LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Documentary and Indies

COW Library : Documentary and Indies
 
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. As we also observe the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the US Parks Service, Tim recalls one one especially memorable adventure to Everglades National Park, wherein 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
Indie Film & Documentary
Tuskegee Airmen 75th Anniversary: A Documentary Revisited

Tuskegee Airmen 75th Anniversary: A Documentary Revisited

When Denton Adkinson and Bryan Williams told us the story of their documentary, In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen, back in 2011, we were amazed. It was one of the most popular stories we published that year, not just because of the inspiring subject matter, but for the remarkable way it came together as a project, and in post. In the years since then, the film has taken on a life of its own, including national DVD distribution, becoming part of high school curricula, NFL celebrations, museum presentations, and more. Now in 2016, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen, their film will be presented as a live event on over 200 screens across the US. To get there, though, Denton and Bryan had to update their SD original for the big screen, add a surround mix, and prep it for digital distribution. This is a story of faith, fortitude, upres, ProRes, and the power of positive phone calls that you won't want to miss.

Feature
Denton Adkinson
TV & Movie Appreciation
Renaissance Masters Go 3D with Nuke

Renaissance Masters Go 3D with Nuke

VFX legend Steve Wright helped Italy's Sky 3D tackle an epic project, as Italian all-3D television station set out to present the city of Florence and the masterpieces of Renaissance art housed in the Uffizi Gallery in a spectacular stereoscopic 3D movie shown in 60 countries around the world. While the majority of the film was shot stereoscopically, Steve's challenge was to use Nuke to present some of the world's most precious artworks fully dimensionalized. Here's how he pulled it off.

Editorial, Feature
Steve Wright
Apple Final Cut Pro X
Using Apple FCPX for A DocumenTree

Using Apple FCPX for A DocumenTree

After 25 years of working on other people's documentaries, commercials, feature films, filmmaker Michael Angelo's first original project is the inspirational story of the Treeman of Venice Beach, a singular creation of a singular man whose combination of costume, body paint, live foliage, and 10-foot stilts is gently beguiling and deeply inspirational. With over 1000 hours of footage in a crazy number of formats over a period of years, collaboration among a far-flung team of volunteers with varying degrees of expertise (including none at all), A DocumenTree seemed like the ideal project for Michael to jump into Final Cut Pro X. Michael's longtime experience in a variety of disciplines has nevertheless allowed him to come at the issues of media management, metadata, offline-online workflows, and a variety of complex technical issues in some unusual, and, dare we say it, organic ways.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Michael Angelo
Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking - And How To Succeed!

Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking - And How To Succeed!

Microscopic budgets present limitations, but can also create opportunities. Gex Williams and Brian Crone produced Ctrl+Alt+Dance for $12,000, and it made $50,000 on its first night -- which included showings on every inhabited continent, has followings in nearly every major city, translated into 9 different languages by its fans. Want to know how to achieve that kind of global engagement? Look no further than the Six Benefits of Microbudget Filmmaking.

Feature
Gex Williams
Indie Film & Documentary
Louder Than Words: 7 Years, 14 Cameras, 1 Surprising Story

Louder Than Words: 7 Years, 14 Cameras, 1 Surprising Story

It took 7 years, and 14 cameras with 3 TB of files for cinematographer and editor Saj Adibs to tell the surprising story in his documentary Louder Than Words. The film's first interview was conducted in American Sign Language, and once he saw the transcript, Saj realized he was going to tell a different story than the one he had planned. This is a story about stories, as well as the challenge of managing lots and lots of cameras.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Saj Adibs
Adobe Premiere Pro
Misery Loves Comedy: Comedian Kevin Pollak Cuts His Docu

Misery Loves Comedy: Comedian Kevin Pollak Cuts His Docu

Comedian and actor Kevin Pollak talks about directing and editing his documentary "Misery Loves Comedy", a film that explores the darker side of comedians. After three software lessons from editor (and renowned VFX supervisor) Rob Legato and ten months at the console, Pollak has some new insight about the cross-over between stand-up comedy and editing.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Indie Film & Documentary
Indie Tips for 4K With Little or No Budget

Indie Tips for 4K With Little or No Budget

4K isn't just part of some theoretical future. 4K production is here now, and there are some very affordable approaches for low- and no-budget indie filmmakers. Veteran producer and professional limit-pusher Al Caudullo put together a piece on the heritage of Angkor, Cambodia, and for us, has put together the list of the tools he actually used for this amazing project that are quite likely well within your reach. Even the photos that accompany this story have a lot to offer!

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Al Caudullo
Indie Film & Documentary
Thinking Differently to Create Successful Indie Distribution

Thinking Differently to Create Successful Indie Distribution

With the accessibility offered by ever more affordable tools, it has never been easier to make an Indie feature. This essay by President and Co-founder of the Digital Cinema Society, James Mathers, discusses the distribution of an indie feature and how the filmmakers brought "Why We Ride" to life.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
James Mathers
Indie Film & Documentary
Shot Lister App teams up with FilmAid International in Sudan

Shot Lister App teams up with FilmAid International in Sudan

Shot Lister, the successful shotlisting and scheduling app, is teaming up with FilmAid International to raise funds for their South Sudan Refugee Emergency Response Team. To encourage filmmakers to support FilmAid, Shot Lister is dropping the price of their app from $13.99 to $1.99 for 10 days from September 8 - 18th with every cent raised going to FilmAid.

Editorial, Feature
Zach Lipovsky
Indie Film & Documentary
Expert Tips for Crowdfunding Success

Expert Tips for Crowdfunding Success

Film projects are the most unsuccessfully funded of any Kickstarter category -- but producer and crowdfunding consultant Diana Ward Roark has worked on a number of campaigns for independent films that have exceeded their goals. She has the real-world advice you'll need to succeed, including where you can find backers, and how to engage them.

Editorial, Feature
Diana Ward Roark
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
Jonathan Bird's Blue World

Jonathan Bird's Blue World

Jonathan Bird's Blue World is an underwater adventure series co-produced by the titular Emmy Award-winning cinematographer and naturalist, and the Oceanic Research Group. This epic conversation with Jonathan covered his trajectory across over 20 years in the industry, through NLEs (from Avid, Media 100, FCP, and now Premiere), camera formats (Hi-8 to 4K), computing platforms (adding HP workstations to his previously all-Mac shop), and business models -- starting with creating the TV show he'd always wanted to work on.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Indie Film & Documentary
Ten Tips to Indie Filmmaking

Ten Tips to Indie Filmmaking

We love talking about tools and technologies, but there's a lot more to filmmaking than cameras and computers. Writer/director/producer Rick Castañeda has made over 30 short films, and just wrapped his first feature. Here, he offers hard-won insights into the practical details of making an independent film.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Rick Castañeda
Indie Film & Documentary
With Paul Mazursky, It's All Crap!

With Paul Mazursky, It's All Crap!

When Paul Mazursky decided to create a series of intimate conversations with Mel Brooks, Leonard Nimoy and his many other industry friends, Cinematographer Bill Megalos came on board to produce. In this article, Bill talks about the choices he made with regard to camera, lighting and direction to make compelling interviews with a limited budget.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Bill Megalos
TV & Movie Appreciation
A Band Called Death

A Band Called Death

Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (heck...the first punk band!) and its members -- Bobby Hackney, Sr., Dannis Hackney, David Hackney, and Bobbie Duncan -- are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers. Directors Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino speak about the making of this surprising film.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Future of Cinematography: Insights From the Rental Houses

Future of Cinematography: Insights From the Rental Houses

Rental houses, which have existed since the 1920s, have all experienced the evolution from film to video to data. Today, the trends that rental houses experience -- from technology to business practices -- are a lens for understanding what's going on in the bigger ecosystem of the film/TV industry. In Part 2, we look at the ways that rental houses have adapted to thrive in a new digital age.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
The State of Cinematography: Insights From The Rental Houses

The State of Cinematography: Insights From The Rental Houses

Rental houses, which have existed since the 1920s, have all experienced the evolution from film to video to data. Today, the trends that rental houses experience -- from technology to business practices -- are a lens for understanding what's going on in the bigger ecosystem of the film/TV industry. In Part 1, we look at the challenges facing rental houses in today's production environment.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Blackmagic Design
Using a Little Blackmagic to Revisit a Documentary

Using a Little Blackmagic to Revisit a Documentary

Pixie Dust flows from Blackmagic Design's Teranex 2D Processor to integrate and upconvert newly discovered vintage SD footage, photographic stills and new interviews into a re-edited and remastered 2001 documentary memorializing the 1963 NCAA "Game of Change" between Mississippi State University and Loyola. Over 60% of the new DVD/Blu-ray includes new footage or pictures, and the challenge was to make the old SD footage look as good as possible in an HD project.

Review, Editorial, Feature
Robbie Coblentz
Cinematography
Iraqi Filmmaking Workshop: Day One London Heathrow

Iraqi Filmmaking Workshop: Day One London Heathrow

In May 2013, award-winning cinematographer Bill Megalos traveled to Iraq to train young Iraqi filmmakers on behalf of a program organized by the Humpty Dumpty Institute. In this first trip, Bill blogs about guiding these filmmakers as they make short dramatic films this year. The focus in May was on their scripts, on story and character development, on working with actors, as well as giving them an overall background in production.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Bill Megalos
Indie Film & Documentary
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia - Goodbye

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia - Goodbye

Saying Goodbye, April 7th & 9th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia.

Feature, People / Interview
Bill Megalos
Indie Film & Documentary
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 6th

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 6th

April 6th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia.

Feature, People / Interview
Bill Megalos
Indie Film & Documentary
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 5th

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 5th

April 5th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia.

Feature, People / Interview
Bill Megalos
Indie Film & Documentary
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 4th

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 4th

April 4th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia.

Feature, People / Interview
Bill Megalos
Indie Film & Documentary
Mondays at Racine Documents Beauty Salon for Cancer Fighters

Mondays at Racine Documents Beauty Salon for Cancer Fighters

Filmmaker Cynthia Wade - who previously won an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject for Freeheld - has recently finished Mondays at Racine, a moving piece about two sisters who open up their beauty salon every Monday to cater to breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Focusing on two characters, the film delves deeply into the emotional lives of the women and how the salon, Racine, serves as a place of nurturing and companionship.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Indie Film & Documentary
StorageDNA Goes Down Under with DEEPSEA CHALLENGE

StorageDNA Goes Down Under with DEEPSEA CHALLENGE

When director James Cameron took a solo dive to the deepest spot on earth, he turned to Sydney-based Digital Pictures to deliver a range of post production services. In turn, Digital Pictures relied on StorageDNA to help them create a cost-effective LTO-based conform system that handled massive amounts of 4K data.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Indie Film & Documentary
Behind the Lens: Sky Soldier: A Vietnam Story in 3D

Behind the Lens: Sky Soldier: A Vietnam Story in 3D

When Major Joel Glenn went to Vietnam in the 1960s, he brought a 3D stereoscopic still camera and audiotape recorder with him to document his experiences for his family back home. Little did he know that 50 years later, his "home movies" would become the basis for Sky Soldier: A Vietnam Story in 3D that airs on Memorial Day on 3net, a tribute to his military service, and those of his fellow soldiers, as well as his extensive archive of 3D photos.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Indie Film & Documentary
Behind the Lens: Circo

Behind the Lens: Circo

You don’t need to be a fan of the circus--or Mexico--to be mesmerized by this story of the Ponce family who struggle with issues of debt, marital conflict and filial responsibility against a backdrop of a century-old family business. Let Debra Kaufman introduce you to Aaron Schock and his story of how his documentary takes viewers under the Big Top in rural Mexico. Circo airs on Independent Lens beginning May 3rd, 2012.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Indie Film & Documentary
In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen

In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen

In this Creative COW exclusive, read the story of how two Augusta-based filmmakers document the aviators who made history.

Feature
Bryan Williams and Denton Adkinson
Indie Film & Documentary
Behind the Lens: Marshall Curry & If a Tree Falls

Behind the Lens: Marshall Curry & If a Tree Falls

Marshall Curry is most interested in a subject when reality cuts against his expectations. That's exactly what happened as this talented Emmy & Oscar-nominated director, producer, writer delved deeply into a story about the Earth Liberation Front in "If a Tree Falls," which is nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary on Sunday.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Indie Film & Documentary
Shooting Interviews

Shooting Interviews

Whether you shoot surgery, reality shows, documentaries especially, how-to videos, cooking, painting, sculpting, decoy carving or...you name it...you are going to be shooting interviews. Number one tip - be ready for anything. Join Mike Cohen for more great insight into shooting interviews.

Editorial, Feature
Mike Cohen
TV & Movie Appreciation
These Amazing Shadows: An Editor's Journey

These Amazing Shadows: An Editor's Journey

An editor's journey through the films that made America (or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the B-Roll). These Amazing Shadows, an 88-minute documentary, tells the history and importance of the National Film Registry and cameos some of history's most treasured films as it reveals how early films shaped and revealed a changing nation and why we most need to preserve them for posterity.

Feature, People / Interview
Doug Blush
Indie Film & Documentary
Behind the Lens: Where Soldiers Come From

Behind the Lens: Where Soldiers Come From

Shooting in cinema verite style, filmmaker Heather Courtney focuses on three friends from Northern Michigan - a view of small-town America - who join the National Guard and ultimately are deployed to Afghanistan. The 'Where Soldiers Come From' documentary is an intimate portrait of these changed lives and is part of the 24th season of POV (Point of View).

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Indie Film & Documentary
Welcome to My World

Welcome to My World

It was going to take every production and keying trick he'd learned for Niyi and the team at Anthill Multimedia to finish their music video on deadline - and save an orphanage.

Feature, People / Interview
Niyi Akinmolayan
Indie Film & Documentary
DreamSpeakers On Tour: Budding Aboriginal Filmmakers

DreamSpeakers On Tour: Budding Aboriginal Filmmakers

In this article, VASST's Douglas Spotted Eagle, takes COW members inside the DreamSpeakers On Tour. DreamSpeakers is a three-weekend project where students meet with professionals in the film/video industry and learn their craft, beginning from the ground floor of film making. Budding Aboriginal filmmakers and Dreamspeakers work together to produce first films for youth, by youth, and the program has kicked off to a great start.

Feature, People / Interview
Douglas Spotted Eagle
Indie Film & Documentary
Running the Sahara

Running the Sahara

Running 4300 miles across the world's largest desert sounds impossible. But once Academy Award-winning director James Moll heard that three guys were going to try, he knew he had to hear - and tell - their story. In this Creative COW expanded interview, James talks about the incredible journey of both the runners and the filmmakers, while also offering insights into filmmaking, storytelling, and the frame.

Feature
James Moll
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]