A fully dimensional look at 3-D and its use in “Pina”

Pina” is a German dance film dedicated to the choreographer Pina Bausch. Nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature, Pina is also dazzling audiences with breathtaking 3-D that has been compared to Avatar in terms of total audience immersion. Lewis Segal explores how the use of 3d breathes life into this dance documentary.

The Trailer for Pina

But right now 3-D is arguably just a novelty act, existing in so many formats and processes that it’s premature to embrace it as the future of film and video dance. For starters, the stats on “Pina” say it exists in Digital 3-D and Real 3-D (that’s a corporate name, not a value judgment), as well as 2-D. And current 3-D eyewear ranges from those red-and-green plastic glasses you need for most YouTube 3-D on through so-called passive movie specs to expensive electric goggles required for 3-D TV. Most of them darken the image or desaturate color and some impose a flicker or shimmer.

What’s more, “Pina” is a special case, a valedictory compendium of excerpts, not a dance film per se. Indeed, Wenders arguably misrepresents Bausch’s achievements by emphasizing early and pure-dance pieces, never revealing that some of the exquisitely eccentric passages on view are embedded in multidisciplinary three- to four-hour panoramic epics. Bausch’s sense of time in the theater and her use of audience-confrontation tactics are ignored. What remains is eine kleine Pina: her Tanztheater with only the Tanz.

— LA Times | Read the Full Article

How to Make Sure You’re Ready Before You Walk on the Set

As a filmmaker, be it as a producer or director or both, you are like a captain of a ship. Once the production day starts and the ship has left port, everyone will be looking to you for guidance and direction. Nothing will sink your project faster than indecision – an issue that can be mitigated with proper pre-production work.

In the world of independent filmmaking, it’s easy to assume that more money can make any problem go away. But most filmmakers–independent or mainstream—will readily admit that nothing derails a project faster than being unprepared before the production begins.

It’s tempting to think that the $20,000 budget that you’ve scraped together through loans, personal savings and credit cards—and possibly an illegal act here or there—will trump readiness. It’s not true. So many films don’t get made because of poor planning, or just assuming that you can make it up as you go. Granted, it’s much easier to shoot now with digital as opposed to film, but it should be fairly obvious that you can’t just turn on the camera and film until the battery dies. Because the work that you’ve put in during pre-production will help in post, when you’re editing, looping sound, or trying to figure out how the boom ended up in all of those shots.

—Film Slate |Read the Full Article

Finding Real Numbers in Imaginary Movies

Getting a filmmaker to divulge the exact cost of a film is next to impossible. The same goes for distributors when asked about what kind of numbers to expect on the sales end. So at “Distribution X” at Sundance, a panel of distributors were asked to give numbers on wholly imaginary movies.

Case study #1: Documentary, pitched by Senain Kheshgi
This documentary is about the case of the 10 Muslim student alliance kids at U.C. Irvine who protested/heckled the Israeli Ambassador at a speech in 2010 and were charged with federal offenses.

Budget: $575,000 (about half equity, the rest non-repayable grants and foundations).
Needs: About $100,000 to finish film.
Distribution: Has a $45,000 deal from TV broadcaster… who also wants first right of refusal on VOD/digital distribution. Unclear whether those are subscription VOD rights or ad-supported VOD rights, or if they can be negotiated.
Status: The film is in rough cut.

Josh Braun
Giving up TV rights too soon for too little money in the US is not advisable A 52-minute TV-version is key; without it, you lose opportunities. Selling for $45,000 and not carving our key digits rights is a bad idea, as it severely limits sales potential and theatrical investment. You can do multiple subscription VOD deals, so as the lines blur between TV and Internet platforms, it will likely be harder to carve out rights. The key to preselling TV is that the sale should amount to at least 50% of the budget. | Read the Full Article

John Gets a Go Pro Hero 2 (the Wrap)

Filmmaker IQ’s John Hess talks about his new filmmaking tool: the GoPro Hero 2.

Episode 35:

Listen Audio Only:

Subscribe to our Podcast Feed
Subscribe via iTunes


Shots from my first day out with the GoPro Hero 2

Top 7 Articles from Last week:

7. 10 Tips for Writing an Unsellable Screenplay

In this tongue-in-cheek guide, “Pappy Crappy” outlines some easy steps to ensure that your precious vision will find a comfy home at the bottom of a recycle bin.

6. In-Depth Interview with Billy Wilder from 1996

In a interview with the Paris Review in 1996, Billy Wilder opens up about getting started as German Immigrant, flops, collaboration and why it seemed so many east coast novelists couldn’t make it in Hollywood.

5. DIY Streaming Media Server

The filmmakers at our favorite underwater film production, The Underwater Realm, talk about what it takes to put together a 16 terabyte media server running on Infiniband to safely store and stream Red Epic Raw files for a fraction of the cost of an enterprise grade server.

The discussion on the server starts around 1:20

4. What is Motion Design?

This video from Motion Design Plus takes a look at the growth of Motion Design throughout the century with the ultimate aim of creating the first exhibition center dedicated solely to Motion Design in Paris, France.

3. The Future of CGI with Michael Bay, Jon Favreau, Ray Liotta and Paul Scheer & Rob Huebel

Ray Liotta, Michael Bay & Jon Favreau talk about the future of CGI with motion capture experts, Paul Scheer & Rob Huebel in this Funny or Die video.

2. Up with Cameras! eye3 Helicopter Drone for $999

Kellie Sigler and her husband have spent the last two years developing a low priced helicopter platform for aerial photography. Launching through Kickstarter, the basic 6-blade hexacopter with 24lbs of thrust can be yours for a cost of just shy of a grand.

Kickstarter cancelled this project – as of the posting of this podcast, we don’t know why.

1. 33 Jaw Dropping VFX breakdowns from Television

Television Programs have grown to become major cultural events in our culture. And with the availability of technological magic, visual effects for the original “boob-tube” can now match almost anything being seen on the silver screen.

Slaughter of the Bumblebee

Here I am playing a nasty quartet

Douglas Trumbull: A Visual Wizard looks Ahead

Douglas Trumbull is no stranger to special effects in big movies… And we’re talking big big movies: “2001 Space Odyssey” Big. With visual effects credits on 2001 (as mentioned), Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Tree of Life, Douglas Trumbull sees a bright but complex future for digital filmmakers.

In Part 1, Douglas Trumbull talks about lessons learned from over 40 years of work with filmmaking and exhibition technology, as well as some hard lessons in the movie business.

I think there are a lot of opportunities for tremendous improvement in color saturation, frame rate, brightness, and the size of the screen so we can bring back spectacle and showmanship. It would get audiences back into theatres.

Exhibition quality has hit an all-time low and that really bothers me. Not that I don’t admire what’s been done to transform theatres with 3D and digital. But brightness, screen size, saturation are all in the low end, and it’s turning people off.

They can’t quite describe what’s giving them the headache when they watch 3D, but it’s not the 3D. It’s the loss of brightness and it’s also inadequate frame rates. The biggest complicating factor is that there is little qualitative difference between experiencing a movie in the theatre and in your own home.

— Creative Cow | Read the Full Article

Here in Part 2, Trumbull delves more deeply into his career and stories from the production of iconic films.

My career started when I thought I wanted to be an architect and studied illustration. I discovered I didn’t want to be an architect, but meanwhile I had gotten into photorealistic airbrush illustration. Because I had a long-standing interest in science fiction, my portfolio quickly filled up with pictures of aliens and spaceships.

I was also deeply interested in animation, so I thought I’d try to get a job doing that. I went around to different studios, including UPA, the animation studio producing the Mr. Magoo cartoons. They looked at my portfolio and said I was in the wrong place and sent me to Graphic Films, a company that had a specialty contract making films for NASA and the Air Force. I immediately got a job there and started doing animation background illustration for these films. We had a job previsualizing the Apollo program and here I was, really a kid, painting lunar landers and vertical assembly buildings.

— Creative COW | Read the Full Article

Newer Posts
Older Posts