Reading: “…GFEM link funders…

December 24th, 2008

Reading: “…GFEM link funders with filmmakers” –

Create an Animated Film with Moviestorm (Free Software)

December 18th, 2008

Moviestorm provides a complete animation movie-making package useful for the novice to the professional animator. It uses video-game-like Machinima 3-D animation technology first made famous by underground community of gamers. I see its minimal use for filmmakers as a free alternative to buying Frame Forge storyboarding software (retail costs: $100-400). You can create your scenes in a 3-D storyboard; save time & money in virtual test sets and get an idea if certain scenes will work on your actual shoot.

Moviestorm’s parent company is UK based Short Fuze – game design production consultancy house that produced the Machinima short demo film, titled, No Licence.  Here’s how they describe their movie-making tool:

Moviestorm is a fully integrated complete solution that takes the user all the way from initial concept to finished, distributed movies. Its ease of use makes it accessible for first time movie-makers, while its advanced features and compatibility with existing tools make it suitable for pro-am users. It allows individuals and groups to create many different types of movies; from comedies, music videos, video blogs, soaps, drama and documentaries, through to high-quality complex movies that traditionally have only been affordable to fully funded film-makers. Our goal is to make Moviestorm the ubiquitous platform of choice for animated movie production. ” [from Shortfuze]

They have basic tutorials to help you get started. The initial software suite is free and they constantly update their content packs – giving users new sets, characters and themes. More premium sets are also available for a fee.

Here’s a sample clip from one of its users:

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DV Cameras Comparison Guides

December 10th, 2008

Are you trying to decide what DV camera to use/buy/rent on your next film? Check out these valuable sources which sort numerous options for you.

+ Slash Cam has 83 models in a database with sort able filters for you to compare different camera models. It has every conceivable category for you to choose from.

+ HD Cinema: HD and Digital Cinema Camera Blog has another CHART. This is a straight up list from cameraman, Ben Cain which includes some of the higher end DV cameras like the VariCams, The Red One and the Genesis. He also adds another list from Fletcher Camera (PDF file).

And last but not least… Zacuto, the Chicago based camera house has a great ‘comparison’ video (via Vimeo) that compares all of the new HD cameras on the market to each other in a same scene, same lighting set-up comparison test. Check it out (below):

+ “Zacuto’s Great Camera Shootout ’08”

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YouTube PROJECT: DIRECT Can Get You to Sundance ‘09

November 17th, 2008

2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival and Youtube’s short film competition can send you there with PROJECT: DIRECT. The winner will go to the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and meet with Sundance’s Director of Programming, screen your film to a live audience, plus $2,500 cash. Submissions, no longer than 5 minutes long are due by December 14, 2008.

Here’s the gimmick: Your entry must include two props from their list – plus a red telephone. There are 25 props samples to choose from. Each represent a classic Sundance Film Festival film – i.e. a hockey stick from Clerks, an instant photo from Memento, a bunny suit from Donnie Darko, etc. Here’s the FAQs.

For the full rundown, check out the clip below from writer/director Darren Aronofsky [IMDB]:

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Documentary Filmmaking Tutorials from ‘FourDocs’

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.

DETAILS Mag & NEHST Studios Want Your Film Pitch

October 31st, 2008

NEHST Studios and Details Magazine are collaborating on a project to produce a film with you. Yes you! NEHST, whose founder produced Sling Blade [imdb] and Details, a men’s lifestyle and fashion magazine want your film pitch.

Here’s the gist:

The DETAILS/NEHST Movie Project is a unique initiative that enables aspiring filmmakers the access to get their film made. Anyone who has a movie idea can “pitch” their idea via this website. DETAILS and NEHST will then review the submissions and if they find the right project, they’ll greenlight the idea. The DETAILS/NEHST collaboration allows those wanting to break into film—or those just toying with a movie idea—to bypass the red tape of Hollywood and have their ideas reviewed by real producers.” [from the official DETAILS/NEHST Movie Project site]

If you have a script, treatment or just an idea for a film – they are interested in hearing from you. Go to their official “how-to pitch page” and submit your idea. There’s a $10 submission/administration fee – but that will also get you a one year subscription to Details Magazine.

Film on Facebook Debuts First Movie

October 15th, 2008

Facebook is now embracing independent filmmakers with their FILM ON Facebook project. According to its official page, it’s described as “a place to interact with other filmmakers and movie-goers on Facebook and to share your experiences about marketing your film on Facebook.” It was first announced at this year’s SXSW Film Festival and now will finally premiere its first movie: One Track Mind, (a surfer flick shot on 16mm film – created by Woodshed Films).

The film will debut exclusively on Facebook on October 16-17, 2008 via the Kyte video application. Check out the 2 minute trailer by clicking below:

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The Super 16 Digital Alternative – Ikonoskop A-cam dII

September 27th, 2008

The digital revolution in filmmaking started several years ago, but it wasn’t until the Red One camera came along that a true comparable alternative to 35mm film was introduced to the filmmaking community. Now, another camera is jumping in the fold. What the Red One is attempting to do to replace the 35mm film market – the Swedish company, Ikonoskop is taking a similar course for the Super 16. The new Ikonoskop digital motion picture camera: A-cam dII is shaping to take that market segment for under $10k – semi-affordable for the indie filmmaker.

Like digital Super-16 — A-cam dII’s Super-16 sized sensor opens up for the use of Super-16 mm lenses. This enables you to use the best cine and prime lenses available. Our sensor and the technology around A-cam dII is built on the knowledge and experience from our much acclaimed A-cam SP-16 motion picture camera.” [Excerpt from ]

The camera records in 1920 x 1080 pixels on to an 80 GB memory cartridge which has a capacity of 15 minutes of footage, audio and metadata. Its compact size is ideal for documentary filmmaking. Check out all the specs on Ikonoskop’s official website.

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New Film Distribution Site – MeDeploy

September 15th, 2008

MeDeploy is a new online distribution platform that gives filmmakers and digital content creators a tool to monetize their work. It provides an API that utilizes distribution integration into all types of web outlets like blogs, social networks, widgets, mobile applications, etc. MeDeploy’s Distribution Dashboard allows users to manage all their sales and distribution points in one interface. All this with pricing consideration for indie filmmakers versus the more expensive “professional” scale reserved film distributors & TV networks.

Deliver pay-media content into consumer’s eager hands – easily and economically. MeDeploy’s unique revenue share model enables content holders to build a digital video distribution business with a distribution platform that scales as business grows. All without risk, or the exorbitant costs usually associated with launching a digital media business.”  [from MeDeploy’s Overview page]

The site was just launched last week at the DEMO conference. Here’s Christian Taylor – MeDeploy’s founder & CEO explaining the site’s features at the conference (click below for the video clip):

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Filmmaking Tricks – Using a Rubber Band for a Smooth Pan Shot

September 11th, 2008

Here’s another simple low-budget trick with a rubber band that stabilizes your tripod for a smooth panning effect. I found this (again) via brusspup’s Channel on Metacafé.

Check it out…