Colour Grading Your Film – Top Nineteen Tips For Working With The Professionals

Chris Jones gives out 19 tips for working with professional colorists to grade your film.

Color Grade

Go to the best people
The number one mistake so many filmmakers make is they try to grade their films themselves. There is no doubt, the tools available now are cheap and powerful, and with a great deal of trial and error, amazing results can be achieved. But what a professional colour grader with cutting edge kit can bring to your film will blow your mind. Using the right kit and working with a highly talented and experienced grader will give you results in minutes, hours and days that you at home can only achieve in days, weeks and months (even years)… if at all.

Blag a deal
Most post facilities have some ‘down time’ AND really want to help new talent. So why not ask for help? If you can offer money, even if it’s not much, put it on the table at the start. Promise to be organised. Promise to be flexible. Promise you will bring them work if you are lucky enough to get a career. Ideally your editor will already work with them regularly and so there is an existing relationship to leverage. Be confident but don’t be arrogant. Charm, have humility and passion and get the deal.

Sit in on a grade
Once you have a green light, ask if you can spend a few hours observing a grade in action. If you have never done a grade like this before, it will be revelation. The speed these guys work, the tools they have available, the environment (basically a small cinema)… It’s a far cry from After Effects on your mates laptop. Use your social skills to gauge when it’s OK to ask questions and NEVER EVER be a distraction or nuisance. DO NOT OFFER SUGGESTIONS on another persons grade. If you can, sit behind the desk so you can see how everything works and listen to how the grader speaks with the team who are present.

Chris Jones Blog | Read the Full Article

The Black List with Founder & CEO Franklin Leonard

The Black List, how it was founded, and how it continues to develop are discussed with founder and CEO Franklin Leonard who explains the difference between studios and production companies along with the idea of mixing creativity with business. Leonard also talks about working with Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, and at Universal and making his way up the ladder to build an infrastructure that will allow for great projects to get made, in this episode of The Insiders hosted by Sebastian Twardosz.

Franklin Leonard is the founder of the Black List, the yearly publication highlighting Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays and the startup birthed to continue its mission. Over 225 Black List scripts have been produced as feature films earning more than 175 Academy Award nominations including three of the last six Best Pictures and seven of the last fourteen screenwriting Oscars. Franklin has worked in development at Universal Pictures and the production companies of Will Smith, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, Leonardo DiCaprio, and John Goldwyn. Since 2010, he has been named one of Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Under 35, Black Enterprise magazine’s “40 Emerging Leaders for Our Future,” AOL Black Voices “30 Black Hollywood Game Changers,” the Wrap’s “12 Innovators Who Are Changing Hollywood,” and Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.”


Ape Acting

Mike Seymour digs into the process of turning mocap actors into living breathing digital apes for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Planet of the Apes Acting


Rise of the Planet of the Apes focused on a scientist who adopted an ape in the science-run-amok break-out hit film of 2011. Dawn of Planet of Apes focuses on an ape who deals with Shakespearean issues of betrayal, family and conflict. While Rise was lead by a human cast with amazing ape effects, Dawn is an ‘ape film’, with the principal actors – the lead actors – as digital primates.

Ironically, Dawn is a more ‘human’ story than Rise and delivers as much nuanced acting from the leads as it does action or drama effects work. In short, Weta Digital delivers Gollum-like character impact, but in the lead ape roles. Away from fully animated features, we have not seen digital characters so successfully carry the emotional heavy lifting of lead ‘actors’ in a major feature film. From Star Wars to The Hobbit, digital characters have had key but supporting roles. If you look at the film’s marketing, the one face on the poster is the lead actor and he is not real, but watching the film you almost immediately forget this. Furthermore, Caesar’s performance could be argued to not even be the most gripping in the film. In a movie with a digital lead actor, he ends up almost being outshone by the incredible performance of his supporting digital actor Koba.

Set 10 years after the virus outbreak that ended Rise, this follow-up film finds the enhanced Caesar in a new ape society in the Redwood forest north of San Francisco. Isolated, the apes have built a strong family-oriented community with order and structure. With the re-appearance of man and their guns, Caesar must explore if it is possible to trust and co-exist with humans again or face the prospect of ending years of peaceful remoteness with bloody conflict. Koba features strongly in the film, from the opening hunting scene with a heroic saving of Caesar’s life when a bear threatens his son, to the film’s gripping climax. In Rise, Koba had a much smaller part, but his former cruel treatment at the hands of the viscious laboratory staff sets up his much expanded role in Dawn perfectly. Koba has both the back story and acting opportunities to be perhaps the most complex and interesting of the Dawn apes.

FX Guide | Read the Full Article

An HP Discussion on High-Speed 4k Workflows

In this session, HP will show you the power of Thunderbolt 2 and why it’s needed for the ever changing next generation of video: 4K. The introduction of 4k video to the masses is delivering the unprecedented levels of quality and realism that audiences demand. 4k also brings with it massive amounts of data that can take traditional video workflows down to a crawl. In the face of the ever-increasing requirement for a lightning-fast video editing pipeline, HP Workstations and Thunderbolt 2 are powering a new generation of interconnected devices designed to accelerate your workflow.


Nathan Rabin apologizes for coining the term “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”

Nathan Rabin created the term “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” back in 2007… he’s sorry he did.


When I coined the term “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” in an essay about the movie “Elizabethtown” in 2007, I never could have imagined how that phrase would explode. Describing the film’s adorably daffy love interest played by Kirsten Dunst, I defined the MPDG as a fantasy figure who “exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”

That day in 2007, I remember watching “Elizabethtown” and being distracted by the preposterousness of its heroine, Claire. Dunst’s psychotically bubbly stewardess seemed to belong in some magical, otherworldly realm — hence the “pixie” — offering up her phone number to strangers and drawing whimsical maps to help her man find his way. And as Dunst cavorted across the screen, I thought also of Natalie Portman in “Garden State,” a similarly carefree nymphet who is the accessory to Zach Braff’s character development. It’s an archetype, I realized, that taps into a particular male fantasy: of being saved from depression and ennui by a fantasy woman who sweeps in like a glittery breeze to save you from yourself, then disappears once her work is done.

When I hit “publish” on that piece, the first entry in a column I called “My Year of Flops,” I was pretty proud of myself. I felt as if I had tapped into something that had been a part of our culture for a long time and given it a catchy, descriptive name — a name with what Malcolm Gladwell might call “stickiness.”

But I should clarify a few things here. The trope of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a fundamentally sexist one, since it makes women seem less like autonomous, independent entities than appealing props to help mopey, sad white men self-actualize. Within that context, the phrase was useful precisely because, while still fairly flexible, it also benefited from a certain specificity. Claire was an unusually pure example of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl — a fancifully if thinly conceived flibbertigibbet who has no reason to exist except to cheer up one miserable guy.

Salon | Read the Full Article

Put on a Happy Face: Corporate Event Planning Video

Corporate video is often times a good way for filmmakers to supplement their income. Here’s some guidelines for creating a Corporate Event Video.

Gary is ecstatic about the rise in profits since they started marketing the new penis pills.

Gary is ecstatic about the rise in profits since they started marketing the new penis pills.

Event planners are doing more now than ever before. They are the backbone and visual wizards for corporate events. They allow their imaginations to come to life with eye catching visual displays and set up the perfect itinerary that caters to every want and need of their guests. But, behind the scenes there is a new trend arising, and it is one that is very beneficial to any corporate event. Although event planners are very critical to a successful event, videographers are also coming into play by creating memories for the beneficiaries and attendees by the means of a “Happy Face Video”. A Happy Face Video is exactly what it sounds like, a video with lots of happy faces!

What Is a Happy Face Video?

Corporate event planning videos are videos that encompass all the things that went on during the duration of an event, whether it is a day, a weekend, or a week. These videos are usually called “Candid’s” or, “Happy face videos” event in which a multiple-day event is covered by a video crew, including speakers, break-out sessions, awards ceremonies and local recreational activities in which the conventioneers participate. Happy Face Videos show all the fun activities, seminars, networking and smiling faces that went on during the period of the event. An on-site editor then creates a short video presentation that is shown before the close of the convention. Many associations take advantage of the convention venue to gather interviews of their principals, setting up a green screen or other type of background in a secluded room. Happy face videos bring an event to life, it is the last thing attendees will remember of their stay, and allow them to reminisce of how much fun they had while learning their trade and meeting new people in the field. These videos are the most important detail to any successful event; all attendees will go home pleased, eager, and enthusiastic to come back for your next exhibition.

Crews Control | Read the Full Article

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