Videography and Digital video tips

Some videography tips to improve your digital productions (you should also check out some YouTube video ideas): 1. Use manual focus All cameras have automatic focus, but you should avoid using it if possible, because you will inevitably get “focus hunting”, with the camera constantly switching focus from one plane to another. So, switch the

How to Make a Music Video: Planning, Shooting and Editing

Shooting the music video 1. Record the track that you are playing back on set as you shoot. This scratch track will help you synchronize the shots with the clean track in post-production. 2. Instruct the singer to sing properly – no half-hearted singing or, worse, miming. If they mumble or mime, it will not

Non-linear digital video editing tips

Video editing was revolutionized by the invention of digital video and FireWire. FireWire is a cable (also known as IEEE 1394) that connects DV cameras to your computer for the purpose of transferring data from the DV tape to your hard disk. The beauty of FireWire is that the data transfer is lossless. This means

How 3D Movies Work

3D vision is enabled by the ability to discern which objects in the field of view are close and which ones are further away. 3D vision is possible because we have two eyes. The two eyes are a few inches apart, and therefore view the world from different perspectives. The closer an object is to you, the

Film festival tips

Film festivals are massively overrated, but they remain an important avenue through which to showcase your completed film. There are some harsh realities associated with film festivals that you should know about before you submit your film to the festivals – or, even better, before you even make your film. You can increase your film

YouTube video ideas & tips

YouTube gives everyone the opportunity to upload their video content and communicate directly with the world. Almost everyone these days has access to some sort of video-recording technology and many people are keen to join in on the action. All you need is an idea! The secret to making an awesome YouTube video is VALUE.

RED camera review: my experience with the RED camera

I shot three spec TV commercials with the RED camera and this is my report of the experience. Here are the spots: 1. About the RED camera The RED camera was released in 2007 and satisfied a desperate need for a digital camera that can truly rival the look of 35mm film. It shoots in

Movie editing techniques – With pretty pictures!

Hone your understanding of film editing until you are dazzlingly brilliant at it. The very best directors have a comprehensive understanding of film editing. They plan and direct shots in such a way that they can be cut together smoothly and coherently. Ambitious filmmakers would therefore be well advised to learn film editing. You should

Film Lighting Techniques and Tips: With Pretty Pictures!

Soft front light / hot backlight A popular technique in film lighting is to use a soft (diffuse) light source from the front and a stronger, more directional light from the back, so that your subject has a hot edge. The soft frontal light is known as the fill light; the strong light at the

Filmmaking Tips and Advice for Ambitious Filmmakers

“A free online film school summary for aspiring filmmakers” Jump to a section: Screenwriting Lighting Camerawork Camera movement Zooming Sound Casting Continuity Production Design Film editing 1st AD Directing   1. Write or obtain an awesome screenplay Without a dazzlingly awesome screenplay you are dead in the water. Beautiful lighting, creative camerawork and smooth editing

How Steven Spielberg started his Hollywood career

Steven Spielberg started making movies as a young child, using Super 8 equipment. He was extremely ambitious from the outset and made his first feature film at the age of seventeen. The film, Firelight, premiered on the 8th March 1964 in Phoenix, Arizona. The film was, of course, low-budget; Spielberg shot it with a good

How James Cameron started his Hollywood career

“Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Shoot it on video if you have to. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.” (James Cameron) After moving

James Cameron and Steven Spielberg direct the best battle scenes

James Cameron is a modern-day Leonardo da Vinci — a genius in the truest sense of the term. James Cameron and Stephen Spielberg are the only directors on this planet who are able to direct a battle scene that actually makes sense, as opposed to being dull and pointless. Every other director — including one

The film industry and the Internet are enemies

As wonderful as it is, the Internet has a number of particularly pernicious traits, including an unfortunate tendency to make people addicted to free content. If the free content happens to be a blog post or a home video, that’s all well and good. However, if the free content in question is a real movie,

Is branded content the future of advertising?

Although the concept was developed many years ago, branded content is being mentioned with increasing frequency in advertising circles. Put simply, branded content is a short film or video that blends entertainment with advertising. The model’s rationale is that the content’s entertainment value more than compensates for the fact that virtually every shot features the

The “new normal” in TV commercial production

“New normal” is the new hot term in the business vernacular, and the world of TV commercial production is no exception. A producer I know recently gave me an inkling of what this “new normal” might look like. She told me that TV commercial budgets are aggressively being slashed, and of course we are well

Panavision struggling to compete with the RED camera

An article in the L.A. Times yesterday described how Panavision is losing business precipitously. There are two reasons for this: production has declined dramatically, and when something does get made, it tends to be shot with a RED camera rather than on celluloid. This is seriously hurting the business of Panavision, which has been supplying