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Sony a5100 FrontSony’s track record of introducing small, light, and higher-megapixel mirrorless cameras is pretty solid and consistent at this point. While the a7S is probably the biggest step up in terms of video quality we’ve seen with these cameras, some other interesting features are making it into lower-end models. Just introduced today, the new APS-C a5100, in addition to uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2 HDMI up to 60fps, has added an interesting option for a consumer-level camera: a “broadcast-ready” 50mbps codec. More »

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ARRI AMIRANFL Films, the production company that has dazzled our eyes and ears with beautiful 16mm footage and slow motion aerials of the National Football League, will stop shooting its regular season and postseason games on film. For 2014, they are now moving to the ARRI AMIRA as their main production camera, with likely a number of other supporting cameras that have already been in use. While film got a shot in the arm thanks to the news that Hollywood will continue buying Kodak stock, this is certainly a setback. More »

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Paul Thomas Anderson on Why He Dropped Out of Film SchoolPaul Thomas Anderson is one of the more famous and successful film school dropouts, but the circumstances surrounding the way he left are pretty interesting. While he didn’t have much interest going to school in the first place, and didn’t have great grades in high school, he did eventually get into NYU, but with one foot already out the door by the time he got there, he came up with an interesting way to reassure himself that college was a complete waste of time. More »

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Walt Disney Explaining the Multiplane CameraDisney has almost been synonymous with the term animation since the early 20th century, and they’ve produced some of the most well-known and beloved works in cinema history. Beyond their fantastic ability to tell stories that resonate with people of all different ages, the technical proficiency of Disney’s hand-drawn animations was a step above most of the industry. Part of that was due to the invention of the Multiplane Camera, which literally gave 2D animations a third dimension, and in the process, brought them to life. More »

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Blackmagic URSA PL 4K Camera BoxBlackmagic’s newest camera, the URSA 4K, was announced at NAB 2014, and is quite a departure from their previous offerings. Though it currently shares the same sensor as the one used in the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, it has the ability to change sensors, which means that if a better one comes out, you can plop it right in your camera. While all of that sounds great, for people to take advantage of that feature, the cameras actually have to be shipping to people, and it looks like at least one (likely more) have made it outside of the Blackmagic labs and into the hands of actual shooters. More »

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Freefly Tero with Blackmagic CroppedNow that stabilized gimbals have come out of the sky and into our hands with devices like the Freefly MōVI, they’re being put on all sorts of things. Freefly is continually pushing things forward, and they’ve now come up with their own custom remote controlled car that you can actually mount a MōVI to, which opens up all sorts of new possibilities for camera positions and angles, and gives you super smooth footage in the process. More »

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How Not to Clean You Camera and LensesThe best way to ensure that your cameras and lenses are working optimally is to make sure that you clear dust and debris from them on a regular basis. The dirtier a camera is, the more chance that dust or dirt is going to wind up on your sensor and you may not know it until you’re looking at the footage in post. We’ve shared some tips from Canon about keeping your gear clean, but here’s the opposite end of the spectrum: what not to do. More »

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MIT - Extracting audio from visual informationThis is one of those times when words like amazing and mind-blowing are not hyperbole. Researchers at MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe recently joined forces to do something that seems completely impossible: they’ve been able to extract audio from visual information alone — meaning they have recovered sound from videos that have no audio whatsoever. More »

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Martin Scorsese at Hugo EventWith Hollywood studios and filmmakers rallying together last week to save Kodak film from going extinct at least for the next few years, many in the industry have spoken out about the situation. Director Martin Scorsese, who has shot on film the majority of his career (though has recently experimented with digital on some of his more recent projects, including the completely digital Hugo), issued a very personal statement about the state of filmmaking and why it’s important that we don’t let film die. More »

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The Music Bed Project Film Supply HERO

If you have a great movie idea, but you just don’t have the resources to pull it off, music licensing site The Music Bed is putting together a really interesting contest called Project Film Supply. The contest, which starts today and ends September 1st, is accepting film ideas for projects that are 10-15 minutes in length, and they will be giving away a total of $50,000 in prizes to three winners. As one of the sponsors of the contest, No Film School will also be featuring a post about the grand prize-winning film here on the site. More »

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Sony a7S Slog2 409600We know the Sony a7S has quite a bit of dynamic range and terrific low-light performance, but how does it stack up against the Panasonic GH4, and a much more expensive camera, the RED EPIC? James Drake, with some help from Dave Dugdale, took the camera for a spin along with his personal EPIC and a GH4, to see just how far he could push all of them in a scene with minimal light. Though the MX sensor in the EPIC is around 5 years old, it’s interesting seeing how far the newest tech has come. More »

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Walter Murch - Movies in Your Brain- The Science of Cinematic PerceptionEditor and sound designer Walter Murch has some incredibly fascinating ideas on films and editing, most of which he outlines in his book In the Blink of an Eye. In it he proposes the idea that human blinks are actually a very natural cut point, and he goes on to discuss the theory of editing and the importance of certain elements in relation to the entire cut of the movie. Murch and actor/director Jon Favreau recently got together to discuss these ideas and the real science that happens during filmmaking at an event called “Movies in Your Brain: The Science of Cinematic Perception.” More »

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Ryan Fox GoPro Strapped to a TireYou may already be familiar with putting cameras on spinning objects and what the footage looks like afterwards, but a recent video of a GoPro duct-taped to a car tire is pretty fantastic, as long as it doesn’t make your head spin too much. Ryan Fox, creating a video for a summer course, decided to rig the camera to his car one night, and the results are simply gorgeous. More »

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera - FrontIt’s unclear what Blackmagic may be doing with their lowest-end camera in the future, but one thing is for sure right now: the $500 discount on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is only for a limited time. How limited? Though they mentioned it would last until the end of the summer, the other stipulation was that the special price was “subject to limited availability.” This means that once a certain amount of stock runs out, retailers will begin charging the full price again. This seems to already be happening in many places, though a few, like B&H, still have the camera listed at its discounted price for a little while longer. More »

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Video thumbnail for vimeo video You Are Not a Storyteller - No Film SchoolA video has been making the rounds that seems to have quite a few people riled up. FITC Events, a company that puts together conferences and seminars around topics like technology, business, and design, sat down with designer Stefan Sagmeister to discuss his thoughts on the idea of storytelling. Essentially he said that if you’re not in the business of telling actual stories, you shouldn’t be calling yourself a storyteller, and that those people who do tell stories, don’t necessarily see themselves that way — though he uses a bit more colorful language in his response in the video: More »

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5D3 Magic Lantern RAW in Canon AdMagic Lantern RAW video has been out for over a year now, and the resulting footage is unquestionably a giant step up from the normal compressed H.264 files. While Canon representatives rarely say too much about the hack, I’m sure many of them are familiar with it by name if nothing else. At the very least, there has been a sort of symbiotic relationship between the two, with Canon being more or less hands-off about Magic Lantern and its use on their cameras. If it sells more cameras, I doubt they would complain, but they’ve never outright condoned its use, which is why its interesting that footage shot with the hack has appeared in a Canon ad. More »

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Kodak Motion Picture Film LogoIt’s been a long and bumpy road for Kodak and their film division. While they’ve emerged from bankruptcy, film sales have been in a free fall since 2006, and the company has considered closing its film production plant altogether. But a new proposal from studios, with support from filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, and J.J. Abrams, will likely ensure that filmmakers at least have the choice to shoot film well into the future. More »

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Blackmagic 4K Firmware 1.9 Addresses Fixed Pattern NoiseIt’s been a huge issue for many users, and while the severity has been inconsistent camera to camera, the new 1.9 firmware update released today for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K should address fixed pattern noise on all cameras. Though it may not be completely removed in all situations, this was a much-needed fix for those who’ve gotten some models that have suffered from excessive noise. They’ve also added some really essential features, like a histogram, audio meters, and a time remaining indicator so you can see how much recording time you’ve got left depending on your shooting format. More »

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frame io logoA week ago we were introduced to a brand new collaborative video workflow platform called Frame.io that aims to “pick up where Vimeo left off.” While Vimeo has some client review features, and there are a number of companies out there that offer similar services, Frame.io is attempting to be more seamless, faster, and eliminate headaches that are often associated with the process. There was a huge response to Frame.io, and many, many questions. Co-founder Emery Wells will be sending out a newsletter answering these questions, but they’ve given No Film School an early look at the text that will be going out later today. More »

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Michael Bay - BayhemWhile his films are incredibly successful financially, director Michael Bay is one of the more polarizing filmmakers working today. Many consider his style the downfall of entertainment as we know it, while others love the non-stop action that oozes from nearly every frame. If fewer people watched his films, they may still be interesting visual specimens, but the fact that his movies have grossed billions and earned him two Criterion Collections makes him a different case entirely. Tony Zhou has put together a video exploring “Bayhem,” a visual style that is rather unique to Michael Bay and his brand of storytelling. More »