Breaking: Highland 2 Offers Student Pricing

Are you a student who wants to write screenplays? John August has you covered.

Highland 2 is one of our favorite screenwriting softwares on the market. I love using it to write everything. I think it’s so intuitive and useful for when you want to attack writing a movie or a TV show.

Now it comes with a discount for college students everywhere.

How can you get a discount?

1. Have an email address that ends in a “.edu”

2. Compose an email to Brand@JohnAugust.com

3. Tell them where you go to school and who the instructor is that runs your writing program.

4. Give them that professor’s email address.

4. Press send.

They will get in touch with your professor, who will fill out the forms needed for you to get Highland 2.

It’s that simple!

If you want the deal and are in high school, have one of your administrators reach out.

Stop reading and hop to it!

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Sigma Halts Foveon Sensor Development for Full-Frame Mirrorless

Sigma closes the door on a full-frame Foveon X3 sensor. For now.

At Photokina 2018, Sigma announced the development of a Foveon X3 sensor for a full-frame L-mount camera with plans to launch a production model sometime in 2020. This is no longer the case.

In a letter published on its website, Kazuto Yamaki says, “Since the earlier announcements, your excitement with the launch of a “full-frame Foveon” has been a tremendous source of inspiration and encouragement for us. Everyone involved in the project has pulled out all the stops to make it a reality.”

The news comes as a result of “careful and rigorous testing” and Sigma now says it will not be able to produce the camera this year. The company is uncertain of the exact timetable of when it can.

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The Best Filmmaking Deals of the Week (2.14.2020)

Headlining our Deals of the Week is the 50% discount on the Rylo 5.8K 360 video camera, on sale now for just $199.

This week in filmmaking deals: Save $50 on the Metabones Speed Booster XL and $100 on the DJI Osmo Action 4K HDR Camera. Also, the SmallHD FOCUS OLED Monitor, which usually retails for $430, is now under $300. The biggest deal we found this week is this whopping 50% discount on the Rylo 5.8K 360 Degree Video Camera. Finally, Adorama is running a special on the Litepanels Astra 6X Bi-Color LED panel with Flashpoint light stand that gives you over $170 in savings.

Metabones Speed Booster XL

[deal id=”117146″]

Want to give your camera rig a speed boost? One of the most popular ways to do that (with tools) is with the Metabones Speed Booster XL, which will allow you to increase your maximum aperture by a full stop and increase MTF to boost the optical performance potential of your lens. If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on one, you can get it for $50 right now.

DJI Osmo Action 4K HDR Camera

[deal id=”117161″]

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XEEN CF Primes: Are These New Lightweight Lenses a Must For Your Kit?

The smaller, lighter, more flexible version of the popular XEEN primes are now available.

[Editor’s Note: No Film School participated in a sponsored post for Rokinon XEEN. However, all opinions are our own. Rokinon co-produced this video.]

First announced back in September, the full set of XEEN CF primes will be available worldwide at the end of February. The set includes focal length 16, 24, 35, 50 and 85mm. No Film School was able to test pre-production models and we were impressed by the high image quality we were able to get from such small, compact lenses. Check out the video below:

The XEEN CF features an all-new lightweight carbon fiber housing that makes them about 0.5 lbs lighter than the original XEEN lenses. The great thing about carbon fiber is that while it’s lightweight like plastic, it doesn’t bend or give as much. It’s stiff, which is a quality you’d hope to find in a lens.

So, this means that these XEEN CF lenses won’t be affected while focusing with your hands or a powerful focus motor, and they won’t weigh you down the way some heavier metal lenses would.

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Looking for the New at the 2020 Sundance New Frontier

Like couture as the harbinger of everyday fashion, Sundance positions New Frontier — New Frontier at the Ray, New Frontier Central and the Biodigital Theatre — as the pilot showcase for what is coming down the pike for moving-image storytellers (a likely justification for programming what only relatively few people wearing headsets can experience at a film festival, which, by definition, caters to large audiences). Begun in 2007 with art installations, Sundance’s New Frontier shifted in 2012 with Nonny de la Pena’s Virtual Reality Hunger in Los Angeles, and now the exhibition portion of NF exclusively shows new technologies. I […]

Vazen Adds a 28mm to ‘World’s First’ 1.8x Anamorphic MFT Prime Lens Line

Adding to its 1.8x anamorphic lens line, Vazen introduces the 28mm T2.2 prime for MFT cameras.

Vazen caught a lot of people’s attention last summer at CES 2019 with a 40mm T2 lens dubbed “the world’s first 1.8x anamorphic MFT prime.” Now, the company is adding a second lens to that line, a 28mm T2.2 1.8 anamorphic prime that retails at $3250.

With an aluminum body, this lens is lighter and more compact than Vazen’s 40mm—in fact, at 1.59 lbs., it ended up being the lightest 1.8x anamorphic lens in the world. And because it’s small and lightweight, it makes traveling with it, shooting on gimbals, or capturing handheld shots less of a chore.

According to Vazen, you can expect sharp images from this lens (even wide open). Its 77mm front filter thread makes using ND filters, diopters, and other accessories easy, and features like independent aperture and focus rings allow more experienced, professional filmmakers to have more control over their final images. It’s also got a 72-degree horizontal field of view and focusing distance of 2.7″.

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Watch an Anti-Drone Laser Literally Fry a Bunch of DJI Drones from Miles Away

Israeli defense technology company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd recently released a demo of their special “Drone Dome” counter-drone defense system. A car-mounted anti-drone solution that can fry unwelcome drones from miles away using a high-powered laser beam.

The demo above, released just a few days ago, is pretty intense. So-called “hostile” drones are detected, tracked, targeted, and then systematically fried.

That’s not a hyperbole. In several cases you can see the sparks fly off the DJI Phantom drones used in this demonstration before they come crashing to the ground, smoldering and partially melted—something Rafael refers to as a “hard-kill.” No mincing words.

The Drone Dome makes quick work of one drone, before being set upon a three-drone swarm. There’s some skipping around, but it doesn’t take long for the car-mounted laser to take those down too, leaving a pile of burned out Phantoms in its wake.

According to Popular Mechanics, the Drone Dome system “can detect objects as small as 0.002 square meters at 3.5 kilometers (2.1 miles).”

Of course, this is far from the only (or most exciting) anti-drone system that defense contractors have come up with.

The prize for most creative goes to the police in the Netherlands, who trained eagles to take down drones back in 2016; the US Government, on the other hand, recently opted to purchase a ‘Drone Hunter’ system that chases down rogue drones and catches them in a big net.

(via Drone DJ via DIY Photography)

The Secret to Developing Your Street Photography

Shooting Street Photography without a project in mind is like shopping for food when you’re hungry. You might get a few nice treats, but ultimately you get back and find there is nothing to sustain you.

So, if you’ve ever been out shooting street photography and found yourself uninspired, demotivated by not finding new material, or just not knowing what it is you’re looking for, I have the perfect solution for you: personal projects.

Don’t panic! The concept of personal projects and developing a body of work can be intimidating, so I developed a simple step-by-step system for one of my workshop clients, which I’m going to share with you.

Hopefully this will:

  • Help you find new material
  • Improve your hit rate and push you to be more creative
  • Give you a purpose and the concept of what you are looking for
  • Develop your inner artist to feel more fulfilled
Day at the Tate: This lady stepped back into my frame while her boyfriend took her picture. I love that her shadow looks like a face.

Let’s start with the most important keystone: Authenticity

I could be lazy and provide you with a huge list of potential projects and perhaps the odd one might resonate with you, but that’s where most of us fall down. So instead I’ve developed a simple questionnaire that you can print out and spend 5 minutes filling in to find potential projects that reflect your values and beliefs and that, ultimately, are authentic and personal to you.

At this point, don’t even think about photography or projects, simply complete the questionnaire and let’s explore you. I’d suggest you just jot down whatever comes to mind, but do it now before reading the rest of the article.

Here’s a PDF of the questionnaire for you to complete.

Day at the Tate: Playing with leading lines and negative space.

What is a personal project or body of work?

Let’s not get hung up on definitions: it’s simply a collection of pictures on a single theme. Perhaps individually they don’t tell the entire story, and are more powerful as a collection. For our purposes, let’s say 9 or more images on a single topic.

The topic can be absolutely anything—from a simple collection of images of shadows, all the way through to something with social impact.

Top Tip: My advice is to have 3-6 projects on the go at all times, so that when you go out shooting you have a ready-made shopping list of things that you’re looking for. Or, you can go out and concentrate on just one at a time.

Day at the Tate: Telling the story of brutal architecture using 1/15th second handheld

For now let’s keep it simple to get you started and explore a few project categories:

A Location

Many great projects revolve around a simple location. I recently shot a really simple one called “A Day at the Tate.” It’s a simple collection and one that challenged me to get creative in a set location and a set timeframe—and it was great fun. I’ve scattered these throughout the article to show you how a simple project idea can yield great results and, in fact, the headline image won an IPA (International Photography Award).

I’m currently working on a project about the gentrification of London’s Soho, which is proving very interesting.

Dougie Wallace did a fantastic one called “Harrodsburg” based around the area outside the Harrods store in London.

If you don’t live near a city, there is still no excuse! Check out the winners of the “My Town” photographic competition to see what you can achieve with a little imagination, in your own town or street.

Day at the Tate: In my mind, this chap was having a difficult conversation with his wife, so composition-wise I trapped him & positioned him to insinuate he was exiting a relationship.

An Aesthetic

We are all drawn to different street photography aesthetics; shadows, geometrics, architecture, colour, night life, people with umbrellas or whatever. This can be a rich source for projects and a very easy start point.

If you’re thinking of a Night Street Photography project, do check out our article 11 Secrets to up your night street photography game.

Day at the Tate: Lunch for one exploring social isolation.

Combinations

A brilliant example of combining both location and aesthetic is Nick Turpin’s amazing project “On the Night Bus.”

A Passion or Interest

Perhaps you have a passion or interest that would make a great street photography project? Explore the things that you have strong views about, such as financial imbalance in society, climate change, waste, or how we treat our veterans for example.

Day at the Tate: Whilst attracted to the light, I framed this chap playing on his phone exploring people’s relationship with art.

A place you have access to or frequent

Perhaps you have access to somewhere interesting that others do not. This could be as simple as a gun range or golf club. My one-on-one client is a member of a local golf club and is about to embark on a project called
“Ladies Day” that looks at the differences between the sexes and people’s obsession with golf. Remember that street photography doesn’t need to be on the street!

Perhaps you spend hours commuting each day? Photographer Michael Wolfs project “Tokyo Compression” is a brilliant and inspiring project that explores the indignity of commuting.

Day at the Tate: Love this romantic moment, interesting that ‘who owns what’ changes dramatically at the beginning versus the end of a relationship.

A point in time or social observation

British photographer Martin Parr is an inspiring master of social observation and you only need to look at his immense collection of books on various topics to get ideas and inspiration. I particularly love his “Death by Selfie” mini book amusingly produced in the shape of a phone which captures this time of self-obsession.

Day at the Tate: The moment 2 angels appeared, would have been perfect if an old lady was looking at them thinking what the?

An Event

Going to an interesting event, or perhaps your local town or city is celebrating an event? It’s the perfect opportunity to observe people, telling the story as you see it to create a brilliant and engaging project.

Top Tip: If you’re still struggling, take a look back at your old images and find one you love. Could you build a project or collection of images from this strong starting point, be it a location or some other aesthetic?

Day at the Tate: Playing with light, shape, and form at 1/150th of a second.

How long does a project take and how will I know when it’s complete?

A project can last a day or several years—it really depends on the topic and when you feel that you’ve explored it sufficiently. Don’t get too hung up on this question, simply get started and see where it leads you.

Day at the Tate: The moment I asked another photographer to jump out of the way – she took it quite literally!

6 ways to celebrate and share a completed project

Brilliant—you’ve thought of a great idea, got engrossed in shooting it and now you have a collection of images you want to share with the world. What now?

Well, I’ve got 6 great, inexpensive ideas for how, or where, you can share your work:

  1. Get online and either add them to your own website or use a service like SmugMug or SquareSpace to create a website from your gallery. Then you can seek out groups on various platforms like Facebook etc and share your work with likeminded individuals.
  2. Create a Zine! A Zine is a small, cheap to produce mini-magazine which you can create yourself or have printed by a company for a few pounds or dollars. Seeing your project in print is an incredibly rewarding way to celebrate its completion and to share it with friends, family, members of a camera club, the location or the people involved. Simply google ‘zine’ and you’ll find lots of companies who can help you make one and print it
  3. Organize an exhibition! This could be as simple as a few framed prints at home and having friends over for a beer, to hiring a space to show off your work.
  4. Print them as postcards to send or give away.
  5. li>Create a self-published book and give away copies as gifts.

  6. Lots of photography competitions have a specific category for a series of images which, statistically, less people enter as it’s more effort. This substantially increases your chances of winning. Websites like https://www.photocontestinsider.com/, https://photocontestguru.com/ and https://photocontestdeadlines.com/ all have listings of some great competitions, so go for it.

I hope that you found this useful; that you start by keeping it simple and build upon that. I’d love to see any of your existing projects or new ones that you create – post links to the comments section below.


All images shot on a FujiFilm X-T3 with 16mm f/1.4


About the author: Simon Ellingworth is an educator and owner of UK based Trade Secrets Live. He has 9 international awards and teaches a variety of London based Street Photography workshops, follow him on Instagram. This article was also published here.

LumaFusion has a new workflow feature: XML export to Final Cut Pro X

LumaFusion XML export to Apple Final Cut Pro X

The new LumaFusion XML export feature bridges award-winning iOS editing workflow to FCPX desktop editing platform.

Luma Touch announced this month the release of its highly-anticipated support for XML export to Apple Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). With this new feature, LumaFusion for iOS significantly extends the workflow options for LumaFusion editors, and will transform the workflow for the FCPX community of editors, artists and content creators clamoring to expand their desktop editing experience to the iPad.

Created by video editing industry veterans, LumaFusion has quickly established itself as the definitive, must-have iOS editing app for mobile filmmakers, journalists, professional editors, YouTube creators, and aspiring content producers. For editors familiar with FCPX, the new XML Export feature will enable them to easily extend their LumaFusion timeline to continue editing on FCPX on the desktop; an ideal scenario for content creators who want the flexibility to edit from on set/on location but also want the option to further develop their projects on the desktop using FCPX.

To export a timeline from LumaFusion to FCPX, simply tap the Share/Export menu and select “XML Project Package.” A streamlined menu enables editors to select a target location for media, e.g., AirDrop to a laptop or desktop. Users then select whether or not to include media in the project package, then tap “export.” A .zip file is packaged and sent to the destination of choice (laptop or desktop) and is ready to be opened directly in FCPX, ready for additional editing.

Follow the link to watch a brief video tutorial describing the XML Export workflow between LumaFusion and FCPX. There is also a detailed FAQ to browse.

LumaFusion XML export to Apple Final Cut Pro X

Key Features of LumaFusion

LumaFusion has earned its reputation among content creators, filmmakers, and professional editors alike due to its extensive feature set, including:

  • An Evolved Editing Experience: A sophisticated editing model uses a powerful combination of magnetic timeline and traditional track-based editing with locking, hiding, mixing and muting. Plus insert and overwrite modes and the ability to link and unlink clips from the magnetic timeline provide even more control and flexibility;
  • Multiple Tracks: 12 tracks (6 video/audio tracks and 6 additional audio tracks) with support for 4K video in real-time;
  • Timeline Overview: Makes it quick and easy to see your whole project and jump to any location in your edit with a single touch;
  • New Add and Remove Sources: Customize Library, import sources and export destinations (such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive), to view only the most used locations;
  • Color and Effects: Includes keyframing, LUT support, effect layering and effect reordering;
  • Multilayer Custom Titler: Create multilayer titles with shapes, images and text layers. And animate titles by adding keyframed effects;
  • HEVC with Alpha: Support for HEVC files with Alpha allows clean compositing of motion graphics;
  • Blend Modes: Create advanced layered effects using blend modes on any clip, and any layer;
  • External Display: View your video on the large screen, and get more room for your timeline and library with a variety of UI layouts;
  • Integrated Drive Support: Connect to GNARBOX, WD drives, USB-C drives and the Files App to explore and preview footage before adding it to the timeline to trigger a background import.

If you’ve read the whole note and still are not sure if LumaFusion is for you, here is a short note about the app: LumaFusion is a powerful multi-track video editor used by mobile journalists, filmmakers, and professional video producers to tell compelling video stories. If you are a professional or aspiring producer, journalist, or filmmaker, if you have a video story that’s begging to be told, if you want to use the latest technology for iPhones and IPads; LumaFusion is the premier professional video editing and effects app for you. LumaFusion is produced by the original creators of the award-winning Pinnacle Studio App, and this time we’ve created the most powerful tool ever for mobile video editing.

The Export to FCPX feature is available as a one-time in-app purchase and as part of the LumaFusion 2.2 update and is priced at $19.99 USD. LumaFusion is available for download in the Apple App Store and is priced at $29.99.