Amateur Cinema 2012 - Video Production

We are living during an unprecedented time of options in the world of amateur and professional filmmaking. Prices, availability, options, and capabilities have been increasing at an unprecedented rate. There are many reasons for this but I think two main contributors are RED Digital Cinema and the emergence of DSLR's. There are many detractors of both but in terms of making amazing technological abilities available to the masses they have been instrumental. To literally be able to spend $1000 on a Canon, Nikon or Panasonic DSLR video production camera and have a viable movie making machine is something that was impossible even 3 years ago.

RED started in 2005 with a simple idea, to bring inexpensive, high quality cinema video cameras to the masses. With their second generation camera, the EPIC, they have by many critic's conclusions finally arrived at a camera that can actually rival 35mm film. With resolution exceeding that of S35, extended Dynamic Range provided by HDR-X and sensitivity that brings about shooting possibilities never reached by film, the EPIC has ushered in a whole new generation of filmmaking.

On the lower end, Canon with its 5DMkII camera and its full frame 35mm sensor has changed all the rules of what it takes to make a movie. In fact it has even been used on the Oscar nominated film 127 Hours. Despite their issues, these cameras have put the big guys in the industry on the hot-seat and made it very clear what they need to do to keep up in this democratized production environment.

SO... ON November 3rd 2011 there was a huge announcement from both Canon and RED about their respective products. They may not have been game-changers for major Hollywood studios but they certainly had an impact on nearly every indie filmmaker on Earth. I know that sounds like hyperbole but the point is that if Scarlet or the new Canon camera is not the one you own it will still create waves in the rest of the industry and further push the price vs. performance envelope. It's a great time to be a filmmaker and it's a great time to be in video production.

RED Epic-X

Epic-X Features are as follows: (with my comments thrown in)

RED DSMC (Digital Stills and Motion Camera)

New MYSTERIUM-X 5K sensor
5K (2:1, 2.4:1, Anamorphic 2:1) at 1-120fps
4.5k RAW (2.4:1) at 1-120fps
4K (16:9, HD, 2:1, Anamorphic 2:1) at 1-150fps (more than is currently available in the RED One at 2k)
3K (16:9, 2:1, Anamorphic 2:1) at 1-200fps
2K (16:9, 2:1, Anamorphic 2:1) at 1-300fps (hopefully it will be a sharper 2k than on the RED One which is not great.)
1080P (16:9) (one of the most exciting ones for me given so much documentary type shooting could be easily handled with a pristine 1080p master)
720P (16:9)

Increased Dynamic Range - 13.5 Stops, but ability to do 18 stops
Time Lapse, Frame Ramping (probably just an improved version of what's on the RED One)
REDCODE 12 and 16-bit RAW (Awesome for some things but that's a LOT of data, I will stick to a lower number most of the time)
ISO 200-8000 (I would love to see some relatively clean stuff at 2000 at least)
Completely Modular System, each Module individually upgradeable
Independent Stills and Motion Modes (both record full resolution REDCODE RAW)
5 Axis Adjustable Sensor Plate (sounds cool but I'm not sure how hard it will be to simply set back focus.)
Multiple Recording Media Options (Compact Flash, RED MAG SSD, RED Drives, RED RAM) They are supposedly having 2 compact flash slots which will be very useful and finally catching up with the times.
Wireless REDMOTE control (A very good idea and something that should've been around long ago.)
Touchscreen LCD control option (cool but not indispensable)
Bomb-EVF, RED-EVF and RED-LCD compatible (I am VERY happy about this one)

Multiple User Control Buttons
LDS and /i Data enabled PL Mount (A Requirement more than a development)
Monitor Ports support both LCD and EVF (YAY 2 LCD's at a time)
720P, 1080P and 2K monitoring support
Gigagbit Network interface and 802.11 Wireless interface (Finally my iPhone will not have more power than my 30k camera.)
3 Axis internal motion sensor, built in GPS receiver (Pretty slick, oh the possibilities)
Enhanced Metadata
Full size connectors on Pro I/O Module. AES Digital Audio input, single and dual link HD-SDI
Support for RED, most Arri 19mm, Studio 15mm, 15mm Lite, Panavision and NATO accessories. INDUSTRY STANDARD IS INDUSTRY STANDARD. I'm glad they're realizing this more and more.
Dimensions- Approx. 4''4,'5.5''
Weight (Brain only)- Approx. 5 lbs (2.27kg)

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Canon Digital Feature Film Making

Thanks to The Canon Company and the digital camcorders and DSLRs there is an underground digital film revolution happening. This revolution began a few years ago when Canon decided to add the 24 frames per second option into most of its mid range consumer camcorders. Later it would at this as a video option in its DSLR and the revolution has caught fire world wide.

There are so many sites and blogs dedicated to DSLR cameras such has the Canon D7, Mark II and the T2I that I thought that I would go old school and focus on the cameras that started the revolution and with a few add-ons can offer nearly the picture quality at a low price point. I will focus largely on the Canon HV series and the feature films that have been made with these little monsters and when the moment demands it I will get into some of the great work being done with the DSLRs.

Let's begin with why should a low budget film maker consider these cameras. I would say in response that a low budget film maker should not and by low budget I mean if you have fifty thousand dollars or more to spend then you should consider using the Canon Mark II or the Red or a number of the Panasonic pro-sumer camcorders if you want to make a feature film. If you have fifty thousand or more why not go 16mm film. The film cameras are cheap and if you know what you are doing with them then go right ahead. The truth is that I am not here for the low budget film maker. I am here for those who are called ultra low budget or no budget film makers. You fall into this category if you have less than ten thousand dollars to spend on your first feature.

Allow me to describe you. You or a close friend have written the screenplay for your movie. You will be doing this project with the help of friends and family who will work behind the scenes for no pay. You will be shooting on nights and weekends and at locations that you can get for free or get in and out of without being caught filming there. Your actors will be paid little to nothing up front. You will be looking to get the best production value out of the least amount of money spent possible.

In other words you are a lot like me.

You are only willing to pay for what is absolutely unavoidable. The three area where you are going to have to spend money are:

Sound, if your audience can not hear the movie then you are doomed. Viewers will give up on your project the third or fourth time they have to mutter what did he just say? Huh, What was that?

Editing, you may be able to use a free program, but you will need a computer strong enough and quick enough to edit and hopefully do some sound mixing on. If you have such a computer cool, you just saved money.

Camera, you need something that shoots in HD digital and shoots at 24p. Why 24p? That is the industry standard. This is the frame rate that gives you that motion picture look. You are going to have to spend some money on your camera. Money on the lenses and in most cases on a depth of field adapter.

The cameras are why we are here and let us talk about what to do and not to do. Get the best camera at the lowest possible price that will get the job done. Do not blow half of your production budget on your awesome new camera. It will feel wonderful to have that expensive camera and muse about all the things that it is able to do until it is day 12 of shooting and you have no money to feed your cast and crew. You have no money left for transportation, (gas money) and you have just realized that you should have set aside at least a third of your budget for post production cost. Treat your camera like the tool that it is.

A camera is not jewelry. It is not a diamond ring. It is a tool. You could consider it a hammer or a shovel. I think of mine as my axe. Like a good guitar it can make beautiful music if tuned just right.

As a independent movie maker I have want to share the bits of information I have picked up during the years, so I have started a blog dedicated to no budget digital film making. If you wish to learn more about the use of the canon series of camcorders and film making visit me a

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Is 3D A Whole New Dimension Of Making Films?

Ever since James Cameron's 'Avatar' and its widespread success, filmmakers in Hollywood are desperately trying to use the revolutionary 3D technology for a number of genres. 3D has become a natural preference for most of the animated films as well as action and sci-fi films big on action and special effects. These films are meant to be big successes with the audiences in the theaters. 3D technology has enabled people to experience hurtling effects and spaceships which seem to pop right out of the silver screens. Even Bollywood is warming up to the sensation of the Extra Dimension. Last year, we had both 'Ra One' and 'Don2' releasing in a separate 3D format in theaters.

On the surface of it, 3D technology for films seems to be big success factor for Hollywood. After 'Avatar', there have been many spectacular successes like 'Adventures Of Tintin- Secret Of Unicorn' and of course the final installments of the popular Harry Potter series. They have made sure that the movie watchers have thronged the aisles with tubs of popcorn. But there have been some glaring failures as well. Films like 'Green Hornet'. Green Lantern' and 'Clash Of The Titans' have compelled people to question the profitability in using the 3D technology for every kind of film. The animation section, however, continues to ride high.

The problem is not with the state of technology being a fashion and fad. In the past, there have been considerable introductions of technique and innovation. These continue to be inspiring for many filmmakers and directors, even as they may be termed as old fashioned. The problem is that thing- use of technology. In Hollywood, filmmakers are simply pumping cash into films with big effects but little else. This means that after a time, the 3D technology, if used so ludicrously, will no longer be a novelty. Technology benefits film-making only if it makes storytelling novel and extraordinary to the audiences. The 3D should be used for movies which can be made exciting or genuinely sensational with the use of technology.

Then again, expensive technology is not the main thing. Even inferior or cheaper technology of making films can be used effectively to make a simple but well-written film more viable to specific audiences. Think about movies like 'Paranormal Experience'. The cheaply made horror flick revels in the gritty style of its hand-held, scratchy and realistic camerawork. I-MAX technology is another thing which could be misused. In most films, no one actually notices that the action scenes have been shot with I-MAX cameras. But in well-made films like 'The Dark Knight' or 'Inception', one does feel the difference.

With the current state of indulgence, 3D would be best used if left to the hands of a few filmmakers. Martin Scorsese's latest film 'Hugo' uses the 3D cameras to shoot people and real scenarios rather than computer generated imagery. The film's is a story of childhood and innocence but it also uses 3D so as to capture the expressions, emotions and the real depth to the characters and the backgrounds. If 3D films are filmed or made in such an impressive manner, it will be a really new dimension to film-making and storytelling.

Read my review of 'Hugo' at my blog Also, read other reviews at my blog as well.

Original article

3 Ways to Make Your Producer Smile - On a Lower Budget

Being restricted to a lower budget doesn't mean you can't get amazing results when lighting a scene. I've seen many instances where a Director of Photography, with limited resources, shows up to a set for the first time and is expected to light it fast and beautifully. In most circumstances when this occurs, he probably has a small lighting package he must deal with to get the job done. Don't let this happen to you! Here are three things that will up your game every time.

1) Do your homework! Don't show up unprepared on the shooting day. Do a thorough location scout and see what you have to deal with. Spend a decent amount of time and analyze any and all factors that could make your life difficult. For example, if you were to shoot on a neighborhood street in front of a house, it's very important to know where the sun will be at any given time of the day. What if you lose two hours of sunlight because the sun is going to be behind the house two hours before sunset? The more time you can spend on location, the better. That being said, sometimes a location scout isn't possible. In that case, find out as much as you can about your location, such as size, indoor/outdoor, and even the color. Based on that information, prepare the best you can. Remember, any preparation, even a little, is better than no preparation.

2) Pay attention to all the possible available light you can get. This could include window light, practical light fixtures, white wall or ceilings to bounce light off of, fireplaces, etc. Anything you can do to make life easier. You should discover these during your location scout. Pay attention to things that could negatively affect you, like bland wall colors or ugly, fluorescent light fixtures.

3) Turn negative lighting into a positive. I know it sounds super cool, but I'm being totally serious. Reduce the amount of lights you use by throwing in some negative fill. It will save you time, look really nice, and cost less than a light. A black flag can often be used instead of a fill light. Place your key light slightly more frontal than you would normally. It would normally create a flattering lighting style, but when you place that negative fill as close to the subject as possible, it takes away that flatness, and becomes awesome. The effectiveness of this technique depends on a couple of variables: how tight your frame is, and, based on that, how big your flag is. If you are very close up, a smaller flag will work. The looser the frame, the larger the black flag needs to be.

Incorporating these three tips into your lighting design and your work will make a great improvement in no time. Remember: thinking ahead is key. Do the right thing.

If you would like to read more about Lighting and Cinematography, visit my blog- Lighting From Within

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Hollywood on Producing Black Films

The political and economical reality according to filmmaker George Lucas

African American filmmakers and other prominent figures should establish a distribution system to market black films across the globe. Hollywood admits that even with an Academy Award winning name like Cuba Gooding Jr. they still don't know how to market black films, according to filmmaker George Lucas, director of "Star Wars". In a recent interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, Lucas appeared as a guest promoting his new film "Red Tail", a story about the African American World War II heroes, the Tuskegee Airmen. With an all African American cast starring Cuba Gooding Jr. with R&B singer and song writer Neo, this is a Lucas film 23 years in the making and personally financed. Lucas laid out the political and economical views of the Hollywood Movie system in regards to the production and distribution of black films. He stated that he wanted to make an inspirational film for teenage boys and highlight the African American patriots that helped to make this country what it is today.

The troubling part of this interview was Lucas's story about getting the film distributed. He admits that all of the studios turned it down and expressed views that they didn't know how to market a film like this (Red Tail) because it had no 'green' in it. What did they mean by this? That there is no money in it or the fact that there were no major lead roles with white actors and therefore that no real money can be made? Lucas stated that the studios even refused to release Tyler Perry movies and referred to them as being' low budget films handled by a lower level distribution system'. He said that films like Perry's actually do pretty well but the major studios don't touch them. He said "Red Tail" actually cost him more money to make than what a Perry film earns in box office revenues. The studios believe there's no foreign market for it and that relates to 60% of their profit. Lucas said that "Red Tail" is one of the first all black action pictures ever made. This is incorrect because there are many all black action pictures that have been produced, especially some of the black exploitation films of the 1970s that starred black actors, however Hollywood just didn't embrace them. There are many that exist today that just don't make it to the big screen.

In the interview, Jon Stewart jokingly asked Lucas "Now, the scene in it when Hitler tells Cuba Gooding Jr. that he's his father?". The audience burst into laughter. Well, what are you actually saying Jon? Maybe lines like this are the real reason Hollywood don't know how to market black films. George Lucas said of the Tuskegee Airmen, "They are the true heroes of World War II" and also expressed that those who are still alive showed great emotion, came up to him with tears in their eyes, thanking him for making a film that finally recognized them.

The reality of telling our stories with integrity and depth and getting them to market is falling on the shoulders of the independent filmmakers producing them. Most black filmmakers go into debt and bankruptcy because they believe that their stories have substance, a great purpose and markets waiting to embrace them, even when Hollywood fails them. Black business owners have a responsibility, and should not only take from the consumer but give back, which most of them do. Black businesses should start supporting, sponsoring and financing African American films like never before. They will make a great contribution towards educating African Americans as well as many other ethnic groups who are clueless to the depths of the real African American experience.

I believe that there is a foreign market for African American films and those in Hollywood are just not interested in telling those stories. You know what? That's OK because the stories they do decide to tell, they seem to tell upside down anyway. If there were no foreign market for black films then why did Viacom spend 3 Billion dollars to acquire (BET) Black Entertainment Television Holdings in 2001? At the time of the BET purchase, the programming was airing in approximately 62 million African American households and watched across 14 countries. Somebody is tuning into the black experience via television. Why would EMI Publishing pay former Motown founder Berry Gordy 132 million dollars for rights to those (Motown/Jobete publishing) oldies that did extremely well in foreign countries? It certainly looks like there's a foreign market to me.

Recently Damon Diddit and Natural Langdon, independent African American filmmakers from Brownsville Brooklyn in New York City, produced a film depicting the realities of life in their community called "Bullets over Brownsville" and were invited to Berlin, Germany where the movie screened at a film festival. They also produced a reality program of that experience called the "Unglamorous Life of Filmmaking. Now, it certainly looks like there's a foreign market to me. It's very strange that George Lucas would speak out openly about the Hollywood movie system and their views when they pay him millions to make films. I wonder; is this a publicity stunt designed to get blacks into the theaters on January 20, 2012?

Black Americans need to take back control of their history and future in motion picture arts & science. They need to find ways to ensure that the African American experience is projected on the screen through the right eyes and channels.

By Surakhan

Surakhan- CEO Vision Surakhan Entertainment Enterprises LLC.
A vision for the 21st Century Public Speaker on Entertainment
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Strategies of Finding Acting Jobs

Acting is considered to be one of the best creative arts that is exciting, but at the same time exhausting. The best thing about it is that there are numerous avenues where qualified actors have an opportunity to pursue easily from commercials to theatres. It is important to note that the idea of finding acting jobs requires dedication, discipline and commitment. Without these three aspects, your search may be futile since you will end up giving up easily.

If you are in college or at an university, ensure that you participate in a theater arts program for acting. This is important as you will be able to develop skills and audition monologues that will be included in your vitae. After leaving school, college or university, ensure that you continue your education as an actor. For instance, you can choose to take some acting classes from a venue in your locality. You will have a chance of intermingling with other qualified performers and this will provide you with an opportunity to meet other professionals.

There are various ways that you can use in order for you to be able to find acting jobs. All you need to do is to ensure that you have taken all the necessary precautions required to make this possible.

Developing a Resume

When searching for a job, it is important for you to have a letter that is perfectly crafted along with head shots and a resume. Check out for any grammar and spelling errors before submission. As you do this, it is highly advisable for you not to use colorful papers or fonts that are overly calligraphic. This is because you might end up being disqualified even if you have all the necessary qualifications.

Meeting Arrangement

In case you are searching for acting jobs near your locality, it is important for you to schedule a meeting with an agent or manager who is a professional and at the same time qualified. Prior to doing this, you can get some referrals about them from other actors who are directly linked to them.

Industry Publications

There are several acting industries who are involved in publishing news in case there are open call auditions. Here, you can participate since you don't have to be invested to do so. Get involved in the production or in the casting and this in turn can land you a job.

Local Casting Companies

Take time to do some thorough research on local casting companies to find out whom you can easily contact regarding some particular kinds of productions. As you do this, it is with no doubt that you will find ample information that will help you out just the way you want. When searching for acting jobs, it is highly advisable for you to submit your resume to the casting institutions in your locality once you have the contact information you require for an acting agent.

When searching for acting jobs, honesty is the best policy especially when you are preparing your resume as this will give you an opportunity of getting an acting job as soon as possible.

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People in Large Mobs Do Crazy Things But We Can Use That Footage for Movie Making!

When Hollywood wishes to make an epic movie, they often need to hire hundreds, if not thousands of extras. This costs a lot of money to pay all the background each day the movie is shooting the various larger scenes. Often the Hollywood films run into the tens of millions of dollars. Of course, often it is possible to use news footage, or footage from actual events in the real world, and since it comes from the real world it looks more realistic often enough.

Would you like me to give you a couple examples? Well, let's say you are making a disaster movie, why wouldn't you use the CNN footage, probably for a fee, of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami? What if you were involved in the Zombie drama genre? Well, it just so happens that there was a gigantic get together where everyone dressed up like zombies, thousands of people in fact. Imagine having that footage for your futuristic scary movie?

In Mexico City there was a group of 10,000 people marching in the streets and set a world record in fact. An article on this appeared in the LA Times on December 30, 2011 by Ken Ellingwood titled: "In Mexico, getting into Guinness can seem like a broken record," which stated:

"In November, the living dead took center stage: Nearly 10,000 people smeared with fake blood lurched through Mexico City's central plaza in what organizers said was the World's Biggest Zombie Walk. The record-setting phenomenon is, in part, testament to the eye-popping scale of the Mexican capital, the venue for many of the record-breaking stunts."

Gee, no wonder Britney Spears decided to do a free concert in the park on her visit to Mexico City - after all, if 10,000 people will dress up like Zombies, they'd probably be crazy enough to buy her latest music too! In fact, I can hear Katy Perry singing about something like this;

"Walking in the Dark, Zombies in the Park, Last Friday Night!"

Or better yet, Rob Zombie singing;

"Dead I am the one, Aztecs in the Sun, Zombies in the street, bleeding from their feet."

Still, all jokes aside, it would be quite wise for someone to take 20-50 of their friends with them to Mexico City to film something like this, and capture all those images for stock footage to sell to Hollywood. Anyone that produces scary movies would be very wise to invest in creating their own footage, or paying people a small amount of money as citizen journalists for capturing the images and videos for them. In fact they might have a contest, then claim copyrights for anything posted on a giant website. And from that website they would have tons of stock footage.

The website would get tens of thousands of hits, because everyone who went to the event would want to see themselves in the videos which were posted, and people would put links from their Facebook pages to the various videos. The owners of the website would build the stock footage for free, and then could make a movie and thus, save millions of dollars in costs, and/or could sell the footage they didn't use to other people who were also in the industry. It's a very good business model, and I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

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Making Peace With Resistant Interview Subjects

When I started my business, I knew that I would learn a lot. But I never anticipated learning so much about people's fears, both real and imagined, and how to help unblock those fears.

Something that often comes up in my Pre-Interview sessions with clients are the topics we want to avoid when interviewing their loved one. These are usually the subjects my client thinks are taboo or might somehow "break" their parent or grandparent. While I am always sensitive and follow my clients' wishes, I sometimes find that the topics they ask me to avoid come out in the interview naturally. Sometimes, talking about difficult subjects in the context of storytelling can be therapeutic and not as shattering as some people might think.

What has surprised me most is the great deal of resistance I sometimes get from my older interviewees who do not wish to be filmed. Their reasons have no bounds. They think its "silly" or not worth their time. "Who needs to hear my stories?" they say.

The real reason behind their reluctance? Often it's about not wanting to put themselves in a vulnerable position. Especially with older subjects, I've found that people of that generation aren't used to reflecting on the meaning behind their life events. It just wasn't part of their culture growing up, and therefore they find it uncomfortable.

What I try to stress to my clients to help combat this resistance is to share with their parents (or grandparents) that by learning their stories, you can better understand your own life story.

A quick example: My husband and his father both revere Syracuse basketball. I thought it was just a "guy thing." Then I interviewed his father Jon, who told me all about how his father once played for the Syracuse basketball team. Jon himself was the manager and announcer for games. I realized their passion was more than the average sports fan. Syracuse basketball for them was steeped in family tradition--a bond between father and son that has been passed down for generations--a much bigger deal than I'd ever imagined.

So what are some ways of breaking through that resistance to get someone to talk on camera? Here are a few real examples that have worked for my clients.

The guilt trip. I had a client whose father was a Holocaust survivor and had refused for years to share his story. She finally demanded that he do it, not for himself or her, but for his grandchildren. Something about doing it for the grandchildren made him relent.

Feeling glamorous. I often hear from older women that they don't like the way they look. They don't look the way they used to and don't want to be remembered like this. So I suggest they go to the beauty parlor. Get their hair done, their make-up done, and put on an outfit that's going to make them feel fabulous! And then forget about the camera and focus on the story. Just making someone feel glamorous will help get them more comfortable.

Relax. Do whatever it takes to help them relax. One client took a Valium before her interview--just enough to help herself relax and be at ease with the camera. Other clients have had a glass of wine beforehand.

Focus on the Audio. Sometimes people are so intimidated by the camera that they would rather just have the audio portion recorded. While I prefer to have both audio and video, the most important thing is to have them share their story. You can always edit the audio with old photos to create a visually appealing story.

Reading Old Letters or Journals. This is a last resort. Though I'd much prefer to hear someone's natural story unfold during an interview, sometimes people are more comfortable with a prepared statement. If you can't get someone to agree to be interviewed, and they are comfortable reading something they've already written, at least you will have captured their voice and image on camera for generations to come. And it just might relax them enough to share more after the reading.

Work With a Professional. Or someone that's a non-family member. I say this because recently, I had my toughest case yet. An 85-year-old woman who had been adamant about not being on camera, or even having her voice recorded, for the past 5 months. So we had decided her husband would tell all of their stories. And yet, somehow, after my being there for a few hours interviewing her husband, she decided she would talk to me on camera for just a few minutes. She ended up sharing her stories in a beautiful 90-minute interview!! We're still not entirely sure what made her suddenly change her mind, but my guess is because I was a professional, and NOT at all related to her, that it became more comfortable, and of greater importance, sharing her stories with me. (She also likely didn't want to be upstaged by her husband!)

Whatever you do, remember that the most important thing is to capture someone telling their stories, however you can.

DMB Pictures is a boutique video production company specializing in producing broadcast-quality personal stories for families, non-profits and small businesses. The company opened its doors in January 2006 led by Debbie Mintz Brodsky, a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer with more than 20 years of experience.

Visit us at

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HMI Lighting

Lighting is everything! Whether it's natural sunlight, subdued ambiance, perfect practicals or complex Hollywood style lighting, the image owes all of its power to light. An expensive but required type of light in most higher-end video production projects is HMI lighting. For pure lumen power, HMI's are hard to beat. They can be temperamental, flickery and a pain to move but when you need them there is no substitute.

HMI's come in many different types but the main differences come down to a few simple things. Ballasts. Newer, more expensive ballasts are electronic. Older, cheaper ballasts are magnetic. Electronic ballasts are lighter, more energy efficient and can be flicker-free which makes a big difference when using different frame rates. Magnetic ballasts are bigger, heavier, use more power and can lead to big issues when not shooting at 1/48 or 1/60 shutter speeds. The choice is simple if you have the money but magnetic ballasts can work just fine in certain situations.

Lens/Globe - The basic two types are Fresnel and Par. Focusable Fresnel heads which provide less punch but an-all-in one unit that are adjustable to a finer degree are good in certain situations where a little less light is needed and you don't want to carry around lenses. Par heads are better for a wider degree of adjustment by swapping out lenses from an external case and an often times more powerful overall output. If I had to choose one head I would most definitely take a Par.

A unique aspect of HMI's that make them significantly better than tungsten sources in many situations is that they are naturally balanced to sunlight. This means that the light they emit is between 5000 and 6000 degrees Kelvin and will match direct sunlight. Adding full or 3/4 CTOrange gels to an HMI to match tungsten lighting at 3200 Kelvin will only take away 2/3 of a stop but adding full CTBlue gels to tungsten lighting will take away 2 stops from a source that is already far less powerful per watt. If you are adding supplemental daylight colored lighting then HMI's are definitely the way to go.

In the last 10-15 years technology has given us a couple more options to compete with HMI's but at this point they are still limited with their uses. LED's and Fluorescent lights such as KINO FLO's are amazing lighting tools but they do not have the same sort of 'punch' that HMI's do. Fluorescents are inherently softer but have less throw than HMI's while LED's of the spot variety can muster a decent amount of throw it will still take an expensive array of LED's to compete with even a 20 year old, used HMI.

If you've never used an HMI I urge you to go to a store that sells them, rent one from a rental house or check out one from a friend. They are amazing lights and despite their complexities they offer something no other instrument can.

Original article

Documentary Budgeting Basics: Three Easy Steps For Creating Your Documentary Budget

Creating a documentary budget is great way to think through every aspect of your film. Even though you may be eager to get started shooting your documentary right away, creating a budget can often be an enlightening experience, revealing factors that may otherwise slip under the radar. A budget forces you to think through every detail and can save you the agony of an unexpected surprise down the road.

In addition to being a great tool for the filmmaker, a documentary budget is essential if you hope to raise money for your film. A budget is usually a must-have item along with your documentary proposal when pitching your documentary idea to potential funders or supporters. A documentary budget provides an important snapshot of how you plan to shoot your film, the locations where filming will take place, how many people are involved in the project, what kind of equipment you're using and your distribution plan among other things.

Whereas your documentary proposal describes the story and vision for how your documentary will look on screen, the budget is your nuts and bolts plan behind the scenes.

Here are the three primary steps in creating a documentary budget:

Research - This is THE most important aspect of creating your budget. Without research, you have a blank slate. This is where you need to make phone calls, search the internet and ask for advice. You'll need to decide such things as what kind of insurance (if any) you need, how much a van rental will cost in the city you'll be shooting, how much your cameraman charges for three days of work, what's the cost of renting a lighting kit, what does the animation guy charge, will you need to pay copyright fees for stock footage, etc.
Build Your Budget - It's highly recommended that you use a spreadsheet program such as Excel or get your hands on a documentary budgeting template. You can certainly jot down your budget items using a plain text document, but this is not a professional (or efficient) way to do a budget. Having a spreadsheet with formulas allows you to make changes to individual items and it automatically updates the totals for the whole budget. As you conduct your research, begin inputting the various budget items including crew salaries, production equipment rental, stock footage fees, administrative costs, etc. Input everything you can think of!
Refine Your Budget - Once you've created your budget, you will surely be shocked by the final total cost. At this point, you will need to refine your budget to come up with a realistic final cost. Ask yourself the amount of money you realistically believe you can raise for your project? If you think you can raise $10,000 and your budget came out to $250,000, then you will need to make some hard decisions. Is there anything in your budget that is not an absolutely necessity? Or is there a way to get some items donated?

Creating your documentary budget is not a one-time event. The budget will need to be constantly updated and modified as you go.

One item you'll want to include in your budget is a contingency (usually 8-10% of your total budget). This is especially helpful if you're new to budgeting. A contingency provides a buffer in case items in your budget end up costing more than you expected.

In summary, if you are pitching your documentary idea to potential funders and trying to raise money for your film, you will more than likely need a detailed budget. It's absolutely critical that you create a budget that is as realistic and accurate as possible. Since many of your funders will be business-minded individuals, they will know if you fudged on your numbers. So do your research and put together the best possible budget that you can. As the filmmaker, you are probably eager to start shooting and making your film, but taking the time to think through every detail of your budget will pay off in the end.

Faith Fuller is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of, an online resource guide for documentary filmmakers. To learn more about putting together Documentary Budgets and Documentary Proposals, visit

Original article

Film: An American Tradition

Hollywood is an American tradition. From the era of classic silent films, to the action packed CGI thrillers of the 21st century, movies have always captured Americans' hearts. During times of war, social unrest, or economic upheaval, movies have helped people make it through. They can provide necessary social commentary, the ability to laugh, cry, and sometimes just forget. Alfred Hitchcock even once said: "The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them."

By the early 1920's, Hollywood was already becoming world famous, producing movies that are now considered classic films. Soon after, Hollywood began to be known as the home of famous actors, and the center for the film industry. It has carried that stigma through the years. Even today, Hollywood is still world-renowned for its celebrities, and glitzy inhabitants. People line up in droves outside movie theatres to catch the latest Hollywood Blockbuster, hoping it becomes the newest classic film. Every year thousands of people move there hoping to make it big and realize their greatest dreams. The movie industry is as American, as apple pie, baseball, and democracy.

Not even Charlie Chaplin himself, one of the earliest and most famous movie stars, could predict how big movies would become. He was quoted once saying: "Movies are a fad. Audiences really want to see live actors on stage." However, today we are faced with crisis of live acting vanishing, and film quickly replacing it.

People need movies. As life gets difficult and hard, sometimes there needs to be an escape. Art has always been able to serve as an outlet for the masses. Classic movies can help to do this. Film crosses all sorts of boundaries, uniting many different kinds of people. At times, it serves as an excuse to forget our problems for a while. At other times, it helps us all love and grow together.

World famous actress, Ingrid Bergman once said: "No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight of the soul." This held true then and still holds true today. Americans love film and will continue to love it, as an American art form.

Since the beginning of the film industry people everywhere have fallen in love with classic movies, teaching us how to live and love. Film has become an American art form, with Hollywood at its epic center. The aura surrounding Hollywood, and the film industry continues to grow in lore every year. As long as Hollywood produces classic films, people will still watch and love them.

Original article

Vancouver Movie Producers - Making a Movie in Hollywood North

Every year, hundreds of movies and television productions are made in Vancouver, aka Hollywood North. It is the third largest centre for film and TV in the world, behind only Los Angeles and New York City. It is also home to many filmmakers experienced in making very low budget movies. These low budget filmmakers can also make videos for websites, including product promo videos, commercials, and infomercials. This article will explain why Vancouver is renown for being a centre for film and video production.

Vancouver is on the west coast of Canada, with the mildest climate in Canada. Movies shot here can be made to look like they were shot in most any part of the US, including California. Certain parts of the city can be used to portray many American cities, such as Chicago and New York City. Outlying areas of Vancouver have been used to make movies that look like they were made on farms and in small towns in Texas and the midwestern United States.

And because Vancouver is the third largest movie making centre in the world, there are a lot of actors here, mostly unknown, who are willing to work for modest pay. Similarly, there are many production crew members here who will also work for low pay. Vancouver is a multi cultural city, so actors of virtually any ethnicity can be found. With forests, mountains and the ocean nearby, spectacular scenic backdrops can be utilized. Many music videos made in Vancouver have taken advantage of the low cost of production, and the very varied shooting locations.

For these reasons, Vancouver is the first choice for low cost video and film production, and many American producers use the facilities here for multiple film and video productions. Anyone wanting to make a movie can locate the people, resources and locations they need by searching on the internet.

People to search for on the internet can include actors, writers, directors, casting agents, editors, production crew members and you can also search for camera gear rentals, and green screen studios for special effects. Green screen shooting is frequently used, to make it look like the actors are in non local locations, such as desert areas or tropical areas, and in overseas locations such as Asia, the Middle East and Europe. With these and other movie making tricks, Vancouver can be used to make most any movie that the human mind can imagine.

I am a low cost video and film producer in Vancouver Canada. I have won 4 awards for my short films, and I have made hundreds of videos for the internet. I have access to many actors, and I can find virtually any type of actor that might be needed. On my website, you can see about 25 sample videos. If you are out of town, we can work together by phone and email, with casting tryouts put on the internet for your review. This can be done for smaller productions such as TV commercials and web videos, as well as for a feature film. I offer free phone consultations with no obligation.

Original article

If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On

Music matters to people. It reaches the bits that nothing else can. It stirs the emotions, helps us to connect with who we are. In war it can strengthen the resolve of tired and flagging soldiers. In a film it can turn a pleasant landscape into a threatening jungle or make an everyday encounter appear romantic. Music is deeply personal. It triggers memories, kindles half forgotten pangs of desire and even gives joy to a weary soul. For those who have rejected conventional religion, it can be the means by which they connect with their deeper selves.

Music is especially important to me as a filmmaker. Whilst it is true that some of the most memorable compositions have come from great film scores, it is equally true that much excellent film music is not noticed. Take a series like The Killing, the highly acclaimed Danish police drama. Can you remember the music? Probably not. Most of the time there is no music - silence is used to excellent effect - but what music there is points up the action in a subtle way that helps to build the overall effect.

The same approach should be employed in the humble corporate video. Music is there to establish a mood or to help the sequence along. A fairly dull set of images can be transformed if cut imaginatively to a good music track with a strong beat. Often it is the onset of music which has the greatest effect, encouraging us to make an emotional response to the images. That's why music-free sections are so important, wall-to-wall music can become bland. With care it is usually possible to find the right tracks from music libraries but if you can afford to commission a composer the task is made so much easier. A good composer will work with a director to tease out exactly what effect he/she wants to achieve at each point in the film. Sometimes what evolves is so memorable that it goes on to become an acclaimed piece of music in its own right.

The personal musical tastes of the producer should never be considered. I tend to listen mainly to classical music, especially Bach and Mozart; and i'm very partial to jazz but I know I'm being indulgent if I try to apply my musical tastes when choosing music for a programme. The same should apply to the client. Just because they are paying for the video it doesn't mean they have the right to choose the music! A corporate video isn't Desert Island Discs or Inheritance Tracks. It doesn't matter how attached to a piece of music the client may be. The music in the video should be selected purely on the basis of how it "works" with the rest of the material and the mood it is there to create.

Once you have your music, specially composed or just downloaded from a music library, you will have to mix it with the rest of the sound track. Levels are very important and you need to know how it will be played. Will most people view the video on a laptop or is its primary use at a presentation to a room full of people? If the music is too quiet it will all but disappear on a laptop but if it's too loud over speech the audience will struggle to hear the dialogue. Carefully dubbing and editing can greatly enhance the overall effect, providing pace, signposting action and giving punctuation to the whole piece.

When you release the video you will probably get mixed reactions to the music. Some will like it, some will not - many people won't have noticed it at all. And that's a very good sign that it will have done its job.

Chris Pettit is a Partner in Just Film, a video production near London in the UK. Just Film is a corporate video company specialising in films for charities and not-for profit organisations. There are many example video clips on the company website.

The rationale of the company is to focus on issues of social justice and the website blog contains many articles about social issues, activism and video production.

Visit the website at

Original article

Key Concerns for a Quality Wedding Videographer

Wedding day is special for all of us and we always wish to make it a memorable one. The best way of creating long-lasting memories of your wedding day is by hiring professional and reliable wedding videography services. There are many professional companies that have been working in the direction to provide customers with quality services in this regard. Before choosing a particular one, you need to be very vigilant because if not chosen carefully, there are chances of getting you complete wedding video spoiled.

Some of the key concerns for professional and reliable wedding videography services have been explained below. These include:


Whatever company one is looking for, experience is the first and the foremost factor that matters. If the company is experienced, you would definitely achieve the highest quality results. Same goes with wedding videography as well. Leaving your work in the hands of an experienced company can provide you desired results but if you choose an inexperienced company, there are chances of ending up in disappointment. That is why, it is extremely important to choose a company with enough know-how and expertise of dealing with all your wedding related projects properly.

Quality camera

This is another major feature that should always be given priority before you choose a particular company for your wedding videos. Make sure that the company you are choosing makes use of high tech and advanced cameras capable of clicking excellent videos.

Videography packages

Most of the companies today offer videography packages to suit different tastes, requirements and budget. The packages include some of the thrilling options like steadicam, glidecam, HD Bluray discs, jib crane and much more.


Last but not the least is the budget factor. It is extremely important to have a clear picture of budget in your mind if you do not want to spend extra out of what you have actually planned. Budget planning in advance can save you from lot of hassles and dissatisfaction. All these factors are very important and need to be considered before you finalize a particular company for all your wedding videography related requirements.

There are many professional companies that are rendering high quality services in this regard. Choosing a particular one sometimes becomes a bit confusing and troublesome task. Taking help from websites can be a good decision in this regard. There are many websites that can help you in finding the best company of your choice.

EXL Films is one of the leading Vancouver video production company. Operational throughout BC, it specializes in producing promotional videos, event videography, corporate videos and wedding Videography services.

Original article

Cleaning and Conditioning Old 8mm Films Before DVD Transfer

To ensure that you achieve the best film to DVD transfer, cleaning and conditioning your old film reels is necessary. Prepping and reconditioning the film takes time but will ensure the optimal transfer quality. There are several factors that affect the condition of 8mm films.

Some of the damage that your old films incurred over time may be repaired while others may be not. Inspecting your Regular or Super 8mm films before digital transfer or even before loading them on a projector is essential. Scratches and unwanted lines are common in old films but these aren't the most major challenges you encounter when transferring 8mm to DVD.

Films left too long on humid environments tend to develop molds, mildew or fungus. These microorganisms have a distinct smell and have the power to damage old films irreversibly. Usually, they start growing on the outer edges, working its way into the emulsion eventually. A growth on the outside edges is repairable but once it gets onto the emulsion, it is usually damaging enough to render the film useless.

If the fungal, mildew or mold growth is contained in the outer edges, a thorough cleaning can stop its progress before it gets to the emulsion. There are chemicals available to get rid of these microorganisms from the emulsion but it usually erases the images as well. If you got to it before severe damage has been done to it, you have to clean it up and move the film to a dryer storage area.

Shrinkage should be measured before you can have the film transferred to digital format. 0.8% to 1% shrinkage carries the possibility that your film will be further damaged if you load it on a projector. 2% shrinkage virtually renders transfer impossible even with the best labs. To measure shrinkage, a Shrinkage Gauge is used but you can also do it manually by comparing 100 frames of the film to 100 frames of new film.

Before you decide on a film transfer lab, ask them what steps they do to prepare and recondition the film. A good lab has cleaning and conditioning equipment that would perfectly work with old films as long as they are repairable. The technician should also be familiar with all the problems above.

Old films contain precious memories of loved ones are forgotten times. Cleaning and conditioning of film takes time but if you are going to spend the money to get them transferred, might as well do it right.

Play it Again Video, an on-site film transfer lab located in Newton, MA has been transferring 8mm film to DVD since 1986.

Not sure what's on your old 8mm, Super8 or 16mm film reels? Bring them in here and watch your film on our film viewer. There is no charge, no obligation, but you do need to call (617) 332-3300 to reserve the film viewer.

Original article

Planning A Wedding Shoot

Planning a wedding shoot is the most important part of creating a superior wedding film. Every venue is different, every bride is different. It is extremely important to get to know everything you can about the bride and groom at least a month before the event date. One of the things that I do is to provide a detailed questionnaire to the bride about 30 days before the wedding. This gives me all of the information that I will need to effectively shoot good video clips on the day of the event.

Here is a sample of my questionnaire:

Brides NameGrooms NameRehearsal Dinner Date and TimeWedding Date and TimePhone number the bride can be reached at before and after the weddingEmergency contact personEmergency contact person name and number on day of weddingCeremony location with phone numberCeremony coordinator name and phone numberReception venue name phone number and contact personPhotographer name and phone numberCaterer name and phone numberFlorist name and phone numberDJ or Band name and phone number

Some pre-ceremony questions would include the following:

Will the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony?If you are seeing each other before the ceremony, do you want this moment filmed?What time do you want us to start filming on your wedding day?Where will the bride be getting ready on the wedding day?Do you want us to film you and your bridesmaids getting ready? If yes, what time should we be there?Where will the groom be getting ready on the wedding day?How long does it take to get to the ceremony from where the bride and groom and getting ready?Are there any particular activities that you want captured before the wedding begins?

Questions about the ceremony would include the following:

Is the ceremony inside or outside?What denomination is the ceremony?Is it ok to place a wireless mic on the lapel of the groom during the ceremony?Tell us about any activities that may take place during the ceremony.Are you reading / writing your own vows?Will there be a unity candle, full mass, sand pouring, or anything else we should be aware of?Tell us about any guidelines or restrictions at the ceremony location.How long is the ceremony scheduled to be?Will there be scripture readings?Any soloists?Any musicians? If yes, how many and what instruments?Will there be a photography session after the ceremony?Would you allow us to create some fun shots of the bride and groom at the photo shoot?Would you make sure that we have 10 to 15 minutes either before or after the photo shoot for this?

Questions about the reception would include the following:

How long does it take to travel from the ceremony to the reception?Is the reception inside or outside?Number of guests?When is the reception scheduled to end?Is the meal buffet or sit-down?Are there arrangements made for us to eat?Are you having a band or DJ?Is there anyone in particular that we need to film? If so who?Are you planning a formal exit in front of all the guests? If so, please give us details.List any unique activities that you want filmed.Are there any family politics that we should be aware of or careful around?What is the dress for the wedding?

There are a number of other questions that can also be asked but these are the main ones that I focus on in order to be fully prepared for the day of the shoot.

Bob Conn is owner, producer, and lead cinematographer at Columbia Video Production in Columbia South Carolina. Be sure to visit our web site at for more details. While there, be sure to register for our free newsletter at

Original article

Making Movies and Film Investors

There are extremely talented potential filmmakers out there that never make a movie because they just can't bring themselves to take the leap of faith. Saying yes to making a movie starts with an attitude that regardless if your movie is entertaining or terrible at least you give it an honest go to see if you got the fire in you to make movies.

In the world of making of movies, especially at the indie film level, there are zero guarantees that every aspiring filmmaker that sets out to go from screenplay to distributed movie will make it to the end. Making movies is risky creatively and financially. Sometimes a movie falls apart during pre-production, filming or in post-production for lots of different reasons.

Making a movie to me is like gambling. You try your best as a filmmaker to tilt the odds in your favor as much as possible so you can win. Professional gamblers make educated bets and so should filmmakers. The one thing that successful gamblers and filmmakers need is the attitude that they are going to go all in on their movie making risk.

Saying yes to making a movie is really putting your ass out there creatively and financially. Many indie films are funded through family, friends, online movie crowd funding or your own cash. I'm still on the fence if it's harder to say yes to making a movie with money from family and friends and your own pocket or to deal with film investors.

Honestly, using online movie crowd funding to me is risk free filmmaking. The people that donate aren't giving you money expecting to ever see anything back or get a return on investment. It's like gambling with a bankroll that's free. When I donate money to the people that set up shop outside of stores I don't expect anything back when I put money in the box or bucket.

It's like lending money to that one relative or friend that you know will never be able to pay it back, but you like them and still want to help them out without holding it over their head.

When you use money from family, friends, your own money or film investors cash there is a much stronger sense to get the movie done in my opinion. No filmmaker wants to face family, friends or film investors and say they couldn't finish the movie. Friends and family are always forgiving in the end, but you'll still feel an emotional letdown if you can't deliver a finished movie like you told them you would.

Film investors are not forgiving and will cut you off from future film funds. They can write off the loss, but your reputation will take a hit and you'll lose out on them investing in your movies in the future. Finding money to make movies is harder than making the movie. Without film financing you only have a screenplay and a movie making dream keeping you company.

I always like to try to put out the brutal honesty first before getting to the feel good part of things. The great thing about saying yes to making a movie is you're moving from being one of the people that only talks about making movies and never does it.

When you're not even in the game you can't win or lose. You sit on the creative sidelines as a spectator thinking "woulda, coulda, shoulda" about your movie making passion. When you mentally commit to taking the creative leap of faith you'll feel a rush of genuine excitement. That's living!

You're movie making fire is now lit and you're ready to roll. You're no longer going to be a talented potential filmmaker. You will be a filmmaker doer. Each movie project is different, but here are few thoughts that might help sharpen you're movie production. This isn't for aspiring filmmakers that want to write a screenplay that needs a million dollar budget.

Thoughts on Making Movies

First, think of your marketing and distribution plan before writing the screenplay. This gives you the chance to think of movie product placement and other marketing avenues you can write into the screenplay to boost earning potential.

Second, before writing a screenplay think about the film budget you will need and where you plan on getting that money. Indie filmmakers are masters at writing screenplays based on what their resources are.

I know it sounds like the craft of screenwriting should come first, but for a first time indie filmmaker it's important to understand making movies is a business. You need to be able to exploit, yes exploit, as many marketing and product placement opportunities as possible.

Family and friends will invest in you because of your relationship, but still respect their hard earned money like you would if they were film investors you didn't know. Avoid being sloppy with paperwork. Give them the same kind of investor package you would if you were pitching to a film investor that wanted a return on investment.

Make sure the locked screenplay is tight as possible before spending one dollar of film investor money. A screenplay that is overwritten and packed with fluff will burn through production money fast.

During filming don't take the approach studio budget movies do. You're not going to be able to have 20 takes of scene to get it right. There's not enough money in an indie film budget to shoot it with a Hollywood filmmaker mentality.

You're really have to get in there on set and kickass on scenes. Not every take you're going to love or even like, but it's a time issue when shooting indie films. You have to be able to accept you're not going to have the luxury of doing take after take.

When a scene is covered move on and don't look back even if it didn't turn out how you envisioned. Being take happy during filming will lead to you running out of money and having an unfinished film that will need finishing funds to complete.

Tackle post-production with the same attitude you did on set to get the movie done.

Film investors will ride your ass unlike family or friends when it comes to when the movie will be done, sold and their money paid. Don't get shaken or take it personally. The business world is not warm and fuzzy full of hugs and kisses.

At the end when you finish your movie you will have a feeling like none you've ever had before. It's a creative climax saying yes to making a movie.

It beats the hell out of only talking about making movies. Good luck with your future film and cheers.

Get the inside scoop on writing, producing, directing, and movie distribution at Slice Of Americana Films. Check out the life and times of filmmaker Sid Kali.

Original article

Home Movies - A Vital Piece of Family History

Colorlab in Rockville, Maryland specializes in not only restoring and transferring old home movies, but also preserving and restoring film from the Smithsonian Institute and the Library of Congress. Jake Kreeger, General Manager at Colorlab, answers some common questions about preserving your old home movies.

Why do people put off transferring their old home movies?
I don't think people put it off intentionally. They usually rediscover their past sitting in a shoebox and get curious. I think it's simply because they forget about it and then come back to it eventually.

What do you want to know from someone before they come to see you?
The two questions I always ask people when they contact me ahead of time is, "How old is the film?" and "How has it been stored?" If someone calls from the Deep South, I usually know the film is not going to be in very good condition. Environment is very important. The two evils of film are heat and moisture. If I hear someone say that their films have been in their father's attic for 50 years, I grit my teeth. The heat and moisture causes the film to become brittle and crinkle. In the Northeast or Midwest, environments where temperatures are moderate year-round, film tends to be in good shape.

So where should we store our old films?
What's good for film is cool and dry. When we do archival film preservation for the Smithsonian, we store the film in an environment where the temperature is in the twenties and humidity is in the teens. That environment can make it last for about 1500 years. The average home movie is not treated this way, but the best place in your house is where it's cool and dry--a dry basement, if you have one. (Definitely not the refrigerator!)

I just found some old home movies and still have a projector. Should I break out the popcorn and have a screening party?
By all means, watch your home movies, but do so with a great deal of caution. If the films are quite old, there could be film shrinkage. This means that if the film shrinks even a little bit, the sprockets won't engage properly with the film and this could damage your film. You can't see the shrinkage with the naked eye, so be cautious. If you start to hear the film chattering or making other strange noises, stop the projector-you could do more damage if you continue.

Once our films are transferred, what should we do with them?
Once we do the work, we tell people that the original film is the preservation element. It is NOT recommended you discard it unless there is nothing more to do with it in the future (meaning it is beyond repair and you will never transfer it again.). Film is a more permanent medium than any other medium introduced to date. All the digital media in the world will be gone in the blink of an eye technically speaking, as formats are always changing. But if your film is stored properly, decades from now you can take it out and still view it properly. You can't stop the aging process, but you can slow it down with some of our techniques we use in our preservation and transfer process.

What about old VHS tapes?
Storage is critical for VHS tapes and again, heat and moisture (which can create mold on the tape) are the enemy. It's hard to say how long an old VHS tape will last, but one thing that's different than a DVD is that every time you play a VHS tape, you run the tape across a head, which deteriorates the tape. It's best to transfer VHS to another format as soon as possible. One thing to realize, though, is that when you transfer VHS to DVD, the resolution (picture quality) will retain it's original 200 lines of resolution (versus 400 lines for DVD).

DMB Pictures is a boutique video production company specializing in producing broadcast-quality personal stories for families, non-profits and small businesses. The company opened its doors in January 2006 led by Debbie Mintz Brodsky, a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer with more than 20 years of experience.

Visit us at

Original article

Selling Stock Footage - Shoot, Upload And Cash In On The Growing Market

In order to lessen the overall cost of the production, most film makers turn to stock footage. These pre-shot videos are increasingly selling over the Internet for various productions like films, documentaries, advertisements and others. With a bit of know how of videography, you can shoot certain videos and sell them online.

Over the years, stock videos have become an extremely popular alternate for shooting new videos. Whether in films, television shows, commercials or short documentaries, stock footage is widely used for its convenience and cost effectiveness. Certain shots like fans cheering in stadium, a wild fire, an airplane taking off, a globally recognised festival and others are used time and again in various productions. Such videos require time as well as a competent team to do tasks ranging from setting up the equipment at the very beginning to editing the final shot as per the needs. That's why many film makers opt to buy stock footage, as this viable option helps them shave off the extra cost.

With most film makers turning to pre-shot videos, the stock footage market is consistently growing and people who have the skills needed to shoot are benefiting from the business. They shoot various kinds of videos ranging from wildlife to festivals to even famous landmarks and upload them online. So, if you have the passion and the equipment, you can also cash in on the expanding market of stock footage.

Additionally, you may have some footage lying around in your home like a football or hockey match which you video taped to watch time and again. If you are a traveller, getting the right kind of videos is whole lot easier for you. From the gi9gantic pyramids in Egypt to the magnificent Eiffel Tower in Paris, you can shoot the famous architectures of the world and upload them on the Internet as these are high in demand.

While any video camera will work, a DSLR will work wonders. Due to the high demands for HD footage in the current market, the camera you are using must be qualitative. The lens of the camera is equally important. Use a manual focus rather than an autofocus as it is far better for appropriate framing of the shots. Also ensure that the audio and lighting effects are right for that professional look of the video.

If you are new to the videography, learn some techniques such as tilting, panning and others. These are very helpful in capturing movements with precision. Likewise, editing is also imperative. However, you don't need to learn much of it because of several competent editing software. Easily available in the market, these software make editing a walk in the park. When you are through with editing and storing your footage in the digital format, you have to find a platform to sell it.

Over the Internet, you will come across a number of websites that sell stock footage. Prior to uploading your video on a site, ensure that it's a credible site. Each time someone downloads your footage, you will be credited with a percentage of its selling price. This amount varies immensely depending on many factors such as the website, video type and quality ( HD footage is relatively expensive), video category and more.

The category of the video plays a crucial role in getting your footage a selling quotient. Visit different stock footage websites and check out the popular videos as you will get an idea of the kind of videos in demand. Popular categories are sports, wildlife, nature, festivals and famous landmarks. Figure out what's selling the most these days and shoot a video on that theme only. Since a variety of good quality videos are available online, you have to ensure that yours doesn't get lost in the crowd.

This article is written by an expert associated with MrFootage that offers an extensive collection of stock footage on a wide range of subjects such as history, sports, nature, war and disaster, space and technology, bloopers, celebrities and many more.

Original article