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Whether you’re writing a scene, filming a movie, or simply talking to a friend, there is no skill more valuable than communication. We take it for granted, but communicating an idea to someone is one of the hardest things to achieve. That’s why we need to look at how to know your audience.

Think about it: you are taking a picture in your mind and attempting to build it in another person. That’s harder than reading a book while skydiving. So not surprisingly I failed at it when I made my short film, Attention, but my loss is your gain.

Here’s six ways to better communicate your vision to an audience.

1. Make Your Intentions Clear

Way back in 2017 I wrote and directed a short film titled Attention. It was my attempt to show female warfare in the workplace. My parents divorced when I was 8 and I was primarily raised by my mom and sisters, so I witnessed the very subtle way women can fight.

More often than not male filmmakers get it all wrong. They often show women:

  • Shouting
  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Name Calling

Now yes, women do fight like that sometimes, but the fights that I’ve witnessed are often more nuanced. The fights that I have witnesses between women usually involve:

  • Creating Alliances
  • Sharing Guarded Information
  • Passive-Aggressive Behavior

In my film two women, played by the very talented Amy Vorpahl and Katie O’biren, work in a comic book shop and each Wednesday night a man comes in and has a chat with one of the women before buying his comics.

Throughout the ten-minute short the women try to undermine one another to vie for the man’s attention. I was very careful never to show the man’s face because this tete-â-tete had nothing to do with him and everything to do with the two women.

After every screening an audience member would approach me and say the same thing: “So the one girl wanted to hook up with the other one… right?” Wrong. My mistake was that I never illustrated to the audience the other woman’s want for the attention. If I had Amy’s character just say, “hello” to the male customer as he walked past her and began talking to Amy’s character, I believe that would have made her intentions 100% more clear.

Go re-watch your favorite film. Unless it’s something by David Lynch, chances are all of the characters want something, and at some point in the film they will probably say exactly what that is.

  • The Big Lebowski wants his rug.
  • Holly Golightly wants to be free.
  • Luke Skywalker wants to go on an adventure.

Your audience wants to root for your character, but if nobody knows what they want then it’s extremely difficult to cheer for them.

2. Give Enough Information

The people watching your work, hearing your pitch or just listening to your story about that time you tore it up in the club need to have all of the information in order to fully understand your story. Otherwise they’ll get lost, or worse, fill in the blanks themselves.

How many times has someone given you a course of action but omitted the subject matter? “We need to shoot them in the face. Real close! Right in the face… Hmm? Oh, sorry. I was talking about a camera angle.”

In Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, Bladerunner, the veracity of the Replicants seeking their creator may seem excessive, until you learn that they can only survive for four years. They have to find their creator in the hope of acquiring longer lives.

This scene between M. Emmet Walsh and Harrison Ford illustrates giving information:

Blade Runner 1982 Four year lifespan - YouTube

3. Let Your Audience Know Where You’re Going

One of my favorite comedians, Kevin Pollak, once said that the most important time for a stand up comedian is the first 90 seconds, because he or she has to calm the audience by letting them know that they are in safe hands. The same goes for your audience members.

They want to know that they’re in safe hands and you’re going to deliver a good story. You have to let your audience know where you’re going. This may seem counter intuitive because you want to surprise people when you’re telling a story. If they know where they’re going then they’ll be bored, right? Wrong.

Have you ever watched a movie that opened with a big car chase, then there was a soft romantic dinner scene, followed by a axe murderer chasing a group of campers? If someone made that film you’d end up screaming: “what the hell kinda movie is this?!”

When you’re telling a story your audience has to have a general idea of where they’re going. If the story about your grandma takes a sexy turn — ya lost me. Tricks like foreshadowing are very important for a storyteller to telegraph where the story is headed.

4. Know Your Story’s Structure.

Today’s audiences are very intelligent, especially when it comes to stories. With most generations having grown up with cable TV and now streaming and internet channels, most people have watched upward of 100,000 hours of motion picture entertainment.

Audiences understand genre (IE: love story, action film, Western, etc.) and you can use that to your advantage by delivering a new story inside an old genre. Like giving someone chocolates inside the container of a veggie platter.

For example:

  • 2017’s Logan was a western dressed up like a super hero movie.
  • 2015’s Hail Caesar was a screwball comedy, but at it’s core was a political satire.
  • 1985’s Enemy Mine was a film on race relations and prejudice, but told in a sci-fi structure.

Knowing the structure of stories can help you surprise the audience while keeping them in a familiar territory.

5. Check in With Your Audience

The best storyteller and teachers can impart difficult or complex information to an audience, but they check-in to make sure they haven’t lost them along the way. A good example of this in film is the very complex (and very enjoyable!) 2010 Christoper Nolan film, Inception.

In the film characters can actually enter someone’s mind and build a dream. Time is affected the deeper and deeper you go into a person’s subconscious. There’s also a whole thing about receiving training and building an army inside your subconscious, but that stuff gets really complicated.

The point is throughout Nolan’s film he checks in with the audience by having a character explain or remind other characters of the stakes, mission, and plan. By checking in with your audience you insure that they’re spending their time having fun listening to your story and not struggling to remember information.

Here’s a few methods to help “check in” with your audience:

  • Have one mantra that a character repeats to ground their intentions
  • Employ a “rookie character” who is new to their surroundings, whereby providing an opportunity for an experience character to explain what is going on
  • In a story flashbacks can remind an audience of what we have learned

6. Get Emotional

Stories like Inception with their over the top plots are great, but the number one thing that people want from a story emotion. People want to feel when they hear a good story. They want to know if the character will fall in love, get away from the bad guys, become a rockstar, or escape death.

Whatever your story happens to be it must be emotional for you. If you have no emotional investment in your story then neither will your audience. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Really share things in your story that are meaningful to you, and get specific.

Everybody loves their mom, but when you tell the story of your mother it is the details that will hook your audience, like how she made your favorite meatball spaghetti every Sunday. (BTW she did and it was incredible!)

Know Your Audience – Summing Up

There you have it, six tips that will (hopefully) help you communicate your ideas better, and if you’d like to check out my short film, Attention, the link is above. Don’t forget to follow me on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and please keep sharing your stories.

The post Know Your Audience: 6 Tips for Better Connecting With Your Audience appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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Learning filmmaking in video form is fantastic. Getting that hands-on, demonstration based approach to learning filmmaking is key. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best filmmaking YouTube channels.

We’ve included both filmmaking and film industry based channels here, as well as some that specialize in video production and the business side of both.

Some of these will be YouTube accounts that you’ve heard about and some might be new to you. Without further ado, here’s our list of the 27 Best Filmmaking YouTube Accounts:

Best Filmmaking YouTube Channels

We’re going to include a link to each channel, as well as some information about the channel and what they specialize in. We’ve also included a popular video from each channel, so that you know what you’re getting with each account.

1. Film Riot

Film Riot is a how-to trip through filmmaking from the hyper-active mind of Ryan Connolly. From how to make great effects to following Triune Films through production, Film Riot explores the art of filmmaking in a way you’ve never seen.

NEW EPISODES Every Monday & Thursday

“Film Riot is the best of the bunch. Serving as an on-demand film school, this series stands out as a prime example of under-the-radar geeks who carved out a DIY niche thats both useful and entertaining”. – Wired.com

Quicksilver Super Speed Effect! - YouTube

2. Basic Filmmaker

PRACTICAL FILMMAKING – I’ve helped thousands make their channels, films and videos better.  How about you?

ASK A QUESTION, GET AN ANSWER – I answer EVERY video comment and question posted (16,000 and counting).

I cover all things film, filmmaking, screenwriting, directing, cinematography, sound and audio, lighting, lenses, editing, cameras, gear, acting, scripting, storyboards, and more.   Even been known to do some DIY stuff too.

ROCK YOUR VIDEOS! Simple DIY Tips and Tricks for Filming Yourself - YouTube

3. DSLRguide

DSLRguide is a resource for filmmakers who want to learn about all aspects of filmmaking.

“My journey as a filmmaker has been a constant realisation that there is a lot more to learn. From the early days of obsessing over equipment, then realising that lighting makes more of a different than any camera or lens setup. Following that, I began to realise that even if the lighting looks amazing, that doesn’t really determine the quality of a film. Now I’m all about learning to tell stories, to use film as a method of communication.”

Introduction to Filmmaking for Beginners - YouTube

4. Cinecom.net

Cinecom is a video production and online training company based in Belgium, Europe. The organisation is founded in 2014 by host and producer Jordy Vandeput. The company focuses on the production of commercial videos and shares the experiences gained from the field in the form of online tutorial videos, courses, blog articles and more.

HOW TO STAY CREATIVE - YouTube

5. Tom Antos

Tom Antos is a director, cinematographer and visual effects / animation artist – all rolled into one. He has directed the feature film “Under Black Skies”, as well as numerous short films and music videos. In addition, he has fourteen years of experience in the areas of visual effects, CGI and animation. This work has earned him several awards, including Telly, Promax BDA and Worldfest Gold Remi. Tom’s professional experience ranges from large Hollywood productions like “Bait” and “Everyone’s Hero” to small budget DIY projects.

Tom has been sharing his filmmaking experience and knowledge through online tutorials that have gained a large and loyal audience on YouTube and Vimeo. His tutorials have been seen over two million times on YouTube alone, and his YouTube channels have over ninety thousand subscribers and twenty five million views.

Tom’s tutorials have been featured in many filmmaking communities, including the Indy Mogul’s Awesome Director Project. They have helped a great many indie filmmakers who dare to aim high while working with shoe-string budgets.

Make Video Look Like Film: Shot Design - Filmmaking Tutorial 1 - YouTube

6. Justin Odisho

Host Justin Odisho explores the world of creativity, business, social media, entrepreneurship and more via solo audio shows and guest interviews!

“Notably, my work teaching the Adobe Creative Cloud software such as Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects has helped millions of aspiring creatives around the world.”

7. Filmmaker IQ

Filmmaker IQ (which also goes by the aliases Who?, FilmmakerIQ.com and FIQ to evade debt collectors) is worshiped by no less than five monotheistic religions on Earth despite their petulant childish behavior, persistent meddling in the space-time continuum, and clear bipolar disorder. FIQ is the largest black hole of film knowledge in the universe.

With over 3.4 billion courses on a subjects such as, Ways to successfully acquire both arm rests at a movie theater, Why do all the evil people in Star Wars have a British accent? and Martin Scorsese’s Eyebrows. FIQ’s video lectures are hailed educators, non-educators as well as people who are against the concept of education on moral grounds.

How a Director Stages and Blocks a Scene - YouTube

8. Aputure

Aputure was founded in 2005 by a team of inspired photographers and filmmakers who wanted to create high-quality content, but struggled with steep cost of equipment needed to do so.

Determined to create professional-grade equipment at an affordable price, they started Aputure: the first company to provide affordable camera accessories with the quality and functions needed to fully realize any creative vision.

As a part of the creative community, Aputure continues to develop for the ever-expanding needs of budding artists. Each member of our team has felt the burning desire to bring a creative vision to life at all costs. We’re here to keep that fire alive.

When You Should NOT Shoot in 24 FPS - YouTube

9. Kai W

Kai was formerly with DigitalRev TV. Lots of great videos on gear, including reviews and hands-on tips & tricks.

How I Shoot Videos - Workflow & Prep - YouTube

10. Dave Dugdale

Dave offers some fantastic DSLR, equipment and shooting guides on his YouTube channel.

“I got my first DSLR camera in March of 2010 ever since then I have been learning how to shoot video with it and other small cameras over the years. Come along with me as I learn how to shoot video. I do not describe myself as a cinematographer or video expert, but I enjoy sharing what I have learned with others.”

My Monster Video Editing Computer Build - YouTube

11. RocketStock

Curated collection of Video Elements and After Effects templates for video editors and producers.

Create a Power Rangers Zordon Effect in After Effects | RocketStock.com - YouTube

12. The Film Look

DIY and Micro-Budget tricks and tips on how to make your film achieve the heavenly “film look”.

Rob & Rich, two filmmakers from the North East of England, try to tackle what it takes to make a movie look more like the Hollywood equivalent.

100 Low Budget Filmmaking Tips | The Film Look - YouTube

13. Neumann Films

Tutorials, short films, and so much more.

CREATING AN ART HOUSE SHORT (BTS Filmmaking Tutorial) - YouTube

14. Indy Mogul

Indy Mogul is the first network for the YouTube generation of independent filmmakers. We focus on DIY effects, filmmaking tips, and showcasing creative work.

Iron Man 2 Robot Repulsor Arm : How to : BFX - YouTube

15. Kaptainkristian

“I make short video essays on film, television, comics and all facets of pop culture. Any support I get from the community will be put into freeing up time to research the material.”

Her - Building a Beautiful Future - YouTube

16. Peter McKinnon

“I teach things about photography and cinematography. Oh, I also VLOG. And drink coffee. Lots of coffee.”

$1,000 Camera VS $8,000 Camera!! - YouTube

17. Philip Bloom

Philip Bloom is a world-renowned filmmaker who, for the past 10 years of his 27-year career has specialized in creating incredible cinematic images no matter what the camera.

Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass: Ep 0 How to “lens whack” and intro - YouTube

18. Film Freak (Zach Ramelan)

“Welcome to my youtube channel! This is a spot for me to post my tutorials, crazy ideas and little vlogs following my filmmaking career.

Things are really speeding up for me and I want you to join me through my success and struggles being a full time filmmaker. There’s allot to learn and I want to share my knowledge, so if you’re interested in hearing me talk about movies, film and all that fun stuff, you’ve come to the right place.”

HOW TO MAKE A DOPE MUSIC VIDEO: The Weeknd - Party Monster Music Video Effects -TUTORIAL - YouTube

19. Every Frame a Painting

Every Frame a Painting was a series of video essays about film form, made from April 2014 to September 2016, by Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou.

The Marvel Symphonic Universe - YouTube

20. James Matthews

“I’m James, a Filmmaker from Essex UK. Check out my Films and Vlogs! I hope you enjoy them!”

Dji Mavic Pro : The ONE REASON You should get it - YouTube

21. PremiumBeat

PremiumBeat, a Shutterstock company, is a curated royalty free music website that provides exclusive, high-quality tracks and sound effects for use in new and traditional media projects, including videos, films, apps, games, and television programming.

PremiumBeat’s YouTube channel is dedicated to offering you compelling and helpful tutorials on video editing, video production, motion graphics, and more! From beginners to professionals, our goal is to help you grow your creative skills.

After Effects Tutorial: Create a 3D Room From a Still Photograph - YouTube

22. YCImaging

Vlogs, music videos, tutorials, equipment tests, tips and tricks.

1 HUGE Reason You're NOT Getting Video Production Clients! (Branding Kit 2.0) - YouTube

23. Cinematography Database

Cinematography Database is the creator of Cine Designer for Cinema 4D the industry standard for visualizing real world camera work and lighting in 3D.

CINE TRACER 101 | Lighting and Floaty Camera #cinetracer - YouTube

24. Final Cut King

Shooting sweet vids & tutorials with cool effects. Hope you enjoy and learn a lot!  New video every week.

Temple Run Forever - YouTube

25. VFX Bro

YouTube channel focusing on VFX tutorials and the various editing techniques you can use to get cool effects.

Motion Tracking Film School - YouTube

26. Video Copilot

High quality After Effects Video Tutorials for motion graphics and visual effects presented by Andrew Kramer.

Sub Surface Skin Tutorial - YouTube

27. Avid

Behind award-winning films, videos, music recordings, TV shows, live concerts and news broadcasts is Avid Everywhere — providing content creators with the tools to make, manage, store, distribute and monetize content.

Whether you’re in Audio and Music production, Broadcast and Media, or Video Production, Avid addresses your key needs and provides a more efficient way of working.

Maroon 5: Powered by Pro Tools - YouTube

We hope you’ve found this list of the 27 top filmmaking YouTube channels useful. Feel free to check out the channels, go through their backlog of videos and see which ones resonate best with you. It’s a good idea to have 3-10 channels that you visit regularly and learn from each time you visit.

Happy viewing!

Did we miss a great YouTube filmmaking channel? Which channels do you watch that we didn’t include here? Let us know in the comments below.

The post Best Filmmaking YouTube Channels: 27 of the Top Filmmaking & Video Production Channels appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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Today, we have an article on screenwriting that teaches you a process of how to screen write. Filmmaker Angela Caito will take you through her process in detail and I’m sure there will be plenty of a-ha moments here!

I am Angela Caito and together with Erik Kitchens, the founder of our company 30 Daze Productions, we partnered to write the screenplay for our first short film, Driving Shame.

Erik already had a storyline in mind and in under two days (yes, I said two days!)  the two of us worked round the clock to bang out what we felt was an incredible script for our movie.

We, of course, took time after those initial two days to tweak some scenes and add other content to the script. But when all is said and done, we like to say we wrote a brilliant script in just two days.

5 Ways a Screenwriting Partnership Worked While Writing a First Movie And How it Continues to Work Today

When you think about screenwriting partnerships it’s easy to think of writing teams who have built very successful careers due to the work they have done together.

In 1997, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote Good Will Hunting and while they haven’t written a screenplay together since, the film helped launch both into the limelight and on the road to success in the film industry.

Another incredible screenwriting partnership that comes to mind is of course, the Coen brothers. Joel and Ethan Coen hit the ground running in 1995 with Blood Simple.

From that point, they have worked together on hits including Raising Arizona (1987) The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000), No Country for Old Men (2007) and recently, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) among more than twenty other film works since they got started.

Screenwriting partnerships like those have made it look incredibly easy to sit down and write a script with a partner.

A question that Erik and I have both been asked more times than we can count is, “Is it easy to work with a partner on a screenplay?” Our answer has resoundingly been, of course it is! Who knows, maybe one day the Caito/Kitchens screenwriting duo will be a household name just as Affleck/Damon and the Coen’s already are.

There are, however, more important things to consider than whether your name is going to make the headlines when you’re working with someone else and those include being able to write something meaningful, engaging and directed at the right audience while maintaining a clear path to complete the screenplay without conflict arising.

Behind the Scenes during production of Driving Shame, a 30 Daze Productions short movie, Actors Dominic Peterson and Sierra Ann Ford

Building an Effective Writing Team

One of the biggest challenges for me, as a writer who usually works alone was to find a way to write together with someone without feeling the need to “take charge” and take over the screenplay. When you’re used to writing alone, being a team player is not always an easy task.

Fortunately for Erik and me we were both on the same page when it came to creating the screenplay together. That is something that matters. You most likely wouldn’t pair up for a screenwriting partnership with someone who wrote dark horror if you wrote only light and airy romance.

We took time to discuss what we wanted with the screenplay, how we wanted to convey emotion including sadness, anger and even humor as well as scenery that we wanted to ensure we wrote into the screenplay and quite frankly, we both agree that we want to make films that have meaning, depth and are essentially true to life.

For us, one of the keys to success is working with someone who has the same vision and creative skills to bring a character to life, create scenes that encapsulate the senses and a plot that will cause people to think as well as maybe even bring a few tears, cause laughter or just make people think.

As we were writing the screenplay for Driving Shame, we used the screenwriting resource Celtx, pre-production software that allows writers to collaborate on scripts.

There were many “a-ha!” moments as we wrote because it allowed us to (in real time) make changes, add depth and even cheer one another on during the writing process.

When you have an idea yet to be put to paper and your writing partner suddenly begins to type a thought that you haven’t yet mentioned, it’s a pretty great feeling to see that the person you’re working with is clearly on the same page.

Effective writing partnerships work together to create something they both (or all if more than two) believe in, want to see on the screen and feel connected to.

When you work with someone who has the same creative vision, it seriously helps make the work flow smoothly and solidifies the overall partnership by helping each person know they are working together with someone who can bring their own imagination to the table to create a smooth flowing concept with someone else.

Here’s the official Driving Shame movie trailer (on Vimeo):

Decide How to Write Together

When we wrote the screenplay for Driving Shame, we worked several ways and those included:

Writing Alone

We knew the storyline and how we wanted things to flow, but we had to figure out the best way to write without:

  1. annoying one another or stepping on toes, and
  2. keeping the integrity of the script together.

Writing alone worked to give us each the freedom to add what we felt sounded good we found that writing together worked better so we could bounce ideas off one another and kind of “pick brains” to ensure the characters were developing right and that the plot wasn’t being altered.

Writing Together

With the use of the script writing website we were able to write together to make changes, add to the storyline and further develop our characters.

Something about writing together that we found beneficial was having another creative mind to bounce ideas off and to reassure each that what we were writing sounded good, blended well within the storyline and made a difference in the overall impact of the screenplay.

Along the way, plenty of constructive criticism and loud, extreme praise for a job well done is not only acceptable but is necessary to ensure the team works like clockwork.

Alone Yet Together

Another way that we wrote our screenplay was alone, yet together. There were times when one or both of us needed to step away, regroup our thoughts or just take a brain rest and have family time away from the computer.

Breaks are important to maintain a creative flow. Often during the writing process, one of us would sit down and write a little (or a lot) and wait until the other was able to hop online and read what we wrote.

This not only allowed us to release our individual creativity, but it gave each of us the chance to sit back and see how well the other wrote. It also gave us an opportunity to feel like we were almost competing with one another to write the best scenes and the best lines just to impress the other. And impress we did!

Every writer is different and what worked for us may not work for the next writing partnership, but when you work as a team its important to work together to see which scenario works best and then, try another just to see how you do.

We tried all and when we finished the screenplay, we knew that what we had was precisely what we wanted.

Screenwriter and Director Erik Kitchens at the sound studio Primordic in Erwin, Tennessee with musician Brittany Kitchens recoding a song for Driving Shame.

Dedicated Writing Time

A big challenge that we have found working in the film industry is finding people who believe in working during the same hours we work. Both Erik and I are early risers and we each have a family that we need to spend time with.

Working in the film industry often dictates long hours working on set, long hours meeting with the public and even longer hours holding intra-company meetings to make decisions and determine which path to take our work.

One important thing that we decided as we wrote the screenplay to Driving Shame was that when a script is written for anything that we produce as 30 Daze Productions, we work together as a team to write the screenplay and we make sure we both agree on how the storyline goes.

Since we deiced to work together on every screenplay we do, being on the same page with the hours we work is important to us.

It doesn’t mean that we order the other person to sit down and write during a specific time frame, but it does mean that we respect the hours that we both work best, and we know when the other will be available to write together.

Disagreements

In life, we all know that we’re not always going to agree with those we work with. It’s human nature and all a part of being an individual person. Sometimes we feel that our own ideas are far superior to someone else’s and other times, we go with the flow.

One thing about having a disagreement is to keep in mind that when you disagree with your screenwriting partner, you can’t look at the disagreement as a personal failure. Instead, take time to look at the bigger picture.

You’re working together with someone to create a masterpiece and masterpieces take time, effort and lots of rethinking before they are complete. Something you should consider when writing with a partner is, “Who came up with the original idea for the story?”

If you come to a part where you’re not agreeing, it’s important to listen to the one who originated the idea for the storyline and see where they personally envisioned it going.

The husband and wife writing team, Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, the duo who wrote the screenplay for Rise of the Planet of the Apes once stated during an interview that they decided early on that whoever came up with the story and took lead would have overall say if a disagreement came into play.

This works well for a writing team and when Erik Kitchens and I wrote the screenplay for Driving Shame, it was only natural for me to ask him upfront where he saw the story going and how he wanted to go about getting it there.

Does that mean we stuck with only one way to write things? Not at all, but it helped develop an action plan for us and we both knew, and agreed, where the story was going to go and how it was going to end.

Behind the scenes during production of Driving Shame. Actors Sierra Ann Ford and Dominic Peterson on location as a drone takes overhead shots.

Push Your Partnership

Every book writer wants a bestseller and every screenwriter has dreams of that one in a million offer from a major motion picture studio to buy their script and put it on the big screen worldwide. One of the key aspects of this is the individual writer pours every waking hour into writing a script that has a deep meaning to them personally.

This is great of course, but it can also cause you to spend far too much time worrying about the minute details that in the long run, won’t matter and chances are, won’t garner the attention you really need for your film.

However, when you’re working with a partner, one of the greatest tools you have for success is another mind to share your vision and create with you.

That partnership is an ideal way to not only create a script that matters, has deep meaning and will garner attention, but it’s also a great way to get noticed by the right people when it’s time for you to pitch the screenplay, share your film to potential investors and sponsors or work on your next project.

30 Daze Productions team members, (left to right) Chasity Thompson, Angela Caito and Erik Kitchens

How to screen write – My Thoughts on Working with a Partner

I’ve been fortunate to work with a partner who shares the same creative visions for the work that we produce.

With 30 Daze Productions, Erik Kitchens and I are not only working together to write great scripts, but we’re also currently working to bring more film production to our region in Northeast Tennessee. We both place quality first and want to create realistic. meaningful films together. That is something that every filmmaker wants.

For me, as a screenwriter and film producer, working with a partner has been an incredible experience and I feel lucky to be able to work with one who is just as focused on our company values, views and work ethics as I am.

Be sure to watch out for our upcoming short movie, Driving Shame, a dramatic thriller about a young woman who clings to her closest companion as she embarks on a road trip back to her small home town to find herself again after the harsh realities of life blindside her. We plan to release the movie in Spring 2019 and from there, we plan to take it to festivals nationwide.

We’re also working on a script for a feature length film as well as currently in production for our upcoming documentary, Sub Culture, which focuses on opioid addiction but we’re bringing some things to light in a way that has never been done before.

We plan to release Sub Culture before the end of the 2019 year. Making a documentary is truly an incredible experience while also one that takes careful planning to navigate challenges.

Keep in mind that not every writing partnership will work the way you want it to work. The key is to stick with those that work well with you, and work hard to build the success you and your team envision together.

We hope you’ve found this article on how to screen write informative. What has been your experience working as a screenwriting partnership? Let us know in the comments below.

The post How to Screen Write: 5 Ways a Screenwriting Partnership Worked While Writing a First Movie appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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So you’re looking for the best fog machine out there? In this guide, we’ll cover our favorite fog machines for filmmaking, as well as cover the dos and donts of using this kind of equipment. Let’s start by a taking a look at what exactly a fog machine is and how it works.

A fog machine is a device which is connected to the circuit via a plug. There are also devices that work with a battery. The device has a compact design and weighs between 1 and 10 kg. In the professional field, this can be larger and heavier equipment, such as in film industry or entertainment events.

The fog machine has the property that it can produce artificial fog. For this, the fog machine has a tank in which a fog fluid is contained. The fog machine ensures that the fog fluid evaporates and fog escapes from the device. The machine’s fog fluid must be refilled, resulting in follow-up costs that need to be considered when making an initial purchase..

Fog machines are mainly used when amplification of light effects is to be generated. This is the case in film / TV / video shooting, nightclubs, or even at private events. For certain scenes, it creates a special atmosphere, which is recognized as a highlight in the filmmaking industry.

How does a fog machine work?

The fog machine is a device from which fog  is released. The device is provided with a tank in which the fog fluid is located. Inside the machine, there is a heater from which the fluid mist can be generated.

At the push of a button or remote control, a mechanism can be activated that allows the fog to release into the open air. However, for the fluid to evaporate, a particular system is needed. In the interior of the smoke machine is a heating element. Through this, the fluid is pumped and heated. Pressure is created so that the droplets of the fluid are broken up.

The result is fog, which at the end of the heating coil intentionally escape from the device. A cloud of fog is released, which provides the fantastic lighting effects indoors or outdoors. Of course, the effect is more obvious and dynamic indoors. The properties of the mist can each be selected by settings or different fluids.

Benefits and uses of a fog machine

Fog machines are always used where lighting effects are to be generated. The fog breaks in the light and the spatial effect is magnified. The resulting atmosphere contains something mysterious and strange. In addition, there is a sensational visual effect, which can be memorable for viewers of the film or TV show.

The area of ​​use can also appeal to parties, nightclubs and other kinds of event use. When working with lasers, the rays are barely visible in the normal atmosphere. Now, when the fog machine is activated, the laser beams are visible and produce fantastic light pulses, which are very visible to the human eye.

Best fog machine for filmmaking

Let’s look at some of the best fog machines for filmmaking.

1. Crenova FM-02

This smoke machine from Crenova was able to prevail with distance as the best fog machine and thus as test winner in a lot of studies. It offers an all-round complete package, because it is cheap, offers a high fog output of more than 600 m³ / minute and has a sufficiently large tank to produce continuous fog over a period of between one and three hours.

When buying, make sure that you additionally order appropriate fog fluid, because this is not included in the delivery.

The device is suitable for use indoors as well as outside. The warm-up time of the device is also very good with 4 to 5 minutes, so it is ready to use quickly.

Due to the low price and the good output volume, the FM-02 by Crenova is equally suitable for beginners and semi-professional users alike.

In particular, if you are using the machine fairly regularly (a weekly TV show shot on a sound stage, for example), then you’ll have great success with this piece of kit.

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2. Showlite SN-1200

The compact fog machine by Showlite convinces with good usability and professional workmanship. The device has a wireless remote control, so you can easily control it, no matter where it is finally mounted.

In addition to the remote control, a switch can also be connected by cable. The cable is generously sized with a length of 3 meters so that this variant also allows a comfortable and easy operation.

With a capacity of 1,200 watts, the device generates 350m³ of fog per minute, but it takes about 7 minutes to warm up.

The ceiling-mounted suspension and the case itself are sturdy and well-made, which means professional use is no problem. The tank has a capacity of 2 liters and thus ensures sufficient capacity for continuous use.

However, keep in mind that the device may become very hot during extended periods of use, so it should not be operated unattended or should be installed in a location that is out of reach of the public. Which is always solid advice for filmmaking and video equipment at events and suchlike.

3. Dyntronic GmbH Fog-400

The favorable fog machine from Dyntronic scores highly above all by the compact construction and the very favorable price. This relatively small machine works with 400 watts of power at a weight of only 1.3 kilograms, making it very mobile and universally applicable.

For outdoor use, the device is not approved, but is suitable indoors for small sound stages and the like. Because it creates, after all, an output volume of about 50m³ per minute with a 0.3 liter tank capacity. Although this does not last a lengthy period of time, it still produces an ejection distance of about 3 meters.

The device is operated via a cable remote control with 3 meters in length, which is sufficient for use on small sound stages and similar.

Due to the very reasonable price and the sufficient volume for the interior, the device is ideal for the private sector in party rooms and on small stages as well as for professional use, for example, on location in relatively small confines.

If you are looking for a very affordable device for use with interiors, then you will have many years of fantastic use from the Fog-400.

Cinematography with Fog! - YouTube

4. Beamz S1800

The Beamz fog machine has a discharge distance of 8 meters and a high output volume of 600 m³, and is a professional device from electronics company Beamz, suitable for professional use on medium to large areas. Due to the DMX input and the possibility to be controlled both in master and slave mode, the S1800 is perfect for professional use in conjunction with appropriate DJ equipment and offers a very good price-performance ratio.

In addition, the Bi-Directional fog emission works great forwards and upwards for first-class effects even when operating alone on large stages. With a heating time of about 9 minutes, it is ready for a professional use very quickly, which can be helpful in a pinch.

The Beamz S1800 works with 1,800 watts and can be easily and reliably controlled via the supplied radio remote control. Due to the ejection upwards and forwards, the high-quality processed device is not suitable for ceiling mounting.

But if you are looking for a cheap professional device with a very good performance, then it is worth buying the S1800 from Beamz.

5. ANTARI M-1

The Antari Battery Fog Machine is perfect for mobile use, but less for stages and celebrations than for mobile effects generation for film production and photography work. Because the output volume of 4m³ is not sufficient for creating fog effects in larger areas, but rather intended for targeted use. With 2.5 meters of fog output, it is well suited for this and achieves good effects in all tests that we looked at.

Thanks to the low weight of just 2.7 kilograms, the good workmanship and a tank capacity of 100ml, it is perfectly prepared for this purpose. Due to the high price, the device is not suitable for use in the private sector, but is aimed at professional customers.

What types of fog machines are there?

Let’s discuss some of the different types of fog machines available.

The Hazer

The hazer is able to produce a fine mist. This involves the use of water and a light fog fluid. With a very high air pressure, the fog is shot from the device. The room fills and becomes visible as a slight haze.

If LED beams or floodlights are passed through the haze, visually impressive effects are created. The hazer is thus a device with which only a slight haze and no heavy fog can be produced.

Ground fog

Ground fog has previously been generated using dry ice. However, the storage of dry ice is not easy, so that a system has been developed which generates artificial ground fog.

The fog machine is filled with nitrogen or carbon dioxide for the ground fog so that it actually remains on the ground. However, professionals recognize some disadvantages with this type of ground fog equipment, which suggests that dry ice can still produce the most beautiful visual effects.

Co2 jet

Under this name, the fog device uses liquid CO2, which is under strong pressure. If the substance is pressed out of the nozzle, an immediate evaporation occurs.

With this nebula, light reflections with many different colored rays can be generated.

How to use smoke machines for filmmaking - YouTube

What do I have to look for when buying a fog machine?

Before you buy a fog machine, it is essential that you pay attention to some points. There are different models and sizes. In addition, there are many manufacturers who want to bring their fog machine to the masses. Since the fog machine is an electrical device, you should pay special attention to safety.

Take devices where no seal of approval and security features are included with a pinch of salt. In addition, there are models that are equipped with a battery, a remote control or other highlights. And remember, also, that the price ranges are often a reflection of the abilities and performance of the machine.

How good is the fog produced?

Before you buy a device, you should know how much fog the device can produce. The values depend on the manufacturer and, of course, vary enormously.

There are devices that are essentially vaporizers. You can see from this value that the fog machine is suitable for small spaces. A powerful device that can under certain circumstances produce 140 m3 of fog per minute. For the small party cellar, a device with a capacity of 50 m3 per minute is perfectly adequate.

How long is the warm-up time?

If the unit quickly is ready for use, a brief warm-up period may be of benefit. This is especially beneficial when a spontaneous party is celebrated, a photo shoot is pending, or other events where it is not yet clear whether the fog machine is needed.

A fog machine should not exceed a warm-up time of 10 minutes, if a quick use can be guaranteed.

How To Instantly Fog Or Haze Your Outdoor Shots (FOG TUBE OF DEATH) | Cinematography Techniques - YouTube

What are the tank contents and the fluid consumption?

So that the fog machine does not have to be constantly refilled, it makes sense if the device includes a large tank. The fog machine should have a capacity of at least 0.25 liters. There are models with a capacity of 1.0 liter. These models can over a longer period of time work efficiently without a refill of fluids being necessary.

So if you do not want to refill steadily, you should choose a device that has a large tank. There are also models that work with a hose system. These fog machines do without the internal tank. The hose connects the smoke machine with an external tank, so that it constantly provides the fog required.

Best Fog Machine – A Conclusion

As with anything filmmaking equipment related, there are a number of variables when consider which fog machine to purchase.

You need to consider things like use-case, budget and portability of the device.

When we talk about use-case, we’re talking about what exactly you’re going to be using the fog machine for. What specific type of projects do you plan to use the fog machine on?

Budget is an equally important factor. Some of these devices can be expensive. Is this something you’re going to use on set enough to justify buying one, or is it something you can rent when you need it?

When it comes to portability, we’re considering things like travelling with th equipment and how large it is. If you’re going to need to pack it in a car, or even fly with it, regularly then these are all worthwhile considerations.

We hope you’ve found this article on the best fog machine for filmmaking useful. Do you have a fog machine that you love to use? Drop it in the comments below.

The post Best Fog Machine for Filmmaking: 5 Top Fog Machines appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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In 2018 we set out to make a five-minute comedy short, but I’ll admit it: being funny is hard.  Trying to write a witty article is also hard. But bare with me, we’ll get there.

The Many Faces of Beth Jones is a film set almost entirely in an agent’s office where we see Beth offered multiple disappointing acting roles. I set out to make the film short, snappy and easy to make. This is how we did it.

The Writing Process

A blank page can be daunting as you try to come up with the perfect starting location for your screenplay, this is why pre-planning your script is important. Whether you mark up story-beats as bullet points or Post-It notes it helps to have a breakdown ready before your choice of screenwriting software is opened.

The film ideas that are pitched to eponymous Beth Jones in the film were actually all invented many months before I thought of the main plot of the script, stemming from a conversation I had with a friend about ridiculous film ideas. These became the backbone of the script and the character’s and premise came later.

When writing it’s a good to have an idea of where you’re heading with the story, otherwise you might write yourself into a corner. I knew I wanted to have the agent’s identity hidden throughout the film until spoilers (is it self entitled to spoiler mark your own work?) it is revealed to be another character Beth Jones is playing.

I liked the idea of having a second twist as I thought some audience members might notice the actress is playing against herself.

In the final scene it is revealed Beth Jones is watching the film with her own disapproving agent.

This scene has typical British nihilistic humour as Samantha, the real agent, reminds her the pointlessness of the short she made.

Annina Kaski and Lucy Hilton-Jones in The Many Faces of Beth Jones

Pre-Production

Pre-production is the fun stage where you get to have a producer pull apart what you’ve written and say the words you’re dreading: we can’t afford this. I had worked with my producer, Joe Supple-Turnham, on another film so we had a lot of people in common that we knew we could bring onto the shoot.

We started by looking for locations (we needed a private office space and a cinema screening room) which can be really costly. It’s surprising what you can get from people simply by using the phrase “we’ll owe you one”.

If you’re looking for a location try and think if you know anyone with access to that kind of space after hours and offer them a credit/chocolate/help on their projects to barter them down. Unless you’re rich, then you’ve got it easy.

Next came the all-important shot list. I didn’t bother to storyboard (I thought my stick figure renditions might confuse people) but instead wrote detailed descriptions of how I imagined each shot to be, in chronological order from the first scene all the way to the final shot.

Once Anthony Martinez, our DOP, joined the team we talked the shot list through extensively with him suggesting ideas and how we could do this.

Anthony Martinez sets up the shots with Lucy Hilton-Jones, Baptiste Charles and Harvey Puttock

The Shoot

Early one March morning, bleary eyed (does anyone actually get sleep the night before a shoot?) we began the shoot at a central London cinema. Luckily I knew someone working there who managed to get us in before the first showing of the day.

It’s important to keep to time constraints that shooting on location will inevitably have so having a good Assistant Director on set is a must. You never know if there’s going to be technical issues or delays on the day so make sure you schedule the shots in priority order.

Start with those that are important and tell the plot of the film first, followed by the fancy arty stuff later if you have time.

If you have more than one location it’s important to have them close together. The cinema and office, where we shot in the afternoon, were a short cab ride apart, which meant we could film everything in one day.

Fewer days shooting more often than not means less money spent so a good start for independent filmmakers is a one or two day shoot.

The shoot may well be the first time you get to see the actor playing the role in full, a lot of the time due to scheduling conflicts it’s impossible to have full rehearsals beforehand.

This was the case with Lucy Hilton-Jones, who played Beth, so as the crew set up shots, I’d ask her to run through lines and see what she brought to the table.

Being open to suggestions from the actors when making a film brings new ideas because of the different perspective they have.

“What if I bark after pitching Beth The Doggy Trap?” Lucy asked.

“Yes. You have to.” The crew agreed in unison.

Lucy Hilton Jones, Baptiste Charles, Dušan Mrđen, Harvey Puttock and Anthony Martinez

The Edit

Having more experience as an editor than other aspects of filmmaking I decided to edit the film myself, which I think has pros and cons to it. The pros being I knew the material well and how I wanted it to look in the end, the cons being I was there on set and knew how hard particular shots might have been and feel like it should remain even if it doesn’t help the edit.

The first edit of the film came to around seven minutes, the script itself was just five pages so we’d agreed earlier on a five minute length. This meant it was more easily programmable by festivals and quicker for audiences to consume online.

The increase in length was due to me getting Lucy to ad-lib replies to the agent when pitching the film ideas, some remained in the film “more like Avocadon’t” but some were lost on the cutting room floor. Such as one of my favourites “Trump, he’s so hot right now!”

When editing don’t be afraid to cut away the things you personally like if it’s going to make the end product better.

Lucy Hilton-Jones in the opening shot of The Many Faces of Beth Jones

The Finished Film

Just when you think it may never happen, the seemingly unrelated shots in front of you become a film. In the case of The Many Faces of Beth Jones it was a quick turn around, pre-production started January 2018, the shoot was in March and the edit was locked early June.

We’ve had a few screenings, including Raindance Film Festival, and were shortlisted with the first Performance Short Film Award. When choosing which festivals to submit to research which ones have played similar films to yours, otherwise this can eat up a lot of a film’s budget.

Comedy Short – That’s a Wrap

Check out more of my work on social media, either in written format on Twitter or Instagram if you prefer a carefully curated selection of images that make my life look more interesting than it actually is!

The post How to Make a Comedy Short appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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LEDs are becoming more and more useful in filmmaking. And for good reason – they have a whole host of advantages in modern video work. In this article we’ll take a look at the advantages and use cases for this type of video lighting, as well as list what we consider the best LED lights for filmmaking are.

LED Lighting – The Advantages For Filmmaking

Let’s first take a look at the 3 major advantages that LED lights offer for use in filmmaking.

Small consumption of electricity

Advantage number one is the relatively small consumption of electricity. Of course, for film work, one considers that they’ll use a fairly large amount of electricity is filming the average project.

Even in professional video studios, where there is a continuous process of shooting and lighting scenes, electricity bills are not the largest expense item. But if you’re still worried about low power consumption, then LED lights are scientifically proven to use less electricity.

And if, as in a lot of cases, a generator is most likely to be used as an autonomous power source for a halogen as a stand-alone power source, a luminescent illuminator can already operate from a portable battery with an inverter weighing 5-6 kg.

The LED source consumes even less than the luminescent source, but most importantly, it operates on a DC low voltage current and therefore can operate from portable batteries used for camcorders.

As anyone who’s been involved in large video projects know, this is often the decisive factor in choosing what kind of lighting to choose.

Studio Tour & Affordable LED Lights - YouTube

Increased safety

The second advantage is increased safety. Of course, LED illuminators are crackable, as well as potentially broken during falls, but are overall more durable than other types of traditional lighting. This is because of the way they’re built.

In all other illuminators, glass lamps are used, and glass is a very fragile material. Halogens and flashbulbs cannot even be touched with fingers since the dirt remaining from them will lead to a potential breakdown when heated.

The LED illuminator is a practically non-heating design that can be easily and safely cleaned if it gets dusty – in that event, just shake it and wipe it with a cloth.

Also, considering safety, the smaller amount of electricity consumption leads LED lights to be cooler and therefore safer for touching and moving, etc.

Power adjustment

The third major advantage  is power adjustment. Yes, LEDs can shine with different power! That’s true with flash-lamps and halogens, too. But we’ve found that the more modern LED lighting is easier to adjust and manipulate on-set.

When adjusting something like a halogen device, reducing the power supplied to the lamp can create problems. Since the glow in the halogen is a process of incandescence, then, by reducing the power, we reduce the color temperature. As a result, there can be a distortion of colors.

Obviously, this isn’t ideal in video work, so that’s another advantage for LED lights.

Best LED lights for filmmaking

Let’s take a look at what we consider the best LED lights for whatever video project you have in mind.

1. LED illuminator Falcon Eyes LG 500 B / LED V-mount LED

The first on our list is the LG 500 B / LED V-mount – LED constant light panel with adjustable color temperature (bi-color, 3200K-5600K) and built-in V-mount connector.

A distinctive feature of this illuminator is low power consumption, high light output, large radiation area (30 x 15 cm), as well as smooth adjustment of color temperature and brightness. The panel provides uniform illumination of the object. Illumination at a distance of 1m is 3150 lux, 2m – 850 lux, 3m – 460 lux.

This device can be powered in one of two ways:

  • using the V-lock connector, which is mounted directly on the rear panel and allows you to work stand-alone with V-pack batteries,
  • or work using the supplied power adapter.

The cooling of the illuminator is convective. The body is made of anodized aluminum, painted with black powder paint. Metal reflector shutters limit the light flux and help to correct the dispersion angle.

The brightness of the luminous flux is smoothly regulated by two dimmers (independently the group of LEDs of ‘cold light’ and the group of LEDs of ‘warm light’ are regulated).

Best Video LED Light Kit | Westcott Flex Kit Review - YouTube

2. LED Light Lamp Dedolight Felloni Tecpro – High Output Bicolor 50 ° TP-LONI-BI50HO

Next up we have the Universal bi-color LED panel DEDOLIGHT Tecpro Felloni 50 Bicolor High Output (TP-LONI-BI50HO), complete with 576 bright diodes. This light has increased luminous efficiency, compared to standard devices of the TP-LONI line.

It comes with a power adapter from the mains, and also has connectors for V-Mount and NP-F batteries.

The color temperature of the DEDOLIGHT Tecpro Felloni TP-LONI-BI50HO is smoothly adjustable from halogen to daylight studio light. The panel is dimmed with a dimmer that can be attached to the back of the panel or removed and through the cable to control the brightness of the light stream remotely.

The package includes panel Tecpro Felloni Bicolor 50 High Output, a lyre with fastening, network cable, and adapter AC-DC, removable dimmer with cable, diffusing filter, magnetic holders for film filters.

3. LED light illuminator ARRI L-Series L10-C L1.0006485

The color temperature is smoothly adjustable in the range from 2800K to 10000K, the hues and colors are smoothly adjusted throughout the spectrum of RGBW colors and the green correction is performed.

The L10 is the brightest and largest L-Series light to date. Its imposing lens size of 10 inches (25.4 cm) and powerful light output allow the device to be installed at great distances, clipping objects with a natural and pleasant light flux.

With a power 2 times higher than that of the L7, the L10 is one of the brightest LEDs with the Fresnel lens on the market.

Adjustability is a key element of ARRI LED lamps, and like its smaller counterparts L7 and L5, the L10 also has a color adjustment. The user is provided with full control over the color of the light flux: the ability to adjust the color temperature from 2800K to 10000K, and also perform a correction of the green-magenta hue.

Best LED Film Lighting UNDER $100! - YouTube

4. Video Light Kit LED Camtree 2x1000pc LED Bi-Color

Complete with almost an operatic quality to the light and all the necessary accessories, such as a dimmer, 1 album case with gel color filters, adapter 15V with DC cable of 1.7 and a tripod. This lighting equipment meets the requirements of all operators: from beginners to professional users.

A small mass and a square shape make this camera light very convenient for use in tightly confined spaces where it’s not possible to place a light of a larger size. The device perfectly illuminates even the most darkened rooms, but at the same time it doesn’t cast awful shadows like some lights often do. In fact, it’s  very soft and creates a pleasant atmosphere.

The Camtree lights are equipped with a dimmer, which helps to control the brightness of the light. This makes it available for use with compact DSLR cameras. Thanks to the new LED technology, the lamps do not heat up, do not flicker, and their average service life is very impressive.

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How do fluorescent lights work?

If you try to reduce the power supplied to the fluorescent lamp, the lamp will begin to flash. The starter, which lights up the gas in the tube, slowly accumulates energy, and the lamp will flash noticeably for the eye.

Therefore, adjustment on luminescent illuminators is possible only in one way – turning off the lamp itself. It’s an on or off issue. If, for example, the Lumifor MIRA LFL-632 SR KIT has 6 lamps and has 6 switches on the back, the adjustment step for such a device is 1 lamp.

Longevity is another key attribute of LED lights

It is not known whether someone tested in practice, but the service life of LEDs is 50,000 hours.

This figure, of course, is more of a marketing move, since this is the lifetime of the diodes themselves, and the illuminator is likely to fail more quickly, since this is a separate component. But it’s still a very long time, especially in comparison with the life of a halogen lamp.

7 Great Video LED Lights Under $50 - YouTube

Lack of extreme heat

In principle, of course, they also heat up, but to acceptable temperatures. For example, getting a burn is nearly impossible. And most importantly, the LEDs will not melt the filters. So if a lot of your work involves using various colored filters, you’ll get a huge pleasure from working with LED lights.

There are drawbacks. What are the advantages of analogs? For good luminosity, a large radiating area is needed. For example, a panel of 600 LEDs ( using the YongNuo YN 600 as an example) at a distance of 1 meter:

  •   diaphragm – 4,0 and 9/10 “
  •   Exposure – 1/60 sec
  •   ISO – 100

This is a large panel, measuring 15×23 cm (plus fields of 1-2 cm). Try putting a tube on such a panel to get a spotlight – it’s difficult.

Nevertheless, several manufacturers have already started producing devices with bright LEDs, concentrated in one small rectangle, for example, lights like the Jinbei EF-100 LED.

Another weak side of the device is the spectrum of its radiation, with a pronounced blue color. Since the radiation of an LED is not a heating process, the radiation from it is slightly different from the spectrum of sunlight or flash.

But this becomes critical only for very professional work, and it can of course be corrected fairly simply by using light filters. Yes, the manufacturers of LED devices are successfully fighting this phenomenon.

Approximately the same evolutionary steps at one time occurred in the luminescent lamp industry. First, there was a general interest, then users found critical flaws (flickering, harmfulness to the environment, an unpleasant spectrum) and began to struggle with them.

Modern luminescent studio illuminators do not flicker anymore, they shine with the desired color temperature and take a more agreeable approach to the environment. They can be seen now in any video studio.

Best LED Lights For Filmmaking – In Conclusion

As with any video gear purchase, some of the main considerations when looking to make a purchasing decision are the following:

  • budget
  • use case of the equipment
  • portability
  • durability

Budget is of prime importance. However, with something like lighting, you don’t need to break the bank to be able to put together a very competent and powerful video lighting setup.

Looking at the use case for why you need the lights, and specifically how you’re going to use them, is always of prime importance. So is portability and durability. Are you going to need to travel a lot with the lights? Do they need to be extra strong and durable?

All of these are important considerations when looking at buying any kind of video equipment, especially LED lights.

We hope this article on the best LED lights for filmmaking has been helpful. What is your favorite LED lighting setup for video? Let us know in the comments below.

The post Best LED Lights for Filmmaking – 4 Top LED Lights On the Market appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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Most beginning filmmakers all have variations of the same question; ‘How do I make my films look more professional? More, cinematic?’ For generations, filmmakers have asked: How do I get that film look?

That’s a good question. After all, nothing’s more discouraging than putting your heart and soul into a project only for it to come out looking like someone’s dad making home movies.

So how do you get that cinematic look on any camera, with any budget?

Getting The Film Look – How is it Done?

Look no further. These 19 tips will have your films looking less home movie and more, well… movie.

This guide is designed for beginners who are just getting started making their own films, but aren’t sure how to capture beautiful, cinematic images that rival the quality they see in professional work.

1. Color Grade

The single biggest difference between professional looking visuals and amateurish looking video, is color grading. Hands down. Stop the presses.

Now, that’s not to say that all the other elements of your film aren’t important. They are. It’s just to illustrate just how much of a difference color grading can make.

Color grading and color correction are essentially when you correct and stylize the colors of your shots in post.

One essential tip for color grading is to shoot RAW. RAW is just an uncompressed file format that stores all the data captured by your sensor allowing you to produce higher quality images.

Shooting in RAW is typically as simple as changing a setting on your camera.

The other benefit of this, other than higher quality images, is that your shots will have the least amount of baked in information possible. This will allow you to have more freedom to color grade them in post.

Make your footage look Cinematic FAST! Premiere Pro Tutorial - YouTube

LUTs can be extremely helpful when color grading your own footage. Applying them to your clips can help you quickly get to a great starting point so you can just tweak your footage from there.

If you want some great free LUTs for easy color grading, you can’t go wrong with these 7 free LUTs from Lutify.me and 9 free LUTs by FILM CRUX.

2. Composition

Essentially, composition is what’s in the frame of your shot, as well as how the elements within your shot are arranged.

There’s endless theory on what makes for good composition, and which particular arrangements work best for which circumstances, but here are a few quick and dirty composition tips to get you started.

The Rule of Thirds

You’ve probably heard of this before. Divide your frame into thirds horizontally and vertically, then place points of interest where these dividing lines intersect. Position important elements like the horizon along the lines themselves.

Lead Room

If a character is looking frame right, then typically, they should be placed frame left. This makes the shot more comfortable for the viewer by creating open space in front of the character called lead room or lead space.

[Tip] Lead Lines – Use natural lines in your scene to lead the viewer’s eye into your image. These can be anything from depth lines in one or two-point perspective, to other items or elements within the shot that lead toward the subject or a point of interest.

Straighten Horizon Lines

One good tip is to straighten any horizon lines that cross the length of your shot. It’s best to do this while shooting, although it can be done in post if need be.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to follow any of these. Think of them less as rules, and more as guidelines. When you don’t know what you’re doing, these are a great place to start.

But, if you want to think of them as rules, remember, rules can be broken. The best advice though would be to learn the rules first, and then break them.

3. Letterbox

If you’ve ever seen a Wes Anderson or Quentin Tarantino film, you’ve definitely seen letterboxing before.

Letterboxing is the practice of transferring a film shot in a widescreen aspect ratio to a standard aspect ratio. This creates two black bars or mattes at the top and bottom of the image that many people associate with a cinematic look.

Now, you probably have no need to take a 16:9 film and make it fit a 4:3 tube TV, and you’re probably not shooting on an 70mm like Tarantino did for The Hateful Eight, but if you like this style, you can emulate it pretty easily using one of the two methods below.

Export Settings

A great way to get a letterbox is to export your film in the aspect ratio you want. If you want your film displayed as 2:40:1, just make the composition in your NLE those settings, and then export your finished film the same way.

Depending on where your film will be displayed, letterboxes will be added automatically based on your viewer.

Letterbox Templates

Another great way to add letterboxes to your film is to just use letterbox templates. These are essentially letterbox images (black bars) you can just drag and drop on top of your footage. Easy. These great free letterboxes are based off of iconic films like The Revenant and The Hateful Eight.

Now keep in mind, which method you use should be based off of what your project is. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, no one is going to notice or care which method you use, but in some circumstances, where your film is being screened will have an impact on how it’s displayed.

4. Shallow Depth of Field

Having a shallow depth of field is when your subject is in focus, and the foreground and background of your shot are out of focus. This creates bokeh, the aesthetic quality of the blur in the out-of-focus areas of your shot.

To get a shallow depth of field, you want to use a lens with a low f-stop. The lower the f-stop, the less area will be in focus. Anything lower than f2.8 will give you decent bokeh, but f1.8 or lower will really look amazing.

Keep in mind, the lower the f-stop, the harder it will be to keep your subject in focus. Practice with a higher f-stop, and then work your way down over time as you get better.

Prime lenses are perfect for this. Prime lenses let in more light than zoom lenses, are typically better for shooting in low light, and have lots of other benefits to filmmakers.

A 50mm f1.8 prime lens, or nifty fifty, is perfect for shooting with a shallow depth of field, and should probably be the first lens in any new filmmaker’s arsenal. Plus, it’s cheap.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you probably don’t want a shallow depth of field all the time. For example, in wide shots or things like aerials or landscape shots, you probably want to have everything in focus, so in those circumstances it’s generally better to shoot at a higher f-stop.

Yet another great benefit of shooting with a shallow depth of field is that it can help hide shooting locations that are less than optimal. If the background is blurred out, people will be less likely to notice it’s your grandmother’s basement.

5. Slow Tracking

A tracking shot is any shot where the camera moves forward, backward, or alongside the subject. Think of the camera as being on rails, which is often done to achieve tracking shots in film.

Slow, perfectly smooth tracking shots are typically associated with a cinematic look. They can help you to easily build tension, give the viewer a sense of wonder, or awe, and can create a ton of visual interest.

You don’t need a dolly, rails, a slider or a gimbal to get these. You can go handheld, but if you do, you will almost definitely want to use…

6. Warp Stabilization

Warp stabilization is an effect that helps smooth out shaky footage in post. If you use Adobe Premiere or After Effects, warp stabilizer is already built in. If not, a version of warp stabilization is likely already inside your editing program, and third-party stabilization software and plugins are available as well.

Don’t rely on warp stabilizer. It’s almost always best to get the shot you want in camera, but when you’re short on equipment, money and time, that’s not always possible.

How to Fix Shaky Video in Premiere Pro with Warp Stabilizer (Adobe CC 2017 Tutorial) - YouTube

7. Gimbals

If you have the money for a gimbal, it’s a great investment. A gimbal is basically a handheld or mounted camera stabilizer designed to help you get effortlessly smooth, cinematic shots.

The difference between a shaky handheld shot and a smooth, stabilized shot is night and day, and can add many layers of production value to your work.

In fact, other than a camera, lenses and a tripod, a gimbal might be the single best money you can spend on camera equipment.

8. Aerials

Never before in history have aerial shots been accessible to indie filmmakers. Just a decade ago, you literally used to have to rent a helicopter to get aerial shots.

Times have changed.

Now, almost any commercially available drone can help you get breathtaking aerial shots for your films.

Aerials are perfect for establishing shots. When your subject goes to a new city or location, a nice aerial can help set the tone and the vibe of the scenes to come while showing off this new environment.

Almost every blockbuster film uses these to establish new locales, but aerials are also perfect for travel films, nature documentaries, and of course, action sports.

9. Slow Motion

Everything looks better in slow motion. Shoutout to Dave Chappelle.

The only problem with slow motion is that it’s easy to get carried away. Because even the most mundane actions look incredible in slow motion, it becomes compelling to start shooting everything that way to the point where what you’re shooting no longer serves the story.

Remember, story first.

If you want to shoot in slow motion, you just need to shoot in a higher frame rate. Most films are shot in 24fps which we typically associate with that film look.

For slow motion, just shoot in something like 60fps, and then convert it down to 24fps in post. This will make your footage play back in a little less than half speed. The higher the frame rate, the slower it will be when played back at 24fps.

10. Manage Highlights

Blown out highlights are a great tragedy that befall many a fledgling filmmaker. It’s essentially when the bright parts of your scene lose all detail until they become complete white.

This happens a lot with cheap cameras or when you’re shooting bright scenes without exposing properly or using UV filters. Doing these two things right though will make blown out highlights a thing of the past.

Proper Exposure

You should always try to expose your shots properly, even when blown out highlights aren’t an issue. Exposure is all about balancing your frame rate (typically 24fps if you’re shooting for a film look), your shutter speed (usually about double your frame rate; 1/50 if you’re shooting 24fps) your ISO, and your lighting.

This video will break it down for you so you never have to be in the dark again. Boom… punned.

How To Nail EXPOSURE Every Time - YouTube

UV Filters

UV filters will save your life. Not really. But they will help you from getting blown out highlights in your shots.

A UV filter is basically a little lens lens (so to speak) that screws onto the end of your camera lens to even out the lighting in your shot.

In a way, it pulls down the highlights to be closer to the darker areas in your shots by filtering out some of the light that makes it through to your camera’s sensor.

11. Sweeping Shots

When you think of epic, most people imagine vast, sweeping shots. The camera rolling over the precipice of a massive waterfall as a flock of cranes glide over the canopies below.

Or whatever.

These types of shots will add even more production value to your films. Again, drones are perfect for these. They can show off the scope and scale of a particular environment in a way that’s difficult to do shooting from the ground.

When you’re getting sweeping shots, just be careful not to move the camera too fast. The viewer has to be able to clearly see what’s happening in order for these shots to have the desired effect.

12. Film Grain

Another surprising way to make your film look more cinematic is to add film grain.

Film grain is just the grain or granularity naturally created when shooting with processed film.

Digital cameras obviously don’t have film grain, so if you want to get the look, the best option is to get film grain overlays.

Cinetic Studios has a few for free, but if you really want to get saucy, holygrain makes some beautiful ones that will definitely give your films a textured, aesthetic quality.

13. Lighting

Lighting is, well… lighting. I’m not going to lie to you. Lighting is boring… but it’s important.

You’d be surprised how much lighting can affect the look and style of a shot. The same scene can be lit ten different ways, each one having a dramatic impact on the mood, feel, look and vibe of the finished product.

You can shoot with available lighting, like Emmanuel Lubezki in The Revenant, or you can shoot with stylized lighting like Nicolas Winding Refn in… well, everything Nicolas Winding Refn does.

Basic Lighting Techniques - YouTube

14. Lens Flares

Like film grain, lens flares were a phenomenon created by shooting with flawed equipment that has now become a visual aesthetic many filmmakers now intentionally emulate in their work.

A lens flare is just a visual artifact created by light bouncing around inside a camera lens to create a “flare” on the film or video being recorded.

You can still create lens flares in most modern lenses by shining or reflecting lights into the camera or shooting into a bright light source like the sun (be sure to use UV protection so you don’t damage your sensor).

Most lenses that are manufactured nowadays though are designed to prevent unnecessary flaring, so if you really want to get the look, either get an older lens, or use digital lens flares or overlays.

Video Copilot sells an amazing plugin for Adobe After Effects called Optical Flares which have even been used in films by the lens flare king himself, J.J. Abrams.

15. Anamorphic

Speaking of J.J. Abrams, if you’ve seen any of his films, you’ll notice that they tend to have a particular style to them. Super 8 and the Star Trek films most notably have a distinguished anamorphic look which stylistically pays homage to Steven Spielberg’s films of the 80s.

The anamorphic look is typically associated with long, horizontal lens flares, chromatic aberration and vignetting around the outside of the image, and a distortion in which the edges of the frame seem more compressed.

This makes straight lines in a shot appear to curve beautifully as they reach the outside edges of the frame.

And they look cool.

If you want to get a similar anamorphic inspired look, but you can’t afford to shoot with anamorphic lenses, you can emulate the look in post. This tutorial breaks down the different elements and how to create them.

How to Create The Anamorphic Look + Free AE Project File | RocketStock - YouTube

16. Noise Reduction

Noise is the bane of the indie filmmaker’s existence. It’s that messy grainy stuff that typically shows up in the darker areas of your shot, and is usually created when not enough light is reaching your camera’s sensor.

If you have great lighting and you expose your shots properly, or your camera does really well in low lighting situations like the Sony a7s II, it probably won’t be much of a problem.

But that’s not always the case.

If you do need to remove noise in your shots, you can do it to one degree or another with a plugin like Neat Video. Neat Video is a noise reduction plugin that’s available for just about every NLE you can imagine, and it works pretty well.

It’s not perfect though, and the noise reduction does come at a cost. It can distort the details of your footage and make for a less appealing image in some ways, but there’s times in which that’s a price worth paying to remove unwanted noise.

17. Sliders / Dollies

While gimbals are the new king of camera movement, and drones rule the skies, sliders and dollies still have their place.

A slider is basically a contraption that allows your camera to “slide” across it either manually or automatically.

A dolly is basically anything your camera sits on that rolls.

Both are great. Both range in price anywhere from ‘dirt cheap’ to ‘why are you buying that’? Both can help you get beautiful, cinematic shots.

18. Transitions

A transition is any time one shot goes into another. This can be as simple as a basic cut, to something as complicated as this entire video:

Stylized transitions are perfect for travel filmmakers in which the entire concept is typically about showing off locations in new or spectacular ways, but they’re used in every facet of filmmaking and can help instantly raise the perceived production value of your work.

In-camera transitions are when you shoot to create a transition effect in camera.

6 IN-CAMERA Video Transitions in 120 Seconds - YouTube

You can also download transitions you can use in post that already made for you.

Be very careful. Overuse can be extremely detrimental to a film, so here are a few good guidelines to follow.

Story First

In general, you always want to focus on telling the best story and making everything you do accentuate and work for that goal.

Don’t Overuse

It can be tempting to pack as many transitions as you can into your project. Be careful not to overuse or abuse them, lest their impact be lessened as well.

Stay Consistent

If one shot is going from left to right, the next would probably look best going from left to right, and the transition as well. Use your transitions to guide the viewer’s gaze and add visual interest without ruining the aesthetic appeal.

19. Simulated Camera Movement

Sometimes you just don’t have a gimbal, sliders or dollies, especially when you’re just starting out. One great trick to add some dynamicity to an otherwise boring tripod shot is to add simulated camera movement in post.

The trick here is to be subtle. Extreme camera movements on tripod shots in post tend to look fake because the different elements in the shot aren’t parallaxing properly (crossing in front of or behind one another) as they would with real camera movement.

Zooms or tracking in and out shots can be done by simply keyframing the scale of your shot in your NLE. For instance, if the scale at the beginning of your shot is at ‘100’, set a keyframe.

Then go to the end of your shot and change the scale to ‘102’, which should automatically set another keyframe. Once you play it back, it should give the illusion that the camera is slowly tracking or zooming in.

Panning or tilting shots can be done by keyframing the position of your shot in the same way. Just increase the scale of your shot as well so that it doesn’t get cut off on the sides, top or bottom as it moves.

Getting the Film Look – In Conclusion

The best filmmakers not only have a great vision in their heads, they’re able to get the best representation of that vision onto the screen for others to see.

Hopefully this post will help you do that.

Bookmark this, reference it often, and If you know someone who’s getting started in filmmaking, hopefully this article can help them too.

The post Cinematic Film Look: 19 Easy Ways to Make Your Films Look More Cinematic appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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Thinking about buying a new laptop for video editing? If you’re an Apple Mac user, you’re probably wondering what is the best Mac for video editing? If that’s you, then we have just the guide for you!

We’ll cover Mac laptops here, as most videographer will need to edit on the move, so having something as portable as a laptop is key.

Apple, as always, offer a lot of options and they have four different models of laptop: the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13 inch and MacBook Pro 15-inch.

With this versatile offering, it’s quite understandable that sometimes it’s difficult to make a decision about the laptop that will fully meet your needs. And in the guide below, we will try to briefly introduce you to the options and find an Mac editing laptop to your liking.

The Best Mac For Video Editing

So let’s take a look at the laptops that we consider the best mac laptops for video editing.

1. 12 Inch MacBook

The 12-inch MacBook is the perfect choice if portability is your primary consideration.

This laptop model is extremely thin and light (only 900g) and is ideal for people who need an ultra-portable computer model. The size of a slightly larger book, in the same range, makes this one look small.

The 12 inch MacBook has a distinctly sharp retina display, and the battery can last for 9 hours and 30 minutes.

This laptop model was first introduced in April 2015 but was upgraded in June 2017 with a new version that still represents the symbol of the lightweight Mac laptop. The new version of this model features a much faster Kaby Lake processor with a newer model much faster.

Also, the newer model has a more functional keypad that provides a better experience for longer typing. However, if data transfer and the ability to expand ar of prime importance, you should keep in mind that this laptop model has only one USB port for charging and transfer.

The 12-inch MacBook can be found in gold, silver, space gray and rose gold and comes in two variants: MacBook, 12in, 1.2GHz, 256GB and MacBook, 12in, 1.3GHz, 512GB. And if you want to upgrade the processor to 1.4GHz, you can choose between 8GB or 16GB of RAM.

Sale
Apple MacBook (12", 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) - Space Gray
  • 1.2 GHz Dual-core Intel Core m3
  • Intel HD Graphics 615
  • Fast SSD storage
  • 8GB memory
  • USB-C port
$1,299.00 - $73.62 $1,225.38
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2. MacBook Air

MacBook Air is the most affordable laptop with the longest battery life, ideal for students and created for the road!

MacBook Air is a series of laptops that once counted a MacBook Air of 11 inches (which is now no longer produced for various reasons) and the 13-inch MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air has the longest tested battery life (as much as 14 hours) and is also the cheapest MacBook laptop in the price range.

Also, the MacBook Air comes with standard USB ports as well as an SD card slot making it very easy to transfer photos.

This model, unlike the MacBook Pro, has a standard keyboard that makes it much more useful to some users.

As the name itself suggests, this model is quite light (1.35 kg), with a 13-inch screen and comes with two configurations, but only in silver and with 8GB of RAM. MacBook Air, 13in, 1.8GHz, 128GB and MacBook Air, 13in, 1.8GHz, 256GB.

If you are also programming, gaming or doing any kind of video animation, this laptop may not be the ideal solution for you.

However, if you’re going to be using this for lightweight editing purposes, as well as the usual admin work required to grow your business, and you need an easy-to-use laptop, this option is ideal and perhaps the cheapest for you.

Sale
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina display, 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 128GB) - Silver (Latest Model)
  • Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display
  • Touch ID and the latest Apple-designed keyboard
  • Dual-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor with Intel UHD Graphics 617
  • Fast SSD storage and 8GB memory
  • Stereo speakers with wider stereo sound
$1,199.00 - $49.01 $1,149.99
Buy on Amazon
3. MacBook Pro 13 Inch

If you are working between both home and another workspace, or doing a large amount of editing work whilst travelling, you could really benefit from the fast and functional 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro possesses a significantly stronger Core i5 processor and the latest Intel Iris graphics card, and still only weighs a slight 1.35kg.

This model has a high-quality display and powerful speakers, as well as two Thunderbolt 3 inputs for the fastest possible data transfer. You also have the ability to expand with additional graphics cards or specialized hardware, as well as a new version of the butterfly keyboard.

If you decide to purchase for MacBook Pro, it is important to point out that there are more options (with or without a new touch bar) affecting the price.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar provides all the contextually relevant keys and controls that you use in an average application. For example, if you open the Photos app, you will see options for editing photos, shortcuts in Final Cut and Adobe Photoshop, making it ideal for multitasking.

Also, this version of the laptop offers two more Thunderbolt inputs as well as a faster 3.1 GHz processor.

As well as a powerful solution for video editing, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is strong enough in design to handle most modern games with the Intel HD Graphics 640. But if you want the highest level of quality, perhaps the 15-inch MacBook Pro is the ideal solution for you.

And, as we conclude our list of the best macs for video editing, that leads us nicely into…

Apple MacBook Pro (13" Retina, Touch Bar, 2.3GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) - Space Gray (Latest Model)
  • 2.3 GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
  • Brilliant Retina display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
  • Ultrafast SSD
$1,709.38
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4. MacBook Pro 15 Inch

If you are a professional who needs a fast computer with a huge memory capacity and 15 inches of screen real estate, the MacBook Pro is the right solution.

If you are editing RAW photos or dealing with video animation that includes 4k videos the AMD Radeon Pro 560 graphics ship contained in the 15-inch MacBook Pro is what you need. It also combines 16GB of RAM with a 256GB SSD drive for the speed you need when using more serious programs.

Also, this model has the highest resolution Apple offers with 2800 × 1800 pixels and includes great trackpad as well as optimized stereo speakers.

It’s also worth noting that the battery on this MacBook Pro can last around 11 hours, offering superior performance by laptop standards.

For anyone who needs an enormous amount of storage space, this model is ideal because it has up to 2 terabytes of storage space!

If you work extensively on your laptop, then this version is right for you. You also have the option to tether up an additional screen if you’re looking for more screen real estate.

If you ‘re a video editor, graphic designer or photographer who requires a larger display and a more powerful model than the 13 inch version, then the 15-inch MacBook Pro is a good choice for you.

Sale
Apple MacBook Pro (15" Retina, Touch Bar, 2.6GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - Silver (Latest Model)
  • 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Brilliant Retina display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Radeon Pro 555X or 560X graphics with 4GB of video memory
  • Ultrafast SSD
$2,799.00 - $300.00 $2,499.00
Buy on Amazon
Editing Laptops – The Numbers

Any MacBook, starting with Air 2010 is quite suitable for video editing. Another thing is that on a weak machine the work will proceed slowly, and the exporting of a 10-minute video will take several hours.

Therefore, if you are an amateur and you’re not working with professional video (especially 4K format), then you can manage rather modest performance indicators.

And if you’re a pro, then, of course, you need a machine that offers a lot more power. So, let’s analyze what technical indicators are important for effective work with video.

First of all, I should clear up a simple fact: if you’re looking to work professionally with video, then a desktop solution will always be superior in power to a laptop option. As we’ve mentioned, though, the laptop offers portability and the option to easily edit on the road whilst travelling.

Let’s talk about the amount of RAM.The process of editing relies largely on the amount of RAM your computer has. But, as already mentioned, the most time consuming process is the exporting of finished video footage.

The second indicator is the speed of the internal drive. In other words, on a slow HDD drive of older models, you will struggle. In the best case, you need at least a standard SSD drive. Even better, a proprietary SSD. Its speed is several times higher than usual, both in recording and reading.

The third important indicator is the possibility of a video card. New models of MacBook Pro have powerful discrete graphics cards, for example, Radeon Pro 555 with 2GB, or Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB of memory. This is enough to work effectively with video and graphics and the speed improvements are very noticeable.

Finally, a rather important aspect is the quality of the screen image. Here, everything is unambiguous – screens with Retina technology give an excellent clear picture of high-resolution 4K. On such a display, you can well consider the intricacies of video, adjust exposure and colors.

Best Mac For Video Editing – What conclusion can be drawn?

So what do you think of those options? And how can we sum all of this information up as a neat conclusion?

If you mount the video for yourself and do not expect any outstanding quality and speed indicators, then the MacBook Air, or the old MacBook Pro models are quite appropriate.

If, however, you decided to seriously engage in professional video production, then you should choose a laptop with 16GB of RAM, a powerful video card, and a Retina screen.

The MacBook Air is laptop that helps with productivity, coping with all the tasks that I require of it. It is suitable for web development, mobile application creation, website design, interfaces, as well, of course, as basic video editing.

We hope that this article on the best Mac for video editing has helped you make the right choice and that you weigh up all your options before making a purchasing decision.

It’s important to remember that it’s not worth waiting for a miracle from an integrated graphics card. If you are professionally engaged in video editing, especially 3D work and intensize animation, then I would strongly recommended you max out on RAM and get the most powerful laptop you can get with the budget you have.

The post Best Mac for Video Editing – 4 of the Top Laptops For Video Editing appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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In this article we will be looking at the practicalities of making film set work a film-time job. We will be looking into the different types of film jobs and how to find continuous work. This is no quick scheme but a in depth look at the reality of making film work pay the bills.

My name is Amy Clarke and I spent a handful of years working in the film industry. My job role was Script Supervisor and I have worked within this role on many independent and professional film sets in the UK. You can find more film career advice on my blog here.

Focusing Your Job Role

It is important to know the difference between film crew job roles and general freelance work. Imagine a producer hiring their crew for a feature film. There are many departments to fill, each crew member has a specific focused job role within those departments.

Many new filmmakers make the mistake of applying to film set work with no focused job role. They either apply with the general title ‘Filmmaker’ or with a mix of job roles on their CV such as ‘Director, Writer, Editor’.

When you apply for a position on a film crew make sure to focus your job role. For example you may freelance as a Videographer but for a feature film you might advertise yourself as a Camera Assistant.

Another example might be that you aspire to be a Film Director. You could direct right from the start of your career working your way up from indies until you get trusted on more bigger productions. An alternative route is to work on film sets within any job role to gain on set experience.

If you are applying for a job as a Production Assistant remove the job title ‘Director’ from your CV. You should be applying with the job you are currently looking for and not the one you aspire towards.

Perhaps these past few paragraphs have seemed obvious to you, but a lack of focus is the main reason why people are rejected from film work. A Producer hiring crew wants people who are experienced within a specific job role.

Either focus on a particular department or start out within any entry level position to gain on set experience.

Why You Need a CV

For general freelancing work such as videographer you might never be asked for a CV. Likely you will be hired through world of mouth or from showing a video portfolio.

Until you are well known enough to gain continues recommendations you will be asked to show producers a CV for film set work. When working on feature films even if recommended for a job I was always asked from producers to send over a CV.

A film CV is a simple one page document listing your work credits. The title of your focused job role should be at the top and ideally you work credits should all be within the job title you are applying for. If you don’t have enough credits you can place previous work experience on your CV until you do.

This CV should be sent with a short ‘straight to the point’ cover letter via email when applying for a film crew position.

On most productions the Producer or Line Producer will be doing the hiring however a head of department may hire their own assistants. For example a Director Of Photography might hire their own camera assistants.

I have also created an E-book ‘Find Work In Film’ that goes into more detail on film CV and cover letter design – More Info Here

How To Find Film Set Jobs

The first two sections are important if you wish to work full time on film sets. You will need a specific job and you will need a CV. Your CV should have some experience on it already especially if you are applying for any position other than entry level.

For example, a Videographer may be able to use their previous work to show that they can be trusted for a Camera Assistant position.

Perhaps you already have contacts who can help you find work. This maybe a previous client or someone your studied with. Consider sending your current contacts in film a copy of your CV letting them know that you are looking for jobs ideally within this role.

Online Job sites are your second option, these can sometimes offer great leads. For example a job on a short film could lead to a higher paid job on a feature film.

I found that film work can snowball together, one job very much leads to another especially if you get into the right circle and advertise yourself well.

When you focus your job role you will find that you become easier to hire, for feature film work producers are on the lookout for trusted people within specific focused job roles.

Your third option is online forums and the easiest place to find work right now is from Facebook groups. Use the Facebook search bar to find local filmmaking groups. Your local city will have an active Facebook group full of filmmakers.

There may be jobs advertised on these, opportunities to collaborate or at the very least a chance to ask other filmmakers where they are currently finding work in your location.

Consistent Work

Never underestimate how one low budget indie can lead to work on a major budget film set. Occasionally major budget work is advertised through job sites or film councils (such as the UK’s Creative England), but often the ‘work everyone wants’ will have be gained through a series of lower budget work and networking.

In order to get onto those major sets and find consistent work you need to prove that you can trusted within your job role and fill that CV up will example credits.

After working full-time on film sets for a year within a focused job role I began to get called up weekly with job offers. I never turned down work even if low budget when I wasn’t working. One technique I used was to apply to film jobs in bulk.

Bookmark a handful of film job sites and Facebook groups that advertise work in your area. Freelance work can appear and disappear within a few days so check the sites out regularly and apply to any work within your focused job role.

Another tip is to add film crew members you work with on social media so as they don’t forget you and keep in touch with directors and producers for upcoming projects.

It will take time to forge a career in film. Unlike a typical job, freelance film work will take a few years to get the ball rolling. This means slugging it out in film, perhaps having another job to pay the bills for many years before going full-time.

It is hard to say how long it will take to go full-time as this depends on your job role, your location and previous experience. Just have faith that through persistence you will have enough contacts to make this a full-time job.

How to Work in Film Industry – Alternative Routes

Working on film sets is only one way to work in the film industry. If you don’t wish to focus your job role you can be a jack of all trades freelancing in general and still make a living. If you desire more security there are full-time contracted jobs in film. These jobs can be found at production companies and television studios.

Another alternative is to start your own business. I have several friends who have had success with running their own company either from shooting weddings, corporate or commercial films. Film Lifestyle has plenty of advice for those interested in starting a video production company, check out the detailed guides here.

How To Get A Career In The Film Industry | No Film School Documentary - YouTube

For more competitive job roles such as Director or Screenwriter you might have to go your own way such as making your own films or writing spec scripts for competition’s.

Keep in mind that it will take time to find the perfect film career for yourself. I have changed my career plans several times. learning about the different work options and understanding what type of work you enjoy is all part of the process.

There is no right or wrong way to have a career in film. Keep experimenting with what type of work is best suited to you and your own film lifestyle.

The post How to Work in Film Industry – Work Full-Time On Film Sets appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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YouTube has become a global platform where people share their videos. Making videos and uploading them online was a hobby once, but now many people have begun to choose this is a career. Today, we look at vlogger equipment and what you need to get started.

It is also a fabulous way for people to express themselves and their creativity, as well as:

People are vlogging about the things they are passionate about. It could be about various hacks, cooking recipes, reviews of games and films or even small skits made for entertainment.

While creating videos may look fun, it’s not as easy as it looks. Maybe a few years ago you would have gotten away with videos made on your smartphone, but today the competition has increased substantially, and people only like to watch videos with good sound and picture quality.

The good news is, you do not have to have a lot of technical know-how to produce good quality content that people will enjoy. You just need to have the talent and the means.

To become a successful vlogger, you need to start making videos with high quality, and you cannot achieve a high quality unless you have the right equipment for that.

A lot of people think that all you need is a camera and you will be making videos is not time. Yes, you will be making videos with that, but it will not have the sound quality that will get people to watch them.

If you want to become an official vlogger, there are many things you will need, and that includes the essential video equipment. If you do not have any knowledge about that, don’t worry, because we are providing you with the list.

Vlogger Equipment

Here’s a list of the vlogger equipment we recommend you get to take full advantage of jumping into this space.

1. Camera

Of course, the first thing you will need is a camera, how else will you record the videos! But it is not just any camera you need.

Sure, any camera will record a video for you, but you do not want just any camera. There are different types of cameras that perform different functions with their different features. It is not the most expensive DSLR you need to buy.

You will just need anything that can record high-quality video that is at least at least 1080p. If you are just starting out, quality camcorders or webcams would be enough.

DSLRs and mirrorless cameras would prove to be a good investment for when you want to upgrade, which will be soon. Whatever camera you need depends heavily on the type of Youtube content you are looking to create.

Check out cameraseals.com to find out more about cameras best for making videos. Have a look at some types of cameras you can get.

DSLRs are favored among most filmmakers and not only vloggers because they provide high-quality results. They can adapt in low light situations and provide with polished video recording quality, which makes them an excellent choice for creating videos. DSLRs can be pricey, but they are worth the investment if you take photography and videography seriously.

If you want to buy a camera that has an affordable price, plug-and-play, and will probably need to record in front of your of their computers, you can buy a webcam. It is more suitable for people who are gamers and just want to post game reviews and walkthroughs. Live streaming is also easier with webcams because you can connect them directly to your computer.

When we talk about the most compact and versatile type of camera, action cameras top the list. People who are interested in capturing their travels or extreme sports adventures can do better with these cameras. They are of a small size, but can produce the highest quality videos and are highly durable.

Camcorders are specifically designed to record videos, so they are a great choice for you as well. Modern camcorders come in a more compact and lightweight body, with their prices quite affordable. They can handle almost any shooting situation and prove useful for on-the-go vlogging.

Sale
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body
  • 30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting
  • Up to 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting speed
  • 61-point AF system with 41 cross-points for expanded vertical coverage
  • ISO range 100-32000 with 50-102400 expansion
  • 4K video recording at 30p or 24p and in-camera still frame grab of 8.8MP images
$3,299.00 - $500.00 $2,799.00
Buy on Amazon
2. Memory Card

If you have ever filmed even one or two videos on your mobile phone, you would know how much space videos take, even if they are of a few minutes. And when you are filming high-quality footage, you will need double the space to store that.

For that, you should get a decent memory card where you can store your videos on. You can find such SD cards on the market that also suit your budget. SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB Class 10 U3 SD Card is a good option and comes in at a very attractive price point.

Sale
SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB SDXC UHS-I Memory Card (SDSDXXG-064G-GN4IN)
  • Ideal for professionals looking to maximize post-production workflow
  • Read speeds of up to 95MB/s; write speeds of up to 90MB/s
  • Video Speed : C10, U3, V30
  • Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray-proof
  • Records Full HD, 3D, and 4K Video
$26.99 - $4.55 $22.44
Buy on Amazon
3. Portable Audio Recorder

If you are working with professional XLR microphones, then you will need a portable audio recorder, such as the Tascam DR-40 or Zoom H4n.

An audio recorder will also lets you avoid the low-quality preamplifier that is found in DSLRs and some other compact cameras. So, you can record higher-quality sound. You will find a lot of portable recorders with built-in microphones, that can give you good results if you position them close enough.

Sale
TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder
  • XLR / TRS balanced MIC/LINE inputs with phantom power and +4dbu line level input.
  • Switchable microphone position from X-Y to A-B. OS - Windows XP,Windows Vista,Windows 7,Windows 8
  • 4-track recording - record the built-in microphones and mic inputs at the same time
  • Dual recording captures a safety track to prevent distorted takes
  • Up to 96Hz/24-bit resolution.Sampling frequency:44.1k/48k Hz
$174.66 - $0.04 $174.62
Buy on Amazon
4. Tripod

Every photographer has a tripod because it is super handy and you do not need to hold your breath every time you are taking a steady picture.

Just like a blurred picture, shaky footage is not good if you want to get in professional video production because your viewers can get distracted. Tripods and gimbal stabilizers are used for stabilizing your camera.

You can choose either of these to increase your videos’ production value. Usually, people go with a tripod is because of its affordable prices and helpful nature. They mostly depend on how heavy your camera setup is, but it is always better to get a sturdier tripod so it can last long and your camera equipment stays safe.

Sale
Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 055 Aluminium 3-Section Tripod with Horizontal Column (Black)
  • Unprecidented Strength. Top Attachment: 3/8 inch screw
  • Redesigned Q90 center column with quick one finger operation
  • Easy Link connection for adding accessories
  • Redesigned upper disk with rotating bubble level
  • Safety Payload Weight:9 kg.
$264.88 - $69.88 $195.00
Buy on Amazon
5. External Microphone

When you start making videos, do not make the mistake that many other people make; ignoring the voice quality.

While we are busy with making the video, we sometimes forget that our voice quality also needs some focus and work. Your audio quality has to complement your video, or else people may not take it seriously.

Even if your video quality is great, you will have trouble keeping your audience entertained if the voice quality is poor. Camera microphones have bad audio quality as they need to eliminate ambient sounds effectively, which they cannot, which is why you will need a good microphone.

A lot of vloggers use Shotgun microphones as they can provide you with high-quality video recording. Their shock mounts help reduce any background noise that comes from vibrations around the mic. It will also capture clear sounds and vocals directly, and all the ambient sounds on the sides will be removed.

Audio-Technica AT875R Line/Gradient Shotgun Condenser Microphone
  • Designed for video production and broadcast (ENG/EFP) audio acquisition
  • Extremely short length (under 7") ideal for use with compact digital cameras
  • Provides the narrow acceptance angle desirable for long-distance sound pickup
  • Excellent sound rejection from the sides and rear of mic
  • Tailored response minimizes camera and handling noise
$169.00
Buy on Amazon
6. Lighting

Yes, your camera may have the ability to adapt to the lighting, but that lighting is not going to be good enough for the videos. You need lights that appear natural, especially if you are shooting indoors and in dimly lit areas.

For that, it would be better to get lighting equipment. Even within ambient light, lighting equipment will enhance the mood and even out the brightness as sometimes too much light can be problematic as well. There are various types of lighting equipment you can use for recording videos.

A ring light is not only being used by vloggers, but by many other people too. It is a great source of light if you want to take selfies/pictures, and for women, it is the perfect place to apply their makeup.

The ring shape emits light all around the subject, and all the shadows are removed. In short, this light will make anything or anyone look great in front of the camera. This is why beauty and makeup vloggers are also using this light these days.

Umbrella lights are also a reasonable solution for video makers because it is portable and emits soft lighting.

You can create a more controlled lighting atmosphere as the light is reflected from the interior layer of the umbrella. There is no diffusing sheet, but the umbrella can cover a large space. People usually use them for photography sessions.

Neewer 2 Packs Dimmable Bi-Color 480 LED Video Light and Stand Lighting Kit Includes: 3200-5600K CRI 96+ LED Panel with U Bracket, 75 inches Light Stand for YouTube Studio Photography, Video Shooting
  • Note: Dimensions of LED Light: 10x10.4x1.9 inches/26x26.5x5 centimeters
  • Kit Includes: (2)Bi-color LED Video Light with U Bracket, (2)White Diffuser, (2)Power Adapter,...
  • Dimmable Bi-color LED Light: With 240 White and 240 Yellow LED long lasting bulbs, illuminates a...
  • Durable Material: Made of excellent quality aluminum alloy showing simple elegant appearance; Can be...
  • Useful Accessories: Comes with a white diffuser to soften the harsh light; A carrying bag makes it...
$139.99
Buy on Amazon
7. Software For Editing Videos

So you have all the equipment such as camera and lighting equipment ready, and are done actually shooting your video. What to do next?

It’s not just the hardware you’ll require. You must also find good video editing software for the post-production phase.

You can get YouTube’s video editor but having your own software will be much better. You will have more freedom to adjust your videos, and the features will be more in number.

Adobe Premiere Elements 18 is a nice choice for videographers. You get to have usable tools and a large variety of editing options such as video trimming, freeze frames, animations, bounce-back effects, and much more. Good editing software will give your video the professional touch that it needs.

With all of this equipment, you will be able to create some great quality videos!

Henry Taylor is an IT expert and a researcher. He is obsessed with all the digital accessories and photography. He takes a keen interest in Vlogging and loves to share his photographs on Instagram. He regularly posts at Cameraseals.

The post Vlogger Equipment: 7 Gear Items Every Beginner Vlogger Must Have appeared first on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

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