» Posts Tagged ‘documentary’

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muybridgeWhen you walk through the halls of cinematic history, what faces do you see? Most likely to show up are some big names from the first 50 years of filmmaking, like Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, and Charlie Chaplin, or even figureheads of production, like the Warner Brothers, or the inventor of the early camera, Thomas Edison. However, there is one man who often isn’t recognized, or at least well known, for his contributions to cinema, who more or less brought about the birth of the moving picture through his horse gait experiment – Eadweard Muybridge. In this excellent BBC documentary, learn all about the life and work of this eccentric, name changing, , English photographer who once killed his cheating wife’s lover — and got acquitted. More »

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Ebenezer-Former-SlaveHere at No Film School, we’re massive fans of Stillmotion. Not only was their transformation from small wedding videography outfit to an Emmy-winning production company an incredibly inspiring one, but their dedication to the craft of storytelling and their commitment to educating the next generation of storytellers are truly admirable. Last December, the Portland-based company unveiled the trailer for their first independent feature-length documentary, simply entitled #standwithme. After several months of touring the film around the country, Stillmotion has returned home and released the film to the public through the online distribution platform Yekra. Read on to hear more about the film. More »

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Kessler VideoThe DSLR revolution put the ability to create cinematic images into the hands of the masses. At the front end of this revolution, however, there weren’t many movement tools designed for this new wave of cameras. Out of the massive demand came hundreds of DSLR movement and accessory companies, one of the most notable of which is the Indiana-based firm, Kessler. In a recent collaboration with Kessler, a Canadian production company called Cinescapes Collective produced an excellent short documentary/corporate video that showcases this unique company and the way in which they conceptualize and manufacture their outstanding filmmaking products. Check it out below. More »

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Documented poster crop

Have you ever thought of turning the camera around on yourself to tell a personal story? What about a personal story that involved outing yourself as an undocumented immigrant and exploring the relationship with your mother you haven’t seen in about 20 years? That’s what Pulitzer Prize winning author and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas did in his latest film, and it wasn’t easy. In the NFS interview below, Vargas talks about anything from writing first-person narration, to earning the right to be on camera, to achieving that delicate balance needed for a successful first-person story in his film Documented, which opens in theaters this weekend. More »

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Havana Motor Club - The Exterminator, profile, doors open

For the last two years, Brooklyn-based filmmaker Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt has been directing a documentary called Havana Motor Club, which explores Cuba’s underground drag-racing community and their quest to hold the first official car race in Cuba since the Revolution. He learned quite a bit about filming in the country, and in the final days of his Kickstarter campaign to raise post-production funds, is sharing with us what you need to know if you want to shoot there (some of which can apply to other countries you might shoot in).

This is a guest post from Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt. More »

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AMIRA Camera SimulatorChances are, if you’ve operated or assisted on a production using an ARRI ALEXA, you’ve also used ARRI’s fantastic ALEXA camera simulator, which digitally mimics all of the menu functions and exterior buttons of the camera. Resources such as camera simulators are excellent training tools for both up and coming cam-ops and assistants, as well as experienced guys who need a refresher on how a particular system works. With the new AMIRA camera making its way out into the world, ARRI has released the first version of the AMIRA camera simulator, and it’s definitely worth checking out you intend to use this camera any time in the near future. More »

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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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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 upcoming deadlines. 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 »