With Storywriter, Amazon now provides a free screenwriting app with auto-formatting, and a new gateway into Amazon Studios.
Amazon Storywriter is a free cloud-based screenwriting app whose main feature is auto-formatting your screenplay as you type (similar to the Fountain-based Mac app Slugline). Writers can access Storywriter via most computer-based browsers to write and edit their scripts. For offline use, Amazon has created a free Chrome app for Storywriter for both Mac and PC to let writers continue to work without an Internet connection, then sync up later when they are back online. Storywriter also includes conflict resolution safeguards if a script is edited on more than one computer before syncing with the cloud.
Forget using expensive dolly tracks or handheld gimbals to pull off beautiful camera moves. You’ve got a car, right?
Admittedly, using cars to get these shots is kind of an old school technique that indie filmmakers have been using for a long time, especially before handheld 3-axis gimbals came along. (In fact, you can get some amazing shots using a car and a gimbal in tandem.) But since gimbals are becoming more ubiquitous (though still spendy), it seems like now’s as good a time as any to remember one cinematic tool that you might’ve forgotten — or hell, maybe you never knew!
Blackmagic Fusion 8 Public Beta
The public beta of Fusion 8 for Windows and Mac is here.
The compositing and 3D application used by a number of Hollywood films was purchased by Blackmagic about a year ago, and they released version 7 for free, along with a $1,000 studio version containing more advanced features and options. While version 7 was only available on Windows, version 8 is now available for both Windows and OS X, and the $1K studio version will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux when it’s finally released.
Here’s a general overview of Fusion from Rick Young:
They just released the first Public Beta for Davinci Resolve 12, which you can download here. Resolve 12 brings over eighty new features to the popular color grading tool, with a host of editing, audio, workflow, and of course, color grading improvements.
First, here’s a video from Blackmagic that gives us a great rundown:
(Thanks to Robbie Carman of Amigo Media for the heads-up on Frame.io)
Collaboration is a major part of filmmaking, but sometimes it seems as though technology hasn’t quite caught up with our increasingly mobile and online workflows. That’s why Frame.io is so exciting. This collaboration platform aims to “pick up where Vimeo left off” by allowing users to upload, review, and share videos privately with collaborators anywhere in the world with a single application. And once you check out the workflow, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.
What is Frame.io?
Frame.io explains the workflow:
Frame.io acts as a home base for all your creative projects. It replaces the hodgepodge of using Vimeo, Dropbox, and Gmail to work with media files online. We solve cloud storage, client review, transcoding, and light asset management into one seamless app. We have great tools for video like time based comments and annotation so you can draw directly on video frames. We have version control and comparison tools built in so you can see what’s changed over time. Frame.io is social too. Every action performed is tied to an individual user and tracked so you get notifications about what’s going on. It’s built for teams from the ground up so you can create a private workspace for each project you’re working on and decide who has access to what.
Frame.io allows you to create projects, add collaborators to them, and drag and drop files from your computer to share all within the dashboard, which is a real time-saver.
Click here to try Frame.io and to read a lot more on this collaborative tool for video creators.
Nothing makes or breaks an audience’s expectation for a film like a trailer.
On one hand, a well-cut and expertly crafted trailer can stoke an audience’s imagination, giving subtle, yet alluring hints of the film’s plot, style, and overall tone. If the trailer audience likes what they see, they’re a hell of a lot more likely to follow through and watch the film. On the other hand, if the trailer disappoints in some way, if it’s awkwardly cut, includes too much or too little plot, if it confuses audiences or leaves them feeling underwhelmed, well, then you’ve done the marketing equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.
Luckily, just about anything can be learned on the internet these days, including the art of cutting a trailer for your upcoming film. So without any further ado, here’s Ryan Connolly and the Film Riot crew to offer some helpful tips on crafting a trailer:
Adobe released one of the largest updates to Premiere Pro in recent memory.
Of the many new features that are integrated into the software, the most exciting of them is Lumetri Color panel, which comes in a completely revamped color correction workspace. While the workspace itself features new scopes (courtesy of SpeedGrade) and a few other nifty features for editors who find themselves correcting and grading footage, the Lumetri Color panel provides perhaps the biggest boost in grading capability and ease of use that has ever been seen in Premiere.
Jib shots are great, and there’s no doubt that they can add massive production value. However, they can also be a tremendous pain in the ass to set up and operate, especially as a one man crew.
Luckily, like most technical aspects of filmmaking, jib shots can be hacked. In an excellent episode of PremiumBeat’s newish tutorial series, aptly titled Awesome Cinematography, filmmaker Brent Pierce shows us just how simple it can be to use a slider to capture vertically and horizontally-moving shots that would otherwise require a small jib. Also, the results of this technique look absolutely fantastic.
Depth of field is an incredibly powerful tool, but the mathematics and mechanics of calculating and pre-visualizing it can be overwhelming.
A Polish software engineer (and amateur photographer) named Michael Bemowski recently put together one of the most helpful depth of field tools out there, and the best part is that it’s completely free. The tool, which you can find here, allows you to manipulate every camera and lens setting that affects depth of field, from sensor size to focal length, from aperture to the distance between the subject and the camera. Plus it gives you a handy visual approximation of what each specific set of parameters would look like in a real world setting.
At the bottom of the app is another helpful tool, which gives you visual approximations of the distance between the camera, subject, and background, as well as the exact depth of field measurements for the settings defined above.
In order to make this tool as accessible as possible, you can download a version of it that runs offline on any operating system, and there is a dedicated mobile version as well, so you can access it anywhere at any time.