DIY Filmmaking Features

News: Welcome to The Film Lab!

This quick intro video only scratches the surface of all the DIY filmmaking technique tutorials that are waiting for you in The Film Lab -- join Mike and Rajo as they shed some light on important stuff that will help you pull together your masterpiece!

News: Cheap Ass Videocameras and Citizen Journalism

The idea that you could buy a cellphone sized video camera that shoots 720p for a hundred bucks would literally seem like nonsense to me five or six years ago, as I sat trying to get a shot worth looking at out of my old Sony pd150. They're here, though, the Flips and iPhones and Kodaks and whatever else and while most of their impact can be measured in the increased frequency of Bieber-tribute videos hitting youtube, having a $100 hd camera also puts me in a mind to go - me a regular old idi...

News: Interview with Manborg Director Steven Kostanski! | the Film Lab

One of our favourite movies of 2011—Manborg, which we saw at Toronto After Dark—has become one of our favourite movies of 2012 with its week-long run here in Toronto at the Royal. A gloriously funny pastiche of ultra-cheap kung-fu, horror and sci-fi, Manborg is also a perfect example of the DIY ethic: it wears its rough, hand-made edges proudly, and its intense roughness makes its devotion to ‘80s channel-100-at-3-AM crap-cinema ephemera even funnier. We had a chance to speak with director St...

News: Skyfall's DOP, Roger Deakins | WTI

As we've already mentioned, Skyfall is an awesome James Bond movie - one of the best, really (if not THE best?). Today's very special Watch This Instead looks at one of the reasons it turned out so great: cinematographer Roger Deakins. He's worked with Skyfall director Sam Mendes many times before and has a special relationship with the Coen bros. also. If you're not a James Bond freak or you can't make it out to see Skyfall, then check out some of his other work instead!

The Film Lab: Chroma Keying in Final Cut Pro

We've explained exactly what Chroma Keying is. We showed you how to set up a green screen from Whites Interactive. We showed you how to light your green screen evenly. Now, here's Rajo in The Film Lab's edit suite to show you what to do with your green screen footage in Final Cut Pro. Check it out!

News: Charles Officer Talks About 100 Musicians | TIFF '12

The director of 100 Musicians and Nurse/Fighter/Boy talked with us about old school filmmaking Charles Officer has directed shorts, music videos for K’naan, and the features Nurse/Fighter/Boy and Mighty Jerome, a documentary about Canadian track star Harry Jerome. His new short 100 Musicians, which screens Monday as part of Short Cuts Canada, is a small ode to civic optimism, concerning itself with a lovers’ argument over who exactly misheard a radio DJ reporting the plans of Toronto’s much m...

News: What is 'Chroma Keying'???

We've all seen it - during the weather report, in a Star Wars movie, on a televised baseball game... Weird graphics slapped onto a moving image that normally wouldn't (or couldn't) be there. You've heard about green screens... But how do filmmakers use green screens to create a shot that takes their actors out of a studio and puts them into some exotic locale? How does the camera or the editing software know what to do with that green patch in your shot? Welcome to Chroma Keying...

News: Please Read the Following Before the Movie: The Hobbit's HFR 3D 101

Well, it’s almost time! Tomorrow advance tickets are set to go on sale for the biggest blockbuster of the holiday season – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. As we’ve discussed previously on the site, the film will be available in a wide variety of formats. There will be 2D screenings for you traditional folk, RealD 3D for people that like their films to pop out at them, IMAX 3D for those who like their films to pop out at them while being very big (this is my choice), and then there is HFR 3...

News: Post-TIFF Micro-Blurbs

Every year the fine folks at Row Three do a post-TIFF mega-wrap up, collecting the micro-blurbs of a bunch of attendees into a giant meta-analysis of what everyone liked, loved, hated, etc. etc.. We'll link to that post when it goes up on the weekend, but in the mean time, here's my contribution:

How To: Fig Rig & Compact Lighting Packages - an Intro! | Gear Guide

The Toronto International Film Festival is but a distant memory, though we are still getting compliments on all the awesome footage we shot, both for our Midnight Madness coverage and interviews with directors like Don Coscarelli and Rob Stewart. But here's the thing - we had big, large help. Even though we've been at it for 5 years, shooting an event like TIFF is never easy! It's hectic and unpredictable and as a result, getting good looking footage can be difficult if you don't have the rig...