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10 Tips for Writing a Comedy Script



Posted on 2017-09-24 00:40:06     Comments: 0    

(L-r) ZACH GALIFIANAKIS as Alan holds Baby Tyler, BRADLEY COOPER as Phil and ED HELMS as Stu in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ comedy “The Hangover,” distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION.


1. Keep your characters on the opposite end of the punchline – To increase the humor in your comedy script, have your characters anticipate the exact opposite of what’s about to occur next. When you widen the gap between your character’s expectations (and therefore the audience’s) and what happens, you broaden the scope of the reversal – hopefully producing bigger laughs.


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2. Remember irony – According to Wikipedia, the definition of irony is having a disparity or incongruity between intention and expression or intention and results. Since irony is just a specialized reversal, it makes sense that it’s going to be a strong weapon in your comedy arsenal. The beautiful thing about irony is that it can be applied in a variety of situations–at both the micro and macro levels when writing a comedy script.


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3. Make yourself laugh – Comedy is so subjective. Trying too hard to tap into what’s trending, what you THINK today’s crowds will laugh at, or what you know yesterday’s crowd enjoyed, is a recipe for angst. It also risks coming off as inauthentic and forced. Your primary goal with your writing is to make yourself laugh. If you’re cracking up (or at least grinning) as you write, then you’ve done your job. Don’t write what you think people will find funny. Write what makes you laugh.


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4. Use characters wisely – Comedies can be tricky to navigate because you’re trying to tell a compelling and unique story, but also want to keep the audience cracking up along the way. First, accept that there will be quiet points in the script. Yes, some performances are “laugh a minute,” but it can be hard to convey a substantial plot that way. I like to add a comic-relief character or two. They bring most of the laughs and provide relief from the more straightforward protagonist, and lighten up serious moments in the script.


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5. Write with someone who makes you laugh – It’s hard to write a script by yourself, but it’s equally hard to find the right person with whom to write. Find a fellow writer (friend, coworker, relative, etc.) who shares your sense of humor and writing ambition, and build your story from there. But first, make sure you work out who’s the “all-powerful head writer” and who’s the “lowly co-head writer” – it’s the source of 99% of fights between co-writers of a script.


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6. It’s OK that you have no idea what you’re doing – Any screenwriter can tell you that nobody is confident; nobody thinks they’re doing well and nobody believes they can write a good script. We believe that it’s OK to remind yourself that you’re new and it’s hard. Just completing a script (whether it becomes a movie in the future or not) shows you’re doing well.


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7. Don’t be a baby about your jokes – When it comes to jokes, it’s an exercise in constant vigilance to keep our egos from puffing up past a manageable size. There’s an unwritten rule amongst comedy writers that whoever feels most passionately about a line or a joke or an idea, wins. But it only works if you give up feeling overly proud of whatever joke you’re convinced is uncuttable – it definitely isn’t.


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8. Have Fun –  Urban legend claims that actor Edmund Kean uttered the following on his deathbed: “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” It doesn’t matter whether the tale is fact or fiction—the quote is accurate. Comedy is hard, and it takes years of practice, dedication, and rejection to be a successful humor writer. Yet, life is brief, and you might as well enjoy the journey. Think funny, write funny, and have fun.



9. The audience won’t care if the characters don’t – A good comedy is not about silly people doing silly things. Comedy has to be about something important – important to the characters, and important values to its society. It is about serious characters doing desperate things because they have left themselves no choice.


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10. The audience laughs because it recognizes something truthful –  British playwright/screenwriter Tom Stoppard called laughter “the sound of comprehension”. We laugh when we see something on the stage or screen that rings true. With their laughter, the audience is agreeing to accept the truth you are telling. So while you may be writing with the determination to make the audience fall off their seats in laughter, don’t be afraid to express some truth within your comedy screenplay. 

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10 Tips on how to write a Horror Script



Posted on 2017-09-24 00:12:39     Comments: 0    

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1. Tone and atmosphere – Ensure that you convey the tone and create the atmosphere you’re going for in your script. You want your readers (whether they be producers, directors, actors, your grandmother – whoever) to feel the fear, anxiety, and horror that you want your audience to feel when they see your story on-screen.


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2. Appeal to primal human fears – According to James Wan, director of great modern horror movies like “Insidious” 1 & 2, “The Conjuring” 1 & 2 and “Furious 7” (No….wait! That’s not a horror movie. Or is it? I mean…..FLYING CARS?!!), scaring audiences often comes down to tapping into people’s lifelong sources of fear. Whether it’s childhood fears like monsters under your bed or adult fears like death, tapping into one’s basic human fears is a great way to make your horror script more effective.\


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3. Develop great set pieces – From the chilling hedge maze climax of “The Shining” to the gruesome chest defibrillation sequence in “The Thing”, a great set piece will make your script all the more terrifying – and memorable. Think of them as the scenes in your script that, when put to screen, will frighten the audience – and continue to do so long after they’ve seen the movie.


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4. Deep characters – If we don’t care about the characters (whether we love them or not), we won’t care what happens when they’re in danger. The characters in your script must evoke a  strong feeling of concern from your reader – one way or the other. Spend a LOT of time building your characters (backstories, fears, flaws, etc.) before writing your script. Figure out their backstories, their fears, their flaws, their broken relationships. The more well-developed your character, the more likely the reader will care.


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5. Tie the scares to the characters – While writing your screenplay, keep in mind that the horror and the scares should be designed around each other, and not mutually exclusive. Try to connect your character’s fear to the horror at hand. The closer you can connect the scares and the character’s issues, the more impact the scares will have.


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6. Original scares – From the mirror scare (character looks in the mirror, a freaky-looking creature suddenly appears behind the character) to the “killer in the backseat of the getaway car” scene, cliché scares have been used and abused in horror movies for years. Please, for the love of horror movies, DON’T USE THEM! Or at the very least, if these scares NEED to be in your screenplay, find a way to update them. Put in that extra effort to come up with an original scare or a new spin on an old scare and your script will be so much better.


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7. Never tell the audience they should be scared  – One of the most critical rules of storytelling is: show, don’t tell. And yes, this is ESPECIALLY important in writing a screenplay, regardless of genre. But in writing a horror, it’s also paramount NOT to convey the fear that the audience is ideally supposed to feel. Obviously, you can’t tell someone to be scared, You just have to shove the reader into the shadows, and hope that what you’ve hidden there does the trick.


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8. Be Sincere About Your Scares –  The one thing worse than cliché scares in a horror movie is gimmicky “false scares,” -arbitrary moments of suspense that don’t serve any purpose to the overall arc of the horror story. Too many false scares reveal the inherent falseness of being scared in the first place. Utilizing calculated, well-thought-of and worthwhile scares motivates the reader to stay invested in your story, and more affected by its moments of fear. If you aren’t sincere about your scares, then you aren’t sincere about your movie, and the reader won’t take your story seriously.


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9. Turn classic horror on its head – One of the techniques director James Wan uses with his films is taking a classic horror device and twisting it to come up with a new and unique and way of telling a story. For example, with “Insidious”, he told a haunted house story that wasn’t a haunted house story at all”. In other words, you can pick your brain for hours trying to think up a fresh, original horror device (mythical creatures, fear of the unknown, creepy kids, etc.) or figure out clever and creative ways of modernizing and updating horror devices necessary to your screenplay.


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10. Horror is personal –  For your horror script to be effective, it needs to affect you in a personal way. You need to be troubled, a little disturbed, by what you’re writing. Dig deep into your subconscious, think about what scares you deep inside and write about that, regardless of how absurd or childish you may believe it is. Remember: horror works best when fear is honest. The truth you bring to your story, and to the horror genre as a whole, will resonate long after your screenplay becomes an actual movie.

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10 Essential Tips for Trinidad and Tobago Filmmakers



Posted on 2017-09-23 23:50:53     Comments: 0    

picture11. Ensure that EVERYONE is on-board and aware – Before a single minute of footage is shot, and a page of script is thrown away, everyone should have an idea of what their role is in relation to your movie, in addition to what your film is about and what your overall vision for the film is.



picture22. Make sure you have enough money/battery life on your phone – On the day of a film shoot, the last thing you want to worry about is where your cast and crew members are. And in Trinidad & Tobago, it’s HIGHLY possible that someone will – whether intentionally or unintentionally – show up late. If your film shoot begins at a particular time, make sure to message or call your cast and crew members at least 3-4 hours in advance. That way, the possibility of everyone arriving in time for the shoot will be greater than starting the shoot late because someone was either stuck in traffic or experienced difficulty getting transport to go to the film set.



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3. Know how to cook or know someone who can – On a film set, we may feel like robots. But at the end of the day, or after 12 p.m., we’re reminded of our humanity by the growling of our stomachs. Without the promise of food, a hungry cast and crew become more and more angry with every passing minute. If you don’t want to buy chicken-n-chips or doubles for your team, have a pot of food prepared for them to eat during lunch break. If you’re not a good cook (regardless of how much salt you put into your food), or you can’t cook at all, get your mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, neighbor or even your father (if he has time, of course) to cook for you. You’ll save time and money, both of which can be invested into your project.


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4. Rehearse before the shoot  Nothing slows down a day of filming than reminding actors of their lines, subtext behind their lines, character motivations, etc. Before the actual day of shooting, or at least an hour or two before the film shoot begins, do a quick rehearsal of all the scenes to be shot with your cast. Don’t spoon-feed them, however. They should have some knowledge of what their character is supposed to do before you even yell “Action”.


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5. Assemble the right cast and crew – Before you even place the camera on a tripod, find people that are skilled, resourceful, quick-thinking, passionate about their craft, and determined to work as hard as possible to make your film as good as it can be.


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6. Secure your film sets – If you have to shoot an indoor scene using someone else’s home, inform the homeowner beforehand (say a week in advance) instead of contacting him/her the night before. If you’re scheduling an outdoor scene, find out from authorities or residents if it is possible to shoot in that area first before filming. The last thing you want is a crusade taking place on the night of that epic chase scene you were dying to film at that nearby savannah.


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7. Push yourself – With every film you make, you learn something new about yourself, and you achieve something you didn’t know you were capable of. By building on the skills and techniques you learned during your previous film, you’ll become a better filmmaker with every project that you work on.


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8. Work with what you have – Don’t write a highway car chase scene into your script just because you watched a Michael Bay movie the night before. Play to your strengths. For example, instead of a big-budget highway car chase, simply have two cars drive along a road, and then shoot footage of the drivers inside their respective vehicles. If however you don’t have access to a car, or you can’t drive, or none of your cast and crew can drive, take that scene out and do something else instead.


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9. Expect the unexpected – and be prepared for it. – Rain. Heavy wind. Faulty lights. A cast or crew member getting the flu. The sick cast or crew member spreading the flu to other cast and crew members, including yourself. ANYTHING can happen in a film shoot. Prepare yourself as best as you can.


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10. Stay positive, focused and optimistic – No matter how problematic things may become, no matter how hopeless things may feel, you have to stay focused on the task at hand – making the best-possible film that you can. Whether it means smiling or laughing through all the crap that comes your way or tackling every scene (whether simple or difficult) with passion, determination, and concentration, you’ll get through each shooting day, shooting a week and hopefully, shooting schedule with a level head. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll get some great movies out of it.

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10 Most Highly Anticipated Movies of 2017



Posted on 2017-09-23 02:56:17     Comments: 0    

With 2016 behind us, it’s time for us to look forward to a brand new year of movies, most of which – hopefully – will be worth the time and money it took for us to physically remove ourselves from our homes, television sets and Netflix accounts. There are a LOT of movies to look forward to in 2017 – from reboots of favorite TV shows to long-awaited sequels to recent and classic films. But the following 10 movies are the ones that I’m really looking forward to seeing on the big screen, as opposed to a bootlegged, CAM-quality version available for download on your favorite torrent site.


1. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (February 10th) –  The original “John Wick” was, hands down, one of the best action movies of 2014. Keanu Reeves proved that, with the “Matrix” trilogy behind him, he still had the capabilities to play a convincing action hero. In “John Wick: Chapter 2”, Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski join forces once again to deliver a movie that expands the dark, neo-noirish world of assassins and crime syndicates established in the first film, whilst delivering the high-octane action set pieces and brutal fight choreography that made it a cult classic amongst action movie purists. Oh, and Laurence Fishburne’s in it too. Yes, I said it! Both Morpheus and Neo of “Matrix” fame will be in this movie, and my goodness, I can’t wait to see their on-screen reunion!


2. LOGAN (March 3rd) –  The success of 2016’s “Deadpool” proved that audiences were willing to support R-rated superhero movies from major film studios. Twentieth Century Fox, the studio behind the “X-Men” movie franchise, have been playing it safe for years with the character of Wolverine (played faithfully by Hugh Jackman since 2000), giving him PG-13-level scenarios for him to unleash hell upon. With “Logan”, Hugh’s final outing as Wolverine, Twentieth Century Fox promises “strong brutal violence and language throughout” according to the MPAA rating, and a little “brief nudity” (assumedly involving Logan) for the ladies. And with a plot that walks a fine line between emotional, heartfelt drama and vicious, bloody violence, this could be the fitting send-off that Wolverine deserves.

 

3. THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (April 14th) – SEVEN MOVIES in, and “Fast and Furious” is showing absolutely no signs of stopping. The strong bond amongst the heroes of the F&F franchise (which was felt both on and off-camera with the unfortunate demise of Paul Walker) resonated more with fans that any of the fancy cars driven, smashed into or decimated in the name of justice. In “The Fate of the Furious”, this bond is challenged by the sudden side-switching of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) to the evil forces of criminal mastermind Cipher (Charlize Theron). Could this mean the end of the Furious team….and the franchise? Time will soon tell.

 

4. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2 (May 5th) – The first “volume” of “Guardians of the Galaxy” took the gigantic risk of introducing audiences to the little-known, space-travelling team of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot and Rocket Raccoon. The end result was the highest-grossing superhero movie of 2014. While I can’t predict how much money Volume 2 will make in the box office, I can guarantee that (based on the trailer that came out last year) that this will be an uproarious, fast-paced, action-packed, slam-bang sci-fi adventure like no other. That’s what I said about the first movie, and look at how great that turned out. In other words, get excited for “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2”.

 

5. WONDER WOMAN (June 2nd) – Admit it. Warner/DC’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” didn’t stand a chance against the might of Marvel Studios with their “Captain America: Civil War” and “Doctor Strange” movies. But I believe they have a chance to prove their worth to the comic book movie world once again with their long-awaited film adaptation of “Wonder Woman”. Sure, you can argue that this film will be Warner/DC’s version of “Captain America: The First Avenger”, but as a years-overdue, live-action origin story to arguably the most iconic superheroine in history, this is definitely a movie to be excited for. And I’m hoping that it’s worth the wait.


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Top 5 Lenses for DSLR Filmmaking



Posted on 2017-09-23 02:52:00     Comments: 0    

DSLR cameras has become more and more popular with experienced, intermediate and even novice filmmakers. Unlike the traditional point-and-shoot camera (remember those?), a DSLR camera is incomplete without a good lens. And depending on what type of camera you own, and what type of footage you’re planning to shoot with your camera, finding the RIGHT type of lens is extremely important. There is a lot of great lenses out there, but these are the 5 that we would recommend to any serious DSLR filmmaker.




1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens – This lens has a 50mm focal length and maximum aperture of f/1.8, with a minimum focusing distance of 1.15 ft. (0.35m) and a maximum magnification of 0.21x. It has has stepper motor (STM), which means it focuses on objects with near silent, continuous Move Servo auto-focus for movies and smooth auto-focus for stills. This lens is ideal for portraits, action, and nighttime photography.

Check it out here – http://amzn.to/2mo2cEI/

 

2. Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM Lens – If you’re shooting documentary-style footage (for example, “The Mating Habits of the Gold Rim Butterfly”), it’s more than likely you wouldn’t be able to control where or when your subject will move. Therefore, you need to have a stable telephoto lens  to cover long distance and get that sharp subject and blurred background which will give you cinematic shots for your video.

The Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM is a “L” Glass lens which is arguably the best quality out there and essential for film and documentary makers. It can be used on full frame and APS-C cameras. Its Micro UltraSonic Motor (USM) offers fast and quiet auto focus, and with its 135mm focal length, this lens can give you a focusing distance of 3 feet. This is without a doubt the best telephoto lens for shooting video where you need to cover moving subjects or objects that are far away.

See it here – http://amzn.to/2lFXHkE/

 

3. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM L Lens – This is the most expensive lens on this list, but thanks to its 18-35mm focal length (27-52.5mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras) and F1.8 maximum aperture (F16 minimum), it provides incredible sharpness, wider angles, and an overall great performance. It has a great focal range and constant aperture, which gives amazing low light performance and blurred background with subjects really focused. In addition, it comes with multiple mounts, meaning that it can be used with Canon, Nikon, Sony crop sensor cameras.

Get it here – http://amzn.to/2m61RFF/

 

4. Rokinon Cine 85mm f/1.5 Lens – Cine lens has de-clicked aperture which means it is adjusted manually. They have gears on the side of the lens to use with other accessories like follow focus or aperture control devices to allow videographers to maintain focus on moving focus with smooth dials connected to the lens.

The Rokinon Cine 85mm f/1.5 lens features de-clicked aperture to reduce noise and jerking motions, an aperture range of  t/1.5- t/22 and a minimum focusing distance of 3 to 6 feet. Like other DSLR lenses from Sigma and Rokinon, you can use this with Canon, Nikon, Sony and other DSLR cameras.

Learn about it here – http://amzn.to/2mo3mA4/

 

5. Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens – This particular wide-angle lens is an STM lens, which means it will make almost no noise when shooting video. It has an optical image stabilizer, which means you can use it to shoot great wide-angle shots even in handheld position.

You can also shoot excellent time-lapse using this wide-angle lens and is a great option for those looking for an affordable first party wide-angle lens. Keep in mind that the maximum aperture is up to f/4.5 which means it is not great in low light situations.

Get it here – http://amzn.to/2m5YPS4/

We hope that this article proved useful in your search for the most convenient lens for your DSLR camera. Feel free to share your thoughts on our article, in addition to what lens and/or camera is your most favorite.

Comment below and let us know, and don’t forget to share this article and like/subscribe to our Diamond Films Limited Facebook page for latest updates on our blog.

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Best (and most reasonable) Audio Recording equipment for Filming



Posted on 2017-09-23 02:43:29     Comments: 0    

Though we may think of film as solely a visual experience, we cannot underestimate the importance of sound to the medium. The ability to record sound (more particularly at the location of filming) is an extremely important aspect of filmmaking. Here is a list, according to the good folks at Diamond Films Limited, of the most fundamental equipment for audio recording on a video or film production.

Field Mixers – The field mixer is where you connect all of your microphones (both wired and wireless) and other audio sources. The mixer enables you to create a sound mix to send to the cameras and your audio recorders. It’s also where you plug in your headphones so you can hear what’s going on, and make the important decisions about how to mix the sound. This will save your team a lot of heartache in the editing room when nobody heard that lawn mower in the distance. Luckily, with the help of this device, you were able to cancel it out. Field mixers often feature multiple outputs, so you can feed audio to several different devices simultaneously.

TASCAM DR-60DmkII DSLR Audio Recorder – http://amzn.to/2mQJrsV/

 

Wireless Microphone Systems (Lavalier Mics) – A single wireless microphone system consists of three parts: the microphone, the transmitter and the receiver. You attach a lavalier mic to your subject and you plug it into a beltpack transmitter. You then affix the transmitter to the subject’s belt (or fasten it to another part of their body). If you need to use multiple wireless microphones, you will need a mic, a transmitter and a receiver for each one of them. This system comes in handy for single person filming setups when you don’t have an individual to hold a boom mic and is ideal for closed room interviews.

Sennheiser EW 112P G3-A omni-directional EW system – http://amzn.to/2mQAyQ9/

 

Shotgun Microphones and Boompoles – No location sound kit is complete without a good boompole and a few different kinds of mics to use on it. The most common kind of mic that people associate with boompoles is the shotgun microphone. Shotguns are an excellent choice for recording dialog in certain kinds of environments in film and video production.

 

The boompole itself is another interesting piece of equipment. A good boompole will be easy to collapse and extend, and be able to do so silently. They are lightweight, yet durable enough for a tough life in the field. Some boompoles feature an interior cable, which makes set-up and breakdown times faster. Boompoles along with shotgun mics are excellent in active scenes with multiple people. It’s always a good idea to do a dry run of the action before filming whenever possible so your boom operator knows his positioning during the scene.

Audio-Technica ATR-6550 Video Camera Condenser Shotgun Microphone – http://amzn.to/2nuf6iq

On Stage MBP7000 Handheld Boom Pole – http://amzn.to/2nu1cN0

 

Wind Protection for Microphones – Proper wind protection is one of the most important accessories in your arsenal. Most microphones come with a basic, sponge-like foam windscreen. They are useful for indoor booming (to avoid distortion from drafty air), but totally inadequate for outdoor usage.

Microphones have incredibly sensitive capsules that pick up sound from changes in air pressure. When you take a microphone outdoors (even on a nice day), it doesn’t take more than a gentle breeze to compromise the capsule’s ability to pick up clear sound. The wind doesn’t damage the microphone; it just completely mangles the sound that it picks up. Do yourself a favour if you are doing a lot of outdoor filming and get yourself one of these windscreens. The difference in quality is noticeable and amazing.

Movo WS4 Furry Outdoor Microphone Windscreen Muff – http://amzn.to/2mvgC2N

 

Field Recorders – Field recorders (which are also referred to as “portable digital recorders”) are used to record the sound that the microphones and other equipment have picked up. There are many different sized and shaped field recorders on the market.

Affordable pocket-sized portable audio recorders have become very popular with consumers. These devices can be useful for making a backup copy of the audio in the bag for lighter jobs when only two tracks are being recorded. When you need to record multiple isolated tracks of audio, and when syncing and jamming to time code is necessary, a more professional field recorder will be needed. These recorders work well on longer shoot days when you need to ensure a backup of all the audio that was filmed. It has saved a number of productions in the past where the original audio become slightly distorted for a few moments due to a potential number of technical issues.

Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder – http://amzn.to/2mvnkWi

 

Headphones – Headphones are one of the most important parts of a location audio kit. They’re as vital to a sound person as the viewfinder is to a camera operator. Professional sound people use closed-back headphones that provide a flat frequency response, so they can hear exactly what the audio sounds like.

Because the headphones will often be worn for long stretches, it’s important that they be extremely comfortable. Headphones that fold up and collapse for travel can also be useful, because location audio people often have to break down and pack up their kits several times a day. Always practice proper packaging and folding techniques with your headphones, as even the most durable and professional is prone to wear and tear that can affect the quality of sound outputted from them over time.

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone – http://amzn.to/2npAtVd

 

We hope that this article gave you a basic understanding about the necessary equipment for audio recording. Feel free to share your thoughts on our article, and don’t forget to share this article and like/subscribe to our Diamond Films Limited Facebook page for latest updates on our blog.

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10 Creative Uses for a Green Screen



Posted on 2017-09-23 02:38:51     Comments: 0    

A majority of today’s feature films use a particular technique of visual effects known as CHROMA KEY COMPOSITING (chroma keying for short). Commonly used in video production and post-production, chroma keying is used to remove a background from the subject of a video or photo. The most common use of chroma keying is the addition of a digitally-created background, oftentimes with other visual effects added to it,  behind a subject. The aptly-titled “green screen” is currently the preferred method of applying these ‘synthetic’ backgrounds to a shot or sequence. Provided that no part of the subject being filmed or photographed has the same colour as the green screen, this technique can be used to create believable – and sometimes extraordinary – visuals.

Here are 10 creative ways in which you can use a green screen for your own video or photo production.

 

1. Create the action scene of your dreams.  

 

2. Design imaginary worlds. 

 

3. Take your method acting to a whole new level.

 

4. Make your actors do unbelievable things. 

 

5. Create a believable background for your scene.

 

6. Add visual effects to a particular prop.

 

7. Film a scene that would be impossible for you to shoot in real life.

 

8.Add detail to a location in your film.

 

9. Clone yourself.

 

10.Make yourself invisible.

 

If you’re looking for a green screen room to work your cinematic and/or photogenic magic, you can check us our facility, which is located in the heart of Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain. Our sound-proof green screen room is available for rental Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, and we offer reasonable full-day room rates to ensure your organization gets the most time it needs for a favorable production. 

For more info, call Diamond Films Limited at 221-0840 or email us at diamondfilmsltd@gmail.com to make your bookings. Don’t forget to share this article and like/subscribe to our Diamond Films Limited Facebook page for latest updates on our blog.

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“Justice League” TRAILER #2 REVIEW



Posted on 2017-09-23 02:34:49     Comments: 0    

So the new trailer for “Justice League” (i.e. the next chapter in Warner Bros./ DC’s laughably pitiful attempt to catch up with Walt Disney Studios/ Marvel Studios’ critically and commercially successful Marvel Cinematic Universe) came out on Saturday March 25th.

And while I wasn’t the biggest fan of Warner Bros./DC’s 2016 efforts “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” or “Suicide Squad”, or the first official trailer for “Justice League” which came out during last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, I was actually intrigued (NOT EXCITED, mind you) by this new “Justice League” trailer.

So the trailer opens with Mr. Batfleck himself, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), riding on horseback through a cold, desolate landscape. We hear some non-diegetic dialogue from Bruce, where he makes mention of an upcoming attack “from far away”. Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) responds, non-diegetically, “Not coming, Bruce. It’s already here”. Oooooooooh.

Afterwards, we see a few shots of Silas Stone (the father of Justice League member Cyborg), a box-shaped mechanical device (supposedly the “Mother Box” from the DC Comics universe) and a Parademon (one of those flying creatures from that ridiculously weird dream/vision sequence from “Batman v Superman”) sneaking up behind Silas.

 

 

In the next shot, we see Diana Prince asking Bruce Wayne the question a lot of people – myself included – asked 33 seconds into the beginning of this trailer: “The others. Where are they?”. And sure enough, we get our answer. First, we see Arthur Curry a.k.a. Aquaman (Jason Momoa), followed by Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash (Ezra Miller), who shows off to the viewer (in a few admittedly decent-looking shots) why he’s called “the fastest man alive”.

 

 

What follows is primarily a montage of “cool-looking” shots involving the members of the Justice League: Batman squaring off against a laser-blasting Parademon (I assume that’s what that creature was) with an explosive Batarang; Aquaman squaring off against TWO laser-blasting Parademons with his trusty trident; Wonder Woman doing a…. sweep kick on a random human ….inside of what appears to be a high school or some similar educational institution; Cyborg doing the “Superman” thing where he flies past the clouds for God knows why; and Flash battling a gun-toting baddie with his super-speed. 

We then get a genuinely humourous moment where Barry Allen asks Bruce Wayne: “What are your superhero powers again?” Batfleck’s response: “I’m rich”. Pure comedic gold.

 

 

Afterwards, we see some more intense shots of the Justice League members, as they scowl, scream, shoot, punch and kick in Zack Snyder-patented super slo-mo, all set to a contemporary cover of the classic Beatles song “Come Together”. Oh, and we see Amy Adams a.k.a. Lois Lane, Amber Heard a.k.a. Mera and J.K. Simmons (formerly J. Jonah Jameson of the “Spider-Man” movie trilogy) a.k.a. Commissioner James Gordon. 

Closing things off is what I honestly think is the best shot in the entire trailer: Aquaman perched on the side of Batman’s Batmobile saying “YEAH!”. I can literally watch that one shot for hours, not because of Aquaman, but because of how incredibly bad-ass that one shot looks! Check it out for yourself! Don’t worry. I’ll wait for you to come back.

 

 

I’ll admit: I was really impressed by what I saw in this trailer. The action scenes were exciting and engaging, the characters looked awesome (except for that one shot of Cyborg where he looks like a CG character from CW’s “Supergirl”, “The Flash” and/or “Legends of Tomorrow”) and, as you would expect from a movie involving a team of superheroes, there were jokes….most of which actually worked.

 

 

But I can’t help but shake the fact that “Justice League” may wind up becoming another “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”. And no, I’m not referring to the dark colour palette, the gritty look of the characters and the return of the Man of Steel (Were you really expecting a live-action Justice League movie WITHOUT Superman?!), but to the promise of getting a great superhero movie and instead getting another overlong, over-bloated, dull, disappointing, nonsensical, incoherent mess that initially “looked good” in the trailers. 

I, for one, hope that’s not the case. I think Warner Bros./DC has the chance to dig themselves out the dung hole they dug with “Batman v Superman” and “Suicide Squad” with “Justice League” and “Wonder Woman”. And while I have faith that “Wonder Woman” will not only be the better of the two movies, but ultimately a great movie in its own right, I can still see “Justice League” being a decent, if not great, movie.

 

 

Maybe “Justice League” will be the film to redeem Zack Snyder in the eyes of comic-book movie fans (“300” and “Watchmen” still remain his masterpieces, in my opinion). Maybe it’ll manage to please both the Marvel and DC fans. Who knows? For now, we’ll just have to wait until November 17th and see for ourselves!

Feel free to share your thoughts on Trailer #2 for “Justice League”, and don’t forget to like and share this article with your fellow superhero-loving comrades!

 

 

Watch the “Justice League” second trailer here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cxixDgHUYw

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Best Cameras for Filmmaking



Posted on 2017-09-23 02:27:53     Comments: 0    

Whether you’re a student or a seasoned veteran, finding the right camera can be a daunting task. Canon or Panasonic? Nikon or Sony? Mirrorless or DSLR? Hopefully, our list of recommended cameras for filmmakers should prove useful in your search for the right one for you.


1. Canon 5D Mark III – First released in 2012, this camera lacks some of the features of newer models, like a flip-out screen and 4K capabilities. However, because of its low light performance, superior image quality, and 61 autofocus points, the 5D Mark III is arguably one of the best Canon DSLR for video recording. The 5D Mark III is perfect for vloggers who require incredible image quality but not a ton of portability, like makeup tutorials or studio interviews.

Canon 5D Mark III – http://amzn.to/2nCvQUa

 

2. Panasonic Lumix GH5 – The recently-released GH5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that records 4K 60p/50p video. As with other mirrorless cameras, the GH5 is fairly compact, and lenses tend to be quite small by comparison.  The focus detection area is massively increased from 49 (Lumix GH4) to 225 points for more flexible composition. This camera is an ideal option for budget-minded videographers who want a small but extremely powerful camera.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 – http://amzn.to/2nCABgk

 

3. Canon C100 Cinema Camcorder – The C100 Cinema Camcorder is one of the most powerful camcorders on the market. It has a flip screen, ISO capabilities up to 80,000, and lightning-fast autofocus. Based off the design concept of the EOS C300, the C100, has been optimized for run-and-gun and one-man-band style shooting, a specialty of event videographers, documentarians and independent filmmakers.

Canon C100 Cinema Camcorder – http://amzn.to/2nQCE1m

 

4. Sony Alpha a7S II – Sony’s a7SII is a mirrorless camera that excels at videography. This camera has 169 autofocus points and records 4K video on its full frame sensor. It also has built-in image stabilization and is known for working exceptionally well in low-light situations. The Sony Alpha a7S II is the perfect choice for videographers who demand high quality everything in a package that is smaller than a DSLR.

Sony Alpha a7S II – http://amzn.to/2ouTPZw

 

5. Canon EOS 70D – Many people consider the Canon 70D to be the best DSLR for vloggers due to its long battery life (920 pictures before needing a recharge compared to DSLR average of 894 shots), rock solid autofocus system, and user-friendly touchscreen. This camera supports full HD 1080p recording at speeds of 30, 24, and 25 fps and is actually a favourite of lifestyle, beauty, and travel vloggers who want fantastic image quality. It’s also a good budget choice for those utilizing it for filmmaking needs.

Canon EOS 70D – http://amzn.to/2ovjssQ

 

6. Nikon D3300 – The least expensive camera on this list, the D3300 is a small, crop-sensor DSLR  that can record 1080p video at 60FPS. For those who want to keep the budget down while still being able to take high-quality video, Nikon’s D3300 is the way to go. It is also a good option for a camera to start your DSLR videography whilst trying out other high-end cameras to determine whether a more expensive one is right for you.

Nikon D3300 – http://amzn.to/2nCKmeq

 

7. Canon T7i – The newest member (currently) of the Rebel line, the Canon T7i is a powerful crop sensor DSLR for aspiring videographers. This DSLR has a 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor capable of capturing gorgeous-looking images, and a DIGIC 7 Image Processor (which powers the camera) that produce high image quality and fast operation, even in in low light.

Canon T7i – http://amzn.to/2nxM7ZB

 

8. Nikon D810 – This camera, which was released in 2014, shoots 1080p video at 60 FPS, has a 36 MP full frame sensor, and locks into focus with its 15 cross-type (and 51 total) autofocus points. The autofocus on the D810 works excellently, even in the dark, and it handles high ISOs exceptionally well. The D810 is highly capable at shooting portraits, sports, landscapes, and just about anything you want to record with it.

Nikon D810 – http://amzn.to/2ov7sYd

 

9. Blackmagic Design URSA Mini-  A smaller, more handheld-friendly version of the URSA, this 4K Digital Cinema Camera  can record cinematic images with its Super-35mm 4K, global-shutter sensor with 12 stops of dynamic range. The EF-mount is compatible with a wide variety of popular lenses, and its ergonomic body design makes the URSA Mini for many different styles of filmmaking. In addition, it has high-quality built-in stereo microphones and professional audio recording features, which eliminates the need for you to carry around extra sound equipment.

Blackmagic Design URSA Mini – http://amzn.to/2pveKrP

 

 

10. Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera System – Sony’s PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera System features a Super 35mm size CMOS sensor that allows you to record 4K video internally and capture images with cinematic depth of field. The camera’s E-mount is machined from stainless steel and allows you to use E-mount lenses or with the use of optional adapters to accept most 35mm lenses including PL, EF, Leica, and Nikon. As stated on Sony’s website, the PXW-FS7 XDCAM is the ideal camcorder for documentaries, unscripted TV, news magazines, indie features, corporate video and more.

Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera System – http://amzn.to/2puYgzR

We hope that you found our article informative and insightful.  Feel free to share your thoughts on our article, in addition to which camera on this list is your most favorite.

Comment below and let us know, and don’t forget to share this article and like/subscribe to our Diamond Films Limited Facebook page for latest updates on our blog.


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How to create your own Clapperboard



Posted on 2017-09-23 01:13:54     Comments: 0    

When it comes to the synchronization of video and audio in post-production, the clapperboard is the most important tool. It is a device used to designate and mark particular scenes and takes recorded during video production. While you can purchase a clapperboard for roughly $10 US or more online, why not try to make one for yourself (and with the materials you get, a few more in case it’s lost)?

For one thing, it’s actually cheaper to make your own clapperboard than purchase one. In addition, you can customize it to say anything you want to say. Obviously, you won’t be able to customize a clapperboard if you actually bought it. And most importantly, a DIY clapperboard will be of a much higher quality than the one you can purchase. It will be wooden (as opposed to plastic), thick, very durable and very sturdy.

 To make your clapperboard, you’ll need the following:

  1. A square wooden dowel rod (make sure to get the largest one you can find)
  2. A piece of plywood
  3. Some bolts with nuts on the end
  4. Wood glue (find the most durable)
  5. 2 small, rectangular metal plates (make sure they have holes in them)
  6. A dry erase board

 

1. Create the clapper. Head over to your favourite hardware store, and purchase a dowel rod. Now the standard size for clappers is 11 inches long. If you bought a long-enough dowel rod, cut it into two 11-inch pieces.

 

Use a sandpaper to smoothen out the areas of the pieces of wood where you know you’ll be touching when you’re using your clapperboard.

 

2. Since the two pieces of the clapper will be moving up and down and rotating, they actually won’t work the way they are together. The top piece actually has to have a small cut in it, so it can rotate properly. On a normal plastic clapperboard, the top piece is rounded on the edge, which makes it able to move up and down.

 

With regards to your clapperboard, the edge doesn’t need to be rounded. What you can do is make a triangular cut or slightly rounded cut from the top of the wooden stick. If that’s not enough, cut a bit more from the edge of the wooden stick until it moves up and down more naturally.

 

3. Now we want our clapperboard to look as professional as possible, so the clapper needs to be painted. First, paint the two wooden sticks completely white. When the paint is dry, begin to draw lines all the way down each stick at a 45-degree angle.

 

4. Unless you’re a skilled painter, you can paint the black bars on the wooden sticks yourself. But if you’d much rather be safe than sorry, we recommend sticking pieces of painter’s tape over the areas where you want to stay white. Paint each stick completely in black, and remove the Painter’s Tape after the paint has completely dried.

 

Sometimes the black paint may bleed through the white sections of the wooden sticks. Simply use a small paintbrush and touch up the white sections a bit to make them look more presentable.

 

5. Get the two rectangular metal plates and three bolts with nuts at the end. With the two clapsticks, we’ll need one hole at the very top and two holes at the very bottom. The metal plates are meant to be stuck to the sides of the clapsticks, but due to their length, they’ll have to be cut first. The plates are quite thin enough to be cut with either a saw or pliers.

 

6. Cut off a piece of each metal plate, where one hole is at the top and two holes are at the bottom, and at an angle just enough that you don’t cut yourself when lifting the top clapstick up and down.

 

7. Place the clapsticks together, one above the other, and then place the metal plate pieces on top the sticks, near the left end. Make a mark of where each of the three holes on the metal plates appear on the clapstick, and drill through all three holes through the clapsticks – just enough that the bolts can fit.

 

If the bolts are too big to fit through the holes you’ve drilled, then simply widen the holes on the metal plate pieces by drilling them.

 

8. Stick the first metal plate piece on the front left of the clapsticks, and then stick the bolts through the holes of both the metal and the wood until they come out the other side.

 

Attach the second metal plate on the back left of the clapsticks and tighten the bolts.

 

9. Get the big piece of plywood and cut it to the length that you want for your clapper board. Normal plastic clapperboards have the dimensions of 11 inches in width and 9 ½ to 9 ¾ inches in height. However, with your DIY clapperboard, it can be as long and as high as you want it to be.

 

Usually on clapperboards, there are straight cuts on the edges of the lower portion. You can cut the plywood to have those cuts as well. Use the sandpaper to smoothen out the entirety of the plywood.

 

10. Paint the back and sides of the plywood completely black. If you’d like, you can leave the front of the plywood bare or paint a black border around it.

 

11. Get the dry erase board, and take it apart. When you do, you’ll see that the dry erase board is a sheet of metal. Take caution when removing this sheet.

 

12. Stick the plywood on the dry erase board, and trace an outline of it. Cut along the outline with a pair of scissors (yes, the sheet of metal is THAT thin!)

 

13. Use the wood glue to stick the dry erase board onto the front of the plywood. Also put glue on the edges of the dry erase board to ensure that those edges are stuck onto the plywood properly.

 

14. Make sure to wipe off the excess glue from the edges of the dry erase board. Place something heavy over the plywood….and wait.

 

15. When the dry erase board is completely stuck onto the plywood, add some wood glue on top of the plywood, and stick the clapsticks over the top. As a safety precaution, use a nail gun along the top of the lower clapstick to ensure that it remains sturdy.

 

16. As for the front of the clapperboard, you can customize it however you want to. Look at images of other clapperboards, and figure out what you’d like to see on yours.

 

17. Divide the front of the clapboard into boxes with a ruler and a pencil, and then trace over the lines with a Sharpie marker. Add text to the boxes afterwards, but be careful not to smudge what you’ve added to the dry erase board.

 

If you want to avoid smudging altogether, we recommend using a paint pen instead of a Sharpie marker.

 
And there you have your very own clapperboard! What did you think of our DIY tutorial?

Feel free to share your thoughts on our article, and don’t forget to share this article and like/subscribe to our Diamond Films Limited Facebook page for latest updates on our blog.

 PICTURES PROVIDED BY: https://tomorrowsfilmmakers.com/ and www.adafruit.com

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Choosing the right lens for your Filmmaking



Posted on 2017-09-22 23:07:08     Comments: 0    

Having the “best” camera for filmmaking is one thing, but having the RIGHT lenses – both for your personal lens kit or for your list of equipment for your next film project – is definitely important. While lens selection often comes down to personal preference, you also need to balance that against the needs of the production. The following article presents some useful tips to help you put together a lens package for filmmaking, with a couple of our recommended lens added for good measure.

DECIDE ON A NORMAL LENS – If you had to choose one prime lens to have in your kit, then it should be a “normal” lens. A lens is defined as normal when it produces images with a similar angle of view and perspective as human vision to the point that it creates a naturalistic feel. Shorter and longer focal lengths result in wider or more narrow angles of view, respectively, whilst distorting perspective.

                                                                                                


Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition Fixed Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras – http://amzn.to/2oq4ntq/



                                                                                               

Nikon AI-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Fixed Zoom Manual Focus Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras – http://amzn.to/2oqjqmL/


ADD WIDE-ANGLE AND TELEPHOTO LENS – While it is possible for you to shoot an entire project with a normal prime lens, it’s more practical to add a wider lens and a longer telephoto lens to your kit.

A wide-angle lens is useful for exaggerating distance between subjects and emphasizing and separating a subject in the foreground from the world behind said subject. You can also use it to create interesting effects with close-ups (like distorting an actor’s face), or give the lens itself a presence, where the audience feels the short distance of the lens to the actor.


                                                                                            

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical Super Wide Angle Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras – http://amzn.to/2oq5fhz


                                                                                                                                   

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Ultra Wide Angle Fixed Lens w/ Built-in AE Chip for Nikon – http://amzn.to/2oGlQtI


Telephoto lenses, however, have the effect of compressing distance and making the background appear closer to foreground subjects. Telephoto lenses also have a shallower apparent depth of field than a normal or wide-angle lens will have when matching framing and aperture, making them good at making an actor or object “stand out” more.

The most common use of a telephoto lens in film production is for close-ups, as a slight telephoto effect helps to “flatten” or compress a subject’s facial features. A common focal length for close-ups is 85mm, but the focal length can be shorter or longer depending on what your personal preference is.


                                                                                            


Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Certified Refurbished) – http://amzn.to/2oq3u3N

                                                                                           


Nikon 70-300 mm f/4-5.6G Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras – http://amzn.to/2oZLQ5P


GET FAST LENSES – A “fast” lens is one that has a wide maximum aperture, which is measured by a low f-stop number, such as 2.0, 1.8, and 1.4. Once you know what focal length you want, the speed of the lens is the next thing to consider.

There are two main benefits of faster lenses. The first, and perhaps most important, is that the wider the aperture opening, the greater the amount of light that is passed through to the sensor. This allows you to shoot in more dimly lit settings without having to increase the ISO and potentially add unwanted image noise.

                                                                                                                           

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens – http://amzn.to/2q04yeG


The second main benefit of fast lenses is increased control over your depth of field. As the aperture opening increases, the depth of field becomes shallower, allowing you to you isolate your subject against an out-of-focus background.

If you can, try to purchase lenses that have a similar maximum aperture, because you’ll need to be able to cut between them within a scene without having to increase or decrease the amount of light. At the very least, you’ll want your core lenses (wide, normal, telephoto) to offer a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or faster. That way, if your ultra-wide or longer telephoto lenses are a little slower, you still have a set of lenses that can cover a scene.


                                                                                                                                  

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D prime lens with manual aperture control – http://amzn.to/2q0bfhb

 

TEST LENSES FIRST – Before making any decision and whether to purchase or rent a set of lenses, do yourself (and your film) a favor by testing them ahead of time. First, you want to make sure that the lenses have the optical quality and look that you’re seeking. Where one set of lenses might yield warmer and softer images, another might produce cooler and clinical images. You’ll have to decide what your personal preference is and what the production calls for.

During your testing, you’ll also want to check for things like sharpness and contrast across the frame, color consistency (particularly skin tones), collimation (accurate focus distance markings), and resistance to flares. If you’re renting lenses, be sure to test them on the camera you plan on using for your shoot, because the sensor and color science will play a major role in the final look of your images.


We hope that you found our article informative and insightful. Feel free to share your thoughts on our article, as well as your favorite lenses for filmmaking.

And of course, don’t forget to share this article and like/subscribe to our Diamond Films Limited Facebook page for latest updates on our blog.

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Low-Key and High-Key Lighting for Mood



Posted on 2017-09-22 22:53:14     Comments: 0    

In both filmmaking and photography, lighting does not always have to be perfectly balanced with a complete range of tones. Like colour, different styles of lighting can produce different moods. Two of the most commonly-used styles are high-key lighting and low-key lighting.

What is Low-Key Lighting?

Low-key lighting is a lighting effect that uses a hard light source to enhance shadows in your scene. Unlike high-key lighting (in which shadows are minimized), low-key lighting is all about shadows and contrast. This lighting effect was used in noir films to add contrast to a scene or to emphasize characters and details of a scene.

Low-key lighting is typically used when the director wants to either isolate a subject or convey drama. Just because a scene is shot with low-key lighting doesn’t necessarily mean it must be scary, but, if you want your audience to be uneasy, low-key lighting is a great place to start. Low-key lighting helps to minimize distractions in your frame, so it really helps to guide your audience’s eyes where you want them to be.


How to Shoot Low Key Lighting

                                                   

Traditional three-point lighting uses a key light, fill light and a back light (or rim light). However, a typical low-key lighting setup consists of one large light, plus reflectors and diffusers as needed.

                                                                                                         

It can be easy to over-complicate your film set with too many lights. Low-key lighting is simple and effective. If you’re having lighting trouble on set, try simply turning off a light. A low-key lighting setup might be the way to go.

 

Low-Key Camera Considerations

Low-key is all about shadows, so, just like with any dark shoot, you’ll need to take all of the normal low-light precautions.