Motion Control Rig for Handheld...

Now this is really cool...



Direct link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NhFRpEBleg

The ability to repeat the exact same shot twice is invaluable when doing any tricky VFX work - think of the one actor playing twins in THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

Typically I'll do a lock off shot of the background plate, then the action on top of that, and if I want to add any movement or camera shake I'll do it in post. But with this rig it would make that so easy (and you wouldn't have to do a motion control smooth dolly, etc. anymore). Maybe this kind of thing has been around for a while in Big Hollywood, but I've not seen it if so.

Very cool. Now I just wonder how much it cost? :)

-Blake

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Indie Crowdfunding

If you are on Twitter or Facebook (and are a filmmaker, or actor, etc.) you have undoubtedly come across someone trying to "kickstart" a project via crowdfunding.

I personally can't decide if this is a good way to go or not (for my projects, for others sure - I've actually donated recently). I don't like the idea of "charity" or the perceived notion you are desperate (not saying folks are, just some perceive it this way), I would probably rather work the financing out in another fashion. But then again, if you're just trying to finish post or score or similar and your FANS are game to contribute a few thousand bucks, then why not. Note I stress "fans", to me this is key.

For more info on this topic check out these two great blog posts:

First one from Sheri Candler (someone btw, I had never heard of until I "met" her on Twitter)...

Top 5 Ways to Fail at Crowdfunding:
http://www.shericandler.com/2010/10/10/top-5-ways-to-fail-at-crowdfunding/

And secondly, from Scott Macaulay (editor of Filmmaker Magazine) a continuation of Sheri's post on his blog - he adds three more tips...

Crowdfunding Advice:
http://filmmakermagazine.com/news/2010/10/sheri-candler-on-crowdfunding-fatigue/

Btw, the main two crowdfunding sites I know of are Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com. The primary difference between the two (as far as I can tell) is that with Kickstarter you only get to keep the funds pledged if you meet your goal. On IndieGoGo you get to keep whatever funds are pledged, even if you don't make your original goal. Kickstarter is more well known and has more traffic (I'm told), but man, I'd probably go with IndieGoGo to have "guaranteed" funds.

-Blake

P.S. Interestingly, both Kickstarter and IndieGoGo's sites look VERY similar in layout and design.

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The Truth About Canon DSLR Outputs

Tech geek alert here... This is interesting stuff if you own or have ever shot with a Canon 5D using an external monitor, or if you're a video engineer playing with a calculator right now.

Seriously though, this is quite informative and a great "fix" for the limitations of the 5D HDMI output using a SmallHD DP6 monitor (I own a Canon 7D and so don't have these issues)...

Effective Pixels 101 from SmallHD on Vimeo.

And a good full blog read here too:
http://videos.smallhd.com/the-truth-about-canon-dslr-output-signals/

-Blake

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No Gatekeepers Needed

Good interview from TechCrunchTV with filmmaker Adam Rifkin (new series "Look" is on Showtime) talking about social media, studio and indie filmmaking and new distribution models. This all relates to web series, music and books too. Good stuff.



Direct link:
http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/08/being-adam-rifki/

-Blake

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The Indie Spirit Lives On...

Way back when in the mid-90s a film called "The Brother's McMullen" hit it big with audiences and critics alike at the Sundance film festival. I personally liked the film too. It also was one of the films along with "Clerks" that told me (and many others) that I could be a filmmaker. Not because of the storytellling or content mind you, because of the budget. $25k for "The Brother's McMullen" (and $28k for "Clerks").

Cut 15 years ahead to today and what is Ed Burns doing? He's releasing a new $25k movie. I guess there hasn't been any inflation since 1995.

If you don't know who Edward Burns is he's probably best known (to mainstream commercial viewers) for his roles in "Saving Private Ryan", "15 Minutes" (opposite Robert Dinero), or from his appearances on "Entourage". He's really created a nice career staying in the indie world, but also being relevant in the Hollywood system (mainly as an actor). And to those who follow indie film, you probably know he's directed a handful of really nice movies over the past decade (along with acting in them) and is continuing that trend today.

His latest film is called "Nice Guy Johnny" and to be honest, while I am interesting in seeing the film, I'm more interested in how he's financing and distributing it.

ALL filmakers (that's film, TV, web, whatever) should check out this very interesting interview with him on his latest film and on how he is trying to reshape (indie) distribution...

http://motionlifemediablog.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/interview-with-ed-burns/

Interestingly, a lot of what he's talking about is being done in one form or another (and with varying degress of success) in the web series world right now.

-Blake

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Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

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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