Thursday, December 29, 2005

Cinerama!

It's beautiful! It's beautiful!

A camera so powerful, its format dictates
exactly how action is to be staged.


Strong men wrestle the camera into position.
Famous Directors weep in frustration!

Even its sound recording wins an Oscar!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

"Wide Christmas" (in VistaVision)

"Wide Christmas," by Sam Longoria
(with apologies to Irving Berlin)

I'm dreaming of a "Wide Christmas,"
In every Christmas song I sing.
Where each 8-perf image,
Will never dimage,
The mellow fellow,
Known as Bing.

I'm dreaming of a "Wide Christmas,"
With 1.5 to 1 screen shape.
From the "Seasons Greetings," to
Romantic meetings,
A high-rez 8-perf movie
Makes you gape.

I'm dreaming of
"Motion-Picture High-fidelity,"
Just like the films I used to screen.
From effects in "Star Wars,"
To "The Searchers" far wars,
I love each detail I have seen.

I'm dreaming of a VistaVision Christmas,
A Mitchell camera on its side.
With spherical lenses,
and Mercedes-Benzes,
as payoff, for this Christmas ride.

I'm dreaming of a Paramount
"Wide Christmas,"
With every 8-perf frame I shoot.
May your camera pull film on its side,
And may all your Christmases be wide.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Your Tv Is Obsolete - Part 2

Not only does your tv become obsolete this year,
you have a slim chance for a coupon for a box, so they
can sell your tv airspace, for cell phones and wi-fi.

Check it out, I'm not making this up.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Pringle-matography

For my film, "Mysteries Of The Lawn,"
I'm doing macrophotography, grafting lens
extension tubes and/or bellows onto my
trusty 35mm movie camera.

To show how delightfully low-tech film things can be,
a fellow camera hotrodder has hacked together
a macro lens extension from a Pringles can.

His is very like my "Samovar Balowire" macro
extension, made years ago from rolled cardboard,
with baling wire and duct tape holding it (and
the 100mm Super Baltar lens) together.

Although it violates the first rule of engineering,
"Never build anything you can buy off the shelf,"
the Pringle Macro is clever. I'm sure it always works,
even when - ahem - the chips are down.

Note: I get nothing promoting his cleverness,
and I don't make a dime from my likeness on
the Pringles can.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Homebrew Camera Stabilizers

You'd think filmmakers want Steadicam-quality
footage, at a homebuilt price
, or something.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Steady That Cam!

Here's a cool clip, of an operator
running the small Steadicam rig,
with a video camera.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Farewell John

In 1980, I stopped work on my 35mm indy feature, to
gather at the Seattle Center fountain with thousands of
others, singing John Lennon songs, and crying. With rain,
the humans and the fountain, I have no idea how many
gallons of water we released that cold December day.
John, you were great. Here's the best tribute.

Farewell Richard

In 1979 I ran his "Live in Concert" movie at my
theatre, the Enumclaw Cinema, and horrified my home town.
I worked at the effects house he used for his life-story
movie, "JoJo Dancer," and the stories I can't tell you!
Richard Pryor, you were great.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Emperor Has No Clothes - Film At 11

You probably have heard of Moore's Law. Moore's Law is
different from Sturgeon's Law, which asserts "90% of
everything is crud," and Cole's Law, which is
thinly-sliced pieces of cabbage.

Moore's Law (since 1965) says computing power will double,
every eighteen months or so. I've seen Moore's Law at work
in computer chips, in processors and memory. It's generally
accepted for digital devices to just keep doubling in power.

It's generally been accepted that "digital devices" includes
image sensors. Well, it doesn't. Image sensors are
analog. Moore's Law doesn't apply to them.

In fact, without some new technological breakthrough,
image sensors are as good as they're gonna get.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

HVX-200 Short Beta = Bugs?

Panasonic's new affordable HD camera, with the pedigree of the
higher-priced Panasonics, and the sturdy little DVX-100 and
DVX-100A, will be out soon. Is it too soon?

Yes, this is the first camera under $100,000 to shoot HD 1080/24p,
but wasn't it hustled along to production in record time? Who
wants to be the "second beta," or volunteer for "user engineering?"
There may very well be a HVX-200A some months from now.
Join the discussion.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Upside Of The Zoom

Sure, it doesn't look like a dolly shot,
because the perspective's all wrong.

It's no substitute for a box of prime lenses,
or is it?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Movie Scouting

Scouting is good for you.
Earn the badge, and you'll be
a cinematographer in no time.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Superman's Back!

They're all done shooting "Superman Returns,"
check out Bryan Singer's video blog, with clips
from production. Very enjoyable, quite revealing.

My favorite parts are:

Bryan pinch-hitting for a day or so, for a clearly
exhausted Peter Jackson, shooting his "Kong."

Elliot the Editor pointing out that it actually
would have been faster to shoot on film. Digital
takes a day longer for each batch. Whoops!

Elliot has the stones to mention this even though
it's not the "politically correct" bulletin for a
big digital production.

(On a movie set, speaking your mind is not safe.
If you voice bad news, it's somehow your fault.)

The stunt guy pointing out that the enormous gimbaled
set is all run by one wire. "If that wire goes..." and
they cut away from him. Yes, if that one wire goes.
The amazing thing is that more accidents don't happen
in the movie business.

Multiple takes of young Clark pitching a baseball,
with a gas cannon actually firing the ball past him.
Take after take, until they get the one Bryan wants.
Bryan wants to show it to the writers, but...no video.

Bryan's disbelieving expression, as he says
"I have no video." Priceless.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Pyongyang New Hollywood?

Totalitarian dictator Kim Jong-il, a longtime North Korean film buff,
has ordered his nation's tiny film industry to make good films,
to compete with Hollywood.


Well, that's how you do it. You just order people to be creative,
herd them in to fenced compounds, and club them into submission.
It's actually like Hollywood, come to think of it.

And Kim is just another screamer studio head.

The difference is, North Korea is a nuclear power,
and Hollywood isn't.

We say megabucks, they say megatons.
We want a piece of the gross, they want a piece of Japan.
When our movies bomb, nobody actually dies.

Kim Chee, sweetheart, you're a natural for a remake of
The Great Dictator, but I hear there's a height requirement.

Ciao, babe! Have a wonderful life!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Degrade Your Image

Yet another article about kludging together parts
to make your digital video look somewhat reminiscent
of 35mm film cinematography.

The cannibalized device is a perfectly good 35mm
SLR camera, hacked together with a mini-DV camera,
to give an upside-down, backwards, grainy, dithered
image. No offense.

After you flop that image, (and if you squint),
it looks something like a film camera.

Ooh, look! You have shallow depth of field!
Amazing. You can pull focus! Revolutionary.

Now, all you've got to do is somehow make the
image not burn out to white when it's a few stops
overexposed. Film handles those things, digital
doesn't.

Obviously, if you factor in the cost of the camera
you've Frankensteined together, there is no real savings
in money or time. Especially as the image is poor quality.

Cheaper, faster, better? Just shoot film.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Formats By The Numbers

To know the movie format dimensions,
here's a quick reference.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Anti-Panavision Story

Here's the rest of the story,
told by some guys who are mad
at Panavision.*

*...or couldn't you tell?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Panavision Story

Most of what you always wanted to know
about Panavision.*

*...but were afraid to ask.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Big Sharp Good Film Formats

Even 65mm is goofing around,
if you want really sharp landscapes.
For that you need film. Big film.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Panasonic Digital Projector $200

Panasonic will pay you $200, just to buy
their digital projector. I'm not kidding.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Whither Kinetta?

Haven't heard anything about Jeff Kreines
and his brilliant Kinetta
camera in a while.

Here are some pictures to drool over. Let me
know if you've heard anything, anybody.

Go Kinetta!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Don't Pay Rate Card!

Filmmaking - Don't Pay Rate Card! by Angela Taylor

Friday, November 25, 2005

March Of The Penguins: The Real Story

Post-Thanksgiving holiday. I go to the mall,
and can pick one movie.

This year, a good pick. "March of The Penguins."
Loved everything about it, and so did millions
of others.

I am overwhelmed. It is beautiful and lyrical.
The images will be with me forever.

Even my left-brain is overwhelmed. There is no
easy way to have shot it. At the minumum, the
crew must have lived in Anarctica for a year.

Today, I have to know how they shot this film.
I spend the day, reading and learning.

Here's what I found.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ten Books That Shook The World

I'm so thankful, on this Thanksgiving Day (it's an
American thing), for the chance to just sit and read.

Especially enjoy somebody else's film book list,
to get a different viewpoint. Love it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Russki Camera 35mm at 240fps

You want fast?
You want fast and sharp?
You want fast and sharp and good?
Gladiolus.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What Is A Pro? by Sam Longoria Producer-Director

Filmmaking - What Is A Pro?
 by: Sam Longoria

The word “Professional” is often bandied about by indy filmmakers, and I’ve heard and read many things I just wouldn’t expect a “Pro” to say, though the person writing or saying them claims to be one. Time for a definition of terms.

Question: What qualifies a person to be a Pro?
Answer: Paycheck.

That's the short answer, but anything longer is just embellishment. It's one thing to make movies. It's a whole different animal to get somebody to cut you a good check, for the work you've done.

Paycheck is more important than anything to a Professional, because you have to eat and pay bills, or you can't function, much less create pleasing Art.
Question: How does a person become a Pro?

Answer: By adopting a Pro attitude. The Pro attitude is “I work in the movie business. I do good work, and I must be paid for it.” This is regardless of the budget of his current Project, whether it is high or low.

Some don’t become a Pro until many paychecks, but you can have a Pro attitude right now, even if you’ve never been paid for doing your art. If you adopt the Pro attitude now, you multiply your effectiveness many times, and shorten the time until those paychecks come in.

A person with a Pro attitude has aligned his brain cells and unconscious mind, so every action and thought is geared toward one outcome - to be paid for his work, what his work is worth. This has many benefits, chiefly the quality of his work improves.

You can take years to get a Pro attitude, or you can do it right away. I recommend you read a book with a funny name by Stuart Lichtman, an expert on the human brain from MIT. 

Another great book on developing a Pro attitude is Napoleon Hill's classic "Think And Grow Rich," free in your library, or get it here online.

They are both good books. Stuart’s is like a series of games, so it’s almost effortless, and it will improve every aspect of your life. Napoleon's classic book takes a while, and you have to muscle it through by will power, but it’s great.

Once you've adjusted your attitude, your unconscious mind will steer your every action and memory, every skill you have, and those you need to learn, toward delivering what you need to do your job, and be paid your paycheck.

Once you do, your natural love of your Art has a chance of being fulfilled. Until you do, you're just floundering.

You may disagree with my brutal bottom-line assessment of what a Pro is. You may feel a Pro isn't defined by a paycheck. To you a Pro might be merely a person with a lot of experience in a certain area, or a person with a natural talent.

Well, “Professional” is defined,
"Pro*fes"sion*al, n. A person who prosecutes anything professionally, or for a livelihood, and not in the character of an amateur; a professional worker."

-- Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Unless he has a paycheck, his "lot of experience" just makes him a hobbyist. By definition, a hobbyist is not a Professional anything. There is nothing wrong with being a hobbyist, or an “amateur,” (which means you do something “for the love of it”), but generally, amateur quality is not up to a Pro standard.

It’s common to say, "You have so much talent, you're a real Pro," but even natural talent, practiced and refined, won’t be Pro until one’s work quality is good enough to motivate another to pay him for it.

While skill and/or talent certainly are important, the defining quality of a Professional is payment.

Think “paycheck.” May you earn many big ones.

About The Author
Sam Longoria is a Hollywood producer, working in film since 1970, in a variety of jobs. His work graces several Oscar-nominated films, and even Oscar winners.
Sam teaches Independent Producing and Consults at http://samlongoria.com

© 2005 Sam Longoria, All Rights Reserved. You may forward this in its entirety to anyone you wish. Hollywood Seminars, Box 2449, Hollywood CA 90078 USA
This article is available for reprint in your ezine, website or ebook. You MUST agree not to make any changes to the article and this RESOURCE BOX MUST be included.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

World Spins Faster

I'm reminded of Gandhi's comment, "There is more
to life than increasing its speed."

Not in Hollywood. A year ago, you had six months
to prove your movie. This year, because of the
ever-quicker tick, you only get four.

Next year, it's a matter of hours.

Move!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

AFM: Start to Finnish

Renny Harlin tells the tale how the
American Film Market started his career
in a big way, although I suspect it was
really his big brass pair of dependents.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More AFM Than Ever Before

More exhibitors, buyers and attendance, according to the
American Film Market itself. An all-time high of more than
8000 attendees, up 13% from last year. 1,583 buyers, from
62 countries.

If you can't sell your movie here, perhaps it cannot be sold,
except possibly door-to-door, and cut-up as banjo picks.

More sellers here than ever before, too. 419 companies from
33 countries sent 3,822 attendees, 6% more than last year.

1,526 Industry attendees, up 34% from last year.

534 films in 35 languages, including 382 market premieres.
Last year had only 459 films.

I'm writing this atop the Arclight Cinemas, which is the
Hollywood Cinerama Dome, at the party for
the 2005 AFI FEST.

I wanted to attend the fest, but I'm tired,
and there is no fest for the weary.

What's it like here? Imagine a huge white Quonset tent,
filled with hundreds of film enthusiasts. The AFI
and South By Southwest and Audi are serving them
booze and chocolate chip cookies. There's bottled
water too, and cherry tomatoes on sticks.
Oh, it's wild.

Next tent over has a documentary about a well-known
bad word. People talk about the bad word, and it also
serves as the film's title, and I suppose, a review.

Various porn stars, who use and do that word, sneak into
this tent for the food, to their enormous disappointment.

Glad I'm not hungry, and there's a fast internet connection.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Your TV Has One Year To Live

Analog tv sets have only one year to live.
According to Federal Law, mandated by the FCC,
US broadcasters must stop broadcasting analog
television signals by 31 December 2006.

One year away!

If you still have an analog tv set,
you should read this.

Friday, November 04, 2005

From L.A. to LA

So we spent an evening at the La Merigo Hotel, next to
the Loews AFM bash Thursday, at a moving presentation
made by Louisiana dignitaries, learning what incentives
are available if we shoot in Louisiana. Then we had
great cajun food. Sign me up! I'm going!

You want to really help victims of Katrina?
Shoot your movie in LA!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's That Time - If You Make Movies

It's time again, a week of movies, movies, movies,
at the American Film Market, in the Loews hotel in
Santa Monica. Screenings and bidding, oh it's wild!
Caveat Emptor, Caveat Vendor, and Cave Canem!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Media According To Tosh

Tosh says, "...video is looking more and more like film
every day, and soon you will only remember film as a
fond memory."

Pithy pronouncement for a fictional guy, the face of
Panasonic's new HVX200. Actually well-worth the read,
especially if you want to see what a corporate pr firm
thinks blogs (and the guys who write them) look like.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

In Sergio Dreams

This Saturday, 29 October 2005, Don't miss it!
Be there or be a yaller-livered city-boy.
Boy, howdy! Sì, prego!

Hollywood's Gene Autry Museum, 2-4pm,
American Society of Cinematographers panel discusses
clips of Leoni's work, and show clips of their own movies,
influenced by the Leoni style. Audience QA to follow.

Oh, me dà una casa,
dove il bufalo erra,
ed il cervo e l'antilope giocano.

Dove è raramente sentito,
una parola scoraggiante,
ed i cieli non sono nuvolosi tutto il giorno.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Help Make A 1-Second 70mm Film

At last, something weird enough for me.
It fits all my criteria - Simple, Pure, Brilliant.

Join Kevin Bacon, Samuel Jackson (and Longoria)
and thousands of others, in bringing this great idea
into reality.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Arri D-20 In Detail - wow

If you want a digital camera with
Arri quality, ya gotta go Arri.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

HD vs HDV

So you've got this great video image,
You're gonna stick it on a little tiny tape?

Friday, October 21, 2005

JVC over the Panasonic?

I prefer the Panasonic these days,
so why would you go with the JVC?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dirty Harry Got A Movie Deal

Anybody who says "The Searchers" is the
best movie ever made, is all right with me.
Harry's got some hints on gettin' in, so listen up.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Okay, Here We Go

Now yer talkin'. Yessss, it's digital,
but it's a Super 35mm frame, with an
optical finder in the bright sunshine,
and...it's an Arri.

Oooh.
Sign me up.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What To Do Until The Money Arrives

Filmmaking - What To Do Until The
Money Arrives by Angela Taylor

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Small Ad

In answer, the Small Ad.
To which I say, big deal.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Big Ad

Stanley Kubrick said the best filmmaking is often
beer ads. It was true then, even more so now.
Here's great staging, shooting cutting,
and...a great sense of humor.
Call the kids, wake the neighbors.
It's the Big Ad.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Film the Golden Rectangle



I'm reinventing myself as a filmmaker,
defining my boundaries, and my framelines.

Studying Fibonacci ratios and the Golden Rectangle.

Why film is art and video is surveillance.
35mm film and classical proportion.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

3-perf's Ghost Frame

Ooh, kids, it's scary scary...

3-perf seems a nice format, a big 16:9 image on
less 35mm "real estate," but it is...secretly...
A monster!

In the first place, even though it looks great on the
screen, it's deformed.

3-perf has alternating long and short feet!
Its ghost perf adds up, and creates one extra frame
every third foot. What?

Sounds like the kid writing his folks from camp,
that he's grown another foot.

As it runs, 3-perf's feet go "short-short-long."
Like the Mummy chasing the girl around the tomb.
Klump...klump...scrape...

Here's a site that describes the problem.
And another where they discuss the problem.
Even a drawing of the problem.

None of which solve the problem, The undulating
number of 3-perf frames in 35mm feet.


Kodak could help, by printing the keycode on the
negative every 60 perfs instead of every 64.
Both 3- and 4-perf divide evenly into 60.
(Every 20 and 15 frames, respectively.)
That would help a lot, but Kodak's busy.

We could throw feet:frames out altogether,
and go by absolute frame count.
Yeah, that'll happen.

Sometimes, it runs twice as fast.
MaxiVision!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Return Of The Blair Witch

If you win this auction on eBay, you'll get
a 30 minute telephone call with Blair Witch
writer and director Ed Sanchez, to help out
victims of the recent hurricanes.

You can chat with Ed about making the most
profitable movie ever, having his movie on
the covers of both Time and
Newsweek, and how you, too can
Get a Camera FREE for 30 days.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Wanta Shoot IMAX?

When IMAX comes up, there are lots of questions.
I don't know why that would be, a 65mm negative
lying on its side, shooting the best 15-perf image
the world has ever seen, then printed on 70mm,
projected on a 7-story screen, has gotta be commonplace.
Questions? I don't get it. Anyway, here are all the answers.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sergio's Third

Our top filmmakers seem to be making Sergio Leoni movies.
Quentin Tarentino, Robert Rodriguez, Clint Eastwood, and
others, too. Sergio had a festival this Summer here,
and that's good. What is it about Leoni's movies?
Here's a good review of a great one.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

What Is A Producer?

Filmmaking - Five Good Producer Skills by Angela Taylor

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Getting Paid

Here's two articles about getting paid in the movie biz

Friday, September 16, 2005

Movie from Scraps?

According to this film expert from the BBC,
you can make a whole movie on "scraps of film."

Hmm. I sure don't use "scraps." I use reloads and
recans and 35mm rolls that have been snip-tested.
They're cheap, but they're good.

I can make a whole feature movie that way too, because
I know where to get 35mm for nine cents a foot.
(Retail is fifty cents a foot.)

That's one of the most interesting bits of information to
be found on the "Independent Filmmaking CD Vol I" which
will set you back a buck, and you can find it here.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Optical Printers? I remember those...

So this guy asks, "How do I duplicate my Super 8mm footage?"

I think he's kidding, and I think he means to video,
but he says no, to other S8mm film strands, for an artistic
installation, and he writes and calls, and I
tell him what I'm telling you.

You read Martin Baumgartner's article,
and you build yourself an optical printer.

Hello?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Projectionist's Song

See it before it's gone...or it all goes Digital.
What it takes to show your 35mm movie in
front of a bunch of strangers, eating Goobers.
A peek in the Projectionist's booth.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Video is easy. Film is hard.

I've read longer film vs. video articles,
but not better.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Alpha First

Thirty-five years ago, this was my lab and a
cool place to hang out if you were a Seattle
filmmaker. Laslo and Vilmos got started here,
so did other top guys all over the film biz.
Still great. Alpha Cine.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Seattle Modern Digital

Seattle. Digital Intermediate. I want
Techniscope or Super 35. They can do it.
Modern Digital tour.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

DIY Video Gear

Good for film or video, here are some
great gadgets you can make cheap.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Genesis Times Eight

Seems like only yesterday Panavision
debuted its Genesis digital camera, but
now they've got eight of 'em, making the
Man of Steel fly, down in Oz. Hi to Bryan
Singer, who is Directing, and to his evil
Luthor, the astonishing Kevin Spacey.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Why Airport Security
Is No Longer Necessary

As a Traveling Filmmaker, I find this
story spectacularly encouraging.
(I'll bet it was really gaffer tape.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Where Did They Film That?

Three words - Locations,
Locations, Locations.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Discuss Panasonic HVX-200

What they are saying.

Monday, September 05, 2005

More DIY Telecine

Many emails ask where to find a commercial
8 or 16mm telecine machine. Here's a new one.
The original is still my favorite.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Budget Your Movie for Under a Buck

Need a quick budget for your movie?
Excel movie budget spreadsheet.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Aspect Ratios for 35mm/S35

Hey kids! Be the first on your block to
have the right lines on your 35mm viewfinder.
Because everybody writes me, here's an
authoritative downloadable resource.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Cool Groundglass Tool

Our Arri friends in Munich will make
us a 35mm camera groundglass to our
very specifications. Ahh.
Camera Hotrodders take note.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Aspect Ratios for 16mm/S16

Filmmakers, working in 16mm, want to have
accurate framing marks on their 16mm viewfinder.
And so, as a public service, I'm providing an
authoritative downloadable resource.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Filmed In Panavision?

Well, of course it's filmed in Panavision,
but what does that mean?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Rent Stanley Kubrick's Lenses!

Stanley Kubrick's f0.7 Zeiss NASA lenses
will soon be available for rental.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Look! Up on the Screen! It's Super 35!

Will your widescreen movie start with a squeezer lens,
or a spherical Super 35mm frame, squeezed in the printer?
Super 35 and Anamorphic Production

Sunday, August 28, 2005

DIY Film Scanner?

Here's a Florida Phd, who's a movie
hotrodder at heart. One of the more
enjoyable pages I've read recently.
Build your own film scanner
with off-the-shelf components.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Cine School in Sunny Spain

Plenty of light, and ghosts of
Cervantes and Salvadore Dali
watch over your shoulder.
Learn filmmaking in Spain.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Filmmaking Societies Near You

Here are groups of US film enthusiasts,
conveniently located near you.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

MGM Camera 65 and Ultra Panavision

You are probably saying, "What then, is the
MGM Camera 65 and Ultra Panavision Story?"
Glad you asked.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Who Looks This Good At 90?

2005 is Technicolor's 90th birthday.
Here's everything you need to know
about Technicolor.
And then some.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Clothes Make The Character

"Is that a matter for wardrobe, or hairdressing?"

-- Alfred Hitchcock, filming "Lifeboat,"
when told Tallulah wasn't wearing any knickers.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Film In California! (Again)

There was a program called "Film California First."
It offered incentives to shoot features and commercials
here in the Golden State. It was shut down after three years.
There've been other incentive programs, shut down too.
Let's try it again. Everybody back to one...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Eva Longoria Injured - Get Well Soon!

My distant relative (well, she's over in Pasadena),
Eva Longoria, star of ABC's "Desperate Housewives,"
was slightly injured Wednesday, when a piece of
construction equipment fell on her head while filming
a "DH" scene. Eva was treated at a hospital near the set
and released. She is at home resting, and is expected
to return to work on schedule.
You can write her and wish her a speedy recovery.
Get well, Eva!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Great Late-Breaking HD News

Here's the latest and greatest about
the greatest, latest Panasonic High-Def
AG-HVX200 camera. High Definition, built
like the DVX-100, only better Leica lens,
48khz sound, same codec as $65k Varicam,
solid-state recording on cards, so no tape.
all for under $10k. Or buy the camera for
$6k and only rent the cards, until their
prices drop. (They will.) All right!
It's here in October, read about it now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Getting Looped

ADR means "Automatic Dialogue Replacement,"
and that just means saying the same thing
over and over. And over. Here's a guy
who managed to have Fun With ADR.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Your Gate Should Be Wet

Scratches? Dirt? A wet-gate on the
telecine machine will get rid of them.
The film is immersed in a liquid with
the same refractive index as film base.
The scratches disappear. It's magic!
Check out the wetgate demo.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Well This Is Fun

"What is the difference between
35mm, 70mm, and CinemaScope?"
The answer is in the bag.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

State of Stop-Motion

I remember the first time I saw
a digital still camera with an
output port. Something clicked,
and it was either the camera or me.
"I could shoot a stop-motion feature
with this," I thought, "If only I
can stay awake long enough."
Here's how it's done.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Long Live DVD

Like you knew already, and maybe as if
you care, VHS is officially dead.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What the Faq?

If you have questions, chances are good others
have asked the same thing. Filmmaking questions?
Check out the Filmmaking FAQ.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Just As I Suspected

George is not a computer guy.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Flex Pecs as you Pix Flix

From "A Boy's Book Of Fun With Pipe."
here's a remarkably inexpensive,
although perhaps overly-massive,
faux Steadicam.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Dessert? Eclair!

What takes 16mm or 35mm film,
has quick-change magazines,
and is only slightly louder
than an outboard motor?
Hint - it's French.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Disposable Video Camera

It had to happen.
CVS, a drugstore, sells
a disposable video camera.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Rocket Video

It takes a determined hamster
to rocket a video camera high
into the air. There's gotta
be a use for footage like this.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Film vs. Video - Some new insights

Do you walk to school or bring your lunch?
Some arguments are like that.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Independent Filmmaking CD only $.99

Best bargain on eBay.
"Independent Filmmaking Vol I" CD only $.99

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Rules To Make Your Film Boring

As if filmmaking isn't hard enough,
here are the official Lame-o Dogme 95 rules,
(and a list of Lame-o Dogme 95 films.)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Cheaper = Better?

Yet another article telling us movies are cheaper than ever.
No mention of, when you're done with it, you can't sell it,
because film distributors don't want digital.
That will change, but not yet.
"Expensive" 35mm film (which you can sell) is a bargain.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Short Films, Huge Audience

What if you could showcase your
short film before a huge audience?
Find out.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Over the Hump

Since June, nearly 60% of US homes
have high-speed internet. Can direct
distribution of your movie be next?


Saturday, July 30, 2005

Cinerama Home Theatre

Wide? At home?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Stanley's Story

A refreshing look at perhaps the only film auteur.
I could read Stanley's story and never get tired of it.
Here it is again.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

San Jose State - One of the First

One of the first film schools anywhere.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

35mm - Aaton to Zoetrope

History of the 35mm film projector.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Look, It's Super 8 Man!

Talk about a diehard hero!
A wealth of information.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Digital Projection That Much Closer

Studios reach agreement on Digital Standards

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Shooting With the VariCam

So you go to Asia.
Which HD camera do you pack?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Are you still using "film" to make movies?

Good for you!
You need this list of labs.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Latest News About the DVX

The latest on the Panasonic DVX cameras.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Top Five Film Schools

She's given "Which film school is best?"
a lot of thought. USC, UCLA, nowhere in sight.
Top five film schools. Disagree? Let me know.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Scotty Beams Up

What a guy. What a life.
Read how smoking saved his life on D-Day,
how the intrepid "Star Trek" scotsman
fathered nine kids (three when he was 80),
and how Paramount gave him a raise, a year late.
Rest in Peace, James Doohan.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Showless In Seattle?

Nobody takes filmmaking seriously in the Emerald City.
(I grew up there, and we called it Slugtown.
Not because of all the fights, but because of
the indigenous mollusks.)
Lack of support? Ja, sure.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Theatre Propaganda or Propaganda Theatre?

Loews Cineplex is under attack! A lawsuit seeks to limit the amount of propaganda time before the movie in the neighborhood hellplex.

Loews's hack flacks counterattack, with a press release.
Claim we want to see ads, it's part of the theatre experience. Riiiight.
Like those jerks talking through the movie, and the jerks with lighted cellphones.

What's next, as "part of the theatre experience?" Paintball?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

What's Your Favorite Movie?

I like this guy's writing and I like his list.
Ten Best Movies Since 1970.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Filmmaking In A Thimble

How do I become a filmmaker?
You make a film.

That's it, in a sentence.
If you need a whole page.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Try the BNC

In search and praise of Excellence,
I must admit to a predilection
for Buick Cars, Colt pistols,
and...Mitchell Cameras,
expecially the cushy BNC. Ahhh...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Movie Camera crash course

Spend a half-hour, and you can
be up to speed. 24fps, of course.
Yes, progressive. Most film movie cameras are progressive.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

History of the Movie Camera

Here's how it went down,
if the truth be told.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Film Cores Film Course

The cores are at
the center of it all.

Monday, July 11, 2005

It Takes More Than 10 Minutes...

From the patron saint of today's indies,
Peter John Ross casts a stop more light
on Robert's Crewless Rebellion,
while
not denigrating Robert at all.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Why I Laugh When They Compare Cameras

Which HDV camera is best?
Which JVC camera should I buy?
Why the question is funny to me.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

What happens...?

What happens when the set knows
more than the Director?

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Martini Shot

Sunset in Seattle, on those rare days when it's sunny,
means it's the last shot of the day...
The Martini Shot

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Build Your Own Filmmaking Studio

Once you've got a house, you've got most of what you need.
Don't believe me? Build Your Own Filmmaking Studio


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Puppetmaster Passes

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Paul Winchell, a ventriloquist,
inventor and children's TV show host best known for creating the
lispy voice of Winnie the Pooh's animated friend Tigger, has died.
He was 82.

Winchell died Friday morning in his sleep at his Moorpark home,
Burt Du Brow, a television producer and close family friend,
told the Los Angeles Times.

Over six decades, Winchell was a master ventriloquist --
bringing dummies Jerry Mahoney and
Knucklehead Smiff to life on television -- and an inventor who
held 30 patents, including one for an
early artificial heart he built in 1963. Unfortunately, the
heart wouldn't work unless Winchell had his
hand in the patient's back.

(Thanks a lot to my pal Randy in NZ.)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Shorten Your Hollywood Shuffle

Producing your own Independent Feature movie
can take years off your Hollywood Shuffle.

Learn all the tools, tricks, and strategems
to become an Independent Producer, and leapfrog
over your filmmaking competition!

Stop trying to make deals, and start making movies!
Everything you need to know, to make your own
Independent Feature, in only two days.

Hollywood Seminars "Independent Producing,"
20-21 August 2005, for info call 323-960-5550

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Hollywood's Summer of Sergio

Looks like Gene Autry and the Alex Theatre
are finally giving Sergio Leoni the retrospective
he deserves, and as a guy with a Techniscope jones,
I'm excited. This is the Summer of Sergio.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Big, Bigger, IMAX!

Love those big cars,
big guns, big movies...
IMAX!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What happens...?

...when the set knows more than
the Filmmaker?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Digital? Maxivision's Better!

A brilliant film system for shooting
31% more image at 48fps, twice the frame
rate, only using 50% more film. Huh?
Don't worry. This is bigger than math.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Money For Your Movie - Hurry!

Well, we're back on the air, after a massive computer snarl.
I'm holding the 28% discount on my ultimate filmmaking
money-raising guide until it ships, which will be soon.

Completely updated the links, so it's even more relevant and useful.
Whole bunch of new info, for those who want to apply for grants
(free money you never have to repay) as well as my simple system
to find and qualify investors for your film and video projects.
Chock-full of these and other loan sources. You'll love it.

With all this information at your fingertips, if you can't raise all the money
you need, you're not trying. (Maybe you don't really want to be a filmmaker...)
Fully backed by my awesome 1 year money-back guarantee.

The 28% discount is for those who order in the next few days before
it ships. I'm focused on the book right now, and I appreciate your patience.
"Secrets Of Raising Money For Your Movie"

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Should Film Be Harder To Break Into?

Here's your question for the day:
Should film be harder to break into?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Film Footage Chart

How many feet? How many frames? Minutes? Seconds?
16mm? 35mm? Thank goodness for
Greg Pak's Film Footage Chart

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Great Star Wars Article

Warning: Not for the jaded or cynical. Romantics only.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Digital Cinema 4k Origin Camera

Here's a taste of the new 4k DALSA Origin Camera.
Mmmm.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

One Page Lighting Course

My friend Mike Conway's indy movie lighting course
is short, to the point, succinct, pithy, abrupt, and concise.
In a word, brief.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Old New Mexico News

Although it happened a while back, this program,
from Panavision and the New Mexico Tourism Department,

is worth a read. What a heart-stopper. These guys are serious!
New Mexico just looks better and better as a place to shoot movies.

Friday, May 27, 2005

RIP Eddie Albert

Oh, no. Eddie Albert died today,
at the age of 99.

"Green Acres" is still my favorite
sitcom of all time, as it's so far beyond tv.
It's surreal and insane!

If you watch it carefully, you'll eventually notice
most of the dialogue is shot before painted backdrops.
That show cost virtually nothing but a backdrop rental
and some actors every week. And some film. Love it.

I'm so sorry to hear of Eddie Albert's passing. He was a real
war hero, a good singer, and is in one of my most favorite movies.

Elaine May's "The Heartbreak Kid," starring her daughter Jeanne Berlin,
Charles Grodin, and Cybill Shepherd. Script by Neil Simon.
Eddie played Cybill's Dad, and was he tough! And funny.

Grodin, a shallow opportunistic newlywed, who's just abandoned
his bride because she has the worst sunburn ever filmed,
asks Eddie something like,
"Sir, would you be all right with me keeping company
with your daughter?"

Eddie, tough as nails, responds:
"Not if I were dragged forty miles by my tongue."

Rest in peace, Eddie.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Kodak Cinematography Workshop in Seattle!

Break out your light meter and your contrast glass, the
Kodak Cinematography Workshop is coming to Seattle!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Money For Your Movie - Hurry!

Only a few days left to get my ultimate filmmaking
money-raising guide
, at a 28% discount on its price.
It ships 1 June 2005.

Completely updated the links, so it's even more relevant and useful.
Whole bunch of new info, for those who want to apply for grants
(free money you never have to repay) as well as my simple system
to find and qualify investors for your film and video projects.
Chock-full of these and other loan sources. You'll love it.

With all this information at your fingertips, if you can't raise all the money
you need, you're not trying. (Maybe you don't really want to be a filmmaker...)
Fully backed by my awesome 1 year money-back guarantee.

That 28% discount is for those who order in the
dwindling few days before 1 June. Sign up and save!
"Secrets Of Raising Money For Your Movie"