Low Budget Filmmaking Archives - Page 2 of 5 - Blog
In November 2014, director Laura Merians asked me to edit and color grade a music video. I had a week available in-between projects so I jumped in with both feet. 6 days later I finished post production and we put it on YouTube.
It has over 106 million views and counting. It struck a nerve with people all over the planet and went viral. Here is PENTATONIX’s ‘Mary Did You Know?’
In late 2013, David Rimawi (co-founder of The Asylum) told me that they were making Sharknado 2. I responded by telling him I was going to edit it. A very cocky answer indeed…but I really wanted to cut Sharknado 2…so I rolled the dice. I never brought it up again and 3 months later he called me and offered me the job. I accepted.
JAWS was the first film I ever saw. It was at a drive-in theater with my parents in the back of our convertible VW bug. The last 30 minutes, I hid in the backseat under a blanket…scared shitless. Since then I have been obsessed and petrified with sharks. Since beginning to edit film at the age of 13, I’ve always wanted to edit a shark movie. Well…I got my wish and would love to share the process of how I edited Sharknado 2 with you. Read more…
Tonight is the world premiere of SHARKNADO 2: The Second One. I spent 6 harrowing and insane weeks editing this beast. Tonight…I get to share the final results of all our hard work. Love it or hate it…SHARKNADO 2 is coming! There will be BLOOD! Here’s a sneak peek at the first previs animatic video I received during editorial. On the left side is the previs and on the right side the final completed visual effect as it will look in the film.
There are over 300 visuals effect shots in SHARKNADO 2. As an editor it’s always nice to have an animatic to judge the timing and length of the shot and how it plays with the shots before and after it. Tonight is the Premiere on the SyFy network. Tomorrow it will air in 86 countries around the world.
IT’S A GLOBAL SHARKNADO!!!
Until next time…
Today, Apple released a new video codec into the filmmaking post production world. It’s called ProRes 4444 XQ and it’s a mother-scratching beast.
At 4K (4096 x 2160) it registers 1697 Mbps which equals 764 GB/hour of 4K video footage. A single camera large Hollywood production can often shoot 100 hours of footage. That’s 76 TB of 4K ProRes 4444 XQ footage.
The upcoming David Fincher film GONE GIRL crept up on 500 hours of raw footage during its multi camera 6K RED Dragon production. That equates to roughly 315 TB of RED 6K (4:1) footage. Shit just got real for data management and post production workflows. It’s time to embrace the madness! Read more…
I wanted to share final images from 7 projects that I’ve color graded over the last 2 years. There are more than 14,000+ total shots in all the films. Only about half are displayed above. Some of these films are completed and already released…some are coming soon! The image above represents hundreds of hours of color grading work. Yes…my ass is sore. Here are the 7 projects:
THAT WHICH I LOVE DESTROYS ME (2014) – directed by Ric Roman Waugh
ZOMBIE NIGHT (2013) – directed by John Gulager
ME & EWE (2013) – directed by Barry Andersson
ANDROID COP (2014) – directed by Mark Atkins
THE GRIND – directed by Jhon Doria
MY SHANGHAI (2014) – directed by P.H. Wells
THE CLUB BOAT – directed by Vashi Nedomansky
LINK to a 4802×3438 JPEG of the 6776 shots
BONUS: Here’s a look at all 2050 color graded shots in ZOMBIE NIGHT
Davinci Resolve gets better and better with every iteration and the
improved editing features are making it a one-stop post-production platform.
Until next time…
Self-funded, low budget, indie filmmaking is wonderful for the creative and artistic freedoms you are granted as you strive to tell the story and share it with others. You are the filmmaker, the studio, the investor and the distributor. This great power comes with great responsibility and heavy consequences. I’ve spent the last 5 years of my life working to finish a feature film entitled…THE GRIND. The literal and figurative irony does not go unnoticed…but it also drives me to complete my mission.
One of the famous unwritten rules in “Hollywood” is never invest your own money. I’ve broken that rule for 5 years as I’ve invested both a shit-ton of money and time to finish the film and release it to the world. My roles on this film are: executive producer, DP, editor, colorist, composer and sound mixer. I had been hired to do these jobs on previous feature films, but never all on one film.
Before I dive in, here’s 5 years of editing encapsulated into one image…the final timeline.
The murder of Marion Crane is one of the most iconic and memorable scenes in film history. In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock shocked the viewers by killing the lead actress only 30 minutes into PSYCHO. The scene took 7 days to film in December of 1959. Of the 77 camera set-ups captured that week…only 51 shots were used in the final edit. The shower scene is a master class in filmmaking and displayed an advanced style in both editing and visual style.
It has been studied and analyzed ad infinitum by filmmakers, cinephiles and scholars…but what I find interesting about the shower scene is how ‘un-Hitchcockian’ the angles and editing are compared to almost all his other work. This is no doubt due to the contributions of legendary graphic artist Saul Bass who created the 48 storyboards for this scene.
In 1965, Sidney J. Furie directed the spy thriller The Ipcress File starring a young Michael Caine. Producer Harry Saltzman used the same core production team he employed on Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963) and Goldfinger (1964). Editor Peter Hunt, Production Designer Ken Adam and Composer John Barry gave this film a stylized, signature look and sound…one that was the antithesis of James Bond. Furie and Czechoslovakian cinematographer Otto Heller redefined their visual vocabulary by deciding to shoot as much of the film as possible through obstructions or foreground objects. They did this on 100 separate shots.
In the past, a large foreground object usually meant it was the focus of the scene.
Furie and Heller made every foreground object a ‘framing device’ that actively composed the shot. This technique was used to both reveal specific story elements on screen and also to visually express the claustrophobic and unsettling tone of the film. What could have been a gimmick (if used once or twice) instead became a creative cinematic tool that was used 100 times during the film.
In the video below, I have compiled all 100 instances where the “frame within the frame” technique is used in The Ipcress File. Some are subtle and some are audacious. This style was considered so arrogant by Billy Wilder that he famously said “Furie couldn’t shoot a scene without framing it through a fireplace or the back of a refrigerator”. I think it is stunning, refreshing and effective. Read more…
The Dolly Zoom is a camera shot made famous in Alfred Hitchcock’s VERTIGO (1958). It was invented by cameraman Irmin Roberts to visually convey the feeling and effects of acrophobia by zooming in with the lens while simultaneously dollying the camera backwards…or vice versa. Since 1958 it has been used hundreds of times in motion pictures…sadly most of the time only as a trick shot. Filmmakers often use it because it looks cool, has direct cinema lineage to Hitchcock and they love to point out it’s in their film. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This post is about the WHY not the HOW.
The Dolly Zoom is only effective (and curiously invisible) when it visually amplifies the internal emotional mindset of a character’s critical story moment.
When Scottie (James Stewart) battles his fear of heights and looks down the staircase in Vertigo…the viewer sees a visual representation of his mental fragility and shares his POV. It’s unsettling, disturbing and true to the moment. Hitchcock uses it not as a gimmick shot…but as pure cinema. You FEEL what the character feels and understand how difficult it is for him to climb those stairs…all by proxy of a perfectly choreographed camera shot.