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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Free filmmaking book - Making Better Movies with Moviestorm, Vol 3


Our series of books on using Moviestorm to practice filmmaking techniques gets its newest addition today with this third volume on sound and lighting.  As we’re fond of saying at Moviestorm, film is an audio-visual medium. It’s easy to focus all your attention and effort on what the actors are doing and how you’re filming what’s happening on the set, but that’s just half of what you need to do. Two hallmarks of quality films are good sound and good lighting. Often, they go completely unnoticed and unremarked. By contrast, you can usually tell an amateurish film by its poor quality sound and lighting - everything looks like it was shot with a cheap video camera and sound was added as an after-thought, if at all.

This book, like the previous two in the series, contains several practical exercises to help you develop useful skills. They include working with ambient sounds and music, and lighting techniques such as filming silhouettes and shadows. Each exercise is presented in a simple workbook format to encourage you to film scenes in several different ways to compare the effect of each technique and see how each element affects both the individual shots and the overall story.

These exercises aren’t in any way specific to making movies with Moviestorm. These are standard techniques that apply to all forms of film. You can take what you’ve learned to any other film-making medium - full CG animation, live action, or whatever. It’s about learning skills, not about learning to use specific tools or media.  The main advantage of using Moviestorm as a training tool is that you can practice whenever it’s convenient for you, and you don’t need to assemble a cast and crew each time. And if you’re not happy with what you’ve done, you can easily go back and do it again and again until you’re satisfied – reshoots are cheap and easy!

“A very fine job on sound and lighting. Kudos to you for the whole project.”
Ricky Grove, machinimator

“Learning how to make films to tell stories is not about theory. It’s about practice. If you want to get good at telling stories with films, there is absolutely no substitute for putting in the hours.”
Phil South, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Volumes 1 -3 are available now, as a free PDF download directly from Moviestorm.  Please feel free to pass them on to other filmmakers, and let us know what you think!

Download Making Better Movies with Moviestorm, Vol 1

Download Making Better Movies with Moviestorm, Vol 2

Download Making Better Movies with Moviestorm, Vol 3

(1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Contest: Make the official video for I Fight Dragons next release!

imageIn recent weeks, Moviestorm Towers has been echoing to the sound of Chicago-based rock’n'roll chiptune from I Fight Dragons.  (To quote the band’s Web site, for those of you not in the proverbial ‘know,’ ‘chiptune’ is new music created on ‘obsolete’ video game ‘soundcards’ such as the Nintendo Gameboy.) This isn’t our usual brand of music, we’ll be honest, but it’s grown on us.


Well, we’ve teamed up with Consequence of Sound, one of America’s leading music blogs, to bring you a contest with a unique prize.  Use Moviestorm to make a video for Working, from the brand new album Kaboom! by I Fight Dragons, and submit it by December 21. The winning entry will be the official video for the track! And there will be Moviestorm prizes for the top five as well.

Now, we get that you don’t want to submit a video made with the watermarked trial version of Moviestorm. You want your video to look as good as possible. And we get that you probably don’t want to buy a $200 animation tool just to enter a contest. So, for contest entrants only, we’ve made the full version of Moviestorm completely free for the duration of the contest.  Go to the contest Web site and you’ll get a code that unlocks the whole of Moviestorm until the end of December.

Good luck - we’re really looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Full contest rules and instructions

(1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Monday, November 14, 2011

Celtx Shots


Our friends over at Celtx provide some of the best pre-production tools available. They’re not just good, they’re also surprisingly affordable - their desktop application is completely free! They’ve now started up a line of apps for mobile devices, so you can work any time, any place - on the train, on the sofa, or even while you’re right on set.

Their latest release for the iPad, Celtx Shots, gives you powerful, easy to use storyboarding and shot planning capability. If you’re a writer, you can combine that with Celtx Script, and write your screenplay on your iPhone.

At just $4.99 each, these are amazingly good value, and something that any filmmaker should have at their fingertips.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

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