You’re in the movie industry to star in, direct, produce or distribute good movies. But you are also in it to make money – or at least many of you probably are. But being good at your craft (acting in, directing or producing movies) doesn’t necessarily mean that you will succeed in the movie business – especially if you are also looking to survive and thrive profitably in the industry.
WHAT DRIVES MOVIE BUSINESS SUCCESS?
Here are 7 business tips that people in the movie industry should pay attention to. If you truly want your movie business to be a commercial success, then here’s what you need to do:
1) PLAN, PLAN…PLAN: Like all successful business, planning is the key for commercial success in the movie industry. You can’t just give up your day job and start out in the movie industry. You need to assess exactly what skills and knowledge you have about the industry, and then build a plan for a business around those skills. You could, of course, just go out and hire a bunch of people to do it all for you. But leveraging your own personal core skills of the movie industry is often a good building block for a successful business.
People in the film business are a unique group of professionals. And while they have lots of individual talent that they bring to each project, a lot of what they do depends on technology. Knowing what’s new and trending in film technology can really help enhance the quality and acceptance of film projects.
Here are a few recent changes in film technology that have made today’s movies so enjoyable:
1) Look to the cloud: Film technology has come a long way, taking sizable technological leaps from VHS tapes to DVD and BluRay. But now, the age of cloud computing has brought a whole new meaning to raising the bar sky high. Film makers in recent years are producing more movies for digital streaming applications, where consumers can download them on their PCs, tablets and Smart phones and watch them at leisure.
In days of old, when the only way to review a film was to go and see it, viewers got a raw deal. Too many movies were clearly not worth viewing. But because the institution of film reviewers and critics was not as formal as it is today, movie goers of the past only regretted their decisions after they invested time and money watching the film.
WHAT’S IN THE CARDS
So what are film reviewers and critics looking forward to for the 2015 film roster? Well, if release schedules hold true, the coming year is bound to bring some great films to the big screen:
- Jurassic World (Jurassic Park IV): This big screen epic promises all of the special effects and heart-stopping adventure that previous installments delivered to audiences all over the world. JP4 is not going to let its followers down! The movie will be shot in 3D, a first for the JP franchise, and is rumoured to include some exceptional Dino Vs Dino action too. Executive producer Stephen Spielberg will no doubt bring all of his experience to bear, as will Director Colin Trevorrow (of Safety Not Guaranteed fame).
Thanks to the availability of technology and channels for distribution, filming videos has become central to exchanging information over the Internet. Videos are more concise than writing lengthy articles on a DIY project, and provide clear imagery that can help explain the procedure better than words could.
Filming itself has become a DIY project as well! Back in the old days, equipment was very expensive, with many people having no idea what they can do to save money on a filming project. Nowadays, however, there are ways for YouTube video creators to save money while still producing excellent results with their videos.
Here are five tips that YouTube video creators can make use of to become more economical when producing their content, while maximizing earnings from their YouTube monetization efforts.
1. Use DIY equipment
Coming up with a well-lit video can be achieved without spending a lot of money by simply using equipment that you can make yourself. Reflectors, for instance, can be created by wrapping cardboard boxes of any size with tin foil, which you can purchase at cheap prices from the supermarket. You can also make your own lights using affordable LED bulbs and a DIY light stand.
2. Use your smartphone to record audio
DIY videos typically make use of videos showing the host going through the steps of a project while a voice-over is playing in the background. Getting professionally done audio is great, but also expensive. Today, however, technology has made it possible to record audio using mobile devices, like an iPhone, perhaps. The result is up to par and, with good audio editing skills, your final project can feature a soundtrack that sounds as good as a professional recording.
3. Maximize the use of natural light
As much as possible, you need to maximize the opportunities to use natural light. It’s free and does not require any complicated setups except for some reflectors eliminate the odd shadows in your subject. If shooting outdoors, the best time to begin would around 3 pm, which photographers and filmmakers alike call the golden hour.
4. Be brief and concise
To save time and effort, make your videos as brief and as concise as possible. Avoid talking about unnecessary stuff as it will drag your DIY video, and discourage people from watching it. It doesn’t mean that you skip through important stuff for the sake of brevity. However, you need to get to your point as quickly as possible.
5. If project is complicated, be detailed with your tips
If the project is something that cannot be discussed in brief, then this is the time to be detailed in laying out the content of your video. Discuss all that needs to be discussed, but in a manner that does not drag and bore your viewers.
Thanks to YouTube, people now know where to go if they need information to help them finish their DIY projects with as little cost as possible. People who do DIY videos could also save money and effort as well, thanks to DIY equipment and tips from fellow filmmakers. A finance broker, for instance, can create his own informational video thanks to the filming tips described above.
Even though they can be dangerous, special effects and stunts are part and parcel of today’s movie industry. Pyrotechnic effects are an especially good case in point. Even though these effects are designed to replace dangerous actions and stunts, the fact that fire and explosions are involved presents a substantial risk to the actors and the set.
Fortunately, VFX techniques and technologies have come a long since the early days of filmmaking. Today, special-effects technicians employ novel ways to create the illusion of fiery explosions, bullet impacts, and flying debris among others.
Air Cannons and Air Compressors
One such technique is the use of air cannons attached to air compressors. Carefully concealed in the set, these cannons can create the effect of bullet impacts on walls, cars, floors, and even bodies of actors. For explosions, such as in World War II films, air cannons buried in the ground can be used to trigger fake mortar explosions, complete with shooting debris. Mix in a little gasoline, and you have a realistic-looking pyrotechnic effect.
An air cannon works by releasing a fast blast of air that can shatter weak set pieces, shoot water into the air, and cause an explosive effect when real explosives are too dangerous to use. Making this possible is a high-power, high-PSI air compressor feeding air into the cannons – however as they name sounds (technical, right?) these machines are NOT cheap, or easy to get your hands on (if you’re looking, start by reading air compressor reviews here)
Why Bother with Air Cannons and Compressors?
The advent of CGI opened the door to several possibilities in creating visual special effects. However, even the best CGI can’t equal the look and feel of practical effects. Nothing beats the effect of shooting as many things in-camera as possible, whether it’s gunshot blasts, blowing up rooms, or blood splatters.
Air Cannons in Film
A notable example of the clever use of air cannons and air compressors can be found in the film Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Christopher Nolan, a filmmaker known for leaning towards practical effects. It may come as a surprise that many of the film’s special-effects scenes were produced without the use of CGI. With most of the film’s sequences set in an imaginary dream world, it could have gone very differently in the hands of another director. However, Nolan and his visual effects team set out to do something different.
One scene in particular that stands out shows DiCaprio’s character, Cobb, and Ariadne (played by Ellen Page), sitting outside a cafe in Paris, talking about how dreams work in the story. Explosions suddenly begin to shoot off around them, engulfing the area in debris as the two characters sit in complete stillness.
This effect was created by VFX specialist Chris Corbould, who used a combination of air cannons hooked to air compressors, strategically placed around the cafe. Special cameras were used to capture the entire scene in super slow motion. According to Cinematographer Wally Pfister, the sequence was shot using ultra high-speed Photo-Sonics cameras, which can capture 1,500 frames-per-second, in contrast to the 24fps of regular film. The effect? Seemingly floating debris surrounding the actors.
We don’t normally review video clips, but with the wealth of knowledge available through Youtube, many people are deciding to tackle DIY projects on their own. The only thing is – these videos are useless unless they allow a complete novice to learn the skills necessary to complete the job.
Today’s review is the following video by this old house:
Installing a water softener can be a difficult task but there are plenty of videos and tutorials out there to help you do it on your own. If you’re considering installing a water softener there are a few things that you should have knowledge about first.
- You should know a little about basic plumbing
- You should have the correct tools and know how to use them
- You should know the type of water that you have and the correct softener for your house
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and water-quality specialist Doug Oberhamer explain the process in the above video, however do you think they go into enough detail?
This video clip is not for a beginner that has never hooked up a water softener system or anything similar before. The clip only explains a little bit of the process and doesn’t show all of the steps involved in the actual installation process.
The Good Points
The beginning of the video shows a water heater that has been cut apart to show the viewers how minerals can build up inside your household appliances; the water heater had a few inches of dried calcium and magnesium inside the bottom of it.
This demonstration is a good example of what can happen to your appliances if you continue to let hard water minerals pass through them.
Doug explained to the viewers how a water softener system works by showing the small synthetic resin beads from inside the softener core. The resin beads are charged with sodium and when a hard water mineral passes through the water softener the beads exchange the sodium for the hard minerals.
The video shows the plumber outside digging a trench for the pipes that will run from the water main outside the house through the garage wall and connected to the water softener system. Doug explains the reason they are running extra pipes is because a water softener should not be exposed to outside elements and it needs to be located close to an electrical outlet and have access to a drain.
All in all, its a good overview of how a softener is installed. It definitely does not cover actionable steps in enough detail.
The Not-So-Good Points
The video clip did not really have an introduction about installing a water softener system in your home. There should have been an introduction about how they determined that the home needed to have a water softener installed, the type of system they were going to be installing, the tools and materials needed for the installation process, etc.
If a beginner watched this video they would not know how to install a water softener afterwards and they would probably need to search for a different video or a water softener installation guide to aid in the process.
The video clip showed all of the connections from the water main outside but they did not show anything about how to connect the pipes to the water softener system itself, nor did they show how to install the drain pipe for the softener.
One thing that they could have done differently is to cap the existing main and then re-route a single pipe into the garage and back-feed the soft water to the cold water line that is on the water heater. The pipes can easily be painted so that they blend into their surroundings.
What is you don’t live in phoenix?
The video clip shows this water softener installation in the city of Phoenix but they did not explain that if you are installing a water softener system in a state that gets freezing temperatures then you should not place your pipes outside where they can be exposed to the cold weather.
This is a huge mistake as majority of viewers would likely not be located in ideal conditions (i.e. conditions similar to those portrayed in the video)
The bottom line
The overall picture and sound quality of the video is excellent. It was an informational video but it needs to be expanded on for someone that is a beginner, this video is more for a plumber that wants to learn new techniques.
In terms of ‘how-to’ videos, we rate this video a 2/5 – 1 being a total waste of time, and 5 being that it has the ability to teach an animal how to do a skill. Nice try ‘this-old-house’ but you’re going to have try harder next time!