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Blue is the Warmest ColorCinema has had a complicated, on-again, off-again relationship with portrayals of sex and nudity up on the silver screen. And if you’re thinking, “Oh yes, movies have gotten pretty raunchy in the last few decades,” you’re right, but the erotic history of cinema dates all the way back to the first films ever made over a century ago. Fandor has put together an infographic that highlights the pivotal, transgressive films that challenged cinema, penetrated the moral blockade, and changed the rules again, and again, and again. More »

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The Music bedIf you’ve ever made a movie before, you most likely understand how frustrating it can be finding the right music for your project that is not only affordable, but good. That’s what makes The Music Bed so promising. It’s a platform designed to be mutually beneficial for indie filmmakers and indie musicians, where the licenses are reasonably priced, the music is good, and navigating through it all is surprisingly uncomplicated. Now, The Music Bed is making finding the right song a whole lot easier by releasing their free mobile iOS app that makes their entire music library accessible right on your iPhone or iPad. More »

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MetropolisSome pretty exciting things were happening at the Cannes Film Festival in the 80s, but in 1984, Oscar-winning composer and synth disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder revealed his own version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. New edits, sound effects, and colorization weren’t the only changes made to the “Moroder Version” of the 1927 sci-fi classic, but the composer also controversially just so happened to added a synth pop soundtrack featuring music by Freddie Mercury, Pat Benatar, and Loverboy. If that’s not the definition of pure epicness, I don’t know what is, and if you haven’t experienced it, you must — now. More »

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DrillAs indie filmmakers, we’re used to making do with what is easily, readily, and/or inexpensively at our disposal, and many times the locations we need don’t fit within those criteria. However, with a little bit of know-how and a few bucks (about $170), you could construct your own flats (the fake walls used on films and theater sets), which would not only allow you to film in the location you want (a mock version, at least), but it will take the stress away of having to shoot in someone else’s space. Matt Brown is here with a tutorial to show you how to saw, hammer, and drill your way to making flats that’ll be perfect for any project. More »

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Learn Color GradingThere are many factors that go into making a film look cinematic, like lighting, blocking, and camera settings, but creating a good color grade is certainly somewhere near the top. If you’re completely new to color grading, but are looking for an opportunity to really get a firm grasp of it (or even if you just want to learn a few new techniques), this intensive DaVinci Resolve class, which will teach you everything from the basics of the interface to advanced color control, is now 75% off  ($49) on the online learning platform Udemy. More »

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Hulu SFSThere are so many ways to go about learning how to make films, with resources that won’t cost you tens of thousands of dollars or have you sitting in lecture halls for the greater part of your early 20s. One ironclad piece of advice that always seems to be in the mouths and repertoires of great filmmakers is to watch and study films, because they can offer invaluable guidance, inspiration, and even mentorship to those who are looking for it. And if you’ve decided that this summer will be the one in which you buckle down for some serious cinematic cogitation, Hulu’s Summer Film School, which is a series of blog posts that break down the filmmaking techniques of some of history’s greatest films, might be right up your alley. More »

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PolyphonyFilm is often thought of as being a visual medium, but sound (especially sound and visuals together) play a huge role in storytelling. This enlightening video essay from two students from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands breaks down the concept of contrapuntal music in film, a technique used famously by Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino that arranges independent, yet harmonious musical and filmic parts, expressing a deeper narrative meaning to the tune of Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of the montage. More »

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The ShiningStanley Kubrick’s films are some of the most analyzed pieces of cinema, especially his horror masterpiece The Shining. Brimming with intrigue, clues, and hidden messages, Kubrick’s 1980 film has been given the royal treatment when it comes to analysis, even becoming the subject of the documentary Room 237 that digs deep into the possible meanings behind the director’s cinematic choices, and Darren Foley of Must See Films offers up another engaging video essay, this time on Kubrick’s enigmatic work, that explores some intriguing theories on the possible theme of “history repeating itself.” More »

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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 »