Creating the Original Star Wars Lightsaber Effect, In-Camera

In 1977, quality video effects were expensive and time consuming to have, and more often than not a film relied upon in-camera effects and visual trickery to create their movie magic. One of cinema’s most well known space weapons utilized such a trick when it first debuted on film, and Shanks FX recreated this process in a really fun behind-the-scenes tutorial.

Why Sven Dreesbach Chose to Film an Ocean-Based Robot Koch Music Video Exclusively on iPhone

Sven Dreesbach is a phenomenal filmmaker based in Los Angeles who teamed up with Robot Koch & Delhia de France to create a music video for their acclaimed song ‘Dark Waves’ (which was recently featured in the mid-season finale of How to Get Away with Murder). The music video is full of oceanic-based, dark imagery that goes very well with the tones of the song. “The moody atmosphere for the video was primarily set by the tone of the song. Robert Koch, the artist behind Dark Waves, approached me a while ago and told me about the back story behind how the song came alive in a dream while he was asleep,” Sven told us. “The blurry images he saw in his dream were involving dark mysterious shots of the ocean and also involved the lonesome surfer we follow around in the video. He pulled up one of my previous projects as reference for the overall atmosphere and basically asked me if I would be interested in creating something that feels similar for Dark Waves. I didn’t have to think about it much. Of course I was in for it. Particularly because the song was perfect for these kind of visuals.”

The 7 Month Process of Making of a Stop Motion Film: “The Sea is Blue”

Vincent Peone, originally from the team that started College Humor, came up with the idea for this stop motion short when his sister was in a coma. It’s unusual for him, since he came from a lot of comedy, and the tone of this particular short was very different. He wanted to make something evocative, took its time, and got people thinking. He found himself wondering what his sister was up to when she was in that coma. The film he wanted to make was about appreciating someone when you brush with losing them.

All You Need to Know About Clamps for Photography and Video Production

The Slanted Lens went back to the basics for this informative video, which covers the most common types of clamps found on a set for a studio or location production. A great primer if you’re just starting out and beginning to assist on larger productions and need to know what the differences between all of these clamps are, so you’re not confused when someone asks for something like a “Cardellini” on set.

Behind the Scenes Video Illustrates How Time Consuming Stop Motion Can Be

I have never attempted stop motion, but I do appreciate a great stop motion film. One of the reasons I have never attempted it is because I’m deathly afraid of how long it would take and how much patience it would require. Well, after watching this video, which splices a final commercial with behind the scenes footage, I’m more convinced that the medium just isn’t for me.

FAA to Require Registration of Drones

The FAA is Requiring All Drones to be Registered by February 19, 2016

If you have owned a drone, or plan to own a drone between now and December 21, 2015, the FAA has announced you’re going to have to register it by February 19, 2015. If you get one after the 21st, you’ll have to register it before the first flight. “Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Apple Does Not Use Final Cut

I’m Not Buying That Apple Doesn’t Want to Use Final Cut

There is an article featured on The Verge that has caught some steam, and it relates to a job posting for an Assistant Editor position in the Dr. Dre contingent of the rather enormous Apple. Basically, the position requires quite a bit of technical knowledge, specifically in the Adobe suite of apps, but The Verge noticed something was missing: knowledge of Apple’s own program Final Cut.

Qualifications for Apple Editor No Final Cut

Both Avid and Adobe are mentioned, but Apple’s Final Cut is… well, absent. Though sad, and a sign of how things in this industry have evolved and left behind Final Cut after Final Cut X’s disastrous entry into the software world, it’s probably not as damning as The Verge would have you think.

Mashup of Movie Trailers From 2015 is a Visual Feast of Cinematic Visuals

Sit back, relax, and take in the entire six-minute edit of movie trailers from 2015, masterfully cut together by Louis Plamondon, AKA YouTube user Sleepy Skunk.


Readers’ Poll: What are the Elements of a Hit Feature Film?

There are so many great films out there, but determining the difference between a good, bad or great movie is difficult. Some believe the timeless classics will always trump the new releases, while others are interested in the innovation of modern pictures. On top of this, we can’t forget the relationship between casting, acting, writing, cinematography, special effects, and budget. Is there a formula we can use to predict if a feature film will become a hit? We’ve turned to you, our readers, for the answer.

Time to Geek Out: The Science Behind How Your Sensor Works

If you were ever curious to how your sensor worked, then this video is for you. Now, when I say “how” I don’t mean a surface level description where we just say the sensor absorbs light and displays that in a digital way. No no, this is far, far more detailed. Filmmaker IQ went into incredible detail, so you know why a sensor does what it does on a molecular level.