwriters in mind, comparing the first and final lines of the top 50 films on IMDb to see if there is any connection between the words spoken in Continue reading "Do the First and Final Lines of Famous Films Can Teach Us a Lot about Good Screenwriting?"
The popular LED manufacturer will offer master classes in LA this month. Digital Sputnik has built a reputation for making affordable, flexible, and innovative LEDs. Now the company is offering even more value to filmmakers through hands-on lighting and production workshops intended to teach a new generation of filmmakers and video creators the possibility of achieving professional results with the simple use of accessible tools. The first of these international masterclasses will take place in Los Angeles on the set of the latest film from the Finnish Iron Sky franchise, a dark science-fiction series inspired Continue reading "Learn Creative Cinema Lighting on a Real Set with Digital Sputnik"