Teach Me Tuesday: What new filmmaking skills do you want to learn this year?

Basic colour correcting is so easy once you understand the principles

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What principals?? (not a joke- please tell me because I legitimately forget what human skin looks like about fifteen minutes into color correcting)

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Most of the correcting I do is to make sure shots from different sets match up, rather than trying to get a certain tone, but the fundamentals are:

  • Learn how to interpret the RGB Parade scope in your editing program
  • Use a good baseline to work against. In my case, I use background such as walls to match two shots. In your case of trying to get skin tone right, the white portions of the slate are a usable baseline for balancing colour.

This is kind of a terrible summary, it’s better shown with a practical demonstration.

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This isn’t technically VFX, but hey, if you ever wanted to do an article…

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I can do that, if people will find it helpful

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I think people would definitely find it helpful!

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Agreed. I use some form of color correction in almost every project at work and its a lifesaver. It can be a pretty powerful tool in the webseries arsenal and that’s just with the basics.

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My main goal is pre-production and management. I’m used to working by myself or with a couple friends on small, indie projects in the interactive/digital realm or simply pitch docs/prep work, and now I’m looking at a 22-episode, 90-minute season with at least a $4k budget and probably 20 people on set. I’ve never gone through formal pre-production and production stages because I’ve been so heavily independent before and never have had an actual budget, so I’m definitely doing a lot of research and a lot of thinking on my feet. Adjusting to this scale is going to be hard, and I’m… nervous, but learning. :flushed: :relaxed:
advice always appreciated~

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If you have specific questions (like you’ve had the past few months :slight_smile: ) we’re always here to answer!

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thanks~ At the moment I’m still getting myself through casting + working on getting lawyers for contracts, but I’m definitely going to be asking more in the future

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https://blog.stareable.com/thoughts-on-contracting-from-a-lawyer-turned-filmmaker-fded215620fe

Contract help if you need it :slight_smile:

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I’ve definitely read these! They were both really helpful, but I have a couple kinda complex things happening (we have a social media influencer who wants to join the project so I want that contract to be airtight), so I’m going to try and use USC’s law school clinics first to get professionally written contracts because I’m still a bit terrified of writing contracts myself :slight_smile:

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Smart!

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Color correcting is interesting because I feel it gets confused with color grading very often. Color correction is literally correcting what comes out of the camera. My canon tends to be a bit warmer, so a color correction would be adding some blue back into the image. Color grading is where you dial in the colors to your specific tastes. That’s where you start adding the harsh darkness in the shadows, adjusting the highlights to your taste, etc.

Here’s a great video on this (it’s been a while since I’ve watched it, so I hope this helps you out!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sblEu4x5ug

Next, lighting. This is always a tough one because you’re never going to have the same set up. Each location has it’s own difficulties and it’s always hard to tell what exactly you need to do. In my opinion, it’s very easy to OVER light when you can get the same (or a better) effect with just a few lights. Another big thing, is the use of practicals. If you have a lamp in your scene, that can motivate the key light so it makes sense within the story.

Here’s some old school Film Riot goodness on lighting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSo_bMFT5YI

I hope these help! Let me know if you have any questions!

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Pre-production is something I always neglect. I’m about to start a project as writer-director so I would definitely like to learn more on this as well!

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I wrote a script, but I want to make sure it’s the best it can be. I feel it’s very…surface level. I want it to have some subtext and to be interesting to an audience. So I’m definitely looking more into writing/directing this year. I feel very confident about my knowledge in Cinematography and Editing since I’ve spent a year or two learning a lot about these subjects, although I haven’t put them into practice as much as I’d like to.

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Hey! I am totally going through the same thing right now! I got a grant and now have a way bigger budget than what I have shot before!
Here’s a couple things I’ve found so far (hopefully they can help, or we can bounce ideas off one another!!)
-creating or using a communication platform for everyone in pre production to use (we use slack) so that messages are all in the same place!
-organizing your budget as pre production, production and post. And then organizing it with above and below the line expenses!
-checking here to gain lots of professional knowledge!
-creating a pre production schedule (include any meetings your team will have, even allocate times for sending important emails or making calls)

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oh yeah, my entire life is on slack and team drives at this point. we’re crowdfunding in march so we’re not 100% sure of the budget, but we’re a pretty niche show (gay spy school) so we’re unsure of the exact budget we’ll have, but we’re thinking a few thousand. we’re budgeting as much as we can before we crowdfund, but we know it’ll all have to change!

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for me, whenever i want to add depth to a script, i look at the characters more closely, and try to make it more real from their perspective. after that, i think about more long-term symbolism or metaphorical elements that would elevate it from a film analysis point of view, that can also add some dimension for an audience, even if they don’t pick up on it.

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That’s interesting! I’ll definitely take this into consideration. Thank you!

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