Talking about some directors being bitches of the companies they work for. Disney for example with their Disney Digital 3D which is a 2D – 3D conversion in a lot of their films.

It’s something I’ve talked about a lot, it’s why I thought the 3D in Alice in Wonderland sucked, I’ve also shot in 2D and converted to 3D and it ONLY works well if you have prepared 3D shots, you can use green screen and CGI like Alice in Wonderland, but it just looks like a series of windows layers in z-space, it’s ugly.. The 2D – 3D shots also have to be shot in a certain way and through this you get gimmicks (objects needlessly flying at the screen and people running in z space)

2D basically becomes an illusion of cinema 3D… Cinema 3D is an illusion itself so it’s ridiculously gimmicky to have 2D in 3D clothing.

If you film like that you really sacrifice the quality of a film and it’s something I’m heavily criticizing Tim Burton of doing. I don’t think Tim Burton’s a bitch director because 3D was probably his idea (I hope) but I think it was a really bad move to make AIW 3D, especially with 2D conversion. It just doesn’t work, things have to be filmed in 3D to look 3D there’s actually a lot you learn when you shoot in 3D, James Cameron knows this which is why his 3D is astounding, he did help develop the technology so…

“I shoot complicated stuff, I put real elements into action scenes and honestly, I am not sold right now on the conversion process…. Right now, it looks like fake 3-D, with layers that are very apparent. You go to the screening room, you are hoping to be thrilled, and you’re thinking, huh, this kind of sucks. People can say what they want about my movies, but they are technically precise, and if this isn’t going to be excellent, I don’t want to do it. And it is my choice…. I’m used to having the A-team working on my films, and I’m going to hand it over to the D-team, have it shipped to India and hope for the best? This conversion process is always going to be inferior to shooting in real 3-D. Studios might be willing to sacrifice the look and use the gimmick to make $3 more a ticket, but I’m not.” – Michael Bay

Some people may not like Bay but he’s absolutely right.

3D’s the next big thing anyway, the hype has kind of died down now but will probably raise again this summer. 2010 being the year of 3D home entertainment systems, 3D HD TVs and 3D bluray players, even 3D LCD TVs you don’t need glasses for. Panasonic and other camera companies developing “Twin Lenses” for filming in 3D at a lower price than buying 2 cameras.

If you’re going to do something do it right, I’ve messed around with 3D before, I’ll be doing it again in the near future but ONLY when it’s needed, like if I filmed a drama in 3D what would be the point in the 3D other than a gimmick? I have no idea (unless the locations the drama was set were stunningly beautiful)

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Recently watched a video selling a DVD about how to sucseed in your interviews…

No idea how much they were selling it for… while the info given in the sample I watched was good info it was common sense… “be confident”, “don’t be negative about other employers or people you worked with”.

All this info I’ve heard before, even the product shot of the DVD includes titles like “negotiating salaries” the DVD will tell you never to mention a number, always wait for the interviewer to say a number first.. divert questions if he asks, do anything just as long as you don’t be the first to say a number..

I know this because ALL this info from this DVD comes directly out of something I’ve read in the past, something actually taught by my tutor… Although it’s all true, the information this DVD gives is available for FREE online. Can’t remember what the guys name is but there’s a buisness man that did publish all this stuff.

What really annoys me about this DVD is the info it gives is worded almost exactly the same.. they could have at least had a little play on words to atleast make it sound different. Instead of “be confident” (which is also probably one of the most obvious things) they could have said don’t be shy, don’t hold back.. Be fearless! Trust yourself, be self-sufficient, be positive.. which is my way of ripping it directly from the DVD.. it’s exactly the same, worded differently

I’m not saying the info on the DVD is bad, it’s fantastic information (from what I’ve seen) but a lot of it is common sense and a lot of what I saw was taught to me from another source (can’t remember what it’s called though)

I mean the main point here is look out for these Sheep in Wolf clothing… it’s good info, but it’s been compiled by a group of people that really just want to take money out of your pocket so it’s far from the best. I would actually tend to avoid DVDs… Books are far more sufficient and adequate to get you the info you need easily. I don’t think I’d be fooled in to thinking a DVD is better than a book.. ebook maybe better, but DVDs are very linear and they’re really just shallow with no real depth.. Chances are if this DVD was adapted in to a book it would fill up about 10 pages.. Where as proper books about this subject would give you over 100 pages of detailed explanations and examples.

Sometimes you get DVDs or audio CDs that accompany books, these are great because it provides you with a bonus.. just these DVDs claiming to give you knowledge are just shallow. They will give you so much less..

*This doesn’t just apply for interview techniques, perhaps the most I’ve seen and the biggest scams come in the form of fitness DVDs, the majority of the info is already online… the majority of the info is already in books, DVDs are a waste unless they’re a bonus

REALLY quick update here, wanted to leave a heads up about a book I’ve been reading.. Cinematic storytelling by Jennifer van Sijll.

Incase you aren’t in the know, Michael Wiese Production (film making books) has the best collection of film making books I have perhaps ever read. I’ve already piled through “Directing Actors” by Judith Weston.. I’ll cover that in a different post.

Today I shot through Cinematic Storytelling and it’s one of the most informative, easy to read film making books there is. Likewise, “Master Shots” by Christopher Kenworthy. You can get these books off amazon and they’re real keepers. I’m still going through Master shots so I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I love the ways these books have been designed, it tells you what you need to know, gives you all the right information and then gives you great detail of how the audience reacts to the story telling of film… for example how the audience may react to certain sound, types of sound, how the audience reacts to time, what shapes audience reacts positively and negativity towards.

It’s been created in such a way that the information comes across extremely efficiently, you could skim through this book in a couple of hours and come out vastly more knowledgeable about film. It’s books like these that I study and revise until I know them back to front. Definitely reccomend this one

Not that I’m a criminal, talking about film and I film a lot of action… I’m an action person, usually means I use weapons… Cheap guns (as film makers know) come in the form of replicas or airsoft..

unfortunately in the UK we’re tight on gun control, even on toys.. it adds more bureautic red tape to an already dodgy area of film making.. having said that there are a few benefits to the VCR act..

Bad points obviously being that I can’t buy realistic looking guns, film does have a defence against the ban but the amount of tape I would have to go through just to qualify as a company so I could buy the weapons is ridiculous.

Luckily I’m able to buy weapons that are 50% bright colours, the good thing about this is that I work with VFX.. meaning in post production I can just change the colour of the gun to black. Problem for other student film makers that don’t have access or the knowledge of VFX that I have is they can’t… and by that they’re EXTREMELY limited by this act.

One thing that I’m strongly against is the limitation of other peoples work, and for the students that do want to create action films they’re severely limited to resources.

I’ve got after effects so I change the colour of the gun in post production, but even this is a pain in the ass… going through every single clip with the bright coloured weapon and changing the colour is a pain that takes up a lot of post production time and this costs more (provided you’re hiring facilities or freelance workers as many students do)

Still, I am glad I’m able to get a hold of replica weapons at all

A nice subject for film.. or any project in general I guess.. I always try and boost the scale of my projects and up the ante with everything I do.

I think a lot of film makers hold themselves back due to what they believe are “limitations” or when people say “you can’t do that” or someone tells you something isn’t possible… You have the right to prove them wrong… If they say something isn’t possible you should prove them wrong, there are a lot of film directors that feel this way.

You shouldn’t limit yourself, as soon as you become safe and don’t take risks with projects you can fall in to the category that is mediocrity and create a mediocre film. Student mediocrity is bad. If you look at the students in around Hollywood right now and the students with films and videos that REALLY impress the audiences, they are way above mediocrity because they challenge the thought of not being able to do something.

I started off setting the bar pretty high with my very first project which was a short film (Tried and True) with gun fights and 1,200fps video and visual FX.. Then I went to work with the MoD and Turner Estate helping them out with a video project which was great fun. Then on to my Stella Artois advert directing 15 actors inside a Church I hired out

Moving on to my final film now, recently because of my personal life and because of everything happening I wasn’t motivated at all, and I tried to push things off my plate and not do work. So I thought it would be a good idea if I toned it down a little and went with a quiet drama… Well now that I’m back in full swing I’ve put my drama script in a box for now and I’m working to increase the scale of my projects.

This time I want to increase the quality of writing and the quality of visuals, the real test for this film is to bring it up to broadcast quality. That’s my main goal, to have something that looks, feels and plays out like a real movie. I don’t want something that people would normally associate with student films.

Student films usually have bad locations and bad acting, bad framing.. bad locations come through using your house to film, or your friends house, bad acting comes from using your friends (unless they’re actors) but framing just comes from using wide lenses all the time. You should find actors, go out of your way to get great locations, and don’t spend £45 when you can spend £200 even if this is costing you in your social life the end result of your film will be so much better. Point being, don’t make life easy for yourself, just because you can make it easy doesn’t mean you should… You put in the extra hours of work for hiring proper locations, using proper actors and setting up the frame properly the film looks 10x better

You look at any of Will Smiths wisdom videos he will tell you the same thing, never think you can’t do something, once you decide you want to do something, it’s already done.

Trust me, not blowing smoke with this, I applied this scale during my first year and it managed to impress, and through my second year every project just gets better. Don’t think too much scale though, being a little critical of my inspiration here… Michael Bay loves scale but perhaps loves scale a bit too much… he loves scale so much that he manages to miss small details within a film that would give the film depth, this is why some of his films are critisized for being shallow..

GTA’s a good example, the scale of san andreas was massive but had bad details, Rockstar recognized this and created GTA IV, which was much smaller in size, but the amount of detail within the game was mind blowing, the scale of the detail rather than the volume of the game was what made it shine.

Recently applied to Edinburgh College of Art for a film course.. got a reply back for an applicants day and got to admit the email completely put me off what expectations I had of ECA.

Mainly the talk in the email about fierce competition and only the best people being selected, which I know isn’t true since I’ve heard some of the tutors at ECA don’t even know what colour correction is. My main problem is the email is trying to be intimidating and it came across as stuck up their own asses.. They are arty farty people so it’s pretty much what I expected, from students anyway.

Couple of major points that really threw me off “NO SHOWREELS” WWWWWWTF! Everyone knows showreels are a collection of that directors best work but ECA just wanted 1 short film.. showing them 1 short film is like showing 15% of your best work.. likewise the rest of my work lies in loads of other projects I’ve made and been involved in. No showreels means I wouldn’t be able to show case ANY visual FX or amazing camera work I’ve done for previous projects.

What ever reason they give (probably NOT ENOUGH TIME TO WATCH SHOWREELS) is completely outweighed by the fact they’re choice for applicants is selected from 1 short film that’s supposed to showcase all aspects of directing or whatever area you want to go in and it’s completely impossible to get a good idea of the students application without actually seeing his best work… so in short you would need a short film that shows off everything, so it’s pretty ignorant… If they don’t have time they should make the time, their choice could easily be swayed by a showreel.

As you can imagine the students of a university that love themselves are pretty stuck up. From what I hear the students love themselves and love their own ideas, kind of film students that “know everything about film” when they don’t actually know anything except from what they think of a film… Even if their opinion is to critisice everything new.. Narrowminded film makers that wont get to far because of the fact they are narrow minded and they do love themselves (see Uwe Boll) That’s actually a bit tight on Uwe Boll, I do like the guy but he does love himself and his films and that’s his biggest fall, he can’t criticize his own work and hates criticism.

Point being that this kind of pretentious know it all smart ass student really gets on my nerves and if I did go to ECA I would constantly be looking down on everyone and come across as an arrogant asshole just because I don’t like that kind of film maker. Ergo I wouldn’t enjoy myself at ECA (especially not if the tutors didn’t even know about something as basic as colour correction..) My tutor did try and back them up with the colour correction by calling me a geek and saying ECA are focused on arty than technical but colour correction is ridiculously basic I find it almost incomprehensible that they wouldn’t know what it is.

As good as ECA may or may not be, it came across to have a serious image problem and I hate that.. As arrogant as I am and as defence as I am about film I would actually go the opposite way of ECA and purposely go to another Uni and purposely create better films than the guys at ECA to rub then the wrong way. Because as much of an asshole as they came across to be, I bet I can be 10x the asshole… lol

In all seriousness I thrive on this kind of competition, I hate competition but I love competition against arrogant people and I would love to join a less known uni rather than the big uni that claims to be the best (Napier is hailed as number 1 film school in the UK by quite a few books and people all over the world) Napier aren’t arrogant though, they’re down to earth so I’m going to try get in to Napier university, they seem to have the whole thing on lockdown and they didn’t try to intimidate me, they didn’t come across as arrogant and they make the time for showreels even though they get loads of applicants.

Problem with blogs is there is technology that can detect key words and send alerts to people the blogs are about, chances are this post will pop up at ECA with alerts lol Which would normally make me uneasy since I hate criticising things, better to let guys know, feedback is helpful.. chances are ECA would shrug this off though given the attitude.. In my assholish attitude defence I have been watching a lot of Charlie Brooker so I feel the need to rage about something, ECA just got in my war path.

For these reasons and my personal preferences I’m not going to bother attending the applicant day, I’ll spend that 3 hours preparing my DVD and showreel for Napier

NAPIER FTW!

This DVD showreel is coming along a storm.. I’ve spent the last 8 hours creating an intro for my DVD and I’ve just finished creating my DVD interface.. well the first draft of my DVD interface.. check it out

I’m pretty happy with them so far.. keeping it simple, keeping it clean and good looking, I do have a lot of projects though so I might need a couple of pages for that

EXCELSIOR!

Had a show reel building shoot today, nothing planned just go out and film, pretty successful day! Good prep for my new film

I’m currently really not happy with my college work, I had a sports documentary that VERY quickly went sour and right now I’m supposed to be filming another documentary but it’s hard getting my subject of the documentary to shift… Currently the deadline is a week on Friday which is plenty of time if I get it shot this week so I’m going to have to get the sharp stick out and start prodding about… which I really hate doing but it really leaves me with no choice (figuratively of course)

Due to recent events in my life it has left me wondering what the point of everything is, why do something if it makes you miserable, because I do feel miserable at college right now. Positive thinking’s the way forward and I did get back on the positive bandwagon and pile through work yesterday only to be brought back down to reality today with a whole heap of work that I need to do when I apply to uni and a deadlines for my college.

Then again when there’s a mass amount of work I get this rush of being able to take on a massive challenge… but the documentaries i HATE!!!!
I find them to be a complete waste of my time, unfortunately it is a part of my course… Best way to stop thinking about this work is too finish it.. I’m getting it out the way, these next few months are hell..

If you’re going through hell, keep going

I’m talking about Eminems new song Beautiful, I just watched the video and I was pretty blown away by the visuals in this, there’s a lot of time spent setting these up and it makes it look that much better.

He’s definetly come a long long way since the days of Slim Shady, feast your eyes upon some of these screens from the music video. The dude seems to have matured a lot and it really shows, although he’s always been a really clever guy his raps now are a lot more true to life

anyway, the shots here are great, especially the one where he’s silhouetted against the smoke back ground. Can’t say I was too keen on the lens flare shots because I thought the flares were pretty strong and they weren’t actually that good looking, cool effect though.. I did take a screen of the flare that I did like, when he’s standing beside the fence.

You learn a lot from watching these, like how the footage is pretty dark.. Made me realise some of my footage is a little bit too bright.

EXCELSIOR!