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Dienstag, 12. Juni 2012, 22:57

Film LTK - Links, Tutorials and Knowledge [ein handsortierter Guide fuers Filmemachen]

Um jemals etwas in jeder x-beliebigen Profession zu erreichen, muss man sich auf die eigene Reise der Entdeckungen, Wunder, Erfolge und Niederlagen, Studium, schlaflose Naechte und lange Arbeitstage machen.
Ich bin fest davon ueberzeugt, dass der einzige Weg, die Welt zu verbessern, darin besteht, miteinander Erfahrungen auszutauschen und einander beim Lernen zu unterstuetzen - bis der eigene Trampelpfad, den man sich muehsam durch den Dschungel gebahnt hat, in einer Autobahn fuer tausende Nachvolger wird. Je mehr Menschen in einem Arbeitsfeld Erfolge verzeichnen, und je schneller sie ihre Faehigkeiten erlernt haben, desto wahrscheinlicher wird es, dass einer von ihnen etws entdeckt, das die Moeglichkeiten aller ausweitet und technologische Entwicklung vorantreibt.

Im Laufe der letzten Monate habe ich meine eigenen Lern-Favoriten aus dem Web gesammelt und zusammengetragen; ich studiere gerade Film in Los Angeles bzw. habe eine kleine Filmproduktionsfirma hier aufgebaut habe (ganz viel dazu in meinem Blog); das folgende LTK ist Stand Juni 2012; wenn du eine up-to-date, ausgebaute Version sehen moechtest, folge dem Link zum Originalen Film LTK.

Filmmaking Links, Tutorials & Knowledge


Forums & Communities
The fastest way to grow your skills and knowledge is to become part of a community and converse with them all the time. If you are not enrolled in a film school or otherwise surrounded by filmmakers in your area, then becoming part of an online forum/community will kick your learning curve up by more than you can imagine.
As you can see, in my hierarchy "Forums & Communities" has as much importance as all tutorials and knowledge - because these are the only places where your learning experience becomes interactive and social [if you don't have access to a face-to-face filmmaking community outside of the internet], and becoming part of a learning and experimenting community is just as important as the content of what you actually learn.
  • DVXUser: www.dvxuser.com – a great forum with massive amounts of information, lot of activity and a nice atmosphere.
  • DVInfo.net: www.dvinfo.net - a very informative community with professional and friendly people.
  • Indietalk.com: www.indietalk.com - a nice community with lots of categories and diversity; worth checking out!
  • Stundentfilms.com: www.studentfilms.com - a community of mostly (not just) student filmmakers, very active and full of conversation - a good place to find other people that cherish learning and development!
  • Indiemogul.com: www.indiemogul.com - a community based around low-cost filmmaking; sometimes the conversational niveau is not the highest here, but lots of motivated people populate the forums.
  • CreativeCow.net: www.creativecow.net - a community/tutorial-base that talks about everything digital art-related (incl. Cinematography & Editing). The forums still have the oldschool 1995 tree structure, but there's lots of helpful tutorials, helpful people and a good atmosphere.
  • REDUser: www.reduser.net – the official RED forum that talks about ONE, ONE MX, SCARLET, EPIC, DRAGON and so on and so forth. Also the best source for RedcineX-updates, and your home of you are RED-obsessed or planning to buy one.

Tutorials & Instructions
Tutorials, especially video tutorials, are the best replacement for on-set experience. If you can't work on a big set as an assistant and can observe your superiors, or you can't be in a film school production class, online videos where people explain how to do certain things will be your (usually) free bible. Here a few resources that will provide you with a constant influx of new knowledge:
  • NoFilmSchool: www.NoFilmSchool.com – Koon's weekly web digest of the most important things going on in the film world. One of the few newsletters worth subscribing.
  • VideoCopilot: www.videocopilot.net - the probably world's best and largest and most awesomest and most Kramerest collection of After-Effects Tutorials. Here you can literally go from 0 to 100 in After Effects.
  • Filmmaker IQ: www.FilmmakerIQ.com - a great collection of articles, tutorials, DIY stuff, link lists and tutorial lists, financing, online publishing - you can spend weeks of learning there!
  • CreativeCow Library: library.creativecow.net - a great collection of editing- and VFX-related tutorials, sorted by programs, moderated by CreativeCow. Decent Quality Control, and offers insight for all skill levels.

Not just HOW to write, but especially WHAT to write needs to be put into lots of consideration and inner dialogue. History shows that certain forms and ways of writing are more efficient, expressive and successful than others, so studying the science of writing can never be a mistake. And of course, we're talking about screenwriting – so FORMAT is the very first thing you need to know.
  • CeltX: www.CeltX.com – this free software makes Screenplay writing and formatting about 95% smoother. An absolute must.
  • Screenwriting Complete Overview: http://www.screenwriting.info/ - a great overview over what screenwriting is about, what diffent terms mean, how to structure and format a screenplay, and what kind of literary tools to use in order to make a screenplay flow better. Pretty much, a complete screenwriting class online, for free.

Producing is organizing, hustling, paperwork, sitting back, playing big daddy and taking true and big responsibility. Definitely something you want to prepare yourself for – no matter if you have to deal with SAG, if you need to find the cheapest equipment in the most available location, if you need to sort out a conflict on set or deal with insurance and risk. Don't get yourself into a lawsuit, and make sure everyone comes in and out from the set in good physical condition - that's the foundation of good producing.

A director is the one central element of a film. Everything renders down to an able and well-prepared director, one that can infest his crew with courage and motivation, and keep cool when things get too hot on set. A director needs to be a great communicator, understand himself and even more so, his actors and their psychological triggers, and have a good balance of self-criticism, self esteem and persistence. Directing, since it's such a social profession, can only be really learned on set – but gearing up some aces and hidden tricks up your sleeve when things get tight is never a bad idea.

=========TEIL 2 im naechsten Post ========

Viele Gruesse aus den Staaten,

PS: Wenn du etwas vermisst oder gerne mehr Links ueber ein bestimmtes Gebiet haben moechtest, oder Kritik an der Liste hast - bitte, lass es mich wissen, damit ich das LTK verbessern kann! ;-)

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Dienstag, 19. Juni 2012, 12:53

These links and videos deal mainly with lighting and camerawork. As a cinematographer, you have to understand and feel lighting. Usually, DPs (Directors of Photography) are total equipment nerds and know everything about lighting equipment and camera models – so should you, with the ultimate goal of being able to better express a story through lighting skill and camera choice.
  • DSLR Super Guide: http://nofilmschool.com/dslr/ - The NoFilmSchool DSLR Guide is a free guide that introduces you to everything you need to know if you want to be part of the DLSR revolution – from exposure to F-stop and sensor size, trough the Canon army of awesome cameras (and Nikon's/Panasonic's comrades) to the CMOS issues with rolling shutter or the graceless moire and aliasing. If you want the PDF, you need to Sign up for the Newsletter. Good for anyone between beginner and total pro - the guide is simply written, but communicates complex concepts and facts.
  • CreativeCow DSLR Collection: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD1D30A51D0AE06CB - this Youtube playlist with 30 videos by Creative Cow is absolutely great for beginners - it teaches you exposure (aperture, shutter speed, ISO), monitoring, slow motion, focus, gadgets, tools, ... a smooth way to get an introduction to filming on DLSRs - good if you are a beginner, too basic if you're a pro.
  • Light Meters: http://vimeo.com/32496718 - the much underestimated Light Meter and how it works by Ryan E. Walters ... something we need to know in a world where filming and previewing with digital cameras creates the illusion of not needing a light meter; with a meter you can measure light ratios and can make sure that more professional gaffers than you don't make you look like a fool for not knowing how to use it!
  • LearningDSLR: http://learningdslr.com/learning-resources - A video giude to the DSLR basics - very nicely made, with good lessons and a from-beginning-to-end mentality. Great for beginners and advanced DSLR users!
  • Reverse Key Light Analysis: http://evanerichards.com/2012/2463 - a stylized way of lighting faces that proves to be not just popular, but looks damn great. Evan E. Richards puts in words what we have subconsciusly thought all along! Why does this come so far on the top? Well ... because it's so important to understand!
  • Behind the Scenes of a Cinematographer: http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/a…ing_good_looks/ - Art Adams is a Cinematographer that boasts about 30 articles about stuff he's shot. All listed in a good overview, lighting diagrams, videos, photos, easy to read - a great collection of resources and real life examples!
  • Camera Blocking Walkthrough: http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/freshdv/video/camera_blocking_case_study - a cinematographer walks you through the creation and thoughts behind a complicated opening dolly move of a low-budget but decent-looking horror film, and explains the reasons for planning it that way.
  • Portrait/People Lighting Diagrams: http://www.youtube.com/user/FreePhotographyTips - really valuable videos that explain strobe setups for photography (it takes little creativity to translate these in continuous lights) and shows the final results together with neat diagrams. Each video is usually one photo shoot, and you learn a lot about making women look beautiful - the eccentrically dressed photographer is an added bonus.
  • Basic Cinematography: http://www.wildsound-filmmaking-feedback…era-angles.html - a good introduction to the way a cinematographer should think and what questions to ask oneself when being a DP.
  • Scene Lighting: http://vimeo.com/41756494 - an SMAPP lighting tutorial for entire scenes; useful if you want to learn to light larger spaces. Although the directing and acting in this clip is questionable, the shots are well done.
  • Lighting Techniques: http://vimeo.com/33672808 - Eve Hazelton's Lighting Techniques, Tutorial 1
  • Lighting Techniques: http://vimeo.com/34004547 - Eve Hazelton's Lighting Techniques, Tutorial 2
  • Basic Lighting: http://vimeo.com/39681309 - SMAPP Basic Lighting Tutorials
  • Rembrandt Lighting: http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Create-…hting-165253626 - a basic tutorial about Rembrandt Lighting. While this video is basic, it introduces one of the old masters of lighting, and should inspire you to borrow books about painting from the local library. I swear, learning to shoot and light from the paintings of old masters will make you a MUCH better cinematographer [however, it is supplemental knowledge and should build on a strong pre-existing understanding of lighting].
  • Beyonce Shoot Setup: http://www.profoto.com/us/master-series-…g-beyonce-shoot - a detailed video explaining a George Holz beauty shoot with Beyonce. Good for music video white room look shoots - and of course, you have to translate from strobe to continuous.
  • Romantic Restaurant Lighting: http://www.youtube.com/polcan99?v=aCWyuBsHJ60 - a cool little tutorial teaching you how to light a larger space; a restaurant - in correlation with the story content, a romantic dinner.
  • Green Screen: http://vimeo.com/34365256 - Green Screen Chroma Key Tutorial with Eve Hazelton (Lighting & checking it)
  • Roger Deakins Forum: http://www.deakinsonline.com/forum2 - although a forum, it's a great cinematography resource, since Roger Deakings, ASC (a famous cinematographer) often answers questions himself there...!
  • The Film Look: http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/whp/whp053.shtml - a BBC White Paper (PDF) explaining what makes digital look like film. Totally advanced knowledge, on a technical level of understanding the material - have Wikipedia ready for understanding terms.
  • DSLR Aliasing & Moire: http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/20 - great article explaining the difficulties of DSLR footage processing.
  • RED ONE Setup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYfhWIYGcpI - a good intro to the components of a RED ONE. If someone asks you if you can shoot on the RED, and you say yes but lie - this might be a good video to watch before you are on set.
  • Managing RED Footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZID4urBmgM - good video tutorial explaining the flow of managing RED Footage of the RED ONE. Soon, this will be a bit outdated (Scarlet and Epic with REDCineX make it simple), but it can't hurt knowing.
  • Magic Lantern Users: https://vimeo.com/groups/magiclantern - The official Magic Lantern (a.k.a. make your DSLR in a monster ... unless it's the 7d) community of awesome hackers around the world that transform the world for advanced DSLR filmmakers.
  • CreativeCow DLSR Library: http://library.creativecow.net/tutorials/dslr - a cutting edge resource of DSLR reviews and similar cameras; fetures tutorials, analyses, articles and a lot more. Especially the guest articles are helpful for advanced users; the creative cow-own tutorials here are only for beginners.
  • AbelCine Blog: http://blog.abelcine.com - for all nerds, this blog reviews current technology and gadgets as well as stuff in the post-pipeline. Good to stay updated on technological developments.
  • The Understanding Series: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series - a great series designed for stills photographer working with color negative film, but extremely relevant to modern digital and analog cinematography. Exposure, framing, cropping, sharpness etc. principles explained with lots of text and pictures.

One of the most overlooked field of knowledge in film schools, if you ask me (together with costume design, makeup, and production design - if you don't have one of these components in a project you truly care about, then slap yourself hard left and right and get these positions filled with motivated people!). If you ever thought about becoming a gaffer or grip, or want to extend your Cinematography one-man-show, or learn how to up your game when it comes to placing lights and cameras in difficult/impossible locations, then rigging – the art of setting up contraptions – is a field you should dive deeper into.
  • Gaffing in General: www.gaffersunite.com - a great blog about AC/DC, power sources, rigging, menace arms, lighting and the rest.
  • Rigging Examples: http://www.gripnerd.com/rigging-gallery/ - A Rig gallery by Gripnerd, a Blog and Gallery about Camera Dolly Rigs, Lighting rigs and miscellaneous on-set jerryrigging. Very informative and inspiring!

  • Rigging a Car Shoot
    How to Rig a Car Shoot: http://www.devondelapp.com/weblog/?entry=237387' - this guy listened well on set and put together a cool drawing that includes various elements you can use in a nighttime car shoot inside a studio.
  • Gaffer VS. Key Grip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUiZCg_AntQ - hilarious series (look on the youtube video list on the right hand side) of different set positions against each other. Interestingly enough, this might even teach you something about set etiquette, correct language and proper hierarchy. Or confuse the hell out of you.

DIY - Do It Yourself Builds

One method to prove yourself how much of a filmmaker you are is when you get down and dirty to the hardware store and abuse some materials to build your own equipment. Usually, when you're at that stage, time is not exactly money, so it's a far more effective way for you to build something for $50 now instead of waiting three months worth of paychecks to buy it for $500 later.
  • 202 DIY Build Tutorials: http://filmmakeriq.com/2008/07/202-diy-filmmaking-tutorials/ - over two hundred links to different DIY builds - camera stabilizers, lights, shoulder rigs ... an awesome collection! FilmmakerIQ makes it easy for people looking to build something. This collection should give you good inspiration!
  • Cheesycam Collection of DIY: http://cheesycam.com/ - Cheesycam is a great website with a constant influx of new DIY and discount equipment and ideas. Worth reading.
  • KinoFlo DIY: http://vimeo.com/33085277 - Realm Pictures' "Build your own set of KinoFlos" for $100/4-bank light. Very efficient, and explains some electricity principles too.
  • $7 DIY Dimmers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a57tIqfuN5I - Make your own Dimmers, and attach them to construction lights, and make them stoplessly dimmable! Awesome.

  • CFL Bulbs in a 9-array with Barn Doors
    900 Watt CFL Box: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/photon-manag…ting-units.html - a cool build with switches and Barn Doors, utilizing nine CFL bulbs and household equipment.
  • Dirt Cheap Reflectors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4AwWuZ7IjQ - using cardboard and a reflective foil, this man builds OK reflectors that can be useful when there's little wind.
  • Ultra-Cheap Light Tent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GghFf8cPxm8 - useful for product shots; even though the video is in German, you'll get it.
  • Selfmade Photo Studio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43LGog1o3oE- a very useful compilation of ideas, in which a German TV team puts together a $250 Photo studio - all with German Engineering ... wooden frames and the whole fun. Can give good inspirations, despite the German language in the video (just watch and turn on music).

  • Using the Cheapest Camera Crane of the World as a Drive-By camera on a Pontiac Firebird 1992 in the Mojave Desert.
    $15 Camera Crane: http://studium.tobiasdeml.com/2010/05/22…world-tutorial/ - the probably cheapest camera crane ever - a 2x4 combined with a chinese plastic tripod. Great for DSLR run n' gun type shoots, and if there is no money for a real jib.
  • A DIY Shoulder Mount for around $20-$30, mostly made of plumbing equipment, geared towards Video DSLRs; the tutorial below lets you build one yourself!
    $20-$30 Shoulder Mount: http://studium.tobiasdeml.com/2011/02/28…-filming-20-30/ - a shoulder mount constructed out of plumbing pipes. Works great, and is a very quick solution to the problems of "actual" hand-held DSLR footage.

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Dienstag, 19. Juni 2012, 22:09

One thing is true about filmmaking: Once you are finished filming, you are halfway done with your work. The editing room (or nowadays, your computer workstation/cluttered desk) is not just a place to put footage together, but to actually tell and re-tell the story; to construct connections between characters that were not there at the stages of filming or scriptwriting, to change messages and implications; to support the film's narrative through editing style, editing pace or shot/scene sequencing. If you want to become a director, learn editing (first for yourself, and then for the editor [so he doesn't hate you for having no idea about it]), and if you want to become an editor, then it's really time you start learning - you should have started when you were just about in the middle of puberty!

Sound Design / SFX

Also often overlooked in film schools; as a sound designer or editing one-man-show, you are master over the audio-experience of a film. Watch films like The Blairwitch Project, Cloverfield or Tape [genious film, by the way] and you will notice that image quality or camera choice are not necessary factors to make a box-office ready film. Watch student films produced at the low end of film schools (or any "student" "nonserious" "amateur" film for that matter), and you will notice that the sound quality sucks, and without even seeing the film, you can immediately tell that the film will suck as well. Noisy sound recordings, audible sound clippings between edits, stale environments without any environmental sounds - those are the most basic mistakes made. Once you dwelve deeper into sound editing, sound design and sound engineering, you will see a whole new world open up. Many filmmakers believe that sound is 50% of their movie. And if you project your movie on actual film rolls, 50% of the time you are sitting in the movie theater, you will be staring at a black screen while hearing the sounds only.
  • What is a Sound Designer: http://www.wildsound-filmmaking-feedback…und-design.html - a little intro to the work a Sound Designer does, and what is important to look out for and accomplish. Very useful, even if you never want to become a sound designer - getting an understanding for sound design will help you a lot down the line.
  • Essential Sound Filters: http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=24332 - this user article explains some of the basic sound filters in a very understandable fashion and gives you some insight what you might use LowCut, HighCut, Equalizer/EQ and so on for. Very important for 1-man-crews.
  • Freesound.org: http://www.freesound.org/ - the probably coolest and most in-depth library website with completely free sounds for any kind of project - student film or commercial, it's all for the common good and free.
  • 50 Free Sound Websites: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/55-great-we…-sound-effects/ - if Freesound was not enough, you'll find what you need here. Some of them charge you for specific usage.
  • Foley Tutorials: http://www.epicsound.com/sfx/ - a great list of instructions how to create certain sound effects on a foley stage or in a recording studio. Feels very DIY-like, has totally valuable information in there and is comprehensive as hell!
  • Sound Design of "Prometheus": http://vimeo.com/43796489 - the sound designer of Ridley Scott's SciFi epic explain their approach to the sound design of the film - powerful insight to top-notch sound designers' work!

Visual Effects - VFX
This will cost you half of your lifetime - Visual Effects are the ultimate time eater, similar to editing. On big movie budgets, they are the big money eaters. Nevertheless, VFX are essential to the modern filmmakers' toolbox, and should be learned by any director in order to communicate better with VFX artists down the line. If you want to become a VFX artist yourself, you will probably already have VideoCopilot hidden under your pillow and as your browser start page; but essentially, VFX is all about learning lots and lots of examples, and growing the capacity to use that knowledge and create the effects needed for your film. The most essential skills - for one-man-shows - are sky replacement, camera stabilization and 2D tracking, and they will come in quite handy if you messed up on set or couldn't afford to shoot something specific.

Color Correction / Color Grading
Color Correction is to correct wrong white balances and exposures, to "sync" one shot to the next in a scene and make them seem seamless, hiding the mistakes of the cinematographer. Color grading is when you give that corrected footage an actual style or look; the typical bleach-bypass/Apple-Color/After-Effects/DaVinci/porn-filter/crushed-blacks orgy you see more and more online. Since everyone learns to make their movies look cool, so should you. Only, learn it with a purpose: Learn color correction to make your film flawless and professional; learn color grading to support the narrative and style of the film, and to enhance the viewers' emotional experience of scenes in the film - not to show off how hard you can twist Curves or how much MagicBullet presets you downloaded.
  • Color Grading in FCP: http://vimeo.com/1970384 - A tutorial for primary and secondary color correction with Apple Tools - can be easily translated to other toolsets.
  • True Color Correction: http://vimeo.com/14396098 - not color grading (stylizing) but color correcting. And not by feeling, but by numbers, involving photoshop, RGB-value reading and other semi-advanced techniques. Helpful for all who are interested in color correction and grading.
  • Cinestyle Looking Good: https://vimeo.com/23127327 - this guy understands how to correct cinestyle properly, by feeling - and shows before/after comparisons. (Cinestyle is a Canon DSLR picture style) Worth watching!
  • Cinestyle Color Breakdown: https://vimeo.com/24025791 - a video showing various steps of making Cinestyle come to a final output look.
  • Cinestyle LUT use: https://vimeo.com/23157870 - a video showing many examples of Cinestyle footage, comparison to Standard footage and Look-Up-Table correction.
  • Bleach Bypass: http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/simple_bleach_bypass/ - A Bleach Bypass tutorial. Bleach bypass looks are popular these days...!

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