Techni(cal) Color

Informative history and technique analysis color in storytelling. This is one of those filmic elements that I consider rather than plan. However, I’m trying to (color) correct that.

Additional Note: This supercut of Kubrick’s use of color helps illustrate how powerful it can be.

Tarantino Road Warrior

There’s a curious balance in being an auteur. You need to have a unique voice, but you also can’t be too derivative of your own work. This assembly of Tarantino driving shots shows how a set piece can be a calling card, yet effectively drive (ahem) the story in each film.

Boulder Filmmaking

The thing with Spielberg is the preparation. And what I’m (slowly) learning is that you don’t necessarily have to be fast, just thorough. While Raiders was positioned as an homage, the technique behind it has made it a masterclass in and of itself. It’s not just the thought and planning behind this iconic scene that is notable, but Spielberg’s employment of top notch crew to bring his vision to life. Oh, and you’ll never guess what the sound of the boulder was…

One Shot Bird

Birdman is probably the most original and compelling film I’ve seen this year. A large part of it was how the construct provided a unique platform for character development. Another was how the cinematography leveraged a confined setting to provide a dynamic theatrical experience. I had my theories as to how they filmed it on “one shot”, and was mostly right. However, it’s still fascinating to understand the method behind the madness.

It’s a Small World: Custom Spherical Panorama

Photographer Jonas Ginter tried for two years to make a 360 panoramic camera. Then he solved the problem with a “camera ball” 3-D printed 6 GoPro rig (of course). It seems like visual storytelling possibilities are expanding every day with cheap a/v tech and custom manufacturing tools. Or at least we’ll be seeing a lot more trippy sh*t!


Still Images and Moving Pictures

???????????????In 1945, Stanley Kubrick became the youngest staff photographer in the history of Look magazine. He was 17. After discovering this (and questioning my life’s path), I was struck by how his early work was so…Kubrick. It’s impossible not to see the roots of his distinct cinematic style. From the immaculate composition to the mastery of light. As both a filmmaker and photographer, I’ve viewed them as distinct practices. While there are some connections between my output in both forms, it’s nowhere near as coherent as it could be. The Look Magazine shots below make a strong case for evolving a consistent style for visual storytelling. And being a once-in-a-lifetime genius.

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FUMBO is a unique NY short film festival run by some ‘quirky’ folk I know. Don’t believe me? You’ll probably reconsider when you’re given dozens of roses to throw in appreciation at the movies you like.

I’ve submitted entries for the last three years. This one was shot in a night with two friends, a bunny costume and a lot of Manhattans. But a price was paid. You’ll see.

Color Me Colorful

I’ve been exploring color lately. Shooting flat for more dynamic range. Sharpening my color correction ‘skills’ (very much in quotes). Playing around with look-up tables. Why? Like a lot of digital filmmakers, I’ve realized the difference color can make, but didn’t quite know the mechanics behind it all. But the video above has definitely helped.

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Take Five: IFP Producing Wisdom

investors-IFP-616x354Sometimes, when I’m working on a film, I like to remind myself that the point is for actual people to see it (Right?). But while the pains of production can be many, it’s always nice when folks who are actually good at it get together at conferences to weigh in. Better yet, when motivated attendees summarize those kernels of wisdom in blog form. So in the name of distillation, I’m going even higher level and throwing down the main points. Half as a self-reminder, half to entice you to read the whole article here.

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DIY GoPro Bullet Time Rig

One of the benefits of accessible technology like the GoPro is that folks get very inventive in how they use it. This is a great example of a show-stopping effect created using just a few household materials (assuming your house has a ceiling fan) and a lot of ingenuity. See how easy it is to make your own below.

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5D 2K OMG!

I have a Canon 5DMIII, which I’ve increasingly felt bad for. Namely because of haters. They say the Epic and Black Magic are better video options and the Nikon D800 simply better. I’ve defended the 5D saying it’s still the best option for someone who shoots video and stills. But, yes, I’ve had my doubts. However, in the last week, things have changed. First, my camera will be able to deliver clean HDMI out, so you can record uncompressed footage with an external reader. Second, and this is a big one, the 5D might very well have the capability to capture 2K raw resolution! Yes, this is OMG-worthy and ups the ante for HDSLR shooters who’ve kept the faith in Canon.



The Movie That Will Smash the Gate (Mine)


Yes, this type of Co-Create article gets my attention, speaking of an inevitable fully-indie blockbuster movie that changes the model in the same fashion as Mackelmore (music) and 50 Shades of Grey (literature?).

Eric Kuhn, the head of social media at United Talent Agency, thinks the conditions for a hit are already in place. “Social media provides the reach, broadband streaming provides the distribution, and the public has shown the willingness to consume premium content in new ways,” he says. “The system is ready for it. It’s just needs the confluence of the right film and the right moment.”

Wait, I’m a filmmaker AND an entrepreneur AND a digital marketer. I guess it’s up to me to make this happen. Game on.