Posts Tagged ‘Filmmaking’
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
I’m pleased to announce that our short film A Changed Man will screen at this year’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Birmingham, AL. Our film is part of the “Local Shorts #2″ block, which starts at 7:20pm on Saturday, August 27. The film will be shown at the Hill Event Center, located at 1811 3rd Avenue North. A Changed Man tells the story of an emotionally-broken woman trying to put her troubled past behind her and regain a sense of normalcy in her life.
Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time, efforts, and energy to produce this film. I definitely couldn’t have done it alone.
- Written & Directed By Clint Till
- Director of Photography – Michael Praytor
- Producer – Todd Hornsby
- Editor – Sam McDavid
- Audio – Chris Burns & Jeremy Burns
- Music – Paul Merryman
- Art Director – Kimberly Johnson
- Gaffer – Chris Hilleke
- Hair & Make-up – Tara Merryman
- Script Supervisor – George Smyly
- Grip – Troy Wagner
- Production Assistants – Tyler Dawson & J. Neil Bloomer
- Kendra Fuller
- Kevin Watts
- Tammy White
- Nicole Hernandez
- Jana Harris
- Gabrielle Metz
The 2011 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival runs from August 26-28, 2011. Visit the festival website to see the full weekend schedule and learn more about each film.
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Casting for a TV commercial or corporate video is an important step in pre-production. When you hire the right actor for a particular role, everything on screen seems to click. However, the auditioning process can be challenging, especially when you see a lot of talented actors. Sometimes it’s difficult to narrow the list of choices down to that one actor who fits the bill. Here’s how you can make more confident casting decisions.
First, HOLD AUDITIONS. Don’t simply cast someone based on a headshot and resume. Get them into your office. Meet with them. Talk with them. Get them on camera delivering lines from the script. An actor’s headshot may look perfect, but the performance may be lacking.
Second, HIRE PROFESSIONALS. I know that your production budget may prevent you from hiring professional talent, but if you can afford it, do it. Professional actors are accustomed to being on a set. They are comfortable on camera. They take direction well. They can deliver the same lines in a variety of ways, which will give you options when you get into post-production. Non-professional actors may require a lot of extra direction, which can cause the production to fall behind schedule. If you have to cast amateurs, you definitely need to adhere to tip #1 on this list. It will also help to hold a few rehearsals with your amateur cast before the actual shoot.
During the actual audition, you will want to do the following:
- FILM EVERYONE’S AUDITION. You can use the footage as a reference after the audition is over. When you are going back through everyone’s headshot and resume days later, it can be easy to forget how they performed. Also, seeing an actor perform live is different from seeing them on camera. Having video footage of an actor’s audition is an excellent way for you (or you and your client) to evaluate his/her on-camera presence.
- ASK THEM TO PERFORM THE LINES IN DIFFERENT WAYS. If an actor’s initial interpretation comes across too weepy, ask them to do it with a more angry feel. If it’s too “bubbly,” or “perky,” ask them to perform it with a more reserved and subtle joy. This will give you a sense of an actor’s range, and it will also give you an idea of how they respond to direction.
- DIRECT THEM TO STAND AND MOVE AS THEY DELIVER THE LINES. I realize that this tip really depends on the nature of your project. For example, if your commercial takes place inside a car, you won’t need the actor to stand. However, if the script requires standing and/or moving, get the actor up on his/her feet and ask them to move around as the script directs. Someone may look and sound great while seated, but they may move awkwardly when standing or walking.
And when evaluating the auditions, examine the following:
- Did the actor provide you with enough vocal variety when reading the lines?
- Did they respond to your direction well? Did they deliver what you asked them to do? Or were they slow to comprehend and deliver?
- Do their facial expressions and body language convey the emotion you are looking for? So much of an actor’s on-camera performance is non-verbal. Did the actor communicate the feelings of the character without saying a word? Or, did his/her face remain relatively unemotional?
- How did the actors look when up and moving around? How did they carry themselves? Was it natural and believable or forced and stiff?
- How was the actor’s overall appearance? Sometimes someone may have a great presence and an excellent delivery, but he/she may just not have the right look for the part. Who just “looks right,” in your opinion? When following up with actors with whom I have auditioned, sometimes I have to tell them that they are extremely talented and did a great job during the audition, but ultimately, just didn’t look right for the part.
Taking time to weigh your casting options will definitely have a positive impact on the final video.
- Auditioning (backgroundacting.wordpress.com)
- Tips for Casting Your Film (brighthub.com)
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
As an iPhone user, I am always on the lookout for useful apps. Some help me with my business, like tracking my time or my mileage. Others help me in my video production work, like when I have to mark shots with a slate and create shot logs. It’s fascinating to see the versatility of these smartphones and as someone who works in the creative industry, it’s great to see people using their phones as an outlet for artistic expression. Just recently, I was reading an article about people shooting short film projects entirely on the iPhone 4. With video editing apps like iMovie and ReelDirector, you can do everything on the phone. Recently, I’ve been using a few apps to process photos I’ve taken on my iPhone. Two apps I’d like to recommend for enhancing your iPhone photos are Photogene and Photoshop Express. A friend also told me about TrueHDR, an app that creates HDR images from photos on your phone. I’ve also been experimenting with the blurred tilt shift lens look with an app called Tilt Shift Generator. Here are a few samples of shots taken with my iPhone and processed with some of these apps.
Processed with the Tilt Shift Generator
Processed with Photoshop Express
And here’s an image from a friend of mine, created with the TrueHDR app.
Monday, May 24th, 2010
I started this blog in the summer of 2005 as an outlet to express my love of films and filmmaking. It soon evolved into an extension of my production company. However, in the time that I have been posting on this blog, I don’t think I have ever explained why I write and to whom I’m writing. In short, the purpose of this blog is to give you, the reader, some insight into the world of video production and how video can be used to its potential. My target audience consists of three groups:
- THE VIDEO ENTHUSIAST -For this individual, I write articles that teach some basics about the craft of cinematography, direction, editing, production management, etc. I also post articles pertaining to particular types of cameras and other equipment and offer tips and tricks as to how one can best utilize the tools at his or her disposal. Some of these articles can be more technical in nature.
- THE VIDEO PROFESSIONAL – This individual earns a living through work in video production, perhaps as freelancer or business owner. For this demographic, I write articles that focus on the day-to-day aspects of being a professional. Subjects may include: how to improve your workflow, how to be more organized, how to prepare for a shoot, how to earn new business, how to market yourself, how to maintain healthy client relations, how to pitch to potential clients, etc.
- THE CLIENT – The third audience group consists of people who work on the client side of the equation. Over the years I have worked with clients who have had very little experience working with a video production company. I have also worked with clients who are seasoned pros and know exactly what to expect on a video shoot. And I have worked with clients who fall in between both extremes. To this particular audience I write articles to help both the client and the production company maintain a healthy working relationship. I want to help the client understand what it’s like working with a video production company. I want to give them a few creative ideas that they might use as inspiration in their own marketing efforts. I want to help them know how to prepare for a video production, how they can get the most “bang” for their buck, and how the whole process can run smoothly and efficiently.
Sometimes, in the course of writing these articles for each of these groups, I might offer a few tips that are solely based on my experiences. I understand that each individual and each situation is different. So, my advice might not apply to everyone. But that’s okay. Hopefully you can mine some little nugget of information that is applicable to projects that you are working on, and help answer certain questions you may have. I also realize that everyone has their own style when working on a video project and their own unique approach to the process. And that’s okay too. The beauty of working in video is that is a very fluid and collaborative art form. So, when I speak to clients, or video professionals, or video hobbyists, I am not asking that you change your habits. I’m not asking that you adhere to a certain standard. The goal of any advice I may give is simply to help you (the hobbyist, professional, or client) avoid potential problems and create the best video possible. And isn’t that what we’re all striving for? I know that’s what I try to give to each of my clients.
I thought it was important to briefly outline the purpose of this blog, so that all of my readers can get a clearer picture of my motivations. Thanks so much for taking some time out of your day to read my blog and I hope the information contained within can help you improve your craft, your business, and your marketing efforts.