Restoring Your Old Films for Your Site

If you’re like most people, you have a collection of films and videos you recorded years ago. You keep them around because their contents are valuable to you. However, you can’t use them since they’re not in a modern format.

Transferring your films to a digital version enables you to preserve your valuable footage, according to those at Just8mm.com. You can then utilize these movies on your site. Keep reading to learn how the restoration process works.

Should You Do It Yourself?

Film restoration is a complex process involving many details. Depending on the quality you require, you might choose to capture and edit the video on your own or pay a specialist to do the work for you.

Software

If you opt to restore your movies at home, you’ll need a software program to improve the video quality after scanning. These applications can repair issues like:

  • Stains
  • Graininess
  • Noise
  • Scratches

They can also stabilize a shaky image. Many programs are available for download, each with a slightly different process for restoring your film.

Restoration Companies

If you search online, you’ll find several businesses that offer restoration services. They specialize in cleaning and scanning the movie and optimizing the output video.

Unless you have extensive experience with film and video editing, this is likely the best choice for you. Compare prices and methodologies to select the service that’s ideal for you. It’s also an excellent idea to examine samples of the company’s products before deciding to work with them.

Capture Methods

Whether you decide to transfer your films on your own or pay someone to do it, you need to understand the capture methods available. We’ll take a look at the efficiency of each.

Real-Time Recording

Real-time transfer is the cheapest and lowest-quality method for turning films into digital video. The process is straightforward: You project the movie on a screen and record the image on a modern device.

There are several potential problems with this method:

  • A projector typically lights the center more than the edges, leading to a “hot spot” in the middle of the image.
  • Differences in frame rates can cause a strobing effect.
  • Standard projectors block the image’s edges, causing a loss of up to 20% of the area.
  • Distortion can occur if the device that’s projecting or filming isn’t at a right angle to the screen.
  • The sound of the projector may interfere with the audio of the new video recorded.

In general, this isn’t the best method because it produces a low-quality final product. If you can afford it, opt for a more advanced transfer technique.

Frame-by-Frame Capture

This approach is a bit more sophisticated than real-time transfer. It uses a modified projector to advance the film one frame at a time. 

A sensor captures each image separately and sends the data to a computer. The equipment can typically record about ten frames per second.

This method eliminates the risk of flickering. The capture quality is much better than real-time transfer, and computer software can do additional processing as explained above.

Frame-by-frame capture costs more than real-time, but the results are also significantly better. If you choose this approach, make sure the equipment is of high quality. The team also needs to be competent.

If you’re an avid do-it-yourselfer, you may even consider building a telecine machine for frame-by-frame capture. By searching online, you can find accounts of other people’s experiences with such projects.

High-End Scanning

Film scanners are machines built for transforming old movies into digital videos. Production companies first used them to transfer professional motion pictures to more modern formats.

These scanners can capture images in greater detail than frame-by-frame telecine machines. They achieve this by using a high-quality sensor that typically scans one row of pixels at a time.

Film scanning machines take longer to process each image, with some requiring over one second per frame. They continuously advance the movie without using sprockets.

High-end scanners provide the following advantages over frame-by-frame capture:

  • Higher output quality
  • Reliable scans of films with splices, shrinkage, or damaged sprocket holes
  • Built-in mechanisms for dust removal
  • Superior tolerance for warped film

The main drawback is the cost, which is higher than other methods due to the specialized equipment necessary.

Details to Consider

The restoration process involves several specific activities. You can learn more about each step below.

Cleaning

Old films typically accumulate dust and dirt while in storage. For the best transfer results, you need to clean the film before scanning.

There are two options you may be able to perform at home:

  • Passing the film between soft brushes to try to remove dust
  • Using sponges with a mild cleaning solution

Physical Repair

Hollywood movie restoration teams rely on a scratch repair technique called a wet-gate scanner. It puts the film through a chemical bath using a substance with the same refraction index as the plastic. The liquid fills in surface scratches, so they aren’t visible during scanning.

Image Capture

As explained above, there are several different transfer methods. For the best quality output, the ideal choice is high-end scanning.

Digital Fixes

In this phase, technicians use software to improve image quality. For Hollywood film restorations, professionals dedicate hours to repairing tears and deep scratches.

Movie restoration experts even have ways to substitute missing frames. However, this level of sophistication isn’t usually available for amateur films.

Color Correction

A film’s color tends to degrade over time, which is why restoration services typically have tools to re-establish the original balance. The objective is to make the digital version look as similar as possible to the film at the time of recording. 

This process starts during scanning when an automatic optical system stabilizes light and color. If problems remain, colorists can make corrections manually.

The Takeaway

If you have old films at home and want to use them on your site, you can restore them by converting them to digital media. You may choose to perform a low-quality transformation on your own. However, if you need professional-looking results, it’s best to find a service that uses an advanced film scanner.

The restoration process is complex and involves cleaning, physical repair, image capture, digital fixes, and color correction. A specialized company with high-end equipment can provide excellent results. Now that you understand the methods available, you can choose the best way to restore your films for use on your site.


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If you enjoyed this article about restoring old film, you might like this short we made on how to color old photographs:

Frankenstein’s Movie History: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Assembled from strange chemicals and old body parts, and brought to life by a mysterious spark, Frankenstein’s monster enters life as an enormously strong, eight feet tall creature, possessing the mind of a newborn.

Confused and abandoned by his creator, Victor Frankenstein, he tries very hard to integrate into society but faces universal disgust and is shunned from society. Mary Shelley’s amazing novel is about how we fail to humanize those who look different and don’t resemble us.

Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/LJcdYoYU2qg

The screen history of Frankenstein’s monster also comprises many disparate parts, much like the monster himself. From great screen adaptations to ones that are a waste of time, money, and energy, Frankenstein’s monster has seen it all.

Let’s take a brief look at various Frankenstein movies and see which ones are actually worth watching!

Frankenstein’s Movie History: The Good

Frankenstein (1931)

Directed by James Whales, this is one of the best screen adaptations of the book. It is an impressively stylish movie, and we get to see a great performance by Boris Karloff. With the use of his limpid eyes only, we can see the mutation of the monster from candor to chill savagery, and we love every moment of it.

Who hasn’t felt misunderstood and misplaced at some point? We can relate to the sorrowful, non-speaking Frankenstein’s monster, and we can feel where he is coming from. This is indeed one of the best screen adaptations of the monster so far.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

With its dramatic lighting and exquisite pictorial composition, this movie is indeed a worthy successor to the 1931 Frankenstein. It is not surprising that the movie is heralded as one of the best sequels in Hollywood.

The use of light and shadow creates an eerie atmosphere, which enraptures the minds of the audience amidst the mist-covered moors and excellent performances from the actors. James Whales turned the original movie into a superior sequel. The movie swings between the serious and the cleverly iconic, and keeps the audience strapped to their seats.

Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

This movie featured Frankenstein in color for the first time, and it took the classic story to the next level. It was pretty violent, and you could see the organs in jars, human remains, the movie had all the blood and gore. The performance of Christopher Lee as the monster was on-point and had the audiences glued to their screens.

Frankenstein’s Movie History: The Bad

Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)

This was an Italian-French version of Frankenstein, and it was an X-rated movie featuring violence, sex, disembowelments, and a lot of bloody gore, which was definitely not something that Mary Shelley would have intended when she wrote The Modern Prometheus.

Quite frankly, the movie is over-the-top with a bad script and mediocre acting. This is a gross-out oddity and is simply an elaborate spectacle of gore and sex.

Frankenstein General Hospital (1988)

This is another one of the adaptations of Frankenstein’s monster with its tongue firmly in its cheek. Due to profanity and nudity, the movie has an R rating. Leonard Maltin, the famous film historian, calls it one of the worst movies ever made in English. Half of the movie is in color, and half of it is in black, and this is a not-so-clever gag, which gets annoying pretty quickly.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)

With an impressive cast, it seemed as if the director Kenneth Branagh had a great thing on his hands, with the likes of Robert de Niro, John Cleese, and Helena Bonham Carter starring in it. However, this screen adaptation was a complete misfire. The idea was to make the film a gothic romance which doesn’t quite fit with the Frankenstein franchise.

Even though the performance of de Niro as the creature is on target, the rest of the film is frantic and manic. With de Niro as the monster, we thought that the movie would be watchable at least. However, what we get is a bizarre romantic tale that doesn’t even frighten the audience.

Frankenstein’s Movie History: The Ugly

I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957)

In the looks department, the Frankenstein’s monster depicted wins with its ghastly patchwork face and its large one eye. Unfortunately, this is all that the movie has to offer. With a lot of clunky dialogue and mediocre performances, this is not a Frankenstein movie you should have on your list.

Lady Frankenstein (1971)

This movie is a little crazy and frankly, over-the-top. After the death of Dr. Frankenstein, his experiments are continued by his lab assistant and his daughter, who fall in love. Odd, with a loopy plot, it is a sleazy and lurid variation on Frankenstein’s tale.

The Bride (1985)

This is not the adaptation of the Frankenstein myth but rather a spin on the Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Though not entirely terrible, with nice costumes and sets, there is something lacking in the movie, both in the script and the acting. This remake pales in comparison to the original movie and is not something worth your time.

Final Word

We all love a great, chilling horror movie. With so many screen adaptations of Frankenstein’s monster out there, it gets really hard to see which one we should watch. We have reviewed a few of them for you above that will help you pick up a good movie and have a great time!

Happy watching, people!

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We actually attempted to recreate this famous scene in one of our first science films here at Untamed Science. Take a peak.

Books worth Reading

There are many grievances students have with the modern education system. One of the major ones is its inability to quickly adapt to progress. It mostly applies to STEM fields that have to deal with new breakthroughs nearly every day. But other majors have gotten their fair share of criticism as well. Literature specifically is one of the biggest points of contention.

Some of the books that have been at the core of any college’s program have been losing the public interest with the time. Even though literature has it much easier than technical fields, some materials fail to adjust to the context of the modern environment. So here are the books you will most likely encounter throughout your years in college that are actually worth your time.

Lord of the Flies

‘Lord of the Flies’ can often be found up there, close to the top of any literature program’s list. In fact, you might have bumped into it already as it sometimes is studied by high school students. 

Revisiting this piece in a couple of years is no less exciting and raises a lot of new questions that you might have not even thought of during your first read-through.

On the other hand, returning to it too soon may get you stuck in a dead-end. Writing an essay on this particular novel can be hard when you’ve already burnt out discussing the problems raised in this book. 

So if you’re having trouble coming up with fresh material to turn in for your ‘Lord of the Flies’ assignment, consider having an online writing service like essaywritingservice.com provide you with a different perspective.

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange’ never fails to leave an impression on its audience. Both the book and the movie have this sort of atmosphere that stays with you long after you are finished with viewing or reading. The book doesn’t hold its punches, which is probably why it received mixed reviews back when it was first published. 

Yet, this initial shock you receive perfectly highlights the ideas the author tries to convey.

The story is set in dystopian England. Instead of blurring and skipping through the worst parts of life in that place, the reader is forced to look at them through a magnifying glass. It’s mesmerizing, almost hypnotic. And it makes it very hard to miss out on any detail of the plot which raises questions of free will, subjective sense of right and wrong, and many more.

1984

‘1984’ is another classic that you will absolutely come across at some point during studies. And for a very good reason. 

Orwell was a master at creating dystopian worlds like professional domyessay writers. When the protagonist sees, hears, or feels something, you do so as well. The world described on the pages of this book feels absolutely real. The struggles of people that live in it feel the same. But that’s not even the most impactful part of the novel.

It was written as a cautionary tale. It depicts what the author thought could really happen in the future with some sci-fi sprinkled in (mind you, that’s sci-fi in the 1940s). And you just might recognize some of the features of that fictional reality in today’s world. 

It feels like the author might’ve lived among us. But when you realize how long ago this book was written, it opens up a whole new perspective.

Hard to Be a God

Strugatsky brothers have many great writing pieces to their name. ‘Hard to be a God’ can’t even be called the best one of them. But it still warrants some special attention. 

It is widely considered as a novel overburdened with philosophical and existential probing. But it still reads as a very entertaining science fiction piece.

The pace might feel a little slow at first. But it picks up exponentially the closer you get to the end. You follow the protagonist’s trials and tribulations as he can’t catch a break with one problem falling onto him after another, never allowing himself to relax. 

The book is rich in events and has all the things you need and more to have a great reading session. Here are some of the themes:

  • Politics;
  • Drama;
  • Sword fights;
  • Friendship;
  • Betrayal.

You won’t get bored for a second reading through it, which is a big plus for college students that can get tired of practical literature. And once you have binged through this adventure, you’ll find yourself wanting to return to it to examine the underlying ideas the authors ingrained into it more closely. 

It’s a great entry point into the worlds of Strugatsky brothers. And they are the ones you will find yourself wanting to return to again and again. And these ideas make this book a perfect foundation for any essay. 

You have a lot of questions to choose from and lots of material to work with. Address the global problems of totalitarian politics, weak rulers, and mass hysteria on one end of the spectrum or take on the personal scale problems of the inability of one man to stand against the machine that’s way too bigger than himself.

Final Words

This list can hardly be called a complete one. There are plenty of decent books that are being published today. Spotting their value right away is not easy since they haven’t been studied as thoroughly as the classics of the past. 

Some of the older books may be just as relevant now as they were decades ago. Maintaining a critical mind doesn’t mean giving up on literature altogether.

Writing is one of the oldest ways of creative expression. Just like any form of art, it can hold value beyond simple entertainment. Keep looking for great writing pieces, analyze them, look at them from different angles, make up your own opinion. 

Top Films Featuring Gambling

There is a lot of drama and risk involved in gambling films, making them even more fun to watch. Characters in these films constantly throw caution into the wind and wager their last coin for the big score. It is always interesting to watch a character in a desperate bid to win bucks while doing irrational things.

Whether you are a gambler or only looking for a gambling movie to watch, you have come to the right place. These top gambling films are a great way to get some knowledge about your favorite casino game. Pop some corn and bring your friends and enjoy these top five gambling flicks. 

The Gambler (2014)

The Gambler is a film that features Hollywood superstar Mark Wahlberg. It is a remake of the 1974 classic directed by Karel Reisz and featured The Godfather star, James Caan. Wahlberg plays a literature professor who lives a very simplistic life. 

He lives by the words that he either has everything or nothing at all. It is these philosophic words that he carries with him to the casinos. 

The professor who is addicted to gambling gets into debt with an infamous loan shark and a gambling ring. It is interesting to watch as professor finds ingenious ways of finding money, including getting his students to help him. The Gambler is a good movie but still a far cry from the original classic.  

Molly’s Game (2017)

This is one of the most recent top gambling films that you will want to add to your watching list. Molly’s Game is a flick directed by Aaron Sorkin and based on life of former Olympian skier turned underground poker player after suffering from an injury. 

Jessica Chastain plays the cocky Molly and takes us through the illegal but very addictive world of high-stakes gambling.

Poker lovers who are looking to play high-stakes games legally can head over to Trustly casinos and place their bets. Their payments are trusted by best of the gamblers, so there’s nothing move-like in it.

Molly’s Game will take you through a rollercoaster of emotion as you watch Billy Camp fade away in his hopeless gambling life. It is even more thrilling to feel Molly’s rush and watch some fascinating poker and betting games.

Mississippi Grind (2015)

Mississippi Grind is another blockbuster gambling film that features one of the best names in Hollywood. It features Ryan Reynolds who plays as Curtis, a backslapping character that befriends Gerry, played by Ben Mendelsohn, a troubled poker lover. 

The film tells the story of Gerry, who does not seem to have much luck at playing poker and Curtis, who seems to bring luck to Gerry. But it’s not  same with everyone as you can head over to best payout online casino if you are feeling lucky today and start playing your favorite poker game or jackpot city. 

The film revolves around depression, addiction, and regret as you follow these two characters gambling non-stop. Mississippi Grind is a great comedy-drama that also has that melancholic pull to trigger your emotions.  

Uncut Gems (2019)

Uncut Gems is a nerve-wracking and intense gambling thriller directed by the Safdie brothers. Adam Sandler wonderfully plays role of Howard, a New York City jeweler who takes great risks to survive as his debts keep mounting and angry collectors start closing in. 

If you are not the risk-it-all gambler and love wagering your money safely and still get the best stakes, Gamblerzz.com is the site for you. In the movie, though, the fast-talking Howard is a desperate gambling addict that will suck you into his sickness. 

You will back Howard as he tries to pull off one of his concocted schemes and hope that he wins. The film does have a tragic finale that will want you to get right back into it. 

Casino Jack (2010)

If you have watched any of Kevin Spacey’s movies, you know he gives it his all when playing a character. That is exactly what he does in one of his most underrated films, Casino Jack. 

Directed by George Hickenlooper, it follows Jack Abramoff (Spacey), a hotshot Washington DC lobbyist, and his protégé Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper) as their attempt to peddle influence leads to corruption and murder. 

The comedy-drama thriller film based on real-life story of Jack Abramoff will immerse you into underground world of political dealings and corruption scandals.  

How far has live streaming come?

Back in the early days of the internet, ‘live streaming’ typically involved a cheap web-cam hooked up to a computer which broadcast low quality images. By today’s standards, the quality of streaming available even just two decades ago looks more like CCTV footage rather than something you might want to watch for fun. But with most of the world limited to painfully slow dial-up internet at the time, even this seemed like cutting-edge stuff.

Those days are long gone and today live streaming accounts for a sizable chunk of the total volume of internet traffic across the globe. With that said, it’s clear that live streaming video has taken the world by storm – something recent internet usage statistics clearly support.

The most interesting aspects of these figures relates to how live streaming is supplanting traditional media channels. And according to a survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, not only are 47% of the respondents to the survey watching more live streaming video than they were a year ago, but 44% were saying they are watching less live TV as a result of live streaming. This is a startling statistic, suggesting that in order to keep pace with the sorts of technologies younger generations are using, traditional media companies will have to find ways of branching out into the live streaming world.

One of the most disruptive companies in the live streaming space is Twitch—a brand that has now become synonymous with this new type of media content. Following an acquisition by the internet behemoth Amazon for just shy of a billion dollars, Twitch have established themselves as one of the main players in the live streaming space – currently boasting 3.8 million live streamers, 15 million daily viewers, with the total number of monthly viewers sitting at 140 million. This is just one platform however, and with Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube all featuring live-streaming features, competition is clearly beginning to heat up. These four tech titans are not the only popular streaming services in the Western market however, with many Asian equivalents such as WeChat posting numbers that blow Twitch well and truly out of the water.

But when it comes to what exactly people are watching on these streaming services, what sort of trends can we notice? The most popular category by far is online gaming. This covers everything from live video game tournaments to live casino games – and if you fancy, you can find out more about live casino sites on Playcasinos.ca live casino page.

In fact, competitive gaming has become so popular that live tournaments are held in sports stadiums which attract thousands of fanatical fans all screaming for their favourite teams as they compete for million dollars prizes. The fact that live streamed virtual sporting events are now being played in sports stadiums to thousands of fans, while also simultaneously being broadcast online across the globe, shows the extent to which live streaming has become the new normal. And with the numbers growing exponentially on a month by month basis, we can only expect things to increase.

How To Study Filmmaking Online for Free

The film making industry has picked up a notch in the last couple of years. YouTube has changed the landscape forever and has allowed the everyday Joe to become an overnight sensation. 

Needless to say, there is a difference between a fad and garnering a following and you still need the skills to make a decent film. Not too long ago, if you wanted a degree in film, you had to go to an expensive school, but the internet has changed that as well. Studying for free in just one of the online education benefits.

Getting an overview of the business

Some institutes offer introductory course that give you an overview of the film industry. You will be looking at everything from the complexities of development to distribution and finance of it all. 

You can pick a course from some leading provider of studio services for the global screen-based industries. They have ample experience and they give you top tips from the experts. If you have a burning question about the industry, you are sure to get the answer here. 

Giving screenwriting a go

Some well-known institutes have a great course on screenwriting if you lean more towards the tory side of the screen. 

They are usually short two-week course on the basics of screenwriting and you are introduced to a bit of theory and then explore the basics of writing a professional script. 

To manage your writing work for scripts and stories, you can seek help from an expert essay helper. The online writer can also help you with other academic work like thesis, dissertation and term papers even for any other course you are a studying. The course is intense with a lot of information, but the creative writer will soak it up like a sponge. 

Exploring animation

For those of us who enjoy the fictional side of the screen a bit more, there is always animation. Things have come a long way and with modern CG, the possibilities of animation are endless. 

This course is nothing short of a masterclass course. Within a few weeks, you’ll go from knowing nothing to being having your mind blown at the things that you can do. 

The courses are usually presented by top animators who will guide you through their favorite animation techniques. Every week, you’ll delve into a new technique like you do when you check speech ideas on Topics Mill. The options are many as you’ll explore everything from stop motion animation, 2D animation, real-world animation to CGI or computer animation. 

Cinematography

The film industry is so diverse that there is a place for anyone who has an interest in the business. You don’t have to be an actor or screenwriter, but you might have the eye that is needed to take that stellar shot. 

Cinematography is all about the appearance of your films. If the acting sucks, you are the one who can turn the tide and wow the audience with breathtaking visuals. 

Haley Chamberlain Nelson

There is no shortage of cinematography courses out there and you’ll have your hands full in picking the right fit for you. A good place to start would be to get a grip on the basics and work from there. You’ll soon find your niche and become a master in the field if you practice those creative muscles.

Film distribution

Film distribution is one of the more technical and sometimes daunting elements of the industry, but the Film distributors association has you covered in their online course. They will demystify the whole process in their four-week course and shed some light on the processes involved. 

You will be looking at the target audience and the ad campaigns that run to promote the film and also how the target audience influences the advertising. 

The other key aspect that will get a lot of attention is the distribution budget and how funds are allocated for the different aspects of distribution. This is a course you want to spend some time on if you want to stay within budget.   

Conclusion

The film industry is one of the most complex and ever-changing industries. With the development of technology and new filming techniques, you have to be on top of your game. 

It makes for one exciting career if you feel pulled towards it, but if you have what it takes, you’ll be treated to job satisfaction like no other profession. If you still need to test the waters and see if this is the field you want to go into, then the free courses that are available are a must. 

Contributed by Emma Ruddle:

Emma Rundle is a university teacher and also an online tutor working with college students to master them the subjects she teaches in. She also has a great passion for writing and to keep that going she provides assignment writing help to research students. In her free time, she practices yoga, cooks for her family and plays basketball. 

7 Of The Most Common Mistakes Made By Filmmakers

Filmmaking is difficult. For any of the uninitiated out there, you only need to look at the end credits of a film in theaters to realize that it takes an army to make a film, and some of those films aren’t even good! Most filmmakers don’t have the money for big crews with lots of complicated gear, and find themselves doing a hundred different jobs themselves. Whatever level of filmmaking you’re operating it at, you’ll know how easy it is to make mistakes. Mistakes can be trivial or they can be entirely project-ruining. And it’s not always clear what are the most important to avoid. Here are 7 mistakes that filmmakers always make, so you can avoid them.

Haley Chamberlain Nelson

Being Too Gear Focused

When you start out in filmmaking, or even when you’re a seasoned pro, it’s easy to be dazzled by the lenses, rigs, cranes, jibs or whatever else it might be. “You have to be really strict with yourself as a filmmaker and remember that the thing that really matters is your story. Don’t start a project with a $10,000 dollar camera set-up and think ‘Hmmm, what shall we shoot with this?’ Start with the story and keep that at the heart of the project always”, advices Chris Jameson, filmmaking blogger at BoomEssays and Assignment Writer.  You can also achieve a lot without needing all of the gear, as you can see in this video where a steady shot is achieved without an expensive steady cam.

Not Taking Time Over Audio

Audio can be the element of a film that, unless it is spotless, can completely degrade a project from professional to amateur. It’s not the most instinctively interesting area of the film set, which is not helped by the fact that it’s not the easiest to understand either. But that is no excuse. Audio needs to be give a massive emphasis in your prep work, or you could find yourself in a real mess down the line.

Forgetting Battery Backups

Batteries are one of those small things that can cripple a film set. Batteries will run out! It’s inevitable! Always remember to charge primary and back-up batteries before a shoot so that you’re never caught short.

Forgetting the story

Everything in a film must have a reason for being there. “There’s a saying about films that if a viewer doesn’t leave a scene with more than it arrived with, the scene shouldn’t be there. Really this speaks to a constant need for filmmakers to justify the presence of every shot, every line, every character, every scene from the first page of the screenplay to the final cu”, says Lola Kaminski, art writer at PaperFellows and PhD Thesis Writing. Make sure that anyone who questions something can be given a full, valid justification at all times.

Generic Music

Music is a really tough one, particularly for new filmmakers. You don’t want to be in breach of copyright but you also really don’t want audiences to think less of your film because its music is from a free online library. The best solution in that situation is to look around for musicians who you know, or can easily contact and see if you can either use their music or hire them in for the soundtrack.

Breaching Copyright

Speak of the devil! Breaching copyright is a really serious issue that you need to be careful of no matter where in the industry you are. For new filmmakers music is quite often the issue and you need to be sure that your film doesn’t get disqualified from festivals or removed from the internet because you thought no-one would notice. Similarly, be careful not to thieve any intellectual property. There’s a difference between a homage and straight up stealing.

Giving Up

As mentioned at the start, filmmaking is very hard. You will experience a bunch of failures. That’s part of the process. Don’t quit the second it goes wrong, just keep pushing and believing in yourself and eventually you’ll find your feet.

Conclusion

Hopefully this list will give you an idea of a few of the most common critical mistakes that filmmakers make, so that, when it comes to your turn, you don’t find yourself in a similarly bad situation. No-one told you it’d be easy, but these mistakes can make it a whole lot tougher than needs be.

More tips

Article by Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter is a professional film writer at Coursework Help and Write My Research Paper writing services. She tutors in writing for the EssayRoo website and spends her spare time with her three children, traveling and reading.

Five Top Tips For Marketing With Your Filmmaking Skills

Unfortunately for many amateur and even experienced film-makers, talent and skill at film-making usually isn’t enough to set yourself off on the path to success. While film-making is an art, to make money you need to look at the business side of things. That means that art itself isn’t enough. You need to know how to market yourself, and how to promote everything that you do. That can seem intimidating, especially if you’re new to the industry, so looking through these five top tips on how to market yourself and your film-making skills can give you a boost, and help you on the road to fame and sustainability in this difficult industry

Create A Brand

Sometimes, your name just isn’t enough. Consider tying it to an inventive, easily recognizable company – think ‘Bad Robot’ or ‘Scott Free’ for J.J. Abrams and Ridley Scott. Along with a name, you’ll start thinking of logos, ideas around your aesthetic and, soon enough, you’ll have a personal brand for your film-making. Sure, this won’t instantly skyrocket your fans, but it gives them a platform to find and follow you, and a catchy one at that. Consider names – consider slogans – consider logos – but, most of all, consider your brand, what it means to you, and how it can represent you out in the wide, wide world.

Part of the UntamedScience brand is finding the edgier side of science

Get A Website

“These days, everything is online, so you need to be there as well,” says Allan Wilkes, a script writer at Writinity.com and Researchpapersuk.com, “and it’s not just in the film-making industry that websites are important. In order to have any sort of brand or company, you practically need a website in the 21st century. It’s somewhere people can find you, or something they can search for if they’re interested in you already. Websites can be portfolios as well, which always helps you out.” And with some website services offering a free basic plan, you’ve really got nothing to lose. Shop around for the best deal, and see where your budget can take you, but remember that websites are everything in this modern world of business.

Social Media

You probably have a personal social media account on many different platforms – this is not what we’re talking about here. Create new profiles (‘business’ profiles or pages if applicable) and get the news about your newest film or project flowing. Reveal ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage, post consistently, and develop a fanbase online. Social media can be a brilliant tool to network as well, since you’ll find many other film-makers like yourself out there, and this can lead to great opportunities. Create some high-quality content, interact with your ‘followers’ and get started creating your digital community!

Find Your Critics

Critics should never be seen as a bad thing in film-making. So, if you’ve got a released project, reach out to them! Search on IMDB and find critics who reviewed similar films to yours, or films with the same actors or producers as yours, then contact them and pitch your project to them, mentioning the similarities to other films which they have reviewed. The publicity benefits both of you, and you’ll lose nothing but gain some constructive criticism, which you can then put towards your next project.

Video Advertising

If you haven’t already got a trailer, then you need one for this tip. “Everybody watches Youtube, or some sort of similar video-hosting website, and lots of businesses capitalize on this with video ads – why not you?” Elsie Metcalfe, a movie blogger at Draftbeyond.com and Lastminutewriting.com, questions. “Youtube finds your audience and delivers them your content, creating interest in your project. But make sure you include something along with your trailer: a call to action. Incite your audience to ‘click’, to take action – it might be following your social media page, or going to your website. Whatever it is, it makes sure that interested viewers don’t just ‘watch and forget’ your ads – they’ll take action, remember your project, and, hopefully, become fans of your work.”

Here is an example of one of UntamedScience’s new brands, StoneAgeMan

article by : Valerie Caswell works as a marketing professional at Lucky Assignments, as well as Gum Essays. Reading and writing about aspects of marketing online and modern entrepreneurship are her hobbies, and she is a firm believer that you never stop learning in life.

 

Why You Should Try Animal Photography

Not all science filmmakers work with animals. However, it’s important to be diverse if you want to make it in this field. Doing filmmaking with animals can be difficult. However, photography is a good way in as well. If you can make it as an animal photographer, it’ll open doors down the road. Plus, it’s a great skill to have.

Animal photography, whether you’re a professional or a casual photographer, is a fun way to spend your time. If you’ve got a camera or even a high-quality camera phone, here are a few reasons why animal photography is a great pastime to take up.

It Shows The Beauty of Nature 

This sounds a little bit trite, but learning the beauty of nature is something everyone should learn, especially in a time of climate uncertainty. Animal photography can show nature in a light never seen before. 

It’s actually different than going out and just being in nature. With photography, it makes you look closer at the details you might have missed. Plus, you’re able to show animals from a whole new angle. Depending on your lighting, color, and what angle you shot the animal, viewers can see nature from a new point of view and they may connect with it more.

It Humanizes Animals

There are many people who become more sympathetic to animals once they have a human element. Taking a picture of your dog salivating over some delicious food is one such example. Another method you can try is learning how to humanize animals who have a more fierce reputation. For example, taking a picture of a sleeping tiger shows the animal to be one giant cat, and gives people a reason to want to save them. Putting wildlife closer to humans or pets can do wonders. 

Take some photos of the  most dangerous snakes in a funny situation, or show some piranhas swimming about without a care. Obviously, exercise caution should you decide to take some pictures of animals. 

You Learn To Take Pics of What You Can’t Control 

There are many things you should learn about your camera, from its shutter speed to how much ISO you need. By teaching yourself learn memorization techniques, you can map out everything your camera does and be a master photographer. 

You can control the camera, but what you usually can’t control is the animal. Unless you’re taking pictures of your trained dog, nature can be unpredictable. You need to learn to take that shot ASAP, because the animal may never be in that pose again. If you’re shooting outside, you usually can’t control the lighting. Learning to take pics of what you’re given is a great lesson.

It’s Relaxing

Finally, one reason why getting into animal photography is a fantastic idea is because it’s relaxing. When you’re outside, the calming effects nature has on you are quite good. From uplifting your mood to calming your anxiety, getting out of the house and exploring the great outdoors is great for both the mind and body. 

With that said, if you have extreme depression or anxiety, you may need more help. Consider seeking help from online therapy. Or, if you have the credentials, a job in online counseling may work. Click here for more information:

Photography Tips 

If you’re wanting to get into nature photography, knowing a few tips can make your photos stand out. Here are some pointers:

  • Always remember the rule of thirds. For photography newbies, this is when you divide your photo with two horizontal and two vertical lines. There are many cameras that will have these lines built into their display to make it easier. Putting your subject in places where these lines intersect can make your image more eye-catching.
  • Be mindful of the lighting. Experimenting with different times of day can give you an idea of what you want your image to be. 
  • To catch an animal in the moment, make sure your shutter speed is high. If you want your animal to have some motion in the photo, lower the shutter speed a bit. 
  • Invest in a drone. Drone photography can take your shots to a new level and allow you to take pictures from places you could never have reached.
  • Take a look at our other photography tutorials and explore some nature photographers. See how they shot their pictures and use that for inspiration. Rob Nelson and Jonas from Untamed Science are good examples. 

Try it today, and explore the fun of animal photography now! 

How to Shoot an Interview

There is an art to getting good information from someone who is on camera. There are many ways that you can do this, but we’d like to divide interview styles up into a few basic types.

Talking Head: The standard type of interview that many people think of when they hear they are shooting an interview is the ‘talking head’ or ‘three button interview.’ In this scenario, the subject is placed by themselves in the frame and they talk to the interviewer off-camera. It is by far the easiest one to capture and the easiest to get good clean talking bits from.  A variation of this might be a sit-down interview where the interviewer and the interviewee are both talking to each other, but with similar framing.

Walk and Talk: In some ways, this is a difficult interview to pull off. You establish the host in the shot and they’ll talk to each other. The goal might be to make the interviewee more comfortable, but it does take a lot of coordination with the camera crew to make sure everyone moves at the same pace without distracting the two on-camera people.

The Follow: In many situations you may just want to follow the action during the interview. This is my favorite type of interview, as it gives life to the people on camera. It’s also the most difficult to pull off because you have to have good audio, hosts and camera people who are able to capture the action while it’s happening.

Shooting Interviews on a Budget

Shooting interviews is a basic skill as a filmmaker. It should be something everyone learns early on in their progression. They don’t need to be shot with a fancy camera or with any fancy gear either. A few years back we made a video specifically for students whereby we tried to show them the basics of shooting interviews so that they could go make their own. We focused on simple techniques and using basic gear – like a phone or Gopro. The following video highlights those simple techniques.

The main points to remember are:

  1. LOCATION: Choose a good location such as making sure the light isn’t too bright and it’s not too windy
  2. AUDIO: Remember to get good, clean audio. That means getting a lav mic or boom microphone.
  3. COMPOSITION: Compose the interviewee according to the rule of thirds.
  4. QUESTIONS: Prep your interviewee and ask good questions.

Advanced Interview Skills

Expanding on the above video, we made this one that gives more tips on the interview process.

In it where we covered these basic points.

  1. Types of Interviews: Walk-and-talk interviews vs. Locked down (stationary)
  2. Choosing what lens to use. Wide angle lenses are busier as it shows more of the stuff going on in the background but can feel more “personal” (news report look). Long/telephoto lenses are more cinematic and more studio-like. They have a fixed backdrop and are often cleaner.
  3. Equipment you Need: Besides the camera, there are a few essentials, like tape and a light or two.
  4. Interview Prep: To make the interviewee comfortable, there are a few things you might want to say to get the comfortable and make sure you don’t get them answering yes or no to your questions.

Answering Interview Questions:

As a special thanks to our patrons, we wanted to spend a second to cover their questions in more depth.

1. Where to Look?

Tobias asked: “Is it better to ask the people to look into the lens or to a person standing next to the camera?”

There is no right answer here. However, I would say that in my experience, having an expert talk off camera gives them some cred as a person who is simply giving the facts or stating their experience. As soon as you start looking into the camera you have changed the interaction that person has with the documentary. They are now subtly part of the narrative. Now, they come off as a kind of host. It is as if they are now, no longer impartial to the story that the documentary is telling. I think this now establishes them as the storyteller.

Also, looking directly at the audience through the lens is a skill that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s generally difficult for most people do to this and so I rarely use it when we interview experts. The other challenge is that if you do have a host, you may not want to compete with multiple people talking to camera. One exception to this was with the emerald ash borer video we just finished featured below.

Jiri, our expert really owned that story and had a story he wanted to tell. He was good at talking and actually suggested he just talk into camera for that interview. We shot many backups where he didn’t, but I liked the ones where he talked into the lens.

2. Green-screen or Natural Background?

Jeff asked, “What about green screening a backdrop with another video or motion graphics playing in the background? Is that a technique that is looked at as being a pro look or is it thought of as being kind of cheesy (technical term lol) or an amateur move? Thinking that having a background of let’s say white with a transparency of 50% and then a video behind that. Just a thought. Looking forward to Tuesday as always:-)”

This I think is a stylistic choice. First, let’s remember that you can almost always tell that it’s in front of a green screen. So, what does this tell you as the viewer? I think it tells you that it was shot in a studio first and foremost. If you capture more of the background in your shot, it clearly shows that you’re out in the environment. To me, this feels more natural.

However, there are situations where I think it works well, if not even better because it gives consistency to a program. Take this clip show piece of our friend Carin Bondar on Outrageous Acts of Science.

The benefit here is that the producers can fly to 10 different cities to interview the subjects, but put them all in the same background. This would give unity to the show. Plus, nothing in this show’s background is possible in a real set and it lightens the mood to something that was intended to just be fun.

To get to your point about it being cheesy. Yes and No. It can feel cheesy if it’s not done well or the background looks bad. I think it’s really easy to mess it up and that’s why I prefer sticking to a more basic blurred out and “real” background.

3. Stand-up Interviews or Follow Interviews?

Johanna asked, “What is the main purpose of the stand up interview, on site? What I’m noticing in reviewing our projects, is that a walk around interview seems to go better, in terms of the quality of naturalness of the interviewee, but the visuals run amock as we try to follow and get focus. So, is it a trade off? Also, over the shoulder while driving or looking at a computer screen seems to get better comfort and enthusiasm from the biologists. I’m to the point of telling our team, don’t even bother with the stand up interview. The most interesting stuff (to me anyway) seems to be when we are over the shoulder, following, chatting. Yet, pros, always do the stand up interviews, so why?”

This is a great questions Johanna. It’s not something that a lot of young filmmakers even think about. How many have really though, “what is the benefit of getting a static interview?” and “what does this do for our story?” First, let’s be clear – it is much easier to get a stand up interview or static interview with clean audio and everything in focus. You will, however, loose the dynamic nature of the scientist unless they’re really good. And, even if they are good, the static nature of it is usually dry. I almost always shoot these purely as backup. I try to get as much as I can following the researchers. It makes for better storytelling, but as  you’ve discovered, is much harder to do. I only do this style of filmmaking when I know I have Jonas or Haley with me, both of whom I’ve shot with for over a decade.

I think when you’re on a mountain cliff though, I’d have skipped the static interview. You can always get that back on dry ground with a long lens and blurred out background. When you’re in the midst of the action, I’d shoot for the action.

4. Self Shooting Interview Tips

Corey asked, “Any tips on self shooting in these situations would be helpful and appreciated!”

Self shooting interviews is clearly harder than not, but it’s doable. Here are a few tips that come to mind.

  1. A tripod is your friend. Set it up and lock the focus. Then, trust your settings and turn into the interviewer.
  2. Try not to look at the camera too much as this will distract the expert.
  3. Given that you can’t control the camera as much, understand you’ll have to forfeit excessive shot changes. One (or two) types of shots is all you can feasibly do.
  4. The tips Jonas gives in his interview videos above do a good job walking through key things to tell them. I recommend doing all of those.

Other than that, I think it’s about the same as shooting with two people. The benefit of shooting with a camera person is that you can spend more time getting the person you’re interviewing to feel comfortable with the process and you. When I do interviews I almost ignore the camera crew and talk a lot to the experts. I make sure we only have small talk though – nothing about the subject we’ll talk about. This way they’re telling it to me fresh each time.