August 20th, 2019
A TRIBUTE TO STAN LEE
Stan Lee obituary
The co-creator of Marvel Comics superheroes including Spider-Man and the X-Men who took them on to TV and film success
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The comic book writer Stan Lee, who has died aged 95, revolutionized his industry in the 1960s, when he created the mythic figures that are still inspiring new generations to flock to the cinema. Lee’s creations – Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, most of the Avengers (Hulk, Iron Man, Thor), Daredevil and Doctor Strange – helped to rescue the costumed superhero from obscurity and to usher in the silver age of American comic books.
Stan Lee: Spider-Man, X-Men and Avengers creator dies aged 95Superhero comics had collapsed in popularity after the second world war – their golden age – and the introduction of the comics code in 1954 had outlawed crime and horror comics with any real bite. Lee, then an editor with Martin Goodman’s Atlas Comics, watched the industry folding up around him but kept Atlas going with a small staff and the tales of the romantic adventuress Millie the Model and wild west gunslinger Kid Colt. He grew tired of churning out dozens of semi-literate scripts each month, however. When he was on the point of quitting, his wife, Joan, suggested: “Before you do, why don’t you do one book the way you would like to do it? The worst that happens is Martin will fire you, and so what? You want to quit anyway.”
Should I Go to Film School
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Steven Spielberg’s advice for aspiring filmmakers
“If you get bitten by that bug you can make a lot of little movies and somehow those films will get seen by people hopefully that will hire you to do a music video someday, or a TV commercial, or a television show or someday a feature film.”
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS TO READ.
1. THE FILMAKER'S HAND BOOK - BY STEVEN ASCHER & EDWARD PINCUS
2. DIGITAL MOVIEMAKING - BY SCOTT BILLUPS
3. FROM REEL TO DEAL - BY DOV S-S SIMENS
4. FEATURE FILMMAKING AT USED CAR PRICES - BY RICK SCHMIDT
5. THE EVERYTHING FILMMAKING BOOK - BY BARB KARG, RICK SUTHERLAND
It started at St. Charles' Arcada Theatre in 2013 with 34 films. The owner let us use the theater for free. In 2014, we took it to New York. This year, it will include more than 100 films that cover all types of horses and horse people, from "long riders" (people who ride 1,000 miles or more on single journeys to wild-mustang trainers.
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MYA AND MALIA'S YOUTUBE PRODUCTION
This weeks audio blog features two sisters that have a youtube channel and they talk about their video production and how they produce their video. Mya and Malia inspires kids their age.
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IS YOUR AUDIO READY FOR YOUR FILM
Good audio requires not only good gear, but also a good ear to know what your sound should be sounding like. We talk with ED McNeil an audio production professional who has worked in the field of audio and music production. He gives us his insight on working on audio for documentary films. I have personally used Ed's studio for work on my two documentaries Free Spirits - Saving America's Wild Horses and Electronic Crack Film
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DISCUSSING THE PRODUCTION OF THE FILM PEPPERMINT. WE HAVE STEPHANIE PINER ON TODAY.
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After her beloved husband and precious young daughter are killed in a brutal attack, Riley North (Jennifer Garner) is shattered. She seeks justice through the legal system. But what is she to do when the murderers are shielded by that very same system. see the trailer for Peppermint, Riley cannot simply forgive and forget. She sets out to transform herself, so that justice may be served, even as the underworld, the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI try to stop her.
JOHN – THE HUMAN STUDIO
FILMMAKER: JOSEPH PINER AND CANON XC 15
JOSEPH PINER WITH NEW DOCUMENTARY IN THE MAKING.
John Smith now known as “John The Human Studio” is 50 years old and lives with mental illness. John inspires the town of Elkton, Maryland and anyone he comes in contact with. This is because of John’s great personality and the fact that he never gives up on life.
As a filmmaker I wanted to have a very touching, but educational film about mental illness. I thought what better way of talking about mental illness and dispel some of the myths and stigma that comes with mental illness. John is the perfect person to follow through this film. When I first talked to John I had no idea that I wanted to do a film about mental illness, but after 30 minutes talking to John I said this is one film I must do. I was deeply touched by the stories John had told me. I knew that this was going to be a film, where I would have to rely heavily on interviews inter cut with lots of B Roll shots and archival footage. Given the subject matter I also knew that there wouldn’t be a lot of archival footage, but more of an interview-driven documentary. I also knew that it would be a challenge to get the local mental health department involved with this film with the sensitive subject of patients with mental illness. The good news is, is that I would have full access to John and his daily life.
John being filmed at church while he worships at his church.
John – The Human Studio directed by Joseph Piner and produced by CineFocus & Media Productions. This 60 minute documentary will be filmed and produced for TV distribution. As my more notable film Free Spirits – Saving America’s Wild Horses had a soft release in some theaters throughout the United States and most recent film Electronic Crack Film that is currently screening internationally. For each interview I approached differently to strike their own mood. Some will be happy, some will be sad, and most of all the professionals in the field of mental illness will be more clinical.
John shows off his Elvis Presley outfit
Throughout the film, there will be lots of scenes with John. I found out right away that he doesn’t like to give an interview talking about mental illness and using the term crazy. He likes to say inferior and he is bothered by bugs and insects, so anytime we filmed John outside we made sure to stay clear of bugs, because he would stop the interview and we wanted it to be as natural as possible. Other than that John loves the camera.
Filmmaker Joseph Piner talks to his sound guy about audio settings.
Filming with the Canon XC 4K 15 has two professional XLR audio inputs and I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge to get good audio, so we had an internship student to work with off camera sound. Johnny Martinez came to me and wanted to start learning about filmmaking, so I took him on and began teaching all that I knew about documentary filmmaking. I have the Tascam DR 701D Field Recorder and I let Johnny put it to work.nt
TASCAM DR 701D FIELD RECORDER
Johnny Martinez checking levels before working sound outside of church scene.
We have a very small crew this time for this documentary, so pretty much all we have is Johnny working sound, which is okay because filming on the Canon 4K XC 15 is small and lightweight. My last 2 films I had people to work sound, lights, and second camera. What has happened is that they moved to the State of Florida. I do have Mike Ingram who is a photographer for behind the scenes and production photos. As a matter of fact, Mike took these photos. I also have Howard Isenberg who has worked professionally in the substance abuse and mental health field for many years. Howard is going to be a crucial part of this film as he has already been in consulting with me to make sure I get the subject of mental illness right.
CANON 4K UHD XC 15
Why I chose canon XC 15 UHD 4K camera, because of its small size and 4K capability. Capturing John at his most intimate moments with the Canon XC 4K 15 has been a joy. I have worked with many different cameras over my filmmaking career and I can tell you that you have to be ready for anything when filming a documentary. This little gem of a camera is allowing me to do just that. The XC 15 is providing a cost - effective way to produce documentary films. The cost of this camera at the time was $2499.00 this is not so bad as it comes with as I mentioned earlier it has two professional XLR audio inputs and shoots 4K and its color science is excellent. You can use this camera alongside of its much bigger brother The Canon C300 as a B – camera and match the shots. I have more expensive cameras back at my studio, such as my Blackmagic Ursa Mini.
Here is a more in detail description of the Canon 4K XC 15 by Canon Corporation.
The Canon XC15 4K UHD Camcorder incorporates a Canon 4K video lens that leverages proprietary Canon optical technologies derived from years of experience in developing Cinema, Broadcast and EF Series lenses. This 10x wide-angle optical zoom lens offers a focal range of 24.1–241mm for photos and 27.3–273mm for movies. The use of UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) and Hi-UD lens elements helps compensate for chromatic aberrations and provides a compact size ideal for on-the-go reporting and recording. An innovative retractable lens barrel structure integrating internal guide bars helps facilitate precise lens movement during zooming, while only extending the lens barrel by a mere 36.2mm.
The only issue with this camera I think I will face is its fixed lens and one inch sensor. Most all filmmakers want that blurred out background and I am no exception to that rule. Working with the Canon XC 15 will put me through that challenge. So far I have managed to get the blurred of background in most shots by zooming the lens in, which also increases the F – Stop numbers making the image darker. How I plan on compensating for this. I will use the internal ND filter and also put an ND filter on the matt – box and this will allowed me to use a smaller F- stop. So far so good.
On this audio blog post we talk about our new documentary film John - The Human Studio I took 10 minutes out to talk about why I decided to make a documentary film about a small town hero called John - The Human Studio that focuses on mental illness.
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As independent filmmakers we are all wrapped up in producing our films and ready to share with the world, but we loose touch with a very important part of filmmaking and that is marketing our films. We have a special guess Joe Annechino with us today to share his experiences as a person who has spent many years marketing big budget films. Listen to our conversation here.
Every filmmaker wants to see their film screened on the big screen to be noticed and picked up for distribution, but every filmmaker is not lucky enough to have this happen, so that idea goes out the window. After all who has the time to watch everything on the big screen. Many academy members, TV programming members, and distributors prefer to view these films in their own living rooms. Their is some evidence that attendance at academy screening are way down. In the '80s, and '90s, distributors sent out VHS tapes, then DVDs and Blu-rays to members of the Academy Of Motion Pictures. Now their is no excuse to not have your film screened. Screener Copy Company is providing a way for filmmakers to send their film out to anyone at a very reasonable price. Screener Copy gives the filmmaker and viewer a singular, secure, hassle-free way to send copies of their hard work they have put into making their films. This is a great way to build buzz and secure killer coverage. Using a screening company like Screener Copy let's you safestream and protects your screener through forensic like technology by placing a invisible watermark on each copy with the viewers own unique ID. I personnally use Screener Copy for all my film screeners and I have had great experiences with both viewer and Screen Copy. Sceener Copy also has great customer service. whenever I didn't quite know something or had any issue they were right on it and resolved the problem right away.
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INSPIRED TO FILM
THIS BLOG POST IS ALL ABOUT GETTING INSPIRED TO MAKE FILMS
NEW MICRO CINEMA CAMERA FROM Z CAM
April 9th I did a blog on Blackmagic's New Pocket Cinema 4K camera this camera is very promising for indie filmmakers all over the world. Today we take a look at Z Cam's new E2 Cinema Camera. These are two very different cinema cameras that should produce very good film like footage. Take a look at B&H's video below at NAB 2018. Don't forget to subscribe and share this blog for the latest news on everything filmmaking.
The new Z CAM E2 Cinematic Micro Four Thirds camera replacement of the Z CAM E1 model leaked online prior to the official announcement at the 2018 NAB show next week. The camera specifications are:
Z Cam the relatively new Camera company from Shenzhen, China has announced the Z MSRP $1,999.00 USD. It is not a direct replacement for their ambitious but Z E1 . The new camera is a beast specs wise with up to 120fps 4k and full HD 1080p at 240fps. The codecs will be H.264 and H.265 at 10 bit but no RAW support so far which might be acceptable if the codec is clean enough and their promised Log Flat curve preserves the estimated 13.5 stops of dynamic range.
The camera is still being developed for a June 2018 estimated ship date. It lacks a back screen and relies on a Wifi or Gigabit Ethernet link to their dedicated control application. They intend to support iOS devices and or a PC client. No mention of Android support or Mac which should be included in order to maintain the widest compatibility. We feel lacking Android control is a big deal and should be promised in a future update. It is also unclear if the camera will be possible to use by using a touch screen field monitor which probably will not be the case. Using an iPhone or
Blackmagic are teasing a new 4K Pocket Cinema Camera that we suspect is going to be announced at NAB on Monday morning. A banner was put up outside the Las Vegas Convention Centre today. While it doesn’t show a clear image of what the camera looks like, it is clear that it doesn’t resemble the original BMPCC.
digital film technology into the palm of your hand! The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has a 4/3 size sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range and dual native ISO up to 25,600. That means you get stunning HDR images and incredible low light performance! The external controls give you quick access to essential functions, while the large 5 inch touchscreen makes it easy to frame shots, focus accurately and change camera settings. Images are recorded onto standard SD/UHS-II or CFast 2.0 cards in RAW and ProRes at up to 120 frames per second! In addition, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has an MFT lens mount, built-in microphones, mini XLR input, full sized HDMI, 3D LUT support, Bluetooth, USB-C Expansion Port and more!
FILMING IN TIGHT SPACES
Filming in tight spaces can be a big challenge when using film gear. With today's tools must filmmakers can buy film gear at a reasonable price. As filmmakers we come into all kinds of situations to film in. Now we have small cinema cameras that can produce a big budget look. Today we take a look at the Z Camera E1. This is a small cinema camera with interchangeable lens system and a Micro four - thirds sensor.
I have always liked the Blackmagic cinema cameras. As it turns out many independent filmmakers & companies, also are impressed with the Blackmagic cinema camera brand. There have been a number of films and TV projects that these cameras have been used in major Hollywood films and independent films. Blackmagic Design gear used to help make more than 20 films this summer. The older model The pocket camera has been used on some of this year’s biggest action films. Such films like “Jason Bourne” and the opening action scene on the “Ben-Hur” epic, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and the new Micro Cinema Camera are natural choices for capturing action scene and to be used as crash cameras. These little cameras are chosen by Hollywood directors, because they are small and can fit in places that the bigger cinema camera, will not saving lots of time, while the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has 13 stops of dynamic range making it able to produce a cinematic look good enough for a Hollywood film. Here is a link https://shotonwhat.com/cameras/blackmagic-pocket-cinema-camera
I shoot independent full feature documentaries for release in theaters and TV shows. When I see Hollywood utilizing all the features that these cameras have to offer, I get very excited. Sometimes you will see the cameras fully rigged out, which looks like something from the future. Almost all the time if these cameras are rigged out you will see a mounted baseplate or shoulder mount. Rods in the front and sometimes in the back to support the large cinema lenses with a follow focus. A matte box or a swing away matte box. These cameras usually have a large brick battery on the back. I all most all the time film this way. You can see a picture of my rigged blackmagic Ursa Mini at top of this page.
Check out the opening scene that was shot on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Yes even Hollywood still likes the look of the Blackmagic Pocket camera
What’s The Big Deal About The Blackmagic Cinema Cameras
The URSA Mini Pro, a professional digital film camera that combines the incredible image quality of URSA Mini 4.6K with the features and controls of a traditional broadcast camera! You get a massive number of ergonomically designed controls on the side of the camera so you can adjust most settings by feel, and without ever having to take your eyes off the action. URSA Mini Pro also features built in ND filters, a status display and a revolutionary new interchangeable lens mount that lets you change between EF photographic lenses or PL, B4 and F mount lenses. URSA Mini Pro records up to 60 fps and features dual C-Fast 2.0 recorders as well as dual SD/UHS-II Card recorders. URSA Mini Pro is lightweight and comfortable enough to use all day, has controls that are extremely fast to use, and image quality that’s far superior to broadcast cameras costing ten times more!
The Blackmagic Ursa Mini cameras use C Fast Cards
CFast cards can perform data transfers at a speed of about 600 MB/s, the same as a high-end SSD. This makes them ideal for 4K video and other bandwidth heavy applications. Especially when compared to SD cards, which max out at less than half of that speed. Even the interface of the CFast cards is becoming useful even if you don’t want the cards, because of its use of SATA bus, making it compatible with SSDs.
I very much enjoyed my time shooting Electronic Crack Film mostly with the BLACKMAGIC URSA MINI AND BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA. Shooting 4K footage gives you a lot of framing choices, the images look superb, and the camera is a work of art.The original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera still holds plenty of value and is one of the best cameras in its price range) with tons of recording formats, RAW, and many more) and a sensor with a micro 4/3 makes a great camera to use many different lenses with an adapter. With the professional quality and price range of the Blackmagic cameras, I will definitely be shooting my next full feature documentary on one of these cameras.
RECORDING FOLEY SOUNDS
A person on this blog wanted me to go a little further in recording sound. I thought it would be a good idea to show how foley sounds are made and how they are used. I recorded this foley sound from a fan in a house. It would be more ideal to record in a dedicated sound room for foley recording, but I used this simple house fan for the example.The footage is from youtube that had people talking while they were recording the helicopter. I just took the original sound out and replaced it with the foley sound from the house fan. I hope this can shine a little more light on recording sound.
PROTECTING YOUR GEAR
An inexpensive alternative to the Pelican case
The Pelican brand name has made a very good name for itself in protecting it's content once locked up inside. These cases are made very well. For those of us who are on tight budgets, we tend to look for much more inexpensive gear and cases, providing that these items meet or come close to the more expensive items. Here are two case both with the same dimensions is size, but with a different price tag. The blue case is a Porta Brace Hard case Model# PB-2400 Price $69.99 and The Black case is The Apache 3800 case bought at Harbor freight Price $39.99
Both cases are rugged and come with the foam. It is important to protect your gear. I feel very comfortable putting my cinema lenses in the Apache 3800 case. Once the foam was cut to fit these lenes the lenses held up nicely as we have been taking them on film shoots for our film Electronic Crack Film
We would love to hear about your alternative to inexpensive gear or cases.
Today we are talking about establishing shots for your scene. It is generally a long or extreme-long shot at the beginning of a scene indicating where, and sometimes when, the remainder of the scene takes place. In this establishing shot, we used the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City to set the scene in New York. This is only a short clip of the establishing shot.
The Brooklyn Bridge is a bridge in New York City and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. This Bridge is an icon and has been featured in many films. One such film that comes to mind is John Wick 2.
What is your famous establishing shot and in what film?
STABILIZING THE SHOT
It is one thing to get the best visuals & audio that you can get, but just as important is having steady shots in your film if that is what you are going for. We used a few cameras and stabilizing equipment in our film Electronic Crack Film. The cell phone footage of behind the scenes demo straights stabilizing your footage. We have the Z camera E 1 attached to the Beholder 1 stabilizer and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera on the Slider. These cameras were used as b roll and the Blackmagic sometimes as the B camera/ 2nd camera. The Blackmagic Ursa Mini was used as our main camera/ A camera.
This interview was shot with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. We shot in ProRes LT because it was a long interview and we wanted to save space on our SD cards. While ProRes LT saves more space, because it uses more compression, it still manages to produce a good looking image.
Here is a before and after shot once the footage was color corrected.