The smartphone has turned us all into film makers. We're always pointing our phones at friends, family, ourselves and pets. Mostly pets. Here are some tips that will make a massive improvement to any filming you do. Night and day difference, guaranteed. We’re going to assume some basic things like a full battery, plenty of memory space and video quality set to a decent resolution.
A large part of Flashback Films’ work involves restoring flickery old footage of family gatherings, weddings etc. The results are striking and never disappoint. However, even we were left open-mouthed at the latest project by director Peter Jackson, best known as the director and producer of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
They Shall Not Grow Old is an extraordinary experiment which brings archive First World War footage back to life by restoring, colouring and adding voices to the film captured on the western front. Jackson has sharpened the images and put it in 3D and the result is electrifying. The soldiers are resurrected before our eyes, transformed through modern production techniques to show detail never seen before. The impact is mesmerising.
The Oscar-winning director used material from the Imperial War Museum archives, and the film forms part of the BBC’s commemorative coverage of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. It aims to bring to life the realities of the First World War for a whole new generation. A copy will be sent to every secondary school in Britain to be shown in November 2018. The title is taken from Laurence Binyon’s lump-in-throat poem For the Fallen.
Watch the trailer for Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old below.
Before everyone had a camera in their mobile phone, before the pouting selfies and sepia filters of Instagram and Snapchat, there was the genius of Polaroid.
Perfect for party snappers or retro artists, the latest generation of instant cameras offers a heady cocktail of instant gratification and nostalgia. The quality of the pictures may not be comparable with a digital SLR or the best smartphones but that’s not the point. For sheer photographic fun, an instant camera is hard to beat.
There is even a (relatively) cheap way to own a camera from the most sought-after camera brand in the world. Leica's unlikely foray into this market has resulted in a point-and-shoot instant camera, and there aren’t too many dials or buttons to get your head around. This is the best-looking camera of the new generation of instant cameras, with hints of the old Leica models and a minimalist square design, sporting the iconic red logo.
Underneath, this is essentially the same camera as Fuji’s cheaper Instax Mini 90 (itself designed with a pleasingly retro look - see the pic below), with some added tweaks from Leica - so it really comes down to whether you want to pay more for the Leica name. Oh and there’s even a mini selfie mirror on the front...
Short film The Light is an original concept and fascinating for experimental film and cinematography nerds alike.
Not only is it a thoughtful exploration of some complex themes, but it features some of the coolest, most creative lighting that you’ll see anywhere. Part of it's appeal is that much of it was lit by drone, which not many film-makers are doing these days. Watch the film at https://vimeo.com/189804898
Also check out the blog http://www.brooklynaerials.com/blog/2016/11/02/drone-lighting-reinventing-film-lighting (which includes the BTS video below) about how Tim Sessler and Brandon Bray pulled off this ambitious cinema experiment.
Thanks to the fabulous Rob Hardy (https://filmmakerfreedom.com/) for bringing this short film to our attention in his newsletter.
Tangerine was the breakout hit from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Remarkably, Sean Baker and Radium Cheung shot the film using three iPhone 5s smartphones. Tangerine was shot in a 2:35:1 aspect ratio and the camera captures the streets of LA with a fluidity you’d never expect from a handheld device. Yet despite the camera of choice, Baker says the iPhone made a great partner. "It was surprisingly easy," he said. Read the whole article at:
For tips and step-by-step advice on how to make a film with an iPhone, see
Even if you think that film has had its day, there's no denying that it evokes a dreamy nostalgia that digital video can't match. Kodak recently got a lot of people, including A-list Hollywood directors, excited about the rebirth of its hybrid Super 8 camera, and has now revealed the first footage that seems to deliver on that promise. Shot by cinematographers like Nick Green and GQ fashion photographers, the video shows the soft grain, organic-looking flares, low resolution and high contrast you (might) love with Super 8 film. Read the whole article at:
Updated by millie