Friday, September 17, 2010

New CloudKicker is here!

Go buy it, and enjoy. This band is really cool, we emailed them (him?) to ask if we could use their song in one of our promo video below. They were very cool, and since then I can't get enough of their music!

The Gravel Metric Invitation from OC Imageworks on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Youtube paying for your video?

Wait what? Yeah I know, but check this out, a friend of mine recently linked me to this article here. Where Alissa Wilkinson of World magazine writes:

YouTube's videos still have amateur content and production quality; most professionally produced videos land on competitors' sites such as, drawing away potential viewers and advertising revenue.

Hoping to change this, YouTube recently announced a $5 million Partner Grants Program, which will give emerging, talented, but non-affluent filmmakers a few thousand dollars—or a few hundred thousand—to back their projects. Through this program, YouTube hopes to attract more professional content to its site—along with larger audiences and mainstream advertisers.

Ok, so that sounds too good to be true. But, if it does happen that would be a very cool revinue source for independent film makers globally. But look out! Here comes the realist!

Holahan of states in her article here that there are some serious problems with this business model. For starters, reviewing the massive amount of crappy content to make sure it's not sexually explict, stolen, or otherwise bad/evil would cost a ton.

The potential for such legal claims, coupled with the difficulty of screening so many videos, could make paying creators more trouble than its worth, says Thomas McInerney, a co-founder and former CEO of video site Guba. "I think this is somewhat of a me-too move for YouTube, and I don't think they necessarily need to do it," says McInerney. After all, he adds, they don't need to attract additional traffic—they are one of the most visited sites on the Web as it is. And they don't have a problem attracting content. "People upload content to YouTube because there is an ego in broadcasting yourself," McInerney says. "People like the attention."

I'm no market annalist, nor do I have a firm grasp on how these companies are run, but to me it seems like a flash-in-the-pan-idea. Kinda like a guy who announced 'Drinks on me!' only to realize he left his money at home; this idea will quietly make its way out a back door.

Although, if it did happen that would be very cool. Not just, for people like me, but people like Ray William Johnson, the Vlog Brothers, or Pomplamoose etc. They wouldn't jut be paid by advertisers, but by youtube too.


I emailed Alissa Wilkinson of World magazine and asked if she could link me up with her sources from her article (above). She hit me back with three very credible sources the next day. So from the horses mouth youtubes blog posts the rules for getting in on the fundage:

Here’s how it works:

  • YouTube is identifying eligible partners based on factors such as video views, subscribers, growth rate, audience engagement and production expertise
  • Selected partners are contacted by YouTube and invited to submit a Grant proposal
  • Proposals are evaluated by YouTube based on signals which include projected performance, distribution plan, marketing plan, cost requirements and appeal to advertisers
  • If approved, funds are transferred to the partner so they can get started on their project
Link to the blog post here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Film Night Looks Nothing Like Real Night

So this Friday we get to film a chase-through-the-woods scene. So, in prep for this scene I've been watching a show that had more chase-through-the-woods then there are calories in a box of Kripsy Kremes, LOST.

Thanks to some A-Mazing BTS, I've been able to get a glimpse of how the pros do it. And the secret is...light! When shooting a really dark, gritty scene, light the crap out of it. Don't believe me? Check out some of these screen grabs.

Here we see two cameras and a hand full of high direct lights with no filters, or soft boxes on them. This is some harsh lighting, but it's up high and pulled back so it becomes nice and diffused. Sort of like, well, this guy.

Check out this still of Jorge Garcia and Josh Holloway. Note how some of the lights are there to simply light the back ground, and give depth the woods. This looks so bright doesn't

But wait, check out this still of Mathew Fox fighting Terry O'quinn. Again, a wide shot that looks too bright. But through the alchemy of post processing, lets see that same shot from the cameras perspective after a color grade.

Now that looks like some sexy night. Heck, I even took that shot of Mr. Garcia and Mr. Holloway into photoshop and got a similar result by a simple levels adjustment here.

After we finish our shoot, I'll post stills of the shots, before and afters as well as some wide shots to show what we did. It wont look as good as Lost, but it'll come close, a heck of a lot closer than if we just used 'available light'.

Gillvane from had a really good take on what it takes to convey darkness in film: contrast. Here's what he had to say:

A difficult concept to get is that in a movie, darkness is about shadows, not the amount of light. The most common mistake people make trying to make a shot look dark, is using less light. The amount of light is not important, it's the CONTRAST RATIO!!
What you want, is things that are well lit, and things that are black, with some stuff in between. That makes a dark shot. Everything lit to an f1.8 does not look dark, it just creates grain in film, or video noise in digital.
But if you get 3 or 4 fstops difference, contrast ratio, the audience will see it as dark.
it really doesn't matter how bright, or how dim, the contrast ratio is what sells it.
So one side of your face is really, really bright, like f16. It will still look dark if the other side of your face is f8.
and if one side of your face is f8, it will look dark if the other side of your face is f4.
But both sides of your face lit to f1.8 just looks dim and grainy.
The problem with interior shots is spill and reflection. If you light up one side of your face to f16 indoors, you're probably going to get so much light bouncing off the ceiling, walls, etc., that the the other side if your face is a 14, which won't look dark.
That's why to get darkness in interior shots, you end up using a lot less light, to avoid all that spill and reflection, but still it's not the amount of light, but the contrast ratio.

Join the discussion here.