Mike Wilkinson offers a few things to think about when setting up your home office.
Desk placement: If you’re lucky enough to have a room all to yourself for an office, consider where the windows are. You don’t want glare to get all over your screen, (I’m looking at you, glossy MacBook Pros!) so consider placing your work area on the same wall or adjacent to windows.
Subtracting light: If the above isn’t an option, know that basic blinds won’t be enough. The no-cost option is to take some sheets or other linens you have lying around and use it to cover the window. If you have just a little bit in your budget though, consider blackout roller shades, which are about $20 at IKEA. These will help darken your room when you want them to, so you can feel like you have your own personal Batcave during the day. Bonus tip: get shades that are a touch wider than you need, and use them as a makeshift backdrop for quick and dirty headshots. You can find white, grey, black, etc. I’ve needed to take simple headshots for people on several occasions, and having this in place would be one way to multipurpose what you buy.
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There’s always going to be that one client that makes you question your line of work. But if you are constantly running into that type, it may be that you’re not communicating expectations properly.
Almost every day, on Facebook or Twitter, I’ll see one colleague or another complaining about a client. Some people post their gripes onTumblr sites or – even worse – public blogs. I’ve even seen designers create elaborate projects like this one to mock the people who pay them.
First of all, it’s unprofessional. Venting, in person, to a friend is one thing; writing something snarky on the internet is something else. Even if the client you’re complaining about is not a Facebook friend, a Twitter follower, or a blog subscriber, you probably have other clients who ARE, and seeing you spout negativity does not give them warm, fuzzy feelings.
To put this in ad-speak, client-shaming hurts your brand. Branding, after all, is just another word for what psychologists call “conditioned response.” Like Pavlov’s dog, who learned to associate a ringing bell with a tasty meal, you want your customers to associate you with success, talent and integrity. Tweeting “Client hates the layout. Told me to make the logo bigger. #facepalm #fml” does NOT reinforce any of those positive associations.
Secondly, don’t expect it to be easy. When I was at SCAD, I met a lot of kids who were there because they thought art school would be easier than a liberal arts college. They were wrong. Working in a creative field is quite difficult, because there are a virtually infinite number of possible solutions to every problem.
Unlike math, where an answer is either right or wrong, the vast majority of photos, videos and designs exist somewhere on a vast and completely subjective spectrum between “fantastic” and “awful.” Your challenge as a creative professional is to make something thatboth you and your client agree is fantastic.
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Resolution isn’t everything – Phil Rhodes looks at the color advantages that are coming from the new 4K recording formats.
Many people, even now, are shooting 4K for a 2K finish even if they’re not interested in future-proofing because of the drop in noise and increase in sharpness that can be had by downsampling such a large image. But there are also all kinds of potential problems, from the increase in the demands we’re putting on lenses and focus pullers, to the increased precision with which production design must be done. After all, when you can see every brushstroke, one needs to be careful about how the inside of your high-value sci-fi spaceship is painted. It’s easy to overlook the fact that that’s something which has a cost to it just as much as better lenses or a focus puller who’s more in touch with his inner zen. What actors who worry about not being in the first flush of youth think of this situation, I hate to think, but I’ve long heard people used to looking at video tapes decry conventional HD for being too sharp.
So, more pixels. Be quiet, now, film people. It’s sharper than 35. Until recently, though, one area where video tended to fail horribly in comparisons to film was colour rendering. While in practice these things are quite carefully controlled, a cinematographer once had (and to some extent has) the option not only of more muted or more saturated negative stocks, but also the high contrast and saturation of reversal, with or without cross processing or other tricks. At presentation, a film projector can project any colour that happens to arrive in its gate. The colours of film are limited only by chemistry, albeit complex chemistry which is the subject of much research, whereas the colours available to digital systems need to be decided up-front, before cameras and monitors are designed with their built-in red, green and blue filters.
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Cybel Martin implores you to use move the camera – one of the most important elements of developing a personal visual style as a director.
I went to a recent screening of “Letter From an Unknown Woman” at MOMA with a friend and fellow Max Ophulsdevotee. As always, I was delighted and swept away by Ophuls’ complex love stories and equally complex camera moves.
After the film, we discussed what we believed to be a fear, among many (not all) contemporary American directors, of moving the camera in favor of conventional coverage of a scene (Wide shot, Medium shot, Close Up, Close Up and figuring out the pacing in the edit).
Of the film elements filed under cinematography, I believe camera movement is the strongest indicator of my director’s voice. Certainly lighting plays an important factor in storytelling, but it’s the nuances of the camera that, for me, give me a glimpse into the genius of a director: An Altman zoom. Spike dolly. Varda tracking. Tarkovsky slow pan. Spielberg combo push in / tilt up.
Plenty of films draw strength from limited / zero camera movement. Off the top of my head, perfect examples are “Stranger than Paradise”, the duel scene in “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, Jeanne Dielman and several moments in Haneke films.
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The following guide was used by the animation team on King of the Hlll to maintain a consistent and quality look throughout the show.
Stanley Kubrick’s films and legacy stands in a league in it’s own. Mental Floss’s Meredith Danko looks at 12 ways he worked differently and how these strategies can be used in your productions.
Kubrick left no stone unturned when it came to genre or source material. He sometimes worked with non-fiction elements and other times adapted novels into films. He used shorter stories as basis for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut, one a science fiction epic and the other a character-driven drama.
Stephen King has been vocal about his hatred for Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining, and Kubrick’s attempt to include author Gustav Hasford in the process of making Full Metal Jacket was a failure. Despite his reputation, Kubrick actually accepted a lot of help with his screenplays, including assistance from Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov, who wrote the screenplay for the 1962 film.
As Martin Scorsese explained, “[Kubrick] doesn’t deal with traditional, dramatic structure. He was experimenting.” The obvious example of Kubrick’s break from structure is 2001: A Space Odyssey, with its three independent sections, “The Dawn of Man,” “Jupiter Mission,” and “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite.” The segments are very different in terms of both action and theme, but that does not stop Kubrick from making a coherent film.
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Premium Beat looks at some interesting dates in recent history in the exciting but relatively young world of digital editing.
Many younger editors have only ever experienced their craft as a digital endeavor, but anyone who has been editing since before the mid-90s certainly remembers the days of analog — when Steenbecks and Moviolas ruled the post-production world. As with many computer-related innovations, there have been staggering advancements in digital editing over the past 26 years (which is when the first all-digital video editing and compositing system was introduced by Quantel.)
- 1985: Quantel released The “Harry.” The Harry was the first all-digital video editing and effects compositing system. Due to technical limitations, it could record and apply effects to a maximum of 80 seconds of 8-bit uncompressed digital video.
- 1987: Avid Technology created the Avid/1 Media Composer. It was designed using the Apple Macintosh II computer platform, as well as proprietary Avid hardware and software. (Clarification from Avid pioneer, Michael Phillips, in the Comments section of this post: The Avid/1 Media Composer was actually developed on the Apollo computer, which is where Avid’s founders worked before forming Avid as a company. It was then built on the Macintosh II, which is what it shipped with in the company’s first official release in December 1989.)The Avid/1 Media Composer was a revolutionary design, but it was not the first NLE that used modern concepts like clip bins and Timeline editing (these were introduced with Lucasfilm’s EditDroid, a computerized analog NLE from the early 1980s).
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You may also like our course on the Evolution of Digital Non-Linear Editing
A Complete behind the scenes feature for Christopher Nolan’s 2006 film, entitled “The Director’s Notebook: The Cinematic Sleight of Hand of Christopher Nolan”.
DP Alex Buono explains the production process involved in shooting ”The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders” – a spoof that imagines a horror film as directed by Wes Anderson:
Let’s start at the beginning. This spot was simply titled, “New Horror Trailer” and when I first glanced at the script on a Wednesday night, I figured it was going to be a Halloween-appropriate horror film spoof. It wasn’t until the 2nd page that the voiceover reveals: “From the twisted mind of…Wes Anderson”. Wait – this is a Wes Anderson parody? Hell yes! And right off the bat, I gotta give props to writers John Solomon, Rob Klein, Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider for this keenly observed mash-up of a classic home-invasion horror with the hand-crafted charm of a Wes Anderson film.
For those of you who attended my Visual Storytelling workshop, you know that I spent a fair amount of time deconstructing the work of Wes Anderson. Needless to say, I could not have been more excited to take-on the parody challenge of emulating one of my favorite filmmakers. This is the kind of SNL spot I live for.
Very quickly, however, it became clear that this was going to be a very different type of challenge. Wes Anderson is one of the most idiosyncratic filmmakers of our time; his style is so unique that you might think it would be easy to satirize. But here’s the problem: turns out everyone has a different opinion about what MOST distinguishes Wes Anderson’s style. Is it the limited color palette? Flat space camera moves? Symmetrical compositions? Snap-zooms? Twee, hand-crafted art direction? Slow-motion walking shots? Clearly it’s all of those things and more, but within the limited context of a trailer, which are the most important signatures to include? And within a subculture as film-literate as the writers and producers of SNL, we were surrounded by astute Wes Anderson connoisseurs. Suddenly this spot had morphed from something I was dying to shoot into something I was terrified to shoot!
Alex Buono | Read the Full Article