An important next step in transitioning from Film to Digital Cinema: FilmConvert

Vincent Laforet discusses the bridging step from silver particles to zeros and ones.

I love film.

Most of us love film.

In fact when I told my father I wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a photographer (my father was a photographer for Gamma Press, and then the Director of Photography and principle photographer for Premiere Magazine in France)  more than 22 years ago – he was so against the idea, that he sent me to the 3 consecutive darkrooms over 3 summers, to try to dissuade me from my career choice…

The first summer was spent in a black and white darkroom with one of the top french master printers, named Guy Ben… the next summer was C-41 and C-41 printing… the last was at an E-6 lab, where I learned to process the film, and also Cibachrome printing… after 3 summers, he finally gave me his blessing because his efforts to dissuade me had failed…

These days, I hate to say it, but I do get frustrated when I see the Kodak ads in film trade publications.  Not because I think they are wrong or irrelevant.  But because I feel like they’re not only losing sight of the bigger picture (and the inevitable realities) but also ignoring the potential of what is truly out there…

There is no arguing that film gives you an incredible image that in most cases far exceeds what can be accomplished with a digital sensor (notably when it comes to highlight retention… However – when you look into the shadows, or into high ISO cinematography… it’s hard to argue against digital cinema cameras.)

At the end of the day however, I get frustrated for the following reason:  there is no arguing that film has a unique quality.  One that in some ways CAN’T be matched by most digital sensors TODAY.

BUT – I am absolutely convinced that in the coming years, that will all change.   I am convinced that digital sensors will come to exceed the dynamic range of celluloid in time… and that it is in every DP’s interest to focus on learning how to best master the emerging (and future) technology (namely digital sensors) – as opposed to fighting what I consider to be a lost battle, in trying to clench onto their (completely justifiable) love of film.

Vincent Laforet | Read the Full Article

Indie Filmmakers Feel Heavy Hand of Beijing

If you are fortunate enough to read this site in a country that values freedom of speech and expression, count your blessings. There are filmmakers in this world who do not enjoy that right unless their films are in line with the views of the state.

BEIJING — Independent filmmaking is tough anywhere in the world, but in China, especially, it is not a vocation for the faint of heart.

A recent attempt to hold a festival of independent film at a public art gallery in front of 500 people was thrown into chaos after a power failure in the middle of the first screening.

Although the authorities denied any interference in the Ninth Beijing Independent Film Festival last month, organizers said local officials had warned them not to show the opening film, “Egg and Stone,” directed by Huang Ji, which is about sexual abuse in a rural family, in a public space. When the power went out, officials showed up and apologized, but then did nothing, witnesses said.

Guests leaving the interrupted opening Aug. 18 said that unidentified men had followed them, asking why they had been there.

“It seems the Film Bureau is merging with the power company,” Jia Zhangke, a prominent director, said on his microblog, referring to the government body that oversees the Chinese movie industry.

Whatever the truth, filmmaking free of the ruling Communist Party is discouraged. The Film Bureau, part of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, vets scripts, grants production licenses, controls studios and equipment and coordinates releases. Making a film without approval risks harassment, warnings and, in extreme cases, blacklisting, a caution to others not to work with offenders.

the New York Times | Read the Full Article

Is the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera the DSLR replacement? Oh yes…

Marco Solorio of One River Media mounted a Blackmagic Cinema Camera to the top of a Canon 5D MkIII to compare the images created by the two cameras. Even with web compression the detail difference between the DSLR and the BMCC is quite dramatic.

That’s not to say you need to ditch your T2i and jump into this camera… but folks looking at a $2500 $3500 5D MkIII may want to consider the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera.

Every Alfred Hitchcock Interview Available Online

Alfred Hitchcock is the master of audience manipulation. We combed the internets and gather every TV and written interview the famed director of such classics as Psycho, The Birds, North by Northwest, and Rear Window.

View the Playlist on YouTube

Written Articles:
Interview with Robert Robinson: 1960
Interview with Peter Bogdanovich: 1963
Interview with Bryan Forbes: 1967
Interview with Roger Ebert: 1969
Interview with H.E.F. Donohue: 1969

Filmmaker IQ Redefined

Welcome friends the new Filmmaker IQ – Our latest version isn’t just a cosmetic redesign, we’re setting out to redefine how film and filmmaking is discussed online.

Lessons Learned

It has taken a long time to get here. Not long in terms of all of human history or a glacier’s path through the side of a mountain – but long when compared to the useful life of a tweet. A long time… but, more importantly, it’s been a long time really to figure out who we are.

It started off as a collection of filmmakers that met on MySpace. Yes… that crap site. We saw what could be done with the internet and social communities and what wasn’t being done there. In fact we were banned from there… long story… So we formed our own site.

And for a while we treated IQ like every other filmmaking site treated filmmaking. Let’s talk about cameras and software… but after quite literally thousands of articles on every subject of the filmmaking process – it was becoming clear that something was seriously missing in the online filmmaking discussion.

We tried our hand at Facebook. At first we were just posting images that inspired us… cool little odds and ends that collected in the crevices of our browsers that didn’t quite fit the traditional mold of a “filmmaking” site. The Facebook page became hugely popular despite the common question “What does this have to do with filmmaking?” – The fact is these little posts have everything to do with filmmaking.

Your Daily Scarlett

Your Daily Scarlett

Unfortunately it was becoming clear to us that Facebook was heading down the path of MySpace. Corporate scandals broke and we couldn’t bear to tie ourselves to that site so we stopped being active on the page… but not before learning some key lessons.

We got over 50,000 people to share this.

While pictures were popular in terms of numbers – they had a dramatic impact on my own personal approach filmmaking. If you do this long enough you come to a point where you realize that anything really is possible. Once you get past the technique you’re stuck with the burning question, “what do I shoot now?” This is point where you realize that it has never been your technical skills that have been holding you back – it’s always been your lack of imagination.

This was the BIGGEST missing thing from the online filmmaking world. While other sites continued to report on the latest gear and fanboys berated each other over camera specs, no one was talking about the real reasons we even bother to take the lens cap off the camera.

“How” something was shot is an essential part – but “why” something is shot, “why” it works – those are the questions that are much more interesting and much more important to crafting of good films. Sometimes the “why” can be intuitive but bringing it to front and discussing it was something we had to do.

We won’t stop talking about cameras and the tools of making film for they will always be needed in service of story. And yes, we love playing with cameras. But Story is King and everything else is subject to it. You cannot make good film unless you pay tribute to Story first, last and every step in between.

We have to talk about story. It’s not easy and there’s no camera manufacturer pushing for better written stories. But we must do it.

We also learned about Community Standards from our time on Facebook. You can either have an organized discussion that encourages civil debate and understanding or you can have a free-for-all dominated by trolls who rule by fear. Filmmakers, as all creative artists, have enough anxiety over snarky criticism already. We will not stand for it.

We have only one rule. NO ASSHOLES.

There will be Bugs

A site can not be fully tested until it goes live. There will be a few bugs. Some we know about, others we may not. We will continue debugging over the next few day. If you find a bug please report it here:

Just say NO to Internet Explorer!

No version of IE is a “modern browser.” What that means is it is incapable of displaying several site features and just won’t look near as good as other browsers. We no longer support IE7. We have limited support for IE8. IE 9 the latest version will work, but not very well. This is not a question of taste. All other browsers will work and look just fine. There are also very serious security issues with IE and should not be used by anyone. You can download alternative browsers for free here:

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Just the Beginning

The site redesign is a platform not only for great content today, but for even more features tomorrow. Over the next days, weeks and months we have many more features and enhancements coming your way. User Profiles, Groups, Forums and more will see new upgrades coming soon. We also want to hear your ideas about how to improve IQ. Please leave your comments below.

So whatever camera you own. Whatever camera you’re saving up for. Whatever crew you can assemble. We’re here to expand your imagination and raise your Filmmaker IQ!

Welcome friends, to the new

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