What separates the amateurs from the professionals?  It has to be the equipment, right? This is not … [Continue Reading]

How to Frame A Shot

Without a doubt, cinema has changed.  New and old cinemas hardly have many similarities between each … [Continue Reading]

Old Vs. New Movies

Cinematography is the art of motion pictures.  It includes both the technique of shooting and … [Continue Reading]

Intro to Cinematography

How to Frame A Shot

How to Frame A Shot

Photographing Campfire

What separates the amateurs from the professionals?  It has to be the equipment, right?

This is not the case.  It is how one uses equipment that sets them apart from the rest.  Off course, no one is going to ask you to make a professional photo session, if all you have is a cheap disposable camera, but nevertheless, it is important to know that photography has plenty of science to it.

The most basic of principles for photography is called the rule of thirds.  It is the quintessential rule that all budding photographers need to know.  The rule of thirds is an imaginary grid that overlays the screen of the camera.  Now, imagine lines that break up the screen into thirds, both horizontally and vertically.  With this, you get nine equal parts.  It is divided up like a tic-tac-toe game.

This grid gives the photographer the most important part of the photo.  The four points in the middle where the lines intersect are where the human eye naturally goes when first looking at a photograph.   It is of best interest to place points of interest within these intersecting areas.  You then use the lines to guide the eye across the image. Continue reading “How to Frame A Shot” »

Old Vs. New Movies

Old Vs. New Movies

Rick Blaine Makes the Move

Without a doubt, cinema has changed.  New and old cinemas hardly have many similarities between each other in regard to plot and style.

Older film was of course in black and white, due to technological reasons.  It didn’t even have sound until the mid 1920’s; however, this is where the art was cultivated and grown.  Film was experimental and far different from anything anyone had ever seen.  We saw the rise of special effects and the artful stretch of the truth that we love to see; called special effects begin to grow.  The 1927 production Metropolis showed a fantastical world of camera illusion.  It was the first full-length science fiction film.

Films in the older days were much longer than most of today’s features.  Older films were two to three hours long; whereas, newer films are normally right around an hour and a half.

Back in the golden era of Hollywood, roughly between the 1920’s and the 1960’s, film had defined categories.  Some of the biggest genres throughout this time was film noir, musicals, westerns, and political.  Now days, some of the most popular genres are action, romantic comedy, horror, and thriller.

The people in charge of the making most of the older films were the producers or the suits.  Newer films are more controlled by the director (this is also called the auteur theory).

Older films relied heavily on their writing and the competence of the those involved in the production in order to make a great hit; whereas, newer film will use CGI and an over zealous amount of special effects. Continue reading “Old Vs. New Movies” »

Intro to Cinematography

Intro to Cinematography

Cinematography is an Art

Cinematography is the art of motion pictures.  It includes both the technique of shooting and development of film. From the flawless camera shots to the differences of movie styles, cinematography has plenty of components that need to be meshed together in order to make a proper film.

There are four basic elements of cinematography: lighting, movement, film versus digital, and perspective.

Lighting

In many people’s personal opinion, this is the most quintessential element for both photography and cinematography.  After all, without lighting, we would not have not have either of those mediums, but that goes without saying.

Lighting adds depth, tone and mood.  Noir films use low-key lighting to create a mysterious and dark setting to add to the tension that noir films love to build.  A lot of medical T.V. shows, like Scrubs or House, use flat light to convey a very sterile environment.  Sometimes, directors and cinematographers use a very creative light, like in Steven Spielberg’s 1977 production Close Encounters of a Third Kind, to convey something entirely different from out understanding.

The essential elements are Key light, back light, and fill light.  The key light is the main light directed toward the subject.   The fill light is off to the side of the subject; its goal is to soften the edges and to diminish shadows. The backlight is located behind the subject, normally hung above and out of the view of the camera.  Its goal is to create separation from the subject and the background. Continue reading “Intro to Cinematography” »

Taking The Best Forest Photographs

Taking The Best Forest PhotographsBeing in natural surroundings makes you feel more connected to yourself. The natural scenery whether it is the towering mountains or dense woodlands can inspire you into taking some wonderful shots that excite and please you endlessly. While coming across an awesome forest landscape shot I often wonder how the photographer has managed to convey the colossal appeal of nature in the images.

I recently met up with a photographer friend of mine, who owns a timber shop. He uses some advanced tools to cut timber, which makes his work easier and efficient. Although timber is his family business, he took to photography quite early on, as he is crazy about it. Here are some tips he shared with me on capturing the essence of woodlands perfectly.

  • Woodlands are generally very chaotic in nature. You will at the outset find it a bit cluttered and lacking focus. This will make your initial shots look very amateur and not what you had expected of them.
  • Forests possess an exquisite appeal in all seasons. The photographic potential they present is endless. You need to just know the right way to capture every nuance present. When you have the basic skills for forest photography and plan well, you are certain to get the right shots.
  • As I said before, forest photography can be done during all seasons. It is not just the autumn that gives the forests their special allure. Winter, summer and spring too have their own attractions, so don’t miss out on these seasons.
  • Lighting is a key factor that influences the image quality. When you know how to use the natural light effectively, you can take the best shots easily. My friend had taken an image of wood being split using the high quality gas log splitter, which had come out quite beautifully, blending in the man, machine and nature. This was mainly due to the proper use of lighting.
  • Direct light is best for open woodland areas and for spaces where you have solitary trees. This gives vibrant images with high contrast.
  • For taking the best shots, either you should select late afternoon or early morning as the light at low angles is best for illuminating tree trunks, so you get dramatic shadow effect.
  • On the contrary, direct sunlight in dense woodlands should be avoided, as it casts dark shadows, which would not look good in the photographs. Low contrast lighting is best in such areas.
  • In case you have difficulties with sunlight like flares, it is best to hide it behind tree trunks
  • Overcast light gives richer detail and hues in dense woodlands.
  • Rain may look as a deterrent but actually, the trees look vibrant and fresh, due to the rain and increase the color saturation of the woodland plants, tree trunks and foliage.

While taking forest photography, try to keep the image as simple as possible. Using telephoto lens gives a better perspective and helps you shoot the small sections effectively to get a better photocomposition. Wide angled lens helps to exaggerate the trunk lines, while overhead sunlight gives good backlighting for the leaves and also gives you bright blue background, if it is a clear sunny day.

Great Hunting Hollywood Movies

Great Hunting Hollywood MoviesHollywood movies have featured some great adventure sports over time, but rarely ever do you see any movie with hunting as the key plot. Even if such movies do sprout occasionally, they do not capture your attention, as it is meant to be. Although finding the few good movies is like searching for a needle in a haystack, I’ve collected a few memorable movies in the past four of five decades that have hunting as the main theme. This list is for all hunting enthusiasts who still see it as the ultimate thrilling adventure.

The Deer Hunter

While this film features war, as prominently as it does hunting, this surely is a memorable film on hunting. This 1978 film offers good introduction into hunting. Mike, the ace deer hunter in the film played by Robert DeNiro uses his hunting skills to survive in the Vietnam War. The film had won many Academy Awards in 1978, including the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor awards. This movie is the best ever-hunting film to be produced in mainstream Hollywood movies.

The Ghost and the Darkness

Though this movie is not critically acclaimed as the Deer Hunter, it is a sure staple in the best hunting films genre. The movie set in Kenyan forests features a pair of dangerous lions, which had killed over 30 workers during the railway line construction between Mombasa and Uganda. This movie unfolds into a thrilling, stirring and at times horrifying perspective of how dangerous hunting of exotic game can be. While the movie is mostly fictional, it is appealing nevertheless. Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas make it a memorable hunting trip.

Escanaba in de Moonlight

This hunting comedy movie released in 2001 is adapted from a play with the same title. Featuring the Upper Peninsular Michigan region, which is known for its long hunting traditions, the movie ridicules many of the superstitions and traditions that prevail in hunting, and at the same time manages to pay homage to hunting. The movie certainly has some hilarious moments and special hunting moments, which will make you love the sport more.

The Mountain Men

This is an old hunting adventure film of a conventional type where you see the main players trapping beavers more than doing any actual hunting up in the mountains. However, it is definitely a hunting film as the others listed above. The movies pictures outdoors entirely and is so into the hunting apparel and culture that all hunting fans are sure to enjoy the film fully. The typical western scenery along with Charlton Heston can be enjoyed in this movie.

Moby Dick

This 1956 classic is an adaptation of Herman Melville’s novel. Many consider it as a film about fishing, when you take it account the attractive Whale in the film. Nevertheless, what truly catches your eye is the hunting expedition undertaken by Captain Ahab.   The hunting journey takes you on a path of persistence and obsession, that are the aspects, which hunters would identify to in their search for the right prey.

Movies That Spark The Traveler In You

Movies That Spark The Traveler In YouMovies are capable of inspiring you into doing things that you would normally consider impossible. They drive you to think innovatively. Sometimes movies have the power to make you question your actions and take a better perspective of your life or even go a step further to help you envision your future too.

Even if we have outgrown our childhood fantasies and dreams, there lies the child in us who is easily entranced with the wonders that life reveals. I’m not an outdoor person basically. The very little travel that I had done was mainly work oriented and not for leisure. But these movies certainly had me wishing I used more of my free time travelling. Here is the list of movies that would inspire anyone to take to travel like fish to water.

Tracks

This is a movie adapted from a memoir of Robyn Davidson. It is about the 1,700-mile trekking she had done in the West Australian deserts, with four camels and her dog for company. Though this may not sound like your cup of tea, sometimes it is necessary to be lost in your surroundings to get back on the right footing again. When you think that you don’t have it in you to try any further, watch this movie to get inspired and gain the confidence you need to survive.

Wild

This is adapted from another true story authored by Cheryl Strayed. This movie takes you on a long and lonely journey in a no man’s land with just nature for company. You are sure to get the right perspective, if you want to get some hibernating time away from civilization. Bonding with nature will certainly look an attractive prospect after this movie. Such was its impact that I donned on my hiking boots and set off on my first solo hiking trip after seeing it.

Into The Wild

This is a survival movie by Sean Penn adapted from Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction book of the same title. The movie has the protagonist Christopher McCandless travelling all over the northern America, especially in the wild Alaskan region. It gives you much more than being on your own in wilderness. It helps you to rediscover yourself.

The Motorcycle Diaries

This biopic dwells on the Journey of Ernesto Guevara, on whose memoir it is based on. Guevara was 23 when he had written the memoir. Guevara later on came to be known internationally as the Marxist revolutionary commander Che Guevara. This movie is however not about Marxist principles, but on how much adventure and fun you can have in a trip and the changes it brings in your life.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This is adapted from James Thurber’s story of the same title. While this is not what you expect from a travel movie, it shows in a candid way in which a monotonous and dull life needs some adventurous trip to get back to appreciate our life for what it is. The movie has some great shots of Iceland that you should not miss out on.

Tips to make an Amateur Action Movie

Tips to make an Amateur Action MovieMy friend, an amateur film director, is an ardent fan of action movies and wishes to make one. I get irritated as he is unable to finalize the method he will adapt to shoot and edit an action movie. Every movie involves intensity and some action. An action movie is a genre including a range of challenges such as fight scenes, frantic chases and violence. I decided to learn about action films and give my friend some tips to help him in his venture. So here are some of the tips I learnt and shared with my friend.

Visual Style

A cinematic style is the epitome of the creative expression of a director. A great film is distinguished by its distinct style and gives a memorable experience to the viewers. An action movie involves path-breaking scenes that are against the physics’ laws and attract the audience. Visual storytelling is an essential element of filmmaking along with the characters, dialogue and plot of the movie. For instance, the distinctive style of Tim Burton’s Batman, released in 1989, involves action sequences of incredible creativity that redefines the gothic visual appeal and engages the audience.

Bullet Time

A trademark of Warner Bros., the term is also known as focus time or big freeze. It is a slow motion visual effect achieved photographically using numerous still cameras around the visual subject. Single frames of each camera are displayed as an arrangement to generate an action that is frozen at a particular time. The concept of bullet time became popular through the action scenes of the Matrix. For example, Neo dives back to avoid the bullets in a fight scene using bullet time effect. Bullet time is a revolution in the field of virtual cinematography.

Music

Although an important aspect of filmmaking, film music goes unnoticed by the viewers. The absence of music in a film makes it dull and does not create the effect of tension and emotion. A musical score can be more effective than the actual lines of a dialogue.

For example, the theme of the Superman involves bombastic and heroic sounds to create the greatest film music in the history. Music creates an emotional connect with the audience and narrates the thoughts of the filmmaker effectively. Electronic tracks with breaks along with a background score of a powerful bass and a tremolo violin incites aggressive moods of an audience watching an action film.

Shoot more scenes

A good filmmaker will shoot ten times more than the actual video footage to be included in the final movie. However, do not shoot randomly, as that may waste time in making the final movie. For example, you must shoot a raw footage of about ten minutes to make a 1-minute video.

Shot coverage

There are three options of shooting various scenes for a film. A wide shot refers to the large view of the subject. A medium shot gives a closer view of the activity. Close-up refers to the close view of the activity or subject.

Motion

You may actually move the camera while the shooting is under process. A filmmaker can choose any one of the four options: Zoom is used to alter the camera’s focal length to get a close view of an object placed at a farther distance. The zoom function of a camera must be used smoothly and at one speed. Changing zoom speeds distracts the viewers. Rapid zoom creates blurred images and slow zoom takes longer to complete the scene.

You must avoid using the digital zoom option in your camera. Pan changes the camera’s view across scenes. Usually this feature enables the camera move from the right side to the left side, or vice-versa. The tilt option moves the camera vertically to shoot a scene from bottom to top or vice-versa. ‘Dolly’ moves the camera along with the subject or activity.

Two-Shot Rule

You must shoot a minimum of two shots per scene that you want to include in a movie. For example, you may shoot a subject from at least two frames, close-up and medium. You can also shoot from two angles, one from behind and the other from right side of the subject.

Composition and Rule of Thirds

The framing of the subject is called composition. According to the rule of Thirds, when you shoot a scene, you must mentally draw a grid having three rows and three columns over the picture and place the subject on the gridlines to choose the best option.

B-Roll

It refers to a video footage that may not appear on the actual shot list but is useful for other visual storytelling techniques.

Light

The important ingredient of filmmaking is the appropriate light while shooting. Light determines the color of the scene and sets the typical mood as desired. The best lighting option for filmmakers is termed as the ‘golden hour’. Usually it is the period between sunrise in the morning and an hour afterwards. In the afternoon, it is the period between an hour prior to sunset and the time of sunset. The silhouette effect is created by a backlit subject. You must keep light behind you to prevent you subject appearing dark.

Avoid camera shake

You should use a tripod or a monopod to shoot a film. The monopod is flexible and gives low stabilization effects. A tripod has three legs and an apex to mount the camera. The head of the tripod is locked to avoid any movement.

Shooting a fight scene

You must rehearse the ideas before actual filming of the movie. The actors should go through a dry run For instance, if the scene requires two actors involved in a fist fight, they may rehearse in order to shoot from a perfect angle. Use the minimum set-up for shooting a fight sequence and shoot every set-up twice.

Edit Quickly

The final stage of producing a movie is the editing. You must edit the film with shots in tight frame. You can edit to close-up shots to produce a heightened effect.

I hope my friend utilizes these tips and achieve success in making an action movie.

Top musicals that still tug at your heartstrings

Sing your favorite SongMusicals have a magical quality about them that makes them alluring even to present day generation. The secret of their evergreen success is the use of song and dance routine, which enhances the storyline and attracts the audience largely. The whole package works because of the choreographer and director. Watching musicals always gives you a good feeling and invigorates you.

Even today, the musicals are more popular among the young and old alike, and you can see these songs being the favorite in the karaoke sing along parties. I have my own karaoke machine at home. Whenever we have a party or just few of us get together, we try out all the old and new songs in the machine.

Musicals date back to many centuries. The Roman Amphitheaters are examples of how musical performances were held in ancient times. The Romans had actually taken the Amphitheater concept from the Greeks. These structures were made in wood and metal chips were added to improve the dancing sound. I suppose that this was how the tap dance originated. Over the years, there have been many hit musicals, making it hard for me to pick a few top ones, but I have tried to choses the best five.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

This 1964 musical is vivid with dazzling neon lighting and blazing colors making it a colorful and joyous presentation. The film’s score by Michel Legrand is full of melody and the most alluring part is the songs are actually dialogues that are set to music. You can find casual conversation being in song form. Catherin Deneuve the female lead has great beauty and poise and makes you sing automatically along with her.

My Fair Lady

This musical by George Cukor is an adaptation of Pygmalion released in 1964. Audrey Hepburn plays the beautiful Eliza Doolittle. The lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and score by Fredrick Loewe give wonderful life to Shaw’s play, which had the sculptor creating a stunning statue, which comes to life and is so entrancing that he falls in love with her. Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins is hilarious and the film with its socialistic theme and romance was a huge hit.

Grease

This 1978 movie was a big hit even when the trend had changed from musical genre. The film despite featuring 30 year olds as teenagers and having the pop songs of 50s went on to become the highest grosser in the United states till date. John Travolta showed that he was indeed showbiz material and the reigning dancing superstar.

Singin’ in the Rain

This is one of the best musicals in the history of cinema and the title song became even more popular after it was repurposed in the murder ballad of A Clockwork Orange. The movie is also one of the best musical comedies and was a great hit, as movies were making a change from silent to talkies during that period. Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor held a dynamic charm and stunning appeal that made the film memorable. The lilting music and great lines make them still one of my favorite pieces in my sing along parties.

Cabaret

This is the best of all musicals. Released in 1972 the seductive and satanic musical choreographed and directed electrically by Bob Fosse pierces right through your heart. It brings to mind Nero’s fiddle drenched in decadence, cynicism and despair. Moreover, the music reminds you of the Germany of 1930s.

The success formula for Great Movies

The success formula for Great MoviesI had been to my aunts’ house last weekend. She is a great fan of the classic movies, especially the romantic musicals and lamented that they do not make such good movies nowadays. We were talking over dinner enjoying her delicious meatballs. She said that just like the meatballs that restaurants make nowadays, which did not have the flavour that hers had, cinema too has lost its charm now.

While I did accept that her meatballs were the awesome – she grinds the meat with one of her special meat grinder I did not think that present day cinema was bad. There were many movies, which go well beyond the good and touch exceptional grade with the performances, screenplay and music.

The conversation had me thinking on what changed a movie from a good one to a great one. A movie has to have at least a few important characteristics to make it a classic and great movie. Here are some of the vital components that make a movie successful

Topical

When movies are made on the current and happening news, the audience could relate well to the story and this made them successful. Good examples are Casablanca and Queen Christina released during World War.

In both the lead characters had to choose between desire and duty with varying results. While Queen Christina made during First World War gives importance to individual choices than collective decisions, Casablanca made during the Second World War highlighted how the couple sacrificed their love for duty. The topical nature of these two movies is what has made them evergreen even after so many decades.

Timelessness

Movies that centre on timeless values like love, relationships in the family, death etc. are always a hit with any generation of moviegoers. Relationships score the best always due to their timeless nature.

Performance

One key ingredient of a great movie is the great performance that the artists give.  There are many instances over the years of how the performance of a male or female artiste taking the film to new heights.

Guiding vision

Almost all great movies have some common thread that brings all the elements in the film together beautifully. A Hitchcock movie is a great example. You watch his films always dreading on what unfortunate turn of events are going to occur. But your fears will not come true for the first six or seven times and the eighth time it happens finally, which shows how he has made it riveting to watch.

Awesome scene

Almost all great movies have an amazing and much talked about scene. It is normal for people to talk about this great scene in the movie, and on how it had been taken incredibly. The scene will stay long after the movie fades away because of the way it was shot.

Great ending

Finally, movies that end with some amount of complexity strike a chord in the mind of the audience.

Although all of the above ingredients need not necessarily be present in a movie to make it a great one, some of these surely would help it be remembered for long like my aunt’s meatballs. I remembered this time around to get the recipe from her and she said that this grinding machine for the meat would help in making the recipe much easier and tastier too.

How to Successfully Host a Film Showcase

How to Successfully Host a Film ShowcaseHave you ever wondered how to host a film showcase? You can draw people’s attention for a specific subject or film genre by having a film showcase for people to enjoy. There are several things one must do in order to have this happen, but most importantly, happen successfully.

Pick a film that you feel is important to show people. If you want a horror-themed flick to play, then look into popular movies that will grab people’s attention. If you are trying to address a serious issue such as animal abuse, look into a documentary or a movie based on a true story. Before showing the film, you have to check to see if you need a license to show the film to your audience. Contact a movie screening company to be sure. It would help if you have watched the film before showing. It will give you an idea of what the audience will be viewing.  Make sure the film equipment is set. Be prepared for possible issues with the projector. Cinematic artists recently bought  Benq W1070 light bulbs for if a bulb gets dysfunctional.

Look into saving some money for the film showcase. You may be able to get a sponsor to pay for screening costs or any other hidden fees you weren’t aware of before. This will help add more to the audience. When having an audience, see what your target audience will be. If it’s a family film, for example, invite parents and the children to watch. Make sure you know the film’s rating (PG, PG13, etc.) before showing.

Find a good date and time to host the film showcase. See if it can be shown on a day that isn’t too busy for everyone. Weekends are helpful since people are usually working or going to school during the weekdays. Find a meaningful date if you would like. For example, a film on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be perfect to show on MLK Jr. Day on January 19, or during Black History Month in February.

Select a place to host the film showcase. A proper venue such as a movie theatre, library, or other public spaces would work in favor. Make sure you have all the materials you need. Cinematic artists like to make sure the film runs smoothly. They recommend original projector lamps at this specialized website. Talk to the venue manager weeks in advance before the showing.

Promote the showcase by handing out flyers and posting on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. If you have your own website, advertise the event. Tell friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else who is interested or knows someone who will want to check it out. Newspapers and other forms of media are other great avenues to use.

Create a schedule for the event carefully and choose a speaker. The speaker will introduce the film to the audience and may open and question and answer discussion about the film. Come up with questions if you’d like. Make sure they as well as other people can act as moderators during participation. Last, but not least, have volunteers hand out information before or after the presentation. These tips hopefully will give you the chance to host a film showcase with success.

Body building in Movies

Body building in MoviesFilms create iconic images and even iconic people that everyone looks up to and wants to imitate. This is especially true regarding body image and perceptions of attractiveness. Often this can be negative, as stars are held to unreasonable standards of beauty that are simple not attainable without money, a designer wardrobe, good lighting, and airbrushing. Sometimes, however, stars can be a positive influence on people if they inspire them to become healthier and more active in their own everyday lives by serving as positive role models and advocates and y living healthy lifestyles themselves.

Movie stars can do this not only by portraying healthy and balanced characters on screen whenever possible but by using their platforms as public figures to serve as responsible advocates for health issues in the real world. One of the best ways of doing this is by speaking up about having a positive body image while also emphasizing the ways in which physical activity can benefit people. This is especially true as our culture is becoming more and more sedentary and orientated toward staying indoors. Numerous studies and even more anecdotal evidence has shown how detrimental his can be to all of us, and yet many of us are still very complacent in the face of the facts and continue down a path towards ill health.

Good films can offer teachable moments, and one of the things that they can teach is that we all have a story to tell and that we should value ourselves, our own stories and our bodies. Many people have been inspired to work out more in an effort to achieve more and hold themselves to a higher standard. Maybe they take up ice skating, football or surfing or maybe they but a a power rack to keep in their garage so that they can work out at home. There are so many ways to go about this, and films often serve as a way of discovering the path that best suits each person. The power of a good film can inspire someone who is not necessarily the most physically fit person to strive for something more if they want to do so. On the other hand, films can also create unrealistic expectations, and it is important that both filmmakers and the general public be responsible in their choices and remain aware of where fantasy ends and reality begins.

Very few people will ever reach the fitness levels of Arnold Schwarzenegger or look like Megan Fox, not should they. That is not at all the point. The idea is not to strive to be someone else, but to be inspired to do something more with what is unique to each of us. Movie star can work to help us to learn this by continuing to portray genuine characters and to be open and honest. On the screen, good storytelling can bring out the idea of striving to achieve, and this is one of the reasons that we need more good storytelling in the cinema.

Boxing and the Big Screen

Boxing and the Big ScreenSports movies are a certifiable sensation in modern cinema. And, of all the sports that these movies feature, it seems that boxing is the king. It’s really no wonder why, boxing represents the ultimate challenge of man versus man. The story lines often feature the archetypal struggles of underdog boxers against a big, bad world as represented in their ultimate opponents. It is a film that movie makers return to again and again, from the recent Grudge Match to Raging Bull, Rocky, Million Dollar Baby, The Cinderella Man and many more. These films have often become classics in their own right. This blog post will look at some of the ways in which these movies have influenced the actual practice of boxing and how screen and ring are different.

One of the things that sports movies have done is create an aura around boxing and boxers. Entire generations of young moviegoers have grown up watching these action stars overcome challenges on the big screen. As a consequence, boxing is experiencing new heights of popularity. Young men and women are learning to box at clubs and gyms in an attempt to look like their favorite movie stars. Of course, there is time, effort and expense in doing so, but it is worth it for many. Most films in the genre emphasize the dedication needed in practicing, but they do not fully explore the planning and financial commitments that boxing (and other sports entail). Besides the enrollment fees for training at a gym, most of the expense comes in finding the most valuable boxing gloves and other training equipment. After this initial expense, the hard work comes in the actual consistent training and preparation that is so necessary to succeeding in boxing.

The importance of good training cannot be overstated. Boxing movies devote time to this issue, and there is often a montage of the main character training, but the time spent on this aspect is shortened to fit the story arc and run time and the preparation all seems to be in service to the big fight. This is simply not the case in real life where there are often months and years of practice before a boxer can even begin to think about a serious match. The need for patience and dedication is supremely important  to any serious boxer and is the basis for success in the ring.

Boxing movies are an adrenaline rush in their own right and are even more so if the become the impetus for actually becoming involved in the sport. The only thing to remember is that life does not always imitate art and the road forward can be far harder than ever depicted on film. So, whether living vicariously through a legendary character or as actual inspiration picking up boxing gloves to fight, these iconic movies can be a portal to a new world and a new way of thinking and moving, and there is a good reason boxing movies are so beloved.

“Polishing” Your Film; The Importance Of Good Styling In Filmmaking

“Polishing” Your Film; The Importance Of Good Styling In FilmmakingNo matter how small your filmmaking budget, talented and skilled makeup artists, stylists and even professional nail technicians is an important investment. These professionals are truly artists who will help elevate the overall visual appeal of your film as well as give your characters a certain coolness factor and image hard to attain otherwise. Just as costumes and sets create the backdrop to tell your story, skilled cosmetologists and makeup artists can transform an actor’s appearance that turns a cast member into a believable character. Thiswill help give your characters image and personality and will help tell your film’s story and make it memorable.

It may be that a character needs to come off as polished and perfectly coiffed or may need to be seen as disheveled and disorganized. These artists understand the importance of details in a person’s appearance, and how small things can create an overall look that will be understood by the audience.

A character’s appearance doesn’t stop with hair and makeup application; nails are also important and can add to the overall image of a character. In the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction, Uma Thurman plays the character Mia Wallace who wears a dark red nail polish called Rouge Noir by Chanel. The popularity of that film, and the image of that character, kicked off a craze for blood red dark nails and lips throughout the 1990s, with many young woman copying Mia Wallace’s manicure. The trend continue even now: makeup lineUrban Decay recently debuted a Pulp Fiction-themed cosmetic line, including lipstick and nail polish,that is inspired by Mia Wallace.  Thurman, by the way, nabbed an Oscar nomination for the now-iconic role.

“Audiences go to the movies to see a great story, but also to see characters who are visually interesting and project an image of cool,” said Michelle, a stylist and nail technician who has worked on independent films and photo shoots. “Hair, make up and nails are all an important part of a character’s image, so don’t underestimate the value of investing in those services – it will help your film achieve ‘the look’ you are hoping for.”

She advised that it’s important to get quality experts – just as you should choose professional makeup artists you also need to choose professional nail technicians who are trained and know what they are doing under pressure. If you are interested in finding professional nail technicians or in becoming one yourself, click here.

Not surprisingly, the popularity of nail polish is also linked to film, specifically the introduction of Technicolor in 1922. Films filled with bright and vibrant color made the characters come to life as never before on the silver screen, and viewers, especially the females in the audience, watched these films with stars like Rita Hayworth and her quintessential red lips and nails and decided to replicate it themselves. An extensive line of polishes quickly emerged and female finger tips have never been the same – at home or in the movies!

“Part of the reason we love movies is we love watching beautiful people do extraordinary things.”  Michelle said. “We all want to attain a piece of the coolness factor that our favorite stars have. A good movie will inspire trends that you can literally see on people lips and nails.”