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Everything posted by HelsinkiZim

  1. i just finished watching the first 2 episodes of Louis C.K.’s new web series. It took a few minutes to adjust to the lower production values and the theater-esque set pieces. But after a while, I was blown away by the powerful acting and at times it was really funny, laugh out loud funny - but also very thought provoking. We throw these accolades around in our industry and he didn’t come up with Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, but Louis C.K. is a bit of a genius. However, what I think that is important about this show is the business model. Its not new, but I argue it is the most high profile shunning of the establishment thus far in TV. 1. He is filming it week by week. 2. He is paying for it out of his own pocket. 3. He is delivering the content solely on his website in a very simple manner. We all forget that movies don’t have to be ‘hosted’ and ‘streamed’ by some holy authority. We were all wrapping videos in QuickTime containers in 2007, and our only concern was bandwidth, which is dead cheap now. Put up a paywall like any other low cost digital product and voila! You have your very own netfilx. But you have all the power... for niche products... i'll explain: Over Christmas I became convinced that I see no reason why a filmmaker cannot successfully create a film or web series and distribute it themselves for a small profit with consistent Roi. By successful, I mean recoup the funds of production and make a modest profit. But the more I talked to people, I was given multiple reasons why this would not work. Mostly it was about the difficulty in building a fan base. Louis has a fan base, so he may not need to aggressively market. but I know a lot of internet marketers that have developed fanbases (mailing lists, facebook fans, etc) out of thin air in a couple of weeks/ months - selling MLM garbage. But I read this article on why most online video distribution companies will fail, and it stresses that filmmakers do not think like IMers and internet marketers do not think like filmmakers. http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2015/02/08/why-most-online-video-companies-will-fail/ I carried on turning it over in my mind and I am still convinced this would work. I really think that if you took a step away from your project as a creative and put on the cap of an (aggressive) internet marketer, you could build an audience cheaply and effectively. What if creativity is everything, but a well executed sales campaign is just as important. But not a Hollywood campaign, with thumping trailers and mass distribution, but a down and dirty online marketing campaign that only some of you that have tried affiliate/ digital product marketing and SEO over the past 10 years can understand. If you think about it from the audiences perspective, video content is becoming a commodity product and audiences do not care where it comes from as long as it trends to free. First I would make a web series/ film that targeted a specific niche where people spend money on digital products (the list is endless for niches but something like weight loss, horse racing, swing dancing, get rich quick, etrading... looking at amazon kindle bestsellers in specific subjects is a good way to research niches - go to google adwords and see how many people look up those keywords per month etc). One theme or more would play heavily in the script in the form of a character, cinematic universe or plot device. Then I would market the show to that niche traffic (audience) that would lead them into a ‘sales funnel’ that would be unique to the project, but traditional in the IM marketing methods. The funnel would include landing pages to capture emails and I would split testing everything - video content, headers, titles, banners, logos, calls to actions, copy, etc. I would then create a automated email campaign that would build everyone joining the list into a frenzy (behind the scenes stuff, ‘virtual’ emails from the characters, solicited reviews… whatever gets people involved - the goal is to wear both hats as filmmaker and salesman). Apart form the usual social marketing (accounts, posts, free pr releases, blog, articles, seo) I would buy mobile ad views for apps and mobile sites related to the niche, banner ads on related forums and blogs. Split testing all the time, building the list of subscribers who get sent into the email funnel. I would also play a bit with Facebook ads and Adwords to see how they perform. You would think this all costs a lot, but I ran these kind of campaigns and if they are targeted the costs are minimal, for example, as compared to hiring a Red or Arri kit for 2 days. You can test every platform (with maybe a couple of angles) for under 500 bucks on mobile, adwords and facebook to see whats working in different continents, countries, cities... testing tweaking and rolling with angles that stick. Then I would release the episodes over time, keeping people on my list updated and interested, or have a big release day with the usual 24/ 48/ 72 hours until offer disappears stuff (with timer). I would host everything myself, no need to split costs with anyone else but the merchant service provider - put the stream or download link behind a paywall or email it out as a direct link. Some IM guys with a loyal list that they promote actual junk to can close on 10% of their list if they have a good funnel. If its an extremely targeted list, even more. Sooo, if you built a small list of 200 loyal subscribers worldwide, and 20 (10%) people of that bought your film/ series for 10 bucks - thats 4 000 bucks you could count on. I imagine you would have probably spent at most a 1 000 in getting impressions or clicks in that niche, so you make 3 000. That is being conservative, it should not be a problem to build at least 10 000 subscribers in a large and popular niche spending around 3 000 in impressions and clicks. I don’t think this method would ever make tons of money, but why wouldn’t it be possible to make 100 000 with a viral series that is marketed well COMPLETELY BY YOURSELF, or perhaps even with a few top affiliates who know what they are doing. Sorry for the long post but it is an exciting thought for me from a business perspective and I hope some of you actually give me your 2 cents and tell me if the notion is ridiculous or worth being tested out. I don't create narrative content so I can't try it, but I would definitely invest my own money to promote someones video if it fit the criteria. It would be a safer bet than most other stuff I spend money on when it comes to gear and Roi. Anyways, I know most ideas are nothing without effective execution, and most of my business ideas suffer from all kinds of biases - but I was wondering if anyone has tried this out yet? How did it go? If not, what's stopping you?
  2. I am a bit of an Ed David fan, so I feel humbled that he engaged with my comment. I hate throwing opinions into the interweb wasteland, but I will speak up more often then. I remember the first independent movies I saw as a young adult - Flirting with Disaster, Pixote, City of Lost Children, everything by Jim Jarmusch (thanks to the Earwax Cafe video rental store in Wicker Park, CH - is it still around, anyone?), and so on... What struck me about these films is that it was hard to settle into the rhythm, but the rewards were amazing. Sometimes you actually feel smarter about a subject or subculture. Sometimes you just laughed your ass off or got pissed off, or both (The Big Short). To me that is when I consider a film very good. With other current 'masterpieces' like, lets say, Carol, I think we are expected to feel challenged and eventually rewarded, but I vehemently deny having any emotional journey. Visual perfection is not the same as visual joyride. On the other hand, I had an emotional journey with Blue is the Warmest Colour. I was challenged by the pacing, voyeurish icky-feelings: but I committed to it and was rewarded immensely. Same subject matter as Carol, but different time period, style, story etc... but what a film.
  3. I am sure there may be a day when I look at The Tree of Life and it speaks to me in ways I could not imagine right now. But right now I preferred Badlands. I was at the School of the Art Institute Chicago and it was the first Hollywood film I was asked to truly 'look at' by our screenwriting teacher. I think it is considerable to, er, consider context when viewing a film. If that film had been Tree of Life, it probably would have been my Mallick fave. The argument I am throwing out there is this: Is there a trend in Hollywood towards auteurism, whereby substance is being sidelined for technique? I don't know, I am just noticing a few Oscar voted films that were nominated for spectacle. Thats not neccisarilly a bad thing, but is this Hollywoods response to the digital age? Its like an anti-CGI. All technique. Like the DOP is saying, 'ok, imitate this bitch!'. In this regard I am generalising, because I am only thinking of the Revenant and Gravity, but to me they feel similar in how they got the publics opinion.
  4. Trying to get rid of this post. Twas a typo. Ok, ill use the space. I was thinking about what it would have looked like if they had a robotic human made out of, lets say, pig, that had the tracking globes on. So they had a real bear attacking and then tracked Leo to the robotic Andy Serkis being mauled. That's the idea I would have bought to the table... before I got fired.
  5. Does anyone see correlations with Gravity? Technically beautiful, loads of awards... forgotten. I liked the film, but it wasn't a real film experience, given the heavy subtext I viewed it with. I felt obliged to love it because, you know, I'm just suppose ta. I actually loved it before I saw it. Like a Tarantino movie, and I love his films. But I sometimes feel pressured to be able to quote stuff or talk in detail about shots and scenes. His films, to me, aren't that kind of inspiring. I like Star Wars. It was fun, and I was entertained. I did also have a hollow feeling, but I get that from Abams films. They are kind of satisfyingly revisionist and twisty, but leave you feeling like you have eaten too much candy. Hard to explain... Maybe its just taste, I like thrillers, twists and turns. I just watched Results and I had more fun laughing at Guy Pearce than I did being reflective about the Revenant. Its a movie, I never intended to be a cinematographer, so I kind of just wanted a good story. But I find that I prefer a lot of other revenge movies more (Old Boy, True Grit, Bone Tomahawk, Unforgiven....). For nature survival stuff I watch Bear Grylls. Shoot me. (Edit: The Edge with Hopkins and Baldwin was awsomeness!) For bear attacks I get my fix with Grizzly Man by Herzog, or Youtube. CGI stuff doesn't feel real to me, ever. I watched all the vlogs for the Hobbit movies and I find it strange that the director is in control of absolutely everything, until they hand the film over to CGI. Then a bunch of folks (young dudes) seem to make all the decisions about what seems real or gross or scary, and Jackson just kinda signs off on it if he likes it. But no one was pushing them to push themselves. It was like they sent the movie to compositing like they send an actor to make up. To me everything CGI has looked the same since forever... but better than the Matrix trilogies. I digress... Just my 2c. ... and I actually worked with a director who has recently worked with DiCaprio, so I am bias towards his movies because I feel some kind of 15 degrees of separation. AND my boss at BBC Storyville went to dinner with him to discuss his environmental work. I asked him what he was like and he said he was 'simply charming!'. Even given this... The Revenant was nice, but forgettable. To me.
  6. I bought into the gimbal hype and the footage looks like it was shot by the terminator. its good if you want to follow or circle something with a quickish walk/run. But all other shots are better on shoulder or with a tripod. About saturation... yeah, I was watching some vlogs, Casey Neistat, and it suddenly occurred to me that the Canon footage is actually more enjoyable to watch these days because it is so refreshing. Not that I don't get a little bit peeved at the sheer vacancy of brain stimulation in most vlogs, but I enjoy the saturated look. I can dig it. Plug n play.
  7. We forget that these days. These cameras are all powerful tools. We dwell in minutiae.
  8. I think I feel your latter point. I am subconsciously feed up with the grade. If only someone would put the effort in, like the Raven promo, then we could get excited
  9. Am I crazy? Maybe its a teal and orange choice by the cameramen, but there's a whole lot of teal, and not much else. As I said, analyzing footage is not my specialty. I would be glad to be wrong.
  10. I have been watching a lot of Ursa Mini videos. I like the footage and will probably get one for narrative work. But, does anyone else but me get a turqoise feeling whenever you see sample footage? With the GH4 it is kind of a magenta feeling and with the A7S series its kind of blue. Whenever green pops up its like the only thing I remember because it looks odd. Maybe I am crazy, or looking to closely. This color
  11. Speaking of monitors... is there a way to connect to a camera's wifi (like the panasonic app) using something like Google Glass? Are there options out there to monitor video through glasses? I would be interested in something like this.
  12. It's like he came back to say "Ok kids, this is how you do subversive pop music" and then left the room. Much respect.
  13. I used to do a lot of SEO for my small wedding video business I ran in London and later Johannesburg circa 2005 - 2013. It was a constant battle trying to rank on the first page of Google for my search terms. But it wasn't impossible... for 6 months or so before you had to change your strategy. All above board, no black hat SEO at all. But what I have perceived is that Google knows exactly how you are ranking and they switch things up, almost like clockwork, because once people lose their ranking they will generally switch to Adwords for a while to keep business coming in. This gives them a boost in revenue with every algorithm change. In this instance, they know we are struggling with video compression issues. But I am supposing this is part of a strategy to nudge people to pay for better quality via their services - ads or Red (or partnerships like Vevo). I also guess they don't really need to bend over for professionals with clients to please unless they get paid too, because Youtube is probably low on the radar for in-house innovation due to its sheer dominance in the field of online video delivery. Of course, most will call this conspiracy theory and insist they are really just a bunch of down-to-earth engineers trying to give us the best web experience ever known to man. Its just my opinion after years of gaming them and paying them. You will run in circles doing the former i.e. trying to figure out the secret settings to look like a Gopro Official video.
  14. this is by far the best place to start getting inspired, for you. But don't copy; imitate and innovate. Look forward to seeing more work!
  15. Thank you, you just saved me terabytes and time. I appreciate it. I have taken in as much as I can from various sources (the internet has a way of overloading you with differing opinions) and Prores it is. I also appreciate the extra advice on tracking, I have not come across that technique before. I'm still learning AE from Lynda and youtube, and noone has suggested upping the sharpness and shadows to get better tracking points. If I understand you correctly, tracking points love contrast, so boost and revert. Nice.
  16. We should give it a name I think. I vote for Award Tour. because Q tip from A Tribe Called Quest claims in that song, that he is... "Ludicrously speedy or infectious with the slo mo" - that's basically all this is about. Nice one Q, ahead of your time as always.
  17. Thanks, I will have a look at that LUT!
  18. I didn't mean to come across as looking down on your opinion from above. I was just suggesting that by looking at the discussion here and on Youtube, it is striking a chord with people and I think it is important to ask ourselves why. I read some of the comments on his Youtube upload. People have had heated debates about how the Watchtower of Turkey is heavily bias towards Islamic iconography of Turkish culture, and some Turkish citizens are very angry. When placing such an emphasis on the imagery alone, it raises interesting debates on the symbolism, subtext and iconography of the moving image. With regards to how filmmakers are responding to the effects (and thinking about what you are saying about story); we can think back to what happened when The Matrix came out and we all collectively pooped our pants. The Wachowski brothers saw Michel Gondry's Smirnoff commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vj4jppqwkw) and they used the effects to tell an interesting story. But then they couldn't really use that effect again as it propagated itself into almost every action movie and commercial at the turn of the millenium. This style has that kind of appeal, and probably the same trajectory. The difference is that you don't need a budget to pull it off, just plenty of time and the software, which is what most amateur filmmakers have. I dare to say that perhaps even this filmmaker may feel a bit cursed by his success, as judging from the movies he has made since, he may feel obligated to edit this way and feel caged by its limitations. I look forward to seeing how it manifests itself into other genres beyond travel.
  19. In short, I used all of them. Its going to be a nightmare to grade, but i have Filmconvert for CineD (60% of the footage) and V Log (10% of the footage), and Andrews log converter for CineV (30%). For each profile I followed the advice of everyone here on exposure and settings, I was trying to figure out which I prefer and eventually settled on CineD for run and gun. How would you go about matching them? However, my main concern is generation loss when exporting clips from AFX to edit in FCPx for final edit. I am wondering if people use Animation codec, PNG or Prores 444/ 422 when exporting and what kind of issues they have come across. Someone on Creative Cow has suggested to ditch FCPx all together and work in Premiere Pro. I am pretty proficient in that program too, but I would still somehow have to get it to FCPx for the grading, unless there is a better way to match the footage without Filmconvert. The other question I had was with the 0-255/ 15-235 colour space and what I need to consider when editing and exporting. I am doing some tests now and should have my answers, but some advice would save me a bit of time. It would be easier to do it all in FCPX, but its just a personal/ practice project where the goal was to get some experience with After Effects.
  20. Lol @ Pizza Rat... I was taking into account the fact that it was an amateur filmmaker showcasing his art, and in that respect that kind of response/ dialogue is what we all aspire to generate and I am sure some people here do on on a regular basis. I get your point though. Right now more than ever, as video is everywhere and getting cheaper to produce, story is king. Effects don't age well. I don't really look at this style as something a serious filmmaker would want to be known for. I am sure they would prefer people to appreciate how they use the camera to tell a story. In that respect, this video is a bit 'gimmicky' as it is swapping storytelling for the 'geezus, how did you do that' appeal. If you read comments for some of the more recent videos imitators have made, you can tell that people are kind of getting tired of it already. Everyone now is trying to tell a bit of story, such as Brandon Li to great effect, check out some of the links I posted. But none-the-less, if you are going to make a travel video and you are on your lonesome with a camera and a couple of lenses, it is an interesting skill to master - and tell yourself youve been there and done that. It also teaches you some important skills with regards to composition/ framing, movement, sound editing, organising footage etc. We must also remember that montage, or random shots put together, is a bona fide genre that has been around since the beginning of film. When done well it can have the same impact on the viewer as a great story.
  21. I'm afraid you can't really ignore a DSLR filmmaker that has garnered over 500, 000 views and 1, 393 comments. It is safe to say that this 'gimmick' has inspired a lot of amateurs to get out and shoot, myself included. It is rare to see something inspiring that you could do in your hometown, on a shoe string budget, all by yourself. I would even throw it out there that it is the essence of what the DSLR community is all about.
  22. There is something else I would like to add... I have massive amounts of respect for watchtower of Turkey because he couldn't crop 4k to 1080. The same goes for Matty Brown. They physically whip the camera away after they get the shot. What others are doing now is taking static shots in 4+K and panning and scanning. But keep in mind that this will only look natural if you use curves and expressions in AFX. I have seen some videos where the filmmaker did not take this into account and their videos didn't resonate with the audience so well. I will not be linking to these out of respect for their effort.
  23. I am currently editing a video in this style so I can point you to a few links if you are looking for further inspiration. 24 hours in Ibiza https://vimeo.com/135852367 India Land of Kings https://vimeo.com/140850530 Roma https://vimeo.com/137925379 Tokyo Roar https://vimeo.com/129171397 The Norway https://vimeo.com/140960984 Amsterdam Music Festival 2015 (check this out to see it done with a bigger budget) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9xFVfERKUU I think that should keep you busy for an evening. PS: My advice would be to screengrab them, pop them into your NLE and look at the transitions frame by frame. Collect as many shots as you can, don't worry so much about how they will stitch together as it is more important to have options. Watch this interview with the Vimeo pioneer of this style Matty Brown https://vimeo.com/138341824 Make your movements with the camera as slow and as stable as possible. Always look for movement in the shot so you can emphasis it with speedramping, even if its just a blink of your subjects eyes. Try to get shots of birds, yourself as filmmaker (self reflexive shots of filmmaker in action i.e. your feet, your hand opening a door etc), water, people preparing food... just shoot everything you can think of. Try to tell a story. As mentioned above, the style is montage which was propagated by Vertov with Man with a Movie Camera. Check it out on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z97Pa0ICpn8. However, I would call this a post modern treatment as it includes hyperlapse and special effects. Don't try to make something as intense as Watchtower of Turkey unless you have at least 2-4 weeks of full time editing and effects available. Look at some of the other takes on this style which use the transitions, sound and movement a bit more sparingly to great effect, like some that I have linked to above. Finally, learn how to use curves in After Effects if you want to have that off balance, natural swinging type of movement. I am not an expert on this style yet, but hopefully when I am done with my cut i can offer more tips.
  24. Heipa (Finnish for whats up), i have just collected a bunch of footage documenting the Finnish summer and I would like to get some advice as to how to start 'processing' the footage. The style is the hip-right-now hyper-motion matching transitions, smash cuts and speed ramping. The goal is to create a montage, which includes a lot of speed ramping, positioning and stabilization in AE or FCPX. I intend on pursuing a workflow as such: select and stabilize clips/ sequences/ events in After Effects, then pre-comp and apply Twixtor as needed, pan & scan/ crop to 1080p or not, export as prores 444, import to FCPx, put it all together as a fluent series of events and rework effects as needed. Can somoene let me know if I am heading for woes or on the right track (someone, i.e.: AaronChicago and other GH4 enthusiasts...) Thanks
  25. I did a quick V Log test with I.Res off and NR -5 compared with I.Res High and NR +5. Both iso 400 and computer exposed to 60% zebra. The reduction in noise is clear to me when filming in favorable daylight conditions. But this test clearly shows the damage it is doing to the blacks when raised high, tons of macroblocking (?) etc. Maybe we can come to a consensus eventually if raising these settings is ideal, and if so... by how much. First grab is all settings reduced. The following screengrab is all settings raised.
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