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Filming in the Island Region

When a film or television production calls for an island setting, there are plenty of places to choose from, as every island can offer incentives and unique scenery to filmmakers. For example, Hawaii is known for its majestic volcanoes and Dominica has miles of pristine rainforests, while the U.S. Virgin Islands offers charming European towns. Each island region also has a film office with numerous resources so productions are not left stranded. The following island hot spots are not only beautiful, they’re also a breeze to shoot.

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Utah Film Commission Shines at Sundance

Sundance UtahIt goes without saying that Sundance is one of the premiere film festivals around the world, with thousands of attendees, most of whom are key decision makers in the film and television industry. The Utah Film Commission prides themselves on being the host state every year and continues to be a key player in the festivities. Three years ago they set up on Main Street with a warm, inviting venue open to the public and fest-goers alike.

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Kumiko, Sean C. Porter and the Alexa

PorterSeattle-native and recent Los Angeles transplant via Brooklyn, DP Sean C. Porter had his fair share of challenges shooting The Zellner Brothers’ Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter.

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Discovering Her with Location Manager Rick Schuler

HER SM beachThe sci-fi romance film Her is anoriginal love story that explores the human need for intimacy and the risks it poses in a technological world. Set in a future Los Angeles, the movie is written and directed by Spike Jonze, and stars Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, Walk the Line), Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and the voice of Scarlett Johansson. The story follows Theodore (Phoenix), a complex, soulful man in self-imposed isolation after being heartbroken by the end of a long relationship. He soon meets Samantha (Johansson), the insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny female voice of his computer’s new operating system. And as each of their emotional needs and desires grow, the friendship eventually deepens into true love.

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Sundance and Canon Help Indies Thrive

Canon C500Out of 118 feature films being screened at this year’s 30th anniversary festival in Park City, 19 percent were shot on Canon cameras. That’s second only to ARRI cameras (mostly the Alexa) that take up 27 percent of the annual indie barometer’s slate.

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Iceland: The Land of Fire and Ice

Iceland 3Mythical. Wild. Majestic. Magical. There are many superlatives that can be used to describe Iceland, but the truth is that it’s a place that must be seen to be believed. The country is also an extraordinarily versatile filming location — it has successfully doubled as Alaska, Siberia, Northern Europe, tropical islands and distant planets.

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New Zealand Grant Increases

New-zealand-SMNew Zealand is pushing heavily to attract more productions and has come out with a new perk for filmmakers. The government recently announced changes to the structure and level of support for film and television productions, including raising the baseline screen incentive for international film and television production to 20%. 

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Lighting Panama with Zylight’s F8 LED Fresnel's

KIRO-TV F8 CU Panama JPEG 3KIRO-TV, the Cox Media Group-owned CBS affiliate for Seattle-Tacoma, recently sent a news team to the Panama Canal to talk with local shipping industry professionals about the multibillion-dollar expansion of the waterway. The construction, which is due to be completed sometime in 2015, is designed to enable larger ships to go through the canal and potentially bypass Seattle and other West Coast ports.

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Cinemartin’s New 4K Compression Tool in Spain

cinec v2.7 scr

Barcelona-based Cinemartin recently announced the availability of H.265 HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) conversion with its new CINEC 2.7, which supports up to 4K resolution. The H.265 standard supersedes today’s most common codecs for encoding and Internet delivery of video (H.264) and makes 4K recording to SD cards possible on DSLRs.

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The Industry Transitions to Ultra High-Def

272003253The hot technological buzz phrase for today’s theatrical distribution and consumer space is “4K.” While the current digital cinema standard is an image resolution of 2048 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high (with width measurement rounded out to 2K), digital capture technology and projection technology is now at resolutions of 4096×2160 or higher — and 4K actually quadruples the number of pixels for richer screen resolution. On the consumer side, the HDTV standard delivers the same vertical resolution (1080) but isn’t quite as wide, with a resolution of 1920 pixels instead of 2048. Earlier this year, consumers were introduced to the new Ultra High Definition (UHD) format that delivers a resolution of 3840x2160. And even though that horizontal resolution is well shy of the 4,000 pixel mark, it’s still promoted as 4K.

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