Happy New Year!
2015 is here, but a blog post from CineMoti earlier last week (long ago in 2014) called "Top 5 New Filmmaking Tools of 2014" is definitely worth a read.
The tools discussed are primarily geared towards indie filmmakers and there are some great ones in the list - I especially like #2 and #1.
Read the full post here.
What tools helped your filmmaking endeavors in 2014?
Check out this new reel showing who CineMoti is, and what the new company offers...
CineMoti™ is a boutique media company producing high-quality, flexible, post-friendly "2nd Unit" footage for filmmakers.
Created by filmmakers with a desire to build a company and a community that celebrates the art of shooting, editing and ultimately storytelling. We want our original content to not only enhance, but to inspire the work of creative video and film professionals around the world. Pretty lofty, eh?
Our flagship 2nd Unit™ Collection features a variety of helpful live-action VFX content for indie and studio productions alike. And in addition to the specialty footage, we offer a growing library of time-lapse and traditional stock media, too.
Hope you'll check out the site and share with others, too! :)
Today is the day my latest directed series premieres on Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry YouTube Channel...
There are six episodes... The first two premiere TODAY and then a new one premieres each day for the rest of this week through Halloween.
The above embed is a Playlist and so it should contain each episode as they are released.
UPDATE: All six episodes have now been released. So you can easily watch them in the above YouTube playlist, and look for a VOD and DVD coming soon with lots of extras included in it.
Hope you like it!
I have founded a new start-up media company that I'd like to initially share with the readers of my blog...
It's called CineMoti and the company produces original "2nd Unit" style footage for filmmakers to use in features, shorts, commercials, digital (web) series, PSAs, corporate video and more.
Our flagship collection is called CineMoti 2nd Unit™, and we currently have three categories within it:
1. 2nd Unit™ EXTRAS
2. 2nd Unit™ PLATES
3. 2nd Unit™ ELEMENTS
There are LOTS of "stock footage" resources on the web these days, but virtually all take a shotgun approach to their content through crowd-sourcing.
CineMoti is different.
We produce our own content and cater it to filmmakers who care not only about the quality and craft of the footage they work with, but also some of the finer technical aspects that can really make a difference in post-production and ultimately enhance the story they want to tell.
So what do we mean by this?
We offer post-friendly, flexible, high-quality footage in HD to 4K and beyond. This includes RED RAW .R3D and/or Log or "Flat" versions of footage. This allows for the most creative choices in post-production (specifically color grading), and it can make it much easier to match a stock shot into an existing edit.
It also means that the footage is original and EXCLUSIVE to our site. So you won't find this on every other stock site out there as is often the case with crowd-sourcing.
And FYI... beyond the 2nd Unit collection, we also offer traditional stock and timelapse footage.
Right now we're a Beta site - primarily because we're uploading our inventory - and so we're calling this current phase a "soft launch". By January 2015 we plan to have a lot more content online and we'll begin a full marketing campaign and do a "grand opening" event.
But in the meantime, we are open for business and so please check out the new site and see what you think.
I hope you like it.
We had a great time in San Diego during Comic-Con at the Geek & Sundry Lounge (Felicia Day's company and YouTube channel) where Rachel Caine, Amber Benson and myself were on a panel talking 'Morganville'...
We also premiered the teaser trailer to the crowd there, then privately to our Kickstarter backers, and now we've released it on YouTube for all to see.
Check it out on YT here: http://youtu.be/GwUtF-P6cqs
Or the video embed below:
We don't have a release date just yet, but it's looking like later this fall.
Please share if you like it and we'll have more info on the show soon.
The editing is going well and we're getting closer to sending the episodes off for the next phase of sound work, score and visual FX - not quite there, but getting there.
I'll have big news on the release of Morganville soon, along with some other digital series news for another show of mine (announcing a cool new partnership).
And, one other note on new things - another business venture of mine will be launching a public beta soon, too. So look for that news in July.
Basically, I've got a lot of stuff going on BUT CAN'T SAY MUCH ABOUT IT right now. :)
But, I will very soon... Lol.
Talk to you later.
Our cast for Morganville has officially been announced in the Hollywood Reporter along with our partnership with Felicia Day's company Geek & Sundry. We're actually shooting the show right now (started principle photog today), so a lot going on! Here's a link to the article: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/geek-sundry-adds-vampire-adaptation-694310 More news on the show soon... Blake
Season 2 of my award-winning digital SciFi series CONTINUUM is now available via Vimeo On Demand...
You can choose to rent for $3.99 or buy in HD for $9.99. Just watch the free preview trailer above and make your selection. You'll be redirected to Vimeo's website to make a purchase (unless you're logged in at Vimeo, I think).
This is 50 mins. total running time that encompasses all nine episodes woven together with the sound design and score re-edited to play continuously.
One really cool thing about Vimeo is if you have an Apple TV or Roku or similar that offers the Vimeo app, then you can buy the show and watch it on your home HDTV.
Oh, and here's Season 1 if you haven't seen it...
With two small kids at home I don't get to watch a lot of TV. Actually let me be clear. I don't get to watch a lot of "grown-up TV". I watch tons of Disney Channel and Nick Jr.
Recently though I've made it a point to catch up on past series and watch some current shows - this all usually happening after 10pm on weeknights once the kids (and the wife) are asleep. Luckily I don't have a real job being a freelance producer/director, so I don't normally have to get up too early. :)
On weekends I do watch some shows with my wife though, too. Mainly we're catching up on "Breaking Bad" (she's addicted to it). We're in the middle of Season 3 thanks to Netflix streaming. We also watch "Homeland" together and we did watch "Dexter", until that series ended recently.
My all-time favorite series is HBO's "The Sopranos", which I used to watch religiously, but that was before kids and seems like a thousand years ago. Now my favorite show by far is another HBO drama, "True Detective". I get to watch it time-shifted (since I'm otherwise busy with "Octonauts") because of HBO OnDemand and HBOGO.
I tend to go towards the darker shows as I think you can tell my some of the ones I've mentioned here, and "True Detective" definitely fits in that category. But it's not dark for the sake of being dark. It's just a gripping dark tale because it's a great story with great writing, great acting, great cinematography and great directing, etc. I can't say enough great things about this show.
Here's a cool article with the DP Adam Arkapaw about why he chose to shoot 35mm.
Here's a good interview with the director Cary Fukunaga about the now famous 6-minute "oner" (a single shot) that ends episode 4 in a housing project (mild spoilers).
And here's a nice behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show:
The show is True Art from top to bottom and I highly recommend you watch it. If you don't have HBO, then this is a great reason to add it.
One day I hope the HBOGO app will let you buy shows a la carte, it would be a huge money make for HBO I think, and limit piracy a lot (I realize why they don't do this yet, but I think that might change in a few years). Give the content to people when they want it for a fair price and people will buy it. But this is for a different post.
If you love the craft of filmmaking and a great story then "True Detective" should be on the top of your list.
Great news for our feature film PHOBIA... it's now available on Hulu and Hulu Plus!
If the above embed doesn't show up in your browser, here is a direct link:
So, you can watch it for FREE right now on Hulu. The more people that watch the longer it will stay on Hulu and the better for us, the filmmakers. If you didn't know, this was a Texas-made film that I produced and edited... Jon Keeyes directed... and Anne Gibson wrote and executive produced. The rest of the amazing crew & cast can be found here on the IMDb page.
The movie is also available to buy on DVD and to buy or rent on iTunes and Amazon Prime. After the Hulu run we'll be releasing it on Netflix.
Thanks for the support!
Check out and support this short film "Dig" from a friend of mine, Toby Halbrooks, who wrote and directed this - he also produced David Lowery's award-winning short "Pioneer" from a few years back, and then his feature film "Ain't Them Bodies Saints".
Great to see so much good work coming from Texas...
My digital series Continuum received 3 nominations today for the 2014 IAWTV Awards...
Best Score - Damon Criswell
Best Visual FX - Element X Creative (and Chad Briggs VFX Supervisor)
Best Art Direction - Eric Whitney
As a side note, Eric won last year in this category. That probably means he has no chance this year. :)
Here's a complete list of the nominees. The show is January 7th in Las Vegas.
UPDATE: We won two of the awards!!! BEST SCORE and BEST ART DIRECTION
Recently bought the Free Spirit Stabilizer from Digital Juice and decided to do an unboxing video since I couldn't find one on YouTube for it...
Digital Juice Free Spirit Camera Stabilizer - Unboxing from Blake Calhoun on Vimeo.
I've been testing the rig with my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and will post some results soon. The thing I'll say now is it's not exactly easy to use.
Stay tuned... :)
I've been having a good time shooting with the new BMPCC and just learned today that the latest firmware update includes the elusive RAW recording setting...
This is good news, however, I gotta say that the ProRes HQ recording option looks REALLY GREAT and so I was actually not missing RAW like I might on the big brother camera to this one, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, as the RAW there is for it's 2.5k shooting mode - which makes a big difference over 1080 HD, I find (you can't record ProRes in the 2.5k mode - although it would be nice if you could... Rumor has it you will be able to on the 4k camera they're releasing - one day).
So long story short, the Pocket shoots 1080 only in both ProRes or RAW and looks amazing. I don't say that lightly either. It really does look great. Hard to believe coming from a $1000 camera.... But, glass makes a big impact on this rig (and on most I guess), so using good lenses is imperative.
I've been using a Metabones adapter with vintage Nikon F mount glass that looks nice and creamy, but I seem to get a decent amount of smearing or motion blur - more than I'm used to, even back when I shot 16mm film and used lenses with no image stabilization. So, I bought a Panasonic MFT zoom with IS and I must say, it looks NICE. The images are smoother and surprisingly sharp.
I will post some footage from this camera soon. But in the meantime, if you'd like to see a book trailer I directed that was shot on the full BMCC, here it is...
PRINCE OF SHADOWS Book Trailer (Shot on BMCC 2.5k with Rokinon Cine Primes) from Blake Calhoun on Vimeo.
Oh, and here's a cool blurb on none other than io9 about the above trailer. Very cool. :)
A lot has been written about this camera, but just a few folks have actually gotten to shoot with it... I happen to be one of the lucky ones who have.
I pre-ordered my camera the day it was announced at NAB back in April.
I got the camera two weeks ago.
Funny thing is I didn't even have a lens that would work with it. It's a MFT (micro four-thirds) mount and I mainly own Canon EF mount lenses. So, when I got it I had to order a lens! That took a week... then when it arrived, it actually didn't fit correctly on the mount. Bummer. I'm not sure if it was the camera or the lens, but I have read some folks are having trouble with a few select lenses mounting correctly. A flange/machining issue of some kind. So I sent it back.
Then inspiration struck.
I remembered I had a set of prime Nikon F mount lenses. I bought them off eBay years ago for a Letus adapter (remember those?) to use on my Canon XH-A1. They are vintage manual lenses from the 1960s.
So instead of buying another MFT lens, I bought a Metabones MFT to Nikon F Mount adapter. I just got it today and I must say, it is really nice. Very well built. Solid. And it fits on the camera perfectly. And then the Nikon glass fits perfectly on it. I love it.
I've shot some test stuff, but nothing I'm ready to post on Vimeo. But I'll just say, this camera really reminds me of an ARRI SR2 or SR3. Not the handling of it. The image. It is very Super 16mm in look and texture. Blackmagic calls it a "Super 16 Digital Film Camera" and I actually think that is correct.
I will post some footage once I get something I think looks good. And I'm going to do my best to not just post a string of random test shots cut to a funky music track. :)
Who Am I?
I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.
Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.
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