Why Star Wars? From idea to obsession

I love Star Wars. (As an aside, you have to see the fan-made HD recreation

of the original theatrical release!). What is fascinating for me, as a filmmaker, is ‘The Dissolves’ look into the process behind Star Wars and how it became the global phenomenon.

The piece covers some old territory but offers new insights.

Exciting, and makes me want to watch it again!

Can payment and piracy co-exist?

This week BitTorrent the ‘not only used by pirates, honestly’ software platform BitTorrent introduced a potentially revolutionary payment system. The idea is as such: give a 90% cut of all sales to the content makers/providers, all around a model that features a flexible model: you can take some content for free, get some behind a paywall.

This is an exciting alternative, and coming onto a platform that already is nestled into the hard drive of millions of media consumers (if not purchasers).

There is going to be a slow rollout of artists and features, and I think access is currently

limited, but, I expect that this will be another face of the ‘new distribution’ world we live in.

Don’t try this at home – how 4k presents a challenge to the animation business

BBC points out something that had been nestled deep in the back of my mind – if you are producing animation, and want to produce it at 4k, you’re going to need a LOT of horsepower to crunch the bits and bytes!

Coupling this with the earlier post from today (where it was pointed out that technology leads in industry) we have to start wondering… if you are an animator, will you be able to produce content at home?

Food for thought.

4 trends from AFM

Over on the Ted Hope blog Ben Yennie has an article about 4 trends (primarily in distribution) he noticed during the American Film Market (AFM).

Also worth noting is his first sentence:

Despite the growing trend towards self-distribution, AFM is still a hugely important event in the industry

How long will that sentence remain true?

But, on to the body of his article, where he picks his trends. I’m happy to see that Asia is one! Yippee for me (I am in Japan!). Read the article for the details.

Tutorial: Using DigitalJuice Revealers with FCPX

I’m starting up a new series on YouTube of Final Cut Pro X tutorials and DigitalJuice products.

I’ve been a DigitalJuice user/subscriber for years, but, their tutorials for using their products with FCPX are pretty lacking. (read: almost non-existent).

In this first one I take a quick look at using their ‘Revealers’, with compound clips, alpha channels, etc, to create a quick and easy interesting lower third title reveal.

Heed and Read – Google’s research on movie goers

Google did research on movie goers – why they go, how they choose, etc etc.

And they put together a cool infographic with their findings.

This kind of information is vital to the indie filmmaker/marketer as we don’t have the money to do blanket marketing. This infographic will point you in the right direction(s) to target audience awareness.

Though you have to wonder why Google is doing this!

Get the full infographic here


Amazing Masterclass in Guerilla Shooting (on a GH4!)

Sherif Mokbel has shot a great little short film using a Panasonic GH4.

But, perhaps more important to the world of indie filmmakers than his finished project is his incredible generosity in detailing every aspect of this shoot, from planning to post.

This is a one page on-set masterclass. I truly learned a lot about process and technique from this post!

Thank you Sherif!

Oh, and the film looks great.

Jim Henson turned Art in Money

Jim Henson is, and should be, an inspiration to anyone who wants to take their ideals and passions along with them as they travel down a road of success.

Henson, as we all know, created the wonderful puppets for the Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and a myriad of other TV shows and movies. The company he founded – Jim Henson’s Creature Shop – continues to do so.

But what is truly inspiring about Henson was his unswerving belief in his art and his following of it. He is proof that you can follow your art and heart and build a career.

Over at LongReads is a beautiful piece on Henson and this aspect of his career. Reading it it is important to note that Henson had ideals, but was not an idealist. He did not avoid commerciality, he embraced it, but on his terms.

You really should be asking yourself WHY you are doing what you’re doing. Why do you want to be in the film business? What drives you (and what are you good at)?

The stuff dreams and mansions are made of….

The Director’s Visual Script Breakdown

Good article over on the curiously named ‘Waondering’ (ah! I get it ‘wandering and wondering’!) blog about how directors break down a script visually for shooting. It’s just a brief introduction, but it gives some examples and can get you started on this fascinating and useful practice! This, combined with the trend to do animatics, might help you flesh out not only your visuals, but also your story.

It’s a lot cheaper to experiment on paper than on set!