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HyperlapseInstagram played a huge role in making vintage photo filters accessible and ubiquitous. Through the years they’ve added new looks, a social media dimension, and a Vine-like short video application. Yesterday, they took their brand to the next level by launching a standalone app that photographers and videographers alike (as well as everyone else) will appreciate — Hyperlapse, a time-lapse app that has some pretty exciting features: its simple design, sharing capabilities, and especially its image stabilization technology, which is not only absolutely key for time-lapse photography, but was something absent in mobile videography/photography until now. More »

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Darius BrittDespite the fact that the internet is brimming with tips and tricks for becoming a better screenwriter (we even have our own in-house guru, Christopher Boone), the screenwriting gods rarely make divine promises of favor to mere mortals like us. No, prosperity, whether measured in money earned or pages written, does not come easy; it all depends on how hard and tenaciously you’re willing to work. So, what are some practical things we can do as screenwriters now that will foster beneficial writing and creative habits later? Filmmaker Darius Britt shares 8 screenwriting tips that can help you build a solid foundation and improve your skills. More »

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FIQ SoundIn the first installment of Filmmaker IQ’s series on sound, host John P. Hess guided you through the the origins of sound in cinema, from early inventions like the sound-on-disk Kinetophone to the very first talkie, The Jazz Singer. But, what’s sound, anyway? And how do we get it into our movies? Hess explains all this and more in the second video in the series, giving us a simple, but comprehensive rundown on the science and engineering of sound, how microphones convert sound energy into electrical signals, as well as the varying kinds of mics used in film production. More »

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Too Much JohnsonWhen it comes to cinematic innovators, Orson Welles (along with DPs Gregg Toland and Russell Metty) is one of the biggest early contributors to the art of cinematography and filmmaking in general. Films like Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil are staples of film education, and any aspiring moviemaker would be wise to get their hands on as much of the Oscar-winner’s work as humanly possible. Now, thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation and Fandor, you can watch and/or download his long-lost farce Too Much Johnson, which, as the title seems to suggest, was his first professional foray into making films with long running times. More »

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Diffusion PanelAs no-budget filmmakers, chances are we’re spending a lot of time trying to navigate the placement of powerfully bright lights as we shoot scenes in cramped areas, and having a way to diffuse light is imperative in order to avoid blowing out your shot. There are so many solutions to this issue, like using bounce cards, reflectors, umbrellas, softboxes, ect., but, like most things, these pieces of gear can be a little (or insanely) expensive. However, also like most things, there are DIY builds that’ll save you tons of money without sacrificing quality, and product photographer Tony Roslund is here to show you how to build just such a diffusion panel for only $30 without having to bust out your bandsaw. More »

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Rody PolisIf your film work consists of a lot of wedding, music, or experimental videos, you probably include a good amount of stylistic light leaks and lens flares to add a little more panache to match the emotional nature of your material. However, if you or your clients are like the Chotchkie’s Manager from Office Space and want just a little more flair, RodyPolis has a collection of over 100 HD leaks and flare overlays called Lens FX Prism that are not only organic, but reasonably priced. More »

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PitchIf a great pitch is all that stands between you and thousands of dollars in film equipment and software, you’d probably want to get really good at pitching, right? As you might know, The Music Bed is offering just such a handsome booty to the filmmaker who sends in the best film idea to their contest Project Film Supply (of which we’re also a sponsor). In other words, the best pitch wins. But, how can you ensure that yours is a $50K pitch? Here are a few thoughts from The Music Bed on what they think about when scouring submissions, and what makes a pitch really stand out. More »

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Dolly HacksCamera movement is one of those aspects of filmmaking that, if done well, can make your film look like a million bucks. If you’re on a tight budget, however, you’re probably not going to be able to drop the necessary cash on pricey sliders, dollies, jibs, etc., but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your footage to look like you did. In yet another excellent video from our buddies at Film Riot, we’re given a bunch of  ideas on how to pull off buttery smooth dolly, tracking, and crane shots using everyday household items. More »

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andrei tarkovskyBack in 1972, world-renowned director Andrei Tarkovsky sat down with film critic Leonid Kozlov around the same time as the release of his 5th feature film Solaris and was asked to share his top ten favorite film. With great intention and thought, the legendary filmmaker jotted down on a piece of paper the films that, sure, he probably enjoyed and learned a lot from, but considering the artist and film philosopher Tarkovsky was, had done more to contribute to the art of cinema as a whole. More »

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The Jazz SingerNew technologies have been, and continue to be, developed for use in cinema since the dawn of the medium. From the invention of the projector to digital filmmaking, these additions have drastically changed the future of the art form, but perhaps none so much as the introduction of sound. In the first lesson of their 6-part course, Filmmaker IQ, in partnership with RØDE, presents the history of the development of sound in the moving pictures, including when, how, and by whom the technology was created, and how it affected the cinematic world. More »

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REMUSJust in time for the best 7 days of the year: Shark Week — some truly incredible footage of a shark attack. A team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution were shooting a nature show for the Discovery Channel entitled Jaws Strikes Back. The plan was to pick up some footage of sharks being sharks: swimming, mating, eating. But sharks also attack things from time to time, and this time, a great white decided to try to make a meal out of the team’s shark-tracking camera, fitted with 6 GoPros, resulting in video that allows us all to get up close and personal look at this “man-eater”. More »

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DIY filtersGood lens filters can empty your wallet pretty quickly, but the effects they produce are beautiful (and oftentimes needed). If your name isn’t Rich Uncle Pennybags, or if you’re a DIY enthusiast like most of us here, Film Riot has put a couple of ladies’ unmentionables to the test: traditional black stockings and fishnet stockings to see which replicates the effects of a $100 black pro-mist filter best. And as an added bonus, we’ve shared a few extra DIY filter ideas, from plastic soda bottles to plastic Pringles lids. More »

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Andrew StantonIn filmmaking, there are no hard and fast rules that artists have to abide by, but one axiom always proves to be infallible: story is everything. And even though each and every one of our lives is essentially one great, big story, learning how to tell one isn’t as effortless as our lives seem to be. Here to give you some truly invaluable, practical advice on how to put together a narrative is Pixar writer/director Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E), whose 2012 TED Talk not only sheds light on what makes a story great, but what tools you can use to make your story great by inspiring your audience to care. More »

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Blue ValentineOne thing to keep in mind as a filmmaker is that everything tells a story — it’s not just the actual script either, but very prop, every location, the colors of your character’s shirts, the blocking, and editing. This concept is demonstrated masterfully in Derek Cianfrance’s 2010 romantic drama Blue Valentine, which utilizes, both narratively and cinematically, the theme of “duality” to tell a tale of a dying relationship. In yet another excellent video essay from Darren Foley of Must See Films, we not only get to analyze the dual world’s inside the film, but Cianfrance’s compelling approach to capturing authentic emotionally charged moments on film. More »

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Film Festival SchedulerHow many of you can agree that finding the right film festivals to submit your films to is a chore? Sure, we know about the standouts — Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, but wouldn’t it be nice to have, like, a comprehensive list of tons of different festivals that range in popularity, that allowed you to search different criteria, like submission fees, countries, and genre categories, and offered all of this information in the form of a timeline so you could see which ones were coming up in the next few months? Well — you are in luck. More »

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Enrique PachecoTime-lapse photography is definitely not as cut and dry as setting your camera on a tripod and pressing record. It takes careful planning, a few pieces of essential gear, and a little bit of expertise to create those beautifully cinematic shots. If you’re interested in adding this technique to your repertoire, Spanish cinematographer and time-lapse pro Enrique Pacheco shares a bunch of invaluable tips and answers many central questions with you in this helpful Shutterstock video entitled Timelapse Wisdom. More »

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LoglineIn my experience, writing screenplays and loglines is a lot like algebra and geometry: people typically excel at one while struggling with the other. Penning a screenplay is hard enough, but writing loglines can be difficult, because you have to strip your story down to its most essential parts, while still telling it in its entirety — you’re not given the luxury of playing the long game. If you’re like me and struggle with writing up loglines, this Script Lab video explains in simple terms just how to do it. More »

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LouboutinIt’s nothing new when big name directors lend their incredible feature filmmaking abilities to make commercials and advertisements. Martin Scorsese directed a Chanel commercial for their male fragrance Bleu; Wes Anderson directed two commercials for Prada, one staring Blue is the Warmest Color’s Léa Seydoux and one with Jason Schwartzman as a Formula One driver that pays homage to Fellini. This time, David Lynch flexes his avant-garde muscles to create this mind-bending ad for Christian Louboutin’s new line of $50 nail polish. More »

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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 »