Are you a creator, a filmmaker or camera enthusiast? Are you looking for the ingredients it takes to master a creative life and be successful with your craft? Then you are either one of the people depicted in this film, or one of the many creatives that struggle on a daily basis just like them. I recently watched the newly released documentary “MAKE” on Vimeo and I truly enjoyed it. I felt both understood in my endeavour to work in media and also fascinated after being confronted with the reality of my situation as a creator in this industry. Several filmmakers, artists and designers have received a voice in this feature-length documentary and they speak for all of us. It’s no secret that “MAKE” is an elaborate marketing effort by the successful music licensing platform musicbed. And while they might remind us of their existence yet again, this film certainly has much more value than being a mere promo stunt. In its own language, you could say that it could even teach us a lesson about how to create something inspiring and meaningful that transcends its initial purpose. It’s much more interesting to talk about the grey area of things than it is to talk about what you’ve decided is right. Sylvan Esso (Pop Duo) “Musicbed has a unique perspective in the creative industry. Working with both Filmmakers and Musicians, we’ve seen firsthand the traps that artists can fall into when they’re driven by something other than their passion to create. It’s so easy to be blinded by dollars, followers and awards. It’s a pitfall that is more evident in today’s culture than ever, but it’s also an issue as old as time itself.” – The Musicbed (Production) While the merit of the storytelling style of “MAKE” can be debated, there is no question that the philosophical approach they’ve taken gives us a lot to think about. With barely any pauses, its 75 minutes of deep questions, ideas and inspiring thoughts could make a difference for an ambitious artist. If nothing else, the film is definitely worth the discussion about the questions surrounding a creative life path, whether you debate those only in your head or in the comment section of this article. It’s easy to do the right stuff for a lot of the wrong reasons Danny Yount (Title Designer) At times, “MAKE” might be taken as being a little bit too ambitious when it borders the reflection of questions about life itself, laying it on thick with emotional music and slow motion images. I’d say it follows the current popular filmmaking style, and many will probably like that. You could also say the film certainly has the musicbed language written all over it, but it’s enjoyable to watch and the video and sound quality is excellent. If no one ever looked, I’d still be making cool shit with my buddies. You know what I mean? It’s as honest as I can be. Before anyone was interested, that’s what I was doing. I had a great life. Aaron Draplin (Designer) By now you’ve probably guessed that personally I thought this film is really worth watching. It’s a unique piece of documentary filmmaking that goes to the bottom of what it takes to be a “MAKE”R, and listening to the struggles and resulting wisdom of a diversity of successful filmmakers, musicians and designers is inspiring for my own path in this field. It is honest, passionate and true to the questions it takes about. I liked it. You can watch it on Vimeo HERE. No one is going to do it for you. You have to go out and do it yourself. Reed Morano (Director) What drives you to create? If you’ve watched “MAKE”, let us know in the comments.Read more
EDIT: The recorded webinar is now available for free to stream on the Sony Pro Europe website. Head over to watch the 1-hour conversation in its entirety! Ever since the heydays of MTV in the 80s, music videos have been a creative experimental outlet for musicians and filmmakers alike. Budgets vary incredibly, probably more than in any other field of film/video production, but financial constraints can sometimes even spur creativity. I will be hosting and moderating a webinar discussion live from Sony’s Pinewood Studios facility in London on July 6 (in about two weeks), and the guests will be independent DOP Tom Swindell who has been busy shooting many music videos over the years, and Mike Marchlewski, who is an in-house DOP and project manager for Sony Music’s production team. from our music video production “Those Goddamn Hippies – Drift” – photo by Tony Gigov The format is not unlike our ON THE COUCH talk show series, with the difference that it will be streamed live and the audience will be able to take part in the discussion via live questions to the panel. Sign up here on the Sony site to join in on July 6 at 14:00 (BST) / 15:00 (CET) / 9 am (EST) or to gain access to the recording afterwards (this will be available only about a week after the recording). The discussion will last a total of 1 hour. Here is what we will be covering in the webinar: • Look like a million dollars: shoot attention-grabbing music videos on real-world budgets • From storyboard to screen: conveying your artist’s vision • Master your art: which cameras and lenses work best • Telling a musical story: schedules, locations and shot lists • Capture a great performance: taking care of lighting and audio • Making the cut: break into the industry and get your work noticed Last but not least, here are three music videos from Mike Marchlewski (Sony Music), Tom Swindell and myself: Music Video: ‘Florrie – Real Love’, Sony Music Music Video: ‘Kes – People’, provided by Tom Swindell Music Video: “Those Goddamn Hippies – Drift” – directed by Nicola von Leffern, DP: Nino LeitnerRead more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE COUCH coming! Thanks to G-Technology and Røde Microphones. In this episode of ON THE COUCH, we continue our chat with LA-based director of photography Eve Cohen, and NoFilmSchool founder & director Ryan Koo. This time, we go deeper into the topic of modern technology in filmmaking. As you remember from last week’s episode, Eve is experienced in the new field of VR narrative shooting. Although there are many technical aspects to be considered when shooting in this format, the storytelling implications are even more important. Filmmaking draws from thousands of years of storytelling tradition already embedded in our collective consciousness, a tradition that is for the most part communal in nature. These days, when you put on a set of VR goggles you are immersing and isolating yourself in another reality and forgetting the world around you. Eve tells us how these challenges of maintaining a sense of audience and community informs and shapes her role as a storyteller. Ryan also shares his experiences and thoughts as he works through the process of producing his first feature film. He also reminds us that technology, and the democratisation thereof, carries with it an ever-increasing proliferation of productions. Whereas in the past there used to be a few hundred movie releases a year, these days audiences are bombarded by tens of thousands of movies. How does a budding filmmaker face such a challenge today? It was a pleasure to have Eve Cohen and Ryan Koo talk to us On The Couch. It was certainly an enlightening conversation that we are sure you will enjoy. Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE COUCH coming! Thanks to G-Technology and Røde Microphones.Read more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE COUCH coming! Thanks to G-Technology and Røde Microphones. In this episode of ON THE COUCH, I talked to LA-based director of photography Eve Cohen, and NoFilmSchool founder & director Ryan Koo. The first theme we covered was the emergence of Virtual Reality cinematography. Eve Cohen is already very active shooting VR films and told us about the challenges and opportunities that the new technology poses. We talked about how new storytelling techniques are emerging for VR films, and how it is still the “wild west” in terms of how things are done and experimented with. Ryan Koo told us about how he is preparing to shoot his first feature film alongside running NoFilmSchool as one of the most popular websites for filmmakers globally. The challenge of actually staying busy directing as a director is another topic we covered, something that seems to be easier to achieve for directors of photography, jumping from project to project, while directors have to plan/prepare a lot more. Stay tuned for the 2nd part of this ON THE COUCH episode, when we continue talking to Eve Cohen and Ryan Koo! Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE COUCH coming! Thanks to G-Technology and Røde Microphones.Read more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! In the 23rd episode of ON THE COUCH, I was lucky enough to sit with fellow bloggers and shooters Dan Chung, Clinton Harn from newsshooter.com and Emmanuel Pampuri from pampuri.net. Do we really need raw video? I started off by stating an observation: These days it’s almost as if smaller cameras (like Blackmagic cameras) mean more and higher data rates, often raw – while more advanced camera systems feature more advanced codecs (e.g. XAVC I in the FS7/F5/F55). Dan pointed out that Panasonic is the manufacturer who addressed file size more than any other, because they come more from a broadcast perspective. People start to realize that RAW is not the holy grail for much work, and actually it slows you down – so now the future really is in efficient codecs, the right codec for the right job. Emmanuel mentioned that people need to think about the workflow – the camera is just the first step of a longer workflow and people often neglect to look at the whole pipeline when thinking about what camera to shoot on. Clinton talked about how he shot his first feature film recently, and they decided to shoot RED. He found working with it quite easy and loved the fact that you have different compression ratios of raw, which you can choose depending on how much post production goes into each particular scene or shot. Dan said how it’s not practical for him as a news shooter in any circumstance to shoot raw – he shoots compressed formats like XAVC, MXF and so on … only in very difficult situations where for example he knows he has the time and budget to work on a shot with a blown out window, it makes sense for him to shoot raw to get those highlights back, for example. Backup workflows on set Regarding backup workflow we talked about how everyone processes the massive amounts of news footage he is gathering and backing up. Much like me, Dan makes back-ups on set using small 2.5” drives, and makes three copies. One of those copies should be kept away from the other two for safety purposes. Emmanuel takes the G-Dock with the G-Drives ev for the shoots on the day, the third one is a larger drive at the hotel which is backed up to after the shooting. One of the G-Drives ev goes back to the studio via mail every day in the evening. I mentioned how dual slot recording for instant backup takes a little bit of pressure away from backing up on set, because you end up with an instant copy of the whole card on another card. However not all cameras support this yet, the C300 and the FS7 do though. Clinton mentioned how it makes a lot of sense to use only smaller cards in cameras – just in case something happens, you simply lose less footage. Common sense that should be applied by anyone – however it gets harder with cameras like the Sony A7s which takes 64GB SDXC cards (that take around 2.5 hours of footage) as a minimum size. Dan summed the topic of storage up concisely by saying, “have a storage plan and stick to it – because when you don’t and when you vary the plan, that’s when things get lost or missing.” In the next part of this episode we talk about permanent backup strategies for data – how can your data survive over decades? Check back in a few days for part 2 of this episode of ON THE COUCH. Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE COUCH coming! Thanks to G-Technology, Røde Microphones, Movidiam, FilmConvert & F&V.Read more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! In episode 20 of ON THE COUCH, I talked to professional photographers Kamil Tamiola, Tom Barnes and Lucas Gilman. We had a very engaging discussion about their work and the present and future of photography, filmmaking and imaging in general. Thanks to one of our main sponsors G-Technology, we were able to assemble a full couch of “G-Team” brand ambassadors (including yours truly) for this taping in our beautiful suite during Photokina 2014 in Cologne. Asked about their current projects, Kamil talked about his campaign for Phase One which he is shooting on their medium format digital cameras in extreme altitudes on top of the highest peaks of this planet. He mentioned how much he is actually relying on advances in technology when it comes to resolution and especially dynamic range – having extremely overblown highlights as well as dark shadows in just one image. Watch Kamil’s full behind the scenes promo video for his Mont Blanc Phase One Campaign at the bottom. Tom Barnes is best known for his portraits of bands and musicians, and has a large body of work in that field and many years of experience. He talked about about a production for Channel 4 called “Don’t Stop the Music”, produced by Jamie Oliver’s production company, which tries to get children into learning musical instruments again after public funding in the UK for that was cut. Lucas Gilman is also known for his extreme outdoor and nature photography recently shot the campaign for the new Nikon D810 DSLR in some beautiful locations. See the Behind-the-scenes video at the bottom of this post. Lucas mentions the built-in timelapse function in the Nikon D810 which sounds actually quite amazing for filmmakers, because it takes a lot of work away from post production, being able to assemble those timelapses right in camera. The first part of our discussion focused on the photography revolution that took part over the past 10 years with digital technology really becoming the massively dominant way of taking photos, with film fading away much quicker than anyone anticipated. We talked about how jobs changed because of the technology and how photography has gotten anywhere … also turning a professional photographer’s world upside down. We touched on how this revolution is still taking place in filmmaking and cinematography, and how we are currently experiencing that megapixel hype that the photography industry is already done with – there, now it’s about dynamic range and color rendition and not only the higher megapixel counts at all costs. In part 2 of this episode to be published next week, we will talk about photographers who are moving into video and cinematography, and what they need to be aware of. Also, we talk more about advances in camera technology and what that actually means creatively. Watch all other episodes of ON THE COUCH so far by clicking here!Read more
Last week was a crazy ride. The two indie cinema revolutionizers RED and Canon presented their new tech and its impact can be expected to become huge. There’s so much to talk about and cinema5D exists for just that purpose. We’ve installed new subcategories for all 3 models in our unique forums. Come in and join us. Our forums comprise 2 major categories: Large Sensor DSLRs and Large Sensor Camcorders Both hold a graphical interface so you can easily customize and choose the camera forums you’d like to watch. The Canon EOS C300 forum: With the EOS C300 Canon has entered the professional cinema market. Alongside their new cine lenses the C300 is the first in Canons Cinema EOS lineup. See the related Canon C300 announcement article here. Go to the forums now. The Canon EOS Concept Cine DSLR forum: We call it the 5D mark III for now. See the related Canon EOS cine concept article here. Go to the forums now. The RED Scarlet-X forum: The new RED Scarlet-X looks like a truly revolutionary camera for independent filmmakers. Never before has 4k been that affordable. See the related Scarlet-X announcement article here. Go to the forums now.Read more
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