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 OpenCulture.com 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.

50 Shades of Orange and Blue

Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed it.

Everything has come up all orange and blue recently. Especially movie posters, but also the movies behind them.

Over at ‘priceonomics.com’ Rosie Cima examines the trend and quotes some interesting studies into the phenomenon. It’s a great article that has advice to us as filmmakers (and especially those of us working in post-production like colour grading): there’s a whole spectrum of colours out there. Use them.

Good read. And don’t forget to click through to the other articles she sources.

John Carpenter on Creating a Terrifying Music Score

John Carpenter is cool. I was always inspired that not only did he direct his films but he wrote the scores!

Recently Carpenter gave an interview to NPR ahead of his latest solo album(!) release. Carpenter goes into the nuts and bolts of composing scary themes.

Cool SF on no(low) budget? Yes, it’s possible!

Over at NoFilmSchool.com they’ve got a tip of the hat to the guys at Hive Division, an indie production house in a tiny town in Northern Italy! Yes, I want to live and work there! 🙂

Anyway, the guys at Hive created this rather awesome 12 minute Sci-Fi short on no/low budget and it looks friggin amazing! It shows that if you know your way around VFX yourself you can get amazing value for money.

On the page is the short film as well as a (all too short!) look at the making of.

Inspiring!

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.

Viva ADR!

I’m a fan of ADR. I’ve never believed that it is not practical for low budget. I’ve used it myself on 3 shorts.

John Hess over at Filmmaker IQ gives us a nice historical and practical video about the subject, including some tips. I think he glosses over some of the nitty gritty – especially room size and reverb simulation – but, for 12 minutes its a pretty solid intro.

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.

1 Page Film School: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Now this is cool.

Editor Vashi Nedomansky seemingly has an obsession with Raiders of the Lost Ark. He has compiled what he calls a ‘1 Page Film School’ about the landmark Lucas/Speilberg picture. He has assembled video clips and PDF downloads that cover many aspects of the production (and post-production) of the film.

It is incredibly informative to get this information together in a single place and it is especially great that this is all from an industry, not fan, point of view.

Well done, Vashi!