» Posts Tagged ‘howto’

Description image

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 »

Description image

Double ReflectorAs indie filmmakers, we’re used to working in tight spaces — bathrooms, cars, your own studio apartment, so we know that, sometimes, the locations we need for our scenes just aren’t conducive for simple lighting setups. Luckily, The Slanted Lens recently pulled off a little bit of cinematography acrobatics for a shoot they did inside a cave at the L.A. Zoo, and they’ve shared a tutorial to teach us how to use two reflectors to double-bounce natural light around a corner. More »

Description image

teleportationThere are several techniques that you can use to pull off a good teleportation effect. Most understand the basics — how to splice two (or three) different shots together, having your actors freeze while your teleporter gets into position. However, there are a few polishing moves that you might not know about that could really up your SFX game, as well as sell your effect. The always entertaining and enlightening crew at Film Riot has a brand new tutorial that shares a few of these tricks, including how to position your teleporter, what kinds of visual and sound effects you can use, and how to put it all together in After Effects. More »

Description image

Shanks projection mappingWe’ve seen incredible pieces of art that have used projection mapping, but when Bot & Dolly showed the world its video entitled Box, it really hit home how this technique could be used in feature filmmaking. But because the vast majority of us don’t have access to robotic arms and other expensive tools, DIY practical effects master Joey Shanks is here to show us how to pull off these effects with equipment that you either have at home or can buy cheaply and easily. More »

Description image

DIY TimelapseGetting a high quality time-lapse doesn’t have to be insanely expensive, especially if you’re only moving your camera a short distance; set up your tripod in a desired location, slap on a slider and a motion control device and you’re golden. But, covering longer distances in an area that is inhospitable to tripods can be a little more tricky — and expensive. The folks at Syrp, however, want to show you how to build your own wooden DIY 2-axis Cable Cam rig that will let you pull off stellar time-lapse shots at a fraction of the cost. More »

Description image

noir1Genres come and go, but 70 years after its birth, the “rules” of film noir have become part and parcel of the conventions of modern cinema. Why do filmmakers come back again and again to this bleak landscape? And why are these films still popular (if they weren’t, well, there wouldn’t be nearly as many. QED.) And just what, precisely, are its rules — rules so skilfully subverted by modern directors? A documentary from the BBC, originally aired in 2009, seeks to answer just that, shining a light on the dark corners of film noir. Plus, check out tips that will help you achieve your own film-noir-style lighting effects. More »

Description image

DIY ring lightIf you’re like me and don’t know what to do with all of those empty fried chicken buckets piling up on your kitchen counter (okay, not really — I know exactly what to do with them), DIY Photography has shared a great DIY (naturally) lighting solution that repurposes said greasy poultry receptacles into a formidable ring flash. And even though it’s designed to be used for flash photography, it should translate well to video. So, find out how to put it together using a cardboard bucket, aluminum foil, a plastic folder, and some tape right after the jump. More »

Description image

field-of-viewWhen you first start shooting photos and videos, understanding the basic differences between lenses is pretty simple — the way your images change between a wide angle and telephoto lens, for example, is overt. However, learning how to use perspective and field of view to your image’s advantage can really help you capture the look you’re going for, and Steve Perry shows you how to do that (using landscapes as an example) in this tutorial. Find out how to utilize the concept of perspective in order to become more intentional as you capture your shots. More »

Description image

Fight SceneShooting a high octane, action-packed fight scene can really have an impact on your audience, but really only if it looks realistic and — well — truly painful. Tuts+ offers some excellent tips and tricks on how to achieve a believable brawl between your characters, including which lenses to use, tried and true blocking and choreography, as well as an editing trick that will speed up your strikes, making them more impactful. Check out the video after the jump. More »

Description image

MentorlessHow many times have you been feverishly writing your screenplay, making great headway, only to stop abruptly because you didn’t know how to format exactly what’s in your head? Learning how to write action or a character description can be tricky enough, but how do you write/format the phone calls, inserts, montages, and flashbacks (or audio flashbacks!) that you want in your stories? Screenwriter and founder of Mentorless, Nathalie, has taken a ton of the guesswork out by creating a catalogue (of sorts) of over 430 screenplay examples from 25 scripts, and she’s offering it up to all of us for free! Continue on to learn all about it, as well as how to get your hands on it. More »

Description image

HologramDid anyone else lose complete emotional control of themselves when they saw the Tupac “hologram” perform at Coachella? Just me? Okay. One of the coolest things about that performance was the fact that it wasn’t actually a hologram — it was a reflection. In fact, the process used to resurrect the legendary hip-hop artist can be done easily in your backyard. The master of DIY practical effects, Joey Shanks, brings us another excellent tutorial on how to create the illusion of a hologram using projectors, mirrors, glass, fog, mist, even your own breath by implementing simple techniques — one of which is hundreds of years old. More »

Description image

cinema-lensNo two lenses are the same, namely if you’re talking about stills lenses and cinema lenses. There are pretty significant benefits in the latter, features like consistent front diameters, durability, and minimal (if not zero) lens breathing, but these do come at a cost. If you, like many of us, went the economical route and snatched up a bunch of stills lenses to lower the cost of adding to your gear repertoire, but are still wanting the added benefit of shooting with cine lenses, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter offers a DIY tutorial on how to apply an inexpensive cine mod to your stills lenses, giving your whole set several desired features of a cine lens for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a single one. More »

Description image

Creating a StormSometimes, for a film, you gotta make it rain — unless of course you live in the Pacific Northwest, or somewhere equally as soggy and miserable. And even if you do live in 75%-chance-of-rain perpetuity, natural rain looks nothing like movie rain on-screen. Creating stormy conditions is something that is extremely intentional and labor intensive, but Jason Satterlund, a Portland-based filmmaker and probable rain expert, shares several tips on how to create “sexy movie rain” and dynamic wind effects on a budget. Continue on for the videos. More »

Description image

Ari and EmmaLighting your scenes can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re just starting out, and many times, despite your best laid plans, setting up your lights turns into a learn-as-you-go experience. That’s why it’s supremely helpful to see how other filmmakers created the looks in their own films. DP Nathan Blair shares the versatile lighting setup he used on a comedic short, in which he captures 9 different visual styles with just one shot composition. More »

Description image

GoPro tipWhether you’re shooting on a large cinema camera, DSLR, or even your smartphone, there is no shortage of stabilization tools out there that are built to help you keep your footage steady. If you’re shooting on an action camera, there are a bunch of options for you, too, like the EasyGimbal, STABiLGO, Morpheus, and a host of others, but YouTube user MicBergsma offers a super simple stabilization trick that quite honestly made me say, “Man, why didn’t I think of that?” Continue on to check out the video. More »

Description image

Miss ShockMaking films often rides on being well-connected — knowing someone somewhere who can perform a service that your film needs. Most of the time, finding financial backers, a DP, sound/lighting techs, actors, and editors is fairly easy regardless of who you know or where you live. However, finding a good FX artist is a little bit more tricky (In 6 years, I’ve only met 2 in my hometown), and if you’re unable to find one, you might have to do the next best thing — learn how to do it yourself. And who better to teach you some excellent techniques than Oscar-winning special effects makeup artist Rick Baker. More »

Description image

Young RivalChances are you’ve spent your fair share of precious time looking at (or trying to look at) one of those Magic Eye posters. You know what I’m talking about — those pictures that look like nothing but static until you relax your eyes enough to see the hidden T-Rex or Eiffel Tower pop out in 3D. These random dot autostereograms have been used for over half a century, but it wasn’t until recently that director Jared Raab created the first random dot autostereogram music video for the band Young Rival’s single “Black is Good”. Continue on to see (or try to see) the video and learn how they pulled it off. More »

Description image

DIY Pistol GripOf course we’d all love to get our hands on a gimbal stabilizer to steady our shaky images, but most of us don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on things that aren’t — rent or food. If you’re in desperate need for a stabilizing solution, but finding yourself with either a near-empty bank account or zero easy access to a local professional photography retailer, you’re going to have to l get a little creative. Luckily, Chad Bredahl of Krotoflik shares a tutorial that shows you how to build your own DIY pistol grip out of jump rope handles, something that is not only accessible, but won’t cost you more than a few bucks. More »

Description image

Real Gun TutorialAt one point or another, one of your films is going to call for the use of at least one gun, and unless you’ve already got your own arsenal of real firearms, getting your hands on some is going to be a touchy and expensive undertaking. If you’re more keen on the cheaper alternative, stockpiling plastic toy and airsoft guns, it’s important to make sure that they look realistic on-screen. In this helpful tutorial, filmmaker Tom Antos shows you how to ensure that your shoot ‘em up film doesn’t lose its verisimilitude by applying a weathering technique that is not only used by professional prop makers, but is also less expensive than a couple of cups of coffee. More »

Description image

Forced PerspectiveSpecial and visual effects are great, but unless you’re a skilled SFX artist or post magician, they tend to be pretty spendy. If you’re gearing up to work on a film that calls for characters of varying sizes (or just really into The Lord of the Rings and hobbits), there is an inexpensive alternative to CGI. This tutorial by Ben Lucas of Tuts+ will show you one method the TLOTR filmmakers used to make the towering wizard Gandalf look so much bigger than his little hobbit friend Frodo — a practical effect that uses forced perspective to sell the illusion. More »