Filmmaking Tip: The Man who is Dangerous

Be enthusiastic. Don’t be dissuaded or intimidated by people who don’t get it, don’t like it, or pretend to know everything about the movie business when they don’t. If  they laugh you laugh harder because your enthusiasm is rooted in the belief that you have something to offer. A story that moves you; that has value. If they turn their nose at you then you turn your nose to the grindstone of getting that project made. While they sit on the laurels of other’s paving the way through hard work and achievements you will work, sweat, and bleed. It’s the guy who has the talent who keeps going who accomplishes his dreams. The scoffers will disappear; they will be forgotten. But the man who never gives up is dangerous.

Superman With a GoPro

Okay this isn’t exactly a masterpiece of cinema but, it’s quickly amassing millions of views and the reason is pretty clear. Everyone wants to fly like Superman! I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly sure at first, how they pulled it off. The sudden vertical motion as if the camera movement was being controlled by thought — because it was (albeit remotely).

This is definitely a tool I foresee Hollywood using. The spider cams they use now require an extensive amount of planning and rigging via a motorized system of winding and unwinding cables which the camera follows along on a predetermined path where as the tool these filmmakers used offers  “wireless” control and versatility with quicker set-ups and results. Granted the camera they used was a fraction of the weight and size of a 35mm motion picture/digital camera system.

I did notice some green-screening issues (spill and fringing in the hair) which could have been resolved by some lighting and shutter angle adjustments (too late in post) but overall a pretty cool example of how you can achieve something with a transparent crew and a next to no budget with results that amaze millions of viewers.

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Ask yourself: What do I have at my disposal that could serve as an interesting basis for a film? It could be a prop, a location, or an idea that simply moves you. Tackle something within your reach; Find clever sways to stitch it all together.

“Mechanical Creep”

A second year student film, “Mechanical Creep” produced by Darren Wallace, Matthew Parsons and Rebecca Knight, is a well-executed piece for a 3D robot, which the animators were clearly trying to demonstrate. The color pallet is fantastic as well as the locations the filmmaker’s chose, which not only enhances the sense of dread but also adds to the ironic nature of it.  Love the P.O.V of the robot stalking the girl; the color and design is almost “cheery” for a “creepy” robot but that makes perfect sense…The CG robot does tend to move in a staccato fashion but the close up shots are flawless. The young girl who plays the “victim” may be a non-actor but her expressions rather than detracting from the story add to its quirky nature and unpredictable denouement. If only most stalking stories would end this way.

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Please do surprise us. Ask yourself: “Does my film have any unexpected twists, turns, or visual irony?” Nothing is more gratifying than the element of surprise. It will up the level of your work exponentially.

Something is Coming…

Excellent piece apparently produced by the Red Giant people. It seems to be a showcase piece for a new line of filmmaking and motion graphics software called “Universe”. I could clearly see the film grain effect inserted. I would have dialed that down a bit more but thats just being the pixel peeper that I am. Overall nice clean story line, understated and traditional use of camera work, nice VFX, and believable  actor. As easy as that sounds it is not easy to do (as everyone thinks). The sell for me was that this is something you could do on a very low budget and some After Effects skills. The question remains: is this a teaser for a feature or does it stop at the plug-in?

Original link (Red Giant seems to be redirecting away from the source clip): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N-d43IB8mU&list=UUwfPHCZYy3CauY2rmvL9LDQ

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Take time to establish your world. You do not need to entice us with 1 1/2 minuets worth of After Effects credits replete with anamorphic lens flair and you certainly do not need to thrust us into CGI unless it is absolutely paramount to the story.

Most Shocking Second a Day Video

A powerful and effective use of a ‘single line of action’ that communicates the filmmaker’s vision in a direct and simple way. Utilizing the static “selfie” style POV effect the filmmakers clearly put the narrative on the table. This video passes all the tests for fantastic filmmaking that could be done on a next to no budget. Whether or not you agree with war (or more precisely a government take over) you have to be brave to hang on till the end…

 

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Don’t over stress the type of digital camera you should use. Concern yourself more with the type of story you have to offer and why 15 million YouTuber’s would care…