‘Dunkirk,’ ‘I, Tonya’ Top American Cinema Editors’ Honors

Posted by on Feb 12, 2018 in Blog | No Comments

Best-edited movie of the year, ‘Baby driver’ snubbed!

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Lee Smith’s editing of Dunkirk and Tatiana S. Riegel’s cut of I, Tonya topped the feature competition at the 68th annual American Cinema Editors’ Eddie Awards, winning trophies in the categories of best edited dramatic feature and best edited comedy feature, respectively.

Both editors are also nominated for the Academy Award in film editing, along with editor Sidney Wolinsky for The Shape of Water, who was also nominated for an Eddie in the dramatic feature category; and editors Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss for Baby Driver and John Gregory for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, who were nominated for the Eddie in the comedy feature competition.

In 10 of the last 15 years, the winner of the best edited dramatic feature category went on to win the Oscar for film editing. In 2003, Chicago, the winner of the Eddie for best edited musical or comedy, won the Academy Award in the category.

 

 

 

 

6 Post-Production Practices for Your First Short Film

Posted by on Feb 11, 2018 in Blog | No Comments

1. The earlier, the better

Whether you’re asking colleagues to be a part of your film for full scale or no compensation at all, you still need to find your post-production team as early as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute, especially if you don’t have a budget. It may take time for someone to say yes or even find the opportunity to work with you.

If your budget is thin, believe in the story you’re telling. If you believe it, they’ll believe it too. Simon Taufique suggests to even send your script to post houses. Citing one such experience, a post house got behind a project and donated their services based solely on the script. “We thought we’d only get a lunch break with their colorist, but we got days of free coloring for this film simply because they loved the script!”

2. How to choose the people around you

Even if it’s easier to employ your close friends willing to work for cheap, it’s better to step outside your comfort zone. Building valuable relationships takes time, so start early. Ask yourself if you want to learn every aspect of filmmaking or only specific parts of production while making your project.

Alternatively, Raj Trivedi notes that making something yourself (and learning it on your own) allows you to figure out what aspects you enjoy. If you find you don’t like editing, then that’s a role you need to find [for] someone [else]. He also says every editor should read Walter Murch’s In a Blink of an Eye.

3. Identify your obstacles and overcome them

Simon Taufique: Imperium was up against a very tight budget and deadline from Lionsgate. Due to thinning funds, the team cut the film in the editor’s home. Rather than rent, they built their own computer to edit on and afterward sold it on eBay to recoup some of the cost. They even went as far as convincing the owner of the post company to be an investor on the film!

Mridu Chandra: While working on The Dissection of Thanksgiving, a film set in the 1980s featuring 1980s pop music, the filmmakers ran into a possible music licensing issue. How did they overcome it? Rather than shoot scenes with the desired music playing in the background, they chose to add it later in post, effectively avoiding any workaround issues they’d face if unable to obtain certain song rights.

It’s always good practice to remove any clearance hurdles during production, such as music, trademarks, and third-party footage beforehand. If you can’t, try to keep them out of frame for your final edit. If you need music in the scene, use a temp track of the same beat with a frequency that can be tuned out in post. It’s much easier to replace than a music track.

Robert Wilson: Never give up on your footage during editing. If you happen to be in production and are able to film a two shot and one over-the-shoulder (OTS) while it begins to rain, you can’t go back. Just because you don’t have the reverse OTS doesn’t mean you can’t find something in the two shot. In a project Wilson edited, he was able to find a look in a two shot and flip it to give it the appearance of the reverse OTS.

4. Backup, Backup, Backup

Create an effective backup system that won’t leave you high and dry. The panel suggests higher-rated hard drives with at least 7200 RPM so that you’re not waiting for files to transfer on set.  Backing up memory cards to two different drives is good practice. For short films, back up daily footage before backing up everything else. On feature films, a daily and weekly backup is best. Place each backup storage device in separate locations in case there’s a fire or a theft.

5. Transcoding

If you’re shooting high resolution footage in 4K, you can transcode to a lower proxy like ProRes LT. That way, you’re not bogging down your machine while editing. After you’ve completed the cut, you can then conform the high resolution footage back in (along with the finished audio).

6. Exports

Try to predict where the finished project will end up. If you’re planning to go on the festival circuit, be sure to check their site for any technical data. Mridu Chandra suggests you at least make an export of the completed film with all text and graphics in both 5.1 sound and stereo sound. Besides any frame rate exports, you should also export a textless version with both 5.1 sound and stereo sound and one without subtitles with both 5.1 sound and stereo sound. While budgeting with the editor, it’s also good to include at least three DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and Blu Ray versions.

 

Oscars 2018: ‘The Shape Of Water’ leads the way with 13 nominations

Posted by on Jan 23, 2018 in Blog | No Comments

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The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards have been announced in Los Angeles, with The Shape Of Water leading the way with 13 nods.

The romantic drama is nominated for best picture, best director (Guillermo del Toro) and best actress (Sally Hawkins). This is one fewer than La La Land’s record haul of 14 last year.

 Full list of Oscars 2018 nominations

 It is one of nine films in the best picture category and is competing against Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Greta Gerwig becomes only the fifth woman to be nominated for best director, for Lady Bird. She is joined by del Toro, Jordan Peele (Get Out), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread). The best director lists for the Baftas and the Golden Globes were all male.

Nominations by numbers

  • 13 - The Shape Of Water 
  • 8 - Dunkirk
  • 7 - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • 6 – Phantom Thread
  • 6 – Darkest Hour
  • 5 – Blade Runner 2049
  • 5 – Lady Bird
  • 4 – Get Out
  • 4 – Mudbound
  • 4 – Call Me By Your Name
  • 4 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Nominations by distributor

  • 20 – Fox Searchlight
  • 14 – Focus Features
  • 14 – Warner Bros
  • 10 – Walt Disney
  • 8 – Netflix
  • 7 – 20th Century Fox
  • 7 – A24

Actor nominations

Gary Oldman will be the man to beat in the best actor category after his performance as Winston Churchill was honoured at the Golden Globes. He will compete against Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread) and Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.).

The two frontrunners for best actress appear to be Sally Hawkins  (The Shape Of Water) and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). They are up against Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) and Meryl Streep (The Post).

Mary J. Blige’s best supporting actress nomination for Mudbound is Netflix’s first ever acting nod. The film was also nominated for best adapted screenplay and best original song (also for Blige), meaning that Netflix scored its first ever Oscar nominations outside the documentary categories.

Blige will compete against Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) and Octavia Spencer (The Shape Of Water).

Christopher Plummer makes the supporting actor list, after replacing Kevin Spacy at the last minute in All The Money In The World.

Two actors from Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri are also on the list: Sam Rockwell (perhaps the favourite) and Woody Harrelson, alongside Richard Jenkins (The Shape Of Water) and Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project).

Foreign language

Cannes winner The Square is included in a competitive foreign language category. Fellow Cannes competition title Loveless also makes the list, alongside Berlin Golden Bear winner On Body And Soul, Ziad Doueiri’s The Insult and A Fantastic Woman, starring transgender Chilean actress Daniela Vega.

The 2018 Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on March 4. Jimmy Kimmel is once again hosting this year’s ceremony.

EDDIE Awards nominations 2018

Posted by on Jan 13, 2018 in Blog | No Comments

These are the best edited movies for this past 2017… according to their peers.

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Dunkirk & BabyDriver should top every list if you’d ask me!

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk”
“Molly’s Game”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”

Best Editing Feature Film (Comedy or Musical)
“Baby Driver”
“Get Out”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

By https://americancinemaeditors.org/eddie-awards/eddie-nominees/

 

 

 

Easy ways to Capture Audio On the Go with the new Zoom H1

Posted by on Jan 7, 2018 in Blog | No Comments

 

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Like its predecessor (the H1), the newly overhauled, entry-level H1n from Zoom provides professional audio recording capabilities wherever you go. With a small, sleek design that allows the H1n to fit in your pocket, it’s easy to access and doesn’t take up too much room

The one-touch button controls allow you to implement filters and adjust your levels. It’s much more user-friendly than having to scroll through a menu in order to find parameters and change settings. The built-in tone and slate generators make calibrating H1n & camera levels simple while allowing you to sync recordings in post.

As with other Zoom products, you can expect professional level quality from the H1n. Its X/Y stereo mics, allowing recordings of up to 24 bit at 96k, means you’re not sacrificing quality for portability. Other additions include a large, 1.25″ monochromatic screen that’s easy to see in bright light, and one-button access to sound processing controls like a limiter and low-cut filter.

A speech preset optimizes the H1 for dialogue recording with the click of a button. No menus to dive into—just enable the preset and you’re good-to-go. This feature should be especially helpful documentary producers with interview-heavy projects.

If you need to add low-cut filter or limit your input signal in loud environments, both can be enabled and disabled via the buttons on the front of the H1n. Record clean, distortion-free audio in even loud environments.

After you’ve recorded your interview audio, you may need to transcribe it. The on-board playback speed adjustment makes it easy to slow down your audio so that you can catch every word.

 

 

Why We need Greta Gerwig’s Oscar nomination this year more than ever

Posted by on Jan 7, 2018 in Blog | No Comments
 Recent events have reinforced just how difficult it is to be a woman in Hollywood, both in front of the camera and behind it.

Natalie Portman made a splash Sunday night at the Golden Globes by going off-script and introducing the “all-male nominees” for best motion picture director. The BAFTA best director nominations, announced Monday, differed slightly from those of the Globes, as Denis Villeneuve (“Blade Runner 2049″) and Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me by Your Name”) made the cut over Ridley Scott (“All the Money in the World”) and Steven Spielberg (“The Post”). Still, no women.

The issue at hand is not that these directors are undeserving of recognition, of course, though critics have remarked that Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) and Dee Rees (“Mudbound”) were also of merit. It is that female directors have fewer opportunities to compete in the first place.

To help guide your conversations on representation during this sure-to-be controversial Oscar season, here are some figures from last week’s study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

Women directed just 4.3 percent of top movies over the last 11 years

The study looked at the gender, race and age of the 665 individual directors who worked on the 100 top-grossing movies in each year – 1,100 total. Last year, out of the 109 people who directed the top 100 movies, just eight were women. Gerwig, named best director of the year by the National Society of Film Critics last week, was one of them. The others? Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”), Trish Sie (“Pitch Perfect 3″), Stella Meghie (“Everything, Everything”), Anna Foerster (“Underworld: Blood Wars”), Hallie Meyers-Shyer (“Home Again”), Stacy Title (“The Bye Bye Man”) and Lucia Aniello (“Rough Night”).

“Lady Bird,” released Nov. 3, made more than $28.3 million domestically by late December, according to IndieWire, making it distributor A24′s highest-grossing film.

Gerwig shared her optimistic outlook with Variety last month: “Every year they come out with the numbers … I think those numbers are going to shift. And it seems like it’s going to be less and less its own category. There are just going to be … directors.”

Another recent study, this one by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, found that in 2017′s top 250 films, women comprised 11 percent of the directors, which is up 4 percentage points from last year but equivalent to the number recorded in 2000 – meaning not much progress has been made since.

That study also found that women made up 18 percent of all the directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers who worked on the 250 films. “This represents an increase of 1 percentage point from 17 percent in 2016 and is virtually unchanged from the percentage achieved in 1998,” the study states.

Women directors in each year never got higher than 8 percent.

In the USC study, the year with the highest percentage was 2008, with nine women, or 8 percent.

Phyllida Lloyd ranked high on the list that year with the incredibly successful “Mamma Mia!,” which became the highest-grossing film to ever be released in the United Kingdom. Last summer, Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” surpassed “Mamma Mia!” as the worldwide highest-grossing film directed by a woman.

Jenkins told Deadline in November that directing is “a caretaking job that has to do with other jobs that women are great at: encouraging people.”

Only seven women of color directed any of the top movies over the 11 years.

Four black women, two Asian women and one Latina were on the list. The other 36 female directors were white.

The list includes Ava DuVernay (“Selma”), Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Secret Life of Bees”), Sanaa Hamri (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2″), Stella Meghie (“Everything, Everything”), and Loveleen Tandan (“Slumdog Millionaire” co-director).

With the upcoming “A Wrinkle in Time,” DuVernay became the first woman of color to direct a motion picture with a production budget of more than $100 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. DuVernay spoke to Vulture in December about how her identity has shaped the project.

“I’m excited to share a sci-fi vision through the lens of a black woman, because so often when we’re watching sci-fi films, it’s through one specific lens: A white male lens, predominantly, for decades and decades and decades,” she said. “It’s not that mine will be radically different, but there might be a softness to it or an edge to it or a color change to it that we’ve not seen. The bottom line is that we don’t know until we see it, so why not see it?”

Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed multiple “Kung Fu Panda” movies and therefore appeared twice. Patricia Riggen (“Miracles from Heaven”) was the only Latina hired to direct any of the 1,100 films.

The “one and done” phenomenon is more common among female directors.

Fifty-five percent of the male directors helmed just one film, compared with 84 percent of the women. Over the 11-year period, men directed between one and 15 movies, whereas women directed between one and four.

Tyler Perry, the top performer across the board, directed 15 of the 1,100 films. Clint Eastwood directed eight, while Michael Bay, Ridley Scott, Zack Snyder and Steven Spielberg each helmed seven. Anne Fletcher (“27 Dresses”)was the one woman with four, with Lana Wachowski was close behind with three. Five others – Catherine Hardwicke, Phyllida Lloyd, Nancy Meyers, Julie Anne Robinson and Jennifer Yuh Nelson – directed two each.