‘LA LA LAND’ and the road to the Oscars

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Blog | No Comments
‘LA LA LAND’ and the road to the Oscars

‘LA LA LAND’ and the road to the Oscars: leading the Golden Globes nominations and smashing the Critic’s Choice Awards

Damien Chazelle’s movie musical gets another pre-Oscars boost, right after smashing the Critic’s choice awards with 7 bids.  Barry Jenkins’s ‘Moonlight’ chases its tail with 6 noms and ‘Manchester by the sea’ with 5.  ’Silence’ and ‘Sully’ by Scorsese and Eastwood were completely snubbed, on the other hand.

La La Land looks set to dominate the 74th Golden Globe awards, taking seven nominations, including best comedy or musical, best director, best actress in a comedy or musical and best actor in a comedy or musical. The film, which proved triumphant at the Critics Circle  is a mournful romance about the relationship between a jazz pianist played by Ryan Gosling and an aspiring actor (Emma Stone). It is the third feature from Chazelle, 31, whose Whiplash was a crowd-pleasing critical hit two years ago. The film opened in the US last Friday and scored a record-breaking per-screen average of $171,000. Bookies are increasingly considering the film a shoo-in to triumph in the best comedy or musical category, and currently quoting 1/2 odds for it to take best picture at next year’s Oscars.

‘Sweet Dreams’ wins the Los Angeles Film Awards

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Blog | No Comments
‘Sweet Dreams’ wins the Los Angeles Film Awards

Kudos to Jake Unsworth on getting ‘SweetDreams’ to win the Los Angeles Film Awards!

Pleasure having worked with you editing this tiny adventure as well as #TheAwakening.
Looking forward to an even more productive and successful 2017!

Merry Christmas from Wes Anderson!

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

While we wait for the currently untitled project -starring Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, and Jeff Goldblum- which will mark Anderson’s much-awaited return to the world of stop-motion animation since 2009′s ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, let’s enjoy this christmas perk for ‘H&M’ starring Adrien Brody and reminisce of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’.

‘SWEET DREAMS’ made it to its 10th Film Festival

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

1,2,3… 10! Congratulations to Jake Unsworth on getting his film ‘Sweet Dreams’ on its way to the 10th Festival this autumn.
From Leicester & sunny Barcelona to glamorous Miami Independent Film festival. Quite impressive!

Pleasure having worked with you on this tiny adventure as well as ‘The Awakening’. Looking forward to an even more productive and successful 2017!

Salute to Cinema: 2016

Posted by on Nov 20, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

I guess is never too early to celebrate the best of this year in movies, is it? Here’s a condensed 3min video -divided in comedies/animation/action/drama and Oscar worthy mashups, select your favorite picks
Soundtrack includes this year films ‘La La Land’, ‘Trolls’ & ‘The Jungle Book’.


‘Arrival’: How DP Bradford Young Deconstructed Sci-Fi

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Blog | No Comments


“Directors and cinematographers have to be equally vulnerable.”
It’s an alien invasion. There are firebombs falling from the sky into hyper-saturated cities, followed by mass destruction and threatening creatures snatching children. Right? Nope. Not this time. This is a different kind of alien movie.

Arrival is the first foray into science fiction for director Denis Villeneuve, known for Oscar-nominated Sicario (2015) and Incendies (2010). But it’s certainly not his last—he’s currently directing the remake of sci-fi classic Blade Runner. Arrival stars a melancholy Amy Adams as a linguist who is brought in to try to communicate with aliens hovering just over Earth in enormous floating vessels. The slow-burning narrative—which revolves around Adams’ grief as much as her dealings with the alien visitors—has a spectacular twist at the end.

The film relies very little on visual effects, but heavily on evocative lighting and camera work. Its convention-breaking approach is likely part of why it took screenwriter and producer Eric Heisserer years to get it made. When it came to production, they chose up-and-coming DP Bradford Young, who shot Ava Duvernay’s Selma. But he had big shoes to fill—the DP of Villeneuve’s last film was the legendary Roger Deakins, shooter of over 70 films, including Skyfall and No Country for Old Men.

Thanks & Credits to @NoFilmSchool

The genius trick that put natural light on ‘Jungle Book,’ even though it was shot indoors

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Blog | No Comments


Attaining just the right amount of light, mixed with the right tint and the right shadows, is one of the most difficult tasks in filmmaking — and achieving this goal is even harder when you have no natural light. Indeed, imitating natural light when you have none sounds like a migraine waiting to happen. Fortunately for us, the geniuses at Disney figured out a way to replicate natural light in the middle of a warehouse.

Following suit of productions such as King Kong and The Hobbit, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book was filmed entirely in a warehouse in Los Angeles, California. The finished product was an impressive spectacle worth your time.

Given the current state of computer motion graphics and 3D cameras, bringing a jungle to life in the middle of a city can be done and made to look convincing. Of course, this doesn’t come without a few production roadblocks like lighting and shadows.

By placing LED panels with moving images in front of the actor, the shadows and moving light replicated real-life motion with outdoor lighting. The in-depth behind-the-scenes video also talks about the challenges and techniques that went into incorporating the CGI characters with the main actor in a natural way. This movie (and video) are required viewing for anyone interested in seamlessly blending human and CGI characters interactions.

#PremiumBeat #Youtube #Mashable

The “Vertigo effect” gets the post-production treatment

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

The ‘Dolly zoom’ -also known as ‘Vertigo effect’- is a visual storytelling technique in which the camera dollies toward or away from the characters while the zoom on the lens is pulled in the opposite direction, subjects framed by a dolly zoom will remain the same size while either the background grows in detail or the foreground becomes dominate, depending on the way the camera moves.

The effect was first seen in Hitchcock’s Vertigo, but many have used it since—most notably, Steven Spielberg in Jaws, Martin Scorsese in Goodfellas, and Sam Mendes in Road to Perdition. You’ll even see it in the upcoming film Arrival from Denis Villeneuve.

But what if you want to create the effect as an afterthought? Or you just don’t have the proper lens while shooting?

Learn how to create this effect without the use of a zoom lens with UglyMcGregor, who breaks it down in the video below:

The setup
You’re going to need a high-resolution camera that shoots at least 3K. 1080p media won’t work, as you will be using the scaling method later in post to produce the effect. As McGregor points out, dolly zooms work best with the subject in center frame, so be sure you do so while tracking either toward or away from the subject.

In post
A program like After Effects, Premiere, Vegas, Final Cut, or Avid that has the ability to scale the size of the image will work for this technique. After placing the footage in the timeline, find the start and end points of the shot. From the starting point, if you moved the camera forward, you will descale the image using keyframes to control scale and speed. As you descale the image, your subject will move from middle frame, so it’s preferable to use a thirds grid to help keep the character centered.

If you dollied backwards, you will increase the image size using the same technique as above. Keep in mind that while you will lose frame height and width using this technique, you can produce realistic results if you’re in a pinch.

Ref. to #NoFilmSchool #2016

“Sometimes you just need a few great shots…”

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Blog | No Comments


The work of a cinematographer, though satisfying, is often grueling, demanding, and complex. It’s easy to get lost not only in the chaos of trying to tell stories with the images you make, but in the chaos that is your own self-doubt. But DP John Mathieson offers some advice that might help educate and inspire you. In this video from Cooke Optics TV, the two-time Academy Award nominee talks about working on Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, and shares some things he took away from the experience.

“Doing” is more expensive than “feeling”

Mathieson explains that the project didn’t have the time nor the resources to shoot the beginning battle scene the way he intended to. The scene required too many hours, too many stuntmen, too many horses, so he had to get creative. Instead of shooting it like a traditional battle sequence, he decided to make it abstract, or in his words, he gave the “impression of a battle.” He says, “If you can’t afford to do something, it’s good to find a solution that gives the feeling of something.”

Shoot whatever looks good

A continuity error is one of the cinematographer’s natural enemies—that and low light. Though it’s not always their job to catch them, DPs keep a close eye on specific things to avoid them. However, if you watch this particular battle scene in Gladiator, you’ll notice it’s riddled with them. So, what does Mathieson say about all this? Well, he doesn’t seem to mind much, because it looks good. He says that though it might sound like “an awful thing to say,” a sequence that works and looks beautiful may overshadow the fact that the continuity wasn’t the best.


Ref #NoFilmSchool #Gladiator 2016

3 Different Ways Alfonso Cuarón Uses Long Takes in His Films

Posted by on Aug 28, 2016 in Blog | No Comments
The long take is not only an aesthetic choice, but a utilitarian one as well.

Alfonso Cuarón has made some incredible films that feature his signature “long take“, a prolonged, uninterrupted shot. He has used this technique in many of his films, from Y Tu Mamá También to his latest film Gravity. But what’s the point of a long take? Why does Cuarón insist on using them in his films? Well, in this video essay, Nathan Shapiro explores three of Cuarón’s films that, both, contain long takes, as well as differ greatly in genre and narrative content in hopes to explain their function apart from visual style and aesthetics.