Video

The 50 Best Warner Bros Films (Blu-ray) Collection is 70% off right now.

I’ve been drooling over this collection for a while, not only for the fantastic movies but also because it comes with hours and hours and hours of director’s commentaries and behind-the-scenes featurettes. $420 is kinda hard to justify, but right now Amazon is offering the complete set for only $177, about 70% the regular price. The timing couldn’t be better, this would make THE perfect Christmas present for the film lover in your live (or yourself!).

Here are the 50 Movies included

1. Grand Hotel* (1932)
2. Mutiny on the Bounty* (1935)
3. Wizard of Oz (1939)
4. Gone with The Wind* (1939)
5. Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
6. Mrs. Miniver* (1942)
7. Casablanca* (1942)
8. Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
9. Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951)
10. American in Paris, An* (1951)
11. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
12. Gigi(1958)
13. North By Northwest (1959)
14. Ben-Hur* (1959)
15. How the West Was Won (1962)
16. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
17. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
18. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
19. Bullitt (1968)
20. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
21. Dirty Harry (1971)
22. Clockwork Orange, A (1972)
23. Exorcist, The (1973)
24. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest* (1975)
25. Superman, The Movie (1977)
26. Shining, The (1980)
27. Chariots of Fire* (1981)
28. Risky Business (1983)
29. Amadeus* (1984)
30. Color Purple, The (1985)
31. Lethal Weapon (1987)
32. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
33. Driving Miss Daisy* (1989)
34. Goodfellas (1990)
35. Unforgiven* (1992)
36. Bodyguard, The(1992)
37. Natural Born Killers (Director’s Cut) (1994)
38. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
39. Matrix, The (1999)
40. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
41. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
42. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
43. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King* (2003)
44. Million Dollar Baby* (2005)
45. Departed, The* (2006)
46. Dark Knight, The (2008)
47. Blind Side, The (2009)
48. Hangover, The (2009)
49. Sherlock Holmes (2009)
50. Inception (2010)

Amazon direct link.

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Video

Schindler’s List Cut by Cut: Part 3.

 
After taking a deep look (check the first and second part of this post) into a famous and very important sequence from the film Schindler’s List, we begin to understand not only the relationship between Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) and Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), but also the cinema ingeniousness of Steven Spielberg (director), Janusz Kaminiski (director of photography) and Michael Kahn (editor).

Here’s a poster we created that sums up all the cuts in the sequence altogether.
 
Cut by Cut Analysis Poster

And here’s the complete sequence.
 

For those of you missed our Schindler’s List cut by cut analysis, here are Part 1 and Part 2.

Are there any other sequences that you would like us to review or break down cut by cut?  Let us know by giving your thoughts and feedback in the dialog box below and we might just make it a future post!

Video

Adobe Lightroom Tips and Tricks 004. Creating Storyboards.

Today’s Tip & Trick is about creating a storyboard in Adobe Lightroom. Have you used storyboards on previews projects, and if so, which application did you use?

If you don’t need all the Adobe Creative Cloud bells and whistles, consider their photography plan which includes Photoshop CC + Lightroom 5 and 20GB of cloud storage for only $9.99/month!

Got specific questions or want to learn more? We offer vir­tual one-on-one ses­sions to give you cus­tomized solu­tions and per­son­al­ized train­ing no mat­ter where you are in the world. Sign up now!

Video

Schindler’s List Cut by Cut: Part 2.

 
Last week, we analyzed one of the most important scene’s from Schindler’s List and the amazing editing work by Michael Kahn. We suggest you read Schindler’s List Cut by Cut: Part 1 first.

Great editing can only be accomplished if there is great footage to begin with. Look closely at Kaminski’s compositions; whether handheld or locked down he constantly plays with all the corners of the frame, showing dynamic blocking and camera movement to work in conjunction with the pace set by Kahn’s editing. This is what making a good picture is all about.

Michael Kahn’s editing is just phenomenal. His transitions are abrupt, but we never lose sight of the story. Let’s continue dissecting Schindler’s and Stern’s dialog while they create THE list of “essential” people.

Cut 15 Two-shot: Stern and Schindler trying to remember a name.

Cut 15

Cut 16 Typing a name.

Cut 16

Cut 17 Low-angle close shot of Stern trying to recall a name.  Schindler seconding him off screen.

Cut 17

Cut 18 Typing a name.

Cut 18

 

Click here to continue reading  (more…)

Video

Schindler’s List Cut by Cut: Part 1

 
Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, tells the story of a German businessman who devises a plan to save over a thousand Polish Jews from annihilation by the Nazis.  The picture’s narrative, acting, music and emotional impact are all outstanding. For obvious reasons, one of our favorite aspects of this movie is the beautifully composed and lit black-and-white cinematography by Janusz Kaminski. But the editing…..wow! Michael Kahn who happens to be the most-nominated editor in Academy Awards history (eight nominations) received the the Best Editing top recognition for this movie (and also for Raiders of the Lost Ark and Saving Private Ryan).

Throughout Schindler’s List, the story is pieced together with the use of “parallel editing“, or “cross-cutting”, a cinematic convention in which “two or more concurrent scenes are interwoven with each other.” Kahn and Spielberg successfully illuminate the hardships of the Jews and the opposing comfort and optimism of Schindler and the Nazis in Poland through this convention.

Why this blog post? In 2012 the Cinema Editor Magazine published a great article where the author dissected, cut-by-cut, one of the most important scenes of “Schindler’s List.” Last week we rented the DVD, went back to the article, and created screen grabs of each of the cuts in order to better understand Kahn’s editing. There are so many cuts (28) that we will split this post in two. We wanted to post the entire sequence but due to copyright issues, we can’t.

Schindler (Liam Neeson) and Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) falsify documents and create a list of names to ensure that as many people as possible are deemed “essential” by the Nazi bureaucracy.

Cut 1 Extreme close-up of typewriter keys pounding out three names:  as the screenplay puts it, “the letters the size of buildings, the sound as loud as gunshots.”

Cut 1

Cut 2 Medium shot of Stern typing; camera tracks with Schindler pacing past him, reciting the names of Poldek Pfefferberg, his close crony among the Jews, and Poldek’s wife, Mila.

Cut 2

Cut 3 Extreme close-up: “Pfefferberg” being typed.

Cut 3

Cut 4 Medium shot: Schindler giving another name. Pan right to include Stern at typewriter.

Cut 4

Cut 5 Extreme close-up of the name “Stagel” being typed.

Cut 5

Click to keep read­ing (more…)

Photography

Visual Serendipity. The Silence of the Lambs.

 
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To create the physical world of The Silence of the Lambs (1991), production designer Kristi Zea drew on descriptions in the book by Thomas Harris on which the film was based.  She was also inspired by a variety of images, including paintings by Francis Bacon, newspaper and magazine clippings, and historical photographs.

Photography

Visual Serendipity meets Mrs. Doubtfire.

 
Mrs. Doubtfire's comeback.

After a bitter divorce, Robin Williams disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend secret time with his children held in custody by his ex wife. This was shot at the awesome Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York. If you don’t remember the movie, or haven’t seen it in the past TWENTY years, here’s the trailer.

Video

Shooting HDR movies on your cellphone.

 
Sony announced a new back-illuminated CMOS sensor for smartphones which supports HDR technology for movies. The eight-megapixel version will start shipping next month, and a 13-megapixel version will follow in the summer. Check the video to see it in action.