This Lemony Snicket-Inspired Short Is a Creative Playbook on How to Make a Film

Is it an instructional film about how to make a film or a moviemaking tutorial that looks like a film? Either way, you're gonna learn something. YouTube is absolutely chock full of helpful videos that educate us about the filmmaking process. Their formats vary widely, from talking head segments to animated video essays, but if you're looking for something a little different to hold your precious hand as you navigate the gauntlet of learning, you might want to take a look at what filmmaker Clint D'Souza's got cookin'. Titled Limey Cricket's Continue reading "This Lemony Snicket-Inspired Short Is a Creative Playbook on How to Make a Film"

Is NOT Making Films One of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Filmmaking Career?

Filmmaking may be the most important part of your life, but sometimes a change of focus is needed to put everything into perspective. Working is the key to success, right? You're not a very good screenwriter? Work. Your cinematography skills are amateurish? Work. Can't seem to get your project in front of an audience. Fuggin work, buddy! We hear this constantly; I have said it myself plenty of times: keep writing, keep shooting, keeping hustling, giving all of you simplistic axioms like, "If you're not working, you're not trying." What a Continue reading "Is NOT Making Films One of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Filmmaking Career?"

Shot Lists and Script Lining: How to Prepare Your Screenplay Before a Shoot

You've finished your script. Now what? Turning a screenplay into a reference tool for production is no small task. It requires going through every single page and drawing important information from them about what kinds of shots would work best to tell the story visually. To add onto that, you're not only looking for potential shots but how long each of those shots are going to last, as well. There are many different methods you can employ to make this process easier and less painful, and in this video from The Continue reading "Shot Lists and Script Lining: How to Prepare Your Screenplay Before a Shoot"

Shot Lists and Script Lining: How to Prepare Your Screenplay Before a Shoot

You've finished your script. Now what? Turning a screenplay into a reference tool for production is no small task. It requires going through every single page and drawing important information from them about what kinds of shots would work best to tell the story visually. To add onto that, you're not only looking for potential shots but how long each of those shots are going to last, as well. There are many different methods you can employ to make this process easier and less painful, and in this video from The Continue reading "Shot Lists and Script Lining: How to Prepare Your Screenplay Before a Shoot"

Watch: Tour the Fujifilm Factory to See How Its Cameras and Lenses Are Made

Here's your chance to go behind the scenes to see how Fujifilm's cameras and lenses are made. Don't we all enjoy seeing how things are made, whether it's your meal at a hibachi restaurant or a caricature of your sexy mug in Central Park? Well, if you're a filmmaker, going on a factory tour—or watching one on YouTube, at least—to see your favorite gear be assembled piece by piece is kind of the ultimate damn thing. In this video, Johnnie Behiri of cinema5D takes you along on his private tour of the Fujifilm factory in Continue reading "Watch: Tour the Fujifilm Factory to See How Its Cameras and Lenses Are Made"

5 Essential Expression Tricks You Should Know When Working in After Effects

If you want to animate stuff in After Effects without having to put in a ton of work, then check out this helpful tutorial. Adobe After Effects makes so many things in post-production possible. You can create a virtually endless amount of awesome motion graphics and visual effects if you know how to use its many powerful tools. But that's just the thing—there are so...many...tools. If you want to learn a few ways to apply some really interesting effects (and simplify your workflow at the same time), Nathaniel Dodson of tutvid shows you Continue reading "5 Essential Expression Tricks You Should Know When Working in After Effects"

Why ‘River’s Edge’ Director Tim Hunter Likes to ‘Push Characters as Far as He Can’

Accompanied by Nicolas Cage and Robin Tunney, director Tim Hunter experiments with noir in 'Looking Glass.' There are many reasons why people might describe River’s Edge, an early project by veteran filmmaker Tim Hunter, as important, perhaps the most significant being the way in which the actors—Keanu Reeves, Ione Sky, and Crispin Glover—work off one another. Another reason may be due to the film's rawness and the genuine, palpable quality of its emotional depth. Read More

Rooftop Films Fetes Sean Baker and Yance Ford with ‘Support That Keeps an Indie Filmmaker Going’

Helmers of the 'The Florida Project' and 'Strong Island' call attention to the need for artist support at annual gala event. Taking place on the evening after St. Valentine's Day, the second annual Rooftop Films Gala, held in midtown Manhattan on a rare but welcomed warm winter night, continued the week's theme of adoration and love: in this case, for one's fellow artist. In keeping with the organization's 22-year mission to both financially support and provide filmmakers with lively, outside-of-the-box venues in which to showcase their work, Rooftop Films' good will was consistently felt and Continue reading "Rooftop Films Fetes Sean Baker and Yance Ford with ‘Support That Keeps an Indie Filmmaker Going’"

Watch: These BTS Videos Will Get You Even More Stoked to See ‘Black Panther’

Get some insights into how Ryan Coogler’s superhero epic was made. [SPOILER ALERT: Though this post does not contain major plot points, you may want to wait until after seeing the film to avoid any sneak peeks of sets or scenes.] It's finally here: opening weekend of co-writer/director Ryan Coogler's hotly anticipated blockbuster Black Panther. The film is so anticipated, in fact, that it has broken the ticket presale record for all superhero movies, beating the previous one set by Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. In the movie, Chadwick Continue reading "Watch: These BTS Videos Will Get You Even More Stoked to See ‘Black Panther’"

Zeiss Adds Loxia 25mm Wide-Angle for Sony E-mount Cameras

The Loxia f/2.4 25mm compact wide-angle lens is the fifth in the series. The Zeiss Loxia lenses are designed for mirrorless cameras in the Sony Alpha series and feature full frame coverage in a small footprint. The Loxia f/2.4 25mm is the latest addition, making it the fifth alongside 21, 35, 50 and 85mm focal lengths. Because of its E-mount, Sony FS7/FS5 users can benefit from its optical quality or any sensor up to the 35mm format (36 x 24mm). The optics (10 lens Continue reading "Zeiss Adds Loxia 25mm Wide-Angle for Sony E-mount Cameras"

5 Tips For Shooting Your Project On A Prayer

Unsure of how to get your no-budget project off the ground? Look at the resources around you. Eureka, you’ve got it! After months of jogging that idea around in your head, tossing it against the walls of your brain, you've finally settled on something that feels right. Be it a character, a plot point, or a fully fleshed out storyline, you find yourself ready to create something. The realization then hits: the more you look into the idea, the harder it becomes to fathom getting it done. You have to factor Continue reading "5 Tips For Shooting Your Project On A Prayer"

Field Test: Ronin 2 is a High-End Gimbal That is Surprisingly Easy to Use

DJI is back with a major revision to its popular Ronin gimbal with the heavily upgraded—and more expensive—Ronin 2. DJI is a world crusher in drones, but the company has long felt like the "second brand" of gimbals, with FreeFly systems and its MoVi being at the top of the pecking order. While the Ronin has the biggest rental base on indie platforms like ShareGrid, MoVi has the biggest penetration into high-end production. With the Ronin 2, announced last April and shipping as of a few weeks ago, DJI is clearly pushing hard to get Continue reading "Field Test: Ronin 2 is a High-End Gimbal That is Surprisingly Easy to Use"

5 Super Useful Camera Accessories You Can Get for Less than $50

Is your gear bag hungry? Feed it with these budget-friendly filmmaking gadgets. Whether you're a shameless gear addict or someone actually in need of equipment that works for you, there is so much filmmaking equipment out there to give you what you're looking for. And even though a lot of it is notoriously expensive and overpriced, there are many gadgets that are both budget-friendly and incredibly useful. In this video, filmmaker Armando Ferreira shares five of his favorite pieces of filmmaking gear priced comfortably under $50. Check it out below: Continue reading "5 Super Useful Camera Accessories You Can Get for Less than $50"

Watch: What Superman Teaches Us About Character and Storytelling

This video looks at the characterization of an iconic figure and the complications involved in crafting a superhero. Opening this Friday, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther has received rapturous reviews and a huge ticket presale. Inspired by the upcoming release, Jack's Movie Reviews has returned to examine a different superhero (this one from the DC Comics canon), exploring how Superman/Clark Kent's struggles illuminate the difficulties apparent in creating a superhero. As Jack notes, "something that is found within every well-written character is the overarching conflict that they must Continue reading "Watch: What Superman Teaches Us About Character and Storytelling"

Panasonic AU-EVA1 Adds Sigma Art Lens Support

New firmware expands lens compatibility for the 5.7K cinema camera to popular Sigma Art lenses. The Panasonic 5.7K Super 35mm cinema camera received firmware update v1.12 today and it's good news for shooters using Sigma Art optics. With the release, the AU-EVA1 now supports Sigma EF lenses 12-24mm F4 DG HSM, 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM, 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, 30mm F1.4 DC HSM, 85mm F1.4 DG HSM, and 135mm F1.8 DG HSM. The update also corrected abnormal vales in iris and zoom which happened on rare Continue reading "Panasonic AU-EVA1 Adds Sigma Art Lens Support"

How ‘Holy Air’s Eleven-Year Production Turned Personal Struggles into Laughter

Shady Srour’s politically-tinged comedy 'grew up' as the director did. When you come from a religious minority of an ethnic minority in a religious state, religion is no laughing matter. Or, in Shady Srour’s case, that’s exactly what it is. From traditional taboos to Christian pilgrimage, Srour’s second directorial feature, Holy Air, leaves nothing off the table for potential mockery, and yet the film captures the complexities of some poignantly emotional moments. The multi-layered tale takes place in Srour’s real hometown of Nazareth in Northern Israel, a predominantly Arab city which Continue reading "How ‘Holy Air’s Eleven-Year Production Turned Personal Struggles into Laughter"

Fujifilm Aims for Video Shooters with the X-H1 Mirrorless Camera and New Zooms

Fujifilm takes a cue from Panasonic and Sony in targeting filmmakers with the exciting new X-H1. Mirrorless cameras have exploded in the last few years. While Canon and Nikon haven't fully embraced the format, Panasonic and Sony have dominated. After initially discovering that filmmakers loved these cameras, they have refined their offerings to create filmmaker-targeted models that create better video, are easier to use, and cost less. It's rare, lately, to see any professional work done on a $3000 video camera when you could instead be on a $3000 mirrorless, often out to a Pix Continue reading "Fujifilm Aims for Video Shooters with the X-H1 Mirrorless Camera and New Zooms"

The Worst Job On Set Gets Better & What Camera Should You Shoot Your Short On? [PODCAST]

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, ARRI and RED go head to head once again. Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss Black Panther mania ahead of the groundbreaking film’s opening weekend. We also get into the Parking Production Assistants of New York's decision to unionize, the results of the WGA Awards, and say a sad goodbye to Oscar-nominated film composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, including some speculation about a potentially game-changing partnership between RED and Foxconn. Charles also answers an Ask Continue reading "The Worst Job On Set Gets Better & What Camera Should You Shoot Your Short On? [PODCAST]"

Practical Effects You Can Use to Make Slow Motion Look Sexier

Contrary to popular belief, it's possible to shoot super boring slow motion. Slow motion is all the rage, right? Everybody and their third-grade teacher is doing it. But while there is plenty of transcendent, creative, unique high-speed footage out there, there is plenty of boring, totally drab, and uninteresting footage out there, as well. So, what gives? How can we turn a run-of-the-mill slow motion sequence into something that is not only more dynamic and compelling but also takes advantage of the effect? In this video, Zach Ramelan of PremiumBeat shows you a few great Continue reading "Practical Effects You Can Use to Make Slow Motion Look Sexier"

5 Mistakes We All Make as Filmmakers (That We Can Easily Avoid)

We all make mistakes as creatives, but here's how to avoid making some of the more common ones. Filmmaking is like diffusing a bomb. You're there holding a wad of wires in your paw, sweating bullets. Time is ticking away as you agonize over critical decisions: do you cut the red wire or the green wire, hire that actor or this one, invest in some cine glass or invest in top-notch lighting? One wrong move and *boom*, your production is toast. Okay, maybe I'm being a little melodramatic (it is Valentine's Continue reading "5 Mistakes We All Make as Filmmakers (That We Can Easily Avoid)"