November update, Conflict and Quantum Of Solace

•November 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Good to be back. Michiel Vaernewijck is back with filmmaking tips and tricks with professional advice from people out of the business. But first, we will have to clear some things up.

To explain our inactivity…well there’s actually no excuse for this. But what’s true, is that we worked and worked and worked. So many things have happened. I’ve just finished shooting my new film, Conflict, premiering in Belgium on Sunday 16 November. A lot of things have happened. I now work with a local radio, slurping up some of my precious time. School has become harder, and we receive calls and messages from people all around the world about our projects and with things to offer. Keeping this blog was very difficult, and now I’m trying to pick it up again.

As a true Bondfan it’s likely that I go see the new Bondfilm, Quantum Of Solace, the real first sequel in the series. A review is likely to turn up sometime this month with a look at the evolution of the character in nearly 50 years. To finish this short and informative blog I had the chance to talk to some amazing composers at a press conference. Big names like Angelo Badalamenti (Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive), Dario Marianelli (V For Vendetta, Atonement), James Newton Howard (King Kong, The Dark Knight) and nobody more or less than 007 composer David Arnold himself.

We had a very sympathetic chat with this interesting man and talked about his score for Quantum Of Solace…see the video quickly!

Greetz,

Michiel

The complete subtitled interview with David Arnold:

English and Dutch

•September 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Hi!

We have been inactive, but we’re back!

Click on your language!

ENGLISH NEDERLANDS

The Box wins at Ray Biddle’s Filmfestival!

•September 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Our first short film, The Box, has won in Ray Biddle’s Filmfestival!

The film won in the 9+ minute category with 80 participants for the whole festival.

Thanks, Ray Biddle!

How to evade a shaky camera (1)

•September 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Have you ever had footage completely ruined by a shaking camera?

After this series of lessons, you’ll no longer have problems with one of the main reasons why a lot of amateur movies don’t look good.

You can take your shots in two different ways: the static and the dynamic one, as i call them.

To make a static shot, you don’t need to be behind the camera. You just aim your camera at the scene, and do the acting while your camera is recording. For example, if you want to film a pursuit scene, you place the camera somewhere and just run past it. This technique is used a lot in michiel’s shortfilm ‘The Box’. I’ll show you a ‘tool’ you can make to more easily aim your camera, without buying a tripod.

To make a dynamic shot, you move your camera so that your lens follows your actors. For this you can use a tripod, or a dolly (see part 4!)

See you tomorrow for a short article about a tool for static filming

Thijs Vandenbussche

Film review: Wall-E (2008)

•August 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Me and Thijs Vandenbussche went to see Wall-E yesterday afternoon. We both looked forward to this moment (seeing the film, that is!) and were not disappointed. The film opened with a funny short film by Pixar about a cute little rabbit, a carrot and a mean magician. This was just a starter for what was yet to come.

Wall-E is without a doubt Pixars best creation and the film is no exception. Wall-E is better than Finding Nemo with terrific music with some oldies like Michael Crawford and Louis Armstrong, and the film score composed by Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo, The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption). Wall-E is the story of a wonderfully curious little robot and the tremendously beautiful searchrobot EVE (a nice hint to the Apple products). Wall-E quickly falls in love and they have a wonderful time, until EVE discovers a secret plant that her people need and she goes back to where she belongs with Wall-E holding onto the spaceship! The story is magnificent and I think I never laughed so much at an animation film like I did at Wall-E.

I thought with The Incredibles, Finding Nemo and recently Ratatouille, Pixar must take a break from the succes. But this is absolutely not true. Wall-E is the best Pixar movie to date and is a real homage to well-known comedians like Charlie Chaplin and brings new life to the science-fiction genre (a great homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey!) If you have the time, GO and SEE this film! It will entertain you immensely. I recently said The Dark Knight was the best film of 2008 so far… but now I begin to doubt. (edit: but even a genius can change his opinion…Wall-e’s proven that it’s always possible to make an even better film than the best one at the moment)

9/10 !

On animation

•August 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Hi my name is Stijn Heirstrate. I make brickfilms and in this post I’m going to tell you more about animation.

What do you need?

– lamps, 2 will do

– a camera with decent quality (webcams can be used for animations and you can get a pretty good one      (5 MP) for less than 50 dollar)

– a good computer

– lots of space next to your desk

-material you want to animate with, for example: plasticine, or what I personally use, LEGO (which is called brickfilming)

– and most important: patience

If you have your story and set ready you first:

– put on some dark clothes (helps against flickers)

– set up your lamps before your set

-make sure that your room is totally dark and that the only light in the room is coming from your 2 lamps

Then you start animating.

You either take photo’s directly from a webcam, and load the frames onto your computer, or youconnect your camera to your computer (driver needed!) and open up your frame capture. (there exists free software for this, there’ll be a post on this soon)

Then you can take frames directly from your camera. When done animating, the software makes all the frames into 1 video file.
This is the best and easiest way to animate.

Yes and if you want to have a decent frame rate, then just animate at 15 frames per second

It’s pretty easy and looks good.

Want to see some of my animations?

Go to www.youtube.com/darkman13forever

Want to find a bit out about brickfilming? (LEGO animations)

Go to www.brickfilms.com/resources.php

Want to talk and communicate, help or be helped by brickfilmers?

Go to http://www.bricksinmotion.com/refugeecamp/

Post written by: Stijn Heirstrate
Many thanks!

Preparing Your Shoot

•August 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Hi and welcome to the Eastern Lights Blog. Today I’m going to tell you how to prepare for your shoot, because lots of things can go wrong when you get at the location. Avoid Murphy’s Law, that means everything that CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong. These tricks will take care of all your problems.

Before shooting your scenes, do a lot of pre-production! This includes checking your script three times, in case you forget something. Also, to keep track of and don’t forget about shots, make a shotlist and storyboards. Keep an eye out for our storyboard post in the following days! Having a shotlist and storyboards will make sure you don’t forget shots. Having to comeback to the location for two seconds you forgot is a pain!

Plan out! Make sure everyone is at the right place at the right time. A friend of mine did a night shoot, had to wait two hours for 4 friends, of which three of them forgot the shoot. Avoid this! Have good relationships with your friends and people you work with, because you’ll have to rely on them!

Also, a rather little thing but it can make a huge difference, make sure you have PERMISSION from the location owner to film at the location. Someone coming to tell you to get the hell out of there, is the least thing you would want. In the middle of your shoot you will have to start back from zero and find a new location. Thorough pre-production is EVERYTHING!

So, what do you bring to your shoot?
Of course, you bring your camera. DON’T FORGET extra batteries, tripod (costs about $20 for a professional one, but keep an eye out for a special post on making a $1 tripod thats fits into our budget!)
And certainly bring a shot list, your storyboards and a copy of the script.
Also don’t forget to take a microphone if your camera has a mike input. (a reserve microphone is very handy, and costs about nothing these days, about 15 bucks, but that’s out of range for our $10 budget)

And wherever you are, always bring duct tape that will help you out in case of rain, broken things or isolation problems.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow!

Michiel