Scott McMahon lists three bits of directing advice to keep your cool in the hectic world of film production.
Shooting a movie is not just about the gear. Arthur Vincie writes about the often overlooked process of crew prep and how to approach and plan for working with a crew.
One of the biggest mistakes I see first-time filmmakers commit is to think solely in terms of production time when it comes to crewing up. The crew shows up on the first day, leaves on the last day, and anything that happens in between, before, or after is just donated or doesn’t count.
Sadly, as feature budgets have come down, this has often become less of a mistake and more of a deliberate strategy. But even if you’re not paying the crew for their non-shoot days, you have to account for this time in other ways ? you have to know when to hire your team, how many meals and rides you’ll need to provide, how long you’ll need equipment vehicles for, and when your insurance should begin and end.
There’s no magic formula for figuring out how much prep each person on your crew needs, since each script is different, but you can use common sense. If the script is a gory monster story set in one house, your location department’s prep needs are not going to be that huge (since you’re not hopping from place to place); but your hair/makeup and visual effects staff will need a lot more time to prepare molds, do makeup tests, and possibly buy supplies.
ProVideo Coalition | Read the Full Article
What is an essay film? Kevin B. Lee explores how essay films use sounds, images, words and editing differently than other forms of cinema.
Anticipating the BFI’s absolutely essential film series Thought in Action: The Art of the Essay Film, which starts this week and continues throughout August, I spent several weeks reflecting on what the essay film is. This led to a video essay and text published via the BFI’s magazine Sight & Sound that aimed to argue for what true value this as-yet loosely-defined mode of filmmaking could bring to a world that is already drowning in media. Using the video essay to take a polemical stance was a galvanizing experience for me, as it clarified a great deal of my own sense of purpose in being a film critic in a landscape where critical opinions are abundantly available.
But even in articulating a personal philosophy towards media and criticism (and how the essay film combines the two), I still wanted to understand how the essay film works on a more nuts-and-bolts level. A lot of critical and scholarly writing on the essay film seemed to lack much of a formalist appreciation of how the essayistic mode uses sounds, images, words and editing differently than other forms of cinema.
Fandor | Read the Full Article
In 1988, Oscar-winning German filmmaker Volker Schlondorff (“The Tin Drum”) sat down with legendary director Billy Wilder at his office in Beverly Hills, California and turned on his camera for a series of filmed interviews. Here, Billy Wilder discusses his life and films in interviews filmed over two weeks in 1988. via frame-paradiso
Watching our favorite TV shows is one of the most fundamental ways we entertain ourselves. And for most of TV history, these stories were simple and episodic: you could watch one episode when it aired, and it was a self-contained story. But now that we have the ability to find the whole back- catalogue of a show online, is it changing the way TV show are CREATED? Not only can people catch up without waiting for a DVD release, but entire seasons are released and consumed in a single weekend (thanks Netflix!) How might that be changing the types of stories we’re being told?
Check out this hypnotic film by Benjamin Lebeau: a study of a couple hundred people’s eyes at UCLA. WARNING: Do not watch this video if you’re sensitive to rapid imagery.
Shot on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT with an SLR Magic 12mm T1.6 lens. Graded, stabilized, and edited with a roundtrip workflow between Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve, with a little help from After Effects.
MUSIC: Credit and special thanks to Dan Deacon for his remix of “Alright Spiral Snip”
Kevin Delin explains that although a movie cannot exist without first being the product of a writer’s imagination and pen, the editor really makes the final decision.
But somewhere after all that effort, from all those people, with all that experience, the script is finally done; no more rewrites. And therefore you might believe the script is perfect. Or, instead, you can talk to my film editor friend. Who will tell you (in a stentorian voice):
Yes, fellow writers. Like actors, we are viewed as mere bits of pre-pre-embryonic material, the enzymatic building blocks that the director will cull and collect and correlate and then, with arms full of the stuff, dump it all into a pile in front of his film editor and together they will pick through it and they will assemble it and they will create the movie.
ScriptMag | Read the Full Article
Watch the first motion picture recorded in the US by Thomas Edison.
Thomas Edison is undoubtedly America’s best-known inventor. Nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” for his prolific creativity, Edison amassed a whopping 1093 patents throughout his lifetime. His most important inventions, such as the incandescent light bulb and the phonograph, were not merely revolutionary in and of themselves: they led directly to the establishment of vast industries, such as power utilities and the music business. It is one of his lesser known inventions, however, that led to the production of the first film shot in the United States, which you can view above.
The film, called Monkeyshines, No. 1, was recorded at some point between June 1889 and November 1890. Its creation is the work of William Dickson, an employee of Edison’s, who had been in charge of developing the inventor’s idea for a new film-viewing device. The machine that Edison had conceived and Dickson engineered was the Kinetoscope: a large box that housed a system that quickly moved a strip of film over a light source. Users watched the film whiz by from a hole in the top of the box, and by using sequential images, like those in a flip-book, the Kinetoscope gave the impression of movement.
Open Culture | Read the Full Article
John Brawley details the intricacies of slating and how it can have a surprising effect on the tone on the scene about to take place.
The first is to provide a synchronisation reference for double system sound syncing. An audible clap with a visual reference so that sync can be checked by an editor later on. When recording sound separately it’s very easy for this sound to go out of sync through the various contortions of the post production pathways. Timecode…even in 2013 seems to be inconsistently reliable. A manual sync reference is a great failsafe for sync and checking sync.
The second is as a note to editorial to show what scene the shot belongs to, if any special processes are required in transcoding, and any other miscellaneous editorial relevant info. There might also be notes to post about which LUT’s to use for example. The script supervisor also makes notes relevant to each take which flow through to editorial as well. Camera sheets will also help the loader track down equipment failures like magazines that are scratching later on as well
John Brawley | Read the Full Article