What Does Magic Sound Like? Exploring the Sound Design of ‘Harry Potter’

A breakdown of cinematic sound wizardry.

If there were some sort of cliché police, they’d assign a dedicated task force to the phrase: “Sound is crucial to the movie-going experience.”

Nevertheless, the sentiment endures for a reason: A creative sound design’s contribution to the power of cinema can never be overstated.

In this rundown of the sound design of magic in Harry Potter, The Nerdwriter provides a brisk overview of how igniting wands and bursting spells evolved sonically over a decade of films.

In the first two franchise installments, sound editors Eddy Joseph and Rohan Taylor set steadfast rules: Nothing modern, nothing futuristic, nothing electronic. In other words…nothing Star Wars-y.

Considering many of the spells in the early films were element-themed – Incendio (fire), Glacius (ice), Aguamenti (water) – a more literal, organic approach was an intuitive direction.

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Day For Night on The Dead Don’t Die: Director Of Photography Frederick Elmes Shoots Jarmusch’s Zombies

Fred Elmes invited me to a DI Theater at Harbor Picture Company, a post-house bustling around the corner from Film Forum, to talk about his work on Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die. There was just an hour left of the allotted time to finish the HDR version of the film when I arrived at the DI suite, but Fred retained his cool as he lulled us to the finish line. In my time there, he liked to vignette the edges more or less, and bring faces up or down a level or two. Usually down.  Our meeting there was […]

Screenwriting Books You Need to Read – Top Ten List

Top Ten Screenwriting Books You Need to Read   1) Screenplay by Syd Field The first book I ever read about screenwriting. Field is the forefather of the how to for screenwriting. He cracked the code of the three act structure and paved the way for all others screenwriting gurus that would follow. As far as…

The post Screenwriting Books You Need to Read – Top Ten List appeared first on Indie Film Hustle.

How to Craft a Standout Acting Resume

How to Craft a Standout Acting Resume

Before an Actor can wow an Agent or Casting Director with their performance, they need to impress them with their acting resume. While a headshot is an equally important resource for professional success, it only touches the surface of what an Actor can do and the experience they have. That’s why every Actor must have an acting resume ready at all times.

An acting resume is largely the same as a resume for any other field of work in that it’s a brief breakdown of prior jobs and past education that can give that Agent or Casting Director a quick look into a prospective Actor’s credentials. However, the look and content of an acting resume differ greatly from other professions, making essential the guidelines to follow.

When writing your acting resume, be sure to:

  1. Make it a single page
  2. Attach it to the back of the headshot
  3. Stick to traditional fonts
  4. Keep it clean
  5. Section off work
  6. List roles chronologically

Formatting Fundamentals

Make it a single page. In other professional fields, it has become largely acceptable to have a resume that can extend to two pages. But in the acting world, a single page is still the standard. Why is that the case? Read on.

Attach it to the back of the headshot. As mentioned, a headshot is critical, but it can hardly convey anything beyond physical features. To make it convenient for an Agent or Casting Director to better learn if an Actor is right for a role, their acting resume should be attached to their headshot, hence the need for the resume to be only a single page. Also, having the resume attached to the headshot necessitates that it be 8 inches by 10 inches.

Stick to traditional fonts. Of course, every Actor wants their resume to stand out, but the key to doing so is to make it look professional. For that reason, avoid using unusual or niche fonts and stick to classic styles like Arial or Times New Roman. Also, Actors shouldn’t rely on patterned paper or colored text, which can come across as distracting or amateurish to those in a position to decide auditions or roles.

Keep it clean. A resume should be easy to read and not cluttered with excessive text, so Actors must prioritize quality over quantity. Not every role, especially much older or minor ones, needs to be included on an acting resume. Include only the most pertinent or recent work experiences that display professional range.

Section off work. Speaking of work experiences, Actors who have played roles in more than one medium should have a distinct section for each of them. That means Actors should separate their listings for television, film, theater and web series experience. If an Actor’s experience is extensive, they might even want to consider creating separate resumes for each medium of work.

List roles chronologically. Some Actors prefer to list their most significant roles first, but again, the more typical standard is to list work starting with the most recent.

A resume should be easy to read and not cluttered with excessive text, so Actors must prioritize quality over quantity. Not every role, especially much older or minor ones, needs to be included on an acting resume.

Information Essentials

Tell the truth. It might sound obvious, but an acting resume should contain only true and correct information. Whether it’s a role that was never performed or a skill never learned, an Agent or Casting Director will eventually learn about the inaccuracy. A good reputation should not be taken lightly, and it can be easily tarnished when someone fabricates information, so Actors should put a priority on preserving theirs by being truthful on their resumes.

Include relevant physical descriptions. That means making sure height and eye color, as well as current weight and hair color, are all at the top of an acting resume. Including age is not necessary and is often discouraged, as it can potentially influence an Agent or Casting Director’s decision to audition someone. One exception to that rule: add age if an Actor is still a minor and under 18 years old.

Have contact information. If an Actor does not currently have representation, contact information such as their phone number and email address is necessary. Actors with representation can still include that information, but they should also add the name(s) of their agency and/or management company, and if possible, the appropriate logos.

Add affiliations. So that Agents and Casting Directors can quickly assess whether an Actor is in the union, which can affect eligibility for particular roles, SAG-AFTRA or AEA membership information should also be included on an acting resume.

Forego including performance dates. The premiere date of a television spot or time period of a play performance are not necessary on an acting resume. Again, the goal should be to keep the one-sheet as neat and clean as possible, so avoid including non-essential information like performance dates.

Include relevant theater information. What an Agent or Casting Director is really looking for is information on prior acting roles that might help to inform them if an Actor is right for an upcoming part. For theater, that means listing out the show name, role played, theater company and location for each individual work experience.

Have relevant film and/or television information. When an Actor is listing out their prior film or television experience, it’s important to not include the role name. Instead, include with each individual work experience the type of role played, such as co-star or lead. Each listing should also include the production company and Director.

Add pertinent past education. It’s not particularly essential to have a formal educational background in acting to become successful in the industry, but Actors who have gone to school should include that information. That means any formal training, whether it’s higher education, individual classes or mentorship with a professional Acting Teacher.

Include special skills. This guideline comes with one significant disclaimer: put on an acting resume only skillsets that can be performed without practice. That means accents that can be done on command or athletic feats that require no prior conditioning. It’s always a possibility that someone may ask for proof of that skill, so Actors should always be ready to do so. As a result, only include strong special skills.

One of the best resources at an Actor’s disposal is other Actors. Especially if an Actor is new to creating an acting resume, they should reach out to others in their professional circle for examples and feedback.

Final Tips to Success

Do not include Extra experience. An acting resume should be just that — a concise breakdown of roles performed across the different mediums. While Extra work can provide key on-set experience and a pathway to connecting to other Actors, it has no place on an acting resume, so leave it out.

Do not include any extraneous work experience. It may again sound obvious, but an acting resume should never include other types of work — even if that work still pertains to the entertainment industry. In some cases, very young or beginning Actors may attempt to include that type of information to fill out their acting resumes, but as with Extra experience, any work outside of acting should be left off.

Do not print your resume on the back of your headshot. Some Actors may think it looks cleaner to simply print their resume on the backside of their headshots. However, just like any other resume, it’s important to keep that information up to date. But if an acting resume is already printed on a headshot, the option to revise it is gone. Instead, always keep the resume separate from the headshot until it’s ready to be sent out. Simply staple in opposite corners and it’s ready to go.

Get feedback. One of the best resources at an Actor’s disposal is other Actors. Especially if an Actor is new to creating an acting resume, they should reach out to others in their professional circle for examples and feedback. Actors currently in school can also benefit from talking to their instructors for constructive notes on how their resumes look and read.

Always keep a few resumes on hand. Regardless of profession, it’s always a good idea to have a business card ready to give out. But for Actors, having a resume or two on hand might also be helpful. Especially for Actors living in Los Angeles or New York, opportunities exist for meeting Agents or Casting Directors at events or even just getting a last-minute call to audition. While it’s frowned upon to give out a headshot or resume unsolicited, always being prepared for a legitimate resume request is important.

Tweak, tweak, tweak. Just like with any other profession, Actors should track if their resumes are receiving attention. If not, what could be adjusted or updated to get that attention? In addition to keeping a resume relevant with an Actor’s most current information, they should also be keeping an eye on what works or doesn’t work and making sure that their resume is the strongest it can be.

Creating an effective acting resume takes time, energy and consistent attention. But most importantly, it should be considered a critical part of professional advancement. It’s understandable that many Actors may want to put their efforts towards the thing they love — acting! But before an Agent or Casting Director may decide to select an Actor to come in for an audition or watch their audition tape, they’ll likely want to take a look at their acting resume.

Much of the potential anxiety around creating an acting resume can be alleviated just by following the above guidelines. And again, it’s important that Actors reach out to others to get an idea of whether their initial efforts are having the intended consequences of getting someone interested in wanting to see them perform. With just a little bit of dedicated effort, a strong acting resume can be the calling card that leads to a lifetime of professional success.

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Apple Is Doing Great Things for Us as Creatives

Apple Is Doing Great Things for Us as Creatives

I’m stoked about what Apple has done during their last App Developer’s conference for 2019. The brand is regaining the trust from photographers, 3D developers, videographers and music makers.

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Photographer Posts Image Showing Whale With Severed Tail to Highlight the Dangers of Boating

Photographer Posts Image Showing Whale With Severed Tail to Highlight the Dangers of Boating

An underwater photographer has captured the dramatic aftermath of a pilot whale having its tail sliced off due to a collision with a boat propellor. Now, the image is being used to highlight the dangers that boating through busy wildlife areas poses.

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Is There a Secret Ingredient Behind Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse’s Success?

Well if there is, it’s a technique called Animated Naturalism. But what is that?

Sony Animation’s INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE was one of the most unexpected delights of last year’s crop of superhero movies. It was fun, funny, heartfelt, and exhilarating.

But how did the production and animation team get so much extra juice out of what could have been a spraypaint-by-numbers superhero flick?

As this video from HoustonProductions1 explains, SPIDER-VERSE broke the mold in a lot of ways, especially when it came to using animated naturalism to tell a story:

What is Animated Naturalism?

Animated naturalism is the art (and science) of making something animated that feels human. Since all animation is completely planned and storyboarded, it requires a lot of precision and expertise to make something so planned feel like it’s unplanned. Humans can improvise, but animation can’t.

Let’s take a look at a few ways INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE conveys animated naturalism:

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Digi Australia Helps you Get Bigger Lenses On Your Stabilizer

Running a physically large lens on a Ronin 2 or Freefly Movi is often tricky, but Digi Australia has a solution that might help.

One of the first things you learn when working with camera stabilizers like the Ronin or the Movi is the importance of a compact camera package that is easier to balance. Why?

Because a large lens out front can make the rig harder to balance, and it’ll drain your batteries faster, because of the physical weight of all that glass. So use smaller lenses. Problem solved.

Not really…

Sometimes you (or the DP or director who hired you) just want to use a particularly long master prime (a notoriously heavy and sometimes big prime), or a small zoom, to get your shot. So here is a real solution: Digi Australia has come out with new Accessory Mounts to help you do that.

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WANDRD’S new DUO Daypack raised $250K in Kickstarter funding in just 24 hours

Bag company WANDRD has launched its new DUO Daypack on Kickstarter, where it has already greatly exceeded its funding goal. The backpack is designed for ‘dawn-to-dusk’ use, according to the company, with features for photographers in addition to travellers, commuters, and everyone else.

DUO Daypack features the InfiniteZip system, which involves a single zipper with multiple sliders for accessing the part of the bag that contains the needed item. The bag is described as weather-resistant against rain (and power washers, as demonstrated in the campaign).

The bag’s interior features a POP cube that can be expanded to create a ‘multifunctional space’ within which items, such as a camera, are better protected. The cube includes a padded EVA foam divider for accommodating different types of gear.

Joining the protective cube are a number of pockets, including two padded expansion pockets for lenses, hard drives, or other modestly sized items. Those two slots are joined by small mesh pockets, a large mesh pocket, zipper pockets, and a hidden passport pocket.

The DUO Daypack has a 20L capacity and measures 29cm x 16.5cm x 49.5cm (11.5in x 6.5in x 19.5in) with a weight of 1.2kg (2.6lbs). WANDRD is offering the bag to Kickstarter backers with an ‘early bird’ price of $175 USD, a discount off the anticipated $219 USD retail price. Assuming the campaign is successful, WANDRD expects to start shipping to campaign backers in December 2019.


Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

How to Use Negative Space to Improve Your Composition and Take Better Photos

How to Use Negative Space to Improve Your Composition and Take Better Photos

Using minimalism and negative space can be an effective means of creating striking compositions that catch the eye. Check out this short video for tips on how to create images and why it’s effective.

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Nikon Confirms D5-Equivalent Top-Tier Mirrorless Camera Coming

The Nikon D5 sits atop Nikon’s DSLR roster as the company’s top-of-the-line camera for professional photographers. While the high-end Z7 is currently at the top of the Z series above the mid-level Z6, it’s not going to be Nikon’s top-of-the-line full-frame mirrorless camera for long.

Nikon President Toshikazu Umatate confirmed the company’s plans to launch a higher-end camera in an interview with Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, a Japanese manufacturing newspaper.

Besides revealing that Nikon will be launching a flagship mirrorless camera that’s the mirrorless equivalent of the D5 DSLR, however, Umatate didn’t give any additional details (such as when the camera may be unveiled).

The Z7’s impressive list of specs and features already tops the D5 in a number of areas, such as megapixels (45.7MP vs 20.8MP), autofocus points (493 vs 153), and in-body stabilization (something the D5 doesn’t have) — the D5 was announced in 2016, two years before the Z7, after all

But advantages of the D5 over the Z7 include continuous shooting (12fps vs 9fps), maximum ISO (100-102400 vs 64-25600), dual card slots (the Z7 only has one), and wired LAN support.

It’ll be interesting to see what Nikon is able to cram into its upcoming ultimate mirrorless camera that’ll put it a tier above the Z7.

(via Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun via Nikon Rumors)

Download the ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ Script PDF

At the time, the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade script was the perfect end to a trilogy. Now, download the third script in the series and learn how theme and character dictate an adventure. And deal with your daddy issues.

Cinema is about creating inspiring stories out of universal issues. It’s about welcoming viewers to small and large stories by appealing to the audience’s inner turmoil. Today we’re dissecting a movie that does that all so well…

The Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade script is one of the greatest adventure movies of all time. Because at its heart it’s really about fathers, sons, and the daddy issues we all hold near and dear to our hearts.

It doesn’t matter if you love or hate your father, this movie script presents the story in a way that transcends all.

Today we’re going to take al oot at the story of creating the screenplay, some key scenes, theme, and talk about how the trilogy should have ended here.

So let’s dive into Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade! Feel free to share this article with your Dad.

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This photographer bag raised over $250,000 on Kickstarter in just on day

This new DUO photographers bag just raised over $250,000 in one day on Kickstarter (Click here to see the project). The main feature of this new bag is that it will allow you easy and quick access to every item…

The post This photographer bag raised over $250,000 on Kickstarter in just on day appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

Why Is Leica Shedding Staff When Its Profits Are Increasing?

Why Is Leica Shedding Staff When Its Profits Are Increasing?

For many companies, losing 7.5% of your workforce would typically be bad news, perhaps an indication that profits are falling. This is not the case at Leica; in June last year, it announced that sales had increased for the fifth consecutive year. So, why is Leica doing so well when other camera companies are seeing their figures nosedive, and why is it reducing its number of staff?

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Don’t Write For Free — And If You Do, Remember These Rules

Useful screenwriter tips to make sure nobody tries to take advantage of you.

Heads up: this article is aimed at screenwriters who might be a little further along in their careers, but everyone in a creative industry should take note.

Free work. The bane of every screenwriter’s existence. Hollywood has had a problem with free work for a while, and it’s easy to get sucked into the pattern of doing free work for producers and production companies.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been campaigning against free work for a while. They recently started a campaign called No Writing Left Behind that seeks to stop producers from requesting written material from a writer’s pitch. And they’ve become more aggressive about being the “bad guy” in telling producers or studios not to request free work from their writers. Even with all that, free work still happens.

How do you know when you should write for free? The short answer is “never.”

John August gives us a longer answer to that question: “Most of what you write should be for yourself or people who can pay you in money, not experience.”

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This AI Can ‘Bring a Person to Life’ from a Single Still Photo

Researchers have created an AI that can animate a human subject from a single still photograph, “bringing them to life” by making them walk, run, sit, or jump out of a photo in 3D.

Photo Wake-Up: 3D Character Animation from a Single Photo” is the new paper describing the technology advancements made by the computer scientists at the University of Washington and Facebook.

After analyzing a photo to detect the human(s) within, the AI turns the person’s silhouette into an animatable mesh after identifying and labeling the various body parts. The 2D-to-3D person has details extracted from the original photo as well as a guessed “weight” that informs how it moves around in 3D space.

The AI also fills in the hole left behind from extracting the person in the original photo (like what Photoshop does with Content-Aware Fill), allowing the person to break out from the photo without strange missing areas showing up behind them.

“The big challenge here is that the input is only from a single camera position, so part of the person is invisible,” says UW professor Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman. “Our work combines technical advancement on an open problem in the field with artistic creative visualization.”

Here are some examples of what the AI can do with still photos:

You may think that the results look like a poor-quality character model from an old school video game, but the researchers note that this is just a big first step — the technology is only going to get better over time.

“Photo Wake-Up is a new way to interact with photos,” says lead author and Ph.D. student Chung-Yi Weng. “It can’t do everything yet, but this is just the beginning.”

Filmmaking Fallacies We All Need to Put to Bed

There are a lot of misconceptions about filmmaking that can make life hell when you’re first starting out.

Filmmaking as a newbie looks and feels much different than it does when you have some experience under your belt.

The years of making do with less time, money, and resources…

The surefire plans that crumble right when you arrive on set…

The questionable sums you get after adding A to B and not getting C…

All of these things and more give you a clearer picture not only of what filmmaking actually is but what it could’ve been when you first started out.

So, let’s go over some common misconceptions beginners have about making movies so we can spend time forging paths rather than backtracking through them.

Chrystopher Rhodes of YCImaging goes over five of his own in the video below, so let’s start there.

Let’s quickly go over the misconceptions, or “lies” as he puts it, that beginners often have (or believe) about filmmaking.

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