Women In Film – Be The Change You Want To See

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While Hollywood is still growing in it’s quest to provide equally great roles and opportunities for women, there’s still a lot of ground to gain.  Over at Indiewire, film industry “multi-hypenates” Helenna Santos and Alexandra Boylan have come to the realization that if you want something in the film industry you don’t wait for someone to give it to you – you create it yourself!

If we want to see stronger female-driven films, if we want more opportunity for women behind the camera, WE need to make that happen.

We need to hire more women on our sets, write films with more female roles, and continue to educate ourselves in our particular fields to the best of our abilities so that we are armed with knowledge and are equally as qualified as the men around us.

It’s also about the creative process, the pair declare that “If you can imagine it, you can create it.” Obviously that’s something we wholeheartedly agree with as there are tools out there that can make communicating and creating ideas faster and easier.

Additionally, collaboration is key, both women and men should look to surround themse

lves with a diverse group of the best people they can find.

Filmmaking is a collaborative process, and we all need others to cheer us on so that we can create the best possible projects and as a result become the strongest women in the industry that we can become.

The pair offer a number of tips for women in the industry, but the fact is – these tips work for anyone looking to get what they want when it comes to the art of making film.

ProTip: Find Your Key Frames

Justin Schwarz, the writer-director of “The Discoverers” talked with Indiewire.com and as he was distilling his top 12 tips for first-time feature film makers, he talked about the need for storyboarding and, as he put it, “finding his key frames.”

“Prepping “The Discoverers,” I shotlisted and storyboarded, but I knew we wouldn’t have time to do everything I imagined on paper. I developed a key frame system, which became extremely helpful on set. The idea is to try to distill each scene down to a single image that represents what the scene must achieve dramatically. It may be an extreme wide shot that acts like a punch in the gut, a lyrical tracking shot, or the close up you’re saving for emotional impact. When you have to start combining shots on set, you’ll know the essential image you’ll need for each scene to serve its dramatic function.”

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“Discover” you own key frames.

Along with storyboarding and pre-production Schwarz delves into collaboration, finding the perfect “looks” for your film and the process of “overpreparring”. Check out all of Justin’s tips: “Attention, Filmmakers: Here’s 12 Tips for Directing Your First Feature Film“.

You can find your own key frames and build better storyboards when you use the power of StoryBoard Quick so check it out today.

For Advertising Agencies, StoryBoarding Is A Necessity

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You’d be mad not to storyboard you ads.

Filmmakers know that the secret to filmmaking success is to plan out your story and shots visually using storyboards.

As talked about in Nextgov.com, there reason storyboarding is gaining so much steam is that it does so many things right!It’s the visual sketch of your film and the blueprint to a better end product.  Well, when it comes to adverting, the concept of storyboarding is beginning to find a broader base.  While it’s always been the tool of savvy advertisers, “storyboarding” is becoming is buzzword and thanks to easy to use solutions like StoryBoard Quick and StoryBoard Artist, more and more agencies are adopting the technique to create a better brand for their clients.

Communication: “Storyboarding gets everyone on the same page, presenting a shared vision…The visual and narrative nature of a storyboard is easily understood and elicits clear feedback. The storyboard also acts as a focal point for productive dialogue and promotes a proper context around input collection.”

Organization: “As an organizational or brainstorming tool, storyboarding ensures your end product tells a story…Storyboarding brings the focus back to the customer’s needs. Project misalignment, creep and other risk factors can be mitigated if the customer’s problem can be clearly described and visualized.”

Rapid Development: “Storyboarding, when done correctly, is iterative and quick. Think a self-organizing, rapid and evolving development methodology…As a brainstorming or organizational tool, the storyboarding process quickly and naturally drives the format into a narrative structure.”

It’s a fact that storyboard help propel the creative process and ensure that everyone is on the same page.  But don’t be fooled, you don’t need to be a great artist in order to share your vision, just check out StoryBoard Quick and you’ll see – storyboarding can be quick, easy and visual helping your communicate ideas more effectively.

Masters Of Cinema Offer Words Of Wisdom

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Stanley’s words of wisdom.

Filmmaking at it’s very best is a very personal art form.  From the stories that are being told to the emotion conveyed in capturing the perfect shot, when you step into the role of creating any feature film it is imperative that you make it your own.

But you don’t have to figure everything out yourself. Along the way it may be a good idea to listen to words of wisdom from those who came before you so you can hear what they have learned and apply it to your own artistic sense.  That’s exactly what is being offered in this recent article featured on Flavorwire: “100 Famous Directors’ Rules of Filmmaking“.

The piece takes the “golden rules” of 100 famous directors who have learned how to hone their own artistic voice by trial and error and so if you pay attention while picking and choosing, perhaps you too can learn a thing or two and apply it to making your next feature a little better than your last.

We picked a few that we enjoyed but urge you to sift through the whole lot to see what resonates with you.

Sofia Coppola: I try to just make what I want to make or what I would want to see. I try not to think about the audience too much.

Frank Capra: There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.

Stanley Kubrick: The director’s job is to know what emotional statement he wants a character to convey in his scene or his line, and to exercise taste and judgment in helping the actor give his best possible performance.”

 George A. Romero: Collaborate, don’t dictate. Every department head has something to offer. Listen and gratefully accept their offerings. They’re moviemakers, too.

There are amazing words of inspiration and guidance from these filmmakers that can help you craft your own story.  So, what is your golden rule of filmmaking?

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Free StoryBoard Quick & Artist Update

Attention all Quick 6.1 and Artist 5.1 users
Yosemite Ready!

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Fully tested on the latest Macintosh 10.10 Yosemite and Windows 8.1, the new versions are ready to go. The #1 easy-to-use digital storyboarding lines of software, StoryBoard Quick and StoryBoard Artist.

The free update is easily accessible right from within your application, launch your applications and select the HELP Menu. In the menu, scroll down and select the Check For Updates option.

The application will then automatically detect if you are on the latest version and, if not, will assist you with the easy download and install process.

If you are not on the current version of StoryBoard Quick or StoryBoard Artist and need to upgrade, you can purchase and download your upgrade online.

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Cinema, Television & Emerging Media Studies

As storytelling continues to thrive in today’s media, colleges are keeping up with the trends. One of the top colleges for African Americans, Morehouse College has now added StoryBoard Quick to their CTEMS (Cinema, Television & Emerging Media Studies) major studies. Using Quick their first assignment was to storyboard a story utilizing the stages of the Hero’s Journey. Their professor, writer-producer AVERY O. WILLIAMS sent this pic and says “Thank you for your assistance and fine program. I’m sure more queries will arise especially as we move down the road toward the completion of their film projects next semester.”CTEMS-Pre-Viz-Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martini QuickShot Now Available For Sony Vegas

Martini QuickShot now available on Sony Vegas

Martini QuickShot now available on Sony Vegas!

Vegas Editors and Video Directors have a new way to visualize edits.

Martini Quickshot, the fastest and easiest way for editors to visualize unshot footage, has come to Sony’s professional video editing system Vegas Pro 13 & Vegas Pro 12.

With modern day production no longer exclusively being conducted in phases, there’s a good chance you will be both in the shooting stage and editing stage at the same time and Martini QuickShot filling in the gaps with great looking shots and sequences.  Martini allows directors and editors to keep the integrity of any projects timing and visual continuity by allowing creatives to create shots right from inside their digital editing system.

 See Your Shots Before They’re Done

No more blank slugs or black frames with text talking about what “may” be here.  See your ideas in shots and sequences placed right in the middle of your real footage to help establish a clearer, closer actual representation of what the finished project will look like.  See what shots still need to be completed and know the exact timing of necessary second unit/pickup shots.

A Martini For Every Editor

Martini, already available for Adobe Premiere, Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro, has proved to be so valuable for filmmakers of every level that it’s now been made available for Sony Vegas.  No matter what type of project your production calls for – movies, TV, commercials, web series or industrials – Sony Vegas Pro plus Martini QuickShot will help you with easy-to-use HD video editing and now…shot creation.

You can check out the demo and purchase Martini QuickShot directly from PowerProduction Software.

HTML Export Is The Easy Share StoryBoard Solution

HTML Export For Simple Sharing

When it comes to storyboards, while it’s great for directors to be able to create a great-looking visual shortlist, you are likely going to want to share those shots with your crew and cast so they can get inside the creative mind.  With powerful software like StoryBoard Quick, sharing your vision is easy and just one of the simple ways to do that is by exporting your storyboards to HTML.

When you export your storyboards to HTML, all you need to do is drag and drop a page into your favorite browser to check them out.  With StoryBoard Quick you have two options when it comes to HTML export: webpage or website.

Webpage Export

When you opt to export your boards as a webpage, SBQ kicks out a single page with all your storyboards lined up on the far left side and any captions that accompany them will be placed immediately to the frame’s right.  This is single page access to every shot as all you need to do is scroll to view shot after shot.  Incredibly fast, export to webpage gives your crew the vision in bulk and let’s you quickly get an overview of the entire project.

Website Export

If you are looking for a little more presentation, select export to a website.  The website option highlites each individual frame, centering the larger storyboard in the center of a black background.  The code includes navigation links so you can cycle through the entire project one by one and jump forward and backwards.  If you are looking for a little more impact for your storyboards, or are telling a story that requires more caption space, this option will be perfect for sharing.

Watch: Video Tutorial of Export to HTML Feature

The next time you are looking to share some cinematic ideas and you’ve created storyboards to showcase your shots, export to HTML and upload them to a server or ship them off in an email for all to see.

For great-looking, easy-to-create storyboards to help you on your next project, use the powerful features of StoryBoard Quick!

New Additions For Mobile Storyboards!

The next step in mobile storyboarding.

With the latest version of PowerProduction’s popular mobile storyboarding application, StoryBoard Quick Direct for iPhone and Android, directors and creatives have been able to complete and create cinematic shots from absolutely anywhere.  Now, with the latest version and new addition of Add-On Actors, those storyboards can have a brand new looks complete with a unique set of actors to complete your vision.

The new version of StoryBoard Quick Direct makes some of your favorite Add-On Libraries from the StoryBoard Quick and StoryBoard Artist desktop versions, available right there on your mobile app.  Whether you are looking for your project to take a serious turn by utilizing on of the popular character in the Drama series (Drama 1, Drama 2 & Drama 3) or a unique hilarious look from the Comedy set, your boards can convey more attitude and feel than ever before.

If you are working on an action flick, check out the explosive Stuntman Add-On or even the muscular Zeus. There are 26 new character in total (51 in total!), all of which can travel with your storyboards to the cloud and be downloaded onto your desktop version of StoryBoard Quick or StoryBoard Artist.

With mobile storyboarding being so fast, cheap and easy there’s no reason that dedicated filmmakers can’t always be working on their next creation.  StoryBoard Quick Direct helps you do just that – full time filmmaking, no matter where you are.

When you see a shot, take it – with StoryBoard Quick direct.

Make sure you check out all of PowerProduction’s Mobile applications, for dedicated filmmakers of every level.

Award Winning Locations & Your StoryBoards

The backdrop for your shot is, often times, what brings the whole look and feel of your film together. On productions, it’s the role of the location scout to help find interesting, spectacular and cinematically cohesive locations to bring the directors vision to life. More than that though, the scout will also, often times, help negotiate the ability for the film to get access to the location – whether it’s a vast desert for a show like “Game Of Thrones” or the jam packed city streets of New York as seen in the “Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

In the past, this all-important task has been overlooked come awards season. As other aspects of filmmaking garners awards, the location scouts who find these amazing settings, felt a little overlooked. Not anymore. After a decade in existence Location Managers Guild of America held their first ever awards ceremony this week honoring some of their members who helped bring some of the most memorable shots to the screen in 2013.

From feature films to television to commercials were honored by the over 450 members who attended, according to Variety, with “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” taking home the big prize for outstanding location feature.

How do location scouts know where to look? It all starts with the director and the script. As the director, you need to help guide your location scout so they can best serve the project. One way to do this is by giving your storyboards a boost with amazing locations. While descriptors will go a long way, finding similar style locations to use in your digital storyboards will point your location scout in the right direction in finding a selection of possible shooting spaces.

Even on an indie project, where perhaps you are both the director and responsible for finding locations, you can utilize a vast array of locations to help stimulate your creativity in finding the perfect look for the scene.

Check out PowerProduction’s massive stockpile of Ultimate Locations. A vast array of storyboard-optimized locations, perfect for dragging and dropping right into your digital storyboards. Find that perfect backdrop which will bring the entire look and feel of a scene together.

Watch: The New Ultimate Locations Website

While you may not be a member of the LMGA just yet, there’s no reason you can’t excel in providing yourself with the perfect place for your next project.

For more information on Ultimate Locations visit the webpage and to view the #1 digital storyboarding solutions on the market check out StoryBoard Quick and StoryBoard Artist.

Technology in Film

Tech innovations in filmmaking and gaming technology advances have been widespread both in the world of movies and gaming. From black and white to 3D, these two giant industries have come a long way. In 2013, the total domestic box office gross is approximately $12.9 Billion:Statistics Brain from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The growing revenues of the movie industry can be attributed not only to the moviegoers but also to the technological advances throughout the years. As a medium for art, filmmaking has always been about innovation. In 1895, Louis Lumiere gave us the very first motion picture camera. Louis, together with his brother Auguste, became known as the Lumiere brothers, the earliest filmmakers in history. From the bulky camera systems to the camera that could move around, here are the top five innovations in filmmaking:

Steadicam
To make a hand-held shot appear smooth and fluid, camera innovator Garrett Brown invented the Steadicam in 1976. The system utilized weight distribution and a rotating gimbal to perfect hand-held shots. Because of the steady shot, a cameraman was able to shoot Rocky Balboa up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Dolly
Before 1907, filmmaking means the camera was stuck in one place until Segundo de Chomon invented the camera on wheels also known as dolly.

CGI
Unlike the first two innovations CGI or computer generated imaging was not born on a film set but was conceptualized in university research labs with an objective to make pictures from computer data. The first movie to make extensive use of CGI was Tron in 1982. After that, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and the Pixar Studio followed suit and revolutionized CGI in movies such as The Terminator, Jurassic Park, and Toy Story.

More Than A “Trick”, Storyboards A Necessity

Filmmakers are always looking for “tips and tricks” to help them make better movies. While storyboarding often finds it’s way under something that would be “nice to have” with today’s easy to use technology, like StoryBoard Quick, the one time luxury pre-production step has gone from something you can to – to something you must do if you want to make your movie the best it can be.

Whether you are at the helm of a multi-million dollar production or the director and cameraman of your own indie short, planning to do a run-and-gun style shoot, storyboards are the essential visual reference to make sure that you never forget a shot. The fact is, while there are some amazing storyboard artists out there who can draw just about anything, you don’t need to be an artist yourself to come up with a great-looking, comprehensive list of shots.  In fact, storyboards really just need to make sense to you and those you are working with in order to help everyone understand what is needed for the next shot.

Check out this short video from RODE Reel where they make the case for implementing storyboards on every kind of shoot. Applications like StoryBoard Artist and StoryBoard Quick help you quickly and effectively convey the cinematic shots you see in your head and get everyone on the same page.










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