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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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ro11020201_02_nexfs100uk_nmPrice cuts seem to be in the air this month. First it was the Canon C300 dropping to $12,000, then it was the 7D hitting a grand, followed by a big cut on the DJI Ronin gimbal, and then a pretty insane 50% reduction for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Now we’ve got another significant cut on Sony’s budget large sensor video camera, the FS100, which is currently running body-only for just $2,500. More »

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Tatia Pilieva Undress MeBack in March, filmmaker Tatia Pilieva took the internet by storm with her video First Kiss, which paired complete strangers together, and as the title suggests, had them kiss on camera for the first time. The viral hit, which was used as a promo for women’s clothing company WREN, had a bit of backlash from those who considered the video a hoax because there were actors and models used, but Pilieva’s goal was not about using anyone off the street, but about the interactions between strangers doing something intimate. Now she’s back again with another “stranger” video, this time it’s a more diverse group of people who’ve never met taking each other’s clothes off. 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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Excell +1 BMPCCLast week, Fotodiox Pro released the Excell+1, a product that had many of us extremely excited because it seemed to be a far less expensive counterpart to the popular Metabones Speed Booster. Cut to one week later. Many of the new units have made their way into the hands of eager filmmakers, and a few have put the Excell+1 up against the Speed Booster, only to find that the Fotodiox has some major focusing and sharpness issues at apertures wider than f/2.8. The folks at Fotodiox have released a few new videos in an attempt to explain more about what the Excell+1 can and cannot do, and to offer people who were expecting Speed Booster performance a full refund for their purchase. More »

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Jack Plotnik at Outfest 2014To follow-up from last week’s 2014 Outfest kickoff, the festival has released a few more interviews from their Meet the Filmmakers series. Outfest asked me to conduct some interviews with some of this year’s filmmakers, allowing a glimpse into the minds of some really interesting directors working today. Including interviews with Marina Rice Bader, Jack Plotnick and Desiree Akhavan, and a compilation video of all their advice for other independent filmmakers. More »

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Anomaly Kickstarter w jts

Here at No Film School, we focus a whole lot on the process of making feature films. However, long-form storytelling like television narratives and web series are entering a golden age in which in-depth character development is key and content and structure can be as creative as ever. For independent and low-budget filmmakers looking to take advantage of the creative freedoms of long-form storytelling, while simultaneously working on honing their craft, web series are definitely a great way to go (just ask our fearless leader, Ryan Koo, whose series The West Side won critical acclaim). But how does one go about getting started with creating a dramatic web series? It’s certainly not easy, but today’s interviewee, Terrell Lamont, has some answers. More »

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Ingmar BergmanIngmar Bergman is one of the giants of cinema, to the point that some images from his films have become so iconic as to make up a visual shorthand, possessing an allusive quality (the Knight playing chess with Death comes to mind.) The Swedish filmmaker directed over 40 narrative features and documentaries, both for film and TV, in his 61-year career, and was also a prolific theater director. In 1975, he sat down with students from the American Film Institute, and now a 40-minute audio recording of their conversation is available online. It’s a remarkably open and candid talk from a master director, and required listening for any fan, student of cinema, or lover of movies. 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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Blackmagic Camera Firmware Update 1_8_2 with ProResThere was just an incredible price drop on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and now the company is increasing the value of the entire line. Blackmagic said updates would come faster thanks to the significant 1.7 firmware, and three weeks later we’ve got another major addition. While the Cinema Camera, Pocket Cinema Camera, and Production Camera 4K are all capable of recording to the high-quality ProRes HQ codec, for plenty of shooting situations, HQ can be overkill. In the 1.8.2 firmware update, Blackmagic has added the more highly-compressed ProRes 422, ProRes LT, and ProRes Proxy codecs, which will mean longer recording times for projects that don’t necessarily need the highest fidelity possible, and less data storage for normal recordings. 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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CropperCapture[70]The App Store and Google Play Store are rife with apps aimed at providing helpful tools for filmmakers. Some of these apps are truly useful — apps like Shot Designer and pCAM and Cine Meter II – while others really aren’t. For users of RED cameras, there has never really been an app specifically designed to aid with the operating of these cameras. Until now, that is. Last week, RED released their REDTools App for the iOS platform, and it includes a number of tools for RED cinematographers, including depth of field calculation, recording time calculation, crop factor calculation, and more. More »

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema CameraOf the myriad cinema-style cameras that have hit the market over the past year, none are as inexpensive or have as tiny of a form-factor as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Add to that the camera’s 13 stops of dynamic range and internal ProRes/CinemaDNG recording, and it seems like one hell of a bargain at $995. As most of you know, Blackmagic has a distinct history of reducing prices on their cinema cameras, and they’ve done it once again — at least for the time being — with the BMPCC. For the next month and a half, you’ll be able to snag one of these little cameras for only $495. More »

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Carsten Kurpanek Editor of Earth to Echo
Have you ever had that particular project come along that completely turned your career around — a break-out job after lots of hard work, that lead to more projects you loved working on? I FaceTimed recently with editor Carsten Kurpanek, who just edited his first wide-released feature Earth to Echo (in theaters now). Carsten was kind enough to provide some keen perspective from his own career thus far, some insights into the future of NLE technology, and even some recommendations and advice to those new to editing. More »

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Adobe Audition CCFor the past month, we’ve been covering the latest release of Adobe’s CC video applications extensively — from the exciting new titling features in Premiere, to the two new keying effects inside of After Effects, to the full gamut of new features in SpeedGrade. Those aren’t the only apps that received a few new welcome additions to their feature-sets, however. Audition, Adobe’s audio post-production program, also got a few new usability and interface updates that make multi-track mixing sessions easier to navigate. In an excerpt from one of his many post production courses, Larry Jordan breaks down these new features in Audition and provides a few helpful tips and tricks. More »

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ScannersScanners, David Cronenberg’s 1981 film that defies explanation (you really have to see it, as any synopsis will sound kind of ridiculous; I’ll give a really half-baked one shortly, though) is justly famous for not only its mind-bending narrative, but its torrent of effects, including one scene where, well, a guy’s head explodes. Check out this video and see how they did it! 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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shogun-product-divider2In the past month, two relatively revolutionary photo/stills cameras have hit the market. I’m talking, of course, about the Panasonic GH4 and the Sony A7s, both of which feature the ability to record 4K video (although not internally in the case of the A7s), and both of which offer high frame rate shooting at 1080. For a multitude of reasons relating to image quality, both of these cameras beg to be used with an external 4K HDMI recorder of some sort. The only problem — no such recorder is available on the market yet. In a few months time, however, that will not be the case, as Atomos will have released its highly anticipated Shogun 4K recorder/monitor. Today, the company opened up the pre-ordering process for the Shogun, and for people who order prior to July 31st, Atomos is throwing in a kick-ass free gift as well. 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 »