The Sundance Institute and Canon USA, an official sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival, have provided No Film School with comprehensive data on the cameras and lenses used by filmmakers screening at the 2018 festival. Of the 247 movies that provided data, only three shot on film.
And there are other surprises. "I'm shocked at just how insanely dominant ARRI is over even RED," says No Film School's tech writer Charles Haine. "And the single solitary Panasonic listing is a surprise. I would've thought Varicam would be more present, but I bet we'll see that change next year with EVA1."
"Also, in VR, only one project on Ozo?" Haine continued. "Crazy."
This year’s festival edition includes films from 47 first-time directors, representing 29 countries.
There's nothing worse than a slow computer, especially if you're trying to edit a video project. There are many different reasons why your computer may be suffering performance issues while running an editing program, but for those who aren't very tech savvy or know much about the inner-workings of their NLE, Jordy Vandeput of Cinecom shares a few tips on how to make Premiere Pro run faster regardless of what computer you have.
Perhaps the most arresting thing about Christina Kallas's The Rainbow Experiment, in an array of arresting things, is that its characters come to the screen fully formed, with their own special backstories, traumas, and histories which inform their actions and shape the story. The director's second film, which premieres at Slamdance today, Sat. Jan. 20, begins with an explosion and stays explosive. Ostensibly the story of a high school science experiment gone wrong which permanently injures a character, the movie is really the story of how disparate figures—administrators, parents, students—cope with the event. Some cope effectively, and some fall apart.
Gender balance in the film industry has been famously slow going, with the numbers of department heads behind the camera in film reminiscent of other industries in the 1980s (or even the 1950s). The Center for Women in Film & Television reports that only 13% of directors and 9% of cinematographers are women. In order to foster change in the industry, the New York Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME) worked with Brooklyn College's Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema to produce two pilot projects written, directed, shot and edited by women that will receive their premiere tonight, Fri. Jan. 19 at 10 pm EST on NYC Media. We sat down to talk to the crew about the process.
[Full disclosure: The interviewer, Charles Haine, supervised the post production on the pilots.]
No Film School: How did you first hear about the program?
Just as GoPro announces the end of its participation in the consumer drone market, Autel Robotics, a Washington State-based drone manufacturer has introduced its new foldable drone called the EVO, seemingly taking GoPro Karma's place in the DJI-dominated consumer drone marketplace. In keeping with recent drone designs from its competitors, Autel Robotics' EVO features foldable arms that make the drone easy to carry with you wherever you go. Seems as if we've heard this several times already. So what's new and different about EVO?
Dan Mirvish isn’t known for pulling any punches. After all, he co-founded the Slamdance Film Festival—Sundance’s edgier cousin—which pokes at Redford’s event by taking place in the same mountain town at the exact same time. Mirvish also has a reputation for sharing no-BS advice with other filmmakers, as he has in his book The Cheerful Subversive’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking and on this very site.
“You spend two more years writing, a screenplay or bible,
Your spouse may have left you, but at least you've gone scribal.”
It was the calm before the storm. The festival’s champions entered the arena, primed for controversy: President and Founder Robert Redford, Executive Director of the Sundance Institute Keri Putnam and Festival Director John Cooper. A crush of press flocked in, questions locked and loaded. What is Sundance doing about #MeToo? What role does art play in fake news? What about Harvey Weinstein? Echoes of Christopher Nolan’s fictional press conference in The Dark Knight filled the room: “Things are worse than EVER!” Despite the onslaught, the Sundance triumvirate was smooth and steady. And full of hope. Here are their choice observations about the year to come.
A prequel to our current American nightmare, Greg Barker's The Final Year acts, as its director has previously described, as a "campaign film in reverse." Following Barack Obama's foreign policy team in the final 12 months of their service, the film documents a globe-trotting race against the clock as the men and women tie up loose ends, attempting to reach outstanding agreements with foreign leaders before the next President—whomever that may be—takes office. Depending on your politics, there's a good chance you will cheer when Obama's administration joins the Paris Agreement and subsequently shudder in fear upon the realization that our current administration has reversed course.
With Sundance 2018 in full swing, let's take a look at some of the trailers and exclusive clips from the films featured in this year's festival.
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream
Back in August, MoviePass made a substantial shift in its strategy, lowering its subscription service fee to see unlimited movies in the theatres to only $9.95/month. The move on the surface seemed like a guaranteed way to lose money as most single movie tickets cost more than $10. MoviePass, however, believed that it could create a database of moviegoers large enough to understand their purchasing habits and use that database as leverage with distributors and exhibitors to charge for marketing services or even participate in box office revenues. Since the August announcement, 1.5 million new subscribers have joined MoviePass, up from 20,000 subscribers back in 2016.
Kodak built its brand on putting cameras in the hands of "everyday" people. Though it nearly went bankrupt after inventing (but failing to capitalize on) previous investments, the company is still standing, primarily through brand licensing agreements and recent camera releases. It now seems committed to the user-friendly creation and sharing of immersive photos and videos. Will this be Kodak's path toward continued profitability?
The market for consumer 360 cameras is crowded, but Kodak is confident in its Pixpro line, and they were onsite at CES to debut its latest iteration, the Pixpro ORBIT360 4K.
In addition to showing off its new consumer 360 camera, it also showcased two prototype 360 cameras that it hopes to release toward the end of 2018. With technology continuing to facilitate streamlined and friction-free workflows, Kodak remains bullish on the future of immersive photography, citing a belief in increased consumer adoption moving forward.
There are so many questions we as filmmakers have to ask ourselves in order to stay healthy, like, "Am I getting enough sleep," or "Is my workload pushing me to the edge of sanity?" However, there might be one thing you may have never thought to ask yourself, something that could save you from years of excruciating pain, as well as thousands of dollars in meds and corrective physical therapy. I'll go ahead and ask you now: How heavy is your everyday camera bag and how do you carry it?
What does your camera bag have to do with your health? Well, here's photographer Jay Perry to explain.
After experiencing horrible back pain and headaches, Perry was advised to seek a pain specialist to find out what was causing his symptoms. He then learned that his poor posture was the culprit, and his heavy camera bag was its main accomplice.
I recently went out to experiment with hyperlapse photography. If you are unaware, a hyperlapse is essentially a timelapse shot that incorporates camera movement. I guess when you add camera movement to a timelapse, things get HYPER. While the process can seem a bit intimidating at first glance, breaking it down into a few simple steps will help demystify things for you. Here's a step-by-step look at my process.
Step 1: Think about your final shot
A hyperlapse has a lot of moving parts (pun intended), so you have to plan ahead accordingly. For my final shot, I want to have a simple 4-second clip of a chateau. I want a truck shot moving from the right to the left, straight in front of the chateau. Since my project is set in a 1920x1080 30fps workspace, I need to capture at least 120 photos to meet the proper length. To figure out the number of photos you need for your hyperlapse, use this simple formula:
Seconds x FPS of final sequence = # of Photos
It’s officially a new year but we’re still not over how great our podcasts turned out in 2017. I’ve been sifting through all of the fifty plus interviews we did to find the best advice from some of the year’s most notable names in independent film to bring you these "Best Of" episodes.
Last year, we started doing interview podcasts every single week in addition to our Indie Film Weekly episodes. We’ve had tons of great guests from Sean Baker to Flying Lotus and everything in between. And as I said in our list of the year's 15 most popular episodes, we’re all really proud of the type of resource this podcast has become.
This is the third and final episode of our “Best of 2017”, but honestly, with the quality of advice we received over the course of our interviews last year, we could keep this going forever. All of the excerpts featured in this week’s volume are part of what we here at No Film School like to call “Roundtable” episodes. We’ll try to record some of these group discussions at every festival we travel to.
Whether it's by choice or because you have no other option, shooting handheld can be stressful and difficult. It's a constant battle trying to minimize camera shake while also trying to focus on, well, focus, framing, and your subject's performance. However, there are definitely techniques you can use to take your handheld game to the next level and in this video from PremiumBeat, Zachary Ramelan goes over a few of them, as well as some sweet camera moves you should master.
Handheld camera work seems pretty straightforward, I mean, it's literally just grabbing your camera and shooting, but you want that footage to come out clean and beautiful or, at the very least, watchable. So, here are a few tips Ramelan mentions in the video:
Batteries need to be charged almost constantly and if you're running around trying to get ready for a shoot or to film a scene, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your batteries have enough juice to get you through the day. The solution to this problem isn't a sweet new piece of gear or a DIY workaround, it's good ol' fashioned organization. The more organized you are, the more prepared you're going to be when it comes time to shoot your project, saving you not only loads of time, but plenty of money as well. Find out how the team over at Fstoppers organizes their power station in the video below.
Hopefully, the video gave you some good ideas on how to set up your own power station. Mounting a power strip on each level of your shelf is essential to connect all of your chargers, and the little LED light strips are great if you're trying to grab stuff in the dark.
One of my favorite shots is the overhead. It's stylish and fun and offers a unique point of view if you want to add a little flair to your cinematography. However, putting together a rig that lets you get these types of shots can be a bit of a pain, especially since most of the time you're trying to find tools around your house or studio that can somehow fit together to accommodate your camera. But if you've got a C-stand, a spigot, and a tripod head lying around you can very quickly put one of these rigs together, and filmmaker Peter McKinnon shows you how to do it in the tutorial below.
In filmmaking, coverage is pretty straightforward. You've got your standard shots, like wides, mids, and close-ups, your over-the-shoulders, two-shots, and dollies, but occasionally it necessary to throw in something creative to give your audience something new and interesting to look at. You can do this a number of ways, but one that is definitely worth mentioning is by shooting these kinds of shots from a unique perspective.
In this video, Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens goes over some tips on how to approach camera placement more creatively, how to set up shots in weird, often small or tight spaces, as well as how to go about lighting these peculiar shots. Check it out below:
As filmmakers, we try to prepare for anything and everything that can go wrong during a shoot, including checking the weather conditions if we're shooting outdoors. We read forecasts, watch the news, or use mobile apps that tell us days in advance what to expect from the skies, but no matter how diligently we plan, the weather has a way of sneaking up on us and threatening to ruin our most important shots.
Most of the time, you just call for a reshoot, reschedule, or just kind of do the best you can with what you've got, but sometimes you can actually fix bad weather conditions in post. In this Premiere Pro tutorial, Tom Antos shows you how to perform a sky replacement, effectively turning a dreary, overcast sky into one that looks vibrant, dynamic, and best of all, realistic.
A debut feature from a lifelong artist, Laurie Simmons' My Art examines how the personal and professional lives of a creator often merge. It's not explicitly autobiographical, but certain elements are closely aligned. Like Simmons, the lead character Ellie is an art professor interested in making movies similar to the ones that inspired her. As she travels upstate for the summer to experiment with performance art mirroring moments of classic cinema, Ellie comes across a number of eager locals interesting in getting involved. They become her silver-screen stars, and in the process, the cast becomes Simmons' too.
As the film opens in limited theatrical release this weekend, No Film School spoke with Simmons about the choice to cast herself in the lead role, how she sought advice from fellow filmmakers, how she recreated classic movie scenes, and the frequently challenged integrity of comedy.