Wednesday, 17 December 2014

11 Most Influential Cinematographers of All Time | Online Degree Hub

Acting is easy to appreciate in movies because the performers are right there in front of you. The same goes for special effects, sound, set design: all the stuff that's easy to see and hear and instantly understand. But cinematography is trickier. The way a movie is filmed has everything to do with its tone and purpose, but that tone is communicated subconsciously to the viewer through clever uses of lighting, focus, framing, and a dozen other things that go into making up just one frame of thouands. Cinematography is vital to how a film will feel, but it's also practically invisible. The best cinematographers have been able to compose images that work on viewers emotionally without calling overt attention to themselves, which makes their films feel like real experiences and not dry technical experiments. These cinematographers have earned their influential reputation not for the number of movies they've made but for the way they've made them, impacting everything from how we make genre films (sci-fi, gangster stories, whatever) to what we think movies should look like.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

What Is A Best Boy, Gaffer and Grip? | Gorilla Film Online

Have you ever watched the credits roll at the end of the film and found yourself wondering 'what the hell is a best boy/gaffer/grip/Lance Henriksen?'

That's okay, they're not the most descriptive titles, but we're going to try and make you less stupid by giving you a rough guide to them. You can then use this knowledge to bore a date into ending a night out early. It's okay, no need to thank us, just read on. (And leave a thank you in the comments).

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Michael Moore, Albert Maysles and More Documentary Titans | Indiewire

DOC NYC's Visionaries Tribute, held on Friday, was one of the most significant gatherings of documentary filmmakers in history. The event was host to the likes of Albert Maysles, D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, Barbara Kopple, Dan Cogan, Rory Kennedy and Michael Moore, who all took part in this year's tribute to documentary film and the extremely talented filmmakers who have made doc history.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

8 Female Cinematographers You Should Know About | Indiewire

The statistics are disheartening. In the last five years, women accounted for just 3% of the cinematographers among the 250 top-grossing films. No female DP has ever been nominated for an Academy Award. We recently published a first-person story from Elle Schneider, director, cinematographer and co-founder of the Digital Bolex cinema camera, in which she talked about why there aren't more female cinematographers and why we need to change that.

Monday, 3 November 2014

THE 5 HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL FILMMAKERS - Video & Filmmaker magazineVideo & Filmmaker magazine

Ask any great filmmaker how they made it, and most will tell you by a lot of hard work, a willingness to learn and being able to take criticism well.

Taking a look at some of the advicegiven by legendary filmmakers, allows you to see a common thread amongst them. Habits that they all share, here then are the five most important habits that successful filmmakers have:

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Great Self Distribution Hoax

Do you want to know what really chaps my ass about self distribution?

I get annoyed when I hear other filmmakers (and industry gurus) drone on and on about self distribution, as if it is a new concept or a last resort. Here's the deal. Anybody who is still talking about "self distribution" (as if it's a choice) is old school.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Michael Moore's 13 Rules for Making Documentary Films | Indiewire

During his keynote at the Toronto International Film Festival's sixth annual Doc Conference, Michael Moore shared his advice to documentary filmmakers, beginning with the notion that they shouldn't be called documentarians at all. "We are not documentarians, we are filmmakers," he told the crowd at the start of his 13-point manifesto.

Monday, 8 September 2014

News Shooter | How to get ahead in video journalism – 10 tips for starting out from Webby award winner Pete Pattisson

In 2000 I got my first photos published in a magazine. Fourteen years later I won a Webby Award for my film exposing the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup.

Along the way I've learned a few things about what it takes to succeed (or at least survive) as a freelance video journalist. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I hope one or two of these tips may be helpful to some of you trying to break in to this most competitive of fields.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Shooting Documentary: Five tips for filmmakers - Imagejunkies

I've been lucky enough during my career to shoot a number of documentaries. Above is my most recent, a 45 minute film exploring the lack of equality worldwide between men and women.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Film Directing Tips, Film Making Articles and Online Resources for the Independent Filmmaker

Hollywood's health and safety nightmare - Film Directing Tips, Film Making Articles and Online Resources for the Independent Filmmaker

It was the middle of the afternoon when the emergency call came from Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. A 71-year-old man had injured his ankle "in an incident involving a garage door". Paramedics on the air ambulance sent to ferry him to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford were amazed to discover their patient was no ordinary pensioner, but Hollywood actor Harrison Ford. His ankle had been smashed by a door falling from the Millennium Falcon, the spaceship his character Han Solo flies in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

How to show texting on-screen | A ton of useful information about screenwriting from screenwriter John August

Craig and I may have taken umbrage at his video about comedy directors who aren't Edgar Wright, but Tony Zhou'snewest video looking at how filmmakers handle texting and the internet on-screen is all good.

Friday, 1 August 2014

7 Things You Need To Make A Documentary

7 Things You Need To Make A Documentary

Mad about a thing? Want to make a documentary about it and upset a lot of other people too? In this article, I offer guidance to help you on your journey to becoming a rock star of PBS, a lead singer of troubling footage, a drummer of pie charts, a flutist of social engineering masquerading as conscience. The time has never been more totally nigh for Americans to learn the real truth about how things actually work behind the curtains, see how the sausage gets made. The truly beautiful thing about documentaries as beacons of social change is that nothing inspires a revolution so much as a bunch of people who will never meet each other to organize against a common enemy going to bed angry.

It doesn't matter if you do an exposé, a biography, or a societal critique wherein you have a massive complaint that probably pertains to you and definitely has something to do with your daddy, there are some rules you need to abide.

Filmmakers Increasingly Turning to Kickstarter

Filmmakers Increasingly Turning to Kickstarter

SAN DIEGO — The do-it-yourself spirit was alive and well at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International, and not just among the throngs of attendees dressed in homemade costumes. In the wake of the Kickstarter campaign that successfully greenlighted the Veronica Marsmovie, several filmmakers took to this year's event to tout supporting their own projects through the crowd-sourcing site.

The most prominent among them involves a television adaptation of the 1999 cult-hit comedyFree Enterprise, a love letter to "Star Trek" fandom and geek culture that celebrated its 15th anniversary with a panel at the convention. According to the film's co-writers, Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett, the show would retain the humor and pop culture references of the film, but with a new cast and new adventures.

How to Make a Low Budget Documentary Feature: From Idea to Distribution with “Sign Painters”

How to Make a Low Budget Documentary Feature: From Idea to Distribution with "Sign Painters"

When Faythe initially proposed the idea of doing a film about sign painting, I said what many people have said to us over the past four years: "What do you mean, sign painting?" I immediately felt pretty stupid saying that – even as a relatively aesthetically tuned-in person, a person that has always appreciated cool signage, interesting lettering, et cetera, I had never really put two and two together. I had never given much thought to the fact that there was an entire industry of talented tradesmen and women who actually made the signs I had admired for much of my life. My own ignorance was enough motivation for me to say, "Sounds great. Let's do it!"

Thursday, 31 July 2014

How to succeed as a video journalist | Philip Bloom

PHILIP: I have been a journalist for 25 years, 17 of those were working as a news cameraman in some bloody awful places but covering some incredibly important stories.

Just how important people like Christian (who has written the guest blog post below) are must not be underestimated. Without people like him and the countless others working in TV news risking their lives to make sure what needs to be told is told we would live in the dark ages and some of the most desperate plights of man, the injustices,  would never be highlighted and we would remain ignorant.

Yes, some TV news programmes are biased and their journalism can, at times  be questionable but I am a firm believer that these are in the minority. UK TV news for example is forbidden to be politically biased, unlike UK newspapers, although in reality it's not as easy as that. Anyway this is for a different post.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A social media documentary

Would you let someone read your text messages? How about broadcast them on TV?

In an age where what we tap with our fingers is almost as important as what we say with our mouths, documentary makers are having to go to extraordinary new lengths to tell the whole story.

"Is Chlamydia permanent?" Josie silently searches on her phone, moments after discovering she may have contracted the sexually transmitted disease from Aiden, another star of Channel 4's new series The Secret Life of Students.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

12 Essential Filmmaking Tools Under $20 |

Filmmaking can be a really expensive craft. Between buying a nice camera, lenses, audio equipment, rigs, and accessories, you are looking at thousands of dollars in equipment. However, some of the most useful equipment you can have on can have on-set won't break the bank.

Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter has shared 12 essential pieces of filmmaking equipment that you can pick up for less than $20.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Monday Memo: More Oscar Rule Changes in Store for Filmmakers | Stranger than Fiction

This week Pete Hammond of Deadline reported that rule changes to the documentary category of the Oscars were results of an effort to pare down the number of films eligible for the awards.

Writing for Indiewire, Anthony Kaufman reported on the rise of VOD for docs with the concurrent decline of box office receipts. In a related piece, Indiewire's Eric Kohn took a look at the VOD-friendly distribution strategy used by the action narrative film SNOWPIERCER.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Top 10 Screenwriting Books For Screenwriters

Screenwriters have strong opinions about what screenwriting books are the best when it comes to writing.

It may surprise you, but so do decision-makers.

These ten books for screenwriters are the ones that agents, managers, executives, stars, and directors reference the most.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Using social media to promote your film | Know How | The Knowledge

Social Media is NOT there to offer you a form of free advertising: Social media is about sharing content and engaging with people, so it's important to realize that if you only try to sell yourself and your own work, you're unlikely to be particularly successful. Make sure to find a balance between promoting your film and talking to people, sharing your opinions, and posting interesting and thought provoking content.

"Going Viral" is no easy task: Don't be disheartened if the trailer for your film doesn't go viral as soon as you upload it – getting people to watch and share can be quite challenging. Often films that go viral have done the social media circuit several times. It can often takes a rare set of circumstances, or a hell of a lot of work to propel a film or trailer to internet stardom.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

First Time Filmmakers: 5 Things To Do Before Shooting Your Film |

If you're getting ready for your first film shoot, or haven't shot in a while, this list is for you. Here are 5 essential tips and reminders on what to do during they days leading up to your film or video shoot:

New Sources of Funding for Freelance Journalists | Rory Peck Trust

Finding funding for your latest project can be difficult and time-consuming. We created theSource of Funding pages to help under-resourced freelancers discover the variety of grants available, and to offer advice on how to apply for them.

We've had a great response from freelancers so far, and it's consistently one of the most popular resources on our site. There's a large number of grants availabe for freelancers. Our aim is to compile the most relevant ones and categorise them into region-specific or international sections.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Stephen Follows | Writer and Producer

Alternative content, or 'Event Cinema', is the use of cinemas to show concerts, events and performances which are not traditional feature films.  The sector has grown massively in recent years and even has it's own trade body in the UK, the Event Cinema Association. Just like with feature films, the field is dominated with major cultural brands, such as New York's Met Opera, the UK National Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet and the Royal Opera House.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

More Money for Filmmakers: A Massive List of Grants Part II (Summer Deadlines) « No Film School

Our massive list of grants is back, and for summer it's bigger than ever — more grants, more markets, and more opportunities for both US-based and International filmmakers to get funding! Looking to finance your next 3D feature? Develop your humanities documentary? Get your script picked up by a top agency? Yup, there's an app for that. If granting puns don't get you excited, this list of relevant opportunities with deadlines this summer just might.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 30 May 2014

Visual gags in comedies: US vs UK - Boing Boing

Tony Zhou created this fantastic, 7-minute critique of the visual style of comedy in US films, as compared with UK films (especiallythe films of Edgar "Shaun of the Dead" Wright). Zhou makes a compelling case for the superiority of British sight-gags and visual comedy -- and the fundamental laziness of US directors in their use of visuals to get a laugh.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

How To Achieve Your Filmmaking Goals

How To Achieve Your Filmmaking Goals

As filmmakers, we dream big.  Perhaps we want to win an Academy Award one day; change people's lives with our stories; or just make a full-time living from our craft.  Most of us are not taught how to achieve our filmmaking goals and dreams but this is a learnable skill. Like anything getting things done takes knowledge and practice.

How close are you to accomplishing your New Year's Resolutions and your filmmaking goals?

Hopefully you are closer than when you started.  If not, here is a Quick Start Guide to Achieving Your Filmmaking Goals.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Filmmakers need to focus more on story, less on technology

Filmmakers need to focus more on story, less on technology

With the tech industry growing faster than the film business can keep up, speculation has grown over what entertainment will look like in the next year, much less by the end of the decade. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show 2014 is the world's largest event covering filmed entertainment and content development, management and delivery in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NAB Show 2014 in April talked a little about how today's technology develops a better movie.

UK film finance scheme Microwave relaunches, sets team

UK film finance scheme Microwave relaunches, sets team

The BFI has joined Microwave founding partners Film London and BBC Films for the next iteration of the low-budget production initiative behind Sundance hitLilting and Eran Creevy's debut Shifty.

The trio has earmarked £2.2m for the next round of its Microwave scheme, which will now offer development funding to all shortlisted filmmakers and further development grants of up to £10k for advancing films.

The scheme is due to produce up to six features over three years with production budgets of £150k. £100k will come from Microwave, £50k from the film's producers. Completed films will have access to an additional £25k of P&A funding.

The extended development programme, supported by Creative Skillset, will develop and train up to 36 filmmaking teams. It will also see the return of Microschool, the intensive five day training 'bootcamp'.

Olivier Kaempfer, who produced previous Microwave title Borrowed Time and executive produced Sundance 2014 title Appropriate Behavior, joins the team as senior Microwave executive, while Tessa Inkelaar steps into a development producer role.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Shooting Documentary: Five tips for filmmakers - Imagejunkies

I've been lucky enough during my career to shoot a number of documentaries. Above is my most recent, a 45 minute film exploring the lack of equality worldwide between men and women.

I find shooting doco's much more intense than shooting daily news. The whole process takes over your life from the planning stage through to the editing and delivery (I also edited the film above).

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Interactive: Apps and tools for the mobile multimedia journalist | Media news

Here are the contents of the multimedia kitbag used on a day-to-day basis by Christian Payne, also known as his online alter-ego @Documentally.

Documentaries May Be Cool, But They Aren't Making Money

You know it's spring in urban Canada when you see hipsters lining up in the rain, with their grandmothers, to see a documentary. In Montreal they're at RIDM (Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montreal), in Vancouver at DOXA and in Toronto at Hot Docs, the biggest doc fest in North America and the most important in the world. For audiences and doc makers alike, these festivals are illuminating and energizing, if somewhat bittersweet.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Hot Docs: 9 Tips On How To Make Your First Documentary

Hot Docs: 9 Tips On How To Make Your First Documentary

You've got a great story idea for a documentary, but aren't sure how to pursue it. Today at Hot Docs in Toronto, Academy-Award nominated documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry, who is at Hot Docs with his latest project "Point and Shoot," moderated a panel discussion featuring first-time filmmakers with films screening at Hot Docs: Amar Wala ("The Secret Trial 5,") William Westaway ("Writer With No Hands") and Clare Young ("From the Bottom of the Lake"). 

While the focus of the panel was on creative and funding challenges, Curry steered the discussion to provide helpful hints for aspiring documentary directors in the audience wondering how they can get their project off the ground.

Expect surprises when making documentaries, filmmakers say

Expect surprises when making documentaries, filmmakers say

TAMPA — When it comes to documentaries, the story you fall in love may not always be the one the filmmaker set out to tell.

Just ask Camille Thoman and Tony Armer, who will be at the Sunscreen Film Festival running through Sunday in St. Petersburg.

"Documentaries are real life and real life cannot be planned out perfectly," Armer said. "You take what is given to you and tell that story."

Thoman will attend a screening of her documentary, "The Longest Game," 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg.

"I was such a documentary filmmaker cliché," said Thoman, a 39-year-old resident Los Angeles. "I heard it all the time about a filmmaker who thinks the documentary will be about one thing easy to make and then years later realizes otherwise when she finally finishes it."

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Hot Docs: 9 Tips On How To Make Your First Documentary|Filmmakers,Film Industry, Film Festivals, Awards & Movie Reviews | Indiewire

You've got a great story idea for a documentary, but aren't sure how to pursue it. Today at Hot Docs in Toronto, Academy-Award nominated documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry, who is at Hot Docs with his latest project "Point and Shoot," moderated a panel discussion featuring first-time filmmakers with films screening at Hot Docs: Amar Wala ("The Secret Trial 5,") William Westaway ("Writer With No Hands") and Clare Young ("From the Bottom of the Lake").

Sunday, 27 April 2014

10 Best “Making Of” Documentaries You Need To Watch | Taste of Cinema

If you're reading this post chances are you like film. And if you like film, there is a distinct possibility you enjoy a good documentary too. So it doesn't get much better than a documentary about film, right?

Here's a list of ten of the best documentaries ever made about the making of a movie. Some of them are about cinematic masterpieces. Some of them are near masterpieces in their own right. Some of them are about films, which really aren't all that great but every single one of them is well worth spending your time on if you have a passion for movies.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

What Every Filmmaker Ought to Know About Movie Distribution

Movie distribution is one of least sexy areas of the entire filmmaking process.

And I'll admit, when I was dreaming of my career in Hollywood – I never set out to become a leading movie distribution consultant.

But after taking our first feature to market, I realized something. The movie distribution paradigm is totally broken.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

3D-Film Pioneer James Cameron Talks VR Filmmaking and Oculus Rift

3D-Film Pioneer James Cameron Talks VR Filmmaking and Oculus Rift.

As the director of the highest-grossing movie of all time — the 3D technology-driven Avatar — when James Cameron talks new film technology, Hollywood and Silicon Valley listen.

Friday, 18 April 2014

When Filmmakers Dream: A Story of Attainable Success | Filmmaker Magazine

When filmmakers dream, we dream big. And why not? Shoot for the stars, and hell, you might just get one to act in your next movie. While not every filmmaker has designs for commercial success, one would be hard-pressed to find one that would shun recognition and the opportunity to create more films and get paid to do so. Every young filmmaker would love his or her first film to win Sundance so they can be plucked out of obscurity, handed the keys to Hollywood, and asked to direct every episode of True Detective. And why the hell not?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Should Photographers Care About 4K?

Should Photographers Care About 4K?

If you had to summarize this year's NAB Show in Las Vegas in one word, it would probably be "4K."

The NAB (Which stands for National Association of Broadcasters) Show is the world's largest Electronic Media show, and deals largely in video. But, this year, at least one of the announcements had interesting implications for the still photography market.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

9 Great Filmmaking Tools for Indie Filmmakers from NAB

9 Great Filmmaking Tools for Indie Filmmakers from NAB

If you've ever been to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, you'll know that there are thousands of square feet to cover and a new vendor is hawking their techy goods at every step of the way. It is quite impossible to see all of them in the four days here, and even more impossible to write about all of the cool/cheap/fun toys to play with. So here are just a select few that we geeked out over during NAB, which recently wrapped, and that you might be able to use to enhance your filmmaking careers and help you stay within your budget parameters. 

Attention Filmmakers: Werner Herzog's 'Rogue Film School' Teaches Guerrilla Filmmaking Tactics and the Art of Lock-picking

Attention Filmmakers: Werner Herzog's 'Rogue Film School' Teaches Guerrilla Filmmaking Tactics and the Art of Lock-picking.

Of the many (we're talking many) wildly entertaining stories about Werner Herzog's penchant for inspired eccentricity and fascination, perhaps the earliest is the story of Herzog stealing a 35mm camera from Munich Film School in order to become a filmmaker, something he considered "a necessity" rather than theft. Now, Herzog is going to teach more filmmakers how to take what is necessary rather than wait for permission at Rogue Film School.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Tips for building a miniature set

At its core filmmaking means creating a perfect illusion. Lots of great movies of the past used one of the simplest yet effective methods to trick the spectators: miniatures that look like real-life objects.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

7 Funding Tricks from 7 Documentary Filmmakers

7 Funding Tricks from 7 Documentary Filmmakers.

POV's Story Doctor Fernanda Rossi has been probing successful filmmakers about their budgets for the last few months. Here's what she's learned from seven of them.

12 Incredible Tweeters That Post About Film Production

12 Incredible Tweeters That Post About Film Production.

There's lots to like about Twitter! One reason is for information, and for us some of our favorite Twitter accounts that we follow and enjoy learning from with regards to film production are listed below. If you have a 13th to add to the list then the comment section is yours below, so feel free to post a Twitter profile link or two, or comment on the 12 that I list here.

Monday, 24 March 2014

DIY Tips + Tricks from Indie Filmmakers

DIY Tips and Tricks from Indie Filmmakers.

Executive producer Zak Baggans and director Devin Lawrence have worked together on the Travel Channel's popular "Ghost Adventures" series, and they teamed up with TV veteran and DP Mark LaFleur to create their first feature film: Sympathy, Said the Shark. The democratization of film technology has put affordable, feature film quality tools in the hands of many, making DIY filmmaking truly possible. But it's not just the up and comers taking advantage of these tools. Even those established in the industry are using these tools to deliver their own projects, which is exactly what Zak, Devin and Mark are doing with their first film. Learn from Devin and Mark about their thoughts about indie filmmaking and its future. 

Stop the BBFC Killing Independent Film

Stop the BBFC Killing Independent Film.

There's a really intelligent and well-written breakdown of what this change is and why it matters over at MovieMail. Basically, the BBFC are changing the rules regarding what material on a DVD release can be exempt from classification, meaning that documentary and behind-the-scenes footage will now incur substantial per-minute fees from which they were previously exempt. This is being put together under the aegis of protecting children from being exposed to rude music videos on DVD (and, seriously, when the hell was the last time a kid watched a music video for the first time on DVD? There's a thing called YouTube which I understand is very popular nowadays), but will have a serious impact for independent distributors who depend on substantial extras on the releases of minority interest DVDs to give them even the slightest chance of breaking even in a difficult marketplace.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Sam Mendes’s 25 Rules for Directors | Vanity Fair

At its spring gala, the Roundabout Theatre Company honored Sam Mendes, prolific director of theater—his King Lear and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are both currently playing in London—and films, including Skyfall and American Beauty.

The event, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, included speeches and performances from Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, and Alan Cumming, who did a number from Cabaret, which Mendes is bringing to Broadway this season. Some Mendes collaborators weighed in via video, including one clip in which Judi Dench andDaniel Craig joined in singing "Cabaret."

After reviewing his career highlights, in depth, the British Academy Award winner said, "One of the things I love about Americans is you do massive ego trips incredibly well. Blimey. I don't think I've ever seen so many photographs of myself. I didn't even know they existed." Mendes also noted that while tributes are wonderful, they are backward looking, and then decided to share what he's learned along the way. "If there are any directors out there in the audience, or anyone who's interested in directing, I've written 25 steps towards becoming a happier director. These are them:

Thursday, 13 March 2014

RedShark News - View from the top, pre NAB 2014: Larry Jordan on the state of video editing and post production

Larry Jordan is a well known video industry figure, whose webcasts are listened to in 175 countries. We asked him about editing, color correction, the cloud, and whether he's looking forward to April's NAB - the biggest show of the year...,-pre-nab-2014-larry-jordan-on-the-state-of-video-editing-and-post-production

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The 25 Greatest Cinematographers In Film History | Taste of Cinema

Cinematographers – or 'directors of photography', if you're not into the whole brevity thing – have been the unsung heroes of cinema since the year dot. If the writer is a movie's synapses and the director is its heart, the DP is the eyes. Manipulating light, depth and perspective to elevate even the most simple stories into things of beauty, they are often filmmaking's unsung heroes.

Monday, 10 March 2014


Amazing camera controls - Get the shots you want

Work as a team - Anyone, anywhere, real time

Virtual asset store - Quick digital location scouting

Plan and pitch your film - On your iPad or Surface

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Simplicity & Beauty: DP Sean Bobbitt Discusses the Stunning Cinematography of '12 Years A Slave' « No Film School

Of the many excellent films to hit theaters last year, few were as powerful (or as well shot) as the Best Picture Oscar winner, 12 Years A Slave. It's one of those rare films that transcends its utterly brutal subject matter and makes a powerful statement about the resiliency of the human spirit. Although much of that power is derived from terrific acting and direction, Sean Bobbitt's masterful cinematography plays a critical role in allowing the emotionality of the story and its characters to emanate from the screen. In a pair of excellent interviews with Cinefii and Time LightBox, Bobbitt explains not only how he managed to craft such a gorgeous film, but also his theories behind portraying violence through film, working with Steve McQueen, and much, much more. Stick with us for a crash course in dramatic cinematography.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The 12 Most Desired Final Cut Pro X Features | Filmmaker Magazine

Final Cut Pro X (FCP X) was announced in April of 2011 and released in June of the same year. In the nearly three years since its release I have slowly increased the amount of work I do with it. As of this writing I am in the early stages of editing a feature-length documentary using Final Cut Pro X. I agree with the post-production masses that say Apple should have handled the launch of FCP X much better than it did. I could go on and on about what I wish they would have done differently. I won't. That is not the purpose of this article. It is also not a point-for-point comparison of editing apps. And I'm not here to debate whether it's a pro tool or not either. Many people have been cutting great things with FCP X just like with Avid, Premiere and previous versions of FCP. What I do want to do here is look at where FCP X currently is and what I hope Apple does to continue to grow it and make it better.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

10 Fun and Fascinating Facts About the 2014 Oscar-Nominated Films

10 Fun and Fascinating Facts About the 2014 Oscar-Nominated Films.

Tomorrow night, we'll finally be able to cash in on those Oscar bets when the best of Hollywood are honored at the 86th Academy Awards. Nine feature films created by some of the greatest directors working today will compete for Best Picture gold. We've selected ten fun and fascinating facts about each movie, recognizing the extreme and sometimes unusual methods these filmmakers and stars employed to create a memorable motion picture.

Monday, 10 February 2014

How to make a point: 11 tips for making better campaigning films

How to make a point: 11 tips for making better campaigning films.

Making a film that makes a point is a skill that is quite different from knowing about cinematography, and from writing a letter, an article or white paper. To make a good film - one that makes the audience agree with you or the point you're trying to make, you need to do it in the right way

These days, there's massively more opportunity to use video to get your point across. And when you've made your polemic production, you've got more chance than ever to get it seen. We'll talk about this later, but first, let's look at how to approach your campaign right from the start.

The Top 4 Tips for Nonprofit Video Projects

The Top 4 Tips for Nonprofit Video Projects.

Jim Havey, Havey Productions

As a filmmaker with more than 30 years of professional experience, I have witnessed the ability of film to get to the heart of a message, faster, and more powerfully than any other medium. That is why I am passionate about helping nonprofits use film to their best advantage.

Here are my top four tips for getting the most out of your film projects to help reach your fundraising and branding goals.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Vimeo Launches $500K Program to Support Crowdfunded Films

Vimeo Launches $500K Program to Support Crowdfunded Films

Today at the Sundance Film Festival, Vimeo announced that the company is launching a $500K program to support crowdfunded films. The program will give creators who have successfully raised $10,000 or more through crowdfunding platforms access to tools and funds to bring their projects to market on Vimeo.

Vimeo's team of curators will review qualifying films on leading crowdfunding platforms, including Indiegogo, Kickstarter and our friends at Seed&Spark. The team will grant free, one-year PRO accounts and access to a $500,000 Audience Development Fund to select filmmakers. In addition, Vimeo will offer marketing support in exchange for an exclusive digital premiere window for distribution on Vimeo On Demand.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

5 Tech Stories That Filmmakers (and Film Fans) Must Read: Sony Introduces 4K Camcorders, at CES 2014 and More

5 Tech Stories That Filmmakers (and Film Fans) Must Read: Sony Introduces 4K Camcorders, at CES 2014 and More

1. Sony Camcorder: Sony introduced a 4K camcorder which is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand at their CES press conference yesterday. Of interest to filmmakers, Sony announced a collaboration with WeVideo, the leading online video editing company, to make online video editing a reality. Starting in late January, owners of Handycam camcorder models from 2012 through 2013 will be entitled to three free months of access to WeVideo, for access to powerful video editing features including Full HD 1080p export quality; real-time previews, fast rendering; 10GB of cloud storage; and 400 royalty-free audio tracks. Find out more at Sony's blog.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

How To Develop A Festival Strategy For Your Film That Doesn't Waste Time Or Money

How To Develop A Festival Strategy For Your Film That Doesn't Waste Time Or Money

Getting your film into the right festival is an art of it's own. Not only do you need to be careful about the content that you submit and how it's submitted, but just as importantly you need to make sure that the festivals you submit to are worth your time and effort.

In order to develop a festival strategy for yourself, it's important to first identify the different types of festivals to see where your film fits in. After all, the average festival submission can be anywhere from $20 – $100, so even just applying to 10 – 15 festivals can start costing you thousands of dollars. Let's take a look at the different types of festivals….

Extraordinary Careers: A Maverick Filmmaker

Extraordinary Careers: A Maverick Filmmaker.

Either directly or cloaked, my work is a reflection of the universe that I inhabit. As an indigenous young African, I find myself confronted by a world in constant flux; it is so unrelenting that it can't help but inform my chosen reality. Trying to swim in the sociopolitical tide that is globalization. What does a day-dreaming, rural African boy hold on to? His unclear yet colonised past? His passive-aggressive present? Or does he set sail towards an uncharted but highly anticipated future?

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Inter BEE 2013: Newsshooter talks 8K cameras with Astrodesign in Film School - Filmmaking

Inter BEE 2013: Newsshooter talks 8K cameras with Astrodesign in Film School - Filmmaking

Inter BEE 2013: editor Dan Chung has a look at the Astrodesign 8K camera designed for Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Why Did the Most Promising New Filmmakers Fail Us in 2013?

Why Did the Most Promising New Filmmakers Fail Us in 2013?

Short films can be good calling cards, but they aren't always the best proof that a filmmaker has the skills to immediately jump into a feature. Especially a big Hollywood production. In recent years, thanks to the combination of the Internet, social media and cheaper tools for making movies on a personal computer, we've seen some awesome short films go viral and then get the attention of studio execs and big time producers. The filmmakers, in only a few minutes of screen time, display a lot of talent and imagination and, most importantly, promise. But they're often handed properties that are too much to handle even for experienced directors, as we saw with Neill Blomkamp's assignment of Halo as a feature debut. Fortunately, that never happened and instead we got District 9, an extension of his popular short, Alive in Joburg.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Filmmakers, Film Industry, Film Festivals, Awards & Movie Reviews

Filmmakers, Film Industry, Film Festivals, Awards & Movie Reviews

The Oscar shortlisted documentary "Tim's Vermeer" represents a change of pace for irreverent entertainers Penn & Teller, who are better known for their presence in front of the camera or on stage in their acclaimed live comedy and magic shows than for nonfiction forays into films about art history. But "Tim's Vermeer" reveals itself to actually be perfectly in line with the duo's legacy of using critical thinking to challenge popular misconceptions and commonly held beliefs in science and culture. Produced by the pair and directed by Teller in his feature debut, "Tim's Vermeer" puts a controversial theory about painting technique to the test, and in doing so wittily demands audiences reconsider how they think about art and talent and how the latter is determined.

5 Daily Tech Stories That Filmmakers (and Film Fans) Must Read: 'Reservoir Dogs' in Tweets, CES 2014 News and More

5 Daily Tech Stories That Filmmakers (and Film Fans) Must Read: 'Reservoir Dogs' in Tweets, CES 2014 News and More

1. CES News: We'll be covering CES in Vegas for the first time-ever next week. You can read our first-ever CES Preview here. But here's the latest: YouTube will be demonstrating 4K video based on VP9, a new royalty-free codec that Google has been developing. The Google-owned video service will be showing off 4K streaming at various booths, including LG, Panasonic and Sony, according to a report from GigaOm. It could lead to a battle over 4K delivery systems, since HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) specification, has been the dominant technology up until now.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Covering the death of Nelson Mandela for the BBC

Covering the death of Nelson Mandela for the BBC

I arrived in Johannesburg excited for my upcoming documentary shoot in Lesotho. Leaving the plane I sleepily switched my phone back on and it immediately began to beep with incoming text messages. Nelson Mandela had died.

The death of Mandela is a story I've been preparing for for many years – when I was the BBC Africa bureau cameraman the fear of his death had always hung heavily over us, we all knew it could happen at any time and that the story would be huge. Now it had happened I felt sad for his family and for South Africa but relieved that he had finally found peace.

Indiewire's Ultimate Guide to Documentary Filmmaking Advice

Indiewire's Ultimate Guide to Documentary Filmmaking Advice

There's been a huge renaissance in documentary filmmaking and Indiewire's been collecting some really great advice for documentary filmmakers, whether it's about how to go about finding funding, making the best film you can, or distributing the film successfully, Indiewire has the information you need!