Creating the Opening Cinematic for “Destiny”

The opening to Bungie’s Destiny takes place where astronauts discover The Traveler, an object that gamers will encounter later as they play. Prologue worked with Bungie to deliver this cinematic and we found out from some of the key team – directors Simon Clowes and Ilya V. Abulkhanov, CG supervisor Lee John Nelson, producer Armando Plata and FX supervisor Alan McKay how they did it – including a surprising practical shot.


fxg: Can you talk about designing the cinematic and what concepts, storyboards and early roughing out was done – what were the important things Bungie wanted you to communicate?

Prologue: During the initial discussions with Bungie, they expressed they were looking for a :90-1:20 opening sequence. The sequence had to communicate a present day landing on Mars, which happens to be 500+ years before the setting of the game itself. We were then provided a script from which we were asked to explore the story of the landing and the journey of the astronauts as they seek out a suspicious object hovering above the terrain – The Traveler.

We presented initial storyboards and concept art, along with a written treatment describing how we intended to not only tell the story, but also our stylistic approach to the execution. This was followed by a thorough storyboarding process with our frequent artist, Doug Stambaugh. We drew every key moment in the sequence, which was then divided into scenes and shots. Quickly sketching our ideas provided us a lot of freedom in experimentation with camera angles and composition. Since some elements of the script were revised a few times, we always had the foundation of the resulting animatic created from the drawings to go back to.

FX Guide | Read the Full Article

How Facebook Is Changing the Way Its Users Consume Journalism

A study says 30 percent of adults in America get news from the social network – how does this affect the way Journalism is consumed?

FB news

Many of the people who read this article will do so because Greg Marra, 26, a Facebook engineer, calculated that it was the kind of thing they might enjoy.

Mr. Marra’s team designs the code that drives Facebook’s News Feed — the stream of updates, photographs, videos and stories that users see. He is also fast becoming one of the most influential people in the news business.

Facebook now has a fifth of the world — about 1.3 billion people — logging on at least monthly. It drives up to 20 percent of traffic to news sites, according to figures from the analytics company SimpleReach. On mobile devices, the fastest-growing source of readers, the percentage is even higher, SimpleReach says, and continues to increase.

The social media company is increasingly becoming to the news business what Amazon is to book publishing — a behemoth that provides access to hundreds of millions of consumers and wields enormous power. About 30 percent of adults in the United States get their news on Facebook, according to a study from the Pew Research Center. The fortunes of a news site, in short, can rise or fall depending on how it performs in Facebook’s News Feed.

Though other services, like Twitter and Google News, can also exert a large influence, Facebook is at the forefront of a fundamental change in how people consume journalism. Most readers now come to it not through the print editions of newspapers and magazines or their home pages online, but through social media and search engines driven by an algorithm, a mathematical formula that predicts what users might want to read.

The New York Times | Read the Full Article

9 Cinematography Tips for Directors with No Space & No Budget

Ryan Gielen shares some low budget tips for directing with little space or money.Gielen


Over the past few years I’ve contributed articles focused on my experience independently promoting and distributing my previous two features, The Graduates and Turtle Hill, Brooklyn. But before an indie filmmaker can distribute their film, they have to shoot it, and one of the biggest challenges on features of any size is the cost of creativity — the demands of production can make it extremely challenging to take the time to visually articulate moments, scenes, sequences and themes the way you dreamed up in pre-production.

On my most recent feature, Drinking Games, we faced this challenge constantly — we made the suspense-filled drama for under $100,000 in twelve days, on location inside a real dormitory. My cinematographer Andrew “Tank” Rivara had to light tiny rooms for the RED, while the budget and the clock were working against us from the beginning! While touring the film at various colleges and film schools prior to our digital release, the audience reaction was incredibly positive, and two big questions kept popping up:

How did we create a film look on a low budget?

Was it hard to film an entire feature in such a small space?

Given the challenges we faced, the questions we received, and our success (I admit, I’m biased) in making the film work, I decided to put together a series of five to ten-minute videos focusing on the scenes that best highlighted our use of the limited tools we did have — a jib, a dolly, the RED, good lenses and creativity — to help those who may face the same challenges.

No Film School | Read the Full Article

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