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DCI Cinema, the way of the future

June 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Post:  DCI Cinema, the way of the future

I am off to Cannes on Tuesday morning and I will find time to write about the epicenter of the film world early next week. I am very much looking forward  to writing to you about the sales environment for low budget feature films. I also want to tell you about our Cannes Independent Film Screening of THe Makeover and the Cannes Marche screening of A Day in the Life.

Since I have last written, We have had the premiere screening for the Day in the Life Film.
It was wonderful to see the film for the first time with an audience and feel the reaction to certain scenes. We screened off DCI  (Digital Cinemas Initiative)

DCI is the agreed format for screening digitally in the cinema. DCI, is a joint venture of the six major studios. They are expensive to create with the cost of a DCI Master usually about $10K.
However the look is stunning and definitely worth it. Of course, through our connections, we have a friend who can make a DCI Master for $2,500. I love "Mates Rates"

The visual difference is dramatic as the film is projected in 2K Resolution and the net effect is that the film looks stunning and bright. The Old way of projecting in the cinema  via a cumbersome 35 mm print which costs about $3 -5 K per print is the way most films are projected today. The old way is in its last decade as most cinemas now will slowly convert totally to DCI.

Why is it so cumbersome to project of Film Print?
If you have 100 different screenings around the country, you have to make 100 physical prints and the cost is about $300K- 500k Expensive. If anything, goes wrong with the original film negative, well that's it. That is the reason we have to make duplicate negatives which of course diminishes the visual quality.

On the other hand, once you have made the Master DCI,  that's it. All you need is  to deliver the data to the different DCI projection systems in cinemas.  If you only have the one drive you could visit several cinemas and load up the projector with the data.
In the cinemas that we had the DCI screenings, there have been about 3 DCI projection systems installed per cinema. This of course will increase dramatically in the next few years.

It is the way of the future  and this future is quickly becoming the present form of seeing our movies on the Silver Screen.  For the low budget Film Maker, this is a great step in the right direction and definitely worth celebrating.

Learn how you can make your own films for next to nothing at our Different Film Schools.
There are links at the top of this article. The Schools are great for beginners and experienced people.  I look forward to seeing you there soon.

Till next week in Cannes , have a great week.

Colm O'Murchu is the owner of Australian and International Film Base. He directs motion pictures

Editing The Essential Skill

June 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Editing The Essential Skill

Over the years I have learnt several different Film Making Skills. Many Film Makers are compelled to learn different skills so as to earn a consistant living from Film Making.
Five years ago, I was earning most of my living from shooting other peoples films. In other words DOP work. I also had  gigs booming as sometimes it is difficult to find a Boom Swinger. And of course I spent years editing other peoples films. I believe of all the Film Making Skills, this is the essential for good strong Direction

When I first learnt to edit, we used Steenbacks.
A Steenback use to be a very cumberson table where you placed your work print and physically cut the film on spools.  You then  spliced it back together with tape. Then after a painstaking cut, the Negative Matchers cut your negative and created prints either from the original or alternatively from  a Dupe Neg. You hoped that the Negative Matcher would get it right and cut your precious negative perfectly........... Scary.

So much has changed in the technology and today we have the two most common  editing  professional  applications, Avid and Final Cut Pro.  I know there is a myriad of other editing software but the above two are favoured by professional editors.  Having worked on both old and new, I much prefer today's technology. Before we used to have numerous bins with different Work Prints hanging with labels. Today all my scenes are in Bin Folders on my computer.

In the end no matter what the technology is, Editing is a skill that is as old as Motion Picture.
It is one of the most important parts of Film Making. The only way to get good at it is to do lots of it. It is separate from knowing how to use a computer as it is in its essence Story Telling. The whole aim is to pull your audience into a scene. That is why I spent six months editing "The Makeover" and about four months on  "A Day in the Life".

As the budget was low on "The Makeover", I did all my own editing.  On a Day in the Life where we had a substantial budget, I had an editor.  When you have a good editor, you can really get the intensity of two people working on the cut. The Director can have a break and come back with a Fresh Eye and the editor can keep working on getting the next cut. In the end editing is very much a collaboration between and Editor and a Director and therefore it pays to learn to be an Editor initially so that you can work with and Editor as a Director later.

It also develops an eye for shots and coverage that is essential to strong Film Direction.
I recommend every emerging director learns how to edit as it will develop your shot choices for your Shot List and Storyboard. If you want to be a Film Maker, Make Films NOW. One of the quickest best ways to achieve this goal is to enroll on one of our Film Schools listed above.

Hope to see you there soon and in the meantime Have a Great Week.

Colm O'Murchu  Director
International Film Base
Australian Film Base

Rok Star Films, a Film School Participant Success Story.

June 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey All

I love hearing the success stories of people who have had their first exposure to the Film World via one of my Film Schools. Over the years there have been so many former Film School Participant's that have gone on to succeed in the Film World. Once a month I want to feature a Success Story

Here is one such success story for March.  Rok Star Films:

This is what Probir Dutt wrote on his feedback sheet when he graduated from the Adelaide One Week Film School in mid 2008.

"To put it bluntly the one week film school is an inspiration, I still can't believe how much we got through. I'm still bouncing off the walls with excitement and have already lined up two collaborations with fellow students. Colm's teaching makes dreams come true."
- Probir Dutt, Rok Starr Films.

Here is Probir's progress report 18 months later:

Since completing the Australian Film Base course in 2008, things have been pretty busy and our boutique production house, Rok Starr Films, is growing from strength to strength.

Along with Stubby Baulk (who I met on the Adelaide course in '08) we shot a documentary about Melbourne architecture that is now featured in the marketing collateral of one of Melbourne's leading design firms. This led to shooting another doco about Carrick Hilll in Adelaide where we were given exclusive access to parts of this grand house and grounds by the curator. Rok Starr Film's first funded project!

A few months later I met Marni Cousins (at the Melbourne one week film school - My Home Town) and she soon took over the production rains at Rok Starr Films. We co-wrote Secret Love that was screened at Melbourne  Film Festival with great success and as a result was invited to screen at the Washington Film Festival. Rok Starr Film's first international screening! Since then this film came second at St Kilda's alternative film festival SKANC. Rok Starr Films first cash prize!

Late last year we shot Two Die which is screening at this years MQFF. Both Secret Love and Two Die screened on Foxtel as part of their Mardi Gras festival. Rok Starr Film's first TV broadcast screening!

We've also started work on our spy-fi film noir TV series called Emily Essex (film stills on . This project now has interest from domestic funding bodies as well as UK production house. We've shot 4 mini-sodes to give investors a look and feel of what the series is about, from this 20 minutes of screen time we created a 2 minute trailer which was entered into the Optus 180 competition and got some rave reviews.

Rok Starr Films has also just signed an agreement with an LA based production house for a children's animation TV series co-written by myself, Marni and Stubby, all ex-students of Australian Film Base. Rok Starr Film's first US production deal!

Things are so busy at Rok Starr Films, Marni has given up her day job to focus on our numerous projects and she still needs help! If anyone wants to get involved please drop us a line at For detail of our projects past and current please visit <> .

CEO Probir Dutt Rok Star Films

Thanks Probir

So that's what happens when you leave our film School with enthusiasm and a get up and go attitude. Imagine forming your own film production company. Set the dream and go for it. You will be amazed how quick you can progress. I hope to see you on one of our Film Schools soon

Till then, have a great one.

Colm O'Murchu

Director Australian and International Film Base.

What is involved in making a film happen

June 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

What is involved in making a film happen?

A Film production in  simplistic terms is a mixture of Ten Areas

  1. Cast
  2. Crew
  3. Film Equipment
  4. Post Production Equipment
  5. Locations/Sets
  6. Art Department
  7. Wardrobe
  8. Makeup
  9. Catering
  10. Marketing

A Producers job is to make the above happen so that the Director and Cast and Crew can make a Film. This is what costs money and the Budget is the Sum Total of making the above happen.
The Weekend Film School shows you how to make the above happen for the smallest budget possible. You get the inside scoop on how this is done saving you so much money in the process.

When you are starting out, this is a very necessary skill.
Like it or not , unless you are personally rich, investors and funding bodies do not give money out to emerging film makers that have never made a successful short film. Not only that finding millions of dollars to make your films can take years.

On the Weekend Film School, we show you how to make your films now, building up track record now and making a feature film while you wait patiently for the bigger budget films. On the One Week Film Director Schools we actually make a five minute film from idea to completed film.

Once you know how to produce a film anytime you need to, that in itself gives you freedom and a chance to make it to the higher echelons of the Film World.

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