Important Film Production Documents for Students and Indie Filmmakers

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Creating a file of documents for your film is necessary to keep things in order and make sure the film is made in the most economical way. It is also compulsory for most film school courses.

That’s not to say it can’t be tedious and difficult to put together.

Fortunately, a new digital pack of all the important documents has been released to help filmmakers, whether they are just starting out or running an independent company.

They’re called ProFilmDocs¬†and have been working with universities, colleges, indie film companies and legal advisors to build a pack of templates suited to everyone.

OnVideos has an exclusive 20%-off coupon that you can use on a personal license or even an institution license (for schools and companies).

20% Off Voucher: ROSEBUD

You can download a free sample pack including Non-Disclosure Agreement, Risk Assessment Form and Guide now: click here (right-click and Save As…)

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Automatic Duck Products FREE for a Limited Time

Automatic Duck make have been hired by Adobe, which is great news. It could see Adobe’s integration with other products become even more seamless than it already is, with Premiere Pro. For those who don’t know, Automatic Duck make/made import plugins, the most relevant of which was their Final Cut Pro to After Effects.

As someone who has been using AE a lot over the past 12 months, jumping between it and my NLE, Final Cut Pro – I have looked into a way to have After Effects import my projects without just exporting a Quicktime video from FCP. I came across Automatic Duck’s Pro Import AE – but the $500 price tag wasn’t justifiable at the time. There was also Popcorn Island’s effort: Final Cut 2 After Effects, which had similar features, but wasn’t as advanced – but was free. I downloaded this months ago, but never got round to using it.

However, Adobe’s buy-out has led to Automatic Duck’s expensive products being released for FREE – perhaps for a limited time only. I’ve just downloaded the Pro Import AE, but they have other plug ins for Pro Tools, Avid etc. too. Grab them while you have the chance, it might speed up (post)production!

Automatic Duck Free Downloads

Great Free Sound Effects for Your Productions

I’ve always struggled to find good free sounds for films. I don’t use a whole lot and the ones I do use are often random or abstract. I collect them from a variety of sources and they often have different qualities.

I was searching for a specific experimental noise yesterday and found the perfect one, hosted for free at Freesound.org:

Freesound aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, … released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.

With over 100,000 sounds, this is surely a resource you can’t afford to miss. I spent a couple of hours thinking up things to look for, listening to different samples and grabbing a bunch of inspiring bits and pieces!

Freesound

Matte Paintings as a Solution to 5D MKii (and other DSLR) Moire Issues

This isn’t going to work on every occasion and will require more time and precision during the shoot and in post, but it is really quite impressive and opens up further possibilities with shooting on DSLRs.

In this video, Robino Films use still images to create matte paintings and effectively relight parts of the scene as they see fit. At the end there are further examples where elements are changed to their needs and there is no reason why this technique cannot be used to combat moire issues on things that new moire filters and plug-ins are not good for, like brick walls and roofs (as long as subjects don’t cross the area in question).

And a couple of free anti-moire filters for Final Cut Pro:

DSLR anti-moire filter for FCP

Moire filter plug-in

I’ve downloaded these but have not had a chance to use them (fortunately I’ve not encountered moire issues very much, although I have been shooting on other cameras recently).

Free DSLR and Adobe CS eBook

Having shot a few productions on loaned equipment, I am excitedly awaiting the delivery of our own kit today. Deadlines and another short shoot this afternoon prevent me spending too long pretending it’s Christmas morning.

In the meantime, Richard Harrington has written afree eBook, which is available from a link on his blog. It covers some of the tools you can use in the Adobe Suite, which I am using more and more of – and considering trying out Premiere Pro to edit an upcoming production, when I have time to sink my teeth in to it.

Free Software for Video Production People using Macs (Part 1)


A good workman doesn’t blame his tools. Maybe so, but some nice apps on your mac can make life a lot easier. The first four here are all free and some are open-source so there is no reason not to!

Mpeg Streamclip
http://www.squared5.com/

This is really popular amongst video people, it is very simple but very powerful. In essence, a video converter – it is useful for changing 5DMkii format (H.264) to a codec you could edit with more easily. This isn’t all though, it is compatible with many video types and I have used it on various projects. Definitely something to keep up your sleeve.

Dropbox
http://www.dropbox.com/

If you find yourself using more than one computer (or a mac plus iPhone), then sharing files is easy with this free software. I have my account set up on my main editing mac, my MacBookPro and my work mac – as well as on my iPhone. Generally I keep some basic Photoshop actions, colours, etc. and photos for projects, documents for projects etc.

At 2gb for a free account, it’s not really big enough for video footage but you can at least push it to 4gb through referrals or pay for some extra space if you want to.

Komodo Edit
http://www.activestate.com/komodo-edit

If you are working on contemporary video contracts, often a knowledge and the application of some web coding is necessary. This free, open-source coding notepad is my weapon of choice, it just does everything I need it to (and much more).

DiskInventoryX
http://www.derlien.com/

If you are anything like me, you aren’t the best at keeping your source files and output files and random files in order and your massive external hard drive is full and you don’t know why. Probably because there is a lossless few minutes of video hiding away somewhere. This free app provides a visual and interactive representation of the files that are found on any drive and allows you to target them and re-arrange and tidy-up as you please. Essential.

Video Production Proposal Template and Download

Update: Read this post to find out about a great digital pack of all the film document templates you could possibly want! You can download a new version of the Production Proposal HERE (right-click, Save As…)

A video proposal is essential for explaining and recording what is required by the client and what you will provide. I sometimes call them a treatment, as – for me – they are similar in content. In my experience, however, treatments went alongside a nerve-wracking pitch for a film that nobody really wanted to make but me (until I convinced them, obviously).

A proposal needs some basic information about the what, why, who, how, where and when of the video in question. I have seen quite a few variations and you just need to edit your template until you find one that sits well with you. These can change, project-to-project, but are a good starting point. I have edited the one below a few times and am still updating it on each project I am faced with.

Files removed (see start of post for info + download)

Filming in Progress Notification Signs and Template Download

Update: Read this post to find out about a great digital pack of all the film document templates you could possibly want! You can download a new version of the Filming in Progress Templates HERE (right-click, Save As…)

Not having a full budget and production team has led me, in the past, to forgetting to have “Filming in Progress” warning signs until the eleventh hour. At which point one is hastily drawn up on the back of a spare sheet of paper in marker pen and taped to a chair: not ideal. Generally people can get annoyed if you don’t have them, some places won’t be happy with you filming without them and most of the time it is just good etiquette.

Sometimes they will attract the wrong sort of attention: people will stop to see what you are doing, instead of behaving as normal and a crowd may gather. Also, I’m not sure where these signs stand legally, whether having them is sufficient enough to film passers-by and use that footage in productions (close-ups and focussing on specific individuals is definitely a no-no and would require release forms) but large companies have used signs that look very similar to the ones that you can download in this post.

I made these up so I can quickly print them out and use them on shoots, changing details as I go. The design is based on images and real life notification signs I have seen and the wording is similar too. In any case, you might want to check with your local laws regarding filming in public, but these are definitely a start. Available in Word, OpenOffice and PDF formats.

Files removed (see start of post for info + download)