by Fabian Chaundy | 7th April 2017
In this Vlog series of almost 30 episodes and counting, production company COMV takes you behind the scenes each week in their journey of making their first feature film, the ambitious sci-fi flick Navigator. The folks from Salt Lake City-based production company COMV have embarked upon the adventure of shooting their first feature film, Navigator, and they want you to be along them every step of the way. They are documenting their progress with their weekly Vlog series BEHIND THE FILM, in which they face the various challenges that arise during the different stages of production. BEHIND THE FILM tackles general production aspects such as their preferred lighting techniques, setting up challenging shots, and finding motivation in camera movement, in addition to pre-production topics such as scene blocking, auditions and casting decisions and script considerations. However, it is not only about the technical challenges — they also share some of their more conceptual insights, such as how to stay creative (Dungeons & Dragons alert!) and how a first script read-through can become a bonding experience for the cast and crew. COMV Director Weston takes you behind the scenes of Navigator in their weekly Vlog series. Of course, being a sci-fi, there are plenty of more specific videos on creating convincing props and practical effects, as well as costume design, all from a very DIY and indie point of view that I’m sure many will find entertaining and educational. Following such a close group of friends doing something they love makes it really easy to identify with director Weston and the rest of the COMV gang, especially during those gut-wrenching moments on their very first shoot day. It’s really interesting to follow how the team deals with different situations, making the BEHIND THE FILM Vlog series not only a didactic resource, but also a truly inspiring watch for anyone considering making their first film. You can find more about COMV on their website, and you can find the ongoing BEHIND THE FILM playlist HERE. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel, and can help fund the film by contributing to their Patreon account. We wish you good luck, COMV, and look forward to watching Navigator!Read more
by Tim Fok | 11th October 2016
Have you ever wondered: what does a Grip do? In truly timeless 90’s Docu fashion, Mark Vargo, ASC takes us on a journey explaining the role of the grip department, with insight to popular camera and light modifying tools they use day to day. With filmmaking becoming as accessible and self-sufficient due to today’s technology, many people are coming into the industry with a do-it-all-yourself attitude and have never, and maybe will never, come into contact with a traditionally structured professional film outfit. That means that when you check out the Behind the Scenes of your favourite Hollywood movies, you have no idea what that Craghopper clad, burley guy holding a piece of metal is doing. Believe it or not, you shouldn’t really have to keep an eye on your reflector leant up against a camera bag and light stand as you delicately try to poise the camera on a slider & double stacked tripod head. In a professional production, there is a whole department that deals with that for you. Mark Vargo’s video above does a good job highlighting the key roles of a grip, whilst going into a little detail regarding popular used tools, such as grades of gobos (light modifiers that “go between” the lights and the talent). Outside of Hollywood movies, Grips are widely used in the commercial industry, as well as high profile corporate, narrative and music videos. The smaller the jobs are, the more blurred set roles can become. Basically speaking, the Grip Department is responsible for camera and lighting support. The key word here is support, where they never usually touch a light fixture or piece of camera kit, just the supporting elements. Mark Vargo describes them as skilled technicians drawing experience from highly technical vocations. I couldn’t have put it better myself.Read more
by Tim Fok | 19th February 2016
OK Go has released a BTS showing great insight into how they achieved their ambitious single shot, zero gravity music video for Upside Down, & Inside Out. First thing’s first, if you haven’t already you must check out the video: To say there were a couple of challenges filming this would clearly be an understatement. It’s not quite as simple as choreographing some fun and games and enduring a zero gravity flight, if only if it were that simple. Check out the below behind-the-scenes for a fantastic insight in how they filmed the single shot music video; overcoming the restrictions of only 27 second zero gravity stints, all the planning involved, not to mention the nausea. In a nutshell, their 21 flights only enabled them with 27 second stints of zero gravity. it then took 4-5 minutes to gain enough momentum to generate another stint. The song was divided into 8 27-second segments which were performed in zero gravity, the 4-5 minute sections were then cut out and using morph blending were merged together. Unfortunately the song doesn’t quite divide into 27 second segments so easily, each verse and chorus is more accurately 21 seconds. To combat this, everything was shot and performed 28.5% slower, so that when sped back up in post it would match the 27 seconds they had per zero gravity stint. This also aid Directors Trish & Damian vision in creating movement that didn’t simply replicate the looked of slow motion. The slightly sped up tempo as well as fast actions gave the zero gravity a more unique feel. The below alternative BTS video surfaced around the same time as the official video release, it plays out all 8 takes of the grand finale, a scene production nicknamed Thunderdome OK Go can no doubt be considered pioneers of the conceptual music videos, from zero gravity music video to treadmill mounted dance routines to Busby Berkeley-esque choreographed wizardry, each video is guaranteed to pluck on the harp strings of unique-ness.Read more
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