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Action Cam testOver the last several years, action cameras have exploded in popularity, becoming the go-to piece of gear for many extreme athletes and adventurists, as well as filmmakers. Though it is considered the best, as well as the preferred action cam for most, the GoPro isn’t the only one  out there, which is why Gizmodo put not one, not two, but six of Spring’s leading action cameras head to head in this comparison video. Find out how the GoPro Hero 3+ Black, the Sony Action Cam 2 (HDR-AS30V), the JVC Adixxion GC-XA2, the Garmin VIRB Elite, the Drift Ghost-S, and the Ion Air Pro 3 performed. More »

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3bearsWho doesn’t love innovation — especially when it occurs within the filmmaking community? The team at DBLG has added a new angle to stop motion filmmaking with their short animated film Bears on Stairs. Using 50 individual 3D printed sculptures of a polygonal bear, DBLG was able to create a 2-second endless clip of the bear walking up a flight of stairs — an interesting approach to stop motion animation! Continue on to check out the short, as well as a few behind the scenes images. More »

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Timeline CinemaKnowing about the history of cinema is a great first step in becoming a well-rounded student of film, and though it’s pretty simple figuring out where to start (at the beginning), sometimes it’s a little bit intimidating navigating the timeline to find out which parts were pivotal in the development of the industry and art. The Ministry of Cinema has taken the guesswork out of it by breaking down cinematic history into its most integral parts in a 6-part video series entitled A Timeline of World Cinema. More »

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After months of busting your hump making pitch videos, coming up with rewards, and tweeting like there was no tomorrow, (hopefully) you’ve found yourself celebrating a fully funded crowdfunding campaign. However, before you start reveling in your success, you might want to figure out just how much of those funds will make it into your production’s budget not only after you pay your platform’s fees, but after you pay the taxman as well. Yes, taxes can take a pretty substantial bite out of your funds, but here are a few ideas on how to run your Kickstarter campaign to make the bite less severe come Tax Day next year.

This is a guest post by Ben Henretig. More »

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Film Independent Screenwriters LabAre you a screenwriter living in Los Angeles? Do you have a finished screenplay that could use feedback from professional screenwriters to get it into top shape? Then you should consider applying to the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab. Fellows in this 5-week program meet twice a week in September and October to get feedback on their scripts from a Lab Mentor, outside advisors and other Fellows. So, if you meet the criteria above, make sure to get your application into Film Independent by May 5, 2014. Check out more details about the fellowship and online application process below. More »

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andra remote wireless automatic focus control follow system ipad app device cameraGiven the ubiquity of today’s touch-based apps, it seems fairly logical a forward-thinking manufacturer would devise a way to augment — but not automate — the role of First Assistant Camera. Meet Cinema Control Labs’ Andra Motion Focus system. Andra puts the heavy lifting and guesswork into the hands of today’s technology without taking away the crucial dimension of creative camera control. Check our interview below for more details. More »

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herzog uctv eveningIf Werner Herzog was staying for supper, what would you serve? You couldn’t very well offer Hamburger Helper to the director that’s been dubbed by some the “single most important film director on the planet.” If you were looking to color this fanciful dinner party in your head, or if you just can’t wait for the limited edition of Herzog: The Collection, check out UCTV’s “An Evening with Werner Herzog” below, and get a sense of the influences in Herzog’s life, how it influenced his filmmaking philosophy, and other humorous/infuriating/enlightening conversation. More »

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BAFTAHeroes are fallible. Even superheroes must have their faults and weaknesses, and the screenwriters behind some of the most memorable portrayals of comic book heroes and real life heroes in recent years are certainly far from perfect. Yet, two long-time screenwriters, David S. Goyer and Susannah Grant, have both battled failures as writers to give us memorable scripts with complex heroes, whether pulled from comic books or ripped from the headlines. Thanks to the BAFTA Screenwriter Lecture series, both Goyer and Grant share their experiences as screenwriters with the rest of us so we can learn how to overcome our own obstacles to create memorable film heroes. More »

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AMIRA Camera SimulatorChances are, if you’ve operated or assisted on a production using an ARRI ALEXA, you’ve also used ARRI’s fantastic ALEXA camera simulator, which digitally mimics all of the menu functions and exterior buttons of the camera. Resources such as camera simulators are excellent training tools for both up and coming cam-ops and assistants, as well as experienced guys who need a refresher on how a particular system works. With the new AMIRA camera making its way out into the world, ARRI has released the first version of the AMIRA camera simulator, and it’s definitely worth checking out you intend to use this camera any time in the near future. More »

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FV SpectraHD 4 1280-720 EVFF&V has been steadily cranking out quality lighting products, and at NAB 2014 they introduced their first EVF. Containing features that you’ll find in higher-end EVFs/monitors, the new 4.3″ SpectraHD 4 is going to come in at a bit lower price than some other options. They’ve also got a larger 7″ monitor with slightly less resolution, which should work well as an inexpensive additional monitor on the camera. Finally, they are introducing new lights with far higher CRI ratings — which means better color reproduction. Check out the interview below: More »

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blackmagic cinema camera production 4k kinefinity upgrade interchangeable battery hdmi outputAmong the slew of surprising NAB announcements this year comes one from Kinefinity that draws a whole different kind of “wow, I didn’t see that coming.” It seems the camera company isn’t satisfied merely offering 4K RAW (and soon enough, 6K RAW) capture at extremely aggressive prices. Kinefinity also wants to upgrade your Blackmagic Cinema Camera or Production Camera 4K into a bigger, more functional workhorse. The Kine+ program is a third-party modification on a different level, adding interchangeable batteries, HDMI, additional power ports, and even a bit more heftiness to the external dimensions. Check below for our NAB 2014 interview with Kinefinity. More »

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LibecA few days before the kickoff of NAB, Libec announced their new integrated tripod system, ALLEX, which allows users to use pan, tilt and slide camera movements with a 3-part setup made up of a tripod, ball head, and slider. We were able to stop by their booth to talk a little bit about the ALLEX system, so check out our latest NAB video to see it in action, as well as get more information about their video contest that will award 5 winners with ALLEX gear. More »

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RigWheels PortaRail SystemWe’ve talked about some nifty gear from RigWheels before, but the thing that separates their gear from some other solutions is modularity. You can put together a dolly or camera mount with as little or as much of their gear as you’d like, and most of it can be adapted to other rigs you might already own. This year at NAB, we talked to Lance about the new PortaRail collapsible dolly/slider rail system. This system can fit inside one case and features 40″ long high-grade aluminum pipes that connect together seamlessly with threaded connectors. Check out the interview below: More »

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Pentax 645Z Front with LensRicoh, who now operates the Pentax brand, has just introduced the first sub-$10,000 medium format camera capable of shooting HD video, the 645Z. While it’s not going to be your everyday shooter for video, it’s certainly going to provide a very different aesthetic from even the large sensor 5D Mark II or Mark III. This is the first time it will be relatively affordable to acquire footage that more closely matches the angle of view of 65mm film. More »

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Amira BrazilLast week, after months upon months of waiting with our breath held, ARRI unveiled the pricing for its ENG-style documentary camera, the highly anticipated AMIRA. As was expected, the camera, which sports the same 16:9 sensor as some of its ALEXA brethren, is not an inexpensive one by any stretch of the imagination, with basic AMIRA packages starting in the neighborhood of $40,000. Even though the cameras are starting to make their way out into the wild, we still haven’t seen too many people put the AMIRA through its paces yet. Until now, that is. Filmmaker Jens Hoffman was recently given the chance to finish up his ALEXA-shot documentary MATA MATAwhich is about soccer culture and players in Brazil, on a brand new AMIRA, and the footage is breathtaking, to say the very least. More »

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Richard LinkaterRichard Linklater is a DIY filmmaker hero for many reasons. He’s self-taught, completely obsessed with cinema and making films, and his approach to telling stories is one that I think many can relate to. And if you were just thinking about what an experience it would be to actually be able to sit in a room and pick his brain about all of this, you’re in luck. Linklater answers a bunch of questions from a small group of folks for one of Fox Searchlight’s Searchlab lectures, which gives us an inside look into how the director goes about writing screenplays, rehearsing with actors, and working on-set. More »

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The ThingWe talk a lot about horror here on NFS, because, for one, the genre is awesome, and for two, the genre is supremely important to understanding and analyzing the human condition. In this 1982 roundtable, host Mick Garris discusses several genre-specific topics with directors of some of the greatest horror films in history, David CronenbergJohn Carpenter, and John Landis, conversing about why people watch horror films, how important special effects are to a production, and what they think about censorship. Continue on to check out 26-minute of scary movie goodness. More »

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Gary VaynerchukWhat is at the core of filmmaking? It’s the same thing that made us want to pick up a camera in the first place. Storytelling. But, as things tend to do, the landscape of media consumption has evolved to match our changing needs and desires. Platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Netflix have sprung up to accommodate this change, but have the ways we tell stories followed suit? Gary Vaynerchuck doesn’t seem to think so. In this 99U talk, the best-selling author and founder of VaynerMedia describes how to be better storytellers in today’s “A.D.D. Culture.” More »

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sundance_IFP_web_seriesWhile over the years some great storytelling has emerged from the internet in the form of serialized content (just ask our man Koo and The West Side) the web series hasn’t always gotten its due. This may be partly because the arena is full of less-than-outstanding content  (it is the internet after all), but also because nobody tended to take them seriously. And by “nobody” I just mean no established independent film institutes and supporters. Now that Sundance is offering an inaugural Episodic Story Lab and IFP has included Web Series into their Emerging Visions component of Independent Film Week, that could be changing. Find out what each institute has to say about their new programs, and why 2014 could start a golden age for episodic content.  More »

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VaricamWe’ve seen plenty of impressive cameras be unveiled at NAB in the last week from Blackmagic, Sony, JVC, and even AJA. Although we’ve known about Panasonic’s first 4K VariCam for a while, we were able to chat with Steve Cooperman about the modular camera, as well as take a closer look at its features, which include a Super 35mm CMOS sensor, 14+ stops of dynamic range, PL mount, and internal 4K up to 120fps. We’re also told by Cooperman that, with all components included, the camera will be sold for under $60K. More »