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Sharp AOALast October, Sharp ran a filmmaking contest called the Art of Amazing 4K Film Competition, and now they’re back for another round of ultra high definition goodness. and once again asking filmmakers to submit their best 4K short films. Once again partnering with THX and RED, Sharp will be taking 4K short film entries for the chance to win a host of cool prizes, like a screening of your film at the Mill Valley Film Festival, a private tour of Skywalker Ranch, and more than $65,000 in prizes for filmmakers and fans. More »

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Creativity BundleWith technology advancing so quickly, and with the internet’s supreme dominion over our entire lives, distribution doesn’t look anything like it did in the past. In this day and age, independent filmmakers have to find creative ways to not just get their work out there into the ether, but to find an audience somewhere within it. Using VOD platform VHX, film strategy company Bond/360 is now experimenting with a “distribution and filmmaker collaboration” that offers award-winning films in a bundle and allows moviegoers to pick the price they want to pay for it. The directors of Indie Game: The MovieSign Painters, and Beauty is Embarrassing weigh in on their experience. More »

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screencraftToday, ScreenCraft announced that they are now taking entries into the 2014 Action & Thriller Script Contest, which will feature cash prizes (that they’ve doubled since last year), as well as a venerable panel of top industry judges, including executives from Paramount, Fox, Warner Brothers, and more. So, if you have a script that fits into the action/thriller genre and you want to compete for the chance to get it in front of some real movers and shakers, then we’ve got the details on how to enter. More »

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project greenlightSurely many of us were bummed when we learned that the reality TV show Project Greenlight was being canceled back in 2005. (It seems unfair that audiences would rather keep up with the Kardashians than today’s burgeoning cinematic talent, but whatever.) However, you might’ve heard that the Ben Affleck/Matt Damon-produced series that puts first-time filmmakers head-to-head to compete for a chance to make a feature film is finally back for Season 4, this time on HBO, and are now looking for the next batch of short film submissions. More »

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DJI_RoninWe’ve had our eye on DJI’s 3-axis gimbal stabilizer, the Ronin, since it made its mark at NAB. It comes with some exciting features not found in other gimbals within the same price range (even in the impressive but expensive MōVI), like its 3 operational modes; “Upright”, “Underslug”, and “Briefcase”. If you thought the Ronin was out of your price range, you might want to jump at the chance to snag it at a seriously discounted price while you can. More »

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frame io logoCollaboration is a major part of filmmaking, but sometimes it seems as though technology hasn’t quite caught up with our increasingly mobile and online workflows. That’s why Frame.io is so exciting. This collaboration platform aims to “pick up where Vimeo left off” by allowing users to upload, review, and share videos privately with collaborators anywhere in the world with a single application. And once you check out the workflow, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it. More »

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ixy_largeOver a year ago, RØDE introduced the iXY Microphone for the iPhone 4, the first device for iOS capable of 24-bit/96k audio recordings, which meant studio quality audio could be collected with a device that could fit inside your pocket. However, iPhone 5 users were pretty much out of luck until today. RØDE announced the highly anticipated update that allows you to use the award-winning mic with your iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s. Now fitted with a Lighting connector, the iXY microphone will provide the same quality audio found in the previous version, but on the latest Apple smart phone devices. More »

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Mike WhiteWhat does screenwriting look like? Waking up at 6am, pouring a cup of coffee — black, sitting down at a desk with last night’s Chinese take out strewn about, turning on your computer, going over notes, and finally, typing away for hours and hours until you remember that humans need food and sleep to survive. Now, raise your hand if that’s what screenwriting looks like in your own life. If you didn’t raise yours, you wouldn’t be the only one. In fact, screenwriter Mike White (Nacho LibreSchool of Rock, Orange County) details what the whole process entails for him, which actually includes a whole lot of not writing a screenplay. More »

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OFOTCNVery few films both capture my imagination and speak to my soul the way One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest does. The story of R.P. McMurphy, written originally by Ken Kesey (who’s an absolute legend in my neck of the drum circle) was adapted for the screen in 1975, went on to win a handful of Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Miloš Forman, and continues to be the embodiment of the rebellious spirit of the 60s. From a filmmaking perspective, though, the production of OFOTCN is a true testament to how Murphy’s Law (McMurphy’s Law? “V, stop.”) can actually be beneficial to your film — how sometimes it’s the mistakes, problems, and dead ends that reveal the true potential of not only your project, but you as a filmmaker. More »

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Flashlight CinematographyLighting plays a huge role in making a film look aesthetically pleasing and cinematic, and though lighting kits can be expensive, there are always DIY workarounds to keep costs down. But, could you imagine if you pulled out a bunch of cheap flashlights on the first day of shooting? Your cast and crew might laugh you right off the set. However, Joey Shanks, who never fails to share his invaluable DIY film tips, shows us how these small, but increasingly powerful flashlights can be used with a few inexpensive mods to give your shots all the illumination they need. More »

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DJI RoninBack at this year’s NAB, DJI, known primarily for their unmanned aerial system, introduced their new 3-axis gimbal stabilizer, Ronin, which is not only relatively inexpensive, but its multiple operational modes make it quite the versatile tool (especially because it can handle cameras big and small). We’ve been waiting patiently for three months for more information on this rig, especially an official price and ship date, but today DJI made the announcement that this handheld gimbal is now available for purchase — and for less than previously thought. More »

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Screenwriting 1Writing processes are as diverse as the writers who labor through them. There’s really no one way to churn out a script, but if you’ve just started on this incredible screenwriting journey, or are in a rut and looking for some new tools to help you become more productive, then Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (MilkJ. Edgar) might be able to help. In this Academy Originals video, Black details every step of his creative process, from how he goes about researching to how he lays out scenes written on a myriad of index cards. More »

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ScreencraftIf you’re interested in getting some exposure in TV writing, you might want to look into ScreenCraft’s Pilot Launch TV Script Contest. They are now accepting submissions for hour, half hour, webisode and non-traditional comedy and drama series pilots, which will be judged by executives, screenwriters, and consultants from NBC, HBO, and Funny or Die (just to name a few). The early deadline is coming up, so find out how to enter before time runs out. More »

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KubrickEven though director Stanley Kubrick has gone down in history as one of the greatest filmmakers in all of cinematic history, he wasn’t what you would call prolific. Being an obsessively meticulous perfectionist, who researched every tiny detail of his films for years before he ever went into production, Kubrick only managed to make 13 feature films in his nearly half century-long career. However, if Kubrick had had it his way, he’d have several more titles to add to his filmography, and this short documentary narrated by Malcolm McDowell explores some of Kubrick’s unrealized films, which overflow with rich design and incredible detail even without ever having made it to the silver screen. More »

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On CreativityWe work in a creative medium — screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, editors, etc. — we’re all taking material that exists in one form and metamorphosing it into another. But oftentimes that process is rather oblique; we spend so much time looking for the key, the path, the secret to whatever it is we may be looking for in creativity, be it success, prolificacy, or originality, but in the end it’s all a bunch of shadow chasing. So, what do we do when we’re at a creative standstill? This video series entitled On Creativity explores what it means to be creative through interviews with professional artists who have created some of the most iconic pieces of art in the world. More »

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Drone FireworksMost of us here in the U.S. celebrated our nation’s independence yesterday by donning patriotic garb, barbecuing, and, of course, craning our necks skyward in order to see all the pretty fireworks. However, even if you think you witnessed the most beautiful Fourth of July fireworks show, I promise, you ain’t seen nothing yet. A drone was flown right into a fireworks display in West Palm Beach, Florida, offering viewers an up close and personal look at the brilliantly explosive spectacle. More »

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TypewriterA screenplay is made up of a lot of different pieces: acts, sequences, scenes, etc. Think of them as multi-sized blocks that you must stack, tear down, rearrange, and throw away until what you have before you looks something like a story. But before you can enjoy the tedious task of formation, you have to create these pieces, or blocks, from scratch. To help with this, screenwriter and frequent Tim Burton collaborator, John August (Big Fish, Corpse Bride), whose blog you should be reading religiously, released a handy infographic/PDF of his popular post “How to Write a Scene” that gives screenwriters an easy checklist of 11 bullet points that helps guide them through the process. More »

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My Røde ReelThis year’s My RØDE Reel International Short Film Competition was a huge success! With over 1,100 entrants vying for the chance to win over $70K in gear, it’s safe to say that stakes that high made for some stiff competition. Filmmakers from all over the world brought forth some truly great and inspiring pieces of cinema, and now that the contest has come to a close and the victors have been named, we can share a few of the winning short films with you. And if you just so happened to enter a film this year, RØDE has also decided to give away a last-minute prize to you and all entrants. More »

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Fisheye hackFisheye lenses are great for so much more than skate videography and videos of cute animals being cute to cute polka music. They can also be used to create stunning, artistic images, as demonstrated by Australian filmmaker Max Piantoni. He has shared a short tutorial that shows you how he repurposed the lens in his Lomo Fisheye No. 2 still camera by mounting it onto an old Nikkor prime in order to capture some truly interesting, beautiful, and unpredictable video on his DSLR. More »

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Wim WendersThere isn’t a movie in all of cinematic history that can truly be called perfect, but there are certainly some steps we as filmmakers can take to make the process of making one a little bit more so. In this TV spot for the fancy-ish non-domestic Stella Artois, renowned director Wim Wenders shares a bunch of advice on how to approach filmmaking — if your goal is to make cinematic perfection, of course. More »