Monday, February 25, 2013

No Entry Fee Film Festivals

I support film festivals charging to submit your film. Why?  I have been involved in running a film festival and they cost money to put on, there is no way around it.  But if you have spent all your money on making the film and you want to get it out there, here are some that can get you started. This is a valuable resource for film makers!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Send Files Up to 1 Terabyte for Free with SoShare

Soshare s a public beta that evolved out of a simple need. As coders, designers, content creators, and film makers we have to deliver large files on a daily basis.  And still: there’s no media delivery service for people who work in media. You can’t fit everything into an attachment. Syncing services have caps. Delivery services have limits. Not SoShare.  This service is still in Beta, I have not had change to try it yet but will check it out .

This is from their blog.

We’d like to share something with you.

We call it SoShare. It’s a simple, free file delivery service. And it’s a beautiful way to move big ideas around the web.
With SoShare, you can send files of any size. You can collaborate on media projects with friends and co-workers. Ideas are free. And so is SoShare. There are no caps or size limits on creativity.
Want to see how it works? Sign up. It’s free. We’ll be our home base for the stuff we share: stories, release notes, and product updates. Stay tuned.
—The SoShare Team

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our new film screening this weekend.

 Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival
Feb 21-March 2, We will be screening with Dakota 38, Fri. 22nd.
Our film "Its Good to be Home" is about a run away native youth finding his culture, using 3D animation and live acting to tell this story.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Should You Go to Film School?

I get asked this alot from people who come by the studio, "Did you go to school for this?".  I tell them that I didn't but that doesn't mean they shouldn't. 

I believe its about motivation, some folks spend the money they would of spent on film school in equipment and learn as they go. You have to push yourself to find resources etc.... with this method.

 I found this great website that gives the pro' and con's on the issue.

 Link    Should I go to film school?  by Ryan E. Walters

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

3D Modeling and Motion Capture Camera the Future of CG Animation?

I have been involved with animation and I am looking for new ways to create.  I came across this group of people who are going to try and change the way we input data with a motion capture camera.   They have a Kickstarter campaign going on now and it  looks like it is going real good for funding. 

A Kinect is a 3D imaging sensor that provides a raw feed of 3D points. The Lynx A produces detailed meshes, motion files, and 3D panoramas in real-time 

Check them out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Read a Film Script

It takes some practice to read and visualize a script.  People send me scripts to consider producing and often I need to break it down to figure out cost etc.... 

I was reading these notes from director Patrick Tucker that I think can help.  Everyone has their own method but this will hopefully give you some new idea's to take away.

If you want to read some scripts of released films, check out the Internet movie script data base

1: Read the script.
Take notes as you go, and at the end of the reading, write out your instant phrase that sums up what the script/episode is about in your Notebook of Ideas. (You can – and should – do this for each scene as well.)

2: Add tabs to the edge of the pages.

Go through the script, adding a tab to each scene, so you can easily and quickly get to any scene you want when studying the script.  If really keen, you can also colour each tab according to the location (such as all the scenes in the Pub could be yellow, making it easy for you to check all the Pub scenes for a particular reason).

3: Prepare the Location Chart.

Read through the script to prepare the chart, noting down how many locations there are, how long each scene will be in that location, and any problems that the location may pose.  This allows you to see where the weight of the filming will be.

4: Prepare the Actor Chart.

Go through the script noting down where each character appears, so you can create an overall pattern for the entire script.  This is useful to see who interacts with whom, and where. This also helps when an actor asks “Where do I next appear?”

5: Make the Prop list.

Go through the script carefully, noting down what particular properties you may require for each scene.  Note down any that may take time or money to obtain.

6: Do your Costume and Make-up Notes.

Go through each scene, making any notes that occur to you about costumes and make-up.  In particular, note down anything that may add time to the shoot –  such as the use of a prosthetic, blood, or someone washing their hair on camera (and so taking 1½ hours in the make-up chair for their hair to get back to “normal”).

7: Start planning the Extras List.

Go through the script to note down where your extras will appear, and start to note down what type of extra you would like:  what age, characterisation, costume, or activity that would contrast or echo the action going on in the scene.

8: Make the Shot Complication List.

Go through the script carefully to note down which scenes may attract a particularly difficult shot, with extra complexity such as a track or a crane or Steadicam – anything at all that would add texture, complication (and time) to your shoot.  Note down anything out of the ordinary, such as wanting to pull focus, the use of a very long zoon lens, filming in/on a moving car etc.

9: Read the script through once again.

Read it simply, with all the knowledge you have got from creating your lists, noting down any new thoughts in your Notebook of Ideas.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Footage with pixel sensor spot fix Canon 5d Mark ll

Canon 5d with pixel sensor spots

We received some video footage that was shot on a Canon 5d with dead pixel sensor spots on the footage.
It looks like little red dots and depending on the sensor problems it can be many or just a few.  This footage we were ask to work on had about 4 little red dots in a close cluster. Trying to build a mask to fix the problem was not working because of all the movement in the shot and it was hard to track.  We ended up fixing it using Photoshop CS6 which has a video editor in it now.  Its one frame at a time but the footage was saved,  use the clone feature.
Binary Recording Studio is a audio/video production company in Bellingham Wa.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Best way to clean your camera lens.

I have been on a shoot where I am changing my camera lenses and working real fast. Picking up dust etc... on my lenses and not paying attention when I put it back on the camera.  Then I notice in post that there is something in my shot that was on the lens.   Well after making that mistake once,  you don't want it to happen again.  Often the lenses cost more then the camera,  so they require some extra attention to provide you with that image you work hard for.

Here is a short video on the basics.

Binary Recording Studio is a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Its not how big it is that matters!

I  am fascinated by the use of  low cost tools to make engaging films.  A mentor of mine in the field of audio who had recorded some of the top musicians of the 70's and 80's told me "  its not the tools we use that make a hit record, they often get in the way of the process."  Of course this didn't make any sense to me at the time because the big recording studio was the way to make a hit song in my mind.

I have been on many big recording studio projects and film shoots over the years using some of the top cutting edge equipment etc......  What I have been seeing lately is some amazing things done with some simple tools that lighten the load and seem to provide more freedom to the recording engineer or film maker.
They say that when technology provides the tools of creation that are cheap enough for everyone the real artist will emerge?

With the venues that the internet platform has giving us for sharing our art, there has never been a better time as a artist to get out there and make it happen!


Binary Recording Studio a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Have indie films Recovered, top dollars from distributors?

A list of some of the acquisitions at Sundance.  Some pretty big names for indie film production companies? ( Sony, Fox, HBO, Magnolia Pictures) 
  1. The Way, Way Back: $9.75 Million, Fox Searchlight
  2. Don Jon’s Addiction$4 Million, Relativity Media ($25 million P&A)
  3. Austenland$4 Million, Sony
  4. Lovelace$3 Million, RADiUS – TWC
  5. Kill Your Darlings: $2 Million, Sony Pictures Classics
  6. Fruitvale$2.5 million, The Weinstein Company
  7. S-VHS: > $1 Million, Magnolia Pictures
  8. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints: $1 Million, IFC Films
  9. We Are What We Are: > $1 Million, eOne Distribution — US and Memento Films — International
  10. Concussion: > $1 Million, RADiUS-TWC
  11. The Spectacular Now: > $1 Million, A24
  12. Before MidnightUndisclosed, Sony Pictures Classics — North American and UK
  13. jOBS: Undisclosed, Open Road
  14. The Look of Love: Undisclosed, IFC Films
  15. NewlyweedsUndisclosed, Phase 4 Films — North America
  16. Prince AvalancheUndisclosed, Magnolia Pictures
  17. The Rambler: Undisclosed, Anchor Bay Films — North America, the U.K. and Australia
  18. Toy’s House: Undisclosed, CBS Films — North America
  19. Two MothersUndisclosed, Exclusive Releasing
  1. Blackfish: > $1 million, CNN Films and Magnolia Pictures
  2. Pussy Riot — A Punk Prayer: > $1 million, HBO Documentary Films
  3. The Summit: > $1 million, AMC Networks’ Sundance Selects
  4. Twenty Feet From Stardom: > $1 million, RADiUS-TWC
  5. Dirty Wars: Undisclosed, AMC Networks’ Sundance Selects
  6. History of the Eagles: Undisclosed, Showtime
  7. Inequality for All: Undisclosed, RADiUS-TWC
  8. The Machine Which Makes Everything DisappearUndisclosed, Icarus Films — North American rights

You don’t have to spend $20,000 on a camera.

Shane Carruth’s Sundance film this year was shot of a DSLR Gh2 Panasonic $1000 dollar camera.
Trailer below.

The real lesson to take away, is that the tools exist cheaply enough to get you a professional looking result. You don’t have to spend $20,000 on a camera, especially if a sub-$1,000 camera can get you 3/4 of the image quality. You don’t need to shoot on RED or Arri to get a movie into a bigger festival. 
The tools are in your hands so the next thing to do is tell a great story!

Binary Recording Studio is a Video / Audio Production Studio in Bellingham Wa.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

RØDE's New smartLav iOS Lavalier, iPhone Recorder.

This is a amazing way to use a iPhone for your audio recorder for a video shoot as a secondary system. Selling for $60 dollars.  I am looking forward in getting one. They are shipping it to their retailer now so you will be seeing these soon.  Here is the link to the free recording app called Rode Rec LE  and here is the link to the $5.99 version with more options  Rode Rec

                            Check out this video on some ways that it can be used:


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Color Correction Tips for Video Production

If you produce video's, color correction is part of your work flow.  Color correction for myself is most often fixing the look of a clip to match a previous clip or to create a look for the film or scene.  It has been a learning process for me with broadcast levels etc......   One thing for sure is the  software tools are getting better all the time.
This video clip I want to share gets into the basics which I think can really help.  Its a 27 min video by Steve Hullfish who has made many great documentaries. He talks about mixed media clips ( vintage footage mixed with new footage) how to use the scopes and how to get a great look.

Binary Recording Studio is a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Multi Track Field Recorder, 6 channels and stereo track

We often record multi tracks in the field for film or live music performance. One of my favorite recorders right now is the Tascam DR680. Great price at about $690 dollars.

What I like about this tool is that I can mix levels right on the unit without having a mixer on the job. I also am impressed with the signal to noise ratio, with mic pre’s set right you can get a real clean recording. 
I use a 32 gig flash card and never have had to change it out durning a recording.  It will record 6 tracks,a stereo track,  and up to 24k / 96 kHz.  Six of the inputs have phantom power.  The phantom power is in pairs which can be a bummer sometimes.  You can run it on batteries or AC.  It will eat up batteries if your running full on with phantom power on every channel.

There are plenty of spec’s you can look up, but what you really want is to talk to someone who has used it. To really see how the unit performs,  you need to put it to the test on different recording jobs and bring the tracks back into the studio control room to really listen critically.  

I have, and will give this the Binary Studio seal of approval, we have used it on many situations and will be using it in the future.  For the price I think its pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sound Design Effects, your change to save the world!

Charles Maynes and have teamed up for two very special sound effects libraries. 
100% of the proceeds from these libraries will perpetually be donated to Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, The Halo Trust, and Wounded Warrior Project. 
Volume 1 is 19 effects of U.S. and NATO infantry small arms weaponry. Volume 2 is 18 effects of Russian small arms weaponry. Both packs are 24 bit/96 kHz.
Head over to the product page for more information, previews of the libraries’ contents, and to support these charities with your purchase.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Crowd funding for your project, which platform?

Film makers and musician are using crowdfunding as a way to get their project funded.  There are a couple main crowdfunding platforms used.

Kickstarter says it was founded in 2009, and IndieGoGo says it was founded in 2008. Both have basically the same concept, so how did Kickstarter manage to gain more traction and brand awareness? Usually it's always the first to market with a new idea that succeeds, but in this case it was not. 

Kickstarter IP is owned by Amazon, and it looks like Indigogo might be owned by Craigslist.

Kickstarter takes 5 percent if the goal is reached and no money released if the goal is not reached.

Indigogo takes a 9 percent cut and you get the money whether or not you reach your goal.  If the goal is reach they only take 4 percent cut.

Here is a article about the co founder of Indiegogo.

Friday, February 1, 2013

More then a scriptwriting tool, Celtx

In the studio we have been using Celtx.  The thing I really like about this program is being able to sync the storyboard and script on multiple devices sharing the edits and allowing others to edit if they choose.  This has really improved our work flow.

I found that I was stuck working in a way I have been doing for years. It took me a while to take this method on, now I really can't see any other way of working with as much interactive communication with all involved. Give it a try, it might work for you!