Inside Xbox’s sleepover pop-up, where gamers can play all night long


You’ve probably spent your weekends hogging the game console at the local mall while growing up, much to the chagrin of your parents.

Xbox, who isn’t your mother, doesn’t care. It wants you to play all day long, and all night for a lucky few, in its Stay N’ Play pop-up in Sydney, Australia. 

Launching on Friday, the pop-up will be open for walk-ins 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Sunday for hours of “unhindered” gaming action, because you’re an adult who can do whatever the hell you like with your time now.

There’s 4K TVs, Dolby Atmos enabled headsets, and of course a full selection of games to help you pour all those precious hours down the drain.  Read more…

More about Gaming, Australia, Games, Xbox One X, and Entertainment

Music Track Not Long Enough for Your Video? This Is One of the Fastest Ways to Extend It

You might as well call this technique a magic trick.

This is one of the most frustrating situations to be in when working in post: You’ve got your video—it’s beautiful, it’s gorgeous, and it’s longer than the duration of your music track. Damnit. But no worries, there’s a solution. You just have to figure out a way to extend it. So you go in, find somewhere in the song that can not only be easily looped but can also give you enough playtime to make all of the effort worth it. Then you do this again, and again, and again until your music track is as long as your video, finishing it off with a little crossfade to hide the cut. Boom! Five million hours later you’ve got a pretty decent loop of your desired music and all it cost you was a little bit of your soul.

Back when I was editing videos on the regular, I did this exact process constantly, not knowing that there was a better way. But there is, and it’s super simple and super fast and Peter McKinnon demonstrates it in the tutorial below.

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Watch: How Michael Haneke Masters the Art of the Very Long Take

Here’s why button-pushing Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke chooses not to cut.

Starting his career in 1970s German television, Micahel Haneke has made 16 films since 1989. In the U.S., he first became more well known for Funny Games, an English remake of his own film, with action moved from Austria. He rose to further acclaim here in 2012 with Amour, which was nominated for two Academy Awards. The quality common to all his work, according to an essay on the director from n+1, is that his films are “’taxonomic’: [Haneke’s films] examine the possibilities of contemporary (haute) bourgeois life and consistently shows its protagonists to be at best trapped and ineffectual and at worst, much worse.”

“In a film, you’re constantly manipulating everything, but at least you can eliminate this kind of manipulation.”

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How to Create a Long Exposure Video Effect in After Effects

Pulling off long exposure photos is relatively easy, but doing so with video is another story.

One of the first still camera “tricks” you learn as a photographer is how to create light trails using long exposures. All you do is crank up your shutter speed to five or six seconds (or whatever works), adjust your aperture accordingly, and boom, you’ve got some nice light trails streaking all along some random freeway. But can you achieve the same effect with video? Totally, but you’ll need to head into post to do it.

Photographer/cinematographer Dan Marker-Moore, known for his iconic time-slices, created a video for Toyota that employs this interesting long exposure video effect, and in the tutorial below, he shows you how he did it using nothing more than standard Adobe After Effects tools—no plug-ins required.

And here is the completed ad for Toyota so you can see the effect in real-time:

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Make a Small Budget Go A Long Way – Advice From 3 Indie Films

The budget is one of the most important and one of the most difficult components in filmmaking. Many have struggled on working within the limitations of the budget they have and in result, have produced poor films by being overly ambitious and unwilling to compromise. The fact of the matter is that not every production is going to get the equipment or location of their dreams but that’s okay. A film does not have to suffer because it doesn’t have the financial backing that Lord of the Rings had. A successful film is one that embraces constraints and makes them work in the film’s favour. Cutting costs does not lower the value of the film. The goal of this blog post is to prove that films can be successful with little to no budget and provide advice that independent filmmakers have used themselves on prosperous films.

Clerks (Directed by Kevin Smith with a budget of $ 27,575)

Clerks was the debut feature film for director, Kevin Smith. Before there was Chasing Amy or Dogma, there was Clerks. It has the lowest budget that Kevin Smith has had to work around and yet it launched Smith’s career and won the “Award of the Youth” and Mercedes-Benz Award in 1994 at Cannes Film Festival.

Kevin Smith was able to achieve great success with extremely low funding which proves that big budgets do not make a film great. Filmmakers can do something just as good as big budget features do but with nothing at all. The trick is to embrace your limitations and make them work for you rather than against you.

Use what you have available

Location wise, Kevin Smith’s entire film is based in a convenient store in New Jersey and it’s video rental shop next to it. These spaces are actually places Kevin Smith was working at in the time of production and was given permission to use them during their closing hours. Which is exactly what happened; Kevin Smith and his cast stayed in the convenient store overnight in the span of approximately 21 days to film Clerks. Because the shop was closed while filming, Smith worked it into the script that some kids broke the blinds outside and that’s why they wouldn’t open (when in reality, it was locked from the shop being closed). Throughout the film, there is a large sheet that says “I assure you, we’re open”. The lesson here is to take advantage of the options you have to save money and make it work into the plot. Scripts can be rewritten and made better but budgets hardly ever have that flexibility.

Shoot in Black & White

Shooting in Black & White is a lot easier than shooting in colour because, to put it simply, it’s less colours. The colour grading in post will be a lot cheaper since every frame will look the same because it’s varying shades of black and white. This also makes lighting a lot easier and in the case of Clerks, you can trick the audience into thinking a scene that’s being filmed at night, is a daytime scene.

You also see this sort of technique in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. In that film, Spike Lee could only afford so little colourful filming that he used it to indicate a hyper-realism, sort of dream sequence that appears like a fantasy in comparison to all the black & white scenes. This is an example of, again, using your limitations in a smart way and making it go in your favour as opposed to sloppy and cheap.

Cast Yourself

Instead of paying the fees for extras, Kevin Smith cast himself and friend, Jason Mewes as the two men who hang around outside the store. Kevin Smith’s character, Silent Bob has no speaking parts so the characters are relatively small and don’t necessarily carry the plot anywhere, they serve as another comedy element so instead of paying someone to play the small parts, he assigned the roles to him and Jason. This is a good way to save money; typically for extras, people without any acting experience can do just well enough.

Slacker (Directed by Richard Linklater with a budget of $ 23,000)

Before Boyhood, Linklater was known for bringing attention to a subculture society in Austin, Texas. Slacker was made in 1991 before the young adult bohemian lifestyle was really given any exposure. The film has no plot really; it revolves around short snippets of the people and their conversations throughout the day. The film never stays on one particular person for too long, it constantly moves throughout the city of Austin. The film shows that filmmakers can make it on the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress alongside Citizen Kane and The Godfather while having less than half of their budget.

Natural Light

The use of the sun as your primary light source is one of the easiest ways to cut down how much you spend on your film. Most of Slacker is filmed in the day which of course makes it much easier to limit the use of artificial light and therefore the budget. More than half of the film is filmed outside and the scenes that are filmed inside are contained in rooms with lots of windows that the actors or a particular object can get the most light from what is outside.


Slacker was filmed on a 16mm Arriflex camera. The 16mm film is a common film type used in most low budget films. It has also been the known film within most home movie making cameras. Sacrificing the quality of film will definitely lower the costs of production without lowering the quality of the finished film as clearly demonstrated by Slacker. Slacker also features a Fisher Price Pixel Vision camcorder in which they used to film the bar scene. The Fisher Price camera is literally a toy camera that Linklater used, with great difficulty, due to its cheap price and to give the scene a gritty texture. Slacker proves that you do not need the best quality equipment to make an important film.

Blair Witch Project (Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez with a budget of $ 60,000)

Blair Witch Project, which made its UK debut at Raindance Film Festival, is a “found footage” horror film surrounding a local Maryland legend, The Blair Witch. The film has been largely influential in the horror community as one of the first first-person mockumentaries that some people are convinced was based on a true story. It is known as one of the most profitable films of all time, grossing around $ 248 million with an original budget of $ 60,000.


Just like Slacker, Blair Witch Project has embraced their access to cheap cameras by buying dinky consumer cameras in which they equipped the actors with. Because it was a “found footage” film, the audience can excuse the poorer quality (compared to more modern and professional cameras) because it’s supposed to come off as “real footage”. One can excuse the shakiness and grain that comes with a lot of inexperienced filmmaking since it’s supposed to come from a “home movie” type of camcorder. After the filming was completed, on Halloween after the span of 8 days, the producers took the cameras back and managed to get a slight refund which made the budget go even further.


The marketing of the Blair Witch Project can attribute to a lot of the film’s success. They decided to promote the film as if the Blair Witch was real, which many locals do believe. Promotion of the film consisted of fake police reports and interviews in order to create a sense of curiosity to draw in audiences. The team even made fake Missing Person flyers for the actors featured in the film in order to attract people to see the film for the actors “last known whereabouts”. It is referred to as one of the most “terrifying and successful” campaigns in film history.

The post Make a Small Budget Go A Long Way – Advice From 3 Indie Films appeared first on Raindance.


This Week In Trailers: Dear Coward on the Moon, Patti Cake$, Long Strange Trip, Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter, WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’

Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we take a look at a little indie that could, get to know a different kind of white rapper, start spinning like a dervish in the parking lot with other hippie chicks, stand with mouth agape at some schlocky sci-fi, and remember Whitney Houston through the eyes of the director who brought us Kurt & Courtney.

Patti Cake$ Trailer


Man, I love when I get goosebumps when I watch a sizzling trailer like this. Director Geremy Jasper needs to give alms to whatever and whoever put this together because it is tight. Not only do I get where things are going but the flow from one moment to the next is next to fluid. I was inspired, thrilled, excited, and consuming those pull-quotes like affirmations to what I’m feeling as this thing spooled to the end. I don’t know when it’s dropping or where it’s going but I’m in. Completely.

Dear Coward on the Moon Trailer

I just had to share.

I don’t know how I stumbled upon director Carol Brandt’s film but I’m glad I did. The usual polish and high production value of many trailers just doesn’t compare to the earnest vibes that are pouring from every scene we see here. I’m just so enamored by the level of care that was put into making this very tiny movie a lot bigger than it is. The sense of weight and space are fully represented by the moments that are allowed to breathe and stretch out before us. The minimalist music choice in the background is a nice compliment to the ever so soft narration that punctuates our ears every few seconds. I do not know which way the story will go but it matters little when you have a trailer that might as well be a beautiful portrait of how independent movies, the true independent movies, can still move and stir your soul.

Long Strange Trip Trailer

Never listened to one song.

So I think we all someone who is REALLY into The Grateful Dead. My only connection to the band is that I saw Pearl Jam at Soldier Field on July 11th, 1995. The Dead let PJ use their stage and Jerry Garcia would be dead within the month. Director Amir Bar-Lev has a lot of ground to cover, hopefully he’ll be able to answer whether the band is really any good versus good under the right circumstances, but this is a fascinating subculture that, from a sociological point of view, I’m kind of interested in dissecting. I don’t think there are any shattering insights that will bend space and time but this is certainly a documentary that many will appreciate.

WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’ Trailer

Crack is whack.

Director Nick Broomfield doesn’t seem to be doing anything more or less than what he did with Kurt & Courtney. It’s not a knock, it’s just saying that what we have here seems to be your run of the mill bio-pic that is going to end real tragically. I’m intrigued enough, though, by what’s here because of how much attention Houston manage to attract in the decades that she was a part of the cultural zeitgeist. The trailer is solid, too, so it has that going for it.


Rogue Warrior Trailer

I just kind of love that this exists out there.

Director Neil Johnson should be given all the kudos for making something that my 13 year-old self would have rented as a VHS way back in the day.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:

The post This Week In Trailers: Dear Coward on the Moon, Patti Cake$ , Long Strange Trip, Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter, WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’ appeared first on /Film.


Unicorn frappucinos are dead. Long live dragon frappuccinos.


A couple days ago, we suggested other mythical creatures who are not unicorns that deserve to have their own frappuccinos. 

Little did we know, one of those frappuccinos was indeed developing in the shadows of the unicorn frappuccino. And now, with the unicorn frappuccino run officially over at Starbucks, that new frappuccino has come into the spotlight.

Introducing the dragon frappuccino.

More about Trends, Unicorn Frappuccino, Starbucks, Frappuccino, and Dragon

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’: James Gunn Teases Long VFX Shots, Opening Credits & Baby Groot Dancing

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 trailer breakdown

In case you didn’t hear, tickets for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 went on sale this past Friday, and a new TV spot made sure to push the movie even more before it hits theaters in early May. As we get closer to the release date, the hype train will be operating at full steam, and director James Gunn has just offered a tease of what fans can expect this time around. The anticipated sequel will feature some long visual effects shots, especially when it comes to the opening credits, and plenty more of Baby Groot dancing

Find out what’s so special about the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 opening credits below and how James Gunn gave Baby Groot his new dance moves after the jump.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Opening Credits and Visuals

If you’re already on board with Guardians of the Galaxy, then you’re likely not going to be late to the movie. That’s good, because James Gunn teases an opening credits sequence that will be rather special, both visually and musically. Here’s what Gunn had to say to Fandango about the opening credits.

“We have a lot of very long effects shots, too. Our opening credits are all to a musical piece, and those opening credits are all one long, huge shot with a lot of practical elements and a lot of special effect elements, and that’s something we finished on the first day of shooting and it still is not totally done yet.”

The fact that they finished the opening credits sequence on the first day of shooting and they’re still working on it in post-production is enough for me to get excited about it. The opening credits for the first Guardians of the Galaxy is when I started to feel like I was going to love this movie. Star-Lord was dancing around the planet Morag to the tune “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone. It sounds like there will be something a little more complex this time, and I can’t wait to see what it is. My gut tells me it may involve the sequence with that abilisk monster, but that’s just speculation on my part.

In general it sounds like the visuals in general are really going to up the ante from the first film now that Marvel Studios has confidence in the title. Gunn touted that in addition to digging deeper into the relationships between the Guardians of the Galaxy that the visuals are an important part too:

“I also think there’s a beautiful aspect of this film where the visuals are such an important part of this movie, more so than most Marvel films. There’s a lot of stuff like that in Doctor Strange, but we really take it to a different level.”

Doctor Strange definitely brought unique visuals to the table, which was one of the elements that helped an otherwise derivative superhero origin story feel a little more fresh than it otherwise would have. We’ve already seen some shots in the trailers with a much larger scope than the original movie, especially when it comes to the production design and art direction. Plus, let’s not forget what James Gunn said about the visual effects being employed for Ego the Living Planet.

Why Didn’t Baby Groot Want Drax To See Him Dancing?

James Gunn Busts a Move for Baby Groot Again

For those who don’t know, James Gunn was the inspiration for Baby Groot’s dance moves that played during the credits of Guardians of the Galaxy the first time around. The good news is that Gunn did the exact same thing for the toddler size version of Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but this time it was a more complex process. Gunn explains:

“Yes, I still do all of Groot’s dancing in the film, in a much bigger way. I actually had to do like a full day’s worth of dancing to get Groot’s dance down this time. Last time it was me in front of an iPhone, and this time it’s me dancing on a huge soundstage and shooting it from five different angles.”

And don’t worry, just because they shot all of James Gunn’s dance moves in a more professional manner doesn’t mean we’ll see Baby Groot suddenly become some kind of professional Step Up style dancer. Gunn says, “I do all my own choreography for baby Groot. I’m a one-man band when it comes to baby Groot dancing.” I can’t wait to see what Baby Groot grooves to this time.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 arrives May 5.

The post ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’: James Gunn Teases Long VFX Shots, Opening Credits & Baby Groot Dancing appeared first on /Film.


Second Trailer for Fox’s ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul’ Sequel

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

“There’s a new hero who dares to be… wimpy.” Fox has debuted the official theatrical trailer for the latest sequel in the comedy series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this one subtitled The Long Haul, about a family road trip. This is the fourth movie in the cinematic franchise based on the series of books by Jeff Kinney. Young actor Jason Drucker plays Greg, who convinces his family to take a road trip to attend his great grandmother’s 90th birthday as a cover for what he really wants: to attend a nearby gamer convention. The cast includes Jason Ian Drucker, Charlie Wright, Owen Asztalos, Tom Everett Scott, and Alicia Silverstone. Surprisingly, this trailer is better than the teaser trailer but cuts out all the gaming convention footage. This actually looks like it might be an enjoyable road trip comedy, but I’m still not going to watch it. ›››

Continue reading Second Trailer for Fox’s ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul’ Sequel

Sigma Expands the Art Line of Lenses with Wide and Long F1.8 Glass

The Art line of glass from Sigma is designed for still photography, but has been popular with indie filmmakers for the great cost-to-quality ratio.

Despite the clear work they’ve been putting into the Cine Lens line recently, Sigma clearly hasn’t lost focus on their still photo offerings, having just expanded the Art series of still photo lenses with four new options. The Art line has been popular with many filmmakers for the great combination of high quality imagery with low cost. These aren’t cine lenses, so you’ll still have some breathing, the zooms might drift off the optical center, and they won’t have lens teeth for geared follow focus. What they do offer is full frame coverage and wide apertures for a great price, leading to amazing work coming from this glass on cameras like the A7SII and the 5D Mark III. The new options include both a 14mm and the 135mm lens.

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