A Quick History Of The Staunton Chess Set

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Whether or not you know how to play Chess, one of the world’s oldest games, it is highly likely the checkered board and famously recognizable playing pieces are nothing new to you. However, few know the story of The Staunton Chess Set and how it became the standard around the world. Read more

George Spyros to Speak on New York Women in Film and Television Panel on Mobile Media Tools: Fast, Cheap and Under Control

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I’m stoked on being a part of this!

Mobile Media Tools: Fast, Cheap and Under Control
Date/Time:  Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Quit the fundraising grind and get into production now. Mobile media tools can radically reduce budgets required to produce documentary work. Find out how you can bring your dream projects to life via the power of your mobile phone. Experienced producers, directors and innovators will discuss their mobile media work, tools and storytelling strategies.



The Making of the Fast-Motion Disappearing Rainbow

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In the midst of today’s lazy Sunday afternoon, I heard my son calling from across the room and saw him looking up from assembling a Lego with his eyes fixed out the window. “There’s a rainbow, you should film it.” I leapt over to the window, launching Filmakr on my iPhone6s Plus, selected the 4K preset, hit record first, and then got into position. First there was the bug screen to content with so, I raised my arms high to the clear pane of glass above. Then I called for him to turn off the overhead lights to eliminate a reflection I was getting and finally settled on my composition cropping out some unwanted elements on the left and right sides of the frame. I held my arms up in the awkward position for 6 minutes sensing the rainbow would disappear. Some. Time. Soon. Even after the rainbow dissolved off I held the shot a good fifteen to twenty seconds longer knowing that I wanted to speed up the shot in post and that the additional moment of footage with clouds heading toward the building would serve to distinguish the before and after of the rainbow.

In playback, the head of the clip showed a bit of the window frame for a moment, so I double-tapped the clip and moved the left trim-handle to trim off these frames. Then I tapped the Motion icon under the clip and used the UIPicker over the video area to select Fast-Mo; I double-tapped the UIPicker to get to the Motion Settings Screen where I could chose 60x from the granular speed settings on the slider. Once the fast-motion clip rendered, I saw that is was 6 seconds — perfect for Vine! Before making and sharing, I tapped the Top-Center Dropdown, tapped the right-most circle BUG Button and selected the default www.filma.kr URL BUG.

I tapped MAKE and then shared to YouTube. I wanted to share the clip to Vimeo as well so I tapped the Play Icon over the film’s thumbnail on the Films List, paused the video and tapped the V for Vimeo icon, entered my text and tapped SHARE. Whoosh, to the internets she went!

For sharing on Vine and Instagram I turned on the Instagram Square Aspect Ratio Mask, used Scale tool to reposition the image into the square frame.

Disappearing Fast-Motion Rainbow from Filmakr on Vimeo.

Cinematography Tribute 2015 from Serena Bramble on Fandor

From a 70MM revival to iPhone filmmaking, enjoy what a year it was in cinematography.

Fandor — Video: Best Cinematography of 2015

Cinematography Tribute 2015 list of films and cinematographers with links to info in order of appearance:

CarolEdward Lachman
MeadowlandReed Morano
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on ExistenceIstván Borbás, Gergely Pálos
By The SeaChristian Berger
Far from the Madding CrowdCharlotte Bruus Christensen
Crimson PeakDan Laustsen
The RevenantEmmanuel Lubezki
Hateful EightRobert Richardson
TangerineRadium Cheung
SicarioRoger Deakins
Fifty Shades of GreySeamus McGarvey
Magic Mike XXLSteven Soderbergh
Ex MachinaRob Hardy
Mission: Impossible – Rogue NationRobert Elswit
Mad Max: Fury RoadJohn Seale
It FollowsMike Gioulakis
Beasts of No NationCary Joji Fukunaga
The WalkDariusz Wolski
The Stanford Prison ExperimentJas Shelton
Macbeth (2015)Adam Arkapaw
The Assassin (2015)Mark Lee Ping Bin

Fiilex 301 3-Light P360 LED Kit

fiilex 301 3 light p360 led kit video gear film stands softbox case equipment organize photoI love this Fiilex light kit. I had occasion to get it for a shoot overseas in Paris since I needed a something compact and portable but with lots of flexibility. It’s super lightweight and I love how it is organized in the case. You dial in the color temperature and it comes with a softbox. The best thing, they emit no heat whatsoever. One little design hitch is the cable to the power supply is short from the unit head, so that weight can hang pulling on the head. To remedy this you’re obliged to dress the cable over a knob on the stand. Read more

Beastgrip report on PhotoPlus Expo

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Vadym Chalenko and co over at Beastgrip have a blog post about PhotoPlus Expo 2015 which we used Filmakr to shoot, edit and upload a short film about this über-fantastic iPhone camera accessory. The post includes this hilarious, fisheye lens photo, but if you’re interested in more than just me with a big-a** Sennheiser shotgun microphone, head over to the Beastgrip blog. Read more

Beastgrip Demo PhotoPlus Expo 2015

filmakr filmstrip b-roll beastgrip demo iphone app photoplus expo 2015 ui interface audio vadym cholenko best video app smartphone accesory cinematography videography iphoneography filmstrip imageFILMSTRIP VIEW: b-roll clips, but a clean single-layer Filmstrip in your timeline.

This is my Mojo on Mojo series continued… : ) This whole video about Beastgrip was shot, edited and shared on the same device using one piece of software, Filmkar, for a complete 360 mobile production. Play it back on YouTube at 1440 to see quality. Doing this has confirmed for me that 4K is very useful not so much for posting in 4K, but when the bitrate gets knocked down from 100 or 50 mbps to around 25 mbps, the footage compresses incredibly well. So I’m sold on 4K (unfortunately! — Download the 3840×2160 file on Vimeo for full quality) Final film edit is 1.27GB out of 67.35GB in the project. Read more