low budget filmmaking Archives - Blog
The Hateful Eight resurrects the glorious Ultra Panavision 70 format with the uber-wide 2:76 aspect ratio. The 65mm film used to capture the format combined with 1.25x anamorphic lenses creates the final wide image projected at 70mm. Most of us have never and probably will never shoot in the Ultra Panavision 70 format but that doesn’t mean we can’t replicate the aspect ratio.
In honor of the glorious return of the Ultra Panavision 70 aspect ratio…
I’ve packaged the 2:76 templates in all 8 resolutions for your next project.
These PNGs (HD/2K/3K/UHD/4K/5K/6K) will work in any NLE or VFX software.
Just drag and drop above your footage.
Until next time…
Sometimes the composition of a static frame can overwhelm you. The power of a carefully crafted image can be staggering.The Polish film IDA was just nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar by The Academy.
90% of the film is shot on a locked off tripod. With so many tools (dollies, sliders, cranes, drones, steadicams, Movis…) available to filmmakers, it is refreshing to experience a movie that chose so many exquisite and deliberate static frames to best tell the story.
Each new shot reveals something about the lead character. Emotions, state of mind and the story’s drama are expressed by the use of camera placement and lighting…not by spoken words. Do yourself a favor and track down this stunning film to experience the power of the static camera.
Here are 52 of my favorite shots from IDA (click image to enlarge)
Shot on Arri ALEXA in 1.33:1 aspect ratio with Zeiss Ultra Primes. In post production, the color footage was converted to black and white with Nucoda.
IDA recalls for me, the classic cinema of the 1940’s, evoking visual elements of both film noir and Italian Neo-realism.
3 minutes of IDA
DP Ryszard Lenczewski took 3000 photographs to previz and storyboard the film.
Lighting diagram of kitchen scene
Learn more about the cinematography of IDA from the DPs
SOURCE: LENSCULTURE article written by Alexander Strecker
“Ida: Sketches” – photos by Ryszard Lenczewski
Until next time…
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…
The season finale of HBO’s SILICON VALLEY had a scene that addressed the logistics of how to jerk off 800 dicks. Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, Office Space) and writer Alec Berg (Seinfeld, Curb your Enthusiasm) juxtaposed the creative mindset of a team of awkward start up tech geniuses with a hypothetical mass manual hand job scenario to help win the annual TechCrunch Disrupt Conference.
It’s one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever experienced so I decided to transcribe it back into screenplay format. The beauty of the scene is the commitment and focus of the team to solve a technical problem with no regards to the social implications of the actual scenario. Their obliviousness to the actual task at hand (no pun intended) is what made it so effective for me. Enjoy!
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.
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).