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It Still Pays to Be Smaller, Faster and Cheaper

courtesy-of-christopher-walters_smWith the next big thing always around the corner, camera professionals can rely on having a plethora of gear offerings. The products that stand out can vary from shoot to shoot, but the remaining constant is that equipment needs to be small, fast and cheap enough to compete in today’s competitive market. One “faster” piece of equipment is the Midas Mount SnapFocus. Created by Brandon David Cole, the SnapFocus is a simple, cable-driven follow focus system that combats smaller-budget production restraints. It works on the principle of resistance between two retracting hand grips, which on the prototype are levers from bicycle brakes — and since your hand never needs to leave the handle bars, you’ll maintain a rock-steady center of gravity.

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Nigel Lythgoe Talks Emerging Platforms for “American Idol”

digitalhollywood_nigelIt’s safe to say that Fox TV’s “American Idol” is one of the most successful shows in the history of American television. Created by British Entrepreneur/Manager/Producer Simon Fuller in 2002, “American Idol” was spawned from the British hit show “Pop Idol,” and the success of both shows can be largely attributed to Producer Nigel Lythgoe, who is also the co-creator, producer and judge of Fox TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”

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Live Production: Getting Down and Dirty

liveproductionAfter working in the business for 35 years, with 15 of those years on TV truck crews, I’ve learned a few things about production. With enough time and crewmembers, almost anyone can make a normal video production if they’ll keep shooting till they get it right. But the same can’t be said for live production, which usually calls for you to get it right in one take. For live production, your crew must be up to the task and ready to work as a team. Video, audio and the means for broadcasting your show have to be solid and workable from beginning to end or you will have no show. You’ll need to get it right, or go home.

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Behind the Locations of The Hangover Part III

hangover_sm_groupThe Warner Bros. sequel The Hangover Part III marks the last film in a trilogy that broke ground with its unique mix of adventure and comedy. Directed by Todd Phillips, the first two Hangover films are now seen as one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. The third film centers on the four leads, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha), who find themselves on yet another outrageous adventure as they try to untangle their way out of some unthinkable circumstances. P3 recently chatted with the film’s Location Manager Gregory Alpert (pictured below), who both took the ride of his life while creating a distinct look for one of the most anticipated comedies of 2013.

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Illinois Gets Back on Top

 
chicago_skyline_illinois_usa_photo_wikiWhile Illinois has always been a hot spot for commercial production, the state’s feature film and television market has had its ups and downs. Now, thanks to an aggressive production incentive and a new high-end studio facility, Illinois and its most populous city Chicago are enjoying the enormous economic benefits brought by film and television projects.
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Louisiana Stays Active in Production

 
 
 
 
beasts-of-the-southern-wild_sm-As one of the first states to offer tax incentives to attract film and television projects, Louisiana has grown into a major production center. Known as “Hollywood South,” the Bayou State is third most popular filming destination in the U.S. after California and New York after growing quickly over the past decade. Boasting one of the finest infrastructures to support film and video production, Louisiana took center stage when The Curious Case of Benjamin Button won three Oscars out of its thirteen nominations in 2009. This year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated two Louisiana films for Best Picture: Beasts of the Southern Wild and Django Unchained.
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Capturing Live Events

super_bowl_2013_p3 The live broadcast of a major sports event can provide plenty of technical and creative challenges. And when the event is as high profile as the Super Bowl, which combines a football game, a half-time show worthy of Broadway, and an audience of hundreds of millions, the stakes are even higher. To prepare for the Super Bowl’s expansive broadcast schedule and telecast from New Orleans, several networks turned to broadcast equipment rental company Bexel to handle their on-site production needs and fiber infrastructure.
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Getting Your Movie Greenlit

p3 update _350It’s time to get your movie greenlit. You have a polished screenplay and you’ve just sat down with the gatekeepers: studio execs. The opening of their big gate can lead to big audiences and bigger rewards. You want them to go forward with the movie — your movie — and all eyes are on you. You’re tense and fear the one wrong remark that will sabotage the meeting. This is crunch time.

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Extreme Filming in the Himalayas

 

 
pad-yatra-6_smDedicated filmmakers will stop at nothing to tell their story, especially if it brings attention to topics that are of significant importance. Such is the case for Los Angeles-based Writer/Director/Producer Wendy J.N. Lee, who shines a spotlight on the environmental issues that have plagued the Himalayas. Lee has an MFA in Film Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts, and she has volunteered to assist non-profit organizations in the Himalayas, where she became aware of the rise in plastic waste. With no viable recycling or trash disposal system in the area, there was a sudden peak in polluted and poisoned water sources along the glacial melting routes, which provides fresh water for half of the world’s population.
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Reality TV: Technology Drives the Popular Genre

When it comes to reality TV production, what we don’t know won’t hurt us. So say the networks behind the myriad of reality television shows populating our airwaves for the last decade. But P3 has recently taken a look behind the scenes of reality TV, and what we found is pretty interesting. Directors and cinematographers at Bravo TV now reveal the technology, gear, crew power and techniques they need to bring today’s top reality shows to life.

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