Emerging Filmmakers: You Could Win Up to $50,000 from AT&T

The AT&T Film Awards is offering cash and gear prizes for contests focused on student filmmakers, recent graduates, and mobile tech enthusiasts.

The AT&T Film Awards, a new contest presented by AT&T, is "seeking imaginative, undiscovered short films from aspiring filmmakers who want their voices heard." If you are a middle or high school student, college student, recent college graduate, or filmmaker who uses mobile tech (i.e. GoPro, smartphones), you could win up to $50,000 in cash and gear prizes for your short film.

There is no entry fee to submit your short film by November 26 in the categories below.

STUDENT AWARDS Seeking short films from the next generation of storytellers, across the following categories:

Best Short Film - College Students

  • 1st Place: $10,000 cash
  • 2nd Place: $3,000 cash
  • 3rd Place: $2,000 cash

Best Spanish-Language Short Film - College Students

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How To Shoot Where You’re Not Allowed

The team behind Netflix Original doc 'One of Us' had to develop tactics to film within a notoriously closed community.

What happens when the community you’re filming doesn’t want you there? What if the community members have a religious taboo against being shown on camera? Taking it even further, what if revealing your subject’s face might put them at risk? And what if, even after considering these things, you still decided your story must be told?

That is exactly the dilemma that faced celebrated documentarians, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, when they embarked on their latest project, the Netflix Original film One of Us. In One of Us, the directing duo returns to the territory that garnered them an Oscar nomination in 2007 for Jesus Camp: extreme religious sects in America. In the new film, we travel far from the rural Evangelical Christian summer camps of Jesus Camp to a very different world: the Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York.

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Watch: This Is What Happens When a Filmmaker Needs to Sell a Used Car

Selling your used car is a serious pain in the ass—unless, of course, you're this guy.

How do people usually sell their used cars? Well, if you're like me, you take a bunch of horrible photos of the battered exterior and crusty interior, try to remember all of the pertinent specifications of the make, model, and year, and then head online to write a super boring ad on Craigslist listing it for its KBB value or best offer. Then, after many agonizingly silent weeks or months, someone reaches out wanting to buy your hooptie-ass crapwagon for much less than you're willing to sell it for, but who cares, right, because you're so done with the whole miserable process.

Or, if you're like director Max Lanman, you go out and shoot the most epic used car commercial, go viral, and end up getting offered 68x what the car is actually worth. Like a boss!

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Dry Cabinets: Protecting Your Camera Gear from Fungus and Corrosion

High humidity can turn your expensive DSLRs and lenses into fungal science experiments. But here's one solution that can protect your gear.

If you live or work somewhere with high humidity, you might be well aware of how easy it is for your camera gear to get covered in fungus and dust. This is especially an issue for lenses because when dust particles are introduced to moisture inside of a lens, a fungus grows that can cause irreversible damage (called "etching") to the glass, affecting image quality.

One way of combating this is by storing your DSLRs and lenses inside an electronic dry cabinet. These things regulate the relative humidity inside the enclosure to ensure that your gear isn't being exposed to excessive moisture, dirt, or dust while being stored. You can find a few of these units on B&H and elsewhere from manufacturers like Sirui, but Ruggard recently came out with two cabinets that come in a large 80L size ($340) and a small 30L size ($130). The dry cabinets use a TE Cooling Wafer to regulate humidity, have rubber-sealed lockable doors, and have a dimmable LCD display.

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Watch: How to Create Suspense Using Music

Want to ramp up the suspense in your film? Here are some ways to do it with music.

When it comes to horror flicks and thrillers, it's all about building suspense. Creating a tense cinematic experience that puts your audience at the edge of their seat can be done in many ways, but one element that seems to really speak to the fear center of a movie-goer's brain is music. So, what are some techniques professional filmmakers and music composers use when writing film scores to build tension and suspense? Well, StudioBinder shares a few of them in the video below.

There are many ways to build suspense with music, but the following three techniques from StudioBinder are definitely some of the most popular. In fact, chances are you've heard at least one (if not all) of them in pretty much every horror film or thriller you've ever seen.

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Dear Filmmakers, Study More than Film

So, you eat, sleep, and breath cinema, huh?

Okay, so you're an expert on Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Steven Spielberg. You like Ozu and Kurosawa, know the dance from Bande à part, and can spell Eadweard Muybridge without googling it. You, my friend, know your shit about cinema. But still, despite the hundreds of film books and screenplays you've read and thousands of films you've seen, there may be so much more information you're failing to feed your brain. Andrew Saladino of The Royal Ocean Film Society suggests that while having an encyclopedic knowledge of and insatiable interest in cinema is great, expanding your education beyond it might actually be the best thing you could do as a filmmaker.

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All the Times ‘Stranger Things’ Referenced Movies and TV Shows

From "E.T." to "Commando," these are the movie and TV references from "Stranger Things."

For as much as Stranger Things is a show about alternate dimensions and the terrifying Demogorgon, it's also a show about nostalgia. To give it that realistic, wistful feel, the show is packed with popular music, food, and video games from the 1980s, effectively transporting you back to a time when a BMX bike and a backpack full of bologna sandwiches could take you anywhere. However, Stranger Things also reminds us of the iconic films of the 80s as well through stylized shots and sequences that match the originals almost perfectly. In this video by Fandor, we get to see all of show's movie and TV references that pay homage to a bygone time in cinema.

Okay, calling some of these shots references might be a bit of a stretch, but it's definitely clear that Stranger Things is not shy about paying homage to films like The Goonies, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien, and of course, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

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‘A Gray State’: How Erik Nelson Unraveled a Triple Murder Conspiracy in His Herzog-Produced True Crime Doc

Director Erik Nelson calls his film 'The Shining' meets 'Grizzly Man.'

In a sea of recent true-crime docs, Erik Nelson’s A Gray State stands apart as a truly riveting psychological drama, complete with widespread conspiracy theories, political currents, and penultimate tragedy.

The story revolves around an Iraq War vet and aspiring filmmaker named David Crowley, who went from patriot to skeptic during his two tours in Iraq, and made a DIY trailer for an ambitious dystopian feature film about a not-that-far-from-reality future where the government has trampled all over civil rights and the people are in armed revolt. Unsurprisingly, this trailer spread wildly via internet conspiracy theorists and tea party activists. Suddenly, Crowley was becoming the voice of a movement and his film was poised to receive real Hollywood funding.

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Watch: The Cartoon That Started Internet Animation

Sometimes, a simple idea can start an entire movement.

Why do certain things have staying power, while others do not? In some cases, it's because of their simplicity. If an idea is smart enough, it doesn't have to be super-complicated or have lots of bells and whistles to gain popularity. Internet animation, by now an entertainment staple, is a good example. Its beginnings were modest indeed, but clever.

If you don't like the rules, make your own game.

This new video essay by Alex Myers tells the story of the roots of phenomena like Bojack Horseman—which lie with a simple cartoon called Homestar Runner. Check out the video, and our takeaways about the keys to the cartoon's success, below.

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Blind Spot Embraces the Future with 3D Printed Egg Crate

Blind Spot has introduced 3D-printable egg crates for its LED lights that show a window into what is coming.

3D printing manufactured parts is a dream for many end users, but most major manufacturers have been slow to embrace the technology for fear of losing control of the valuable accessory market. One key hurdle to simply printing your own accessories has been the fact that scanning technology still isn't as affordable as printing technology. Yes, you can do quick and easy scans of items with your smartphone, but then to build on top of that and have it fit snugly on the item you want to accessorize or repair takes so many test prints and so much time-consuming refinement as to not be worth the effort.

Want a specific reflection in your subject's eyeball? Custom print a cuculoris that shapes the light to be precisely what you want it to be.

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