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Paul Thomas Anderson That Moment documentary MagnoliaWhether or not it’s your cup of tea (or should I say milkshake?), Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia remains one of the defining films of the late 90s, and an important work in Anderson’s career. Director Mark Rance documented the entire production in his film That Moment: Magnolia Diarywhich, if you haven’t seen it already, is now online in all of its 72 minute glory: More »

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Netflix UK Ireland TaggerDo you watch hours upon hours of shows and movies on Netflix? Wish you could get paid for all that time you log? Turns out the company is looking for people to do exactly this as part of their recommendation system for viewers. In a new job listing, Netflix is seeking people just like you who can watch and analyze both movies and TV shows, and then describe them with tags before they start streaming to the general public. Here’s a video that breaks it all down: More »

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Excell +1 BMPCCOne of the most sought-after tools in video production these days is the Metabones Speed Booster, a tool which absolutely lives up its claims of making your lenses faster and wider, thus eliminating the dreaded crop factor from small sensor cameras like the Panasonic GH4, while giving you an additional stop of light. One of the problems that most low-budget filmmakers have with the Speed Booster, however, is that it’s not inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination. At $490 for the BMPCC Nikon version (and even more for the Canon EF adapter), you’re shelling out half the price of the camera just for an adapter. Luckily, Fotodiox Pro has just released the Excell+1 Micro 4/3 adapter for Nikon and Canon FD lenses at just a fraction of that price. More »

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Game of Thrones VFXOf the multitude of tremendously cinematic shows that dominate our airwaves today, Game of Thrones is likely the most ambitious, and it’s almost certainly the one with the highest production value. From the absolutely massive (and excellent) ensemble cast — all fitted with highly stylized wardrobe items — to the dynamic digital cinematography that showcases some brilliant production design, the show looks like nothing else on television today. However, perhaps the most stunning aspect of Game of Thrones is the unmatched aesthetic and sheer magnitude of some of the locations and visual effects. Like many of the period and fantasy pieces shot today, the effects are comprised of a unique blend of traditional photography and heavy compositing, although it can sometimes be difficult to tell which is which, unless there happen to be VFX breakdowns and BTS featurettes. For Game of Thrones, these things exist in abundance. More »

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Outfest 2014Getting your film seen on a big screen seems harder and harder to do, but it’s clear that film festivals still play a major role in the preservation of the theatrical experience. The Los Angeles-based Outfest is one of the most prestigious LGBT film festivals in the world, and to celebrate their 32nd year they are trying something new: a series of interviews with the filmmakers talking about their stories and some of the challenges of making them come to life. More »

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Sony Sheep Action Cam Tour de FranceYes, sheep. What feels like an April Fools’ joke actually happened. Last year there was the Galluscam, which was a humorous advertisement from LG about using a chicken as a camera stabilizer, but this year Sony’s actually decided to use animals as a way to show off the image stabilization on the HDR-AS100VR Action Cam. During the recent Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France, these roaming sheep were used to capture what is unlikely any usable footage of the race itself — but here we are talking about it anyway! 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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Ambiance - 72 Minute TrailerNope, you are reading that title correctly. A one hour and 12 minute teaser trailer has been released for Ambiancé, a movie that will run a total of 720 hours (30 days) upon its completion by Swedish artist Anders Weberg. While that running time may seem daunting and insane (and it is), Weberg plans on releasing the full film in the year 2020 on all continents simultaneously, after which it will be destroyed. It will be his last film, and when it is released, it will be the longest movie ever made, and join ultra-long works like The Clock, 24 Hour Psycho, and Pharrell’s recent 24-hour long music video. More »

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A short film can be just that: a short glimpse into a world of the filmmaker’s creation. But then there are those short films that come with a medium-spanning world for audiences to explore far longer than the last frame of the film. One such successful transmedia project is Nathan Punwar’s Loves of a Cyclops, where the viewer can enter a nonsensical world with enough supporting material (film strips, recordings, and photographs) to make you wonder if Cycloptics might just be possible. No Film School sat down with Punwar to talk about anything from the rewards of transmedia to how Pixar just might look into multidimensional cycloptic viewing. More »

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Leaked Set Footage from Star Wars Episode VIIAs filmmakers we’re often trying to convince an audience that what they are seeing is real, even if what they are watching couldn’t possibly exist. That’s why it’s always interesting when “viral” videos come out that really make people question what they are seeing, if only for a short time. We saw this recently with the fake Hoverboard video, and even though some work for different reasons, for the most part they play on the fact that people tend to have their guards down when watching “amateur” or “nonfiction” videos. While a new video claiming to be leaked on-set footage from the newest Star Wars film is obviously CGI, is there something about it that makes us want to believe it more than the films themselves? 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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Izotope RX3A few weeks ago, we shared a post about using Adobe Audition’s built-in noise reduction tools to rescue bad production audio. While I personally have been satisfied by the results that I get from the suite of tools in Audition, many of the comments on our Facebook post and the article itself mentioned a popular noise-reduction plugin called Izotope RX3. After some cursory research, I’m now convinced that RX3 is the most magical thing that I have ever laid eyes upon. So with that in mind, here’s a quick overview of the Izotope RX3 as well as a few tutorials on how to incorporate the plugin into your audio post-production workflow. 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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Canon 7D Body OnlyWhile we recently saw a dramatic drop in price for the Canon C300, another Canon camera is getting a significant price reduction. This time it’s the Canon 7D, which is now being offered for just $1,000. The APS-C camera has seen a ton of use for both filmmaking and photography since its introduction in 2009, and was even given some extra life as a RAW-shooting DSLR with the Magic Lantern video hack (It’s also capable of up to 2.5K RAW in a cropped shooting mode). There have been plenty of rumors, but does this drop mean a 7D Mark II is on its way very soon? More »

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Atomos GH4In the past few weeks, the internet has practically exploded from people sharing their opinions, and footage, from the recently released Panasonic GH4. Most of what people are sharing at this point has to do with the camera’s internal 8-bit 4K recording, which is fantastically detailed, and which is undoubtedly one of the biggest selling points for the camera. However, another feature that Panasonic crammed into the GH4, and a feature that might be revolutionary for a stills/video camera at this price point, is the camera’s ability to output a clean 4K 4:2:2 10-bit signal from its mini-HDMI port. At this point, there aren’t any recorders that can record the 4K signal (until Atomos releases the Shogun this fall), but if you want a glorious down-sampled 10-bit HD image from your new GH4 (and why wouldn’t you), you can do it with the Atomos Ninja Blade. Here’s Jeremy Young from Atomos to show you how. 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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Ride the Sky TimelapseSeveral years ago, motion-control timelapse was an unexplored frontier in the field of video production. Then DSLR video happened, and company after company came out with their own line of automated motion control equipment. Vimeo nearly exploded from all of the gorgeous timelapse videos from folks like Tom Lowe and Preston Kanak. Unfortunately, the internet became over-saturated with these videos, and the age-old technique of timelapse became a cliché by-product of the DSLR revolution. However, there are still filmmakers out there pushing the boundaries of the timelapse medium. Lance Page is one of those filmmakers, and his new video Ride the Sky is unlike any timelapse video you’ve seen before. 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 »