Some amazing independent horror films have emerged in the genre recently, and two stellar examples are “Hereditary” and “The Babadook”.
Both were Sundance standouts, and both were the debut features for writer/director Ari Aster and Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent, respectively. Both are shot and directed beautifully and feature incredible performances, especially from their female leads. And both have had an enormous impact on horror and film as a whole.
Richard DeZerga’s recent video examines what makes these two films so strong. Check it out below.
[Editor’s note: Spoiler warnings for both Hereditary and The Babadook, as well as content warnings for horror imagery and violence.]
Brad Bird, Rad Bradbury, and Hayao Miyazaki…all visionaries that whiffed on a popular comic. Why and how?
Maybe you’ve heard the term “development hell” before and never learned what it meant. Essentially, it’s when drafts and notes of a script bog it down so much the movie never sees the light of day. But sometimes those movies do get made, and in the case of Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, it wound up missing the boat on three auteurs.
Today I want to look at a video essay that addresses this fiasco and talk about a movie we never saw.
But first, check out the Little Nemo trailer for the movie we did get.
Little Nemo was one of the most popular comics in the world for a little while, and soon the rights were secured in the late 1970’s by producer Yutaka Fujioka. His dream was to make this into a profitable movie that bridged the gap between anime and Western culture.
He flew to California to approach people like George Lucas and Chuck Jones to join the adaptation.
OWC has announced the Envoy Pro EX, which they claim is the world’s fastest USB-C portable drive. The Envoy Pro EX has speeds of up to 980MB/s, which is pretty impressive for a bus powered, compact USB-C drive. Not only can you copy and back up files in the field quickly, but you can also … Continued
As a long-time camera operator, I sometimes have trouble letting go and allowing camera assistants to do their work. There have been many a time I have grabbed a lens out of habit and pulled the focus and thus… blow up a lens calibration with a wireless follow focus unit. With a suggestion from a friend, we stopped by Heden Group to check out a wireless FIZ controller who can help me with my bad habits.
The Heden Ymer-3 is a high-end wireless control system for Focus / Iris / Zoom that has been designed to be dependable. As you would expect from a Hedén product the motors and the motor control is very precise and direct with no lag.
Heden Ymer-3 Specifications
LenSaver manual calibration, a much safer and easier way of manually calibrating.
Manual override that makes it possible for an operator to take manual control of the lens without removing the motor or recalibrating the system.
Lens mapping function makes lens changes quick and easy.
Heden LM30 Motor
The Heden LM30 is the smallest and lightest motor for professional film and broadcasting cameras we have ever produced, developed in collaboration with Shotover, based on their G1 motor. The weight and size make it a perfect choice for use on Steadicams, gimbals, and drones.
The LM30 Quick Mount features tool-less mounting and an improved snap-on gear solution.
The 7-pin 0B connector reduces weight further and allows smaller and lighter cables.
The motor mounts vertically on a 15mm rod with the supplied super light rod-mount and Hex-key. The unique interchangeable snap-on gears that can be mounted on either side of the gear housing ads to the versatility of the Hedén motors. Supplied with a superlight 0.8 gear module and with 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 modules available as extras.
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In the fifth and final part of this series on keying, I’ll demonstrate a range of compositing techniques to help integrate keyed footage into backgrounds. In parts 1 to 4 we looked at a range of tips, tricks and techniques to get better keys in After Effects. Once we’ve keyed our clips and have a matte we’re happy with, there are a variety of additional processes we can apply to our matte, to make our composites look more realistic.
To be fair, this isn’t exactly a tutorial on compositing. It’s more about how to prepare your footage for compositing. Advanced compositing can use some or all of the following techniques demonstrated in the video:
hair & semi-transparency glows
spill as a light source
basic colour correction – levels adjustments
basic colour correction – colour as a blending mode
Attitude part 2: pre-composing
In part 1 of this series, I emphasized that I think the most important aspect of keying is attitude – and not expecting everything to be perfect with a single click. This philosophy is also the reason why I like to pre-compose mattes, as demonstrated in the video above. So my concept of “attitude” extends to pre-composing mattes, instead of using track-mattes in the main composition.
It is possible, with a bit of work, to build compositions that have lightwraps, edge blurs and so on without pre-comps. The problem is that you don’t have as much control over them, because your mattes are restricted to a single layer. When you make a pre-comp for a specific matte, eg lightwrap, you have all of the flexibility and power of a dedicated After Effects composition to manipulate the matte. You can add as many layers to the composition as you want to get the matte looking just right – you can use adjustment layers, other mattes and so on. However if you try and build a composition that does everything using only track mattes, and no pre-comps, then you’re limited to what you can do in a single layer. It’s easy to think of something that might make the matte look better, but it just becomes too hard and so you give up. By always pre-comping, you never have this problem.
Compositing in After Effects: Beyond keying
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Because of the way that After Effects works – it’s layer-based like Photoshop, as opposed to being nodes-based like Nuke – some of the techniques demonstrated above can be fairly involved, and require a complex web of pre-compositions. That doesn’t make the techniques any less important, just that After Effects has a relatively quirky rendering engine and visual fx compositing is a good way to encounter many of the quirks!
It’s a plugin, it’s an effect, it’s Supercomp!
Red Giant have just released their new “VFX Suite”, including a brand new plugin called “Supercomp”. You can read my review of the full VFX Suite here, and the review includes a quick demonstration video of why Supercomp is so revolutionary when compared to the traditional After Effects layer-based approach. The tutorial video for part 5 (above) is much longer and way more detailed, but it also serves as a demonstration of why Supercomp is so ambitious, and how it has the potential to completely revolutionise compositing in After Effects.
Supercomp includes 17 effects, including Optical Glow and volume fogs, which are outside of the techniques I demonstrate above. If you’re interested in advanced compositing in After Effects then the Red Giant tutorials are worth watching, and you should also download the trial version of the new VFX Suite to try it out for yourself.
What to watch now Game of Thrones has finished
This marks the end of the series on advanced chromakey in After Effects. Hopefully, having covered lots of ground, you’ve learned a few new tricks & techniques, and also gained insight into keying and compositing. It’s taken a long time to get this series together, and co-incidentally the launch of the new Red Giant VFX suite provides a great comparison of traditional compositing within After Effects to their new Supercomp plugin.
If you’ve missed the earlier parts then you can watch them here, starting with Part 1.
If you’d like to see more tutorials in the future, then please take the time to read through my other articles here on the ProVideo Coalition!
For many of us, we’ve been using Adobe Photoshop for so long that at this point we don’t question our own workflows; we do what we’ve done before because that’s the way we’ve always done it. I did something crazy the other day though. I questioned if a tooltip’s displayed information could be changed. And I was a little shocked that yes, it could be.
In Jordan Peele’s Us, a middle class family returns home from a day at the beach to find themselves under siege by murderous doppelgängers clad in red jumpsuits and wielding scissors. Instead of leaning primarily on face replacements, compositing and other post production tricks, cinematographer Mike Gioulakis emphasized clever camera placement and the use of doubles to create the illusion of Lupita Nyong’o and her clan battling their alter egos. With Us hitting Blu-ray and other home entertainment platforms last week, Gioulakis walked Filmmaker through some of the film’s most memorable shots. Filmmaker: Since we spoke for It Follows, you’ve shot two M. Night […]
As a sort of part 2 to my last video, I’m taking the black and white film from that same shoot and jumping into the darkroom. It’s been a while since I’ve ventured in, so I thought it would be fun to take you along with me while I kicked off the cobwebs.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be hosting “Galactic Innovations: STAR WARS and ROGUE ONE,” panel on Thursday, June 27th. Held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, the evening event will contrast the analog technologies developed for the first STAR WARS released in 1977 with the all-digital toolsets used to create ROGUE ONE […]
The deadline for submitting narrative feature films and documentary films to the 27th Edition of Camerimage, the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, is Sunday, June 30th. The deadline for other categories (music videos, TV pilots, student etudes) is Wednesday, July 31st. All submitted feature films will be evaluated by the selection committee, […]
The Women In Media hosted a Black Carpet Genre Brunch and Panel to celebrate and honor five talented women for their outstanding achievements in the industry held at Taix French Restaurant on Sunday, June 23, 2019. The five ladies were each presented by a different Toast Master as Women In Media Executive Director Tema Staig […]
The slow push-in is a fundamental building block of cinematic storytelling. Here’s how you can achieve it in post.
We listed the slow push-in as one of our 8 camera moves that will help you tell better stories, and for good reason.
The push-in often takes place when the audience is receiving a key piece of information. The filmmaker is inviting the audience to lean forward. The camera slowly moves towards the subject to emphasize an important moment. It’s a way to subtly say, “Pay attention! This story beat is important.”
Classically, a slow push-in is accomplished with a dolly or a zoom lens.
But what if you didn’t have a dolly? What if you couldn’t get that perfect shot on set?
Vashi Nedomanky has your back.
Nedomansky, editor of Sharknado 2, created a free set of 10 presets for Premiere Pro that can be easily added to your footage, still images, and even text.
This preset package includes 5 scale percentage options for you to choose from, ranging from most subtle to most aggressive: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25.
You may frequently hear complaints about Lightroom and Photoshop — too buggy, too slow, too bloated, too expensive — but it doesn’t seem to be putting a dent in Adobe’s performance. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as the company announced last week that it has achieved record revenues for the second fiscal quarter of this year.
Bye Bye Camera is a new app for iOS that does one thing and one thing only: it detects people in the image, removes them and fills in the background. The function should be welcome by landscape or travel photographers who shoot at popular locations that are busy with tourists but is meant to be an artistic statement rather than a photographic tool.
‘I’ve created this project together with two of my longtime collaborators, Andrej and Pavel, from Russia. A couple of years ago I created a collective called Do Something Good where I connected all the people I’ve collaborated with online. By now we’re 16 people around the world from different fields and collaborate on different projects.
The app takes out the vanity of any selfie and also the person. I consider Bye Bye Camera an app for the post-human era. It’s a gentle nod to a future where complex programs replace human labor and some would argue the human race. It’s interesting to ask what is a human from an Ai (yes, the small “i” is intended) perspective? In this case, a collection of pixels that identify a person based on previously labeled data. But who labels this data that defines a person immaterially? So many questions for such an innocent little camera app.’
On a technology level, the app works by using functionality from an image recognition app called Yolo and combines it with a neural network that analyzes the visible elements in the background and fills in the gaps once the person is removed.
This is by no means new technology but on this occasion it is applied with a slightly different purpose in mind: the app wasn’t designed to remove the odd bystander who sneaked into your frame but to wipe all humans from your images and capture post-human scenes. If this sounds like something you’d like to try you can download the app from the App Store now for $2.99.
There was once a time when Canon and Nikon users warred like zealous tribes and the act of switching made you a heathenish deserter. Now it’s just par for the course. So what happened to brand loyalty? Did it ever really exist?
We’ve crushed Tier One, and are solidly in Tier Two for all three items–that already means a 20% discount! Tier 3 (and even bigger savings) are within reach!
The offer includes Wescott’s Slim Jim Cine kit, their Bi-Color Flex lights(w/X-Bracket Kit), and Ice Light light wand. An easy to assemble diffusion, extremely adjustable LEDs, and a 50% more powerful light wand are all great tools for any level of filmmaker.
Got any questions about the gear?
Ask us in the comments and our own Charles Haine will reply!
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Product information, specs, and images below:
Wescott Scrim Jim Cine Kit
If you need to shape, diffuse, cut, or bounce light, Wescott’s Slim Jim Cine might be right up your alley. The Scrim Jim Cine has a lot of desirable features, including heavy-duty modular construction, positive-locking connectors, quick assembly, and easy portability.