Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

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Link Dump: More Articles & Case Studies

May 21, 2009

This week I’ve got a few goodies to put out there, including a few case studies I’ve found and been saving up, some insightful articles about internet-based distribution, and a few odds and ends, as always. So, without any more ado, here we go…

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Link Dump: Articles & Thoughts

May 7, 2009

This week’s link dump post is a bit more article-based, with little to no free stuff or tutorials in the mix. I know, a more heady load, but it’s good for ya! Get those gears workin’ and thinkin’ and maybe something sweet-ass and original will come out of ’em. Anyway, it’s basically a roundup from the usual sources, a few announcements, some cool case studies, and some food for thought for those of you of the filmmaking persuasion but not in the ‘I-need-to-know-this-effect-now’ category, go ahead and read past the jump. You other lot, check back at a few previous posts an’ git yer learnin’ there. Otherwise, on we go…

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Link Dump: Eclectic Edition

April 30, 2009

Well, here’s the finale in those “tons-of-stuff” brags I’ve been making the last few posts. There’s a bit of a mix in here, but mostly the usual categories of free stuff and tutorials, with a few random ones thrown in at the end just for the sake of it. Enjoy, and see you next week!
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From The Heart

June 22, 2008

Since AnimiVirtus literally means courage of the heart in latin, and since it’s stuck with me so deeply for a few years now, things that follow along that line of demonstrating real human emotion and courage of the heart always stand out to me. So, naturally, when I first found this video of Craig Ferguson on YouTube almost a year ago now, I began to think of adding one more person so my little list of heroes. Starting just this February, I’ve begun to watch almost every single one of this Late Late Show episodes, every weeknight, fom 12:30 to 1:30 AM, no matter the next day’s occurence. (I was sick for a weekend recently, so sadly I missed out on a few episodes, but I think that’s justified).

Today I was thinking about keeping up the blog here and happened to be glancing at my YouTube login page when I noticed they’d updated the whole front page after you log in. It’s absolutely full of recommendations and what is essentially Google’s trademark of “smart suggestions,” or stuff they think you’ll like based on your previous use of the site you’re currently viewing. Among them were a bunch of Craig Ferguson videos, since I like to show friends his antics while at school or wherever.

I came across this video duo of him eulogizing his father, and it struck home not only as a really deeply brave thing to do – on TV or elsewhere publicly give a lost loved one a wake – but that it’s what I think is the most important thing about a lot of the movies I love. I’m not going to list off a bunch of movies to see, though I might make a list of the Top AnimiVirtus-Themed films of the year” or something at some later date, but I just wanted to take a moment to mention how important the backbone of your film is. Pure and simply, if there’s no key element driving the thing, it’s probably not worth making.

I know a lot of the time fun is the key element, whether it’s making a movie to goof off or making a serious film to showcase your efforts and talents, but I think what is the most important is what you’re saying in the film you’re making. My friends know I loved Grindhouse and can’t get enough vampire or zombie or postapocalyptic movies with less plot than spiky mohawks and souped up cars, but really, when it comes down to it, if you’re not saying anything – if you’re not pushing through to the audience to say something important to you – then it’s just another flick.

Ferguson always speaks from the heart. He always says what he means, what he believes, and leaves it at that. But occasioanly, he goes out on a pretty serious limb – be it about some other celebrity’s issues or his own – and says something that’s really important to him, that really means something to him, and that he can stand behind and defend with strength. That’s what AnimiVirtus means to me, that’s what filmmaking means to me, and that’s what I think film and all forms of expression of ourselves are supposed to accomplish. Say something that’s important, say something you believe. Always be open to suggestion and discussion, but be who you are, and think what you believe. That’s what I think makes good films, and in the end, a good life.

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From Here To Awesome

February 24, 2008

I stumbled upon this video today while surfing the Google blog, and decided it was worth showing to you guys.  It’s a great testament to the fact that indie filmmakers indeed have power, and possibility in the socially-confined world we’re living in today.  It also links to a few good videos with filmmaking tips, a video from Head Trauma and director Lance Weiler, both useful and interesting shot videos to really get your head around the fact that you have power, you can go out and make a short film and get the audience and make a splash.

The key here in my mind now, though, is that it’s a short film.  Of course the length doesn’t actually matter, if the trailer looks good enough, someone will buy it, but if it’s a short film that looks thoroughly professional, well done and generally entertaining, it’s a good step in the right direction.  The most important thing, though, is that it’s important to the filmmaker, and that they care about it and love it enough to carry it on despite the difficulties.  Personally, LATENT(CY) wasn’t that project for me.  But I’m hoping that after school ends (or even before) I’ll have scraped together some film-loving friends with enough interest and passion and drive to make another short film, and hopefully this time, we’ll be proud enough to make a campaign out of the thing.

It also occurred to me that if you’ve already got a short film made that can be shown on YouTube and other video sharing sites, then show it.  And not only that, post bulletins about it, send messages about it to all of your friends, make a website, sell DVDs, get the name out in the public’s eye because it’s your project, and it’s your responsibility to showcase your own work.  After all, if you’re not proud enough to show it off, what kind of impression does that give?  Best of luck and happy filmmaking!

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A Note on Shaky Camera Work

February 21, 2008

Earlier today I got an email from StudioDaily, a pretty fascinating online industry magazine and resource website about filmmaking, visual effects and editing.  In the letter,one of the headlines was this:

Over at Film & Video, Bryant Frazer talks with director George A. Romero about his return to low-budget filmmaking with Diary of the Dead using Panasonic HDX900 and HVX200 camcorders.

So naturally I emailed that quote off to the first friend I thought of when I think of zombie movies, and he responded pretty quickly saying that he didn’t like the new “Blair Witch sort of style that’s coming back.”  That I can completely understand, so I responded with the following passage, which is the basis for this post:

I kind of like the shaky cam style that’s on the rise, it’s more viral and amateurish, and it blurs the lines between amateur films and professional ones, making it so that it doesn’t matter as much anymore to the audience if it’s a “real movie” because they can’t always tell, so it’s not worth bothering about.  If it’s good, it’s good, and it deserves praise, if it’s bad, well, they leave it alone (or flame it, the bastards).  Sometimes it’s hard to see or hard to handle (I got mildly nauseous watching Cloverfield), but I think it’s a cool way to kind of get the super-hype of paying high attention to lighting, costumes, and even set design a little bit out of the way, and letting amateurs get more into the field, simply because the cheapest way to film (handheld and shaky) is often the most real feeling, because it’s not completely stable like a statue, nor is it to the extent that Cloverfield was (though that was pretty wonderfully done).  Basically, it give me even more of a chance to go out and shoot random stuff, put it all together in some sort of cohesive, understandable and entertaining story, and then market it and get attention because it looks real, it could be real, and if it’s good, people will appreciate either the documentary-ness of it or the realistic acting and detail of the thing.  So basically I don’t put anywhere near as much effort into the preparation of the film that Hollywood does, and I can still come out with a viable film to show at festivals and gain a reputation among the biggies of the business.  So that’s why I like it.  As a style, though, you’re right, it’s hard to take sometimes.

Now, that being said, I haven’t seen the trailer for this, but I’m going to look it up and see what I can find, heh.

NOTE: You can see the trailer here.  And I actually was a little disappointed with it when I watched it.

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DIY Reflector – Wear a White T-Shirt

January 8, 2008

This was quite a useful little tidbit of information that I’m sure applies to videography just as much as it does to photography.  The idea is to wear a white t-shirt and position yourself at an angle from your light source and subject, so that the light bounces off your shirt and onto the subject, giving it a softly lit look on the opposite side of the light source.  This isn’t going to be super powerful, but sometimes all you need is that extra glow.  I did the same with a little piece of tinfoil I taped to a window opposite a work light in my last shoot about a week ago.  Have any experience with DIY reflectors or any other ides for on-the-fly methods of lighting?  Yap on about them in the comments.