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: 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.

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:

School: Examining Film Adaptations

School: Examining Film Adaptations

Ever Wonder why books are different than their movie counterparts? The expression 'the book was so much better' is often uttered by fans of the book. This is often due to movies being compressed into a short amount of time rather than an epic adventure, story elements sometimes need to be rearrange to make more sense to audiences, and sometimes climaxes are exaggerated for a more dramatic effect on screen.

Youtube Channel Lessons from the Screenplay look at the movie Arrival and how it was adapted from a book to its screenplay. Warning this contains spoilers of the movie. Watch the video below:

Fails: 10 Green Screen Movie Effects Gone Wrong

Fails: 10 Green Screen Movie Effects Gone Wrong

Every movie now has some sort of green screen or blue screen effect, but what happens when it's done horribly wrong. It's not believable at best and can ruin a movie at worst. The Star Wars prequels come to mind for overuse of CG effects and usage of green/blue screens. The action and scenery never felt real. The immersion was lost in much of these movies as a result.

While there are plenty of great examples of what not to do, Youtube Channel CBR shows 10 of the worst green screen fails. Watch the video below:

School: Why Alien is a Classic

School: Why Alien is a Classic

Alien is a classic sci-fi horror film. In creating this movie it was more than just H.R. Giger's alien creations that made it so timeless. From the direction to the scenery's set design, everything had a role to play.

Youtube series Frame by Frame explores the many horrors of the movie in the video below:

Sound Design:  Foley - How Movie Sound Effects Are Made

Sound Design: Foley - How Movie Sound Effects Are Made

Ever wonder why the intricate sounds in movies sound so clear and without microphones picking up all that direct sound? Welcome to the world of foley. Foley is the art of creating sounds that the characters on screen interact with. Everything from footsteps to clothing rustle to picking up and putting down objects is done on a foley stage by a foley artist.

What makes foley very interesting is that often times the sounds you hear on screen were created by using totally different objects. The video below shows an overview of the life of a foley artist.

School: How Pixar Uses Music to Make You Cry

School: How Pixar Uses Music to Make You Cry

Ever wonder people get so emotional to Pixar movies? Or Why the intro to Up is known as one of the most powerful love stories ever? Their shorts rarely have any dialogue yet we feel so attached and emotionally connected to the characters. The reason for this lies in the music.

Music in story telling is very powerful. It establishes character themes, emotions within the character, danger, amongst other things. It's more than just major for happy, minor for sad, and dissonance for danger and anxiety. Youtube channel Sideways elaborates on the reasons why in the video below:

The Quest: 10-Minute Yoga Meditations

The Quest: 10-Minute Yoga Meditations

Recently, Enhanced Media and I helped in producing Eddie Marashian's new podcast.  As a fan and frequent listener of podcasts, I'm very excited to share The Quest: 10-Minute Yoga Meditations.  Working on this with Eddie has been a pleasure.  I've recorded Eddie's spoken introductions to the episodes, as well as produced the final audio recordings, ready for the airwaves.  I've also been interested in meditation for quite some time, but haven't spent much time practicing, mostly because I was unsure how or where to start.  This guided meditation is perfect for me to get acquainted with methods and techniques with no previous knowledge.  I'm genuinely happy to be a part and excited for others to discover this.  I invited Eddie to tell you more about the podcast itself.  His words are below...

"For at least a year, I had a dream of turning my weekly meditations into a podcast.  I could have never made that dream a reality without Quinn at Enhanced Media.  He helped me get the sound quality that I wanted at a price I could afford.  He is also an expert sound editor.  

The Quest: 10-Minute Yoga Meditations is a weekly, guided meditation podcast recorded live in Eddie Marashian’s donation-based yoga class in Los Angeles.  Great for beginning and seasoned practitioners alike, each episode explores different themes and employs different techniques.  At just 10 minutes long, these guided meditations are short enough to fit into your busy schedule—yet powerful enough to transform you from the inside out.  Reduce stress.  Find inner peace.  Awaken to the highest good, highest potential and highest power within your own life.  All this and more is waiting for you on The Quest.  www.yoeddie.com " 

-Eddie Marashian

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-quest-10-minute-yoga-meditations/id1216414541?mt=2

instagram.com/yoeddie

facebook.com/yogaeddie

This blog post written by Quinn Cooper

 

School: The Art of Black and White Movies

School: The Art of Black and White Movies

In today's world where we are trying to get CGI effects to look as real as possible to recreate characters of the past, why would anyone want to watch a black and white film? It looks nothing like real life, but in many cases that's it's biggest strength.

Black and white film is an art form that offers a different perspective with more contrast. YouTube channel Rocket Jump Film School illustrates this further in the video below:

Working on Dare Stevens' Latest Comedy: The Hollywouldn'ts

Working on Dare Stevens' Latest Comedy: The Hollywouldn'ts

Enhanced Media is happy to share a comedy that we truly enjoy.  The Hollywouldn’ts is a feature film that came our way and is now available on iTunes.  Filmmakers and dreamers alike will especially love this film because it is about having the courage to pursue a dream in Hollywood despite all of the obstacles in the way.  This film resonated with me as someone who works in the film industry in Hollywood.  The story is a perfect blend of funny, sweet, and inspiring (but mostly funny!).  It was a pleasure to work with Dare Stevens and we’d like to give a big congratulations for the release of his first feature film.  Please order on iTunes to support!  www.thehollywouldnts.com

-Quinn Cooper

School: Jack Nicholson's Art in Anger

School: Jack Nicholson's Art in Anger

In the world of acting there are certain actors that you can immediately pinpoint their style. One of the first that comes to mind is Jack Nicholson. If he's in a movie it's likely that he's going to get angry at one point. It's not that he is one dimensional, it's just that he does it so well and in so many different ways. He's one of the masters of anger.

He is a real artist with his delivery of his anger. YouTube personality Nerdwriter takes a look at why he's so good at it in the video below:

School: The Secret Behind Chase Scenes

School: The Secret Behind Chase Scenes

Car chase scenes are always insane to follow, yet somehow we can always understand whats going on. The series Fast and the Furious is filled with these. I wonder how the movies make any sense at all. Well there is an art to creating these scenes. Using fast cutaways and multiple angles the visuals enhance the action on screen.

With all this action and chaos it's important to know how to keep the viewer engaged and not confused. Youtube series Frame by Frame crashes head first into this chaos in the video below: