How Post-Production Makes or Breaks a Film, Part 2: Secret World of Colorists

How do you become a colorist, and how do you work with one? Delve into this conversation to find out.

If you've seen a few independent films that have come out of the festival circuit from the past year or two, odds are you've seen the work of Sam Daley, Nat Jencks, or Seth Ricart. They are three talented colorists who have graded films like The Florida Project, City of Ghosts, and Beach Rats. They sat down with No Film School at this past Sundance Film Festival where they premiered their color work on some of the edgiest, loveliest, and grittiest films we've seen this year! How do they work? What is the real life of an indie film colorist? How can you get your film to look like that? Listen to this conversation to find out!

Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here.

These are the brilliant post-production artists who participated in our roundtable:

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Traveling with Batteries? Don’t Fly Without Knowing the TSA Restrictions First

Not being knowledgeable about the TSA's rules on flying with batteries could lead to some real trouble.

Look at you, you little travelin' filmmaker, with your gear packed up all nice and tight and your eyes beaming with excitement! It'd be a shame if you got to airport security and had to ditch your expensive batteries because you didn't know the TSA's restrictions and regulations regarding lithium ion. In this helpful video, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens shares a few tips on flying with batteries commonly used by filmmakers like yourself, including which ones fit the criteria, how many you can take on the plane, and how to pack them so they don't cause a problem at the security check. Check it out below:

When it comes to dry cell Alkaline batteries, the ones that you use once and then throw away (AA, AAA, D, 9-volt, etc.), the TSA allows you to bring as many as you want on the plane and permits you to pack them both in your checked and carry-on luggage. However, the TSA's rules on flying with rechargeable lithium ion batteries are a little more restrictive, imposing both size and quantity limits, as well as rules on storage.

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Pretty as a Picture: A Study of the Mesmerizing Visual Style of DP Bradford Young

From "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" to "Arrival", DP Bradford Young has shown the world what cinematic beauty is all about.

Despite him being a talented, seasoned, Oscar-nominated DP, some might call Bradford Young a cinematography star on the rise. He has worked with some of today's most exciting directors, including David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints), Ava DuVernay (Selma), and Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), and even lensed Ron Howard's much-hyped Star Wars spin-off, Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is set to hit theaters in the next few days.

So, what makes Young a cinematographer to watch? Well, in this video essay from Fandor, we get the chance to explore some of Young's more prominent characteristics as a DP, from his use of existing light to his ability to inject a sense of power into his compositions. Check it out below:

There are many aspects of Young's work that are worth studying at length, including his fearless use of color and shadows, but Fandor zeros in on three:

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3 Ways to Diffuse Light Without Breaking the Bank

Learn how to diffuse light cheaply and effectively.

Knowing how to diffuse light is an important skill to master when shooting a film because it allows you to soften hard shadows to give your subjects a nice, even spread of light. However, many new filmmakers 1.) don't know how, 2.) think they know how, but didn't learn correct information, and 3.) think that diffusers are well outside of their price range. To help with all three of those issues, Todd Blankenship of Shutterstock Tutorials shares a few tips on working with diffusers, including how to set them up and what kinds of material are both effective and inexpensive. Check it the video below to learn more:

If you're worried about having to spend your rent money on diffusion, don't be. As you can see from the video, as well as tons of other videos, cheap stuff like shower curtains, T-shirts, sheets, garbage bags, and wax paper do a pretty good job of diffusing light. Hell, at $15 a pop, even professional 24" 5-in-1 reflectors are too cheap to pass up.

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Learn How to Use Magnets, Gear Ties, and Suction Cups to Create This DIY Car Mount

Today's magic word is "triangulation."

Car mounts for your camera rig aren't always expensive—you can usually buy a single suction cup system for, like, 20 bucks. The problem with them, though, is that, while they take care of the issue of actually mounting a camera to your car, they don't take care of the issue of making your footage as stable as possible. This is where triangulation comes in. More expensive car mounts use additional rods to add support to your camera rig on multiple sides so it doesn't sway, a formation that looks like, you guessed it, a triangle.

In this tutorial, Michael Lohrum, the DIY Camera Guy shows you how to not only build your own DIY GoPro car mount but also how to triangulate it with support rods and magnets— which are all kinds of fun. Check out the video below:

The video, nor the video's description, offers a list of materials, so, while I've done my best to name all of the supplies Lohrum used in the tutorial, I might've missed a few:

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Cannes Dispatch #7: Climax

In a genuinely shocking turn of events, self-promoted shit-stirrer Gaspar Noé’s new film Climax — which was re-screened for festival-goers yesterday after it won the Directors’ Fortnight’s Art Cinema Award — is one of the best and most broadly-loved films to premiere in Cannes this year, pleasing devoted followers while winning over a fair many skeptics in the process. I’ll confess to being reasonably on board with his let’s-not-call-it-a-“project” coming into this one — especially when he works in 3D, as he did in his throwback to ’70s erotica, Love (2015) — though my enthusiasm for his movies has been […]

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‘BlacKkKlansman’, Raunchy Puppets, Queen Biopic, & More Trailers You May Have Missed

Staying on top of the trailer circuit is a full-time job in and of itself. We're here to help.

Rest assured that the summer movie season doesn't only include Hollywood blockbusters and overly test-marketed entertainment designed for mass consumption. There are a number of festival favorites set to hit theaters very soon, as well as daring new works from celebrated American auteurs and first-time feature filmmakers. It should be a strong season, especially, as you will notice below, a particularly compelling string of weeks in mid-August. Let's dive in.

Sorry to Bother You (dir. Boots Riley)

The talk of this past January's Sundance Film Festival, the first feature from musical artist Boots Riley arrives this summer on the wave of rapturous reviews and mounting anticipation. Starring Lakeith Stanfield as a telemarketer who has to resort to some rather otherworldy (and supremely impressive) techniques to improve his job performance, the trailer implies a film both realistic in its searing social critique and fantastical in the way it sees them through.

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Aspiring TV Writer? This NBC Program Will Prep You for the Writers’ Room

Applications for NBCUniversal's Writers on the Verge program are open now.

NBCUniversal is on a roll. As home to both This Is Us, broadcast TV’s current number one drama, and the recent Winter Olympics, the network has now taken the lead in total primetime viewers for the first time in almost 20 years. In its quest to find diverse writers to work on its increasingly popular dramas and comedies, the company is offering an incredible opportunity to aspiring TV penners: Writers on the Verge.

Writers on the Verge is a 12-week series of classes that take place at NBCUniversal in Universal City, CA, and are intended to give screenwriters all the tools necessary to step into a real writers' room and get to work. Participants will leave the program with an improved portfolio and maybe even a job—past writers have gone on to work on NBC shows like Community, The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Two Broke Girls and more

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Cannes Dispatch #6: Under the Silver Lake, Burning

While there are discoveries to be had at this festival, Cannes is notoriously light on unknown quantities; Yomeddine is the only debut in this year’s Competition slate, and who knows how or why that happened. It’s a festival that prides itself on grandiosity and presenting the vanguard of arthouse filmmaking, albeit with some degree of familiarity, which means that much of the excitement of coming to watch movies here stems either from promises fulfilled or witnessing the occasional familiar face move in a new direction. Invigorating as these latter cases are to behold, they inevitably arrive with mixed results, as exemplified in […]

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What Exactly Does an Agent Do For You?

During a panel at Cannes, four talent agents discussed their evolving role in an increasingly diverse industry.

For those filmmakers and other creatives who are on the outside and looking to get in, talent agents have traditionally been thought of as the gatekeepers to the kingdom, the ones who, with a word, can deliver a career. Of course, it's not that simple, and while they're becoming increasingly more influential in the film business, many people still don't have a great idea of what an agent's role actually is.

During a panel sponsored by The UK Film Centre, as part of the International Pavilion at Cannes, four talent agents, three from Hollywood and one from the U.K., gathered with journalist Matt Mueller from Screen International to discuss the nature of their jobs (everything from representing talent, to creating packages, and beyond) as well as the changes brought on by global box office demands, drives for increased diversity in the film industry as a whole, and more.

"We have to think outside the box to get outside-the-box movies financed."

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