Behind Closed Doors with Alfonso Cuarón

BAFTA and Oscar winning filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón sat down with us in early January for a chat about his upbringing in Mexico, his turbulent film school years, his early filmmaking experiences and his flourishing, remarkable career.

He revealed to us the secret motivation for his work ethic: he occasionally needs money.

Bad Johnson – A Film Where a Penis Becomes a Real Boy

In BAD JOHNSON, women are practically throwing themselves at Rich (Cam Gigandet/ “Twilight,” “Easy A”) and he can’t seem to control himself. But he continually blames his penis, which seems to have a mind of its own. After ruining yet another promising relationship with Jamie (Jamie Chung/ “The Hangover II & III”), Rich has finally had enough and wishes his penis would just leave him alone. The next morning, Rich wakes up to find his wish has come true and his johnson is no longer on his body. Even worse, Rich is shocked to discover that his penis has taken human form (Nick Thune). Selfish, oversexed and irresponsible, his penis is now on the loose with no desire to return. Pitted against his alter ego, Rich must figure out how to reign in his penis, both literally and figuratively, in order to finally learn what separates the men from their boys.

Bad Johnson will drop on May 2, 2014 (USA)

The Unfinished Masterpiece?

The paradox is that the more proficient we become, the easier it is to notice gaps in our knowledge—the closer we get to our goal, the more unsatisfied we will be.

Once Upon a Time

Writing this essay will be difficult. Before I draft the first sentence, I’ll spend hours searching for an idea. Most of what I read will be useless, not because it’s bad, but because it’s boring. Then, a passage will spark an insight that will bring me back to my computer, eager to share my idea, and finish this sentence.

Such is the creative process. It’s a constant tug-of-war between saying something fresh and meeting a deadline, originality versus practicality. We want to sound novel, but we know that true novelty is impossible, so we settle somewhere in between. And yet, even though our creative ideals might be unattainable, we’ll keep striving to bring them into reality.

In The Rise, Sarah Lewis terms the crevasse between work and vision The Gap. It’s what drove the poet Ezra Pound to burn his “failed” novels. On his deathbed, Franz Kafka wrote a letter to his friend Max Brod requesting that all of his unpublished material should remain unread and burned. (Brod ignored Kafka’s request and published three novels: Amerika, The Trial and The Castle.) Lewis quotes Czeslaw Milosz, who captures sentiment of The Gap nicely: “There is always the feeling that you didn’t unveil yourself enough. A book is finished and appears and I feel, Well, next time I will unveil myself. And when the next book appears, I have the same feeling.”

Creativity Post | Read the Full Article


Clever Ways to Mount Foam Board Reflectors and Flags

Recycling pieces found in a thrift store, Udi Tirosh illustrates how reflector and flag stands can be obtained on the cheap.

IV Standse

One day I was shopping in a thrift store, looking at discarded things people donated to resell. As odd as it sounds, there are always a handful of medical related items.. old walkers, crutches, IV stands, etc.. I was looking at the IV stand and It had a “T”  shaped top to hold the IV bags, a telescoping arm that raised up to over six feet high, and casters on the legs to roll it around. Then it dawned on me.. I could clamp a white board to the top of that IV stand and have a rolling reflector! It costs about 1/4 of an actual light stand that I’d probably use to hold a board, and it has a smaller footprint (meaning it takes up less space on the floor than a traditional stand). I got very excited!

So the IV stand at the thrift store cost me $16 (USD) and I took it home.. it was everything I’d hoped it would be. A rolling, light-weight, telescoping vertical white board holder.. for cheap! That is now what I use  to bring my white boards in close to a subject.. If I raise the arm up high, I can actually clamp one white board to the bottom and another one up top, creating a head to toe, rolling reflector.

I’ve found additional ones on Ebay for about $36 (USD).. that’s cheaper than a decent photo stand. When I put them away, I just bring the poles in close and stack the legs on top of each other.

DIY Photography | Read the Full Article

The Evolution of Film in 3 Minutes

The following montage chronicles the evolution of film from its conception in 1878 by Edward J. Muybridge to the Lumiere brothers in 1895. Georges Melies a trip to the moon in 1902 was a total game changer and from there we go to the first theatrical releases starting in 1920-2014

See the video description for the full list of movies used.

New Technology Allows You To Create Any Camera Angle You Want of a Tennis Match

Here’s a demonstration of a virtual camera that allows sports broadcasters the ability to play back a shot while moving the camera to virtually anywhere in the arena.

Replay Technologies has made this work. As you can see, they are able to move a “virtual” camera around the entire stadium, so that you can “fly around” tennis players and see them from any angle. At present it’s a still image – like a “bullet time” scene in the Matrix, but there’s no reason apart from sheer demand for computing power, why this shouldn’t work in full motion video.

The company themselves aren’t immodest about the future direction of their products, but they’re right in the immensity of their claims, although you have to wonder whether evidence “obtained” from a virtual camera will ever be acceptable!:

“We aim to disrupt the fundamental operating cost structure for broadcasting, cinema and other fields (biomedical, security, TV viewing, etc.) by implementation of the concept of placing viewing angles and cameras where none existed in reality”

This really is the start of the ability to specify your camera position in post. This is massive. It’s as big as the jump from still to moving images.

Imagine the cost savings if you can “fly” a virtual camera round a real film set, just like you can in a GCI animation. You won’t have to put cameras on cranes, and your moves can go anywhere, in any direction, as smoothly as you could possibly hope for.

RedShark News | Read the Full Article

First Look at the Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Zacuto

Panasonic representative, Matt Frazer, visited Zacuto headquarters in Chicago to give us a first look at the Lumix GH4. This latest offering from the Lumix lineup is making headlines as the first-ever (DSLM) digital single-lens mirrorless camera with built-in 4K video recording.

Matt describes the GH4 as packed with all kinds of features to support both photographers and cinematographers alike. Features include a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, image processor capable of capturing high-resolution JPEG and RAW stills, cinematic DCI 4K 4096×2160 video at 24p, a micro four thirds image sensor & lens mount & more.

10 Tips for Shooting Video in Europe

Are you getting ready to move a production from the U.S. to Europe? Crews Control offers 10 tips for shooting in the old country.

Big Ben

Crews Control has been managing video productions in Europe for 20 years. Over that time we have gained a lot of video production experience and have collected some funny stories along the way. We worked with our Crews Control represented Directors of Photography from all over Europe to compile our Top 10 List.

TEN: Flicker. The technical tip that was mentioned more than any other was correct frame rates. “Why is the b-roll footage of the factory flickering?” If is important to note that European countries are PAL. You may say “why does that matter for an HD, 2K, or 4K shoot? It’s all about the Hertz baby. European countries main frequency is 50 Hz so the native frame rates that correspond are 50 or 25 fps. America line frequency is 60 Hz so our corresponding frame rates are 23.98, 24, 29.97, 30, 59.94, and 60fps. Most high definition and digital cinema cameras are capable of shooting all the frame rates above. It is important to have a conversation with the local crew to discuss locations and if the frame rate needs to be changed accordingly.

NINE: Siesta. If you are planning to pick up a hard drive or XQD card in the European south at 3PM you probably will not get very far. Shops are closed for siesta from 2:30PM – 5:30PM during the work week. Stores tend to have abbreviated hours on the weekend as well, they close at 3PM on Saturday and don’t open again until Monday morning.

EIGHT: Mileage. The average cost of gas in the EU is $8/ gallon. It is good to be mindful of travel distance to and from a location as well as during the shoot to capture b-roll of landmarks. Bloomberg has a resource that lists countries by currency, volume, and time frame. 

Crews Control | Read the Full Article

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