The Star Wars: The Force Awakens script PDF was one of my favorite downloads a few years ago. I loved how it delved into the lore of the Star Wars universe and built something that felt both modern and nostalgic. So how can you capture that contemporary spirit in your own writing?
The Force Awakens script came with a lot of pressure. Not only did JJ Abrams, Michael Arndt, and Lawrence Kasdan have to get the nostalgia right, but they also had to set up a new franchise for the future.
Writing the screenplay was a daunting task that took many outlines, drafts, and full rewrites. Still, The Force Awakens opened to unprecedented success.
Not to mention the fact that they were building on the super popular originals and being made in the wake of the super polarizing prequels.
So… did they pull off the impossible?!
That’s a tough one to answer, and you’ll probably find different lengthy takes on it in every corner of the internet. We’re not here for that today!
We’ve all heard some terrible writing advice in our lives. It might have been from so-called “experts,” professors, or even in an unhelpful YouTube tutorial, but there are good writing lessons at the heart of every bad note. Let’s look at a few together to see what you can glean.
Tell me if this rings a bell, you’re attending a screenwriting seminar, listening to a lecture, or getting notes from someone, and they lean in and tell you they have a piece of advice. After hearing it, you shake your head. You feel a little worse off than you started, and you’re not sure what to do next.
Terrible writing advice is all around us. Bad writing advice comes from many sources. We hear it in blogs, podcasts, and all over Social Media.
Today I want to go over the 5 biggest pieces of terrible screenwriting advice I’ve heard, debunk each of them, and give you the proper lessons to take away from each of them.
Nothing is more fun than strapping a GoPro to something in the wild and getting a new perspective on nature. Check this turtle out!
I think the GoPro is an underrated tool. Honestly, there’s nothing more fun than seeing all the new angles and views of the world captured on these functional epic tiny cameras. This viral video follows a red-eared slider turtle with a GoPro on its back and gives us the best turtle footage since The Secret of the Ooze.
The film starts out with the eloquent, “‘Sup, guys, we got a turtle right here…” and gets better every second from there.
Check out the video from The Fish Whisperer.
Other than offering a rip-roaring good time (mostly for turtles), watching this video reminds us, as filmmakers, that getting unique shots sometimes is a ridiculous endeavor. Whether you’re mounting a GoPro to an arrow or to a sword, there are myriad ways to utilize small, lightweight action cameras to get shots you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
This is the next episode in Game of Formats, and a very exciting saga it promises to be. Hasselblad introduced their new X1D II 50C mirrorless Medium Format digital camera today.It has the same lens mount as the original X1D introduced in 2016 and many improvements. The XCD lens mount has an 18.3mm flange focal depth and ~61mm Inside Diameter. That’s an extremely short distance from the lens mount to the sensor, which is nice. Google “Hasselblad XCD Adapters” and you’ll see many mechanical mounts. The 50 megapixel CMOS sensor has 5.3μm photosites. It measures 43.8 x 32.9 mm, which is 54.78mm diagonal. read more…
The CalDigit Connect 10G – Thunderbolt 3 to 10Gb Ethernet Adapter for Mac and PC is a 10Gbe adapter that allows Thunderbolt 3 users to connect to a 10Gbe network with 10X the speed of Gigabit Ethernet. You can get 10X the speed of Gigabit Ethernet when used with 10Gb network switches and high-speed networks. … Continued
CalDigit has just released the new Connect 10G, a Thunderbolt 3 to 10Gb Ethernet Adaptor for Mac and PC. 10GbE allows for speeds up to 10Gb/s or 1,250MB, ideal when working from NAS storage or RAID drives in 4K or higher workflows. The Connect 10 is housed in a solid, aluminium enclosure that also helps … Continued
Pond5 has announced the launch of its new Editorial collection in partnership with global news agency Reuters, as well as Cover Video and Newsflare. The collection has officially launched with more than 4.3 million clips. New content will be added every day, including rare editorial video clips. This new partnership makes it the largest collection … Continued
The new collection introduced by Pond5, with a industry-disrupting licensing model, offers news, celebrity, sports, and user-generated content from Reuters, Cover Video, Newsflare, and more.
Pond5 continues to celebrate agreements with different companies to offer its clients some of the most diverse collections. Now the company announces a new royalty-free Editorial collection, featuring timely footage from the worlds of current events, sports, and entertainment, plus a wealth of video from citizen journalists, who are able to capture unique footage in the moment, as it unfolds.
According to Pond5, access to high-quality news footage has traditionally been subjected to complicated licensing structures at high prices. With this collection, Pond5 is reinventing an industry largely known for a strict rights-managed approach. The new royalty-free model for this content gives filmmakers and creators worldwide access to a massive collection of premium news, celebrity, sports, and archival footage with one simple license, at a fraction of the cost of traditional licensing options — footage in the collection starts at $79 a clip.
“Historically, it’s been very difficult for content creators to license quality, reliable news footage,” said Pond5 CEO Jason Teichman. “Prices were often based on a litany of factors, such as where you’re using the media, how you’re using it, and how many different places you’re going to use it. That antiquated process needed to be reinvented, and with the launch of our new royalty-free editorial marketplace, it all goes away. Anyone can now license content under one license, for a reasonable price.”
To build the new collection, Pond5 has partnered with global news agency Reuters, one of the world’s most respected editorial resources. As an undisputed leader in the industry, Reuters is a natural fit to help launch the collection, which will be continuously updated with their recent topical and newsworthy content.
More partners coming in the next weeks
Pauliina Hepola, Global Head of Channel Partners, Reuters News Agency, said: “Reuters is committed to delivering trusted, independent, and impartial news from around the world. We’re excited to share this content with newsmakers and content creators in a new way by partnering with Pond5.”
Other partners include Cover Video, which offers celebrity and entertainment video content, and Newsflare, known for user-generated breaking news videos, with more partners to be announced in the coming weeks. Through these partnerships, Pond5 is both expanding its collection of valuable archival footage and presenting buyers with royalty-free options for video relating to timely topics and current events, with thousands of new clips added to the collection every day.
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“To gain access to quality news footage — a critical component of their content — producers have often had to deal with complicated licensing restrictions and/or price points that force them to figure out alternative solutions,” said John Ford, general manager of NPACT, the trade association representing non-fiction production companies. “Pond5’s new royalty-free editorial collection is a big benefit to production companies and a great opportunity for our community.”
Weekly Motivation: When No One Believes in Your Filmmaking Dream Every week I’ll be posting new videos as part of my Weekly Motivation Series to help the #IFHTribe along their filmmaking and/or screenwriting path. We all need some help, guidance, motivation or inspiration on our long journey in this crazy business so I hope these…
Professional editors tell us the absolute worst notes they’ve ever received.
We all generally know what jobs in post-production entail, but so much of it involves the enigmatic process of “decoding.” One must read between the lines to understand what’s truly being asked, taking into account the myriad opaque forces motivating these often outrageous and unreasonable requests.
Below is a collection of such requests, ranging from the loony to the downright larcenous, recounted by producers, coordinators, post-supervisors, editors, and VFX artists who’ve stared down the barrel of nightmarish notes…
[Disclaimer: The names of those interviewed have been changed to protect their livelihoods (and, in some cases, lives) from the various corporations and power players which they so kindly agreed to trash for this article.]
Spend any time working with post-processing applications, and you will probably end up using blending modes sooner rather than later. They’re incredibly useful and fundamental to most workflows, but how do they actually work? This highly informative video will dive deep into the theory behind blending modes and how they work.
Optics manufacturer Cosina has released more details of its forthcoming 75mm F1.5 Nokton lens in its Voigtländer Vintage Line for rangefinder cameras using the Leica M mount. Cosina’s intension to make the lens was first announced in February, but now the company has revealed more detailed specifications.
The Vintage Line lenses have a classic-style exterior, with an all-metal barrel and a design to suit more traditional cameras. Voigtländer says though that the optical design is thoroughly modern with the aim of excellent image quality in that matches today’s camera standards. The coupled rangefinder system will suit Leica M and Voigtländer’s own Bessa cameras, and allows focusing distances from 0.7m (2.25ft). The lens uses 7 elements in 6 groups, including aspherical correction and the iris features 12 blades.
Measuring 63.3mm (2.5in) long and 62.8mm (2.47in) in diameter, the lens weighs 350g (12.35oz) and will use a 58mm filter. A slit-style lens hood is included, and will match the black or chrome finish of the lens itself. Below is a small sample gallery of images provided by Voigtländer:
The lens will be available in July and will cost 125,000 (approx. $1150). For more information visit Voigtländer’s website.
Design-driven production company Sarofsky is adding Ben Strang to its directorial roster. Based in Santa Monica, Ben is an SXSW award-winning writer-director and photographer, as well as being the creator of the original episodic series, “Beast.” The news was announced by company Principal and Executive Creative Director Erin Sarofsky, and Executive Producer Steven Anderson. “I […]
With the launch of Affinity Publisher, Serif has the key elements of its Affinity Suite in place, while Managing Director Ashley Hewson says “we’ve only just started”. Is a video editor coming next?
I’ve asked this question before – will Serif move into the video editing area? – and the answer is, apparently no, despite the fact that Serif had, previously, one app, Serif MoviePlus, a Non-Linear Editor that allowed both professional and home users to edit digital video. With the Affinity range, which is a completely new adventure for the company, there seems to be no place for moving images, as the company has just introduced the third element of its Affinity Suite: Affinity Publisher.
Publisher, another “no subscription” element of the now official Affinity Suite, joins the Designer and Photo apps to create a set of tools that will make the work of professionals much easier. In fact much easier than expected, as I discovered while playing with my copy of Affinity Publisher. For months, during the public beta period, joined by more than 200 thousand users, we were told that the icons on the top left side of Publisher and the other apps would allow to move from one app to the other while working.
The magic of StudioLink
A copy of Publisher, which was available for those who had pre-ordered, was running on my computer before the Affinity Live presentation, and I started playing with it. There was a new term appearing in a window – StudioLink – suggesting I should link my other apps, in my case Affinity Photo, which I use. I also had to update the photo app, for both apps to be linked. Once it was done, I opened Publisher and clicked on the Photo app icon to open it. I was still looking at the pages opened in Publisher… It took me a few seconds and two or three clicks back and forth to understand that I was in fact moving from one app to the other and back.
I had to wait for the Affinity Live presentation to find more about the “magic”. StudioLink is a world-first! Serif’s brand new StudioLink technology means owners of its vector design app Affinity Designer and image editor Affinity Photo can use them right there in an Affinity Publisher layout, simply by clicking the relevant product icon. Forget about having to move from your DTP app to your photo editor, it now happens with a simple click and the one has to see it in action to fully understand how this changes workflows.
StudioLink: a nine years old secret
While Affinity Publisher has its own impressive selection of built-in vector and photo editing tools, StudioLink means for the first time, graphics and images in a layout can be edited using a full array of professional tools, without the need to switch to a different app. The result is, as Serif puts it, “a massive streamlining of the creative workflow.”
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StudioLink is not some technology created recently to connect the different parts of the Affinity Suite, it is the core of the whole project. “Affinity Publisher with StudioLink is the realisation of the initial vision we had for our apps nine years ago and I could not be more thrilled to finally reveal that vision today,” says Ashley Hewson. “This is the reason we called our apps Affinity.”
Is video coming to the Affinity Suite?
Now, Serif has been able to keep the origin of the name secret for many years, only revealing it now, at a time, also, when the company shows how fast its apps can work with the new computers, both PC and Mac. It makes sense, though, to ask if they consider it viable to develop a video editing app. I go back to the question because, after Designer, Photo and Publisher, the Affinity Suite does not seem to be able to expand in many more directions that towards an app called… Affinity Video. It is true that no one from Serif comments on this, but the fact is that the last words from Ashley Hewson, at the end of the Affinity Live presentation, were “ and we’ve just started”.
We may have to wait for a while to discover what’s coming next, but the news, right now, are exciting. The Affinity Suite is now a trio, and one that also expands to iPad. While Publisher itself will come to iPad later, owners of Affinity Designer and Photo on iPad will be able to open, edit and export Publisher documents, on the move, from today. Serif updated the pioneering iPad versions of Affinity Designer and Photo to handle Affinity Publisher documents.
Affinity Suite is a game changer
During the presentation Ashley Hewson said: “For too long, millions of creative professionals have found their workflow hindered by incompatible file types, apps which don’t work properly together, and awkward workarounds which cost valuable time” adding that “Affinity Publisher with StudioLink takes all that pain away by allowing you to instantly switch to the advanced photo editing features of Affinity Photo and precise vector tools of Affinity Designer without ever leaving the app. It’s the most fluid workflow ever conceived in a creative suite of applications, and we think it’s a game changer.”
From creating simple text-based documents to posters and flyers, or complex brochures and books combining words, images and graphics, the meticulously-engineered features of Affinity Publisher means it runs like a dream, even on the most content-heavy documents, says Serif. With essentials like Master Pages, facing-page spreads, grids, tables, advanced typography, text flow and full professional print output, Affinity Publisher delivers all the requirements for a modern-day layout app, tailored to exploit the power of the very latest hardware.
Other key features:
OpenType support and glyph browser
Text decorations and drop capitals
Linked text frames with advanced flow options
Text wrapping with fine padding control
Artistic text including text on a path
Baseline grid and text frame rulers
Place PSD, AI, PDF, JPG, TIFF, PNG or Affinity files
Correct and enhance images with non-destructive adjustment layers
Incredibly smooth gradient and transparency controls
Auto generated indexes and table of contents
RegEx search and replace
Customizable keyboard shortcuts
Saveable undo history
Super smooth pan and zoom at 60fps
End-to-end CMYK and spot color support
PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3, PDF/X-4 output for professional print
Affinity Suite: 3 apps, $150, no subscription
Affinity Publisher’s flexibility means it can import and export all major raster and vector files, including layered PSD, PDF, EPS formats. And it can output print-ready documents in the latest PDF/X formats, including hyperlink support for documents shared online.
With Affinity Publisher, photographers have the ideal tool to take full control of their promotional material, from books or eBooks to everything else. The DTP app represents also a welcome solution for whoever needs to create digital work, either for electronic distribution or for print. The Affinity Designer expands on the graphic options, while Affinity Photo is a complete photo editor. The trio forms the Affinity Suite, now in version 1.7, which costs, at its regular price, $49.99 per app, for a total close to $150.
Affinity Publisher is available with a 20% discount (priced $39.99) for a limited period, and as with all Affinity apps has no subscription.
If you think planning, shooting, and editing a live music video is challenging, imaging throwing puppets into the mix.
In Panic! At The Disco’s recent music video for Dancing’s Not A Crime, Beebo the puppet returns to live out his dream with a VIP pass to the P!ATD concert, getting trashed, partying with concert-goers, and ultimately getting thrown out by security.
Other than being a hilariously entertaining music video, “Dancing’s Not a Crime” is a testament to how filmmakers can make overcome major obstacles with planning, creativity, and maybe a wish and a prayer.
We sat down with director Brandon Dermer, DP Wojciech Kielar, and colorist Ryan McNeal to talk about puppets, mixing elements of the docu-style genre with narrative, and their creative process.
NFS: What was your journey to becoming filmmakers and working on music videos?
Sound production for Columbia Pictures’ new action adventure Men in Black: International was completed by Sony Pictures Post Production Services on the studio lot in Culver City. Three-time Academy Award-winning sound designer/ supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer Paul N. J. Ottoson led the sound team in delivering a host of sound elements to support the film’s […]
Enlaps, the company behind the Tikee and TikeePRO time-lapse cameras first introduced in 2015, is back with a new model: the TikeePRO 2+ professional time-lapse camera. The new model is described as entirely self-sufficient with both WiFi and 4G LTE wireless connectivity options. The camera can capture and send images in Full HD, 4K, and 6K resolutions.
The TikeePRO 2+ time-lapse camera automatically shuttles images to the cloud and the companion MyTikee web app automatically creates time-lapses from the images. Enlaps bills the new model as a camera for professionals, emphasizing its wide 220-degree field of view for capturing ‘immersive’ panoramas.
The device features two Sony EXMOR R 16MP sensors, each capable of capturing 4608 x 3456 images in JPEG and DNG formats. Enlaps describes the device as ‘smaller than a laptop, lighter than a DSRL,’ with the added benefit of a durable and waterproof housing for outdoor use.
The company redesigned how users access the camera’s microSIM and microSD cards, and it has also added a ‘breathable valve’ that it says is suitable ‘for all weather.’ The device features a standard tripod mount, 4.1W solar panel, 12,800mAh battery, and a metal insert for securing the device with a padlock. With a fully charged battery, TikeePRO 2+ can run autonomously for 10 days with image uploads or for 30 days without image uploads.
Overall, the TikeePRO 2+ is distinguished from the TikeePRO 2 model by its 6K support, built-in GPS for geotagging images, support for 512GB microSD cards, and twice the autonomy for longer time-lapses. The model is available to pre-order from Enlaps now for 1300 EUR. The company expects to start shipping the camera to buyers in August 2019.