This practical effect will cost you zero dollars and is perfect for b-roll.
Whether you're creating a transition between two scenes or adding some emotional depth to your subject's performance, b-roll can often be a place where you can let your creative freak flag fly, and experimenting with practical effects is one way to do just that. In this video, filmmaker Zach Ramelan shows you one technique that you can pull off with any ol' reflective surface you have lying around in your gear bag. Check it out below:
So, if you've got some sunglasses, an ND filter, or even your smartphone just sitting around not being put to good use, bust them out and get to work. All you have to do is zoom in slightly with your lens (or just make sure foreground elements are satisfactorily out of focus), and play around with the placement of your reflective surface until you get the desired result. By manipulating the surface, you can produce interesting reflections, flares, or bokeh balls that create simple, stylish, and unique in-camera effects that require less time and money than purchasing and editing stock assets in post.
This DIY periscopic device allows you to capture what's going underwater with virtually any camera.
Since cameras don't take to liquids very well, getting shots below the surface of water requires dedicated underwater camera housings. Problem is—these things usually require a significant financial investment, oftentimes costing upwards of $1500. But what if you're like this YouTuber, Alex from I did a thing, who just wanted to take a quick peek at the frogs swimming around in his pond? Well, then you might want to do as he did and build yourself a makeshift periscope out of $10's worth of supplies that lets you get some pretty sweet shots underwater.
Alex walks you through the steps in the tutorial below:
If you're interested in taking a crack at this build, here are the materials you'll need:
Sometimes it's better to learn from other people's mistakes instead of your own.
As it is with anything, your first few years of filmmaking is going to be a little rocky, making some pretty big, messy, and even embarrassing mistakes left and right. However, you do have the option of making far fewer of them, that is if you know what they are and how to avoid them. In this video, Jay P. Morgan of the Slanted Lens teams up with filmmaker Kenneth Merrill to go over some of the most common mistakes beginner filmmakers make when they first start shooting, as well as what you can do to ensure that you don't fall into the same traps. Check it out below:
Okay, so the craft of filmmaking is bursting with opportunities to make a misstep, so suffice it to say that this little list barely scratches the surface about what to expect when you first get going. However, it does give you a pretty good idea of the kinds of techniques and concepts that often go unnoticed by novices, from camera movement to sound recording.
Let's quickly go over the tips Morgan and Merrill talk about in the video:
“From the Coen brothers to anyone making their first film, the approach is similar: determine EXACTLY what you require, and no more."
Vasan Bala’s The Man Who Feels No Pain made history twice this past week, the first for being the first Bollywood film to be admitted to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)’s Midnight Madness section and, secondly, for being the FIRST Bollywood film to win a TIFF Audience Award. As for the film itself, it’s uproarious.
The Man Who Feels No Pain is like a highlight reel from our favorite action movies of all time. From Enter the Dragon to Big Trouble in Little China to Die Hard, the film is a love letter to all of those unapologetically over-the-top spectacles driven by a pounding heart beneath layers of muscle.
Can vertical video have more of an impact than the landscape aspect ratio?
Since the birth of the smartphone, a battle between horizontal and vertical video has been taking place. Instead of rooting for one side, however, I think it’s worth noting that both have its pros and cons and both have areas to live and thrive in in this video age.
Let's talk about vertical video. Before you criticize it, however, let me tell you that I used to hate when someone was recording a video on a smartphone holding it vertically (in most cases, I still hate it). But when I think about it now, it's not always a cliche. After a decade of using these devices, the vertical aspect ratio has its own style and feel to it.
I recently met with Kelsey Brannan (aka Premiere Gal) in Warsaw, Poland to get to record a few videos together. We ended up tossing a coin to see if either I would defend vertical video or if Kelsey would. Below is our discussion where we pinpoint some advantages and disadvantages of both video orientations.
"When you first start your career, it's inevitable that you're going to try to emulate films that you've seen."
It may be about Outlaw Country music, but DP Steve Cosens was tasked to lens Ethan Hawke’s latest film with the philosophy of an improvisational jazz musician. Cosens was more than up to that task. “I was game to work that way, and it was exciting and wonderful from day one,” he told No Film School about working on the film about largely unknown Texas legend Blaze Foley who inspired the careers of Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
BLAZE, which opened in Texas last month and is playing in NYC and Los Angeles this week, is a film that would test any Director of Photography, from maintaining a fluid approach during production while pulling off lighting extremes that reflect the dichotomies of the artist in the film. Watch some selects of Cosens's cinematography in the film here, and check out the trailer below:
The new GoPro
HERO7 Black improves video stabilization on an impressive level. See it in action below.
GoPro announced three fresh cameras to its HERO7 lineup—HERO7 Black, HERO7 Silver, and HERO7 White—with the Black being its flagship touting Hypersmooth, an image stabilization feature that produces some fantastic results from its shakier predecessors.
Hypersmooth is said to make "gimbal-like stabilized video without the expense or hassle of a motorized gimbal," which is a big claim. Bigger yet, it works under water too as HERO7 Black is waterproof up to 33ft (10m). The pocket-sized camera has a 2" touchscreen (with zoom touch) and capable of supporting 4K60 video, 8x slo-mo, 12 megapixel stills, voice control, a "wake on voice" feature, metadata, and is both Protune and Karma compatible. All this is powered by a new GP1 chip.
Universal Studios presents an early Halloween fright flick for the family.
There are few predicaments that sound more stress-inducing than living in a house with a clock in its walls (and you thought the sounds of the beating Tell-Tale Heart were loud) and quite a boisterous one it is in Eli Roth's film adaptation of John Bellairs's 1973 novel, The House with a Clock in Its Walls.
A children's horror fantasy that focuses on a young boy (Owen Vaccaro) who, after his parents pass away, moves in with his warlock Uncle (Jack Black) of whom the titular house is occupied by, the film is both appropriate for children and creepy enough for adults. Make no mistake: while the film is light on gross-out gore, there are a few jump scares—that devil-faced cuckoo clock!— and nasty hand-slicings and horrific, palm-licking demons to keep adults happy. Director Roth, known for his stomach-churning torture porn escapades, pulls back a bit on the brutality here while maintaining a welcomed sense of eerie unease.
Your camera is a great storyteller if you know how to use it.
One of the most important aspects of filmmaking for newcomers to learn about is what's called visual literacy, which is simply the ability to comprehend the language of film, from different lighting styles to focal lengths and how they affect audiences.
If you're going to start somewhere, camera movement is just as good a place to start as any, learning how pans, tilts, push-ins and pull-outs, as well as frame size and camera angle, elicit certain emotional and psychological responses from your viewer. In this video, Jordy Vandeput of Cinecom goes over several common camera moves and describes how each affects his scene differently in real time. Check it out below:
Sony's new 24mm wide angle prime is tack sharp even at F1.4.
Sony adds to its acclaimed G Master series full-frame E-mount lenses with a fresh FE 24mm F1.4 GM. Not to be confused with the G Lens line, this new wide angle prime brings the G Master series to eight different focal lengths that includes four primes (FE 24mm F1.4 GM, FE 85mm F1.4 GM, FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS, FE 400mm F2.8) and four zooms (FE 16-35mm F2.8, FE 24-70mm F2.8, FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS, FE 100-400mm).
The 24mm F1.4 GM shares the same characteristics of its prime siblings, including full frame coverage, corner to corner resolution, a circular 11-blade aperture, its DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) autofocus and a barrel switch for both focus modes, and a de-click aperture ring. There's also a customizable focus hold button and Sony's Linear Response MF to fine-tune focus manually.