5 Tips For Shooting Your Project On A Prayer

Unsure of how to get your no-budget project off the ground? Look at the resources around you.

Eureka, you’ve got it! After months of jogging that idea around in your head, tossing it against the walls of your brain, you've finally settled on something that feels right. Be it a character, a plot point, or a fully fleshed out storyline, you find yourself ready to create something.

The realization then hits: the more you look into the idea, the harder it becomes to fathom getting it done. You have to factor in camera costs, crew costs, food, location expenses, not to mention insurance! How will you ever get your project off the ground? After months of writing Brian, a small web series about a Brooklyn-based comedian fresh to the dating scene (check out the first episode below), I was in the same boat. The thought of the project's impossibility crept into my head. Ultimately, I made the journey through and realized serval important points while shooting my project on a prayer.

Read More

Field Test: Ronin 2 is a High-End Gimbal That is Surprisingly Easy to Use

DJI is back with a major revision to its popular Ronin gimbal with the heavily upgraded—and more expensive—Ronin 2.

DJI is a world crusher in drones, but the company has long felt like the "second brand" of gimbals, with FreeFly systems and its MoVi being at the top of the pecking order. While the Ronin has the biggest rental base on indie platforms like ShareGrid, MoVi has the biggest penetration into high-end production. With the Ronin 2, announced last April and shipping as of a few weeks ago, DJI is clearly pushing hard to get to the same dominant position in ground stabilization they have in the sky. The massive team of engineers, product designers, and market researchers behind this product clearly emphasizes that point.

Read More

5 Super Useful Camera Accessories You Can Get for Less than $50

Is your gear bag hungry? Feed it with these budget-friendly filmmaking gadgets.

Whether you're a shameless gear addict or someone actually in need of equipment that works for you, there is so much filmmaking equipment out there to give you what you're looking for. And even though a lot of it is notoriously expensive and overpriced, there are many gadgets that are both budget-friendly and incredibly useful. In this video, filmmaker Armando Ferreira shares five of his favorite pieces of filmmaking gear priced comfortably under $50. Check it out below:

The greatest thing about the gear mentioned in the video is that they work well for filmmakers of all levels of experience. If you're a beginner, you'll benefit from their ease of use and small price tag. If you're a pro, you'll benefit from their build quality and convenience.

Here is all of the gear Ferreira talks about in the video. (You can find the links to each of them in the video's description.

Read More

Watch: What Superman Teaches Us About Character and Storytelling

This video looks at the characterization of an iconic figure and the complications involved in crafting a superhero.

Opening this Friday, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther has received rapturous reviews and a huge ticket presale. Inspired by the upcoming release, Jack's Movie Reviews has returned to examine a different superhero (this one from the DC Comics canon), exploring how Superman/Clark Kent's struggles illuminate the difficulties apparent in creating a superhero.

As Jack notes, "something that is found within every well-written character is the overarching conflict that they must face." This is both an external conflict (like defeating Lex Luther) and an internal one. When it comes to Superman, internal conflicts are more difficult to find, as he almost never experiences self-doubt or introspection. "He's a savior of the people who always does his best to do as much good as possible [and] there is no moral ambiguity, nothing to question."

Read More

Panasonic AU-EVA1 Adds Sigma Art Lens Support

New firmware expands lens compatibility for the 5.7K cinema camera to popular Sigma Art lenses.

The Panasonic 5.7K Super 35mm cinema camera received firmware update v1.12 today and it's good news for shooters using Sigma Art optics. With the release, the AU-EVA1 now supports Sigma EF lenses 12-24mm F4 DG HSM, 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM, 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, 30mm F1.4 DC HSM, 85mm F1.4 DG HSM, and 135mm F1.8 DG HSM. The update also corrected abnormal vales in iris and zoom which happened on rare occasions.

If this is the first you're hearing about AU-EVA1, the handheld cinema camera supports high frame rate recording of 4K 60 fps and 2K 240 fps. Its 5.7K Super 35mm image sensor can record 10-bit 4:2:2 images with a wide 14-stop dynamic range. For those in need of low light performance, Dual Native ISO is available at 800 and 2500 for low noise workflows. Similar to Panasonic's higher-end VariCam cameras, this compact version supports V-Log gamma and a wide-color gamut V-Gamut colorimetry for the "VariCam look." You can read our full review here.

Read More

How ‘Holy Air’s Eleven-Year Production Turned Personal Struggles into Laughter

Shady Srour’s politically-tinged comedy 'grew up' as the director did.

When you come from a religious minority of an ethnic minority in a religious state, religion is no laughing matter. Or, in Shady Srour’s case, that’s exactly what it is. From traditional taboos to Christian pilgrimage, Srour’s second directorial feature, Holy Air, leaves nothing off the table for potential mockery, and yet the film captures the complexities of some poignantly emotional moments.

The multi-layered tale takes place in Srour’s real hometown of Nazareth in Northern Israel, a predominantly Arab city which is home to much of the country’s Arab-Christian population. When Adam (also played by Srour, who is primarily known for his acting) must support his pregnant wife and ill father, he turns to bottling and selling “holy air” to tourists aiming to take home a little piece of Jesus.

Read More

Fujifilm Aims for Video Shooters with the X-H1 Mirrorless Camera and New Zooms

Fujifilm takes a cue from Panasonic and Sony in targeting filmmakers with the exciting new X-H1.

Mirrorless cameras have exploded in the last few years. While Canon and Nikon haven't fully embraced the format, Panasonic and Sony have dominated. After initially discovering that filmmakers loved these cameras, they have refined their offerings to create filmmaker-targeted models that create better video, are easier to use, and cost less. It's rare, lately, to see any professional work done on a $3000 video camera when you could instead be on a $3000 mirrorless, often out to a Pix or an Atomos.

While the Fujifilm XT2 has been beloved by still photographers, and as a stills unit by filmmakers (most of the reviews we do here at NFS are shot on it), Fujifilm hasn't come out with the "video specific" model until now. After leaking over the weekend, the official release is here: the Fujfilm X-H1. Along with it comes the release of X-mount versions of the popular MK zooms we reviewed, and loved, last year.

Read More

The Worst Job On Set Gets Better & What Camera Should You Shoot Your Short On? [PODCAST]

In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, ARRI and RED go head to head once again.

Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss Black Panther mania ahead of the groundbreaking film’s opening weekend. We also get into the Parking Production Assistants of New York's decision to unionize, the results of the WGA Awards, and say a sad goodbye to Oscar-nominated film composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Charles Haine joins us for gear news, including some speculation about a potentially game-changing partnership between RED and Foxconn. Charles also answers an Ask No Film School question on whether you should shoot with RED or ARRI cameras for your short film.

As always, the show also brings news you can use about gear, upcoming grant and festival deadlines, this week’s indie film releases, industry wisdom, and other notable things you might have missed while you were busy making films.

Read More

Practical Effects You Can Use to Make Slow Motion Look Sexier

Contrary to popular belief, it's possible to shoot super boring slow motion.

Slow motion is all the rage, right? Everybody and their third-grade teacher is doing it. But while there is plenty of transcendent, creative, unique high-speed footage out there, there is plenty of boring, totally drab, and uninteresting footage out there, as well. So, what gives? How can we turn a run-of-the-mill slow motion sequence into something that is not only more dynamic and compelling but also takes advantage of the effect? In this video, Zach Ramelan of PremiumBeat shows you a few great practical effects you can implement the next time you're itching to crank up your frame rate.

Read More

5 Mistakes We All Make as Filmmakers (That We Can Easily Avoid)

We all make mistakes as creatives, but here's how to avoid making some of the more common ones.

Filmmaking is like diffusing a bomb. You're there holding a wad of wires in your paw, sweating bullets. Time is ticking away as you agonize over critical decisions: do you cut the red wire or the green wire, hire that actor or this one, invest in some cine glass or invest in top-notch lighting? One wrong move and *boom*, your production is toast.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little melodramatic (it is Valentine's Day after all), but it's true. There are so many mistakes that we can make that can mess up our film projects and despite our level of experience, we tend to make them—repeatedly—even when we know better. So, what are they? What are some of the most common, yet most damaging mistakes we can make as filmmakers? Here's a video by Creative North that shares a handful of them.

Read More