Sunday, October 30, 2011

Making a Professional-Looking Movie Just Got Easier

With the advent of YouTube, anyone can make a movie and have the world see it. However, many of these people not only have mediocre cameras, but also lack the ability to rig a dolly or crane, and let's face it, not everyone has a pair of roller skates they can strap on for a moving shot!

"But Emily," you may ask, "If we have no roller skates and still want an awesome, dynamic shot, what is there to be done?" I have an answer for you.

Introducing Cineskates, a new product that will allow for just that. It's a tripod with flexible feet attached to skateboard wheels that can move the camera fluidly and create effortless and professional-looking camera movements. Can I just say.....I want this.

This video was shot with CineSkates. Tell me it's not awesome. I dare you.

Cutting Edge SFX...From 40 Years Ago

When you go to see the latest summer blockbuster, part of the excitement is being blown away by the incredible special effects. As technology has advanced, more and more of these special effects have been done on the computer rather than the camera. Computer generated imagery allows filmmakers to open their imaginations beyond the limitations of reality. However, regardless of how far technology advances, there is still something different about in camera effects.

Case and point: Inception. This incredible, interwoven movie not only had a stellar plot, but it had special effects that enhanced the story rather than distract from it. Admittedly, many effects were digitally generated. However, Director Christopher Nolan knew the value of keeping some effects staged in reality. Not only that, but he also had the vision and planning to creatively realize his world, and integrate it seamlessly with the rest of the film. Take a look the behind the scenes feature on the anti-gravity fight scenes:

What is even more incredible, however, is that effects of this level were achieved over 40 years ago! Master Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick used the exact same techniques in his 2001: A Space Odyssey. From building rotating sets to dangling actors down vertical shafts, Kubrick pioneered the path that Inception followed four decades later. And what is truly incredible is how, after all that time, the old-fashioned way of doing it is still considered the best for these filmmakers. It's amazing to consider where we are going in filmmaking, but it is equally important to know where we came from as well.


Rubber is a very unique movie about a tire that suddenly gains self awareness and has telepathic powers...that it uses to destroy things!  There isn't a clear purpose to this movie and I think it may be a movie with deeper intentions that were lost in translation!  Warning, this has a kill-everything-that-moves style to it.  Visually it is a lot of fun, and the stop motion style used for the tire has a very interesting feel to it. It's definitely a movie that perplexes you right up until the end because of it's uniqueness. I'm very sure that this movie will be a cult classic in the near future.  

The Director Quentin Dupieux decided to use a 5D Mark II HD-DSLR for the entire film. In a short audio interview he explains that the lens was not a deciding factor in his choice for creating this movie.  He did test other options before coming to the conclusion on how he wanted it to look though.

for more info on this unique french director visit  one and only productions

Superhero Movies

We've seen a lot of superhero movies come out in the past ten years and they've been made all the more easy to make with the amount of special effects. To me, this always seems to be the problem with these kinds of movies. The special effects take such precedence that little attention is paid to the script and story line. Movies like Fantastic 4, The Green Lantern and Daredevil are forgettable because there is simply nothing interesting about them except that they are visually stimulating. The movie that started the supehero trend was Spiderman back in 2002. Tobey Maguire played a wonderful Spiderman, Willem Dafoe played an awesome Green Goblin and the movie earned the highest grossing opening weekend to that point, in history.

After a successful sequel, the series flopped after the third film was an absolute dud. Now though, a remake of the first film is coming out next July. The Amazing Spider man is one that I can't wait to see.

The special effects will of course be stunning and Alvin Sargent whose movies such as Unfaithful and Ordinary People was chosen to write the screenplay. This can only mean good things for a superhero trying to get back on the right track

I want to see this movie!!!

I've been waiting a long time for the next movie like The Notebook... you know.. something to really pull at my heart strings!

I'm such a cheeseball but I loved everything about it... unrequited love, rich vs poor, love then conquering all... perfect! I'm not sure this new movie that came out on Friday... Like Crazy... has such a happy ending but holy crap do I want to see it!

Maybe it's just the trailer... I mean I've been fooled before. But that song they use it just gets me everytime. I'm just waiting for this to come to Ithaca already!

It's about a student from England falling in love with an American boy while studying in America. They fall fast and hard, and before they know it it's time for her to go back when her student visa expires. They try to make the long distance thing work, and then try moving back together... but of course nothing works out as it should.

Now.... you guys would already know about this if you tuned into Entertainment16 on ICTV.... (shamelss plug) We preview/review two or three movies a week and at least one TV show! Plenty of inspiration for fiction field production students!

The Hobbit Behind the Scenes

OMG were not the only ones who blog! Apparently so does Peter Jackson the producer of this new little movie coming to theaters soon called THE HOBBIT!(you might know it) I personally am a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and an even bigger fan of the book The Hobbit, so when I heard there was going to be a movie on it, I nearly died! It's like the universe decided to bless me with the best present possible combining two of my great loves film and this written masterpiece.
This video blog goes behind the scenes, where all the magic happens(literally) and it really is absolutely incredible what these guys are doing. The set is like a dreamworld here on our humble little planet earth. Seeing this blog really just made me even more excited for the actual movie to come out, if that was at all possible. I hope you guys enjoy it as well.

Wag the Dog

    I have seen this movie several times, but this past weekend I watched it once again, paying closer attention to the actual production.  The dialogue is amazing. It is hard to follow at the beginning but it is because the dialogue is so similar to actual conversations, ideas pop in and out. One story leads to another. Someone starts to say something, another person goes on a tangent and then five minutes later we are back to the first story. It is fun to see how all the parts of a conversation fit so nicely together when at the surface they seem to be all over the place.  The fast paced conversations remind me a bit of Gilmore Girls, but in the movie the lines seem to be more real, with verbal pauses and repeated speech. Hilary Henkin was the writer of the screen play. If only writing how people actually talk was as easy as this movie makes it seem. I suggest that everyone watch it, it is in the library

Portrayal of Parents in Disney Movies

There is something that was brought to my attention - almost all Disney princesses come from an unstable household. Here are some examples:

Jasmine: Mother is dead, Father is gullible
Mulan: Mother is dead, Father is over-bearing
Cinderella: Mother and Father are dead, she grows up under an evil step-mother
Belle: Mother is dead, Father is over-protective
Pocohontas: Mother is dead, Father is over-bearing
Ariel: Mother is dead, Father is over-protective and over-bearing

See a trend there? And those are only a few examples. It is interesting that the writers chose to give each leading lady such similar troubled pasts. What kind of message does it send to kids if the children, especially since the princesses go on to make their entire lives about finding true love.

I love Disney, don't get me wrong. But, I feel that the writers could have gotten a bit more creative with their writing for the sake of showing the viewers that a princess does not necessarily need to be from a broken home to have an interesting life.

This article lists all Disney movies and the roles of mothers or women in each. It shows the interesting trend in how the motherly role is portrayed in the movies.

Just a little something to think about :) Happy Halloween!