3 Ways to Diffuse Light Without Breaking the Bank

Learn how to diffuse light cheaply and effectively.

Knowing how to diffuse light is an important skill to master when shooting a film because it allows you to soften hard shadows to give your subjects a nice, even spread of light. However, many new filmmakers 1.) don't know how, 2.) think they know how, but didn't learn correct information, and 3.) think that diffusers are well outside of their price range. To help with all three of those issues, Todd Blankenship of Shutterstock Tutorials shares a few tips on working with diffusers, including how to set them up and what kinds of material are both effective and inexpensive. Check it the video below to learn more:

If you're worried about having to spend your rent money on diffusion, don't be. As you can see from the video, as well as tons of other videos, cheap stuff like shower curtains, T-shirts, sheets, garbage bags, and wax paper do a pretty good job of diffusing light. Hell, at $15 a pop, even professional 24" 5-in-1 reflectors are too cheap to pass up.

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Learn How to Use Magnets, Gear Ties, and Suction Cups to Create This DIY Car Mount

Today's magic word is "triangulation."

Car mounts for your camera rig aren't always expensive—you can usually buy a single suction cup system for, like, 20 bucks. The problem with them, though, is that, while they take care of the issue of actually mounting a camera to your car, they don't take care of the issue of making your footage as stable as possible. This is where triangulation comes in. More expensive car mounts use additional rods to add support to your camera rig on multiple sides so it doesn't sway, a formation that looks like, you guessed it, a triangle.

In this tutorial, Michael Lohrum, the DIY Camera Guy shows you how to not only build your own DIY GoPro car mount but also how to triangulate it with support rods and magnets— which are all kinds of fun. Check out the video below:

The video, nor the video's description, offers a list of materials, so, while I've done my best to name all of the supplies Lohrum used in the tutorial, I might've missed a few:

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‘BlacKkKlansman’, Raunchy Puppets, Queen Biopic, & More Trailers You May Have Missed

Staying on top of the trailer circuit is a full-time job in and of itself. We're here to help.

Rest assured that the summer movie season doesn't only include Hollywood blockbusters and overly test-marketed entertainment designed for mass consumption. There are a number of festival favorites set to hit theaters very soon, as well as daring new works from celebrated American auteurs and first-time feature filmmakers. It should be a strong season, especially, as you will notice below, a particularly compelling string of weeks in mid-August. Let's dive in.

Sorry to Bother You (dir. Boots Riley)

The talk of this past January's Sundance Film Festival, the first feature from musical artist Boots Riley arrives this summer on the wave of rapturous reviews and mounting anticipation. Starring Lakeith Stanfield as a telemarketer who has to resort to some rather otherworldy (and supremely impressive) techniques to improve his job performance, the trailer implies a film both realistic in its searing social critique and fantastical in the way it sees them through.

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Aspiring TV Writer? This NBC Program Will Prep You for the Writers’ Room

Applications for NBCUniversal's Writers on the Verge program are open now.

NBCUniversal is on a roll. As home to both This Is Us, broadcast TV’s current number one drama, and the recent Winter Olympics, the network has now taken the lead in total primetime viewers for the first time in almost 20 years. In its quest to find diverse writers to work on its increasingly popular dramas and comedies, the company is offering an incredible opportunity to aspiring TV penners: Writers on the Verge.

Writers on the Verge is a 12-week series of classes that take place at NBCUniversal in Universal City, CA, and are intended to give screenwriters all the tools necessary to step into a real writers' room and get to work. Participants will leave the program with an improved portfolio and maybe even a job—past writers have gone on to work on NBC shows like Community, The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Two Broke Girls and more

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What Exactly Does an Agent Do For You?

During a panel at Cannes, four talent agents discussed their evolving role in an increasingly diverse industry.

For those filmmakers and other creatives who are on the outside and looking to get in, talent agents have traditionally been thought of as the gatekeepers to the kingdom, the ones who, with a word, can deliver a career. Of course, it's not that simple, and while they're becoming increasingly more influential in the film business, many people still don't have a great idea of what an agent's role actually is.

During a panel sponsored by The UK Film Centre, as part of the International Pavilion at Cannes, four talent agents, three from Hollywood and one from the U.K., gathered with journalist Matt Mueller from Screen International to discuss the nature of their jobs (everything from representing talent, to creating packages, and beyond) as well as the changes brought on by global box office demands, drives for increased diversity in the film industry as a whole, and more.

"We have to think outside the box to get outside-the-box movies financed."

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Get to Know the Creative Team Behind ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

With one week to go before 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' hits theaters, these are the players behind the camera.

While it may be hard to believe, we're just one week out from another film in the Star Wars canon hitting theaters. The second "Star Wars Story" entry (ie. a film that exists in the Star Wars universe but does not directly intersect with episodes one through nine), Solo tells the origin story of one Han Solo, the guns-blazing, Millenium Falcon-owning, Wookie-befriending pilot originally played by Harrison Ford and now brought to youthful life by Alden Ehrenreich. Other familiar characters are set to return as well, including Lando Calrissian (now played by Donald Glover) and Chewbacca (played by Joonas Suotamo).

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A Massive List of Summer 2018 Grants All Filmmakers Should Know About

Will it be a cruel, cruel summer for you? Not if you get your hands on some funding for your next project!

Bananarama had it right with the burning pavements and blazing overalls, but if you check out our latest summer grants list, you might find something here that's not too hot to handle. As always, the following opportunities are organized by deadline—from late May through early September—and by category: documentaries, narratives, screenwriting, and new media.

If you're looking for a head-start on a different granting season, check out our most recent spring grants, fall grants, and winter grants roundups.

Note: An asterisk next to the grant title means there is an equivalent grant for both doc and narrative.

As always, use your best judgment when deciding to apply.

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Do the First and Final Lines of Famous Films Can Teach Us a Lot about Good Screenwriting?

How do screenwriters bookend the first and final lines of dialogue?

By now, we should all be very familiar with Jacob T. Swinney's popular "First and Final Frames," a video essay series that explores how filmmakers visually bookend their films and how some even use the opportunity to say something deeper about the story or characters. Video essayist Daniel Whidden takes Swinney's idea and rewrites it with screenwriters in mind, comparing the first and final lines of the top 50 films on IMDb to see if there is any connection between the words spoken in the opening sequence and the ones spoken as the screen begins to fade to black. Judge for yourself in the video below:

Much like Swinney's exploration into the first and final frames of films, Whidden's video essay reveals that the first and final lines of dialogue in any given film is—kind of hit or miss, at least if what you're looking for is some kind of powerfully clever statement about the events that were sandwiched in between them.

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Learn Creative Cinema Lighting on a Real Set with Digital Sputnik

The popular LED manufacturer will offer master classes in LA this month.

Digital Sputnik has built a reputation for making affordable, flexible, and innovative LEDs. Now the company is offering even more value to filmmakers through hands-on lighting and production workshops intended to teach a new generation of filmmakers and video creators the possibility of achieving professional results with the simple use of accessible tools. The first of these international masterclasses will take place in Los Angeles on the set of the latest film from the Finnish Iron Sky franchise, a dark science-fiction series inspired by conspiracy theories that has gained cult status.

Participants in the workshop will partake in lighting a major scene for Iron Sky 2: The Coming Race, the anticipated sequel of the sci-fi hit, which is set for release in autumn of 2018. In the hands-on workshop led by the film’s director Timo Vuorensola and DP Mika Orasmaa, you’ll learn the lighting process from start to finish and then continue on the coloring phase until the scene is complete.

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RED to Offer Hydrogen One on AT&T and Verizon Networks

You won't have to wait much longer for your Hydrogen One phone—with service, to boot.

RED will be releasing Hydrogen One to AT&T and Verizon this summer though there's no confirmation on how much plans will cost if you managed to jump on an early $1,200 pre-order.

While we don't know the final release date, the company said in an AT&T presser that it will be "giving the public a first look at the future of entertainment through a demo at AT&T SHAPE at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles, June 2-3." At the event, you'll be able to view "sample games, movies and other content on the RED Hydrogen One smartphone before it is released to the public." You can register for the event here.

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