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With the accessibility offered by ever more affordable tools, it has never been easier to make an Indie feature. This essay by President and Co-founder of the Digital Cinema Society, James Mathers, discusses the distribution of an indie feature shot with Canon EOS Cinema Cameras and Canon glass, and how the filmmakers brought Why We Ride to life.



FCPX timeline screenshot with logo and title

Don't Fight the Magnetic Timeline!

One of the biggest "issues" people coming from other NLE's still seem to have with FCP X is how the Timeline works. Magnetism! No Tracks! Weird Snorkel Things! Storylines?! It's Crazytown! If you fall into this category, we have two suggestions for you. 1) Read this article by Creative COW's Charlie Austin. 2) Don't fight the timeline! Even experienced X-ers are going to have fun with this one.



Silhouette of a man and a woman in tug-of-war on even ground

Sexism in Post: Sometimes It's What You Think: Sometimes Not

Sexism in video production is making work environments hostile and keeping women away, but the most damaging sexist actions aren't what you think.



Right Footed documentary Help Right Footed Take Its Next Steps

Our friend Bill Megalos, currently on the cinematography faculty at USC, brought us the story of Right Footed, the attitude-busting, life-changing story of Jessica Cox, who was born without arms as the result of a birth defect, but managed to become an airplane pilot -- flying with her feet. It's an inspiring movie about the power of one person to change themselves, and make a difference in the world.

We have an upcoming story about the film with Bill, who served as the film's DP, and producer-director Nick Spark, but in the meantime, we want to point you to their Indiegogo page. While primarily sponsored by the non-profit Independent Documentary Association and Creative Visions Foundation, they're still a few steps short of their goal. Take a look. We think you'll be impressed, both with the film, and with Jessica Cox's amazing story. Read on....
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One of the biggest "issues" people coming from other NLE's still seem to have with FCP X is how the Timeline works. Magnetism! No Tracks! Weird Snorkel Things! Storylines?! It's Crazytown! If you fall into this category, we have two suggestions for you. 1) Read this article by Creative COW's Charlie Austin. 2) Don't fight the timeline! Even experienced X-ers are going to have fun with this one.



a man and woman pulling on either side of a rope in a tug of war


Sexism in Post: Sometimes It's What You Think: Sometimes Not

Sexism in video production is making work environments hostile and keeping women away, but the most damaging sexist actions aren't what you think.


woman screaming, covered with blood makeup


Thriller in the Heartland: Indie Filmmaker Zack Parker

While some would call family life in the midwest a challenge to making movies, writer/director Zack Parker has made deliberate choices in his career and has some great advice for aspiring filmmakers as his fourth feature, "Proxy", hits Netflix and DVD.


cloud asset management icon

NetApp Simplifies Hybrid Cloud Management Software

Storage and data management company NetApp announced a set of tools to enhance cloud services, including a more efficient operating system with simple tools to manage data on Amazon Cloud web services.



Right Footed documentary


Help Right Footed Take Its Next Steps

Our friend Bill Megalos, currently on the cinematography faculty at USC, brought us the story of Right Footed, the attitude-busting, life-changing story of Jessica Cox, who was born without arms as the result of a birth defect, but managed to become an airplane pilot -- flying with her feet. It's an inspiring movie about the power of one person to change themselves, and make a difference in the world.

We have an upcoming story about the film with Bill, who served as the film's DP, and producer-director Nick Spark, but in the meantime, we want to point you to their Indiegogo page. While primarily sponsored by the non-profit Independent Documentary Association and Creative Visions Foundation, they're still a few steps short of their goal. Take a look. We think you'll be impressed, both with the film, and with Jessica Cox's amazing story. Read on....







Signiant Media Shuttle


Even small companies are creating massive files, and previous transfer alternatives like Dropbox and YouSendIt simply aren't practical anymore. You can now have access to affordable, SaaS based file transfer solutions that are not only easy-to-use, but also allow you to easily transfer content with enterprise-class security and speed: up to 200x faster than your online file transfers today.

In this Creative COW educational webinar we will discuss the New Reality for Moving Large Content Files, and how it's now possible and necessary for all media professionals to have advanced file movement software as an integral their business, regardless of size.

You will learn about:

  • Three trends driving the increased need for enterprise-class file transfer solutions
  • Benefits if using SaaS-based solutions to dramatically improve business efficiency
  • Tips on evaluating the best solution for your business

    Space is limited, so register today! Click here to learn more.

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    Sink or Swim In Hollywood

    No doubt about it. The first project on William (Bill) Boodell's resume is the one that people are most excited to talk about: Sharknado. But talk to Bill for five minutes and you discover a film connoisseur with a near-concerning catalog of directors, editors, and filmmaking theory in his head, an up-and-coming editor with a unique post-film path to Hollywood. Read on....



    A photo of Rodney Charters with the Dallas logo on the left


    Rodney Charters ASC, CSC on Shooting the Legendary Dallas

    When we heard that this is finally the final season of Dallas, the legendary saga that began in 1978, we thought this would be a great occasion to revisit our conversation with something of a legend himself, master cinematographer Rodney Charters, ASC. Perhaps best known for shooting 184 episodes of 24, he also shot 18 episodes for Dallas, and directed three of them. We spoke about his approach to lighting, and how he was able to create a unified look using cameras including the ARRI Alexa, the Canon C300 and C500, and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Read on....


    Right Footed documentary


    Help Right Footed Take Its Next Steps

    Our friend Bill Megalos, currently on the cinematography faculty at USC, brought us the story of Right Footed, the attitude-busting, life-changing story of Jessica Cox, who was born without arms as the result of a birth defect, but managed to become an airplane pilot -- flying with her feet. It's an inspiring movie about the power of one person to change themselves, and make a difference in the world.

    We have an upcoming story about the film with Bill, who served as the film's DP, and producer-director Nick Spark, but in the meantime, we want to point you to their Indiegogo page. While primarily sponsored by the non-profit Independent Documentary Association and Creative Visions Foundation, they're still a few steps short of their goal. Take a look. We think you'll be impressed, both with the film, and with Jessica Cox's amazing story. Read on....


    Hey, and got a crowdfunding project we need to know about? Need advice for a project you're working on? Be sure to let us know in our new Crowdfunding Forum!
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    We've had the opportunity to run some terrific and terrifying creature features here at Creative COW, and Halloween seems the perfect time to draw your attention back to a few of our favorite frightful entries in this Festival of Fear! Get that adrenaline racing, find your best teenage-girl-high-pitched-scream, and enter our literary Hall of Terrors. We're leading today with our tribute to Ray Harryhausen. If you haven't read up on this master of the macabre, take a look at just a small token tribute to his vast opus, and take a moment of silence to the memory of one of VFX's greatest masters.


    Now, step deeper into our Hall of Horrors and peer behind the lens of Kramer Morgenthau, ASC to visit the set of the Headless Horseman on the FOX hit show, Sleepy Hollow.


    http://library.creativecow.net/articles/kaufman_debra/Behind-the-Lens-Kramer-Morgenthau-ASC.php

    Behind the Lens: Kramer Morgenthau, ASC on Sleepy Hollow

    Kramer Morgenthau, ASC has shot over 60 films, including 2013's Thor: The Dark World. He has been nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys for his television work, and won an ASC Award for his work on HBO's Game of Thrones. He also shot the pilot for the Fox hit Sleepy Hollow, which gave us an opportunity to talk to him about his work, his influences and his philosophy of lighting and camera moves.


    Vampire Diaries

    Style, Emotion & Vamping on The Vampire Diaries

    Forty hours of dailies for The Vampire Diaries get cut into 42 minutes of rapid edits, extreme angles, heightened drama, elevated emotions and, as needed, elegance. "This article by series editor Nancy Forner, ACE, is one of our all-time favorites," says Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson. "Even people who normally give a wide berth to teen vampires will be intrigued by Nancy's career arc as an editor, her dialog-centric approach to cutting, and her use of music." While we won't take (much) credit it for it, after writing this article, Nancy joined the faculty of the USC film school to teach editing. Don't miss this one.


    World War Z: Location Production for the Zombie Apocalypse

    World War Z: Location Production for the Zombie Apocalypse

    While perhaps not immediately what comes to mind when you hear the phrase "shooting zombies," this story about the monumental effort in creating the recent thriller World War Z is a reminder that the advantages of digital production also add additional complexity to many shoots. The outcome was worth the effort -- but it was a lot of effort!

    And of course, here's another reminder to take a look at our conversation with David Boyd, ASC on shooting the first season of AMC's monster hit, The Walking Dead!


    I, Frankenstein

    DI: I, Frankenstein, with Siggy Ferstl

    Its producers had higher hopes that I, Frankenstein would resonate with audiences, but this imaginative extension of the life of Frankenstein's monster into the realm of demons, gargoyles, and avenging angels still looks great. We also had a terrific conversation with colorist Siggy Ferstl about it that we're certain you'll enjoy.




    There's no end to the terror here at the COW during this creepy and hallowed time of year, and we've lined up just a few of our favorites for you here today. Also, don't miss our look at Disney's misunderstood monster of the year, Maleficent with exclusive interviews with Carey Villegas and Kelly Port, and from a few years back, a scary-time family favorite, ParaNorman, when we took a look at the stop-motion camera work on the ghostly tale. So, here's a toast to a spooky nostalgia, a look at the past, and some of the monsters that have frightened us into screaming like a teenage girl!
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    David Fincher's "Gone Girl" is the latest in a series of critically acclaimed films from the director, but it's the first studio feature edited with Adobe Premiere Pro, with a complex post production workflow that includes 6K acquisition and over 200 visual effects completed in house with the help of Dynamic Link and After Effects.



    A Beginner's Guide to Building a Budget 5.1 Editing Suite

    A Beginner's Guide to Building a Budget 5.1 Editing Suite: or Things I Learned the Hard Way So You Don't Have To

    As TV producer Jonathan Bird readied his first 6K feature for the fulldome-theater market, he needed to starting working with 5.1 sound. It turns out that it was trickier than just connecting his computer to a home theater receiver! Here's his trial-and-error progression to success.





    Even small companies are creating massive files, and previous transfer alternatives like Dropbox and YouSendIt simply aren't practical anymore. You can now have access to affordable, SaaS based file transfer solutions that are not only easy-to-use, but also allow you to easily transfer content with enterprise-class security and speed: up to 200x faster than your online file transfers today.

    In this Creative COW educational webinar we will discuss the New Reality for Moving Large Content Files, and how it's now possible and necessary for all media professionals to have advanced file movement software as an integral their business, regardless of size.

    You will learn about:

  • Three trends driving the increased need for enterprise-class file transfer solutions
  • Benefits if using SaaS-based solutions to dramatically improve business efficiency
  • Tips on evaluating the best solution for your business

    Space is limited, so register today! Click here to learn more.
  • Subscribe or Unsubscribe



    Even small companies are creating massive files, and previous transfer alternatives like Dropbox and YouSendIt simply aren't practical anymore. You can now have access to affordable, SaaS based file transfer solutions that are not only easy-to-use, but also allow you to easily transfer content with enterprise-class security and speed: up to 200x faster than your online file transfers today.

    In this Creative COW educational webinar we will discuss the New Reality for Moving Large Content Files, and how it's now possible and necessary for all media professionals to have advanced file movement software as an integral their business, regardless of size.

    You will learn about:

  • Three trends driving the increased need for enterprise-class file transfer solutions
  • Benefits if using SaaS-based solutions to dramatically improve business efficiency
  • Tips on evaluating the best solution for your business

    Space is limited, so register today! Click here to learn more.








    John Dykstra, ASC: VFX Then and Now


    Creative COW had the great pleasure of speaking to visual effects pioneer John Dykstra, who received his first Academy Award for his work on Star Wars, and, the same year, won an Academy Scientific and Engineering Award for the Dykstraflex motion-control camera that made so many of Star Wars' effects possible. Join us as he shares behind the scenes on Star Wars, speaks about his transition from an artist to a VFX supervisor, and gives us his thoughts on the state of VFX today.



    Adventures in 6K with Jackson, Wyoming's Brain Farm Cinema

    Adventures in 6K with Jackson, Wyoming's Brain Farm Cinema

    Nestled in the wilderness of Jackson, Wyoming on the edge of Grand Teton National Park you might not expect to find a high end production house. Staffed with a small team of outdoor sport enthusiasts and adventure-seekers and fortified with the latest in 5K or 6K cameras and technology, the Jackson Hole Valley becomes a perfectly logical place for Brain Farm Digital Cinema. Along with massive file sizes -- and a massive number of files -- Brain Farm found itself needing to evaluate the next generation of technology to support their creativity.

    As they began to consider the addition of PC workstations into their previously (and rabidly) all-Mac facility, they also had to deal with some practical realities: like, what about their ProRes-centered workflow? What about conform with their Mac-based Resolve systems? Guys who live in the world of extreme sports are ready to take risks, but not where deadlines are at stake. Take a look at some of the choices you made, as you take a look at some of the great shots they provided of their work in the Rockies.






    And after you've read that article by Kylee Wall, take a look at her latest Creative COW Blog entry, The Millenial Video Producer: 6 Things To Know About My Generation. It's easy for Boomers and even the leading edge of Gen-X to forget that they're now on the "old" side of the latest generation gap, especially when they consider all the changes they've weathered in comparison to the generation before them. Today's gap isn't just in how the present looks to each group. Some even bigger gaps exist in how future possibilities are viewed. We'll let Kylee tell you the rest, but we know that, whatever your age and experience, you'll find plenty of well-considered provocation here.



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    Adobe has announced a a new family of mobile apps, tied together by a new Creative Profile, to seamlessly integrate into existing desktop tools as part of the latest Creative Cloud release. The CC update, expected to be available today, also includes major new features for the desktop family of tools including Photoshop, Illustrator After Effects and Premiere.


    DP David Klein ASC on Homeland


    As Season 4 of the Showtime hit series Homeland gets underway, this seemed a perfect time for us to revisit our conversation with Homeland DP David Klein, ASC. In addition to Homeland, David recently wrapped shooting 19 episodes of HBO's True Blood, but here, he speaks to us about his career in filmmaking, his approaches to lighting and camera movement for Homeland, and some of the challenges he's had to face. Read on....


    Lesli Linka Glatter


    This season's premiere of Homeland, like Season 3, was directed by Lesli Linka Glatter -- two of the seven she's helmed for that show. A DGA winner for her work on Mad Men, she's also received DGA nominations for her work on Twin Peaks as well as two episodes of Homeland, to go with nominations for two Emmy Awards and an Oscar. It's all but a lock that you've seen at least a handful of the 100+ episodes she's directed for some of the most enduring television of the last three decades.

    We spoke to her just after she won her DGA Award about the breadth of her career, starting with her first directing gig out of school: three episodes of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories. Read on....


    Mary Pickford was known as the Girl with the Golden Curls


    As technology trends carry our abilities as artists to reach into the heavens and to literally hang new planets in space (for feature films like Star Trek: Into Darkness and television milestones such as Cosmos) it's a good thing to go back in time and remember where this industry started, where the dreams began and what the hopes and aspirations of filmmakers of a hundred years ago were, and how that pioneering genius would carry us into "Infinity and Beyond".

    Take a look back with us at a young actress, screenwriter and the United Artists co-founder Mary Pickford, near on 100 years ago -- don't miss the chance to have your mind blown by the technology she and Douglas Fairbanks were working through to bring their artistic visions to life -- with at least a discovered 205 films notched in her belt. When a dilapidated 10-minute film short was discovered in an old barn a year ago, Pickford biographer/film historian Christel Schmidt was called in to assess the value and the date of the old nitrate. Reach into the past with us as we uncovered the story of the restoration and if you're hungry for more, Christel has written an amazing book on Mary Pickford titled "Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies."
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    POV cameras aren't merely changing the production world, they have become a staple of the production world. Getting the inside shot is simple with action cameras and the number of choices in this niche world is broad and perhaps daunting (POV cameras are also referred to as 'action-cameras'). Action cameras are inexpensive and provide a simple means of additional camera angles to any production.

    As a skydiver and adventurer extraordinaire, Douglas Spotted Eagle has a broad experience base with POV cameras designed for action shots. Rather than choosing one catch-all, must-buy cam, he will provide information about which action-camera is best suited for specific criteria which can be then used to help you make informed purchasing decisions.


    A Modern Family wedding

    The Many Colors of A Modern Family

    Sometimes it might seem that colorists are all about stylized treatments and extreme color correction, but Aidan Stanford's work on season five of Modern Family is all about maintaining realism and hiding all the tricks in the background. Making the jump from film color timing into digital hasn't been easy, but Aidan has found a way to utilize his film skills in the digital world, turning around episodes in a day using his favorite tools in DaVinci Resolve. To commemorate Season Five's gorgeous finale and the premiere episode of Season Six, take a look at The Many Colors of a Modern Family with Aidan Stanford.


    Blackmagic DaVinci Goes up to 11

    Blackmagic DaVinci Goes to 11

    Colorist Joseph Owens has been in the heart of postproduction for over 30 years, and has used one form or another of DaVinci Resolve for a large part of that. In his look at the latest release of what he calls the gold standard for color correction, he both covers new features, and considers the possibilities that those features offer.
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    Already a popular young adult series that has spawned a trilogy and a prequel, The Maze Runner opens with a mystery: its central character awakens with no memory, in a maze whose 100-foot walls keep rearranging themselves. The maze is also populated by Grievers, slug-like creatures with six mechanical legs and venomous scorpion tails. Unsure of why he is there, or how he can get out, Thomas meets other young people caught in the maze, known as Runners, and finds that even more mysteries are piling up far more quickly than answers are arriving.

    The Maze Runner opened with a gross of $81 million worldwide in its first three days, with some of the highest critical acclaim and audience scores this side of The Hunger Games. While YA dystopias are just now showing up in significant numbers onscreen, the literary genre has been incredibly vibrant for generations. The current wave was certainly energized in 2005 by the publication of the novel The Hunger Games, but the genre's roots go back another 50 years beyond that. As one of the most popular genres of young adult literature -- even moreso than vampires in love or wizards -- it's only reasonable for Hollywood to tap into sources that stretch a bit deeper and wider than comics, reboots and resurrected TV series. Films based on books! Imagine that.

    We spoke with Sue Rowe, VFX Supervisor for Method, the exclusive VFX creators for The Maze Runner, as well as Animation Director Erik de Boer, Academy Award winner for his work on Life of Pi. In all, the team of 170 completed 530 shots in 7 months. Sue and Erik spoke to us about Method's work building the maze and the Grievers in particular, and the software they developed to pull it off. They're both also terrific storytellers, so we were happy to get out of the way and let them tell us all about their work on The Maze Runner. Read on....
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    Colorist Joseph Owens has been in the heart of postproduction for over 30 years, and has used one form or another of DaVinci Resolve for a large part of that. In his look at the latest release of what he calls the gold standard for color correction, he both covers new features, and considers the possibilities that those features offer.


    Going from Aperture to Lightroom? Put it in the Cloud!

    Going from Aperture to Lightroom? Put it in the Cloud!

    Why Wait for Apple Photos? Adventurer and editor Jigs Gaton takes us through some easy steps for migrating your photo library from Apple's Aperture and iPhoto into Adobe Lightroom.



    The Marvel of Guardians of the Galaxy

    The Marvel of Guardians of the Galaxy

    Big companies can't be nimble? Don't tell Sony Pictures Imageworks. They turned around 88 shots for Marvel's instant classic, Guardians of the Galaxy -- plus a complete digital character -- in just two months. VFX Supervisor Pete Travers says it's the fastest they've ever worked on a project like this, and a sterling example of both the creative advantages that come with scale, and the richness of the Marvel multiverse.
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