DaVinci Resolve 15 is a free, Hollywood-grade video editor via Engadget

Free software is usually worth looking at, even if it might not meet all your needs. Download this video editor software available for both Windows and Macintosh. — Douglas
 
With the latest release of DaVinci Resolve 15, Blackmagic Design has radically made over its editing suite to create one of the best video-editing systems at any price — even against mainstream options like Premiere Pro CC and Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. It now comes with Fusion, a powerful visual effects (VFX) app used in Hollywood films, along with an excellent color corrector and audio editor. Despite doing more than most editors will ever need, the full studio release costs just $300, and you can get a stripped-down version with most features for a grand total of zero dollars.

Tips for Building DIY Lighting Setups for Under $100 via The Beat: A Blog by PremiumBeat

Here are some great ideas for upping  your photography and videography lighting quality on the (relatively) cheap using off-the-shelf materials and products. See my link below for an inexpensive lighting kit I purchased a few years ago, too. — Douglas
 

Don’t have enough funds to purchase high-priced lighting kits? Try out using some of these cheaper methods to get your lighting right.

One of the core principles of a skillful shot is the use of good lighting. Here’s the problem, though – lighting equipment can be pretty expensive. When you set up a typical interview shot, you’ll probably use 3 different lights to set your key, back, and fill. Each of those lights can cost around $200 each, which will stretch your budget to more than some people can afford.

Not to worry, though, my wonderful penny pinchers. The folks over at ShareGrid have a few ways to incorporate everyday lighting systems to achieve quality light production by using cheap work lights, foam board, and even Christmas lights.

My inexpensive lighting kit from Amazon


An interesting link found among my daily reading

13 ways to come up with fresh content ideas via The Next Web

In the world of New Media you have to constantly be banking new ideas lest you fall behind in just a few days. When the ideas aren’t flowing as fast as you might wish, try out these ideas to see if they turn up anything. Most of thee ideas are also tactics you can use in an on-going manner to make sure the well doesn’t run dry again any time soon. — Douglas
 
You’ve heard it before: Content is king. Crafting valuable content can help hook new customers and keep your current ones engaged. But coming up with fresh, new ideas can be challenging, especially if your product or service falls within a narrow market.
 
To help prevent your content from becoming stale, I asked 13 members of YEC the following question:
 
What is one unconventional way your content team sources ideas for creating fresh content?

Great Looking Interviews – 2 minute filmmaking tutorial via Tom Antos

I subscribe to Tom Antos’ YouTube Channel and find useful new media information there all the time. Check it out!
Lots of info on setting up a good interview shot even when you are pressed for time and don’t get to choose your locations. — Douglas
See in 2 minutes how I setup an interview that works in any situation. In this video I show 5 different lighting setups.
The project we filmed is a documentary about Canadians soldiers in World War I. It’s produced by Spinning Rabbit Productions. If you’d like to see the finished documentary, please follow their Facebook page.
Great Looking Interviews - 2 minute filmmaking tutorial via Tom Antos
 
Mentioned in this video

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Three History Podcasts That Aren’t “Hardcore History” via Lifehacker

Three great podcasts to add to my already crowded playlist. I am a history geek and have several shows that give interesting, insightful looks into history we might not know well. These will be a great addition — Douglas

Three History Podcasts That Aren’t “Hardcore History” via Lifehacker

Three History Podcasts That Aren’t “Hardcore History” via Lifehacker

Nothing against Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History,” but it seems to eat up all the publicity for history podcasts. That’s a shame, because the podcast format is a fantastic way to dive into a thirty-hour history of the French Revolution, or snack on a 12-minute account of how Warren G. Harding, betrayed by his corrupt Cabinet, publicly projected all his feelings onto his dog Laddie Boy.

Read Three History Podcasts That Aren’t “Hardcore History” via Lifehacker

RevolutionsCrimetownSomething true



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Apple creates video series to help iPhone users take better pictures via The Next Web

For those of you who don’t know to take good photos with the iPhone’s camera — and I’m one — Apple has made some videos to help you improve.

In a series of tutorials posted on its site, Apple demonstrates how to take well-composed, beautiful pictures with the iPhone 7’s camera. the company has also posted some — but not all — on it’s YouTube channel.

Read Apple creates video series to help iPhone users take better pictures via The Next Web






An interesting link found among my daily reading

New-generation animators via Monocle Magazine

 
 
With the success of Pixar came an avalanche of computer-generated animation but not all animators are following the hi-tech pack. Monocle Films travels to the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and southern England in search of storytellers who think outside the computer box. 


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Record Your Project With a “Catapult Tripod” via Hackster’s Blog

With more and more of us doing live streaming and YouTube videos — along with tech projects and other closeup video work — this little DIY “tripod” could be a great item for your toolkit. I know it would come in really handy for me when I am doing an Arduino or Raspberry Pi video and trying to show people how to cook up jumpers to the — for me — tiny IO pins on these boards. Heck, I practically need a magnifying glass when I do it, so anything I can do to help them see it more clearly would be a great benefit Of course, it doesn’t just have to be tech videos. This would be great for painting demos, craft projects and any other small thing that you are trying to demo. — Douglas

Read Record Your Project With a “Catapult Tripod” via Hackster’s Blog


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert [Book]

I first saw mention of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear in some magazine I was reading. There were several writing and creativity books mentioned and I quickly requested those I hadn’t previously read from my local library. What I hadn’t noticed, until I started reading the book was that it was written by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. This often happens to me. I don’t recognize famous people out in public or important people in a company or government. It is just not something I am attuned to. In this case, I might not even have started to the read the book had I known more about the author. Sometimes coming to a new resource “cold” allow you to take in important lessons without any preconceptions.

One big thing I agree with Gilbert on is that writing — like many creative pursuits — is indeed magic. Whether I have been writing, performing music, singing with a choir, performing solo or walking onstage in the play or musical, there is something amazingly magical in what results. Thinking that creativity is magic doesn’t mean that it is unattainable for everyone, though, only that we have to treat creativity as something that is special and — most importantly — something that everyone should experience, as often as possible, in their lives. 

Big Magic isn’t a book about writing, with special exercises, meditations, or prescriptions. Rather it is a book about having and coping with a creative life. Creativity is always seen as something special — found only in select others — and this can lead to our own denial of its power and rewards and our own abilities. In a section entitled Permission, Gilbert says that we should all be “entitled”. This is a loaded word these days, but the fact is, we should all feel entitled to engage in creativity throughout our lives, regardless of what others might say or do or how much they try to dissuade us. Creativity is a certain, inalienable right, like those others laid out in the Declaration of Independence. In fact, I consider it one large part of “the pursuit of happiness” that Jefferson gave such importance.

One of the most important lessons Gilbert imparts is one that many creatives might not want to hear. She says that, in most cases, you shouldn’t depend on or expect your creativity to support you financially. In fact, she thinks this is one of the best ways to kill of your creativity entirely. If you expect your music or poetry or photography to support you, you quickly turn the magical into drudgery. What you once loved to do becomes a hateful burden and if allowed to continue, will kill your desire to create. 

Sure, some lucky few might be able to support themselves from their creativity, but most will not. In fact, she says, “with rare exceptions, creative fields make for crap careers. (They make for crap careers, that is, if you define a “career” as something that provides for your financially in a fair and foreseeable manner, which is a pretty reasonable definition of a career.)”

No matter how successful you may become, there will still be aspects of any job that you hate — the bureaucracy, the finances, the constant travel and more. On the other hand, Gilbert says, “Creative living can be an amazing vocation, if you have the love and courage and persistence to see it that way.” For myself, I often say, “Love your creativity, but don’t necessarily expect for it to love you back.” There is much to be gained from creativity, but money not be the most abundant nor important.

Big Magic is divided into short, easily consumable, sections — more like a collection of essays, although unlike some similar books, it holds together well as a complete book, too. You can read it from cover to cover, as I did, or jump from essay to another as your mood — and your creative need — strikes you.

Come to Big Magic to help you understand and better manage your own creative life. Creativity is never an easy path, as either vocation or avocation, but it is amazing and something that everyone should experience in some way. Like most things in life, though, having a guide along a strange and confusing path is always more helpful than we might like to admit. Consider Big Magic one such guide in your creative life. Now, head out on your own creative journey.

Other books by Elizabeth Gilbert

See more of her books on Amazon

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 
** 74 copies of Big Magic are available to check out from the Los Angeles Public Library 


On YouTube: Meaning Behind Camera Movement

How you move your camera colors and changes the meaning and emotion of the scene. Are you doing it on purpose or giving your audience accidental misdirection to how they should feel. — Douglas

Watch YouTube: Meaning Behind Camera Movement

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

Noted: Pixar Free Animation Course Pixar In A Box Now Available (video)