Sunday, July 10, 2016

RED Introduces 'Helium', a New 8K 35mm Sensor for the Weapon & Epic-W

Have you seen the Dragon RED built for Michael Bay? Though it has a lime-green custom housing, what's most impressive about it is what is on the inside.

RED Digital Cinema's CEO Jarred Land and Chief Design Officer Matthew Tremblay have announced a new sensor line that might get RED fans excited. Dubbed Helium, the first in the line is an 8K Super 35mm sensor, which has 3.65 micron pixels. It differs from RED's current 8K VistaVision sensor in size; according to cinema5D:

To squeeze 8K into a smaller super 35mm chip necessitates new (smaller, denser) pixels. I've been told that smaller does not mean any compromise in imaging performance, quite the opposite, these are “better” pixels.

Cinematographer Phil Holland shared a graphic on the RedUser forum that illustrates how the Helium sensor compares to those in other RED cameras.

Read More

Thursday, June 9, 2016

You Can Now Use Innovative Snapbag and Snapgrid Light Modifiers with Kino Flo

For Kino Flo users who want to save time mounting modifiers to their light fixtures, DoPchoice has made an exciting announcement.

Yesterday, the Munich-based company stated that they have made their innovative light modifiers- the Snapbag softbox and the Cinec award-winning Snapgrid- available for several popular Kino Flo light fixtures.

For the uninitiated, the Snapbag and Snapgrid are lightweight, self-tightening "light-refining tools" that utilize a rigid, "snap-up" frame for easy setup, as well as elastic straps to mount to light fixtures. These features not only make setup easier and more efficient-especially because there's no need for a spread ring-but DoPchoice's patented Snap Technology means no belly sagging, as well.

To see these things in action, here's Stefan Karle of DoPchoice to demonstrate both the Snapbag and Snapgrid:

Read More

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Why Nicolas Winding Refn's Violence Leaves Us Begging for More (NSFW)

Consider yourself warned: this one is hard to watch.

Much has been said about the quality of Nicolas Winding Refn's canon. Drive ascended into cult status faster than any other film ever made, while Only God Forgives was widely panned by critics and audience alike. In short, his films are divisive. Refn has admitted that he isn't that great of a writer, but for what he lacks in that department, he makes up for in the quality of his violence.

"There is a sexuality to violence that I find very intoxicating. I think that that's what turns me on."

Should a filmmaker be praised his ability to depict violence? If it comes down to terms successfully that filmmaker tells their story visually, then Refn surely deserves acclaim.

The conversations surrounding the ills of violence in media have existed since the invention of the medium itself. Is it breeding hate? Causing patrons to go out and hurt the innocent? And think of the children! With that in mind, let's take a look at how violent films influenced Refn's own childhood.

Read More

Friday, May 6, 2016

Field Review: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Performs Double Duty

The rugged new 1DX Mark II sets a new benchmark for still photography and produces strong 4K 60FPS in challenging conditions.

We were airborne for less than 45 minutes and descended over a rich green tapestry of palms. Director, Gaspar Gonzalez, editor, Jorge Rubiera and I stepped off our charter flight onto the tarmac of Havana, Cuba. In tow, a few backpacks strategically packed with the necessary essentials for our second Cuban documentary, Havana House. Canon Professional Services equipped our production with two C300s, a complete set of Canon tilt shift lenses and an 11-24mm f/4.0 lens.

Read More

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Striking Stillness of 'The Revenant': A Video Essay

This breathtaking video essay showcases the best of The Revenant's quiet moments.

Life in the West in the 1800s was very quiet. Punctuated only by occasional warfare between Native Americans and settlers preaching Manifest Destiny, day-to-day living paralleled the rhythms of nature, with its streaming brooks, whooshing winds, rustling trees, and open plains.

As any true The Revenant aficionado can tell you, it's these moments of stillness that lend the film its majesty. DP Emmanuel Lubezski won an Oscar for rendering nature's sweeping stillness onscreen (using only natural light, of course), and now Tom Williams has compiled some of the film's most striking moments into a video essay that captures its essence.

Ryuichi Sakamoto's arresting score accompanies the visuals, which bring the haunting stillness of the 1800s Western frontier to life.

Read More

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Alfonso Cuarón & More Want To Teach You How to Make Movies at Tribeca

Learn from the greats at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

If you were eagerly awaiting an opportunity to be in the same room as some of your favorite directors, the day has come. The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival has curated an eclectic lineup of Q&As with some of the biggest directors in Hollywood, as well as their more independent-minded auteur contemporaries. Panelists include J.J. Abrams, Andrea Arnold, Joss Whedon, Jodie Foster, Baz Luhrmann, Alfonso Cuarón, Tina Fey, Jodie Foster, Francis Ford Coppola, and more.

The best part? Some of the discussions are free. See below for the full lineup, courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival. And buy tickets to individual events here.

Read More

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Lay of The Land: How Denis Villeneuve and Ridley Scott Create Mood With Landscape

If your landscape is just a setting, then you're using your landscape wrong.

In The Martian and Sicario, the landscapes are foreboding characters all their own. These two video essays by Ashley Perry show how Denis Villeneuve and Ridley Scott did it, and it all comes down to the formative setting.

As opposed to a neutral setting, in which the landscape is indifferent to the action or the characters, a formative setting seeks to express the character's psychology. As such, your setting should be working in service of dramatic action rather than just existing simply as the space for the action to unfold.

In Sicario, some of the most tense moments occur when nothing happens at all:

Read More

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Script Reader's Checklist: 60 Things That Will Land Your Screenplay in the Trash

If you ever manage to get your script in front of a script reader, you're kind of lucky, but you're also kind of screwed.

Readers are notoriously known for dismissing scripts, tossing them for having a boring first paragraph, poor formatting, or less. (You really can't blame them — they have to comb through hundreds of those things.) So, how do you better your chances of getting a pass from one of these gatekeepers? Well, maybe knowing how they judge each one would help.

During his time working as a reader for different L.A. production studios, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Terry Rossio compiled a checklist to help him better evaluate scripts, and decided to share it on his blog. They definitely will help you know whether or not your script is headed toward the trash. Check it out below:

Read More

Monday, February 22, 2016

How Luis Buuel Used Cinematic Interruptions to Capture Life's Absurdity on Film

If the director youre about to learn about seems enigmatic or incongruous, life is that way too.

The late surrealist director Luis Buuel loved to shake things up with his unique brand of cinema, especially in regards to class, religion, and conformity. To celebrate the day the great auteur came into this crazy, crazy world 116 years ago, we've decided to share a series of video essays from the Institute of Contemporary Arts (edited by Cristina lvarez Lpez) that explore his cinematic and narrative techniques. Check them out below:

These essays reveal several interesting concepts about Buuel's approach to filmmaking, mostly surrounding the dance he does between realism and surrealism, and though we could spend the rest of eternity unpacking them, let's focus on one in particular that is especially intriguing: the director's use of "interruptions" as a cinematic tool.

"Luring us into the deceptive charms of narrative as well as those of his character, Buuel undermines the stability of both attractions by turning interruption into the basis of his art." --Jonathan Rosenbaum (Sight and Sound)

Read More

Monday, February 15, 2016

Left or Right? Why a Character's Lateral Movement On-Screen Matters in Film

If there's only one tenet of filmmaking you learn today, let it be that everything, everything in your film matters -- including the direction your characters are moving on-screen.

That's right. It matters whether your actors are moving right or left across the screen. Or whether your character appears on the right or left side of the screen. Or whether they are right-handed or left-handed. Why? Because -- science -- and psychology.

In the very educational video below, you'll get to learn about how different directions of character movements affect audiences the way they do, as well as why it happens.

I love this video because it touches on some very important concepts in aesthetics (basically the dictionary of mise en scene), namely spacial properties of objects, size, and movement. How does the size, movement, and placement of an object communicate to a viewer? What do they communicate?

Read More

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

'Groundhog Day': How a Script Everybody Loved but Nobody Would Produce Became a Comedy Classic

It's Groundhog Day. Again.

When screenwriter Danny Rubin sent out his original draft of Groundhog Day to the studios, he knew he hadn't written a conventional studio film. In fact, he hadn't even written a romantic comedy. "Everybody called me in for a meeting," said Rubin, "and nobody wanted to produce it. What they said to me was, 'I loved Groundhog Day. Of course, we can never make it.'"

After a lot of development and collaboration with Harold Ramis, Groundhog Day became the screenplay that ranks #3 on the Writers Guild of America's 101 funniest screenplays ever written.

Danny Rubin walked through his journey with the story, screenplay and film of Groundhog Day at the 2014 Austin Film Festival. Thanks to AFF's On Story, you can listen to Rubin break down his script and film. If you don't have time to watch now, after the video, I've highlighted some key points from Rubin's presentation.

Read More

Sunday, January 31, 2016

What 'Dumb and Dumber' Would Look Like if It Were an Indie Sneaker Hit at the Oscars

Did you know that if you squint really, really hard (and do a ton of re-editing) Dumb and Dumber actually looks like one of those hidden indie gems that sweeps the Oscars?

It's true! Mashable managed to turn the Farrelly Brothers' very first feature about dim-witted duo Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne into a touching, dramatic film with that cliché indie aesthetic -- road trips in the desert, weird haircuts, and southwestern attire. Check out the remixed trailer below!

I decided to conduct a little experiement after watching Mashable's remix. I showed it to a friend who 1.) isn't into indie film, and 2.) has never seen Dumb and Dumber (I was shocked, too) and they were like, "Ew, that looks like one of your stupid cinema films." Then when I revealed D&D's actually trailer to them, they replied, "No shit...that is not the same movie. it on Netflix?!!"

Read More

Monday, January 18, 2016

4K Experimentations: Blackmagic Infrared from Philip Bloom on...

4K Experimentations: Blackmagic Infrared from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

More infrared experimentations. This time with my dusted off Blackmagic Production Camera which I removed the IR blocker from so it sensitive to light from the while spectrum, visible and invisible infrared. Here I used various screw on filters to cut the visible light. For this I used 650nm and 720nm filters. I also used an R65 Tiffen Red Filter as my 590nm filter has not arrived yet.

Most of the stuff in Brighton is filmed with the 720nm filter as well as a couple of shots with a strong variable ND on and no IR filter. Most of the rest of the shots are with the 650nm filter on a 40mm Canon pancake lens as it was the only lens I had that took the 52mm filter.

Grading is deliberately all over the place. Most of this was shot raw as it gave me much more control over the very important white balance. Some shots have the blue/ red channels reversed to give a blue sky with the 650nm and R65 filter which give a reddy/ brown colour normally.

Do check out my soon to be published blog post where I go into this in much more detail.

Music courtesy of Music Bed “When Skies Speak” by Ryan Taubert.

Title filters is “Holomatrix EZ” from Red Giant Universe:

Saturday, January 16, 2016

How Director Ridley Scott Gets Great Performances from Actors

The Martian has already brought home a number of awards, and it was just recently nominated for a total of seven Academy Awards.

Director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Drew Goddard must be doing something right, as the film has garnered a ton of praise, and in this Variety video, they give some essential advice about both screenwriting and directing:

While Scott is often working with the best actors out there, he does say it all comes together when you've got a good script. Once you're working with the actors, he says it's important to move on, not over elaborate, and keep it simple, and that the best actors often just want to hear which speed is best for their delivery — faster, slower, or medium. No two actors or directors are the same, but keeping it simple is important, as everyone has enough stress going on already. If you're doing the work in pre-production, once you get on set you're often only tweaking minor things. Either way — and I'm sure Scott would agree — constant communication is important, especially letting your actors know that you've got their back, and you trust the decisions that they're making.

Read More

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Best Realtor in Eastern, NC

The Best Realtor in Eastern, NCIf you decide you wish to have further info when it comes to quality real estate agents and are moving to Eastern North Carolina... (from Best North Carolina Businesses) This is a review of some of the very best local small businesses that we can find in North Carolina. We know that small business owners are vital to the economy, and as business owners ourselves, we're showcasing the great work that others do in their local communities. You won't find Fortune 500 companies on our channel. This is all about the local folks who probably know your name when you drop in or call. That said, we're very selective regarding the businesses we show in our channel and websites. While being local is kind of a big deal for us here and experience is alwaysvaluable, excellent customer service absolutely trumps all other factors. User experience is ultimately what we're looking for and what we desire to share online. If there's someone you'd like to nominate for better exposure, please do reach out to us to tell us. We'll be delighted to contact them to talk and see if they meet our criteria.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Belleville drone vs. vehicle crash ‘probably won’t be the last’: police – Ottawa – CBC News

Police in Belleville, Ont., are warning drivers that drones could become a growing hazard on the road, after one of the airborne devices crashed into the grille of a moving vehicle on Monday morning, causing $1,000 in damage to it. Source: Belleville drone vs. vehicle crash ‘probably won’t be the last’: police – Ottawa – […]Read more...