Archive for September, 2007

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IzzyVideo: Channel Mixing

September 30, 2007

Here’s a very useful and very cool color-correction tip that I’ve seen applied to photographs in Photoshop but never to video.  I watched this video, tried it out on my most recent full-length film with some footage I had on my machine and then n the short I’ve been working on for about a year and decided I’m going to apply the technique to the short once the rough cut’s done.  It’s an awesome effect and very useful and effective in some cool lighting conditions, and ones that are commonly shot as well, nothing extra needs to be set up for this trick.  It’s a great tip, so at least watch the video.  Heh, you’ll like it too I bet.  Enjoy.

Link: http://www.izzyvideo.com/2007/09/25/izzy-video-64-channel-mixing/

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IndyMogul's New Videos

September 30, 2007

IndyMogul recently put out a few more videos, namely a new installment of their Q and Erik show, their BFX show and part one of a new Weekend Extra segment.  I’m looking forward to part two.  The BFX episode was especially cool, using about $20 to create a pretty realistic, in-the-spirit-of-the-original-Star-Wars-trilogy spaceship model and shooting it in front of a greenscreen for some space sequences.  The only tips I would have to enhance the effect is animating the star backgrounds, since the spaceship flies past the camera and then appears to keep flying, staying the same distance from the camera and the stars in the background aren’t moving.  It’s unnatural, but you get the idea.  I would also color-correct the footage a bit, maybe paint a little detail onto the ship, something like that.  It’s a chance to be creative with your creation, but I really like their method for the lights on the thrusters.  It’s realistic, totally feasible and a great tip for model-makers and people who can’t use 3D CG or don’t know how.  I definitely could have used this video for a project I did last year.  So check them out, the main site’s link is below and the shows are linked to above in this post.  Enjoy, and happy filmmaking.  Thanks IndyMogul!

Link: http://www.indymogul.com

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IndyMogul’s New Videos

September 30, 2007

IndyMogul recently put out a few more videos, namely a new installment of their Q and Erik show, their BFX show and part one of a new Weekend Extra segment.  I’m looking forward to part two.  The BFX episode was especially cool, using about $20 to create a pretty realistic, in-the-spirit-of-the-original-Star-Wars-trilogy spaceship model and shooting it in front of a greenscreen for some space sequences.  The only tips I would have to enhance the effect is animating the star backgrounds, since the spaceship flies past the camera and then appears to keep flying, staying the same distance from the camera and the stars in the background aren’t moving.  It’s unnatural, but you get the idea.  I would also color-correct the footage a bit, maybe paint a little detail onto the ship, something like that.  It’s a chance to be creative with your creation, but I really like their method for the lights on the thrusters.  It’s realistic, totally feasible and a great tip for model-makers and people who can’t use 3D CG or don’t know how.  I definitely could have used this video for a project I did last year.  So check them out, the main site’s link is below and the shows are linked to above in this post.  Enjoy, and happy filmmaking.  Thanks IndyMogul!

Link: http://www.indymogul.com

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Showcase: FCU (Fact Checkers Unit)

September 30, 2007

This I found recently on the IzzyVideo blog.  It’s a short film, apparently only released on the internet and starring Bill Murray.  It was quite funny, very well put together and very watchable.  They did a great job on this.  Definitely worth checking out.  I don’t want to talk much about it to give anything away, but the acting and writing were very good, it had a sort of dryish humor style to it, sort of like Steve Carell, maybe.  Whomever it resembles, it’s a great watch.  Check it out at the link below and leave plenty of comments.

Link: http://www.izzyvideo.com/…

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Showcase: Austin Hartman

September 26, 2007

While perusing YouTube today, taking periodic breaks from redrafting and redrafting my paper for sociology, I discovered Austin Hartman’s collection of videos.  I watched a few of his videos and thought they were quite interesting, and well crafted, using the rack focus trend that’s been so common the past few years.  The lighting in each video I’ve watched so far has been quite admirable, very minimal but very cool, dramatic and meaningful, intentional.  I wanted to take the chance to mention him on this blog and hope someone else finds the work that’s up on YouTube and takes a peek.  There’s some very cool stuff under his account, all worth taking a look at.  I’m a bit written out, I’ve redrafted that paper about 5 times in the last three or four hours, but I wanted to at least mention the talent in hopes that someone else would find it intriguing.  I know that if I’m even out in the California area (yea, right, since it’s so small and everything) I’d definitely try to collaborate.  Maybe someday.  But for now, thanks, Austin Hartman for providing us with such cool work, and keep it up.  I’m glad you’re in the biz.

This video I found especially well-made:

Link: http://www.youtube.com/user/austinrhartman

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Suite Effects: Reactive Lighting

September 24, 2007

Well, DJTV came out with their new episode of Suite Effects recently, their visual effects tips and tricks podcast show, and it is quite worth the watch.  I’m really glad they’ve kept up the sort of showcase type segment at the end of their episodes, showing what can be done with each of the techniques demonstrated in each episode.  This episode is on reactive lighting – a “secondary” effect used to simulate the light coming from an effect that acts as a light source (lighting, explosions, muzzle flares, etc.) on the actor’s face and body and surrounding environment to really sell the effect.  Often missed or forgotten, this is key to any effects shot to make the effect real and believable.  Sean Mullen, the host, uses a sort of off-kilter shot as an example, but does quite a good job of demonstrating and explaining the techniques and methods used to create the effect needed to sell your shot to your audience.  I’m not going to go into it any more, but definitely check out the video at the link below, even if you’re not using After Effects, I believe Premiere, Final Cut and Motion and Shake and other similar programs will all have different methods of achieving this technique.  Try it out, see how much better you can make your effects.

Link: http://www.digitaljuice.com/djtv/segment_detail…

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Sweet Fight Scene & Hollywood's Disaster

September 21, 2007

I found this a few days back online and thought it was pretty awesome. Very low-budget, they didn’t do any complicated effects, and the production value was only high because of the obvious talent of the two actors. I watched it and thought “Why aren’t movie fights this cool?” It can’t be the money, because they obviously didn’t spend much on this, if anything, so what is it? They can’t find talented enough people? The choreographer’s aren’t good enough? This would totally be a crowd-pleaser as a big-budget fight scene, so what’s the deal? I don’t get it. I think these guys deserve some applause, just because of their talent, and I know editing can be tedious, especially editing action scenes, but they did a great job in all aspects of this video. I just wish Hollywood would take a hint from the growing wealth of internet film-related talent and try to step up their game. I don’t really get why they’re in such a slump right now. I’ve got a running list going with friends I work with at the movie store, and we’ve discovered so many recent movies that have been remakes it’s ridiculous. It’s like Hollywood has literally no original ideas anymore, it’s insane. It’s really not that complicated to come up with something new, I do it all the time. It might be based on other things, but that’s how we get inspired, so we can’t really help that. But what’s with continually remaking old movies? Is it the guarantee of success? Is Hollywood really so scared that they can’t just take a plunge and go for something new and fresh these days? I mean there are independent filmmakers out there making movies like Cashback and The Boondock Saints and Bubba Ho-Tep that are really just great films. What happened to that spirit of making something because it was a great, original idea? Why don’t they try that anymore in the big-leagues? Frankly, it’s ridiculous that so many movies these days are unoriginal, I think it’s wrong, really, and it’s getting to the point where I think the internet and rental programs aren’t Hollywood’s only competitors right now, destroying their box-office business; I think it’s them. If they keep making crappy movies, remakes, things that people have the attitude of “I’ll rent it when it’s out instead of going to the theater to see it,” spending another 5 bucks or whatever, then they’re only killing themselves, and then the independents come as a rise of talent again. That’s great for the independents, but Hollywood still has a huge market and most of the public’s attention, so how do we find out about Indie films if we’re not looking? If Hollywood keeps making movies that don’t matter to the public enough for the studios to make the big box-office money they need to pay back their loans, Hollywood’s going to go out of business, and though it won’t happen for a long time, if at all, it paves the way for new indie filmmakers and lots of smaller venues, which can be great. It can also be seen as a loss of independent thought in the industry that makes up probably close to half of the role models of our teen and pre-teen population. Hollywood needs to take some chances. Nothing was ever gained by being safe, but when you let go of your safeguards and go for something that’s really groundbreaking, just because of the newness of the idea, then you really make history. That’s when people fall in love with filmmaking again. That’s when people fall in love with the movies again. I think we need a studio revolution, maybe more than a filmmaking revolution. Freer thought in the studio will lead to more deals for indie filmmakers, more varied storylines, much more original content in films, and will open doors for casts, crews and all sort of positions in filmmaking for many more people than the current group of near-untouchable elites that actually make things we remember. And what’s with eh trilogy craze recently? Just because Lord of the Rings did it means everybody else can make fortunes too? No, that plays back to the originality idea. When you make a great movie, don’t go and ruin it by making a crappy couple of sequels like Spiderman, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Matrix and other movies have been doing recently. Keep the original good idea and let the rest go. Leave room for others to come in and pick up where you left off, with something else, something new and different, and watch what they come up with, take chances for, and then you take your turn. I think if we could handle that, we’d be set for a new era of Hollywood filmmaking… where it wasn’t a minority of stares with a monopoly of the industry… it was a huge amount of people involved in making touching and important stories and characters come to life for everyone to revitalize the theaters and remember how to enjoy movies again. That would be beautiful. Like the Majestic… kinda…only without the whole Communism scandal. (If you haven’t seen The Majestic, you should, there’s another great original movie they didn’t make into a trilogy). Back to the link that got this all started… enjoy the fight scene below. And any comments are welcome too, this just got me excited so I went on ranting. Hope you enjoyed it ;).

Link: http://www.break.com/index/amazing-homemade-fight-scene.html