Eve Hazelton Lighting and Greenscreen Tutorials

The Cinematographer for our favorite Underwater Short Film and Blog (the Underwater Realm), Eve Hazelton, put together three basic lighting tips and tutorials for to illuminate a few basic concepts:

1. In this tutorial created for, Eve talks you through simple to advanced lighting setups that are easy to achieve and produce beautiful results. She explains simply, how to get the most from your existing lights and some quick tips to create a really impressive shot.

2. Learn how to use Christmas lights, builder’s worklights and even your iPhone to add a little something special to your flm and video work!

3.In the last of three lighting tutorials created for Eve takes us through the three steps of greenscreen work: How to analyse you background plate to ensure a convincing key, How to light your screen and subject to match the background plate and How to take the foreground and background elements and combine them in Adobe After Effects

For more like this, grab yourself a copy of Eve’s lighting guide DVD on their kickstarter page:

An Interview with the Filmmakers behind “Virgin Alexander” (the Wrap)

John Hess interviews the Charlotte Barrett and Sean Fallon, husband-and-wife filmmaking team behind “Virgin Alexander” which has seen considerable festival success and is currently with a sales agent looking for distribution. John talks about all aspects of the filmmaking process from conception to writing, shooting to editing, and what life is like on the festival circuit.

Episode 31

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Check out the Official Site of Virgin Alexander

Show Notes

For the Complete 1 hour interview click here.

Top 7 Articles

7. Magic Lantern Announced an HDR for DSLRs

I have my reservations about this as I’m not seeing that much improvement in the footage that couldn’t be accomplished using something like LOG gamma, but this new technique is worth a look.

6. Behind the Scenes on The Hobbit Video Blog 5

Peter Jacksons latest installment takes us out of the studio and into the summery December New Zealand country side.

5. Kim Jong Il’s Funeral was a Lesson in Epic Filmmaking

If he were sane, he might have been a Filmmaker IQ regular…

4. Philip Bloom Reviews the Canon EOS C300

Call it confirmation bias, but suddenly I feel vindicated when I took the unpopular side regarding the Red Scarlet vs. EOS C300 battle ground. Philip Bloom takes a good look at the C300 – not a perfect camera, but a strong competitor.

3. Ed Burns on How to Make a Feature for $9000

Ed Burns can make a movie for 10x this if wanted to… but it’s back to the roots here. He explains how he did it.

2. Epic Review of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

From the guys that tore apart the original Star Wars Prequels, here’s an epic breakdown of the last Jones installment.

1. Helping Newt Rebuild the America We Love for Only $64 in Royalties

The story of how I discovered my stock footage was part of a national campaign for president.

One more time (in Case you missed it)


A Special New Year’s Message From Filmmaker IQ…

As we bring an end to a remarkable year at Filmmaker IQ, we would just like to wish all of our readers/viewers a happy and safe 2012. Let’s make the new year the most cinematic year ever!

Whether you’re done partying or just starting – here’s the most important tip to keep the hangover blues away – hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids that don’t rhyme with “Mild Berkeley”

Was all that just an excuse to post this video?


Yes it was…


Helping Newt “Rebuild the America We Love” for $64 in Royalties

by John Hess

When I woke up today it was morning in America, but it wasn’t until the afternoon before I realized I helped create the dawn. That’s when I saw Newt Gingrich’s “Rebuilding the America We Love” ad and noticed those images that all political pundits where dissecting where in part created by me.

Turns out Newt used part of his Tiffany-esque $250,000 ad budget to pay me $64 in royalties for the right to use one of my Stock Videos as a main component in his spot that some are calling “Morning in America 2.0.”

Now my work is being compared to everyone one from David Lynch to Michael Bay. I hope that isn’t what they consider “fair and balanced.”

You may remember this image I posted in a review of the Sony AX2000 back in April of 2010.

Ignoring the bizarre lighting on Newt’s talking-head shot (looks like he’s trying out for “Best Tan” on Jersey Shore) and the fact that its reminiscent of Ronald Regan’s “Its Morning Again in America”, see if you Eagle-Eyed Filmmaker IQ followers can spot it in Newt’s ad:

That’s right, there it is at 0:04.

I also featured the exact same clip in the video review:

Here is the classic Ronald Reagan TV Ad: “Its Morning in America” from 1984.

Now unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your political stance), my small contribution to Newt’s Campaign has not had a positive effect. Since posting the ad on December 5th, Newt’s numbers have been steadily declining…

Perhaps it was because like Newt’s smile that white picket fence is made out of plastic.

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond dared ask in this article: “Can you identify all the Iowa landmarks?”

Well Mr. Hammond, the location is Harveston, a man-made lake just under 5 years old in the City of Temecula, CA. The flag from the stock shot is down and winter has stripped the trees of their former lusciousness.

Here is a quick image of myself in the historic spot captured from an iPad. I rushed out to grab this before the sun went down and I left the CF card for my DSLR at home.

How did a clip from a camera review end up in a highly contested Republican Primary?

Well being a starving filmmaker with a healthy appetite, I recycled that footage to microstock website – selling it for anyone to purchase and download. (Hint, you should purchase and download as well)

In the year and a half it’s been there the file has done very well. It was nominated and placed in their premiere Vetta Category (translation: Most Expensive) and has brought in about $700 in Royalties.

iStockphoto doesn’t show you who purchased the file, only when, so I’m forced to guess the agency that created the ad purchased it on October 14th, 2011 for which I received a handsome royalty of $64.40.

From a quick shot grabbed with an unfamiliar camera to a brief 2 second highlight in a national political campaign, this little clip has sparked considerable internet commentary.

It was first brought to my attention while browsing in an attempt to avoid doing anything productive when I saw this:

Some more on what the media is saying about the ad.

The ad begins, almost David Lynch-like, with scenes of small-town America, panning in slow motion at times, most effectively, when a large hand is shown in close-up gently sweeping over a wheat field, suggesting a wise farmer — or perhaps the hand of the Almighty himself? — tending to his precious crop. You may not realize it when you watch this unusually evocative image — one of several in the ad — but that’s very likely Newt’s own hand on camera, and the wind-blown golden harvest beneath it is the proverbial “amber wave of grain” meant to symbolize the resurgence of the American heartland, overseen, of course, by the very white-haired shepherd who once angrily shut the entire federal government down.

Huffington Post

It’s an upbeat spot themed on a slice of Americana — some of the shots are reminiscent of the movie “Armageddon”


Some people say the America we know and love is a thing of the past. I don’t believe that because working together I know we can rebuild America,” Gingrich says in the ad, over video of a landscape and the American flag hanging from a front porch, blowing in the wind.

ABC News

The campaign confirms to CNN that it will spend $250,000 to run the spot state-wide in Iowa, which holds the first contest in the presidential caucus and primary calendar.


His one-minute commercial will be seen on cable and broadcast networks in Iowa, said a campaign spokesman, R.C. Hammond. The upbeat and positive ad features strong patriotic themes, with Mr. Gingrich speaking directly into the camera.

New York Times

Newt Gingrich began this week by releasing a minute-long campaign ad titled “Rebuilding the America We Love,” in which the veteran Republican insists that the wholesome, idyllic, small-town America that we all recognize from movies and advertising still exists. The ad is not terribly convincing, partly because it’s a rather uninspired retread of Ronald Reagan’s famous “Morning in America” spot from 1984, and partly because, while Reagan was talking up the good times, Gingrich is talking down the bad.


Newt Gingrich has a new ad up, and it’s clear what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to get elected as Richard Milhous Reagan.


Gingrich’s ad feels eerily similar to “Morning in America,” the iconic ad President Ronald Reagan aired in his 1984 reelection campaign. Set to an almost identical soft soundtrack, it blends footage of a suburban porch and humming factory, a mountain sunrise and main-street flower shop, as well as a couple of quintessential Iowa scenes: the State House in Des Moines and fields of grain.

Washington Post

He delivers his rosy message over images literally lifted from “America the Beautiful” — predawn scenes of “amber waves of grain” and “purple mountains majesties.

The Atlantic

The spot is being supported by a near Tiffany-esque $250,000 ad buy in Iowa.

The ad itself is well-produced, and captures some of that elusive Reaganian “Morning in America” quality, very obviously the intent of his campaign team.

Hot Air

It sounds like Newt is promising “Morning in America” again

National Review

Where this starts to get weird.

They say imitation is the greatest flattery, but I don’t think that is what these parody and remix creators where thinking. I guess they each owe me $64 now. Oh well, it’s the Holidays I guess I won’t sue. Plus that last guy scares the shit out of me.

Parodies aside, it’s a good thing Newt paid me that $64 and didn’t steal that stock video. Not only because now I can afford healthcare. But because… Don’t Cross Us. Ever. Seriously. Just Don’t.

Kim Jong-il’s funeral was a lesson in epic film-making

You may be hard pressed to find a difference between the North Korean Megalomaniac and a Hollywood executive (assuming you overlook the diminutive dictator’s role in the death of millions of his countrymen) but when Kim Jong Il died, the world lost one of the greatest wanna-be-filmmaker around. Amazingly in a country whose chief export is border tension, they still have enough resources to put on a first rate production of a state funeral…

Cecil B DeMille would have admired the funeral of Kim Jong-il. Its staging owes much to the Hollywood movies that the Dear Leader so loved.

It’s worth noting that the scenes coming out of North Korea are probably only the second time live images have been broadcast from the hermit nuclear state. The first time was in 2000, when Kim Jong-il met the South Korean president Kim Dae-jung as part of the stuttering reconciliation process.

— | Read The Full Article

Why so many Hollywood relationship movies are box-office duds

You ever look at a movie and wonder how that could have possibly been greenlit? Many times its done to solidify a relationship be it between a studio and a director or actor. LA Times’ Patrick Goldstein takes a closer look at why these “relationship” movies often end up being “just friends”.

…In Hollywood, everyone is in the relationship business. Studios woo auteurs. Directors schmooze stars. Writers cozy up to producers. Agents and managers zealously court the bankable filmmakers and actors who can get movies off the ground.

The relationships pay off in a million different ways. Will Smith, who just finished shooting “Men in Black 3,” has now made eight of his last 10 live-action movies at Sony, thanks largely to a close relationship with studio co-chairman Amy Pascal. Warner Bros. is skin-tight with director Christopher Nolan. 20th Century Fox is James Cameron’s home court. Ditto for Paramount with J.J. Abrams and Universal with Judd Apatow.

But if you look at the recent crop of movies that have crashed and burned at the multiplex, something striking stands out: Many of the duds would never have passed the studios’ standard box-office smell test. They were made because they were Relationship Movies.

— LA Times Blog | Read The Full Article

Magic Lantern Announces an HDR for DSLRs

Recording two different ISOs in alternate frames, Magic Latern released an “unofficial” firmware update for Canon 550D, 60D, 600D, 500D, 50D which enables the recording of a 2 frame HDR video image. The alternate exposures are then combined in post to create the HDR image.

You can download the firmware here

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