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The Rise of Videogame Economies | Off Book

While players of multi-player games are aware of their in-game economies, their growth and complexity would surprise many outside the world of gaming. With hundreds of millions of players around the world, MMOGs’ in-game economies generate massive amounts of real dollars (i.e. MILLIONS), and real world economic theories can even be applied to these worlds. Many are now so big that game developers have hired real world economists to help them manage these complex systems. But with secondary economies, gold farming and other issues surfacing, are these systems in need of more attention, or even regulation?

A Primer on Screenwriting Contests

Christopher Schiller writes about the different kinds of screenwriting competitions out there from aspiring scribes.

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There are about as many different variations of screenplay contests as the screenplays that are entered in them. Each has its attractions and detriments, risks and rewards. With so much variety it is hard to make generalizations as to what contests a writer should enter and which ones should be avoided. This article will attempt to set out the parameters to allow each writer to make her or his own, informed decisions using their own needs and goals as a guide.

First off, there are variations of every type for screenwriting. And so there are nearly as many variations in what form and/or format screenwriting contests will accept as entries. Some of these variations hold benefits that general screenplay contests lack. Here’s a short list of types to consider.

Short scripts – This is a growing popular contest type. Variations can be for pre-existing works or new works specifically created around a theme. These are complete stories and so represent a finished work. Because of their brevity, they can often be produced relatively cheaply and such a production might be part of the awards in the offer. One thing to consider is whether the contest provider actually has the wherewithal and talent to pull off a successful shoot of your winning script. Winning a screenplay contest that results in a poor quality short film might not be beneficial to your career. Still, a winning short screenplay can lead to a legitimate production which can garner eyeballs within the industry that wouldn’t have read the script.

First X pages – This contest type is sort of a trial run for a full script. They ask for just the opening section of a screenplay, often providing a logline of the film to get you started. With these types of contests the amount of time invested on both sides is shortened. The writer doesn’t have to slave over a full script before getting evaluated. And the contest readers don’t have to read through tons of full scripts to evaluate whether a writer has talent. Seems like a win, win, but, there can be hidden difficulties if not spelled out in the contest details. Questions like, who owns the entry after the contest? Can you take your initial pages and go and write your own script or is the premise and resulting derivative script entries owned by the contest runners? This needs to be stipulated in the contest rules and you need to be aware of whether your potential benefits of participating are limited to wasting time on pages for a project you are prohibited from completing. There is also the potential feeling like the writers are being exploited by the producers getting many variations on the premise tried out without having to pay for them. If this makes you uncomfortable then this type of contest isn’t for you.

ScriptMag | Read the Full Article

A Beginner’s Guide to Loading Film Cameras (& Why It’s Still Really Important)

Robert Hardy collects a series of videos and how to videos on how to load a film camera for a variety of models.

Film Loading

Believe it or not, shooting on film is still a legitimate thing (I know, it’s shocking). Despite the fact that digital imaging is finally matching the technical capabilities of film (and maybe even surpassing it in the case of DRAGON), many narrative productions are still shooting on good old fashioned celluloid. What does this mean for younger folks looking to make a career in the camera department? Well for one, it means that knowing your way around a film camera, and knowing how to load various types of magazines, is still a valuable skill in this industry, one that might land you a gig or two. Luckily for us, literally anything can be learned on YouTube, including the methods for loading film in a variety of popular magazines and cameras.

First, here’s a quick rundown of how to clean and load the magazine for the 16mm Arriflex SR2 magazine from the guys at REELOnlineFilmSchool. In addition to showing you how to load the SR2 magazine, which is actually pretty simple, this video also contains quite a few important general tips and techniques for keeping your magazine (and your loading bag) dirt and dust free. These techniques are applicable to every film-based camera system, and they should become habitual if you intend to work with film on a regular basis because keeping your camera clean is an essential part of making sure that it functions properly.

NoFilmSchool | Read the Full Article

How they made the biggest stunts in Need for Speed

Ian Failes goes behind the scenes with Scott Waugh on how the created the three major stunts on Need for Speed.

Need-for-Speed

Need for Speed director Scott Waugh was once himself a stunt performer and co-ordinator. So when his new film – based on the popular EA video game series – came about, it was clear that Waugh had the knowledge, and audacity, to make the scenes of street racing, crashes and other stunts for real.

“Scottie wanted the film to be a throwback to the 60s and 70s style of the old race car movies back in the day of say Bullitt and Road Warrior,” DOP Shane Hurlbut told fxguide. “There was a sense of raw energy that just comes across so nicely with those older films. We wanted to do a very contemporary looking piece with the latest tech and small cameras, immersing this audience and putting them in the driver’s seat at 180 miles an hour.”

Although that meant that each stunt and special effect would be attempted practically, it did not preclude the use of visual effects. Far from it, as visual effects supervisor Kevin Baillie oversaw work by Atomic Fiction and Cantina Creative to augment what had been achieved in-camera. “It was so refreshing to work on a project where the default answer isn’t, ‘Oh we’ll just figure it out later – in post’,” comments Baillie. “To have a team, everyone from the director down, to figure out how to do the best we could while shooting. Not in a ‘we hate visual effects kind of way’, more in a ‘we want this to look as good as it can possibly look’ way.”

Below, we break down three of the biggest stunts in the film in terms of how they were shot and executed and how visual effects contributed to the final shots. But first, here’s a look at some of the challenges the filmmakers faced in bring the street races, crashes and car sequences to life.

FX Guide | Read the Full Article

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