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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Some Films To Watch Before Turn 30

The Breakfast Club

For everyone that has ever struggled in and survived their high school years- which is nearly all of us- the Breakfast Club seems to hit the nail on the head. This classic film captures the angst and awkwardness that high schoolers experience with identity, groups, and authority. When 5 high school students from different cliques are brought together to suffer through a Saturday detention, each member has an opportunity to tell their side of the story so that the others may potentially see each other in a different light. By the end of their punishment, they are slightly changed in their views of themselves, each other, and school.

The Silence of the Lambs

Although this movie seems to be well known for its scary villains and unsettling subject matter, the film is, overall, a nod to women’s equality. Clarice Sterling, played by Jody Foster, is a top student enrolled in the training academy at the FBI headquarters. After a serial killer begins hunting down and capturing women to use for their skins, Clarice is ordered to interview Hannibal Lector-played by Anthony Hopkins- to try and gleam some insight into the case. As Clarice goes toe-to-toe with Hannibal’s manipulations, she realizes that he has his own plans and ideas regarding her and his own escape.

The Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams plays John Keating, a teacher in an all boys preparatory school that places a high value on obedience and adherence to its strict high standards and tradition. Using his unique methods and rapport building, John manages to reach the students who are struggling under intense pressure from their families and school authorities. With his guidance, the students are able to build the confidence to pursue their interests and question the concept of absolute obedience to authority.

Host a Fall Outdoor Movie Festival

There are so many great fall activities you can plan to keep guests entertained before the movie begins and to add to the fun. You might feature a ghost story teller or plan a trunk or treat activity if it is close to Halloween. Hay rides, a barnyard petting zoo or a hay bale maze are all fun, family friendly activities to feature at your event. You could also embrace the spirit of fall harvest and feature a chili cook-off or pie eating contest, or a marshmallow roast. Finally, consider inviting local farmers to set-up a farmer’s market. Guests will enjoy a chance to purchase fresh, local produce, and you will build positive relationships in the community by reaching out to local farmers. Adding activities like this will create a warm fall atmosphere, attract families and help to make your event more memorable.

Fall is also the time for delicious treats like cider, caramel apples, hot cocoa, pumpkin muffins, baked apples, apple cake and more. Be sure to include some of these treats at your concession stand.

Finally, offer a chance to do some good in addition to the fun. In the spirit of sharing your harvest, set up a table where food donations can be collected. Non-perishables like canned goods are great options; you might even consider asking attendees to bring a can of food for entrance to the event in lieu of admission.

Cool, comfortable weather, beautiful scenery and seasonal treats make fall the ideal time to host an outdoor movie festival. Use these tips and take advantage of all the wonderful things fall has to offer by decorating, planning activities and offering food that goes with the fall season.

Light For the Green Screen Video Effect

Creating Bad Green Screen Video is Easy

The secret that most people selling the tools and software for the green screen video effect do not tell you is that it is really easy to create bad results. YouTube is littered with examples of horrible chromakey video. But, there is another secret. It is not much harder to produce fantastic chromakey video.

You do not have to spend thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours of effort to create videos you are proud to share with the world. One major key to success is how you light your screen.

The Big Screen Lighting Myth

There is a big misconception about shooting green screen video that comes from the companies selling screen and lighting kits. Search online and you will see an endless list of options for purchasing a kit that includes everything you need to shoot green screen video. The list of included items is always the same. You get a green muslin screen, a support stand to hold up the screen, and three lights. You always get three lights, and that is the problem.

To get the best results from the process, you need to light the screen separately from the subject. An ideal green screen lighting kit includes five lights. Two lights are dedicated exclusively to lighting the screen itself. The other three lights are used to light your subject.

The Best Lights for Your Green Screen

Flat even lighting is the goal when lighting a green screen. Any variation in brightness will make it harder for your editing software to remove the background while preserving edge details. In a home office video studio, space is usually at a premium, so you can afford to use big soft boxes or place lights far away from the screen. The easiest way to get good results is to use fluorescent or LED bank lights.

A bank light is nothing more than a large flat (usually rectangular) light fixture. Professional versions just look like fancy fluorescent shop lights turned sideways. In fact, you can make your own from inexpensive parts purchased at your local home center. There are a few things to watch out for when making your own. But once you know what to buy, it is easy to do.

LED bank lights are more expensive to purchase, but they last forever, have no glass tube to break, and can usually be dimmed to dial-in the perfect amount of light.

Placing The Lights

Lighting your screen with bank lights is easy. You place one light on each side of the screen. The lights should be oriented vertically so that the light shines out evenly from top to bottom. Adjust the angle and distance from the screen until the entire surface of your green screen is lit at an even level of brightness.

Casting the Right Actors

Check direction taking capability
A right actor is one who can take your direction and feedback in the right way. Sometimes the ego of the actor comes in the way and they are not able to grasp your feedback and get into the character properly, which ultimately mars the essence of the movie.

Check the time sense
A film production house incurs lot of expenses when a film is made and the everyday setup is both time and cost consuming affair. Hence if an actor is not punctual or misses his slot frequently not only the launch of the movie gets delayed but also it leads to huge waste of money and time. This kind of attitude of one actor can also have an adverse effect on the other actors and co-workers of the movie. Moreover, it is always best to ask the actor how flexible he/she is for the time slots that you have you’re your movie and for travelling. Hence you will find some premium media houses keep a record of testimonials of the actors that are collected from the producers, directors and co-workers so that they can provide the directors with the best actors.

Do not make an early stage promise
Though just after the screen test you may feel one actor to be the best match for your movie, it is always advisable not to make any commitment about film casting just at that stage. It is always better to get into obligations after meeting all the potential actors.

Write for Clients

1. Be True to the Brand

When writing for other people, it’s important to speak with their voice, not yours. Ideally your style will mesh exactly with the way the brand or client envisions themselves, but sometimes you have to write for brands you don’t connect with-and sometimes about topics you don’t even understand. In those cases, never lose sight of who it is you’re writing for. You have to take care to write what’s best for the brand, including phrasing, word selection, tone, audience, and themes.

2. Keep It Short

I think in terms of “additive” vs. “subtractive” scripts for clients. This means I’ve tried writing scripts that are too short, asking the client to add details they think they need, and writing longer, more detailed pieces and requesting the client subtract details that are extraneous. In my experience, clients love what they do and are enthusiastic to hear more. This means they rarely remove information from a script, and therefore it is almost always better to write a shorter piece and let your client add in anything they think you missed. Besides, brevity is the soul of wit.

3. Murder Your Darlings

There’s simply no way to talk about writing without mentioning this pearl. It is as true with client-facing writing as with any other type of writing. You must be ready at any moment to rewrite, revise, delete, or completely eviscerate your favorite parts of what you’ve written. It is for the good of the whole project, even though it’s hard.

4. Find Out What Your Client Needs

Spoken or unspoken, articulated or not, it’s your job to suss out exactly what your client needs from this particular piece of prose. A good conversation with your client is always ideal when figuring this out, but sometimes, even your client doesn’t know exactly what they need. You may need to do some research to familiarize yourself with the best way to speak to your client’s customers-the audience.

5. Know Your Audience

Actually, know both of your audiences. Your client is the primary audience, so you have to write to appeal to them. But the best way to make your client happy is to write to their audience.