DJI is Going for the Throat of Competition, Shows ‘Phantom X’ Prototype Drone That Flies Itself

This one sort of flew under the radar (ha, look! A drone pun!), but I stumbled on this video yesterday that shows what DJI is working on for a future product. Though it’s pretty clear much of this video has heavy use of computer graphics to create the drone that flies itself, DJI’s Phantom X concept goes right for the throat of drones like the Lily Flying Camera, and that’s exactly what we should expect from the industry’s largest aerial imagine company. Oh, and they stuffed as many big names into the video as possible.

The Art of the “Dissolve,” the Most Often Used Transition in Film and Video

Transitions are everything in storytelling. Moving from one shot to the next can completely affect the way a scene flows, how a joke is received, and the timing of an edit add an incredible amount of impact. A major player in this segue from one image to another are transitions, the most common of which is a “dissolve.” This video explores and breaks down some notable, historical examples of this transition, and beautifully articulates the value in using them.

The 180 Degree Shutter Rule: What It Is & Why You Should Follow It

Because so many modern video enthusiasts and filmmakers are self taught, it’s not uncommon to run across a few that don’t know what the 180 degree shutter rule is, or why they should even care about it. So what is it? The rule states that your shutter speed needs to be one over two times your frame rate. In this video by Stronz Vanderploeg, he explains a lot about the rule and give you visual evidence as to why he endorses it. “When it comes to video cameras, there are 3 ways to control exposure internally on the camera: ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed/Angle. ISO affects noise performance, Aperture controls depth of field and Shutter Speed determines motion blur. All too often I see videos shot at different shutter speeds with varying amount of motion blur but is there really such a thing as ‘the right way to do it?'”


7 Tips for Crafting a Compelling, Yet Informative Documentary Story

I’ve been doing a lot of work recently on a short, as well as feature length, documentary films in the last few years. One of the challenges I struggled with in almost every case was telling the story in a logical way that not only kept the viewer interested, but also just made sense to common viewer. Here are some tips on what I learned worked, as well as what didn’t.

#HelloJetman: How They Filmed Two Guys With Jetpacks Flying Next to an Emirates Airbus

Sometimes things don’t really require much more than a “woah.” This is one of those times. The whole stunt is just that: a stunt, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t really flipping impressed. The whole process for this is already insane, but check out what they had to do to make the jaw-dropping video. That’s a lot (seriously, a lot) of pre production.

Behind the Scenes of “Turning Point” & its Successful Implementation of the One-Take Film Concept

There are some truly amazing examples of how to make a great film, and Joe Penna and his writing partner Ryan Morrison (of MysteryGuitarMan) are absolutely killing it with his latest short film “Turning Point,” which is a gut wrenching short that follows a woman infected with a deadly disease who must survive a night alone. The inspiration of the shoot came from the cinematography in “Birdman” which uses the “one shot” look (even though neither this nor Birdman was actually shot in one take). Joe and Ryan just released their behind the scenes video and gave us some great stills from their set while he explained a few things about how and why they chose to shoot this like they did.

Review- SmallHD 502 Monitor

Review: SmallHD 502 Monitor Makes Filmmaking Much Easier

SmallHD makes some pretty awesome little monitors, the one getting the most buss as of late being their 502 HDMI/SDI monitor with the optional Sidefinder viewfinder. What makes this one special? Well, mainly its incredible pixel density and brightness, two things that make this monitor a joy to use while filmmaking. It has some other outstanding features as well, and in my time with it, I really see the appeal of these little monitors.

Red Giant’s New Trapcode Suite Looks Super Impressive

Last week, Red Giant announced the release of the Trapcode Suite 13, which is an upgrade to their popular After Effects plugins that create motion graphics and visual effects. In addition to major updates to Trapcode Particular, Shine and Mir, this particular release introduces Trapcode Tao, a brand new plugin for generating 3D geometries along a path, and also includes new features in Trapcode Form, Sound Keys and Starglow.

Don’t Fuck Up The Budget: What a Producer Actually Does

The title “producer” is oft misinterpreted and misunderstood. In Hollywood, generally the title of Producer doesn’t necessarily mean they do what a real producer in smaller projects or commercial gigs would do. Generally speaking, they just liked a project and dumped some money into it. What does a real producer do? A lot, actually and it’s their responsibility to make sure that the budget doesn’t get broken… among other things. So if you’re given the title of Producer, here is how not to fuck it up.

How To Protect Yourself and Your Video Content Against Inappropriate Copyright Infringement Claims

We all know how difficult it can be to constantly protect our work from misuse or copyright infringement. But what happens when someone claims a copyright infringement against you, and you find out the content in question is actually the work you licensed to that party in the first place? If this sounds crazy, it is, and that’s exactly what happened to Mitch Martinez last week.

Last week I wrote about DP Mitch Martinez, and his fantastic free 4K stock footage that anyone can access for free. Well, I didn’t think I’d be writing about him again quite so soon, but I found out about a bizarre twist in his story a few days ago, and had to get back in touch with him. It was being reported that Mitch had received a copyright infringement notice from a well regarded music industry company claiming that he had infringed on their copyright, when in fact the content in question was the exact free stock footage I had reported on, and in fact he had licensed to them in the first place.