State of filmmaking and Indie content creation: 2014 (Editorial)

The antiquated politics of Hollywood have somehow reinvented themselves.

At the beginning of the year, I was challenged by one of our readers to update my commentary on the 2012 state of the industry in a new editorial that was fitting for 2014. Although this should have been a pretty simple thing for someone like me to do, I found that I spent the first three months of this year trying to really wrap my head around everything that’s been going on that’s been intriguing me, confusing me, and leave me feeling strangely more excited about the future than I have been in awhile.


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Indie Spirit in Hollywood: Fire in the Mirror (Editorial)

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I hope that filmmakers everywhere will take notice of the upcoming feature film version of Oculus, from micro-budget-birthed director, Mike Flanagan, which will be coming to theaters nationwide on April 11th! (If you missed out, we did a fun reprint of the original critique of his 2006 Oculus short last week!) And it’s not just to support one of our own that I would encourage you to check out the film in the theaters, it’s that Flanagan’s filmmaking deserves to be seen on the big…


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3D Horizons: Autodesk 2015 (Preview)

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The Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite for 2015 boasts more refinements to their group of programs that offer equal parts innovation, stability, and ease of use. With an eye to the ever growing and evolving entertainment industry, Autodesk 2015 has added various software options and feature sets that creatives can leverage to develop their properties with greater efficiency. Depending on the production needs, digital artists who are working on a small budget film will find the new suite offerings and subscription model a helpful solution to keeping costs down.


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Oculus: The Man with the Plan (Flashback Critique)

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With the amazing new Oculus feature film about to come out on April 11th, it seemed appropriate for us to showcase the flashback critique that began the film franchise back from 2006. Some slight changes have been made to transform it for the current database system, and the links for getting new information on this film have all been updated. As a bonus, at the end, we’ll include the bonus extended trailer for the 2014 film!


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Trane & Miles (Short Critique)

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March 2nd and April 22nd of 1959, Miles Davis and John Coltrane teamed up to record “Kind of Blue,” an album that would become one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time and would mold the sound of most of the jazz that came after. Trane & Miles tells a possible tale of these momentous recording sessions between these iconic musicians from the fictionalized perspective of a post-life Miles Davis, who’s had some time to reflect on things and really focus on his most endearing memories.


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Red Giant Unveils New Universe (Industry Press Release)

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“It’s rare we get to introduce technology that is entirely new,” said Sean Safreed, Red Giant’s co-founder and CTO who has been working with his team, behind the scenes, on Universe for the last year and a half. “Universe is an entirely new foundation for tools. It marries the simplicity of Javascript with the power of the GPU to deliver speedy renders and pixel-perfect results. Users are going to love how quickly we offer new plug-ins.”


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Corel’s Video Studio X7 Breaks the 64-Bit Barrier (Industry Press Release)

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“VideoStudio has built a reputation for innovation by bringing users of all skill levels cutting-edge tools like 4K support, motion tracking, HTML5 authoring and a wide variety of creative editing tools in one affordable package,” said Greg Wood, Senior Product Manager, Digital Media. “But first and foremost, we strive to provide a program that is fast and easy and that addresses the growing enthusiasm for video in every walk of life, from personal, to sports, to school, to business, and the best way to ensure this is to go straight to the source” added Wood.


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Reallusion Debuts CrazyTalk Animator 2 (Industry Press Release)

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Reallusion announces a new era in 2D animation inviting anyone that ever dreamed of animating to wake-up their imagination inside CrazyTalk Animator 2. CrazyTalk Animator 2 is a revolutionary animation suite with all the necessary tools to easily create pro-level animation. New powerful features have opened new possibilities for freely editing 2D motions and viewing them from any angle with a single click. In addition to HumanIK motion editing and seamless mix-and-match character customization, CrazyTalk Animator 2 also…


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Chatting about Baby Names with Whitney Avalon (Interview)

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I met Ms. Avalon at the GenCon 2013 Film Festival. She was at the convention to support a couple of series and films being shown. We chatted, much too briefly, about some of her projects past and future. A number of her projects include songs that deliver a fast-paced comedic wit with a melodic rhythm Her short, “Baby Names” is one of my favorites (I can just imagine this conversation going on between couples all over the world). She agreed to talk to MFM and tell us a bit about her work.


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Reliving Childhood Memories on the Big Screen (Press Release)

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There are always a handful of movies that people hold near and dear to their hearts. These films, after a brief stint in the theater, are sent to video where they’re usually bought because of their sentimental value, but rarely re-watched. The gang at The Retro Dome believes some films are just meant to be seen on the big screen and wants to give guests the opportunity to relive those unforgettable theater experiences: a first date or kiss with that special someone, or a memorable night with friends, or maybe it’s simply a film that has been viewed hundreds of times, but can’t live up to that magical experience of seeing it in the theater.


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ARRI HOSTS NEBRASKA & MONUMENTS MEN EVENT (Industry Press Release)

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Reflecting its long-running association with the Berlin International Film Festival, yesterday ARRI hosted a well-attended Berlinale event at the city’s famous Hotel Adlon with cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, ASC, who recently used ARRI ALEXA cameras and the ARRIRAW format to shoot the anamorphic feature films Nebraska and The Monuments Men. Stephan Schenk, ARRI’s General Manager – Business Unit Camera Systems, and Henning Rädlein, Head of Digital Workflow Solutions, led…


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ProAnimator 7 (Review)

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Zaxwerks has long been a denizen of the Adobe After Effects environs. They’ve chosen a very specific niche that has brought them success in the world of television bumpers and titling. The release of ProAnimator 7 offers some capabilities worth looking at that may be attractive to the microfilmmaker. The new features bring a significant level of simplicity to doing complex, 3D/CG lighting that resembles stages or ‘Events’ where bright lights, high activity and visual excitement is the rule. Tucked along with this significant new ability is a revisited level of texture/material controls that make creating CG environments…


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Padcaster 2 (Equipment Review)

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When I first used the iPad to film clips of my most recent child’s post-birth cooing, I realized that there was an interesting advantage to shooting with the somewhat unwieldy device: it forced you to hold your arms apart, more like you were holding a Fig Rig, which in turn meant your footage was much more stable than it would’ve been shooting with a smaller device (like your iPhone). Plus, the super huge viewing screen made focus issues virtually a thing of…


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ProAm USA Adds the Taurus Jr. Crane to Lineup (Industry Press Release)

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ProAm USA, a manufacturer of production equipment for film and video enthusiasts and professionals, today announced the Taurus Jr. camera crane/jib. A heavy-duty, dual-arm jib system, the Taurus Jr. extends three feet from the fulcrum and supports camera rigs up to 20 pounds. It offers an auto-leveling design that features a tilt brake and a built-in bearing base. Users can also manually tilt loads up to 10 pounds. The Taurus Jr. is made entirely of high strength aluminum, offering exceptional durability in a sleek, professional package…


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Adobe Photoshop CC Update Brings 3D Printing to the Design World (Industry Press Release)

Designs like these by Paul Liaw can now be created in Photoshop and printed on 3D Printers.

New 3D printing capabilities integrated in Photoshop CC enable Creative Cloud members to easily and reliably build, refine, preview, prepare and print 3D designs, setting the stage for explosive growth in the 3D printing market. The new 3D printing capabilities also help creatives to design in 3D from scratch or refine an existing 3D model and produce beautiful, print-ready 3D models using familiar Photoshop tools. Automated mesh repair and support structure generation ensure models will be produced reliably, while accurate previews allow creatives to submit print jobs with confidence.


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