A Filmmaking Blog | VashiVisuals Blog
A film set is a chaotic, fluid and high-pressure situation. Every member of the crew must be professional, creative, flexible, diligent and dedicated. Cameras can’t roll until the DP has prepared each shot to their satisfaction and inform the Director that the scene is ready to shoot. Every other department (set design, wardrobe, make-up, sound…) has done their job and the DP is the last person to take it all in and give the green light to start shooting.
I would like to share 3 BTS videos I edited for Shane Hurlbut, ASC during the production of “The Last 3 Minutes“…the award winning short film directed by Po Chan and one of the first films shot on the Canon 5Dmkii. I have edited over 30 Shane Hurlbut projects that he was the DP of and I know that his passion and willingness to share the knowledge he possesses is priceless. Watch the DP of over 18 feature films at work in the BTS videos below…
POINT BLANK (1967) is a perfect revenge crime thriller set in Los Angeles. It can be argued that Lee Marvin’s portrayal of Walker is not that far removed from Schwarzenegger’s turn in THE TERMINATOR (1984). Both characters are single-minded in their quest and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. In both films, there is a mechanical efficiency to how they approach their tasks. They both speak only when necessary…and even then it is an exercise in minimalism. Lee Marvin is a physical force as terrifying as Arnold…and this is clearly displayed as he takes “The 160 Angriest Steps in Cinema History” to begin his revenge on those who wronged him. Watch and listen as his unbroken, unstoppable momentum drives the story forward…
BONUS: For really clean skin I recommend AZTEC SECRET Indian Healing Clay for the best facial masks. I shit you not.
I’m always on the lookout for tools and assets that make my film editing and post production workflow easier, quicker and more efficient. Many of them can be expensive and very specific to certain tasks…others are free and just as effective.
I’ve shared many of these in the past…but now I have compiled an updated list of all free assets on this one page. Every filmmaker can now easily harness the power of the creative and generous people that provided all these tools and assets.
There are many other free plugins/presets/templates available on the interwebz…but I wanted to share only the ones I use on a daily basis. There are 335 listed below…and I’ve tested or used every single one of them. The results you can achieve are only limited by your imagination. Dig in and enjoy!
Films shot in the Anamorphic process are instantly recognizable. They have a quality and resonance that other lenses can’t capture. Anamorphic films seem to capture an almost 3D quality onto film’s 2D medium. The process makes creative use of aberrations such as long horizontal lens flares, oval bokeh and highly curved corners that all add a sense of heightened reality. Films are real but not necessarily reality…and the subconscious effect of Anamorphic lenses delivers an exaggerated look that is hard to replicate. This process is much more than just a wide aspect ratio..as demonstrated in The Ultimate Aspect Ratio Guide.
Films shot in the Anamorphic process include: Jaws, The Royal Tenenbaums, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard, The Parallax View and countless others. Getting your hands on Anamorphic lenses is very difficult for the low budget filmmaker…so I created my own After Effects project that replicates the look and feel of the Anamorphic process. If you drop your footage into the timeline…you will have access to 3 options that help you achieve the magical look without resorting to additional adaptors or lenses. This workflow has been optimized for cameras that capture 16:9 footage and for lenses between 28mm to 35mm (Full frame equivalent).
The Anamorphic lens that I chose as the holy grail to emulate is the Panavision Primo 40mm Anamorphic. It was the ONLY lens used on Roman Polanski’s Chinatown and used 95% of the time on Wes Anderson’s films Rushmore and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
I am proud to share with you my free After Effects Plugin Project…VashiMorphic40. Read more…
Digital Video is the de facto capture medium for almost all productions these days. The cost, ease and immediacy are all significant factors that make it so appealing. The visual aesthetic of film is the ultimate goal for many filmmakers and there are many methods, on every budget, that can be used to achieve it.
I still shoot a lot of narrative work with the Canon 5DMKII and I know the camera inside out. I know its strengths and weaknesses but ultimately love the full frame look it delivers and its ease of use. My main picture style has been VisionColor for its gorgeous skin tones and VisionTech for its lifted blacks that retain color info for later grading. I wanted to try out VisionColor’s new LUT package ‘OSIRIS’. I bought OSIRIS to test out the 9 film stock and color emulations it offers. To my eye, they are very cinematic and organic feeling.Read more…
A Split Focus Diopter is half convex glass that attaches in front of the camera’s main lens to make half the lens nearsighted. The lens can focus on a plane in the background and the diopter on a foreground element. In the 1970′s and 1980′s, Brian De Palma championed the use of this tool to enhance the visual and emotional experience of his films.
The Split Diopter allows for Deep Focus cinematography but requires much less light. It also delivers a distinctive look that blends sharp and out-of-focus imagery all in one frame. Subjects in both foreground and background can be kept in focus. In the video below are all 15 Split Diopter shots from Brian De Palma’s film Blow Out (1981).