This Lens Is Made Out of an Iceberg and It’s Cool as Hell

A lens 10,000 years in the making... Mathieu Stern may be the weird lens aficionado, the master of funky glass, but he has certainly outdone himself this time. Forget lenses from rare Russian projectors. Forget lenses that are over a century old. Forget lenses that were literally pulled from a pile of garbage. Stern has taken it upon himself to travel to Iceland to build the most interesting DIY lens that you'll probably see this year (or any year) out of ice he collected from an iceberg. And that's not even the coolest thing about Continue reading "This Lens Is Made Out of an Iceberg and It’s Cool as Hell"

Firmware Updates for GH5 and GH5s Improve Auto-Focus Performance

Let’s take a look at some important firmware updates for the Panasonic GH5 and GH5s - including some big auto-focus improvements. < p dir="ltr"> Do you own a Panasonic Lumix GH5 or the new GH5s camera? Or are you considering buying the GH5 or GH5s soon? (Here's a great article help you decide between the two.) Well, Panasonic has dropped its new firmware updates (2.4 for the GH5 and 1.2 for GH5s) with some big improvements to the continuous auto-focus performance for both. Here’s some the deets on the updates and what that means for Continue reading "Firmware Updates for GH5 and GH5s Improve Auto-Focus Performance"

Review: The 2018 Macbook Pro

Apple keeps up its active courting of professionals with a revision to the Macbook Pro. It's no secret that we were not fans of the 2016 Macbook Pro. Previous Macbook Pros had everything most Pros needed without adapters (Thunderbolt! HDMI! Normal USB!), along with the amazing Magsafe power adapter. Going single port (with 4 matching T3/USB3.1 ports) didn't seem like the right move for actual professionals.The keyboard was nightmarishly loud, annoying to type on, and it had serious durability issues due to its design. The marketing around a P3 color gamut of Continue reading "Review: The 2018 Macbook Pro"

‘I Think We’re Alone Now’: Reed Morano on Learning to Direct From Being a DP

Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning are an odd couple in the post-apocalypse in Reed Morano's 'I Think We're Alone Now.' Reed Morano has an eye for the end of the world. The cinematographer-turned-director brought the dystopian Gilead of The Handmaid's Tale to life with dramatic imagery that had a uniquely naturalistic feel. The compositions oscillated between striking, painterly, and cinema verite-style; the dark, muted palette was punctuated by shocks of red. This is true to the Morano form: multi-hyphenate, dynamic, refusing to settle into one category. Now, Morano brings a different Continue reading "‘I Think We’re Alone Now’: Reed Morano on Learning to Direct From Being a DP"

The Best Film Pitching Tips and More Advice from North Star Mentors

Five North Star Residents share the most useful filmmaking advice they got from industry pros.

It’s common chatter among film festival programmers and event curators that it’s far beyond time to diversify the industry, but the Points North Institute and its showcase Camden International Film Festival actually walk the talk. This year, not only did the festival program gender parity across every section of its public offerings, but it also welcomed a second cohort of North Star Residents.

The North Star Residency brings five young U.S.-based filmmakers of color Continue reading "The Best Film Pitching Tips and More Advice from North Star Mentors"

Top 5 Script Writing Tips from an Acquisitions Executive

As an acquisitions executive, story analyst, and script consultant, I’ve read thousands of scripts. Some are better than others, but over the years, certain trends begin to emerge.

I’ve worked in the independent presales market for years, representing foreign buyers looking to acquire theatrical films and film packages. They’re not just looking for something that’s commercially viable; they need to stand out from the crowd. Indie distributors are competing against each other, but they’re also competing against the likes of Disney and Universal. Even being above average isn’t good enough. When I read a script, Continue reading "Top 5 Script Writing Tips from an Acquisitions Executive"

ShareGrid Launches a Buy & Sell Marketplace

The online community rental platform, ShareGrid, is launching a platform for users to buy and sell film gear. ShareGrid has announced that the company will be launching a buy and sell platform for used camera and film equipment gear. It is designed to offer the protections of other online platforms like eBay, but geared towards a dedicated filmmaking audience. Read More

Grab a Drill and Some Tape to Build This Weird DIY Rotating Camera Rig

And no, the drill isn't quite used for what you think it's used for. If you've got a smartphone and want to create some super cool, unique shots—you're kind of out of luck, right? I mean, yeah, there are a few good gimbal rigs out there that will let you get steady handheld shots and you can certainly rig up your slider to work with your phone, but the vast majority of gear is built for larger cameras. However, if you know a few clever hacks, you can get some really interesting, albeit strangely-made shots. Continue reading "Grab a Drill and Some Tape to Build This Weird DIY Rotating Camera Rig"

3 Reviews of the Nikon Z7’s Full-Frame Mirrorless Performance

Considering Nikon’s new mirrorless full-frame Z7 camera? Check out these hands-on reviews first!

After months of rumors, Nikon announced their new full-frame mirrorless camera line with the Z7 and Z6 as another potential mirrorless competitor to Sony A7s and the rest of the full-frame 4K mirrorless pack.

Now, with the new line of cameras and lenses having hit the market in late September, the unboxing videos and hands-on reviews are starting to roll in. Let’s look at 3 in-depth reviews of how the Nikon Z7 is performing for interested videographers and Continue reading "3 Reviews of the Nikon Z7’s Full-Frame Mirrorless Performance"

Download the Screenplay for ‘A Quiet Place’ Now

Just don't make a sound when you do. Yes, awards season has begun and it's not even Halloween yet (except at the movie theaters). To kick things off, we have a treat for you. Thanks to Paramount, the screenplay for A Quiet Place is now available to download for free for your consideration. As if you needed a refresher, here's the trailer. Beyond the great yet simple premise of the necessity of silence for survival, A Quiet Place worked so well as a story because the film Continue reading "Download the Screenplay for ‘A Quiet Place’ Now"

4 Takeaways from Errol Morris on Making a Documentary About a Controversial Figure

“You didn’t hit him with a cinder block in the middle of the interview!” Filmmaker Errol Morris has never shied away from controversial subjects and unconventional approaches to them, but his latest film about Steve Bannon has landed him in especially hot water. Did he show too much of alt-righter Steve Bannon? Did he ask too little? And more generally, what do we do, as a culture, with pernicious ideas that threaten to break down democracy? Sitting down for a conversation during the New York Film Festival, these are a Continue reading "4 Takeaways from Errol Morris on Making a Documentary About a Controversial Figure"

Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Edit Your Own Films

Two directors weigh in on the greatest post-production debate. To edit your own films or not to edit your own films: that is very often the question, especially for documentary filmmakers, where so much of the story is shaped in post-production. Critics of the method say that it’s too hard to be objective on your own, and that films edited by their makers are often too long and self-indulgent. But there are plenty of good reasons why editing your own project might be the right solution for you, and to break Continue reading "Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Edit Your Own Films"

Go BTS of David Gordon Green’s Box Office Smash ‘Halloween’

You were freaked out by 'Halloween' this weekend. Now see how it was made. A direct sequel to the original 1978 film of the same name, David Gordon Green's Halloween wears its slasher fandom on its sleeve, and, if you grooved to the John Carpenter horror classic, that's a good thing. After all, if we're going to ignore the various sequels that flooded theaters through the 1980s, 90s, and 00s, might as well skew pretty close in tone and style to the original source material. Read More

The Incredibly Detailed Process of Getting the ‘First Man’ Spacesuits Right

The spacesuits in director Damien Chazelle's "First Man" look crazy authentic. Crafting a spacesuit from scratch is a unique art, especially if it's going to be used in a biopic or docudrama that demands that all props, locations, and events be as true to life as possible. This was the challenge prop maker and artist Ryan Nagata faced when he was approached to help design and build the spacesuits used in First Man, Damien Chazelle's biographic drama about American astronaut Neil Armstrong. Adam Savage got the chance to catch up with Nagata for a Continue reading "The Incredibly Detailed Process of Getting the ‘First Man’ Spacesuits Right"

Evercast Livestreams Any Post-Production Workflow to Creatives Around the World

It's videoconferencing. On steroids. As the appetite for content grows (and film and television productions continue to send creative teams all over the world to shoot), the ability to get all creatives in one place at one time to collaborate becomes more challenging and more expensive. But it doesn't have to be, thanks to a new collaborative tool: Evercast. When Evercast co-founder Brad Thomas was producing YouTube videos at his previous company, he couldn't find a simple, effective way to share content for feedback with clients who weren't in the same Continue reading "Evercast Livestreams Any Post-Production Workflow to Creatives Around the World"