Clever Ways to Mount Foam Board Reflectors and Flags

Recycling pieces found in a thrift store, Udi Tirosh illustrates how reflector and flag stands can be obtained on the cheap.

IV Standse

One day I was shopping in a thrift store, looking at discarded things people donated to resell. As odd as it sounds, there are always a handful of medical related items.. old walkers, crutches, IV stands, etc.. I was looking at the IV stand and It had a “T”  shaped top to hold the IV bags, a telescoping arm that raised up to over six feet high, and casters on the legs to roll it around. Then it dawned on me.. I could clamp a white board to the top of that IV stand and have a rolling reflector! It costs about 1/4 of an actual light stand that I’d probably use to hold a board, and it has a smaller footprint (meaning it takes up less space on the floor than a traditional stand). I got very excited!

So the IV stand at the thrift store cost me $16 (USD) and I took it home.. it was everything I’d hoped it would be. A rolling, light-weight, telescoping vertical white board holder.. for cheap! That is now what I use  to bring my white boards in close to a subject.. If I raise the arm up high, I can actually clamp one white board to the bottom and another one up top, creating a head to toe, rolling reflector.

I’ve found additional ones on Ebay for about $36 (USD).. that’s cheaper than a decent photo stand. When I put them away, I just bring the poles in close and stack the legs on top of each other.

DIY Photography | Read the Full Article

The Evolution of Film in 3 Minutes

The following montage chronicles the evolution of film from its conception in 1878 by Edward J. Muybridge to the Lumiere brothers in 1895. Georges Melies a trip to the moon in 1902 was a total game changer and from there we go to the first theatrical releases starting in 1920-2014

See the video description for the full list of movies used.

New Technology Allows You To Create Any Camera Angle You Want of a Tennis Match

Here’s a demonstration of a virtual camera that allows sports broadcasters the ability to play back a shot while moving the camera to virtually anywhere in the arena.

Replay Technologies has made this work. As you can see, they are able to move a “virtual” camera around the entire stadium, so that you can “fly around” tennis players and see them from any angle. At present it’s a still image – like a “bullet time” scene in the Matrix, but there’s no reason apart from sheer demand for computing power, why this shouldn’t work in full motion video.

The company themselves aren’t immodest about the future direction of their products, but they’re right in the immensity of their claims, although you have to wonder whether evidence “obtained” from a virtual camera will ever be acceptable!:

“We aim to disrupt the fundamental operating cost structure for broadcasting, cinema and other fields (biomedical, security, TV viewing, etc.) by implementation of the concept of placing viewing angles and cameras where none existed in reality”

This really is the start of the ability to specify your camera position in post. This is massive. It’s as big as the jump from still to moving images.

Imagine the cost savings if you can “fly” a virtual camera round a real film set, just like you can in a GCI animation. You won’t have to put cameras on cranes, and your moves can go anywhere, in any direction, as smoothly as you could possibly hope for.

RedShark News | Read the Full Article

First Look at the Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Zacuto

Panasonic representative, Matt Frazer, visited Zacuto headquarters in Chicago to give us a first look at the Lumix GH4. This latest offering from the Lumix lineup is making headlines as the first-ever (DSLM) digital single-lens mirrorless camera with built-in 4K video recording.

Matt describes the GH4 as packed with all kinds of features to support both photographers and cinematographers alike. Features include a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, image processor capable of capturing high-resolution JPEG and RAW stills, cinematic DCI 4K 4096×2160 video at 24p, a micro four thirds image sensor & lens mount & more.

10 Tips for Shooting Video in Europe

Are you getting ready to move a production from the U.S. to Europe? Crews Control offers 10 tips for shooting in the old country.

Big Ben

Crews Control has been managing video productions in Europe for 20 years. Over that time we have gained a lot of video production experience and have collected some funny stories along the way. We worked with our Crews Control represented Directors of Photography from all over Europe to compile our Top 10 List.

TEN: Flicker. The technical tip that was mentioned more than any other was correct frame rates. “Why is the b-roll footage of the factory flickering?” If is important to note that European countries are PAL. You may say “why does that matter for an HD, 2K, or 4K shoot? It’s all about the Hertz baby. European countries main frequency is 50 Hz so the native frame rates that correspond are 50 or 25 fps. America line frequency is 60 Hz so our corresponding frame rates are 23.98, 24, 29.97, 30, 59.94, and 60fps. Most high definition and digital cinema cameras are capable of shooting all the frame rates above. It is important to have a conversation with the local crew to discuss locations and if the frame rate needs to be changed accordingly.

NINE: Siesta. If you are planning to pick up a hard drive or XQD card in the European south at 3PM you probably will not get very far. Shops are closed for siesta from 2:30PM – 5:30PM during the work week. Stores tend to have abbreviated hours on the weekend as well, they close at 3PM on Saturday and don’t open again until Monday morning.

EIGHT: Mileage. The average cost of gas in the EU is $8/ gallon. It is good to be mindful of travel distance to and from a location as well as during the shoot to capture b-roll of landmarks. Bloomberg has a resource that lists countries by currency, volume, and time frame. 

Crews Control | Read the Full Article

The Rise of Videogame Economies | Off Book

While players of multi-player games are aware of their in-game economies, their growth and complexity would surprise many outside the world of gaming. With hundreds of millions of players around the world, MMOGs’ in-game economies generate massive amounts of real dollars (i.e. MILLIONS), and real world economic theories can even be applied to these worlds. Many are now so big that game developers have hired real world economists to help them manage these complex systems. But with secondary economies, gold farming and other issues surfacing, are these systems in need of more attention, or even regulation?

A Primer on Screenwriting Contests

Christopher Schiller writes about the different kinds of screenwriting competitions out there from aspiring scribes.


There are about as many different variations of screenplay contests as the screenplays that are entered in them. Each has its attractions and detriments, risks and rewards. With so much variety it is hard to make generalizations as to what contests a writer should enter and which ones should be avoided. This article will attempt to set out the parameters to allow each writer to make her or his own, informed decisions using their own needs and goals as a guide.

First off, there are variations of every type for screenwriting. And so there are nearly as many variations in what form and/or format screenwriting contests will accept as entries. Some of these variations hold benefits that general screenplay contests lack. Here’s a short list of types to consider.

Short scripts – This is a growing popular contest type. Variations can be for pre-existing works or new works specifically created around a theme. These are complete stories and so represent a finished work. Because of their brevity, they can often be produced relatively cheaply and such a production might be part of the awards in the offer. One thing to consider is whether the contest provider actually has the wherewithal and talent to pull off a successful shoot of your winning script. Winning a screenplay contest that results in a poor quality short film might not be beneficial to your career. Still, a winning short screenplay can lead to a legitimate production which can garner eyeballs within the industry that wouldn’t have read the script.

First X pages – This contest type is sort of a trial run for a full script. They ask for just the opening section of a screenplay, often providing a logline of the film to get you started. With these types of contests the amount of time invested on both sides is shortened. The writer doesn’t have to slave over a full script before getting evaluated. And the contest readers don’t have to read through tons of full scripts to evaluate whether a writer has talent. Seems like a win, win, but, there can be hidden difficulties if not spelled out in the contest details. Questions like, who owns the entry after the contest? Can you take your initial pages and go and write your own script or is the premise and resulting derivative script entries owned by the contest runners? This needs to be stipulated in the contest rules and you need to be aware of whether your potential benefits of participating are limited to wasting time on pages for a project you are prohibited from completing. There is also the potential feeling like the writers are being exploited by the producers getting many variations on the premise tried out without having to pay for them. If this makes you uncomfortable then this type of contest isn’t for you.

ScriptMag | Read the Full Article

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