Watch: How to Create Suspense Using Music

Want to ramp up the suspense in your film? Here are some ways to do it with music.

When it comes to horror flicks and thrillers, it’s all about building suspense. Creating a tense cinematic experience that puts your audience at the edge of their seat can be done in many ways, but one element that seems to really speak to the fear center of a movie-goer’s brain is music. So, what are some techniques professional filmmakers and music composers use when writing film scores to build tension and suspense? Well, StudioBinder shares a few of them in the video below.

There are many ways to build suspense with music, but the following three techniques from StudioBinder are definitely some of the most popular. In fact, chances are you’ve heard at least one (if not all) of them in pretty much every horror film or thriller you’ve ever seen.

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Once again, people are changing Colin Kaepernick’s message without using his own words


Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started the NFL protest movement against police brutality and unequal treatment of minorities, is once again having his message twisted by others.

The latest controversy stemmed from a CBS NFL Today segment in which journalist Jason La Canfora said that Kaepernick would not continue his kneeling protest during the national anthem if he is signed by a team this year. There’s just one problem: It’s not true. 

The NFL has been mired by controversy after Donald Trump referred to a hypothetical protesting athlete as a “son of a bitch” at an Alabama rally. Meanwhile, Kaepernick toils away in obscurity waiting for a team to call, training for hours a day largely out of the public eye to avoid media spectacle. He didn’t speak to La Canfora on camera, but reportedly provided some on the record insight about his work and hopes to return to the NFL this season. Read more…

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Elon Musk targets Mars by 2022, and using rockets for Earth travel


We always knew Elon Musk was an ambitious guy, but now he’s taken it up a notch.

At the International Aeronautical Conference in Adelaide, Australia on Friday, Musk presented his goal to get to Mars by 2022 — before preparing for a human crew in 2024.

“That’s not a typo. But it is aspirational,” Musk said, upon revealing his plans. 

How Musk plans to do it is by not only via reusable rockets, which is the core of SpaceX’s model, but also focusing the company’s efforts on developing an even bigger, fully reusable vehicle. 

That vehicle has been codenamed “BFR” (for Big F*cking Rocket) and is slated to replace the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon.  Read more…

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Learn the Basics of Using Color as a Powerful Storytelling Device

Color is one of the most powerful tools you’ll use as a filmmaker.

How do you tell a story? If you’re a filmmaker you know that you have so much more than the written word at your disposal. You have dialogue, camera movement, framing, costuming, set design, and editing all there waiting to inform and entertain your audience. But there is one very powerful narrative element that should never go unnoticed on any film production: color.

In this video, JP Caldeano of CINEMATICJ explains basic color theory, as well as how filmmakers can use color as a powerful storytelling device.

Caldeano does a great job of breaking down basic color theory for those who may not know much about it, but he also brings up a great point for those who may have more experience working with color with their films. It’s something that seems pretty simple but it actually goes unnoticed rather easily in the chaos of film production.

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Stunts 101: 3 Things You Should Know about Using Breakaway Glass

Are you itching to throw someone through a window? Here’s how to do it safely.

Though it’s tons of fun watching our favorite action stars take death-defying leaps through plate glass windows, these types of stunts, which utilize breakaway glass, are well-choreographed and executed by professional stunt performers to mitigate any real danger. If you’re interested in including a stunt like this in your own work, awesome, but before you go toss your lead actor through your living room window, check out this video from The Slanted Lens. In it, host Jay P. Morgan shares a few tips on how to pull it off safely and effectively, including 1.) how to prepare your set, 2.) how to install the glass, and 3.) how to toss a human being through it.

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Steven Soderbergh Has Already Shot Another Movie – Using an iPhone

steven soderbergh iphone movie

Next month, after a four-year absence from filmmaking, it’s time to praise the heavens because Steven Soderbergh has another movie coming to theaters, Logan Lucky. It looks like we might not have to wait long for his follow-up to the new heist movie, either. Soderbergh has already shot another movie, titled Unsane, on an iPhone.

Below, learn more about the Steven Soderbergh iPhone movie.

According to VarietyUnsane stars Juno Temple (Vinyl) and Claire Foy (The Crown). Zero is known about the plot. Only his two stars and the fact he shot the movie on an iPhone have come to light. The director has always gravitated towards trying new things and new genres, so making a movie on an iPhone almost seems like a logical step for him. Soderbergh recently gave this advice to aspiring filmmakers in a reddit Q & A: “get a script and an iPhone and start shooting. Seriously.” He knows from experience that this works, and it also worked great for Sean Baker’s 2015 movie Tangerine, which was famously shot using that technology.

The Tracking Board‘s insiders tell them Soderbergh plans to self-distribute through his banner, Fingerprint Releasing, which is handling the wide release of Logan Lucky. Soderbergh, who was frustrated by the cost of releasing a studio movie, explained how he’s found a cheaper way to do it: “sell the foreign [rights] to cover the cost of the [film] negative” and “sell the non-theatrical rights to cover the cost of the [prints and advertising], and that’s it.” It’s a simple model, as he explained to EW, and a way for filmmakers like himself to get different movies out in the world without costing an arm and a leg to market.

He also told EW how the experience of his recently canceled (and excellent) Cinemax series, The Knick, inspired him to keep working behind the camera:

First, I was not going to be directing at all and just really take a sabbatical. Right as we were going to Cannes with Behind the Candelabra, which was in my mind going to be the official start of my enforced vacation, I got the script for The Knick. So I went from not doing anything and exploring my future as a painter to starting to shoot a ten-hour television show in four months. The Knick scared me. We had to shoot 600 pages in 73 days. I’ve worked on some films with pretty aggressive schedules. This was on another order of magnitude, and I was terrified. This was something that was keeping me up at nights, wondering if this was really too big a reach. About a week in, I realized that there was a rhythm that was actually really exhilarating to be had and we were going to make it. I was sitting there on set, realizing that this is the job that I should be doing. This is my job. I should be directing stuff. Nobody’s waiting around for my paintings. So I kind of flipped a switch. I got reconnected with what I like about the job. For a while, I was just very, very happy to be working in that form. I loved working with a ten-hour canvas. It was really fun, and I wasn’t really thinking about movies… until this script came in over the transom. If it hadn’t, I think everything would be TV oriented.

Soderbergh has a few TV projects in the works at the moment. He’s producing Scott Frank‘s Netflix series, Godless, and Starz’s The Girlfriend Experience. Soderbergh also worked with HBO again on a TV movie, Mosaic, which he directed; that stars Sharon Stone. Like Unsane, few details have been shared about the project, but all we really need to know to get excited is it’s from Steven Soderbergh.

The post Steven Soderbergh Has Already Shot Another Movie – Using an iPhone appeared first on /Film.


Watch: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a Color Meter

If you aren’t currently using a color meter on your shoots, this video might convince you that you should be.

Most filmmakers would agree that if you want to make your film look professional and cinematic, one of the most important aspects that you should get right is lighting. That’s easier said than done, of course. There are plenty of challenges when it comes to lighting, but one that a lot of beginner filmmakers tend to overlook is color temperature and the meter used to measure it. In this video, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens goes into depth about why you might want to start using one to make the light in your scenes more even and accurate.

Getting the right color temperature in a shot is important if you want your images to not only look aesthetically pleasing, but match other shots as well. Morgan names five scenarios in which measuring color temperature would be most beneficial and necessary.

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Watch: Create Stunning DIY Lighting Effects Using a Box of Crackers

If you’ve got an empty box of Saltines, you can make some pro-level lighting effects.

It’s the greatest time of year, you guys—flu season is almost over. If you managed to barricade your door well enough to avoid catching the demon bug from hell, 1.) congrats, and 2.) I want you on my zombie apocalypse team. But for the rest of us who puked our guts out or had to hold a child’s face over a toilet bowl while they puked their guts out, we unwitting stockpiled on a really helpful DIY light modifier that will help you create some really cool lighting effects: Saltine boxes. In this video tutorial from the Academy of Photography, find out how to turn a regular ol’ cracker box into a nifty modifier for your lighting setup.

Though the tutorial is geared toward photographers, this easily translates over to filmmakers. You won’t need the external flash and trigger/receiver, but you will need a light that can fit inside of your cardboard cracker box.

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What You Need to Know About Using Your Camera’s Image Stabilization Feature

Should you use your camera’s image stabilization feature to steady your shots?

Image Stabilization, or IS, is somewhat standard on most newer cameras and lenses and allows you to shoot at slower shutter speeds (usually two settings slower) than you would be able to without it. However, what are its limitations, when should it be used, and in what shooting situations? In this short video from Adorama, photographer David Bergman explains how the image stabilization feature works on your gear, as well as what you should know about turning it on to make your shots more steady.

Though some manufacturers call it by a different name, like Nikon’s “Vibration Reduction” or Sony’s “Super Steady Shot,” Image Stabilization can be a powerful tool for those who shoot either handheld or during a long exposure. This internal mechanism affords you the ability to shoot at slower shutter speeds without ending up with blurry images.

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The Visual and Emotional Effects of Using Dolly and Zoom Shots in Your Film

Martin Scorsese on the set of ‘Taxi Driver’

How do dolly and zoom shots effect your audience differently as you move them through space?

Changing perspectives and moving through diegetic space using dolly moves and zooms is an effective way of delivering visual messages to your audience, but their effects differ greatly in terms of how they make viewers feel. In this video from Film Riot, host Ryan Connolly breaks down the many differences between the two, explaining how each work not only visually, but emotionally as well. Check it out below:

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