Filmmakers Resources

28 Jan

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filmmakers resources_thumbHere at Through the Lens Filmschool, I’m keen to encourage new talent and share the knowledge and experience I’ve had the good fortune to obtain over the decades I’ve worked in the industry. I’ve got a lot to share! Below is a list of all the different blogs on offer, click the banners to get a full list of posts – thanks for dropping by!

 

Cameras, Crew, Tips & TricksCameras Banner
Lighting Tutorials, Tips & Tricks

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Mimic the Masters: Learn Filmmaking from the Pros
Mimic the Movie Masters Banner

How to get a Job in the Film & TV Industry
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Short Stories: Amazing & Funny Experiences from the film set!
on set stories
So there you have it, plenty to choose from! Enjoy!

The No.1 Most Important Piece of Filmmaking Equipment

20 Nov

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We live in a wonderful age of technology; a time when anyone can pick up a camera and make a movie. It’s amazing, fabulous, incredible… but it has put a lot of focus on equipment.

It seems almost every man and his dog in the low budget filmmaking world is talking about which camera they should choose? Which format or lenses should they shoot with?

Frankly all this BS drives me totally nuts! Guys please listen, stop wasting all your energy on techy camera pros and cons.

Here’s a little secret… Most audiences these days can’t tell the difference between digital or film, they don’t know the difference between a ARRI Alexa or a Box Brownie! What’s more, most of them don’t actually give a damn what the hell the movie was shot on. What’s far more important is whether you are giving them what they really need. A compelling STORY with believable CHARACTERS.

So what’s the most important bit of gear you need to make an amazing movie?

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Changing Mags – The American Cinematographer Magazine – A MUST for Young Film Makers

20 Nov

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If you are serious about Cinematography then this monthly magazine is a MUST for you.

asc logoThe American Society of Cinematographers was founded in 1919. The ASC began publishing American Cinematographer Magazine in November 1920 and it has become a leading industry publication vastly popular with cinematographers around the globe. 

The monthly magazine focuses on the art, craft and skill of cinematography, covering a wide variety of domestic and foreign feature productions, television productions, short films, music videos and commercials.

It also features in depth articles on Digital cameras and Photography as well as film.

This isn’t a lightweight movie mag; it’s jam packed with  in-depth information and interviews with professional DoP’s from around the world sharing their knowledge and techniques for lighting and camera operating, and discussing their cinematic approach on their latest movie. Continue reading

From Gun Camera to GoPro: A Short History of Small Cameras

16 Nov

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A little while back I bought a GoPro as I thought it would be a great way to add fantastic production value to our productions. I’ve used GoPro’s in the past and the image quality that comes out of that little black box never ceases to amaze me!

But how did we achieve those otherwise ‘inaccessible shots’ that gave an audience a radically different perspective before the GoPro arrived on the scene? In other words, how did we go from this:

to this:

The Lipstick Camera, a ground breaking piece of kit in its time.

The Lipstick Camera

I think it was back in the  the 1980’s when we used a tiny little video camera for these kinds of shots, this camera was nicknamed a ‘Lipstick Camera’ because of its shape and size. They produced rather fuzzy images but at the time they were pretty groundbreaking. (No HD in those days! – God I suddenly feel old !) But hang on a minute… it gets even worse.
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What Directors NEED to know about DP’s & what DP’s NEED to know about Directors !

9 Nov

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Whether you’re working on a big budget movie, a TV documentary or a low budget independent film, one thing is for sure – everyone on the crew will be giving 100 percent to make that production as outstanding as it can be… so guys, good is NOT good enough! Working towards that common cause is a keystone value of every single crew member from Runners to Directors and Producers. It’s a pride thing!

Often striving for that elusive level of perfection can create a lot of friction between people, especially when the pressure’s on.

Over the years I’ve seen many conflicts between crew members, especially when an individual’s professionalism is criticized or threatened… it’s not an ego thing, it’s just pride in doing what you do.

It’s a funny thing though, one minute we’re happily working to the best of our ability, producing work we’re proud of, then all of a sudden something horrible happens, someone (usually working in a superior position to you) comes along and rattles your cage.

Oh Dear…Mr Kubrick isn’t a Happy Bunny today!!! Courtesy tvtropes.org

It may be that they’re getting it in the neck from some big cheese Producer; for example your film is running over schedule (a classic one!) so the Producer kicks the Director’s butt and now that Director’s going to kick yours! You’re told that ‘you’re taking too long and time is running out and the budget’s running low and Blar, Blar, Blar!!!’ Now you think your professionalism is being compromised. ‘What’s this all about?’ you mutter under your breath, you may even utter an expletive or two… who knows! You may even get all protective and openly retaliate. Suddenly BOOM! You’ve got a conflict of interest on your hands that can escalate into a full stand up argument. It happens in Wardrobe, in Make-Up, in the Camera and Sound Departments… you name it. So if this happens and you’re a Director or Producer relying on the crew’s talent to give you the very best they can… now there’re all upset and boy, you’ve got a problem!

One of the main ‘Hot Spots’ can be the relationship between the Director and the Director of Photography. So before you embark on your beloved film production, here are a few tips that can make that relationship a blissful marriage rather than ‘The Clash of the Titans’! I would also advise Directors to read the tips for the DPs and vice versa, understanding each other is key to your success to being an ‘Effective Team!’ (As they say in Oblivion – great movie BTW!) So…

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10 Lessons Filmmakers Learn Shooting On Film

29 Jul

freespiritfilm:

Great article on the value of shooting on film!

Originally posted on Reel Deal Film School:

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 “Why every Filmmaker should shoot a project on film at least once… while stocks last!

Film vs. Digital… the old debate (argument) continues, but today we’re putting all that aside to discuss something more constructive than pixels and noise vs. emulsion and grain.

I want to share with you 10 Lessons Every Filmmaker Learns When Shooting On Film… and therefore why every Filmmaker should shoot a project on film at least once… while stocks last! (excuse the pun)

"Good ol' Arri" “Good ol’ Arri”

You Learn…

  1. It’s Not That Hard
  2. It’s Not That Expensive
  3. Discipline
  4. Efficiency
  5. Patience
  6. To Trust
  7. Film Is Flattering
  8. Film Has That Filmic Look
  9. Film Separates You From The Crowd
  10. Film Is Fun

The first thing anyone who’s worked with film will tell you, is that “it’s a totally different experience”. Some of that is bravado (this industry is full of posers and you should aspire to not

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