Archive for the ‘DIY Filmmaking’ Category

©opy®ight: A Few Helpful Links

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Some helpful links:

U.S. Copyright Office
Copyright is a kind of intellectual property monopoly. And if it was intellectual property Monopoly, this site would be “Go.” Translation: Start here.

How to Register a Work
This site takes you to eCO, where you can file a copyright registration for your work through the Copyright Office online system.

Public Domain(?):

Stanford Copyright Renewal Database
Lets you search for whether a work is still under copyright or not.

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States
A chart to help you understand the labyrinthine laws regarding when a work will fall into the public domain. The chart is available as a PDF.

Fair Use:

Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use
If you are a documentary maker you should know this up and down.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video
Like the Documentary Best Practices, this is something to know and learn.

Center for Social Media: Fair Use FAQ
A must.

Creative Commons:

Creative Commons. Where to go if you want to give it away, legally speaking.

Resource pages and other links:

Stanford University Libraries: Copyright & Fair Use: Charts and Tools: A great page of links.

Cornell University Copyright Information Center: More great links.

EDIT (7/9/08): This post was accidentally deleted. I think I’ve restored it pretty completely, and added some more links in the process.

EDIT (9/29/16): Fixed some broken links.


DIY Blue (or Green) Screen

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Instructables has a post up today demonstrating how to build a cheap, portable bluescreen. The authors of the post have additional instructions on their own blog.

And if this is too upscale for you, you can use those cheap neon-green vinyl tablecloths they sell at dollar stores. I’ve not done this, but I’ve seen it done. It ain’t elegant, but it can work.

Celtx 1.0

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Celtx, the free screenwriting/pre-production software, just launched its 1.0 version.

According to the press release, new features include: 

    1. Adapt To – a single click now converts a fully formatted script of one type into a fully formatted script of another – for example a Stageplay to a Screenplay – displaying instantly the multi-media potential of your work.

    2.  Comic Book – a new editor to write properly formatted Comic Books, and a common framework for collaboration between writer and artist.

    3.  iPhone – now view your Celtx projects from just about anywhere with a display optimized for your iPhone.

    4.  Catalogs – a new organization and searchable dashboard view of all your story’s elements and production items.

    5.  Sidebar – annotate and break down each scene with notes, media (images, audio, and video clips), and production items through an easy to manage, thoroughly upgraded new sidebar.

    6.  Project Scheduling – has been vastly upgraded to fully integrate with the script breakdown and provide a Call Sheet and a host of new shooting reports.

    7.  Storyboarding – you can now choose from a variety of ways to view and manage your images, create a storyboard outline based on your script, and add shot descriptions to each image.  

I’ll try to dig into this in the next few weeks and give a report. But first, I’ve got about 500 emails to reply to and some bags to unpack from my European travels.

Red One – Information Page

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

I’ve read a lot of stuff on the web in my efforts to educate myself about the Red One digital cinema camera’s new approach to motion picture image capture and its workflow. Below are some of the better resources I’ve encountered. If I’ve left off something helpful, let me know in the comments.

***

COMPANY WEBSITE

    Red Digital Cinema Camera Company

RED DISCUSSION FORUMS

    Reduser.net
    The Red company-sponsored site.

    Creative Cow Red Forum
    Mostly oriented around Red post-production workflow.

    Cinematography.com Red Forum
    Lots of skepticism and passionate disagreement about the Red here.

    DV Info.net Red Forum
    Infrequent posting; lots of overlap with reduser.

WIKIS

    Redhax.net: a wiki for Red users. Very incomplete, but useful in spots.

    Wikipedia:Red Digital Camera Company entry

RED: BASICS

    Octamas.com: Red One user menu guides

    FresHDV: “All Things Red” – another links listing

    Creative Cow: Dress for Success with RED

    Creative Cow: Shooting with RED: Testing, testing…

SHOOTING RAW:

    ProLost: Exposing to the Left vs. Exposing to the Right

    Pro Lost: Digital Cinema Dynamic Range — an epic post

    Pro Lost: Digital Cinema Dynamic Range [abbreviated version]

    Reduser.net: Thread on Working with RAW

    Bealecorner: John Beale’s camera tests

WORKFLOW:

    American Cinema Editors: Podcast discussion for A.C.E. members about the workflow for Red with Avid and Final Cut Pro.

    RedHax Wiki: Footage Protocol on Set

    RedHax Wiki: Footage Conversion

    Editors Lounge: Handling Red One in Post-Production [link to page with pdf file]

    Coremelt: Red Camera 10-bit Color Online Workflow with FCP 6.0.2

    PVC: Working with Red Footage

    DV Magazine: Posting RED

    Scott Simmons’ Editblog: posts tagged “red”

    Indie4k: Red Workflow posts 1 and 2

    Pro8mm: Red & Super-8 Telecine (!)

ONLINE TUTORIAL/DEMO VIDEOS

    Wonderhowto: Learn All About the Red One Camera – 12 videos!

    Studio Daily: Shooting Red

    Studio Daily: What You Can Do with Red Alert

    Studio Daily: Final Cut Pro – Red Workflow

    Studio Daily: Edit RED Footage in Avid Media Composer

    Studio Daily: RED / Avid Workflow

    Studio Daily: Maintaining Red Metadata to Avid

    Studio Daily: Assimilate Scratch / Red Workflow

    FX Guide TV: Workflow with Red Episodes 1 and 2

Official REDCINE Training Videos

    Interface Overview
    Project Settings
    Shot Settings
    Color Settings
    Output Settings
    Library

FOOTAGE

    Red Relay
    Repository of Red One footage.

PODCASTS

    RedCentre @ FX Guide
    Weekly podcast on all things Red from FXGuide.

RED 3rd-PARTY SOFTWARE

    Crimson Workflow
    FCP round tripping application.

    RedTrip
    Essentially an early, free version of Crimson Workflow.

    Red Portal
    Allows you to double-click R3D files to open in RedAlert!

    AliasRDC
    Helps with footage conversion (see http://www.redhax.net/wiki/Footage_Conversion).

    MetaCheater
    Allows MetaData use in Avid.

    Spotlight Plugin for R3D Files
    Lets you easily find and identify r3d-files on your computer.

3rd PARTY ACCESSORIES

    Element Technica

    Sim Video

***

Some might ask why this site is posting about Red, considering it is, for many readers, a high-ticket item (especially when you add in the cost of lenses, support, etc.). My answer is that this is a site that’s devoted to all forms of maverick filmmaking, including the invention of maverick filmmaking tools. By this standard, Red certainly qualifies.

SXSW: Wrap-up

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Last year I think I spent as much time posting thoughts on films I was seeing at South by Southwest as I did actually attending films and panels. This year I chose to err in the other direction. There were simply too many movies to see, panels to attend, people to meet, and parties to drop by.

Highlights (in the order I saw them):

Nights and Weekends by Joe Swanberg & Greta Gerwig
Wellness by Jake Mahaffy
Paper Covers Rock by Joe Maggio
The New Year Parade by Tom Quinn
Present Company by Frank V. Ross

All make use of handheld digital video, feature naturalistic performances, and were made with small (or no) crews and budgets. Despite the superficial sharing of neo-neo-realistic qualities, it would be tough to compare them. Suffice to say that all are worth seeing.

As good as those films were, perhaps my two favorites of SXSW were two very polished documentaries, Second Skin and At the Death House Door.

Second Skin digs into the world of MMORPGs, and how these online games create new lives and identities — on both sides of the computer screen — for the people playing them. Not being a gamer, I wondered how much I would care about the film’s subject, especially in light of the fact that 90% of the audience I viewed it with seemed to be there to see a film about their lives. Happily, the film finds some dynamic people to follow and it does superb job of chronicling their lives, both on- and off-line. I suspect this will have a healthy life on DVD, and perhaps theatrically.

At the Death House Door was the most emotionally gripping film I saw at SXSW. A somewhat conventionally shot documentary featuring lots of interviews, it reminded me that no single documentary style has a monopoly on greatness. The film follows Carroll Pickett who, during his 15 years as the house chaplain to a Texas prison, presided over 95 executions, including the very first lethal injection done anywhere in the world. The film also tells the story of Carlos De Luna, one of those 95 prisoners executed, and one that Pickett believed to be innocent. This is a movie that had me in tears — both at horrific things, and also in admiration at the remarkable heroism of ordinary individuals. Emotions aside, it did bring some nuance to arguments for and (especially) against the death penalty. The fact that it was premiering in Austin — that is, in the capital of the state where these executions took place — made the screening experience all the more poignant. At the Death House Door was co-produced by IFC, so look for it there (and, perhaps, theatrically).

As for panels, not all of the ones I attended have been posted (nor do I know if they will) but here are the festival’s recordings of some for those of you that couldn’t be there.