5 Tips on Organizing and Maintaining Your Filmmaking Gear

The more gear you have the harder it is to manage.

Isn't it (almost) every filmmaker's dream to have an enormous collection of gear? Tons of cameras, lenses, stabilizers, and stands—we want it all—until it comes time to manage and organize it all, right? If you're cinematic arsenal is on the beefy side, you're going to want to know how to keep all of those very expensive, very fragile beauties easy to find and in the best condition, and in this video, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens gives you five practical tips on getting a handle on all of your filmmaking tools. Check it out below:

Getting your gear organized isn't the most pleasant or enthralling tasks you're going to do as a filmmaker, but it is incredibly important. Not only will it save you time when you're preparing for a shoot and working on set, but it'll keep your gear in tip-top shape. So, here are Morgan's five tips mentioned in the video:

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Inside Sundance’s Indie Episodics, the New Home For Low Budget Upstarts

There's something very new in this year's Sundance Film Festival, and it's the all-out undiscovered low-budget program, Indie Episodics.

Sure, last year, the Sundance Film Festival programmed a section for serial content. But according to Sundance programmer Charlie Sextro, last year was an experiment where a few truly independent series were included, and the results defined this year's brand-spanking new category.

"2017 was the first year we took open submissions, and it got great reaction. People really loved the creators," Sextro told No Film School. "This year instead of playing projects that already have distribution through major channels like Netflix or Amazon or Showtime, Indie Episodics are really fully embracing the idea of discovery and independence, and seeing what new things can happen when we showcase new creators. This is what people expect of Sundance, and so that's how we created the section this year." This new program is truly indie.

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Filmstro Now Provides Customizable Stock Music to Final Cut Pro X

Expanding from Premiere to Final Cut Pro X, Filmstro offers filmmakers easy-to-use tools to find affordable stock music cues.

Finding the right music for your project, especially for corporate, client, and rough cuts, can be a whole job unto itself. Filmstro, a popular tool with a well integrated Premiere Pro plugin panel, gives you a massive library of stock music with the ability to deeply manipulate the musical attributes to fine-tune precisely how it supports your project. Filmstro is now expanding beyond Premiere integration and to support Final Cut Pro X.

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Dive into Premiere Pro: Adobe’s Obsession with Color

Adobe Premiere Pro puts editing and color grading into one seamless program.

[Editor's note: In this series, we will be exploring Adobe's approach to several aspects of post-production, and how Creative Cloud can help elevate your work.]

Filmmakers know that color is one of the most powerful storytellers, and being able to control the grade of a film is tantamount to being able to tell better, richer, and more profound stories. For quite some time, filmmakers have desired a tool that could combine the worlds of editing and color grading into one seamless program, and Adobe Creative Cloud solves many of the issues facing editors of all experience levels with powerful and intuitive video and color tools in Premiere Pro, including new color options, optimized layout design, and single-click professional looks inside the Lumetri panel.

We spoke with Patrick Palmer, Product Manager for Premiere Pro, about all of the high-quality color options the program has to offer, as well as the ideas and thought processes that went into turning Premiere Pro into the creative powerhouse that it has become today.

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16 Incredible Free Adobe Plugins from the Editor of ‘Sharknado 2’

These will put you one step closer to being that editor that can do it all.

Vashi Nedomsky is a professional editor who’s worked on 11 feature films in his 17-year career, most notably cutting the pulp hit Sharknado 2. In addition, he’s somewhat of a post-production wizard and his blog has some great tips for anyone looking for edit hacks.

That goes double for editors that are looking for mastery of the Adobe suite. It’s really come to a point where the most in-demand editors are the ones that can do it all. In Nedomsky’s words, most paid editors are “now expected to be one man shops that can handle picture edit, VFX, sound design and even music/score.”

That’s a lot of information to consume, and with a bevy of software at your disposal, it’s even trickier to master. This is especially the case when you consider the job requires an “understanding of ever-changing skillsets, acquisition formats, and delivery requirements.” It’s important for an editor to create a system. Above all else, organization is perhaps the most crucial part of the job. Finding a flow through your software can help maximize that effectiveness.

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Descript Is the Future of Audio Editing

Descript is so much more than a mere transcription tool.

With the podcasting explosion over the last decade, audio editing tools have become increasingly valuable. However, even at their most basic level, the tools haven't prevented the incredibly time-consuming work of removing a false take, a cough, or a misread line. How the heck can you create the seamless performance you've aspired to achieve? Using an innovative combination of Google Voice transcription and transcript-to-audio linking, Descript is a new tool that sets out to simplify and speed up the process.

You begin by bringing your audio file into the application. The app then uses the Google Speech platform to do the automated transcription. Sure, there are other tools that do similar work (we had a good experience with Transcriptive from Digital Anarchy last year), without requiring a separate app, but where Descript stands out is in its ability to have the transcript and audio file remain linked.

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The Best Filmmaking Apps & Sundance 2018 Preview [PODCAST]

This episode of Indie Film Weekly sets you up for Sundance—whether you'll be there or not.

Jon Fusco and yours truly, Liz Nord are headed to Park City, Utah for the 34th Sundance Film Festival. We are joined by NFS Managing Editor Erik Luers on this episode, and together we share everything you should know to get ready for the big event, whether you’ll be there in person or not. In gear news, Kodak makes a big gamble on a new version of old tech and in Ask No Film School, Charles Haine reveals the most useful film production apps on the market. 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.

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Watch: A Powerful 4-Minute Lesson on Filmmaking from Casey Neistat

This video from Casey Neistat is both a warm hug and hard slap to the face.

If there's one thing we all have in common, it's that we all have (or had) a dream of becoming filmmakers. You might've wanted to move out to L.A. and be the next Spielberg or marinate in a dirty motel room in Vermillion, South Dakota for six months to pen the darkest, weirdest, and greatest screenplay ever written. Regardless of the paths we take as creatives, we all share the same dream, but we also all share the paralyzing disappointment when that dream is crushed over and over and over again.

If you're in need of 1.) some inspiration to get you out of your creative deathbed, or 2.) a nice, hard kick in the chonies to get you out of said creative deathbed, then you need to watch this video by Casey Neistat now.

If there's one thing I know about dreams it's that, to achieve them, you have to stop at nothing.

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Watch: 6 Tips on How to Dress a Set

While you're focused on performances, framing, and getting perfect lighting, your set dressing is begging for your attention.

Everything within the frame tells a story. It's not just dialogue, composition, and lighting that helps push your narrative forward—even though those are the things you tend to focus most of your attention on when you first start out—it's also other things, like costuming and makeup. In this video from The Film Look, you get to learn how to approach one of these elements of filmmaking, set design, that often overlooked get overlooked by new filmmakers. Check it out below:

"The location is an extension of what is happening in the foreground, and dressing the set to match the tone of your film or a character's persona will help you get closer to achieving the film look."

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8 Films We’re Most Excited to See at Sundance 2018

Here's what we can't wait to catch in Park City.

Out of 110 selected feature-length films—100 of which are world premieres—it can be near impossible to choose from among Sundance Film Festival's plentiful program of high-quality work. Good thing we have such diverse interests among us, and have seen an awful lot of films between us. If your tastes align with those of your favorite NFS writer, you're in luck. Our core team members who will be covering Sundance from the ground in Park City this week have each chosen two of our most anticipated. Read on below to find out what and why.

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