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The Sound of Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Director Michael Bay and Producer Steven Spielberg return this summer for the third film in the Transformers franchise, Tranformers: Dark of the Moon. The amazing visual effects in this film are complimented by the talented efforts of the sound team including Re-recording Mixers Greg Russell and Jeff Haboush, and Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designers Ethan Van der Ryn, and Erik Aadahl.

VIA: Michael Coleman

Thank You Everyone on our 3rd Anniversary

by Dennis

I can’t believe its been three years already. It seems like yesterday our rowdy bunch of banned MySpace users created this little home and declared our independence.

It all started with a forum post of the video above. Most of those that where here that day still post regularly.

That first day on July 4th 2008 we had a total of 54 visitors. It was months before we broke 100 in a day. A year went by before we started to break 1000 per day. Now we will have over a 1000 in the time it takes me to write this.

Had I known at the time how much work it would be and how long it would take to get to this point I doubt we would be here today. But, there was one thing far more important I didn’t know then that I know today… how fulfilling and fun it would be.

I’ve been involved in more businesses and ventures than I care to remember. The reward was always money. To steel a line from Citizen Kane: “Well, it’s no trick to make a lot of money…if all you want…is to make a lot of money.” Now, I’m not getting all pinko commie on you. I still love to make money. Having said that, I never would have dreamed the one venture (IQ) that loses money each month would be the most rewarding.

Almost every waking hour of the day I check our numbers, re-tweets, likes and more. Not just because I want to adjust and improve, it’s because my reward is watching all of you getting use of all our hard work.

I never wanted to be the face of IQ. I’ll leave that to John. :) My role is to keep the trains running on time and to provide a guiding hand and a platform for others to shine their brightest. That’s what I have always enjoyed doing and why I became a venture capitalist.

I have always had big plans for IQ. We are just now at a point where I can start to implement those big ideas.

Today we where planning on launching the new IQ design (v5), but because there are so many third parties involved you will have to wait another week. That will be the first step in a much bigger plan that will be rolled out over the course of this year.

I guess what I’m trying to say in this rambling post is, I want to thank everyone that has stuck with us and welcome all of the new members that have discovered our little home. And stay tuned because you haven’t seen anything yet!

Sincerely,

Dennis
Big Kahuna Burger, Filmmaker IQ

Filmmaker IQ Podcast E5: Happy Birthday America (and Filmmaker IQ)

Happy Birthday America (and Filmmaker IQ)!!

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Show Notes

Library of Congress
Liljenquist Family Collection of Portraits of Union and Confederate Soldiers

IQ Recap June 26-July 2, 2011

Vibrations at 1,000 Frames Per Second using the Phantom HD GOLD
Explore the world of vibration at 1,000 frames per second. Directed by Propadata Films. Filmed on a Phantom HD Gold camera.

SCRIPT COPS: Bad Writers, Bad Writers, Whatcha gonna do…
Final Draft’s first series of its new Branded Videos section is SCRIPT COPS, a hilarious web series by Scott Rice. SCRIPT COPS is an award-winning parody warning screenwriters of the dangers involved when writing goes bad.

Stupid Hipster DSLR Lens Review
Blunty’s review on the Dreamy Diana Lens which claims to ads a “retro mode” to your DSLR, so he’s off on an adventure into the vile, poser filled lands of faux nostalgia infested by vapid Hipsters who drool over deliberately crappy plastic lenses, he is a pilgrim in an unholy land!

Creating the Illusion of 3D
Buzz Hayes, a pioneer in three-dimensional film, explains how the technology of 3D movies is related to the science of vision, and how this new technology transforms the way stories are told on screen.

The Heart and Soul of Great Dialogue
Understanding subtext is the key to crafting great dialogue.

DIY High Speed Camera for Repetitive Motion
Using a Quantum Pulse Generator and a Canon T2i, Youtube user Destin rigs up a high speed camera for recording repetitive motion.

Panasonic AF100 vs DSLRs
Vimeo user Darren Levine compares the Micro 4/3rds Panasonic AF100 to popular DSLR cameras.

How the crazy lady at CVS can help write character and dialogue
Think waiting in line at the pharmacy waiting while the cashier does just one more price check is a waste a time? Well keep your eyes and ears peeled because these real life annoyances may be the perfect opportunity to study human nature an dialogue.

The Science behind the Refocusable Camera
Last week we posted an article with the Ren Ng CEO of Lytro Cameras, a new consumer camera that allows yor to refocus an image after you shoot them. Here’s a more in depth discussion about the science behind this revolutionary step in camera technology

Every Ray Harryhausen Stop-Motion Creature in One Video
Before the CGI era, filmmakers had to rely on models and puppets to star in their monster films. One of the legends of the stop motion techniques is Ray Harryhausen whose credits include Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts, and One Millions Years B.C. Here are every one of Harryhausen’s creates present in chronological order in one video:

DIY – Turn your Garage into a Prison Set
Shooting a real live prison may be a little hard to pull off with no budget, but with a bit of movie magic and some elbow grease, you can build you very own prison site right in your garage. French filmmaker and Vimeo user eric bernaud systems demonstrates how resulting in some very outstanding results.

Audio advice from a frustrated boom op
I hope this post comes out informative, but there is a high risk that it will turn into a rant. I’ve been very frustrated lately that I’ve been working with multiple directors, DPs, and producers lately all of which have been in the industry for over 15 years…and yet still know absolutely nothing about the world of sound.

5 Facts About For-Profit Film Schools You Should Know
It’s summer time and lots of new graduates may be thinking about film school. They may also be thinking they shouldn’t have procrastinated filling out those admissions papers to that State College. But hey, those for-profit schools let you sign up anytime. Well before you sign on those dotted lines you should know some facts.

WTF Post of the Week

Most Awesome Chase Scene EVAR!!

“Sparkler” Trapcode Particular Preset

Nick Campbell of GreyscaleGorilla gives you a overview of his preset he posted at RedGiantPeople for Trapcode Particular. It’s called “Sparkler” and it gives you the effect of writing your name with a sparkler.

He also shows you how you can write YOUR name with the preset using After Effects and Motion Sketch.

5 Facts About For-Profit Film Schools You Should Know

It’s summer time and lots of new graduates may be thinking about film school. They may also be thinking they shouldn’t have procrastinated filling out those admissions papers to that State College. But hey, those for-profit schools let you sign up anytime. Well before you sign on those dotted lines you should know some facts.

With 317,000 waiters and waitresses having college degrees, you may be asking what’s the value of any such degree, public or for-profit.

We can debate the value of film schools as a whole another time. The purpose of this article is to let aspiring filmmakers know a few facts before they make a decision that can affect the rest of their life.

I also want to be clear this isn’t an attempt to persuade anyone not to attend for-profit schools. Everyone’s situation is different. I just want to give a few facts so you can go in with your eyes open and your expectations in balance.

1. They are generally much more expensive.

In August 2010, the Government Accountability Office found that in 14 out of 15 times, the tuition at a for-profit school was more expensive than its public counterpart, and 11 out of 15 times, it was more expensive than the private counterpart. Examples of the disparity in full tuition per program include:

Audio advice from a frustrated boom op

by Member: numballover (Killerfilm.com) (VIA: Our Forums)

I hope this post comes out informative, but there is a high risk that it will turn into a rant. I’ve been very frustrated lately that I’ve been working with multiple directors, DPs, and producers lately all of which have been in the industry for over 15 years…and yet still know absolutely nothing about the world of sound. So I’d like to clear up some misconceptions.

It isn’t the microphone its what we do with it I’d bet on this forum you’d find quite a few posts asking “What is a good shotgun mic for $xxx.xx?”. It’s important to realize that good sound is only about 20% about the microphone, and 80% about where you put it. Strap a $2000 schoeps CMIT 5U onto your camera and it won’t sound any better than the on camera mic. A boom op with good technique could make a cheap Rode mic sound better.

Wireless lavaliers are a crutch Sound mixers will tell you that wireless lavaliers don’t sound as good as the boom. To an extent that is true…but truthfully lavaliers do sound pretty good. The difference is they sound much less natural because they don’t catch the inherent reverb and ambiance of the room. They are also have more bass because they are seated right next to the actors chest.

Like all gear, there is a time and place for wireless lavaliers. Extremely wide shots with lots of headroom are a great example. In these shots the boom would be too far to get good sound. Secondly, the actors are far enough away that if something happens to the audio (such as a wireless dropout or RF hit), its easy for the dialogue editor to sneak in a track from a different take or angle and cover up the mistake.

However, many directors and DP’s use lavaliers as a crutch for their poorly designed, poorly lit scenes. A well blocked properly lit scene is almost always easy to capture on the boom. Wireless lavaliers are for reality TV…real movies should be mostly about the boom.

Lavaliers are not some magical sound voodoo (but you’d swear DPs think they are). They have serious limitations. They pick up the sound of the clothing, if the actor sweats they will sometimes fall out of place, they are both fragile and expensive, and they are also very sensitive to radio frequencies.

We don’t use one microphone Many new filmmakers ask “What mic do you use?”. We don’t use just one type of microphone. Microphones are like lenses. Different microphones work great for different situations. For example, our audio kit consists of: Senhessier 416, AKG 480BCK-69, AKG 480BCK-63, Sanken CS3e, Schoeps CMC MK41, 1 x Oktava mk012a.

Etiquette – This is a personal thing, and I may be wrong on this. When you hire a sound person, trust their advice. You are paying good money for it after all.

When someone tells me to throw a lav on someone, I take it as an insult. I have been hired to give you good sound…if the lavalier was necessary or helpful then I would have put it. It also suggests you don’t think I can boom the shot, which is also insulting. You wouldn’t tell the DP, “Hey, why don’t you throw an LED light on her just in case”. Most good DPs would not appreciate that sort of comment. Trust that I know my job enough to know when it will do more harm than good.

For example, I did a scene where a girl ran out of a house and had a huge emotional breakdown, screamed, and rolled around on the ground. In general, when people start crawling around on the ground, the lavs sound like crap and they have a high risk of being seen..and given her tight wardrobe it was almost guaranteed to happen. But the director insisted that a lavalier be placed…and so in the next shot, as predicted the lavalier (which was sounding like crap anyways) fell out and ruined the shot (a shot which sounded great on the boom by the way).

In general, I will put wires on all the actors for every scene. If I haven’t put one there is usually a good reason. Sometimes its like the reason above. Other times its because the actors asked if me if we could go without it. Many actors don’t like to get wired, or at the very least have bad days where they don’t feel like worrying about twenty people on set listening to their private conversations all day.

Sometimes I am so sure that this is an easy scene to boom that I will tell the actor “Sure I can get the scene on the boom, no problem”. When you tell me to lavalier them for no good reason, you have frustrated them, me, and also hurt our working relationship.

Sometimes its because they are crazy people who might break it

Yes we can hear that – If you can hear a sound with your ears, then yes we can hear it on the mics. However, that does not necessarily mean it will ruin your sound. In general constant noises like hums, or high pitched ringing can be taken out in post. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to eliminate these noises…but if that isn’t practical then trust your sound person if they tell you it is ok.

Secondly, a good sound team will know how to pick the right microphones to reduce the problem as much as possible. Certain mics are great for rooms that echo, and others are good for reducing hum(provided the boom op knows what he’s doing).

No furniture pads Whoever called those damn things sound blankets did us sound guys a great disservice. People think they can throw them over things like air conditioner units, or in front of coolers and it will get rid of the noise. It might work…if you layer it about 8 feet thick. These things have zero acoustic insulation…they won’t do anything.

The only function they really have in the sound world is to throw on the ground as a quick and dirty means of quieting the sounds of footsteps (especially high heels).

We can’t save you from yourself When you scout locations, make sure to keep your ears open. Lately, I’ve been beginning to suspect that directors scout locations with their ipods on. I’ve done two page dialogue scenes next to active construction sights, inside crowded restaurants, and once even in a fish processing plant. Those scenes were ADR’d at great expense.

Recently, I worked on a film that had a scene inside an arcade. The owner refused to let the production lock the location, so we had to shoot in it as a live location. There were bells, whistles, ten different songs from different machines, and about forty screaming brats running in every direction. In the middle of the first shot, the following conversation took place:

DIRECTOR (yelling because its too loud to even talk in this place): I can’t hear them.
Me: I know…its like 98db in here. If an airplane took off we might not hear it.
DIRECTOR: I don’t want to have to dub this scene
Me: But you have to…there is no way not to.
DIRECTOR: Are they wired?
Me (trying not to lose my temper): He is but the little girl isn’t
DIRECTOR: Well, how about you throw a lav on her…

Understand this…we can’t fix the sound any more than the DP can move a 20ft tall tree that is blocking a beautiful wide shot. If the sound is fucked…its fucked…and the last thing that will save it is a lavalier.

We are there to record what is there in the cleanest most pristine manner possible. If the location sounds like a 747 taking off then a good sound mixer will get a very solid track of a 747 taking off…so try not to stage a four page scene there. Getting good sound starts in preproduction when you are choosing your locations.

DIY – Turn your Garage into a Prison Set

Shooting a real live prison may be a little hard to pull off with no budget, but with a bit of movie magic and some elbow grease, you can build you very own prison site right in your garage. French filmmaker and Vimeo user eric bernaud systems demonstrates how resulting in some very outstanding results.

The Making of “The Dark Crystal” (1982)

The World of the Dark Crystal is a documentary on the making of The Dark Crystal. The documentary originally aired on PBS on January 9, 1983.

This one-hour documentary details the technological innovations in the field of animatronics, art design, film making, and Henson magic. Requiring over two years of pre-production, The Dark Crystal was inspired by the imagination of artist Brian Froud and conceived by scores of talented designers, builders, technicians, and performers. The World of the Dark Crystal shows how Jim Henson’s Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in London and the Muppet Workshop in New York brought Brian Froud’s art and Jim Henson’s vision to life.

Every Ray Harryhausen Stop-Motion Creature in One Video

Before the CGI era, filmmakers had to rely on models and puppets to star in their monster films. One of the legends of the stop motion techniques is Ray Harryhausen whose credits include Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts, and One Millions Years B.C. Here are every one of Harryhausen’s creates present in chronological order in one video:

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