Interview with Alfred Hitchcock

Interview with Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock was a pioneer director most known for directing Psycho. In this interview from 1972 (his death was in 1980) he discusses his career working with actors, story telling, and decision making in regards to directing.

Watch the full interview in the video below:

AES 2017 Gear Rundown

AES 2017 Gear Rundown

The AES convention is a time where many new products are released and shown off. This year was no exception to that. If you were lucky enough to be on the floor of AES this year then you probably already saw and heard these pieces of gear. Here's some new gear announced at AES this year:

Neve 1073SPX - this is a rack unit version of the classic 1073 preamp/EQ. Previously this was only put out by other companies and Neve would require you to buy a rack to house a single unit. Read more about it here.

Transformizer Pro - This is a sound designers dream. The plugin takes one main sound and allows you to layer other sounds with it to fill it out and make it larger than life. the other sounds will adapt to the original sound in volume, timbre, pitch, and length. Read more about it here.

Sound Radix Powair - This plugin is an adaptive compressor. This is a great tool for music and in film/tv mixing. This will allow more flexibility than traditional limiters and allow for certain things to cut through based on their transients. Read more about it here.

PACE iLok Cloud - Hate using pesky USB keys and dongles that can get easily lost or broken? Dislike having thousands of dollars on one of those? Well good news, iLok will now be a secure online system. Joining the ranks of other software developers like Waves and others who use a proprietary online system, iLok will debut this new technology in early 2018. It is undetermined if this will be free or a subscription. Read more about it here.

Great new products this year that will be very helpful in post production and music.

Apple Hires Steven Spielberg For Original TV Content

Apple Hires Steven Spielberg For Original TV Content

Apple has been selling TV shows and movies for a long time now. They have finally announced original content to take on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon. Being a bit late to the game theysure are coming out strong. Apple has signed a deal with Steven Spielberg to develop Amazing Stories, a reboot of a 1980s sci-fi show of the same name.

This really shakes up the new industry. With lots of money at Apple's disposal they could be an industry game changer. Considering that most of the big players in video now have nothing to do with Hollywood, the next few years will be very interesting as streaming becomes the only way people watch content outside of reality tv, sports, and news. Read more about this deal at this location.

What Makes a Fight Scene Badass

What Makes a Fight Scene Badass

Fight scenes are what make action movies awesome. Making one work is a different story. So what separates the good from the bad? Too much going on can cause the viewer to be confused by everything and not enough will bore them. Knowing the emotion you want to convey from the fight scene is as important as the work in crafting the scene itself.

Youtuber Aaron Field takes a look at the Kingsman and explains what works about its fight scenes.

Interview with Inside Out Writer Meg LeFauve

Interview with Inside Out Writer Meg LeFauve

We all have a journey and path to our own success. This road to success is often not a straight line andoften is bumpy with pot holes and unpaved roads and for some has dead ends. YouTube channel RocketJump Film School talks with writer and director Meg LeFauve about her inspiring story of how she got to work on Pixar's Inside Out.

Watch the video below:

Waves Releases Drum Tuner Torque

Waves Releases Drum Tuner Torque

Ever record a drum set and then realize after the fact that the snare is out of tune with the song? The drums no longer gel with the music as a result. or get a mix where it's very clear the drums weren't tuned at all? Enter Waves Torque. This will tune the drum so it sits better in the mix. It can also be used for creative effects too.

Definitely a great tool to have to notch out unwanted resonances in drums and have the drums sit better in a mix overall. For more information about the plugin goto Gear News' website.

Movie Pass Changes the Way We Pay for Movies

Movie Pass Changes the Way We Pay for Movies

Movie Pass is a subscription service like Netflix that lets you watch movies. The difference is that it's at movie theaters. for $9.99 a month this service allows you to watch unlimited movies in any movie theater. This is like how Netflix put blockbuster out of business game changing. Though the way their business model is set up, it's only going to give more business to theaters rather than take it away. Movie Pass issues you a debit card and when you check in on your phone to the theater it puts an exact balance on the card for your ticket. This will effectively lower movie ticket prices, which are $14 or more at some theaters. Provided the business stays open, this is a real game changer for the industry.

For more information check out their website.

Spotify and Hulu Launch Student Bundle

Spotify and Hulu Launch Student Bundle

For those of you who were in college or high school in the early days of piracy - the napster/kazaa days - then you probably would have loved to have an offer like this. Hulu and Spotify have teamed up to offer their premium services for only $4.99 a month. Sounds like a steal huh? Well I'm sure that's exactly what they're thinking as they know that's what most college students will do if you don't sign up for their services. whats fascinating is that both of these services are partially owned by the major labels and TV studios. Both of which are partially owned by NBC/Universal (Comcast now). It seems like this was an easy deal to make since companies share a large stake in both.

This has been a proven smart way to combat piracy as schools who have adopted this (and similar deals) have reported a large drop in piracy rates and an increase in streaming rates..

Read more about the deal in this article by The Verge.

DP Henry Braham on Work for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

DP Henry Braham on Work for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a great film filled with incredible Special FX and great camera work. A big part of the good camera work was from DP Henry Braham who chose to use a RED Weapon 8K Vista Vision as his camera of choice. The camera was a prototype at the time, which means it was a big risk to use it.

Read more about this and other techniques used for the movie in an interview with Henry Braham in filmmaker magazine.

Toontrack Announces Superior Drummer 3

Toontrack Announces Superior Drummer 3

Since the 80s programmed drums has had an ever increasing growth in quality. The sonic quality of the latest offerings goes beyond anything that anyone could fathom in the early days of drum machines. Today's music world is filled with programmed drums. They are used during writing stages and in major label recordings. One of the biggest names in the drum world is Toontrack's Superior Drummer 2. They have recently announced a huge upgrade to that version with version 3.

With new features like 11.1 surround sound and audio to midi conversion, it is an all in one solution to getting drum sounds. In the past most sample replacement programs would end up with similar sounding productions, but with Toontrack's latest release allowing for simple sample replacement within their superior drummer software, which has over 230GB of samples, it seems that there are limitless possibilities for sound design. 

Read more about it on Pro Tools Expert's website.

Industry: Spotify Is Accused Of Creating Fake Artists

Industry: Spotify Is Accused Of Creating Fake Artists

Spotify was recently accused of pushing 'fake artists' in their popular playlists. They were accused of being fake because they appear nowhere else on the internet or in real life. Sometimes it is pen names for other songwriters, but what if Spotify has created AI that generates music for them? Is this ethical or right? Spotify is, in essence, paying itself royalties on top of the ad revenue that they already get. This then takes time and money away from real artists who may be struggling.

It's an interesting hypothetical idea, as it is not yet known what they are doing and why these artists are not known elsewhere. Read more about this topic at this location.

School: Stanley Kubrick and Lighting

School: Stanley Kubrick and Lighting

Stanley Kubrick's works are timeless. From the 2001: A Space Odessey to The Shining, Kubrick utilized directing and lighting techniques ahead of his time. One of these techniques was practical lighting, which is using lighting in the frame vs outside of it. This sort of lighting is more natural and creates a different kind of ambience to a scene. Read more about at this location.

School: Dunkirk's Intensity Lies in Sound

School: Dunkirk's Intensity Lies in Sound

Good sound design adds to the emotion of the scene. From the creaking of a door in a horror movie to the epic score in a fantasy movie, sound matters. The score can elevate the mood of the scene. There are also many tricks in composing music that is more sound design than music. One of which is using scales that don't resolve to add tension to a scene and reflect the environment the scene takes place in.

The Vox discusses this technique in more detail in the video below:

School: Harnessing Shadows

School: Harnessing Shadows

There's so much that goes into crafting the perfect lighting or lack thereof. Often times the focus is on how to light a subject for a scene, but what about whats not lit? What about the shadows? Ever wonder how this contrast created? How some movies and TV shows can get so dark yet still contain so much detail? Or how silhouettes are created while the background is still well lit? The technique is actually similar to well lit scenes: It's all about the placement of the lights in relation to the subject.

Check out the video below from Rocketjump Film School to find out more:

Gear: Whirlwind VR Creates 4D-like Content for VR Consumers

Gear: Whirlwind VR Creates 4D-like Content for VR Consumers

Whirlwind VR has announced the Vortx, a device to blow wind and heat at you while playing a virtual reality game. According to the company's website they expect a September release date. This could be a huge advancement in the way we experience games and movies. we currently only use two senses when interacting with content and this will bring a third, feelings. Temperature changes and air blowing on your face could make some games really incredible.

Think about hiking up a mountain in a game and the wind picks up and the temperature drops or if you were in a game that takes place in the depths of hell. It could make these experiences way more immersive. Of course without trying it first hand it could just be another gimmick. It is a device to keep an eye on in the next few months.

Read more about the device here.

Gear: RED Unveils Holographic 3D Phone

Gear: RED Unveils Holographic 3D Phone

High-end camera manufacturer, RED, has revealed their first smartphone. It will include the first ever holographic 3D display on a phone. The phone, dubbed 'Hydrogen,' will feature an android operating system and be capable of recording 3D video with an accessory. The phone can also integrate seamlessly with RED's cameras.

This will likely reinvigorate innovation in the market and increase demand for higher quality products. The differences between phones has been subtle upgrades to the same features rather than creating a new and revolutionary concept. Looking forward to the shake up this causes in the phone industry.

For more information on the phone check out this article from Ars Technica.

Industry: Facebook Greenlights Two New Original Series

Industry: Facebook Greenlights Two New Original Series

Facebook has announced it's first two original series. This will put even more competition on the major movie studios in addition to the many platforms for original high quality video content (amazon, hulu, netflix, hbo, youtube, etc). It also means more jobs in the industry.

One show, Returning the Favor, will feature Mike Rowe, of Dirty Jobs, traveling to where people go above and beyond to help their communities. The other show is a currently untitled show about the Ball Family who have had a lot of success in basketball.

Where as many of the other platforms seem to focus on big budget productions, it seems Facebook will be targeting the reality show market and the sports sector. Something that hasn't really been done in the streaming world yet.

Read more about the future of facebook video at this location.

Industry: Apple Taps Sony Executives for Original Content

Industry: Apple Taps Sony Executives for Original Content

Apple hired on two executives today from Sony, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. Their works include Breaking Bad, Preacher, Better Call Saul, The Shield, The Crown, and Rescue Me. This was no small acquisition. This leverage will allow Apple to be a serious contender in the age of streaming video content providers.

It seems Apple plans on bundling video streaming with their current audio streaming service, which may give it a leg up on other streaming services that only provide video (netflix) or audio (spotify). At the end of the day it is all about the original content they can deliver on their platform. I think the amount of competition in streaming services is great. This allows more (and better) content than ever to be produced and reach massive audiences.

Read more about this hiring from the official press release on the Apple website here.

Industry: YouTube and ASCAP Share Data

Industry: YouTube and ASCAP Share Data

One of the big topics in music and video streaming right now is how to compensate music artists for their work. Currently YouTube has a content ID system in place that will flag videos for music content and then pay that artist accordingly. But what if an artist covers a song? The youtube way doesn't identify that nearly as well. mainly because it is compensating based on a recording vs covers. ASCAP is a performing rights organization that pays out to songwriters and publishers when a song is performed. By partnering with ASCAP's database, YouTube will now be able to better compensate the songwriter for the performance of their song in a virtual space using their Content ID system. BMI, another performing rights organizations, has a deal with YouTube already.

This is a huge step in fair compensation for songwriters and artists. Many artists complain that streaming sites don't pay out nearly enough. I often argue that this new technology will pay out better for most artists in the long term as a higher adoption rate is met. YouTube's partnership with ASCAP reinforces this as the deal is happening from increased revenue from their new YouTube Red subscription platform. YouTube currently pays the least of all streaming services, this development will change that for the better.

Read more about the deal at this location.

Gear: Flexible LED Lights on a Budget

Gear: Flexible LED Lights on a Budget

One of the most important things to get professional quality video is good lighting. If you are on a tight budget this can be near impossible as decent lights are hundreds (even thousands) of dollars plus the cost of stands. LEDs are often the best as they can often change color temperature and as a result can work in many situations.

Youtuber DSLR Video Shooter discusses his 4 best solutions on a budget of $200 in the video below: