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TV & Movie Appreciation Tutorials

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TV & Movie Appreciation
Method Studios Creates Dramatic Effects for Divergent

Method Studios Creates Dramatic Effects for Divergent

Method Studios was selected as the lead VFX vendor, who ultimately proved to provide 381 shots for Summit Entertainment's Divergent. Set in a dystopian Chicago, one hundred years in the future, the film demanded seamless and invisible VFX to create a believable world of complex environments using set extensions, digital doubles and CG characters.

Editorial, Feature
Method Studios
Audio Professionals
The Trouble With Rain: Designing the Sounds of Noah

The Trouble With Rain: Designing the Sounds of Noah

To add new dimensions to the soundscapes of Darren Aronofsky's Noah, Supervising Sound Editor Craig Henighan took advantage of the new Dolby Atmos mixing stage at Deluxe New York to place movie audiences in the middle of the storm.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Art of the Edit
The Hitchiker's Guide to Monuments Men and a Career in VFX

The Hitchiker's Guide to Monuments Men and a Career in VFX

Jon Neill is one of the VFX Supervisors at Cinesite, and Creative COW's Tim Wilson spoke with him from the company's London office. A conversation that began with Jon's recent work on Monuments Men wound up taking in James Bond, John Carter, and some very practical advice for VFX artists who want to grow into leadership roles.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Cinematography
Rodney Charters, ASC, CSC Brings Blackmagic to Dallas

Rodney Charters, ASC, CSC Brings Blackmagic to Dallas

Rodney Charters, ASC, CSC is probably best known for his work as cinematographer on the groundbreaking international hit 24. The most recent of his many jobs since then is TNT's Dallas, where he has shot 36 episodes so far, and directed three. Creative COW Contributing Editor Debra Kaufman spoke to Rodney about his work on both sides of the lens, including his use of the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera to complement the production's ARRI Alexas.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
A Distinctive LOOK For 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

A Distinctive LOOK For 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

In his third time working with Wes Anderson, LOOK Effects VFX Supervisor Gabriel Sanchez helped implement the director's singular vision on The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Toaster and Tim's Vermeer

The Toaster and Tim's Vermeer

The inventor of the NewTek Video Toaster was certain that he figured out the secret behind the uncanny realism of one of the world's greatest painters, and certain he could use the same methods to duplicate it. Really? Yes, really. Join us for a conversation with NewTek founder Tim Jenison on the unexpected intersection of art, technology, obsession and the Video Toaster in the wonderfully provocative documentary called Tim's Vermeer.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
Stereo 3D Post Perfection for Russian War Epic Stalingrad

Stereo 3D Post Perfection for Russian War Epic Stalingrad

The film Stalingrad is an epic look at the battle that turned the tide of World War II, and already the highest-grossing film in Russian history. It is also the first Russian film to be shot and produced for IMAX 3D, which posed some new challenges for the filmmakers, specially in post. Stalingrad opens Feb. 28 for an exclusive engagement in IMAX 3D theaters, and here's your chance to take a closer look at its making.

Editorial, Feature
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
Stalingrad: An Intimate Epic

Stalingrad: An Intimate Epic

Set in one of the bloodiest battles in human history, the film Stalingrad also offers an intimate look at five Russian soldiers in World War II, trying to preserve their own humanity while protecting the life an 18-year old girl - while also trying to hold off a dramatically larger Nazi force. This bold 3D story is already the highest-grossing film in Russian history, and Creative COW's Tim Wilson says you'll be impressed.

Review, Feature
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
Skywalker Sound's Randy Thom Awarded for Career Achievement

Skywalker Sound's Randy Thom Awarded for Career Achievement

Randy Thom, Director of Sound Design at Skywalker Sound, received the Motion Picture Sound Editors Career Achievement Award at the 61st MPSE Golden Reel Award ceremony on February 16th, 2014. Thom, a two-time Academy Award-winner (The Right Stuff, The Incredibles) and a 14-time Oscar nominee, has contributed to more than 100 films as a sound designer and re-recording mixer. Star Wars creator George Lucas presented the annual MPSE Career Achievement Award to Randy.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
History of the Film Lab

History of the Film Lab

A closer look at the history of film labs shows that business has been getting tougher for quite a while, and offers some insights into the specifics of what's coming soon.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Restoring Orson Welles' Classic Lady From Shanghai

Restoring Orson Welles' Classic Lady From Shanghai

The Lady From Shanghai may be the most notorious Orson Welles film you've never seen: his deliberately disorienting noir murder mystery from 1947, whose road to restoration may be more complicated than the movie itself.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Climbing Mountains to Make Lone Survivor

Climbing Mountains to Make Lone Survivor

"We are going to climb mountains" - that's what director Peter Berg told Petra Holtorf-Stratton before they began work on his movie, Lone Survivor. "And we did," she told us, "literally and figuratively." Petra tells us about making this powerful film based on the true story of a Navy SEAL's ordeal in Afghanistan, and also about her remarkable transition from VFX artist to movie producer.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Petra Holtorf-Stratton
Cinematography
Technology 2014 | Production, Post & Beyond: Part TWO

Technology 2014 | Production, Post & Beyond: Part TWO

What were the big technology trends in media and entertainment over the past year? What's going to be significant in the coming year? Those are questions that many of us are asking, so we went to some of our savviest Creative COW contributors to ask their opinions of where we've been and where we're going. Here in Part 2, our conrtibutors offer in-depth insights. (See Part 1 for a broader industry overview.)

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Technology 2014 | Production, Post & Beyond: Part ONE

Technology 2014 | Production, Post & Beyond: Part ONE

What were the big technology trends in media and entertainment over the past year? What's going to be significant in the coming year? Those are questions that many of us are asking, so we went to some of our savviest Creative COW contributors to ask their opinions of where we've been and where we're going. Here in Part 1, we offer an overview of their perspectives. (See Part 2 for their additional insights.)

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Remembering Peter O'Toole

Remembering Peter O'Toole

Having seen "Lawrence of Arabia" as a wide-eyed child, Debra Kaufman had no idea that one day she would interview the star with the flowing white robes and piercing blue eyes. Here, she recalls her interview with Peter O'Toole for The Hollywood Reporter and what makes him an actor whose movies will endure.

Editorial, Feature
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Doctor Who 50th Anniversary-Milk's VFX for Day of the Doctor

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary-Milk's VFX for Day of the Doctor

When The Mill in London decided to close its TV and Film Department, the staff decided to open up VFX house Milk. They brought with them a first, very challenging job, which was begun at The Mill: creating stereo 3D effects for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. Here's how the newly launched company took charge to create some memorable VFX.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with Editor Alan E. Bell

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with Editor Alan E. Bell

When we last touched base with editor and longtime Creative COW member and community leader, Alan Edward Bell, ACE, he had just finished cutting The Amazing Spider-Man. For The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, we find him reunited with director Francis Lawrence, for whom he edited Water for Elephants. Bell talks about the challenges of editing Catching Fire and some of the gear choices he made to improve the pipeline's efficiency.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Behind the Lens: Kramer Morgenthau, ASC on Sleepy Hollow

Behind the Lens: Kramer Morgenthau, ASC on Sleepy Hollow

Kramer Morgenthau, ASC has shot over 60 films, including Thor: The Dark World. He has been nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys for his television work, and won an ASC Award for his work on HBO's Game of Thrones. He also shot the pilot for the Fox hit Sleepy Hollow, which gave us an opportunity to talk to him about his work, his influences and his philosophy of lighting and camera moves.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Restoring the Frank Capra Classic, It Happened One Night

Restoring the Frank Capra Classic, It Happened One Night

Frank Capra's 1934 comedy "It Happened One Night" was recently the subject of a lovingly painstaking 4K restoration by Sony Pictures Entertainment. With tender care to retain the soft, glowing look that Director of Photography Joseph Walker, ASC was so well known for, Colorworks beautifully restored the film with all of the nuance and elegance of the original.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
COW News
Art of the Edit
Ender's Game: The Set-to-Screen Color Pipeline

Ender's Game: The Set-to-Screen Color Pipeline

With 1500 VFX plates, 900 final VFX shots and 350,000 R3D source VFX frames spread across more than a year's work and a hundred different people, Light Iron colorist and co-founder Ian Vertovec and CEO Michael Cioni needed to create an efficient data management and color pipeline for Ender's Game. In this case study, Light Iron takes you step by step through the collaboration and innovation that fueled this demanding project.

Feature
COW News
TV & Movie Appreciation
Prime Focus Brings The Last Emperor into 3D

Prime Focus Brings The Last Emperor into 3D

Rumors had buzzed for two years that director Bernardo Bertolucci was interested in converting his masterpiece The Last Emperor to 3D. That became a reality when the 3D version debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. The sensitive job of handling the conversion went to Prime Focus in London, which dedicated hundreds of rotoscope artists, proprietary tools and artistic intention to uphold the intention of the original version. The verdict? Bertolucci called it "beautiful and magical."

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Field Production
“Before I forget: don’t wear any underwear.”

“Before I forget: don’t wear any underwear.”

Before coming to Creative COW, before his lives in product marketing and product management at Avid and Boris FX, Creative COW Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson ran a video production company. In one especially memorable adventure, he found himself quite literally up to his armpits in alligators. He had no idea that this was going to happen when the day began. At the time, he was focused on a brand new fear: getting sliced in half by burning underwear.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
TV & Movie Appreciation
John Dykstra, ASC: VFX Then and Now

John Dykstra, ASC: VFX Then and Now

Creative COW recently had the great pleasure of speaking to visual effects pioneer John Dykstra, whose work first came to prominence on the original Star Wars. Dykstra received his first Academy Award for his work on Star Wars, and, the same year, won an Academy Scientific and Engineering Award for the Dykstraflex motion-control camera that made so many of Star Wars' effects possible. Join us as he shares behind the scenes on Star Wars, speaks about his transition from an artist to a VFX supervisor, and gives us his thoughts on the state of VFX today.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
John Dykstra, ASC
TV & Movie Appreciation
Creating the 3D in Gravity

Creating the 3D in Gravity

Gravity, the highly-acclaimed, intensely emotional space thriller, has been hailed as some of the - if not the VERY - best 3D footage ever seen on the big screen. This has led to some surprise when learning that Gravity was NOT shot in 3D. However, it wasn't entirely converted in post either. It featured an innovative and unique workflow that incorporated 3D conversion during production as well as a complex integration with 3D VFX. In a conversation with Prime Focus World, we find out how they did it.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
TV & Movie Appreciation
Restoring Mary Pickford's Lost Film

Restoring Mary Pickford's Lost Film

Actor, screenwriter, producer and United Artists co-founder Mary Pickford made 205 films in her very productive life. Of those, ten features and 25 shorts were believed lost. Earlier this month, one of Mary Pickford's shorts - Their First Misunderstanding (1911) - was saved from oblivion. The incredible story of how a lost film was found and then salvaged involves more than a little luck, along with the knowledge and skillset of a group of committed film archivists and film preservationists. The story begins in a dilapidated barn. Read more...

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
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