You might not expect to run into one of the finest performances of four-time Oscar nominee Ben Kingsley in an animated film, but Archibald Snatcher is one of the extraordinary surprises of The Boxtrolls. Sir Ben spoke to David Poland about the film, how he found this unexpected voice, and how he approaches his work
By now, EVERYONE knows about the Ice Bucket Challenge (unless you’ve somehow avoided contact with the internet for the past month). While it has been incredibly successful in terms of dollars raised, lots of the videos fail to mention donations, and many people question the value of the campaign. Are these videos “slacktivism”, helping only superficially with a cause? What value do our social posts really have?
If getting things in focus is your ultimate goal – here are 5 ways to ensure everything in frame will be in focus.
Might sound simple enough but I still train people who aren’t aware that you can digitally zoom in (x5 and x10) and check your focus before you start recording. The reason this is helpful as many people are focusing off the back of their LCD monitor on the camera. It can be hard to judge focus off the back of the camera for a couple of reasons. First, for older shooters or those of us who were corrective glasses/contacts it can be difficult to find the happy balance of seeing the LCD itself in focus before dealing with whether or not the shot is in focus.
Secondly, the main reason it is difficult to judge if your shot is in focus is because you are looking at a tiny screen. The smaller the image you are looking at the more masked the effects of soft focus. This results in many people thinking the shot is in focus but when they look at a larger screen they realize the focal point is not where they wanted or the overall image is slightly soft and renders the shot unusable. Zoom in and you will set yourself up for the best possibility for your footage to be in focus. The fact the image is so small masks if the image is slightly soft and you won’t notice until you are look at your footage after the shoot. By that time you are too late and now you have footage you need that isn’t in focus.
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The task of printing has always been part art and part science. Let Jeff Lazell walk you throughout the ins and outs of printing in the color managed world. Jeff was the post-production manager at New York City’s premiere wedding and event photography studio and an expert on color management with almost a decade in the field. This presentation gives you a chance to ask all the questions you’ve ever had about getting the best prints possible. Jeff will talk about using a reference target for shooting, one of the many monitor calibration units to make sure that what you see is what you get on your monitor, and then the profiling device to create a custom ICC profile for their printer, paper, ink combination. Also, all the tips and tricks in Photoshop and Lightroom that will get you to where you need to be before you waste any paper, any ink, and most importantly any time.
Lisa Ogdie and Kim Yutani discuss the selection process at Sundance.
Last week, Sundance Film Festival programmers Lisa Ogdie and Kim Yutani stopped by Film Independent to do a Q&A with our members, offering insight into the selection process as well as helpful hints for filmmakers submitting their work. The deadlines for Sundance 2015 are fast approaching (official deadlines are Monday, August 25 for shorts and Friday, August 29 for features; late deadlines, at a slightly higher entry fee, are Monday, September 15 for shorts and Monday, September 29 for features), so check out their tips and then send them your movie!
They started off with some rather discouraging statistics: last year, there were over 4,000 feature films from around the world submitted, and only 121 of them were chosen. Of the 8,000+ short films submitted, only 66 screened at the Festival. “There’s always good stuff that we would love to play that we just don’t have room for,” Ogdie, who programs the shorts, admitted. In the shorts programs, for example, Ogdie explained that they try to go with at least 50% US-produced shorts, as they are an American festival, and that run time is definitely a factor. “Our official rule is under 50 minutes,” she said, “but it’s just a fact that the longer your short is, the harder it is to program.”
Both programmers explained the long process of selection, and you can rest assured, if you submit your film to Sundance, it will be viewed in its entirety and considered on equal footing with every other film there. Yutani broke down the features selection process: they send out the submissions to a highly pre-screened group of pre-screeners, from whom the team of nine programmers receives extensive coverage. “We all read the coverage of the films, even if they’re lower-rated, just to make sure nothing slips through the cracks,” she explained. “The worst thing that could possibly happen is that we don’t see a film or we pass on a film that then goes on to play at another festival and gets attention.” The team of nine shorts programmers split up the submissions, each watching about 1,000, and then watch each other’s top picks, compare notes and discuss. “We watch everything all the way through,” Ogdie assured us, “even all those 50-minute shorts, I watch every minute of them.”
Film Independent | Read the Full Article
Always interested in crime and justice, Christopher Nolan’s first film (a whole seven years before he made Batman Begins) is a curious black and white head-scratcher about a writer who, obsessed with following people, subsequently gets caught up in a life of crime.
In this interview, Nolan explains his key to success and ends up revealing many of the DIY filmmaking techniques he used to make Following.
Scott Mendelson picks the best and worst marketed films of the summer.
Warner Bros. tricked the entire entertainment industry into thinking that one of the biggest monsters in cinematic history was a box office underdog. Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla revamp actually sold fewer tickets in America and overseas than the alleged super-flop that is the 1998 Roland Emmerich version. But they expertly used the perception that Godzilla 1998 was a John Carter-level disaster to manage expectations for this next go-around. Oh, and they dropped a series of gorgeous and genuinely imposing trailers, which inspired genuine awe in general movie goers while giving away very little of the finished film.
The marketing campaign emphasized scale and large-scale destruction, while offering up Bryan Cranston as the apparent audience surrogate and apparent witness to Godzilla’s reign of carnage. Anticipation built throughout the spring and summer, to the point where a number of non-movie nerds whom I knew both asked me about my thoughts on it and expressed a desire to see it. Warner Bros. did all of this, building a very real anticipation and excitement, while mostly hiding the title character and very much hiding the existence of other monsters and several major plot beats. With the review embargo dropped just over a week before opening weekend, the mostly positive notices gave way to genuine excitement and anticipation, which resulted in a massive $93 million opening weekend.
So big was the debut weekend and so positive were most of the reviews that the film carried a perception of success even as it dropped like a rock in America and barely earned $200 million domestic. It is the lowest-grossing movie ever to open to $90m+ domestic, and it just barely crawled over the $500m mark worldwide. Now at a $165m budget, that’s a genuine success, but the relative indifference past opening weekend among the general public leaves the sequel’s box office future in doubt. Not only did Warner Bros. open their Godzilla movie to over $90m, they successfully managed expectations to where an even less-leggy run than Godzilla 1998 and less tickets sold was construed by most as an unmitigated triumph. Consider me impressed.
Forbes | Read the Full Article