Watch: How ‘Dunkirk’ Uses a Classic Audio Illusion to Ratchet Up the Tension

The auditory phenomenon known as the Shepard tone is used to add suspense to Dunkirk. When filmmakers use every cinematic element at their disposal, good films can become great, and this isn't just the case for big-budget blockbusters. One filmmaker who has had an intuitive understanding of this principle from his first film is Christopher Nolan, whose current blockbuster Dunkirk uses visuals, music, and even sound itself to shape its story, in the form of the auditory illusion known as the Shepard tone. Read More

Mark Duplass’ 9 Secrets to Launching a Career in Indie Film

Mark Duplass is the ultimate DIY success story. Here's how he got there. When doling out advice to aspiring filmmakers, Mark Duplass doesn't mince his words. In his now-famous SXSW 2016 keynote speech, Duplass suggested that new directors "keep making shitty shorts until one doesn't suck." And yesterday, on a live-streamed panel for crowdfunding platform Seed&Spark, Duplass drove that point home. To promote his generous contest, Hometown Heroes, launched in conjunction with Seed&Spark, Duplass took to the internet to act as the mentor he and his brother, Jay Duplass, never Continue reading "Mark Duplass’ 9 Secrets to Launching a Career in Indie Film"

Lens Mount Options Growing for the Fujfilm MK Zooms

Duclos and MTF offer conversion services for the popular and cost effective cine zooms. When the original FujiFilm MK zooms came out this spring, we loved them but were frustrated they came in only one mount, E. Clearly, the target for this lens was the exceptionally popular Sony FS7 camera. While that camera has been a huge hit and is a smart target for Fuji to cater towards, we have been hoping from the start for more choices in the mount. The company quietly released a version for its own X-mount around NAB, which is Continue reading "Lens Mount Options Growing for the Fujfilm MK Zooms"

Watch: How Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese’s Editor, Tamed the Beastly ‘Raging Bull’

This short film takes a look at the work of Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese's long-time editor, and her Academy Award-winning work on Raging Bull. Frequently voted one of the best films of the 1980s, Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull, the story of self-destructive pugilist Jake La Motta, was a labor of love and genius. This is particularly true on the part of the film's editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, ACE, who played the KEM editing machine like a harpsichord. A long-time Scorsese collaborator, she would win her first Academy Award for the epic. Continue reading "Watch: How Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese’s Editor, Tamed the Beastly ‘Raging Bull’"

From Herzog to ‘Star Wars’: The Amazing History of an Industry-Changing LED

Digital Sputnik Co-founder Kaspar Kallas shares the incredible story behind the Voyager LED. [Editor’s Note: Kaspar Kallas wrote this first person history of Digital Sputnik, with editing by NFS staff.] My brother Kaur and I founded Digital Sputnik in 2007 as a post-production company, but I have lost the exact beginning of the company. I don't even remember where I got the name from. We had recently bought an SI2K camera system and provided camera rental with finishing services to Estonian/British co-production Magnus, directed by Kadri Kõusaar, which premiered Continue reading "From Herzog to ‘Star Wars’: The Amazing History of an Industry-Changing LED"

How to Break into Modern Hollywood & The Latest DSLR Fail [PODCAST]

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, the "reverse engineering" of today's Hollywood and yet another DSLR disappointment. Jon Fusco, Emily Buder, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss the new rules for breaking into Hollywood and why "constantly reminding people you exist is now part of the job." We also share what we learned from last week's Comic-Con and the 38th News and Docs Emmy nominations, which were announced this week. We bid farewell to both Adobe Flash and the YouTube editing tool. Our rundown of this week's indie film Continue reading "How to Break into Modern Hollywood & The Latest DSLR Fail [PODCAST]"

DJI Spark Drones Are Crashing and the Reason May Surprise You

"Accidents don't 'happen'. They're caused." Recently, a handful of DJI Spark owners have publicly reported that their drones have fallen from the skies mid-flight. The claim is that the drones suddenly and without warning shut off mid-flight causing them to, quite literally, fall out of the sky. As my father used to say, "Accidents don't 'happen'. They're caused." So who or what is causing these crashes? Is it poor engineering showing up in a handful of of the units produced by the world's largest drone manufacturer, or is it user Continue reading "DJI Spark Drones Are Crashing and the Reason May Surprise You"

Panther U-Bangi XY Allows for Shockingly Complex Camera Movement

A normal slider goes side-to-side, but the U-Bangi XY slider adds front-to-back for a nearly infinite combination of movements. Fisher and Chapman is the lead North American dolly manufacturer. As a result, Panther has always been a dark horse over in Europe making cool, different, and often weird dollies and cranes that are beloved by a niche audience, however not in stock at every rental house. While Fisher and Chapman has mostly stayed out of the slider game, Panther has gone in whole-hog with the robust U-Bangi slider system, which the company has now revised Continue reading "Panther U-Bangi XY Allows for Shockingly Complex Camera Movement"

Watch: The Surprising Silent Film Techniques Used in ‘John Wick 2’

This video essay makes the case that some of the biggest influences on John Wick: Chapter 2 are the great silent comedians. When one thinks of the ultra-stylized action in John Wick: Chapter 2, the first name that comes to mind might not be Buster Keaton. But, according to Mr Nerdista, Keanu Reeves' performance in the film, directed by former stuntman Chad Stahelski, can be viewed as a sort of canted homage to the deadpan derring-do of legendary silent performers like Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd. Continue reading "Watch: The Surprising Silent Film Techniques Used in ‘John Wick 2’"

Watch: How Can Lenses Help Show a Character’s POV?

Lens choice can affect much more than aesthetics. If the eye is the window to the soul, as many high school English papers tell us, what does that make the camera lens? A very powerful filmmaking tool whose subtle use can economically and pleasingly enhance a character's perspective—or so says the newest video essay by Travis Lee Ratcliff. This piece does what all the finest video essays do: it makes us look harder. Ratcliff lays out three different types of lenses, and suggests what kind of emotional impact their use might Continue reading "Watch: How Can Lenses Help Show a Character’s POV?"

Watch: This Filmmaker Figured Out How to Shoot Super 8 Underwater

Naturally, it was a surfer who modified an old VHS underwater housing for his super 8 camera.

Joey Ready from AwesomeCameras wanted to take his super 8 camera out surfing with him, but he didn’t have a housing. Not many companies make custom underwater housings for a camera as old as Ready’s Super 8mm. His Canon Zoom 318 is over 50 years old, dating back to 1965. So what’s a filmmaker to do? Go thrifting, of course.

< p dir="ltr"> After some searching, Ready was able to find an old Continue reading "Watch: This Filmmaker Figured Out How to Shoot Super 8 Underwater"

Ring the Bell for Another Format as Adobe Bids Farewell to Flash

All support and updates for Flash will end in 2020. Today, Adobe announced that it will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020. The company encouraged content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to open formats such as HTML5, but it committed to continuing compatibility and security updates until this date. The long road to the demise of Flash began in 2010, when Apple announced that the iPhone would no longer support it. Many have justifiably complained for years about it being, among other things, Continue reading "Ring the Bell for Another Format as Adobe Bids Farewell to Flash"

Ring the Bell for Another Format as Adobe Bids Farewell to Flash

All support and updates for Flash will end in 2020. Today, Adobe announced that it will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020. The company encouraged content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to open formats such as HTML5, but it committed to continuing compatibility and security updates until this date. The long road to the demise of Flash began in 2010, when Apple announced that the iPhone would no longer support it. Many have justifiably complained for years about it being, among other things, Continue reading "Ring the Bell for Another Format as Adobe Bids Farewell to Flash"

RØDE VideoMic Pro+ Adds Auto-Power and Digital Switching

RØDE has improved upon its popular VideoMic Pro on-camera shotgun. RØDE has proven itself time and time again to be a filmmaker-friendly company with its generous My RØDE Reel short film competition prize packages and continual improvements on affordable filmmaking tools. The VideoMic Pro+, announced today, looks to be a continuation of this trend, adding some useful features to its already popular VideoMic Pro. Like its predecessor, the VideoMic Pro Plus is a supercardioid condenser shotgun microphone with an integrated Rycote Lyre shockmount, but RØDE claims that it has both Continue reading "RØDE VideoMic Pro+ Adds Auto-Power and Digital Switching"

TIFF 2017 Lineup: New Films from Aronofsky, del Toro, Malick, and More

The initial TIFF 2017 lineup has been announced. The first wave of 2017's Toronto Film Festival's lineup was announced today, and it's one of the strongest in TIFF's history. The slate features premieres from festival stalwarts Terrence Malick, Guillermo del Toro, Darren Aronofsky, Martin McDonagh, Alexander Payne, and even directorial debuts from the likes of actors Andy Serkis and Greta Gerwig. Of the 14 Galas and 33 Special Presentations, the first lineup announcement includes 25 World Premieres, eight International Premieres, six North American Premieres, and eight Canadian Premieres, including works from Continue reading "TIFF 2017 Lineup: New Films from Aronofsky, del Toro, Malick, and More"

Nikon Announces D850 Full-Frame DSLR: ‘It Will Exceed Expectations’

Nikon has announced the full-frame D850, the successor to the D810. Just in time for its 100th anniversary, Nikon has unveiled development plans for a new monster DSLR FX camera. The Nikon D850 is the successor to the 36.3-megapixel, full-frame Nikon D810, released in 2014. Nikon did not reveal exact specs for the D850. However, the company did publish a sample of the camera's stunning 8K timelapse capabilities. The official release promises "a range of new technologies, features, and performance enhancements that are a direct result of feedback from Continue reading "Nikon Announces D850 Full-Frame DSLR: ‘It Will Exceed Expectations’"

Get Up to $16K for Your Audio or Podcast Idea from Sundance Institute and BBC

Submit an audio story idea by July 31 for a chance to get funded and reach an audience of 75 million. Have you been thinking about jumping on the whole podcast craze? BBC World Service and Sundance Institute want to help you get a leg up. The two renowned independent media organizations are collaborating on a 2018 audio series focused on the theme of neighbors and are seeking "essential and thought-provoking submissions for audio documentary stories and treatments that explore the world as we experience it today." Documentary storytellers are invited Continue reading "Get Up to $16K for Your Audio or Podcast Idea from Sundance Institute and BBC"

Exciting New Sony FS5 Firmware Update Includes ‘Instant HDR’

Sony’s FS5 firmware update comes packed with new features. Sony recently released the 4.00 firmware update for the PXW-FS5, bringing three exciting new features to the wonderful workhorse camera. These features include support for Hybrid Log-Gamma ("instant HDR"), the ability to change the minimum ISO number from ISO 3200 to ISO 2000, and support for shooting continuously at 120fps in 1080p. HDR Capability

The Hybrid Log-Gamma is an HDR (high dynamic range) standard developed jointly by the BBC and Japan’s NHK. The two countries worked together to Continue reading "Exciting New Sony FS5 Firmware Update Includes ‘Instant HDR’"

Watch: Breathtaking Terrence Malick-Produced ‘Awaken’ Features Custom Rigs and Cinematography Firsts

To film 'Awaken,' Tom Lowe and his team designed special camera rigs to capture the earth as you've never seen it before. An ambitious new film from producer Terrence Malick and cinematographer-turned-director Tom Wolfe promises to bring "unseen sights and breathtaking perspectives to the human eye for the first time," according to the official synopsis for Awaken. Indeed, the trailer, seen below, features awe-inspiring 4K footage from all corners of our planet, calling to mind a fusion of Planet Earth and Tree of Life. Set to the tune of M83's soundtrack, the film aims to Continue reading "Watch: Breathtaking Terrence Malick-Produced ‘Awaken’ Features Custom Rigs and Cinematography Firsts"