How to Record DJ Audio for Wedding Filmmakers. How to Use a Glidecam. Here Are Some Great Tips for Directors Who Are Just Starting Out. Directing is a tough gig, especially if you're not completely clear on what it is you'll be doing on set.
You show up on set for the first day of shooting after months of brainstorming, budgeting, and organizing, and all of a sudden it's like, "What the hell do I even do? " Everything You Need to Know About Call Sheets (in Under 4 Minutes) Call sheets are an essential piece of documentation on any production, big or small.
But what are they, exactly? In this video from StudioBinder, a start-up that allows users to create call sheets online, 1st AD Alex Stein explains exactly what a call sheet is, what information should be on it, and how to read one. There is quite a lot of need-to-know on-set information that makes a call sheet the integral piece of paper that it is, so here's a quick breakdown of all of those pieces mentioned in the video (StudioBinder goes into more detail in their blog post): Production, Call Time, and DateVIP Contact DetailsWeather, Address, and ParkingProduction NotesDaily ScheduleTalent & Crew BreakdownNearest HospitalsWalkie Channels. 9 Cinematography Tips for Directors with No Space & No Budget. Over the past few years I've contributed articles focused on my experience independently promoting and distributing my previous two features, The Graduates and Turtle Hill, Brooklyn.
But before an indie filmmaker can distribute their film, they have to shoot it, and one of the biggest challenges on features of any size is the cost of creativity -- the demands of production can make it extremely challenging to take the time to visually articulate moments, scenes, sequences and themes the way you dreamed up in pre-production. On my most recent feature, Drinking Games, we faced this challenge constantly -- we made the suspense-filled drama for under $100,000 in twelve days, on location inside a real dormitory. My cinematographer Andrew "Tank" Rivara had to light tiny rooms for the RED, while the budget and the clock were working against us from the beginning! Flying with equipment. A Photographer's Guide to Freelensing, The Poor Man's Tilt-Shift Lens.
Freelensing is a relatively inexpensive way of getting the similarly unique effect of an expensive tilt-shift lens, where the focus plane is thrown out of whack with the added bonus of natural light leaks.
No, this isnt anything new, and the look that an expensive tilt-shift lens gives has been around for a while, but I wanted to share with you my experience with it and how I did it. Yes, I did purchase a brand new Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D lens from B&H only to break it and take it apart the minute I took it out of the box… but that was the reason I purchased it. I had tossed around the idea of spending the money on a tilt-shift lens that would easily cost me over $1000, but after reading about the freelensing technique from Sam Hurd, I figured I would give it a try. At the end of the day, it’s the unique look that I’m going for, so if I could get that by breaking a $150 lens, I’m down to do it.
Perfect! WOW, that did it; getting the rear element closer to the sensor was the trick. Hulu Summer Film School. 5 Skills You Should Learn If You Want to Be a Major Filmmaking Asset. What are some important skills to have that will make you more of an asset as a film producer, director, camera operator, or assistant?
There are so many skills and qualities that will no doubt make you a better filmmaker -- even just being an all around nice person does wonders. But Caleb Pike lists five specific skills that he looks for in filmmakers he hires, ones that are not only technical, like staging gear, but ones that are interpersonal. Caleb talks about all five in the video below: So, it's not all about knowing your way around gear. Shoot Hazy and Ethereal Photos Using a Sandwich Bag and Colored Markers. Photographer Jesse David McGrady has a super simple trick for adding a hazy, ethereal effect to your photographs: wrap a plastic sandwich bag around your lens.
It sounds ridiculous and silly, but the results you get are actually quite nice! First, find yourself a sandwich bag — those thing plastic bags that you carry sandwiches around in. On the closed side of the bag, use your hands to tear a hole. Don’t use scissors, since you’ll want the edges to be rough, uneven, and slightly random. Take the open end of the bag and slide it over your camera lens, with the hole end extending a little past the end of your lens. Artificial Lighting Tips for Food Photography. I’ve been preaching natural light since before I knew what “natural light” even meant.
Whether food photography, portrait photography, or whatever in the whole wide world photography, NATURAL LIGHT RULES. In my opinion, there is no comparison to the beauty you get with a good camera, a great photographer, and perfect natural light from the sun. Artificial Lighting Tips for Food Photography. How-to: Freelensing. The era of digital sensors has created a pervading fear of dust among photographers.
Many shooters try not to change lenses except when they have to, and they pale at the thought of a gaping-open lens mount. But sometimes it's worth throwing caution to the wind. Often times I find the wrong way to use my equipment is the best way. Tips To Improve Your Beverage Photography: Secrets Of The Craft. Is It Smoky in Here? Shane Hurlbut Shows How to Use Smoke to Achieve Different Lighting Goals. Say what you will about Shane Hurlbut, but there aren't too many professional Directors of Photography who take the time out of their crazy schedules to try to give back to the community.
Shane's most recent work that we've covered here was the Canon-sponsored film "The Ticket," shot in 4K on the Canon 1D C. While I saw that film at NAB (and wasn't too crazy about the quality of the footage coming out of that camera), it doesn't take away from the fact that he's a professional DP who knows a thing or two about lighting. How to use Sliders at Weddings. 9 Helpful Tips for New Second Shooters. Here Are 5 Cheap & Easy Ways to Mount Your Microphone.
Infographic: How to Avoid Tripping a Breaker with Too Many Lights. Working with high-powered lights on standard 15-amp circuits can be tricky business.
Luckily, our peeps at Story & Heart are here to help. In this handy-dandy infographic (and the accompanying blog post), the S&H team breaks down the simple calculation that will help you figure out whether or not plugging in that extra 300 watt lamp will trip the breaker, thus costing your production time that could have been better spent, you know, actually shooting things. Check out the infographic below. Essentially, the formula comes down to this: take the number of amps (information that should be clearly displayed inside your breaker box), multiply it out by 120 volts (assuming you're in the US), and the resulting number gives you the maximum wattage that particular circuit can handle.
How To Make Your Location Seem Like Something It's Not - Indie Filmmaking Tutorial. Creating locations that don't exist - Filmmaking Tutorial. The ultimate Introduction to DSLR Filmmaking. DSLR video: Tips for filming at night & in low light. How to Slate Like a Pro (Plus How You Definitely Shouldn't Slate, Like Ever) Slating is really damn important, particularly when working with dual sound and massive amounts of footage. Here's Tomm from RocketJump Film School to show you the basics of how to do it right, plus some very tangible examples of how not to slate. There are a few things that I would add to the practices in the video. First, if the information is available, always include the clip name/number from your audio recording device on the slate.
This little step can make the editor's life so much easier when it comes to matching video clips with the proper external audio. Secondly, it's important to make sure the slate stays roughly the same size in the frame regardless of shot type or focal length. The trick that I've always used for keeping the slate the same size in the frame regardless of focal length is really simple, and it works like a charm.
Watch How the Masters Used to Create VFX for Movies in These ILM Videos. Back before VFX became a computer-only affair (for the most part), creating post effects required dealing with lots of physical elements. You might already be very familiar with some of these tools and processes (some of them are still in use today), but it's fascinating what we take for granted these days, especially since some effects took an unbelievable amount of trial and error and experimenting: You can see more examples of Star Wars matte painting here. There are a ton more videos out there showing off new and old techniques, and even though we still deal with miniatures from time to time, most of these effects are now done with computers.
5 Skills That Will Make You a More Valuable Filmmaker. There are tons of skills that will make you a better filmmaker, but have found these 5 skills to be invaluable. Here are 5 skills that I like to see in filmmakers I hire or 5 skills he/she is willing to develop. Watch the video above to see all 5 tips and read the conclusion below to see the payoff of mastering these skills. 1. Knowing How to Stage Gear. Finally! The Definitive Guide on How to Be a Filmmaker. C-Stand Basics: How to operate with this powerful tool by Shane Hurlbut. Reflective Surfaces Can Ruin Your Shots. Here Are Some Quick Fixes. How to Light & Shoot a Seamless White Background from Start to Finish. A seamless background can make your project look like a million bucks, but lighting one can be a little tricky if you don't know where to start. Zach Arias offers up this lighting tutorial on DEDPXL to show you how to light for a seamless white, black, grey (virtually any color, really) background.
If you're a stickler for details like me, one thing you'll appreciate is the utter thoroughness of the lesson. Arias breaks down not only the hows, but the whys behind every creative and technical decision he makes on his set. Check out Part 1 below. (You can also find out more in his blog post here.) A Cheap & Easy Way to Create a Professional-Looking Infinite Black Backdrop. Here's a cheap, simple, and professional-looking technique to add to your arsenal -- the infinite black background. Guest blog: A guide to using twixtor. I get asked a lot about twixtor. People LOVE slow motion. There is nothing better than capturing at 2564 frames per second like you can on a Phantom (check out my mini doc with Flex footage here!) But that is out of the price range of most of us. 60FPS is the most we can get out of our cameras generally. WATCHED.
15 Common Mistakes Amateur Filmmakers Make (& How to Fix Them) 3 Isn't a Crowd, but You Can Make It Look Like It Is with These Cinematography Tricks. What do wild parties, college lectures, massive armies, and zombie hordes have in common? Learn How to Build a Good DIY Rain Machine for $15 (& a Great One for $60) If your scene is calling for rain, don't wait for Mother Nature to get her act together.