» Posts Tagged ‘documentary’

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Amira BrazilLast week, after months upon months of waiting with our breath held, ARRI unveiled the pricing for its ENG-style documentary camera, the highly anticipated AMIRA. As was expected, the camera, which sports the same 16:9 sensor as some of its ALEXA brethren, is not an inexpensive one by any stretch of the imagination, with basic AMIRA packages starting in the neighborhood of $40,000. Even though the cameras are starting to make their way out into the wild, we still haven’t seen too many people put the AMIRA through its paces yet. Until now, that is. Filmmaker Jens Hoffman was recently given the chance to finish up his ALEXA-shot documentary MATA MATAwhich is about soccer culture and players in Brazil, on a brand new AMIRA, and the footage is breathtaking, to say the very least. More »

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NYCOn October 10, 2010 (10/10/10), One Day on Earth managed to organize an event that, for the first time in history, resulted in the creation of media with participants in every country of the world within the same day. They’ve decided to start another 24-hour filming campaign, called “Your Day, Your City, Your Future” this time in an effort to open up the discussion on what it’s like to live in certain U.S. cities, and the futures locals want for their communities — and One Day on Earth wants you to participate by producing media that will not only be available on an interactive, geo-tagged archive, but a documentary TV series on the future of the American city as well. The shooting date is coming up fast (April 26th), so continue on to find out how you can be a part of this collaborative initiative. More »

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Werner Herzog DocLegendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog is truly one of the masters of documentary, and he has created more amazing documentaries than could be counted on all of your fingers and toes. In a rather unlikely partnership, Herzog recently teamed  up with several major cellular companies in order to craft a short documentary about one of the major issues that we face in our technology-laden society, texting and driving. The result is a doc called From One Second to the Next, and it might very well be some of Herzog’s most haunting and heart-wrenching work to date. More »

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DaVinci ResolveIn the process of narrative filmmaking, a talented cinematographer can achieve the desired aesthetic through closely controlling the characteristics of light, color, and composition. In these cases, color correction shouldn’t really be needed (although a creative grade can certainly take the image to another level). In documentary filmmaking, however, where many of the images are captured sporadically as the action unfolds (which can very easily lead to mismatched footage), the process of creating a unified aesthetic is usually left to the colorist. Luckily, John Ryan Seaman of GranolaTech has some excellent tips for grading your documentary-style footage that should help get you up to speed on the core concepts and techniques for color correction. More »

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NewMedia_Blog1If you’ve been hard at working creating an interactive documentary experience meant to be viewed across multiple platforms, now is your chance to catapult your project forward: the application for the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund is open. The TFI is looking to fund between four and eight projects from any country that feature non-fiction stories with integrated cross-platforms and a social justice angle. If this fits your description, check out the details below, and apply! More »

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a boy and his dog 04

I have a confession to make. I am not, nor am ever likely to be a dog lover. OK, I know most of you are about to click away in disgust but stick with me for just a moment. My dislike of man’s best friend may be lifelong, but it stood not one wag of a tail’s chance of surviving the gut punch of feelings I experienced watching the deeply emotional bond captured in Jonna McIver’s kindred spirits documentary A Boy and His Dog. The film depicts the transformative relationship between a rescue dog called Haatchi and Owen Howkins, a boy suffering from the rare genetic disorder Schwartz Jampel Syndrome.

See just how far a little bit of three-legged love can go after the jump: More »

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Teenage is not your grandma’s movie. Ok, well technically it is, but during the time when your grandma snuck out of the house, lived fast, and might have been part of a secret teenage society that innovated on the cultural norms of the day. Taking a ninety-degree turn from the Ken Burns-ian tradition of history as black and white pans with slow banjo music, this film is a visually poetic, punk-lensed rumination on what it means to be a teenager. Below, check out director Matt Wolf’s before-and-after footage, a short excerpt, and read about anything from finding techniques in old American Cinematographer to coming up with a transformative soundtrack by Deerhunter/Atlas Sound musician Bradford Cox. More »

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Google GlassIn 1960, the Eclair camera system revolutionized the way documentary filmmakers could interact with their subjects. As a result of this technological breakthrough, and the infinite possibilities of an unfettered handheld camera, cinéma vérité was born and handheld narrative films followed suit. Cut to the year 2014, and a new technology has surfaced that could once again change the way visual stories are told. I’m talking of course about Google Glass, and any other interactive eyewear that will surely come along soon. Even though Google Glass is mostly seen as a plaything for trendy techies, one filmmaker has already begun to tell stories in a way that we’ve never seen before, and the results are fascinating. More »

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Wes Anderson Doc headerWhen watching a film that’s well-made, it’s easy to forget that it’s built from the ground up. This is especially fascinating when considering the quirky universe of Wes Anderson, who designs, builds, and captures every one of his films to meet the standards of a precocious perfectionist. Thanks to this Vimeo Staff Pick mini-documentary by Paul Waters, we get to peek inside the sometimes subtle, sometimes overt methods Anderson uses to craft his characters, sets, and shots. More »

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Zach ZamboniFor many of us, traveling around the world with our cameras, meeting tons of interesting people, and getting to eat some of the best cuisine in the world sounds like a dream job. If you’re curious about what that’s like, just ask award-winning DP Zach Zamboni, who heads up the cinematography on CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. In fact, why don’t you just check out his masterclass on cinematography, presented by AbelCine, in association with Sony, in which he discusses working with the Sony F5, using S-Log, basic documentary film theory, and many other cinematographic tricks of the trade. More »

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New Music Cities - Tokyo

What is a city without its own music scene? Well personally speaking, it’s a place I want to escape from in favour of somewhere less lacking in the essential pulse that provides a locale with its underlying vibrancy. In his ongoing documentary series New Music Cities, created in collaboration with Dazed and AllSaints, director Jamie Jessett takes a counter-cultural look at some of the world’s global music centres. No Film School caught up with Jamie to find out how he’s been tapping into and capturing the diverse musical underground and how he managed to create an engaging documentary about an anonymous drug dealer for UK TV screens. More »

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B RollYour primary footage may the key storyteller of your film — your interviews, etc., but your b-roll is the glue that holds it all together. Getting good b-roll is supremely important in not only documentary filmmaking, but in virtually any type of filmmaking, because it helps hide transitions, gives information, and adds flare to what could be a long and tedious block of exposition. But, if you’re finding that your secondary footage is falling flat, Slavik Boyechko of Alaska Video Shooter and PBS series Indie Alaska, breaks down pretty much everything you need to know about shooting b-roll in this awesome and exhaustive tutorial. More »

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spring grants film narrative documentary screenwriters

It seems like every week a grant deadline flies by, and you find yourself looking forlornly at the expired application for free money, mumbling “coulda been a contender.” To give everyone more time to work on your films and scripts — and a little less time researching how to fund them — scroll through the list below to find relevant opportunities for your narrative films, documentaries, and screenplays with deadlines this Spring. More »

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Citizen KaneCitizen Kane: the #1 favorite film of 100% of freshman film school students and young lovers of cinema. (Remember Michael Scott’s nephew, Luke? Case in point.) Though the title of “greatest movie ever” is impossible to possess, Citizen Kane’s praises have become so commonplace that, unfortunately, some tend to take its cinematic command for granted — even though the film proved Orson Welles and famed cinematographer Gregg Toland to be real pioneers of the craft. Take a look at these incredibly insightful documentaries about the making of Welles’ masterpiece, and renew your appreciation for a truly groundbreaking piece of cinema. More »

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Ford Sypher Team Rubicon

Recently, No Film School accompanied former Army Ranger and current activist, consultant, and filmmaker Ford Sypher, along with a small crew, on a 19-hour drive (through what could be described, charitably, as ‘inclement weather,’ or, less charitably, as a hellish and terrifying ice storm) from NYC to Lawrence, Kansas. Sypher is in preproduction on a documentary shooting later this year in the Upper Yagua in Peru, a region currently experiencing an unprecedented boom in coca production, making it one of the most dangerous conflict zones in the world. In Kansas, Sypher and crew interviewed Bartholomew Dean, a renowned anthropologist and professor at the University Of Kansas, and also paid a visit to the William S. Burroughs house, where the iconic writer spent the last two decades of his life. More »

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nfs grants sundance documentarWhen over half of the documentaries premiering at Sundance have been backed by a handful of well-regarded granting agencies, you ought to take notice of who those grantmakers are, and start putting together your application for next year — NOW. Below is a breakdown of who supported which films, and how to tell if these agencies might support your work in the future. More »

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stainlessAnyone who’s taken at least one trip on the underground will know by the beligered faces of their fellow travellers slogging to work or elsewhere that, buskers aside, there would seem to be little creativity to be found in underground transit. However, in his Stainless series of photographs, evolved into slow motion urban portrait films, Hungarian artist Adam Magyar demonstrates the hypnotic beauty that can be found in an everyday moment stretched out over a high-speed eternity. Watch an excerpt of how the denizens of New York’s Grand Central station make their commute after the jump. More »

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Old Super8 cam

When many of us first picked up a camera, it was whatever we had lying around. Maybe it was dad’s old Super 8 at home or the Handycam in your high school yearbook class. It was available, affordable, and convenient, so the choice was already made whether you knew it or not. Today, however, there are a lot of cameras out there so naturally beginning filmmakers will ask themselves, “How do I choose a camera?”

This is a guest post by Joyce Tsang of Stillmotion. More »

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sundance film festivalIt’s that time of year again, No Film Schoolers. The Sundance Film Festival, the Super Bowl of independent film, has made its way back to Park City for another year. Last year, the folks at Sundance did something unexpected; they uploaded 12 short films selected to play at the prestigious festival and premiered them on YouTube. The film with the most views once the festival concluded would then be awarded the YouTube Audience Award. The online competition has returned for its second year, and the lineup has expanded to 15 films, ranging from narrative to documentary to animation and beyond. Check out a few of this year’s Sundance short films below. More »

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HerOne of the most glorious things that can happen to a filmmaker is to have the world talk about his/her film. But, even more glorious is to have the world talk about the issues is raises. This is exactly what’s happening to Spike Jonze’s Her. Upon the film’s completion, Jonze shared it with friends, filmmakers, musicians, authors, and other creatives, and their reactions form the basis of the short documentary, Her: Love in the Modern Age, directed by Lance Bangs – an intriguing discussion about artists’ personal experiences, the nature of love in today’s world, and how modern technology plays a role.
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