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7 Things that Automatically Kill Your Film Before It’s Even Made

They’re the things that break your film in a heartbeat - Iain Alexander lists seven deadly sins that can be avoided with good pre-production.

Film Failure

1. No marketing plan

A lot of films get made and sit on the shelf straight after the edit. This is quite typical of a student or low budget short film, but documentaries and features can also fail on this level.

The marketing plan is the last thing people are taught at film schools yet it’s the first thing that matters when people want to make a film actually sell and earn the crew a living. Why else should a film be made if an audience is not going to watch it except for the cast, crew and the odd intrigued grandmother?

2. No safety considerations (Winging it)

Some people think it’s ok to nearly kill their actress on set while making a low budget movie. We’ve all heard that story. We even started encouraging the industry to do something about it. A few weeks later the tragedy in Georgia amplified that need. Why make a film if the safety of the crew is a last resort? Is it logical to go to a warzone without a bulletproof vest or spend a day in the desert without water or provisions? The same goes for films. What happens on the set makes the film. What doesn’t happen before people get to the set, can destroy it.

Film Industry Network | Read the Full Article

A Hands-on Experience with the ARRI AMIRA

Justin Aguirre gets up close and personal with Arri’s entry into the ENG market, the AMIRA which retails around $40,000.

Arri Amira

The opportunity to head up to the ARRI headquarters in Burbank for a one-on-one experience with its prototype AMIRA camera made me feel like a kid who found out I was going to Disney World.

From its classic 16mm cameras to the current ALEXA, ARRI has always had a special place in my heart. I remember way back in film school when I first got my hands on an ARRI SR 16mm camera, it was a well-built camera that had all the controls in all the right places, and when it was combined with the school’s Zeiss 10-100 T3.1 zoom lens, it made for some incredible images. Fast forward to today where I’m working with the ALEXA on commercial and narrative, the company has kept the same well-built qualities and an easy to navigate menu system. These are the cameras DPs want to use.

Jim Davis, product specialist at ARRI, took the time to show me just about every detail around the AMIRA features and answered every question I had during my visit. And I had plenty, so we talked for a while. Jim set the AMIRA up for me in ARRI’s warehouse where we went through the menu system and the new features of the AMIRA, which are a major step up from the current production family. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little nervous after Jim mentioned this was one of only three AMIRAs in the world, but I am proud to say the camera did not suffer any irreparable damage during my visit.

ProVideo Coalition | Read the Full Article

How to Prep a Camera Package with David Elkins

David Elkins covers basic prep procedures for a 35mm motion picture camera.

So you’re heading to a rental house to pick up and prep a camera package, but aren’t quite sure what you’re supposed to actually do for a prep? Well, in a phrase: check everything.

Before heading into production, a proper camera prep is crucially important to make sure your camera package and all of its accessories are in working condition. Without a camera prep, you risk these issues manifesting themselves on set – often at the worst of times.

When you’re doing a prep, it’s important to test, mount, and check anything and everything that will go on, under, or near the camera during a shoot. A camera prep done right is exhaustive, but the reward is a feeling of reassurance as you head into production confident that your camera package is complete and in good working condition.

That attitude of completeness is echoed by David Elkins in the video above when he says, ”The one item you don’t check during prep will inevitably be the one that fails during production.”

And Elkins should know – he’s the author of The Camera Assistant’s Manual, a wonderfully detailed book about how to be a camera assistant. The video – just as detailed as his book – walks you through his camera prep method when checking out a basic camera package.

The Black and Blue | Read the Full Article

The Science Behind our Insatiable Need to Binge-Watch TV

We’ve all found ourselves in the “One-More-Episode” mode – but it turns out we may have that ingrained in our genes.

Breaking Bad

Never before have we been such compulsive multitaskers, blogging and tweeting using multiple devices and smartphones anywhere and everywhere, from trains to cafes. It seems a little backwards, then, that one of our top post-workday hobbies is enjoying the complex storylines of TV series such as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and House of Cards, which engross us for hours on end.

A new type of consumer has evolved in recent years — the love child of the Couch Potato and the Channel Surfer — who has been raised on streaming devices and nurtured by entire seasons of shows available at the click of a remote.

For just a small payment each month, subscribers to Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video have access to thousands of streamed movies and TV shows that are updated and added to regularly. And with Netflix’s new post-play feature, which prompts viewers to play the next episode just as the credits of the last one begin rolling, it’s easier than ever to succumb to the captivating lure of Breaking Bad cooks Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, whose signature dish of crystal meth notched up 10.3 million viewers in one concluding episode.

The birth of the “binge-watcher” has been an intriguing, unexpected development of the past five years.

The Week | Read the Full Article

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