Archive for the ‘Post-Production’ Category

Free Film School via the Vimeo Community

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Their moniker is “Vimeo: People connecting through video.” This includes many filmmakers who are sharing their knowledge – creative & technical. Within Vimeo’s 28,000+ channels, lives several micro groups dedicated to the filmmaking process.

Here are a few good ones:

  • ­SHOOT FOR THE EDITThis channel is for sharing editing and shooting techniques for beginning and advanced video producers.

  • ZACUTO USACreator of FilmFellas, a Webisodic series devoted to getting to the heart of the indie film movement.

  • FILMCAST Live! Channel A Channel Dedicated to the craft of Cinematography and Motion Picture Camera Operation.

I’m sure I missed some so check it out for yourself at

Free Access to the NAB Show

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

If you are interested in attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas this month (April 18-23), Tuvel Communications is offering Filmlinker readers FREE access to the show. Below is a special registration code that will give you a FREE exhibits-only registration.

*Free Exhibits Passport Code: TP01

This pass includes access to the exhibit floor and the opening keynote – a $150 value. Visit to redeem your admittance.

When there, check out their Post|Production World Conference which includes seven different Adobe, Apple, Avid and Mac Certification Courses.

*PLEASE NOTE:  the pass code provides free access to the NAB Show exhibit hall and the opening keynote ONLY, not any of the conferences being held in conjunction with the NAB Show.

Film Racing Coming to a City Near You

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Film Racing is a great creative concept that’s like “Mission Impossible” meets “The Amazing Race” in a marathon filmmaking competition.  Filmmakers form teams in each participating city and have 24 hours to complete an original short film (no longer than 4 minutes) based on an assigned theme and surprise element. Each team receives an e-mail on Friday night with a theme (like “revenge”) and a surprise element (like a prop – “toothbrush” or action – “slap”). The plot of your film will need to incorporate the assigned theme and element. The completed films are then due back at the film drop-off location by 10PM on Saturday night.

Since 2007, Film Racing has given out over $120,000 in cash and prizes to the winning filmmakers to aid them in their future projects. The winning films from each city compete for thousands of great prizes and one team will walk away with the “Best Film of 2009” title. [from official site]

Anyone can enter this “race” and each team is responsible for providing their own equipment and crew. See if your city is in the race by clicking here.

Documentary Filmmaking Tutorials from ‘FourDocs’

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

FourDocs is the online documentary channel from Britain’s – Channel 4. Fourdocs also offers a unique opportunity for filmmakers to get exposure making short docs for their “3Minute Wonder.” – which is “the only site that selects online films and puts them directly in a primetime terrestrial broadcast slot,” says Kate Vogel of 3MW. Because of this, they have a top notch documentary filmmaking tutorial guides on their site. It covers everything you need to know from start to finish:

+ Pre-Production – “Get Planning”

+ Production – “Get Shooting”

+ Post Production – “Get Editing”

And everything in between. Check ‘em all out here.

Special thanks to Make Better Media where I found this info.

New Green Screen Technology Creates Virtual Sets and Locations in Real-Time

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

M.I.T. alum, Eliot Mack started Cinital, Inc. and created a system that can revolutionize the costly, time consuming process of traditional visual effects post production. The Cinital system has the ability to instantly track and match camera motion to virtual environments and to perform real-time keying and compositing. Although it costs $85,000 to buy, it will certainly be available to rent (some day). The Boston Globe ran a piece on this recently:

…when the Cinital-enhanced camera is pointed at an actor standing in front of a green background, it uses a powerful multiprocessor PC to replace the background with footage digitized earlier. The merged image appears on a high-definition monitor on the set, so that the director can adjust lighting or the position of actors to make the shot look more realistic. When the camera pans across a landscape, or zooms in, the background imagery adjusts appropriately. [excerpt from Boston Globe article, “A new script for moviemaking,” by CinemaTech‘s Scott Kirsner]

Check out the video interview with Eliot Mack – demonstrating the process (click below for the video).


Robert Rodriguez’s 10-Minute (DIY) Film School VIDEO

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

One of the most popular filmmaking articles online has been “Robert Rodriguez’s 10-Minute Film School” (courtesy of It’s a transcribed excerpt from a ‘guerrilla filmmaking’ seminar-lecture Rodriguez did several years go. A more detailed version of the lecture is also available in his book: Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player. One of my most popular posts on this site, “DIY Film School – Learn from Websites with Filmmaking Tutorials” also includes a link to this article. Now, a video has surfaced on YouTube with Rodriguez narrating the making-of his legendary film, El Mariachi. He shares some of his “secrets” on how he shot his first film for $7k. One is that he shot the whole thing silent – without sound. He made it work.

Check out the 2 parts of the video by clicking below:


DIY Film School – Learn from Websites with Filmmaking Tutorials

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Whether you’re a novice filmmaker or a seasoned pro, there is always something new to learn about filmmaking. It could be new technology, software or just a new cutting-edge process or method that someone came up with. We live in the information age and filmmakers from all walks of life are sharing their knowledge online. Here are several filmmaking tutorials and educational sites (in no particular order) that cover the basics to the advanced.

+ The DV Show – Along with producing weekly podcasts dedicated to answering listener questions, The DV Show compiles tutorials from various video sharing sites like Youtube, Google Video, Yahoo Video,, and others. Here’s a great one titled, “3 Point Lighting Tips.”

+ BBC Training & Development provides online courses and tutorials in several disciplines. There are a lot of free tutorials here! Check out “Good Shooting Guide: the basic principles” and get a feel for what’s available on their site.

+ Take Zer0 is an online film school which posts filmmaking tips and tutorials twice a week. The site’s “Zer0” name relates to “everything you need to know before take one” – which goes along with the dry wit of its two hosts. Check out “The Storyboard…And YOU.”

+ Fresh DV is another great site with filmmaking video tutorials. It educates you on the basics (“Introduction to Slating and Script Management”) to more advanced techniques (“The Art of Pulling Focus” ).

+ Studio Daily and its “online family” Studio Monthly, Film & Video, and HD Studio are a great source for production information. Here’s one of their tutorial pages.


Online Initiative Invites Aspiring Filmmakers To Create Their Own Version Of New Film

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald [IMDB info] made his latest film The Tracey Fragments available for download and launched an open-source re-editing experiment called Tracey: Re-Fragmented. All the footage from the film is available for users to download, re-edit and make their own related creations – music videos, trailers, or their own version of the entire film. This is also a Creative Commons licensed initiative which makes available the score of the movie by Indie Collective Broken Social Scene.

This re-editing initiative is also a contest (for Canadians only). McDonald and his editors will select their favorite edition and include it in the DVD release of The Tracey Fragments, plus an Apple Final Cut Pro prize pack.

Director Bruce McDonald explains the inspiration behind the project:


Get “Creative” With Your Film Score

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Music can be an essential part of film’s emotional connection to its audience. As an independent filmmaker, you may not be thinking about that aspect of your film until you are in post-production. Although you will have this budgeted in pre-production, you may not have accounted for all the costs involved in licensing music. There’s a great article at that explains some of these details:

Properly securing the rights to popular songs is expensive. To use any song, you need to obtain two different licenses: The Master License and the Synchronization (Sync) License. The Sync license grants permission to use a song’s composition (all the lyrics and the composed music)–this is often owned by the performer/composer. The Master license is giving permission to use a particular recording of that song in your movie–often the recording label/company owns this.” [excerpt from MicroFilmmaker Magazine – “Tips & Tricks – Music & Score”]

This even includes the “Happy Birthday” song. If you have a scene in your film that has the characters singing “Happy Birthday” at a party, you’ll need to pay the copyright owners for that license.

Independent artists – be it filmmakers or musicians – have similar goals and obstacles that can form a symbiotic relationship of sorts. There are many resources out there that can help you get quality music for your film from indie artists as yourself.

MySpace is a great place to find, sample and contact indie musicians that want exposure for their music. The Foureyedmonsters directors (who I’ve blogged about before – 1, 2) have utilized MySpace for their film and podcasts.

Some established composers want to “give back” to the indie community from which they came from. Moby – the techno composer/DJ/activist, is now allowing independent and non-profit filmmakers to use his music in non-commercial projects. He’s made about 60 songs available. “If you want to use it in a commercial film or short,” Moby declares on his website Moby Gratis. “Then you can apply for an easy license, with any money that’s generated being given to the humane society.”

Creative Commons licenses have also emerged as a godsend to indie musicians who want to expose their music to the public without the restrictive copyright laws enforced by the RIAA. Filmmakers can now take advantage of the flexibility of these licenses which invite multiple uses of a musician’s work. Here are some sites with available CC licensed music:


Indie Director Tom DiCillo’s ‘Delirious’ Blog

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Writer/Director, Tom DiCillo’s [IMDB info] new blog chronicles his journey through the creation and distribution of his latest film, Delirious. The film is a contemporary fable about a small time celebrity paparazzo, Les Gallantine (Steve Buscemi) who befriends a young homeless man, Toby Grace (Michael Pitt). Toby meets and falls in love with pop star K’Harma Leeds (Alison Lohman), causing jealousy and friction with Les. (check your local listings – it’s really worth seeing it in the big screen).

This is DiCillo’s first foray into the blogosphere but I feel if he continues with it beyond Delirious, it could be one of the essential reads for all aspirating filmmakers. In fact, I commented on his blog about that sentiment and Mr. DiCillo responded to my comment – “I will try to keep the blog going. It is helpful to me to put my thoughts and frustrations into something creative…”

I cannot summarize the passion and creativity of DiCillo’s blog posts (you need to check it out for yourselves), but I will highlight some of his shared insight into the filmmaking process of Delirious – and break it down into production categories:


Screenplay – DiCillo’s idea for the script was motivated by the public’s addiction to celebrity and fame. He got the idea for the main character of the film after an encounter with a paparazzo in New York during the filming of The Real Blonde. The guy went into to the shot, trying to take a pic of Daryl Hannah – DiCillo almost strangled him. Years later, DiCillo ran into to this guy at a party; They hung out in NY and LA for 2 months and then he wrote the script.