What Covering Sundance Is Like

The Sundance Film Festival. It’s not what you’re thinking. It’s not small-town royalty. It’ not the luxurious exclusivity of Telluride (or what I hear of it, at least). There are beautiful houses, friendly people careening down snowy mountainsides, and restaurants with $10 beers. Otherwise, it’s just a small town. Primarily, it’s just a small town. Intimate is a good word for it. You see a lot of the same people. Different theaters become sociable characters in your brief, but seemingly eternal life there. A week or ten days, it doesn’t matter. You belong for a minute.

You develop routine—where you eat, what you prioritize (parties, films, writing, socializing, exploring,), how you exist. The frosty air is a constant, and thus, a non-factor. It reminded me a lot of summer camp. Film summer camp for adults. There is a palpable sense of community, which is typically an indicator of growth. Growth through conversation with people who aren’t like you and unknown films that fill you.

Before I continue, you should know that 2019 marked the year in which I both attended and covered my first Sundance. Someone who has attended Sundance for years has much more to offer as far as a holistic look at the festival goes. Go to them for questions and advice. I’m not writing about that. This isn’t a Sundance guide. It would be downright ignorant for me to believe that my lack of experience in any way competes with others’ wealth of experience. But there’s a certain potential for transparency in the account of a first-timer that couldn’t be achieved through the lens of a Sundance veteran. I have no history to draw on—no good years and bad years, conscious predispositions, festival wisdom, etc. I can speak to the experience of those of you have never been because three weeks ago, I hadn’t either.

I started off wide-eyed like anyone in my position probably would, and almost immediately fell into the groove. Through my eyes, the festival went through a lightning-quick transition from extra-terrestrial to mundane in the sense that three days in, I’d already seen twelve films and written about two of them. But that transition would’ve been infinitely less smooth if not for the host of experienced critics I stayed with, some of whom were in their 20th year of coverage.

A day in the life of a critic covering the festival for the first time looks something like this. You wake up after a late night doing anything movie-related—watching midnight thriller/horrors at “The Library” (a literal library jam-packed with genre junkies that is by far the least theatrical of all venues), drinking local beer and talking about actors’ careers, sipping whiskey and riffing your way through movie geek games, rush-writing a review of a film you can’t get off your mind, going to a premiere after party, etc.

You wake up with little sleep under your belt and probably a cold. You’re always up early to cash in on the futile concept that you might possibly “get ahead.” But it’s a necessary futility because if you don’t chase it, you’ll always be that much more behind. So you groggily get out of bed with five hours of rest to finish writing, to see an 8:30am movie, or to make sure you get some food in your system before you’re stuck in a three-in-a-row rut that doesn’t allow time for food until dinner.

Then, to put it most simply, you watch a shit ton of movies. I watched a minimum of three a day and did four on most days. You make a schedule before you go, but it’s always changing. You’re constantly solving the puzzle that is your own filmgoing schedule. Each person has a batch of movies they consider must-sees, the kind they wouldn’t miss even if Riley Keough asked them out to lunch on her dime (to be clear, that sort of thing doesn’t happen, but you get the gist). And everyone has an equally small pool of films that are of absolutely zero interest to them. But the overwhelming majority fall into a middling realm of intrigue. Maybe you’re drawn to the personnel or the style or just the still, but other aspects seem questionable. Or maybe you just don’t have enough information to know at all. So you start knocking out which ones are most interesting to you and in the meantime the buzz begins to grow.

The Sundance “buzz” you hear about is real, but underwhelmingly named. It needs a new moniker. It’s an incessant earthquake, a way of being, the pounding heart of the social structure that makes up the event. It invades every crack of the entire town, thick enough to warrant a viscosity measurement. You can’t take a shit without hearing what people thought about Netflix’s newest purchase or some dissenting opinion on the hottest film or the name of a breakout writer-director.

Writing reviews in anything but total isolation can drive you crazy at times. You’re 50 words into the plot summary only to realize you’ve blended eight movies: “Adam Driver plays his own father—a ‘house tuner’ robot who raised him as the only child on Earth after a mass extinction—in this rape-revenge tale that takes place in the high art scene of Los Angeles that’s about falling in love with a heroin addict and saying goodbye to your Chinese grandmother.”

But you’re at Sundance, so it’s hard to stay frustrated for too long. If you’re like me, you’re there because you’re magnetized to the world of film and everything it has to offer. So, you keep watching movies. And the buzz ends up being formative information for your ever-evolving schedule. Surprise greats develop a reputation and suddenly top your must-see list. Some with high expectations are universally maligned or just shrugged off and you decide you’ll wait for those to stream.

Others escape your grasp, and you become determined to work them into your schedule, eventually coming to terms with the fact that plenty won’t make it. Inevitably, you’ll see films that no one around you sees, everyone around you sees, you wish you didn’t see, and you wish you could see a second time. There will be films that you don’t get that everyone else loves and vice versa. By the end, you’ll have forgotten about certain films that premiered in the first couple days, as if they’re from a past festival. But as long as you stay warm, it’ll all be okay.

If you’re lucky like I gather I was, the sun shines strongly in the mornings and afternoons, and the icy cold is suddenly a frosty warmth. In sunlight, everything feels fresh. You have short conversations about what you’ve seen and what you’re seeing as you pass familiar faces in and around the theatres and more crowded parts of the city. I found a coffee shop up against some ski lifts closer to the center of town (Main Street, they call it) and made a habit of good coffee and efficient writing most mornings, followed by films interspersed with more writing and socializing.

You do a decent amount of waiting, but it’s not too bad. All the waiting takes place in big white “warming tents” crawling with volunteers, who are mostly friendly. Of course, there’s the occasional volunteer power trip, but what do you expect out of a group of over 2,000? I typically showed up 30 minutes before a film, but if I were especially concerned with what seat I got, I’d make it an hour. If I was especially careless, 15 minutes did the trick.

I saw more celebrities per capita than could possibly exist anywhere else, given how small the town is. It’s bizarre how casual something like sitting across the aisle from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, or in the seat directly behind Hilary Swank becomes. In context, it’s not noteworthy beyond a single mention. We wouldn’t have room to talk about anything else if we got stuck on celebrity sightings. On one day, in particular, I walked past or sat in the vicinity of Tessa Thompson no less than five times at HQ, the cozy lodge-like Park City Marriott that is briefly converted into the most A-list and press-trafficked hotel commons on the planet.

When I was writing this piece on cyclical violence in Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, I was feverishly curious about Kent’s intentions. I sat on the second level of the HQ lobby, which overlooks the lobby’s main entrance, hacking my interpretations onto the page and wondering if Kent would approve only to look up in the middle and see Kent walk right inside. I was tempted to go down and barrage her with questions, but in better judgment, decided against it. While I was writing the first part of my review of The Farewell in the same place, different day, I nearly ran into Lulu Wang on my way to the bathroom. It was surreal. Even when the press started fleeing a week in and parts of the city developed creepy ghost town vibes, it was surreal. Theaters were still packed, and I was still passing Tessa Thompson in the halls.

It’s hard to know what the actual significance of a “first Sundance” is without knowing how I’ll feel in 3, 5, 10, or 20 years about the coveted festival. But I know Park City during Sundance is a wonderful little fairytale world of film that I want to return to. I was fortunate enough to stay in a terrific mid-century modern lodge-condo with deep red carpeting and 90-degree angles to-boot, an aesthetic I absolutely loved. But even if you end up in a motel outside of town, you should go. You won’t find another place with all of its particular quirks and nuances, where the popular world of film interest and indie filmmaking collide. I binged vitamin C gummies, drank more water than I ever have in ten days, lost four pounds in meals missed, watched 30 films, wrote over 12,000 words, and had an absolute blast. I highly recommend it.

The post What Covering Sundance Is Like appeared first on Film School Rejects.


тerlin, I Love YouҠReview: Thereҳ Nothing to Love About the Latest уitiesҠAnthology Film

Why do good actors do bad movies? There are numerous possible answers to this question including financial necessity, returning a long-standing favor, and sheer boredom. But rarely (except in the case of Nicolas Cage) can a talented performer’s presence in an awful film be neatly and fully explained. Occasionally, their performance can improve a sub-par script, but rarely does a mediocre movie bring out the best in a skilled actor. Berlin, I Love You boasts a roster of talents that includes Helen Mirren, Diego LunaKeira Knightley, and more. Why would such competent performers participate in such an incompetent film?

The film provokes something unfamiliar and unsettling within, and by the film’s end viewers may find themselves gripped by an overwhelming jadedness, somehow exhausted and agitated at once. Somehow, Berlin, I Love You is almost enough to make you hate love. Thankfully, it only last through its hour-fifty-minute run-time.

But first, let’s acknowledge the good.

Berlin, I Love You is the latest installment of the Cities of Love franchise, preceded by Paris, je t’aime (2006), New York, I Love You (2008), and Rio, I Love You (2014). Each installment is an anthology film, comprised of multiple vignettes each helmed by a different director. The ensemble casts the Cities of Love films have recruited are often impressive, as are some of the directors (Alfonso Cuarón and the Coen Brothers, for example, participated in Paris, je t’aime). The intention of the Cities of Love franchise is genuinely admirable. It’s an artistic celebration of multiculturalism and a wholehearted endorsement of cultural exchange. Women and people of color helm many of the vignettes, some of them first-time directors. And the overall thematic thread of the franchiselove in all its forms across the world’s urban epicentersis delightful.

Berlin, I Love You does make one truly wise decision: it has only one director of photography, Kolja Brandt, overseeing the cinematography of every vignette. Where the first three Cities of Love films had multiple cinematographers, Berlin, I Love You maintains an impressively unified and rather lovely visual style thanks to Brandt. If anything, the film is undeniably well shot.

And, bless their hearts, Mirren and Knightley and Luna give it their all. The latter two have each other to play off of, and theirs is the best acted vignette of film’s ten in total. The reliably capable Iwan Rheon and Jim Sturgess also do their best with what they have while German actress Sibel Kekilli shines particularly brightly in her brief appearance.

We’ve now exhausted all there is to say about Berlin, I Love You that is relatively good. It’s time to get real.

Berlin, I Love You feels like a collection of student films slapped together haphazardly into a single movie. Each independent narrative, we’re assured, is sort-of connected: characters sometimes pass each other unknowingly on the street or in a bar, and half of the cast unites at the end of the film at a strange outdoor karaoke session. But beyond these tenuous links, the ten vignettes of Berlin, I Love You share nothing except a common setting and exceptionally bad, cliche-ridden writing.

Of all the sins Berlin, I Love You commits, perhaps the most egregious is its betrayal of its own namesake. (For a fun drinking game, try taking a shot every time someone says “Berlin.” You’ll be properly besoffen by minute thirty-two.) David Bowie once called Berlin “the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine,” but you’d never know the depth of the city’s vibrant creative spirit from watching it sulk, dull and lifeless, in the background of Berlin, I Love You.

Across the board, the film underutilizes its setting. For all lip service the characters give Berlin, and the purportedly significant role it plays in many of their arcs (Sturgess’ character “came to Berlin to die,” Dianna Agron‘s “came to Berlin for a bit of a rebirth,” and so on), Berlin, I Love You might as well have been set anywhere. Characters sometimes vaguely refer to the city’s expansive history—there’s a weird Berlin Wall joke flung into one scene, a heavy-handed comment that Berlin “knows something about rebirth,” and a hazy Holocaust reference tucked into an exchange—but, overall, the film disrespects its titular backdrop by not bothering to mine it deeply enough for story and significance.

The fundamental project of the Cities of Love series is not only admirable but also rich with creative possibility. The anthology format can afford artistic and narrative freedom to filmmakers that a feature may not. But instead of taking advantage of this possibility, Berlin, I Love You squanders it by indulging in all the ways the format can be deficient.

Each vignette is too brief to feature any meaningful characterization or emotional arc; characters try to get our attention, earn our empathy, and then undergo some kind of meaningful change all in a matter of minutes. It just doesn’t work. When Sturgess finally finds his first post-heartbreak romance or Knightley finally reconciles with her mother, it’s impossible for us to care, as we’ve only just dropped into these people’s (deeply uninteresting) lives. There’s an odd and artless nature to the film with the painfully unsubtle and shockingly puerile “Me Three” segment illustrating that problem best. The vignette is perhaps the clumsiest cultural comment on the #MeToo movement you’re likely to see—it truly has to be seen to be believed.

There is so much more awfulness to mine here from the forced emotional beats and the hackneyed musical cues to the inconsistent voice-overs and the jarring distraction that is Mickey Rourke. There’s the feeling that most of the vignettes were penned by someone with a tenuous grasp of the English language and the realization that almost all the female love interests are stale manic pixie dream girls. The magnitude of Berlin, I Love You’s troubles can be best summarized by a single phrase scribbled in my notes: “holy fuck so bad.”

The post ‘Berlin, I Love You’ Review: There’s Nothing to Love About the Latest ‘Cities’ Anthology Film appeared first on Film School Rejects.


The Friday Roundup – Stories, Audio Tips and Fades

Little girl annoyed at father trying to get the shot.

How To Tell A Story

One of the most difficult concepts to explain to new editors or video makers is the concept of story.

Go to just about any website or video channel on the subject of creating videos and inevitably there will be someone (like me) banging on about the importance of story.

Click here to see me banging on about story!

Now that’s all very well but to the newcomer who had just shot hours of footage on their family holiday the concept of story seems a little far fetched.

For me one way to look at it is the getting the idea that you are not “documenting” whatever it is that you are shooting.

What you are doing is shooting enough video footage so that when you get into the editing stage you are able to “represent” the event that you just shot.

So in that way you not documenting the kids party, you are piecing together footage that represents the kids party and the way to do that is to tell the story of the kids party.

The same goes for just about any video project you can think of.

Again, the problem is trying to help people “see” this concept with reality so, watch the video below for an almost perfect explanation of story.

How To Make Multicam Video In Powerdirector 17

Most fully loaded video editing software these days will come with a feature that first appeared a few years back called “multi-cam” editing.

The name may vary from product to product but the basic function is the same and it is a solution to a very real modern problem.

It is more than likely that when it comes time to editing together footage of an event you will have at your disposal assets from a number of different sources.

Put simply, everyone at the party has a smart phone and they are all probably going to be shooting something at some point!

Incorporating all that footage into one project can be a seriously slow and time consuming practice if you have to view every clip, load them all on to the timeline and start cutting it all together.

Enter the multi-cam editor!

These modules work in almost the exact same way that the switching desk works whenever you see a live production being broadcast.

In that situation all the cameras available are always on and shooting but what goes to air is determined by the director who is calling to switch from camera to camera.

Multi-cam editing mimics that so that all the footage is loaded into tracks within the module’s timeline and as they play through you can switch from clip to clip and it is a real time saver.

To check one out in real time watch the video below as it is done in CyberLink PowerDirector 17.

PowerDirector Review here.

Quick Tip: Music Editing for Film

This is an excellent excerpt from a larger editing course on working with audio in your video projects.

The reason I added it was that I have never seen this trick before and it is an awesome way to very simply create interest in an audio track.

Make Your Voice Sound Better

This is a good walk through of adjusting a voice track to make it sound a bit better.

I have a similar tutorial on this site called Cleaning A Voice Track With Audacity and you can check that out HERE.

However this tutorial in another software goes through the effect a few others enhancers and filters have on an audio track and is worth taking a look at.

The tutorial itself is done in Premiere Pro but don’t be thrown by that.

If your video editing software has advanced audio capabilities you will most likely have the same effects to choose from and if not, the free program Audacity definitely will have you covered.

Don’t focus too much on the actual adjustments or the names of the effects being used because they can vary from software to software.

Just concentrate on the sequence of adjustment and most importantly follow the advice of having a play around with the effects in question to get a good result rather than rely on presets or copying the settings used in the video.

Bear in mind that the changes and results you get by applying effects in audio editing software can vary wildly depending on the software and the source audio files you are working with.

PowerDirector – Multiple Techniques for Fade Transitions – Part 1

I have added a couple of videos below from Sharper Turtle covering the subject of fade transitions.

Now on the surface of it you may think all fades were created equal so you add a fade transition and life goes on!

Well the truth of the matter is that you don’t necessarily need to use a preset fade transition to achieve a fade transition in the first place but more importantly the nature or feel of that transition can result in surprisingly different effects.

PowerDirector – Multiple Techniques for Fade Transitions – Part 2

Smooth “Rapid Zoom Sequence” Tutorial

The rapid zoom effect is a technique that has begun to appear more frequently especially on YouTube videos.

Simply put it is a sequence of clips that are individually only a few seconds long making an overall clip that acts like a sort of extended transition.

Each individual clip is set to zoom in as it plays and to really get the idea it is probably best to just check the sequence in the video below.

Like most wizz bang sequences of this nature the concept of less is more really has to be applied!

You can use a zoom sequence occasionally for impact and it works very well… just don’t go using it all the time as it gets very old, very fast!

Advanced Color Grading & Color Correction – FilmoraPro

Although I am sure the people at Filmora intended the video below to be a great promotion for their new Pro version and an excellent resource for their existing users… turns out it is so much more than that!

In going through the color correction and color grading modules of the software the tutorial actually offers an excellent insight into what all the settings are and how they all work together and not just in Filmora.

The information in this video applies to any color correction or color grading software module and even gives an awesome explanation of scopes which really are the keys to this activity.

Original Image: Little Girl Playing On Beach By Poznyakov/Shutterstock

The post The Friday Roundup – Stories, Audio Tips and Fades appeared first on The DIY Video Editor.

from https://diyvideoeditor.com/the-friday-roundup-stories-audio-tips-and-fades/

A Blackly Comic Thriller About Self-Discovery and Love at First Slice

Serial killers are, as always, in the public eye more through pop culture representations than real-life awareness. Sure, there are most likely ten or so active serial killers roaming the United States at this moment, but they’re not typically as interesting and visible as those on the screen. A new film (Extremely Wicked and a Whole Bunch of Other Words) is making the festival rounds starring Zac Efron as that prick Ted Bundy, and at the center of the conversation around it is the idea that Bundy’s murderous success was due in part to his cool, calm, and overall attractiveness. Not every wannabe killer wakes up in Bundy’s suave skin, though, and they all have to start somewhere. Piercing starts at the beginning as a young man makes a stab at murder, but what he discovers about himself is something all together different.

We first meet Reed (Christopher Abbott) standing over his newborn baby dangling an ice pick over the child’s face. The infant is indifferent, but before Reed can take things further he’s interrupted by his wife. He heads out the next day on a “business trip” with a singular goal — he’s going to murder a prostitute. His notebook is filled with meticulous plans and instructions, he practices by miming his way through the conversation, kill, and cleanup, and he even knocks himself out to test the effectiveness of his chosen drug. When Jackie (Mia Wasikowska) arrives at his fancy hotel room, though, the plan goes immediately awry. She goes off script from what he’s imagined and he soon finds her stabbing her own leg in a bloody act of self-harm. One thing leads to the next, and soon he’s bleeding too. Serial murder can be murder y’all.

Writer/director Nicolas Pesce follows up his acclaimed The Eyes of My Mother (2016) with an equally gorgeous but far more entertaining and affecting tale. Murder still sits at the center of it all, but Reed’s clearly expressed interests shift and grow over the course of the very brief running time into something fascinating and strangely affecting. It’s a love story, of sorts, about two people finding each other at the best possible time. Or worst… it’s really all about perspective.

The film is based on Ryû Murakami‘s novel, and fans of Takashi Miike’s Audition (1999) — also adapted from one of Murakami’s books — may have a sense of the twisted psyches and manipulated flesh on display here, but this is a far more playful love story despite the bloodletting and pain. It’s a blackly humorous blend of self-determination and self-doubt that keeps viewers on equal alert with the characters. Both Reed and Jackie are damaged souls on a bumpy, clumsy path of discovery as they learn together how to best exorcise their respective demons. Abbott and Wasikowska are both pitch perfect in their respective efforts giving us characters whose actions may confound but whose humanity feels all too familiar.

While Pesce’s last film, his first, used black & white photography to capture its tone his latest embraces color and detail with wide eyes and open arms. The interiors are exquisite in their design and shot beautifully by cinematographer Zack Galler, and the acts of violence serve not only the narrative but also as small incisions into the film’s flawless and intentional style. Exteriors are seen only as high-rise backdrops, and they exist in the form of sharply crafted miniatures offering tiny windows into the hundreds of lives and secrets beyond our view. Pesce’s eye is matched by his ear as he eschews a traditional score for one made up of old songs and tracks from Italian genre films like Tenebre (1982), Tentacles (1977), and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972), and all of it works to create an intertwined sense of style and danger.

“The terror needs to be in English,” says one of Reed’s notebook instructions in reference to making sure he targets a victim whose screams he can understand, but it’s clear that the terror on display here is in an international language. We see it in the instruments of pain laid out before their use, in the various forms of inescapable restraints, and in the wide-eyed looks of recognition of what’s to come. For every dark turn, though — and there are many — the film finds light nearly as often up to and including an ending that suggests something as close to happiness as these two have ever known.

Piercing is a precise, funny, and macabre experience teasing inspirations as diverse as American Psycho (2000), Deep Red (1975), and David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996) while being entirely its own thing. There’s really beauty here alongside the pain… and sometimes in the form of it.

The post ‘Piercing’ Review: A Blackly Comic Thriller About Self-Discovery and Love at First Slice appeared first on Film School Rejects.


The Best and Worst Super Bowl Trailers of 2019

We experienced a lot of deja vu with Super Bowl LIII. The New England Patriots were back for another championship, while the Avengers were back with another new movie teaser. For most of us, the latter repeat was much more exciting, and it’s not surprising that once again Marvel had one of the winners as far as the advertisements aired during the big game. Avengers: Endgame is the most anticipated movie of 2019, after all. And unlike the Patriots, the Earth’s Mightiest aren’t attempting to come back from a devastating defeat.

As for the rest, there was no surprise Netflix movie debuting right after the game, but let’s not forget how disappointing that wound up being anyway. What else did well this year, and what went sour, movie-ad-wise? Check out our annual ranking of the best and worst teaser trailers and Hollywood-inspired commercials below.

Avengers: Endgame

Yes, the most anticipated movie of the year also has one of the most exciting trailers of the Super Bowl. Even better than last time, the Avengers teased a spot that gave us all the feels. This isn’t our first look at Endgame, but it’s a more hopeful look at the leftovers who’ll be banding together for whatever’s going to happen next. Is that sign asking what we do when they’re gone a hint about all our lives once the MCU as we know it is over? Let’s hope not. This team is going to rescue the disappeared and they’re all going to be in our lives forever, isn’t it? After all, that’s Chris Evans’ voice, whether as Steve Rogers or not saying these guys and gals aren’t moving on.


While the new spot isn’t that different from the first trailer for Us, there wasn’t really any reason to change things that are working. Jordan Peele, who also won with some Twilight Zone ads during the game, easily sparked attention from the Super Bowl crowd with his creepy look at his chilling sophomore effort. Who is excited to see Us? It’s us. And it’s all of the US now.

Captain Marvel

Another Marvel movie wins, this one for the next installment of the MCU, releasing ahead of Avengers: Endgame. The new Captain Marvel spot had a nice touch for the Super Bowl. “Let’s show these boys how it’s done.” Carol Danvers may not be playing football, but her call to go higher, further, faster injected a much-needed boost of female power in between plays in a scoreless game. For the biggest TV viewership of the year, they probably could have stressed even more that everyone has to go see Captain Marvel before Endgame, but everyone will figure it out.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Most of us caught the full version the other day. We even broke it all down. But for a lot of the Super Bowl audience, this is probably the first time they’re hearing about the Fast and Furious spinoff let alone seeing how awesome it looks. Days after our own first look, Idris Elba’s supervillain still tops all the rest — indeed he’s the necessary shock to the system that is this franchise — but Vanessa Kirby’s addition to the Shaw family looks great, too, and I’m still very glad to see that she’s basically one of the leads, tagging alongside The Rock and Jason Statham. If only it had one stunt as party-stopping as that ad for Fast & Furious 6 aired six years ago rather than leaning on the comedic tone.

Wonder Park

Kids watch the Super Bowl, right? Wonder Park got in early with a tease of the upcoming animated feature, but does it look any good? If you’re a young person who likes movies that look like The Boss Baby but with the plot of Action Point (or any movie about underdogs trying to save the whatever). And you’ll see the ad and turn to your parents and demand they take you. But how many viewers are going online after to see the full trailer?


Alita: Battle Angel

It pains me to put the Alita spot in the Losers circle because I really enjoyed the movie. A lot. I think it’s the spectacle of the year, in need of the biggest screen you can find and actually in 3D. But this commercial was not catching many eyes. The movie may be criticized for feeling too much like an already dated YA dystopian film, and Fox looks like they’re trying to sell it that way, too. Unfortunately, that approach hasn’t worked for anything without a built-in reader fanbase, and even then it’s not the best way to market this thing. How might they have done better? I’m not sure. Perhaps more of the raves from critics who appreciated it? Emphasize more of the groundbreaking effects and action over the plot? This movie is doomed.


The post The Best and Worst Super Bowl Trailers of 2019 appeared first on Film School Rejects.


The Friday Roundup – Gimbals, Speed Ramping and Titles

5 Tips For Smooth Cinematic Gimbal Shots
OK, so I am leading off this weeks post with the video below because it really is one of those tutorial videos that is important.
Often these days we get pulled into the marketing of products with all sorts of promises being made.
The reality however is very often a long way from the marketing hype!
Green screen is the perfect…
Read more…

The Friday Roundup – Gimbals, Speed Ramping and Titles

Young boy yelling at father about misuse of a gimbal.

5 Tips For Smooth Cinematic Gimbal Shots

OK, so I am leading off this weeks post with the video below because it really is one of those tutorial videos that is important.

Often these days we get pulled into the marketing of products with all sorts of promises being made.

The reality however is very often a long way from the marketing hype!

Green screen is the perfect example.

You can go to just about any website that offers software capable of executing green screen and it will tell you all about how this or that software can do it.

What they don’t tell you is that 90% of green screen actually occurs at the shooting point of the production and the software only plays a minor role!

So that leads me to one of the current “darlings” of the video equipment world which is gimbals.

The switch to high definition video meant that in most ways we all gained so much but on the other hand what we lost was that warm fuzzy and most importantly, “forgiving” nature of standard definition!

A little out of focus? SD had you covered!

A little camera shake? SD had your back most of the time!

With high definition we lost all that and the need for steady shooting and stabilized cameras became important.

These days tripods, gimbals and any other stabilizing arrangements are everywhere and are being sold everywhere.

I see gimbals promoted all over the place and nearly every time I see that promotion the idea is that somehow a gimbal is going to solve every problem you have regarding camera shake.

The reality is that a gimbal will certainly allow you to shoot steady footage BUT!

The first thing you need to learn is how to use that gimbal and what its limitations are.

PowerDirector – Create a Speed Ramp Transition

Speed ramping is a great effect if used in moderation and a great way to control time in the minds of your audience.

Most software can speed up and slow down videos loaded in to a project however speed ramping takes that a little further.

By using key frames you can increase or decrease the rate at which a clip or sequence is speeding up or slowing down.

Just about any video editor that allows key frames to be used in conjunction with playback speed can achieve speed ramping.

Check out the video below for a demo in PowerDirector but the ideas remain the same regardless of what software you are using.

5 Tips For Filming Slow Motion B-roll

Slow motion b-roll footage is all the rage with the groovy kids these days so here’s a pretty good tutorial on the subject.

It is especially good given that it comes from an experienced point of view.

Of particular note is the concept of sweating too much over stabilization when shooting footage like this and for the purpose it was intended.

More on Medium Shots

There are number of “shots” that any video creator will use to pull and audience along with the story of their video.

In general terms there is the long shot, the medium shot, the closeup and the extreme close up.

That of course is by no means the full list but those are the basic building blocks.

Each of those shot creates a particular effect in the minds of the viewer and for a overview of that you can read more about shots HERE.

However this week I came across this article discussing in more depth the use of the medium shot and thought it was well worth taking a look at.

Sound Effects Masterclass – Cinematic Anything Quickly

As I have mentioned before many times one of the key differences between an amateur and pro video is in the way the audio is handled.

The use of audio transitions, the layering or sounds in fact just about anything to do with what ends up being the “sound track” of your final video.

I think it would be in everyone’s interest to take a look at the video below.

It goes into quite some detail on how to layer and build sound within a project and more importantly why those steps are being taken and the intended effect on the audience.

Creating Powerful Transitions With Audio

This is another tutorial I came across this week on the subject of using audio as the main feature of a transition rather then some spinning, whirling cheesiness from your transitions library.

If you take a look at a lot of professional videos and movies and watch carefully enough you will find audio transitions everywhere.

By far the main technique used to go from shot to shot is just a straight cut and if you or I do that things get a little boring very quickly.

On the other hand when the pro’s keep using straight cuts it never seems to get boring or repetitive.

The reason for that is that they are using audio transitions at the cut point to keep interest high.

Animate Your Titles in 5 Seconds

One aspect of creating videos with just a little more professional polish is by using well made titles.

The downside to that is that creating titles is a bit of a PITA in most cases.

Sure you can slap in some of the pre-made titles that came with your software but let’s face it, they generally look a tad cheesy and scream amateur at you from the screen!

As is the case with most presets and pre-configured effects etc in any consumer grade editing software it really only takes a few tweaks to get them looking better… but again, it is kind of boring and tedious to accomplish.

In the video below the creator goes into an idea I think a lot of people could benefit from and that is the idea of simple creating your own preset titles ready for use in your projects.

All it really takes is deciding to just sit down and create a range of titles that you can save and then add to your projects at a later date.

Sort of like your own titles library where all you have to do is add them and change the text.

SIMPLE Rig for “TASTY” Overhead SHOTS!

If there is one thing that is really annoying about a lot of online “demonstration” videos it is that you can’t actually see what is being demonstrated!

Probably the best example of this is cooking demos where the person showing the technique is doing something inside a bowl or container, talking endlessly about what you are supposed to be looking at yet at the same time you can’t see it!

There are a multitude of videos like this on YouTube and of course the solution to all of this is the overhead shot.

However having a friend stand on a chair shooting a shaky overhead is not really all that much better than being unable to see in the first place.

Most of the more professionally shot videos like this tend to rely on complicated and expensive camera rigs to get those steady, clear overheads.

However for most of us those types of rigs are not within the budget… in fact for most of us there IS no budget in the first place!

Anyway check out the video below for a relatively cheap alternative that utilizes a little re-purposing of a monitor mount to provide a good solution to the problem.

Keyframing, Text Shake Effect, Fade In and Fade Out + More! – Filmora

This is just a simple tips videos from Filmora covering questions asked specifically about Filmora9.

It deals with some audio keyframing ideas, adding a shake effect to text, simple fades in from black and out to black as well as a few other bits and pieces.

How to Edit, Detach, & Layer Sound – FilmoraPro Tutorial

This is a new tutorial video from the guys at Filmora demonstrating some of the more precise audio controls available in their new Filmora Pro.

It covers adjusting audio at a track level, at an overall level and down to the level of individual audio clips.

It also shows how you can add keyframes to precisely adjust settings over time and how to layers sounds to build up an overall soundtrack.

Original Image:

Child With Angry Expression: Ollyy/Shutterstock.

The post The Friday Roundup – Gimbals, Speed Ramping and Titles appeared first on The DIY Video Editor.

from https://diyvideoeditor.com/the-friday-roundup-gimbals-speed-ramping-and-titles/

3 Ways You Can Light a Car Scene in Your Driveway

Forget a process trailer. Here’s how to shoot car scenes on a budget.

Car scenes are an essential and inevitable part of filmmaking. Big budget projects use process trailers—you know, those trailers that Hollywood uses to tow cars so the talent doesn’t have to worry about driving while acting—to get it done, and while everyone can appreciate a big, complicated rig that is used to do something seemingly simple, I’m guessing the vast majority of us don’t have the resources for something like that.

In this tutorial, Shutterstock’s Todd Blankenship shows you several techniques you can use to light and shoot car scenes in your driveway, including how to add weather effects and add realistic car movement. Check it out below:

Car scenes are not only fun to watch but they’re fun to make. Unless you’re shooting your subjects actually driving from the back or passenger seat, these scenes allow (and require) you to get really creative in order to solve the many problems that come along with them.

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