» Posts Tagged ‘production’

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No Film School at NAB 2014, Joe Marine and AJA's Andy BellamyThe announcement of AJA’s first camera, the $9,000 global shutter 4K CION, has camera enthusiasts buzzing. Our team on the floor here in Vegas got a chance to speak to AJA about the new camera, asking important questions ranging from sensor sourcing, RAW capability and availability. Hit the jump to watch the video. More »

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Abby SingerAbby Singer was one of the most famous names in Hollywood, though he wasn’t an actor or director, and even most of the people who have used his name on a regular basis over the years don’t know there was a real man behind “The Abby Singer Shot.” As a production manager, Singer gained fame with his time and money-saving shot that continues to signal the near-end of the working day to crews around the world. Singer passed away last Thursday, at the age of 96; click through to learn the story of Abby Singer, and the shot that has become a staple of productions around the world.  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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Writer's Block Cast & Crew

While on the set of the Tze Chun/Bryan Cranston thriller Cold Comes the Night in 2012, Hurricane Sandy rolled into New York. This led to some downtime on set, and that’s when Cranston — sport that he is — came up with a short film contest: the best script submitted by a production assistant gets to produce it with Cranston in the lead role. Click through to watch the film that was born from the contest and read our interview with director Brandon Polanco. More »

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5SecondFilms LogoIt’s happening! It’s finally happening! The Digital Bolex team, after their years-long journey from conception to finalized product, has at last released their D16 digital cinema camera into the world. We’ve already seen the first major review from our very own Joe Marine. However, Joe (Rubinstein) and Elle have been making their way around the country debuting the camera and putting it into the hands of eagerly awaiting filmmakers. Some of the first filmmakers to put the D16 into their workflow are the extremely funny folks over at 5SecondFilms, a Los Angeles-based comedic filmmaking troupe. In a guest post on the Digital Bolex blog, 5Second filmmaker, Tim Ciancio talks about his first practical experience with the D16. More »

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Digital Imaging Technician

This is part 2 of 3 of our Defining DIT interview series. In part 1 we discussed the biggest misconceptions surrounding the work of the contemporary Digital Imaging Technician. This week we’re talking about getting hired, the DIT’s working relationship with the DP and other insights into the trade. Hit the jump to hear it directly from some of the country’s leading professionals in this field from both L.A. and New York. More »

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Run and Gun FilmmakingChances are if you look back on the films you’ve created thus far in your career, the first ones were probably an assortment of run and gun guerrilla films. For those who are just starting out, though, the lack of planning, time, money, and resources can decrease the production value of your project fast, so knowing the issues that are sure to arise during production will help you make your film look better as well as maintain your sanity. Film Riot’s Ryan Connolly shares some tips on how to bulletproof your run and gun projects. Check out the video after the break. More »

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Ben Cain Defining DIT

Ben Cain performing an iris pull during a take.

It’s easy to put an idea in someone’s mind — yet incredibly difficult to bore it out. Somewhere along the line, perhaps in the film industry’s switch from analog to digital, major misconceptions about the Digital Imaging Technician‘s place on set have arisen. We’re here to set the record straight. A DIT is an agent of the cinematographer, and is served by a video engineering background for image quality control, troubleshooting, on-set color correction, and managing the workflow of a production. Some of the industry’s top working DITs from both New York and L.A. took time out of their schedules to talk with nofilmschool about the state of the DIT and to help clarify the effect they can have on any production — large or small. Read on for part 1 of this 3-part series. More »

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Marc ForsterIf there’s one thing director Marc Forster doesn’t do it’s repeat himself. His filmography is rich and diverse, including Monster’s Ball, The Kite Runnerand most recently World War ZHe shared a handful of rather cryptic filmmaking tips with MovieMaker Magazine, which aim to challenge your artistic mind and directorial sensibilities — things that he no doubt found significant while directing Oscar-worthy performances. More »

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Iron Man 3 Chinese PosterFor the past several years, we’ve been noticing the ramped up production of big budget films based on comics, graphic novels, and books. The American Society of Cinematographers offers an analysis as to why that is, and what role the international market, namely the fast growing Chinese market, plays in how American films are made and marketed. Highly marketable under the lucrative umbrella of a franchise, American films are heavily influenced and favored by the international box office, indicating that self-distribution through platforms like VOD is more important for independent filmmakers than ever. More »

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Storyboard_NCFOMStoryboarding serves many purposes in filmmaking other than being an illustrated representation of a film. They can help you “see” the film before you even turn on the camera, find storytelling issues, sell your idea, and get everybody working on the project on the same page. If you’re interested in knowing more about the world of storyboarding, who better to learn from than J. Todd Anderson, who has been the Coen Brothers’ go-to storyboard artist from Raising Arizona to Inside Llewyn Davis. More »

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Albert NobbsWhen you don’t have the hands-on experience to draw upon when producing a movie, looking for advice is an obvious choice. And, sometimes the very focused, very particular pieces of advice turn out to save our necks in the end. That’s what producer Julie Lynn, who has worked with some of the greatest actors through her production company Mockingbird Pictures, provides in a list of do’s and don’ts for filmmakers. She shares 7 suggestions that encompass all different phases of production that may help you avoid some of the pitfalls of inexperience. More »

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Kevin SmithWhen you first became interested in independent film, which movie did your friends tell you that you just had to see? For a lot of us, myself included, it was Clerks. After that and several other indie cult successes, including Mallrats and the Chasing Amy, director Kevin Smith became the go-to guy for inspiration, education, and hope for making films independently of the studio system on a shoestring budget. Now Smith shares his 7 Golden Rules of making movies for filmmakers. Check them out after the jump. More »

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Filmmaking ChecklistHitting the record button can be nerve-wracking. It’s the culmination of the entire pre-production phase of shooting your film, and by all accounts it should be a cathartic experience knowing that your vision is being translated into a tangible image. However, there are a few basic (and easily avoidable) missteps that can ruin your shoot and your final image. The folks over at Videomaker have compiled a list of 7 things that you should always do and/or check before hitting record. Check it out: More »

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AbelCine doc grantFilm and video equipment and service provider AbelCine announced the 2013 AbelCine Documentary Grant yesterday, calling on filmmakers to submit 2-5 minute Vimeo videos pitching their longer documentary projects. Each of three winners will receive $33,000 which can be applied to their choice of a Canon C300 rental packages and lenses from AbelCine. US Residents 18 years and older are eligible to apply; hit the jump for deets. More »

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bb_1Almost everybody (at least people I know of a certain age) loves The Blues Brothers, the 1980 John Landis comedy full of celebrity cameos, car chases, musical numbers, and a brilliant performance by John Belushi. The film, the brainchild of Dan Aykroyd, had a very troubled production history, which was detailed in a recent Vanity Fair article. It serves as a great example for any indie filmmaker of what not to do when making a film. More »

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Martin VilleneuveFilmmakers are no strangers to experiencing the dark night of the soul, whether it be at 3 in the morning on a set that has come to a standstill or 3 in the afternoon realizing your screenplay calls for more money than your life is worth. Those who wish to create movies often don’t for a bunch of reasons: becoming creatively stymied or overwhelmed, fatigue, and financial crises — just to name a few. However, Martin Villeneuve, Montreal-based director of Mars et Avriloffers some insight into what it was like making a film that was “impossible to make” by embracing the many constraints independent filmmakers are bound to face in order to increase the amount of creativity and opportunity. More »

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Dogfish AcceleratorEver heard of an accelerator program? You know — the programs that outfit entrepreneurs and startups with the tools and know-how to make their business ventures successful? Well, if you thought, “Wow, that sounds like a great idea for the indie film industry,” you’re not the only one. Using the very same business model, Dogfish Accelerator wants to hook you up with the resources, training, and seed funding to help build your production company from the ground up. More »

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Stanley Kubrick abandoned Napoleon in the 1970s after Hollywood studios refused to fund it.After the success of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick was planning on shooting a film about Napoleon Bonaparte, but financing fell through and he was forced to make the comparatively low-budget A Clockwork OrangeAn exhaustive book of preproduction materials was published in 2011 for the unfinished epic about Napoleon’s life, but for the curious, the screenplay and an insanely detailed production memo are available online for free, giving the world a glimpse into what might have been. Check out a detailed analysis and read it for yourself below. More »

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Production reports, call sheets, time logs, and schedules are a very necessary aspect of a shoot’s organization. On smaller productions with a limited crew, you may be responsible for producing these documents yourself. Thanks to a developer called ThinkCrew, you now have access to a tool that makes creating these production docs that much easier. It’s called Casper, and it’s a totally free set of templates for Microsoft Office Excel designed for production management. Dynamic scripting under the hood means Casper automates the process for you, filling in relevant data across multiple documents as you input it. Read on to check out Casper, plus some videos breaking down this useful toolset. More »