Archive for the ‘DIY Filmmaking’ Category

How to make a screenings map with Google

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

After my recent post, which mapped out the past and upcoming Quick Feet, Soft Hands television screenings, some folks at ITVS asked if I wouldn’t mind sharing how I made the map so that they could encourage other filmmakers they work with to do the same.

Though I’m far from the first person to do this sort of thing, I was, of course, happy to oblige. It’s a great way to visually communicate with your audience about when and where they can see your work.

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Two Macintosh Productivity Apps

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Here are a couple of useful Macintosh tools to help you stay focused while working at your computer writing, editing, or doing anything else that requires concentration.

Isolator: I’ve been using this application on and off (literally) for a year. As its creator describes it, Isolator

will cover up your desktop and all the icons on it, as well as the windows of all your other applications, so you can concentrate on the task in hand.

Freedom: James M. Johnston recently tipped me off to this cool little Mac application. According to its website, Freedom

is an application that disables networking on an Apple computer for up to eight hours at a time. Freedom will free you from the distractions of the internet, allowing you time to code, write, or create. At the end of your selected offline period, Freedom re-enables your network, restoring everything as normal.

pCAM for iPhone

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

David Eubank’s pCAM and pCINE were great applications for the Palm OS. They helped you compute depth of field, hyperfocal distance, angle of view…. Together, they were like a computerized version of all those charts in the American Cinematographer’s Manual that you always referred to on set.

Now, Eubank has outdone himself with pCAM for iPhone, which combines the pCAM and pCINE applications in a new interface. If you have an iPhone and you shoot film or video, this is a supremely useful tool. At $39.99 it may seem pricey for an iPhone app, but in my opinion it’s well worth the price.

pCAM for iPhone [iTunes store link]

DIY project: Car Dash Camera Mount

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

I’ve not posted a DIY film tool link in a long time, but the Car Dash Camera Mount listed in this morning’s “Weekend Builder” email from Instructables grabbed my attention.

If you need a way to film yourself (or someone) straight-on while driving, this could be pretty useful. Unless, of course, you’re using a big-ish or heavy camera… in which case you probably can afford to rent the “proper” tools.

Scott Kirsner’s ITVS Case Studies

Monday, January 26th, 2009

A few weeks ago Scott Kirsner blogged about a series of case studies he recently authored regarding independent filmmakers connecting with their audiences. Commissioned by ITVS, the case studies focus on, as Scott puts it,

indie filmmakers who are pioneering new ways to:

– Open up the production process to more audience participation

– Find and connect with new audiences for their work

– Distribute their finished film in new ways.

While all of the case studies focus on documentaries, there are a lot of insights here that are not limited to any one genre. In fact, I’ve made these case studies required reading in the Movie Business class that I teach at Virginia Tech. If you read this blog, chances are they should be required reading for you, too.

Read Scott’s introductory blog post. Or go straight to the case studies.