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metabones speed booster lens adapter canon ef to mft micro four thirds m43Metabones has already provided shooters with a variety of Speed Boosters — lens adapters that optically counteract crop factor, increase light transmission, and in many cases even maintain smart lens control. Now, Metabones has announced a new addition to the Speed Booster line: a Canon EF to Micro 4/3 mount model that will effectively allow the Panasonic GH4 (and other Micro 4/3 cameras) to have the field of view of a Super 35mm camera and also increase your lens’ maximum exposure one stop. Metabones is also going to offer an equivalent adapter without the expensive optics just to control Canon lenses on your MFT cameras. More »

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ARRI AMIRA 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 ProResWe’ve heard some talk about a 4K ARRI camera, and even a rumor about a 6K 65mm camera from the company, but nothing has really materialized until now (mostly because they haven’t felt it was necessary). The first 4K camera from ARRI will not be a new model, but a software update to the AMIRA that will let it shoot internally to ProRes at 3840 x 2160 UHD up to 60fps. The AMIRA, which has recently started shipping and is being used extensively by NFL Films, will get the software update by the end of 2014. But what about the fact that the AMIRA and the ALEXA share sensor technology and ARRI doesn’t yet have a 4K sensor in their cameras? More »

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BitTorrent Sync New Version 1.4When BitTorrent’s file transfer app BitTorrent Sync hit the 1 million user mark earlier this year, we knew they would only continue to become a go-to way to transfer files. They are now at 10 million user installs and it’s one of the only ways of bypassing “the cloud” when transferring files over the internet. With version 1.4, they’ve brought us new sharing features and a redesigned user interface, saying, “No cloud means faster transfer speeds and that no third parties ever have your data; your data belongs to you.” 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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Rokinon LensesFor the past few years, Rokinon lenses, which are manufactured in Korea by parent company Samyang, have been widely popular with the new generation of DSLR filmmakers, largely because of their affordability. The manufacturer then hit a home run when they began to introduce cine versions of their most popular primes, with de-clicked apertures and built-in focus gears. For anybody wanting a full set of their cine primes, however, there was one massive problem. There’s a 24mm, a 35mm, and an 85mm — all with a constant T/1.5 aperture — but no 50mm to round out the set. For many people, myself included, this glaring omission prevented us from investing in a set of these lenses. Luckily, Rokinon has just announced that a 50mm T/1.5 will be officially introduced at Photokina 2014 in roughly three weeks, much to the delight of low budget filmmakers everywhere. More »

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As curation becomes more important, it becomes about how we carve out small pockets of culture online for audiences who are hungry for unique, uncompromising and refreshing work. Vyer Films is a new subscription service that not only selects a robust catalogue of independent movies, but also strives to coax their audiences deeper into the culture of their movies. I see what Vyer Films is doing with the curatorial streaming model as pretty representative of where things are headed, so I asked founder K.C. McLeod to chat with No Film School about their commitment to sharing great films, their take on the streaming subscription model and where it all fits in the future of film distribution. More »

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Poor Man's C-StandFew filmmaking tools are as ubiquitous and multifunctional as the C-Stand. From mounting lights at any conceivable angle to flying modifiers/flags, C-Stands have literally hundreds of uses on a film set. The only problem: C-Stands are not cheap. At roughly $150 a piece — and that’s for the cheaper models — C-Stands aren’t something to which low and no-budget filmmakers have constant access. Luckily, there are some significantly less expensive alternatives out there that can provide much of the same functionality at a fraction of the cost. Scott Eggleston over at the Frugal Filmmaker has one such alternative that he’d like to show you, and it will only set you back $20. More »

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filmfreeway vs withoutaboxWhen Withoutabox first showed up, it was a boon to filmmakers. Not having to fill out a different form for every film festival submission saved endless headaches for us, and made the review process easier for film festivals. But this summer, alternative submission platform FilmFreeway has been steadily gaining respectable festivals to its banner, and toting an easy interface, free online screeners, and recent platform additions that bring it up to speed with Withoutbox, it might prove to be an enticing replacement to filmmakers frustrated with the WAB monopoly. More »

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c300 canon color science4Even though Canon DSLRs might not be getting a whole lot of love from filmmakers these days, the Cinema-EOS line of cameras from Canon, the C100 and C300 in particular, have been widely adopted in the professional video production world, especially for documentary-style work. Since these cameras are fairly ubiquitous at this point, it makes sense for us to know how to get the most out of them. A recent video from AbelCine helps us do just that by teaching us how to maximize dynamic range on the C100 and C300 by tweaking the internal gamma settings. More »

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Sony a5100 FrontEarlier in the week, we were introduced to a brand new bite-sized camera from Sony, the A5100. We already knew that Sony’s new camera, which comes in at $550 for the body, would have the ability to output uncompressed 8 bit 4:2:2 via the mini HDMI port and be able to record to the XAVC-S codec, both firsts for a camera of this size and price. However, we had no idea what kind of performance (in terms of dynamic range, rolling shutter, and overall image quality) would be possible with the camera’s CMOS sensor. Luckily, just like they did with the A7s, the folks at Cinema5D put the A5100 to the test, and their results are fairly exciting. More »

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following christopher nolan diy ultra low no budget filmmaking 16mmDirector Christopher Nolan is best known for The Dark Knight trilogy of blockbusters, and a film with a sound so powerful it’s been replicated in many a trailer since: Inception. Prior to these films Nolan directed the mind-bending thriller Memento, but his career began even earlier with an ultra-low budget feature called Following. An exercise in efficient, effective filmmaking, Following is a film noir gem — and one impressively made on a shoestring. Nolan recently sat down with VICE and the Criterion Collection to talk about the making of the film. Outlining DIY tips and tricks he used to get the film made with very limited resources, Nolan also explains how some of the methods he learned making Following still influence him to this day — even when shooting IMAX. More »

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CreativeDistrict1Creative District launched earlier this year as Technicolor’s offering to the filmmaker social media space. With an emphasis on filmmaker to filmmaker connections, building collaborators online, and a simple and pleasing browsing experience, Creative Districts enthusiasm for connecting filmmakers doesn’t stop there. They offer $5,000 grants monthly to users of the website who are working on interesting projects, but until now that grant was not available to YouTubers and Vimeo Creators. Read on for the full details of the contest, the winners will be announced on September 2nd, 2014. More »

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Richard Linklater Writing Boyhood 1Now that Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood has expanded to 771 screens across the U.S. and cracked the top 10 at the weekly box office, I had the opportunity to see this 12-year opus on its opening weekend here in Albuquerque. After watching this boy grow up on-screen in what feels like a blink of an eye — sometimes actually seeing him change dramatically in a quite literal blink of an eye over a cut — the screenwriter inside me wondered, “How do you write a movie that takes twelve years to shoot?” Here on No Film School, we’ve explored Linklater’s overall approach to filmmaking and screenwriting as well as his particular relationship with film and time via his Before trilogy (thanks, V Renée!). Now, thanks to many resources, we hear from Linklater himself on how he tackled the challenge of finding and writing the story of Boyhood over the course of its 12-year production. More »

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RED DRAGON Hero Image[Update: Looks like all of the cameras they had are completely gone now.] Once every blue moon, RED puts a truckload of lightly used cameras on sale, giving customers a chance to snag one at a highly reduced price. Well, No Film Schoolers, right now just so happens to be one of those times, as Jarred Land posted on his Facebook page that RED just received a few varieties of their cameras back, each with less than 5 hours of total use, and that those cameras are now available first come, first serve at a reduced price (and the deal will not be on their website). 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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Inside the Edit Paddy Bird

A few months ago, we shared an excellent short animation that detailed the ins and outs of what exactly an experienced editor does. Although we only briefly mentioned it at the time, that video was an advertisement for Inside the Edit, a soon-to-be-released online creative editing course. Yesterday marked the official release of Inside the Edit, and we here at No Film School couldn’t be more excited about the tremendous potential value that this course offers to aspiring editors wishing to break into the industry. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Paddy Bird, the founder of Inside the Edit, about what sets this course apart from any other editing course on the market today. 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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Blackmagic-Histogram-Audio-Meter-Time-RemainingWhile the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K got a histogram, time remaining, and audio levels last month, many were wondering when the other Blackmagic cameras — the Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera — were going to get these important features as well. That day is today, as the company has announced firmware 1.9.3, which will finally allow you to know exactly how much footage you’ve got left to shoot on both the BMCC and the BMPCC, and let you see what kind of levels you’re recording for audio. More »

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Oakley Anderson-Moore Royal Robbins Interview

You’ve got a great idea for film, and it just so happens to be a true story. Best of all, the main character is fantastic and you can’t wait to get him or her on camera! But once you start rolling, and sit back and wait for the magic to happen — pfft. Your interview is a dud. What went wrong? Getting a person’s story on camera is an elusive process, and since I just spent over five years working on a short and a feature in which I conducted over 40 interviews, I thought I’d share a list of things that I picked up along the way that might help you. More »