What do you get when you strap a 360 camera to an arrow? Tiny planets.
Every now and again it's fun to have fun? Right? Fun is fun! And what's more fun to a filmmaker than putting your camera to the test to see if it can capture some strange footage? Luckily, the Corridor Crew, who are basically professionals at strapping cameras onto things just to see what the world looks like from weird vantage points, have done just that in their latest video. They've taken an Insta 360 One Action Cam, rigged it up to an arrow, and shot that thing into the sky to see if they could capture some cool looking tiny planet shots. Check it out below:
The sun can be a wild beast. Here are a few ways you can tame it.
For some filmmakers, shooting outdoors can be a real challenge. That's mostly due to the fact that the sun, even though it's providing plenty of free, constant light, can be incredibly difficult to control. But instead of going outside like some pseudo-gothy socially awkward weirdo named V when she was 16 years old, you can learn a few easy and cheap techniques that allow you to use the sun to light better external scenes. In this video, Aidin Robbins offers up a few tips that require only a few very inexpensive modifiers, no additional lighting needed.
Light modifiers are an essential piece of gear when lighting a scene. Reflectors, bounce boards, silks, flags, you name it, they can all help you shape and control light on the cheap. You can get yourself a 5-in-1 reflector, which is somewhere in the ballpark of $20 to $50 depending on the size, and that'll give you, you guessed it, 5 different kinds of modifiers in one:
A job this difficult can't just be an issue of black and white.
“The colorist is the person who makes your rubbish film turn into something watchable,” moderator Krishan Arora began on a panel on color at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018.
Alongside him were Katherine Jamieson, a colorist at the London-based Halo Post (with her recent work including The Real T-Rex with Chris Packham and Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago), Samuel Francois-Steininger of Paris-based Composite Films (a trans-media studio specializing in color, animation, and short films), and Ruhi Hamid (Africa: A Journey into Music), a director across broadcast television, with recent work for BBC, Channel 4,and Al Jazeera.
Hamid reflected on doing her own camerawork on her recent piece in South Africa: “It’s a visual medium we’re working with, so you have to make a feast for the eyes… Even though I’m doing all the filming myself, the production values have gone up so much, the demands are so high for broadcast television.” Hamid filmed on a C300 as well as on Go Pros, an Osmo, and drones.
The venue where you screen your work isn't the only thing, but it is one of the most important.
One of the great virtues of the BlackStar Film Festival's endlessly engaging program of films is that the selection committee isn't afraid of the avant-garde. There are daring movies of breathtaking formalism situated right next to romantic comedies and science fiction. The work of black avant-garde filmmakers has not been nearly as carefully documented nor examined, but there is much terrific work being done to which national outlets have not provided nearly enough coverage.
In short, there has been (and continues to be) amazing work made without the constrictions of traditional narrative. BlackStar is the only reliable place to find it.
A group of likeminded artists and curators sat down to discuss how nontraditional cinematic forms are being utlized and how different spaces and forms can help artists today. Directors Kevin Jerome Everson, Nuotama Frances Bodomo, Terence Nance, and curators Jheanelle Brown and Meg Onli got into the nitty-gritty of their processes on the Free Form panel and below is what they had to say.
A long-forgotten camera was the culprit for movies worth remembering.
While many filmmakers' first brush with production arrived while making movies as children with their parents' camcorder, few adult filmmakers have the experience of using a camera designed for children to make their feature films.
Such is the case with a select few, however, including Sadie Benning, Elisabeth Subrin, and Michael Almereyda, each of whom used the long-forgotten PXL 2000—an affordably clunky Fisher Price camera designed for children usage in the late 1980s—to make independent work on the blurry, often pixelated image-capturing device.
New York's Film Society of Lincoln Center and Brooklyn-based Light Industry have teamed up for Flat is Beautiful: The Strange Case of Pixelvision, a one-week retrospective series that unearths these black-and-white wonders and projects them onto a screen much larger than the filmmakers could have ever expected.
Bradford Young has only been working professionally for a decade and yet he's already a legend in the industry.
Bradford Young, the maverick cinematographer, has likely shot one of your new favorite films. His work can be found in projects with as diverse a range of subjects as they are in budgets. He's been linked to directors Ava DuVernay and Dee Rees from the beginning of their careers, shooting their early features, Middle of Nowhere and Pariah, respectively.
Young has shot urgent documentaries like Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, contemplative fiction like Ain't Them Bodies Saints, A Most Violent Year, Selma and Arrival, and most recently lensed the mega-budgeted Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Sigma delivers more of its Sony E-Mount lenses for filmmakers.
In June, Sigma started shipping its 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm Sony E-mount lenses to the masses, leaving us with the 14mm, 70mm MACRO, 105mm, and 135mm still in question. Today, Sigma rolled out the 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO and 135mm F1.8 DG HSM, leaving the 105mm waiting in the wings.
The nine lens set is filling out nicely for Sony Alpha shooters since its initial announcement in February 2018. While we haven't had a chance to put them through any tests, Sigma does say that the lenses offer "the same high-performance optical design as other lenses in the Art line." If that's the case, filmmakers should find them worth a look.
Observe the direction of Brooklyn's finest up close.
Spike Lee's much anticipated narrative feature, BLACKkKLANSMAN, based on the real-life account of Officier Ron Stallworth's 1970s infiltration into the KKK, is set to open in theaters this Friday. Out of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the film was hailed as one of Lee's definitive best, and, debuting in 1,500 theaters, it may also prove to be one of his most successful at the box office.
With subject matter that feels all too relevant to today's political climate (and with a theatrical release timed to the one year anniversary of the fatal Charlottesville, Virginia protests), the film is destined to become a topic of heavy conversation throughout the rest of 2018.
Starring John David Washington (Denzel's son, who Lee directed numerous times, most notably in 1992's Malcolm X), Adam Driver, and Topher Grace (as Klan leader David Duke), the film appears to be both wild and outrageous, a comedy with deadly, all-too-real implications.
and Boogie Nights
are more similar than you might think. These videos take a deep dive.
Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights were arguably two of the most stylistically influential Hollywood films of the '90s. Two new videos from Daniel Netzel (AKA Film Radar) and Entertain the Elk examine different aspects of the relationship between the two films. For Scorsese, Goodfellas was considered a triumphant return to form after a decade that started with the triumph of Raging Bull and then meandered through quirky one-offs like After Hours (which is, for the record, superb), his first Hollywood hit, The Color of Money, and the controversy of The Last Temptation of Christ.
In this episode of Indie Film Weekly, summer box offices have a new superhero.
Jon Fusco, Erik Luers, and yours truly, Liz Nord discuss how theatrical documentaries are taking over the summer box office, give a fall festival preview, and mull over a newly announced Oscar category. In gear news, we reveal two new mobile audio solutions and an affordable ultra-wide zoom. Jon answers an Ask No Film School question about how to make sure your film script is properly formatted—and the right length.
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.