Selasa, 10 Oktober 2017

Digital Filmmaking Classroom: The Role of the Editor in the Filmmaking Process

The editor of a film (or video) production is the person required to view all of the recorded material and assemble it into a cohesive narrative according to the script. Along with the writer, director, cinematographer and production designer, the editor is one of the most respected and highly paid positions in film making and television production. Many film directors begin their careers as film editors, and the working relationship between a director and the editor is one of the most critical in the creation of a film.

These days, up and coming film editors have many options available to them in order to gain access into the film industry, however, this was not always the case. In the earlier years of film making, the film communities of Hollywood and New York were essentially "closed" systems, controlled by unions. Until recently, an aspiring editor required some kind of "connection" to gain entry into this field. Most often this was a relative, but it could also be a close friend, a neighbor, or simply someone in the business who took a liking to you because of, much like in any other business, your intelligence, initiative, talent and drive. An example of this might be someone who, through his or her own initiative, decided to seek out editorial mentorship and volunteered their time to help the editorial staff, in turn, ingratiating themselves with the editing team and securing a position in post-production.

Today, with the advent of digital technology anyone with drive and enthusiasm, can essentially teach themselves to be an editor with regards to the technical side of the craft. Inexpensive digital tools have allowed essentially anyone to embark on a career in editing with a personal computer and the right software. The Internet is flooded with websites and tutorials on techniques, tips and tricks on how to operate a plethora of editing tools and software programs.

However, there is a catch. Although certain aspects of editing a motion picture or other media type may be highly technical, it is not the dominant skill required. In fact, the technical facet is only one part of the equation and if you speak with any experienced filmmaker, the technical end is a relatively small one. The real value of a great film editor corresponds to that of an editor in any other creative field. This is the skill to view a piece of creative work as a whole and shape it into something that has impact and power as a vehicle of communication. This could be in one of many forms; entertainment, education, promotion or news.

The point being, much of what is produced by creative people; artists, writers, journalists and filmmakers is incidental and does not contribute to the central idea or ideas which they are attempting to get across. The material needs to be edited. The editor is the facilitator in this process, looking at the work from a critical perspective to consolidate, or sometimes expand the material to accomplish the authors original or subsequent objective.

Minggu, 24 September 2017

Why Taking an Online Film Making Course is an Excellent Idea

Selecting an online film making course is easier now than it was a few years ago. As the popularity of the internet grew, more businesses were making their services available online. And as people grew more familiar with online businesses and their trust in doing business on line grew, many began to look to the internet as a valuable learning resource as well.

There are many advantages to taking film courses online. One of the major benefits is the flexibility in being able to take courses from home whenever they want. For those that have tight schedules and cannot attend an outside class, having the ability to take classes online according to your schedule is an added benefit. The costs of online courses are also cheaper than going to a college or university course. Film school is very expensive and the very same principles can be successfully learned online.

Online film school instructors are usually individuals that were once in the industry or are still currently active in the industry. Many are film makers and are able to share their knowledge and experience of working in the film industry. Before signing up for any online film class, you should make sure that the instructor has the level of experience and credentials necessary to deliver the training that you need. The courses are set up many different ways. Some offer discussion boards so that other students can interact with each other. There are a number of ways to facilitate communication with the teacher and fellow students in an online class.

Many online courses offer video lessons. These lessons will go into full detail about everything you need to know about creating and editing your own films. These are very helpful when it comes to the technical aspects of film making. Video links will often show how to use certain video equipment. This is better explained with a visual than just text instructions. If the student has any questions, they can either call or email the instructor. Each online course has its own way of communicating with their students.

There are many different ways to teach film course over the internet. Some will also send their students a set of CD-roms to supplement the online training. The CDs or DVDs will usually go into further detail and will reinforce subject matter that was discussed in the online course. There is also textual information that can be downloaded from the site to provide additional training materials.

It is important to select a comprehensive online film course. Film school involves a lot more than just shooting the actual video. You will have to know how to write the screenplay, create a budget for your film, understand complex film theory and many other factors. This is all possible in an online film school but you will have to do your research to find the best fit for you.

Most of the online film schools offer advanced film school training. The course work is typically broken down from beginning, intermediary and advanced concepts. Film school training online may also include information on animation and digital media. There is a lot that can be learned from an online film school. And many will provide their students with a certification upon completion of the course.

An online film making program that is comprehensive and affordable is not so hard to find. A simple online search will produce a number of internet film schools that offer many different types of courses. It is a good idea to investigate as many schools as you can before making a final decision.

Senin, 11 September 2017

Canadian Film School Is More Than Just Watching Films

When people think of Canada they may not necessarily think of film school. What these people might not know is that Canada has film several film schools. Two film schools in Canada that have what some consider to be excellent reputations are in Vancouver and Toronto. Another thing they may be unaware of is that these places offer more than just sitting in a lecture theatre or in a classroom watching endless movies.

Making films is not just a case of having a script and pointing a camera at the actors. Film studies is partly about the student learning facets of film making as well as editing and post production. Films start off as ideas, which can turn into screenplays and movies.

A film course provides the student with the skills and training they need to be able to accomplish the technical aspects of film making too. Facets like sound editing and set design, as well as lighting, cinematography and other things. There are skilled trainers assisting and encouraging the student, so they are not alone.

The student interested in specialist courses at film schools in Canada might be interested in animation schools that deal with 3d animation training and animation courses. These are just as much a part of making films as most other aspects, especially with animated films such as Toy Story, and films with special effects animation like Avatar. Even a film like The Dark Knight had special effects animation.

Computer animation is now a specialist field in itself and any graduate able to assist in the film making process through using such technology may well have a head start if they want to get into the film industry. For those who just want to get into more traditional behind-the-camera film making there should also be courses for them. It is advisable to ask the education establishment what courses they have.

As it is unlikely that a student will go into a course knowing every single facet of making films, the trainers are very important. They can help encourage a student to improve upon their weaknesses whilst praising their strengths. They are also there to assist the student in undertaking projects related to the respective course, if there are any.

Yet it is not just how to make films that people can learn at film school. There are TV shows, which in some cases have different principles than making films, depending on the TV show in question, game shows for example. The film study course may, in some instances, include a visit to the set of a film or TV show, but it is best to check this with the course tutor.

These days a filmmaker does not even have to leave Canada to showcase a film. There is a film festival in Toronto, and it is highly likely that if a thorough search is done there will be more places than this in which to showcase a movie. Canadian film school can teach more than how to make movies but it cannot help you unless you enroll on a course.

Minggu, 27 Agustus 2017

Debunking the Fidelity Approach in Film Adaptation

What is film adaptation? It's the process of translating a written text - novel, short story, play, or even comic book - into the visual medium of film. It's a process that has become financially vital to cinema during the film industry's evolution. Hollywood relies so heavily on adaptation is because there is a ready-made story and structure to work from, plus - assuming the source text is popular - an established fan-base, which means a built-in audience. However, when considering this fan-base the most pressing issue is that of the fidelity approach; in other words, how faithful will the adaptation be to the source text? This is certainly a bone of contention for the fans anticipating the movie-version of their favourite story, who believe or hope that the film will be an accurate translation of the book they know and love. Often, the results are controversial because the fidelity approach holds an illogical position of supremacy in adaptation theory; most film adaptations are viewed as inferior to their literary equivalents as assessed by the conventions of fidelity. The following exposes the fidelity approach as outmoded, impractical, and, at worst, even irrelevant.

The 'reading' - or the interpretation - of a text is a tenuously personal process. One reader's views will always differ from another's, throwing the fidelity approach into doubt right away. What exactly is being suggested with the word 'fidelity'? A literal translation of a text could refer to the print and the film following the same narrative path, or maybe a replication of the theme. This is where fidelity becomes a rather vague concept. A film, adapted from, say, a novel can use the same narrative techniques, or follow the same structure, as the source, and yet convey an entirely different theme. Conversely, a film could duplicate the theme of a text while presenting the story in an entirely new manner. Which adaptation is the most faithful? Brian McFarlane states that: "The critic who quibbles at failures of fidelity is really saying no more than: "This reading of the original does not tall with mine in these and these ways." (McFarlane, 1996, p9).

"Hollywood is gonna kill me by remote control."

(Philip K. Dick, on reading the first draft of Blade Runner in 1980, in Kerman, 1997, p91)

After unsuccessful attempts at becoming a mainstream novelist, Philip K Dick turned maverick pulp science fiction writer, changing both sci-fi and film adaptation indelibly. Dick dealt with concepts of human existence and morality though LSD-distorted eyes, and most of his works centre on the false dichotomy of co-dependency-versus-conflict between man and machine. As his work became more popular, and so started to cross the desks of idea-hungry film executives, his oeuvre was soon labelled 'unfilmable'. His works include Ubis (1966), A Scanner Darkly (1977) - the subject of an unseen 'spec' script by Being John Malkovich (1999) scribe Charlie Kaufman, and later adapted by auteur Richard Linklater in 2006 as a rotoscope feature, starring Keanu Reeves - and, most famously, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968), which was the basis for Ridley Scott's 1982 classic, Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford.

After only partially reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Scott rejected it as being, "a brilliant piece which in book form would never make a film" (in Greenberger, 1982, p61). Ironically, the film that Scott was slated to direct at that time was an adaptation of James Herbert's lengthy tome, Dune (1965), a book that was for years branded 'unfilmable', even (or especially?) after David Lynch's 1984 adaptation. However, after reading a treatment and first draft of the screenplay for the renamed Blade Runner, Scott signed on to direct.

"[It is like] Phillip Marlowe meets The Stepford Wives."

(Philip K. Dick, in Bukatman, 1997, p20)

Supported by the above quote, an abundance of anecdotal evidence that suggests that Dick hated what Scott and screenwriter Hampton Fancher had done with later drafts of the script. However, the following quote - regarding a rewrite by David Peoples - seems to say otherwise:

"After I finished reading the screenplay, I got the novel out and looked through it. The two reinforce each other, so that someone who started with the novel would enjoy the movie and someone who started with the movie would enjoy the novel. I was amazed that Peoples could get some of the scenes to work. It taught me things about writing I didn't know."

(Philip K. Dick, in Kerman, 1997, p92)

Dick's assessment implies that the differences between the original text and the screenplay actually strengthen both the adaptation and the source text; that the creation of the latter allows the two mediums combine in some kind of intertextual coherence. One enhances the existence of the other.

Both the novel and the film have the following outline in common: a police officer named Rick Deckard is assigned to hunt and kill a group of escaped androids in future Los Angeles. Yet, the film is not considered to be faithful to the original Dick novel. Science fiction, more than any other genre, is renowned for its devout retinues, or cults. These fanatic collectives dogmatically champion the fidelity approach, and are the most vocal at any sign of divergence from their exemplar; take liberties with the adaptation and prepare for the outcry. With Blade Runner, this outcry was further exasperated by press reports of clashes between Dick and Scott over early drafts of the script and was not aided by Dick's death a matter of months before the film's release date.

The movie was, inevitably, slaughtered by most critics, with the major criticism being that it was not an accurate replication of the book.

"The filmmaker's most important failure lies... in what they... left out from the book or pointlessly downplayed."

(Kenneth Jurkiewicz, in Sammon, 1982, p24)

When the finished film was submitted to the producer, Michael Deeley - late and over-budget - he hated it, claiming that audiences would find it 'too cerebral', despite the more challenging elements of the book already being removed, and insisted that changes were made. He ordered that the ending - which inferred that Deckard himself was a replicant - be replaced with a less-ambiguous, 'happier' resolution, which was constructed using stock footage left over from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980) (another adaptation, this time from the Stephen King story of the same name). He also requested a Phillip Marlowe-esque interior monologue (voiceover) be added in order to both explain the film to the audience and to soften Deckard's brooding character, despite vociferous protests from both Scott and Harrison Ford, who played Deckard. Apocryphally, so displeased was he at having been forced to record the voiceover, Ford delivered his line reads poorly on purpose in the hope that they wouldn't be used.

The film flopped on its cinema release, but later achieved cult status on video. This success justified the release of Scott's original vision for the film - Blade Runner: Director's Cut - in 1991, which restored the ending and discarded the interior monologue. This is universally-regarded as the most complete and successful incarnation of the film, and yet this version veers further away from the book than the 1982 cinema release. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? it is made clear at the conclusion that Deckard is thoroughly human; Blade Runner: Director's Cut leads the audience to strongly suspect that he is a replicant. The book and the film even carry different themes: that it is difficult to draw a line between 'real' and artificial life. In Blade Runner, Rick Deckard - our hero - falls in love with a replicant, then discovers he might be one himself; in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Deckard and his wife fail to recognise the injustice that artificial animals (pets) are valued above artificial humanoids (slaves).

According to Geoffrey Wagner (1975, p223) there are three categories of adaptation: Transposition, "in which a novel is given directly on the screen with minimum of apparent interference"; Commentary, "where an original is taken and either purposefully or inadvertently altered in some respect... where there has been a different intention on the part of the filmmaker, rather than infidelity or outright violation"; and Analogy,"which must represent a fairly considerable departure for the sake of making another work of art". But, can Transposition be used as a synonym for fidelity? Note the phrase, "minimum amount of interference". Wagner acknowledges that a text cannot be transferred to the screen without some degree of manipulation.

So, what degree of manipulation makes for an infidelity? Is that to be decided critically? If yes, then there are no rules; there is no binary function to determine fidelity or infidelity. So, is each assessment valid in its own right; can an adaptation hold the superposition of being both faithful and unfaithful at the same time? Critique is subjective, whereas fidelity is rigid; the two are mutually exclusive. This permeates filmmaking: take the hypothetical example of ten film directors tasked with adapting the same text adhering to the fidelity approach. How would the personal biases of each director and practical limitations of filmmaking influence the finished product? Does intent denote fidelity? How many of these films would tally with another person's interpretation of the source material, and in what way would they differ? For all ten directors - without conference - to present some kind of uniform translation of the base text would not only be at odds with the expressionism of filmmaking, it would be inhuman.

Texts and films are different mediums and need to be treated accordingly. All films are produced from a 'source text' - adaptation or not - in the form of a script. The process demands a level of interpretation - by both director and actors alike - from script to screen, whether that is enforced by budget, practicality, dramatic integrity, or personal bias, in order to translate between the two mediums. So, in a sense, fidelity can never exist. Whenever there is a text to film transition, by the very nature of the visual medium, there is adaptation, and whereas fidelity means to stay faithful to the source text, to adapt means change to fit. Therefore, the association between adaptation and fidelity is a contradiction in terms. Without change there can be no adaptation.

Sabtu, 12 Agustus 2017

Labor Pains and Contractions in Film Production

I've read that labor pains and contractions in pregnancy are pains that are all part of the labor process that prepares the body for giving birth. There's a lot more that goes on during pregnancy and childbirth. Ask any woman who has given birth to get first-hand insight.

Labor pains and contractions in film production are part of the creative process of giving birth to a movie. Ask any film producer about experiencing labor pains and contractions leading up to a film baby being born to get uncensored honesty.

Labor pains and contractions in filmmaking can be thought of as changes that have to be made during preproduction, filming and postproduction. Different pieces are always moving when you're making a movie.

Creative labor pains and contractions help make a movie better even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. It is amazing how focused your mind can become when you're forced into a position where you have to rewrite a scene, work around losing an actor or any other production problem you need to solve to push forward.

It's not ideal when something happens out of your control to throw your film planning off, but making movies isn't something that goes smooth or as completely planned.

The unpredictability of it all keeps a filmmaker on their toes and sharp.

Inflexible filmmakers get eaten up by change and can't adapt when their schedule is shaken up leading to their movie never seeing the light of day.

Starting preproduction for filmmakers is an exciting rush of emotion. All of the hours and energy spent taking a movie idea to this stage is an accomplishment.

At the preproduction stage the screenplay is locked (page and scene numbers) and film financing secured (money in the bank). You've got your key production elements in place ready to go to make a movie.

These key production elements are normally the principal talent, director, production coordinator, cinematographer and film locations signed off on. The rest of what you need will come together during preproduction.

Preproduction is where early labor pains and contractions can start being felt by a filmmaker. There are always changes that need to be made during preproduction. Script changes, location changes, scheduling changes and so on.

A filmmaker feels every single one of them in their creative gut. No matter what's happening with your movie you have to remember to breathe. The changes are all part of the process of giving birth to a movie.

Filming is even more of rush than postproduction. You're going to be filming your movie and you're fired up to kickass on it. The shooting script and shot sheet are ready for you to bring them to life with actors and crew.

There's always a flurry of activity going on during filming. Two constants I've noticed that most independent movie producers wrestle with during filming is there is never enough time or movie money to get every scene the way it was planned.

Camera setups and company moves always take more time than scheduled. Studio budget films have the luxury of pushing shooting dates or shutting down production for a few days to fix a problem. Indie funded movies always have to keep moving forward.

Labor pains and contractions increase with more frequency and intensity during filming. Breathe and keep your focus on the job at hand. Expect to always be fighting the clock and trying to keep your film budget from running dry.

Once you know what to expect it's not so freighting when you're in the trenches knee-deep in the muck shooting an indie film. When you make it out of filming it's time to tackle the beast of postproduction.

Labor pains and contractions during postproduction are the most painful in my opinion. You will see every single mistake made while filming. But don't fall apart. Nothing filmed on location is ever perfect every scene.

Actors have off days when they're not at their best. Directors make bad calls on set. Cinematographers blow camera shots. Script supervisors overlook a continuity issue. Location sound mixers are going to record crap audio on takes. (Insert a production problem you've heard about here).

The thing is that actors, crew and producers are all going to make mistakes at some point when camera rolls. Look past that in postproduction to find takes a movie editor can work with to cut your film together.

And as detailed orientated as movie editors are, they also make mistakes. The whole thing with making movies is to avoid making silly mistakes and to fix the ones you can. If you can't fix a specific mistake see what you can do to edit around it to get the scene done and finish the movie.

Labor pains and contractions in filmmaking do end when you finally give birth to your film baby. What are you going to title your visual bundle of joy?

Selasa, 11 Juli 2017

Filmmaking Tips - Why You Really Need Film Production Software

The days of simply using a camera and manually editing the film are behind us. There were a lot of great films made that way but today filmmakers have so many resources available that you need to find out about the technology and wide variety of equipment that is out there. Film production software can turn your computer into a machine that can create spectacular special effects and alter images to suit your film.

Check out these filmmaking tips about the different ways to use this software.

Certainly you will see special effects that take skill and use real equipment, but you will also see those made with software and edited with a computer. The options you can add to a simple video are just about unlimited. Just about all filmmakers these days make use of computers and the software to make feature film productions.

Video editing allows you to splice instantly, create overlays and make easy transitions for your films, to add to the visual appeal. You may not find everything your heart desires to be available cheaply, but there is quite a variety to choose from that is not expensive to purchase. Even a beginning filmmaker on a low budget can find modern software and the equipment they need to make a professional appearing film.

Getting software is pretty much a necessity at least to edit their footage. Most filmmakers are using it for special effects as well. It's not like the old days when movies were made on reels and edited manually. Now just about all films are recorded digitally and requires software that fits the digital format used. It's unbelievable how much time is saved by using the film production software.

The ability to adjust sound is also accomplished by using software. You can customize your film by reducing or increasing the volume during particular scenes. You can add sound effects easily or just cut out sound altogether where you want to.

Using a computer and software makes filmmaking so much easier than in the past, that it is hard to do without it. Certainly buying film production software can be a large expense but can vary based on what your requirements are. The return you get from owning the software and using it is certainly justified in the many options you have and in the overall quality of the films you will be able to make. Using software can make an ordinary film into a feature film masterpiece.