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. Staging gear is a crucial step in production. 2. This one is huge. 3. I always appreciate a learner’s spirit in assistants and shooters. 4. This skill is GOLD. 5. If you study your boss and learn to meet their needs before they ask, you’ll find yourself on all of their shoots. This post might just sound like a list of ways to suck up to your boss or director, but trust me when I say these skills go far beyond that.
Videos - Creative COW 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. If you want more in-depth explanation of how to judge the capacity of household circuits, head on over to the Story & Heart blog.
Cinevate's Theater - Tools for Filmmakers and Photographers Visit for more information. Filmmakers are storytellers, and how they choose to tell a story is conceived as a unique vision. In realizing this vision, creativity and innovation abound. Over the years Cinevate has been blessed to know many of you in the filmmaking community. The Hedron Slider is the culmination of years of customer input, product research and development. Along with the Hedron Slider comes an evolved line of add-ons, aimed at expanding the physical possibilities for filmmakers alike. All of us at Cinevate feel honoured to have been included in the storytelling process of so many filmmakers. This video was shot and edited by our good friends at Show less
Improv Everywhere | We Cause Scenes Reflective Surfaces Can Ruin Your Shots. Here Are Some Quick Fixes "Reflective surfaces are a pain in the ass," said every filmmaker ever. Say you've just canned a glorious tracking shot. When you go to review the footage, however, you're dismayed to find out that you tracked past three windows, and in every single one of them you can see the dolly and camera crew, the boom operator, and some PA holding coffee that is wandering around like a lost puppy. Almost every filmmaker I know has dealt with this problem in some form or another, and it's one that every up and coming filmmaker will encounter at some point in their lives. But what can you do to get rid of those pesky reflections that can ruin your shots? In my experience, it's always best to have a few different options for cutting reflections readily available to you, because there is no one solution that is perfect for every situation. However, more often than not we're using more than a single source of light in our shots, which means that another solution is necessary.
Disciplinary Architecture or Deterrence by Design Earlier this week, London Mayor Boris Johnson took to Twitter to respond to recent controversy surrounding anti-homeless measures taken by real estate company Property Planners at their upscale Southwark Bridge Road property. Spikes that were installed to deter sleeping and sitting beside the entrance of a luxury building were brought to public attention on Saturday following a tweet by @EthicalPioneer that has since inspired petition and protest. Image via @MayorofLondon’s Twitter account) Political play, or not, the London mayor’s passionate response speaks directly to the outrage surrounding the issue of London’s growing homeless population, which, according to London based charity Crisis, has jumped a staggering 75% in the past three years. Unlike most disciplinary architecture, the architectural practices aimed at controlling our behaviors don’t inspire Twitterstorms, yet the majority of these subtle mechanisms of crowd control permeate our daily lives. April 3, 2012
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. This little formula may change depending on the sensor size you're working with, but for super35, it works like a charm.
NextWaveDV 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.) Now, not everybody can afford the equipment or the space that Arias is able to utilize in his tutorial, but there are certainly some cheap workarounds that you can use to get the same effect. The key to getting a nice seamless background is starting out with a background that can be made to look seamless in the first place (no wrinkles).