Club Open Night on April 3rd

The club invites everyone to come to an evening of filmmaking fun at CERN on Thursday April 3rd.  Club president Michal Czapski introduces the evening in this video:

For full details of this exciting event, checkout the event page here.

All about… Special Effects – 28th August @ 19:30

This Wednesday we’ll have a one hour presentation from a new club member, Yasser Talaeh, who is an expert on special effects. The presentation will start at 19:30 sharp, there will be someone to meet people at the reception at 19:15 for those who don’t have a CERN access card. For those who are making their own way, the presentation will take place in Room C, where we usually hold club meetings.

See you there!

Latest club film now online: Poetry Café

PoetryCafe-4-3The final tweaks on the edit of Poetry Café are complete and you can see the results on Vimeo here!

Why Vimeo and not YouTube? The answer is quality. Vimeo has chosen to target the short film market by allowing higher quality video. The fund this by charging for different levels of service and restrict the free service much more than YouTube. For example, you can only upload one HD video per week with a free account. But this is no problem for us as we don’t make more than one film per week!

 

Documentary Filmmaking Course

Hi everyone !

As you may have heard, i have achieved a Documentary Filmmaking Course in Annecy last november. It was a 10 weeks course, very intensive. The purpose was to learn but also to achieve your own short documentary (approx.20min) within these 10 weeks.

Here is the trailer :

Here is the movie :

The place

Cinédoc gives courses but also produces its own movies. There are different kinds of courses such as the “Webdocumentary course” which looks very interesting too.

The trainees

We were 6 persons selected on file + interview. All of this was to confirm our motivations, know we’ll be able to follow and check that this course is suited for our career goals. Here you can check it : http://www.cinedoc.fr/formation.php

You can be sponsored if you’re selected (but only if you live in France…) or pay a fee of approx. 4000€

The training

The 10 weeks are divided in 3 parts.

  • WRITING

A teacher helps you figure out your subject and once it’s dissected and verbalized well enough (very cerebral phase…), you learn how to write a “statement of intent” or “note d’intention”. In this one to three pages piece, you explain why, how and  what you intend to show in your documentary (different than the synopsis). This piece is part of the booklet you send to get subventions from the institutions.

Then you’re sent to make your “repérages”, look for your shooting locations, structure the basis of your future movie.

  • SHOOTING

After a brief technical point, you learn how to form a frame. Not just aesthetically pleasing but which contains the director’s point of view. The question being : What do you intend to show ?

For example, we exercised on following people in the street (to get used to manually focus and iris light while moving), choose your frame on a still painting, show an action in 5 frames of one minute, show a tale in a unique take of max.5 minutes, etc.

After a few days, you’re sent to start your first real shooting called “Bobine 0″. You should come back only with rushes you mean to use in your movie. It’s a good way to learn to capture the essentials and not only record whatever shows up in front of your camera.

And then we had 2 weeks to film.

For my movies, i shot 7 halves days, meaning, 3 full days and a half with approx. between 1 to 2 hours rushes each time to finally end with a 18 minutes movie. So the ratio : 2 hours rush = 2 minutes film stands.

We were working as teams, 2 people working on each other movie as the sound ingeneer.

  • EDITING

We were also supposed to work as teams of 2 for the editing, the director giving directions to the other one manipulating the rushes. But the lack of time forced us to work by ourself as it goes much faster to edit yourself.

So we had one week and a half each.

Finally, we screened our movies to a full cinema room composed of actors, friends, teachers. The aim was definitely to learn how to make a documentary by yourself but having a finished piece also gives you a professionnal card into the movie industry. So that each one of us is now presenting its piece to Festivals. Who knows ?

Free technical tutorials online

Visit this page : Lynda.com, it gives really good essentials tips via free tutorials about technicals aspects of filming such as camera, audio and lightening.

All these tutorials below are free, for others you may have to become a member.

1. Getting Started in Video 18m 45s

Learning the craft of filmmaking 4m 47s
Exploring types of video cameras 9m 18s
Knowing what to look for in a camera 4m 40s

2. Camera Essentials 1h 1m

Learning camera anatomy 9m 27s
Exploring important camera settings 5m 52s
Understanding how to focus 3m 17s
Using tools to achieve better focus 6m 10s
Knowing when to use auto focus 2m 52s
Shooting with shallow depth of field 4m 46s
Understanding exposure 5m 5s
Using neutral density (ND) filters to correct overexposure 5m 0s
Using zebra stripes to accurately judge exposure 3m 26s
Using gain to artificially brighten an underexposed shot 3m 3s
Choosing the right shutter speed 4m 13s
Understanding color temperature 3m 6s
White balancing a shot 5m 2s

3. Moving the Camera 18m 25s

Choosing the right tripod 5m 27s
Understanding camera moves 6m 54s
Mastering hand-held shooting 6m 4s

4. Audio Essentials 29m 56s

Five sound rules to live by 7m 11s
Understanding the types of microphones for video shooting 7m 42s
Setting up microphones for a video shoot 6m 17s
Using a boom microphone 3m 23s
Setting proper audio levels 5m 23s

5. Lighting Essentials 35m 28s

Working with lighting instruments 9m 23s
Understanding lighting concepts 4m 13s
Creating a four-point lighting setup for a scene 12m 42s
Using corrective gels 9m 10s

6. Conclusion 9m 24s

Shooting for the edit 8m 20s
Goodbye 1m 4s

Très Courts Films

I really enjoyed Très Courts this year (thanks to everyone who organised the screenings!) and I looked up some of the films that I particularly enjoyed.  So in case you missed the festival you can see some of my favourites online:

Books on Directing

I’ve just been given two fascinating books on directing scenes by Christopher Kenworthy.  They have become classics and are widely used in film schools.

The first volume covers a wide range of different types of scenes and proposes 100 different camera and actor set-ups that help to communicate the story.

The second volume focuses on dialogue scenes.  Both will be an excellent source of ideas for workshops and for film projects.

To find out more, click on the images to follow the link to Amazon.

Quentin