Articles

Filmmaking articles, behind the scenes, tutorials and more.

Making of American Loneliness

This is a guest post by filmmaker Mathieu LE LAY on his latest film American Loneliness.

Since I started adventuring and filming into the wild, I had the dream to hit the American road on my own, backpacking into some of the most inspiring natural areas of the United States. I planned this trip lately.

American Loneliness, my new 52 minutes documentary film, is coming out this summer 2014. It tells my solitary journey into one of the most attractive areas on the planet : the American West. The road trip consisted of a six week adventure backpacking through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Washington. From snowstorms in Yellowstone to the Wild Pacific coast, this is a quest for freedom and the great outdoors.

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Powerful Short Film Shows Us Less is More

Found this incredible short on No Film School and thought I’d share a though with you guys, but first take a look:

While attending Vincent Laforet’s Directing Motion Tour there was one thing Vincent said that I couldn’t forget, “The more subtle you are as a directer the better you’ll be.” Vincent made this statement while showing a war scene that was short and to the point and was better for it without all the extravagance of VFX.

In this short piece, the writers and director could have zoomed out to show a larger picture, but they decided to focus everything on the moments and emotions of a little girl and nothing else.

How can you be more subtle in your next film?

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Beautiful Camera Gear: Some of the Best Craftsmanship in Film

Its All About Story

This gets said a lot. And it is absolutely true. Story trumps tools and toys all day long, but I’m putting that aside today to admire the craftsmanship and beauty of gear. Function is important, but when function and beautiful design come together you get something amazing.

Ergo Cine Rigs

These wooden rigs by Ergo Cine are absolutely stunning. Love the natural look that also brings proper economics to todays cameras. Have a look at their website for more information.

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Color Correcting and Grading GH4 Video

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There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a video DSLR/Mirrorless camera these days. A lot of people are going back and forth between the idea of owning a GH4, C100, 5D Mark III or Sony A7s. 4K vs 1080p, frame rates, low light, sensor size and many other features need to be thought through, but in this post, I’m putting all that aside to talk about something that easily gets overlooked.

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8 Terrible Camera Rig Ideas

There are infinite ways to rig your camera these days. Hacking together a custom rig is very popular as it saves money and you can get exactly what you want. With all these custom rigs being built, there are a few that stand out as straight silly. Over the past few weeks I’ve collected a few of the worst camera rigs to share with you guys. Enjoy.

1. This rig that will give you a neck hernia and spend half your budget on Gaffers tape:

Back Camera

The Fix: Buy a GoPro.

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8 Ways to Boost Income When Work is Slow

We all have had slow spells in our field of work. For me, winter is a rough time. Businesses slow down and when it is as cold as it has been in Chicago, there is nothing exciting about filming outdoors. Over the past 5 years, I’ve found a couple ways to boost my income when work is slow. Here are my 8 tips on how to make money when work is slow.

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5D vs 6D: The 9 biggest differences between the 5D Mark III and the 6D

Should I get, the 5D or the 6D? Why would anyone buy a Canon 6D? Which full-frame camera is best for video? Whats the difference between the 5D and 6D?

These are questions I get asked on a daily basis, so I decided to put together this video breaking down the 9 biggest differences between the Canon 5D Mark III and the Canon 6D. If you’re looking to get started in DSLR video and wondering which DSLR is best for you, I would suggest you start here.

Canon 5D vs 6D

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Ended – 100 Videos and Counting!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Ethan for winning the lens! Email sent.

Thought I would do a giveaway for the 100th episode of the DSLR Video Shooter podcast. I can’t thank you all enough for the support, encouragement and positive criticism you’ve provided over the years. Without it, I wouldn’t have put all this content together. This whole site is your fault.

And for those of you who have purchased gear through my site or tipped my videos you deserve a special thank you for helping me keep food on the table and content flowing. You’re the best!

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Why I Bought an EOS-M Camera for Video

EOS-M

I just pulled the trigger on a new Canon EOS-M and here are 7 reasons for my actions. If you want a cheap APS-C camera for video you can find it here.

1. Price Tag

The EOS-M was launched with an $800 price tag, which is ridiculous seeing as it shared almost identical features with cheaper rebel cameras. But with the camera being discontinued and Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals hitting, I got an EOS-M Body for $244 on Amazon which was a no brainer.

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The $200 Los Angeles Bike Ride Music Video

This is a Guest Post by Nick Roberts of “And the Giraffe”

bikemountsorry-1

A short introduction about myself: My name is Nick Roberts and I play in a band called “And the Giraffe” based out of Nashville, TN. A few months ago, after putting out our second album, we decided to shoot a music video to support the single from the record. A friend of mine, Harrison Sanborn, lives and works out of Los Angeles and has been our go-to director/cinematographer for our music videos in the past, so there wasn’t any question that we were going to work with him for this project as well.

Given that we’re an independent band, our budgets for just about all creative projects may as well look like we found loose change in our couch. We had about $200-$250 to spend on making a music video when we went out to visit Harrison in LA for a week, and we definitely put it to good use.

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Shooting a documentary with the Sony A99

Daniel SmukallaThis is a Guest Post by Daniel Smukalla, Director of Sedae.

 

 

YeosuIndus-1

These days, there are so many great cameras on the market, which is why I had such a difficult time last year deciding upon which one to purchase to shoot the Korean documentary “Sedae”. Originally I wanted to get a video camera, since video is my primary purpose, but flexibility with time lapse was also needed to tell the story of “Sedae”. In that regard, DSLRs are superior. However, I wasn’t ready to commit to a DSLR. I would shoot with them, and loved the images, but still felt limited since it was missing many of the features that I wanted from a video camera. Once I was ready to buy a camera though, the Sony a99 came on the market, and it convinced me of its ability to do video.

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Why We Need To Rethink How We Value Cameras And Gear

Over the past several years us filmmakers have slowly adapted an obsession with what cameras we own. I think we have placed too much value on our cameras and need to rethink how we value cameras. Lets start by going back to 1977.

Panavision

The Past

Below is a picture of the Panavision PSR 35mm motion. This camera was used on Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope by George Lucus. Clearly this camera is massive, taking multiple people to operate and move. And thats just for simple camera moves… It must have been quite the operation to get a jib shot.

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Guide To Finding Music For Your Videos: 15 Great Music Websites

CC-RoyaltyFree

One of the hardest tasks in filmmaking is finding the right music for your project. And while composing is a fantastic idea, most people cannot afford to hire a composer for every project. That brings us to the wonderful world of royalty free music (dripping with sarcasm). Lets be honest, trying to find the right track for your video sucks. Hours and hours can be spent looking and searching Google just to find nothing.

I put together this guide for filmmakers in mind. First we will go over licenses, then looks at a list of my favorite royalty/creative commons music websites for video.

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How Lenses Assist In Storytelling: A Shane Hurlbut Post Series

I have been following Shane Hurlbut for a long time now and always find his content interesting and educational. Recently Shane put together a series of posts on lenses for storytelling and I thought it was worth a share here.

Shane has worked with more cinema lens sets than most of us could dream of working with in a lifetime, so he really can speak with authority on the subject.

How Lenses Assist in Storytelling

Shane breaks lenses for storytelling into 3 posts:

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