To call "Kill Bill" a genre-bender would be an understatement.
If you take a critical look at films, most of them fit neatly inside a specific genre, like drama, comedy, or horror, or even a couple of complementary genres, known as cross-genres—Dramedy, Horror Comedy, or Weird West. However, if you were to look at Quentin Tarantino's 2003 film Kill Bill: Vol. 1, you'd be hard-pressed to cram that thing inside any kind of genre-specific box. Elements of martial arts films, including bits taken from kung fu and wuxia films, blaxploitation, as well as spaghetti westerns can be easily recognized in the film, but just how many other genres does Tarantino's masterpiece contain? This video from Fandor aims to answer that question. Check it out below:
Pyrex: Great for storing leftovers and capturing sweet underwater footage with your smartphone.
Open your fridge right now. How many of those Pyrex Snapware containers are in there? Well, apparently these things can do more than just store two-week-old leftovers that you know you're not going to eat. In this quick video, the team over at COOPH show you how to turn one into a DIY waterproof housing for your smartphone, allowing you to capture great underwater footage without having to drop a bunch of money on professional gear. Check it out below:
This is one of those DIY hacks that makes me realize how unimaginative I am as a creative person. "Why didn't I think of that?" I have a ton of these Snapware containers all over my kitchen doing boring things like storing my wife's lunches and last night's enfrijoladas. Dumb. With just a little bit of tape, I could've been out there in the field getting some sweet underwater footage.
When it comes to your script, sometimes you just need to let your audience figure it out for themselves.
I know. I know. Your script is your baby. You gestated that thing within the sacred womb of your creativity and, after weeks and months of hard labor, birthed that precious angel into existence. But just because you gave life to your story doesn't mean you should go full "helicopter parent" and hold your audience's hand through your narrative with poor exposition. In this video essay, Declan Taaffe of Writing with the Camera discusses the problem with the way many writers treat the information in their stories, namely the manner in which it's delivered through expositional scenes, and how it shortchanges your audience, making them unable to even engage with or appreciate your story for the beautiful miracle that it is.
If you need an emergency dolly for your smartphone camera, this DIY hack is as easy as pie.
Along with Thanksgiving and National Coming Out Day (which is in just three days!), National Pizza Day is one of my favorite holidays. So when I came across this little filmmaking hack, you can imagine my frustration knowing that we're four months too early for publishing the perfect pizza/filmmaking combo post. But guess what, I'm gonna do it anyway because it's cool. And easy. And free if you've got a pizza cutter. So, here you go! The team over at COOPH shows you how to turn a regular ol' pizza cutter into a DIY dolly for your smartphone filmmaking needs. Check it out below:
I wholeheartedly believe in the aphorism, "If it looks stupid but works, then it ain't stupid." This thing looks totally stupid, but it looks like it works pretty well. Is it ideal? I mean, no. I've cut enough pizzas in my life to know how friggin' unwieldy pizza cutters can be—trying with all your might to slice a perfect acute angle but ending up with an irregularly polygonal trash pizza instead. Dumb.
Fixing stuff in post is more often than not a huge gamble. Do you know your odds?
There are so many powerful post-production tools out there that basically perform magic. They can add incredible effects and fix horrible mistakes with but a click of a button, so why do experienced filmmakers always tell up-and-comers not to "fix it in post?" Even though there are some cinematic blunders that can be corrected with the help of a beefy editing program, the vast majority of them are going to require a reshoot rather than a retouch. In this video from Aputure, Benny from the A-Team goes over five situations in which you might want to avoid "fixing it in post" because it just plain won't work. Check it out below:
In the video, Benny touches on a handful of great reasons why it's best to opt for a reshoot rather than trying to "fix it in post." Let's go over them quickly.
This lighting technique is all types of good for low-budget filmmakers who don't have access to much lighting gear.
Are you a filmmaker with limited access to lighting gear? What about limited space to shoot? If you said yes to either (or both), the cross key lighting technique will become your life raft in the sea of aggravating and inescapable on-set challenges. In this video, Crimson Engine's Rubidium Wu shows you how you can evenly light two subjects, whether for an interview or dialogue scene, using only two or three lights. Check it out below:
So, why is cross keying so great? Well, it's incredibly economical. What it does is effectively gives each of your lights a dual purpose of acting as the far-side key light for one subject while acting as the kicker or backlight for the other, meaning you'll need half as many lights to light your scene.
Two different cameras, two different images.
Shooting with multiple cameras can be a real benefit for many reasons. Not only are you able to get more coverage of a single performance but you're able to be a little more efficient while working on set. However, using a multi-cam setup, particularly one that includes different camera models, almost always results in images that vary greatly in color, contrast, and quality, and while there's not a whole lot you can do to remedy the issue of quality, there are several post-production techniques you can employ to make your images look like they were all captured from the same camera.
In this Rocketstock tutorial, filmmaker Todd Blankenship walks you through his color matching process in Adobe Premiere Pro, showing you how to get a good baseline, match contrast, and apply LUTs to ensure all of your footage not only looks the same but also dynamic and eye-catching. Check it out below:
These filmmaking tips might help you avoid some unwanted setbacks on your next project.
One of the most surefire ways to learn how to make a film is by actually making a film—just ask The Film Look. After producing six short films, the team has learned a lot about what it takes to take a movie idea from script to screen, and lucky for us, they've made their invaluable knowledge available on their YouTube channel through dozens of helpful videos and tutorials. Now that they've wrapped on their latest short, The Asylum Groove, The Film Look has compiled a list of 24 filmmaking tips and tricks that they've picked up along the way, covering everything from the importance of costuming and props, how to hold auditions for actors, and little camera hacks that will make every day of shooting a little easier.
Need to license some music for your film? Musicbed has made the process even easier with its new membership service.
Musicbed has been leading the pack with its licensing service for years, but if you weren't thrilled about having to shop à la carte for a single-use license, then you might be interested to learn about its new aspect of its brand that makes licensing music easier than ever. Musicbed has announced that it will now offer users unlimited access to its entire library of "chart-topping, nation-touring, genre-defying" artists through its new membership service.
How It Works
Musicbed is offering six different membership options: Creator/YouTube, Non-Profit, Wedding/Photography, Freelance Filmmaker/Production Company, and Business/In-House Team, each of which gives you unlimited access to its membership roster for one monthly or yearly fee. Monthly fees range from $10/mo. to $100/mo. depending on the membership option you choose, but you'll be able to save a little money if you go with a pre-paid yearly fee, which ranges from about $8/mo. to $90/mo.
ScreenCraft is now looking to offer valuable mentorship and professional support to aspiring screenwriters.
Do you have a feature film or original TV script and want to take your career to the next level, right? Well, the ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship might be just the opportunity to do it. Now in its 6th year, the ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship is offering a chance for four aspiring screenwriters to receive mentorship and professional support from some of the biggest names in the film industry, including those who represent screenwriters Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy), Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (A Quiet Place), and Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners), as well as actors Brad Pitt, Amy Adams, and Rachel Weisz. Not only that, but participants also receive an attractive prize package, meetings with development executives at five of the biggest film studios in the world, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles and accommodations at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.