Make it Count: Visualizing Your Story

Stumbled across the very exciting blog ‘The Client Blog’ and their ‘The Art of Thirty Second Storytelling’. Principally focused on the art of the commercial every last word of this blog post can be applied to short films (and longer works) of any ilk.

It exciting, compelling reading well put together with loads of examples.

It’s all about thinking about WHY you are choosing the shot you are using (and from there, why are you combining these shots into this particular sequence). It should always serve your story.


Roll Titles: The Legacy of Saul Bass

Sometimes (perhaps more often than we care to admit) the titles are the best thing about a movie.

Such could have been the case with many films with title sequences by Saul Bass.

Over at they’ve got a short piece about the influential title-meister and include the link to the amazing hour long compilation of this astounding works of visual art.

If you love design, or classic movies, or want to infuse either element into YOUR films you owe it to yourself to give this a read and a watch.

Amazing editor get nominated for Vimeo award

Maybe you’re not one of the 2.5million people who’ve watched Leonardo Dalessandri’s inspiring ‘Watchtower of Turkey’. Just in case let me tell you it’s a stunning piece of imagery.

But, since this blog is about filmmaking and not just pretty pictures I want to link in this article from – a great site dedicated to Final Cut Pro.

The article is an in-depth look on how Dalessandri made this compelling piece. He claims to have a basic ‘ABC’ knowledge of editing, but, as you can see he made fine use of FCPX and what was available to him.

It’s always great to have real-world examples going from source footage to final edit. Enjoy!

FilmRiot’s 10 Online Resources

Ryan Connolly is one lazy bastard. For the FilmRiot Christmas Day episode, instead of making an amazing tutorial video like he usually does he decided to give us a top 10 list and spend the rest of the time with his family. I’m personally offended.

The good news is that the Top 10 Online Resources list is pretty amazing. Some of these things I knew (eg I’m a member of the Shane Hulbert Insider site) but some I didn’t. All of them are sites you should be visiting often, as most of them contain great tutorials. Of course, you should also be subscribed to the FilmRiot YouTube channel. Ryan is probably one of the most inspiring filmmaking YouTubers out there.

It’s a great video.

Ryan’s list is this:

Kiana Jones SFX:…


Cinematographer Style Documentary:…

Indie Filmmaker: Lighting Tutorial and Samples:…

Video Copilot:


The Art of Color Correction:

SoundWorks Collection:

Hurlbut Visuals:

Virtual Lighting Studio:

Great tutorial on image composition

Ryan Connolly over at FilmRiot recently recommended this tutorial and it is pretty amazing. In 30 minutes it teaches you pretty much everything you need to know about composing your scenes. It is aimed at 3d/Computer Graphics artists, but, since filmmakers in a sense ARE 3d graphic artists I found everything Andrew Price says in this tutorial spot on.

Andrew breaks down the tutorial into 3 principles – Focal Element (what you are looking at), Structure (where you put it) and Balance (how it fits in with the rest of the scene). Master this – or at least be aware of it – and your images (still, animated, live action video) will be that much more appealing. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d do a matching video with film examples, but, I am lazy.

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.

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.

What is the world coming to? Amazing VFX package for $299?

Ok, I know I know. I said I wouldn’t talk about sales or things like that. But, there is this amazing VFX package called HitFilm. They have version 3 coming out in a few weeks. Version 2 is already pretty bloody amazing.

I think it is incredible to think that for $300 or so you can get something that, honestly, will rival some of the best VFX packages out there. There will, of course, be subtle things – and it’s the subtle things that create the truly realistic and stunning VFX – that you can’t do. But, for short filmmakers and indie features it’s hard to see how this thing can be beat.

Well worth having in your arsenal.

The power of color correction in FCPX aka Larry Jordan is amazing

I will make no bones about the fact that I think Larry Jordan is one of the best educators in the realm of editing and color correction. In this video he goes over the color correction capabilities built into FCPX. I post this in response to people who say you need to get fancy (read: expensive) plugins to do this. (I’ll set aside the amazing Davinci Resolve for now).

Larry doesn’t (seem) to go for flash – he just gives you the tools and knowledge to make solid, great looking, footage. And competent, compelling edits. Go to Larry’s site and get his amazing tutorials. I get no fee – I just love the content!

I’m going to jump to the most amazing demonstration (at the end) but I strongly suggest you watch the whole thing.

A day in the life of an assistant editor

You can totally see why the public at large has no idea what anyone’s role is that is involved in making movies and tv, beyond the director and screenwriter. Most people in the industry couldn’t tell you either!

Well, I stumbled across this weird blog call ‘Early Call Time’ that has an interesting look at what an assistant editor on a tv show does every day. It’s a nerdy insight into logging and project handling.

We need more blogs like this, that give real world examples and insights into the processes and tools that are needed to complete a professional product!