6 Filmmaking Takeaways from the Set of ‘The Avengers’

first_imgWhat filmmaking truths can be found on the set of one of the biggest blockbusters in history? Go behind the scenes of The Avengers.As one of the highest grossing films of all time, The Avengers is about as big as a movie can get. However, you don’t need to have a multimillion dollar budget to get something out of these awesome behind-the-scenes videos. Here’s a list of six filmmaking takeaways from the BTS videos of The Avengers. Let’s begin:1. It’s the last 15% of the details that make all the difference.Key Takeaway: The beauty is in the details.As with most things, in filmmaking the difference is in the details. This goes for indie films all the way up to Hollywood blockbusters. In this featurette, Jeff White, the Visual Effects Supervisor for The Avengers talks about how they decided to make their Hulk a little more “flabby” than previous iterations. This decision proved to make the CGI character much more believable.The artists behind the Hulk took into account an insane amount of detail, from cloth simulations for skin all the way down to the theoretical weight of the Hulk. It was these smaller details (and a decade of VFX innovation) that helped separate the 2012 Hulk from the 2003 Hulk.2. Joss Whedon isn’t scared of multicam productions.Key Takeaway: While they are certainly more difficult, multicam productions can be worth it.Multicam productions can be a scary monster to face, especially if you are an indie filmmaker. It’s easier to light and control a scene for one camera than two, so most filmmakers choose to shoot with one camera at a time. However when you have high-dollar special effects that can only happen once, you really don’t have a choice but to shoot with more than one camera.3. All of the crew members look at least 40 years old.Key Takeaway: It takes time to become a key player on a Hollywood production.One of the most interesting and reassuring things that we saw in the BTS videos was the fact that most of the crew members for The Avengers look like they are 40 years old or older, especially the ones holding a camera. As aspiring filmmakers, this reality tells us a lot about the filmmaking industry. Namely, like any industry, it takes time to work your way up the ladder to become a key player in large scale movies like The Avengers. Sure, networking helps, but at the end of the day? It’s hard work and experience that will help you get on big productions.4. All the fight scenes are highly choreographed before actors show up on set.Key Takeaway: Good action scenes take a lot of prep time.If you’ve ever tried shooting an action scene, then you probably know how difficult it is to shoot a believable fight scene. A good fight scene takes a lot of choreographing before you show up on set and The Avengers is no exception. Each actor had to spend weeks being trained in combat and the various fight scenes that were required for The Avengers.If you’re an indie filmmaker looking to shoot an awesome fight scene, take a lot of time to research, storyboard, and choreograph. By taking more time in pre-production to work out the details of the shoot, you’ll be able to create a much better scene than what could be created by quickly figuring it out on set.5. There are a surprising amount of practical effects.Key Takeaway: Practical effects are still better than VFX, especially for indie-films.While VFX do offer you much more control, practical effects are often better than those created by a computer — just ask George Lucas. You’ve probably seen a lot of pictures of the green screen sound stages used in The Avengers, but one surprising thing we found in the BTS videos is the amount of practical effects and set dressing that went into the film.Practical effects are surprisingly easy to create. From simply throwing dirt to using air cannons to launch a car in the air, there are a lot of really cool ways to create live effects that look great. If you’re interested in seeing more practical effects, check out our Top 10 Practical Movie Effects of All Time post.6. A cast that likes each other is a happy cast.Key Takeaway: Actor synergy is very important.It’s hard to think of another all-star cast that gets along with each other like the cast of The Avengers — and that real world chemistry is obvious on the screen. Despite what your fedora wearing “director” friend tells you, there is no room for egos on set. By having a friendly relationship with your actors and crew members, you will better gain respect — which will pay dividends on screen.Want to learn even behind the scenes Avengers inspiration? Check out a few of the following resources:Weird Secrets of The Avengers That You’d Never Have GuessedWatch The Avengers Get Goofy Behind The Scenes In New Age Of Ultron VideoGo Behind-the-Scenes of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of UltronAre you excited for the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie? Sound off in the comments below.last_img read more

Interview: Showtime Docuseries Cinematographer from The Trade

first_imgWe sat down with Matt Porwoll, one of the cinematographers behind The Trade to discuss making films about sensitive issues and working with Matt Heineman.All images via Our Time Projects/Showtime.The Showtime original series The Trade explores the global opioid epidemic and tells the stories of the people caught in its grip. Filming sensitive material and trying to leave a small production footprint were just some of the challenges facing this series. We talked with Matt Porwoll, one of cinematographers behind the show, about how he met these challenges and what it was like working with Matt Heineman.PremiumBeat: How did you take your first leap into the documentary world?Matt Porwoll: When I was at film school, I had big hopes and dreams of shooting feature films. I didn’t want to do the low-budget indie market but wanted to kind of do the kind of standard Hollywood-type movies, and so I got a job at Abel Cine right out of school and started working a week after graduation. That was a perfect entry point into the New York market because, coming right out of film school, I was able to work with the most modern equipment and meet the camera assistants, the cinematographers, and the producers who were all working regularly in town. I think it was through that experience working with them that I started to get a better taste of kind of what the options were in the industry. That opened my eyes to documentary production, which I had never really paid any attention to.I mean, I didn’t even take the documentary production class in college. It just wasn’t on my radar, and so through building these packages, sending crews off to everywhere across the planet, shooting amazing stories, and coming back with great stories, that kind of shifted my attention to say this might be something that I could see myself doing for the long haul. So when I left Abel, two years later, and started freelancing as a camera assistant, I started working for all the documentary people. That’s how I fell into documentary production, and now I couldn’t ask for anything better.A scene from the SHOWTIME original documentary series THE TRADE (Season 1, Episode 01). – Photo: Our Time Projects/Courtesy of SHOWTIMEPB: Who was the first person to give you that big opportunity that eventually led to where you are now?MP: Well, I thankfully had the opportunity to assist a lot of really good documentary-specific cinematographers and people who have been doing this for many years. I was able to come in and learn from some of the best in the business. There were a few people in that realm who really kind of guided me. A big one was Wolfgang Held, who had done a lot of documentaries [and filmed things like] Metallica and a bunch of series with PBS and HBO. It was through Wolfgang that I first met Matt Heineman when they were starting to shoot Matt’s first film Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare — that was in 2010. I came on assisting Wolfgang on that film and then ended up shooting second camera.PB: I would say Matt Heineman is one of the most influential documentary filmmakers today. How’s that experience been?MP:  Yeah, it is exciting. It’s also exciting I think for both of us that we kind of came up in this together because we’re the same age. I was assisting and operating on his first film, and he’s someone who’s got incredible instincts. So even out of the gate, he made an incredible movie. Then the next film that we did was Cartel Land, and Matt asked me if I would be interested in shooting that with him, and I think for both of us it was like Okay, we’re kind of now going out on our own. We’ve been through this once before — let’s support each other again and do it again. I mean that was an incredible movie in so many ways, and really I think that’s what solidified in our mind the kind of movies we wanted to make, how we wanted to make them, and that we wanted to [work together] as often as possible to do these types of films.PB: You recently just shot the Showtime series The Trade with Matt. What was it like shooting vérité-style with heroin users? They’re doing something illegal, so it’s definitely sensitive material.MP: One thing that we very purposefully did on this film was we tried to limit our footprint as much as possible. It made everybody a lot more comfortable because we only had two people in the field per team. I had a producer, and it was just the two of us for the entire time. So through that consistency, where we weren’t changing out crew members every trip, we weren’t adding people, removing people. And so, I think through that there was a level of just comfort that we established pretty early on. Much of being a documentarian doesn’t really have a lot to do with the camera — it just has to do with how you present yourself and how you explain why you’re there and how you approach these difficult and delicate situations in a respectful way. We are people behind the camera, and we care for you, and we understand everything that you’re going through, and we just want to understand it more and share that with the audience. I think that motivated a lot of people. Especially with the families that we filmed.PB: What type of gear did you use to maintain this small footprint?MP: One thing that we really wanted to do was, again, in minimizing the footprint, to come up with style guides for the show. We focused on almost building a set of limitations to work within. Instead of bringing a bunch of gear and having every focal length and the perfect camera, we kind of focused on reining it all in and saying we’re only going to really have with us what we can carry without having to go back to the car. On all these storylines, you have to be flexible — you have to be ready to go. And so, we shot on the Canon C300 Mark II, which I’ve been working with since the day it came out. It’s really solidified itself as the perfect documentary camera: it’s small, it’s lightweight, it has incredible image quality, and it’s just flexible and ergonomic for documentary use. It doesn’t ever fight you — the last thing you want in a camera is having to spend time thinking about where a button is, how to access something, or having complicated menus.In terms of lenses, we basically told ourselves we would use the Canon 17-55mm, Canon 24-105, and the 70-200. It was mainly the 17-55 and the 24-105 that we had with us all the time. They are small, and they have between the two of them the perfect range — the 17 to 55 is a 2.8, which is great for low light, and the 24-105 is an f4, which is where we kind of set ourselves to shoot so that our subjects didn’t get lost in their environments. We also each had a Canon 24mm f/1.4 prime just because we knew between law enforcement and the addicts’ storylines, we would be in low light, so we had that one lens to cover us if exposure dropped. But the C300 is so good in low light that we didn’t really have to use it that much. For the most part, it’s probably 90% handheld except for some establishments.We started shooting everything in HD at 4×4 12-bit internal 1080p into the camera. We shot everything in CanonLog3. We shot that for a while, and then once we started to get more involved in Mexico and we had solidified the law enforcement team that we were going to be with, we ended up switching to shooting in 4k 422 10-bit for the purposes of having room to play if we needed to crop people out of the frame in post. But I feel like, again, with this camera, I think that’s kind of one of those big debates that keeps going around: resolution over color space, and I wholeheartedly agree that it’s probably better shooting in HD at 444 12-bit than it is to shoot 4k at 422 10-bit. Just having that flexibility for the color correction, especially on a project like this where you end up in all kinds of lighting situations and contrast situations, being able to have a smooth gradation in your color correction to shift your color balance: that’s great. However, the resolution of 4K certainly helped us in reframing and cropping people where necessary.PB: How do you feel documentary filmmaking is changing with this surge of episodic documentary content like The Trade?MP: Yeah, it’s incredible to watch, and this was my first foray into the episodic side of documentary filmmaking. We were very fortunate that Showtime allowed us to make this series as if we were making a film. The entire film was shot pretty much before it was edited. We had our editors come on certainly toward the tail end of production, but we did not have to shoot on the schedule of other documentary series where it’s episode by episode. We waited to see where the story was going to go, how it was going to develop, and what was going to happen with our characters before we made any final editorial decisions on any episode. And so, we just treated it as if we were making a five-hour film.PB: What advice do you have for aspiring documentarians?MP: Well, I think the biggest piece of advice that I can give to anyone is just shoot a lot and just involve yourself in any part of production. I think there’s now a big kind of push for people who are just starting out to jump out of film school or wherever and wanting to immediately start as cinematographers. I think that certainly has its opportunities and its value, but I think there’s a lot to be said learning from people who know what they’re doing better than you do. That journey will continue on forever; whether you’re assisting or you’re shooting, there’s always someone who’s going be doing it better than you, and that should be a guiding force as opposed to something that terrifies you. So, just take your time to learn the craft, working on productions and learning from your mistakes. Thankfully, especially in the documentary world, there are so many opportunities now between films and series and web, there’s a lot of work, and there’s a lot of stories to be told and the budgets are going up, the access is going up, the outlets and opportunities are going up. The biggest thing is make sure that you’re just focusing on the story first, and the craft will come around. Stick to the reasons that you got into telling good stories.Looking for more filmmaking interviews? Check these out.Interview: 7 Filmmaking Tips for Creating Retro ’80s ActionBehind The Scenes: Crafting The Stylized Naturalism of Bomb City with DP Jake WilganowskiThe Disaster Artist: Editing A Film About Making a FilmInterview: The Director and The Producer Behind “Man on Fire”Exclusive: Designing Wakanda and the Amazing Sets of Black Pantherlast_img read more

CWG probe: CVC asks for reports by month-end

first_imgThe Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), probing alleged financial irregularities in construction and procurement works related to the Commonwealth Games, has directed all agencies concerned to submit their reports by the month-end.Official sources said a reminder has recently been issued to Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Public Works Department (PWD) in this regard.The move came after Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas objected to the “lackadaisical approach” and continuous delay by agencies in submitting replies to the queries raised by the anti-corruption watchdog, they said.”We have issued reminders to all the agencies and directed them to submit replies. They have been told to give point-wise answers to our queries by the end of October,” a senior CVC official said.He said, based on their replies, the CVC will give its findings or final report to a committee formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India V K Shungloo.”All the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) in the concerned organisations have been asked specifically to pursue the matter,” the officer said.An analysis by Chief Technical Examination Wing of CVC has found alleged financial and administrative irregularities in 16 construction and procurement projects.Six of them are being done by PWD, three by MCD, two each by CPWD, DDA, NDMC and one by RITES, a Government of India Enterprise, the CVC report said.According to the report, “Almost all the organisations executing works for Commonwealth Games have considered inadmissible factors to jack-up the reasonable price to justify award of work at quoted rates citing urgent or emergent circumstances.”advertisementThe CVC has written a letter of complaint to CBI asking for a probe into alleged criminal conspiracy by unknown MCD officials in granting work for upgradation of street lighting in the national capital.Meanwhile, the agency has also asked the CWG Organising Committee and the Sports Ministry to keep a sample of each items of the equipment and props hired from foreign suppliers for the Games venues ready for its inspection.last_img read more

3 awarded death penalty one 20yr jail for war crimes

first_imgwar crimesThe International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Tuesday sentenced three war criminals to death and one another to 20-year jail for crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 liberation war in Sudharampur upazila of Noakhali district.The three condemned convicts are – Amir Ahmed alias Amir Ali, Abul Kalam alias AKM Mansur, Md Joynul Abedin. Abdul Kuddus was sentenced to 20-year jail.Of them, Abul Kalam alias AKM Mansur has been on the run.A three-member ICT bench led by justice Md Shahinur Islam pronounced the verdict, said prosecutor Jahid Imam.Earlier on 6 February, the tribunal concluded the hearing of arguments from both sides on the trial of four men for their alleged involvement in crimes against humanity conducted during the liberation war in 1971 in Noakhali’s Sudharampur upazila and kept the verdict pending for any day.The prosecution pressed charges against five people, including the four in the war crimes case. As another accused of the case, M Yusuf, died after the pressing of the charges, the deceased was not indicted.On 20 June 2016, the tribunal framed three specific charges against four people for their alleged involvement in crimes.The investigators started the probe against the five suspected war criminals on 16 November 2014 and submitted a report before the prosecution on 31 August, 2015.Three charges include killing of over 100 people, including 41 of Sonapur and Sreepur villages, in Sudarampur upazila on 15 June 1971.last_img read more

Astronomers observe outburst of comet 15PFinlay

first_img 15P/Finlay, discovered by William Henry Finlay in 1886, is a short-period comet with an orbital year of 6.5 years and a semi-major axis of nearly 3.5 AU. Its effective radius is estimated to be about 900 meters. The comet’s perihelion passage in December 2014 at one AU from the sun was an excellent opportunity for astronomers to study its activity. When 15P/Finlay experienced an outburst on Dec. 16, 2014, Ishiguro and his team decided to commence a three-month observational campaign of this comet with the aim of deepening the understanding of cometary outbursts. For this purpose, they employed six ground-based telescopes that are part of the Optical and Infrared Synergetic Telescopes for Education and Research (OISTER) inter-university observation network. Their efforts were fruitful and resulted in recording another outburst on January 15, 2015.”We conducted an observation of the comet after the first outburst and subsequently witnessed another outburst on 2015 January 15.6–15.7,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The imagery taken by the team revealed a dramatic change in the comet’s activity, starting with the picture acquired on January 16. The images show that the inner coma brightened on this day and dust ejecta appeared soon; afterward, they were stretched toward the anti-solar direction.The astronomers also found that the appearance of the dust cloud on January 23 is similar to the image taken on December 23, in which the comet was enclosed by a widely expanded envelope. According to the team, this envelope dimmed quickly, leaving behind a near-nuclear dust cloud similar to that from the pre-second outburst.The researchers estimated that during the January 15 outburst, gas consisting mostly of C2 and CN expanded at a speed of about 1,110 km s−1, which is slightly faster than the speeds of other comets at about 1 AU from the sun.”The excess in speed can be explained by the large distance from the nucleus (about 100 million km), where the gas flow velocity continues to increase,” the paper reads.The study also reveals that during the blast, the dust ejecta accelerated up to a speed of 570 km s−1, which is comparable to the ejection speeds of two other outbursts similar comets. “These consistent speeds would have resulted in the similar appearances of these outburst ejecta,” the team noted.The total mass of dust ejecta was calculated to be between 100,000 and one million metric tons.Finally, based on their own observations complemented by previous studies on the nature of cometary outbursts, the scientists concluded that such turbulent events of 15P/Finlay and similar comets occur more than 1.5 times a year and inject dust particles into interplanetary space at a rate of approximately 10 kg s−1 or more. © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Astronomers observe outburst of comet 15P/Finlay (2016, September 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-astronomers-outburst-comet-15pfinlay.html (Phys.org)—A Jupiter-family comet, designated 15P/Finlay, has experienced two large-scale outbursts during its perihelion passage at the end of 2014 and the start of 2015. The latter was observed by a team of astronomers, led by Masateru Ishiguro of the Seoul National University in South Korea, offering a rare glimpse into the physical properties of cometary nuclei. The results of these observations are published Sept. 3 on the arXiv pre-print server. Journal information: arXiv Time-series false color images of 15P taken with RC–band (wavelength 0.64 µm) from (a) UT 2014 December 23 to (f) UT 2015 February 18. The FOV of each panel is 11.6′× 8.0′. All images have standard orientation in the sky, that is, north is up and east is to the left. The anti-solar vectors (r−⊙) and the negative heliocentric velocity vectors (−v) are indicated by arrows. A dozen point–like sources appeared in (p) were not erased by a star subtraction technique because of the short duration of exposures. Credit: Ishiguro et al., 2016.center_img Scientists investigate change in activity of comet 17P/Holmes Explore further More information: 2014-2015 Multiple Outbursts of 15P/Finlay, arXiv:1609.00792 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1609.00792AbstractMultiple outbursts of a Jupiter-family comet, 15P/Finlay, occurred from late 2014 to early 2015. We conducted an observation of the comet after the first outburst and subsequently witnessed another outburst on 2015 January 15.6-15.7. The gas, consisting mostly of C2 and CN, and dust particles expanded at speeds of 1,110 +/- 180 m/s and 570 +/- 40 m/s at a heliocentric distance of 1.0 AU. We estimated the maximum ratio of solar radiation pressure with respect to the solar gravity beta_max = 1.6 +/- 0.2, which is consistent with porous dust particles composed of silicates and organics. We found that 10^8-10^9 kg of dust particles (assumed to be 0.3 micron – 1 mm) were ejected through each outburst. Although the total mass is three orders of magnitude smaller than that of the 17P/Holmes event observed in 2007, the kinetic energy per unit mass (104 J/kg) is equivalent to the estimated values of 17P/Holmes and 332P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami), suggesting that the outbursts were caused by a similar physical mechanism. From a survey of cometary outbursts on the basis of voluntary reports, we conjecture that 15P/Finlay-class outbursts occur >1.5 times annually and inject dust particles from Jupiter-family comets and Encke-type comets into interplanetary space at a rate of ~10 kg/s or more. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more