Posts Tagged ‘Film Riot’

Ok, so I know this is not a new topic and there are many resources online especially YouTube and Vimeo that go into depth on these subjects. Why might you ask, am I going into it as well? Well I’ve been out a few places and have heard people refer to color grading and color correcting as the same thing. NO it is NOT, NO I SAY AGAIN IT IS NOT!

To put it in layman’s terms if I may, Color Correction is the process by which you fix any white balancing issues that may or may not be there. Increasing the contrast maybe, adjust highlights and even saturation. In most cases, a simple COLOR CORRECTION can help an alright piece of footage look GREAT! Now I’ve just scratched the surface on this portion because I want all of you to go out and check out for yourself what I’m talking about it.

Ok so now on to Color Grading.  Color Grading is done after the primary color correction is completed and can be part of the color correcting process.  Color Grading sets the overal style of your movie.  SinCity had a highly stylized grading that most people remember.  It actually helps to tell the story.  Transformers, Star Trek, Avatar and Lord of The Rings are all examples of movies that used a color grading scenario to convey a feeling or aid in the telling of these stories!

If you are still confused and you say Michael “What the heck” are you blabbering about. Here are some examples from our friends at Film Riot and oh if you didn’t know Emily is BACK! I love Emily…if you don’t know who Emily is the make sure you watch the clips below!

A little back story on some color correcting tools.  In most NLEs (Non Linear Editors) Final Cut, Premiere, Sony Vegas, AVID and the likes, come with a form of color correction, usually a 3 way color wheel of some sort.  Final Cut Studio 3 had the wonderful Color application that to me at first was a little intimidating with its bland opening screen and scary interface.  Then Red Giant came on the scene with Colorista which was so powerful everyone was talking about it.  Then they also came up with Magic Bullet Looks which had a stable of preset looks that you can apply to your project and then tweak if you wanted something more.  For the most part all of these tools can be used.  It’s up to you to choose your weapon!

Now if you are one of those that don’t have the time or the patience to learn yet another thing pertaining to this business, then there are lots of Colorists out there that specialize in this field.  Had the pleasure of meeting a few at the last Atlanta Cutter’s event.

Remember, this is a learn as you go industry.  Even right out of school, different directors and producers go about things differently. Be adaptable to all circumstances if you are able.  Learn as much as you can and when the time is right, ask questions, please not during a take…you’ll be asked to leave the set!

I’ll be talking more about this subject later as it is important!

Happy Coloring!

So I was watching Monday Challenge with Ryan Connolly and the crew and he mentions Video Copilot and something called ELEMENTS. So I meander over to Videocopilot and see they’ve launched a new product. After about 30 minutes of me sitting there with my mouth dropped, I decided I need to get out more! If you guys don’t know about Video Copilot, you better get with the program!

So what do you need to know about Video Copilot? Well if you want to know anything at all about After Effects, they are the leading authority on it.  They have a wide array of tutorials for many different things that you can use a filmmaker or editor to take your projects to the next level.  Plus, he’s pretty funny! I’ve learned and used quite a few things myself.  As I said earlier, Andrew Kramer and his team have released this new application for 3D manipulation that will take your projects even higher. I’m not even going to pretend to understand how and what it really is but what it DOES is A-ma-za-zing! Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me!

Oh and on a side note, I was sitting and watching the behind the scenes of Star Trek by JJ Abrams and heard him mention the opening title sequence was done by Andrew Kramer himself. so if you don’t believe me how outstanding he is, then take it from JJ Abrams.  He is the real deal.  So you guys better get all this knowledge and cool stuff from him before Hollywood takes him from us!

Happy Learning

Michael

Ok so in the past I’ve spoken about the importance of a “crew” in filmmaking. Well at least I think I did…so if I didn’t, here is just a tidbit of that information from a wonderful site The Black and Blue. I recently subscribed to them and have been getting wonderful bits of information, tips and knowledge.

Now we all know that the world of film is usually a visual world, right? But with bad sound that can make a good film bad and a bad film unbearable. With indie films we, and yes I said “WE” tend to skimp on things because we either can’t afford it or may not know the “RIGHT” people to get to the do the job. I would venture to say that sound is like 80 to 90 percent of your film unless of course it is a silent film or one without the need for dialogue. We’ve already got the understanding that you have to have clean shots and proper lighting, the basics, but sound is the elusive holy grail. We’ll spend money on the LED light and the new Tokina 11-16 lens but we don’t put anything in the budget for proper execution of sound acquisition. Hmmm that sounded pretty cool.

With people out there like Ryan Connolly of Film Riot, Caleb from DSLR VideoShooterKoo from NoFilmSchool, where by the way you can download a copy of a his DSRL Cinematography Guide, and Dave Dugdale from LearningDSLRVideo just to name a few, I actually watch a lot more but this is to save you from scouring over the entire internet.  I’m actually waiting for my DVD copy of the movie TELL, which I wrote about in a previous blog! Ryan Connolly and his team have me on the edge of my seat and eagerly waiting for the next installment of media mayhem they successfully provide along with a hearty mindful of knowledge for that bootay! The DVD package is something I’m excited about because Ryan is providing some really NICE extra material that I’m dying to see.  Maybe one day I’ll have some thing worthy of him directing! That’s on my santa’s wish list along with my RED camera. But I digress, I was just saying that with these resources online you should be able to get your sound to a level where it need not be CRAPPY (yes that’s a technical word)! And yes it is a learning process, each situation will dictate a different method of working around a particular problem.  We’ve got H4ns, H1s, Tascams, Rodes, I mean the list goes on, so please please pay attention to your SOUND!

Sorry I think I rambled on too much.  Without further adieu

Thanks to Evan Luzi from The Black and Blue for this wonderful video!

UMMMMM, well I didn’t know Bella was going to be in this movie, I thought it was Kristen Stewart. The movie was a little slow moving for my tastes but I sat thru it, as they introduced the adult version of Snow White played by Kristen Stewart, it reminded me of seeing Bella from Twilight. There was a part of the movie where she says the lords prayer, I was like really!?!?!? In Enchanted Middle Earth? Then the heaving of the chest seems to be her best moments but again they reminded me of scenes out of Twilight. Let’ see, she jumps off a cliff into the ocean, reminiscent of the scene where she jumps off the cliff just to see Edward again. Then there was a scene where she bit into the poison apple and guess what, she dies slow like when she writhing in pain when she was about to be dispatched and Edward had to save her. Ok I guess I’ve done enough Bella bashing but, come on now. She did her thing in Twilight only because they needed an awkward teen and she fit that perfectly. But a princess?, Snow White to be exact, not so much! Do I think that Kristen deserves a chance as an actress to grow…absolutely! But as Snow White, she does not convince me.  I think she is cute in an innocent sort of way and that’s why I admit, I liked her in Twilight, or should I say, I grew to like her.  Remember, like the Harry Potter Kids (as I like to call them), they grew into their roles.  You saw them “becoming”.

 As far as action it was cool. Loved the effects, especially the way they made Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins look like dwarfs. The troll under the bridge scene was climactic but Bella oops I meant Kristen, oops I meant Snow White soothed the savage beast with her eyes. She might have been thinking about Edward and that’s what actually turned the beast away.

 Chris Hemsworth is getting a lot of face time since Star Trek and has been pulling his weight.  I can see him having longevity as an action or fantasy hero.  He seems to own those roles well! Loved him in Thor and the Avengers if you didn’t see it, you must go now, stop reading this post and GO NOW!

Charlize Theron, ok, she’s HOT! I loved her role in Italian Job with Mark Wahlberg, and she was riveting in Devil’s Advocate as the simple wife going crazy after her husband played by Keanu Reeves, lands a great job in NYC as a hot shot lawyer with your boy Al Pacino.  Anyway, I loved her as this character Ravenna, but honestly she is so good, she could have played Snow White and had some unknown play Ravenna (the bad witch) who is seeking to stay beautiful and live forever off of the blood of the young and pure of heart Snow White…Okizay!

For me an actor should be able to pull you into the character he or she is portraying, making you connect with the character.  I remember HATING and I mean HATING Christian Bale as he played a racist guy in Shaft, that if I’d have seen him in person I’d probably would have jumped on him and beat him down myself….but that’s how good he played his role and now I love him as Batman, the DARK Knight, which by the way, to me is the best vision so far of Batman.  Anyway, I digress.  Great effects, visuals were stunning and believable.  We even get a chance to see some fairies.

If you haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman, well in my opinion, you can wait for DVD/Blue Ray but if you have nothing to do on Saturday or Sunday at Matinee time..lol, then go check it out! Oh it’s kind of dark, so not for the kiddies!

Ok so we’ve been waiting and waiting and it is finally here.  I know most of you won’t know what I’m talking about but those of us who know the crazy wacky world of Film Riot with Ryan Connolly, family and friends, know what I’m referring to.  The Long awaited short film by Triune Films, TELL, I’m not gonna spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet! But, I will say this, I’m usually not predisposed to Horror Thriller movies, not my thing.  I’m more the Star Trek, Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (Yes I’ll admit it here) type, but I loved the story.  Lead Character Taylor, played by Todd Bruno, had me sucked in from the start.  The intensity of his character was evident, yet he was vulnerable, corny sounding but true! Jenny, played by Shana Eva, gave us a nice view of a woman wanting answers from her seemingly inattentive and non communicative boy friend Taylor.  Ray played by Tim Connolly, is the friend of Taylor, who finds out the ugly truth.  Remember I can’t give it away if you haven’t seen it, so yes I’m being evasive…lol…also supporting actress Brigitte Kali Canales  who plays Terra and Adriana Pascual who plays Officer Diaz round off the cast of this well put together piece.  I will say this, Office Diaz took it like a champ and I felt her pain, just glad she was able to….oops, Oh well I guess your gonna have to watch TELL and TELL me what you think.

As a student of Film Riot and yes a student, I’ve grown to love the way they weave their stories and skits.  My favorite out the box short was LOSSES.  I felt like damn, I wanna be like them when I grow up! Check that out if you haven’t seen it but I blogged about it so hopefully you’ve been paying attention.

Let’s continue shall we, ok so Ryan originally had another person that he had mentioned before that was supposed to be doing the score at first but for whatever reason he ends with Hybrid Two a dynamic duo consisting of Daniel James and Aaron Frensley, who in my opinion are phenomenal at what they do. I must have been on their site for about an hour, easy before regaining my senses.

By the time you read this post it will be a few days after the official release date of Wednesday May 23rd, 2012.

Make sure you stop by and TELL ’em HI! Support the independent film maker.  They’ve got DVD/Blue Ray and the sound track available for pre-order.  I pre-ordered MINE!

First of all, let me start by saying these guys really rock! They have been teaching indie filmmakers, tips and tricks for a while now and they have delivered a wonderful action packed short called “Losses”.  Josh really stretched his acting skills be portraying a killer! It was just so cool to see.  You would expect the normal Film Riot humor that they have been known for and I’ve have so grown to love, but it has a certain Bourne Identity/Jason Statham(ish) feel! I love the color grading and the lighting! The feel was wonderful.  And I know a lot people commented on the shakiness of some of the scenes. Yes maybe in some places it was a little too much but it gave the film movement and almost an urgency. So without further adieu here is “LOSSES” – It is suggested that you watch this FULL SCREEN and choose Original to see it in it’s full 2k glory!

In looking at all the gear out there for DSLRs now, it can be and IS very overwhelming! Rigs, Follow Focus, Sliders, Filters, Lenses, etc. What did I get myself into…Well thanks to sites like CheesyCam.com, DVRebellion.com, NoFilmSchool.com and one of my all time favorites, Film Riot, just to name a few, we as independent filmmakers, cinematographers and aspiring DPs can have a little insight on this game.

I’m not the most mechanically inclined individual but through Emm of CheesyCam.com I made my first fig/rig. I didn’t know what the heck that was. I just saw per his example what it would allow me to do and decided to go for it. I mean come on, it was cheap. Also while on his site I learned about getting an inexpensive battery grip for my camera and even down to the ring light I use. When I say it’s very informative I mean that. Also recently while perusing for a matte box I placed an order for a really cheap one from an eBay dealer that sold me my RJ Follow Focus and after “Emm” review I canceled it and the dealer refunded my purchase. The dealer who was from China, recognized the work of Emm and CheesyCam.com and said he would possibly do modifications in a next version.

Since then Cheesycam reviewed another matte box, which includes a rail system too. I ended up ordering that one and I’ll post about it when I get it. It’s pictured below! Now I’ll be able to put my follow focus on it and have my T2i playing like the big dogs! Oh and if you haven’t downloaded and are using the Magic Lantern Software, what are you waiting for?

So anyway, gear and what to get is a matter of choice and of course budget, if you have it to get the Zakutos, Kesslers, RedRock and the like then by all means. Some of us are working up to that so we have to do the best within our budget or better yet do DIYs! Anyway you decide to do it have fun and remember the only boundaries are what we set. Don’t be afraid to explore!