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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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Doctor Who has been the primary care metaphysician around these parts for a very long time, and the debut of Peter Capaldi as the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor brought a huge worldwide audience. It also gave the artists at London-based Milk an opportunity to provide over 100 VFX shots for this single episode, including the episode's principal villain, Half-Face Man. Here's the story, with, of course, the pictures.


Imagineer Systems mocha Pro

Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Dracula and Gray's Anatomy are just some of the shows that Stargate Studios has worked on. They discussed some of their approaches to previs, production, editorial, compositing, and more -- specifically, their use of the latest version of Imagineer Systems mocha Pro. Take a look, at both the story and the pictures.


The Giver

The Giver features the work of The Room, a finishing boutique that's part of Technicolor-Postworks in New York, combining over 700 shots from a variety of vendors, using formats including ARRI Alexa, RED Epic, and 16 and 35mm FILM. (Hey, the other folks got all caps. Film definitely deserves all caps too.) Even some archival HD. (See? More all caps.) A story-driven transition from black and white to color sounds simple enough -- but wasn't. Read on....

Finally, the folks at Zero VFX offer some insights on their approach to invisible VFX, including their work on American Hustle. You'll definitely want to take a look at the VFX breakdowns as well. Read on....


Adobe Streamlines Workflows with Creative Cloud Updates

Adobe Streamlines Workflows with Creative Cloud Updates

Adobe has announced updates to Creative Clouds pro video apps with timesaving enhancements to media and project management, increased support for new codecs and display technologies, and refinement in everyday editorial tasks.


HP's New Workstations: Powerful, Expandable, and Compatible

HP's New Workstations: Powerful, Expandable, and Taking Aim at the Mac Pro Market

Expanding its Z-series line, HP announced major updates to desktop and mobile workstations focusing on expandability, reliability and compatibility - and specifically targeting disappointed Mac users that may not have considered the PC world before. With the key word for creative professionals being "bottleneck" as 4K media (and beyond) and native editing become a mainstay of a typical workflow, HP hopes that giving users more options will be the solution.
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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. Read the interview here...



Travel photos falling in an array against a background of clouds

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

Create Your Own Personal Photo Cloud Using Adobe Lightroom. 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.



Sink or Swim in Hollywood: Editor William Boodell & Sharknado

Sink or Swim in Hollywood: Editor William Boodell & Sharknado

When editor William (Bill) Boodell came to LA, he never expected to ever be associated with a shark tornado -- who does? And now Sharknado (the first one), is a part of mainstream pop culture even a year later and his best known work to date. If you talk to Bill for five minutes, you'll discover that he's a film connoisseur with a near-concerning catalog of directors, editors, and filmmaking theory in his head, and an up-and-coming editor with a unique post-film path to Hollywood that anyone can learn from.
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When editor William (Bill) Boodell came to LA, he never expected to be associated with a shark tornado -- and really, who does? And now Sharknado (the first one), is a part of mainstream pop culture even a year later and his best known work to date. If you talk to Bill for five minutes, you'll discover that he's a film connoisseur with a near-concerning catalog of directors, editors, and filmmaking theory in his head, and an up-and-coming editor with a unique post-film path to Hollywood that anyone can learn from.

From his non-linear path to taking risks in the industry and his tender care on SyFy's surprise hit B-movie, there's a lot that can be learned about graciously making it in Hollywood from a guy like Bill – including how to keep your enthusiasm for your work safely intact in the face of hard work and long hours. Take a look...



Inside HBO's The Wire
Inside HBO's The Wire, by Nick Griffin.

Almost immediately upon its arrival on HBO in 2002, The Wire was acclaimed as one of the greatest shows in TV history. Today, it is widely hailed as the greatest show in TV history.

That's an almost unbearable amount of weight for any TV show to bear, and a title that must necessarily be re-evaluated on a regular basis -- but indeed, a number of polls by both critics and audiences have kept The Wire on top even after the triumphant run of another contender, Breaking Bad. Not that plenty of people wouldn't put that one on top. Or The Sopranos, or Seinfeld, The X-Files, and many others.

The thing is, you've probably watched those. At least a couple of them, you've watched every episode more than once. You're already on top of current favorites whose rising stature will keep them in the heart of this debate for years to come. But you probably haven't watched The Wire. And you probably need to. And thanks to the miracle of modern streaming, you can.

So, as we introduce you to what you may find to be your next binge-watching obsession, allow us to first introduce one of the finest production stories it has been our pleasure to run. Creative COW luminary and Baltimore son Nick Griffin visited the show's location in his fair city in 2007, as they were shooting the show's final season. He got to speak with several members of the creative team to dive into every aspect The Wire, from pre-viz through delivery -- including its controversial choice to shoot 4:3.

The real story behind The Wire's success is of course the many stories that The Wire was able to tell in such unique ways, but we'll let Nick tell you all about it. Ladies and gentlemen, start your binge-watching! Right after you read this of course. Inside HBO's The Wire, by Nick Griffin.


On the set of PBS's America's Test Kitchen

Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

As America's Test Kitchen enters its 15th season on PBS, they've made the switch to Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Post-production Supervisor and director Herb Sevush has been with the show from the beginning, and confessed some trepidation moving away from FCP 7, but has found it to be a great fit for their data-intensive, increasingly 4K multicam production, and his work with remote editors. Here, Herb offers some insights into both the why and the how of their switch, with special attention to Premiere Pro CC's approach to multicam.
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If you're going to build the storm for a movie called Into The Storm, you better be on top of your game -- especially if it's an unprecedented mile-wide monster of a tornado. Method Studios created the storm and its aftermath, building on the kinds of things you expect from a tornado, to create some things you've not seen before.

While you're there, be sure to check out Method's dynamic reel of "Hero Shots" from Into The Storm, as well as a terrific set of shot breakdowns. Even if you haven't had a chance to catch up with the film, you're going to enjoy this look at Method's work on it. Watch the video at http://reels.creativecow.net/film/22043



Inside HBO's The Wire
Inside HBO's The Wire, by Nick Griffin.

Almost immediately upon its arrival on HBO in 2002, The Wire was acclaimed as one of the greatest shows in TV history. Today, it is widely hailed as the greatest show in TV history.

That's an almost unbearable amount of weight for any TV show to bear, and a title that must necessarily be re-evaluated on a regular basis -- but indeed, a number of polls by both critics and audiences have kept The Wire on top even after the triumphant run of another contender, Breaking Bad. Not that plenty of people wouldn't put that one on top. Or The Sopranos, or Seinfeld, The X-Files, and many others.

The thing is, you've probably watched those. At least a couple of them, you've watched every episode more than once. You're already on top of current favorites whose rising stature will keep them in the heart of this debate for years to come. But you probably haven't watched The Wire. And you probably need to. And thanks to the miracle of modern streaming, you can.

So, as we introduce you to what you may find to be your next binge-watching obsession, allow us to first introduce one of the finest production stories it has been our pleasure to run. Creative COW luminary and Baltimore son Nick Griffin visited the show's location in his fair city in 2007, as they were shooting the show's final season. He got to speak with several members of the creative team to dive into every aspect The Wire, from pre-viz through delivery -- including its controversial choice to shoot 4:3.

The real story behind The Wire's success is of course the many stories that The Wire was able to tell in such unique ways, but we'll let Nick tell you all about it. Ladies and gentlemen, start your binge-watching! Right after you read this of course. Inside HBO's The Wire, by Nick Griffin.
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And so we come to the time that $100 million is considered a moderate budget for a large-scale epic. This was the production for Hercules, but compare that to the $250 million for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, or even the $170 million budgets for Guardians of the Galaxy and Dawn of The Planet of The Apes. One way that MGM/Paramount's Hercules, directed by Brett Ratner and starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, manages to look as large as it does on its relatively modest budget is through careful and clever use of CG that doesn't look like CG.

Needless to say, one of the key special effects in the movie is Mr. Johnson himself. His first major features were the sword and sandals epics The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King, both of which fared very well in the US, but didn't even begin to reach the international audience that he now commands. Along the way, The Rock has also added a strong comic dimension to his onscreen action persona, and Hercules offers the opportunity for him to combine them, as well as appeal to his now global fanbase.

Make no mistake. There are plenty of CG creatures in Hercules, but some of the most compelling effects in Hercules are in the family of what's increasingly commonly called "invisible effects." At its most simple, these might include sky replacements, although as the VFX team at Method Studios discovered, those are anything but simple when there are hundreds of elements in the scene that need to be roto'd first, and scenes that need relighting as the sky changes.

On a more complex level, the CG in Hercules was used by Milk VFX to create entire environments, including the city of Athens and the collection of elaborate buildings atop the Acropolis, including the Parthenon -- but also the surrounding hills, shore, and sea.

Together, Method Studios and Milk VFX are two of the companies that helped create a full, realistic world for Hercules, from the sky, to the Acropolis, to the sea. Read more...



A still of Peter O'Toole in the film, The Ruling Class

The Five OTHER Peter O'Toole Movies That Thou Must See

Peter O'Toole (August 2, 1932 - December 14, 2013) would have celebrated his 82nd birthday this past weekend had his hard living not caught up with him in 2013, at what still seemed far too young an age. Between the time he spent on stage (primarily in plays by Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett) and breaks for his poor health, we simply didn't see him in enough movies.

His performance in Lawrence of Arabia was so overwhelming, and the movie itself so very nearly perfect, that it's easy to forget that Peter's resume is full of performances at least that strong -- even if the movies themselves were only occasionally even close to Lawrence's league. In fact, he was nominated for eight Oscars, and most people can remember two of them. (The other, My Favorite Year, was a charming trifle, but little more in common opinion. The nomination was more based on the pleasure of him playing a part based on someone not unlike his younger self, played both slyly and exuberantly.)

For that matter, some of Peter's best work was never nominated for Oscars at all. He, of course, never won, making him the actor with the most nominations to still fall short. His performances rarely did, though. Here are five movies to set the record straight: Peter O'Toole brought us more than Lawrence. There was never anyone like him, and here are some examples of why there never will be. They're also a lot of fun, so take a look.


Homeland: Behind the Scenes with Canon Glass/David Klein ASC

Showtime's Emmy-Nominated Hit Homeland: Behind the Scenes with Canon Glass and DP David Klein, ASC

David Klein, ASC, recently nominated for a 2014 Best Cinematography Emmy® Award for his work on Homeland, first AC Dominik Mainl, and B camera operator Bob Newcomb break down what's in their tool kit: an ARRI Alexa mounted with Canon Cinema Zoom Lenses, a RED Epic, a Canon Cinema EOS 1D C, and a Canon EOS 5D Mark III.


On the set of PBS's America's Test Kitchen

Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

As America's Test Kitchen enters its 15th season on PBS, they've made the switch to Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Post-production Supervisor and director Herb Sevush has been with the show from the beginning, and confessed some trepidation moving away from FCP 7, but has found it to be a great fit for their data-intensive, increasingly 4K multicam production, and his work with remote editors. Here, Herb offers some insights into both the why and the how of their switch, with special attention to Premiere Pro CC's approach to multicam.


Shooting Trent & Isabella: Blackmagic Firmware & Indie Film

Shooting Trent & Isabella: Blackmagic Firmware & Indie Film

Paul Del Vecchio is a filmmaker with an independent spirit. When he had the chance to beta test Blackmagic's new firmware on the Cinema Camera while serving as director of photography on the indie film Trent & Isabella, he found that the new debayer process became a huge asset to getting the raw-like images he wanted without the price of storage and processing. Less time and money spent there means more focus on the film's visual style which ranges from spaghetti western to film noir.
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Paul Del Vecchio is a filmmaker with an independent spirit. When he had the chance to beta test Blackmagic's new firmware on the Cinema Camera while serving as director of photography on the indie film Trent & Isabella, he told Creative COW's Kylee Wall that the new debayer process became a huge asset to getting the raw-like images he wanted without the price of storage and processing. Less time and money spent there means more focus on the film's visual style which ranges from spaghetti western to film noir.

In her latest Creative COW blog entry, Kylee also told us something we didn't know: four years before YouTube, Kevin Spacey started his own video hosting community as a showcase for filmmakers to post their work and give each other feedback. It was a transformative experience, as she tells us "How Kevin Spacey Helped Me Get Started In Editing."



AIRDOG: A HOT KICKSTARTER FOR A COOL IDEA

AirDog: a Hot Kickstarter for a Cool Idea

An auto-follow, gyro-stabilized GoPro drone that goes where you go, including skydiving and surfing, that you can operate hands-free -- sounds cool, right? It's called AirDog, and whether or not the product is for you, you can learn a lot from their very hot Kickstarter campaign: they reached their $200,000 goal in 4 days, on their way to over $1.3 million pledged.


Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

As America's Test Kitchen enters its 15th season on PBS, they've made the switch to Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Post-production Supervisor and director Herb Sevush has been with the show from the beginning, and confessed some trepidation moving away from FCP 7, but has found it to be a great fit for their data-intensive, increasingly 4K multicam production, and his work with remote editors. Here, Herb offers some insights into both the why and the how of their switch, with special attention to Premiere Pro CC's approach to multicam.


Cows in a pasture with text overlay describing article

Expert Tips for Crowdfunding Success

Film projects are the most unsuccessfully funded of any Kickstarter category -- but producer and crowdfunding consultant Diana Ward Roark has worked on a number of campaigns for independent films that have exceeded their goals. She has the real-world advice you'll need to succeed, including where you can find backers, and how to engage them.
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