Archive for the ‘Production’ Category

Online Video Contests – A Site That Has Them All

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I try to post as many filmmaking/video contests that are available online – but this site – Online Video Contests – has ’em all!

We are a resource for filmmakers, directors, animators, and amateur video enthusiasts to easily find (and win) video contests. – from

You can search and sort the types of contest that best fit your interest/needs from their easy-to-use “find contests” tab. They are currently running 165 total contests, with a cash value of $660,903. Check it out!



On My Block NYC Film Challenge

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

On My Block is a film challenge that brings communities closer together by inviting filmmakers to create short narrative or documentary (1-5 minutes) films on their NYC block . The only rule (besides being located in one of the 5 New York City boroughs) is that you can only use your neighbors within a one block radius for all the cast and crew of your film. Read all the rules and eligibility requirements here.

Also, check out their “Filmmaking Steps” for some production tips – like how to recruit your crew, Pre & Post steps and more.

Watch Ryan O’Hara Theisen, one of the co-founders of On My Block Films, explain the mission behind OMB Films and some of the benefits of being an On My Block filmmaker:

Once your film is submitted and approved, it’ll screen online on the OMB Vimeo Channel. After Oct. 31st, it goes offline and the top scoring (most amount of Vimeo Likes) 30 films move on to Judges round. They’ll pick the final 15 which will be screened at a yet to be disclosed location in New York City.

Submissions are open until October 31, 2012. Submit your film now.

Lars Von Trier – Project Gesamt

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Avant-garde (see Dogme 95) director Lars Von Trier (IMDB) announced this month the creation of a user-generated collaborative art project called Gesamt.

The concept gesamtkunstwerk can be explained as ‘the universal work of art’ or ‘synthesis of the art’. It refers to a piece of art that has been made up of many different types of art. Film is one of the only types of media which can accommodate several types of art forms at once. By using the idea of Gesamt in a user-generated film project we are taking the concept one step further: A universal work of art is not only created by many different art forms but also by a diversity and multitude of people. — from the official press release (PDF)

The project will be produced by the Copenhagen Art Festival and asks participants to submit their own reinterpreted films or audio pieces (up to five minutes in length) – inspired by these selected artists:

Paul Gauguin
Albert Speer
Cesar Franck
James Joyce
August Strindberg
Sammy Davis Jr.

Important Note: You can choose to reinterpret one or several of the artworks within the same material. But the six art pieces should NOT be depicted directly in your material.  If they are, your material will not be included in the final film.  Read the OFFICIAL RULES.

Lars Von Trier sets the rules (above), you create the material and the Danish director, Jenle Hallund will put it all together.


Gesamt will premiere on October 12. 2012 at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen.

Submit your film here (before the September 6, 2012 deadline).

5 Awesome Kickstarter Funded Filmmaking Tools

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Kickstarter is a great place to pitch your film for crowdfunding, but it’s also an ideal place for funding filmmaking gadgets and tools. In fact, this area has an advantage over other creative endeavors where supporters are not only showing their interest in a product, but also pre-ordering it – guaranteeing a profit before it goes to market!

Here are five great filmmaking tools that met their funding goals through Kickstater:

Digital Bolex Camera – It’s a a 2K RAW Digital Cinema camera that will sell for $3,000.  Here’s their pitch:

Once upon a time, motion picture cameras that created high-quality images were affordable for all filmmakers on any budget. Consumer 8mm and 16mm cameras like the original Bolex shot footage that could be projected on any movie theater screen.

In today’s digital market, ‘affordable’ and ‘consumer’ have become synonymous with ‘low-quality’ — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Introducing the Digital Bolex D16, the first digital cinema camera to shoot RAW at a price anyone can afford.


[/framed_box]Other reviews of this product:  “Digital Bolex – Viva la Revolution!” –

Genie – A motion control time lapse device.  Here’s their pitch:

The Genie! A simple, affordable and extremely easy to use device used for motion control and image capture for Time Lapse Photography + more. The Genie is an all-in-one device used to combine image capture with motion control, capable of either panning or linear movement that’s commonly used in Time Lapse Photography. Simply attach your camera to the top of the Genie, plug it in, and program it to move and shoot to your desired needs.


[/framed_box]The SnapFocus – The SnapFocus is a cinematic one man band with grip-level focus control.

The SnapFocus allows filmmakers to pull focus and steady the camera on the move, making it easier to achieve Hollywood production value on a shoestring budget. Focus on the fly and give your documentary or cinema vertiè footage an expensive look, or add production value to your projects with really cool technical focus pulls. 


[/framed_box]Other reviews of this product:  “JJ Abrams Loves the New Indie Film Gear Snapfocus” –

+ Rhino Slider –  It’s a camera track designed to to give lateral movement when shooting.

Get amazing cinematic video with a GoPro, iPhone, DSLR or RED. The most affordable, ultralight and versatile 48″ slider ever.


[/framed_box]Other reviews of this product:  “Rhino Slider for DSLR filmmakers Glides Past Kickstarter Target” –

 + The Aviator Travel Jib – A portable, lightweight jib-arm.

Get big budget camera moves from a jib (crane) that weighs less than a bottle of soda, fits in a backpack, and sets up in seconds.


[/framed_box]Look out for all these products when they come to market.

Tom Cruise (Dot Com) Offers Guidance to Aspiring Filmmakers

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

I was pleasantly surprised that has a series of filmmaking posts and guides that cover a wide spectrum of information and resource links for anyone interested in a career in movies. [note title=”Pictured:” align=”right” width=”250″] Tom Cruise with director, Steven Spielberg on the set of Minority Report. Photo from [/note]Admittedly, I am a fan of Mr. Cruise’s films, but I’m not one that peruses actors/celebrities’ websites. I’ll credit for making me aware of these articles and guides when it recently published a post that referenced one of these articles from I greatly appreciate and sympathize the effort that the team at put into their accumulation of numerous links in their guides (similar to what I do here at Filmlinker).

The team wants to help you make your Hollywood dreams come true! Whether you are an aspiring actor, director and filmmaker, film editor, producer, screenwriter, stuntman or visual effects artist, we have complied guides for several of the most in-demand professions in the movie and television industry.” –

Check out the list of guides that they’ve compiled:
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  • Aspiring Directors and Filmmakers Guide – Find out about numerous filmmaking techniques (including mobile!), film festivals, contests and competitions that could give your project exposure, award much-needed funds or offer training programs to advance your career in films.
  • Aspiring Visual Effects Artists Guide – Tips, Training, and Resources for a job in the field of post –production. As technology advances at lightning speed, the need for visual artists is on the rise.
  • Aspiring Actors Guide – Resources, Training, and Tools to take you to the top. Including a guide to Mobile Apps for training in an acting career.
  • Aspiring Stuntman Guide – Tips, Resources, and Information to help you launch your career as a stunt performer.
  • Aspiring Visual Effects Artists Guide – Tips, Training, and Resources for a job in the field of post –production. As technology advances at lightning speed, the need for visual artists is on the rise.


Free Filmmaking Course Offer – “Fundamentals of Video: Cameras and Shooting”

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

The good folks at are offering a limited time (July 28 – Aug. 10), no charge opportunity for everyone to experience one of their great filmmaking courses:  Fundamentals of Video: Cameras and Shooting. The course is taught by veteran filmmaker, Anthony Q. Artis – the author of the “Shut Up and Shoot…” filmmaking guides and an instructor at NYU Film School.  The length of the course runs just shy of 3 hours (2:58:00) and is appropriate for all skill levels of filmmakers. All you have to do to get this free access is go to their Facebook tab [highlight]here[/highlight] and “Like” them.

[notice]Please note that the comp offer only runs from July 28 – August 10, 2012[/notice]

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Here’s the synopsis of the course from
Embark on the very first steps in the process of creating moving images. In this course, author Anthony Q. Artis, a veteran of the film and television industry, introduces the core ideas behind how video cameras capture moving images. The course covers foundational concepts of lighting, such as why light is important, what kinds of lights to look for, and where to put lights relative to a subject. In addition, Anthony discusses sounds, an often-misunderstood aspect of video, and shows how to properly set up mics and adjust audio levels on a shoot.

Topics include:
[list style=”list4″ color=”blue”]

  • Exploring the different types of video cameras
  • Understanding how to focus
  • Shooting with shallow depth of field
  • Understanding exposure
  • Using ND filters to correct overexposure
  • Using gain to brighten an underexposed shot
  • Choosing the right shutter speed
  • White-balancing a shot
  • Working with a tripod
  • Shooting handheld
  • Using a boom microphone
  • Setting up a 4-point lighting scene
  • Using corrective gels

You can watch the course’s introduction video here (00:03:04).

Make Your Own Animated Movies with Source Filmmaker

Friday, July 27th, 2012

The Source Filmmaker (SFM) is a software moviemaking tool built by Valve – the video game makers of Portal & Portal 2, Team Fortress 2 and “Meet the…” short films.  SFM gives users the ability to make animated movies by repurposing the video game world (the base game assets from Team Fortress 2 and “Meet the Team” short films) into a virtual movie studio.

This is not for the novice user – but if you have experience in video editing and/or 3D animation you will hit the ground running with this incredible tool.  There’s a Youtube channel full of tutorials that can be found here.  Oh… did I mention that it’s FREE!  All you need is a Steam account (also free) – then you can download SFM here.

Check out their introduction video that will explain it all (below):


Vyclone – A New iPhone App that Merges Footage from Multiple Cameras

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Vyclone, a cool new filmmaking app just launched.  It’s a free mobile app that let’s users co-create, sync and edit multiple videos of a shared event.  The result can be made into a single movie that incorporates multiple camera angles.  It reminded me of how the late Adam Yauch (a.k.a. Nathanial Hörnblowér, a.k.a. MCA) directed Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! (IMDB) – where camcorders were given to 50 audience members of a sold out Beastie Boys concert in 2004.  Cut to 2012 where everyone has a camera on their phone – making this type of collaborative filmmaking a much easier task.  That is what Vyclone’s co-founder noticed…

Working as a musician for years, I noticed that people were always taking video of their favorite moments of each concert, but there was no way for them to share their different viewpoints with each other,” said co-founder and chief creative officer Joe Sumner. “We created Vyclone to solve that problem and the result is something that goes far beyond concerts to finding a new medium for expression.”

Here are the list of features listed from
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  • Ability to film from four different camera angles in a variety of filters including black & white and sepia
  • Simple video editing tools including one-tap and multi-camera editing
  • Option to share videos privately, with friends or the Vyclone community
  • One-tap sharing to Facebook and Twitter or to the camera roll on iPhone or iPod touch to share anywhere
  • Discover featured, new, and popular content from Vyclone’s active community
  • Ability to tag friends and events, comment on videos, like videos, and follow other Vyclone users

Currently, it’s only available for the iPhone and iPod Touch (iTunes Store link) – and it’s FREE!  Check it out.

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Blackmagic Cinema Camera Wows at the NAB

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

It’s NAB week, where 90,000+ media and entertainment professionals gather in Las Vegas – so it’s the ideal place to showcase the latest cameras for filmmakers. One standout is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera – priced at $2,995. With its 2.5K image sensor and wide dynamic rage, it claims to offer the sought after “feature film look from a true digital film camera.”

The back has a 5″ touchscreen that lets you see the shot and playback your sequence. You can also enter the shot info and metadata – which gets stored in the files & can be accessed by non-linear editing software (compatible with Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve). Their camera housing can also take Canon and Zeiss mount lenses.

Here’s the official press release.

Other reviews of this camera: Gizmag, DP Review.

Amazon Studios Wants Your Movie or Screenplay

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Amazon (yes – that Amazon) is getting into the movie biz. Amazon Studios was just launched as a place where budding filmmakers and screenwriters can submit their work for cash and prizes. A combined $2.7 million in monthly and annual awards will be doled out in this program’s inaugural year.

Amazon Studios will also partner up with a major Hollywood studio. Here’s the gist:

Amazon Studios has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, which means we’ll be presenting our top projects to Hollywood’s biggest studio for consideration as theatrical feature films. And winners of the Amazon Studios Annual Awards won’t just get money—they’ll also get a meeting with Warner Bros. development executives. [from Amazon Studios home page]

Deadline for submission is January 31, 2011. Click here to get started. You should first read their FAQ’s – especially your rights. (fyi…you’ll be entering into an 18 month, exclusive development agreement with Amazon Studios – but you’ll get paid!)